Does a show/movie being in a specific canon impact your thoughts on it?

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Spider-Man

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I was thinking about Justice League vs The Fatal Five and how it started out using different designs before it was decided to make it take place in the DCAU. I remember the same kind of happening with some of the Marvel 90s show like how people liked that Spider-Man and X-Men: TAS took place in the same universe. And they even considered the Fantastic Four, Iron Man cartoons too or all of the 90s Fox Kids show. Side question, are all the Fox Kids series considered the same universe? And then recent Avengers EMH and Wolverine & The X-Men being in the same universe too was liked by fans. Does a show/movie being in a specific canon impact your thoughts on it and is that a good thing or a bad thing?
 

Frontier

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I think it depends on the canon.

Like, ostensibly all the Marvel cartoons post Loeb are in the same continuity (even when they reboot certain characters) but I'm nowhere near as invested in these versions of the characters as I was in past versions, and the continuity can be so inconsistent between shows, so I really don't care as much.
 
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RoyalRubble

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The current shows all supposedly being set in the same continuity, even taking into account the 2 pretty different Spidey cartoons, makes things a little too inconsistent for me. Now to be fair I think the 90s shows kind of had the same approach going on, with newer shows also theoretically set in the same canon as what came before (i.e., Juggernaut's hand on Fantastic Four implying the Phoenix Saga from X-Men). Avengers Assemble having a flashback where the characters look like they did on Avengers: EMH was a nice visual, but it made no real sense continuity-wise.

Come to think of it, Marvel never really tried out some big scale inter-continuity between its shows like the DCAU did. The closest thing they had I believe would be Wolverine & the X-Men and Hulk Vs. Wolverine, but even that one is kind of lacking (at least from the continuity point of view; I do enjoy both of these projects).

Voice actors reprising roles in various shows doesn't really count as a shared universe, I think. Then again, shows that are supposed to be canon with each other did occasionally have voice actor changes regardless.

Personally, I don't let things like this affect too much the way I view each animated project. I like nods and stuff to past works, but don't usually try and make it all fit together. If it does, cool. But if the show can stand on its own and be entertaining, that's enough for me.
 
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iammattie

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Side question, are all the Fox Kids series considered the same universe?
Loosely. A lot of them have shared points of continuity, but behind the scenes there was a lot of "I like this show, but not that one so I'm going to ignore it". Officially speaking X-Men and Spider-Man share canon and Hulk, F4, and Iron Man share a seperate canon. All the other shows are their own canons.
 
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iammattie

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Loosely. A lot of them have shared points of continuity, but behind the scenes there was a lot of "I like this show, but not that one so I'm going to ignore it". Officially speaking X-Men and Spider-Man share canon and Hulk, F4, and Iron Man share a seperate canon. All the other shows are their own canons.
To expand on this...

Earth-92131:
X-Men TAS
Spider-Man TAS
X-Men '92

Earth-534834:
Fantastic Four TAS
The Incredible Hulk TAS
Iron Man TAS

Earth-634962:
Silver Surfer TAS

Earth-730784:
Avengers: United They Stand

Earth-751263:
Spider-Man:Unlimited
 
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TheLemsterPju

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To expand on this...

Earth-92131:
X-Men TAS
Spider-Man TAS
X-Men '92

Earth-534834:
Fantastic Four TAS
The Incredible Hulk TAS
Iron Man TAS

Earth-634962:
Silver Surfer TAS

Earth-730784:
Avengers: United They Stand

Earth-751263:
Spider-Man:Unlimited
Doesn't Marvel or the Marvel Appendix rearrange or merge reality numbers occasionally?

But yeah, I don't know why the first two aren't the same continuity. I don't recall anything that contradicted another show.

But if it's official, it's official I guess. :p
 

iammattie

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Doesn't Marvel or the Marvel Appendix rearrange or merge reality numbers occasionally?

But yeah, I don't know why the first two aren't the same continuity. I don't recall anything that contradicted another show.

But if it's official, it's official I guess. :p
Occassionally. 534834 used to just be F4, but they expanded it out. It's been years since these have been touched though.
 

Freddy

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Eh, yes and no.

Good story is a good story, and being in a specific continuity doesn't really affect that one way or another. Like, for example, Chris Yost has said that Hulk vs. Wolverine short, Wolverine and the X-Men and Avengers: EMH all take place in the same continuity, but that doesn't really affect any of the three projects one way or the another. Sure, I guess they make a small reference to Wolverine having fought the Hulk before in an episode of WatXM, but it's not like they actually build upon any of the plot-threads from the Hulk vs. Wolverine short. And AEMH doesn't really acknowledge the other two at all. But, I like all of them and the looseness of the continuity takes nothing away from my overall enjoyment.

