phineyharlock asked: Excuse me if you've touched upon this already, but what do you think about the whole "continuity problem" that's often brought up in regards to comic books nowadays?
I’ve never truly been bothered by the idea of continuity.
When I first started reading comics, I started with Hellboy, which although follows a loose continuity, I never felt lost if I jumped into the third or so trade. (“Loose,” at least, back then; it’s been a while since I’ve regularly read it and I’ve heard the main storyline has gone places that require to be on the up and up of what’s been going on with Hellboy himself.) Then things like V for Vendetta and Watchmen, which were all neatly stand-alone.
When I started diving into superheroes, it was right around Civil War. While that was a good time to get into comics, many people would say it wasn’t. All seemed to depend on how much one was willing to invest into the greater Marvel tapestry; Even though my only experience with comics had been things like Hellboy and Moore, I was ready to dive head first into everything, read all the tie-ins along with the main event. I loved knowing about everything going on, even if I didn’t enjoy what was actually happening in the story. And I’ve had the same general mentality ever since.
Unless it’s a serious offense to a character’s/series’ timeline, continuity itself doesn’t seem to be an actual problem. I feel like other people make it a problem, but one onto themselves; they’ll feel continuity is more like a chore, that they have to go through the motions of it, when it shouldn’t be - it should be fun! It should be fun to learn more about the greater universe, or fleshing out and understanding a certain character by reading up on his/her history. And if you’re not having fun, you gotta stop and realize what you’re doing.
Now, regarding retcons (i.e. Tony Stark and The Punisher not being associated with Vietnam anymore) and Reboots with unclear backstory (What exactly was kept from pre-Reboot DCU for the Reboot’s foundation?), that can be frustrating. Sometimes rightfully so; Marvel never had a state of the union and said “As of this month, Tony Stark’s injuries were during the Gulf War,” and there was rightful confusion and criticism. But eventually you just (gotta) roll with it; the sooner a comic reader can understand why a company is doing that - keeping their money-making characters in their preferred age, the stories more relevant to their times - and find inner serenity over the things they cannot change, the better.
As much as people like/want stand-alone stories and fresh takes on things - and they are out there - the greater universe’s trains are gonna keep a-rollin’. Accept and embrace the marketing/distribution scheme of monthly comics, pick your battles and stick to just what you like, or find something to better occupy your time. (And I mean that as blunt advice, not “get the fuck out.”)