• Member Since 12th Nov, 2011
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Dusty the Royal Janitor

Who needs sleep when you've been dead inside for years? :)

More Blog Posts279

  • 9 weeks

    4 comments · 65 views
  • 18 weeks
    I Wrote a Buttload of Side Stories...

    ...For Applejack: Marvelous.

    "What If?"

    But I have a problem. One of the sidestories contains SERIOUS lore spoilers for the rest of AJ:M. I'm honestly not sure if I should post it.

    What do you guys think?

    14 comments · 306 views
  • 26 weeks
    So... how about them leaks? [FINALE SPOILERS!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!]

    Like... wow. Holy motherfucking shit.

    I mean, I haven't actually been invested in the show proper since the end of Season 3, and have only caught a smattering of episodes and the movie since then, but the characters and world are still pretty close to my heart. It's really saddening to see that this is where the show ends up. This is B.A.D.

    Read More

    27 comments · 483 views
  • 43 weeks

    I actually got really emotional. The past 10 years of my life have been kinda defined to a degree by these movies.

    Actual potential spoilers below for both Endgame and Applejack: Marvelous. I mean it. Continue at your own risk.

    Read More

    11 comments · 372 views

The Levels of Canon · 2:45am Jan 29th, 2019

So, something that's been bugging me about writing Applejack: Marvelous is a question that ties into what a lot of commenters have asked me: What exactly is canon to the MCU?

I've been puzzling over this for a while now, as commenters have asked me whether or not I'm going to have AJ interact with the Agents of SHIELD after the events of the first Avengers movie, or if she's going to have any contact with the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, or the Punisher. It's a question that nags at me, because some of those series add continuity snags here and there, and would interfere in the story I have planned out more than they'd actually provide story fodder. Or, in some cases, they provide story fodder at the expense of making ideas I'm excited about further down the line impossible.

There's also the problem that I just don't follow most of the supposed "MCU canon" beyond the movies themselves. I've watched the first three or four seasons of Agents of SHIELD, as well as the first season and a half of Daredevil, but beyond that, I haven't actually seen much of the secondary stuff that the MCU has to offer. I've been told that I SHOULD watch the rest of the MCU Netflix series, but in many cases I just can't seem to get myself interested.

I tried watching Jessica Jones when it first came out and I hated it. I simply couldn't bring myself to like the main character. I mean, don't get me wrong, I get that it's sorta the point of the show that Jessica has had a completely fucked up life and that it's fucked her up so bad that she can't trust anybody and she engages in self-destructive behavior and pushes people away... but by the fifth episode or so it had gotten so egregious and Jessica had shown no signs of getting any better or developing in any way that I quickly ran out of the sympathy the show had previously built for me when it featured her screwed up backstory. There's only so much self destructive behavior and bitchy 'tude and rejection of people trying to lend you a hand that one can take before one just gives up on somebody. And that holds true as much for real life as it does for fiction.

I'm not going to lie, it's a little bit personal. Jessica just reminds me too much of some people I've known in real life and had to cut loose.

I've heard that she gets better by the end of Season one, but that's not exactly a point in the series' favor? I wasn't willing to sit through another five hours of Jessica being a complete asshole just for a payoff that probably wouldn't have made up for the previous nine hours of sheer irritation.

And after dropping Jessica Jones I simply didn't feel compelled to follow the other Netflix series. I passed on Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Defenders. I've heard that Punisher is worth watching, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Basically, all of these shows are "on my list," but I simply haven't bothered to see them yet.

And beyond the Netflix series, there are other series that I simply do not care about. I have no real interest in watching either Cloak and Dagger, Runaways, or the New Warriors shows, for example.

...Are Runaways and New Warriors even out yet? I don't even know. That's how little I'm invested in them.

And of course, beyond that, there are other things that are supposedly "canon" to the MCU as well. Things said by the film/show creators, or "Word of God" to use a colloquialism. There are also tie-in comics and novelizations that might spill smaller details that didn't get highlighted in the movies themselves. Then there's wiki information that comes from sources that I can't even begin to confirm where the information came from (such as Bruce Banner's age, which I mentioned in the previous blog).

I was puzzling about what to do about all of this when I stumbled upon a Youtube channel called Watchtower Database - a channel that's actually devoted to exploring the old DC Animated Universe. It had a series of videos trying to determine what was and wasn't canon to the DCAU - such as the old 'Brainiac Attacks' direct-to-DVD movie, the Teen Titans animated series, the recent "Batman and Harley Quinn" movie, and the "Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" movie.

In one of their videos, they discussed the "levels of canon." Specifically, just 'how canon' something is in regards to its place in the DCAU, depending on what kind of media it is. They determined that pretty much everything is canon until it's contradicted by a 'higher tier' of canon. Basically, it was something to the effect of:

Fanon/Fan Theories can be taken as canon... unless they're contradicted by
Word of God, which can be taken as canon... unless it's contradicted by
Supplementary Media, such as novelizations, tie in comics, and side movies, which can be taken as canon... unless it's contradicted by
The actual Main Shows of the DCAU, which are the final metric. Anything that comes up against these shows and is found wanting is non-canon, but if they fit neatly into it then they can be seen as canon.

