DC Comics like using retcons. The publisher has widely employed significant retcons to streamline its history throughout the years. Since the DC Multiverse has been around for more than eighty years and things can get rather confusing, DC has employed retcons to clarify things. Unfortunately, not all retcons have improved the situation.
It can also be the complete opposite. DC has frequently made significant alterations to its continuity, and many comics and characters have suffered as a result. Even retcons that were intended to address continuity issues can fail.
A serious error was made by erasing the Justice Society from the New 52’s history.
The New 52 is DC’s most controversial retcon, and there are numerous reasons why it is wrong. The absence of a Justice Society was one of the more severe modifications. While DC’s Golden Age heroes received their own Earths in Earth-2 and World’s Finest, fully erasing them from Earth-0’s history had the opposite effect of what was intended: it undermined the idea of legacy in the new DC Universe while simultaneously making the Justice League more significant.
Saddest of all was that a Justice Society could have easily existed in the Golden Age of Earth-0 and Earth-2. In the DC Multiverse, heroes frequently appear again, thus seeing more of their favorite legacy heroes in Earth-0 would have pleased JSA fans.
Many fans were upset by the decision to cancel Wally West’s show.
DC invested heavily in Barry Allen after his reappearance in Final Crisis and Flash: Rebirth. The New 52 took this a step further by erasing the prior Flash and Barry’s former sidekick Wally West from continuity. The Flash franchise suffered a great deal as a result of this situation because Wally had been a fan favorite for almost his entire run.
For admirers who had never truly read a Barry Allen story, it frequently felt like a petty attempt to elevate Barry’s status. Many consumers stopped reading Flash comics altogether, and Wallace West’s portrayal of Kid Flash did nothing to appease them. Although it took DC a while to treat Wally fairly, his return to continuity was a cause for much excitement.
Teen Titans history was ruined by The New 52.
The trio of significant DC teams includes the Teen Titans. Because the publisher has always placed a high value on the team’s past, what transpired in the New 52 is particularly puzzling. The character took a stride forward when Cyborg joined the Justice League, but the Teen Titans faced a serious challenge as a result. The New Teen Titans period would have been significantly different without Cyborg.
In addition, nobody really understood what was canon for the team due to the deaths of Wally West and Donna Troy and the five-year timeline of this new DC Universe. The New 52’s retcons destroyed The Teen Titans’ past, seriously harming one of DC’s most significant teams.
The Lobo in the New 52 was awful.
Poor New 52 retcons abound, but the worst have already been recorded in DC history. The best illustration of that is Lobo. It was unable for some reason to display the Main Man in a little updated form. DC felt the need to “modernize” the character, which resulted in the transformation of the beloved bruiser into an entirely new being.
Retconning Lobo has absolutely no justification. It was intended for the original Lobo to be a spoof of gritty and grimy superheroes. In a bad manner, the new Lobo also had a parodic feel to it. To further insult fans, DC even made the absurd assertion that this new Lobo was somehow the “genuine” one.
The New 52 made a terrible error by changing Wonder Woman’s origin.
The greatest warrior in the DC Universe, Wonder Woman, is powerless against continuity alterations. Despite the harm it did to Donna Troy’s background, her origin was retconned in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the change was positively received. The New 52 retcons to her origin cannot be said to be the same. Themyscira was transformed into a country that only existed as a result of men attacking and sexually assaulting Amazon women, and Woner Woman was transformed into a Zeus-daughter.
This alteration was praised for being radical at the time, but it hasn’t held up well. Even though the Themyscira retcons have been dropped from the timeline, most fans still choose to ignore the fact that Wonder Woman is still the daughter of Zeus.
The Legion of Super-Heroes emerged from the Crisis on Infinite Earths worse than before.
There was a time when the Legion of Super-Heroes wasn’t as well known as they are today. The history of the Legion was intertwined with that of Superman and Supergirl for many years, making the team crucial to the development of the DC Universe. Unfortunately, the Legion was impacted by the upheavals that Crisis On Infinite Earth brought about for the Superman family.
Even though the initial “Five Years Later” tale was popular, the issues kept getting worse. Beyond the 1990s’ successful Legion revival, the team hasn’t been able to maintain the level of popularity it enjoyed before to the Crisis.
Post-crisis, Hawkman’s history devolved into a mess.
While Crisis on Infinite Earth deserves praise, not all aspects of its aftermath were flawless. Hawkman was present on Earth-1 and Earth-2 prior to Crisis. Carter Hall, an archaeologist, was the Earth-2 counterpart to the Thanagarian Katar Hol. Few characters were as affected by the blending of the history of the two Earths as this one.
No one seems to know how to make the various iterations of Hawkman coexist at various periods in the histories, and nobody seemed to have any suggestions. DC struggled with the character until Hawkman was brought back in the early 2000s after going missing in the ’90s.
Sue Dibny’s Identity Crisis Reveal was horrific.
A really gloomy comic is Identity Crisis. It was intended to provide some reality to the DC Universe, and it did so in extremely edgelord ways, which was typical of the 2000s. Although the Justice League mindwipes were a clever invention that complicated the DC Universe, the novel continued in other ways. By stating that Sue Dibny had been sexually raped by Dr. Light, it provided context for the idea.
It’s not awful to try to make classic superhero comics more complicated and realistic, but there are other ways to go about it. Not one of those techniques is sexually assaulting a beloved character for dramatic effect. Identity Crisis contains a lot of nice parts, but this plot twist has ruined the book’s reputation.
It’s lazy to blame the reverse-flash for all of Barry Allen’s issues.
Reverse-Flash was also brought back by Barry Allen, who had been absent. Eobard Thawne was the Flash’s most dangerous adversary, but following his comeback, his designers elevated him to a new level. Thawne started to be the root of all of Flash’s issues. Allen’s mother was first killed by Reverse-Flash when he traveled through time. Reverse-Flash altering Allen’s past by traveling back in time has become cliched over time.
To become Allen’s most recognizable adversary, Reverse-Flash didn’t really require much more. It’s one among the reasons why many fans quickly became tired of Allen; Reverse-Flash turned into more of a cliché than a bad guy.
Superman Changes by John Byrne Cut Off Lots of Story Possibilities
Post-Crisis A popular version of the character is Superman. Superman was completely under the author/illustrator John Byrne’s hands, and he was permitted to make any alterations he wanted. previous life as Superboy? Gone. Supergirl is no more. Different Kryptonians? Gone.
Superman created by Byrne was substantially different from earlier versions. He was Superman as defined by the Reagan Republicans. The best moments in Superman’s past were largely derived from things that are no longer around. Byrne’s Superman seems so constrained in comparison to the past. After Byrne left, Superman’s post-crisis performance improved, and he once again established himself as the beloved icon.