Thursday, April 3, 2008

[comics] The Order: Is this a retcon?

Right, so is anybody else reading Marvel's "The Order" series? I've been looking around, but I can't find any real discussion of the book. So I'm wondering if anybody else noticed what I think I noticed.

I'm gonna skip explaining the background on this book. Interested parties can ask Wikipedia, as always. Suffice it to say that it's a superhero book, and it includes this dude they call Heavy.

When he first shows up, he looks like this:

Rockin the Stratos look.

Then, next issue, he gets shot in the face by some Cold-War-era supervillain. He goes "blurgle" and is thoroughly out of commission.

But he's back an issue later, apparently wearing a bacta tank on his head. So we--okay, I--assume this is part of his shot-in-the-face-by-a-Soviet-relic treatment plan. Naturally.

But he keeps running abound in a helmet full of blue fluid. For a whole mess of issues.

Finally, the most recent issue (the ninth of the series) explains Heavy's background in a flashback sequence (which is something this book does for a different character each issue, which is awesome, and would be worth talking more about if I didn't have a different topic, here). It turns out that he was actually horribly injured well before his superhero career started, and was confined to an iron lung. And the fluid inside his costume is apparently a fix for that pre-existing condition.

...So what the hell was he doing running around without his blue goo in the first and second issues?

So has this character's background been changed significantly just eight issues after he first appeared? I'd assume this was either a deliberate or accidental retcon by a new writer but, no, Matt Fraction's been writing the book the whole time. Hell, it's been pretty much the same story arc throughout all nine issues, even. There doesn't seem like room for retcon here, or time for a good writer (and Fraction is a good writer) to forget major details about a character.

Is there something here I'm just wildly misinterpreting? Was there a mask full of fluids in the first two issues that the inker and colorist just didn't pick up on? I don't get this.


Tone said...

I'm going to go with the theory I developed after reading Casanova: Matt Fraction is overrated.

Tone said...

And I realize that by judging the man based on one trade I'm being totally unfair to Fraction. But this is the Internet so judging people out of hand is fair game.

Matt Sheridan said...

Huh. And I was just thinking about checking Casanova out, too.

Really, though, The Order has been pretty cool, aside from this one weird anomaly. Good character writing. I especially dig the bit where a dude (who later goes on to name himself Supernaut) says to his unseen interviewer (who we can assume to be Iron Man) "Really, sir? How could you of all people not be into metal? Or at least Sabbath?"

Michael J. Patrick said...

I only ever read the first issue, so I have no clue.

Why not just contact the author?

Michael J. Patrick said...

That's funny. My last comment made a link to

Stupid internet is on the fritz again.

Matt Sheridan said...

Damn, that's a good idea. It's 2008, for crying out loud. People are accessible. I think I'll try dropping him a line tonight.

Matt Sheridan said...

Dang, never heard back from the dude. Maybe I'll meet him at a con, some day.