Okay, obviously I haven’t been clear mixing the message with Smallville.
I’ve thought of one that I liked and that came from Marvel:
The Vision, sent by the Grimm Reaper to betray The Avengers. Eventually it turns out that his shell and basic programming is that of the original Human Torch (who wasn’t actually human, but instead an android) imprinted with Simon Williams brain patterns.
You don’t find this out all at once, and, in retrospect, retcon is probably not the best choice of words for what I’m talking about.
In most of the introductory material for The Vision, it seemed that he overcame his “programming” due to the influence of The Avengers and some basic traits. It isn’t until many stories later that we find out the rest of it. I believe some years later all of that is somehow wiped away.
The phenomenon I’m talking about, for lack of a better description is what I’ll call a “Harveism” after Paul Harvey because most of these read like “and now you know the REST of the story.”
The Vision Stuff is like that. That’s what the whole “Slim” and Alex (Alec?) summers lost when their parents’ plane went down. And it turns out their Father, assuming his wife and children were lost to the afterlife, decided to dedicate his life to being an interstellar adventurer. (This is one I’m not crazy about).
The Clark-Lex thing was never well played in the books and I don’t think they ever got it completely straight. The one I remember best is the Kryptonite cure, a fire in Lex’s lab, and Superboy putting it out with his super breath. And so, someone didn’t think of it until the mid-50’s or early 60’s Weisinger era books – the point is, it wasn’t part of the initial concept, but was added at least 10 years or more later after they found a character for Luthor. [Remember Linda Danvers best friend Lena Throul? Lex’s little sister, who was crushed when her parents moved from Smallville and she couldn’t see her big brother anymore? Didn’t she have some kind of mental powers as the result of one of Lex’s experiments gone wrong. ]
The Lex-Clark connection really never added to the relationship or the stories that were told. What’s cool about Smallville (though it has no bearing on the comic until somebody decides to start building it in because it is full of such cool ideas) is that it really does add to the relationship and deepens the intensity of what goes on and what will go on.
What about the “Imaginary story” in which orphan Bruce Wayne was adopted by the kind-hearted Kents. Imagine if this were somehow shoehorned into what passes for continuity in comics. Would that make you throw your hands up in disgust?
Am I being any clearer as to the kind of thing I’m interested in discussing here?