The Big Picture: Continanity

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Who DOSEN'T love Power Girl?!

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She kicks Supergirls ass!

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Frozen Donkey Wheel2:
I have only three words:

Bat pirate. AWESOME.

I liked the Bat Caveman best. Looked more bad-ass.

But Bat-Pirate was also cool.

OT: Yeah, my only problem with comics is that whole big fucking weird continuity thing behind them.

I'm not saying continuity is bad, but Comic continuity is weird and confusing.

Someone should probably try making new characters and teams.

Draconalis:

Boba Frag:

Marvel are doing him to death though. I love Deadpool but they've run characters into the ground before... Enjoy him while he lasts.

It's true... but that's why I've stopped reading most of the side series'.

Fair enough, then! Haven't been picking them up either so I guess he's safe in that regard :P

Merry Christmas, my fellow Escapists.

That goes for every one in the 52!

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:
I have only three words:

Bat pirate. AWESOME.

Same fucking thought! Pirate Batman. I mean that's right up there with the gun that shoots shurikens and lightning dude xD

edit: wait a minute. How about a pirate ninja Batman with a gadget that shoots shurikens and lightning? Uhm. Stay right here, off to trademark that idea...

Btw love how these episodes basically throw us a history lesson on geekdom ^^

300lb. Samoan:
Thanks for explaining... as a casual fan I've always been curious about the multi-verse and how it came to be and why... consider that curiosity stomped dead. As big as I am on multi-dimensional concepts this sounds like wayyyyy to deep of a rabbit hole to throw myself down.

Nexus4:
Umm... Shouldn't the title be 'Continuity' and not 'Continanity'?

Continuity + Insanity = Continanity. It's listed in the Earth 3 version of Webster's Dictionary. :D

Continsanity would have made more sense. I thought it was a typo at first.

RTR:
Is there anything comics can't do?

Tell a straight forward story without any plotholes, maybe?

lol

Love, love, love this video Bob. I'm a very casual comic fan. Very casual. But I've always been interested in the history and what went on and how this all got where it is. You're right; it's bloody confusing to an outsider. I really appreciate the concise history lesson on the subject. I hope you talk about it more in the future.

This is why I love DC comics so much. The shit that goes down is SO INSANE. Like in Trinity when Supes, Bats, and Wonder Woman become gods. Why? 'Cause it's fuckin' DC.

I have to say, I'm really digging the Big Picture series that MovieBob is doing. Doesn't matter if I agree with the rants he does or not, at least he puts some thought into what he's saying before he goes public with his opinions. That's something that not many scientists, corporate spokespersons, or politicians can actually claim.

Rock on, Bob.

The reality was DC didn't plan their After Crisis universe very well and you had books like Legion of Superheroes going on as if the Earth-1 past was still valid. Worse yet they had Cosmic Boy come back in time to find out the history the Legion knew as wrong and that Superboy never existed despite still being a member. The explanation for THAT was just as poorly thought out with it being explained as either a reality saved from Crisis (LSH books) or an created artificial timeline (Superman books) via the Legion's old foe the Time Trapper. So the multivere was back in limited form not even nine months after it had been destroyed.

Then came the OTHER problem with the After Crisis universe - not all the books rebooted at the same time and it was never made clear just what stories still existed. So when Hawkworld came out rebooting the Hawks all the Post-Crisis appearances had to be explained and you wound up with what is generally regarded as the biggest continuity headache in comics with possibly the exception of the Dark Phoenix over in Marvel. It was such a mess that no one long time fans, newcomers, or even writers and editors could look at the thing and not get a mammoth migraine.

Marvel is just as bad if not worse. The convoluted mess that is Dark Phoenix has already been touched on and then you have Doctor Doom, the Avengers, Wolverine with his long standing to the point of joke "what is my history this month?", Spiderman with the clones and that horrid deal with the Devil plot device, and the list goes on even longer than DC and this all within what is supposedly ONE universe ONE timeline.

This is completely why every time I look at a Marvel or DC comic I can't make the decision to actually pick any up.

I prefer my web research into the complications of characters' lives, and how they separate out all the different story arcs or universes so I don't have to. I never know what I'm really picking up when I look at the current issues.

I realized a long time ago, that the TV versions that made me interested in comic characters as a kid, are pretty much their own universe. There is no real way of telling what and sometimes who you're actually getting with comics anymore.

SapphireD910:
This is completely why every time I look at a Marvel or DC comic I can't make the decision to actually pick any up.

I prefer my web research into the complications of characters' lives, and how they separate out all the different story arcs or universes so I don't have to. I never know what I'm really picking up when I look at the current issues.

I realized a long time ago, that the TV versions that made me interested in comic characters as a kid, are pretty much their own universe. There is no real way of telling what and sometimes who you're actually getting with comics anymore.

Very true. Just take a look at either Spiderman or Wonder Woman--both of their histories regarding the mainline universe is such a botched up mess that writers and editors are doing an ignore it an hopefully it will go away approach to address the mess they have allowed to happen.

