So, I’m in a large, stark-white room that’s as empty as a blank page. The big question, of course, is where the heck am I? There are no doors, and I don’t see any windows, yet I get the feeling that someone, or several someones (hopefully), is following everything that I do.
Hold on. I think I see something on the wall. Yeah, up near the ceiling; it looks like writing. I think I can make out what it says.
DC Universe: Something Wacky This Way Comes, Chapter 5: The Beginning of the End
Well, now I know where I am; this is Earth-Twelve. This is the story that Doc Quantum told me needs to be finished.
I guess the first thing I need to do is see which plot threads still have to be resolved. OK, where to start? Might as well start with Chapter 1.
“Who are you?” a voice asks.
I recognize the syntax; it’s Jonni DC. I turn to face the tall continuity cop and find her wearing an itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, yellow polka dot bikini.
“And what are you doing… Eep! Where’s my Kryptonian battle armor?!” she squeals.
“I’m one of the writers,” I tell her.
Not used to such a skimpy outfit, she fidgets and attempts to cover herself with her hands. Despite her discomfort, she still continues to question me.
“Are you Starsky Hutch 76?” she asks.
“Are you Martin Maenza?”
“I know you are not Brian K. Asbury,” Jonni says.
“How do you know I’m not?” I ask.
“Because you aren’t speaking with an English accent. Are you Comickook?” she continues.
“No, I’m not C.K.,” I tell her. “And before you ask, I’m not George, either.”
“Who’s George?” Jonni asks.
“Sorry,” I reply. “I mean Blackwolf247.”
“Ah,” she says. “So, you aren’t any of them.”
She strikes a pose of frustration. “Then I’ll ask you one more time. Who are you, and what are you doing here?” As an afterthought, she adds, “And where is my Kryptonian battle armor?”
“I’m Drivtaan,” I tell her, “and I’m here to finish this story. Doc Quantum is a continuity cop, of sorts, on our world, and he likes to see stories finished so they can be archived.”
Jonni raises an eyebrow. “He sounds like my kind of man. What does he look like?”
“Remember DC’s old Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin comic?” I ask.
“Does he look like Dean Martin?” she asks, hopeful.
“I have no idea,” I reply. “That comic just popped into my mind, so I thought I’d ask about it.”
Jonni’s frustration returns. “So, you admit that you don’t belong here.”
“Maybe, but a precedent has been set for a writer to appear in a story,” I say.
“That old Cary Bates story,” Jonni mutters, then louder, “I told the editors that allowing that story was a mistake.”
“Nevertheless,” I say, smiling, “it happened. Now, are you going to go away and let me get on with what needs to be done?”
“What if I don’t?” she asks. “What if I decide to just stand here and do nothing? I could seriously mess up your plot.”
I smile. “Contingency plan.”
Confusion crosses her face.
“Dude!” I say, as Ambush Bug pops into existence upwind. “I thought you were going to lay off Frau Wagner’s spinach cookies? Pee-yew!”
“But, they are sooo good,” Ambush Bug replies.
“Schwab!” Jonni yells. “I thought I sent you back to Earth-One!”
“You did,” Schwab says, “but he’s the new writer. And everybody knows that new writers usually do whatever they want to ‘shake things up.'” He turns to me. “So, mister writer, what can I do for you?”
“Can you take her somewhere else?” I ask. “I really need to finish this story.”
“Sure,” he says. “Any place in particular?”
I think for a moment. “How about Earth-X? There’s a lot of activity going on there lately.”
“Will do.” Schwab turns to Jonni. “Say, what happened to your Kryptonian battle armor?”
“Shut up,” Jonni says.
Ambush Bug holds his hands out and shrugs his shoulders. “What? I’m just saying that I like your new look.”
“Wow. You’re built better than Wonder Woman,” Ambush Bug tells her.
“Shut…” Jonni begins. “Wait. What? Really?”
“Oh, yeah,” Schwab assures her. “And I should know. I used to date the princess of Paradise Island.”
“Oh, you did not,” Jonni says.
“Did, too,” Ambush Bug insists.
“You did not,” Jonni tells him.
“How do you know?”
“Directorate of Continuity, remember?” Jonni says, pointing to her chest with her thumb.
Looking at where she is pointing, all Ambush Bug can say is, “Wha…?”
As Jonni’s fist connects with Schwab’s mask-covered jaw, there is a BAMF and I find myself alone in the room.
I prepare myself to finish the task at hand. The faint echo of a scream and a curse reaches my ears; it is Jonni.
“I’ll be back,” she says. That’s not really what she said, but if I told you what she really said, it would put this story into the hard R category, and besides, I don’t even think what she threatened is physically possible.
“Not in this chapter,” I reply.
Hopefully, I can get this all wrapped up in this chapter. All I need to do is figure out the best way to do this.
I could always… no, I’m not a big fan of hitting the restart button.
I could always… no, I don’t think I could get away with just destroying the entire world. And a Monty Python and the Holy Grail ending is out of the question as well.
I’ve got it. (Why am I standing here with my finger in the air? It’s not like anyone can see me.) Anyway…
First thing I need to do is take care of the Teen Titans. Teenagers have enough problems without not knowing who they are.
