What the continuity nazis have wrought

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by A beaker full of death, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Skull#Post-World_War_II_era

    Jesus Hubert Christ. In order to explain away failures in continuity that occurred decades later, and that, really, don't matter worth a goddamn, comics spend more time trying to appease nit-picking comic book guys than they do actually telling stories!!
    Where one writer in the 1950s writes a captain america story featuring the red skull, and another 30 years later writes one that doesn't quite jibe, suddenly we have to explain that both the main characters of the first story weren't those characters at all!!
    Marvel should've just said "fuck it" and awarded a no-prize to the most creative non-canonical fan explanation and brazenly gotten on with the business of telling Captain America stories!

    Horseshit like this is why I miss the elegance of the DC Multiverse.
     
  2. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    [A figure cloaked in a long, leather trenchcoat enters and moves close to the fire. Stretching his palms towards the flickering warmth, he turns very slightly towards you and speaks with sinister humor]

    Vaat a pity you haaf problems mit continuity, Herr Death. Zat vill make zis so much more difficult for us both. Zees are times ven a vise man knows to keep his silence, you see.
     
  3. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    in many creative endeavours, continuity and canon went from a cute little way of playing with details and having some fun to a fucking geeky, pedantic, nitpicky circle jerk.
     
  4. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command

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    Yes, this has become a comics-wide problem and will only intensify as time goes on...that, or relaunches every few years will become the norm, and that's not so great either.
     
  5. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

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    ^Especially if they're all as woefully bad as Infinite Crisis.
     
  6. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This happened decades ago. The 50s Cap appeared in 1970s and the second Skull in the 80s. Sudden would be a bit of an exaggeration. The 50s Cap gave us a good story. Commie Red Skull, not so much.
     
  7. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

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    Yet, despite all that, today we have Brubaker and Epting's Captain America which is the best thing you'll find in a comic book store.
     
  8. Chris227

    Chris227 Lieutenant Commander

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    This is mainly Roy Thomas's idea, I think (RT wrote a lot of stuff that reintroduced golden age Marvel heroes into 'modern' continuity). He wanted to explain why Captain America, Bucky, and Red Skull were active in the 50s although Stan had Captain America in the iceberg in the 40s. Hence, a 'fake' Captain America.


    Funny thing is, even Amazing Spider-Man dwelved into this, during the 'robot parents' storyline:



    http://www.spiderfan.org/comics/images/spiderman_amazing/366.jpg
     
  9. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thing that struck me odd about that is this : The true Red Skull had files taken when he eliminated the Communist one, including the files on Peter's parents. Supposedly from hacking these, Peter learned that his parents were real. He took an enormous risk getting to these, and barely got away from Skull's forces in time. Okay. We know now that the parents were built by Chameleon and Harry in his craziest phase before his death.

    Yet all that also means that Harry hacked Red Skull's files somehow and went undetected by a paranoid villain way out of his league with followers who know better than to keep such things from him. That puts Liz and Normie at risk, and however crazy Harry got, they were his first concern.
    Too much speculation, I know, and I'm not demanding it be resolved. But all storylines should be thought through, and xovers, even in-universe, should be twice so.

    Of course, now, no one ever knew who Peter is, and since Norman never died, Harry didn't create the androids--wow, did the Clone Saga ever take place? We know they kept the Gwen-twins.

    (My head hirt now)
     
  10. mostlyharmless

    mostlyharmless Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Before you cast judgement, have you read the current run of Captain American that uses this character? It is regarded by many as one the strongest and well crafted stories in decades. The plot, characterization, dialogue, and artwork have been, in my opinion, consistently excellent.
     
  11. Bad Bishop

    Bad Bishop Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    DC doesn't even have to invoke multiple universes in order to explain every single event that doesn't line up right. Instead, years later, they simply ignore crap that doesn't make sense. And that's why Selina Kyle (Catwoman) was never a prostitute.

    Or was she? Maybe you folks can cite better examples of what DC doesn't consider to be "canon" any more. Hawkman fans, you go first.
     
  12. ancient

    ancient Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is this a good time for me to post my thesis on Comics Continuity?


    Ok, here it is:

    It just don't add up! Fix it fix it fix it fix it....fix it fix it fix it fix it...fix it fix it fix it... Reboot! Crap, I liked it the way it used to be.
     
  13. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Vice Admiral

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    I used to be a continuity freak but now I say screw it...

    Comics such as All-Star Superman have proved to me that all you need is to get the essence of the character right and good things will follow...keep what works and discard what doesn't.

    Besides, continuity is not nearly as realistically obtained now as it was from the 60s to the early 90s, through which you could more easily suspend your disbelief in the sliding time line. But now it's just been too damn long to maintain that time line.
     
  14. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And I honestly think that's right approach. Just tell a story. It doesn't have to match every detail of a story told 70 years ago (or two years ago).

    Fucking Miller.

    :D


    Agreed.

    Just a way of talking. I was reading the article re the red skull and the absolute absurdity of it overwhelmed me. I couldn't even bear to dig into the part about Spiderman's parents. I'll happily live in ignorance on that count.
     
  15. TheBrew

    TheBrew Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This. That is why I tend to prefer elseworlds are one-shot stories that play with the concept of the character in an interesting situation. I've been enjoying "Old Man Logan" for that very reason.
     
  16. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    Both of those spun out of Thomas and Englehart's decision in the early 70s to explain Lee's Cap stories in the late 40s and early 50s, which Lee himself had just ignored; with 50s Cap there was an actual interesting story behind it.

    Thomas' explanation for the 40s Cap stories (that two other guys secretly assumed the mantle to avoid bad PR when the war was nearly ending) had an interesting effect on the mythos, as it created a kind of schism; it's usually written as Lee originally wrote in in Avengers #4, when everybody was clearly aware that Steve had vanished in 1944, and other times (generally when they're explicitly involved as a story element) the Thomas retcon is used.

    Regarding continuity, a lot of this stuff wouldn't be included in a streamlined telling, but in the broad universe of the comics it adds purely more stories; I remember Dan Slott writing in one of his She-Hulk comics about how all this history is valuable.
     
  17. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

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    The sad thing about Hawkman was, Geoff Johns did such a great job of reconciling the mess that Hawkman continuity had become, and he did it by way of telling an interesting story in its own right. Now the Hawkman Special has come along and thoroughly muddied things up again. Mind you, I liked Katar Hol. But I gotta think there'd be better ways to bring him back... :brickwall: :brickwall: :brickwall:

    Okay, Hawk-rant over. :p
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've seen worse at DC and Marvel.
    A second Cap and Skull never seemed absurd to me. (though adding two more Caps between Rogers and "Rogers" was a stretch) RoyThomas is a odd bird who wants everything to count at any cost, but will retcon at the drop of a hot.
     
  19. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I once heard a joke about Thomas which went to the effect : "Obscure Golden Age character The Golden Mean committed suicide today, after reportedly hearing Roy Thomas say 'Who the hell is The Golden Mean?' "
     
  20. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, well, that's the definition of "obscure": If Roy Thomas doesn't remember you.
     

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