Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Analysing A Comics- And TV-Derived Novel

Setting a novel, Dragon (IN Smallville Omnibus 1, New York, 2006), in the framework of the Smallville TV series, Alan Grant needed:

(i) a villain empowered by meteor emanations;
(ii) interactions between the regular characters.

(i) is the title character, Raymond Dansk, a released convict. Leaving Metropolis Peniteniary, he needs a reason to go to Smallville: he is from there. He needs to have three victims to target: the witnesses whose testimony got him imprisoned for manslaughter. The witnesses need to be somehow connected with the regular characters: they are a Smallville High teacher, Lex's chef and Lana's aunt.

The teacher is a disposable character, introduced only to be killed off in this single story. Aunt Nell cannot be killed; she is a regular. I am not yet certain of the chef's status.

(ii) The regulars: Pete, Chloe and Lex are friends of Clark who likes Lana who dates Whitney. For story purposes, their interactions do not have to be meteor-influenced but, in this case, the character-changing properties of meteorically infected tea enhance the drama. Lana can dump Whitney for Clark who can forget, and effectively lose, his powers as long as normality is restored by the end of the novel. When Clark lacks super-strength and -speed, Pete replaces him as hero and is hospitalised in the process.

Thus, a novel-length narrative grows from premises derived from the Smallville scenario. At appropriate moments, the characters reminisce about the defining events of the pilot episode: why Nell brings up Lana; how Lex lost his hair; how the Kents adopted Clark.

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