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City of Heroes in pop culture (sic)!


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Posted (edited)

Yes, how many times have we seen nods to CoH in that famously derivative game, Real Life?*

 

  • Eben Brooks, obviously, whose 2010 album "Geek Mythology" has nods to CoH, Firefly, and Babylon 5.
  • The original Teen Titans show has a few call-outs, I remember a Cooke's Electronics appearance that I believe was even spelt that way. I recall CoH map nods in some Titans indoor missions, sewers and warehouses, I think.
  • The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe guys have mentioned they used to hang out online in CoH, so podcasting was a logical step.
  • Mercedes Lackey was a player, wrote some for the the game, IIRC, and she participated in a shared-blame-universe superhero series with a few nods.
  • Formerly genericked player Jim Butcher's Furies of Calderon series has a serious superhero vibe during which his protagonist levels up rather noticeably.

 

There's also a "melodic metal" -- that's a thing now -- album, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Heroes_(album) but I don't know if it's related, I haven't tracked it down.**

Anyone notice any other call-outs?

 

*For small values of real.

** Yeah, I could download it. But if you can't hold it in your hand, you don't own it. DRM is theft! Harrumph!

Edited by DoctorDitko
D'oh! Numbers don't add up! Thanks, @Judasace!

Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko. Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko. But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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There's a film called Demolition Man that has a tribute character to one of my heroes, John Spartan. I thought that was pretty cool.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, DoctorDitko said:

The original Teen Titans show has a few call-outs, I remember a Cooke's

 

It was actually spelled "Cook's" electronics in the show, and its first appearance in the show was in 2003 during the first season - given that CoH didn't appear until 2004, it's far more likely that, rather than being a homage to CoH, they are both Homages to Fry's Electronics.

Edited by Judasace
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Aw, darn it! You are absolutely correct. My numbers didn't add up! Thanks for the correction, and R.I.P. Fry's. T'was a cool place!

 

Incidentally, this is why "eyewitness testimony" is unreliable. Our brains store memories with a lossy compression algorithm.

Every time time you remember something, your brain has reassembled the event from whatever data points it saved. And our minds love to smooth things out into a narrative that feels right.

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Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko. Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko. But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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Worm, a really, really good free superhero novel (seriously, it's outstanding) has a few shoutouts in the power classifications - terms like blaster and brute are used directly in terms of classifications. Master is basically a mastermind. It also uses the terms hero, villain and rogue in more-or-less the same way.

 

It might be that they're all drinking from the same reference pool, but I think the start of the novel was at least inspired by CoH. It's it own thing, and I really recommend it to anyone who likes doorstopper fiction... it's very long.

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I remember back in the day the TV show "Big Bang Theory" had a comic book shop where there was a CoH cardboard cutout display.

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1 minute ago, Psyonico said:

I remember back in the day the TV show "Big Bang Theory" had a comic book shop where there was a CoH cardboard cutout display.

 

It showed up a fair amount at the comic book store, and one time the characters discussed how when they played it they always played heroes.

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Can't pull anything specific at the moment (on a work break atm), but if one looks closely at the detailing in many costumes on cinematic and TV series super heroes it is easy to find bits that look like various CoH costume parts - particularly shoulder, glove, and boot pieces.

 

Could be coincidental, but I'd like to think some of those designers were players back in the Long Long Ago.

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42 minutes ago, Psyonico said:

I remember back in the day the TV show "Big Bang Theory" had a comic book shop where there was a CoH cardboard cutout display.

Don't forget Captain Sweatpants, in that same comic shop, with his Statesman T-shirt...and normal sweatpants.

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Wow! My wife was a huge BBT  fan, I thought I'd seen every episode many times, but I missed this completely! Good catch!

Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko. Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko. But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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11 hours ago, DoctorDitko said:

Yes, how many times have we seen nods to CoH in that famously derivative game, Real Life?*

 

  • Eben Brooks, obviously, whose 2010 album "Geek Mythology" has nods to CoH, Firefly, and Babylon 5.
  • The original Teen Titans show has a few call-outs, I remember a Cooke's Electronics appearance that I believe was even spelt that way. I recall CoH map nods in some Titans indoor missions, sewers and warehouses, I think.
  • The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe guys have mentioned they used to hang out online in CoH, so podcasting was a logical step.
  • Mercedes Lackey was a player, wrote some for the the game, IIRC, and she participated in a shared-blame-universe superhero series with a few nods.
  • Formerly genericked player Jim Butcher's Furies of Calderon series has a serious superhero vibe during which his protagonist levels up rather noticeably.

 

There's also a "melodic metal" -- that's a thing now -- album, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Heroes_(album) but I don't know if it's related, I haven't tracked it down.**

Anyone notice any other call-outs?

 

*For small values of real.

** Yeah, I could download it. But if you can't hold it in your hand, you don't own it. DRM is theft! Harrumph!

You can at least listen to the song on Youtube.  Hell, there's at least one music video someone set to the song.  I dunno if it's mean to refer to the game though, but it fits!

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16 hours ago, DoctorDitko said:

Mercedes Lackey was a player, wrote some for the the game, IIRC, and she participated in a shared-blame-universe superhero series with a few nods.


The podcast was a fun listen: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-secret-world-chronicle/id211347249

 

Which later grew into a series: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1986356.The_Secret_World_Chronicle

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18 hours ago, DoctorDitko said:

Wow! My wife was a huge BBT  fan, I thought I'd seen every episode many times, but I missed this completely! Good catch!

Has the Statesman t-shirt and everything:

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22 hours ago, DoctorDitko said:

** Yeah, I could download it. But if you can't hold it in your hand, you don't own it. DRM is theft! Harrumph!

I download it, I strip out the DRM, because THAT'S MINE NOW!  Ahem.

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3 hours ago, arcane said:

There are a few seconds of video footage available of Joaquin Phoenix playing City of Heroes.

 

Wow.  I'd like to see that.  The last time I saw him on a screen and didn't want to hurl something at it was Gladiator.  Granted, I hated him in that, too... but at the time I thought he was just acting.  

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Posted (edited)
On 5/2/2021 at 8:32 PM, DoctorDitko said:
  • Eben Brooks, obviously, whose 2010 album "Geek Mythology" has nods to CoH, Firefly, and Babylon 5.

This is both amusing, neat and scary.

Edited by Night
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Multiple web comics reference City of Heroes. From what I remember, Penny Arcade, and Ctrl-Alt-Delete all reference City of Heroes in some way or another.

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The Netflix series The Defenders - when they jumped on the metro to get to the mission - totally a COH moment.

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16 hours ago, Arbegla said:

Multiple web comics reference City of Heroes. From what I remember, Penny Arcade, and Ctrl-Alt-Delete all reference City of Heroes in some way or another.

And PvP Online, which started an 11-strip storyline where the characters in the comic were playing City of Heroes, and the POV moved into the game after the first strip in the series.

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