Hello there, today I will be looking at something that never really came up until now when I saw a Fantastic Four comic where something unusual happened, even for the Marvel universe, or at least as far as I can tell.
While looking at this and reading this article (#3 Where Ben Grimm is drawn back to life by “God”) made me think about myself as a writer once when I would create original short stories in High School to even now working on three children’s stories for a publisher.
In the Fantastic Four comic book, Ben Grimm died and was sent to Heaven, however, Reed Richards took a machine and went there to find Ben and bring him back, semantics aside, they are sent before “God” and the team go through a doorway – only to appear on the other side inside a studio with “God” looking like Jack Kirby, why Jack Kirby you asked?
Well, he was the man known for co-creating the Fantastic Four, he draws Ben back to life, scaley orange crust and all and well, it happened. Possibly one of the only times a superhero character was brought back to life by Divine Intervention and not by science or alien technology, which I imagine probably was weird and confusing for some readers.
Which brings me to mind something I’ve thought about when writing stories.
Are writers gods in a way?
In a way yes, in my theory (note this is a theory; a opinion, I’m not saying this is the Heresay, or way it must be) but from my own experiences writing, I can safely feel that in a way at one point or another, a writer has played “God” at some point in their literary career. By that I mean, they played “God” as in being a God of creation. In writing, you create a fictional world, characters, how these characters behave; their past, families, how they interact with loved ones and strangers. Like some gods, you judge the characters based on the actions they make, yet at the same time you present these same choices before them in the term of “plot” and “storyline” giving them a purpose and you and you alone decide what the outcome will be. In a way that is how some people perceive God depending on your belief system: He has a purpose for those he created, he controls the outcomes of things and uses them for certain situations.
When a person writes a original story, its the same way, the story is in your hands, you’re deciding the outcome of it and how it will effect all the characters minor and major. A good writer gives their characters trials and tribulations/challenges to overcome, even though the characters do not acknowledge or care about the existence of who wrote them. That is also another parallel as well, when writing your characters spend their whole time in the story with their own problems, their own path, their own life; they choose not to notice you. Reflecting the way that happens in real life with people who choose not to admit to the existence of a higher power, but still go along their own way on the journey of life without any help or hindrance at all and still making it out okay and normally.
Now notice I’m only bringing up original work and not say fanfiction, the fact is fanfiction, although there are ways in which pre-existing stories can be explored in writing, are only that-stories based on pre-existing work, you are only building on top on another world already created. Whereas with original stories you are fully creating a whole new existence that will be read and viewed. Neither one is better than the other, and speaking as someone on both sides of the spectrum I can’t say which is the right choice as both balance each other out and one cannot survive without the other.
When writing for the first time a comic book, a novel, a children’s story, etc keep in mind you are a technically a god that creates a world and its inhabitants for the sake of your readers, so always take special care to take your time and prepare, just like how the Judeo-Christian God took seven days to create each and every little thing on this earth, take your time and carefully plan out what and how you want your story to go to make it something people will want to spend their time and money to read. Only you can decide what is best for your characters and what you want them to do with their fate. For these may be characters that your readers could relate to and care about, and who knows may one day becomes important literary figures in the near future.
At the same time, I should note that it doesn’t mean you should developed a total “god complex” in the negative way. Be humble and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion on a character, a story development, or a situation in the plot that seems to be going nowhere. Observe your surroundings and think about your own experiences that could be helpful to the story. But remember that even though you created this world in fiction, others may have a different viewpoint or interpretation for it. Listen and understand but never dictate if its the right or wrong choice. For like theological studies, everyone has their theories and they all make for a well-rounded concept.
Creating a world of fiction, and characters that go through “life” in a purpose or design under the guise of “storyline/plot” is all part of being a writer in any field. Which is why I thought the concept of making “God” in the Fantastic Four comic book look like Jack Kirby, make a little bit of sense to me.