Friday, April 29, 2011

Y Is For Youth

Usagi Yojimbo has meet individuals who have children before, such as the spoof of Lone Wolf and Cub, Lone Goat and Cub. His own indiscretions have also gifted him with his own son, Jotaro. Their relationship is complicated because Jotaro has been raised by his rival, as Usagi was first serving with his lord, and unaware of Jotaro and then latter, Usagi was wandering, still unaware of him.

As the series has progressed though, Jotaro became a known entity in Usagi's life. A glimpse at the road not taken. In the series, it seems that many people know that Jotaro is Usagi's son. The mother, Usagi's mentor, Usagi, Jotaro, and well, its often remarked how they resemble each other like father and son by whoever seems them.

But Usagi and Jotaro themselves do not know that each of the other knows. It makes for some interesting moments.

Stan is able to capitalize on these relationships in Duel At Kitanoji, Travels with Jotaro, and Fathers and Sons. Here we directly see how Usagi's actions, and those of others around him, directly influence the youth of today, who will be the inheritors of tomorrow.

As Jotaro is but one of Katsuichi's students, we see how other members of the young are doing. His other pupil Shunji is far more... traditional in his thinking. For example, his fighting style and potential doesn't match Katsuichi's own teachings. In one instance, when a peasant is wounded, Shunji questions why the peasant is allowed to rest on a cart while the Samurai walk, whereas Jotaro takes the more common sense answer of not expecting a man wounded like that to walk.

The idea of the young though, isn't limited to just Usagi and his trails. Super Hero comics are fairly famous for trying to bring a generational theme to bear as they continue to evolve. Sometimes this may have started off as origin points for the main characters, other times a direct result of advancing the timeline and using an alternative time line.

For example, Spider Girl. Based off of a What If issue, the series had a good run as the direct daughter of Spider Man wove her way through a future that included the Fantastic Five, Avengers Next, and a host of other changes in the M2 universe. Several characters in that timeline were direct descendants of modern characters such as J2, Juggernaught's Son, Giant Girl, whose actually become part of standard Marvel Fare, Thunderstrike, another one whose become part of standard Marvel Fare, Wild Thing, Wolverine and Electra's daughter, and others.

When looking at the campaign and the setting, think of what effect the upcoming generation will have on it. The things that the younger people will find of intrest, will understand more inherently, will move to more quickly. These elements may be something that older characters may be wise to observe or if stuck in their own ways, fade to black.