The Yuan Twins –
We’ll keep our answer comic book oriented since that seems to be the most relevant media for this discussion. Without meaning to belittle anyone else and their work, the one item that really changed things for us was Pirate Corp$ #1 ( the second series from Slave Labor Graphics) by Evan Dorkin.
That more than anything else showed us that comics didn’t have to be about dudes in costumes beating each other stupid. We’re not snobs about that, mind you – we’re big fans of the the superhero genre. What really grabbed our attention, however, was the fact that the sci-fi setting was just that – a setting. There was no talk of plasma this or quantum that as if plasma quantum doohickeys really mattered because in Pirate Corp$ they didn’t. What mattered most was that Halby was kind of a jerk with girl problems, Blue stuck by him despite being constantly annoyed with his bullshit, and the entire crew was perpetually broke and looking for the next gig.
Evan Dorkin really made it about the characters and that these characters just so happened to live in the far future with aliens and spacecraft only made things that much more identifiable. The problems the characters encountered and had to deal with eclipsed the fantastic elements such as robots, aliens, and laser guns and the fact that Evan Dorkin pulled that off really showed us that at the end of the day it’s all about the writing and the characters and not the setting or the powers.
The Yuan Twins have their own comic from Devils Due/1First Comics, SERVING SUPES available via comixology or your favorite local comic shop! Speaking of favorite local comic shops – they also have one of those! If you’re ever in the Los Angeles area be sure to stop by and say hello to them at COOL CATS COMICS & CARDS at 10922 W Pico Blvd. (conveniently right next door to the Westside Pavilion – park there and walk over!)