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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Morgan Wick: If we assume that the power was caused by a single mutant gene, then it would be either there or not (it would not manifest at half power) but if it were recessive it would be carried but masked in a child who inherited it. If such a 'carrier' had children by another carrier there would be the classic one-in-four chance of their child inheriting granddad or grandma's power (as with many real life mutations from blue eyes to sickle-cell anaemia). Of course, given that super genes are rare, this would probably require incest.

This is a bit fallacious; it indicates that only supers and their children would have a super gene but admits the existence of non-powered carriers. Generally, we don't see any evidence of this, and it's moot for most things on the Super Hero Origin list.

But let's say that a (still small, but sizeable) segment of the population contains the X-gene of X-Men fame. There's a certain chance that two carriers would meet and have children; on average, one-fourth of the kids would be mutants, one-half would be carriers and one-fourth would not even be carriers.

That's significantly less than what Marvel does, which seems to imply that if one person in the family is a mutant, then they all are (see Cyclops and Havok). Still, it makes more sense than a lot of other such things.

The bit about "A super male and non-super female" in the discussion on X chromosomes assumes that the non-super female is a carrier. If she isn't, the males will not be super and the females will be carriers. If she is, the males and half the females will be super, and the other half of the females will be carriers. Of course if they're both super all the kids will be super. </Morgan Wick>

Alexandra Erin: I took the examples which were more about highlighting the fact that characters were inheriting a condition acquired later in life/through non-genetic means to the Lamarck Was Right page.

Ununnilium: ...

Okay, first of all, the genetics discussion is just as oversimplified as it was when it was over on Lamarck Was Right. What if the genetic origin of the super-powers involves more than a single gene? What if it's universally dominant? What if there's multiple phenotypes for a single genotype? There's so many different possibilities. The entry, as written, assumes that a super-power has to depend on a single gene that's expressed a single way and has only two alleles, "on" and "off".

I'm yanking that whole part, and doing an overall rewrite:

Without a long winded discussion of genetics, suffice it to say that modern understanding of inheritance says that children get half their genome from each parent, and organisms express "healthy" and dominant genes more often than damaged and recessive ones. Meaning that children with only one super powered parent would have at best a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting the 'super gene' and unless the gene for that power was dominant they wouldn't manifest at all. If we assume that the power was caused by a single mutant gene, then it would be either there or not (it would not manifest at half power) but if it were recessive it would be carried but masked in a child who inherited it. If such a 'carrier' had children by another carrier there would be the classic one-in-four chance of their child inheriting granddad or grandma's power (as with many real life mutations from blue eyes to sickle-cell anaemia). Of course, given that super genes are rare, this would probably require incest.

Of course, if the super gene happens to be on the X chromosome then all sons of a super mother will be super, but daughters will be non-super carriers who will give birth to super sons and carrier daughters in turn. A super male and non-super female would give birth to super sons and daughters who have a fifty-fifty ratio of super to non-super individuals. (Real-life sex-linked mutations of this sort include colour-blindness, that's why there are far mor colour-blind men than women).

Janitor: Unninununinum has it locked. Leaving ...
* Descendants of the Flashes are also shown to have inherited superspeed; The DCU's "meta-gene" was called in to explain this. Many other DC characters avoid this trope by having their successors or apprentices come with their own origins.
.. here for a mo, for later transfer in.

Ununnilium: I'll put it in. Also, taking out:

Last real world example: children of African and Caucasian parents often have a skin tone that's "brown" because there are a number of genes in humans controlling the melanin levels and they have differing dominance patterns which often cause a kind of 'averaging out effect'. It will also be noticed that people of African descent, even siblings, vary considerably in skin colour owing to the different genes with different dominance patterns involved. If there were only one Black and one White gene, and the black gene were fully dominant, then all children of an African/Caucasian cross would be black, but they would carry the white gene and it would be expressed in future generations in the usual 1:4 ratio. However, if a Caucasian parent and a blue-skinned parent have a child, the child will be either the same shade of blue as the blue parent, or something else entirely, like gold skin.

...as having nothing at all to do with the trope.

Alexandra Erin: That all looks so much better now. Kudos. Six kudos. And another half kudo.

Earnest: You leave for a day and your trope turns into two. Ah well, it does look better and more streamlined. On the plus side, I could reinsert a paragraph I had to cut from the first draft. This place rocks. ^_^


Tim Kring: We're going to take a pasting on this, aren't we?

Janitor: (IP-address could be good. That might be the Heroes producer/writer, or it could be some other Californian with a fancy geo-address.)

HeartBurn Kid: Honestly, Tim (if that is your real name...) I wouldn't sweat it too much. Every genre has its own niggling little details that require Willing Suspension of Disbelief. I know Heroes tries to avoid a lot of the superhero genre tropes, but really, on some level, it is still a superhero show, and certain things are going to find their way in. We expect it.

Ununnilium: Taking out of the Tenchi Muyo! section: "It's worth noting that his father never developed these powers, having them skip a generation as it were." His Juraian ancestry is actually through his mother's side. She does use these powers, at the end of Techni Muyo in Love.

Taper W: That's true in the Tenchi Universe continuity (which the first movie takes place in), though it's to be noted that in the original (OAV) continuity Tenchi's father is also distantly descended from Yosho, via a long-ago marriage to a human wife.


FaxPaladin: Moving PS238 entry to comics section and adding some info (the webcomics pages come from early issues of the ongoing print edition; the character just introduced at that point is actually the main character of the story.


Qit el-Remel: Incredibles spoiler added, in appropriate format.