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Author Topic: Continuity is good?  (Read 20250 times)
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carmelo
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2007, 05:12:17 PM »


At some point, there has to be a way to not be encumbered by all that -- a reboot, a universe concept that effectively factors that out (e.g. any story told more than 10 years ago simply doesn't exist with a VERY short list of exceptions -- yes, Superman can meet up with the hot mermaid once a decade). Something's gotta give.




Like Golden-Silver age Superman.I agree totally. Wink
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2007, 06:03:51 PM »

Not all "breaks" in continuity are created equal. For instance, if a writer has Kang's forcefield broken by Thor's Hammer (a weapon that his forcefield has deflected easily time and time again), that would be sloppy and stupid writing born of laziness.

It would not, however, be as bad as violations of characterization: for instance, if Cyclops left an X-Man behind when retreating. Not only would that make Cyke look bad, it would also contradict Cyclops's most basic character trait: he sees the group as being more important than himself as an individual.

Quote from: MatterEaterLad
Comics were actually ahead of TV at the time, how many episodes of "Mission: Impossible" reference other episodes?  When "My Three Sons" switched to CBS and Mike got married, he sent cards back home for three episodes and was never mentioned again in 7 years.  I would actually argue that TV and movie continuity may have emerged from comics and their kin.

Hmmm! Interesting you should point that out.

I was just talking to a friend the other day about how the style of storytelling developed in comics seems to be everywhere: a primary "A" story with the main (usually physical) conflict, combined with long-term mysteries and character subplots (whose continuing developments are what keep you tuning in and interested in the show). THE X-FILES had this style of storytelling in a very basic, embryonic form. You see this really blossom in shows like HEROES, ALIAS, and LOST, which are more like issues in a comic book than singular episodes with "tight" resolutions.

Single "standalone" episodes have a purpose...but I don't watch LOST to see if Jack and Locke will find a source of fresh water on the island. I watch it to see if there are any new developments with the hatch or the Others or the Jack/Sawyer/Kate love triangle, or to find out why Hurley was in a mental asylum.

Quote from: carmelo
And after? we can watch the Legionnaires become old,and die of old age? with you continuity Superman and Batman must have 90 years almost

I'm not frightened or threatened by this at all.

I'd love to see Superman get married, have children, get old, and die. I don't think the writers will ever do that because Superman and Batman have to be on seven-eleven slurpee cups and beach towels...which is one key point of difference between them and people like the Legionnaires or (until recently) the X-Men: you can do that sort of thing with them and marketing won't howl.

And it took 20 years for the Legionnaires to become young adults. I seriously don't think they're in danger of being sent to the Old Folks Home. And if they ever did, new characters can be created to replace the ones that retire.

You could probably identify Timber Wolf's baby as the only kid in the maternity ward with a five-o-clock shadow.

Quote from: carmelo
"REAL" a characters that fly and have super powers?? If i want real things read a newspaper,not a super heroes comic book.In a real world an alien from a planet like Krypton would be totally different from humans,and maybe could not also survive on earth.Batman would be ended in lunatic asylum or would be died in his first adventure.In the real world kids not become superheroes sayng "SHAZAM"!

I disagree. If something has elements that are fantastic or science fiction, it has to try EVEN HARDER to be realistic as possible (ironically). Just because something is fantasy doesn't mean writers can slack off when it comes to keeping straight important things about the world and the characters' histories.

Just because Ultron is a robot made of adamantium doesn't mean you get to change his motivation, how we know he behaves (at least without good reason), or the past stories where he has fought the Avengers (some of which are pivotal moments in Avengers history).

It's a pet peeve of mine when people say "the character acts like that because its science fiction."

Quote from: Super Monkey
One writer for the complete run then the book ends, never to be brought back again. That's the only way to have perfect continuity.

Whether it is one person or three writing is irrelevant. If Jim Shooter established the Avengers have to log the Quinjets' flight plans with the F.A.A., unless something happens, that's something Kurt Busiek should have the Avengers do as well.

If its established that the Wasp will only date blond men from a line of dialogue in AVENGERS during the Roy Thomas years, that's something Bill Mantlo should keep in mind too.

