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  1. #16
    Mighty Member LordMikel's Avatar
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    What I hate most about continuity is when people are stupid about it and use it as a crutch to complain about how confusing comics are.

    For example, someone posted, "This issue of FF where they meet the Beatles, is that in continuity?"

    Answer : It doesn't matter. There is nothing in that issue that has an impact in a current issue of the FF.

    Now if people want to complain about Black Cat meeting Carnage during Maximum Carnage and then they redid her first meeting in ... I forget which comic. I can respect that complaint, because that is the poor quality control there. But it doesn't really affect but one page of that comic.

    But too often, continuity complaints are moronic.
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  2. #17
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    Continuity, when used correctly, creates momentum and depth that adds extra resonance, meaning, and layers to the characters, stories, and conflicts.

    Continuity, when used incorrectly, becomes a larger nonsensical story interrupting the singular entry’s own plot, that devalues the entire experience.

    I realizes some time that it’s not necessarily continuity I support as much as “good” continuity, which while subjective, often does reveal itself in a skilled writers hands.

    For instance, a Tim Drake who dealt with King Snake during his training with Lady Shiva, and who retains the experience, momentum, and through line in characterization to his tangling with the General in Red Robin? Has depth and extra gravitas the story can mine to create a unique experience. A Tim Drake stuck with the New 52’s nonsense from Scott Lobdell? Perpetually hampered by the bad aftertaste of that run on Teen Titans, enough such that its best left completely ignored.

    At the most basic level, continuity is excellent when the larger story it forms is engaging and an extra layer of deliciousness, and a hindrance when it pulls good characters back down.

    The best approach is “flexible continuity:” being able to look at something like Iron Man 3 and decide it doesn’t have quite enough value to really reference directly beyond oblique acknowledgments, to have a Legends of the Dark Knight series that can maintain a “wild card” connection to the current timeline that can fade in and out, to be able to pull a Grant Morrison and vaguely agree everything happened somehow btu not in an bad way.

    Weirdly, I’d say actual continuity debates depend on massive amounts of storytelling to really matter... but that's just because issues are easier to spot in lower amounts fo material. For instance, lots of comics and TV shows have featured problematic romances and can move past them because they can use a large amount of entries to paper over issues or retcon them away, but the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy has a small enough story that The Last Jedi trying to force Rey into a relationship with the Neo p-Nazi School Shooter who violated her mind is never going to get better.
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  3. #18
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    I think it's because many of us comic book readers were very lonely children, so the characters become like our best friends. And when the continuity changes, it's like there is something wrong with your best friend and you don't know if he or she has not been replaced by a pod person, and they want to lay your eggs in your ear while you sleep and who wants that?
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  4. #19
    Amazing Member Adam Allen's Avatar
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    I am able to accept it for what it is, that comic book genre evolved as an industry that is dependent on no changes ever being permanent. That means I was able to enjoy the Secret Wars storyline where the entire multiverse was destroyed, then just accept without issue that the entire thing is back, and not bother with the internal logic of that. It means I am able to enjoy the House of X/Powers of X stuff, despite Professor X having been killed by Cyclops possessed by the Phoenix Force a while back ... it's not like that was the firs time he'd died anyway, and for that matter I was able to enjoy the teenaged versions of the original X-Men running around the modern day Marvel Universe, up until it was decided they'd done all the stories they could with those versions of the character and sent them back, and despite the inconsistency that these teenagers would have aged years before being sent back to the exact point in time they'd left -- eh, whatever. Because, that's just how comics work. House of X/Powers of X is all going to be rolled back once it's done, we know this, and if you don't like it, you can just not read the comics, because that's how this genre functions.

    I will tell you why I think that's kind of problematic in a narrative sense, though.

    If you are reading a book, and you have a primary character killed off in chapter 2, and it's a big deal that affects the entire arc of the plot, the surviving characters are greatly impacted by the death and it is super dramatic and emotional for them and the audience, like we really wring out the drama and sadness and angst of this awesome character dying in such a tragic way? It will be weird when that character just walks back into the story in chapter 12 and none of the other character bats an eye. It would probably take some of the pathos out of the earlier chapters for the audience too, since the dramatic and tragic and painful loss turns out to not have happened, somehow inexplicably. Or you know, maybe the story will explain it as a wizard brought the character back, but if that is done in an offhand matter, it again will likely take away some of the impact of it happening at all, for the audience.

