LNH/META: A Silly, Lighthearted Place

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 14 19:18:28 PDT 2006

Tom Russell wrote:
> Slapstick shouldn't be in a story about Thanos

Actually, Thanos vs. Slapstick would be a blast.


> I think that's why they love crossovers so
> much: it reinforces this idea in the worst possible
> way.  I certainly can't think of any other reason to
> pluck down dozens of dollars to read rushed,
> over-populated and tentatively-linked comic books
> whose own identities have been hi-jacked by the
> necessary vulgarities of The Company Wide Crossover.

The idea of a beginning and an end is a religious notion.  Everything,
they say, has a beginning and an end.  Imagine how delighted they would
have been when the Big Bang Theory was announced?  But, in reality, it
doesn't look like there is going to be a Big Crunch.  The universe will
not end with an implosion.

The Marvel and DC Universes are similarly open ended.  As long as there
are people reading comics then the stories will continue.  Even Crisis
on Infinite Earths, which was purported to be an end of one era and a
beginning of a new one turned out to be neither, with characters from
Earth 2, 3, 4, 5, ... 615, 617, ... suddenly turning up again in
Infinite Crisis.

So comics mimic real life.  And in real life, not only do both George
Bush and Uwe Boll (who?) both exist but there's a chance they might
meet.  In comics, the only questions to consider are "Would it make a
good story?" and "Would it sell?"  Sometimes, only the latter question
is addressed.  Sometimes both.

Look at it this way, I think readers would (and actually did) feel
cheated when X-Men characters appeared to occupy a different universe
from the rest of Marvel, with X-Men characters going around everywhere
and never bumping into a hero or villain that wasn't a mutant or a
daemon.  Company wide crossovers add a certain urgency to stories and
remind us that if Thanos destroys the world then the X-Men are dead too
and not just the Avengers.

>    One of the standard uses of fourth wall breaking
> is, of course, to make the audience laugh.  And some
> writers, like Martin Phipps, use it in a more personal
> vein, extrapolating moral consequences and insights
> from the relationship between authors and their
> fictional creations.

Most people, when they screw around with their characters, are only
doing it figuratively. :)


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