Spend any amount of time on the internet, and you’ll find hundreds of people who misinterpret the influences of a pop culture work with “ripoffs.”  ‘Star Wars’ is a ripoff of ‘Flash Gordon, so the logic goes; ‘Star Trek’ is a ripoff of ‘Captain Video’, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ is a ripoff of ‘Friends’, ‘My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’ is a ripoff of “Apocalypse Now: The Director’s Cut.’  Still, today’s Retro Review reminds me that there are those premises and characters who ARE just photocopies of other characters, and yet it can be possible to see that knockoff done right.  Alan Moore’s ‘Supreme’ serves as tribute, analysis and critique of Silver Age Superman stories, and as such, makes for a fascinating read, leading to today’s serial-numbers-filed-off query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) reminds Faithful Spoilerites that a knockoff can be a good thing; after all, Batman’s creation was a calculated attempt to make another Superman, asks: What not-entirely-original bit of pop culture is the best example of a knockoff done right?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

6 Comments

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They started off as this loose parody of a combination of favorite comics of the time (X-Men for “teenage mutant” and Daredevil for “ninja”) and evolved into something special, as well as spawning a whole slew of knockoffs all their own.

    I also have to say Astro City for being so beautifully well done, taking so many often obvious homages of well known characters and making this whole compelling world with twists and turns that set it apart from the source materials.

  2. Malone_hasco on

    Star Wars is pretty good example. It took ideas from several places and mashed them together while adding some original ideas. 40 years into it and looks like it worked quite well.

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