Retroactive Continuity

retcon

Retroactive continuity (often shortened to retcon) refers to the alteration of previously established facts in a literary work. Retcons may be carried out for a variety of reasons, such as to accommodate sequels or further derivative works in the same series, to reintroduce popular characters, to resolve chronological issues, to reboot a familiar series for modern audiences, or to simplify an excessively complex continuity structure.

Retcons are common in pulp fiction, especially comic books published by long-established houses such as DC, Marvel and leading manga publishers. The long history of popular titles and the plurality of writers who contribute stories can often create situations that demand clarification or revision of exposition. Retcons appear as well in soap operas, serial drama, movie sequels, professional wrestling, video games, radio series, and other kinds of serial fiction.

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