Continuity

New readers of comic books might be frightened or overwhelmed to begin their journey. They might ask “How can I get hooked into them when they have already gone through so much of the story? There is so much I need to catch up on.” According to Tony

The city of Smallville, an alternative continuity of the Superman universe. Issue Source: Smallville Continuity Chapter Eight
Figure 1. The city of Smallville, an alternative continuity of the Superman universe.
Issue Source: Smallville Continuity Chapter Eight

Guerrero of Comics Vine, “[for new readers] continuity hamstrings story and keeps comics inaccessible to casual readers.” With more and more comic books being available now, the fact that a single superhero or character may be in more than one addition at a time is practically inevitable. [Good source.]

But what does continuity mean?

 

[The definition of continuity, “connected as a whole,” like the world of comics books (Marvel and DC most notably). Image Source: Dictionary.com ]
You should be including images that visually illustrate continuity. An image of a dictionary definition might as well just be the dictionary definition.  The definition of continuity, “connected as a whole,” like the world of
comics books (Marvel and DC most notably). Image Source: Dictionary.com
Thinking about who, or what is “Connected as a whole,” one example of continuity is the Marvel Universe, a shared dimension where all the Marvel characters live. This is the reason why the Avengers are universally, and intergalactically, recognized by Marvel villains and readers: they live at the same point in time. This is why Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and other members are allowed to be shown together. Their continuity, and history of appearances in each other’s comics, allows for them to share this timeframe.

In this edition of the Avengers, they are adding the new lineup of superheroes to “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” Image Source: Avengers #151
Figure 2. In this edition of the Avengers, they are adding the
new lineup of superheroes to “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”
Image Source: Avengers #151 [You should have a longer explanation of this example in the body of your entry. Also, be sure to identify the writer of this book when talking about the new line-up. Typically, the new lineups are introduced at the beginning of a new writer’s run.]
Continuity is a notion that might be difficult for new readers to understand, but looking at a contrary argument, it might be beneficial to new readers. Their new favorite superheroes are in a large amount of books distributed to a large audience and readers won’t feel obligated to read every single comic that they’re in, but they will know enough to continue the story.

The idea of continuity has led to the most important comic books in the last 50 years. Because of continuity and the logical “what would happen next,” Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns were

“Look out, GOTHAM! The Joker’s Back in town!” -- without continuity, we wouldn’t have The Joker returning to Gotham to cause havoc. Image Source: The cover of DC’s Batman #251
“Look out, GOTHAM! The Joker’s Back in town!” — without continuity,
we wouldn’t have The Joker returning to Gotham to cause havoc.
Image Source: The cover of DC’s Batman #251

written. [But both of these books are outside the continuity of the main DC universes.] Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others at Marvel Comics are responsible for “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” (The Avengers), and the notion that superpowers don’t bring instant happiness. Because of continuity we were given Iron Man, Captain America and countless other superheroes and characters.  [You are right to say that continuity is connected to the fact that characters occupy a shared universe, but the more important point is the idea of continuity as a character’s history over time. Continuity is connected to the concept of “reboots” when a superhero or entire universe is rebooted, and it is also linked to the notion. of “retroactive continuity” when an author decides to change the history of a character in order to support a new direction. You don’t need to discuss retroactive continuity in this posting, but you should talk about the way that DC and Marvel have rebooted their entire universe in an attempt to fix problems related to continuity.]

Continuity has led to great storytelling innovations in the world of comics. It allows us to see a character in a different light, maybe even with different powers and different partners. Without continuity, Batman and the Joker would have just been one instance in time. The villain can now return for more editions and the storyline, though it isn’t necessary to read EVERY one, there will be uniformity throughout the volumes. The main take home is consistency, which allows for the story to take shape and hook the reader in for more than one moment in time.

REFERENCES

Batman #251 (September 1973). (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://www.comics.org/issue/26595/ <– This reference should be moved to the caption of your image. 

Continuity: Comics’ unique strength. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://zak-site.com/Great-American-Novel/realtime_continuity.html <– This source is an odd one. A few things here: First, you need to name and contextualize your sources. Second, this is a very weird site that focuses on the history of the Fantastic Four. It’s like a conspiracy theory site which posits a conspiracy theory about the world of FF IV. I’m not sure it is the best source to use here, but — if you choose to use it — you need to provide all of the citation details such as the author’s name and the date this was published. Also, you need to connect to it in the body of your glossary entry. 

Exclusive Preview: SMALLVILLE: CONTINUITY Chapter 8. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://www.comicvine.com/forums/comic-book-preview-1988/exclusive-preview-smallville-continuity-chapter-8-1611329/ <– This isn’t about continuity the concept. It’s the source of the image from a book that has continuity in the title. You should move this to the caption of the image above. 

Guerrero, T. (2011, October 3). Off My Mind: Continuity in Comic Books is No Longer Important. Retrieved October 1, 2015, from Include full citation details here. A web address is *not* a citation! <– This is a good source to use for this entry, but you should explicitly cite Guerrero’s ideas in the body of your glossary entry. 

Giant-Size Marvel: A Trio of Amazing Avengers Covers by Jack Kirby. (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://www.giantsizemarvel.com/2010/07/trio-of-amazing-avengers-covers-by-jack.html <– You can delete this from the references. In the image caption for the Avengers comic book, you should cite the actual comic book. This page has the details: http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Avengers_Vol_1_151

Continuity (n.). (n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2015, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/continuity?s=t <– Get rid of this definition. First, it’s not in the context of comic book continuity. Second, the goal of this site is to offer people a resource that goes beyond dictionary.com and wikipedia. Besides, you already have a better definition from Guerrero.