Continuity is an aspect of the comic book industry that is really only of concern to collectors and fanboys. To the casual reader that only picks up the odd issue of Superman or Uncanny X-Men, breezes through it and moves on, continuity just isn’t that important. Being a collector and a fanboy – though not a zealot, as some can be – I have an interest in continuity.
Somewhat interestingly, it’s an issue that only Marvel and DC really need to worry about. Only they have been publishing long enough to have thousands of characters and decades of stories to keep straight. At the time of this writing, Detective Comics is up to #855. Action Comics is on #879. Batman is up to #688. On the Marvel side (overlooking the ridiculous numbering changes over the years), Amazing Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk both just hit #600, Uncanny X-Men is up to #513 and a few other titles are a couple of years short of hitting five or six hundred.
Even simply considering those main titles and ignoring every other related series, mini-series and one-shots, that’s a hell of a lot of issues. Now think about this: Superman and Batman have had at least two concurrent monthly series for a few decades, Spider-Man has had two or three for as long as I can remember, and the X-Men… don’t get me started. Wolverine alone accounts for half the books Marvel puts out, I think.
Is it any wonder that continuity is a mess at these companies? Fortunately, I have the answer to the continuity woes. I can solve it! It will take discipline on the part of the companies and a willingness to do things very, very differently, but it will make continuity problems a thing of the past.
Just think – no more Crisis titles from DC! [click to continue…]