Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dogpoet

S2Hell hearts the DCU

Recommended Posts

Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, as well as being one of the most popular fictional franchises in the publishing world, is a classic example of 'shared continuity' - lots of separate, largely self-contained stories linked by a common universe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several of the writers listed use the Stephen King method. To clarify, works that stand alone but use an occasional not-so-sly reference to indicate the interconnectedness.

 

Discworld and Cthulhu mythos stories are pretty much written about a central universe, to which extent they are as relevant as "All the James Bond books".

 

Now. the franchise "universe" series of books are probably the closest to what we are talking about here, and what do we think of the quality of them?

 

The difference with comicbook universes is that a host of writers weave their otherwise consistent stories into a central continuity mostly concurrently. And when a title crosses over anywhere in the world, a little coninuity nerd gets his wings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Contrary to what you seem to be saying here, I'm not actually a big fan of shared continuity - at least, not to the extent of actually trying to match up the inter-connectivity of titles with any degree of consistency. That way lieth those dull little people who, whenever something bad happens in a Batman book, complain "why didn't he just call in Superman to sort it out". As far as I'm concerned, the individual DCU characters exist in their own little worlds, except when a story happens to actually involve another character. I would have had no problem with, say, Batman continuing to play an un-commented-upon part in the JLA stories published during the Big Gotham Earthquake crossover which took over the Bat-titles a few years back - it'd certainly have been an improvement on the cack-handed 'why the JLA didn't get involved' arc which they actually had to write to cover the apparent inconsistency.

 

That's why I wouldn't be at all worried about, say, big DCU crossover events getting in the way of events in Hellblazer, or Lucifer. But I realise that lots of people out there don't see things that way, in light of which I can definitely appreciate why you might be wary of the idea of a 'shared' continuity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Several of the writers listed use the Stephen King method. To clarify, works that stand alone but use an occasional not-so-sly reference to indicate the interconnectedness.

 

Discworld and Cthulhu mythos stories are pretty much written about a central universe, to which extent they are as relevant as "All the James Bond books".

 

Now. the franchise "universe" series of books are probably the closest to what we are talking about here, and what do we think of the quality of them?

 

The difference with comicbook universes is that a host of writers weave their otherwise consistent stories into a central continuity mostly concurrently. And when a title crosses over anywhere in the world, a little coninuity nerd gets his wings.

Ah, I misunderstood what you were getting at as I didn't know that King had that going on.

Just Jerry Cornelius (which Moorcock made a point of opening up to other writers), Lovecraft imitations and the sharecrops, then.

The Ian Watson and "Jack Yeovill" Games Workshop sharecrops were pretty good. The TSR ones I've seen weren't, and the White Wolf ones are pretty appalling (though I admit I've only read a couple of those).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if this has already been covered, but just how definite is this DC/Vertigo divide? I wonder if it's more selective than black and white.

 

I mean, whenever a DC title wants to do some scientific name dropping. Like in Gail Simone's Atom, and possibly that recent Poison Ivy Detective issue, they'll slot in "Alec Holland". Then we had Daniel the Sandman in JSA.

 

I know these are pretty minor, but is the divide more character specific? We don't see John Constantine in the DCU because it would undermine Hellblazer's "Real (or at least mature) world credibility" but in Animal Man (I've only read the Morrison stuff, and I'm not too sure on when that was out originally) and that Zatanna Miniseries a while back we get more crossovering.

 

Has John Constantine had a "DCU off-limits" tag slapped on him? I recall hearing about Grant Morrison not being allowed to use him in Doom Patrol. , but then John and Swamp Thing were both at Hal Jordan's funeral.

 

Do people just not use Swamp Thing in a DCU story because they don't want to, or because of an editorial mandate?

 

Sorry about that. I veered off a bit there. I guess my point is, do we know if this was an official DC Editoral Vertigo/DCU split, or is it character specific?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was made official sometime around the year 2000, or thereabouts from what I remember.

It was much less black and white before that point.

There are still certain characters who can exist in both worlds (such as Phantom Stranger), but, for example, John Constantine is currently off-limits to appear in any DCU titles and Batman is off-limits to appear in any Vertigo titles.

 

It's not like it really matters anymore anyway, as Vertigo's roster of titles is 99% creator-owned books existing in their own self-contained world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to see Vertigo as a creator owned only imprint and the titles with ties to the DCU shuffled back off there with the "Mature Readers" label intact. Now this does not mean that I want constant reminders the we're in the DCU or that there should be anymore mention of the DCU than there already is but if someone were to come up with a justifiable use of DCU continuity they could. I'm not proposing crossovers just judicious use of a shared history.

 

Here is what you said, Tom.

My reply is that this is almost exactly what Vertigo has become today.

Deadman and Hellblazer are the only Vertigo books left which are not creator owned, and most of us would agree that Hellblazer shouldn't be considered a DCU book, and this incarnation of Deadman has absolutely nothing to do with the DCU character.

 

Adrian is right though that Vertigo is far more like Top Shelf "only not quite Top Shelf" than Fantagraphics. I would like to see Vertigo become more like Fantagraphics, personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was made official sometime around the year 2000, or thereabouts from what I remember.

 

No, it was made official right from the start. He's made a few one-panel cameos here and there, but proper storyline appearances in explicitly superhero books have been off-limits since Hellblazer started. Which is, I think a huge shame. Obviously I don't want superheroes in Hellblazer, but I don't see why it shouldn't work the other way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...