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  1. #31
    Being mysterious... From The Shadows's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but I sometimes think a retcon is even better than just ignoring continuity but that has already been too much. It hasn't improved anything in quality but a bunch of threads that are ignored are just one big broken web. OOC moments are worse without any explanation. I rather there be a build up rather than it be a sudden change.
    Last edited by From The Shadows; 05-14-2021 at 08:54 PM.
    The (old) Hank McCoy thread. https://community.cbr.com/showthread...on-Thread-2020

    Interested in knowing more about Balder? https://community.cbr.com/showthread...on-Thread-2020

  2. #32
    Invincible Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    To discuss it using a rather "Self-Contained..." example -

    The overall "Universe..." that the Brubaker/Phillips Criminal comics are taking place in...

    Accounting for the way that the reader is taking in the stories of multiple generations of related characters? I don't really know that there would even be much of a point without rather tight continuity in all of those comics.

  3. #33
    Invincible Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    On the other hand?

    There was a mini-series devoted solely to Lono that takes place in the aftermath of 100 Bullets.

    To me?

    One of it's greatest strengths is that it essentially works as a standalone that a reader can get plenty out of without knowing anything about his story up to that point.

  4. #34
    Boisterously Confused
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    I'd say continuity also matters when it genuinely changes a status quo. The Green Goblin is probably a good example.

    He began as a shadowy mystery antagonist for Spider-Man. He transitioned to a tragic nemesis, his Dr. Jekyll almost being a surrogate father for Spider-Man's Peter Parker, and his Mr. Hyde being Spider-Man's worst enemy. Then he became an MU-wide uber-menace. (my apologies to Serious Spider-Fans for this gruesomely imprecise summary)

    There are Green Goblin stories you can tell that are unique to each of those stages, that won't work in any of the others. The same should have been true of The Original Marvel Girl/Phoenix, before Marvel started endlessly recycling her.

    DC has nothing truly comparable (anymore) since they churn their published history so often.

  5. #35
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    DC has nothing truly comparable (anymore) since they churn their published history so often.
    Bruce Timm's DCAU has that in his Batman-Superman-JL-Batman Beyond cartoons. Like Lex Luthor starts out as a corporate shark, then goes to jail and slowly ends up becoming the Luthor of the Silver Age as a way for him to get his real mojo, along the way it does stopovers at stuff like POTUS Lex and so on. But in the comics you don't have that in general.

    To me continuity is about emotion more than literal jottings of events in a wikipedia page or a timeline that moderators have to maintain. The latter predominates our conception of continuity more than the former, for better and worse.

    When you read a 616 Spider-Man story, you are reading the version of the character that originated in Amazing Fantasy #15, graduated high school, went to college, romanced Gwen Stacy, Felicia Hardy, Mary Jane Watson, before he got married to the latter. Stories like Master-Planner Saga, The Night Gwen Stacy Died, The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man, Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut, Secret Wars, Kraven's Last Hunt are all part of his aggregate experiences. It matters to me more that the character I read has had these experiences of growth and change, far more than technical elements like how did the fight scene or use of powers in one story and the other happened or didn't happen. Which is why I don't care for Marvel stunts like OMD and OMIT which subtracts this aggregation and by doing so distorts and unravels the character we got and the stories we have.

    In the case of DC, continuity isn't a straight forward lineage. Like none of the characters are consistent or descended from their first appearances the way Marvel 616 characters are. That can be a blessing and a curse. You argued very well about the curse. The blessing is that you can with each reboot take some wild swings and reinventions. Luthor originated as a dumb mad scientist in the middle-age, then the Silver Age made him some kid who got angry that Superboy (Superman's Teenage Version) made him bald and so he became a lifelong archnemesis. Then Post-Crisis invented him as an evil businessman. The catch is that these wild swings tend to contradict each other somewhat, and are hard to integrate into a whole. With a continuity that's constantly reshuffled, the result is that nothing is at stake, and yet to quote Neil Gaiman's THE SANDMAN, "everything has changed, and yet nothing is truly lost". What that means is that stuff that happens in DC doesn't upset or irritate me to the same extent. Like Superman and Lois aren't a ship in New 52, doesn't matter...the Silver Age Superman got a happy ending, as did the Golden Age, the Post-Crisis got married, and the New 52 isn't any more a truer Superman than other versions that came before. IT doesn't overwrite those stories.