Here's another advantage to remembering your past: you're guaranteed to not see the same thing a second time. If Batman has a long-term relationship with an intelligent, formidable woman that he feels very special about, he ought to remember Silver St. Cloud and behave differently as a consequence.

Quote from: Uncle Mxy
It's amazing how many 20-30 year old stories fall apart or need extensive rejiggering in a contemporary or "only a few years ago" context because of cell phones and the Internet.

NEW TEEN TITANS comes right to mind. remember the "Titans Beeper?" A beeper was a pretty high-tech gizmo back in the Byzantine Era (approximately when "NEW" TEEN TITANS was made, making it officially the most ironic title ever). But if "New" Teen Titans was supposed to happen "seven years ago" DC-time...even THEN, a pager was a laughably out of date technology. And it's just going to get worse as time marches on.

Quote from: Uncle Mxy
One story idea I've toyed with is exploring how general acceptance of innovation is stifled in comic book universes due to it being so easily abused by super bad-guys.  "It's taken generations for Motorola to warm the world to cell phone technologies.  Y'see, way back in 1952, Luthor introduced cell phones all over the world, but he was just trying to con the world into believing he had reformed and the cell phones were all really a trap for Superman..." -- for example. 

Maybe, maybe not. Nuclear proliferation continues on DC and Marvel Earth despite the fact that supervillains are always capturing nuclear weapons to threaten world governments.

Quote from: Uncle Mxy
Try coming up with reasons why the comic book Earth still resembles our Earth despite the flood of innumerable alien technologies.

Well, for one thing, even a genius like Reed can barely make heads or tails of things like the Kree Sentry. Shi'ar tech is lent to the X-Men, but with an agreement it is to be used for their own use only.

Asking why LMDs aren't in common use in industry, is like asking "Since we know how to build tanks, why is it everyone not driving a tank now?"

The tech is in the hands of organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. and Roxxon Oil, who certainly are very, very different as a result of the presence of this technology: witness things like the Guardsmen and the Mandroids.

As for supertechnology...

Paste-Pot-Pete/Trapster would make tons of dough selling his paste as an industrial adhesive, but he's a megalomaniac and only uses it for crime. This is the same explanation for the Flash's Rogues Gallery and why they don't sell the basis for their technological devices.

Villains like the Beetle, Stilt-Man and Titanium Man have expensive suits of armor that cost about as much as a fighter plane, if not more. It may not be feasable financially for governments to use or duplicate them.

As for Reed Richards's inventions...his rocket was inadequately shielded against Cosmic Rays, and so it makes sense nobody would be interested in it. As for the Negative Zone projector, its use is mainly scientific. It's not like there's oil in there.

Diablo's alchemical secrets are based on formulas known only to him. Further, most of them were lost down a whirlpool, which is why there's never been more than one "Dragon Man."

Hank Pym's size-changing "Pym" particles can cause serious harm with overuse: the poor guy was trapped at 10 feet tall. Plus, the particles caused his psychological unbalancing as Yellowjacket.

As for Hank Pym's work in robotics...gee, that sure worked out well, didn't it? The only way Hank Pym's robot experiments could be any more insane is if he builds his next robot in the shape of a Great White Shark. "It'll work THIS time, honey! I SWEAR!"

And as for his communication with insects...this DOES have practical, industrial applications: he was building a machine to utilize insect minds in Kurt Busiek's Ultron stories!

The very thought of a government or an enemy getting ahold of a machine like Cerebro is frankly, terrifying. It's understandable why the X-Men would want to keep it to themselves.

Magneto himself provides an explanation for why his research in genetics isn't more widespread: he isn't interested in a Nobel Prize, or anythiing else except the benefit of mutantkind.

The Black Panther's inventions require Vibranium (an element he can use freely), or alternatively, like the Prowlers and the Flying Subs, are Wakandan state secrets.

Quote from: Uncle Mxy
Superman should have some force field device and a "beam me to the Fortress" emergency button for the 47 gazillion times he's been exposed to Kryptonite and the prevalence of the technologies (e.g. imitation GL rings), but that'd make too much sense and give the writer a harder problem to solve. 

Everything you just said is why...and I hesitate to say this on this forum...I've always mostly been a fan of Marvel Comics. I've often wondered why, between Superman, the Flash and Green Lantern, there was any crime AT ALL on Earth-1.