Explains it much better, these videos really make you more knowledgeable of stuff.
Thanks Bob!

el_kabong:

300lb. Samoan:
Thanks for explaining... as a casual fan I've always been curious about the multi-verse and how it came to be and why... consider that curiosity stomped dead. As big as I am on multi-dimensional concepts this sounds like wayyyyy to deep of a rabbit hole to throw myself down.

Nexus4:
Umm... Shouldn't the title be 'Continuity' and not 'Continanity'?

Continuity + Insanity = Continanity. It's listed in the Earth 3 version of Webster's Dictionary. :D

Continsanity would have made more sense. I thought it was a typo at first.

Contu-inanity

Inane: One that lacks sense or substance [Latin innis, empty, lacking sense.]

Really continuity is just the tether the big two use to keep on herding the masses of their devout followers. Dwayne McDuffie (Static Shock's creator, writer and producer for DCUA) has vouched for a laxer take on continuity time and time again, basically nothing is continuity unless it's alluded to on the book you're reading right now. Of course that's flies on the face of the big two's business of selling a story hundred of pages long spread over several series, miniseries and one shots that doesn't even mesh that well once put together.

My advice, screw continuity, read what you like and only what you like. Fortunately there are one shots, imprints that have the decency of staying in one book like Vertigo and indie publishers and like a poster said above: Comics aren't exclusive to the US.

This explains why whenever I wiki a favorite DC character of mine, hours of my life go by reading the pages and sublinks trying to make sense of them all.

DC characters seem to get a new origin story every 10 years, I swear. You read comics from the 90s & 80s & you'll find all sorts of minor things that have been silently retconned. Take the
Joker for instance & compare him now to the way he was in Legends of the Dark Knight; might as well be a whole different person.

I am going to jump in and say that some of the weird insanity is why I love comics, Indie and Mainstream. Continuity can get a bit frustrating at times but we have Wikipedia now, it shouldn't be too big an issue.

This continuity issue is pretty much why I don't read superhero comics, although it's also because they aren't a big thing in my country anyways.

With manga, you don't have to ask yourself "Where do I start?" because it's piss easy: you pick up the first issue and go from there. Also, with scanlators comes the ease of sampling a series before picking it up, not to mention that publishers act as quality filters that ensure that not all samey shoonen comics from Japan are there to throw you off. If you really desperately need a series that hasn't been published here or if publishers give up on one that you're reading, you can usually buy imports from USA or someplace else.

I do read western comics, though, but sadly, the kinds of comics I do have a taste for tend to be pricey so I actually read most of my western comics at libraries. While manga is sold as small but thick booklets at a palatable price at the cost of print and paper quality, most western comics sold at bookstores come as large hardback copies or albums, all with big glossy paper and boy do they cost a lot... Also, the newest in almost any currently published manga series can be found from your nearest kiosk or grocery store, while only the big bookstores and specialised stores hold comic books and albums that are actually good.

If more western publishers went for a similar format as manga does, I'd probably buy western comics a lot more, even the superhero kind. But, as things are now, they're all-around inaccessible thanks to continuity and format.

I don't want continuity, I want a good Batman story. Hush us a cool Villain but Batman: Hush completely sucks

This is why most serialized comics suck. My favorite is The Goon, and the only crossover events were with Dethklok and Hellboy. Both were done for shits and giggles.

Lol you showed the panel that says "Forget Countdown it wasn't important" on the black board XD

Verp:
This continuity issue is pretty much why I don't read superhero comics, although it's also because they aren't a big thing in my country anyways.

With manga, you don't have to ask yourself "Where do I start?" because it's piss easy: you pick up the first issue and go from there. Also, with scanlators comes the ease of sampling a series before picking it up, not to mention that publishers act as quality filters that ensure that not all samey shoonen comics from Japan are there to throw you off. If you really desperately need a series that hasn't been published here or if publishers give up on one that you're reading, you can usually buy imports from USA or someplace else.

Manga can have as confusing storylines and conflicts in continuity as anything put out by the US. Try and make sense of the Sailor Moon manga continuity sometime--it makes the Hawkman mess look understandable by comparison and is worse than its anime counterpart.

Tenchi (which started out as an anime) has no less than 13 (!) more or less "official" continuities making it on par with any US comic book you care to name.

I should mention that most manga series are LONG. Sazan (3x3) Eyes is a 40 volume 15 year spanning series. Hellsing is a somewhat confusing 10 volume 11 year spanning series. Worse, some manga series never really end (Ranma 1/2 case in point. After 9 years it left things at status quo not resolving anything.)

Unless you have shorter sub arcs (which Hellsing really doesn't) there are not many series you can just pick up an issue and have a reasonable idea of WHAT is going on.

Finally while anime tend to follow manga closer than US cartoons follow their source material they still go off the rails much of the time producing story arcs that never existed or in the case of the Hellsing TV series making up their own continuty.

In those respects you can have MORE problems with a manga series than with a US comic series.

maximara:

Verp:
This continuity issue is pretty much why I don't read superhero comics, although it's also because they aren't a big thing in my country anyways.

