By MetropolisKid41 1 Comments
I’m sure this has been touched on a hundred times before, but I just want to say my piece about it. Continuity, flow, history, whatever you want to call it or whatever it means to you, is on the way out the door. It simply doesn’t seem to matter too much to the big 2 nowadays, but hey they control our favorite characters so what are you going to do about it. Retcons change things, not always for the better, but for the most part they try to at least explain it, rationalize it, and somehow squeeze it into the story without usually totally smashing continuity like the Hulk on a bad day. However this isn’t always the case, and some of it falls on these ego-inflated writers who have a sense of entitlement and think that it’s no big deal if they change well established character traits, or defining events, because “they don’t like them.”
A couple of specific events and writers come to mind, the first being the thing that ruined Spider-Man for me, (until Spider-Island brought me crawling back), Brand New Day. Thank you Marvel for erasing every Spider-Man story that has taken place since I was 8 years old. The next would have to be the continuity-monger himself…Brian Michael Bendis. Is he talented? Yes without a doubt he is a fantastic writer, and he’s proven that on countless books including the Ultimate verse and some independent label titles. But that doesn’t mean he should get free reign to toss out major character elements and story arcs because he thinks they’re dumb. To me his continuity meddling seems like straight up arrogance. The last one I’m really going to harp about might be a little lesser known by most, it is IDW’s Transformers run. First off I’m a huge G1 Trans Formers fan, and love the original Marvel Comic and Dreamwave’s adaption of the G1 Characters and mythos. I do not however care for IDW’s interpretation at all. And it’s not from bland stories or inconsistent art, no it’s from taking the G1 characters, who have been around for almost 30 years now, and making them do a total 180 from their persona. We have Autobots doing drive-by shootings on humans and so much more. Each new Transformers series has essentially been a rehash of the original G1 mythos with a new twist, and that’s fine, because it has its own label slapped on it, like Energon or Armada, etc. But when they’re using the G1 characters and G1 mythos and making the good guys into homicidal psychos, then we have a problem.
Alright, now even though I have a DC bias, they are not spared from this. Obviously the New 52, while a nice breath of fresh air, has plenty of WTF continuity moments for long time fans, mainly the Superman and Batman titles. I think they justified it pretty well, that Barry’s fading memories really goofed things up, with major events being only half remembered, so that certain events like The Killing Joke only occurred for some characters, it’s a little twisted of a concept to wrap your head around, and has many long time DC fans up in arms. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and 12-18 issues or so, to give us a clearer view of what’s in and what’s out for each character. Didio’s confusing statements on his facebook and twitter certainly aren’t helping the situation either. Saying “Crisis Never Happened” really pretty much makes anything that’s happened at all since 1985 irrelevant, he went on to clarify that it didn’t happen the same way for everybody, which made more sense and also less sense at the same time. Only time will tell how much continuity is really skewed or erased in the New 52 for each individual character. I have faith they’ll do great but I’m sure at least one character will have some major WTF continuity moments that will get us fans up in arms.
The last thing I’m going to touch on goes back to the Marvel Universe in particular and on continuity and flow during events. So we have Marvel, the Event Freaks, who have 3 major events going on at once. “Okay big deal,” some would say, “comics are event driven” seems to be the current argument. Well that may be the case, but how hard is it to lay out a clear plan or flow that says either these events are happening simultaneously or that give us a chronological order that makes sense. We just got done having Schism, Spider-Island, and Fear Itself shake up the Marvel Universe, all at the same time publication wise. But I guess Fear Itself takes place right before Spider-Island? So that means that in all of the Fear Itself fallout and aftermath that Steve Rogers is dealing with, he has time to get nabbed without anyone noticing, and turned into a man-spider, who is loaded up with eggs full of carriers of the Spider virus. Where does he find the time to do that with all that is happening? Man he must be everywhere at once almost as much as Wolverine and Spider-Man. Don’t even get me started about that.
So there you have it, Marvel throws it out the door, it appears DC may have done a similar thing. Who knows, maybe this time next year we’ll have a fully relaunched Marvel Universe with everything erased as well.