The Inevitable Confrontation: Jim Shooter visits....

From moriarty Mon Nov  4 20:06:50 PST 1985
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Path: fluke!moriarty
From: moriarty@fluke.UUCP (Judge Moriarty Wapner)
Newsgroups: net.comics
Subject: The Inevitable Confrontation: Jim Shooter visits....
Message-ID: <2880@vax4.fluke.UUCP>
Date: 5 Nov 85 04:05:27 GMT
Date-Received: 5 Nov 85 04:05:27 GMT
Distribution: net
Organization: Stupid People's Court
Lines: 508
Status: RO
Note: This article is not being posted to the SPC mailing list.  Because of
it's comics-related nature, it is being posted only to net.comics.  Some
Marvel dialogue is present.  Parental discretion is advised.
[OPENING SHOT:  A darkened, unlit Stupid People's Courtroom.  It is
 early evening; the sun has set, and the courtroom is deserted.  An
 unlikely time for a SPC episode?  Perhaps... let's listen in!]
1st VOICE [outside the courtroom, male]: Room 215... Room 222...  Room
                                         224... Here it is, room 221B.
2nd VOICE [also outside the courtroom, female]: THIS is the place they're
                                                holding the Marvel staff
1st VOICE: That's what the flyer says:  "Meet Marvel's new management team!
           See some of your favorite Marvel Personalities!  Hear the words
           of Most Holy Jim explain the One True Path in Comics!  Room
2nd VOICE: I know they're holding the convention downstairs, but this seems
           kinda, I dunno, official.  Are you sure this is the place?
1st VOICE: Sure I'm sure.  I guess we're just early.  They must use this for
           trials or something.
2nd VOICE: Have you *ever* seen a courtroom that had "SPC" written on the
1st VOICE: Probably stands for something in Latin.  You know, "Supremos Por
2nd VOICE: Well, let's go in and get seats.
[The gloom is suddenly split as the huge courtroom doors of SPC swing open
 to allow a crack of hallway lighting to intrude.  A bit of fumbling is
 heard, and suddenly the overhead lights of the room light, to reveal a 19
 or 20 year old boy and girl, each with a backpack and several flyers.  They
 look around the courtroom, realizing it is empty].
BOY: See?  Told you it was a courtroom.  How soon's this thing supposed to
     start, anyway?
GIRL: Any minute now.  Let's grab some seats in the back.
[They sit down on a bench in the back of the gallery.  Opening their
 backpacks, they pull out several comic books, which they begin discussing
 in low tones.  Some of the comics are Marvel, some DC, and some belong to
 several of the "independents".]
[Slowly, down the hallways outside the courtroom, we hear the tramp, tramp,
 tramp of of marching footsteps.  The level of sound rises, until the
 footsteps are right outside the door.  Suddenly a group of people (mostly
 boys) march in through the doors, flinging them open in their wake.  These
 people range in ages and size, but most range between 12 and 20.  They wear
 different types of clothing, but almost all have a T-Shirt Iron-on of
 either Wolverine, The Beyonder, or The Dazzler.  They take the Gallery
 seats in the front of the court.  Next, a huge group of Marvel artists,
 writers, and production people walk in, some with a hauty gaze and sneer
 across their face; but most seem either resigned, bored, melancholy or
BOY [whispering]: Isn't that small fellow in the back Chris Claremont?
GIRL [whispering]: I think so.  He sure looks sad, doesn't he?  What's that
                   thing around his neck?
BOY [eyes widening]: I think it's... a collar!
[Finally, after the Marvel people take seats in the Jury Box, two men walk
 in with trumpets.  They begin playing the type of Imperial Music you hear
 in flicks like Robin Hood, and then... he is there.  Jim Shooter,
 Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics, Controller of Destiny in the Marvel
 Universe, and Grand Pooh-bah of the Secret Wars.  Several men dressed in
 conservative three-piece suits shuffle in front of him, throwing confetti.]
BOY [whispering]: Who are those guys?
GIRL [whispering]: I think they're Marvel's corporate lawyers.
[The attendents take their seats behind the prosecutor and defense lawyer's
 bench.  Shooter walks in front of the judge's bench and turns towards the
SHOOTER: Please forgive the uncomfortable seating arrangements, people.  We
         needed a room for a seminar, and this is the only one they could
         come up with in this building on short notice.  First of all, let
         me ask you: are you enjoying the convention downstairs?
GALLERY [including Boy & Girl]: YES!!
SHOOTER: Well, that's great.  As a partial sponser of this convention,
         Marvel is always happy to see such a great turnout for these comic
         conventions.  And now, I'm sure you'd like to know what plans
         Marvel has in store for 1986.  Let me ask first: how many of you
         out there bought DAZZLER: THE MOVIE graphic novel?
