Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hub City
Re: The Create-A-Post Thread
The creation of the All Star Marvel RPG kind of coincided with me reflecting, from a narrative standpoint, on reboots and "ultimizations." I sort of reached a conclusion about them, specifically about how I felt about them. I like them. I like them a lot. But I don't like it when they're sole purpose is to make older characters hip and extreme. I see their purpose, what they should be trying to accomplish, as something similar to what T.H. White did with Aurthurian lore on The Once and Future King: Taking a character and mythos who's stories, by virtue of having been made by hundreds of writers over the years, are all over the place in terms of tone and often quite contradictory, and condensing it into one, concise narrative with a central thematic arc that stays true to the essence of the character and the mythos. With that in mind, I worked on an idea for an All Star Spider-Man with Wonder Years style narration. This is a revised version of my sample post, which serves as the prologue:
It's winter. The dry, cold, windy kind of winter New York often has in the weeks after New Years, much more reminiscent of a grave than of Christmas trees and roasting chestnuts. Fully aware of this, Sarah Bishop climbs up to the roof of her apartment building and embraces the pain.
Immediately, all thoughts besides the cold vanish. Annoyance would normally follow soon after, but she is far too nervous to be annoyed. Here she is, with only two years as a journalist and one book under her belt, about to meet, to work with, one of the most famous men in the city.
She looks at her watch, anxiously, and pulls out her papers, checking over her notes and research. She wants to be ready when he...
She jumps and falls on her back in the snow when she hears a soft thud behind her.
She hears a man's voice, muffled by a thin layer of fabric.
"I'm sorry, didn't mean to startle you,"
A gloved hand reaches down for hers and helps her to her feet.
"You okay?" he asks.
"I'm fine..." she says, her voice trailing off. She doesn't know what to say. She barely knows what to think, other than it's him.
"Web swinging's not always exact. Can't always land right where you want to. Or very gently. Again, I'm really sorry."
"It's... it's alright."
She can't help but notice that, up close, his costume looks obviously home made. In the pictures, where he's moving, right in the thick of things, it looks appropriately superhuman. But in person, she can see the stitching, that it's made of what looks like pretty cheap cotton, and that the lenses appear to have been cannibalized from a pair of ski goggles.
"So," he asks, "where do we begin?"
She remains silent as she thinks that over for a few seconds.
"Why are we on the roof?"
"Well, that..." he says. He wanders over to the edge of the roof.
"Come over here" he calls back to her.
She slowly moves herself over to the side, increasingly mindful of the height.
"Look down," he says.
"I'd rather not."
"The reason I wanted to meet up here is... it's about perspective. You're not going to be able to help me write the book is you don't know what things are like from my point of view. And some things I can't explain to you. Look down."
She peeks over the edge. She's very quickly hit by a sense of vertigo and begin to lose her balance, the panic that causes only making things worse.
"Woah there," he says, steadying her with his right hand. "It's scary at first. You get used to it. That's the point."
She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.
"I have a question, sir."
"Oh, Jesus, you're making me feel old."
"I mean, I am old, but you don't have to draw attention to it."
"Heh. Right. But, I'm curious... why do you need me?"
"I like how you write."
"Thank you. But what I'm asking is... there have been dozens of biographies made about you. You've given hundreds of interviews. And you've said that more than a few of them are accurate."
"Yes..." he says. For a brief moment, he stares down at the street below, quietly. He seems like he's looking for words somewhere out in the city.
"I have a story to tell."
"They got the facts right. But it was never my story, it was always a story about me. Everyone was focused on figuring me out and explaining all the ways I changed New York forever. I don't like that. My story isn't about me, it's about what I've witnessed and the people who made me who I am. No one knows about so many great people who are apart of that story. It doesn't belong to me. It belongs to New York if anything. The old gal's been through a lot and I just happened to be there for some of it and helped out where I could."
"Oh..." she says, not sure how to respond.
"And I picked you because the way you write... you focus on the small details that make things happen. You understand how everything's connected and how it's not just about the major players. You see the web, pardon the pun."
"Thank you," she says.
"You're welcome. I don't give compliments I don't mean. So what should we talk about first?"
"Well... I mean, I've never helped someone write an autobiography before, but I guess you should figure out a good place to start the book from. I'll take notes if you want to just talk for a while."
"Alright," he says. "Good place to start. Huh."
His gaze drifts towards the city streets again. The pause is shorter this time.
"I did a decade and a half of living before I became a super hero. But... well, I guess when things got interesting, at least from my point of view... where the real story starts... well, it all started when I was fifteen years old..."