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If you're wondering if Marvel's R-rated editions of Blood Hunt are in continuity, its editor says you're over-thinking it (but an explanation is coming)

"If you watch the director’s cut of a film," writes Tom Brevoort, "are you worrying about how it fits into canon? Relax!"

Blood Hunt #1
Image credit: Marvel

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Marvel's R-rated Red Band editions of the Blood Hunt event feature panels that differ significantly from their friendlier, PG-13 duplicates. Understandably, this has lead fans to wonder: are the Red Band comics taking place in a different universe? Well, according to a long-time Marvel editor, the answer is no. In fact, the way Tom Brevoort says it, the question itself is a product of overthinking.

Here's some context - a recent follower of Brevoort's Substack, Man with a Hat, wrote into the veterans Marvelite and captain of the X-men relaunch with a question of canonicity, calling the Red Band changes "a bit of a head scratcher." The asker, calling themselves Iioo, put it like this:

"Are Red Band issues meant to be in a separate universe? All of them in a single one, or a new universe each issue?" (Iioo goes on to provide a specific example of something that differs between the Red Band and regular versions of Blood Hunt #1, but for spoilers' sake, I'll leave that out.)

Brevoort responds by saying that Iioo, and the other folks online with the same question, are "making things much too complicated" in terms of the Red Band variants, but admits that that's not totally their fault.

"Possibly," Brevoort writes, "that’s the result of the last few years of multiverses popping up everywhere." And while comic readers or even casual superhero fans will agree that's true, Brevoort wants to make it clear - Blood Hunt is happening an the same universe.

"We’re doing something fun here," he says, "and I really couldn’t care less about the question of "how can they both be canonical"? They are. Trust me, they are. As you’ll see if/when you read the Red Band version of BLOOD HUNT #2."

Brevoort continues, "This is one of those areas where I think comic book fans get in their own heads too much. If you watch the director’s cut of a film, are you worrying about how it fits into canon? Relax! This is all entertainment, and if Red Band is your thing, feel free to enjoy it without the hand-wringing of being concerned that it isn’t real. None of this stuff is real—we make it up issue after issue."

It's great to have that cleared up and, in general, the advice to "relax" around fandom discourse is almost always correct. However, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that Brevoort's message doesn't mention the other Red Band comics Marvel is planning, starting with Werewolf by Night by Jason Loo and Sergio Davila. Will those be also be in-canon? And if so, will Marvel be bold enough to market them alongside their more kid-friendly titles?

One could say - it's all a question of guts.


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