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  1. #1
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Default "Family" size when is enough enough for you?

    Sooner or latter every main character gets sidekicks/proteges/or simply some new inspired character. For you personally how many is best for a family size? I think most would agree Batman has just too many at this point while someone like Aquaman could use one or two more.

    For me I think once you start getting over 3 active sidekicks things start getting sloppy and fans start getting upset becuase the one the like is not getting used while one they don't is.

  2. #2
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    The problem gets bad when you have more than one character fulfilling the same function in the group or when a one character shunts away or denigrates another. Size is dependent on the nature of the stories the family is in.

    Superman (4-5) - Clark, Kara, Kon, and Jon. Maybe John Henry-- I think he'd work better if he were Kara's age. Or Natasha instead.

    Batman (4) - Bruce, Dick or Luke, Barbara, and a Robin

    Wonder Woman (3-4) - Diana, Donna, Cassie, and maybe Jason

    Green Lantern (3) - Lead based in 2814 (John), Apprentice based on Oa (Jessica or Kyle--or even Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle), and mentor based on Oa (Guy or Hal or Alan)

    Flash (3) - Lead (Wally or Barry), Apprentice (Bart or Wally), and Mentor (Jay or Max)

    Aquaman (5-6) - Arthur, Mera, Garth, Kaldur, and either Tula or Lorena. Maybe Lagoon boy.

    Martian Manhunter (3) - J'onn, M'Gann, and Gar. M'Gann should be a green martian. If J'onn can recruit white martians, there's no reason the team wouldn't expand to become much larger, but a small number of survivors works better for story reasons.

    Green Arrow (4) - Oliver, Dinah, Roy, and either Cissie or Mia or Emiko

    Atom (2) - Ray and Karen

    Hawkman (2) - Hawkman and Hawkwoman

    Miracle Man (5) - Scott, Barda, Orion, Vykin, and Serifan
    Last edited by SecretWarrior; 01-21-2020 at 08:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Pohzee's Avatar
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    4-5. 6 Tops
    It's the Dynamic Duo! Batman and Robin!... and Red Robin and Red Hood and Nightwing and Batwoman and Batgirl and Orphan and Spoiler and Bluebird and Lark and Gotham Girl and Talon and Batwing and Huntress and Azreal and Flamebird and Batcow?

    Since when could just anybody do what we trained to do? It makes it all dumb instead of special. Like it doesn't matter anymore.
    -Dick Grayson (Batman Inc.)


  4. #4
    It sucks to be right BohemiaDrinker's Avatar
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    Ideally 4 to 5, one for each generation and an "extra".

    Certain franchises, like Green Lantern or Flash, can sustain more.

    But personally I prefer to have too many characters than to have too few, so there's that.
    ConnEr Kent flies. ConnOr Hawke has a bow. Batman's kid is named DamiAn.

    To do spoiler tags, use [ spoil ] at the start of the sentence and [ /spoil ] at the end, without the spaces. You're welcome!

  5. #5
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    6-8 at the most, 4-5 at the least.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member docmidnite's Avatar
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    It depends on the original character, IMO. Batman is a successful character so him having a large family of characters makes sense business wise. Besides Bats has 2 books. Batman for himself and Detective for himself and others. Then of course Dick, Jason, Barbara and Kate are popular enough to carry their own books while Duke, Cassandra, Tim and Damian are all in team books that are all selling well (for today’s market anyway) leaving only Luke Fox/Batwing out in the cold for now.

    Superman is another successful character and all of his family and even supporting characters are popular enough to carry books of their own and appear in team books (Young Justice and LoSH) leaving only John Henry Irons and his daughter Natasha/Steel out in the cold for now.

    The Flash has his own book while Wally is starring in his own miniseries while XS (I think), Wallace and Bart are all in team books (LoSH, Teen Titans and Young Justice) leaving Jay, Max, and Jessie in the cold until they bring the Golden Age characters and their legacies back.

    The Shazam Family is bigger now but still fun as ever.

    Aquaman is really screwy as him and Mera appear in his book and Justice League but Garth, Jackson, and Aquagirl are all M.I.A. for now while Lagoon Boy was killed off.

    Green Arrow is the worst off as he doesn’t even have his own book leaving him, and Black Canary mostly M.I.A. with Emiko in Teen Titans, Roy dead while Connor and Mia are nowhere to be found.

    So again, it depends on the character, IMHO.

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Creatively I think it depends on the franchise. It makes sense for some characters to have a larger family than others. Like, I can't really see Arrow having as many people in his family as Flash, even though if we pulled all the various Arrow related characters in all at once it'd be nearly the same size (Ollie, Dinah, Connor, Mia, Emiko, Shado, Diggle, Eddie, etc etc etc).

    I tend to like families on the larger size of what is "reasonable" though. One of the things I love most about DC is the legacy, and I like the generational aspects and elements of the world.

