Friday, March 7, 2008

DC Retconning

I am not a big DC fan for many reasons. The first of those being retconning. Okay, so Batman's parents were killed by Joe Chill, right? Well, Pre-Crisis, Joe Chill was a hitman who took out the Waynes because he was hired to. Post-Crisis, I can't quite tell, but I think it was a random mugging. Post-Zero Hour, Batman didn't know who killed his parents. Post-Infinite Crisis, Chill did kill the Waynes and was arrested shortly after. What?

It all started with the Flash. By vibrating fast enough, he broke the border between dimensions and ended up in a world where he didn't exist, but Jay Garrick, the original Flash, did. After that, the worlds were established as Earth-1 and Earth-2. There were occasional events called "Crisis on Earth-(NUM) where NUM was whatever Earth there was a crisis big enough for heroes to go from another dimension to help out.

Crisis on Infinite Earths was the first major time where retconning occurred in DC. Trying to simplify everything, they decided to get rid of the DC Multiverse and make it all one Earth where nobody really knew about the other Earths that had existed. Instead, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen lived on the same world (albeit Barry died, but whatever, Wally took over). Both Keystone City and Central City existed on the same Earth, etc. Things were different, but people were happy enough.

Zero Hour came next. It had the subtitle "Crisis in Time", being a not so subtle hint that this was a follow up to Crisis on Infinite Earths (which I will now just call Crisis, as it is the Crisis). Zero Hour decided to unify all the separate timelines, such as Booster Gold's future, the JSA's past, the Legion's future, etc. In much the sane way as Crisis, it took many and combined them, and retconned everything to fit. It was not nearly as good a read as Crisis (which is really good), but it was okay, and served its purpose.

Identity Crisis was smaller, but I guess it was next. The retconning that occurred (they used Crisis, so retconning occurred), was mostly that superheroes has altered people's minds to keep their identities. Also, Dr. Light was an idiot for different reasons and some other small stuff. The most amazing DC story I've ever read, but all in all, not as big as a Crisis event.

Infinite Crisis. Wow, that is a subtle. It has two words specifically from Crisis. Anyway, this was major too. They decided, "You know what? I liked the multiverse! Let's bring it back! I know! Let's take the heroes of Crisis and make them villains!" Brilliant! Take the greatest good guys and make them supremely evil. DC's never done that before (Hal Jordan doesn't count?). Anyway, it is a fun story, but all in all, it really felt like a slap in the face. Basically, it made me feel that Crisis never really happened. The main part of Crisis now doesn't matter any more because they reignited the multiverse with the same freakin' characters that were heroes originally! Sigh...

Stupid retconning...


Aaron said...

LMAO so true, and now we have countdown to final crisis. wich im guessing will climax in the involvement of Mary marvel, and superman prime in some multiverse bashing spree. wow. i love prime but thats getting unoriginal.

Pi_3.14159... said...

Well, it better be the Final Crisis. Then again, Final Fantasy is currently up to XIII, and it hasn't been the final one, so Final Crisis probably won't be the final one. Too bad.

Amy said...

Yeah, retconning is, like, not cool and stuff. I'm glad there's less of it in Marvel. And I still think one of us needs to make that shirt with all the different ways someone can be brought back to life in comics.

Pi_3.14159... said...

Yeah, I think I'll start designing that. It'll be up in the Zazzle store soon.

Rian Fike said...

I actually love it. I gives writers a chance to retroactively mess with good stuff and fix up bad stuff. Than then, when the dust settles, it give the fanboys a lifetime of entertaining conversation!

Pi_3.14159... said...

At my comic store in Troy last Wednesday, there was a guy who was complaining. He was complaining because his twenty years of collecting Spider-Man was now all for naught. He felt that he might as well have gotten What if...? stories for all the impact those stories had.
Now, I am not quite as extreme. I enjoyed the comics even if most of them have now never happened (or happened in a different, never to be explained way). Still, though, I agree that I don't want all of my history to be thrown out the window. That is why I like Marvel for the most part. There has been one major alteration retcon that I can think of and that is One More Day. Yes, there has been retconning, but not major retconning. I mean, reviving characters is okay with me, but DC has had all of those different Crises, and if I pick up a random DC comic from some random year, I have no idea if that story actually existed.
For example: Hey, remember those issues of ASM, where Spidey fought the kid from his past who was picked on more than him? Eventually, that guy blew up Aunt May's house and Spidey, MJ and May had to move into Avengers Tower. Well, I liked that story a lot, as it showed a different side of Peter that...what? Oh, yeah. What story? That never could have happened because May's house was never destroyed.

Foilball said...

i totally agree with you Pi. bastard continuity is one of the main reasons i can't commit to DC the way i fully do to Marvel.

Foilball said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pi_3.14159... said...

Yeah, it is one of my reasons. The other is the power levels. Superman and Kryptonians are ridiculously powerful. Green Lanterns are ridiculously powerful. The Flash is (or at least should be) ridiculously powerful. Martians are ridiculously powerful. Looking at the JLA, we have:
Wonder Woman-RP
Batman-No powers
Martian Manhunter-RP
GL(Hal or Kyle)-RP
Aquaman-Not as powerful, but still fairly powerful

The Avengers have some people with a lot of ridiculous power, but not nearly as many as the main members of the JLA.

web counter