Comic Book Retcons That Were Ignored

My vote for worst (thankfully ignored) retcon. Like the name wasn’t any indicator…

I disagree. It varies by title, not by writer. The “real” Bat-titles maintain his secrecy (although this might have gotten screwed up by War Games), while the JLA/Outsiders/Teen Titans/etc. books do whatever. That doesn’t bother me, because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only fan of Batman who doesn’t regard the DCU-centric titles as being canonical for the most part, in regards to the Bat-universe.



You sure you looked?

Bah, none of those examples come even close. Not even within a country mile of close.

Well, I couldn’t rmember the issue Clone Saga started in.

I agree with Leaper, none of that touches the Lois Lane comic in sheer stupidity. But I have to ask, is “Giant Size Man Thing” the character’s name, or his <ahem> “super power”?

Miller and Leaper. What are you two, misogynists?

Misogyny may be stupid, but there are many different kinds, and degrees, of stupidity. The kind of stupid Johnny Angel is talking about is another thing entirely.

Askia wrote:

Not so much stupid as ‘bubble-gum.’ It would be hard pressed to compete with Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane in which Lois is obsessed with trying to get Superman to marry her, and apparently marrying everybody else in stead.

Pfeh. Not even the occasional Slyde or Humbiug were as lame as what apparently happened regularly in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, in which either Supes or Jimmy apparently turn evil every month.

Well, I’ll admit that the title Man-Thing makes me snort, but it isn’t outright goofy.

There was the Impossible Man, but he’s meant to be silly. And there have been some bad titles. In my own collection I have NFL Superpro #1 (I used to buy anything with a Spider-Man cameo). No, I’m still waiting to see where the Marvel Universe has sunk the the depths of stupidity that it seems once ruled DC Comics.

By way of getting back on topic, however, there’s a swell guide to the [Clone Saga/url] on [url=“”]Sam Ruby’s Spider-Man site]( It turns out to have had deep roots that I for one had forgotten about. Nonetheless, I prefer to assume it never happened.

Actually the “Batman is an urban legend” thing was ignored even while it was coming out even in the bat-books–Denny O’Neil had learned the term “urban legend” and decided to try to apply it to Bats–and everyone objected: including the Bat-book writers who pointed out that while that might have worked in Year One, it wouldn’t work any more: hell, he was on-camera in front of the UN in Batman beating the crap outta the Joker during the “death in the family” arc, Robin was giving interviews with reporters in Robin, etc.

It made no sense for Batman to promote the rumor either: remember, urban legends are fiction. Batman’s deal is “to strike terror into the hearts of criminals” with the goal of being a deterrent–he’s trying to scare them into not committing the crime in the first place. Which serves his goal better: A) “There’s no Bat-guy in Gotham. It’s all a myth like the one about the stoned babysitter who roasted the baby and served it like a turkey or the guy with the hook for a hand” or B) “There’s this huge f*cking bat…thing–in Gotham. Could be a vampire, could be a super-human, but whatever it is, if you even think about committing a crime in Gotham, it’ll show up and beat the crap outta you.”

What’s funny is that at the heights of O’Neil’s insistance on this, Morrison’s JLA became a best-seller and Morrison (who hated the idea) went out of his way to make Bats as public as he could (in the Martian story arc, IIRC Bats was on world-wide TV for example)

You want the honest []true]( [url) story of the Clone Saga? Here it is.

“The marketing ideas were interesting in that they tended to go for things that appealed purely to the dollar, without regard to story or fan reaction. One quickie suggestion was for Ben to get squashed by a Sentinel during Onslaught. They furthered the argument by saying they could do it as a special issue with a chromium cover and add real Spider-blood as the fifth color ink.”

"… major story line would end with both Ben and Peter getting caught in a terrible explosion. In the following issue, we pick up some days later, and reveal that only one of them survived. The problem is, the survivor has partial amnesia and can’t remember if he’s Peter Parker or Peter Parker’s clone! Since there doesn’t seem to be any way to fully restore his memories and allow him to be sure about his true identity, our hero decides to just continue on as Peter Parker. As it said in the memo, “The important thing to keep in mind is to have the amnesia over and done with in one story line… And now we proceed and never look back.”
“… still-pregnant Mary Jane would be missing. For a time, it would seem as if she’s dead. But enough clues of her survival would be dropped along the way that Spider-Man would begin to question whether she and the baby truly died. This would eventually lead to a whole new story line, “The Search For Mary Jane,” and when he finally does find her, she’s no longer pregnant, but has no idea what happened to the baby. That, then, could kick off a “Baby Quest” story line that would keep the momentum going, maintain the sense of mystery, and keep readers guessing. And what would the answers turn out to be? Nothing! The mysteries would never be solved”

Weird, I used the automated version.

E-Sabbath wrote:

So, it was designed to be ignored? Just a giagantic one-off WhatIffiverse romp? Ouch, the sucking.

Oh yes, that was an issue of Captain Atom. The story had Death taking Captain Atom to purgatory.

At this point I believe that Death had only made one appearance. If you read that one issue and made a more traditional comic book character based on what you learned of the character, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what Death was like in the CA book. For instance, the author had Death using to word “Supercalafragalisticexpialadocius” as her catch phrase. Very weird.

Wow, I’d love to find that issue of Captain Atom! Do you know which number it is?

Not off the top of my head. Let me see if I can look it up.

Here we go. Issue #42.

As I remember, it wasn’t a bad issue. It’s just that the Death stuff was … ill-advised.

Man-Thing was the character’s name. He had a series of his own as well as quarterly special issues with extra pages, hence “Giant-Size Man-Thing.” Man-Thing, as written by Steve Gerber, including the GSMT issues, was one of the best things Marvel published in the time period, BTW. Sophisticated, thoughtful, intelligent and emotionally rewarding.

Yes, Johnny, Marvel was much more sophisticated than DC in the '60’s, when the Marvel books tried to give the characters real personalities and problems while the DC books were all unabashadly goofy. In the '70’s and '80’s both companies puublished both types of comics, although by the late '80’s DC had easily outpaced Marvel in terms of sophistication with the British Invasion comics (Swamp Thing, Sandman, Animal Man, Doon Patrol, Shade The Changing Man) which became the Vertigo line in the mid-'90’s. Now, even if the DC Universe titles are sometimes silly (and actually right now they’re very adult, although some say not very good), DC still publishes Vertigo as well as a bunch of other comics for adults that they’ve imported from abroad.


I assumed he was referencing Gorko the Man-Frog, who was mentioned in the bottom corner.

Didn’t that used to be on another site? It stopped halfway through and I never got to read the rest. Thanks for the link!