Normally, I would be writing the review of Green Lantern Corps, but a comment in yesterday's reviews has given me food for thought. I was doing my usual deeply moving review of my recent comic book purchases. You may not personally agree with my remarks, which is perfectly fine. Sometimes I'm thrilled, sometimes I am not...so thrilled. But I love my books, and I try to say what it is that I do and do not like.
Anonymous...and it is ALWAYS an Anonymous was pissy because apparently I had been moaning once again about the OLD Continuity, and how I miss it.
Have I really been doing that too much?
Continuity is a tricky business. I can certainly understand that it is both a blessing and a curse to the writers. On the one hand, there is this enormously rich and convoluted history that makes up the background to your characters. The groundwork has already been laid by the countless creators and writers before you, each one adding or subtracting, giving nuances, new events, new twists on old themes, and so on. It can be comforting in a way. But I can also see that for a bright new writer, all of that history can also be seen as an anchor. An Albatross around the neck of wonderful new possibilities. A new writer can want to come in and put THEIR stamp on this character...sweep away all that historical underbrush and start anew!
DC has a certain track record when it comes to dealing with their 70 plus years of history. The original Infinite Crisis was an attempt to deal with all the convoluted things that had been added over the years. To this day, people are divided over whether or not it worked as it should have. And as always, I can say that in some ways yes..and in some ways no.
We comic book fans are an odd bunch. And by that, I must include other fans of other genres. Can you imagine the howl that would go up if they tried to completely wipe out the history of Star Trek for example? The new series was a clever way to write new stories, and to update those stories for a new younger audience...but they didn't just take away all that had gone so boldly before. They embraced it, and included it...and the story is better for it. The same thing applies to Star Wars. There are all kinds of new tales now, and a history that has been inserted into the backstory...sometimes deftly, and sometimes less so...but still, those first three movies are still the lodestone of the entire franchise.
So...impelled by the need to punch things up...to compete with Marvel, to attract a newer younger audience, or simply because they were bored....the Powers That Be at DC, decided to toss aside all those precious years and years of Continuity. Oh, they kept bits here and there. You can't toss ALL the babies with the Bathwater! And I will freely admit that some of that old stuff is pretty ridiculous really. Do we REALLY want to admit that Hal flew around with a baby space alien on his shoulder for a while? Or that Hawkman has been five different people or something? There are certainly a lot more examples.
And yet...and yet, I can't help but love my old Continuity. I spent a LOT of money and a LOT of years learning that Continuity. To this day, I freely admit that I don't know all of it, and I am constantly surprised by things...which is part of the fun, frankly. Maybe it is because I was a History Major in collge. But when the company comes along and says, thanks, but everything you knew is wrong, and never happened, and look, Superman is wearing a collar and no red pants now...it is hard to just meekly shut up and go along.
Oh, I'm still buying some of the books. And I will also freely admit that some of the books have been pretty good. But...no Lois and Clark? Batman has gone through four Robins in four years? They're not disposable Bruce! Kyle and Soranik were never an item? Kyle and Jade were never an item? Guy didn't have a horrific childhood...just an average one, with vague feelings of discontent? Did Parallax even happen? No Justice Society, no Wally, no Donna, no Stephanie, no Cass, no Ralph and Sue, No Ted Kord. J'onn J'onnz is scary now insead of endearing. Wonder Woman is actually pretty fabulous, but her entire history is wrong and they killed Hippolyta AGAIN! No Wildcat...and that's just wrong. No boob window for Peej.
God, there was probably no Kari Limbo.
And everyone...EVERYONE is young and in their mid-twenties or something. THERE IS NO MA HUNKEL!
And that's just wrong.
So...am I being obsessive, as Anonymous says...or am I merely being petulant? You Choose!
Because without continuity, there probably wouldn't be stuff like this sort of thing going
on. And that would be a shame.