TLDR: This post is about Superman and how a couple years ago, he had a four year storyline that resembled a sixth season of SLIDERS that also inspired the current SUPERMAN AND LOIS TV show.
I suspect that writers will sometimes need to ask themselves: what are they most passionate about writing? What do they enjoy producing most when they type? And is their story one that is focused on what they enjoy typing?
I have no idea why teenagers and people in their early 20s are watching SLIDERS even today (on Peacock) and writing new SLIDERS stories, but some are and some occasionally ask me for feedback on their pages. And I am noticing an alarming trend that we saw a lot of back in 2000: young writers producing Season 6 stories with the outlines wholly and totally focused on an interdimensional Kromagg war.
I'm not the final arbiter of taste, and I encourage anyone who really wants to do THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES to write one. I'll help.
But I recently reviewed three clever outlines where three clever writers used time travel / a multiversal butterfly effect / an interdimensional system restore to erase Seasons 3 - 5 and bring back the original sliders on Page 1 of these stories (where I have only ever managed to do it by Page 3 myself).
These brilliant conceptualists then... plunged the restored sliders back into THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES with storylines that insisted on resolving all unfinished plot points from Seasons 3 - 5 in the context of an interdimensional war -- even though these writers had erased Seasons 3 - 5. I asked these writers: were they actually passionate about writing THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES: An Epic in 12 - 16 Parts?
The answer was always no, not really; all they really wanted to do was write SLIDERS stories of Quinn / Wade / Rembrandt / Arturo exploring parallel worlds, but they wanted to connect those original quartet stories to Season 6.
I understand that, but from 2000 to about 2007, we saw numerous brilliant writers attempt THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES. I have read them all and none are complete. Some writers got to the point where Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo were back at which point the writers ran out of out of energy to keep going. Most never even made it that far. They were all clearly burnt out and demoralized by writing SLIDERS stories where the fight Kromaggs instead of SLIDERS stories where the sliders slide to parallel worlds and explore them.
The Season 6 stories that were completed were ones that focused on the sliders engaged in sliding -- and made the unresolved plots a far lesser priority.
I think that writers need to ask themselves: what do they enjoy writing? And are they pursuing a plot that's carried by material they would enjoy writing? Because if they don't enjoy it, they are unlikely to finish it, especially when they are doing their writing in their free time for no other reason than pleasure in writing it.
That said, I have read one KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES style story that was completed -- a series of comic books called SUPERMAN: REBIRTH, ACTION COMICS: REBIRTH and DC COMICS: DOOMSDAY CLOCK. This was a two year run of Superman comics that started with Superman and DC Comics in a very bad situation: DC had rebooted Superman in 2011, abruptly changing him from a late-30s husband to Lois Lane into a single twentysomething.
This rebooted Superman was largely alienated from the Clark Kent identity as Jonathan and Martha Kent, his adoptive parents, had died when Superman was a teenager. This Superman had none of his relationships with Supergirl and Superboy, no decades-long rapport with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White or any of his supporting cast and so removed from humanity that he was dating Wonder Woman. At one point, Superman's identity was revealed to the world as Clark Kent and while it was a good story, the Clark Kent identity had been almost irrelevant to him anyway.
DC Comics soon came to realize: their readership was attached to the version of Superman with his friends and family and history and relationships, but they had destroyed it all, exposed Superman's secret identity to the world, changed his continuity so severely that it was unrecognizable, replaced the original character with a hollow copy -- and the road back to a recognizable status quo would be long and hard and difficult.
Superman had become as muddled and confused as SLIDERS by "The Seer."
DC started the process with an October 2015 mini-series, SUPERMAN: LOIS & CLARK which reveals that the original Superman and Lois are actually still around in this rebooted continuity, believing they are refugees from a destroyed timeline, living in this new universe under the names Clark and Lois White, and they now have a 10 year old son named Jon. They are doing their best to steer clear of this universe's Superman -- except the rebooted Superman suddenly dies of Kryptonite poisoning. The rebooted Lois Lane is also killed.
In SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, the original Superman attempts to fill the void by unveiling himself to the world and offering to help the Justice League. The original Lois impersonates her double, trying to investigate her double's death. Also strangely: Clark Kent reappears at the Daily Planet, declaring that Superman asked him to fake their secret identity being exposed to confuse some supervillains. This restores the secret identity -- but leaves the original Superman and Lois confused as to who this Clark Kent really is. They discover that he is Mr. Mxyztptlk, the fifth dimensional imp who has been confused and disoriented by the reboot.
Superman and Lois also discover: this is not a rebooted universe and they are not refugees; this is their home universe and has been all along, but some unknown force altered history and ripped Lois and Superman's timeline in half, creating the rebooted version and the separate original. The original Superman and Lois are able to locate their deceased counterparts who now exist outside the timestream, and they merge with them.
The result is a new timeline that fuses the rebooted Superman continuity with the original continuity -- and also writes young Jon Kent into the timeline. In this combined universe, Lois and Clark got married and had a son, and all their friends have known Jon all his life. All the reboot adventures (except for Superman dating Wonder Woman) are folded into the original timeline additively. Superman reviews his history and notes one oddity: he remembers Jonathan and Martha Kent being alive right to the present day -- but in this current continuity, his parents are still dead from a car crash when Clark was a teenager.
Superman begins to investigate who altered reality to take away his marriage, his son, his family and his parents. This leads him into the 12 part series DOOMSDAY CLOCK. The culprit is revealed to be Dr. Manhattan from WATCHMEN, a cold observer of reality who found Superman's timeline confusing and convoluted with all its revisions from 1939 onwards.
Dr. Manhattan erased the Justice Society of America (the WWII heroes), finding them unnecessary. This had the subsequent effect of erasing the inspiration for Superman's teenaged career as Superboy and erasing the Superboy adventures completely. Dr. Manhattan created a car accident in Clark's youth to kill Clark's parents, subtracting their influence to make Superman more alien. Dr. Manhattan removed Clark's family and marriage and son, finding them extraneous. And Dr. Manhattan is surprised when the original Superman restores himself to existence.
In the DOOMSDAY CLOCK finale that saw print in December 2019, Superman confronts Dr. Manhattan and pleads with him to understand that being a superhero is not about controlling the world; a superhero saves people. Dr. Manhattan is moved; he reaches back into time and restores the Justice Society. This in turn restores Superman's career as Superboy, altering the past so that Jonathan and Martha Kent were still in a car accident, but Superboy now saved their lives.
In the present day, Clark and Lois go to the Metropolis train station and welcome Jonathan and Martha Kent, the final missing pieces of the Superman family now restored to reality.
This is the only KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES style story that I have ever seen anyone actually start and finish, taking a damaged, muddled series and restoring it point by point, character by character, piece by piece and exploring the multiverse as it did so.
It took four writers (Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Geoff Johns) and a staff of comic book editors. It took four years to write and print it. And the reason this one was finished where all other such stories failed: it unfolded in two monthly comic book serieses and two mini-serieses, it had writers who were being paid to keep the story going. If any one writer got burnt out, DC would have simply hired you or me or Temporal Flux or SOMEBODY to keep writing it until it was done.
It is simply too much for one writer to produce anything like SUPERMAN: REBIRTH, SUPERMAN: REBORN and DOOMSDAY CLOCK, and to do it as an unpaid fanfic project on evenings and weekends. This is a project that needs a team, a group of editors and a living wage -- and trying to do this unpaid and alone is like trying to use a teacup to empty the ocean. You'll never finish it.
Oh, dear fanfic writers. If you want to write Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, just get them back on the page by Page 5 at the latest. Then write the SLIDERS stories that you really, really want to write.
After I described this Superman storyline to a few fanfic writers, they got back to me and said that, on balance, they'd just focus on writing SLIDERS stories about the sliders sliding to parallel worlds and they would isolate their KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES content to brief flashbacks to keep them contained.