One More Quote

Leave it to Alan Moore to succinctly explain (way back in the 1980s) the major problem I see with continuity-altering events like Crisis on Infinite Earths and One More Day:

I believe this is dangerous for a couple of reasons. Firstly, by establishing the precedent of altering time, you are establishing an unconscious context for all stories that take place in the future, as well as for those which took place (or rather didn’t take place) in the past. The readers of long standing, somewhere along the line, are going to have some slight feeling that all the stories that they followed avidly during their years of involvement with the book have been in some way invalidated, that all those countless plotlines weren’t leading to anything more than what is in some respects an arbitrary cut-off point. By extension, the readers of today might well be left with the sensation that the stories they are currently reading are of less significance or moment because, after all, at some point ten years in the future some comic book omnipotent, be it an editor or the Spectre, can go back in time and erase the whole slate, ready to start again.

Moore goes on to discuss whether or not throwing continuity to the wind is a good or bad thing, and weighs the pros and cons of both, but I was struck by how much the above paragraph is relevant to what’s going on in superhero comics these days.


Comments now closed (8)

  • This is exactly why character death holds no meaning to me in comics. They should have never brought back Bucky or Jason Tod or millions of other chars that have been brought back. Death should have meaning and it has none in comics.

  • Alan Moore is hairy and wise. He's right on with this. "Days of Future Past" was cool with the X-Men, but now there and over in the DCU, it is just way too much. The Infinite Whatever is so crazy I can't pick it up because I don't know all the history, changed or not. I only read this last one… and I already forget what it was named… and I'll probably read the next, but it really is them just screwing with stuff to make an extra buck when they think people are bored. Keep that in the What If… and Elseworlds books please.

    Oh, and the only character that shouldn't stay dead is… duh… The Phoenix, but even she was a convenient plot device.

    Speaking of Moore, anyone seen my Watchmen book? Damned if I can find it and I never lose anything!!! Gonna have to buy another one dammit because I didn't finish it yet! 👿

  • I'll say this…I do think that what they've done with Bucky is interesting. But what I think they should have done is skipped the whole Winter Soldier thing, killed off Steve Rogers and then have had a new Captain America show up. After a few months of this new Cap, we finally get the big reveal that it's Bucky.

    I'd rather Bucky have stayed dead, but if they had to bring him back, that's how I would have done it.

  • I think this is one reason why I’ve always hesitated getting into comics. Well, that and I didn’t have any nearby comic stores when I was a kid.

    I know if I was a regular reader and then one day on the whim of somebody they decide to negate everything I’d read up until that point, I’d be pissed! Just like when I found out in the last episode of Roseanne (yeah, I watched it) that it was all a story she’d written.

    Writers and whoever the people are who make decisions need to be more careful and not let a story go down the shoot and then decide to hit the big reset button.

  • This is why Alan Moore is the best comic book writer of all time.

    He takes comic books seriously, he understands comic books, he treats comic books like literature and he cares about the readers more than any other comic book writer.

    Alan Moore should be running DC or Marvel Comics. He has more than earned it.