The Big Picture: Continanity

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And that's why I prefer single story graphic novels compared to super-hero type things. The only two things I'm contemplating on reading are hellboy and "The Punisher" (from the MAX imprint, which one I hope is separated from everything else)

The true genius of Bruce Timm is managing to take all that mess and condense into a not confusing form.

I enjoy when Bob tells us about Superhero comics more than anything else.

It's just like a massive story rolled into 5 minutes of fun-tertainment. :D

This is why I never got into comics. No other nerd fandom takes that much work to get started, except for maybe tabletop miniatures.

A little help, please.
I have asked everyone I know who has read "Countdown to Final Crisis" (two people) why it sucked, and they never give me a straight answer. If someone can explain why, I'm all ears.

MB202:
Pirate Batman made my day!

I'm pretty damn sure I'm a geek now, because while I don't obsess over comic book continuity, I do obsess over (some) game continuity. I remember having a huge hissy fit when Nintendo didn't properly follow up Super Mario Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy 2, acting as though none of it ever happened. Which, if you've seen the ending of Super Mario Galaxy, you could probably make a guess about why or how that happened, but it's not like Nintendo's actually acknowledging it.

But I digress, neat video!

You're complaining about non-continuity in a Mario game?

Good thing I never got into DC comics, sounds like an expensive hobby.

Jay for DC history class^^

This is why I still watch the Justice league.

Its still a hellof a lot easier to follow then comics.

Pirate Batman is win. That's all that needs to be said.

I guess I'm the only one that remembers Zero Hour, where Hal Jordan became Parallax and used his God-like powers to destroy all of space and time so that Coast City wouldn't have been destroyed?

That was quite interesting because i've never got into "american" comics (can I call them like that I don't know *shrug*).
I'm looking forward to some more of this stuff, perhapes something about the marvel universe? :)

And I just watched the TGO: Episode 29 again which is a good addition to this one.

littlerudi08107:
Power Girl is a feminist!? Are you kidding me? Her tits are her super hero logo!

She's oldschool "liberation"-era feminist, i.e. "I should be able to dress like this and have it be no big deal, and if you look at 'em the wrong way I'll put you in traction." ;)

Believe it or not, her cleavage "logo" at one point had a feminist origin: Earth-2 Supergirl decided that wearing a girl version of her cousin's outfit was sexist and wanted a new look/identity. When Superman presented her with her new "grownup" costume, she got pissed because he'd still stuck "his" symbol on the chest; so she burned it off with heat-vision and just left the empty spot to make a point. I'm not sure where that was originally published, or if its still canon, but apparently that's why she looks "like that."

So goes the legend, her breasts are so big because a certain DC artist decided to keep making them slightly bigger each month to see how long it'd take for the editors to notice. By the time they did, they'd become her "trademark."

Ashoten:
Hasen't Batman had just about the most alternate reality/universe settings of all the DC heros?

I don't think so. The Flash and Green Lantern have become different people, retconned and murdered more times than I can remember. Batman, like Superman, has been around basically since he was created and has enjoyed a relatively streamlined continuity compared to some of the fuckwacky alterations some of the characters have gone through.

As a casual comic book fan, I prefer the one-shot stuff a lot more. I'm not sure what version of Earth Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman: The Long Halloween took place in, but that one encapsulated story of the origin of Two Face was better than any other attempt to explain that character (or most of the Batman cast for that matter) and it was unrelated to anything else that happened.

Sure, I guess you want something to keep people coming back each month, but people like me who pick up an issue of Batman one week and read that Bruce Wayne is dead will usually immediately put it back on the shelf.

Bob,

thanks for explaining that, was not a huge fan of any DC comic characters as a kid except Green Lantern. I never really understood all the fragmented stories. you made sense of that in five minutes flat. good onya.

One could argue that it's the very fact that the continuity is so convoluted that makes DC characters so outstanding. It's not so important to keep track of all the minutia of a character as the minutia are consistent to what the character represents. It's the adaptive nature of the DC universe that brings it to the 'old school' comic readers' table - they embrace the discrepancies in continuity by allowing for the expansion and contraction of an infinite number of universes.

I've come to expect a new Crisis every so often, because it provides the freedom to explore topics that would otherwise be impossible (like having Superman raised in Soviet Russia), without just saying "it never really happened." In these cases, DC seems to be saying "no matter what happens, Batman is still the goddamn Batman" - and in doing so provides depth to the classic versions of their characters as well as the updated ones.

Marvel had two universes last I checked (stopped reading shortly after the split), and instead of expanding the depth of the characters, it seems to have cut each one in half. This isn't to say I don't like the Ultimate universe, just that Marvel seemed to sacrifice the 'soul' of some characters to appeal to a new audience.

