1969. The offices of Marvel Comics.
STAN: So, Jack...we've built up the Marvel brand, established ourselves as an exciting new comics line for adults as well as children, and created some iconic characters that will stand the test of time. I think it's time we dealt with our major competitors.
JACK: Walt Disney?
STAN: No, I think our plans for Disney will have to be...longer term. No, I was referring to DC. Their brands continue to be more recognizable than ours, and their reinventions of classic Golden Age characters are proving to be dangerously popular. I think it's time to crush them. Are you ready to implement "Plan Poison Pill"?
JACK: The alliteration thing, Stan? It's got to stop. It's become a sickness.
STAN: I don't know what you're talking about, my astonishing artist of pencil-pushing perfection! My magnificent mind is every bit as alert as an amazing aardvark, and my brain is bursting with brilliant bideas bat brush balefully babble bubble **slaps self** You're right, Jack. But I only have to hold it together for a few more years before I can pass the editorial reins on to my disciples. And we won't have to worry about competitors, not if you're willing to do your part.
JACK: My part? I've been working on every book we publish for almost a decade, Stan. I've strip-mined my imagination for every sellable concept I ever came up with, from the Fantastic Four to the X-Men to Captain America. We even threw in Toomazooma the Living Totem, Stan! Let's face it...I can't come up with another best-selling idea.
STAN: I know, Jack. That's not what I'm asking you to do. What I'm asking you to do is far more sinister, far more devious...a plan that will cripple DC for decades to come. I want you to defect, Jack.
JACK: Defect? But they'll never--
STAN: Of course they will. We stage a falling out. Some nonsense over money, we'll funnel your royalties through Swiss bank accounts for a while. You'll decide to look for a better deal elsewhere, and who better than our major competitor? And then...
JACK: And then what? I write their titles? I don't exactly think that's going to cripple them, Stan. Not unless your plan is to have them trip on piles of money.
STAN: Oh, you'll make them money. That was never in question. But it's what else you'll do to them that interests me. Remember those "New Gods" ideas you had? The ones we agreed were cool but uncommercial?
JACK: ...I think I see where you're going with this one, Stan. You want me to introduce them into the DC Universe.
STAN: Exactly! They'll never sell, but DC's writers and editors will be fascinated by them! They'll keep trying to launch them and relaunch them, make them the centerpiece of their mythos, maybe even launch a gigantic company-wide crossover based on them! But they'll never be anything more than a cult phenomenon. DC will slowly sink into obscurity trying to make them popular, while we will rise to the heights of popularity!
JACK: And I get to finally write all the characters we thought were too crazy to publish! Kamandi, the Forever People, Mister Miracle, Glorious Godfrey, Granny Goodness, Devil Dinosaur--
STAN: Wait. Let's hang on to that last one. I kind of like the sound of it.
JACK: Seriously, Stan. Get help.