Long running series often have to experiment a little before they find their niche, sometimes there are concepts abandoned early on that were fascinating, because they were potentially good ideas back then, or just clash so much with the later tone of the series. In short, the first installment is a 'prototype', like a pilot of a first episode.
If the series is improved for abandoning these elements, it often leads to a Growing the Beard moment. For something similar applied to individual characters, see Characterization Marches On. A specific sub-trope of this dealing with early installments resembling the real world is Earth Drift. When early characters disappear entirely with no explanations, that's Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Might be the result of Plot Tumors
There will always be some fans who view the current incarnation of a series as They Changed It, Now It Sucks.
When this happens to themes that become popular after the fact because of a work, and are only actually codified elsewhere, it is a subtrope of Unbuilt Trope.
Compare New First Comics and Adaptation Displacement. When a character displays this, it's Characterization Marches On. May be the Oddball in the Series. See also Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness. See also Cerebus Syndrome.
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