I liked the cowboy Batman more... >.>

Wow, Bob, I had no idea!
Pirate Batman XD

I'm glad there's at least one comic book fan who can see what we non-fans see when we look at these clusterfucks. I hate continuity with a passion. People give all sorts of weird reasons for liking mangas over American comics, but mine is much simpler: to know the entirety of the story of the Fullmetal Alchemist series, I need only read the Fullmetal Alchemist series. To learn the entire history of (say) Spiderman I'd need to read tens of different series, some spanning back to the character creation, and some being actually about some other character entirely. (And even though most of my comic reading is manga if you ask what my favourite series are I'll name Sandman and Transmetropolitan. Which are also a single series. Surprise surprise.)

Frankly I think the coherent universe thing of the two major publishers does more harm than good.

And incidentally I realized games might suffer the same fate. They don't suffer from this kind of... story incest, but suffer from the same thing in gameplay. A new Medal of Honor game expects you to use the grenade throwing you learned in Call of Duty and the cover combat you learned in Halo and the sniping you learned in, um, Sniper Ghost Warrior I guess. That's just as bad as the discovery that the big bad of this intriguing plot in this comic book is, dum dum dum, THIS CHARACTER YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE BUT THIS FOOTNOTE INDICATES HE WAS BANISHED INTO EARTH-42 OR SOMETHING IN THE ISSUE 78 (JANUARY 1986) OF THE ORIGINAL SERIES!

Awesome episode,but wheres my japan's new law on anime manga and video games?

Actually, wasn't there resistance to Crisis of Infinite Earths since it was first published as the creative teams on various books didn't want to have to deal with a company-wide reboot, so it never happened properly?

I dunno. I had been told that's what happened so these later crises are still dealing with the mess over twenty years later.

Personally, I find I like comics from a very narrow date from the late seventies to the early 80's. I'm sure most of that is nostalgia. But there was something to the art styles at the time that I prefer to the crap out today.

It's time for my medicine.

Geoff Johns needs to go jump off a continuity cliff he hasn't added a single positive thing to comics in his life.

Sorry bob I disagree. They all sucked. Every continuity breaking fixing series DC has done has just been boring as sin.

The ONLY thing worth reading in DC anymore? Elseworlds. Otherwise it's just a rehash of the same shit over and over and over.

Sidenote. REALLY REALLY REALLY looking forward to the All-Star Superman Animated film coming up.

All-star Superman was the last good DC comic. I miss seeing superman doing something other than beating somebody up or getting killed.

(Ok The new green lantern stuff is kinda fun but still meh!)

FUCKING PIRATE BATMAN

Oh, sorry... anyway, I keep thinking I want to get into comics, but then Bob comes out and starts talking about all this convoluted bullshit and I just... can't be asked.

Nice episode. These sort of geek culture things are what I like to see from Bob. I am less and less inclined to read the comics. I'll stick with cartoons and movies, thanks. :)

I understand comics so much less than I ever did...
...although if I was at least visual AND patient enough for print comics, I would probably have been ALL OVER these things my whole life. Oh, well. As it is, I've grown up being unable to tell what's going on in a still image (or an animation half the time)

..That was so confusing that my brain can't even function right with how in the world they came up with Batman going back in time as a Caveman and then a Pirate... the Alternative Universes are just jumbled up for odd story telling. Plus every character threw me off because I didn't really understand how in the world their purpose was about. Thanks for the review that was very interesting to see. Comics can be misleading to be truthful.

DC may be very cool and had it's moments, but overall it brought itself into plotholes so big it would be the Black Hole visible to the naked eye [If that makes any sense]. I enjoyed this video and I actually admire the cartoon of the Justice League, least it's story line isn't to far off and plenty of good actions, along with seeing different powers. What I don't get is why would Superman ever tear off a person's arm? He's to friendly and humble...*sigh*

Orekoya:
The biggest underlying answer to your question is that the current media setup wasn't designed to end. Ever. They will continue until they can no longer. The concept of starting a story with new characters and world isn't hard, but ending it and not going back? To the comic publishers/nerds, this is simply unthinkable. So even after the story has been bled dry, the publishers got to keep going for the next issue because that's what is demanded from them; no matter how much they shouldn't. And frankly you can't blame them because that's what their audience keeps asking for.

Yeah, well, I was rather thinking - why people still read it, i.e. create the demand. I can't fathom how someone can really read through 50 years of superhero stories...

Yeah, well at least they didn't have zombies running around....oh wait. Damn!

