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Thread: The Status Quo

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    Default The Status Quo

    As most of us know, many readers prefer the 'status quo' when it comes to their favorite characters, but do you think that writers/editors prefer that as well? Also, do you think that's when the most classic and truly memorable stories occur?
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    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    A status quo has no place in something that is not an infinitely ongoing corporate property.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    A status quo has no place in something that is not an infinitely ongoing corporate property.
    What if it is an infinitely ongoing corporate property, though? It's just that I see so much clamoring for the status quo whenever anything changes, but I can't help but wonder if that's what the best stories come out and if the creative team at the time aren't really bored out of their minds having to retread the same old territory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phonogram12 View Post
    What if it is an infinitely ongoing corporate property, though?
    Then they're a necessary evil that is annoying enough that I largely gave up on them.

    It wouldn't be so bad if they actually stuck to their status quo, but instead they want this "illusion of change", which is just actual real change with a reset button crudely bolted on it.
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    No.
    The best stories don't stem from status-quo, a lot of them actually don't. The Hulk was not a book about a man with fragmented psyche that manifested as a monster. Superior Spider-man did not spawn from status-quo (the hero actually died to make that book happen!), and one of the most influential Marvel books in recent years, Civil War, was about tearing the Earth's mightiest heroes apart.

    Status-quo can lead to some good stories, but that status changing can lead readers to gems like Doom 2099 or Scarlet Spider.

    It mostly just comes down to good writing.
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    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phonogram12 View Post
    As most of us know, many readers prefer the 'status quo' when it comes to their favorite characters, but do you think that writers/editors prefer that as well? And do you think that's when the most classic and truly memorable stories occur?
    I think so.

    I think if that writers like to play with these toys in a specific way... and enjoy shaking things up on their own, and not just dealing with someone else's mess. For example, if I'm a writer who has had a dozen ideas for awesome Spider-man stories that I've just been waiting to write... Having Peter unmasked, with six arms and on the run from sentinels... is NOT where I want to start writing. If I'm excited to write Batman... Odds are my stories don't work with Bruce Wayne crippled and Azrael and Damian arguing over who is the new Batman... That's not the story I've prepared for years to write. Same with planning a great Captain America book with Steve suddenly old and Bucky and Falcon alternating the mask... that's just not what I've had in mind.

    Now... I may plan to write a story where Batman 'dies' and theres a battle for the cowl before Bruce comes back.... but they really need to START with the status quo. A common jumping off point that the writer and the reader find recognizable before you can shake the world to the core.

    Daredevil is Matt Murdock. He lives in New York. He is a lawyer... That status quo shakes up all the time... but it seems like when a new writer comes on, somehow... someway... they need to reset it because it went too far off-model for the story they have planned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperiorIronman View Post
    No.
    The best stories don't stem from status-quo, a lot of them actually don't. The Hulk was not a book about a man with fragmented psyche that manifested as a monster. Superior Spider-man did not spawn from status-quo (the hero actually died to make that book happen!), and one of the most influential Marvel books in recent years, Civil War, was about tearing the Earth's mightiest heroes apart.

    Status-quo can lead to some good stories, but that status changing can lead readers to gems like Doom 2099 or Scarlet Spider.

    It mostly just comes down to good writing.
    Yeah, the first one that popped into my mind was Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's "Born Again" which pretty much blew up Daredevil's status quo. Or also with Daredevil, when Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev outed DD.

    Now while I'm enjoying it, IDK, something just seems rather...ordinary now that literally the only person who's in on his secret is Foggy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phonogram12 View Post
    As most of us know, many readers prefer the 'status quo' when it comes to their favorite characters, but do you think that writers/editors prefer that as well? And do you think that's when the most classic and truly memorable stories occur?
    I think many writers try to leave their mark on the history of the characters they are writing. I think reading the same thing without anything different happening makes characters lame and predictable. In any case characters almost always return to the status quo. Sane people should've known that Peter Parker was going to return, and that Odinson was going to be worthy again. People are terrified of change, but have to realize that life always changes. Some used up "status quo" stories should just stop, like mutants dying (Legacy Virus, Cassandra Nova, House of M, Terrigen poisoning...). They kill them and they come back, and each time they do so people think it's the end for them. Is their status quo being on the brink of extinction...again?
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    I'd say writers and editors have their own preferences but they are interested in trying new things. Even if things do reset, people aren't interested in stories being stagnant.

    the best runs/stories are the ones that try the most rather than the ones that play it safe.
    Last edited by the illustrious mr. kenway; 07-12-2018 at 06:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phonogram12 View Post
    What if it is an infinitely ongoing corporate property, though? It's just that I see so much clamoring for the status quo whenever anything changes, but I can't help but wonder if that's what the best stories come out and if the creative team at the time aren't really bored out of their minds having to retread the same old territory.
    I'm going to disagree with your statement that the best stories come out by when maintaining the status quo. Marvels, Age of Apocalypse, Death of Superman, Kraven's Last Hunt to rattle off a few pushed the status quo. There were also great stories that maintain the status quo. In no way can you simply make a blanket statement.