    That's why I found it ridiculous when Tom King chickened out of the Batman/Catwoman wedding. There's one version where the two married and had a daughter, the Chris Nolan movie ended with them together, so what exactly was at stake with Rebirth-era Batman (basically one Batman among many others) getting married or getting ditched at the altar. It's not like this is the one true Batman dating back to Bill Finger? It has no legitimacy compared to the other takes we have. Whereas when Spider-Man and Mary Jane got married that was a huge, huge deal, it was the version that spun out of Ditko and Lee's conception and it happened on the character's 25th year anniversary.

  6. #36
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Bruce Timm's DCAU has that in his Batman-Superman-JL-Batman Beyond cartoons. Like Lex Luthor starts out as a corporate shark, then goes to jail and slowly ends up becoming the Luthor of the Silver Age as a way for him to get his real mojo, along the way it does stopovers at stuff like POTUS Lex and so on. But in the comics you don't have that in general.

    To me continuity is about emotion more than literal jottings of events in a wikipedia page or a timeline that moderators have to maintain. The latter predominates our conception of continuity more than the former, for better and worse.

    When you read a 616 Spider-Man story, you are reading the version of the character that originated in Amazing Fantasy #15, graduated high school, went to college, romanced Gwen Stacy, Felicia Hardy, Mary Jane Watson, before he got married to the latter. Stories like Master-Planner Saga, The Night Gwen Stacy Died, The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man, Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut, Secret Wars, Kraven's Last Hunt are all part of his aggregate experiences. It matters to me more that the character I read has had these experiences of growth and change, far more than technical elements like how did the fight scene or use of powers in one story and the other happened or didn't happen. Which is why I don't care for Marvel stunts like OMD and OMIT which subtracts this aggregation and by doing so distorts and unravels the character we got and the stories we have.

    In the case of DC, continuity isn't a straight forward lineage. Like none of the characters are consistent or descended from their first appearances the way Marvel 616 characters are. That can be a blessing and a curse. You argued very well about the curse. The blessing is that you can with each reboot take some wild swings and reinventions. Luthor originated as a dumb mad scientist in the middle-age, then the Silver Age made him some kid who got angry that Superboy (Superman's Teenage Version) made him bald and so he became a lifelong archnemesis. Then Post-Crisis invented him as an evil businessman. The catch is that these wild swings tend to contradict each other somewhat, and are hard to integrate into a whole. With a continuity that's constantly reshuffled, the result is that nothing is at stake, and yet to quote Neil Gaiman's THE SANDMAN, "everything has changed, and yet nothing is truly lost". What that means is that stuff that happens in DC doesn't upset or irritate me to the same extent. Like Superman and Lois aren't a ship in New 52, doesn't matter...the Silver Age Superman got a happy ending, as did the Golden Age, the Post-Crisis got married, and the New 52 isn't any more a truer Superman than other versions that came before. IT doesn't overwrite those stories.

    That's why I found it ridiculous when Tom King chickened out of the Batman/Catwoman wedding. There's one version where the two married and had a daughter, the Chris Nolan movie ended with them together, so what exactly was at stake with Rebirth-era Batman (basically one Batman among many others) getting married or getting ditched at the altar. It's not like this is the one true Batman dating back to Bill Finger? It has no legitimacy compared to the other takes we have. Whereas when Spider-Man and Mary Jane got married that was a huge, huge deal, it was the version that spun out of Ditko and Lee's conception and it happened on the character's 25th year anniversary.
    Did we agree? If not, what part of what I said disagreed with you?

