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Paternum | MLED Files | Art

No work of art exists in a vacuum. All things have their influences. Although it would be impossible to identify everything which influenced me in the writing of Paternum, I do wish to pay tribute to those which I am aware of as well as to those I paid conscious tribute to.

The overall plot of the story is heavily influenced by, well, every piece of superhero media I’ve ever read. DC Comics, Marvel Comics, the DC Animated Universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and too many others to list. If you have ever written anything about a superhero, thank you.

I do want to specifically call out two works. First, Wildbow’s Worm has had a lot of influence, primarily for its take on how a somewhat rational world might handle superheroes and supervillains. My take is a mixture of his PRT/Protectorate system and Marvel Comic’s Superhero Registration Act. I’d also like to thank Drew Hayes for writing one of my favorite superhero stories, SuperPowereds, which convinced me that a story with stakes smaller than the world could still be a successful superhero story.

My process in planning this story owes everything to one of my college writing professors, Alix Ohlin. She was the first one to lay out the 3 Act Structure to me, which I made heavy use of to plan this story. Slightly more at a distance, but for the same reason, I need to thank Joseph Campbell for describing the monomyth in The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and Christopher Vogler for his simple breakdown of it.

I also need to thank Tumblr user ohtze, aka Shianne, for writing this post, which was an incredibly detailed and insightful breakdown of what makes a working redemption arc. I won’t say which character will be going through that arc until it’s actually happened in story, but I will say that I’m using her outline to plan their redemption. Thank you.

Poem Acknowledgements

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep, which is the theme for the first arc, was written by Mary Elizabeth Frye in 1932. She never copyrighted it, as she believed that it ought to belong to the world. Thank you, Mrs. Frye.

More acknowledgements will come as more poems are used.

Character Influences

The main character, Quinn Kaufman, was originally an alternate universe Spider-Man. In fact, the entire work was originally intended to be a Marvel Universe fanfiction set in an alternate universe - Canaveral was originally going to be a version of Captain America, the main villain was going to be a version of the Kingpin, and the New Champions were going to be the Avengers. While the story has changed significantly since then, I think that the Spider-Man influence is still obvious in Quinn’s origin and powers. As such, I owe a lot to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for creating Spider-Man. I also owe thanks to Phil Lord, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman for creating Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is what first inspired me to create the character who became Quinn.

More influence breakdowns will come as more characters are introduced.