Looking for stylistic advice

I’m currently working on a comic-book-superhero sort of world. The idea is that you’ve got a team of superheroes (a la The Avengers or Justice League), but there is not a particular character who is “you,” per se.

You start at your team’s HQ, where you pick a subset of your available heroes (by “equipping” them), and then embark on a mission. The story continues from the perspective of that squad, until the mission eventually succeeds or fails and you wind up back at HQ and have the option of swapping in new characters for the next mission.

Anyway, this is a bit different in that there isn’t a single viewpoint character, so I’m having trouble figuring out the best way to frame the narrative. The options I’ve thought of:

  1. Second-person, with the implicit assumption that the “you” is plural: “You encounter a mutant sewer rat. It bares its teeth at you and attacks!”
  2. Third-person plural, which can be a little awkward because I don’t have a good way to branch based on which heroes are currently active: “Our heroes encounter a mutant sewer rat. It bares its teeth at them and attacks!”
  3. Skirt the issue entirely, which requires some extra thought when writing but tends to result in nicely terse prose: “A mutant sewer rat. It bares its teeth and attacks!”

Anyway. Do any of these options seem more agreeable or jarring than the others? Would you find it hard to engage with a story where there isn’t a singular “you” character? Have you already seen this sort of thing elsewhere? I’m curious to know what people think.

(I’m also trying to make the text read a bit more “like narration boxes in a comic book,” but that’s a somewhat fuzzier concept for me and might just require more research. :-p )
edited by Matt Peairs on 11/19/2012

The first option is immediately more involving and active. I personally am not fazed by ‘you’ referring to a plural of characters, but you will want to strongly emphasise the perspective of the squad over the perspective of the commander.

Having just come from playing some XCOM, I find this SN concept intriguing.

My first reaction would be to avoid the second option. I like the third, but I tlike the first as well, and I think Lily’s right to say it’s more involving.

ETA: I’ve seen the squad-based game setup before, but only in video games (e.g., Fallout Tactics, Baldur’s Gate). The information tends to come in visually, though, so I can’t really draw writing input from that. (In terms of involvement, those games tend to have a character the player is expected to primarily identify with–They Who Are The Mysterious Hero The Cut Scenes Are For. I don’t think not having that would actually be much of a block, though.)

edited by Torrain on 11/20/2012