False Memories and Comic Retcons

22 Apr

Today I was listening to Dave’s Daredevil Podcast, one of the many fine podcast produced by J David Weter, when he brought up something that really caught my attention. In the episode he was analyzing Daredevil #168, one of the seminal issues of Frank Miller’s Daredevil run. While going over the issue he kept making connections to Miller’s The Man Without Fear run he would do roughly 10 years after #168 in which he would expand upon Matt’s college experience’s with Elektra that we barely saw in 168. The idea that both accounts work with continuity despite being different is that Matt is embellishing the memory of when he met Elektra.

This really got me thinking about how many Superhero stories are told through flashback, and how many of them are probably filled with false memories of how the events happened. Matt is a perfect example in Daredevil #168. Here we have someone remember a meeting that happened 10 years ago. He comes off as a dashing lad, doing a back flip to impress this new girl. As Dave pointed out, he is building up this memory to more than what it might have been. This make it that much easier to fit The man Without Fear into continuity. The account we got was a memory which most likely was wrong.

This idea can be spread to other characters and how their retcons might fit smoother. Take Captain America. In issue #6 of the 2004 Brubaker run of Captain America, the Cap is revisited the castle where he had his last stand off before being frozen for so many years. During this run he is having his memories altered (we’ll just ignore that it might have been the Cosmic Cube interfering with Caps memories) but he also says that he’s having trouble remembering what actually happened and what he read in the many conflicting reports of the mission. After a while, it gets to be confusing as to what happened and what was read.

Something real world villains do is a thing called a cold reading. They prey on people who have recently lost loved ones by pretending to be able to communicate with the dead. They essentially trick the victims to reveal information about their lost loved ones, and then repeat it back to them as if it is information that they heard from the other side. The cold reader will fumble initially, making random guesses. Sometimes the victim will start blurting out information to help them out. Mere minutes between when the victim said their poor husband use to love cigars and when the cold read would say they husband just said how he loved to smoke cigars the victim has forgotten all about giving out that fact.

There have been cases where these sessions have been taped. The victim is asked what new information was brought forth by the cold reader, claiming that the reader was indeed able to make full contact with their lost ones. Then they are played the tape and shown that they did in fact tell the reader what had happened. Sadly, the victim is so fully invested in the narrative they have created in their heads they won’t even believe the tape show contrary evidence.

Thanks to J David Weter I am now more clearly able to mentally navigate the web of comics continuity. Whenever a character tells the story of what happened on an adventure we have to remember that their memories of that evens are probably entirely wrong. They have adrenaline flowing, making each step that much more filled with emotion than what it actually was.

It’s much like the Joker’s line in “The Killing Joke”, “If I’m going to have a past, i prefer is to be multiple choice!” It is up to us which facts we do and don’t accept. Entire comics runs may just have been a fever dream, like Morrison’s “Arkham Asylum.”  Maybe it all did happen as seen on page, which just makes it that much more fun to piece together!


Star Wars Just Has a Dominio Effect

2 Apr

Netflix recently added Star Wars: Clone Wars to the stream. When this show originally aired I didn’t get a chance to watch it, so it went under my radar. From time to time I’d hear about some news from the show. Perhaps a Darth Maul appearance, which sounds amazing, to even a cameo from Liam Neeson.

Day one of it being added I decided to watch an episode. It took no time for me to be hooked. This is the Star Wars that we were all hoping for. Good guys being unsure of themselves and learning confidence. Bad guys taking out their own troops in fits of rage. Every episode starts off with words of wisdom.

While watching I really started to get an itch to play some Star Wars games, particularly ones where you play as a force user. I say force user because, in my opinion, one of the best Star Wars games, Forces Unleashed, stars a young man that I don’t think is officially a Jedi or a Sith, despite being Vader’s apprentice. I do own both Forces Unleashed I felt I should try something different. 2014-03-29 18.42.34

“Onward to Steam!” I proclaimed loudly as my dog stared at me with a tilted head. Years ago I briefly played a game for Xbox that I felt might be able to scratch the itch I’ve been having. Jedi Academy. The story is essentially Luke starts a new Jedi Academy after the events of Return of the Jedi. You are a young recruit who has his own lightsaber. There were two of them released on Xbox, and I felt I might pick up the sequel after beating the first one. Well, Steam has a way with deals. Each game is $10, but if you get the bundle pack for $20 you not only get both Jedi Academies, but you get 3 other games. I figure if nothing else I’ll at least have the original game I came for.

Well, I haven’t played any of the other games yet, but Jedi Academy is just as fun as I remember. This time I’m going to try and actually get through it. I highly recommend it if you enjoy playing games with force users. It’s not going to be as smooth and action packed as Forces Unleashed, but you are still going to have fun. Sometime I’ll have to take a crack at game reviewing for those other games in the bundle pack. It’ll be fun!

Love the Service, hate the app

22 Feb

I had a plan with Marvel Unlimited that I came up with about two months ago. I was going to start with the Marvel Now #1’s and start reading several of their series onwards. With Marvel Unlimited constantly adding new comics each week it would give me some new stuff each week I could read! Then they updated Marvel Unlimited. It broke the system that allows you to view comics that came out in a certain period of time. This means that I can’t just view the comics that came out March 2013. Sure I could just pick a series and just read it until I get caught up, but that causes problems.

