retcon


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retcon

/ret'kon/ retroactive continuity.

The common situation in fiction where a new story "reveals" things about events in previous stories, usually leaving the "facts" the same (thus preserving continuity) while completely changing their interpretation. For example, revealing that a whole season of "Dallas" was a dream was a retcon.

This term was once thought to have originated on the Usenet newsgroup news:rec.arts.comics but is now believed to have been used earlier in comic fandom.
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Though, in keeping with comics' diehard commitment to retcon, his character is soon resurrected, his death reveals two essential truths that have forever changed readers' perception of Captain America.
When retcons fail, it is almost always because writers fail to appreciate the degree to which their audience is invested in the core content.