Legendary Marvel creator Roy Thomas coined the term “retcon” (short for retroactive continuity) in the early 1980s to describe the stories he was telling in All-Star Squadron.  Since that time, retcons have been used both to insert stories or explanations (as Roy was doing) but also to remove concepts or characters deemed problematic.  As a fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes, I am well-accustomed to having favorite stories no longer count, and I still miss the characterization of Matter-Eater Lad as a smooth-talker with political connections all over the galaxy and the adoration of women on every one of the United Planets.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) didn’t look into the big red light when Will Smith said to, asking:  What retconned concept/character do you most want to see returned to official status?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. BadRPiggy
    June 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    Han shot first =p

    • B.V.K.
      June 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm — Reply

      agreed….bugs me so much when I watch the revamped trilogy.

  2. June 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    I know it’s an old one but the Phoenix power being part of Jean Grey & not from some random alien entity. We could’ve been spared so much nonsense if it had just been her realizing her full potential.

  3. June 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    – Han shoots first. Because not only was the edit to make him “miss” Greedo’s shot so terrible, it takes away from the setup that even though he ends up being one of the good guys, he’s still a shifty criminal at the start.

    – Midi-Chlorians. I know others disagree with me on this, but I really hate that they explained the Force. I like it better as a mysterious and magical “mystical energy” rather than “something you can touch because you have a blood mutation”. Thankfully the Expanded Universe only rarely touches the subject, even in prequel era novels.

    – Super Hero Taisen. Like most VS series movies, this sadly takes place outside the normal continuity. I don’t see why they couldn’t have just kept it in the same Gokaiger continuity AND meshed with Kamen Rider? Why did they have to create a new timeline where there are no sixth rangers except for Gokai Silver? The had just finished a whole season that had been about all of them existing in one timeline, so I’m just confused why they had to change it.

  4. June 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm — Reply

    Hal Jordan’s heel turn. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have turned good guy again, I just hate how they attempted to nullify his original heel turn by adding in the possession angle.

    Also, I never much cared for the concept of Paralax as some big fear monster (and the other emotional entities as an extension), largely due to the fact that he was created to facilitate aforementioned heel turn nullification and to further prove that Hal Jordan can supposedly do no wrong.

    • June 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm — Reply

      I almost listed Hal, partially for those, partially for bringing him back after he gave his life to restart the sun as Spectre, then bringing him back to human life. The guy gets kicked around more than the world’s most used kickball. They should pick an angle for him and stick with it.

      • June 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm — Reply

        To clarify, I meant bringing him back as the Spectre after restarting the sun as Parallax and dying, not restarting the sun as Spectre.

  5. ~wyntermute~
    June 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    As much as I hate to say this, I’m not a big fan of “Oracle” getting retconned back to Batgirl-status. I love Barbara Gordon, and I’m glad she’s able to walk/kick-butt again, but… It bugs me that they waited until the relaunching of the whole comic book line before they realized “hey! we can make her walk again!”, because that sort of made it feel like a cheap stunt.

    • June 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm — Reply

      Agreed… Oracle was one of the saddest casualties of the New 52 for me.

      • DrNobody
        June 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm — Reply

        They could always further complicate things by bringing back Jim Gordon’s niece, Barbara Gordon and putting her in the Oracle roll (as the current Babs is now his biological child, apparently)… Or they could always put an unused character like Chloe Sullivan in there… I’m sure they could come up with any number of tales as to why she’s in a wheelchair… I guess they had also had Wendy of Wendy and Marvin in a wheelchair… And she was the bio-daughter of the Calculator… But then again… That may not have happened now…

        • Armaan
          June 18, 2012 at 2:25 am — Reply

          You don’t HAVE to be in a wheelchair to be Oracle. That just puts a horrible image in my mind of this character studying computers with a passion akin to Bruce Wayne’s and saying, “Okay, I’m ready to be Oracle now!” and Barbara nodding before breaking this new character’s legs.

          • DrNobody
            June 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm — Reply

            It just seems like the only real reason to hate Babs no longer being Oracle is that a wheelchair-bound super-hero was lost… Babs is still Babs as Batgirl… I feel once she has gotten over the initial shock of “I can now walk again!!,” we’ll see her using her skills in a new capacity (well, one we haven’t really seen much of since she had been crippled). I guess I just don’t understand why people are upset if it’s not for the loss of the wheelchair bound super-hero that’s not Prof. X or Chief from Doom Patrol?!? Especially with Gail writing the series….

  6. Alexander D.
    June 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    Sideways from Transformers Armada. He was that character that made everyone overly paranoid because they simply couldn’t figure him out (until he got unicron-granted super powers). Sure, he got a make over with Transformers Cybertron, but that motorcycle that had a head for each side of the fray was a genius idea.

    • June 18, 2012 at 8:25 am — Reply

      And yet somehow, almost all incarnations of Sideways are supposed to be the same character hopping from reality to reality. I think I’d like to erase that bit of retcon myself and keep him as separate versions. It may not be as well known as some info, but it still bugs me.