(The answer becomes "because its a superhero comic!" And that's not enough for me.)

Quote from: Uncle Mxy
At some point, there has to be a way to not be encumbered by all that -- a reboot, a universe concept that effectively factors that out (e.g. any story told more than 10 years ago simply doesn't exist with a VERY short list of exceptions -- yes, Superman can meet up with the hot mermaid once a decade). Something's gotta give.

This is a contemporary mentality that I just don't understand: the idea that something as truly unusual and insanely severe as a reboot - truly, a "bazooka to kill a fly" solution if there ever was one - is somehow inevitable, when it ISN'T.

We're still reading about the Stan Lee version of the Marvel characters. There have been a few off runs here and there, but the MU being published NOW is the same MU Stan Lee and Kirby created in the sixties. Hal Jordan is still the exact same character he was when Eisenhower was President; I doubt a single story has been taken out of continuity. Ditto for the Flash, whose now a diffent guy in the mantle, but almost no Flash tale "never happened."

I will agree the so-called "sliding timescale" creates problems but a reboot is trying to sweep up the floor by planting dynamite.
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2007, 07:42:51 PM »


(Though George Perez did draw Natasha in this period as the world's worst-looking drag queen.)

Funny, especially since he purports to love the character so much.  Variations on her already crappy classic Kirby costume only seem to be for the worse as well.

I wonder if Morrison's X-Men was limited editorially to the X-Men and didn't allow for crossovers --a side-effect multi-editor universe continuity --it gives over to petty fiefdoms (Schwartz/Weisinger a prime example).

Ironic since Marvel was built on inter-book continuity.



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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2007, 09:36:47 PM »

Quote from: JulianPerez
Quote from: Uncle Mxy
Try coming up with reasons why the comic book Earth still resembles our Earth despite the flood of innumerable alien technologies.
Well, for one thing, even a genius like Reed can barely make heads or tails of things like the Kree Sentry. Shi'ar tech is lent to the X-Men, but with an agreement it is to be used for their own use only.
etc, yadda yadda yadda, and so on, and so forth
All the doubletalk in the world doesn't get you out of the predicament that it's been really hard for superheroes and their ilk to really to change the world around them on any permanent basis.  Stuff gets too far out there, and the world becomes really hard to relate to.  There's SO much fantastical science portrayed back in the comic 1950s and 60s that would reasonably percolate into the world that it wouldn't look anything like it does today.

Quote
I've often wondered why, between Superman, the Flash and Green Lantern, there was any crime AT ALL on Earth-1.
I'd like to think it was because of concerns about invasion of privacy and sublimation of free will, but given all the x-raying and hypnosis that was in vogue, I doubt it. 

Quote
Quote from: Uncle Mxy
At some point, there has to be a way to not be encumbered by all that -- a reboot, a universe concept that effectively factors that out (e.g. any story told more than 10 years ago simply doesn't exist with a VERY short list of exceptions -- yes, Superman can meet up with the hot mermaid once a decade). Something's gotta give.

This is a contemporary mentality that I just don't understand: the idea that something as truly unusual and insanely severe as a reboot - truly, a "bazooka to kill a fly" solution if there ever was one - is somehow inevitable, when it ISN'T.
I cited that as -an- option, along with rolling continuity, or "something".  Alan Moore's Supremacy concept works.  Just letting the old continuity run its natural course, possibly ending in something epic that isn't necessarily related to the start of some new continuity.  Planning a logical end to a long series of stories at the beginning.  Look at how the last Thor run ended, where he takes the world over in a possible future, or the awesome PAD story where the Hulk is the last mammal on Earth.  I dunno.  The hard part is that so much is tied to so much else. 

Quote
We're still reading about the Stan Lee version of the Marvel characters. There have been a few off runs here and there, but the MU being published NOW is the same MU Stan Lee and Kirby created in the sixties. Hal Jordan is still the exact same character he was when Eisenhower was President; I doubt a single story has been taken out of continuity. Ditto for the Flash, whose now a diffent guy in the mantle, but almost no Flash tale "never happened."

