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Retcon: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Retcon was a pill that would induce amnesia in anyone that took it. It was used by Torchwood 3 to keep secret its operations from civilians. A side-effect of the pill was induced unconsciousness.


Other information

  • Retcon appears capable of only erasing selective memories, or allowing the implantation of false memories. When given to the wedding party following alien disruption of the wedding of Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams, it did not result in a large group of people forgetting that Gwen and Rhys were married. (TW: Something Borrowed)
  • Irving Braxiatel had access to a similar drug which caused a person (particularly a human) to lose the last 24 hours of their memory. (MA: The Empire of Glass)

This article uses material from the "Retcon" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

DC Comics

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From DC Database

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A retcon is a turn of phrase used by comic readers and industry professionals to describe alterations in the existing internal history of a particular comic character or series of events. Short for retroactive continuity, the term can be applied as either an acting verb or a noun and is only recognized in the external environment of comic book creation. The phrase is almost never used within the fictionalized reality of the characters themselves, although there have at times been some exceptions to this rule.


Purposes of a Retcon

As a writing convention, a retcon serves the function of revising older material, which may be deemed unpalatable to modern readers by altering specific details. Ideally, it serves to strengthen an existing line of continuity while also providing fresh insights into a character's history.

Canon vs. Non-Canon
As a retcon basically recreates a comic book's internal reality, there is often great debate between which material should be considered authoritative (canon), and which material is outdated, and no longer part of the modern history (non-canon). Essentially, the introduction of new material always trumps pre-existing material. If Superman #75 establishes that Lois Lane has green hair, whereas Superman #5 established her as a brunette, then the green-haired Lois should be considered as the canonical authoritative version of that character.

Flashbacks are the easiest and most commonly used tool with which to introduce revisionist material. However, the inclusion of a flashback does not automatically render a specific event as a retcon. If the flashback provides material keeping in line with the author's original creative vision, than it is simply a reveal, and not a true retcon.

Types of Retcons

Adding new material

Some retcons involve inserting additional information into a character's known history. These revisions do not contradict previous material, but enhance and often improve the dramatic integrity of older stories. Writer Peter David often used this technique when scripting material for his run on the 1993 Aquaman series.

Removing old material

In regards to DC Comics, this is the most commonly used form of retroactive continuity. In short, it allows the writer the ability to look back upon older stories and say, "that never happened". The 1985-86 twelve-issue limited series the Crisis on Infinite Earths is the most notorious example of this style of retconning, as it effectively wiped away large patches of accumulated history that spanned nearly fifty years of DC publishing. One example of the Crisis' lingering effects on historical continuity is the Silver Age era Superboy. In the modern canonical history, Clark Kent did not become a costumed hero until he was an adult, and never adopted the identity of the teen hero, Superboy.

Altering existing material

Primarily, this story telling convention serves to modernize older material in order to maintain a sense of historical consistency. The original events are still considered part of the canonical continuity, but they may not necessarily have happened in the exact same fashion that readers may remember. Such revisions can range from inconsequential alterations to major drastic changes. This style can become dangerous if handled poorly, and there have even been instances where writers found themselves retconning previous retcons. Hawkman, Donna Troy, Power Girl and Hippolyta have all suffered biographical injustices due to mismanaged multiple retcons.

Known retcons in the DC Universe

For the sake of clarity, the Post-Crisis Earth will be referred to as "New Earth" for the remainder of this article.


The Multiverse is an unending plane of dimensional realities, each one consisting of parallel worlds with characters and histories congruent to one another, but with various differences. Originally, there was only one dimensional reality, and all known heroes, villains and their respective supporting cast existed within the same reality. In 1961, DC Comics established its first official retcon. In Flash #123 in a story entitled, "The Flash of Two Worlds", it was revealed that the super-heroes of the 1960s operated on a parallel world from that of the original Golden Age heroes. Although the Golden Age characters were active during a chronologically earlier era than their Silver Age counterparts, their dimensional reality came to be known as Earth-Two. The Silver Age heroes operated on a world called Earth-One. This retcon altered the character histories of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman who were acknowledged as having counterparts on both Earth-One and Earth-Two. Other famous heroes had counterparts who adopted their names, but were in fact different people, such as Jay Garrick the Golden Age Flash, and Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash.

