Me in Comic Books: Startup Untold 2 Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005.


Me in the Marvel Universe

The Untold Story #2!

Hey, Kids! It's the very first Me In Comic Books stories! Now that optical character recognition technology has finally gotten viable for my old Apple ][e printouts, the originals are finally starting to come online!

  • The Further Adventures of ME

    Thus far in my adventures, I've shamelessly followed these Marvel Universe trends:

    1. Rogue hero / Armor Wars
    2. Big mutant fight / Inferno
    3. Teamup with Ghost Rider (before it was even cool!)
    4. Cosmic war with massive superhero teamup (happens all the time)

    But there's more left to do:

    1. Confront an evil twin of extraterrestrial origin
    2. Sequel to cosmic war
    3. Oh, let's do universe crossovers again
    4. Resign and be replaced
    5. Die (no, wait, that's Me in the DC Universe)
    6. Make a comeback
    7. Inspire and team up with similar-minded spin-off heroes
    This should be enough to keep my Marvel Universe counterpart (hereafter referred to as Me) busy for a while.

    Adventure: You Think You Have Evil Twin Problems...

    The year is now 1992. During the Infinity War (one of those Marvel cosmic superhero war things in 1991), a godlike evil genius (and evil twin of Adam Warlock) started flooding the Earth with evil twins. Of course the Marvel Super Heroes banded together to trounce this guy, but at least one evil twin (Quasar's) was left afterwards. And where there's one, there can be more.

    And, as my friends know, my evil twin's quite an energetic thing. Even without the backing of an evil genius with cosmic power, he made his presence known in Halloween costumes, cartoons, role-playing games, pin-on buttons, and coffee cups. Family members, church members, and game boys have seen him. Engineers and managers on two projects at two different companies have his picture on their walls. More than three years after his Halloween 1989 debut, he shows no sign of weakening his desire to exist.

    [March 1995: Make that six years.]

    [October 2004: Okay, he's not in cartoons so much... but now he's conquering the World Wide Web.]

    I refer to my evil twin "Scum Death", a hockey-mask-wearing cartoon figure of my own creation (though I swiped the name from somebody's cartoon in Comic Buyers' Guide in 1989 or thereabouts, and the design from Casey Jones, pal of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

    So what would happen if this guy really existed? As the Infinity War made inevitable?

    Let's examine his powers. (Rule 6 of the Marvel Universe states that any human can be paranormal. And we've already established that I am, so my evil twin must be too.)

    In cartoons, Scum Death can do just about anything he damn well pleases. His greatest power is probably his ability to insult Raytheon managers and get away with it. (Therefore, he probably has mind control powers. Or, even better, reality control powers.)

    In addition, he possesses sufficient engineering skill to program simulated weather data to make rude gestures. (Therefore, with Marvel Universe technology, he can probably build himself a suit of powered armor if he really wants to. With mind control powers, getting the components is no problem. But powered armor's not cool. Unless it's airplane-sized and comes with stewardesses.)

    Scum Death's appearances in role-playing games have established that he is incredibly athletic, and can throw knives with great accuracy. He's also incredibly ugly and uncouth (yep, my evil twin, all right); the sight of his unmasked face can make grown men faint. But, since Scum Death can get away with anything, he's a master of masks and disguise. He can even make people think he's me if he wants to. (There's cartoon precedent for this. He likes to scare small children that way.)

    And in the Marvel Universe? Well, he was created with a link to a reservoir of cosmic power which was meant for billions of evil twins, if not trillions or quadrillions. So long as he exists, the link must still be there. So let's just say he can still do anything he damn well pleases.

    Being a leftover of the Infinity War, he probably was created in the Boston metropolitan area to take over for me. However, he must have had one problem. Since he didn't look quite like me, he must have had a hard time figuring out who he was supposed to replace. Before he got it together, the war was over,

    One imagines him surviving in the nastier neighborhoods of Boston, waiting for his chance to replace me. And that chance comes as soon as I take a vacation. In fact, since Polaroid and I occasionally have misunderstandings as to which days are company holidays (I being a contractor, and not always in on Polaroid company news), Scum Death probably blends in without even having to explain why he's not on vacation.