With manga, you don't have to ask yourself "Where do I start?" because it's piss easy: you pick up the first issue and go from there. Also, with scanlators comes the ease of sampling a series before picking it up, not to mention that publishers act as quality filters that ensure that not all samey shoonen comics from Japan are there to throw you off. If you really desperately need a series that hasn't been published here or if publishers give up on one that you're reading, you can usually buy imports from USA or someplace else.

Manga can have as confusing storylines and conflicts in continuity as anything put out by the US. Try and make sense of the Sailor Moon manga continuity sometime--it makes the Hawkman mess look understandable by comparison and is worse than its anime counterpart.

Tenchi (which started out as an anime) has no less than 13 (!) more or less "official" continuities making it on par with any US comic book you care to name.

I should mention that most manga series are LONG. Sazan (3x3) Eyes is a 40 volume 15 year spanning series. Hellsing is a somewhat confusing 10 volume 11 year spanning series. Worse, some manga series never really end (Ranma 1/2 case in point. After 9 years it left things at status quo not resolving anything.)

Unless you have shorter sub arcs (which Hellsing really doesn't) there are not many series you can just pick up an issue and have a reasonable idea of WHAT is going on.

Finally while anime tend to follow manga closer than US cartoons follow their source material they still go off the rails much of the time producing story arcs that never existed or in the case of the Hellsing TV series making up their own continuty.

In those respects you can have MORE problems with a manga series than with a US comic series.

I guess that's were filtering steps in: you CAN have those problems with manga, but thanks to our publishers either avoiding or not managing to get licenses for series that are difficult like this, there AREN'T any/many.

Also, while you may not be able to start reading from the middle of a manga and understand what's going on, at least you can actually find the first issues somewhere with relative ease. The nearest proper book store is likely to hold the first issues of the more popular series and larger bookstores and the publishers' Internet stores are sure to contain the rest. You don't have this luxury with western comics here, except the most popular comic strip albums.

I'll just keep reading manga and not read marvel and DC comics but still real random graphic novels

I've often pointed out on DC message boards that this confusing continuity problem is why comic books sell so poorly. The typical responses from fanboys have either been:

1) Comics can't compete with TV and videogames, etc., which is the real reason they are failing

2) If newbies are too lazy to do their research on Wikipedia, then they should fuck off.

Pffff, who needs continuity anyway.

...

Now that you've all watched this confusing explaination about the madness that is DC continuity, prepare to have your minds blown: that was a simplified, rough overview of all that happened when it comes to DC and the various crisis. We're not even going to get into the insanity that was the Silver Age.

Search "Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane" and "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olson" and see just how far the crazy hole goes.

I read DC primarily for how much I love this sort of thing. They take all the crazy sci-fi stuff I love and push it right past the limits. Is it dramatic when a character dies in a self-sacrificing way? then it's going to happen, probably several times with the same character. Is it cool when a character goes "beyond their limits" to protect someone? Than they'll probably be doing it every week.

Of course it's silly, but you have to approach the universe on it's own terms, just like with any other story.

Bifford:
I've often pointed out on DC message boards that this confusing continuity problem is why comic books sell so poorly. The typical responses from fanboys have either been:

1) Comics can't compete with TV and videogames, etc., which is the real reason they are failing

2) If newbies are too lazy to do their research on Wikipedia, then they should fuck off.

That is sad and untrue to some degree.

1) TV has been available since the 1950s and it can be argued video games hit their zenith in the last 1970s and early 1980s at which point they imploded. Comics as MovieBob (under Game Overthinker pointed) out in another one of his videos got big in the late 1980s early 1990s.

2) Wikipedia is only as good as the editors that put content put into it and it is NOT always accurate (information being left out or just plain wrong). Also thanks to what have become nearly constant reboots and retcons most characters make Sonic's history understandable. There is a REASON many long time Marvel/DC fans want to go find a good solid wall to slam their head against rather than explain the convoluted Rude Goldburg on acid mess that passes for continuity when one asks to explain the Phoenix Force or the Hawks and more you know the WORSE it gets.

Ugh, Superboy-Prime. Hated, hated, HATED him. Easily the whiniest, most self-entitled, overpowered, unkillable character I've ever encountered.

Did superman rip that guy's arm off for being too dark? Can someone explain that one to me please?

At the end of the day... They want more comics to sell... its not like TV where it goes till it sucks then gets cancelled. supply and demand.

Wow, that was an impressive report he gave there.

Over the last few months I've collected and read Crisis On Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis and allllll of the current Geoff Johns Green Lanten stuff (which is utterly fantastic) and now I'm currently reading Final Crisis (even though I've already read Blackest Night and not yet finished 52... yeah) and Final Crisis...is... weeeeeeeeeeiiird! Every page makes my brain hurt and every big shocking event (J'onn J'onnzz's death and Barry Allen's return are so underplayed, almost as if they're no big deal. It's certainly... an interesting read

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