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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 23 April 2005 at 9:15pm | IP Logged | 1  

 Eric Kleefeld wrote:
JB is often accused of retconning things but I think this is an example of people using the term incorrectly. JB has revealed that -- shock! -- a VILLAIN might have lied about something, but that's not a retcon.

************

Nope, that's still a retcon, as it's retroactively altering what was once established as past continuity of what happened.  Sure, it's a plausible retcon, and I'm not arguing that.  But it's still a retcon.

I see this argued a lot and this is an example, I think, of how some fans view continuity. Visit any ANGEL or BATMAN site and you'll see every detail of the character's history mapped out, often based on offhand lines of dialogue in episodes or issues. Of course, that's not how things work in real life. If I tell you that my college girlfriend died and then you bump into her next month, that's not a retcon. I lied when I told she was deceased. I hadn't "established past continuity about what happened."

Yet, Dr. Doom or Ultron says "this is what happened" and despite having no reason to believe them, fans will view this as the gospel and if we're shown something different, they claim it's a retcon.

Another example: Frasier's dad still being alive, despite what was said on CHEERS, is not a retcon. We never saw a body on CHEERS. We just got what Frasier had said. His never mentioning a brother might seem odd but it doesn't discount that one might have existed.

A retcon erases or contradicts the objective reality of what was depicted in a story. Doctor Octopus as part of Spider-Man's origin clearly is a retcon. As much as I hate it, though, the revelation about Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin isn't -- it's just bad writing.

But something someone says is never objective.

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Ray Brady
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Posted: 23 April 2005 at 9:28pm | IP Logged | 2  

 John Byrne wrote:
Though, I do wonder why Captain America would be described as wearing a uniform.

******

Because he's not Mr. America.

I would also suggest that, since a number of individuals have all worn the same outfit upon assuming the role of Captain America, then this must be the uniform of the position.

Likewise, if everyone who assumes the mantle of the Phantom wears the purple bodysuit and domino mask, then this must also be called a uniform.

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Ray Brady
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Posted: 23 April 2005 at 9:30pm | IP Logged | 3  

Just curious, JB: in what way have you seen the term "boots" misused?
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Eric Kleefeld
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Posted: 23 April 2005 at 9:35pm | IP Logged | 4  

Yet, Dr. Doom or Ultron says "this is what happened" and despite having no reason to believe them, fans will view this as the gospel and if we're shown something different, they claim it's a retcon.

**********

That rationale only works if the original writer clearly intended for it to be of questionable veracity.  If the original writer's intention was "this is what happened" and had the villain tell it, and then someone else comes along and says "this is what really happened", then it's a retcon.

If the original writer presented it in a more ambiguous fashion and someone else comes along to settle the question one way or the other, then that's different.



Back to the bubble vs. balloon thing:  I'm a New Jersey native who now lives in Wisconsin.  Something I've gotten used to is that what I call "soda", most people around here call "pop".  I'm not about to tell the vast majority of the people here, some of them my friends and neighbors, that they're wrong.  And they're not wrong.  Neither term is invalid; they are synonyms, different words to describe the same thing.

With stuff like "reboot", "retcon" and "revamp", we're talking about precise meanings that shouldn't be confused.  However, "balloon" and "bubble" are two different words for the same thing.  There aren't separate items called balloons and bubbles that we shouldn't confuse with one another.

Furthermore, it wouldn't even matter which one is used more; hold a vote on "soda" vs. "pop" and you still wouldn't establish any objective truth in the matter.  These are simply the words that different people use.  All that matters is that they're clearly defined and easy recognized.

I'd also object to JB's references to racial slurs.  While there are the same denotations involved, there are obviously different connotations.  "Soda" and "pop" are synonyms that carry the same connotation.  People don't go around reffering to what they like as "soda" and what they don't like as "pop" or vice-versa.  Some people say one word, some people say the other.  The same situation applies to "balloon" and "bubble".
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Yvonne Christian
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Posted: 23 April 2005 at 10:35pm | IP Logged | 5  

Eric, one of my uncles usually referred to a soft drink as "Soda pop."

I agree with the bubble/balloon thing.  I have heard both words used to describe the same thing.  Nobody got confused.
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Jeff Gillmer
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Posted: 23 April 2005 at 11:17pm | IP Logged | 6  

It's called jargon, which is (according to Miriam-Webster)  the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group.  Specific items have specific names, and while somethings might be similar, such as bubble and balloon, they aren't the same specific thing.
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Monte Gruhlke
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Posted: 23 April 2005 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 7  

 Ray Brady wrote:

 John Byrne wrote:
Though, I do wonder why Captain America would be described as wearing a uniform.

******

Because he's not Mr. America.

I would also suggest that, since a number of individuals have all worn the same outfit upon assuming the role of Captain America, then this must be the uniform of the position.

Likewise, if everyone who assumes the mantle of the Phantom wears the purple bodysuit and domino mask, then this must also be called a uniform.

The Army issued the uniform to him because it fit the concept of their new super-soldier. It's just unfortunate that the Army wasn't able to crank out a few batallions of super-soldiers, chances are that they might all be wearing the same super-soldier uniform. Alas we got just the one soldier... but we're pretty cool with that.

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Troy Nunis
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Posted: 24 April 2005 at 12:01am | IP Logged | 8  

And I'm still amazed by the people who can come in from the outside and tell someone who's been a Pro for a few decades he's wrong about what he does for a living.  Even by going to an Extreme example to clearly show that even if a large (tho not majority) number of people can use a wrong term it doesn't make it right, they find a way to miss the point.  'Bubble" certainly is used by people who don't know better, but it's the wrong term - the correct term IS Balloon, and people still want to argue.
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Mike Norris
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Posted: 24 April 2005 at 3:19am | IP Logged | 9  

And Its a PANEL not a FRAME!!!!!

Mike

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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 April 2005 at 9:16am | IP Logged | 10  

Just curious, JB: in what way have you seen the term "boots" misused?

******

A while back, on another message board, I came across a raging debate over the use of the word "boots" to describe what Spider-Man wears on his feet. It was, I quickly saw, yet another instance of the Know-Nothings trying to force their lack of knowledge onto everyone else, insisting that Spider-Man does not wear "boots" because his footwear lacks soles and heels -- and completely overlooking the long established tradition that superhero costumes have their own set of terms, and with a few particular exceptions (characters like Hercules, for instance) the coverings for their feet are called "boots". It was one of those don't-know-and-won't-be-taught instances that one encounters so often on the internet.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 April 2005 at 9:19am | IP Logged | 11  

Yet, Dr. Doom or Ultron says "this is what happened" and despite having no reason to believe them, fans will view this as the gospel and if we're shown something different, they claim it's a retcon.

++++

That rationale only works if the original writer clearly intended for it to be of questionable veracity. If the original writer's intention was "this is what happened" and had the villain tell it, and then someone else comes along and says "this is what really happened", then it's a retcon.

*****

Nope. Any information that comes from a villain is automatically suspect, whether the original writer "intends" that to be the case or not. That's just one of several very good reasons not to have important story points hinge on something the villain has assured us is true.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 April 2005 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 12  

And Its a PANEL not a FRAME!!!!!


******

I'll add that to the list!
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