The thing about most novels (and other works of fiction) is that you actually don't get introduced to the big, action-y stuff right away. That's kind of the point of exposition; it's part of Freytag's pyramid, which is a structure that most works tend to follow. For example: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone didn't immediately start off with the Harry vs. Voldemort fight, or even the troll scene—we're introduced to Harry, Hagrid, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Malfoy, McGonagall, and the rest of the cast. Same with Lord of the Rings and Narnia, as well as any Shakespeare play or classic novel you will ever read. It's important that we get an idea of who these characters are and why their stories should mean something to us. Why should I care about what's happening to this character if I don't actually get to know this character first and understand why it's a big deal for them?ArnoldtheRubberDucky wrote:The same logic doesn't apply to Albums 51 and 52 and The Green Ring Conspiracy at all. They weren't homogeneous in their stories: you can easily have one without the other. I don't see any reason why AIO needed a couple "normal" albums to ease us in. Why is it better development of character when Emily is introduced trying to find her brother's missing video game as opposed to introducing her searching for clues about a backpack full of counterfeit money? She was still in character, it wasn't like she wouldn't have developed the same way or we wouldn't have gotten used to her. She was just in a more dramatic situation.
One of the rules of writing a good novel is to always start your book with a bang, something that turns your characters' lives upside down. I understand that Odyssey is not supposed to be a novel, but I don't see why you would think that rule couldn't have applied with the relaunch.
The thing about GRC was that it was so tightly compacted that to introduce it to us cold would have required explaining who Emily and Matthew were and why their stories should matter to us. As "The Ties That Bind" demonstrated, overly-bloated story arcs tend to hurt the impact of a story rather than help it. It's much easier, if you're going for a relatively quick and fast-paced story, to have introduced the characters before that arc so that we already connect with them and want them to succeed before they start getting into real trouble—to me, that gives a story much more impact.
And you'll notice that I'm not defending Album 51 and 52 as they were here; I didn't like those albums any more than you did. I thought that they were pretty weak compared to Albums 47-50. What I'm saying is that we should have gotten that background to the characters and eased into the adventure a little, not that we should accept what we got because it's exposition.
(Side note: Is anyone else getting really frustrated with the forum "timing out" a long post?)