Not trying to be overdramatic here, just been really thinking about this stuff because the nature of long running superhero comics it’s fascinating to me. This is a serious question I’ve been asking myself for a really long time.
It particularly struck with me when I was thinking about the “young” characters of Marvel/DC universes and how eventually they reach their maximum possible development and everything just stalls or gets resetted to status quo due to the never ending nature of those universes. Batman and Superman’s kids are never going to grow up. Wally West had an excellent 20+ years run and he effectively replaced his mentor Barry Allen, but DC dialed up back and brought him again, negating those stories. During decades these companies have been selling the illusion of change and development and that’s why readers stuck with them but I realize that we’ve reached a point where that became harder and harder to maintain. Spider-Man is eventually going back to being a teenager again. So what’s the point of reading a story that at the end it’s not actually telling a story because there will be no consequence?
On the other hand, characters like Batman and Superman that don’t depend on a specific development exist in this sort of mythical limbo where you can tell any story about them in any point in time or different universes even. They can have a continuity, but it doesn’t really matter as with other characters.
So, what do you think?