Over the span of the next twenty years, more parallel Earths were created, each one brandishing their own versions of established DC heroes. Some worlds were created as a de facto resting place for characters purchased from defunct companies, such as Charlton Comics and Quality Comics. One world, Earth-Three, boasted villainous versions of the Justice League, while planets like Earth-S functioned as the universal home of the Marvel Family of characters.

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, many of these parallel worlds were destroyed. By Crisis on Infinite Earths #10, only five parallel Earths remained intact. However, their existence was only fleeting. Dozens of super-heroes traveled back in time to the era of the Big Bang in order to face the cosmic being known as the Anti-Monitor. The end result was a reboot of the Big Bang phenomenon which effectively erased the concept of the Multiverse and created one streamlined universe with only one Earth. A new history was established and many characters who originally hailed from alternate Earths were now retroactively relocated to this "new" Earth. With the exception of a villain known as the Psycho-Pirate, the remaining characters in the DC Universe were unaware of events that existed prior to the cosmic reboot.

In seeking to clear muddy waters, DC Comics released a two-issue prestige format illustrated narrative entitled, The History of the DC Universe. This two-issue limited series established which characters and stories were inclusive to the new continuity, while affirming that many Pre-Crisis events should then be construed as apocryphal.

Despite the reference material supplied in the History of the DC Universe, the identifying of canonical, Post-Crisis events is still a subject of interpretation.

See Multiverse for a more comprehensive account of the various parallel Earths.

Batman retcons

Death of Parents
The exact circumstances behind the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne have changed considerably over the years. Also, the age of Bruce Wayne at the time of this incident has altered as well. In the Golden Age continuity, a mugger named Joe Chill shot both of the Waynes leaving a nine-year old Bruce an orphan.[1] As Batman, Bruce ultimately finds Joe Chill, but the murderer is killed by a group of his own men.

The Silver Age version of this incident closely follows the Golden Age version. The only notable exception is that Joe Chill only shoots Thomas Wayne. Martha Wayne dies of a heart attack seconds after seeing her husband killed.[2] as well as many background elements such as Wayne being taken in and raised by his father's brother Philip and having his own brother, Thomas Wayne, Jr.

In the Post-Crisis retelling of the origin, Joe Chill shoots both of the Waynes, but Bruce is only seven-years-old at the time.[3] The Zero Hour timeline retcons Bruce's age, establishing him as nine-years-old at the time of his parents murder. More modern sources have now established that Bruce Wayne was in fact ten-years-old at the time of his parents' deaths and largely raised by a younger Alfred Pennyworth and Dr. Leslie Thompkins[4], removing the surviving family of the Waynes. Even the existence of the man responsible for killing Thomas and Martha Wayne is now called into question. Batman later met up with Joe Chill during the "Year Two" storyline, a storyline that culiminated with Chill's apparent demise. Following Zero Hour, it is now believed that the Waynes' murderer was not only never caught, but he was never positively identified either. To date, Bruce Wayne has yet to turn up a solid lead into his parents' murder. Some evidence exists suggesting that John Corben (the future Metallo) may be somehow linked to the murder, or even responsible.

Superman retcons

Superman has undergone dramatic retcons over the years. The original Superman introduced in Action Comics #1 was born Kal-L of the planet Krypton (later versions of the character spell his Kryptonian name Kal-El). He crash-landed on Earth in the present, which at the time was publishing year 1938, and was adopted by John and Mary Kent. As Clark Kent, he worked at the Daily Star based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Later issues retroactively relocated him to the fictional city of Metropolis, positioned at an undetermined locale in the Eastern United States.

Originally, Superman was unique to his own reality, but a guest-appearance in a Hop Harrigan text story in All-Star Comics #8 (1940) established that he functioned in the same reality as other super-heroes such as the Atom, Flash and Green Lantern. Although Flash #123 established the concept of parallel realities, it was actually Justice League of America #21 that provided the nomenclature Earth-Two. All of Superman's adventures from 1938 until the mid 1950s were now considered part of Earth-Two continuity, whereas all of his adventures published from c. 1955 onward were relegated to the continuity of Earth-One, thus creating two separate characters. DC Comics has never established a firm rule determining when Earth-Two stories ceased regular publication, and when Earth-One stories began, though it was clear that everything from the creation of the Justice League of America onward was unmistakably part of Earth-One continuity.