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: I DID!!
BOY [in undertones to girl]: Phew!  Not another one of those, I hope!
SHOOTER: And how many of you bought Marvel Secret Wars I & II?
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: WE LOVED THEM!!
GIRL [groans]: Oh, no....
SHOOTER: Well, then you'll be pleased to hear next summer's project: Secret
         Wars III, The Movie, where the Beyonder assumes the form of The
         Dazzler and takes over the Tonight Show from Johnny Carson!  All
         sorts of Marvel characters will guest star, trying desperately to
         upstage the crafty creature.  Special highlights will be his
         knock-down drag-out fight with Joan Rivers, and his transformation
         of Ed McMahon into a Norse Rock Troll.
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: HOT DOG!  WE'LL BUY 6 OF EACH ISSUE!
BOY [in undertones to girl]: Karen, I think that... that those people in the
                             front row...
GIRL: They're Marvel Zombies!
MARVEL ZOMBIE #1: I'm gonna put my eight issues in Mylar Snuggies, and never
                  ever read them!
SHOOTER: And if you think that's big news, wait 'till you hear this: Jean
         Grey has been brought back to life in The Fantastic Four!
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: MY GOD!  WE'LL BUY *15* ISSUES EACH!
MARVEL ZOMBIE #2: Praise Shooter!  Praise Shooter!
[Chris Claremont looks down at the ground and begins trembling.  John Byrne
 has an expression of distaste on his face.]
GIRL [aghast]: How... could they?  It makes the original death so
BOY [loudly, to gain attention]: Mr. Shooter?  Excuse me, Mr.  Shooter.
SHOOTER [seeing him and smiling]: Why, yes, son, what's your question?
BOY: Is this Mr. Claremont's idea?
SHOOTER [oily smile intact]: Well, why don't we ask him.  Chris, is it your
                             idea to bring Jean back to life?
CLAREMONT [in very low, childlike voice, barely audible, talking to
himself]: I tried to stop them, yes, I tried to stop them, but they wouldn't
SHOOTER [somewhat insistently]: Chris, isn't this your idea?
CLAREMONT [same tone of voice]: I told them, "but it would make the death
                                meaningless!", and they said, "But we can
                                make money this way Chris, LOTS of money..."
SHOOTER [reaching into his pocket; his voice gets sharper]: Chris, answer
                                                            the nice
CLAREMONT [still dazed]: and then they told me they were giving Bob Layton
[Shooter presses something in the pocket of his jacket; an electric spark
 noise is heard, and Claremont jerks to his feat as if he were struck,
 sweating wildly].
CLAREMONT [nervous voice]: The idea of bring Jean back to life was all my
                           idea, yes, it sure was.  All my idea.  Not Jim's
                           idea, nope.  All my idea... all my idea [he
                           begins to look dazed again].
SHOOTER [returning smile to Boy]: Hope that answered your question, son.
BOY [bewildered]: Excuse me, sir, do you have something attached to Mr.
                  Claremont's neck?
SHOOTER [chuckling]: Oh, that!  It's just a little device I picked up in the
                     Phillipines last year.  It helps our writers and
                     artists think more clearly.
GIRL: All of Marvel has one of these around there necks?
SHOOTER: Yes, except for me and Mr. Byrne.  I'm afraid he's untouchable...
BOY: Don't you think that's rather uncivilized?
[Crowd of fans in the bleachers turn around and stare beligerently at the
SHOOTER [still smiling, but tightly, and looking coldly at the Boy]: 
                                                Why, no.  Do you?
MARVEL ZOMBIE #1: Do not question the word of Shooter!
SHOOTER [addressing entire crowd now -- he is back in sales pitch
mode]: You see, Marvel is the wave of the future in other comics companies.
       We are The Leader in the comics industry.  No one else is even
GIRL [in undertone to Boy]: in sales...
SHOOTER: us; we lead the pack.  What comics do you buy?
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: MARVEL COMICS!!!
SHOOTER [Looks pleased]: Do you buy Other Comics?
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: NOO!
SHOOTER: And why is that?
SHOOTER [grinning broadly]: Riiight!  And now it's time to introduce
                            Marvel's new slogan: "We shall bury you!"!
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: YAAAAAAAAAH!!!!
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: HAIL MARVEL!
BOY & GIRL [eyes wide open, trembling]: Good Lord!
SHOOTER [motioning for them to settle down, grinning like a
cheshire cat]: Thank you, friends, thank you.  And I just want to let you
               know how much I appreciate your support.  We are striving to
               make sure our competitors are not trying to gain an unfair
               advantage over us, by using satires or lampoons of our
               characters in other magazines.  We will meet this threat
               however we can... but what do you think should be done to
               those who take the name of Marvel in Vain?!
