WRITER GUY: So I have this idea for a story.
EDITOR GUY: Hit me!
WRITER GUY: Right, so it’s World War II, and Hitler –
EDITOR GUY: Whoa! Hitler!
WRITER GUY: Right. So Hitler meets this guy –
EDITOR GUY: – and it turns out to be himself! From the future!
WRITER GUY: But he’s dead in the future.
EDITOR GUY: Good point! Good point.
WRITER GUY: I was thinking more it could be a cautionary tale sort of a figure.
EDITOR GUY: Whom Hitler ignores! Because he is Hitler! And then Hitler kills the guy!
WRITER GUY: …why does he kill him?
EDITOR GUY: Because it’s Hitler.
WRITER GUY: Okay.
EDITOR GUY: And the cautionary tale figure, what does he tell Hitler?
WRITER GUY: Well, I was thinking something about the futility of fascism and the indomitability of the human spirit…
EDITOR GUY: BOOOOOOORING.
WRITER GUY: …Captain America is the figure and he punches him in the face again?
EDITOR GUY: Wrong company.
WRITER GUY: Well, how about –
EDITOR GUY: Now, now. I already know who the figure is. But wait. First Hitler kills Eva Braun –
WRITER GUY: But – wait, let me guess. Because he’s Hitler.
EDITOR GUY: Bingo. And then he goes and meets with his master scientists.
WRITER GUY: He had master scientists in the bunker?
EDITOR GUY: He does now. And the master scientists tell him the machine is perfected.
WRITER GUY: What does the machine do?
EDITOR GUY: Right, right. It’s a suspended animation chamber.
WRITER GUY: …why does Hitler need a suspended animation chamber?
EDITOR GUY: Because that way he can fight the Legion of Super-Heroes!
WRITER GUY: But I’m pitching you a story for Weird War Tales.
EDITOR GUY: Again, you have a good point. Okay, he has a suspended animation chamber because every 1100 years, history repeats itself.
WRITER GUY: …it does?
EDITOR GUY: Well, not so much.
WRITER GUY: And nobody’s going to say this doesn’t make sense.
EDITOR GUY: They read Superman comics. He is a guy in red and blue pyjamas who can fly.
WRITER GUY: Fair enough. What does Hitler do next?
EDITOR GUY: Well, he goes into the suspended animation chamber, and then kills the scientists –
WRITER GUY: …how does he do that?
EDITOR GUY: Excellent point! You’re a great writer, you know that? He has a loyal guard kill them.
WRITER GUY: I’m glad I could contribute.
EDITOR GUY: And then Hitler sleeps for 1100 years and wakes up in the future.
WRITER GUY: And the future is like World War II?
EDITOR GUY: Well, it’s future-ish World War II, but yes.
WRITER GUY: And what does Hitler do?
EDITOR GUY: Well, clearly he goes to take over.
WRITER GUY: Because he’s Hitler.
EDITOR GUY: Yes. He’ll have long hair, of course.
WRITER GUY: And a beard?
EDITOR GUY: No, just the little moustache.
WRITER GUY: His hair grew but not his beard?
EDITOR GUY: If he has a beard, how will we know it’s Hitler?
WRITER GUY: Okay. So what happens to Hitler?
EDITOR GUY: Well, he gets nabbed by guards and brought to see Future Space Hitler.
WRITER GUY: And what does Future Space Hitler do?
EDITOR GUY: You’ll like this – Future Space Hitler kills regular Hitler! Just like Hitler killed the portentous figure earlier!
WRITER GUY: Portentous figure?
EDITOR GUY: You know, your portentous figure. The one you wanted to write about.
WRITER GUY: Right.
EDITOR GUY: And it’s ironic!
WRITER GUY: How is it ironic?
EDITOR GUY: Because Hitler is killed by Future Hitler just like Hitler killed the figure, who was clearly past Hitler!
WRITER GUY: …but there never was a past Hitler. Nor, for that matter, suspended animation chambers in the year 900. Or a fascist empire around that time.
EDITOR GUY: Don’t be a negative nelly. You’ve written a fantastic story here! You’ll go places.
Yes, I know I’ve made fun of Paul Levitz here, who edited the piece. But Paul Levitz is an awesome dude and I do so out of love.