The word "retcon" is shorthand for "retroactive continuity changes." They happen when previously established facts within a fictional narrative are altered to form a new narrative. The characters within the narrative will acknowledge the new facts and forget the old facts, but the reader is confusingly left knowing both versions. Sometimes retcons are small tweaks that go practically unnoticed, and sometimes, they land on this list as one of the biggest retcons in comic history.
Comic book characters and stories can go on for decades. Because they go on for so long and often need to change with the times, comic book stories are especially susceptible to retcons. DC has even held several heavily promoted storylines intended to clean up their mangled continuity, piling retcons on top of retcons.
There are many different kinds of retcons, but common themes are bringing back a deceased character, rewriting an established origin, or undoing events that have derailed the narrative flow of a series by rebooting reality back to a more advantageous paradigm.
Fans reactions are mixed at best, but it's all a matter of how well the writer pulls it off. If they can craft a story that makes the change palatable, the new continuity becomes a welcome part of the canon, but if it's not done gracefully, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Good or bad, here is the list of the biggest retcons in comics!
- 1330 VOTES
- 2254 VOTES
The Return of Captain America
- 3209 VOTES
DC's MultiversePhoto: DC Comics
- 4139 VOTESPhoto: Vertigo
- 5177 VOTES
The Resurrection of Jason ToddPhoto: DC Comics
- 6163 VOTES
The Nature of the Phoenix