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Breaking News: DC and Marvel Admit Last Three Years of Publishing “the Most Elaborate Practical Joke in the History of Comics”, According to Joe Quesada

“Everybody laugh at the funny joke!” adds Dan Didio

In an unprecedented joint statement, Joe Quesada, Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics, and Dan Didio, who does pretty much the same job but with a longer, dumber title at DC, admitted that their last three years of publishing were one elaborate practical joke on the comics reading public.

“It started out harmlessly, as these things usually do,” Quesada said in the statement, referring to the innocent game of Connect Four between Jack Kirby and Jim Shooter at the San Diego Comic Con at 1984 that eventually led to the Kirby original art controversy.

“Dan and I were hanging out in the bar of the hotel we were staying at during San Diego, and as the comp drinks piled up, the germ of the idea for this whole thing started to come to fruition,” Quesada said.

“Over the course of the weekend, and way too many comp drinks from freelancers desperate for work, we concocted some crazy ideas,” Didio added. “At first, we were just screwing around, but as the weekend wore on, we came to the realization that we might be able to pull this thing off. Mind you, we were really, really drunk.”

“Like two Dean Martins locked in a whiskey factory,” Quesada added.

Didio said that things really got moving when Geoff Johns and Mark Millar joined them in the bar.

“Geoff dared Mark that he could come up with the dumber company wide crossover. Once again, it seemed like harmless posturing, until he had one too many, and he double dog dared him,” Didio said.

“As everyone with any knowledge of their culture knows, nothing is more serious to a Scottsman than the double dog dare,” Quesada said. “You can ask Graeme McMillan, who was totally in on this joke, too.”

“I was,” McMillan said in his own press release. “I mean, really, did you all think that all of that great material for Fanboy Rampage just fell in to my lap?”

“Every time we announced a new project, we were planning on that being the last part of the joke,” Didio said in the other press release. The first one. “But it just kept getting funnier. And selling better. That helped keep the suits happy.”

“Unlike other comic publishing practical jokes, like the New Universe and Helix, this one just refused to be an utter financial failure, allowing it to keep going,” Quesada said.

“We wanted to stop it many, many times, but it just kept selling, and all of the fans reactions (especially on my good friend Graeme’s site) were just too priceless,” Quesada said.
“At one point, we based our entire editorial policy, at both companies, on how angry we could make Jesse Baker,” Didio said, referencing the infamous message board poster.

The talent involved were suprised by the gullibility of the comics reading public.

“I’m amazed that no one got that putting me on the Avengers was a gag,” Brian Michael Bendis said. “I mean, me, Brian Michael Benids, who I am, the writer who is Brian Michael Bendis… Bendis? Yeah, Bendis. Really? Yes, Bendis. Who writes like that. Reptitively. And wordy. Very wordy and repetitive. On the Avengers. Come on! How could you all buy that?”

Greg Rucka had a similar reaction.

“It cracks me up that you guys all seem to think that I have an obsession with Renee Montoya, because really, I have to be reminded daily who she is. I had to tattoo it on my chest, like in Memento.”

As many belly laughs as the two editorial directors and their creative accomplices got out of the joke, they both had epiphanies that made them realize they had gone too far.

“I was doing an interview with Wizard via confrence call, and when they asked me a question about the new Helmet of Dr. Fate ongoing, I just lost it,” Didio said. “I broke down laughing and hung up on them. That gave them very little material to work with for their cover story on the DCU, but being Wizard, I’m sure they filled all that extra space with fart jokes and pictures of Jessica Alba.”

Quesada’s epiphany was a little different.

Story continues below

“I wanted to keep it going. I mean, this was the kind of thing Bill and I were going for during our entire tenure together! It was great. But then a freelancer who wasn’t in on the joke seriously pitched me a “The Many Painful Deaths of Mary Jane Parker” 12 issue maxi series, and then I knew that we had gone too far.”

That freelancer, Warren Ellis, said “It was worth a try. I wanted to build a gazeebo in my back yard,” on his message board at his website the Engine. And in his Bad Signal newsletter. And, through his new, shockingly low tech medium, sky writing.

