The finale of the TV drama St Elsewhere saw the whole show recontextualised as the imaginings of an autistic child staring into a snowglobe. And because the show crossed over with other shows – and those shows with yet more shows – as Dwayne McDuffie once explained,
Characters from St. Elsewhere have appeared on Homicide, which means that show is part of the autistic child's daydream and likewise doesn't exist. It gets worse. The omnipresent Detective John Munch from Homicide has appeared on X-Files, Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU.Law & Order characters have appeared on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. X-Files characters have appeared on The Lone Gunmen and Millennium. Characters from Chicago Hope have appeared on Homicide. Characters from Picket Fences have appeared on Chicago Hope. All those shows are gone (if you count cartoons, which makes this game much too easy, the X-Files characters have appeared on The Simpsons. The Critic has also appeared on The Simpsons. Dead).
Characters from Picket Fences have appeared on Ally McBeal. Ally McBeal has appeared on The Practice. Characters from The Practice have appeared on Boston Public. Autistic daydreams, every one.
But that's not all. St Elsewhere characters have appeared on Cheers, so Fraiser doesn't exist. Neither do Wings, Caroline In The City or The Tortellis but who cares? Well, maybe you do, because Caroline In The City once crossed over with Friends, which crossed over with Mad About You, which crossed over with Seinfeld and The Dick Van Dyke show. None of them happened in our new, shared continuity.
He keeps going.
Well, today sees the final issue of All-Star Section Eight, the mini-series from Garth Ennis and John McCrea that has seen
Brown Bottle Sixpack attempt to re-recruit members of his Section Eight team, missing one person and cycling through the DC Comics heavy hitters.
The previous issue ended with Sixpack having a crisis of faith, realising the very real possibility that his superhero life is the dream of a drunken homeless man who has left his family and may well be freezing to death in the snow.
And of course if his superhero identity isn't real…
while guest-shots and crossovers can be fun, obsessive, cross-series continuity is silly.
It's silly in comics too. Relax and enjoy the show.
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Who will be hosting a signing by Burton C Bell and Noel Guard for the graphic novel The Industrialist on December 14th