Archive for July 20th, 2011

Jul 20 2011

Question Roundup (starting a superhero story, the biggest superhero flop ever and more)

Published by under Reader Questions

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

How do most superhero stories start?  Usually shortly before a major event shakes up the main character’s life.  Some common examples:

  • The main character(s) get superpowers and decide to become superheroes.
  • Alternately, perhaps the main character has had superpowers for some time, but the major event in the introduction is that he/she joins a team of superheroes.
  • Perhaps the beginning focuses on how the main characters met each other and/or formed a team of superheroes.
  • If the team is already well-established when the story starts, perhaps the story opens with an exciting new case, preferably one different and more serious than the ones the characters are used to.

Please note: Just because these are the most common ways to start a superhero story does not mean they are necessarily the best!  Feel free to experiment with whatever works for your story.


How much did Green Lantern flop?  It was arguably the biggest box-office flop ever. Worldwide, it grossed only $145 million after five weeks against a total budget of $300 million (production and marketing).  Currently, that gap of $155 million is the biggest in box office history.  Before Green Lantern, the worst disasters were The Alamo, Sahara and Pluto Nash, which came in around $110-120 million short.  When you factor in that the studios split about half of the ticket sales with the theatres, Warner Bros. might end up losing more than $200 million on GL unless it does surprisingly well in DVD sales and other incidental revenues.


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