Thanks to Amritas, I found out about this website that explains “Marvel Time” how the years have passed in Marvel Continuity. In American comics like DC and Marvel, the books have lasted 50-70 years, but the characters remain young. They do this by employing tricks to keep continuity of stories while trying to make it seem like time has passed by slowly.
By all rights, Peter Parker should be an old man like The problem with American Comics continuity is it doesn’t work and it leads to the books becoming dull because no real change happens, except an occasional shift in creative direction. In my opinion, if you want to make a licensed world that can run a long time, you need to employ the continuity technique the Simpsons use. Make each story stand on its own, and refer to past events when you need to, but don’t try to make the whole thing fit together perfectly, because iut can’t.
Many times they tried to get too serious about continuity and it blew up in their faces.
DC has favored the retcon method of revamping the whole universe every 15 years or so. This also has problems, as it depends on the creative teams, and usually they don’t keep it together. It would be better if both lines had a core mythology and they stuck to that as the basis. Unfortunately, with so many diverse hands writing the books, the histories of each character has become a confused jumble.
An editor’s job is to keep a book on track and the writers from doing too much “scope creep”, but the editors in comics have done a generally poor job of that over the years. Mainly because many of them don’t even understand what they need to do.
Mainstream comics needs to get it’s sense of purpose back and a clear vision of their books, if they every want to restore strength to the market place.