I don't really care when characters appear in multiple books at the same time. I do care when something important happens to a character and in a different comic it doesn't effect them in the slightest or is just completely forgotten about.
I've had to hang out with people who truly obsess over this kind of thing, to the point of refusing to read a new comic because they'd need to be "up on the continuity" first. I really don't see it as a necessary thing. Let's face it, most of us can't read the thousands of comics that came before us and neither can the current crop of creators in this industry. It doesn't matter at all, beyond knowing some background knowedge (we have Comic Vine and Wikipedia for that). Enjoy the books for what they are now rather than what preceded them.
If I can be biased for a moment, the continuity thing does seem to crop up with DC fans more. Maybe they've just went so insane with their perceived "continuity" that fans have lost their minds.
You can piece together continuity and make sense of stuff most of the time. I think it all falls on the editorial staff and management of the writers and who controls what. There's some goofs and continuity errors that writers themselves can avoid, but if your editorial staff is good enough--you can avoid having serious predicaments.
When all else fails, you could juts blame it on Skrulls...or clones...or...Bendis.
I always have problems with these continuity issues. Would you like reading a biography written in such a way? I think it's laziness and usually the overuse of a character and a lack of communication (or lack of caring) between the creative teams.
Everything should happen without there being issues of when something happened and all the inevitable contradictions.
one of my favorite things about the Onslaught crossover was that they told you on the cover how important each issue was to the main story with the little boxes on the cover that said "Phase 1" or "Phase 2" or "Impact 1" or "Impact 2"......like most of the main X books, and the Avengers had "Phase 1" so you knew that issue was something that was important but books like Punisher or Spider-man had "Impact 1" so you knew that the story was just fallout from the events in the main books
I think Cry for Justice takes place before Blackest Night, and the JLA after that/Rise and Fall takes place after. As for Second Coming I guess its after Seige and after Avenger #1 maybe, or maybe its before hahaha. Not sure about the new JLA/War of the Supermen #3 times though....
I think continuity is next to impossible to keep in series that go on for decades at a time, have so many spin offs and soooo many writers, and artists within a years time.
The current run of X-Factor keeps some continuity, but that's because it stays pretty much to itself.
With Japanese manga. You have one writing and art team throughout the series entire run. No matter how long it lasts. My favorite manga Detective Conan. That has had the same artist and writer for the past 16 years. One Piece has been going on for 13 years and by all looks is only at the half way point in the story.
Could you possibly imagine what it would be like if a US comic from Marvel or DC had the same artist or writer for that long?
Lack of continuity does irritate me greatly. It would be funny to have continuity police in comics. lol
the usage of characters such as wolverine and deadpool are overkill batman and superman
i think they only survive off the characters popularity you dont see Blade everywhere you dont see iceman everywhere if you are popular in any genre dc marvel you will get PIMPED HARDDD!!! LOOK THE NEXT ONE WILL BE WAR MACHINE
In the end, they treat it like it really is. You buy certain books… not all. Unfortunately when they try to crossover characters, it makes a mess. Especially since there are sooo many characters they’re dealing with. Ultimate Marvel handled this better because they had a smaller scale to deal with. In the end, if you read X-Men and wanna see Wolverine… you get him. If you read Avengers and wanna see Wolverine… you get him. But not all read both. So what happens there doesn’t matter since It’s a unknown to you. Not a good solution but reality.
i think its easyer when you are looking at graphic novels. Some six issue story arcs happen in a course of a day and some in a course of a month. Its way way way easyer to look at the time frames in terms of the graphic novels(or collections) You know, "hey wolverine was here during one day but the next day he went to new york to be with the avengers."
just because one issue comes out the same month as another you cant really think that they are happening at the same time.
In the end, they treat it like it really is. You buy certain books… not all. Unfortunately when they try to crossover characters, it makes a mess. Especially since there are sooo many characters they’re dealing with. Ultimate Marvel handled this better because they had a smaller scale to deal with. In the end, if you read X-Men and wanna see Wolverine… you get him. If you read Avengers and wanna see Wolverine… you get him. But not all read both. So what happens there doesn’t matter since It’s a unknown to you. Not a good solution but reality."
We're all just basically going to have to deal with the "no continuity" issue with your major players in both DC and Marvel. Like G-Man said, Wolverine is everywhere, and so is Spider-Man at times. Would I like to see more " * " and then a footnote explaining things a bit better, sure. But for some characters, we're just used to it.
As far as BLACKEST NIGHT and CRY FOR JUSTICE, I do believe in CFJ #2 or 3 that James Robinson explains that the events that were going on happened directly after the Blackest Night.
Great article G-man, so many excellent points touched on here (I too wondered why Sentry got more coverage than Nightcrawler). I personally don't get too bent out of shape about continuity unless a blatantly gimmicky retcon takes place. I have nothing against new characters, but please don't try to tell me they've been around since the days of Kirby and Lee!
