Saturday, May 19

The Burden of Continuity

As children, we never did care about history. Yesterday was as far we could go or we could consider, and only because we wanted to have something better today. I already had this yesterday and now I want something better. But generally, we just didn't care. So it was no problem jumping right smack in the middle of Saturday Fun Machines, of chato or patintero, of comic books. Previously didn't matter. We were sure that it didn't matter.

Met up with Dodo last Friday night, and when he said he had a lot of back issues to unload, I didn't realize what a lot meant until they were in front of me. It was A LOT of comic books. Speed Force. The Spirit (with a Neil Gaiman story). Giffen's Legion of Super-Heroes. ACME Novelty Library. Waid's JLA. A James Robinson Bat-Man arc. A couple of SHOWCASES. And a whole lot more. He told me that these weren't complete arcs, that some pick-up 3 issues later or was issue 2 of a 12-issue mini-series. And I replied, giddily of course, "It doesn't matter."

I picked up my first comic book when I was around 3 years old, and it was X-Men #101. The team had just come back from space but their survival from a previous battle was eclipsed by Marvel Girl's death. Then all of a sudden, Marvel Girl surfaces from the ocean as Phoenix. "I am the Phoenix!" in bold, jagged letters, and she, in green and gold with wild red hair. It was the only comic book we had for a couple of months so my sister and I read it over and over. Again and again. And we never got tired of it. We didn't know anything about the X-Men, and only found out a couple of years later what happened after that issue. But it didn't matter.

Continuity is obssession for the passing of time, the progression of characters, the history of a universe. I am a continuity geek. I go out of my way, I hide from friends, I skip lunches just to search for that missing issue, always trying to understand things. I am cautious with people. I don't take great risks. And I stay awake at night worrying about what will happen next.

Sometimes I just want to be the 5-year old me who isn't burdened with motives, repercussions and probability.

Sometimes, whatever it is, it really doesn't matter. We'll write that panel when we get there.

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