There is no continuity in the DC universe anymore. Each of there big name writers are off on their series paying a little or no attention of what’s going on and the rest of the DC universe.
I do find it aggravating because I personally think how is this story happening while this story is going on then it’s like wait how does this other thing for with those two. And this ultimately leads me to not care about the majority the comics. I joke that when it comes to DC every thing is canon while nothing is canon but sadly I’m starting to think it’s actually the truth. If they want to give a writer free rein in a story then give them a mini/maxi series and make it a Elseworlds story.
I’m not a believer of every thing being one big continuity makes it harder for new read or returning readers to jump in either. With all of the resources at people’s disposal getting into comics should be easier than it has ever been. Not to mention getting back issues and trades with those back issues/stories is easier to get now than ever before.
I think between the relatively small amount of time between “crisis/reboots” what with flash point, new 52 and rebirth, doing some things that aren’t all interrelated is a good idea. Establish each character (or team) as their own, let them have a few story arcs that are theirs alone and create individual continuity and history, then work on establishing main line continuity and stop having a crisis/reboot every few years. Let the characters run and see where the go. It’s how we got the silver and Bronze Ages.
I like a little continuity, but too much of it just ties down creators. And event comics can just die, as far as I’m concerned.
Not particularly. Continuity usually results in events and universe reboots that make it impossible to do a normal monthly series. You gotta give a series a chance to grow and develop new characters and plotlines without having to tie into every summer event. It’s crippling for the creatives, results in subpar books, and hurts the industry in the long term.
I’m not asking for everything to interconnect, but it would be nice if they didn’t contradict each other, either. This doesn’t make continuity easier to understand, it creates more confusion. If Batman’s doing something and Superman’s doing something and those don’t have anything to do with each other, that’s great. But if what they’re doing clearly and explicitly can’t be happening at the same time, some explanation is warranted.
I prefer it when the creators get to do what they need to to make good comics. If that means a deep dive into old stories, so be it. If that means ignoring what’s come before, that’s just fine, too. I will say that these days I read a lot of indie comics to escape the curse of the editor and get unfiltered expression from the creative team, and a lot of my favorite series are very stream-of-conscious (Starman, Invincible, Strangers in Paradise, etc.), and I tend to almost enjoy that more than a tight story.
I agree 100% BatJamags. And as far as event comics go I was tired of them 15 years ago give or take. I also don’t expect 60-80 years of history to be canon either. I’ll also agree that if a writer can take a story idea from 1951 and rework it to tell a great story great. But if you have say Superman off world but also in a Justice League story at the same time, DC you got a lot of explaining to do. And I know this might be a unpopular opinion but the characters and story should come before what the writer wants to do. If a writer doesn’t feel they can work within the confines of the story and you really want them to write a certain character then give them a Elseworlds book and let them go for it. I do want to be clear if a writer can bring a idea in that retcons something and it makes sense I have zero problem with that.
To answer the original question “Does anyone care?”…yeah plenty of people obviously do. Do I personally care? To a degree. I enjoy it, but I don’t look for it. I like @Desade_Acolyte’s suggestion of running withe the characters individually and seeing where they organically meet down the road.
As far as current continuity…it hasn’t been difficult to follow through the three JL books. Each team dealing with a specific problem, with the promise that it will all tie in together in the future. Not sure when the events of the individual books (Superman, Batman, etc) take place relative to that big Justice League narrative…but I don’t stop to think about it too much.
At the end of the day, I read comics for fun/entertainment, so I may not take it all as seriously as the next comics fan. Are there inspirational stories or ones with real life relevance? Stories that one can appreciate for more than their entertainment factor? Sure. But in that case continuity is not a concern for me at all.
I feel I should add that editors shouldn’t be able to just dictate your going to write this and you can leave your ideas at the door. I very much think it should be a collaboration between the editor, writer, artist and whoever else is involved.
To misquote Terminator 2, “There’s no continuity but what we make for ourselves."
Comics have never really been perfectly integrated in their canon. Retcons and reboots are the rule not the exception. I love continuity and think it’s a strength of the medium, but loving something sometimes means looking past it’s flaws. I’m not sure if it’s truly worse than it’s been in the past.
I think it’s more noticed than in the past with the advent of digital comics. It’s easier to go back a few issues or cross check against this story of another tangential character against some other character. As opposed to having to dig through your boxes of comics and look for specific back issues.
Also comic book time us kinda like soap opera time. It’s non-linear. So a Superman story and a Batman story aren’t really taking place at the exact same time just because they are released the same day/month. Some stories play out several weeks in one issue and only a few hours in another. So non-linear time exists.
Good story will always outweigh canon to me. Following canon often means we get retreads and mediocre story telling. Why stifle someone’s creative vision with the past?
With characters that are 80 years old (heck, even 40 years old) their history matters.)
Why shouldn’t a good storyteller be able to tell stories about complex characters that always have certain traits? If Batman isn’t a compulsive, due to childhood trauma of losing his parents, would he even be Batman? If BW grew up with his two parents still alive and kicking, would he be Batman? Somehow I doubt it.
I mean, if Kent Allard/Lamont Cranston (Shadow), John (Lone Ranger) and Britt (Green Hornet) Reid, and Don Diego de la Vega (Zorro) can do it without a Crime Alley experience, I’m sure Bruce Wayne could get off his billionaire butt and fight crime without dead parents.
If Linkara’s experience is anything to go by, readers aren’t that put off by continuity. He’s mentioned on his show that his old “Continuity Alarm” gag kind of got phased out because people were genuinely interested in the history pertaining to book he was reviewing.
I’ll add that there are some restrictions that make writers more creative. To borrow an example from a book I read once, tell a writer to tell a story about someone going to the store, they could just have them drive there, drive back. But tell them that the character’s car is in the shop, they have no bicycle, and the only path to the store not blockaded is one through a wooded area, then you’ve got the makings of a more interesting story.
Of course, there are some writers and editors whose “creative vision” should absolutely be stifled, when it’s more about showing themselves off than staying true to the characters and their histories. [angrily shakes fist at Tynion]
I’m not saying he couldn’t become a crime fighter. But would he be Batman and the world’s greatest detective. Without the trauma, where does his OCD to fight crime come from?
It does appear that Scott Snyder, Tom King, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, and to a lesser extant Josha Williamson and Adam Glass are uninterested in what any of the others are doing.
I was okay with not paying too much attention to continuity until recently. I lost my mind when Tim Drake was stuck on Gemworld with Young Justice, briefly left to help and get punched by Batman, and then was sudden stuck again.
I believe Len Wein said continuity ties your best writer to your worst writer. I just want a good story which includes the spirit of the character. That spirit is the continuity that I’m looking for.