For example, Fantastic Four #5 that came out March of last year. It’s a tie in issue with the Age of Ultron. In the Fantastic Four issue, the FF leave to go fight, leaving their kids behind. The next issue they are back with zero mention of what happened. It’s very jarring. Now if Marvel Unlimited would have fixed their monthly view then I would have read Age of Ultron along with those issues and the Marvel Universe would feel more like the living entity it is. Instead I’m just baffled.

Seems like each time I create a reading project they foil me with either glitches in their app or giant holes in the runs. It’s given me time to get caught up on my DC reading, which went all the way back to last April. Now I’m just 2 months behind on that. After that I’ll just have to figure out a new reading strategy.

The Fantastic Four Movie casting needs to go one step further…

21 Feb

There’s been a buzz today about the casting of the new Fantastic Four movie in which the classically white part of Johnny Storm is going to be playing by black actor Michael B Jordan. Lot’s of hubbub about that, but I feel the real scrutiny should be placed on casting Kate Mara as Sue Storm. They should have gone one step further and cast a black actress for her as well. That way the brother/sister dynamic would still be there but then there would be the added dimension in the movie of having a mixed racial couple on top of that. Then in a future movie you would have a young Franklin Richards of a mixed race. All kinds of racial barriers would be broken.

Instead they decided to play it safe and just have one character be black. Well maybe next time 20th Century Fox you can put a little more thought into it.

Guardians of the Galaxy

19 Feb

The newest trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy hit last night. For some reason I keep finding myself just not caring about this movie.

There has been quite the buzz about it with other comic book fans on the internet, and that makes me curious to see it. It takes place in the same universe as the Avengers, which makes me feel I should see it. It stars Parks and Rec’s Chris Pratt, which makes me feel better that I’m going to see it.

Whenever I feel apprehensive about an upcoming movie I always remind myself of my friends trying to convince me to see the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. You might remember it as the watchable one.  I kept refusing on the grounds that it was a movie about ghost pirates, and what a stupid idea that was. Halloween that year I had a pretty decent Jack Sparrow costume.

Now once again I have the same feeling I did over 10 years ago about this movie. To be honest, the only reason I’m going to see it is because of it’s connection to the Marvel Movie Universe. So far those films have had more hits than misses (if any misses at all). This isn’t exactly keeping me up at nights, but when I see buzz on it I can’t help but go over this in my head. Maybe when this is all said and done I’ll have a new favorite comic book hero.

My exposure to the Guardians has been very limited. Pretty much it’s been their cameo on the Avenger’s Assemble cartoon series and the commercials for the upcoming movie. Maybe between now and when it comes out I’ll hope on the ol’ Marvel Unlimited. Perhaps I’ll start with Groot’s first appearance back in Tales to Astonish #13 back in 1960.

To Me, My X-Men!

5 Jan

Despite all of it’s problems, and there are many, I love Marvel Unlimited.

As a child I use to read comics and would just be filled with questions because I didn’t have access to the comics that were being referenced. The huge history and span of the continuity of the Marvel world was vast, and expensive. For a young lad who got $7 allowance attempting to follow just the storylines of the X-Men was daunting.

I recall one comic said “For more information see Uncanny X-Men #1.”

“Well, sorry, I don’t have $300 for a copy of Uncanny X-Men #1.” is what the young Eric would say. Whether or not that’s what Uncanny X-Men #1 cost back then is beside the point, that what I thought it cost.

Cut to the early 2000’s. I had been out of the comic game for a few years. I gave it up for anime. I still had my comic fandom deep in my heart. I was chatting with a coworker about how I was pretty excited they were coming out with an X-Men movie. I told her how it was something I loved as a kid (and onwards into teenhood) and was happy to see on the big screen. That’s when she told me that her husband just so happened to be a manager at the local AMC theater, and they screened movies before release for the employees. She talked to her husband and got me in early. I was ecstatic. To this day that movie will always be special to me because that experience was just so awesome. Yes, lot’s of people see movies before release, but this particular movie viewing was special.

A few years later, X2: X-Men United came out. That movie just spawned a whole new set of experiences in my life. I recall having many laughs and good times as I goofily reenacted scenes from that movie. Such a great movie all around.

Then there came the day I was at Barnes and Noble. I was just walking by one of the tables when I noticed the items on the table. They had collected early issues of X-Men and reprinted the first 10 issues in a single book. I had vague ideas of trade paperbacks at the time, but I really hadn’t paid too much attention to is. I was in heaven finding out how I finally had the chance to fulfill the dream of young Eric and read the early issues of X-Men. It was seriously something I thought I would never do, and yet here I was. Holding a book that contained those precious issues I longed for.

I wish I could recall what I thought of those issues. Obviously I didn’t hate it because I finished it.

No matter how awful X-Men may ever get, the good times I had with them over the years were awesome.

Well, It’s Been a While.

4 Jan

So yes, I was going to try and make a bunch of posts, and well, I got distracted. Overwhelmed by ideas I had in my head. Long, in depth posts about who and what I am all about. After thinking about it, well, that type of thing is going to come out as we go along. I have decided there is no need for any kind of introduction, for those who are reading this either know me, or will get to know me. That or they’ll read this, see nothing has been followed upon and move along. Well, good on them! Who needs them!

Now that rambled mess is out of the way, once again…

Here we go.