Retcon, short for “retroactive continuity”, is a term generally credited to Roy Thomas for stories that change the facts of how we view our fictional constructs.  Roy’s initial use came in the context of the All-Star Squadron, a comic that attempted to unify the various threads of DC Comics’ Golden Age continuity, including inserting events that had not previously happened and changing premises (like the presence of aliens on all the planets in our solar system) to be more accurate and acceptable to sophisticated audiences.  Retcons get a bad rap these days, due to overuse as a reset button for moments like Spider-Man’s unmasking, Superman’s marriage and many of the sexist/racist/ugly moments of past comics.  The question of which is the most heinous retcon of all is in the eye of the beholder, however, so let’s set some Spoilerite eyes to beholdin’ today’s Justice Society Justice Guild Justice Experience Justice League of Query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still has some sore feelings about the blunt force retcon that reverted Peter Parker’s life and erased his marriage circa ‘Brand New Day’, asking: What change in story status quo is the most heinous retcon in your eyes?


About Author

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.


  1. I’ve seen some movie & video game novelizations that take some horrible liberties. The worst one I’ve seen was for the “Baldur’s Gate” game series, one of my favorite stories. The player character is portrayed as a worse monster than you can choose to be in the game, side characters go from somewhat fleshed out with rivalries and quests of their own to one-dimensional bit parts beside the glory of Hero McMurderface. Except for the one on woman who discovers she’s a lesbian just in time to kiss a dark elf.

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