Well, do you also remember the comic where Thanos was chasing down the cosmic cube on his ridiculous-looking Thanos-Copter? This major baddy, who one-manned the entire Marvel U & literally courts Death, was brought down by The Cat & Spider-Man and then escorted by the cups… in handcuffs!
How about Nightcrawler, everybody’s favorite demonic looking teleporter? Do you remember how it was revealed that his priesthood was a false memory that was implanted as part of a plot to overthrow the Pope?
That still hasn’t been explained away from continuity either. And like a traumatic experience we all just tried to forget about it.
And that’s the big secret of comics folks, how the lie of nonstop monthly adventures where characters evolve and every action has consequences is perpetuated, by self-induced amnesia.
I can go on to list more. Wolverine’s real name revealed by a leprechaun. Professor X’s time in space as the Bald Phoenix. Don’t even get me started on DC stuff.
For all our arguing about the 52 revamp and character power classes, the universe(s) these characters live in is less comprehensive and definitive than a lot of us seem to act.
It is really less rewarding to treat these works like the study of history. It’s better to treat it like the study of folklore. Think about how many Robin Hood or King Arthur stories are out there. Technically they all exist in their self-contained world but man how often they are retconned.
I’m not asking for an end to continuity. The illusion is great and part of the appeal of comics today.
But like a magician’s trick, we all know the bunny is somewhere already. The question is can the magician do the trick well enough, perform a well-crafted play, to make us for an instant forget and enjoy his or her work of fiction.
Cesar R. Bustamante Jr.
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