skip to content or skip to search form

Continuity Criticism!

Rose and I bought Geoff Klock’s How to Read Superhero Comics and Why this weekend, and I’ve just read the introduction and Chapter 0. I think this is going to be a fun book, and looks like it will have a lot to say about the concept of “continuity,” which I’ve been getting very interested in lately.

Few superhero narratives enjoy uncomplicated relationships with prior parent-narratives, which are (all too) present in the narrative. (p. 2) […] The path that gets the superhero from the reduction of chaotic continuity in a single fictional universe through the burden of continuity and tradition in Planetary’s Snowflake is the focus of this book. (p. 24)

Sounds like fun to me! I’m especially taken with Klock’s description of Crisis on Infinite Earths (which is not discussed at length in How to Read Superhero Comics):

The metaphor of this biblically styled story is unavoidable: by looking into origins, existence is splintered into a variety of mutually exclusive interpretations that have no center. The current state of the DC universe—all of the continuity problems and confusions and paradoxes, Umberto Eco’s oneiric climate—is the retroactive result of looking too closely for a guiding and originating principle. (p. 20)

I’m going to have to get Crisis tomorrow so I can read this for myself!

Also, as Rose noted, we’ve been reading The Invisibles, and I’m planning to get The Invisbles: Entropy in the UK as well tomorrow, which I believe goes to the end of The Invisbles volume one, so hopefully I’ll soon have read enough to share some coherent thoughts.


  1. Ben Wooller says:

    HTRSC&W is an excellent read, not to mention easily accessible for someone who has been out of the lit theory loop for a few years and is a bit rusty on his Lacan (that’d be me!)

    Love the blog, by the way!

    — 4 November 2004 at 3:18 pm (Permalink)

  2. Rose says:

    … which reminds me that I never got around to reading this. I guess I’d better get caught up.

    — 4 November 2004 at 5:36 pm (Permalink)