Words

Retcons

Written on Sat, Apr 23, 2011 by Kyle posted by kyle

I’ve usually looked at the Retcon as a necessary evil when it comes to enjoying comics. The ability to simply wash away some old ideas or stories, unpopular events or even years of characters development.

These occasions are usually filled with controversy amongst the fans Whether the reason for the change was a good one doesn’t seem to always matter as much as the way the change is brought about. Its strange to see a situation where the ‘How’ is bigger than the ‘What’.

A perfect example is the returns of Jason Todd with DC Comics and Bucky Barnes from Marvel Comics. Bucky being kept on ice by Soviets for decades was accepted by fans far more easily than Jason’s return thanks to Superboy Prime pounding on the walls of reality and changing history in the present.

It seem like a major factor in the acceptance of Bucky’s return was how the means was more believable and still fit into the existing history of the Marvel universe. Bucky was kept frozen the majority of his life. Now decades later he has years of brainwashing and being isolated and messed with to explain his original return as a villain.

In Jason’s case a cosmic redo button doesn’t ever really go over well. You can see this similar reaction with fans regarding Spider Man and the ‘Brand New Day’ story that unwound Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s entire married life with one wish from Mephisto.

As much as people may complain what writers wish things into the corn field instead of fixing or dealing with the situations and characters they have through storytelling some ideas are just better removed quickly. Otherwise we can end up with characters like Forerunner (from DC’s ‘Countdown’) showing up again and again and again.

One Response to “Retcons”

  1. matt says:

    I agree with you on this Kyle, but Retcon’s need to happen to bring in new readers as well as be a good story. A very hard mix to manage.

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