  7. #37
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Did we agree? If not, what part of what I said disagreed with you?
    We agreed. I am just elaborating, my dude.

    Sometimes I do epic-posts in agreement. Just roll with it.

  8. #38
    Mighty Member TheRay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelena View Post
    It feels like a marketing ploy. A more honest approach would be to use complete new characters.
    I prefer to think of it as a separate continuity. I mean think of it this way, people refer to “the Snyder cut” as if it’s a different movie, but it’s more or less the same movie with more thrown in or a few scene changes. But that’s enough to call it a different continuity because if that line of films continued it would be different depending on which version was given the sequel.

  9. #39
    MXAAGVNIEETRO IS RIGHT MyriVerse's Avatar
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    Without continuity, no story ever matters, so there's no point in reading.
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  10. #40
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Bruce Timm's DCAU has that in his Batman-Superman-JL-Batman Beyond cartoons. Like Lex Luthor starts out as a corporate shark, then goes to jail and slowly ends up becoming the Luthor of the Silver Age as a way for him to get his real mojo, along the way it does stopovers at stuff like POTUS Lex and so on. But in the comics you don't have that in general.

    To me continuity is about emotion more than literal jottings of events in a wikipedia page or a timeline that moderators have to maintain. The latter predominates our conception of continuity more than the former, for better and worse.

    When you read a 616 Spider-Man story, you are reading the version of the character that originated in Amazing Fantasy #15, graduated high school, went to college, romanced Gwen Stacy, Felicia Hardy, Mary Jane Watson, before he got married to the latter. Stories like Master-Planner Saga, The Night Gwen Stacy Died, The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man, Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut, Secret Wars, Kraven's Last Hunt are all part of his aggregate experiences. It matters to me more that the character I read has had these experiences of growth and change, far more than technical elements like how did the fight scene or use of powers in one story and the other happened or didn't happen. Which is why I don't care for Marvel stunts like OMD and OMIT which subtracts this aggregation and by doing so distorts and unravels the character we got and the stories we have.

    In the case of DC, continuity isn't a straight forward lineage. Like none of the characters are consistent or descended from their first appearances the way Marvel 616 characters are. That can be a blessing and a curse. You argued very well about the curse. The blessing is that you can with each reboot take some wild swings and reinventions. Luthor originated as a dumb mad scientist in the middle-age, then the Silver Age made him some kid who got angry that Superboy (Superman's Teenage Version) made him bald and so he became a lifelong archnemesis. Then Post-Crisis invented him as an evil businessman. The catch is that these wild swings tend to contradict each other somewhat, and are hard to integrate into a whole. With a continuity that's constantly reshuffled, the result is that nothing is at stake, and yet to quote Neil Gaiman's THE SANDMAN, "everything has changed, and yet nothing is truly lost". What that means is that stuff that happens in DC doesn't upset or irritate me to the same extent. Like Superman and Lois aren't a ship in New 52, doesn't matter...the Silver Age Superman got a happy ending, as did the Golden Age, the Post-Crisis got married, and the New 52 isn't any more a truer Superman than other versions that came before. IT doesn't overwrite those stories.

    That's why I found it ridiculous when Tom King chickened out of the Batman/Catwoman wedding. There's one version where the two married and had a daughter, the Chris Nolan movie ended with them together, so what exactly was at stake with Rebirth-era Batman (basically one Batman among many others) getting married or getting ditched at the altar. It's not like this is the one true Batman dating back to Bill Finger? It has no legitimacy compared to the other takes we have. Whereas when Spider-Man and Mary Jane got married that was a huge, huge deal, it was the version that spun out of Ditko and Lee's conception and it happened on the character's 25th year anniversary.
    Wow! You really said it. That's exactly it.