Industry analysts were shocked by the news for about fifteen minutes, before they could really think about it, and then they weren’t.

“It makes a lot of sense, really,” Brian Hibbs, of San Fransico’s Comics Experience, said.

Message board posters were their usual subdued, thoughtful selves. Even one of the men whom the joke was chiefly played on, Jesse Baker, took it in stride. With a profane rant that can not be reprinted here.

Seriously. It can peel paint off walls.


Brilliant. Take a bow, Brad.

Well done. Thank goodness April 1st is finally here; it was a long winter.


Um…does this explain Civil War, The New Avengers, etc.? No wonder I haven’t bought from Marvel in two years, and DC in 4-5 years.

How dearly I wish this were true. I could read superhero comics again!

I’m not the same Dave as the one who posted already, but I do feel the same way. Eerie.

Heck, I’m just kicking myself for not having realized sooner. “Spider-Cancer”? How they managed that with a straight face, I have no idea.

You laugh now, but once all your favorite sky-writing becomes inhumanly British and starts spouting off ridiculous dialogue, we’ll see who’s laughing then.

Hee hee, milk is coming out my nose! No seriously. It was very brave of Mr. Quesada and Mr. Didio to own up to this merry little prank. Does this mean that we can have all those dead JLI’ers back now?

Well, I needed that.

I’m not sure if I read the same thing that you guys did because I missed the funny part.


January 11, 2007 at 8:35 am

It’s funny because it could almost make sense of the last bunch of years.

Or…is it SAD because it could almost make sense of the last bunch of years.

Hmmm… I’m going to go with SAD.



I agree with David; earlier April Fools Days are another sign of global warmning.

This is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever read. The only practical joke I perceive going on right now is the announcement in the link above. On a business side of things, this was just a foolish announcement to make on so many levels no matter what the truth of the situation. Then again, no matter what the truth of the situation I’m sitting back laughing… well snickering more than laughing, but hey! Who’s counting?

…did you write this just for me? Did you? because if you did, you totally just reignited my desire to moan furiously about all things Didio, bless his cotton socks.

Best post ever, incidentally. FTW.

OK, this post was fun, but really, was it that bad? There still were good comics too and was it actually as bad as the 90s? You can’t expect every book to be as good as, well, the good ones, these companies have to make some money too.

Compare it to the movie or music industry, sure they put out boatloads of crap that caters to the lowest common denominator. They also put out good stuff, just stick to that. I never understood readers who buy everything just because it has ‘Marvel’ stamped on it and the n complain about contents. Read it because you like it, not because it’s published by whatever company or features whatever character you choose to follow. Support the comics you actually like and comics will (as they should) be good.

Best. post. ever.


You took “Use the Farce” to heart.

Garbonzo beat me to “Best Post Ever.” Why, it’s the complete opposite of that Leon Spinks/She-Hulk crossover.

You know, maybe it was just me, but this sounds a bit too much like every whiney comment I’ve read on every single message board. The Didio/Quesada bashing is getting really old, especially considering the people doing it are still out there buying their copies of New Avengers or Infinite Crisis or Civil War reliigously. Maybe its a self loathing issue, but its getting pretty lame. Plus it completely ignores the really great books DC and Marvel put out that no one is reading like Criminal, Agents of Atlas, Manhunter, etc.

This is the classic Curran we’ve all been waiting for.

Kinda pointless? And outside of the bit about Wizard and Jessica Alba pics, that wasn’t really funny at all. :(

There seems to be something vaguely metatextual about people bashing this post for ‘ignoring the great books’ that Marvel and DC have put out lately. Why not go comment on one of the great posts here, then, instead of knocking this one?

I love DC, but I still thought it was pretty funny.

It always warms my heart a bit that the “Comic Should Be Good” crew always seem to hate the good comics…


January 12, 2007 at 3:43 pm

In Curran we Trust.

“It always warms my heart a bit that the “Comic Should Be Good” crew always seem to hate the good comics…”

Yeah, cause Infinite Crisis and Civil War fucking rock, and are the new Watchmen.


May 15, 2007 at 7:01 am


Funny how 6 years later, this is still topical and could actually be believable. Great stuff.

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