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Old 02-01-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
Solitaire1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
That's largely why I stopped reading comics. When I was young, it was a standard thing for each comic to have at least three self-contained stories per issue. As the stories grew in sophistication and the number of pages per issue shrank, eventually it became standard to have one story per issue; with a particular interesting storyline being an event that might continue over two or even three issues. But now stories are all multi-issue, and can start in one series, continue in a second, move the action to a third, and trying to determine where they will end must vex even the gods. What person with any semblance of a life has the time to sort through such confusion? Of those who do, how many have the resources to buy all the various titles necessary to keep up? Personally, I think this marketing strategy, designed to get people hooked into more and more titles, has backfired and is responsible in large part for the decline in sales over the years.

The only new comics I read these days are titles such as Papercut's Tales of the Crypt series and an occasional self-contained graphic novel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
A related issue would be when an author has a "crisis of continuity". Larry Niven is especially good at screwing with continuity, even when not actually rebooting his universe.
I agree that the massive interconnectiveness of comics has, on the whole, worked against them. It makes it difficult to completely follow any story.

Recently, there has been a small movement away from the massive interconnectedness. One series I'm current reading, "Doom Patrol," features The Doom Patrol and The Metal Men in stories that basically self-contained (they do cover multiple issues but only within this series). I hope this trend continues and becomes dominant.

But for me, one of the worst developments in comics are the continuing retcons (retroactive continuity) changes. For example, just since 1986 we've had the following retcons (this is just what comes immediately to mind):

- Superman was never a Superboy, now he was a Superboy

- Superman first met Lex Luthor when they were adults in Metropolis, now they first met in Smallville.

- The killer of Batman's parents never caught, now he was.

- Woman Woman was not a founding member of the Justice League of America, now she is.

- The Legion Of Super-Heroes (LSH) has had at least two complete reboots, and many continuity changes (Superboy as a long-time member, Superboy was a member for a short time, Superboy never existed, the current Superboy was a member for a time, the current Superman was a member as a teen).

- The Metal Men were originally robots, then they were originally human minds in robot bodies (the source of their human personalities), then they were always completely robots with no human minds involved and their personalities come from the metals they are made of.

- The current series Booster Gold is involved with keeping history on track, and as a result has caused a number of retcons involving Superman, Batman, Justice League, and Green Lantern (just to name a few).

For me, the worst aspect of this is that I can't be sure exactly what is currently in continuity. Something that should be simple like "In what comic did Deathstroke The Terminator first meet the Teen Titans?" isn't that simple (it was originally "New Teen Titans" #2 but the Booster Gold series mentioned above changed this).
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