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Subj: On the nature of continuity... [SPOILERS]
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:13:01 pm EST
Reply Subj: Boring is a word for ... [SPOILERS]
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 01:26:09 pm EST
The arguement is one that deserves discussion: "A critical part of Spider-Man is that he developes and evolves over time. That was clear even in Stan's stories. This is a DC-style, step backward, which is achoice that Marvel never used to make. It invalidates 20 years of stories."
Let me offer my perspective on this idea.
Continuity is not a worthwhile goal when it comes at the expense of the character.
There is simply MORE continuity than when Stan was writing and at some point, reconciling it becomes a categorically different challenge. Every issue, every arc, every development, every time marker makes it harder to pretend Parker hasn't aged. Especially when those time markers necessarily indicate a life changing, stage in human development like marriage.
High school and college are more differences in degree, relative to maturity, not differences in the TYPE of maturity one has. Do Spider-Man fans really expect that when we reach issue 10,000, all 10,000 issues will be treated as some sort of canon?
At some point, some of this continuity will have to be shed.
Stan, God bless him, NEVER faced this challenge while writing a major title.
Often times OMD haters try to pretend Parker hasn't aged, but regardless of what number you lable him with, he was being written as a man entering into his 30s if not older.
Ironically, when writers don't do this, marriage fans complain that Peter should know better, should behave better, should have learned...etc...
Its the fans expectations of Peter's behavior given his experiences (along with time markers) that age him.
Imagine, if someone had written a story that played Peter as being a newlywed, or making a decision that someone new to marriage might make. We would have fans up in arms: "They've been married too long for him to do or say that!"
I'm reminded of two reviewers who, in their criticism, revealed that they see Spider-man as older than his BND behavior indicated.
And THAT is the problem. At some point the stories, when full of big time markers, age the character just by their very nature. I argue that marriage is just one marker too many.
Two unavoidable creative realities: We need no more big new time markers that can't be easily undone and continuity will be shed every 15 years or so.
An interesting side-note: whether Slott and Queseda draw attention to it or not, BND is de-aging Parker. Oh they may, for the sake of continuity try to get around this somehow, but they clearly are writing him younger.
Good on them, says I.
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