Seriously though, this is exactly why I compare Marvel and DC comics to Soap Operas. Every few years its new writers doing new (and sometimes old) things with old characters. So they have to re-write continuity again just so they can tell their story with the same characters, and have it so new fans can get in on the action and be caught up with in a few issues.

Pick a beginning, then pick the ending, then figure out how to link the two. Otherwise you turn into Lost and look like you have no idea what you are doing.

MovieBob:

littlerudi08107:
Power Girl is a feminist!? Are you kidding me? Her tits are her super hero logo!

She's oldschool "liberation"-era feminist, i.e. "I should be able to dress like this and have it be no big deal, and if you look at 'em the wrong way I'll put you in traction." ;)

Believe it or not, her cleavage "logo" at one point had a feminist origin: Earth-2 Supergirl decided that wearing a girl version of her cousin's outfit was sexist and wanted a new look/identity. When Superman presented her with her new "grownup" costume, she got pissed because he'd still stuck "his" symbol on the chest; so she burned it off with heat-vision and just left the empty spot to make a point. I'm not sure where that was originally published, or if its still canon, but apparently that's why she looks "like that."

So goes the legend, her breasts are so big because a certain DC artist decided to keep making them slightly bigger each month to see how long it'd take for the editors to notice. By the time they did, they'd become her "trademark."

But like everything, this isn't consistent. Recent Power Girl drawn by Amanda Connor is pretty mellow and reacts to people staring at her tits with weary bemusement.

CaptainCrunch:
I've come to expect a new Crisis every so often, because it provides the freedom to explore topics that would otherwise be impossible (like having Superman raised in Soviet Russia), without just saying "it never really happened."

Red Son didn't have anything to do with any of the Crises, though there may be something I don't know...which is a given if you don't spend a lot of time on the damn cape books.

Regardless, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. What do you mean "didn't happen"? Obviously Soviet Superman is incompatible with the main Superman series and in that context it "doesn't count", but that doesn't somehow invalidate it as a story, nor would the opposite be true. It's just a book about "what if superman landed in the USSR"? That's all you need.

My favorite Big Two superhero book is DC New Frontier by Dane Cook. The forward of the special issue he did later addressed this issue:

Hundreds of years ago they said the world was flat. Today, experts will try and tell you there are 52 worlds. The truth is there are infinite worlds out there and every year dozens more spring to life. The scientific name to describe this state is "fictional".

Amen, Mr. Cook.

I can't help but see tangley continuity screwing around like what DC's been doing for years as becoming obsessed with the structure of storytelling and letting it overshadow the storytelling itself. And that's terrible,

believer258:

MB202:
Pirate Batman made my day!

I'm pretty damn sure I'm a geek now, because while I don't obsess over comic book continuity, I do obsess over (some) game continuity. I remember having a huge hissy fit when Nintendo didn't properly follow up Super Mario Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy 2, acting as though none of it ever happened. Which, if you've seen the ending of Super Mario Galaxy, you could probably make a guess about why or how that happened, but it's not like Nintendo's actually acknowledging it.

But I digress, neat video!

You're complaining about non-continuity in a Mario game?

I know, depressing, isn't it? I got over it pretty quickly, but originally I was pretty upset.

Fronzel:

MovieBob:

littlerudi08107:
Power Girl is a feminist!? Are you kidding me? Her tits are her super hero logo!

She's oldschool "liberation"-era feminist, i.e. "I should be able to dress like this and have it be no big deal, and if you look at 'em the wrong way I'll put you in traction." ;)

Believe it or not, her cleavage "logo" at one point had a feminist origin: Earth-2 Supergirl decided that wearing a girl version of her cousin's outfit was sexist and wanted a new look/identity. When Superman presented her with her new "grownup" costume, she got pissed because he'd still stuck "his" symbol on the chest; so she burned it off with heat-vision and just left the empty spot to make a point. I'm not sure where that was originally published, or if its still canon, but apparently that's why she looks "like that."

So goes the legend, her breasts are so big because a certain DC artist decided to keep making them slightly bigger each month to see how long it'd take for the editors to notice. By the time they did, they'd become her "trademark."

But like everything, this isn't consistent. Recent Power Girl drawn by Amanda Connor is pretty mellow and reacts to people staring at her tits with weary bemusement.

CaptainCrunch:
I've come to expect a new Crisis every so often, because it provides the freedom to explore topics that would otherwise be impossible (like having Superman raised in Soviet Russia), without just saying "it never really happened."

Red Son didn't have anything to do with any of the Crises, though there may be something I don't know...which is a given if you don't spend a lot of time on the damn cape books.

Regardless, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. What do you mean "didn't happen"? Obviously Soviet Superman is incompatible with the main Superman series and in that context it "doesn't count", but that doesn't somehow invalidate it as a story, nor would the opposite be true. It's just a book about "what if superman landed in the USSR"? That's all you need.

