Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Okay, so we are all familiar, more or less, with the term “Mary Sue,” right? It basically refers to self-insertion by the author in a story via a proxy character. However, is it really still a “Mary Sue” if the character is not a proxy for the author, but still, the writer goes out of his/her way to make their creation “the best at what they do”? I think we can all agree that it is, generally speaking, pretty tacky when a brand new character created by a book’s writer is suddenly beating up established characters, with the presumed intent of making the creation of the writer look better.
Remember how annoying it was when Batman was turning to Tarantula for help during War Crimes? Stuff like that – it’s silly and poor writing.
But I don’t think it is necessarily a “Mary Sue.” I don’t think Tarantula was a “Mary Sue” of Devin Grayson.
But she WAS a bad character who fits into a specific reoccurring category of characters written by their creators who suddenly are “the best” and have other characters talk about how good they are (Another good example is Constantine Drakkon in Green Arrow).
So my request is this – help me think of a good term for these characters so I can do a Comic Book Dictionary installment on the new term!
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