The X-Men have since lost this. Just look at any comic book and see how infrequently the X-Men are out of costume. Our appetites now reflect a stronger desire to more action, more splash pages, and bigger conflicts. And in my opinion, the comics books are less interesting as a result. You can see this in other genres, that question of pacing and taking the odd break to allow the viewer/reader/consumer to take a breath and get to know people.
Now, this isn't a comic book blog (because God knows there are plenty of those), it's an RPG blog. So what does this have to do with roleplaying games? Because a while back my friend Adam made a comment about moments like this. For him, it was the moment where the players are just hanging out in the repair bay of the space station waiting for work to get done, or lounging around the base discussing whether Rainbow Archer was a superheroine or villain. (The answer is villain, by the way. She's in "Classic Villains" after all, and that book is chock full of pro-establishment politics.)
|And what's up with those boot cuffs?|
The way I see it, getting any RPG campaign to that moment means that finally the players have stopped looking at the campaign as quests to be solved or villains to be beat down but are now actually living in the world. They are thinking about how their PC's act outside of conflict. But most importantly, they are investing in a profound way in the shared imaginary reality of the world at a level that transcends die rolling and the like.
I feel like this should be some of sort of "GM Achievement" like when you accomplish something in a video game. If you GM a campaign in such a manner than eventually this happens, it should be celebrated.