Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spoiler Saturday--The Unkindest Sliding Timelime of All!

Y'all know how much I hate the "sliding timescale" in comics, as creators continually move heroes' origins forward in time and pin them to specific dates.

Why? To make them seem more relevant? Are there really readers out there who say, "Well, I wasn't going to read the Fantastic Four, because they're all old. But now that we know that Reed and Ben and Victor Von Doom were in college together in 1998, well, sign me up!"

(That, by the way, is an actual thing that Marvel has done. Sigh...)

DC, it seems to me, has always been smarter than that, gently eliding over specific dates while trying to keep their heroes "modern." They don't give us scenes where, say, the Waynes are coming home from The Phantom Menace, or what have you.

But Marvel insists on giving us specifics. With Iron Man, did we really need a specific date? Because as we've learned the hard way, there's always a war somewhere for Tony Stark to get blown up in. So why does Bendis need to go and establish that tony Stark was born in 1982? Why did we have to provide proof that Captain America was revived...during the Clinton Administration?!? (and by now, based on the FF reveal, it would have to be during the Bush II era...or even Obama?!?) Why can't we just maintain the gentle fiction in our mind that Cap did live through the 60s, and Watergate? Why force us to acknowledge that Cap entirely slept through the Cold War and disco?

Especially since, if you're truly dedicated to specific rolling timelines, well, you're going to have to change them again in a few years?!?

But they would never frak with Spider-Man, right? Peter Parker's an everyman, for every time, right?

In this week's Amazing Spider-Man #796, J. Jonah Jameson is in Spider-Man's earpiece, trying to help him drown out the Goblin King's sonic scream. And, well...

Again:

Peter Parker is a millennial? Sigh...

Look, we can pretend that Jonah was just being extra-dorky to motive Spidey. Or, we could surmise that he's old and somewhat out of touch, and is somewhat unclear on the definition of "millennial," so he's misusing it here.

But no, we know that's not true, right? Marvel wants us to know that Peter Parker is a millennial.

We can't have nice things...

5 comments:

Mista Whiskas said...

I dunno, I agree with about 99% of what you say here but not on this one. The great thing about comics is they go on and on, but that then leads to a problem, if Batman really came out of watching Zorro then he would be too old to fight crime now. They've got to continuously update them.

snell said...

Au contraire...There have been enough Zorro remakes that you don't have to tie it to any one time...

SF said...

I'm on record as thinking instead of doing continuous implicit sliding, they just ought to reboot the damned universe every ten years or so, on a schedule. If they did it right, it would allow things to stay up to date, while at the same time providing actual weight to events instead of routinely undoing every big thing that happens. (eg Earth-1970's Jean Grey dies and stays dead, but you can be pretty sure they will create a fresh Jean Grey for Earth-1980. Rather than the current cycle of dies, comes back in five years, dies again, comes back again, etc, all in the same universe. In the current system death has no real meaning.)

Steven Flanagan said...

If Peter Parker is a millennial, then J Jonah Jameson would have been a teenager in the 1970s. He should be listening to, say, Rush, not Benny Goodman. Indeed, a millennial hipster, having grown up in a world where all music ever is freely available, is more likely than a man in late middle-age to be into Goodman.

Warren JB said...

"So why does Bendis need to go and establish that Tony Stark was born in 1982?"

Remember Frank Miller's 'holy crap I'm older than Batman' motivation for DKR?

Anyway. I'm guessing the use of 'millenial' here is more a thing that people take as a generic insult used by grumpy old men against 'kids these days'.