Webcomic: The Hero of Three Faces
The Hero of Three Faces is a gag-a-day style webcomic by Paul Gadzikowski (Arthur, King of Time and Space). It mostly consists of one-off jokes featuring characters from film and TV series, with occasional Call Backs to earlier strips and even more occasional brief story arcs.There are many crossovers, justified on the principle that All Stories Are Real Somewhere. The Doctor, whose TARDIS can travel to alternate universes, gets the lion's share of the crossovers and is usually the one expositing about the underlying mechanic. A recurring feature of the mechanic, and the basis of some of the jokes, is that TV shows and films don't always reflect precisely what "really" happened, due to being consciously or unconsciously influenced by budget restrictions, Executive Meddling, Moral Guardians, and copyright issues. (For example, all the episodes of Lois and Clark featuring a certain British time traveller are "really" somewhat-inaccurate reflections of the Doctor's visits to that universe.)The webcomic's title, apart from being a nod to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, refers to the comic's minimalist art style that renders all the characters as triangles with faces, arms and feet.It can be found here.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Anachronic Order: The strips are posted in the order in which gags for various properties occur. There is also a chronological archive; however, Paul's crossover rules are based on date of broadcast/release/publication, so events in the chronological archive will be in anachronic order if the original properties were. (For example, the Fourth Doctor crosses over with Luke, Leia and Han ... and the Eighth Doctor crosses over with Annakin and Padme, which is earlier in Star Wars time but later in "outside" time.)
- Art Evolution: In earlier strips the characters' heads are the top third of the triangle; in later ones it's the top half. There was an experiment with giving some characters round heads that never quite worked and was abandoned.
- All Stories Are Real Somewhere
- Comically Missing the Point: Danny Pink suggests that if the management want to showcase a character who has many of the Doctor's qualities but isn't a white male, they should ask Guinan. The Doctor replies "Brilliant idea, Danny! Guinan will know just what to do!"
- Failure Is the Only Option: Invoked - the Doctor can't use the TARDIS to rescue the crew of the Destiny or the USS Voyager or the SS Minnow because the laws of dramatic necessity prevent it.
- Frame Break: It's not uncommon for characters to step outside the comic strip frame to comment on themselves as fictional characters, the shows they appear in, etc.Angel: (waving a hand outside the panel) Hey! Fourth-wall-breaking material always goes outside regular panel borders!Wesley: No. That could have telegraphed the gag.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: This strip is the finale of Arthur, King of Time and Space, expanding on the single-panel summary that had been all Gadzikowski had been able to include in Arthur King of Time and Space itself.
- Meaningful Echo: The strip for the Sleepy Hollow season 1 cliffhanger has word-for-word the same dialogue as the strip for the Angel season 3 cliffhanger, highlighting the similarities between the cliffhangers themselves.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover
- Mutually Fictional: In-Universe Doctor Who is a TV show to Jim Kirk, but Star Trek is a TV show to the Doctor, and so on.
- No Fourth Wall: In the frame-breaking sequences. Also, even within the setting, most of the characters know they're "fictional" somewhere and can comment on that.
- Once More with Clarity: In this strip it's totally unclear what's causing Guinan's confusion in her conversation with Captain April. This strip shows that her Ripple Effect-Proof Memory is struggling with the events of Star Trek.
- Show Within a Show: Before the Mutually Fictional concept was established, characters were fans of King Arthur in Time and Space and related "imaginary screen canon" from Paul's search-and-replaced fanfic that eventually became the inspiration for Arthur, King of Time and Space. This includes the "strangely familiar" variant, one strip shows the Scoobies watch St Pudentiana the Fairy Bane, the KAITAS Buffy analogy.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: A variation in in this strip, with the Doctor speaking through a communicator with no earpiece, and correctly predicting what the person at the other end will say.