Why do comic book fans care about continuity?
I never thought I'd see the day where, "they retconned Spider-Man's origin" was a valid or noteworthy criticism on par with "the book's glacier pacing does nothing to establish the plot"
I agree sir, continuity is the only good thing in a comic. Not the panel composition, pacing, messages, themes, or motifs.
Nope, when I open up a comic the one thing I'm lookin forward to is character X being perfectly in continuity with itself.
The only continuity that matters is page to page. Although /co/ doesn't seem to care about page to page continuity either, given that its entire "knowledge" of comic stories comes from individual reposted panels and pages in FEELS or EPIC or BADASS threads.
>Why do comic book fans care about continuity?
Because continuity is ultimately just self-consistency, and a story without self-consistency is nonsense. Which is not to say that nonsense is completely without merit, but it's generally disliked in fiction.
The problem is that comics have fallen into tying all their characters together and then NEVER ENDING their stories after decades, so continuity becomes stifling.
You don't need self consistency though, page to page continuity means that everything you're reading can be seen as a standalone story with its own strengths and weaknesses, the only reason fanboys take stock into continuity other than page or page is when they get all autistic over handbooks or something.
That's true. However, keep in mind that comic book companies WANT people to read stories as continuity and they're optimized for that, because that makes people buy 500 pamphlets with Wolverine in them instead of a small handful of trade paperbacks. WIthout continuity there is no reason to read 99% of issues, you can just read the one or two arcs you like the most and ignore everything else forever.
I don't believe continuity actually exists in cape comics.
There's only core fundamentals. Batman is Bruce Wayne, he fights crime, he dresses like a bat, parents were murdered by crooks, lives in a cave, etc. etc., but actual continuity doesn't exist, since any changes that happen never stick. There's no growth.
The Big Two are tricking you into thinking that their comics are ongoing stories, when really they're more like Looney Tunes episodes, with nothing connecting them but a core premise and some characters.
I am split on it.
On one hand, I like consistency. If a couple of characters give their lives in a sacrifice to save someone/something, and then later just sort of show up with no explanation, that would piss me off.
With no continuity, characters themselves can even change. You could have a fun loving super hero come back as some weird Patrick Bateman sociopath just because the writer wants it to be that way.
On the other hand, some of my favorite stories are out of canon. I loved all of the Marvel Adventures and DC elseworlds like All-Star Superman and Kingdom Come kick ass
But this is something that comics have actively cultivated in their fans since the Silver Age. Just look at all the little editor's notes that pointed out references to previous stories.
Why do people think when the OP is referring to continuity they're referring to page to page?
Of fuckin course self consistency is necessary, when most comic fans refer to continuity they refer to the continuity that doesn't matter, like writer to writer or something.
Some of the changes do stick though.
Well, DC has pretty much destroyed their long-term continuity by rebooting their shared universe too many times to count. However, Marvel has never done so; Peter Parker really is the same guy who was bitten by a spider in Amazing Fantasy 15, even though he now never said that he was less popular than Khrushchev. (I guess now he would have said Bin Laden.)
>DC has pretty much destroyed their long-term continuity by rebooting their shared universe too many times to count
I'm depressed that you can't count to two. That DOES indicate the mental capacity of the people who think continuity matters.
The real question is if you're writing an established character and make major changes to their history, like say their origins, why even bother writing that character? Why not make a completely new character?
>only two reboots
What about Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, and all the reboots of individual titles that threw away past continuity only to bring it all back later on? (LoSH, I'm looking right at you!)
The only time when it wasn't right to complain about continuity was the Silver Age, when comics were written specifically for children.
As soon as comics pretended to be for mature audiences too they lost that excuse.
Comics are stories and all stories have continuity or otherwise they're simply incoherent messes.
There are ways around it. You can modify continuity in a retroactive fashion without making it a retcon. You simply make a story out of it. Hopefully a GOOD story. But it's always better to make a story out of it than to pretend the new status quo was always the norm.
Little things can be forgotten about, but it completely breaks a character when the changes are more significant or vastly unexplained. When that happens the connection a reader has with the story will be broken.
Mainstream cape comics pretend they all operate in the same growing universe. Except not fucking really since sliding timescales exist... but they try to stick to one general idea of what the universe's history is. If it's dragging down future stories it's most likely because all stories should END and you can only open so many plotlines within a story that the main characters end up spent and logically seeking to stop what they're doing.
But comics are forced to continue and insist on selling, again, the ongoing adventures of Heroes X on World Y. So every now and then SHOCKING DEVELOPMENTS and REALITY BENDING changes must happen to freshen things up. They usually make stories out of it. Some better than others.
But then they make One More Day and they give up. Things are changing because they changed, fuck you. And that'll surely draw new readers and some old readers will stick for the scandal and variety.
But other old readers that spent decades following stories just lose that connection with the story, making everything lose all value. It's literally a case of "NOT MUH". It's good business, bad writing.
>Some of the changes do stick though.
Nothing of merit though. Maybe some new characters, but that's basically it.
