Quotes: Cerebus Retcon

Fiction

Elliot: "We got magic through anime style martial arts?!"
Mr. Verres: "Don't interrupt. And technically, yes, you did."

Fooker: Nick and I could go raid his apartment again...
Nick: Um, no... although knowing you were a secret agent casts that incident in a new light...

Mysterion: You think your power is a curse?! Let me tell you something about curses, buttlicker! Because there are some superpowers that make yours look like nothing! Trust me, I know.
Hindsight: Wha-? What is your power?
Mysterion: I can't die.
(beat)
Mysterion: I've experienced death, countless times. Sometimes, I see a bright light. Sometimes, I see Heaven, or Hell. But eventually, no matter what, I wake up in my bed, wearing my same old clothes. And the worst part? Nobody even remembers me dying! I go to school the next day, and everyone is just like, "Oh, hey Kenny," Even if they had seen me get decapitated with their own eyes. You wanna whine about curses, Hindsight? You're talking to the wrong fucking cowboy.

Eddy: I made it all up, Double D. Everything about my brother was a lie. I just made things up so people would like me; think I was cool. But boy was I wrong! The scam, my brother, this...When am I going to learn, Double D?

Reviews

'Ooh, you're just like me, Spider-Man!', [Carnage] burbles, 'Secretly, you also want to murder all those criminals you catch!' But instead of saying the obvious thing, 'No, I don't, you fucking weirdo', Spider-Man weakly concedes that he may have a point.

You wot? Can't say I've ever gotten that particular vibe from Spider-Man: that all his joking around and rescuing people is merely an outlet for his repressed psychotic murder fantasies!

'Crossover' brings on the same feeling as reading dark, brooding, overtly sexual fanfic based on a cheerful kids’ cartoon. By which I mean, it completely misses the tone of the original work it’s building upon. The Mirror Universe on TOS was scary and violent, but it definitely wasn’t dark and depressing like it is here. The people who served on the ISS Enterprise weren’t morose or angst-ridden, and other than, you know, the constant threat of assassination and torture, the Mirror Universe seemed like an exciting place to be.

Missing were the logical, peace-loving aliens we’ve grown to know and love as part of the Trek universe. In their place were a bunch of angry, pointy-eared, close-minded racists with an addiction to spray-tan and a penchant for murder and threats. In the show’s final season there was a last-minute, half-hearted attempt to reconcile all of this and turn the Vulcans back into creatures best known for their inability to lie... but by then it was too little, too late.

One of Gaiman’s advertising promises for his episode was that he wanted to have written a part for Matt Smith that would secure him an BAFTA next year...instead what we get is a schizophrenic evaluation of his character which seems to suggest that the Doctor is actually some horribly sexist old letch. In Steven Moffat’s world, maybe, but not mine (there was an interesting note in The Writer’s Tale where RTD notes that Moffat cannot help but write his characters as sexual beings, which might be another reason why he feels a little out of character on occasion during this era).

...Infinite Crisis, a series that was ostensibly meant to be a 20th Anniversary follow-up to Crisis on Infinite Earths that instead became a truly ludicrous pastiche. The main storyline began with Superboy-Prime literally punching continuity in order to 'fix' things and ended with the Golden Age Superman getting bloodily beaten to death. It was charming, I assure you.

Sue Dibny was the wife of Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man. The two were always the happy couple of the superhero set, with Sue often acting as den mother to the Justice League, and the pair did detective work on the side, like some sort of stretchy Nick and Nora Charles. Then came the Identity Crisis mini-series.

Right off the bat, Sue gets horribly burned to death in her home. The culprit is unknown, but based on the evidence, the League suspects it to be Dr. Light. Now Doc Light is usually a D-list villain... but we find out through a flashback that one day, when Sue was hanging out on the Justice League satellite (by herself, in space), Dr. Light somehow managed to get aboard. Yes, a supervillain had somehow gained access to the League's high-tech HQ (in space), and that was when he decided to rape Sue to within an inch of her life. The League showed up soon after to pull him off of her, but the damage was done, and they had to blank Sue's memory to make her forget it. I wish they could do that to my memory—when I close my eyes, I keep seeing Dr. Light's rolling eyeballs and wagging tongue as he violates a minor character who never hurt anybody.

Retconning became a fairly big trend in comics that has continued to this day... One consequence of this is the retroactive 'darkening' of superhero comics from bygone days. This is most evident in the now-infamous Identity Crisis, in which we see an old rape of Sue Dibny, one which never had any impact on the Dibnys themselves... Rape was also inserted into Felicia Hardy’s past and used as a motivation to her becoming the Black Cat. As ugly as these incidents are, they stem from the 'grim-’n'-gritty' turn comics took in the mid-1980s as much as the obsession with retconning.

It's as if current DC editorial can't stand the thought that there was ever a lighthearted story in their history, and rather than leaving them alone as a valuable counterpoint to the darkening of the DC universe, they're determined to force them into this new paradigm, whether they fit or not, and no matter what damage is done to the old stories in the process. It'd be one thing to just say that Max went rogue, but to assert that he was always engaged in this sort of activity, in direct contradiction to his expressed thoughts when first published? Doesn't work for me, and makes me buy into the whole premise all the less.