The other day, Tom Brevoort made the (entirely valid) point about Batman #701 that if Batman: RIP and Final Crisis had been written and marketed clearly the first time around, there wouldn’t be any need for a story which plugs the gaps in between. He also used his Formspring page to make a point about Marvel playing a little faster and looser with continuity because they don’t want to end up telling “stories about stories” – the kind of self-referencing, inward-looking arcs that exist to create logical narratives between tales that were never intended to tie into one another. By implication, the kind of stories DC *does* like to tell.
Now, without wanting to actually use the words “pot”, “kettle” and “black”, I can only ask what, exactly, Brevoort thinks is going on in Amazing Spider-Man over the last few months.
For those who haven’t read the first issue of the current storyline, OMIT, it flashes back to the original wedding of Peter and MJ (complete with reprint sections and narrative inserts) to explain exactly what happened to prevent them from becoming man and wife under the revised “Brand New Day” continuity, as well as finally revealing what MJ said to Mephisto in One More Day. It is, by any stretch of the imagination, little more than a story about a story.
Which is fine, but we just got the last instalment of The Grim Hunt, and if you read the subtext of that issue correctly, it appears to be all about how Kraven’s Last Hunt was a really good ending and that it’ll be very difficult to create a sequel worth telling with the character. Which is, again, a story about a story.
And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a big chunk of story missing between The Grim Hunt and Young Allies. The latter suggested that the former would explain why Arana lost her powers and became Spider-Girl – only, it didn’t. She just got a new costume for no particular reason. Because one story hasn’t done what the other thought it was going to, there’s a small chunk of Arana’s redefinition that doesn’t make any sense – and I have a horrible feeling it’s going to require a story about a story to make right again.
So, I said I wasn’t going to use the words “pot”, “kettle” and “black”, but that was a foolish restriction to place on myself because it’s clearly the most appropriate metaphor here. I love a little continuity like any comics fan, but Tom, if by some chance you’re reading this, you should probably be aware that DC don’t exactly have the monopoly on it.