With a snap of my fingers, the teens appear.
“Where are we?” Wonder Girl asks.
“How did we get here?” Speedy asks.
“Who are you?” Kid Flash asks.
“Who are we?” Aqualad asks.
“You are the Teen Titans,” I tell them. “You are Wonder Girl, Speedy, Kid Flash, and Aqualad.”
“Shouldn’t I be Speedy?” Kid Flash asks. “I’m a lot faster than he is.”
“Just trust me on this,” I tell him.
“And who are you?” Wonder Girl asks.
“I’m the coolest guy in the multiverse,” I reply.
The teen heroes stare at me in silence for a moment, then we all burst out laughing.
“But, seriously,” Aqualad says. “Who are you?”
“I’m the guy who volunteered to set everything straight,” I say.
They look at each other, then start singing Kumbaya.
“If you really want to know whose sidekicks you are, you’ll knock it off.”
They become silent almost immediately.
“That’s better,” I say. “Now, ladies first. Wonder Girl, you are Wonder Woman’s sidekick. Aqualad, you are Aquaman’s sidekick. Kid Flash, you are the Flash’s sidekick, and Speedy, you are Green Arrow’s sidekick.”
“What the crap?!” Speedy says. “Why the heck am I called ‘Speedy’? Why not Kid Arrow, or Arrow Lad, or… or…” He pauses. “You know what? Those sounded pretty lame when I said them out loud. Maybe I’ll just stick with Speedy for now.”
Realizing what Speedy just said, his teammates shoot him angry looks. Before a fight breaks out, I divert their attention back to me.
“Now, as to where you are and how you got here,” I tell them, “you are just outside your reality, and I brought you here.”
I let them bask for a few moments in the awesomeness of my presence. Well, they aren’t actually basking as much as they are just standing around waiting for me to continue.
“So, the reason you can’t remember who you are is because of the green-eyed monster,” I tell them.
“We didn’t fight any green-eyed monsters,” Speedy says.
Wonder Girl slaps her teammate playfully on the back of the head. “He’s talking about jealousy.”
“Who in the Seven Seas is jealous of us?” Aqualad asks.
“This guy,” I tell them, and snap my fingers.
“Snapper Carr!” the cry in unison.
“Why are you jealous of us?” Kid Flash asks him.
“Because you guys get to wear costumes and hang around with the Super Friends,” Snapper responds.
“You got to hang around with them, too,” Wonder Girl says.
“Used to,” Snapper says, “but I am no longer welcomed by the Super Friends (or so I feel). For that reason, I have decided that all of the heroes shall forget who they are, like they have forgotten who I are, er, am.”
“We didn’t forget you,” Wonder Girl tells him.
“Hey! That’s right,” Snapper says. “You didn’t.”
“So,” I say, “why don’t you do a little reverse-recording engineering and give them their memories back?”
“If you do,” Speedy says, “we’ll let you hang with us.”
“Really? That would be cool,” Snapper says.
“And to better help you fit in…” I reach into my shirt pocket and remove something.
“Ow!” Snapper yells. “What was that? Something bit me.”
I open my hand to reveal a four-inch-tall Ambush Bug who is glowing slightly. He looks at Snapper and waves.
“What the…?” the young man starts to say.
“I just let you get bit by a radioactive, four-inch-tall Ambush Bug,” I say.
“Why?” everyone asks.
I point to the other side of the room. “Picture yourself over there, then snap your fingers.”
Snapper looks at me for a second, then does what I say. Almost instantly, he appears on the other side of the room.
“Cool,” the Teen Titans say.
“Not too silly?” I ask.
“Oh,” Wonder Girl says, “completely silly. Now, can we get our memories back?”
Snapper snaps and is standing with us again. He smiles sheepishly. “Well, you’ve just got to sing a song.”
“How does it go?” Kid flash asks, anxious to regain his memories.
Snapper begins to mumble something with an oddly familiar tune. I think of hot dogs.
“Louder,” Speedy tells him.
The one-time hanger-on, er, sidekick of the Super Friends clears his throat and begins again. His voice is strong and loud.
“I wish I were a Teen Titan once again,
For that is what I truly long to be-ee-ee,
‘Cause if I were a Teen Titan once again,
I would finally remember me.”
Aqualad smiles. “Catchy tune.”
The teen heroes begin to sing, and as they sing, I can see the realization of who they are dawning on their faces. When they are back to their old selves, I have an idea how they can help me resolve the rest of this story.
While we talk, you can go find something else to do. I’m serious. Come back next chapter to find out what we have planned.
What? Are you still here? OK, well, keep on reading…
“You’ve done a great job of wrapping this mess up,” Superman says, just before I send them back to their world.
“Thanks,” I reply.
Well, Doc, that finishes this round robin, so it’s ready to archive. Now, I’m going to take a…
Aw, man. I thought I let you guys know we were ready for this final chapter. Oh, well. I guess I was sicker than I thought.
So, I’m betting you wouldn’t take my word for it that this was one of the funniest chapters ever, and everything was wrapped up all nice and neat, would you?
I thought not.
OK, I’ll go back and tell you what happened. We’ll start with the plan the Teen Titans and I came up with. Of course, this means yet another chapter… or three.