Much of the original storyline of the original books was re-established as the background of the Earth-Two Superman such as the character not knowing he was actually from the alien planet of Krypton growing up ignorant of his heritage until an adult, and never having a costumed career while a child which the Earth-One Superman did in his first specific origin story which specifically countered the earlier origin stories of the character.[5] With two specific active versions of the character, many writers began to create ever greater differences between the two primary incarnations. Most notable between them was the fact that the Superman of Earth-Two aged and married Lois Lane of his reality, whereas Superman of Earth-One remained single and remained essentially the same age. Writers such as E. Nelson Bridwell and Roy Thomas went on to even directly change the early history of the Earth-Two Superman's career in the pages of All-Star Squadron and Superman Family. In the 1970s, the Earth-Two Superman and Lois Kent were featured regularly in a vignette in Superman Family series entitled "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" which mostly featured their early married life together in the very early 1950s which again retconned all of the actual printed stories of the 1950s that showed the characters unmarried and Lois still trying to find out Superman's secret identity.

The timeline for both versions of the character came to an end in the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths. By the end of the storyline, Earth-Two and Earth-One were merged into a new reality, colloquially known as New Earth. Although Superman and Lois of Earth-Two survived the Crisis, their realities were erased from history. Superman of Earth-One and his entire supporting cast (including foes) were rendered apocryphal.

In 1986, writer/artist John Byrne reintroduced Superman for the Post-Crisis environment in a six-issue limited series entitled Man of Steel. Through the course of the series, Byrne re-established Superman's origins as well as the re-introduction of his ever-growing stable of supporting characters including the Kents, Lois Lane, Lana Lang and Lex Luthor. One major alteration brought about by this revamp was the total restructuring of Kryptonian culture and history. A comprehensive timeline of key Kryptonian events was revealed in the four-issue World of Krypton limited series and supplemented by 1988's Action Comics Annual #2. Another major adjustment was Superman's place within the history of the Justice League of America. In Pre-Crisis continuity, Superman was a founding member of the League, and remained with them throughout the entirety of their tenure. In the revised history, Superman refused official membership, but agreed to help the neophyte heroes on occasion.

Superman's post-crisis history was rigidly maintained until 2003 when Mark Waid produced the twelve-issue maxi-series Superman: Birthright. Birthright introduced major alterations to established Superman history without any sort of catalyst by which to explain them. The changes made in Waid's story contradict many elements presented during the Byrne era, including De-aging Ma and Pa Kent, placing Lex Luthor in Smallville during his youth (done to reflect elements presented in the Smallville television series), restructuring Kryptonian lifestyle again and making it possible for other Kryptonians to survive Krypton's ultimate destruction (In the Post-Crisis revamp, Kryptonians were genetically bound to their home world, and could not leave the planet without dying).

DC's current editorial staff have stated that elements of both the Byrne era revisions and the Birthright storyline are part of canon continuity, selectively choosing elements of both. Such as currently Superman is again almost borne on Earth being only weeks old when he arrives on Earth and develops power slowly as he matures though having some powers as a teenager which he uses in secret thus never becoming costumed Superboy but still inspiring the later heroes of the Legion of Super-Heroes as a young hero. The Post-Birthright Krypton removed the genetic defect bonding Kyrptonians to their home world, and through this, DC was able to introduce more Kryptonian characters such as Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) and the Phantom Zone criminals such as Zod whose own son has been adopted by Superman and being raised as Superman's foster son Christopher Kent, alongside a superpowered though not normal-human intelligent Krypto.

Wonder Woman retcons

The history of Wonder Woman was altered greatly due to the effects of the Crisis. All of Wonder Woman's Earth-One and Earth-Two adventures (including her rogue's gallery and supporting cast) were removed from continuity. In the Post-Crisis environment, Wonder Woman did not leave Themyscira from man's world until some time after the Crisis. She was never a founding member of the Justice League of America, and she never dated Air Force colonel Steve Trevor. In fact, Steve Trevor was now cast in the role of an aging test pilot who later became involved with Etta Candy.

The excising of Wonder Woman from historical continuity affected the lives of several other characters as well. Wonder Woman was initially responsible for rescuing infant Donna Troy from a burning building and bringing her back to Paradise Island, where she eventually grew up to become Wonder Girl. This, among other things, cast Donna Troy into a continuity quagmire that took years for editors to sufficiently sort out.

