I’m in the middle of production on the Tessa Faux origin comic, and it’s looking fantastic! The 40 page issue tells the complete story of how Tessa Faux, Cherry Pie, and Apple Orchard came to be. It’s a dramatic adventure with lots of twists and turns. But… If you think the beginning is thrilling, just wait until you see what happens after Tessa Faux puts on the cape!
And shouldn’t that be the most important part? What happens next? An origin serves to tell the details of a character before the real story begins. If we focus too much on the story before the story, we’ll miss out on what these characters are really all about.
Unfortunately, today, with Hollywood so involved in superhero properties, we’re seeing the origin take center stage, with little story dedicated to superhero characters already established.
On screen, superhero characters walk through their origins in the first film, and rarely make it past a third movie, before getting rebooted. The Amazing Spider-man is a perfect example of this, but it’s not the first movie to retell an origin again and again.
On television, we watched ten seasons of Smallville, with Clark donning the costume in only the last few minutes of the series finale. And just this past Monday, Gotham premiered, which features a very young Bruce Wayne, and ultimately, Batman without Batman.
Over and over, creators talk about how interesting origin stories can be, and how it’s possibly the most fascinating aspect of superhero characters. I think it’s due to a lack of creativity. If the most compelling story is a hero’s rise, then it doesn't say much for the hundreds of post-origin story written in comics week after week.