    At least emotionally and theoretically, the Spider-Man who exists now is the same one who had all those adventures written by Stan and Steve. The FF, no matter the changes, fought the Mole Man on Monster Island even if it has been updated to have happened more recently. Whether it was Vietnam, Afghanistan or whatever they decide it will be next, and even if they cheat and say it was Hydra rather than the Cold War Russians, those Iron-Man stories happened. There is an emotional continuity extending back to the very first Spidey/ FF/ Iron-Man story. The Avengers were Iron-Man, the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man and the Wasp and they teamed up against Loki in their first outing. In fact, by and large, attempts to rewrite Marvel history has backfired horribly. I can't speak to recently as I don't read many new comics.

    But, DC screwed up early on. The Superman of today and of Post-Crisis is just another alternate reality version having no real connection to his roots. One could even throw the Silver Age in but at least that version vaguely had some of the same adventures. Not to say they should never have rewritten their history. But they could have done it like Marvel where they at least maintain the illusion that it's the same character in the same reality.

    Using Superman, his early adventures (Golden Age) are just gone as far as that being the history of today's Superman. There is no emotional connection, no pretense even, that he's that same character from 1938 with his adventures having happened but just updated to more recently.

    As you said, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson getting married was a big, big deal because they were those same characters that met in the early Stan Lee story where Pete and MJ met for the first time and all of their relationship over those decades was canon. Superman and Lois getting married meant squat because it was a totally new version of them in a new reality with their decades of history together gone like it never existed.

    To be honest, at this late date, I see no way DC could do anything about it even if they wanted to which I don't think they do. I suppose they could have a reality merge in which the entire history (Golden, Silver/ Bronze/ Post Crisis) all happened but that would be a cluster of problems with too many stories that could not have happened with a continuity that flowed as one continuity. At this point, I don't think anything could fix it, which is why I rarely buy comics and almost always something in it's own continuity (Batman '66, Superman Smashes the Klan, Miller's origin of Superman) when I do.

    There's also the characterization problem of course. Tony Stark's personality in no way is that of 1963 Tony Stark. He's just a pod person. In fact, there was a story where he was doing a historical investigation of events that happened in the early 1960s since he hadn't even been born yet. So you'll always have problems really maintaining that solid idea that these are really the same characters. But Marvel definitely has done a far better job of at least maintaining some pretense.
    Power with Girl is better.

  11. #41
    Mighty Member TheRay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seismic-2 View Post
    the DC and Marvel Universes (or multi-verses, or mega-verses, or hyper-verses, or ultra-ultra-everything-and-we-really-mean-it-this-time-verses)
    Okay this is hilariously true, but that's part of the fun of it for me.

  12. #42
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    As you said, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson getting married was a big, big deal because they were those same characters that met in the early Stan Lee story where Pete and MJ met for the first time and all of their relationship over those decades was canon. Superman and Lois getting married meant squat because it was a totally new version of them in a new reality with their decades of history together gone like it never existed.
    Superman's wedding to Lois also happened after the Death of Superman (a story event that in part became as big as it did because a lot of people thought this was the same Superman from their childhood or some all-purpose mythic Superman...that event worked because people genuinely believed Superman was dead).

    To be honest, at this late date, I see no way DC could do anything about it even if they wanted to which I don't think they do. I suppose they could have a reality merge in which the entire history (Golden, Silver/ Bronze/ Post Crisis) all happened but that would be a cluster of problems with too many stories that could not have happened with a continuity that flowed as one continuity. At this point, I don't think anything could fix it, which is why I rarely buy comics and almost always something in it's own continuity (Batman '66, Superman Smashes the Klan, Miller's origin of Superman) when I do.
    I left DC comics because of Geoff Johns, totally hate everything that guy touches. And if Ray Fisher is to be believed (and everything he's spoken has been corroborated and checked out so far), he's not just unlikable as a writer.

    I don't think the DC multiple continuities is a bad approach. Like Marvel themselves did something similar with Ultimate Marvel, and the Ultimate Marvel continuity and those versions of the characters released in 2000 and early 2000s became popular and has a real buy-in with a lot of people.

