Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Misery of Comic Book Mystery

I know there are some pale souls out there for whom the cross of comic book continuity is a constant source of annoyance or threat. I see it differently.

I will admit, though, that continuity is both essential to and the bane of the existence of comic book mysteries. Take Identity Crisis, for example.

Knowing Jean Loring's past and noting the images that included and lacked Batman's presence was essential to buying into the book's events and to solving them.
At the same time, the fact that there are jagged lines to continuity, in addition to the plateau's, means that flawed human beings* can write a story that accidentally veers from the path of established continuity. In a mystery that relies so heavily upon strict adherence to that path, there's no room for such errors.

The changes in people's costumes was problematic, in my opinion. For me, Wally West's Flash costume was drawn identically to Barry Allen's Flash costume, at the beginning of the story, but was not, at the end of the story.

Make of that what you will.

* - a very exclusive club, that sends membership cards to only those who are born with circulatory systems.

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