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Are Superheroes Fantasy or Science Fiction?

Superhero stories are filled with fantasy tropes: wizards, knights in shining armor, dragons and other monsters, gods of various mythologies, and so on. Meanwhile, many superhero and supervillain origin stories seem like science fiction premises (mutated DNA, aliens, and so on). Most superpowers, even the ones that are supposedly based on science, defy science to the point where they would be indistinguishable from magic in a fantasy setting.
Consider the characteristics that differentiate the Fantasy Genre from the Science Fiction Genre. Then consider the central characteristics of superhero stories – Marvel, DC Comics, Invincible, pick your favorite – and analyze whether they fall more on one side or the other. If some superheroes belong to one genre and some belong to another, what happens when those superheroes team up with each other?
What are the implications of which genre superheroes "belong to"? Does this affect the future of superhero stories?

  • I'd consider seeing if superheroes might fall into an in-between category like science fantasy as well. – SiothrĂșn 1 week ago
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