Sunday, April 05, 2015

Let's Rap about Continuity!

As I look back at my recent posts about Archie and Jimmy Olsen I realize that design of the New Archie character is basically the same as the 1970s design of Jimmy! I guess Archie Comics decided if DC wasn't going to make much use of Jimmy that they may as well go for it. And that's not the only thing Archie has appropriated from DC over the years. I'm talking about The Imaginary Story.

Of course I know that every story in a superhero or Archie comic book is an imaginary story, but I'm referring to the stories that fall outside of accepted canon. How many times has Lois Lane married Superman, after all? Sometimes it was a dream and sometimes it was a hoax, but sometimes it was an imaginary story. Oh, and there was that time it was a then-canonical story (and also that other time when it was the Lois and Superman of Earth-2!) Likewise a couple of years back, Archie married Betty. I mean, Archie married Veronica. That's the thing, it was never stated that those were imaginary stories or what, they just printed the things for the reader to do with them whatever he chose.

DC did this themselves in the early 1970s with the "Super-Sons" of Superman and Batman. Who were they and where did they come from? No explanation, and no labelling as imaginary stories. I found those issues of World's Finest Comics very confounding as they were being published!

I forget if it was Murray Boltinoff or Robert Kanigher (or both) who said that continuity would not rule out the telling of a good story. But then Kanigher himself worked himself up into a tizzy that a post-war Sgt. Rock was running missions with Batman over in The Brave and the Bold because creator Kanigher had not given the word that Rock would survive WWII.

Fast-forward to present day. It seems that both DC and Marvel are blowing up their respective continuities so they can tell whatever stories they want with whatever characters they want. I'll be watching and reading with interest and hope that the two companies don't go too far. Longtime readers might well feel cheated if something they like about a universe does not return; for example, the Green Arrow 'character' that debuted in DC's New 52 a couple of years back was a charmless cipher bearing no resemblance to the Green Arrow I had known for decades.

Anyway, rest assured that we have NO INTENTION of blowing up hayfamzone continuity. Whew!


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