  7. Davis
    June 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    And, Karate Kid or Timberwolf!
    They all lived, and died and got messed with too much.
    Cast out Phoenix and Doomsday, and I might buy a comic book every now and then!
    After over 40 years of collecting comics… i feel like all I am getting is “re-runs” of the S.O.S.!!!

  8. J_Michael_T
    June 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm — Reply

    Kid Flash/Wally West … what a mess!

    Wildfire… loved his original incarnation and attitude.

    I’m sure I’ll think of others later …

  9. Slappy
    June 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm — Reply

    I did like the whole Batman/ Nocturna romance with Jason Todd in the middle not knowing which parent to choose. This was of course pre-Crisis (The first one) when Jason’s origin was almost identical to Dick’s.
    There were also many aspects of the post 5YG Legion I enjoyed, especiall Timberwolf being a wookie.

  10. June 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm — Reply

    Words cannot describe how much I miss the Parkers. It took me five years to return to Amazing Spider-Man after “One More Day.” I’ve stopped boycotting the title, but I still hate it. It still bugs me to see Peter/Spider-Man with another girl.

    Argue whether or not MJ was the right girl for Peter all you want, she was the one he married. There are so many wonderful stories of them as a married couple that only work if they’re a married couple that now exist in this weird did-it-happen or didn’t-it limbo.

    Peter and MJ forever. Bring the Parkers back. Bring on the pitter-patter of baby spider feet. Can you imagine the book that features Peter as a dad? How amazing would that be? Him going to Reed Richards for not only scientific help, but toddler help? LOVE IT.

    Someone needs to retcon the retcon.

    • June 18, 2012 at 4:37 am — Reply

      Seconded. One of the appeals of Spidey to me was watching him mature & grow, and his marriage to MJ was part of it (bonus: we got to do the same with her). Taking that away takes away a HUGE part of the character’s appeal & makes me see the people behind the decision as being unable to relate to anything other than “manchild”.

  11. DrNobody
    June 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm — Reply

    You guys may think I’m kidding… But G’nort… I always liked the dog GL, and never understood why he can’t be returned to the DCU… Aside from that, Wally West… I don’t need him as the main Flash, but want him around in some capacity… Plus I LOVED the West Family being almost like The Incredibles…

    Other honorable mentions….

    The Golden Age JSA (yes, I still want to see the original JSA on an earth somewhere… I LOVE the idea of Earth-2, but it turns my stomach to think the original versions are just being swept under the rug… I like them being younger/different on that earth, but feel it’s disrespectful to have the original versions just gone like they are now…)

    Jade & Obsidian

    Triumph (yes, the JLA’er that disappeared and reappeared 10 years later)

    And the Matrix/Linda Danvers Supergirl.. I always really liked where they went with her, and hated that she just quit and wasn’t seen again until briefly in Reign in Hell.

    Oh yeah!! And Oliver Queen’s goatee!!!!!!!!! Miss the facial hair, and hate the Sabretooth-esque mutton chops.

    • June 18, 2012 at 8:30 am — Reply

      I’m also surprised G’nort hasn’t popped back up in some capacity yet. It was said that he wasn’t dead by a few different writers even after being listed as “presumed dead” in one of the comics, so I wonder exactly where he is now. I kinda have my fingers crossed that he’ll either show up as a recruit for another Lantern group (I think he’d be a great Blue Lantern) or in a time of crisis for the GL Corps. Just not as an Alpha Lantern, that would break my heart.

      • DrNobody
        June 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm — Reply

        As much as I love Geoff Johns and what he’s done for GL… I believe this is his doing… I think he dislikes both G’nort and Ch’p because they were portrayed as silly characters (hence why we have B’dg instead). Charlie Vicker was also listed as “presumed dead” when we clearly saw him killed as a Darkstar… But with this being the NEW DCU, who knows if any of those characters actually died or not?!?

  12. Armaan
    June 18, 2012 at 2:27 am — Reply

    JSA, Wally West, and Old Man Ollie.
    That is all.

  13. Antonio Sanciolo
    June 18, 2012 at 4:59 am — Reply

    The Beast,
    the only thing worse than being turned into a disney character is editorial not enforcing a consistent look. The funniest was when Quitely was drawing him in New X-men in his feline form whilst he was appearing simultaneously in Xtreme X-Men where Larocca was drawing the traditional Beast.

    • Antonio Sanciolo
      June 18, 2012 at 5:04 am — Reply

      Actually I want to simplify my response as “Secondary Mutations” in general.

      • June 18, 2012 at 8:32 am — Reply

        As much as I liked the visuals of cat-like Beast, I think it would have worked better as a separate character.

  14. Trey
    June 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm — Reply

    I want Jason Todd to have stayed dead. Also, can we post which retcons we would like added because I want Damian Wayne to blink out of existance.

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