This is kinda the thesis of Shortpacked!?  The strip was always pulling back and forth between Pop Culture Parodies and Stuff Happening, with the audience split roughly into those camps.  Folks get angry when there’s no Batman for a while, and other folks get angry when there’s no Stuff Happening for a while.  And I’m the weirdo who just likes hopping back and forth between the two as they please.

Regardless, I am satisfied that a story which at its hook was a continuity housecleaning band-aid what-have-you for AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT COMIC STRIP… managed to end up having so much to say about the strip it actually took place in.  Almost as if I’d planned it!!!!  or at least was essentially the rationalization i gave myself for doing it

And because I’m gonna be me, the original Shortpacked!-website version of this strip copy-pasted the navigation arrows before you get to the big make-out panel at the end.  Because I wanted to be tricky, and make you think that was it.  Instead: SURPRISE RECONCILATION!

but here have it normal style