Comic book readers around the world will be flocking to stores today to pick up the first issue of Infinity, the Marvel Comics super-mega-crossover event by Jonathan Hickman and his personal harem of superstar artists that pits the superheroes of Earth against the Mad Titan, Thanos. But while the readers are hedonistically reveling in an orgy of comics industry excess, there is one chronically neglected group of people that isn't quite so thrilled with the prospect of a Summer blockbuster comic that will have Earth-shattering repercussions for the Marvel Universe as we know it. The Outhouse spoke to some of these every day fictional people who populate the Marvel Universe to find out how they feel about the fabric of their existence changing drastically every time Marvel needs to boost sales with a hype-driven crossover comic bonanza.
"By my count, our universe has been shaken to it's very foundations 187 times, just in my fictional lifetime," said Kenny Haag, a fictional resident of the Marvel Universe version of North Dakota. "At least 72 times, my entire world has been completely shattered, and my status quo has 'never been the same again' more then 36 times."
"It's tiring," Haag confessed. "I'd just like to go six months without everything I know changing forever, you know?"
Haag's statements represent a rising tide of discontent in the Marvel Universe, which is irrevocably altered by an ultra-important comic event complete with line-wide tie-ins and multiple ridiculous foil embossed variant cover gimmicks approximately 5.2 times a year. In the Marvel Universe, it's nearly impossible to maintain any semblance of a normal life when, once every couple of months, the mind-blowing conclusion to the comics event of the century turns everything upside down.
"I used to be a 97 year old black woman," said Jon Swinton, a Caucasian man from Poughkeepsie. "But then, one day, a few months ago, Wolverine traveled through time to stop a killer robot from taking over the world and stabbed another Wolverine who had also traveled through time to stop him, I guess, and I woke up the next morning a 28 year old white boy!"
"I miss my grandkids," Swinton added sadly, a single tear sliding down his cheek. "And those Skottie Young baby variant covers just keep reminding me of that. It's cruel is what it is."
"It's really difficult to find stable, long-term employment in this environment," said Beth Kinney, a 57 year old hotel manager from Tampa. "The company I worked for for over 30 years, since I got out of college, shut down in 2008 with no warning after the CEO was revealed to be a shapeshifting alien from a warlike civilization in another galaxy. I mean, this was out of fucking nowhere."
"He tried to blow up the company headquarters to as a sacrifice to some space god or as part of some kind of prophecy," Kinney continued. "I was like, 'oh great, it must be Summertime.'"
"Captain America showed up and beat him to death with his shield," she continued, "but a fat lot of good that did me. The company's stock tanked and the hotel shut down. Now I'm out of work and I sleep in my car."
Wherever you look in the Marvel Universe, you find tales of woe directly resulting from blockbuster event comics.
"My entire city was swallowed by a massive tidal wave," complained another angry resident. "I don't think it was even featured in one of the main books, just some meaningless tie-in book starring a c-list character that nobody even remembers reading."
"A cosmic bird force burned my mom alive," said Charles Sierra, age fourteen. "My dad took it pretty badly. He's been drinking a lot. I miss you, mommy."
"Nothing in particular really happened to me, but I've felt uncomfortable leaving the house ever since I learned that a bounty hunting angel from another dimension popped into existence in our universe earlier this year," admitted Mark Bouchard, who lives in a hotspot of radical event-comic-related status quo change, Marvel's fictional version of New York City. "It was just the final straw. My brain snapped like a twig."
"I'm on twenty seven different kinds of medication," he told us.
The sad stories are endless.
"The mythical city of Asgard fell on my house. My dog was in there."
"I haven't been able to buy a pack of smokes anywhere since 2001. What the hell happened to the cigarettes?!"
"My brother was in the background of Rob Liefeld's Onsalught Reborn, and he's been permanently disfigured ever since. Oh god, his feet! His feet!"
"I almost suffocated after spending thirty two hours stuffed inside a polybag."
At press time, Marvel Comics had not responded to requests for comment, but they had already begun promoting the next super-mega-crossover event, September's X-Men: Battle of the Atom. So go ahead. Head down to your local comic shop today and pick up a copy of Infinity #1. What does the pain and suffering of billions of innocent, fictional people matter when you need your mainstream superhero event comic fix.