My favorite Big Two superhero book is DC New Frontier by Dane Cook. The forward of the special issue he did later addressed this issue:

Amen, Mr. Cook.

I can't help but see tangley continuity screwing around like what DC's been doing for years as becoming obsessed with the structure of storytelling and letting it overshadow the storytelling itself. And that's terrible,

Fronzel:

MovieBob:

She's oldschool "liberation"-era feminist, i.e. "I should be able to dress like this and have it be no big deal, and if you look at 'em the wrong way I'll put you in traction." ;)

Believe it or not, her cleavage "logo" at one point had a feminist origin: Earth-2 Supergirl decided that wearing a girl version of her cousin's outfit was sexist and wanted a new look/identity. When Superman presented her with her new "grownup" costume, she got pissed because he'd still stuck "his" symbol on the chest; so she burned it off with heat-vision and just left the empty spot to make a point. I'm not sure where that was originally published, or if its still canon, but apparently that's why she looks "like that."

So goes the legend, her breasts are so big because a certain DC artist decided to keep making them slightly bigger each month to see how long it'd take for the editors to notice. By the time they did, they'd become her "trademark."

But like everything, this isn't consistent. Recent Power Girl drawn by Amanda Connor is pretty mellow and reacts to people staring at her tits with weary bemusement.

CaptainCrunch:
I've come to expect a new Crisis every so often, because it provides the freedom to explore topics that would otherwise be impossible (like having Superman raised in Soviet Russia), without just saying "it never really happened."

Red Son didn't have anything to do with any of the Crises, though there may be something I don't know...which is a given if you don't spend a lot of time on the damn cape books.

Regardless, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. What do you mean "didn't happen"? Obviously Soviet Superman is incompatible with the main Superman series and in that context it "doesn't count", but that doesn't somehow invalidate it as a story, nor would the opposite be true. It's just a book about "what if superman landed in the USSR"? That's all you need.

My favorite Big Two superhero book is DC New Frontier by Dane Cook. The forward of the special issue he did later addressed this issue: [quote]Hundreds of years ago they said the world was flat. Today, experts will try and tell you there are 52 worlds. The truth is there are infinite worlds out there and every year dozens more spring to life. The scientific name to describe this state is "fictional".

Amen, Mr. Cook.

I can't help but see tangley continuity screwing around like what DC's been doing for years as becoming obsessed with the structure of storytelling and letting it overshadow the storytelling itself. And that's terrible,

Elsewords imprint isn't apart of the 52 crap as far as I know. I think elsewords is more a chance to let artists take characters away from all that crap and focus on the story. Unfortunately if it gets to popular like Kingdom Come DC will mooch off it's popularity by squeezing it back into continuity or whatever they want to call the main crap they spew.

If you like New Frontier I'd suggest All-Star Superman which is cool because it does the opposite and gives you the end of golden age superman. Excellent story and art.

Skyy High:
Bat....pirate? W. T. F....

The idea being that the idea of a vengeance seeking guy putting on a mask to avenge wrongs outside of the law is fairly universal. The "Batman" concept can be applied to a lot of differant things. We've also seen things where you had a world of magic where it's the origin for all the heroes powers, except there is Batman who is the only guy who won't use magic, and uses science instead (sort of like how he won't use guns in the regular DC universe). We've also had "Gotham By Gaslight" set in the 1890s, and a 4 issue alternate universe called "Haunted Gotham" where Gotham is where all the demons, monsters, ghosts, and other nasty things live and are allowed to prey on people due to a deal with the rest of the goverment. The city itself being sealed off from the rest of the country. Batman's parents being part of a monster-fighting resistance cell, that groom him to be the ultimate monster killer before predicably croaking, various "big" creatures in the city are monsters themed after popular Batman villains....

Batman was invented in like the 1930s, and truthfully it's not surprising that he's been through more than just about any other character ever created.

Personally I always kind of thought that Batman was probably inspired by "The Count Of Monte Cristo", which is about a guy who is framed, escapes from prison, recovers a treasure hidden by another prisoner, and then trains himself into a killing machine and sets about getting revenge on the people that set him up. It's just that Batman, being designed for continuous story telling has a more nebulous enemy (crime in general) as opposed to an objective that can be wrapped up within a single story.

This is why I read manga... I mean at least they tried right and its all fun I suppose.

Still what few inderpendent DC and Marvel I have seen I have enjoyed. Justice Leauge on TV (the sexual banter between Batman and Wounder Women is really cute) and X-Men Evolution (Gambit you swarve mutha fudger) were both AWESOME!!!

Woah, comics are weird!

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