Location: School of Fish
Depth: 177

Solution to This Story is Canon

by Andrew Spann


Each first-person narrative references a bizarre story that despite sounding absolutely bonkers is a fully canon event in a fictional comic or video game universe. The hints are usually oblique at the start but the last line of each paragraph is a fairly direct clue of the bizarre or retconned plot.


Boy, my old boss must be terrible to work with because he has such a high turnover rate in his personal assistants. When one quits he just hires another one and calls'em the same name like nothing happened. So yeah I quit that bum job to do my own thing and the old boss hires this other guy who's a completely unlikeable jerkwad. I mean, like, nobody likes this guy. He died one day and half the people were happier for it. So the boss gets a third assistant who thinks he's some kind of investigator but he quits too. The boss then goes through a phase of hiring female assistants, deciding to hire his former employee's girlfriend. The position finally gets settled by nepotism -- it's now the old guy's son. But that was partially my decision when I filled in for the boss after he was presumed dead following an incident where he broke his code of non-lethal force and used a gun. Fortunately, that was just a clone who was killed while the real him was traveling in time. What do you expect when you work for a guy who names himself after a flittermouse?

Dick Grayson (Story is about how there are 5+ Robins. Last line refers to the death of Batman's clone in Final Crisis.)

I'm supposed to be on this awesome vacation but it is just absolutely ruined by the morons I have to share this resort with. There's this one older guy who eerily looks exactly like me. He’s like, really exactly like me. And he has this annoying wife who's always sick so the old dude just sits there doting when we're supposed to be in paradise. Then finally there's this other guy who had the idea of taking this vacation in the first place. There’s this weird tension where if things were even just a little bit different he and the other guy seem like they would be at each other’s throats but they're apparently buddies now or something. I just can't stand these people so rather than do vacation-type things I just spend the day watching videos alone. It makes me mad. Very mad. So mad that I punched the fabric of reality so hard it brought Jason back to life, and I don’t even know Jason.

Superboy Prime (Story about the events of Infinite Crisis and the infamous "retcon punch".)

I've got such a sweet young man for my nephew. He's really shy and I worry that he'll never be able to talk to a girl. I remember he got oh so nervous when I started seeing a nice intelligent scientist. Well, he finally found someone and settled down. The two of them were so sweet you'd think they'd be willing to sell their souls to the devil just to save me. And that's sort of what happened, so they aren't together anymore. Oh well, at least I've finally found a new love interest whose son runs the local newspaper. On my deathbed I revealed that I'd known his greatest secret all these years that he really was someone special. Err, actually that wasn't me who died, it was a genetically altered actress who was impersonating me as part of a plot by a green man who hurls pumpkins.

Aunt May (Story about the events of Infinite Crisis and the infamous "retcon punch".)

Let me tell you about the coworkers I have to deal with every day. There was this one shrill, incompetent guy who was always getting himself into trouble and wouldn't have lived to see the next gig multiple times if our leader didn't constantly cover his back. Then there was this other guy, an old-timer who was always dispensing obvious or unhelpful suggestions for acrobatic maneuvers, but he at least did so in such a goofy voice that it wound up being charming. As a supporting member, we found this old piece of junk robot who was an ancient gimmick from another decade. Well, that old-timer retired, and our leader picked his girlfriend as a replacement. The team broke up and our leader's girlfriend joined our lupine rivals. There's like nine different visions as to what happens in the future, but the the most stylish one is where I form my own elite mercenary team that includes the simian grandson of our former arch-nemesis. Honestly, I think things started going downhill when our furry boss stopped flying space ships, wielded a staff, and began adventuring on foot with a talking dinosaur. How do you do a barrel roll on foot?

Falco Lombardi (Changes to the Star Fox team over time and Star Fox Command's endings.)

If you’re used to working alone and seem to be doing well for yourself, making new friends might be a bad idea after all. My longtime nemesis reconnected with her old commanding officer, but I don't think this guy has any idea what he is doing. First, he hires a demolitions expert who has entomophobia despite fighting critters that look like you-guess-what. Then, despite my rival being a heck of a lot more accomplished than him, he doesn't get along with her due to the circumstances of her former departure from the military while under his command. Despite her saving the lives of his group of forgettable soldiers that no one cares about, he insists on bossing her around and restricting her choices of firearms. For some reason, she actually complies. I liked it better in the old days when she was a strong silent type, but now she spends all day moping about her parents that I killed. Anyway, this dude is so crazy he actually hesitated for a bit before authorizing her to use a plasma beam while she’s dueling me in a geothermal power plant. There’d be no hesitation to use maximum force if I saw myself, because I look like a huge alien purple dragon. If I had tools like that I wasn't allowed to use, I'd be like "Screw you, I have a Screw Attack!"

Ridley (Story covers the plot of Metroid Other M, the most recent addition to the series whose story was not generally well received.)

Think your life sucks? Let me tell you about mine. I'm such an ugly dude that I wear this mask all day long. I've been in a Chinese prison since who knows when. After getting out of jail, I go to some special school and they put me in charge of some special class of misfits who don't even fit in at this awful place. Even these dimwits insult me despite all I do for them and I get addicted to this drug. Well, finally I've had enough, so I unmask my true identity and go conquer New York City. After murdering millions and installing a fascist regime, I'm eventually killed. However, since I'm too important of a character to die then, uh, it was totally never me in the first place but some other mutant dude with some short loser name.

Magneto (Story about Xorn incident, famously retconned.)

While that wannabe PhD villain is messing with small-time capture the princess stuff, I have bigger ambitions. Now that I'm no longer trapped in that wretched scepter, I've got a brilliant plan for reuniting with my other half and becoming a deity. First, I'm going to find the time traveling creature who sealed me away ten years ago, but I'll find him in the present before he time travels to the past so he doesn't know who I am yet. Then I'll then send him to the future and start rumors that the main hero causes the end of the world. In the future, I'll find some other gullible fools to send to the present to try to kill the hero to save their future. Failing this, I'll just find some magical rocks and use their power to kill the speedy blue hero in the present, causing a princess to cry and triggering the release of my other half. You might think that's just crazy, but it's nowhere near as crazy as that girl deciding to make out with a dead erinaceid.

Mephiles (Yes, this is actually the plot of Sonic '06.)


At the bottom of the puzzle there are blanks listed. The names of the speakers of the first-person narratives can be placed in the blanks. Some speakers have multiple possible identifying names (e.g., "Superboy Prime" is an alternate universe "Clark Kent") but the lengths of the blanks is constrained to force the correct choice, and the names end up in alphabetical order. One letter for each character has a number under it. Read these letters in order to get the answer BOUCHER.