Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#260) -- Why Redemptive Stories?

Why do you love redemptive stories so much?

The simple answer? Because of my faith. As a Christian believer (albeit one on the outskirts and fringes of the Christian subculture), I'm a sucker for a story about someone being changed for the better.

The Squadron Supreme
The writer answer? Because at their core, stories are about the growth and changing of people, and what's a better or bigger change than a redemptive one? The same could also be said of a "fall" story, in which a character does the opposite and goes bad due to situations and choices. Two of the greatest are Darth Vader and Faust in Michael Oeming's new Dark Horse series The Victories. But who gets left with a good feeling after that kind of tale?

Some of my favorite redemptive stories in comics include:

  • The Thunderbolts initial run
  • The Sandman in the various Spider-Man books (before he was turned bad again)
  • Heatwave in Superboy (yes, the Flash villain)
  • Moloch in Watchmen
  • Thief of Thieves
  • Saga
  • Squadron Supreme (the folly of forced "redemption," kind of like Fundamentalist politicos trying to enforce Christian moral stances in gray areas)
  • House of Secrets (the Steve Seagle Vertigo run)