Monday, October 15, 2012

Show Continuity

Whether or not things are in continuity with each other is a tricky business, and mostly a matter of internal consistency.

Voice actors don't determine whether or not something is in continuity with another; voice actors are, at core, actors, and their availability is problematic; they have no professional obligation to do a role until the end of time, and may not be available. The same is true when they are available; just because two casting directors agree that Fred T. is an ideal hulk voice, and has experience with the character, doesn't mean that the two properties share continuity.

Animation style is not evidence that things are not in continuity with each other, any more than art style makes it true in comics. Different shows have different looks; USM and AEMH, had they shared the same versions of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, might have been deemed to be in continuity with each other, regardless of not looking alike.

Negative evidence - IE, a lack of contradiction - does not prove continuity. One could use the lack of contradictory evidence to show that Young Justice and AEMH are in continuity with each other; lacking proof that they are not means nothing, and is one of the mistakes often made by people who have yet to pass classes on logic. You can't prove a negative. You can only prove positives, and their implication can be used. AEMH and the HAS might be deemed to be in continuity if the Red Hulk wasn't in it - but we all know that Thunderbolt Ross is going away for a long time.

Creator Intent - Creator intent means nothing. Creator action means everything. Christopher Yost and Joshua Fine may have wanted FF, SSM, W&tXM, and AEMH to all be in continuity together, but there are too many contradictions remaining unexplained; in the case of FF, the Kree can't discover Earth twice. In the case of USM, the Vault prisons are different. In the case of W&tXM, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, and Magneto are contradictory. Can these be explained away? Not convincingly, and for implausible explanations, they'd have to be done in-continuity for it to carry weight. If Yost and Fine had really meant for them to be all in continuity with each the other, the Kree appearances in AEMH would have been written differently, the Vault would have been consistent, and Yost's in-continuity use of Magneto, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch would have been consistent with their history in the other show.

So far, with AA, all we can say is that they might be in continuity with each other - people change uniforms. What will dovetail the two series - or show that they are only based on the same core materials - is how the new series treats the continuity of the old series. What has been done is certain - how the writers care to treat matters moving forward is yet to be determined. If they really want AA to be linked to AEMH, then its easy enough to do.

For myself, I am assuming that there is no relationship. And it doesn't need it; the MU 616 is different from the AEMH universe, but they both have places in my heart. I am hoping that AA will disregard AEMH, and have the freedom to try new things, bound only by itself.