SMBC Superman comicMaking an effort to justify why BICP’s in-universe society isn’t that different.

So there’s a thing in superhero comics, where they basically all start as “what if just a few special individuals in a normal world?” Every new iteration of writers — who were already fans of the series, and spent a lot of time thinking about the worldbuilding — gets a little further into “no, seriously, what major systemic changes would this cause?”

I’ve talked before about thoughts and ideas for a version of BICP that does that. Integrates Beings more thoroughly into the development of tech, of energy, of dealing with problems and environments that would be invariably fatal to humans.

But I don’t think I could have written that — not from scratch — at least, not very well. The creation of Original BICP is what gives me the foundation to really dive into “if I did a more complicated iteration, how would it go?”

…either way, “Beings aren’t the Industrial Revolution” is still true. And “you don’t want to waste complex AIs on tasks that are too simple” still holds. You wouldn’t want superheroes to get dragged into the ruthlessly-efficient “let’s make Superman turn a power-generating crank 24/7” idea that SMBC famously drew, either.

Emma: Now that I think about it, he should be making your life different already. You’ve got a magic perpetual motion machine with the smarts to follow directions, and the enthusiasm to want to. That could even be enough to change more lives than just yours . . .

Bianca: It does! Sort of. I try to keep him busy.

Our house is always clean . . . in winter he shovels every street on the block . . . and now that it’s spring I’m sending him around different neighborhoods to pick up trash. It’s helpful! But he’s still only one person.

. . . ish.

Miranda says “Beings aren’t the Industrial Revolution.” No matter how much useful work a single one can do, we don’t have any way to scale it up. So there’s a limit to how much change they can make.


Sparrow: Patrick! Make yourself useful, come in here and get me the remote!