    From a publishing standpoint, I don't think a franchise should have more heroes than there are books for them to appear in. What's the point of having legacies and sidekicks and a big family if they can't all appear on a fairly regular basis? So to look at Batman, yeah he's got a few too many. Aquaman could stand to have one or two more, or at least use the ones that are already available more often and more consistently.
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Do they have to appear in the same book or not? Because if they're spread out in other books the numbers can expand

    In the same book, there's a protagonist, an antagonist, and one supporting character at minimum
    How many supporting characters can be used also depend on how detail you want them to be depicted

    In Batman, the most consistent one is Alfred, the confidant, Gordon, the information source, and usually, one assistant, Robin. Any more, then the details are starting to blur, because you still need to have the object or source of conflict, such as the victim of the antagonist.

    So in a single book, there are 4 family members top for me for satisfying and detailed portrayal, well, 3 if you're not counting the main character. Protagonist, patron/info source, confidant/mentor, and helper/assistant/sidekick.

    The rest depends on how many books available for these characters. Batman can afford many family members because he's everywhere, he can take them anywhere, and some of his family members are popular enough to lead books on their own, sometimes two at a time, so they can carry the other family members that Batman can't. Although often they don't, which is stupid.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 01-20-2020 at 07:12 PM.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Look at you, dropping some legit writing processes and theory!

    I mostly/kind of agree; too many characters in a title ends up splitting things in a bad way. But I think comics get to bend those rules a bit; the long form serialized format means you can work more characters into the narrative within a viable span of time without sacrificing the narrative integrity, yknow? And sometimes comics just straight up break the rules. I mean, look at Shazam; that's a book where the protagonist has five heroic supporting characters (up to six now, though I don't think that last one is supposed to last) plus other supporting cast (like the foster parents), and that's working pretty well. Forces the story to keep a real tight focus on the family but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member CRaymond's Avatar
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    1. Central Character
    2. Antagonistic Lancer
    3. Gender Flip
    4. Son
    5. Daughter
    6. Elder
    7. Pet

    Any more than this and you're heading for a problem.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Look at you, dropping some legit writing processes and theory!

    I mostly/kind of agree; too many characters in a title ends up splitting things in a bad way. But I think comics get to bend those rules a bit; the long form serialized format means you can work more characters into the narrative within a viable span of time without sacrificing the narrative integrity, yknow? And sometimes comics just straight up break the rules. I mean, look at Shazam; that's a book where the protagonist has five heroic supporting characters (up to six now, though I don't think that last one is supposed to last) plus other supporting cast (like the foster parents), and that's working pretty well. Forces the story to keep a really tight focus on the family but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
    Yeah, in an ongoing they can afford more, they can dedicate an issue to focus on one character, and even one story arc per character, like Tynion, did in Detective. I mean that's how team book works.
    I haven't read Shazam but it sounds like a team book, and I kinda imagine a team book with a different rule, because they have to share the spotlight equally (in theory), wherein a solo book, the protagonist gets the lion share.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 01-20-2020 at 07:46 PM.

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Ah, your perspective makes sense.

    Yeah, Shazam is....I suppose it's essentially a team book in a way. Billy is still very much the lead but his siblings definitely get a good amount of focus. So yeah, I guess that is more of a team title than a solo.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  13. #13
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    There's way too many Robins. Dick should have been the only Robin for a long time, and now there's a new one- your mileage may vary on who that should be. 5 Robins is way too many. That's the most excessive one to me.

    There's a way to expand the Bat Family without bloating it. Cass as Black Bat is a great one. A sidekick for Batman that isnt just Robin 4.

    I also don't think there should be a bunch of human GLs. Personally I'd just keep Hal Jordan and now there's Jessica Cruz, but again your mileage may vary. I want to see a lot more alien GLs.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 01-21-2020 at 07:20 AM.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member 9th.'s Avatar
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    I don't really have a limit, part of the reason why I love Batman is huge expansive supporting cast. If the character is good they add to the main character, where the problem comes from is when they neglect characters.
    Reading list: Far Sector (DC), Marauders (Marvel), X-Force (Marvel), X-Men (Marvel), Miles Morales: Spider-Man (Marvel), Venom (Marvel), My Hero Academia (VIZ), Killadelphia (Image), Bitter Root (Image), Black Hammer: Age of Doom (Darkhorse)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    There's way too many Robins. Dick should have been the only Robin for a long time, and now there's a new one- your mileage may vary on who that should be.
    He was for about 40 years. And after that there was for a long time basically only two at a time since Jason was dead, when Tim was introduced.

    I think the Batman franchise is big enough to support about 8-10 family members (with the right writers).


    Most other franchises can probably only carry at best half that number.
    Last edited by Aahz; 01-21-2020 at 12:21 AM.

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