Fly On The Wall, Vol. 2: Marvel Writer's Meeting
SETTING: Ritzy hotel room in Manhattan
PLAYERS: Joe Quesada, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, Ed Brubaker
JQ: Come on in, everyone's almost here.
MM: (sitting) Cool. Where's Bendis?
(flushing sound from bathroom)
BMB: (walking out of bathroom) Sorry about that, I was just finishing up New Avengers #20.
JQ: So, we're all gathered here today to talk about Civil War. Now, I just want to make it clear that ---
BMB: (sitting) Excuse me.
JQ: Yes, Brian?
BMB: I'd just like to point out that I'm not writing Civil War.
JQ: Yes, Brian. We know. Mark's--
BMB: I'm just saying.
JQ: (sighs) Right. Anyway, Mark's---
BMB: Because, you know, I've got time if you want me to.
JQ: Right, Brian, but Mark's got this one covered.
MM: Yeah. You had your turn. You got House of M last year, remember?
BMB: Oh. Right. I'd forgotten.
EB: So had we!
JQ: Anyway, Mark, how's the Civil War coming along?
MM: Oh, it's great. Really great. Lots of superheroes, you know.
JQ: (looks expectantly at Millar) Yeah, but how's the story?
MM: Oh, it's great. Writes itself, you know. Superhero Registration Act and all, you know.
EB: How is that different than the Mutant Registration Act?
JQ: Ed, please. You're not helping.
EB: I just want to know---
MM: I can handle this, Joe. It's different because it's not just mutants this time!
EB: Yeah, but it's pretty much the same idea, right?
EB: Yes it is.
JQ: Ed! Enough! What's the endgame, Mark? I mean, we all know that the superheroes fight and everything, but what's the wrap-up? How does it end?
MM: Oh, it's great.
BMB: I'm not feelin' it.
MM: Well, you know, it's a very subtle allegory for what's going on in our country nowadays, you know.
EB: But you live in Scotland.
MM: Well, right, but I mean, that doesn't mean that I'm not concerned with what's going on here in the States. I mean, it affects me just as much as anyone else.
EB: In Scotland?
MM: Well, indirectly as much as anyone else who doesn't actually live here.
EB: I have an idea---
JQ: Ed, please. You're really not helping here.
JQ: Ed. Please.
EB: Fine. Captain America, Daredevil, and Books of Doom are all finished, by the way. Ahead of schedule. And I've got two X-Men issues in the can.
JQ: Yes, Ed, WE KNOW. Thank you for continually pointing this out. Now please, butt out before we put you on a Toad miniseries!
MM: Anyway, like I was saying, it's a very subtle allegory. There's this President Jorge W. Evilbush, and---
BMB: It's not subtle. In fact, I'd call that "anti-subtle".
MM: You also called House of M "groundbreaking".
MM: Anyway, President Evilbush is really using the Registration Act to give more power to the Demopublican Party, see, who's actually in cahoots with Iraqistan, only the REAL scheme is to pass the G.O.O.S.E. Act in Congress---
EB: G.O.O.S.E. Act?
MM: Government Overlords Obviously Spying on Everyone.
EB: Oh. Could we---
JQ: Ed! I'm not going to ask you again. Why don't you and Kirkman take Slott to the zoo or something? This really doesn't involve you.
EB: (under breath) Thank God for that.
JQ: What was that?
EB: Nothing. I'm outta here. (leaves)
JQ: So how does this end?
MM: I'm considering one of two endings. In the first ending, the world blows up.
JQ: The editorial department might have a problem with that.
MM: Are you kidding? We managed to retcon Iron Man's origin, Black Panther and Storm's history, and give Spider-Man a new costume AND get them to sign off on that Illuminati shelf paper.
JQ: True. We could publish Captain America reciting the Unabomber's Manifesto and I'm not sure Editorial would catch it.
MM: Shh! You're spoiling the Ivil-cay Ar-way!
MM: Kidding. Sort of.
BMB: You didn't like Illuminati?
JQ: I'm sorry, Brian. It was bad.
BMB: Mark, you didn't think it was bad, right?
ALL: (uncomfortable silence)
BMB: Et tu, Millar?
MM: Look, it had some good parts, OK?
BMB: You think?
MM: No. But it was a nice effort.
JQ: Guys, guys, let's just move on, OK?
BMB: Fine with me. Just make sure you get sign off from Mr. Not-Grant-Morrison over there.
BMB: You're not even the best Scottish writer in comics, you know, Mr. Not-Morrison.
MM: Take that back!
JQ: Boys, I---
BMB + MM: (together) Shut up, Joe.
BMB: Wanted was totally overrated!
MM: Overrated? Have you even read Powers lately? You do realize that most of your comics read like My Dinner With Andre, right?
BMB: Oh, please. At least I don't sit on some political high horse and---
MM: Your comics make the Old Testament look like a done-in-one!
BMB: And you couldn't write a character with more depth than a billboard!
JQ: GUYS! STOP IT! NOW!
JQ: That's better. Now I think it's important to remember that we're all on the same side here--
(door opens and Ed Brubaker returns)
EB: Hey, Joe. Listen, me and Kirkman and Slott were at the zoo and we came up with this idea for---
JQ: Yeah, yeah, I'm sure it's gonna be great, but it's going to have to go on the back burner. We've gotta start pimping the Heroes Reborn mini from Jeph and Rob.
ALL: (stare at Quesada)
ALL: (more silence)
JQ: I'm serious.
MM: Was this your idea?
JQ: Yes! No.
BMB: Whose idea was it?
JQ: (looks down at the carpet)
MM: Oh God. Not another online fan poll.
JQ: They're statistically valid!
BMB: Are you going to sit here and tell us that 99 percent of those votes didn't come from Liefeld.com?
EB: Uh, I've gotta go. I just remembered something.
JQ: We're not done!
EB: Oh, I think we are.
EB: (closes door and steps into hallway, then dials a number on his cell phone) Hey Dan, it's Ed. We need to talk. Remember when we thought it would be funny to just sit there clicking and voting for that Heroes Reborn idea in the online poll just to see what happened? I've got some bad news...