Yes, I know I’m using “nonplussed” wrong, and I don’t care.

(From Irregular Webcomic! Click for full-sized timeline refugees.)

What I find exceedingly interesting about this comic, and what makes it the biggest development in the Irregular Crisis in months, is the first panel.

There is plenty wonky about the alternate 1940 that most of the IWC cast has been sucked into, but Mercutio mentions none of it in the first panel. Everything Mercutio mentions is business as usual for the Cliffhangers theme, especially Hitler being a brain in a jar, which in the first place, implies that prior to the Irregular Crisis, Cliffhangers and Shakespeare were not in continuity with each other, and that history for the Shakespeare theme was the same as in our reality.

In the second place, it implies that the time flux the rest of the cast is trying to untie may be as simple as the history of the Cliffhangers theme overwriting everything else. This isn’t the first time this has been suggested – Hitler being a brain in a jar came as a complete shock to the Steve and Terry crew – but I had always written that off as a secret, heretofore undiscovered application of Nazi science – the yeti was completely nonplussed to discover Nazi teleportation technology the other Steve and Terry members were taken aback by. It has never been made as explicit as Mercutio makes it here. What’s more, it suggests that all the activity that has centered around 1933 and the Reichstag Fire is ultimately irrelevant, and may be making things worse. While Nazi victory is the most obvious consequence of a timeline divergence, addressing (or causing) the proximate cause of that may ignore a more far-reaching problem, yet one potentially simpler to fix, at least for the Paradox Department.

I have complained about the pace of the Irregular Crisis in the past, but David Morgan-Mar may finally be laying the groundwork for its resolution… even it it takes a rather circuitous, and yet far more fascinating, route to get there.

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