, in series fiction
, means to discard all previous continuity
in the series and start anew. Effectively, all previously-known history is declared by the writer to be null and void and the series starts over from the beginning.
This differs from a creator producing a separate interpretation of another creator's work; rather, the owner of the creation declares that the rebooted continuity is now the official version.
This term is often applied to (and may come from) certain comic books, where prevailing continuity is important since several titles' characters may interact in certain ways.
- DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes comic book had its continuity rebooted in the events surrounding Zero Hour in 1994. The previous 36 years of continuity were discarded, the characters' stories came to a decisive close, and a new Legion, with similar characters with the same names, began their careers without any mention of the previous continuity.
- Marvel Comics, in the mid-1990s, turned over several of their titles to creators from Image Comics, and these titles (including Captain America, The Avengers, Iron Man and Thor) were rebooted. Intriguingly, several other titles, including Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, were not rebooted and maintained original continuity. The rebooted titles lasted only a year, and then the heroes returned to mainstream continuity. (Their absence and return was a major plot point of the Thunderbolts title.)