For my Tuesday post, I normally try to put up one of my old college papers. Unfortunately, I'm running out of material, at least stuff that still survives in digital format. Therefore it is becoming necessary to draw on older material. Recently, I was going through a box of very old papers and found a letter I had written in my childhood to Marvel Comics Group. It was likely written in response to some sort of contest, asking people to write who their least favorite superehero was and why. Please bear in mind as you read it that it was written when I was only seven or eight and appears to have been a rough draft.
Impressive, huh? Sometimes I become frustrated with my writing, wishing I could express myself better, but after reading that, I have to admit that substantial improvement has taken place over the years.
It's still a little disturbing, though. Not only did I have no conception of how to use a period or comma; I also hadn't learned to include a subject in all my sentences. I have a very vague memory of abandoning the letter upon learning that "least" is not synonymous with "most".
As for the actual content, I think I raised a very good point. Franklin Richards, the son of Reed and Sue Storm (a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl) was an intriguing character at that time, and his powers should have been explored in far more detail than they were. Instead, the writers chose to have him remain a toddler for about 20 years and eventually have his powers blocked (by an adult version of himself) until he grew up. As far as I know, he never reached adulthood, or even adolescence, even though he should be older than me. (He did grow up in an alternate future world described in an issue of the X-Men where sentinels had killed off most superpowered mutants in the world, but that future was averted, and apparently, so was Franklin's aging process.) To make matters worse, Sue Richards became pregnant once again, and her fetus was so powerful, it could exert its will through her womb. But after all that buildup, the writers chose to have her miscarry. (I believe David Byrne was the writer who did that.)
Although my handwriting and grammar were atrocious, it is unfortunate that my letter was never sent. If the creative staff at Marvel had read it, it is possible that years of bad writing could have been avoided. Perhaps in some alternate timeline the letter was sent, and Fantastic Four comics were saved from making some very poor writing choices. If only they had given Franklin that "small little costume".