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Thread: Week 50- Superhero Universe

  1. Dungbeetle Guest

    Sorry, I think I did a word-wrong there. No doubt, universe creation is what makes any story live and breathe. I was thinking about it more from a "universe shared by different characters from different series" angle which, to me, seems more like something a team of writers or a publisher might put together after a few stories are already running. Just to clarify I meant it seemed a bit nuts for one single person to plan out an entire world for several different series to run in.

    I'd never argue that universe creation in itself isn't important. I'm new to this, and there are only three things I'm working on, but they all started with setting as much as characters. If you're writing something post-apocalyptic, you have universe building from the get-go. Are buildings destroyed? Is stuff irradiated? Is everything eerily normal, just lacking people? If you decide "I'm going to write a gothic superhero story" then it works the other way around and you probably go from your dark broody character and branch out from that seed of a thought into why they're like it, and how they're a product of, or reaction to, their environment. Genre conventions can dictate which direction that process goes, from hero to setting or vice versa.

    Again, this is a great place to mull things over, but I have a bit of fish-out-of-water syndrome as I'm just someone with some self-contained little stories to tell, that has no intention of writing your favourite DC/Marvel character into oblivion. Hell, perhaps that makes universe creation even more important, seeing as I don't have other people's contributions to start with. Apologies for the misunderstanding. Hell, I could dozens of pages describing what the graffiti says in 2040's London, or how much abandoned scaffolding there is, and how people have set up camp in it like crackhead Ewoks, but that would be boring, right?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Dungbeetle View Post
    Sorry, I think I did a word-wrong there. No doubt, universe creation is what makes any story live and breathe. I was thinking about it more from a "universe shared by different characters from different series" angle which, to me, seems more like something a team of writers or a publisher might put together after a few stories are already running. Just to clarify I meant it seemed a bit nuts for one single person to plan out an entire world for several different series to run in.

    I see what you're saying, but I feel you're still missing what we're saying.

    Creating a superhero and creating a superhero universe are one and the same. I'm not talking about publishing multiple titles, just one, but you STILL create a universe.

    For example, in fact, Forby's favorite example. Pen-Man.

    You want to write about Pen-Man. So you come up with him, and his real identity of Bic Biro. You come up with his job, family, supporting cast, his home-town of Staedtlertropolis, etc. And, as Forby says you need at least 5 villains for every hero, so you create White Out, Pink Pearl, the 12 inch Ruler, French Curve, and The Evil Easel. While working out those villains, their origins blossom into a story of their own giving you teen sidekick # 2, and the bizarro-like imperfect Pen-Man clone, Carbon Copy. Which leads you to an idea for Pen-Man's becoming a reserve member of the League of Office Supplies....


    Now, all of these characters will appear in the PEN-MAN comic, but you've still created a Universe to put out that one book. And that's only about 1 year's worth of monthly stories!!

    That's a good chunk of hero-verse right there.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  3. Sliverbane Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenForbes View Post
    Totally fictional place, totally fictional cities. I'm perfectly fine with that.
    Ah-HA!! You said it...now get to the Fantasy part!!

    Great discussion everyone...!!! I felt like I was watching a game of tennis.



  4. AdamH Guest

    Don't forget having to come up with a universe-wide reboot event when your universe gets too convoluted/continuity starts to contradict itself/sales are lagging. If you're around long enough you might be able to get 2 or 3 reboots in.



  5. Dungbeetle Guest

    I know what you're saying Seb, I know the importance of setting, and making characters and worlds that belong together (or don't in some cases, which is the crux of the story), I just don't really think about it from a business point of view and although I think hard about world building it's a pretty organic process for me. A lot of visualization... "it would be cool to show huge areas of London as shanty towns" and then moving onto finding somewhere I can jimmy that into the narrative.

    I don't think Psychic Tourettes Boy will be getting his own stories just yet though.



  6. Dungbeetle Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamH View Post
    Don't forget having to come up with a universe-wide reboot event when your universe gets too convoluted/continuity starts to contradict itself/sales are lagging. If you're around long enough you might be able to get 2 or 3 reboots in.
    Like the end of Dallas?

    Peter Parker wakes up and realizes all of Spiderman's adventures were just teenage power fantasies.



  7. AdamH Guest

    Wasn't he shot by JR in that one? Or was that Maggie from the Simpsons? What if the big reveal is that the hospital is really in this kid's snow globe?



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