    A few months ago, there were two threads. In one, every person was pining for Eddie Brock to be Venom, in the other no one wanted Eddie Brock to be Venom. While yes, some people clamor for a sameness to their comic. Others embrace the differences. Some people pine for the past, others are contest with the future. Everyone likes something. The hard part is not bashing something you don't like that other people do.
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  11. #11
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    I think stories of specific characters rebound back to their recognisable elements. Personality doesnít change that much, but a characters situation can vary greatly when put into new, versatile, dilemmas. The Tony Stark Iron Man is going to be radically different to a Riri or a Victor von Doom Iron Man, and, he will always revert back to the playboy, weapons geek, who thinks he knows best. Stark is not going to be a low-key, low self-esteem person.

    Let me see. Riri? She is a back-room dabbler, who has an aptitude for constructing mecha tech. One day she will be responsible for the robotic nightmare that took over the world in Tonyís dreams, when he mind wiped his brain of super hero IDís.

    Victor? He was content to just follow in Spider-Manís foot-steps, and just defeat super villains, but did nothing else with his talents.
    Last edited by jackolover; 07-13-2018 at 06:06 AM.

  12. #12
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    Writers and editors? Probably not. Claremont's entire first run on Uncanny X-Men and The New Mutants shook status quo regularly.

    Publishers and investors tho? Yeah. Don't mess with those brands is their motto.

  13. #13
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    The problem with the status quo is the eternal tension between maintaining the core of a successful concept while not allowing it to stagnate. The status quo wasn't always a problem, because in the past, it was just assumed that there would be reader turnover every six years or so as kids hit puberty and started caring about sex. That's all changed given that the average reader is well into his/her 30's.

    This wouldn't be a problem if reader's viewed Marvel/DC characters in the same way fans view The Simpsons, Peanuts, etc. Superhero character really are more akin to those cartoon characters than many would like to admit, at least in terms of their agelessness. The illusion of "the world outside your window" confuses the issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordMikel View Post
    I'm going to disagree with your statement that the best stories come out by when maintaining the status quo. Marvels, Age of Apocalypse, Death of Superman, Kraven's Last Hunt to rattle off a few pushed the status quo. There were also great stories that maintain the status quo. In no way can you simply make a blanket statement.

    A few months ago, there were two threads. In one, every person was pining for Eddie Brock to be Venom, in the other no one wanted Eddie Brock to be Venom. While yes, some people clamor for a sameness to their comic. Others embrace the differences. Some people pine for the past, others are contest with the future. Everyone likes something. The hard part is not bashing something you don't like that other people do.
    Actually, I was arguing the opposite. I really don't think maintaining the status quo leads to better or more memorable stories in the least. I mentioned how Daredevil's status quo tended to get blown up every 20 issues or so and I loved that. Peter David's Hulk run is another example. During that epic run, so much happened to shake things up that it was hard to keep track! And every one of those stories is one worth reading, imho.
    His current approval rating is 34%, meaning 34% of Americans are still morons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    I think so.

    I think if that writers like to play with these toys in a specific way... and enjoy shaking things up on their own, and not just dealing with someone else's mess. For example, if I'm a writer who has had a dozen ideas for awesome Spider-man stories that I've just been waiting to write... Having Peter unmasked, with six arms and on the run from sentinels... is NOT where I want to start writing. If I'm excited to write Batman... Odds are my stories don't work with Bruce Wayne crippled and Azrael and Damian arguing over who is the new Batman... That's not the story I've prepared for years to write. Same with planning a great Captain America book with Steve suddenly old and Bucky and Falcon alternating the mask... that's just not what I've had in mind.

    Now... I may plan to write a story where Batman 'dies' and theres a battle for the cowl before Bruce comes back.... but they really need to START with the status quo. A common jumping off point that the writer and the reader find recognizable before you can shake the world to the core.

    Daredevil is Matt Murdock. He lives in New York. He is a lawyer... That status quo shakes up all the time... but it seems like when a new writer comes on, somehow... someway... they need to reset it because it went too far off-model for the story they have planned.
    Here's the thing - you might not want to write from that point but others might.

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