The Gimmick YKTTW Discussion

The Gimmick
(permanent link) added: 2009-10-05 00:50:11 sponsor: Luc (last reply: 2009-10-08 13:03:34)

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There are two parallel definitions of a gimmick:

  • A cheat; either a method of doing something that appears impossible, or some device used for cheating.
  • A feature that distinguishes something (in this case, a character or series) from the competition (with strong connotations of not adding any functionality or value).

This is about that second, as applied to characters.

The power of sheer gimmickry, when properly used, cannot be underestimated; a properly executed gimmick can make a character truly memorable.

Most common in Comic Books, but can show up elsewhere.

Some notable Gimmicks:
  • Batman's gimmick in The Justice League is either his detective skills, or his sheer intellect and what might be called "Xanatosity".
  • The Joker, outside of the Silver Age, defines the human version of the Monster Clown.
  • The Riddler, in some versions, is actually an interesting case, in that his gimmick is also explicitly his motivation and downfall: His superiority and inferiority complexes are such that he has to leave clues, to prove that he's smarter then everybody else.
  • Toyman is an excellent example of a character whose only real continuity between versions is his Gimmick.

Possible alternate title: The Schtick?
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