GALLERY [excluding Boy & Girl]: DEATH!  DEATH!  DEATH!
BOY [suddenly rising, and yelling loudly]: Hey, if we're talking about
                                           Plagarism, Jimbo, what about The
                                           Squadron Supreme?
GIRL [in undertones]: Tom, sit down!
SHOOTER [PR face has been replaced with a cruel, savage sneer]: 
Hmmm, I thought everyone here had been given indoctrination. 
Apparently you two must have snuck in.  Maybe you're spies for the
[Zombies have turned around and are beginning to look menacing -- or at
 least as menancing as overweight adolescents with acne can look]
BOY [holding Girl]: No,we're just fans!  We got a flyer -- it must have been
                    a slip-up!  Leave us alone!
SHOOTER [in incredibly nasty tones]: I'm afraid I can't do that... you see,
                                     you know too much... you might blab to
                                     the Thompsons!  I'm afraid you're going
                                     to have to become... Marvelized!
BOY:  Oh, Ick!!
GIRL:  Do you know how much work it takes to get their drool stains off
       my shirt?
[Well, things look pretty grim.  Are we about to witness another scene
 of senseless, meaningless violence?]
[Suddenly, from one of the upper balconies of the Stupid People's Court,
 Ernest Korngold's theme to Errol Flynn's _THE_SEA_HAWK_ rings out!  A rope
 has been tied to the ceiling of the court, and a figure, dressed in Judge's
 garb, Sears tennis shoes, levis, and bearing a rubber mallet swings down on
 the awe-struck masses, his robes a-fluttering in his wake!]
[His impressive descent is marred when he misses Shooter and slams into the
 wall of the courtroom above jury box; he slides down into the jury box with
 the Marvel crew.]
JUDGE MW: oy....
JOHN BYRNE [Disgusted look on his face]: What an egotist.
SHOOTER [Angrily]: Who is this clown?
JUDGE MW [pulling himself up, straightening his robes, and trying
to regain the dignity he lost 15 years ago]: This clown is the Law of this
                                             Courtroom, Mister.  You've
                                             crossed the boundary of light
                                             and shadow, time and space,
                                             Penn and Teller, and Proctor
                                             and Gamble.  You're in a place
                                             where everyone gets their just
                                             dessert (except for me... I get
                                             cheescake).  In short, you're
                                             in STUPID PEOPLE'S COURT, and
                                             for the jump, mate!
SHOOTER [Sneers]: I don't know who you are, but I have a legion of
                  brain-dead teenagers who will obey my every command!
                  You're too late to save them.  Marvelittes:  destroy those
                  two at the back!  Ha ha ha!
[Zombies begin rolling up issues of ROM and G.I. JOE to use as clubs.  They
 begin to march to the cowering couple by the courtroom doors.]
JUDGE MW: Not so fast, zit-face.  I didn't come here alone.  Your goons will
          have to deal with man known only as... The Bailiff!
[Suddenly (that word is getting used a bit much lately) the doors to SPC
 burst open, to reveal Red The Bailiff in a stocking costume with a cowl, a
 utility belt, and a mask over his face.  His rather sizable paunch hangs
 over his utility belt.]
[[Special note for you SPC fans:  Red looks and talks rather like the
  fellow who does the talking on the Bartell and James wine cooler ads]]
BAILIFF: I feel pretty damn silly.
SHOOTER: Ha!  You're hero is no match for my Army of Mediocre Dolts!  Their
         dialogue is by Bill Mantlo!  Nothing can stop them!  Kill the
         Caped Wonder, my minions!
ZOMBIES [In unison, with their arms outstretched]: CRUSH!  KILL!  DESTROY!
SHOOTER: Let's see you stop THEM, Masked Man!  HA HA HA!
[Red non-chalantly pulls his .38 revolver from the back of his belt and
 fires through the head of the first zombie, injuring him slightly, and
 spreading a fine mist of sawdust over the courtroom floor].
BAILIFF [to camera]: And the worst thing about it is, I have to clean this
                    mess up afterwards.
ZOMBIE #1: Hmm.. I think I hear my mother calling.
ZOMBIE #2: AMAZING STORIES is on the tube... gotta run!
ZOMBIE #3: Gosh, I just remembered a dental appointment... see you later,
           Mr. Shooter!
[The Zombies slowly evaucate the courtroom, staying well clear of The
 Bailiff; soon, the room is clear, except for the boy and girl, Marvel
 personnel, Shooter, Judge Moriarty, and that symbol of resigned
 hand-slapping, The Bailiff!]
BAILIFF [muttering]: And I didn't even get my own theme song...
SHOOTER: Cowards!  It's so tough to get good gullible followers these days!
         Where are my lawyers?
BOY: They left with the Zombies.