Her absence from continuity also removed all presence of the Golden Age Wonder Woman. Without a Wonder Woman, the question was asked, "Who was adventuring with the Justice Society of America in her place?" In order to smooth over this omission, DC editors decided to retroactively insert the character of Miss America into the Wonder Woman role and establish her as an honorary member of the Justice Society of America. This decision was met with mixed criticisms from readers, some of whom felt that Miss America was not iconic enough to replace Wonder Woman and very little attention was paid to this retcon.

The removal of the Golden Age Wonder Woman created still more problems. In 1983, it was established that Wonder Woman had married Steve Trevor and gave birth to a daughter, Lyta. Lyta Trevor went on to join the Earth-Two team known as Infinity, Inc. as the hero, Fury. Following the Crisis, Infinity Inc. was retroactively relocated to New Earth and Lyta Trevor's history was preserved in the new continuity. However, her parentage was now called into question. In 1987, Roy Thomas created the character of Helena Kosmatos, Lyta's mother and the new Golden Age Fury. While the Golden Age Fury was intended to placate some fans of the original Wonder Woman, there was still the issue of Miss America's contributions to the Golden Age mythos.

In 1998, writer/artist John Byrne solved the Miss America problem. In one storyline, the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman died and was elevated to the status of godhood, becoming the Goddess of Truth. In order to fill the void, her mother Hippolyta was chosen to act in the role of Wonder Woman. During one of her adventures, Hippolyta traveled back in time to the year 1942, where she became a member of the JSA and remained there for several years before returning to the present. Historically, Hippolyta is now recognized as the Golden Age Wonder Woman.

Following the events of Infinite Crisis, Wonder Woman's placement in DCU History has been retconned yet again. She has been retroactively re-established as a founding member of the Justice League of America, replacing the role of Black Canary. Black Canary is now stated to have joined the League shortly after their formation, but she is no longer considered a founding member.

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This article uses material from the "Retcon" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Marvel Database

Up to date as of February 09, 2010
(Redirected to Glossary:Retcon article)

From Marvel Database


A retcon (short for retroactive continuity) is, in a nutshell, a storyteller's tool that adds previously unknown material to an event in a previous story. As with any tool, the quality of the finished product depends on the user's skill and intent.

For a good example of bad retcons, see the Clone Saga.

[top] [Edit Retcon]

This article uses material from the "Glossary:Retcon" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

Retcon is a memory altering syrum first developed by Elizabeth Rand in 2387. She was also the first Humanoid to be given the drug when she erased her own memories. (Star Trek: Pioneer (PNR): "Messengers of Doomsday, Parts 1 & 2")

This article uses material from the "Retcon" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Master Qui-Gon, more to say, have you?

It is requested that this article, or a section of this article, be expanded.

See the request on the listing or on this article's talk page. Once the improvements have been completed, you may remove this notice and the page's listing.

"Retcon is retroactive continuity—the science of making stuff fit and getting better stories out of it."
Karen Traviss

Retroactive continuity—commonly contracted to the portmanteau word retcon—refers to deliberately changing previously established facts in a work of serial fiction. The change itself is referred to as a retcon, and the act of writing and publishing a retcon is called "retconning."

When George Lucas re-edited the original Star Wars trilogy, he made changes directly to the source material, rather than introduce new source material that contradicted the contents of previous material. However, the current series of Star Wars prequels do qualify as "new source material", and many fans have pointed out instances which apparently retcon elements of the original trilogy.

Star Wars movies

  • Possibly the first, and certainly the most well-known, Star Wars retcon occurs in Return of the JediObi-Wan Kenobi's explanation to Luke about Anakin's true fate.
  • Ever since Episode IV, the Old Republic was said to have been established before 25,000 BBY; but when in Episode II, Palpatine said that the Republic was only 1,000 years old, the Ruusan Reformation was created to remedy this discrepancy.
  • In Episode VI, Leia tells Luke that she vaguely remembers how their mother looked. Though, in Episode III, Luke's and Leia's mother, Padmé Amidala, dies soon after giving birth to them, meaning Leia would normally be too young to remember how Padmé looked. However, Leia is Force sensitive and she may have, using the Force, unknowingly stored her first memory: that of her mother's face.

