Well...for me, I think it depends on the point of the story. I wrote a writing tip talking about 'theme', and that's what determines the serialization factor for me. Whether I'm reading it, watching it on TV, or writing it myself.
To explain further, you mentioned Superman. Now, for comic books...it's very character themed. The point of the story is Superman. However, if you have a TV show like "Smallville"...that's more story themed. So an extended series can have a much broader arc, where one plot point weaves itself into another, characters are developed, and an actual 'story' is told from season to season. So, with comic books, Superman has been around for about 80 years now, and you can ALWAYS come up for new adventures and challenges for him to face. But that wouldn't work for a 'story based' narrative. Nobody wants to watch 115 consecutive seasons of "Smallville"! Hehehe, it has to end at some point, preferably before it wears out its welcome.
When writing short stories, I'm just trying to capture one small event or a special moment in time. I might hint at some backstory, and might hint at a potential future, but the point of the story is to just create a freeze frame for that one event, and just focus on it until the story is told. Then I'm done with it. The rest is left to the readers' imagination.
However, when writing anything longer, or a whole series...my range expands when it comes to what I want to concentrate on. Now I can build up characters, hide and reveal secrets, create tension, have multiple 'events' take place in the characters' lives, and take the readers on that ride along with them. So it has a different feel to it. Now the story arc can be much wider than with a short story, and by the time it's over, the reader has an entire history of amazing events and special moments to look back on once the final work is complete.
So I guess, to finally answer the question, hehehe...I'm more of a hybrid kinda guy. A little of Column A, a little of column B. I love a good short story. And what is a series but a bunch of connected short stories, when you really think about it?
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