The GeeksverseNeed A Setting? Let’s Invent A New City Or Planet!

Need A Setting? Let’s Invent A New City Or Planet!
Published on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 by

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, my big thing with comics is the story. I care about how a story is crafted and one thing I can’t stand is lazy writing.

And one of the laziest things in writing that annoy is me is the throwaway city, country or even planet.

What do I mean by “throwaway”? It’s when the writer creates a new city, country or planet for a specific story. You know reading it that the place will only exist in those current issues. It’ll never be heard from again.

Why is it lazy? It’s because the writer, instead of using something already established in the shared universe, creates something to fit his requirements. Instead of working to play in the sandbox, he creates his own little addition and when he’s done playing it just fades away, never to be seen again.

A shared universe, Marvel and DC, is just that, shared. That means alot of people playing in the same sandbox, occasionally getting in eachother’s way, but pretty much playing with the same sand and the same toys in that sandbox.

For me, when a throwaway place is added, it takes away from the overall shared universe feeling. When I read a book in the Marvel universe, I want to know it’s in the Marvel universe. A throwaway place ruins that feeling, it makes that book exist in it’s own little corner.

And it’s lazy because it doesn’t make the writer try to work in the confines of a shared universe. And there are confines. That’s the point of a shared univese.

Recently I’ve noticed this alot in some Marvel Comics.

Wolverine And The X-Men just invented Planet Sin. This is a planet in the Milky Way that is basically a planet sized Las Vegas. This one is a bit less lazy because the story required a Las Vegas planet and there wasn’t one existing in the MU up until this point. What kind of bothered me was all the different alien species that had never been seen before. There was mention of a Badoon, but wasn’t one seen. This was an excuse for the artist, Nick Bradshaw, to go crazy. And that’s all well and good, but this is the MU. Why weren’t there any Kree, Badoon, Shi’Ar or any of the other known species shown?

X-Men, which is a book with alot of issues, recently invented a new country that was powerful enough to buy a bunch of Sentinals. Really? At least they used the fictional MU country of Symkaria (which acted “out of character” considering all of Symkaria’s previous appearances), but was there really a need to invent a whole new country?

This is a common issue with comics. At the drop of a hat, there’s a new nation or country. I’m fine with using fictional countries in place of real. It’s comics afterall, it’s fantasy. But seriously, with the amount of countries that are made up, there’s a ton of countries in the MU and the DCU.

But the one that really bothered me recently was in Secret Avengers #21.1, that introduced new writer Rick Remender. That issue also introduced a new country. I can’t even remember the name, that’s how important it was. But what really bothered me, and why it was the height of lazy writing, was that there already existed a country in the MU that fit the same story requirements as the made-up one. It was a country run by criminals, for criminals, and anything went. That’s Madripoor.

Why make up a new one when a perfectly good one already exists?

I’m more of a stickler for continuity and this kind of stuff then most people, it’s the writer and editor in me. For the most part I can let it go, but every once in awhile it’s just too much.

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