Or, to give an another example, my feelings of Spider-Man TAS won't go beoynd the mixed/lukewarm feelings that I have just because it shares a continuity and even had an outright crossover with the far superior X-Men TAS, which I think is still to date one of Marvel's finest shows. At the same time, being connected to a weaker show doesn't diminish my love of X-Men TAS at all.

Although, for the sake of giving a full-blown positive example of shared continuity in Marvel cartoons, I really liked how people making second seasons of 90's Iron Man and Fantastic Four cartoons, and the first season of The Incredible Hulk handeled their connections. Hulk guest starred in one episode of both IM and F4, and when Iron Man and the Thing returned the favor in two episodes of TIH, they actually reference and build upon the events of the other two crossovers, while still telling strong standalone stories that you can enjoy, even if you were only watching Hulk's own show.

On the other hand, if you claim that some things are meant to take place in the same universe, I'm going to be more of a stickler for details than I would be otherwise. Especially, if I'm already not enjoying the story on its own terms. You can't say that two things are meant to share a continuity and then have one constantly contradict the other, whenever it's something small like the internal logic of the fictional universe (for example, stuff like "in X magic had no limitations, but in Y it had more defined rules") or something big like character's entire backstory and personality being completely retooled where the two versions simply can't coexist. And no, you can't hide behind "artistic freedom" - card forever, if you keep doing it and it becames obvious that you just don't care.

The "Loebverse" shows are particulary infamous for this. I won't go over every single instant of clunky continuity, but the funniest examples are probably Guardians of the Galaxy turning from their stern and serious comic-accurate versions to MCU-inspired wackier and less competant versions, without any in-universe justification or anyone batting an eye, and both Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man (a complete reboot) being canon in the same fictional universe at the same time with, again, nothing in-universe making it possible.

But those are shows that I dislike (or in case of Marvel's Spider-Man, have zero interest to check out in the first place) anyway, so them having nonsensical continuity just makes them easier targets for jokes. If you want an actual example of terrible continuity hurting a show, remember how Loeb tried to sell Avengers Assemble as a sequel to AEMH? Sure, I'm personally 100% certain that it was just marketing talk and as AA went on, each new episode made it clearer that the two shows weren't actually connected, but when I intially checked out the first episode? I doubt that I would have like the show anyway, but trying to tell me that the completely unlikeable versions of the Avengers were meant to be the same people who I loved on AEMH made me extra mad.

TL;DR, Shared continuity can be fun bonus, if I already enjoy the shows in the first place, but it's not a magic wand that automatically buys my invesment and, at worst case scanario, can even hurt your show, if you are not thoughtful about it.
 
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Superpan

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Throwing in my two cents on this dormant thread, but first an interesting observation.

I'm pretty sure the 90s X-Men/Spider-Man continuity and the 90s FF/Iron Man/Hulk continuities were supposed to be the same continuity until the FF episode "Nightmare In Green." In that episode, Rick and Johnny fly past both the X-Men from X-Men: TAS and the Scarlet Spider. The latter of course never appeared in the main reality of Spider-Man: TAS.

Personally, I always took that to mean their continuity was the one that Spider-Carnage destroyed in the Spider-Man: TAS finale with the realities featured in those episodes layered on top of each other to the point they seem like they're mostly very similar.

I will also say that the explanation a staffer was quoted on here as using about Secret Wars rebooting the Spider-Man and the Guardians in the Loeb-Verse is good enough for me.

Anyway, on to the topic on hand....

For the past ten years or so, I've personally kept track of DC and Marvel Movie/TV canons and sorted them into respective universes. While I'll treat most shows as being only canonical with each other based on creator statements, I also have no problem with putting shows together that weren't intended to be as long as there's nothing contradictory about it.

Along the way, I've noticed something different about how DC and Marvel allow their characters to be represented. I'll go into this more over in the DC thread, but DC has always been comfortable having wildly different versions of characters exist simultaneously. The Christopher Nolan Batman, the DCAU Batman, a Teen Titans Batman, and a The Batman Batman could all co-exist at the same time and be for the most part wildly different. Even more interesting is that DC feels comfortable bringing back older versions for DTVs, affirming that these are the same versions. Not surprising for a company that bases a large part of its modern appeal on multiverses and reboots.

Marvel, by contrast, had always been focused on only having one version of their characters running around. Their universe has never been fully rebooted in the comics and, until recently, the multiverse did not play a big part in their stories. Marvel was always about every story tying into the tapestry that was started in 1961.

Since the 1960s, Marvel animation and media has largely reflected that by essentially presenting similar versions of the characters across multiple shows with only long pauses "breaking" continuity. For instance, the Spider-Man of the 1981 cartoon was loosely intended to be seen as the same Spider-Man in the 1967 cartoon and the same Spider-Man in Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends. The Spider-Man in Spider-Man Unlimited was loosely intended to be the same one from the 90s cartoon. The Spider-Man in the CGI MTV series was supposed to be the same Spider-Man from the first Raimi film and so on.

