Big Question ♯20

This week, I'd like to know are there any story lines that you feel are over used in the world of comics? It can be origin stories (e.g. exactly how many superheroes are orphans?), huge cosmic crises or team forming stories, I'm sure there are loads that you guys can think of. Also, are there any story lines or story ideas that you think have been neglected, missed or gone down the wrong path and ended in an unsatisfactory way?

JR19759

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15 Responses to Big Question ♯20

  1. The orphan thing is not so much overdone. Rather, it’s people trying to create the next Batman or Superman where it falls flat.

    Can’t think of any story lines since the last serial / graphic novel that I read was… many days before today. Will say this… enough with the freaking re-boots! Call me a “purist” or an “elitist,” but canon is canon. Develop a character, don’t simply scrap and start over.

    The type of “re-boot” that is most acceptable is when a character retires, dies, or is incapacitated. Someone assumes his legacy (Green Goblin / Hobgoblin, Flash, Green Lantern, etc.). Maybe the occasional time or dimension shift. That’s stretching, though.

    Easier to come up with a facsimile or surrogate character. Sidekicks are often the case. Create another comic universe (The Watchmen). Maybe take the Spider-Man path: one character with several titles and different writers. Wait, that’s called “fleecing.”

  2. I was thinking this recently about fantasy, as I don’t read many comics, but I wondered if I were the only one who was kind of tired of saving-the-world stories. (Or, yeah, like you put it, cosmic crises.) I feel like pushing for the “ultimate stakes” every single time just makes it less and less impressive.

  3. Matthew Le Hunte

    it was all a dream…..

  4. Lime:
    I was thinking this recently about fantasy, as I don’t read many comics, but I wondered if I were the only one who was kind of tired of saving-the-world stories. (Or, yeah, like you put it, cosmic crises.) I feel like pushing for the “ultimate stakes” every single time just makes it less and less impressive.

    You’re not the only one. IMO it’s usually better to go easy on using enormous universe-destroying threats, and focus more on “smaller” dangers. Just because it’s relatively small doesn’t mean it can’t wreak some serious havoc, i.e. a serial killer, a virus (think Crichton’s Andromeda Strain), a new illicit drug. Any of those provide ample opportunities for superheroes to be superheroic, while still being greatly more believable than the All Powerful Intergalactic Something or Other with nothing better to do than destroy the planet.

  5. Matthew Le Hunte: it was all a dream…..

    Win! 🙂

  6. Lime:
    I was thinking this recently about fantasy

    I just can’t take anymore the “young boy rises to become a great hero by fighting evil usurper and restoring proper kingdom” stories.

  7. 1)Secret Identity, I mean come on- unless you are a make artist…
    2) Big bads targeting the families of the heroes (you would think they had like a witness protection or something)
    3) Hey Weren’t you dead last week? Now there are ways around this (Clones, Alternate Universe, and the sidekick taking the role… )

  8. @Keric: You do realize the main reason for your complaint #1 is because of your complaint #2, right?

  9. EnderX: I’d like to know are there any story lines that you feel are over used in the world of comics?

    Yes, but that is not what the question asked, and I Quote: “I’d like to know are there any story lines that you feel are OVER USED in the world of comics?”
    Honestly, I’d love to see Aunt May be attack by (insert villian’s name here) and kick his(/her/its) ASK!

  10. Honestly, I’d love to see Aunt May be attack by (insert villian’s name here) and kick his(/her/its) ASK!

    Nothing makes me laugh harder. Mom in the Gremlins, Jak-jak in the Incredibles, etc. IRL many kidnappers / muggers / criminals have had massive fails because they aren’t experienced with children or underestimate their marks. I DO think the inverse is overused–“only so-and-so can fight THAT threat” gets a bit tiresome.
    I would also like to see more unexpected teamwork and support like Spiderman has gotten. Not enough of that either. Not enough people changing their minds about misjudging others. Not enough Big Bads deliberately staying small their whole lives to avoid being targets.
    Something else I don’t think I’ve seen at all is a villain turning around after nearly succeeding, cancelling the plan, and escaping, citing a change of heart that no one even understands. Because true villainy is something that we hero-lovers DON’T understand.

  11. I agree with all of you. Here’s an underused freebie: storyline where the title hero(es)’ Big Bad (btw, thanx Mr Whedon) decides to use their talents to do good. And by ‘good’ I mean by hero standards, not Thunderbolts or berzerk Punisher or Magneto’s logic. Huh, DC’s New 52 has me confused so I can’t cite an example there… Nevermind.

  12. there’s been a lot of storywriting theory on this. The 7 stories, character models etc.

    Everything’s already been done before. Alien from a doomed planet, avenging a deceased loved one, radition or any scientific accident, military creating superweapons.

    And then even those ideas aren’t original. Superman being Moses, Bruce Banner/Hulk as Jekyl/Hyde. The tropes of mad scientists going back to Frankenstien.

    I think it’s all about outing enough into your character that people don’t immediately see it’s basically Batman. Unique quirks and interesting feature that makes you never really think about it

    And fantasy wise – my bane has got to be the whole “Chosen one” saviour thing. Yeah, it’s useful to throw joe everyman into the action but you got to be careful that the character isn’t just doing things “because they have to.”

    I like Hope Summers for that. She was billed as the mutant messiah, but didn’t really do anything – (unless her prophesised greatness is to come… and I get she was big in AvsX, but they didn’t make her the phoenix neo, so my point stays)

  13. Prof. A.Q. Anthrax

    How fitting that there was a discussion of overuse on Rob Liefeld’s birthday.

  14. Prof. A.Q. Anthrax:
    How fitting that there was a discussion of overuse on Rob Liefeld’s birthday.

    Really? God, if I’d have known that it wouldn’t have been about story lines.

  15. Prof. A.Q. Anthrax

    JR19759: Really? God, if I’d have known that it wouldn’t have been about story lines.

    Look at it this way. Now you can plan ahead. 😉