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  1. #1
    Amazing Member
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    Default Continuity in comics, how important is it?

    An interesting article from The Splintering regarding two storylines going on at Marvel. To me continuity is very important. Characters should be written consistently, there should be open discussion between writers and editors regarding characters they are using.

  2. #2
    iMan 42s
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    For a skilled writer they can work around continuity. Continuity is not something that shackles down a character, it's something that accentuates it and can bring layers to a story. Continuity is important as it can even make a bad story good if someone goes in and tries to explain it later. Ultimate Iron man sucks, but revealing it to be a cartoon in-universe even if offhand was a neat way of writing it off and world building.

    There are going to be things we don't like, there are thing I don't like. But you either retcon it with a good alternative to what originally happened when appropriate or not mention it at all. I don't think anyone genuinely enjoys Sins Past over at Marvel, but it hasn't been mentioned in years and can be ignored as it pertains to later stories with Gwen Stacy. I know Dan Slott doesn't like Spider-man killing, but the character has and you don't need to acknowledge those moments for something like No one dies to work.
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  3. #3
    Boisterously Confused
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    I have a couple of different views of this.

    First, I'm less interested in history being slavishly clung to than I am characters having consistent behaviors. Event comics tend to be a bit bad about this as their writers sometimes alter characters to facilitate scenes they'd like to play out.

    Second, like SuperiorIronman, there are some events in a character's continuity that should be regarded as sacred canon. Batman's parents are dead. There was a Captain Mar-Vell before the current Captain Marvel. I'm speaking of character-defining episodes that exist in the continuity. Although, there is room for exceptions even to this (Bucky was dead, but Winter Soldier made for an important watershed for both Captain America, and the MU as a whole).

  4. #4
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    I think there's also a big difference in IPs like Superman and Spider-Man. Those get a wide variety of styles and stories and for everything to fit together is extremely difficult. Even taking a single series into account, details can often conflict. As DrNewGod said, there are some MAJOR points which define a character. Spidey's "Great Power, Great Responsibility" thing for example.

    But with creator owned stuff like Cerebus, Paper Girls, and any number of others, I'd imagine a stricter continuity would be far more important. Then again, these are single over reaching tales and not episodic adventures as we might see in a daily comic strip. Do we care if Linus disliked oatmeal in a 1964 strip and ate it happily in 1975? (I'm making this all up, it's only an explanatory example)?

    I'm not going to begrudge anyone their love of making it all fit together, but for me personally, a few guidelines are needed.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member tbaron's Avatar
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    I dont care about continuity that much. I have read over 1000 comics this year and dont remember the details of all of them anyway. I just want the heroes to stay true ti who they are. After 80+ years for Superman and Batman and 50 + years for Spiderman, Fantastic Four and other Marvel heroes keeping things in continuity is going to be very hard. Besides with Dc changing their timeline every two years it seems what is the point in trying to keep everything straight. Thats why I dont read as much New Dc just too frustrated.
    Favorite teams. Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Justice Society of America, Legion of Superheroes.

  6. #6
    CBR's Good Fairy Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    My favourite thing is when writers embrace continuity in there story (i.e. obscure moments brought back to explain or answer), or give a new twist on what we thought we knew. Fabian Nicieze was fantastic at this.

    But we shouldn't be slaves to continuity either, as some of it's rubbish and best ignored. Maybe just be more creative with how to get round it. I wish more previous comics were referenced, I miss that. Also I think fans over-use "CONTINUITYYYYYYYYY!!! BAAAAAA!" A lot of things they say aren't following continuity, actually are, it's merely evolving what we know, rather than directly contradicting it.
    "We are Shakespeare. We are Michelangelo. We are Tchaikovsky. We are Turing. We are Mercury. We are Wilde. We are Lincoln, Lorca, Leonardo da Vinci. We are Alexander the Great. We are Fredrick the Great. We are Rustin. We are Addams. We are Marsha! Marsha Marsha Marsha! We so generous, we DeGeneres. We are Ziggy Stardust hooked to the silver screen. Controversially we are Malcolm X. We are Plato. We are Aristotle. We are RuPaul, god dammit! And yes, we are Woolf."

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