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3 Superheroes Walk Into A Living Room

Three superheroes walked into a living room. Now before you go writing this off as the premise of an absurdly lame joke, I’ll have you know that there is a legitimate story in this, and it has as much right (write?) to be told as any good story, and significantly more right then Transformers. But that’s beside the point (because the point isn’t “if you like Transformers, you suck”-even though you do); you see, the life of the average superhero is awful. 90% of their origin stories involve their parents/parental figures getting murdered, their girlfriends always die or get brainwashed or some crap like that, and they have a habit of going temporarily insane.

For these reasons, the average super-Joe doesn’t appreciate it when the company that publishes their comics decides to reboot their continuity, often retconning reality itself to their whims, and typically making the lives of the characters sink even deeper down the toilet. This irritates them to the point where, when three superheroes received advanced notice of an upcoming retcon their publishing company, Bad Dog Comics, would be performing, said superheroes decided to file a complaint. This should end well. Let’s watch.

Our three heroes are Professor Chronotis, the man who can freeze and bend time to his will, Specter Man, the teenage hero who possesses the powers of a ghost and constantly gets confused for Danny Phantom, and Captain Puncher, who can make people hit themselves using only the power of his mind. Joining them is I, your less then humble and completely, utterly biased narrator, as they seek out the head of Bad Dog Comics to file their complaint-because let’s face it, had they gone to PR, nothing would’ve ever happened.

Professor Chronotis froze time for everyone other than himself and his friends as he entered the home of Johns Miller Moore, head of Bad Dog Comics. He unfroze things when they retrieved Mr. Miller Moore, and prepared to give him a stern talking to.

“Mr. Miller Moore, we have a complaint!” Professor Chronotis yelled.

“What’s this about, gents. And why are we in a freeze?” Johns inquired.

“It’s about this!” Professor Chronotis said, snapping his fingers and making a stack of papers appear in his hands.

Specter Man took them and read aloud (angrily, of course), “Bad Dog Comics’ 1080 continuity reboot, featuring retooled origin stories and characterizations for many of our major characters, and many new additions to the BDU.”

“So?” Johns replied.

“So, you’re Superboy-punching us!” Captain Puncher interjected.

“And that’s a bad thing?”

“Yes, it’s a bad thing! It’s a bad thing when...,” Captain Puncher began, pausing to take one of the pieces of paper out of Specter Man’s hands. Oh, this is gonna be good. He continued reading, “It’s a bad thing when you’re editing my origin story so that my parents were murdered by the Toronto Blue Jays, and until now I’ve been repressing the memory. But then the resurgence of said memory drives me insane, causing me to skulk around New York dressed as Aquaman and beating up random jaywalkers, until eventually I get committed to a mental institution for trying to assassinate Liam Neeson!”

“Trying to assassinate Liam Neeson? Why’d you fail?” Professor Chronotis asked.

Wait for it…

“He punches me in the throat,” was the response.

“I still don’t see how that’s a bad thing, guys. In the hands of suitable writers and artists, that could make for very compelling drama,” Johns said, attempting to defend himself despite his nervousness growing more apparent with each bead of sweat that trickled down his face.

“Yeah, or it could be Batman and Robin!” Captain Puncher cried. He then proceeded to place two fingers on his temple and forced Johns to begin punching himself.

And then Specter Man began, “Hey man, you think you’re retooling is bad? I read mine, and when this reboot takes, I’m not gonna be a misunderstood teenage boy who got powers after being haunted by a radioactive ghost; I’ll the vengeful spirit of a man murdered by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1987 who possesses a misunderstood teenage boy. And then I declare war on death!”

I’ll pause for a moment so you, the reader, can ponder the implications what you just read. It’s worth noting that while on shore leave during his war on death, Specter Man attends as many Toronto Blue Jays games as he can. Take three guesses, and the first two don’t count, as to what that leads to. It’s also worth noting that I sound like Ron Howard.

“Mine’s even worse,” Professor Chronotis said as he interrupted Specter Man, who I should probably mention he had a rivalry with and was constantly trying to upstage, “Instead of being a fallen Greek god, now I’m some random cretin who gets sucked into a wormhole that appears out of nowhere. Traveling through time gives me my powers, except wormholes appear at random, uncontrollable times, forcibly suck me in, and spit me out inside the center of the sun! And I always live!”

“I thought it would make you more sympathetic,” Johns claimed, sweat quite literally beginning to flood his house.

“Sympathetic my ass! I swear, I will trap you in a time loop of you being curve stomped to death by giant guinea pig!” The not-so-good Professor then turned to his friends friend and cohort, and continued, “That’s not the worst of it either; I’m being given an eight year old, hermaphroditic sidekick who has a speech disorder that only allows him to speak in pronouns! And his origin story is that his parents were murdered by the Toronto Blue Jays!”

In case you haven’t noticed the pattern, it’s now worth noting that Johns Miller Moore lost over $3 million betting on the Toronto Blue Jays… and that I really am Ron Howard. Upon noticing the pattern for themselves, Professor Chronotis called up his friend Marvin, the Giant Guinea Pig, and had him curve stomp Johns until he confessed that the whole reason for the continuity retcon was to (a., make back the money he lost betting on the Toronto Blue Jays through a company-wide, highly publicized event, and (b., take out his anger on the Toronto Blue Jays.

Johns Miller Moore’s punishment, rather appropriately, was being placed in an infinite time loop of the Blue Jays game he lost money on, forced to watch the Blue Jays lose his millions over and over again for all eternity. And now we’ve reached the point in the story where the entire plot has been resolved but the writer chose not to end it just yet because he decided the resolution is incredibly anticlimactic. This is in spite of the fact that by continuing to push the ending back (forward?) without any actual plot left, he’s only succeeding in making it more anticlimactic and irritating me, Ron Howard, your narrator. Watch Arrested Development on Netflix.



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