Fly On The Wall, Vol. 4: Avengers vs. Quesada
SETTING: Joe Quesada's Office
PLAYERS: Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Captain America, Joe Quesada
JOE Q: (on the phone)...that's right, Colbert Report at 11, NPR at 4, dinner with those Hollywood guys at 8...right... musk. Lemon-scented. Got it.
(The door is kicked in. Into the office burst Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, and Captain America.)
JOE Q: What the hell is going on here?
CAP: Funny, Joe, we sort of had the same question.
JOE Q: Wha- what are you talking about?
HAWKEYE: We're talking about our lives here, Joe. They suck, and it's your fault.
ALL: (stare at Quesada)
JOE Q: You mean---
HAWKEYE: I mean that you've fallen down on the job. Let's start with killing me.
JOE Q: Hey! Technically that was her fault! (points to Wanda)
WANDA: Yeah, but YOU told me to!
JOE Q: But we brought you back, didn't we?
HAWKEYE: (nocking an arrow) I don't know, Joe. Did you? Did you REALLY bring me back?
THOR: And whither thy explanation for the most odious lack of Odinson in thine comics of late?
JOE Q: What did he say?
CAP: He'd like to know where you've been keeping him.
JOE Q: Hey! He just came back on the last page of Civil War #3, didn't he?
HAWKEYE (drawing bow): Joe, pretend just for a second that we live in a world where everyone is NOT a moron.
JOE Q: What's that arrow you're aiming at me?
IM: Oh, that? That's the arrow that splits into 25 pork chops that attach themselves to your body.
JOE Q: (gestures to Wanda, who is chanting) And what's she doing?
CAP: Summoning starving wolves.
JOE Q: OK, OK, look, it's not like I haven't done some good things for you guys too, you know! Tony---you've haven't had a profile this big in 20 years!
IM: (rolling eyes) Joe, I haven't been this much of a DICK TO MY FRIENDS in 20 years! Tony Stark, traitor and asspipe! Thanks a BUNCH, Joe! What's next, hyping the Fantastic Four by sending them on a nine-state killing spree? (Chest beam starts glowing)
JOE Q: So, you've been talking to Millar, have you? Damn you, Stark! That was supposed to be a Wizardworld Chicago exclusive!
SPIDEY: You know, I'd like to say something here---
JOE Q: Now, just a minute---
CAP: How many books does he sell, again?
JOE Q: (silence)
(A faint sound of howling wolves)
CAP: That's what I thought. Go ahead, Pete.
SPIDEY: Thanks, Cap. Ahem. Anyway, what I was going to say is, I, um, don't think that this whole "everyone knowing who I am thing" is going to work out.
JOE Q: Why not?
SPIDEY: Well, mainly because everyone will know who I am.
JOE Q: (stares)
SPIDEY: And that's bad...(looks expectantly at Joe Q)
JOE Q: (stares)
SPIDEY: ...because I have ... you know... enemies...
JOE Q: (stares)
SPIDEY: ...and a fam---oh, forget it. (Turns to Thor) He really isn't all there, is he?
THOR: Nay, poorly-costumed arachnid with gold wingtips.
SPIDEY: Really, call me Pete. Or Peter, or---hey! Was that a dig at the costume? Everyone hates the costume. (Sighs) Heck, I hate the costume.
JOE Q: Listen, I understand your plight, and I truly sympathize---
WANDA: ---ieiunium lupus vultus pro caro---
IM: I don't mean to put the pressure on, Joey, but I hear howling.
HAWKEYE: You ready to become the other white meat?
JOE Q: C'mon, guys! You're heroes, remember? You're the good guys! You can't do this to me!
IM: (grinning, leaning over the desk) Actually Joe, these days I'm... how did you put it in the interview... conflicted. (Aims rapidly heating repulsor ray at Joe)
THOR: I say to thee, Thor cares not for bad editorship, and even less for those inclined to cage the God of Thunder in a GODDAMNED DESK DRAWER for two years and then pull him back out as a SHIELD lackey clonebot!
THOR: I... um...
ALL: (stares at Thor)
THOR: I mean... I SAY THEE NAY!
SPIDEY: Man, I just can't get enough of that.
HAWKEYE: Totally. There was this fight with Ultron one time---
CAP: Guys, back to the business at hand, please.
HAWKEYE: Right, Cap.
JOE Q: Listen, if you would all just calm down I think we can come to some sort of an agreement here.
ALL: (huddle and consider the offer)
CAP: (turns back to Joe) Alright, we're listening.
JOE Q: (leans in and whispers) I can give him to you.
IM: What? Who?
JOE Q: You know. HIM.
HAWKEYE: (lowers bow and arrow) Him who?
JOE Q: The guy doing all these crazy things.
SPIDEY: Oh, Lord. I knew it. Osborn's back. This is all my fault---
JOE Q: No no no, check this out.
(Removes toupee. Protruding from his skull is a miniature pulsating microchip.)
CAP: Stars and bars, what in God's name is that?
IM: Let me take a look. Using my Stupid New Powers™ I can instantly jack into the wiring to determine its purpose.
JOE Q: (sweats)
IM: Good Lord! Someone's implanted a microchip that appears to render the subject completely oblivious to incoherent superhero storytelling and characterization!
HAWKEYE: Sweet Hannah's Polka-Dotted Negligee!
ALL: (stares at Hawkeye)
HAWKEYE: Cut me some slack, alright? It's been awhile since I used a catchphrase.
THOR: Canst thou divine the odious object's creator?
IM: I see the maker's signature etched in the wiring...B ... M... B.
CAP: This bears further investigation. Alright Joe, you bought yourself a little time. We'll be back.
JOE Q: Thanks, guys. But don't let him know that I'm the one that sent you.
WANDA: Can I stop chanting now?
(howls die down)
THOR: Think not, mortal, that this gets thou off thine hook. As sworn protector of thine stories, thy callous disregard for thine properties assures you of no quarter.
JOE Q: What?
HAWKEYE: C'mon, Thor. I have a feeling that this isn't over.
IM: You seriously have an arrow that makes pork chops?
IM: Sweet. Got one that makes whiskey?
HAWKEYE: Canadian or Kentucky?
IM: Have I mentioned I'm glad you're back?
(The Avengers file out of the office.)
JOE Q: (Looks around, picks up the phone, dials) Hey, it's me. They're on their way. Yeah. Very close. I think it's time. Pull the trigger on Operation Are You Kidding Me.
Fly On The Wall, Vol. 1: JLA
Fly On The Wall, Vol. 2: Marvel Writers' Meeting
Fly On The Wall, Vol. 3: One Week Later