    So, for (probably) two weeks, he gets to be me.

    Being my designated cosmic replacement, he knows what he's expected to do. Sit at my desk at Polaroid and do anything he wants on the computer without putting up with interruptions; insult my landlady in Newton, Massachusetts when she does stupid things; and infiltrate various church youth groups to corrupt the wholesome youth of Douglas, Massachusetts.

    (Gee, this does sound uncomfortably like me.)

    And, since he can get away with anything, he gets away with all this for two weeks. Polaroid's reaction is to notice that I'm acting like a prima donna (which is not unexpected by certain people there who've known me longest), but that I'm suddenly getting twice as much work done. So they live with it. (Hey, Scum Death wouldn't be the first prima donna they're hired. Or even the second.) My landlady also figures she can live with it, as long as I'm pumping in that massive cash infusion each month; she just stops giving me the occasional free dinner in exchange for free homebrew, (Oh well.) And the youth advisors of Douglas discuss whether I'm Antichrist. (Oh well.)

    And this is just great for him, until I come back from vacation and find a guy in a hockey mask, with tape-on beard attached, sitting it my Polaroid desk.

    How do I react? Well, I'm not exactly a normal citizen of the Marvel Universe, but neither do the Avengers call me up on the hotline when there's an evil twin scare. So, I probably say, "Hi. Why are you sitting at my desk dressed up as a Scum Death cartoon?"

    '"Cause I'm Scum Death. Scum."

    By this time I think it's a prank. "Hey, get a life."

    "I do. I have yours."

    Curiouser and curiouser. But I don't have time for this. So I go work in one of the test labs. Hey, if Polaroid wants to let someone into their facility and pay them to sit at my desk and dress up like Scum Death, that's their problem. Even so, I ask my Polaroid overseer (hereafter referred to as "Anish") and ali my other co-workers what's going on. They admit to nothing. So, with two of me working, we get about two and a half times as much work done as usual. (It would be three times, except I casually break his computer file locks and he breaks mine.)

    I finally head to the Newton rented room that evening. Scum Death is ahead of me, leaving for a jog. (He can get away with anything, including strict 8-hour workdays.) Right about then I start getting tired of him, and tell him the prank's over.

    He pulls a knife on me. And all my fun bladed weapons are in East Douglas.

    So I say, "Fine. Let's pretend you are Scum Death. And let's pretend Polaroid will put up with you forever. I'll just let you do all the work, and live off the direct deposit into my bank account."

    At this point, let's review some of the Marvel superheroes who had to deal with being replaced. [My Marvel Universe counterpart, sometimes referred to as "me", doesn't know the parenthetical information, but he read the other details in Marvel Weekly, the news and speculation magazine of superhero affairs.]

    According to government sources, Captain America [Steve Rogers] was retired by the U.S. Government and replaced by Captain America [Johnny Walker - no, I'm not kidding! He's sometimes known as Jack Daniels, too. I bet the government's keeping his Jim Beam alias in reserve.]. The replacement later went on a rampage and then got captured by a supervillain. The original rescued him and was reinstated - just in time for the replacement to be assassinated. [Yeah, right, nobody dies forever; this verges on being an official Rule of the Marvel Universe]. Coincidentally, there's this new superhero with the West Coast Avengers, with a copy of Cap's shield.

    According to industry sources, Iron Man [Tony Stark] was, as the Betty Ford Clinic might put it, "exhausted" and in no position to object when Iron Man [James Rhodes] took over. But the replacement later became "exhausted" and the original took the job back. Coincidentally, someone has since appeared in one or more copies of the Iron Man armor when the original was out of action, its wearer apparently dead [yeah, right, nobody dies forever].