    So yeah, if you view them all as self-contained, as separate stories or Elseworlds or What-Ifs kinds of things, then it's fine. Which is basically what you have to do -- I don't really consider the characters in House of X the same as the ones from the Avengers vs. X-Men conflict leading up to the Phoenix 5, I don't view the characters following that story as the same ones in either of those eras, either. You can't, really. But I do think that weakens the dramatic impact of any of the stories, that you know that none of the character challenges or growth or any of that is lasting in any way.
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  5. #20
    Being mysterious... From The Shadows's Avatar
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    It just makes the story more richer to me.

    Also, lack of continuity and history riddled with retcons or added bits from authors who don't read any backstory is a peeve of mine.

    Example: The Whizzer is our father! Pietro... all this time we thought the Whizzer was our father but its the horrible Magneto! Magneto isn't our father? It was a lie? It looks like Magneto is our father after all ?!

    As you can see it gets a little too silly. Since they add all this to the continuing story instead of ignoring what they change, they actually acknowledge what they changed and add it to the story. I don't like but I think it would be better to go the DC route and it makes more sense to renew each time because we won't have situations like those above... I THINK it seems retcons now - is just to change continuity as some artistic need to change things and make it more their own, instead of making things better or to fix something that didn't make sense. JUST a theory. It wasn't something writers did a whole lot. And I put that up their with what I think destroys my loved continuity and not just where they simply ignore/don't know history which also sucks.
    Last edited by From The Shadows; 03-06-2021 at 02:29 AM.
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  6. #21
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    The story doesn't flow well when it doesn't follow continuity. Example: Tommy running away from the Marauders led to the Morlock Massacre in Uncanny X-Men #210. But in #325, Gambit led the Marauders into the Morlock tunnels.

  7. #22
    Amazing Member Adam Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooshoomanjoe View Post
    The story doesn't flow well when it doesn't follow continuity. Example: Tommy running away from the Marauders led to the Morlock Massacre in Uncanny X-Men #210. But in #325, Gambit led the Marauders into the Morlock tunnels.
    That is a good example. Even though Tommy never came up again (or appeared prior to the lead-up to the Massacre) as far as I'm aware, her short story added an early and specific aspect of tragedy to all the mutants who died in the big crossover. Making it Gambit later just negated that.

    Also, thought of another example where I feel like maintaining continuity could add layers of complexity (for all that it would take Herculean efforts and talent for any given writer to do nuance to it all well): Wanda and Vision's family.

    So, if you ignore retcons, on Wanda's side you have Magneto as dad, then Polaris and Quicksilver as siblings. On Vision's side, Pym as grandfather, Ultron as father, then Wonder Man and Victor Mancha as brothers. Then Wanda and Vision split up, so though you have Wiccan and Speed as their kids, those two later get a half sister in Viv Vision ... which, I guess, is honestly the perspective I'd be most interested in.

    Viv is the newest of all the characters, and it seems like it's normally just played as she just has Vision as her father, after her brother and mother have died. I think it would be a lot more interesting if Vision's connection with all of these other characters was not ignored, so Viv's connection with them all was likewise acknowledged, because I feel like that would be a more realistic kind of reflection of what real life family is like. At least, it's closer to what my real life family is like ... yep, including all the magic and cyborgs and resurrections!
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  8. #23
    Incredible Member Zauriel's Avatar
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    Characters do not age.

    Characters are written by different writers, so there are out-of-character portrayals and character assasinations

    Continuity doesn't matter to me anymore.

    Archie Comics doesn't have a continuity

  9. #24
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel View Post
    Characters do not age.

    Characters are written by different writers, so there are out-of-character portrayals and character assasinations

    Continuity doesn't matter to me anymore.

