After years of living in places like Cleveland, residents of Ohio finally had something to look forward when the state announced over the summer that it would be producing official Superman variant license plates in October. The moment of redemption for the beleaguered citizens of what many consider to be the worst state in the union other than Florida finally arrived this morning, as the plates were unveiled outside the home of late Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel in Cleveland. Because Cleveland is as close as a city can come to being an apocalyptic wasteland without being Detroit, nobody apparently bothered to take a picture. However, both Cleveland.com and Ohio's BMV site have posted mockups of the plate, which you can see below, and you can also see it in the embedded video. Anyway, while this hullabaloo was going on in Cleveland, Columbus Ohio resident Victor Squid, after standing in line for 76 hours waiting for the plates to go on sale, became one of the first lucky drivers to own an official Ohio Superman license plate... and the first man to suffer the dire consequences.
"My first thought when I got the plate was that it looked really nice, you know. Really sharp," Squid told us. "Of course, I put it on my car right away."
That's when things started to go wrong.
"That's when things started to go wrong," Squid continued. I was driving to work in the morning, and i know for a fact I got in my car because my key worked and everything. During the drive, I felt the car bumping and shaking a little bit, but I didn't give it much thought because I live in Ohio and everything here is in a constant state of disrepair. But when I arrived at work, you won't believe what I found."
When Squid got out of his car, he noticed that his beige 1992 Buick Impala had been transformed into a gray 1988 Dodge Dart.
"I'm sure that I drove an Impala," Squid insisted, denying justifiably believable rumors that he was on drugs or going insane due to living in Ohio. "Rather than being mad, I just kept thing how odd it was that, if my car is going to magically transform, it would be into to another model as completely unremarkable as the first. I would like to drive a Camaro or something cool, you know? Or maybe a Prius, if it's going to be sensible."
Bewildered, Squid decided to go about his day and deal with the car later. But when he returned to the parking lot during his coffee break to admire his brand new license plate, he was in for the second shock of the day. The gray Dart had become a 1994 Oldsmobile Achieva.
"At that point, I was like, what the fuck?" complained a visibly annoyed Squid. "I mean, there's no reason for this. And if my car is going to change, I would at least like some warning, you know. It shouldn't change at the last minute, when I've become used to the car that I already have and made plans for what I'm going to do with it in the future."
Now the situation was starting to sound familiar. Following our instinct, we called up DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio on the direct hotline we keep to DC's offices for whenever we need to make up quotes by their executives.
"Yes, DC is retconning the cars of people who have the Superman license plate," Didio admitted. "We've got all of our staff on this currently. We're hoping to change peoples' cars three, maybe four times a day."
"Because we can," Didio explained. "The laws for copyright in this country are so fucked up, it turns out that if you put a Superman license plate on your car, the car becomes our intellectual property. And as our intellectual property, we want to make sure that your car represents the most marketable, iconic image conducive to future cross-branding opportunities."
And an Oldsmobile Achieva is more marketable than a Chevy Impala?
"No, we don't think that," Didio told us. "That was over an hour ago. Now we like mid-nineties Plymouth Neons."
"We're constantly changing our mind, so we just keep changing the cars," he added.
Hasn't DC learned anything from all the recent creators storming off DC comic books in a huff due to last minute editorial changes? Surely DC would have a lot less trouble if they all just took time to decide what type of cars they really wanted before going off and making decisions that they later have to reverse, pissing people off. Or, even better, they could just let the people driving the cars decide what kind of cars to drive. Surely, DC would come to their senses and realize that changing the cars every few hours was not the answer to their problems.
"I've got it!" Didio suddenly shouted. "We'll make all of the cars 3D!"
What... no! We hung up the phone, and looked desperately at Squid. All around us, we heard the squeal of tires and crunch of metal as drivers, distracted by the sudden appearance of optical illusions on moving vehicles, crashed their cars. Squid, an Ohio resident, was unmoved by the screams of terror coming from nearby pedestrians.
"Oh, that looks kind of cool," Squid remarked while examining his 1989 Mercury Cougar, which was now emblazoned with a holographic 3D image of The Joker. "I wonder how much I could get for this on ebay?"