Take something like Knightfall. It's basically one long TV movie, since at the end, Batman is back to being Batman as if nothing happened, and he'll learn little from it that will be important later.
That's not a knock on Knightfall, but more like the idea that Batman has a continuing story is garbage.
>What about Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, and all the reboots of individual titles that threw away past continuity only to bring it all back later on? (LoSH, I'm looking right at you!)
Marvel style retcons, anon. Targeted continuity alteration.
DC has only done two line reboots.
Because they choose too, and autistis like you choose to act like it matters when the stories reference other stories but go off and do their own thing anyway. Continuity is for chumps.
I really don't care about continuity as a whole. I don't obsess over everything that happens to the characters I care about. The only thing that bothers me is when they (the characters) do something that's out of character without pretext. What constitutes as OOC? It's a gut-level thing.
Marvel currently has their writers say continuity is unimportant.
The fans are the ones still butthurt. I mean I don't like continuity but are you seriously suggesting it's the one thing that drove all non autist capefans away?
DC wrote stories to change its continuity.
Marvel sweeped everything under the rug.
Peter Parker isn't the same guy because he's not carrying the weight of everything that happened to him. THE SPIDER 90's phase, the totem 2000's shit, none of that happened. He doesn't aknowledge Aunt May died three times already. THREE TIMES. He doesn't remember his parents were spies. Or that the spies were robots. The surviving Gwen Clones (two of them, in different stories) slipped off his mind.
And so on.
In any case Marvel has no long term continuity because of the sliding time scale policy. The characters live and die within those 5 years. And it'll keep happening.
I don't care about keeping with tiny bits of continunity. I'm mostly annoyed by either not keeping with someone's characterization, changing major things that are referenced in many older stories, or changing something from a comic that was only released a few years ago (Fucking Bendis).
Continuity is the history of the character. We're talking memories and life stories. Imagine your friend coming to you and "Remember that time we _____?" and it was detailed wrong or about something you were not a part of. You would be offended, at the very least you'd say "That's not what happened." or "I wasn't there for that."
It's the same feeling.
>Continuity is the history of the character
>I never thought I'd see the day where, "they retconned Spider-Man's origin" was a valid or noteworthy criticism on par with "the book's glacier pacing does nothing to establish the plot"
You never thought you'd ever see a day when people would want american comics to break away from retarded practices that cause them to be viewed as a lesser medium worthy only of entertaining children and retards?
>Caring about them when even the companies don't
It helps the characters grow, and bring a sense of history to build more stories with.
The nice thing about fiction though is that continuity gets to be cherry picked, so only the good stuff sticks (unless we're talking about Spider-Man)
Which is why every continuity discussion is always about DC.
I think DC using their huge canon as a selling point in the late 90's/early 2000's is what really triggered all of this discussion.
because one of the funny parts of reading comics is seeing what happens next, people like consistency of character and story
of course these days any hack writer is working on your favorite characters, deaths don't mean shit, and retcons and reboots happen constantly so continuity is nothing but a joke some fans have learned to read for writers rather than continuity
What triggered this discussion is that people now have access to detailed databases of a character's history in the form of various Wikis and when an author gets a major part of that wrong they ask themselves why he didn't bother to do the 5 minutes of fundamental research it took them to avoid making such a mistake. Especially when he is payed to do it.
>the DC universe would've been a lot richer if Superman stayed dead
No it wouldn't, it would have still been 5 Batman and 4 Superman titles with those being the only things getting anthologized.
I was amazed that Green Lantern is now DC's #3 series, but that's all Johns.
DC still has continuity going back to New Fun Comics #1, it's just that the stories involve the universe itself shifting around the characters due to huge cosmic forces at work. The Crises try to make newbies feel like they're reboots so they'll get more involved and think things are more simple, but you won't get the full picture unless you go all the way back.
>Green Lantern is now DC's #3 series
Oh man. You haven't been looking at the sales.
That's all on the editors, man. They're supposed to know this stuff so they can tell the writers what they can do.
Right now, it's as if a shop foreman has no clue how to fix a car, so he just let's his mechanics figure it out and they fuck it up completely.
>the DC universe would've been a lot richer if Superman stayed dead
No, because his death was originally just a marketing device to selll more comics.
If you want to pick a stopping point it's obviously "Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow". Because it's a story that draws on the character's past to give him proper closure.
It's not a new argument at all, but the only way to "fix" the continuity issues would be to simply stop publishing ongoing stories and stick to self contained series. But that's not how comics have been working for the last few decades.
I think we hate continuity snafus when they render irrelevant good stories that we liked in the past, or render irrelevant character traits that would have made for good stories in the future.
No, part of the editors job is to receive pitches from writers and to give pitches to writers, coming up with plot lines for the book.
The problem with DC is that much of it's editorial seems both demanding and incompetent. Whither this is from years of neglect or fear for their jobs or what have you, it's creating a terrible working environment for everyone involved.
This is why I'm looking forward to the Burbank move. Maybe under the administrations eye, DC can finally sort some issues out.