10 Unbelievable Retcons That Changed Comics For The Better

Wolverine's claws weren't always as cool as you think they are...

Wolverine Claws X-Men 2
20th Century Fox

Every time something changes in comic books, there will always be a tsunami of outcry. “Worst. Thing. Ever.” has become the cattle call for any sort of change to the status quo, even when there’s very little status quo to be had. This happens with reboots, shifts in directions and, the most common ticket to ride the hate-train: the dreaded retcon!

Retcons are a marvellously weird thing in long term storytelling. In a film, the surprise reveal that the guy killed in the cold opener is still alive to betray the hero in the third act is a now-standard plot device. No one ever decries that twist as having betrayed the spirit of the first five minutes of the film. But in a TV show or a comic book, it becomes the point of contention that causes waves of hate, ire, or even just plain annoyance.

However, there have been retcons that have done good. The principle seems to be after the flood of complaints recede, and time is allowed to pass, these retcons are either accepted en masse, or there is legitimately positive feedback in the wake of the initial shock surrounding the change. The following, however, are undoubtedly the best to have graced the medium.

10. Darth Vader Knew About Luke Skywalker

Wolverine Claws X-Men 2
Marvel Comics

Losing the Expanded Universe of Star Wars is still a touchy subject for many fans of its massive history. In essence, Marvel's new line of Star Wars comics were a reboot that cleared all the history except for the films and the television shows.

However, the publisher had a huge hit with the Darth Vader title. If you couldn’t tell by the title, it follows Darth Vader in between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, and it truly is a glorious read and a welcome addition to the Star Wars canon.

One of the most iconic moments is in Star Wars: Darth Vader #6 when Boba Fett tells Darth Vader that he discovered the name of the pilot that blew up the first Death Star. Skywalker. After Boba Fett leaves, Darth Vader tries to contain his rage but flashes of his past, with the death of Padme and his children in his mind, mean he’s unable to contain the power of the Force and cracks the glass in his office.

The grandness of the moment adds a depth to all interactions between the Emperor after that, including a unique level to the “revelation” when Emperor Palpatine tells him of his son, as both sides know that Vader already knows by that point.

Contributor
Contributor

Learning to read from his parents' old comic book collection, ink has flowed through his blood since he was born! And now, the self-proclaimed Comic Archivist (at least on Youtube) brings his talents for comic book history and obscurity to WhatCulture! Be warned: he's a Cyclops fanboy and a Nightwing groupie!