    Ultimate Marvel had a great zeitgeist-y concept like what if the Marvel Age began in the 21st Century and it was released in 2000, so it caught lightning in the bottle. That's very similar to the Silver Age DC...Infantino's Flash came about a decade or so after the Golden Age comics had faded and he introduced Barry Allen Flash who was a Flash of post-war America with a more up-to-date contemporary for his time costume. So sometimes a big historical and social change can provoke and justify a rethink. What makes Marvel different from DC is that they kept Ultimate Marvel running and milking it and when the decade of the 2000s faded and all the early milennial optimism turned to dread and malaise (between 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis) they started winding down Ultimate Marvel and then shut it down but not before importing and salvaging some characters into the 616 continuity. In the case of DC, what they do is...they made their Ultimate Marvel (i.e. Silver Age DC, and later Post-Crisis DC, and later New 52 DC) into the main DC universe.

    So DC had success being really contemporary to the moment of the 1950s zeitgeist but then when they do the later reboots there's often not much cultural context for it. Like COIE is essentially a giant housecleaning event, it's not trying to make some statement or express something about the '80s or '90s zeitgeist. The New 52 has less context, it was trying to do Ultimate Marvel a decade late and several dollars short.

    Fundamentally, DC's characters aren't meant to exist in a shared universe. They originated as standalone creations. And most of the time they work best solo.

  13. #43
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    Whenever I'm looking for info on Marvel characters, my searches take me to the Marvel Database, where I'm shown that this character exists on Earth-TRN843 or whatever. Amazing. I never knew that Gardner Fox and Julius Schwartz travelled over to the Marvel Universe and introduced the Multiverse there. Funny how that system--the product of "Flash of Two-Worlds"--is still going strong on the Marvel Database--but no such luck with the Distinguished Competition.
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  14. #44
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Superman's wedding to Lois also happened after the Death of Superman (a story event that in part became as big as it did because a lot of people thought this was the same Superman from their childhood or some all-purpose mythic Superman...that event worked because people genuinely believed Superman was dead).

    I left DC comics because of Geoff Johns, totally hate everything that guy touches. And if Ray Fisher is to be believed (and everything he's spoken has been corroborated and checked out so far), he's not just unlikable as a writer.

    I don't think the DC multiple continuities is a bad approach. Like Marvel themselves did something similar with Ultimate Marvel, and the Ultimate Marvel continuity and those versions of the characters released in 2000 and early 2000s became popular and has a real buy-in with a lot of people.

    Ultimate Marvel had a great zeitgeist-y concept like what if the Marvel Age began in the 21st Century and it was released in 2000, so it caught lightning in the bottle. That's very similar to the Silver Age DC...Infantino's Flash came about a decade or so after the Golden Age comics had faded and he introduced Barry Allen Flash who was a Flash of post-war America with a more up-to-date contemporary for his time costume. So sometimes a big historical and social change can provoke and justify a rethink. What makes Marvel different from DC is that they kept Ultimate Marvel running and milking it and when the decade of the 2000s faded and all the early milennial optimism turned to dread and malaise (between 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis) they started winding down Ultimate Marvel and then shut it down but not before importing and salvaging some characters into the 616 continuity. In the case of DC, what they do is...they made their Ultimate Marvel (i.e. Silver Age DC, and later Post-Crisis DC, and later New 52 DC) into the main DC universe.

    So DC had success being really contemporary to the moment of the 1950s zeitgeist but then when they do the later reboots there's often not much cultural context for it. Like COIE is essentially a giant housecleaning event, it's not trying to make some statement or express something about the '80s or '90s zeitgeist. The New 52 has less context, it was trying to do Ultimate Marvel a decade late and several dollars short.

    Fundamentally, DC's characters aren't meant to exist in a shared universe. They originated as standalone creations. And most of the time they work best solo.
    I think I misread some of the meaning of your post that I responded to.