A question I've been curious about for a while is that if there's so many alternate realities anddifferent parallel dimensions/worlds/whatever you want to call them, where does something like this Spider-man/ Dallas Cowboys giveaway take place. lol
or even the slew of Hostess fruit pie ads every Marvel character seemed to do way back when:
Obviously this isn't a serious complaint or question, but I just wondered if anyone else wondered how these numerous vintage advertising appearances would fit in.
I agree G-Man it's really sad that when I go the comic book store every 2 weeks and before I read certain books I have to make sure that I put them in order and even then I am confused example (Siege) and I think it sucks that Marvel played Rouge to be some shallow person that she wept more for her lover then for the man who was the spiritual center and depending on the storyline her brother.
"I agree G-Man it's really sad that when I go the comic book store every 2 weeks and before I read certain books I have to make sure that I put them in order and even then I am confused example (Siege) and I think it sucks that Marvel played Rouge to be some shallow person that she wept more for her lover then for the man who was the spiritual center and depending on the storyline her brother."
Yes, continuity matters, otherwise you don't really have a shared universe. One shots and Elseworlds are fine as long as they're labeled that way, but continuous retconning, especially when it's the result of a lazy writer, is an insult. There's an implicit promise in monthly comic books that what you're buying is one part of a vast, continuous story, that what came before has an effect on what comes after. If you take that away, you're just paying $4 for a 22 page novella with pictures, and I'll pass on that. Comic books are expensive enough as it is without the publishers treating all the back issues like so much garbage.
If what they put out yesterday doesn't matter, why does it matter what they put out today? It certainly doesn't encourage people to take out a subscription or religiously follow a title, which, unfortunately for the publishers, is exactly the kind of behavior they want.
Continuity is the worst thing about Marvel/DC comics. A good story is a billion times better than a story that is designed not to contradict a hundred other stories written by just as many other people over the last several decades. Internal continuity within a story is important, sure. But this overall continuity just gets in the way of telling good stories. It isn't an accident that so many of the great comic book stories take place within their own continuity or don't pay attention to it.
Good question, G-Man.
Me personally, I hate the concept of "continuity". I like Batman, but I'm not going to follow him through nine or ten different books on top of Batman or Detective. I followed Blackest Night and Green Lantern and - that was painful on my wallet enough - I noticed a little redundancy in some scenes there, between Hal, Barry and the Justice League of Zombies.
I would not follow one character through multiple book appearances. I'd rather stick with done-in-ones. DC and Marvel seem to be trying to recreate lightning from Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars, rather than just telling compelling stories.
I might be a little cynical and snarky...but to get to the end of a six or seven issue series like Cry For Justice or Blackest Night, Trinity, 52, or Infinite Crisis doesn't inspire me to pick up Brightest Day, or whatever the next event may be...
(funny that Rogue was more upset over Sentry's death than she was over Nightcrawler's)
1) oh snap...Rogue DID care more about losing Sentry than Kurt
2) Wolverine is everywhere at once. I just learned to just go with it. (X-23 and Daken rock harder then Wolverine)
3) Spider-Man being cheerful is just how he deals with stress except in the back in black storyline cause the was AWESOME
I've always though that a company wide canon was a stupid idea. It is another way to make your comics harder for a person to get into, i guess that is why I like the comics by image and the like so much. those stories are always separate from one and another unless of course it is a cross over but that doesn't matter so much because you can just skip it if you wish.
There has to be a connection between the lack/presence of continuity and why single-book series are the best. As in, comics who are contained to their main series and no other titles. Really, I can understand how the X-Men writer might have a hard time keeping up with everything that the lads in Avengers do, but there is no excuse for completely bombing on something that happened earlier in the title you're working for.
I don't mind retcons, as this shows the writers acknowledging an event and doing something about them. Sure, it's often rude to the people who wrote the story initially but a formal retcon is preferable to simply being ignored.
Grant Morrison is one of the only writers who really tries to stay within actual continuity, which is why his stories are so weird, because continuity doesn't make any sense and you have to pull in all sorts of cosmic craziness to explain it.
Incredible Hercules did a good job keeping up with continuity. I mean, I know I saw at least one part where what Herc and Cho did in Mighty Avengers was directly referenced in the comic. Mighty Avengers itself also did pretty well, although I'm not sure they exactly...dealt with the whole Herc/Cho split.
Continuity today definitely does not seem to matter - I too miss the [*]. But even more than that, I miss the ATTEMPT at continuity. I recently re-read part of Ann Nocenti's run (the Typhoid Mary bit) on Daredevil. Without missing a beat, she incorporated the events of Inferno from the X-line into her storyline (since DD does hang out in NY - the same city where inanimate objects were coming to life in Inferno) without losing an ounce of quality or focus to her own storyline. I'm not certain if I should blame prima donna writers or overworked editors? Regardless - I miss it and have learned to not let the lack thereof ruin my present comics experiences. But every time I reach into the longbox I remember how it used to be...
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