Now obviously, different creative teams and studios lead to a lot of continuity snarls and stuff contradicting each other. But I personally think it's more interesting to tie shows and films together by similar goals and time period even if they aren't explicitly canon to flesh out a whole version of the Marvel Universe and provide some closure to some stories left dangling in Marvel's many cancelled series.

This has led to some interesting personal interpretations on my part such as:

- Watching the Marvel DTVs in chronological order (Thor: Tales Of Asgard, Doctor Strange, Invincible Iron Man, Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Avengers 2, Hulk VS., Planet Hulk, Next Avengers) tells the story of super-science versus magic with Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor as main characters. The world starts off as solely magical until super-soldiers and government projects interfere with that. The most vicious of these, the Hulk, goes completely rogue and further experimentation leads to
the ultimate synthetic creation, Ultron, wiping out the heroes and driving magic (Thor) from the Earth

- Placing X-Men Evolution, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Blade: The Series, and Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes on the same Earth as they were all attempting to replicate in some way what the movies at the time were doing. Doing this makes that version of Spider-Man have more resonance as we might realize the unnamed photographer in a backwards hat working freelance for the Human Torch in "Frightful" might in fact be a Peter Parker still emotionally lost after the devastating events of his own show.

- A little out of this forum's purview, but obviously X-Men: Days Of Future Past was what changed Spider-Man and Fantastic Four from the Sam Raimi and Tim Story versions to the Marc Webb and Josh Trank versions.

These are all completely unofficial and personal only to me. But, making these connections enriches the material for me. I of course love when creators get a chance to continue their own stories, though self-committed continuity snarls are frankly the most annoying. For instance, how some people assume Hulk Vs. Thor is in continuity with WATX/A:EMH, despite the latter never having a space to fit it. Or how Hulk was supposed to be an Agent of SMASH and the Avengers at the same time. That's when it grinds my gears.

At the end of the day though, I agree with the above poster. It's about telling compelling stories that'll make me decide if a project is worth my time. If it's not doing that, then the show has no more value than its Wikipedia page.
 

Freddy

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I don't think Hulk vs. Thor was ever officially stated to be in the WatXM/AEMH - continuity. People just assume so, since Christopher Yost said that Hulk vs. Wolverine was.
 
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Rick Jones

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Throwing in my two cents on this dormant thread, but first an interesting observation.

I'm pretty sure the 90s X-Men/Spider-Man continuity and the 90s FF/Iron Man/Hulk continuities were supposed to be the same continuity until the FF episode "Nightmare In Green." In that episode, Rick and Johnny fly past both the X-Men from X-Men: TAS and the Scarlet Spider. The latter of course never appeared in the main reality of Spider-Man: TAS.

Personally, I always took that to mean their continuity was the one that Spider-Carnage destroyed in the Spider-Man: TAS finale with the realities featured in those episodes layered on top of each other to the point they seem like they're mostly very similar.
I'm not sure if the Scarlet Spider cameo was that thought out. Larry Houston was one of the main guys behind Fantastic Four Season 2, so being the huge Marvel Universe fan that he was, he probably used the opportunity to throw in as many sneaky cameos of characters as he could, which was something he was always doing on the X-Men series. We don't see the X-Men in costume, and we only see Juggernaut's hand, so that might have been how he was able to get away with some X-Men references. Scarlet Spider might have just been used as a way to sneak in a Spider-Man cameo, without blatantly using the main costume and raising more eyebrows that might have blocked it at the time, especially while the Spider-Man series was being produced for Fox Kids.

With John Semper not being a fan of the Fantastic Four series, and Larry Houston probably not having any knowledge of what was being done on the Spider-Man series, I don't imagine that there was any explicit continuity shared between the two series but we fans can always speculate on what we want to. Who doesn't like the idea of those first five Marvel series of the 90s being interconnected?


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Superpan

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Yeah, I definitely agree on Hulk Vs. Thor not fitting with A:EMH, but that leads to the weird situation of two half of the same DVD having different canonicity status. C'est la vie, I suppose on these tossed off comments.

True, I imagine there wasn't much planning by Marvel during the 90s beyond "Make sure the characters resemble the comics and that they all are in the same world." For what it's worth, I love that Robert Hays held on to the Iron Man role through all the shows which didn't really start blatantly contradicting each other until Silver Surfer/Spider-Man: Unlimited.

Of course, my fanon explanation for the discrepancies and the similarities is that the 90s shows different continuities were so unstable (Spider-Carnage trying to blow up the universe, Counter-Earth exploding, Thanos wiping out the universe, the X-Men tie-in comic ending with the M'Kraan Crystal destroying the universe) that eventually they all collapsed into one universe where they all share one continuity.

Speaking of which, I've never seen that Marvel Universe intro which looks amazing! Holy cow, everyone looks great in that.
 

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