REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #96 - December 2011 [spoilers]

Scott Eiler seiler at
Wed Feb 1 10:49:39 PST 2012

On 1/31/2012 1:48 PM, Adrian J. McClure wrote:

> The thesis that it's primarily the accumulation of backstory that
> drives away new readers certainly doesn't match with my own
> experience. I got into X-Men in the mid-90s, at the absolute height of
> its convoluity. For me, the vast and complex backstory didn't turn me
> off, it made me want to know more, creating another world to inhabit.
> Granted, I was never exactly a typical kid, being the child of
> academics who grew up to be a medievalist, but I wasn't the only one.
> This was the peak of the X-Men's popularity. Maybe kids are more
> willing to just roll with the confusion rather than having to have a
> story all figured out before they engage with it, I dont' know.

Backstory isn't an automatic turn-off, but how it's presented can be.

I got into Marvel Comics in 1978.  My very first issue was Fantastic 
Four #196 or maybe #197.  Mr. Fantastic fighting the Red Ghost, solo. 
Editor's notes mentioned why Mr. Fantastic was solo, and how the Red 
Ghost also fought Iron Man sometimes.  That got me going.  But I almost 
came to a full stop when I bought an Incredible Hulk issue and the 
Fantastic Four suddenly had five members instead of one.  Illogic, 
danger!  The fact that the Hulk issue was a reprint, was concealed in 
about one square inch of reprint notice on the front page.

Modern-day DC is headed for the same problem...  Does Superman wear blue 
jeans, or not?  Okay, the blue jean version is the younger, 
less-powerful one, so the one in the tights must be the modern one.  But 
he's having the Justice League's first adventure right now, and 
meanwhile the Justice League International assumes there's been a 
Justice League for years...  That's too confusing for me to care about.

So yeah, continuity is great, but you got to keep it straight and focus 
on the one or two storylines you want to tell right now.

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- ---------

Turns out I'm an anally-fixated oedipal paranoid with 
south-of-the-border schizophrenic delusions...  But never mind, I've 
found me the ideal job.  I'm going to run for President!

- Major Honey, scripted by Grant Morrison, Doom Patrol #46, August 1991.

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