I think “Continuity” is one of the things that keeps me reading comics. What’s continuity? It’s the concept that everything that has been previously published in a character, and universe’s, history counts. This means that Daredevil should recognize Doctor Doom, even if they only met once 10 publishing years ago.
Here are some thoughts I have on the subject and whether creators should “stick with it” or not:
- I like to see new writers attempt to work their stories into the lore.
Sometimes you can really add an interesting and clever twist to story
by utilizing “what happened before.”
- I don’t mind the way the
current timeline works in DC Universe, in that they do the “this
happened 4 years ago” schtick, even if it was published 20 years ago.
- When I read a story with dated references, I might snicker, but it
doesn’t bother me. I’m not even sure why people are annoyed by this.
- When I read a story where the character is somehow tied to a specific
event (such as the Vietnam War), I just gloss over it. Again, no big
deal. Sometimes I think they should just ret-con it to a more recent
event. (The Punisher could easily be ret-conned to the Gulf War for
- In my opinion Ret-conning is acceptable as long as it retains
the key concepts of a character or story. Changing the Punisher from a
U.S. war veteran to a former member of the Evironmental Liberation
Front would be bad. Changing him from a Vietnam to a Gulf War vet isn’t
- Continuity seems the best way to keep people
buying comics, especially since there are so few comics written for a
- I’m still surprised that Marvel didn’t use the
Ultimate line to restart their universe. I don’t mind when a company
does this, as long as they really do start from scratch or provide good
patches to old continuity problems.
- Letting characters age is
a wonderful concept, but seems to encounter a lot of obstacles:
commercial issues, writers and artists might prefer a particular
version/time period and the fan base might not accept the changes. This
is the only real issue with Continuity for me. Spider-Man is obviously
an experienced crimefighter with hundreds of battles under his belt,
but he’s just a guy in his teens/20s. It just doesn’t work unless you
through aging/contintuity out the window