Robert Greenberger

Robert Greenberger is best known to comics fans as the editor of Who's Who In The DC Universe, Suicide Squad, and Doom Patrol. He's written and edited several Star Trek novels and is the author of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. He's known for his work as an editor for Comics Scene, Starlog, and Weekly World News, as well as holding executive positions at both Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

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12 Responses

  1. Tobey Cook says:

    Bob,I have to agree with you on this subject. The problem I see with most of the post-One Year Later material when it comes to continuity is a severe case of the editors not taking the time to coordinate with other departments when it appears there may be a conflict in a character's appearance. You point to the Wonder Woman case as an example, and here's a further push on that – her trial actually took place during the most recent Manhunter arc. The relaunch of her own title has been so muddled continuity-wise that I think most people are just waiting till issue 13 when Gail Simone comes on board.I miss the days when editors took on the role of continuity shepherds and made sure things made at least some bit of sense. Neither Marvel or DC care to really handle continuity as much as they care to admit.Oh, and I want new Who's Who if only for the reason I'm a huge character profile junkie, and I love finding new things out about favorite and lesser-known characters.

  2. Linda Gold says:

    Bob, All too true. I don't mind if 60 years of history doesn't fit in all places but I am so confused by conflicting things in 52 and One Year later to say nothing of the general confusion I found in the 52 story to begin with. (Can anyone explain to me what happened to Ralph Dibney? I seem to have missed him dying and being resurrected between weeks 50 and 52.) As far as editing goes, Tobey is right on the money. There seems to be a general lack of editing on all levels these days.

  3. Rick Taylor says:

    It's all about sell ing 'this week's Crisis'. Not about building a consistant universe or telling stories that hang together more than three weeks from now.

  4. Elayne Riggs says:

    I care WAAAY more about internal continuity (within one book, with one creative team) than external continuity (throughout a "shared universe" or even one book when the creative team changes). Also, I notice not that many people make a big deal when characters' costumes are drawn differently in different books, but those same people get all bent out of shape when characters are written differently. Why not give writers the same creative license one gives artists?

  5. Linda Gold says:

    Actually I hate it when my favorite characters look too different from artist to artist and I would like to be able to read (for instance) the Batman or Green Lantern family of books without going "huh?" when I move from book to book and trying to figure out why the same character is in two different places at the same time or doing three different things in three different places. Maybe I'm too anal retentive.

  6. John McCarthy says:

    No, Linda, you're not being anal retentive about wanting a little cohesion from book to book, especially within the same "family." These books aren't isolated, independant stories. Both Marvel and DC have structured their mainstream books to take place in the same universe — and they invite you to read them as such. It should be part of the "agreement" between publisher and reader that the current books (if they are taking place in the same established continutiy) should all read cohesively. Not necessarily in lockstep, but they shouldn't contradict each other, either. Visual representations are different from how they are written, though. Again, if we're talking about "continuity," then you should expect to see the same "version" of Batman in Detective as you would in Batman. Meaning, you can't have obsessed, edgy '90s Batman alongside cheery do-gooder '60s Batman. That's what Legends, Elseworlds, Animated, etc, lines are for.Denny O'Neil once said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that continuity should be more like a ballfield that you have to stay within, rather than a line you have to walk. I always liked that concept. This would free up your creators to do their best work within the confines of the publishing universe.

  7. Jonathan Miller says:

    From what I've been led to understand, Ralph and Sue are now ghost detectives. As in ghosts who are detectives, not detectives who study ghosts. :-)

  8. dan says:

    Anyone can overlook an art gaffe, if it is not part of the story. Costume inconsistencies can be rationalized as the hero simply having multiple outfits with slight variations (or that the new suit is dirty so he put on the older suit). But story gaffes really throw us out of the fantasy. And that is 100% unforgivable. Greenberger is right on. When a company is selling a major crossover, there is no excuse for inconsistencies in continuity. But I have a much bigger problem with the retcon that Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon have always had this romance going on. Have I missed something? I was there in the 70s and 80s and no such romance existed. Is this some new effect of the return of the multiverse? This is what I hate about DC. It's a total waste of time to invest in its continuity because it radically changes often, and without any real need for it.

  9. Rob says:

    I would like to thank Joe Quesada for shepherding in the age of almost full non-continuity to the Marvel Universe…NOT…

  10. Chris Miller says:

    Couldn't agree more with this column. It's absurd to build a huge marketing event around revising the continuity of your "universe," then not bother to be consistent with it from week to week. The editorial PTB keep telling us (in online remarks, at conventions, etc) to just keep reading and it'll all make sense… but there's certainly nothing in the stories to justify the kind of faithful patience that calls for. When they can't even bother to throw in an editorial caption explaining essential backstory from a current title (e.g., I've read multiple people on another board recently complaining that they had no idea why Mary Marvel was in a coma in Countdown, and *nothing* in the issue — in a book *designed* to cross over with other titles — bothered to point readers to Trials of Shazam!), that's just inexcusably sloppy.And I find it interesting to note that many of the examples cited (Wonder Woman aside; that's a whole other SNAFU) seem to be the fault of Judd Winick. His Trials of Shazam doesn't dovetail with anything else out there; his Outsiders doesn't dovetail with Nightwing (in terms of characterization, too, not just chronology), and although it wasn't mentioned, his run on Green Arrow is next to impossible to reconcile with events in other titles, either during the Infinite Crisis period or afterwards with OYL/52. He really just seems to be phoning it in these days. Of course, he's not the only one… and thus the overriding question remains, why do the *editors* allow this sort of thing to happen?

  11. Russ Rogers says:

    Nice pages. Although I've suspected that Octavious' cousin, Thayer, was involved some way in Scion's plots, I was genuinely surprised to find him wearing the mask. He just seemed too meek. Then again, his reaction to getting shot was rather meek. Not "What the Hell," but rather, "Why did…"The mayor must be traveling with a hand pick division of police officers now, men who will obey any order. Because none of them seemed to question why they were opening fire on Lone Justice, when the mayor had been publicly praising him just a few hours before. And telling his men to blow up the Dam? Those men must all be in on the plot!I'm trying to figure how Lone Justice can get out of this Cliffhang…I mean this Dam Hanger. I have some ideas, but I was thoroughly surprised by the developments here. So I won't speculate. I'll just wait till next Monday to find out. Dam Lone Justice, full speed ahead!

  12. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    Thayer has been a strong beliver – and this has made him act with strength and conviction. He is meek here because the people and things he believed in seem to have been false. Ultimately a truly strong man would have found a better solution to this than to become Scion.