JUDGE MW: Most lawyers find violence kind of trying, close-up.
SHOOTER: No matter!  My staff will take care of you all in short order.
         Boys and girls: kill!
ANN NOCENTI: Oh, no.  Not without at least overtime.
ELLIOT BROWN: Yeah, and a chance to have another assistant editor's month.
MIKE CARLIN: Besides, Jim, you're not looking so hot.  We might decide to
             switch over to DC if you lose this one.
JOHN BYRNE [smirking]: Some of us already have!
WALT SIMONSIN: Don't feel too bad, Jim.  Maybe you can get Roy Thomas
JUDGE MW: Looks like you're going to have to do the dirty deed yourself,
          Jimbo.  And this is Stupid People's Court, where physical laws
          obey my every whim (except that I still haven't been able to get
          Rachel Ward to appear in the Judge's Chambers...).
SHOOTER [his eyes wild, his voice rasping]: You think you've beaten me,
                                            don't you?  Well, your power is
                                            no match for mine!  I've kept it
                                            hidden from even my closest
                                            associates, but I have the power
                                            that dwarfs all others!  You
                                            see, I have a personal stake in
                                            Secret Wars I & II, for I have
                                            assumed the character of....
[Light flashes around Shooter, altering his form, improving his wardrobe,
 and making him shorter, until he stands forth in the form of...]
BYRNE: Bojemoi!
GIRL: No wonder you never see them together at the same time!
JUDGE MW: Yah, I always thought this character was a wet dream for
[Red The Bailiff yawns, turns around and walks out of SPC].
                           ME!  YOU ARE BEATEN!!
JUDGE MW [slowly walking around the back of the courtroom to his
seat behind the bench]: Nah, it was just late and he showed up here as a
                        favor to me.  I needed someone to handle The Little
                        Rascals you brought in; I can deal with you
                  RIP UP PARKING TICKETS...
JUDGE MW [now behind his bench]: ...thanks to a little package I had sent in
                                 from Cynosure...
JUDGE MW [pulling an electronic device from behind his bench]: ...a little
                                                               wonder called
GIRL: He's become crazed!
JUDGE MW [puts device on his bench]: ...Portable Reality Generator.  [flicks
[Like a flickering lightbulb, The Beyonder vanishes, to be replaced once
 again with Jim Shooter, in a one-piece pair of pajamas.]
JUDGE MW: Now, now, Jim, that's plagarism!  I feel I must make a sentance
          here, and as it's getting late, I'll make it quick.  Here we have
          another case of Let The Punishment Fit the Crime.
[Judge walks down to courtroom level, and puts his arm around Shooter's
 shoulders, which is no mean feet for someone his size.]
JUDGE MW: Jim, I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you, but we've
          decided to kill off your character.
SHOOTER: You're going to kill of The Beyonder?!
JUDGE MW: No, no, no, we wouldn't do that.  That would mess with Marvel
SHOOTER: Phew!  You had me worried for a minute.
JUDGE MW: We've decided to kill off the character of Jim Shooter.
JUDGE MW: Well, you see, in the last couple of years, you've killed off,
          weakened or otherwise ruined several good Marvel characters.  And
          we just don't see how we can let you get away with that...
SHOOTER: But... But... I didn't kill of a planet of Asparagus People!!
JUDGE MW [grimly]: But you DID ruin a great comic and the ending of a great
                   character, Jean Grey.  And so, we've decided to have you
                   written out of MARVEL AGE, CBG, THE COMICS JOURNAL, etc.
CLAREMONT: I'll script it!
BYRNE: I'll draw it!
JUDGE MW: Fine, fine, then I'll leave him to you boys.  [Close up on the
          Judge as Shooter is dragged offstage, kicking and screaming.  Judge
          addresses camera].  So, folks, you may want to pick up a neat comic
          coming out next month.  It's the conclusion of SECRET WARS II...
[He pulls SECRET WARS II #9 from beneath his robes.  On it, it shows the
 Beyonder ripping Jim Shooter's head from his body, with the words "Not a
 Hoax!  Not an Imaginary Story!" and the title "The Beyonder Wises Up!"]
JUDGE MW:  We hope you enjoy it.  Until next month, stay cool, and
just remember...
  If you've got a flame, don't take it to the net.  Take it to court.
                   ****** STUPID PEOPLE'S COURT!! ******
                                        Judge Moriarty Wapner
                                        Stupid People's Court
ARPA: fluke!moriarty@uw-beaver.ARPA
UUCP: {uw-beaver, sun, allegra, sb1, lbl-csam}!fluke!moriarty
DISCLAIMER:The ideas, opinions and implied snide remarks used above do not
           necessarily represent the views of my employers.  They are 
           entirely out of my dark and furitive imagination.