June 7, 2012 3 Comments
Let me give you two story situations. We’ll say that they are two separate comic issues sitting on a shelf waiting for the random reader to find them.
The first one requires a little bit of setup. Take a C-tier hero that has never been prominent, in any kind of major comic. For this hypothetical situation, we’ll say it’s Miguel Santos. You probably aren’t aware of his identity as Living Lightning, nor of his tenure on the West Coast Avengers, the crappy spin-off of the Avengers that eventually became Force Works before being cancelled. Living Lightning occasionally pops up when a whole big group of Avengers come together for something (like Avengers: Disassembled) and maybe one of those crappy little minis to show what various C-tier members are up to.
In one of those minis, some random creator wrote a Living Lightning story in which he and a before unmentioned girlfriend are doing stuff. Then, let’s say that the next time Living Lightning got any kind of prominent story was in a West Coast Avengers reunion mini series in which his girlfriend serves as nothing more than a damsel-in-distress that must be rescued. Those are her only two appearances, and little to no development or character is given to her whatsoever.
That brings us to the first book on the shelf. It’s an issue of one of those Avengers books that Marvel publishes just to get another Avengers book on the shelf that has random characters show up that aren’t really doing anything else (or even if they are, it’s “loosely” in continuity). In this story, Living Lightning gets married to this girlfriend he’s had for three stories now. No one really gives a crap about this book, right? I mean come on – it’s Living Lightning. Nothing’s been done with him forever. The story doesn’t work because it’s not the result of any kind of build. It’s just a wedding for the sake of having a wedding and these two just happen to be a couple.
Now let’s go to the second book on the shelf. It’s called “BIG GAY WEDDING”. There is no point to the book other than to say “Hey, we’re publishing a book in which these GAY people have a GAY wedding for the FIRST TIME EVER! Isn’t this IMPORTANT?” You’d think that it comes off as exploitative, right?
Push those two books together and you get this: