Friday, August 13, 2010


Lately I've been reading a crap-ton of comics.  Think what you will, I don't care.  For the most part, I shy away from the super-hero stuff.  But very recently I've been reading Invincible because it is written by Robert Kirkman who also writes The Walking Dead, which is one of my faves.  Mostly it's pretty dece.  Sort of a return to the Golden Age of comics.  Here's the major problem...

In the most recent story-line, the reader runs into a parallel universe in which the hero (Invincible) has not rejected his fater (omni-man)'s plan to take over the world, so they are working together instead of fighting each other.  (In advance, I apologize for the all-caps) I HATE ALTERNATE UNIVERSES!!!!  What a cop-out.  This happens to excess in Marvel and DC titles, which is part of why I stopped reading them as an elementary schooler.  Alternate universes are the worst form of story development.  Why should I care about any universe more than another?

Some of you may say, the same can be said of protagonists.  Why should anyone care about one protagonist over another?  But protagonists are different.  They're people...or animals...or concepts (Requiem for a Dream anyone?).  Alternate universes don't actually exist (or maybe they do. I'll need another post for that).  I know I'm failing to willingly suspend disbelief, but I was with you on aliens and superpowers and telekinesis and teleportation and all kinds of other stuff.  But stop with the alternate universes.  Here's why...

There are no commitments as a writer when you go to alternate universes.  Similarly, when you constantly bring characters back from the dead (Heroes?  Am I right?  That show killed itself with being unable to commit to anything actually happening.  So lame).  Here's a note to all authors out there...if something significant happens, have it actually happen for real.  If a character dies, they are dead.  It's not a parallel universe and they can't come back from the dead (Bible authors get an exception for this because they are talking about something that actually happened...if you disagree, so be it...I believe it).  And most of all...STOP USING DREAMS!!!!!  I am so tired of this.  Some of the worst offenders are The Sopranos, True Blood, Buffy, etc.  These are all shows I love, but you have to stop using dreams, because you can do whatever you want with no consequences for the actual narrative.  So lame.  Inception gets an exception because the events of dreams do have real consequences and inception rhymes with exception.

Ultimately, my point is this.  Storytellers need to stop wimping out.  As a private storyteller and consumer of stories I say, "Stop it.  If you don't stop, I will take away my willing suspension of disbelief and you will be forever banned from my viewing in any form.  Pllllllllllll.


  1. Interesting post, and I think I mainly agree! (My favorite part is "inception rhymes with exception".)

  2. I am also a fan of "inception rhymes with exception," especially as a rationale for granting an exception. Once in a while I like a nice dream, but I think you're right about people being unwilling to commit.