Expanded Universe

  • Since Episode IV, the Republic was known to have fought the Clone Wars, and the EU added several other conflicts, such as the Great Sith War; but in Episode II, it was stated that "there hasn't been a full-scale war since the formation of the Republic." The above-mentioned Ruusan Reformation also handled this discrepancy.
  • The Imperial capital was originally referred to by writers as Imperial Center; when Timothy Zahn's name of Coruscant was introduced, the name Imperial Center was retconned to be what the Empire designated Coruscant.
  • Likewise, the capital city of Coruscant was originally called Imperial City; when Coruscant was determined to be an ecumenopolis, Imperial City was retconned to be the designation of that part of the city as opposed to the planetwide city as a whole (which was renamed Galactic City).
  • The name of the Republic's leader was for many years called the President of the Senate; when the prequels revealed the title to be the Supreme Chancellor, the term 'President of the Senate' was retconned to be one of the Chancellor's several official titles (some say that this was the title before the Reformation).
  • In the Jedi Prince series, Kadann and the others were trying to steal power away from Ysanne Isard. Isard is never mentioned in the series—in fact, it's frequently implied there is no Imperial leader other than Trioculus—but this retcon was created to fit the series into the established timeline.
  • It was established in the EU that Raith Sienar gave Tarkin the designs for the Death Star, and that Bevel Lemelisk developed the superlaser; after Episode II revealed that the Geonosians gave the plans to Tyranus/Sidious, it was retconned that the Geonosians developed the details based on outlines given to them by Sienar and Lemelisk. Indeed, the history of the Death Star has become so convoluted that a novel was created to this topic. The novel was, in effect, one large retcon.
  • The show Star Wars: Droids showed C-3PO and R2-D2 having several adventures in the time between the rise of the Empire and Episode IV; after the release of Episode III showed them to be in the employ of the same people they are with in Episode IV, it has been retconned that the two droids somehow were separated from their owners because of Corla Metonae after Episode III, then returned to them sometime before Episode IV.
  • While A-wings are not supposed to exist before the Battle of Yavin, they appear in the Droids series, which happens between the two trilogies. The identical R-22 Spearhead was then 'invented' as a predecessor of the A-wing, in order to explain the appearance of such ships in the Droids era.
  • The title Darth was supposed to be invented in the period of the New Sith Wars until the game Knights of the Old Republic introduced Darth Revan and Darth Malak, who lived 2,000 years before the beginning of the aforementioned period. It is generally assumed that the title was forgotten sometime between, so the tradition was lost. The first Sith Lord to use the title Darth in the New Sith Wars era also constantly shifted into the past: first it was thought to be Darth Bane, then Darth Rivan, and later Darth Ruin.
  • The BBY system used in many sources to represent dates in the Star Wars timeline is itself a retcon. It originated as an out-of-universe dating system and, after becoming popular, was retconned into an in-universe system used by the New Republic, et al.
  • According with their first backstory written in the Star Wars Sourcebook, the Mon Calamari and the Quarren had their first contact with offworlders when the Galactic Empire discovered their world. This generated continuity problems when Quarren appeared as background aliens in Episode I, and when the Mon Calamari Padawan Bant Eerin appeared in the Jedi Apprentice series. The idea that the Mon Calamari's conflict with the Empire was their first experience with offworlders was retconned away when they appeared as loyal members of the Galactic Republic in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds explained these previous references as Imperial propaganda.
  • Jaster Mereel was originally supposed to be the real name of Boba Fett. However, when Episode II stated that Boba was a clone of his "father" Jango Fett, Jaster Mereel was retconned into a separate character, Jango's mentor and predecessor as Mandalore. It was stated that Boba took the alias in honor of the real Jaster. It was also stated that there were many rumors concerning Boba Fett's identity due to the fact that most people in the galaxy knew very little about him.
  • In Episode VI, Boba Fett falls into the Sarlacc and is presumed dead. However, in EU, Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc, and kept his life as a bounty-hunter.
  • Stormtroopers during the Galactic Civil War were never indicated to be clones before the prequel films. Additionally, multiple Expanded Universe sources mentioned normal human stormtroopers (such as Davin Felth and Kyle Katarn) and showed the existence of Imperial academies (such as Carida) which trained normal humans as stormtroopers. Large numbers of clones were later retconned into the stormtrooper ranks. (See Also Star Wars: Battlefront II)

See also

This article uses material from the "Retcon" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Star Wars Fanon

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

The Star Wars wiki of fan invention.

