Thursday, July 12, 2007

Retcon mania

Don't like the current characterisation of your favourite hero? Has she been turn into a whiny brat? Married a complete jerk? Quite literally lost her head to become the latest sacrifice to the god of crossovers?

Chill. It's cool. Just wait a while. There is nothing in comics that can't be fixed. Then screwed up. Then fixed again, retconned out of existence, brought back again under the most absurd pretext and then broken again.

It's getting so there is nothing in comics that you can rely on as permanent.

Okay, sure, there will always be a Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Fantastic Four, etc. etc. but even the most iconic heroes have been messed around with. Superman will always have been sent to Earth from a dying world, but the specifics of that world change so much that I now have no clue what Krypton looks like or what the people wear. Batman's parents will always have been shot, but what was the movie they went to see and who shot them? And if it's currently Joe Chill, what became of him, and how many different ways has he died?

Retcons have become so run of the mill that they don't even wait for big events like Crisis now. The Supergirl of the nineties didn't go down fighting like her predecessor; despite having been a part of the DC universe for sixteen years or more she was dropped from continuity between issues.

But that doesn't mean she can't come back. In fact she did come back for two issues of Superman/Batman, along with the also kicked out of continuity Cir-El and some kind of idiot analogue of the silver age Supergirl, but they are all forgotten again now. Until next time.

So opinions please: can you think of anything in mainstream comics that can relied on not to change? And bear in mind that just because something hasn't changed for a long time is no guarantee it won't in the future. Bucky got to rest in peace for sixty years before he came back.


LurkerWithout said...

Will never change: Some fans will buy whatever comes down the pike from the Big Two merely because its the Big Two. Other fans will complain about those fans while STILL buying everything that comes out from the Big Two. And then some will sit around acting all smug because they only buy small press and/or manga...

Man, I hate those smug bastards.

Anonymous said...

Unless he made an appearance in the "Marvel Zombies" fiasco, I'm still betting Junior Juniper is staying dead. Of course, that's a big "unless".

SallyP said...

Bring back Ted Kord! I don't care how at this point.

Hale of Angelthorne said...

And it's gotten so the retcons are mostly over pidly details, too; certainly not Crisis on Infinite Earths material. Superboy punches the universe so Joe Chill gets caught? Uncle Wiggly chews holes in reality so Superboy was part of the Legion? There's no point to it, other than lazy incompetent writing.