» Blog Archive DeMatties take on Continuity. -

With so much writing on parallel dimensions, alternate universes, and “what if?” storyline’s, I thought I would take my love for canonized stories and embark on a mission as a continuity buff to explain how comic book characters survive through an elastic sense of time. I had the liberty of meeting with comic book writer J.M. DeMatties, who was signing re-released copies of his 1993 graphic novel “Mercy.” As I arrived at Jim Hanley’s Universe this Wednesday, I thought it would be a good idea to ask the man who wrote such greats as Kraven’s Last Hunt, and the 2004 Eisner Award winning “Formerly Known as the Justice League” his take on the way in which characters are placed within arcs.

First off, with stories such as DC’s convergence, and Marvel’s Secret Wars, major events can spark off a multiverse of continuity by which all existing iterations of time and space can continuously exist. After all, pop-culture and history change, yet what keeps our beloved characters preserved? How long can we stretch their ages, and how do we determine what is canon from non-canon? Take for example, DeMatteis early 1980’s run with The Justice League. In Justice League #3 dating from 1981, titled “Rocket to Russia” pin-points on obvious Cold-War themes and the paranoia between American and Soviet trust. What makes this story different, is that the soviets brigade of “Rocket Reds” actually work in conjunction with the League which showcases hopeful coexistence between American and Russian existence. Anyway, the point is with time moving on by and crashing through barriers of passing history, how can characters evolve but keep to tradition simultaneously? Batman vs Robin box art

DeMatties explains that in the instance with his writing on the Justice League, existence was written in intervals. For instance, Justice League 3000 starts off on its own new continuity, while everything before that has no connection to that point. He reiterates by indicating that everything before that takes place in its own universe if you will. Now, some fans may already be thinking that the DC universe is no surprise to having time and space run on parallel frequencies, and that the multiverse expands to the point where the focal point of our heroes and villains derive from the same essence, but separate to a multitude of roads I think what DeMatteis is trying to say is that even when one writer stays loyal to certain characters, even they no longer can stretch an idea in a world that seemingly has no limits. Case in point with George Millers Mad Max: Fury Road. Even with a successful trilogy, George Miller had to separate this 4th installment into its own pocket realm that takes this version of Mad Max on another level, while his original version stays within its own domain. Ultimately, what matters within the comic-verse is that cannonized continuity can be bended, molded, and shaped into a myriad of created concepts. DeMatties is no stranger to being the Jack of all trades in terms of writing. Even going as far as writing a review for the Grateful Dead’s 1980 album “Go to Heaven” and releasing his own album in the late 90’s called “How Many Lifetimes?” This indicates that essentially a writers functions is to not be restricted and boxed in, and if continuity fluctuates throughout a a heroes journey, then so be it. Maybe these larger than characters where never meant to be fixated within one given frame…..

By: Adam Vega

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