    I certainly think that the casual reader who came back just to read the Wedding of Superman, and didn't really follow the new stuff at the time, was reading Superman's entire history into it all the way back to the vague idea that he went back decades as a character to 1938 so this was a marriage decades in the making. For others, it was the marriage of a restart version of the character.

    I would say that, on a practical level, the restart was needed if only to get attention and get readers back. Marvel caught on early to the fact that kids were not reading comics anymore and to the necessity of adapting to the fact that they needed to keep the readers they already had by making the stories for an older and older audience albeit that too has an expiration date but one far down the road at the time. DC did not adapt quickly enough (this is from the point of view of my age and how things affected me). By the time they did, they had lost too many readers who did not know they had started adapting to an older crowd because those people were not reading DC anymore. So they had to do something drastic to get people to "Look over here".

    Even at that, I would have dismissed DC's "Crisis" as a lame imitation of Marvel's "Secret Wars". At that exact time, the general attitude was that DC was just following Marvel a day late and a dollar short, imitating them but too late as always. But a friend of mine read the Crisis and was on about how good it was so I looked at the restart and, at that age, thought it was good because it spoke more to my generation. More importantly, it brought my attention to the fact that DC was something I was interested in again at that age (late twenties). I also dealt with the reality that complaining comics should still be appealing to children was a meaningless debate because it ignores all of the reasons they moved away from appealing to children.

    So, I just went off an a tangent again, didn't I? LOL.

    So, I can't say restarts are WRONG. After all, I liked the Silver Age because I responded to it positively as a child and the Post Crisis because it did the same for me as a young adult. There is a certain nostalgia that creeps in with age to hold onto what you cherish from your early years. That's why you'll find older people want more to keep the Silver Age elements and a younger group the Post-Crisis and an even younger group something more recent.

    Also, Marvel has the same problem only from a different angle. For example, nobody really thinks 21st century Tony Stark is the same suave Clark Gable millionaire he was in 1963 with the same set of ideas and motives. Somewhat, sure. But I've even heard people say things like, "What do you think the conversation would be if the current Tony Stark meant the original Tony Stark?" That's way more than just thinking of current Stark as more recent, way more than Afghanistan instead of Vietnam and maybe 2013 instead of 1963. It's implying that, in terms of the core person, people don't accept that this is the same guy.

    On the other hand, on some core level, I can accept that current Superman is the same guy as the Silver Age Superman. The culture has changed. Times have changed. But, in every way that matters, this is the same person at the core of his being.

    I also like that, for the most part, the Green Lanterns seem to have maintained a lot of continuity. I haven't bought any recently but what I do have seems you could easily just ignore a little bit and pretend this was the same continuity including the original Alan Scot Green Lantern.
    Power with Girl is better.

  15. #45
    Incredible Member Zauriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post

    Also, Marvel has the same problem only from a different angle. For example, nobody really thinks 21st century Tony Stark is the same suave Clark Gable millionaire he was in 1963 with the same set of ideas and motives. Somewhat, sure. But I've even heard people say things like, "What do you think the conversation would be if the current Tony Stark meant the original Tony Stark?" That's way more than just thinking of current Stark as more recent, way more than Afghanistan instead of Vietnam and maybe 2013 instead of 1963. It's implying that, in terms of the core person, people don't accept that this is the same guy.
    Now Tony Stark's Iron Man origin started in a fictional Vietnam-like country called Sin-Cong. All the other Vietnam era stories like Flash Thompson serving in Vietnam were retconned to take place in Sin-Cong. The country was part of French Indochina.

    https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Sin-Cong

    Flash Thompson later served in Afghanistan or Iraq after he was discharged from the army. How often do discharged soldiers get to re-enlist in the army?

    Why would one of the world's richest men want to play superhero? Bruce Wayne had a good reason to fight crime. Is Tony Stark doing superhero stuff because he owed Ho Yinsen?

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