A Comic Book Entry – Conversations that May Have Happened, Part 1

I don’t write comic books and I don’t know much about the process of producing one.  Maybe if I knew that, I’d be less surprised at some of the things that are published.  But I don’t know what happens, so in my fevered recesses of my snark-ridden mind, I imagine some conversations that probably took place to result in particular comics.  Please note, this is parody; I’m not saying these conversations happened, but I imagine they could have.

Marvel Comics – Following the Dark Phoenix Saga:
Editor-in-Chief (Chief) – Chris, come on in, how’s it going?
Chris Claremont – Pretty good.  Why?
Chief – You know, I really liked your Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Saga.  Sold like hotcakes.
Chris – Uh huh…
Chief – And killing off Jean Grey, that was, wow, I mean, pretty big.
Chris – Well, the story was supposed to be a metaphor for absolute power and how it corrupts.
Chief – Exactly!  That’s what I like about your work.  It’s so layered.
Chris – Uh huh.
Chief – So anyway we’re starting up a book called “X-Factor” and we want to resurrect Jean.
Chris – Wha…?!??
Chief – Yeah, and we want to get Cyclops back with Jean.
Chris – Wha…!?!?  But-but he’s married!  He’s got a son!  I was going to send him off to live happily ever after to make room for more of my characters, you know, the ones who are selling like hotcakes!
Chief – Yeah, and that’s great, it really is, but we need Jean back.
Chris – What the hell am I supposed to do with Cyclops, Madelyne and the baby?!
Chief – Don’t know, don’t care.  Just bring Jean back to life and ditch the family.
Chris – But-but what about the characters?  Cyclops is going to look like a total jerk for abandoning his family and Jean won’t be much better for letting him get away with that!
Chief – This is what we pay you for.  You work it out.
Chris – …  Very well.  I will do this thing, but there will be…consequences.
Chief – Just get it done, Chris.  That’s my boy.

Marvel Comics – Pretty much any Story Arc after X-Factor Started
Chief – Chris, come on in, how’s it going?
Chris – Fine.  Why?
Chief – So I’ve been looking over your latest story arc and planned story arc.  It’s interesting stuff, really, very, um, layered.
Chris – Uh huh.
Chief – So, there seem to be a lot of dangling plot threads.  Like a lot.  And it looks like you’re going to leave them hanging for the next story arc.
Chris – Uh huh.
Chief – So, yeah, when are you planning on resolving these plots?
Chris – Soon.
Chief – You said that last time we had a meeting like this.
Chris – I know.
Chief – So when is soon?
Chris – Soon.
Chief – Chris, really, you can’t just leave all this hanging.
Chris – Are my comics still selling like hotcakes?
Chief – Well, yes, but…
Chris – Then I fail to see the problem.
Chief – …You’re still mad I told you to bring back Jean and wreck Cyclops’ life, aren’t you?
Chris – Hey, if you’re going to randomly want people brought back from the dead, I need some kind of plot hole to use.  I call it the Claremont Clause.
Chief – …Yeah, you’re still mad about that.
Chris – Consequences, chief, there are always consequences.  Muhahahahahaha!!!
Chief – …You know you did that laugh out loud, right?
Chris – Yes.  Yes I do.

Marvel Comics, All-New Ultimate Spider-Man Prior to Release of Issue 13
Chief – Brian, come on in, how’s it going?
Brian Bendis – Fine.  Why?
Chief – So I’m looking over your story arcs for Miles.  Good stuff, good stuff.
Brian – Uh huh…
Chief – But, well, there’s nothing in here about DC getting nuked.
Brian – Wha…!?!?
Chief – Yeah, I mean, I know it’s pretty centered on the kid but there should still be something in here about DC getting nuked and Texas seceding and the Sentinals taking over the Southwest states.
Brian – Wha-what?!?  When the hell did this all happen?
Chief – A few issues ago in the Ultimates.  Weren’t you at that meeting?
Brian – No!  I’m writing two comics and working on “A vs X!”  I don’t have time to go to every development meeting and I thought if something really important happened, like nuking DC, I’d at least get an email!
Chief – Brian, calm down.  Just make sure you mention it.  No big deal.
Brian – *facepalm* Chief, my storyline is done in a really small time frame.  It would be really weird to say nothing about the whole country going to hell for half the story and then bringing up in the other half.
Chief – Why?
Brian – …Because the other half of the story arc is the same damn day!
Chief – I guess that would be a problem.
Brian – You think so!?
Chief – But this is what we pay you for.
Brian – Look, don’t you think people will notice when they read three issues and there’s no mention of this and then suddenly Miles is like, “Hey, so yeah, DC got nuked?”
Chief – Don’t know, don’t care.  Oh, and New York’s kind of under martial law.
Brian – *facepalm*  You don’t think that might make it hard to explain how some kid could just swing through the city?
Chief – Don’t know, don’t care.
Brian – Well, if fans haven’t read the other “Ultimates” line then fans won’t know DC got nuked.
Chief – Yeah, well, we’re going to do a big splash re-cap page in all the “Ultimates” books.
Brian – *headdesk*
Chief – So, yeah, you figure that out and I’m sure no one will really notice.
Brian – Have you ever heard of Chekhov’s Gun?
Chief – Nope.
Brian – Yeah, I’m not surprised.

Me, who does not regularly read other “Ultimates” titles (as mentioned before), reading issue 13 – DC got nuked!?!?!  When the hell did that happen?  Did Bendis know about this?  Because it really seems like he had no idea what was going on in the rest of the world.


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S. J. Drew is an aspiring writer who finally entered the blogosphere to shamelessly promote that writing (as evidenced by the title of the blog). Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but S. J. hopes you are at least entertained. And if you're actually reading this, that's probably a good sign.

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