    According to psychics, Thor [Thor Odinson] was punished by Odin for killing Loki [yeah, right, nobody dies forever] and replaced by Thor [Eric Masterson]. The replacement did a creditable job until the original apparently returned from being tied up in a bag in Hell. Coincidentally, a new hero in New York seems to have a copy of the Thorpower.

    Do you see a trend here?

    Anyway, after a mature discussion of the issues (and, of course, a fight scene which I'll skip here, since it's much too embarrassing when Scum Death beats me up), Scum Death realizes that with his talents he can get his own life somewhere else, without me making his work difficult for him. As far as I know, he's in Washington D.C. now.

    Have fun dealing with a copy of me, bureaucrats.

    [This satisfies "Confront an evil twin of extraterrestrial origin".]

    Adventure: Seven Ways of Going

    One day at work at the Hyperion office, the Juggernaut comes after me. He has a grudge, based upon two previous times he's fought battles with me in the vicinity. This apparently ranks me up with the X-Men and the Incredible Hulk in his personal cosmology.

    After a large amount of property damage, I manage to run into the nearby woods and get away from him. (Of course there are nearby woods, big enough to get lost in... it's Massachusetts, and out in the countryside.) Surely, nothing can stop the Juggernaut... from getting lost in the woods. And nothing can make him go very fast either.

    As if that weren't enough, I see a comet. Then six more. Seven Omniversal Engines are again falling upon my land. I can somehow sense the superhumans in Boston, aligning themselves to find these engines again. And I'm tired of that crap. Really tired.

    By force of will the seven Omniversal Engines come to me.

    (I confess to an advantage. I've been in touch with the Engines before.)

    They turn out to be the six Infinity Gems (basically, the ultimate power in the universe, assuming that the real ultimate power in the universe feels like letting these gems work) plus the gem from the "Sphinx's" brow. They truly become Engines when I accept them onto myself.

    Boy, are the Sphinx and the Infinity Watch pissed.

    Anyway, I first use these Engines to become the personality of the universe. I suppose I'm not surprised when I find that the universe already has a personality. I am surprised when it acts pompous and calls itself Eternity. Especially since neither it nor I is the real ultimate power here. I promptly call myself Eternal Reality and ignore it.

    Then I use the Engines to try to commune with the real ultimate power. God Himself. Yes, I believe in God as Jesus preached. Details are available upon request.

    The message I get in response is, "None will ever know. All must believe."

    Well, I do get slightly more info. It seems one of my seven Engines was formerly the Gem of Permanence, which rested upon the brow of the so-called Sphinx. While I hold this engine, anything I decree will be in force forever. None of this "I decree that half the universe will die; Just Kidding" stuff that various holders of the other six Engines did while they weren't holding the seventh Engine.

    So I'd better take anything I do seriously.

    The real ultimate power breaks contact.

    And so I do the only thing that any believer in God as Jesus preached can do... but first I have some fun.

    Soon, the Marvel Super Heroes attack me. (Of course.) Having merged with reality itself, I know it is fated.

    In fact, I now know the Secret War Protocols of the Marvel Super Heroes. When any Marvel Super Hero detects a cosmic-level menace beyond his/her ability to deal with, he or she is to contact the Avengers (second choice Fantastic Four, third choice Dr. Strange's secretary). All superhumans then assemble at Avengers Mansion (second choice Four Freedoms Plaza, third choice the "Stephen Strange Memorial Metaphysical Institute Annex" near Greenwich Village). Then, under the leadership of Captain America (second choice Reed Richards, third choice Dr. Strange, fourth choice the acting Avengers East Coast leader), they assemble a strike force in keeping with the accessibility of the menace. For me, of course, the strike force is everyone.

    Envision a city block filled with superhumans lined up to punch me, plus another city block filled with superhumans lined up to blast me with energy bolts, hopefully (but not necessarily) without blasting the people who want to punch me. Wow, just like when the Beyonder was around.

    Plus, this time there are five or six superhumans who learned from their last few encounters with the would-be Ultimate Powers of the Universe. (I figure Thor, Doctor Strange, and Reed Richards are leading that group.) They're laying back and using their unique abilities to counteract the six Infinity Gems.

