First, welcome back Mr. Greenhill. Always glad to hear from an old fan.
And I'm always happy to hear criticisms - I feel that if people care enough to complain, I've already hooked them somewhere.
Now, onto the meat of the contentions.
When I sat down to construct the long-term plot of Patchwork Champions, I had a specific goal in mind - to create a comic-book style series of plot arcs, wherein each plot arc contributed to the overall developping plot, while also managing to stand on its own if need be. That meant more short-term stories and fewer vast plots, and a definate move away from the epic nature of Heroes. Frankly, epic is a crutch. Vast world-changing events are actually easier than making smaller things matter. Champions is going to have its share of epic (the current 'epic' is the Antihero plot), but I'm trying to keep most of it more personal for those involved. Obviously, this creates a very different feel from Heroes, which was world-shaking, and from what I was attempting to do with Thorns, where the cast was swept up in events beyond their control.
As far as Mary-Sueism, I would counter-contend that Heroes was about a Mary Sue far more than Champions. I mean, Dana was an amnesiac super-soldier with a tragic past and mysterious heritage whom half the male cast loved and whose strange connections proved key to solving a massive problem. I'm a little embarrassed at how heavily I relied on Dana every time I had a plot problem that needed resolving.
Patchwork Champions does owe its origin to the Marvel and DC superhero comics of today, but in much the same way that Patchwork Heroes owed its origins to the grand epic fantasies from which it drew its artwork.
Finally, I would argue that Champions has a more diverse scene-setting than Heroes did; the only real difference was that with Heroes I could go with any pose that had already been created by someone else, while I am now using my own sprites and thus both more and less constricted - I am limited by my own capabilities, but no longer dependant on what others may have decided to do in the past.
Some day, I may finish Order of Thorns; every time that I've tried, the plot has defeated me, and I'm still trying to figure out how best to tell that story, because I do think it's a story worth telling. But it won't be in comic form, and in the mean time, that world is in hibernation.
If you prefer my epic tales, I have been practicing my writing by doing a series of short stories set in the world of White Wolf's Exalted. Dunno if you know the setting, but you could always see if it's more to your liking:
http://www.thefreedomstone.com/phpbb/vi ... php?t=2462