"Retcon is retroactive continuity–the science of making stuff fit and getting better stories out of it."
Karen Traviss

Retroactive continuity—commonly contracted to the portmanteau word retcon—refers to deliberately changing previously established facts in a work of serial fiction. The change itself is referred to as a retcon, and the act of writing and publishing a retcon is called "retconning."

When George Lucas re-edited the original Star Wars trilogy, he made changes directly to the source material, rather than introduce new source material that contradicted the contents of previous material. However, the current series of Star Wars prequels do qualify as "new source material", and many fans have pointed out instances which apparently retcon elements of the original trilogy.

See also

This article uses material from the "Retcon" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 05, 2010

From Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki

And with Retcon(tm) Brand handy wipes, your Optimus Prime can be good as new! Please allow 2-4 hours or hundreds of letters from traumatized children.

The term retcon is a contracted form of the phrase "retroactive continuity". According to the rec.arts.comics.misc FAQ, the term was coined by one Damian Cugley, and its first recorded use is by comics-author Roy Thomas, where he used (and reported hearing) the term in a letter column.

In general usage, "retcon" refers to a new development in a story that changes the interpretation of past stories in a way that the original story-writer almost certainly did not intend at that time. In the most dramatic cases, it can also refer to a new development which contradicts and overrides some aspect of, or the entirety of, an earlier story.


In the most strict version of the definition, a retcon in a story is any "newly revealed" information which begs a reinterpretation of past events but which does not actually change those events. For example, at the end of Beast Wars' second season, it was revealed that Tarantulas was a lieutenant of the Predacon Secret Police and had joined Megatron to keep an eye on him. This changes the viewer's perception of Tarantulas: rather than being merely out for himself, he had been operating a very specific agenda from the start while still, of course, being out for himself as well. This development does not contradict previous stories, and adds a layer of depth to them that was not there before.

The introduction of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership in The Transformers: The Movie is a more clunky retcon. Upon viewing the movie, fans are asked to accept that Optimus Prime had been carrying the Matrix around with him for the last two years of cartoon episodes. Despite being a unique and cosmically powerful artifact with monumental importance to Autobot history and culture, it had never been relevant to the plot or even mentioned in passing. Still, there is no blatant contradiction here; the closest fans get are a few views or scans of Prime's interior which show no sign of the Matrix's housing. There are a lot of ways one can justify the Matrix's apparent absence. So this retcon still does not really contradict anything, but it is harder to swallow.

A case from Transformers in which a retcon redacted part of an old story instead of simply adding to it is "The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 1". The ending of "Dark Awakening" has a severely damaged, yet still clearly alive Optimus Prime steering the Autobots' flagship through a fiery space battle into a booby trap set up by the Quintessons. However, at the beginning of "The Return of Optimus Prime", Jessica Morgan and Gregory Swofford find the Autobots' flagship drifting through space, with a seemingly undamaged, yet lifeless Optimus Prime aboard, and no noticeably large scale battle anywhere close. While the lack of battle damage could be explained as an animation error, Prime's sudden inactivity and particularly the absence of the space battle clearly qualify for a retcon.

Starting with the Universe comic, and subsequent appearances in the Dreamwave Armada "Worlds Collide" storyline, and the Fun Publications Cybertron comic, Unicron was first introduced as a dimension-hopping entity and then finally established as a single Unicron moving from "place" to "place", rather than being a series of separate but similar Unicrons across all the various continuities. This change in the character's treatment (along with the accompanying additions to the Primus/Unicron mythos) is likely the most far-reaching retcon thus far, as it claims relevance to and priority over every Transformers story ever told. As a result there has been some fan opposition to it, considering the seeming impossibility of it and the contradictions evident in earlier Unicron appearances seeing as though in virtually all of those appearances, Unicron is destroyed in some form. Meaning he would also have the ability to resurrect himself across different universes. Which doesn't make much sense.

The most drastic form of a retcon, which completely invalidates a former story (or elements thereof) that's supposed to be set within the same continuity, has technically never actually been used in Transformers fiction thus far; however, Marvel would later treat the appearance of Spider-Man in issue 3 of the original US Transformers title as an anomaly, pretending that it had never happened.

External links

  • rec.arts.comics.misc FAQ, Part 6

This article uses material from the "Retcon" article on the Transformers wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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