I figured I'll take a similar approach. As a writer, I feel like I have the prerogative to decide my own levels of canon for this story, and decide how much they'll affect the greater story as a whole.

These are my "Levels of Canon." They will affect how I treat the various side shows and media that's supposedly canon to the MCU, and whether or not they're canon to the narrative of 'Applejack: Marvelous.' Consider the following a roadmap for how the story will go in regards to supplementary material:


TIER ONE - The Films: Canon. If Applejack is in proximity to be affected by the events of a film, they'll be surely taken as canon. They will also be frequently referenced in character histories even if they aren't specifically shown. Only the Minor-est of Minor details will be altered or changed if they really can't be accounted for.

On the occasion that there's a plothole or contradiction within the movies themselves (for example, I seem to recall there being some confusion about Tony Stark's age - where his date of birth/age is actually referenced a few times in the films themselves unlike Bruce Banner, but it's not always consistent from film to film), I will go with whichever information fits best into the rest of film canon. And on the off-chance that the detail is minor enough that it really doesn't have an effect on the rest of canon, I'll go with whatever interpretation I like best.

TIER TWO - Television/Netflix Shows: Assumed Canon. This is the tricky one, as well as the most important one. One can assume that the events of these shows are happening "off-screen," but it's questionable whether Applejack will come into contact with some of the characters involved. She MIGHT, if I decide that it'd make a cool story, but if I decide it complicates things, then she will not. Even if, say, Applejack decides to take up residence in NYC, she might not come into contact with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, or the rest of the Defenders if I decide it unneccesarily complicates the story. Or, she might come into contact with one or two of them, but 'conveniently miss' the others.

If I decide that AJ needs to have a fight in Hell's Kitchen, but decide that the presence of Daredevil would complicate things, then Daredevil will conveniently not show up. References might be made to these characters, and one can assume that their events are still happening, but unlike with the first tier where I am obligated to make reference and allowance for the events of the films, the events of the shows can have as much or as little direct effect as I like. What I probably will try and avoid, though, is any direct contradictions of these shows' events. With the exception of perhaps some more minor details, or details challenged by the events of the main story, one can assume that these events still happen, in some form or fashion, even if they don't directly affect the story.

Basically, Tier Two is "it's happening 'off-screen.'" I might decide to bring it 'on-screen' if I really want to, but don't count on it, not even if it might make sense for them to come 'on screen' at a given moment. Sometimes, the events of what's happening 'on-screen' will have an effect on what happens 'off-screen,' but I won't always necessarily go into HOW they're affected.

For example, after the events of THIS version of the Avengers... the lineup of the "Agents of SHIELD" is going to look different.

So if I have Applejack strolling through a part of the country that the Runaways tend to frequent, even if it'd totally make sense for the Runaways to show up, they very likely won't. Because I don't care about the Runaways and I will probably have no desire to bring them into the story. But you can assume the events of their story are happening off-screen until and unless I directly contradict something.

...Got all that? Good. Onto...

TIER THREE - Supplementary Material, such as Comics and Novelizations: Possibly Canon. If they don't contradict anything I'm setting up or trying to explore, then one can assume they're canon. However, at my discretion, I can disregard them completely and declare them non-canon if I so choose. Even if they are 'canon,' though, there is a low chance of them actually affecting the story unless I REALLY feel like it'll somehow enhance the narrative. There is, however, a chance that they might be referenced in passing.

TIER FOUR - Word of God and Random Wiki Info: Probably Not Canon. This is completely at my discretion. Even if I decide that these things ARE canon, they're still most likely things won't affect the story in any significant way in the first place, and probably won't even be referenced in passing. More likely, though, I'll prefer to replace this stuff with stuff of my own devising. I might disregard this information simply for the express purpose of making another silly reference if I prefer my silly reference over the 'supposedly canon' one. Things on this level can be dropped at any time for any reason, and probably WILL be dropped for any time at any reason. And if they aren't then they probably don't matter in the first place.

Hopefully that all makes sense. As I sit here thinking about it, it's likely that Applejack will have SOME sort of contact with "Tier Two Canon" events and characters, but it likely won't be much and it may not go beyond references and shout-outs.

With all that said, I'm not going to discount the possibility that I'll have some kind of brain blast and characters from "Tier Two Canon" will become major players in AJ's story. It's POSSIBLE... especially if I start watching those shows again and I find something I really, really enjoy... But don't consider it very likely.

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Comments ( 16 )

Honestly, Agents of Shield would be the only TV series that is absolutely canon as it often tied into the events of the films, heck it's implied that towards the end of season 5 that Infinity War was currently in progress.

