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Growing up, it always drove me crazy that the Marvel Comics heroes would stay in costume while partying or hanging out by the pool. It made no sense to me that they wouldn’t wear civilian clothes while off duty.*
As I got older and became more interested in character than in punching, I looked on these off duty scenes as a great opportunity to develop the characters. Alas, the heroes either talked about work** or something relatively neutral. I suspect that the writers feared that too much human interaction might turn off their action-oriented readers.
But juicy conversation topics are a great way to reveal personality traits and round out a character. Ultimately, a character’s quirks make you care more about her/him. And nothing says more about a person than the way s/he talks about you behind your back.
These are the kinds of scenes that I’d like to see more of, and I suspect that having them would make superhero comics more accessible.***
* Obviously, it’s harder for readers to recognize (and for Marvel to trademark) a guy in his civvies.
** “Work” being defined as “whom they are currently punching.”
*** There are lots of great character-driven comics; but most of them are not in the superhero genre.
All characters appearing in the above comic are (C) and TM Marvel Comics.