I know I’ve done teasers before (which never seem to be more than 40% true), but this is something different, I promise you. It’s more of an artistic ramble than a promise of features.
This Monday, Descendants #60’s final chapter will be published and the following week, the fifth Annual will be posted as well, marking five complete volumes and little over five years of The Descendants. There’s 61 issues, a dozen miniseries and one-shots, and well over a million words dedicated to my version of a comicbook universe.
I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and I hope you will not only continue to enjoy it, but to pass th elink on to your friends and come to the comments section or forums to discuss it as well.
But there’s a lot more story coming and like Hannibal from the A-Team, I’ve got a plan.
Not, strictly speaking, that that plan is always followed. If it was, Warrick and Cyn would be an item, Juniper would be a cyborg and dead, and Tink would have been dumped before Volume 3. The characters and the story grow and change in ways I couldn’t have predicted as I find their voices and follow them down more organic paths.
With that in mind, take what I’m talking about here with a grain of salt.
First, the idea was always to start with Our Heroes in Mayfield and expand out slowly. That’s why it took until Volume 3 for us to finally move about the country, and why Volume 5 took place almost entirely outside of Mayfield and took the first looks at the global scale.
People have taken this to be Amerio-centism, but that’s only true in that the series focuses on Mayfield because that’s where Our Heroes live, and that as an American, I’m more comfortable writing what I know. But it was never my intention to have the series completely unaware of the rest of the world; it’s just taken time to orchestrate an escalation that goes from a single city to the whole globe (and beyond).
All I ask is that you bare with me as we slowly pull the curtain back and explore the wide world of the Descendants universe. Already on my plate are revisits to the UK, France and Japan, as well as ventures into South America and the hinted at psionocracy in Columbia.
Some might have also noticed a pet theme of mine over the past years, that of the Big Three power sources; tech, magic and nature/descendants. This distinction is going to get played with. We’ve already seen descendants using technology to make up for the shortcomings of their powers and experiments in magi-tech, but I’ll be playing with even stranger fusions of this, from characters who have magic in their bloodlines that’s just now awakening, to descendants augmenting their powers through mysticism and magi aiding their spellcasting with good old fashioned tech. There’s probably a whole rant in here about how most settings segregate their power sources when balance is a much more interesting option.
Another interesting option I’ve touched on last week is dealing with anti-supers bigotry in a more nuanced, less ‘all normals as suicidal lemmings’ manner and taking on some of the more modern current events related takes on the super/non-powered dichotomy that’s been troubling me lately.
I also plan to add a ton of personal static into the lives of Our Heroes. My philosophy has always been that the idea that being a hero should always end in a string of failures, dead loved ones and general angsty brooding is pathetically overplayed. The intent is to show how good these people are, by showing how they’re willing to give up everything good and nice in their lives to do the right thing, but let’s be honest here: at the point where the universe is murdering people to punish you for your heroism, you cease to be a hero and become Sisyphus, or modern day Spider-man.
Instead, I feel that heroes should have nice things in their lives and even karmic rewards for good faith. However, I am a lover of the concept of ‘earning’ the happy ending. And it’s time for Our Heroes to get a taste of that. Juniper and Melissa already get some of this, but you’ll see Warrick dealing with it soon enough, as well as Ian, Alexis and Kareem at the very least.
The important difference is that the problems that are coming are not caused by their heroism. This isn’t going to be villain backlash or suffering for having to go out and do the right thing (well… much), but instead it’ll just be life being it’s regular old, complicated self to them because they are people in addition to being heroes.
I think that’s the thing modern writers miss about the early characterization of Spider-man that worked: his problems were everyday person problems that butted up against his life as a superhero, not his superhero career destroying him as a person and killing him inside a little bit each day.
So not only is the world going to grow more complex, but the lives of the main characters will as well. Sound like a lot? Well lucky you, you’re not the guy that has to write it all!