The Nearness of You

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Story Synopses

© Juke Box Productions

The Nearness of You

...originally published in Wizard Presents: Kurt Busiek's Astro City #1/2.


Michael Tenicek has a problem that's ruining his life: he keeps dreaming of a woman named Miranda, who seems so familiar and so close to him that he can clearly identify specific details about her life--but he can't remember ever meeting her, and no one he asks seems to know anything about her.

While Michael questions his sanity one evening, having turned to medication to try and dull his anxiety, he is visited by the Hanged Man. The Hanged Man tells Michael that his dreams are compromising reality, and Michael is given access to information about a reality-threatening crisis: upset at his continued defeat at the hands of various superheroes, the Time-Keeper challenged Eterneon for control over time itself.

The resulting conflict sent ripples of chaos through time. Heroes like the Silver Agent found himself fighting a tyrannosaurus rex, while M.P.H. squared off against a viking; Samaritan disappeared from existence, much to the dismay of Winged Victory. Even Astro City itself seemed to flicker from reality. The heroes fought one final battle to try and overcome the combatants and then undo the damage caused by the Time-Keeper's efforts.

Unfortunately, the Hanged Man notes, the reconstruction of existence was not perfect. One pertinent example was that Air Ace fought the Barnstormer Gang on a Sunday rather than a Monday, and thus Miranda's grandparents never met, and she was never born.

The Hanged Man tells Michael that, while he cannot return Miranda to him, he can give Michael a choice: to forget about Miranda completely, or retain his memory and a sense of understanding about his relationship with his dear love.

Michael realizes that he does not want to forget--and before the Hanged Man leaves, Michael asks what decision other people desire in his same situation. The Hanged Man replies that all choose to remember.

That evening, Michael again dreams of Miranda--and he finds a peace of sorts, knowing that in another life, he loved her dearly and completely.


  • The Gentleman and the Confessor both make their first appearances on the cover of the Wizard printing. They are definitely tease material as they are not part of the interior story.