The future of the Fire Angel Universe Part 2: The toybox and the reset button

Who remembers playing with their action figures back in the day? Each time you created adventures for them and when you were finished you put them back in the toybox and the status quo was reset, ready for the next adventure. Now imagine if their story, just like life continued without the reset button, how much more story potential might there be?

Following on from last week’s blog, I was thinking about one of my favourite comic documentaries: ‘Comics in focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men’. In this documentary, Claremont and others discuss his approach to his X-Men run, from the 70s to the 90s. He always took the action forward without resetting the status quo, never recycling his villains or his storylines. This is exactly how I plan to continue the future of the Fire Angel Universe.

In my early Fire Angel short stories, which I wrote before my first novel, Fire Angel: Genesis, I had no plans to age Fire Angel. This was mainly driven by an interview I’d read in which a couple of comic writers had been saying that Marvel should never have aged Peter Parker/Spider-Man, as he’s now forced to be a responsible adult instead of trying to be a responsible teen. This made me think that if I allowed Fire Angel to age, it would ruin her character. But over time, and after having watched the Chris Claremont documentary, I started to rethink my stance. I began to see potential in evolving the characters and moving the Fire Angel Universe forward with new characters and new situations in which the characters could develop and grow. As Claremont says in the documentary, ‘To me it’s all one story, because life is a single story’. So why should my Fire Angel Universe be any different?

5 thoughts on “The future of the Fire Angel Universe Part 2: The toybox and the reset button

  1. Time in stories is a fascinating topic, Paul. Especially in monthly comic books where the stories can span over three months or more, yet depict events that take place in a day or two. So in that regard, aging of the characters doesn’t really need to take place… or a lot slower than in real life! Then, there’s the alternate reality where characters can be aged, or made younger, depending on the story.
    Does the evolution of the character need for them and their supporting characters to age? I think part of the escapism is seeing the character just as they’ve always been, perhaps adapted slightly for modern times.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Time is indeed fascinating when it comes to fiction, Tom. There was a book a read a few years ago, ‘House’ by Frank E. Peretti & Ted Dekker where the story started 5:30 in the afternoon and ended at 7.00 am the next morning or the movie The Commuter which took place in an entire day.
      What I like to do with my books is have each book take place more a less a month after the last. my first book has a three month gap in the middle then second book takes place a month after that same with the third book, the fourth book takes place pretty much a couple of weeks after that, same with the fifth book, then the Scorched Earth trilogy each of the books will take place one after each. So time is already moving there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s a jolly good idea to have your heroes (and arch-villains) age just like the rest of us. Question of the day: will we be seeing grey hairs popping up on Fire Angel’s head? Or will she cover them with “highlights”? 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post which really got be thinking, Paul. I’d been trying to remember any series of novels in which the characters don’t age, but I couldn’t. My no.1 detective ‘superhero’ Rebus has been aging (dis)gracefully along with Ian Rankin – in fact Rankin talked about it in a podcast last year. So, good idea to keep to a short time frame within and between books! Saturday, by Ian McEwan is another novel where all the action takes place in a single day… an interesting challenge 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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