    Archie Comics doesn't have a continuity
    As a kid it would really bug me when I read my dads Archie digests and one story Archie was a top notch athlete high school sports star who is about to be an all american yet a couple stories later in the same book he cant catch a pass to save his life and costs the team the game!
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    As a kid it would really bug me when I read my dads Archie digests and one story Archie was a top notch athlete high school sports star who is about to be an all american yet a couple stories later in the same book he cant catch a pass to save his life and costs the team the game!
    This isn't an issue with continuity; it's an issue with consistency. This thread has often confused the two concepts. Having the characters act the same (although allowing for people to change as time goes on, as is the case in real life) is not the same thing as having the history of the timeline stay the same. As Zauriel mentioned, there has traditionally been no timeline in Archie, with each new issue bring basically self-contained. Nothing that happened in one issue would affect later stories. However, Archie did introduce a continuity a few years ago, with multi-issue story arcs, then they rebooted it with a new renumbering, then they went back to the old numbering, and now they are essentially just a reprint house.

  11. #26
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Allen View Post
    That is a good example. Even though Tommy never came up again (or appeared prior to the lead-up to the Massacre) as far as I'm aware, her short story added an early and specific aspect of tragedy to all the mutants who died in the big crossover. Making it Gambit later just negated that.

    Also, thought of another example where I feel like maintaining continuity could add layers of complexity (for all that it would take Herculean efforts and talent for any given writer to do nuance to it all well): Wanda and Vision's family.

    So, if you ignore retcons, on Wanda's side you have Magneto as dad, then Polaris and Quicksilver as siblings. On Vision's side, Pym as grandfather, Ultron as father, then Wonder Man and Victor Mancha as brothers. Then Wanda and Vision split up, so though you have Wiccan and Speed as their kids, those two later get a half sister in Viv Vision ... which, I guess, is honestly the perspective I'd be most interested in.

    Viv is the newest of all the characters, and it seems like it's normally just played as she just has Vision as her father, after her brother and mother have died. I think it would be a lot more interesting if Vision's connection with all of these other characters was not ignored, so Viv's connection with them all was likewise acknowledged, because I feel like that would be a more realistic kind of reflection of what real life family is like. At least, it's closer to what my real life family is like ... yep, including all the magic and cyborgs and resurrections!
    Or the Lady Mandarin/Psylocke/Kwannon thing. In the original Claremont/Lee trilogy, it's shown ON PANEL that Wolverine recognizes Betsy's face despite the plastic surgery that made her look Asian. Nicieza later admitted he wrote the retcon without having read the source material, and editors let him.
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  12. #27
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    I'd say that consistency and continuity are tied together. The old Archie comics had a continuity in their consistency. There was a continuity of the world that the characters existed in, and in how they looked. Stories didn't have continuity in the sense that what happened in one story was built on in the next, but the characters were established and had certain elements of continuity that couldn't be broken.

    The early Archie was much more sexy and in a different style, then it became a solid teen humour concept with a specific house style and the comics stuck with that concept for years. It was a dependable read--and easily reprintable--because while the fashions changed, the characters remained recognizable and followed familiar tropes.

    Comics tend to start out with a lot of tumult and changes, then they settle into a status quo that they don't want to break out of because that's what the readers want, then they break out of the status quo for corporate reasons (usually low sales) and a bunch of changes happen, then a new status quo happens. Rinse and repeat.

    THE SIMPSONS was exciting at the beginning and went through a lot of changes, then developed a formula that was popular. There was a clear continuity during this popular phase, even though the characters never aged, as certain things that happened would affect how the characters were seen from then on. After this popular phase, THE SIMPSONS entered a nobody cares phase where nothing really matters and there's no compelling reason to watch the show because nothing of great importance is going to happen. It's those nobody cares episodes that are light on any continuity. The look is consistent with the old stuff, it's still the same voice actors (those that haven't died), but there's no effort at building the characters in a meaningful way.
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  13. #28
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Continuity matters in terms of figuring out the context of what characters are going through. It becomes a problem when characters act in a way that doesn't fit that, or if the background of the characters is so muddled the writer does a poor job of explaining what's relevant about the backstory.
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  14. #29
    Mighty Member TheRay's Avatar
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    I just like when there's more to the story. Word building is what I like about it.
    But I'm not going to get up in arms if every little piece of established lore isn't used and/or strictly adhered to.

  15. #30
    Incredible Member Zauriel's Avatar
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    Even if they reboot the whole continuity, the problems still remain. Look at the Crisis on the Infinite Earths. They thought they fixed the continuity. But then they rebooted it again with the Zero Hour. And then they rebooted the whole continuity again and again. I lost count of how many times the DC has rebooted their continuity. And I no longer care.

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