I agree with TIER ONE and TIER TWO one hundred percent, but I discourage using TIER THREE and TIER FOUR, not because their won't be any source material to use, but because their will be too many ones and too many contradicting ones.
Trust me the comic book sources are a confusing and weird one most of the time and rarely follow one another (not that I am saying it's bad or anything like it) just that it is hard to follow at times.

True and I agree with you bud 100%.

Question: How long do you plan on having this story go on for? Are you planing on having it go on for the entirety of the MCU past infinity war or do you have an end goal in mind? I ask because while I am enjoying the story I have seen several other stories that start off strong only to fall away unfinished because the author didn't plan ahead or lost inspiration. I don't want to see that happen to this story as well.

Personally, when it comes to crossovers, as a reader, I go with what I call "author canon". Whatever the author of the crossover puts in the story, that's what's canon to the crossover. If there's something somewhere that contradicts it? Not worth caring about. I'm here for the story Dusty wants to write, not something decided by committee. It's fun to try to follow the sources when writing a crossover, but ultimately that's secondary to writing a good story. As long as the crossover makes sense within itself, I'm good. :eeyup:

I'm fairly certain I've read in comments that there is a plan. At least to the extent of an end goal, however nebulous. :derpytongue2:

If I remember right he said his goal was Civil War no clue if he'll go further than that.

Those tiers you put up are pretty much the level of cannon in the MCU. The top two are supposed to be cannon. The TV shows were supposed to continue, though the cannon of it all will end at the last episode due to cancellation for the Netflix series ones. ( T_T WHY!?) Anyhow, solid premise, you do you, write how you want, and I will read.

5004309 5004316 5004317
The current "end goal" is Infinity War/Endgame. Anything after that is nebulous and up in the air, and a lot of it depends on whether or not the Phase 4 movies are actually any good and whether or not I even like them. I'm legitimately worried about the future quality of MCU movies. It seems to me that, for the first 3 phases, Marvel had a very strict-laid out plan for everything up through Endgame. But everything post-Endgame sounds like it's unplanned, unstructured, and just sorta left up in the air. If you ask me, that could spell disaster for the upcoming MCU films, and I wouldn't be surprised if the whole series takes a sharp nosedive in quality after Endgame.

It's also possible, though, that by the time I get to those post-Endgame events, the butterfly effect I'm planning for will have diverted canon so far away from the actual MCU that nothing in Phase 4 will even matter to my story anymore. I might just be able to completely ignore any and all films after a certain point to be honest. The way I've got things set up, films like "Thor: Ragnarok" are already basically just straight-up not going to happen.

As a long time fan of the Runaways comic i can assure you the first season did it justice. They naturally changed some things, sone for legal reasons (Molly) and some to make it more applicable to modern issues (the pride is a cult like church organization). They’ve changed just enough that I don’t know whats going to gappen next, but its familiar enough I recognize a lot of the beats. All in all my friend and I had a blast watching the show and picking out tge changes and references.

Haven’t seen Cloak and Dagger yet but its on my list.

Thank you for being an author who dose plan ahead. As a reader, that is very much appreciated.


Glad to see you follow the 5 episode rule for a series. Not many do that.

I'd just keep it simple to start. Not every Avenger appears in every movie, after all; Jacelyn certainly doesn't have to, either.

Makes sense to me. Just one question: Are you going with the WoG-confirmed Grand Unified Stan Lee Theory? (All the cameos are the same person, and that person is Uatu the Watcher.)

What i'm interested in is where is Aj:ajsmug: going to stay. I don't imagine I that she will like in New York or some big city :ajbemused:. maybe Tony/Nike help her create a micro brewery for Apple Cider :applejackunsure: I think that it is something she will like because I don't think she can manage and operate a modern farm:ajsleepy:. I am looking forward to the next chapter sorry for my Speling i unfortunately cut off the thumb :raritycry:on the job a week ago it is sewn on again but I can not use it fer a while

That tier system makes all the sense in the world when writing for the MCU fandom. And it would be kind of nice if Stan Lee got a cameo in your fanfic.

Ah, Agents of SHIELD. I liked the second season the best - I was the most invested when Coulson was trying to solve the mystery of exactly what happened to him in TAHITI and dealt with PTS from that procedure. But then the show shifted the focus away from him, and I consequently lost interest. It didn't help that so many characters died that the deaths lost their impact. Plus, it felt like the writers stopped trying to make it fit the movies other than a mention of the Avengers every once in a while. I mean, they have Inhumans running around in the show, but there's no mention of this at all in the movies. It feels like the show is content to be its own thing.

I tried watching the first two episodes of Daredevil, but I couldn't get into it even though I've heard from multiple people that it gets better. I just don't know if I want to invest time trying to make myself like it. I haven't even bothered with any of the other Netflix Marvel series.

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