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"Tell me about the Red Kryptonite, Alexx..."
Bar Harbor
I read a few weekly columns over at Comic Book Resources, and sometimes browse their other articles. They had one posted recently that was an FAQ for Final Crisis, the latest mega-crossover series from DC Comics. Now, I didn't actually *read* Final Crisis, having sworn off mega-crossovers years ago. But I am just plugged in enough to hear echoes of these things, and to have a mild curiosity, so I started skimming this FAQ.

The following jumped out at me:
Q: Why couldn’t the Guardians simply wave a finger and shut down Boodika the Alpha Lantern from getting anywhere near the Central Power Battery? We’ve seen them shut down power rings before, should be no reason they could not do it (or something similar) this time around.

A: That was why they made a big point of them being “Alpha Lanterns.” The same precautions were not taken against the Alpha Lanterns, because the whole POINT of Alpha Lanterns was that they were infallible.

In the future, I presume they will not make that same mistake again.
BWAHAHAHAHA! What, you think the Guardians are *capable* of not making that mistake again? Look at their track record, after all. Giving vast, cosmic powers to unreliable entities who later Turn Evil is practically all they *do*. In some versions of the continuity, these guys are actually responsible for the *existence* of Evil in the first place.

"Infallible." Hee hee hee...

I stopped even skimming shortly after that point because A) I didn't have enough context to understand most of the questions, let alone the answers, and B) (goes and does a quick calculation...) this frickin thing is over fifteen *thousand* words long! I have an entry in my quote file relating to a much earlier mega-crossover: "CJE's LitCrit Rule of Thumb #12: Any story that needs a diagram to explain it needs a decent editor far more." A story that needs 15K of FAQ is... I don't even know what to call it. It's like it's gone *through* self-satire, and come out the other side.

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Dear FF,

You are so my favorite fanboy, and I know that subject title was aimed right at me...so *cute*!

However, I must say, I'm kind of surprised that you can still be surprised by the realization that the metatexts and paratexts can often be longer than the actual text...you were there with me for grad school, remember?

Lots of love and footnotes,1
Your Meta Girl

1 I really can't think of anything to actually put in this footnote, but you know footnotes = love, and the whole discussion of paratexts made me feel that this mash note really required a footnote, even if it was just a symbolic footnote and not actually a footnote containing actually content, althugh of course, the act of creating a footnote in and of itself could be seen as symbolic, in a metatextual view, so perhaps the non-content is full of content after all, and really, it's not like Richard Burton didn't make all footnotes which came after imply a certain level of madness on the part of the footnoter and, if House of Leaves could be said to be in any sense traditional, it was that it followed in the footnotes of such madmen.

You two are so cu... er, um, so Evil together! Yes, that's the word I was going for. Not cute at all. Evil. Yes, very evil together.



*stares at CV suspiciously*


He is so bad for my image.

I'm sure you've already thought of this, but most villains have a pet, or a topic on which they are secretly gooey. An Alexx is probably a lot better for that purpose than a white cat, or whatever.

A story that needs 15K of FAQ is...

My copy of the Wheel of Time FAQ is 362KB of compressed HTML, and it only covers through book nine.

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