I will agree the so-called "sliding timescale" creates problems but a reboot is trying to sweep up the floor by planting dynamite.
The Marvel Universe is more a soap opera than DC, and persists only on those principles.  C'mon, they''re doing a team-up special with Guiding Light!  The relationship dynamics hold things together even when the actual storylines all piled up together make no practical sense and called for a fix a long time ago. 

What we're seeing now is more "multiple worlds" concepts...  Marvel's Ultimate line, the DCAU, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, etc.  They're not reboots, but retellings with twists.  Some of those twists add value, some are just different, others needlessly different.  The Japanese fans get by with three anime and two manga continuities for the Tenchi storylines, or something like that.   Some stories go on and one, others have logical beginnings and endings, etc.  The characters trump the stories. and the stories trump the universe.  Heck, there's Superman fans that can even stand Smallville, despite its radical departure from mainstream continuity.  I guess I'm not a slave to some world-without-end illogical congruous canon.



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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2007, 01:41:21 AM »

And good thing for that or this site would be meaningless, all those pre-crisis stories are no longer part of the current continuity. Rao better take them down, right?

Good thing people here are not slaves or we would have never gotten K-Metal, which was never part of any canon.

Might as well throw away that Birthright book too, since that's no longer canon, it must not worth reading right?

All of these stories must be worthless since they are no longer part of Continuity?

I don't think so...

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carmelo
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2007, 03:21:37 PM »


Quote from: carmelo
And after? we can watch the Legionnaires become old,and die of old age? with you continuity Superman and Batman must have 90 years almost

I'm not frightened or threatened by this at all.

I'd love to see Superman get married, have children, get old, and die.
What about John Byrne's "Generation"?


Quote from: carmelo
"REAL" a characters that fly and have super powers?? If i want real things read a newspaper,not a super heroes comic book.In a real world an alien from a planet like Krypton would be totally different from humans,and maybe could not also survive on earth.Batman would be ended in lunatic asylum or would be died in his first adventure.In the real world kids not become superheroes sayng "SHAZAM"!

Quote
I disagree. If something has elements that are fantastic or science fiction, it has to try EVEN HARDER to be realistic as possible (ironically). Just because something is fantasy doesn't mean writers can slack off when it comes to keeping straight important things about the world and the characters' histories.

Just because Ultron is a robot made of adamantium doesn't mean you get to change his motivation, how we know he behaves (at least without good reason), or the past stories where he has fought the Avengers (some of which are pivotal moments in Avengers history).

It's a pet peeve of mine when people say "the character acts like that because its science fiction."

Yes,but for chacters like those what is "real"?  which is the gradation of realism? Is Lobo more real of Batmite? Is Doomsday more real of Toyman? Superheroes  continue to live at "Riverdale" (and havings always 30 years"),but "Pleasentville" now is not more much pleasent. At last i think that the best manner to use "multiverse" is give different version of same characters at different type of readers.I imagine two or three regular series,one with a "contemporary" version of Superman,another with the classic Silver age style Superman,another more "cartoon style" for childrens and Kids.If i can have Coke and Diet Coke Why i cannot have the "my" Superman?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 03:24:53 PM by carmelo » Logged
Gangbuster
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2007, 03:43:35 PM »

How do you create a consistent continuity for a character from the Golden Age? It hasn't been done right.

I can think of only one case of a Golden Age hero surviving through today with a proper continuity: Captain America. And that's because he had the "luxury" of not being published for twenty years during the postwar period. (Not to mention that they just killed him.)

The advent of multiple earths helped two Silver Age DC characters to have a constant continuity to this day: Flash and Green Lantern. Their origins/descendants/etc were not changed by Crisis, and even though Barry is dead his sidekick and grandson continue on. Meanwhile, in Batman and Superman titles nothing has changed except for 15 reboots. I actually found myself hoping that Superman would die during Infinite Crisis and be replaced by either Connor or Kal-L, just so that something would change. (For the record, I really like Kurt Busiek's work though.)

The only sense of continuity that you'll find in Superman books right now is All-Star Superman, IF you read it with Grant Morrision's statement in mind: This is earth-1 Superman, and several years have passed.
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2007, 03:46:07 PM »

Read: Saving Faces

http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=13

Behold: the continuity destroying Mount Rushmore

http://community.livejournal.com/scans_daily/3219113.html#cutid1

52!  Cheesy

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