    Nothing I can't deal with, of course.

    But still, this gives me a problem. It looks like I'll have to resort to full power to hold my own. If I don't want to de-power the Marvel Super Heroes ultimately forever amen, I'd better let them win this one.

    And this is where my action on behalf of God as Jesus preached cuts in. Any believer who is awarded a "crown" of any sort is to lay it down before God. (Check out the Book of Revelations.) Firstly, these seven Engines seem to fit the descriptions of "crowns". Secondly, God Himself seems like the best guardian of these Engines in any case.

    But before I let the Marvel Super Heroes Assembled win, I leave seven conditions. Now and forever amen.

    1. Anyone in this universe who ever claims control over me must likewise control themselves first. [Too bad for cops who speed.]
    2. Anyone in this universe who ever claims control over any group which includes me must control the rest of that group first. [Too bad for cops who don't enforce turn signal laws.]
    3. Anyone in this universe who tries to coerce me will instead get an uncontrollable craving to gorge upon the most pleasant possible food. [Too bad for cops, period.]
    4. Anyone in this universe who tries to attack me or anything I claim will instead get an uncontrollable craving to masturbate. [Too bad for the Juggernaut.]
    5. Everyone in this universe will be promptly treated as they treat me. [Too bad for all Massachusetts drivers.]
    6. Open to my future dictates.
    7. After (6), that's it. No more conditions.

    And then I pop into another universe. I pick the one where I have a counterpart who lives near "Gotham City".

    [This satisfies "Sequel to cosmic war".]

    Adventure: Me No More

    Basically, in my absence, Scum Death comes back, takes over, and does anything he wants. Probably he thrashes O.J. Simpson or something.

    [This satisfies "Resign and be replaced".]

    Adventure: The Death of Me

    Basically, my DC counterpart and I go for a drive on the Gotham Beltway. The Joker, escaping from a crime, cuts us off. My counterpart goes for broke and, with Massachusetts combat driving, brings the Joker to bay right there and then, before the Batman can. Of course, the Joker remembers my counterpart was the guy who punched him in the face once. (Surely, it was really me who punched the Joker then, but I don't interrupt. After all, my counterpart once punched the Juggernaut, who still holds a grudge against me for it. And I've had to deal with that ever since.)

    Two days later, when the Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum yet again, he takes the first opportunity to explode a bomb on top of my counterpart. I, with my slightly superior combat instincts, barely make it out of the death trap. Oh, joy. I'm stuck in a hospital bed. Doctors say I'll be paralyzed from the waist down.

    I think I've had quite enough of the Joker's universe. I think I can live with the Juggernaut.

    [This satisfies "Oh, let's do universe crossovers again" and "Die (no, wait, that's Me in the DC Universe)".]

    Adventure: The Return of Me

    I exercise the 6th Power of the Omniversal Engines to return to the Marvel Universe. Then I start living normally. Except that people who cut me off in traffic get cut off themselves. And police who see me moving around ail the resulting traffic jams and try to arrest me, start gorging themselves with donuts. And the Avengers, when they come to investigate, start masturbating instead.

    Hey, it seems those conditions I left behind are still holding. I wish I had a camera.

    [This satisfies "Make a comeback".]

    Adventure: Feel The Way I Feel

    Looks like I team up with Scum Death here. Only Scum Death has become a phenomenon in Boston while I was gone. Seems everyone's wearing flannel, bandanas, and wide brimmed hats now. Lots of people even wear hockey masks.

    In the end, of course, Scum Deaths decide it's even cooler to go live in the Bahamas. Who needs Massachusetts anyway?

    [This satisfies "Inspire and team up with similar-minded spin-off heroes".]

    Me in Comic Books: Startup Untold 2 Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005.
    The Avengers (at least these Avengers) and the Juggernaut are all trademarks of Marvel Comics. Batman and the Joker were trademarks of AOL Time Warner when last I checked. The other characters in this fiction are copyright 2005, Eiler Technical Enterprises.