Something interesting occurred to me the other day.
I’ve read every published issue of Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon (which is roughly, I dunno, 172 or so issues).
I know a lot about Savage Dragon.
However, I had completely forgotten about the vision that Wildstar had had back in 1996’s Savage Dragon #29 that was ultimately wrapped up in the current Savage Dragon storyline. It wasn’t a big deal – Larsen wrote it so it’s not like you NEEDED to remember it, as the information is repeated to the readers (Wildstar lets everyone know what his vision was), but it still struck me that I had forgotten about it.
And here’s the interesting thing – I forgot that detail, but I’m pretty darn sure I could remember a similar plot point from, say, I dunno, a 1996 issue of Detective Comics or a 1996 issue of Amazing Spider-Man. And I think it is because with a shared continuity like Marvel and DC have, there is always this sense that you “need” to know everything that happens, because you never know when it will show up in another comic. To wit, the first issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ current Avengers series (the one with John Romita Jr.) had a reference to a Dark Reign: Lethal Legion mini-series from the previous year that flew waaaay under the radar of most people (it was pretty good, by the way), so I am sure most of the people reading the popular Bendis title did not get the reference. And that’s the way it is with shared continuities, you never know when some seemingly random book will tie into another comic you’re reading.
And I guess because I know that, I pay more attention to details in shared continuity comics than I normally would. I mean, it’s certainly not that I like “Random DC/Marvel book Q” better than Savage Dragon. Savage Dragon is a good comic. And yet, I am almost certainly more likely to recall a detail from “Random DC/Marvel Book Q” from 1996 than I am from a Savage Dragon issue from the same time.
Shared continuities can be awfully pervasive like that.
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