[META] Various Apologies

Saxon Brenton saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Tue Jun 22 16:33:58 PDT 2004

"Martin Phipps" <phippsmartin at hotmail.com> asked:


> Anyway, I was wondering if anyone might be a bit offended by the
> notion that most of the LNHers from the nineties will have been
> retired by the year 2019.  A lot of characters seem to have retired
> already, either because they were listed as "reserved" on the roster
> so nobody uses them or because they never appeared outside of their
> own series.  I was surprised, for example, to go to the archive today
> and find 36 issues of Brain Boy!

    I don't have any particular problems with the idea of most LNHers 
having retired by that time *as a story notion*. In addition to allowing 
for 'generational change' stories like the LNH2 imprint, the notion of 
retirement (for whatever reason) is a perfectly valid issue for keeping 
the 'working' form of the LNH roster under control. (As opposed to the 
'platonic' version of the roster, which, as the old joke goes, "is too 
large to be kept track of".) Mind you, other reasons have been given over 
the years: both the net.hero virus that killed Squid Boy the second time, 
as well as the attack by OMAR in the Flame Wars 4 were as far as I can 
tell meant to be rationalisations for explaining away why some of the 
lesser used characters might be permanently gone rather than merely out-
    There are complications of course - some of them deliberate - but 
they probably aren't insurmountable.
    Specifically, if one is using a timeline where the history of the 
Legion is literally paralleling the dates of publication/posting on LNH 
stories then it's perfectly reasonable for characters starting their 
careers in the early 1990s to have retired from the physically demanding 
activity of heroing in the late 20-teens. (Exceptions, of course, for 
immortals, rejuvenations, or being frozen in blocks of ice.)
    That said, I quite specifically *don't* approach LNH time that way, 
since I'm deliberately and maliciously satirising the 'sliding timescale' 
of Marvel's 'ten year history' - the notion that it's only ever been ten 
years since the Fantastic Four's rocket trip and only ever will be ten 
years. Combine that with my slow writing rate, and come 2020 it will 
probably still be only a few years since the events of Limp-Asparagus 
Lad #1 via that series' internal chronology. Lots of opportunities for 
arguments among my characters about whether comparisons to Franklin 
Richards (for the superhero genre angle) or Archie Andrews (for the 
young adult age bracket) are more appropriate.
    All of this, however, is my problem and not yours. I'm the one 
deliberately lying at right-angles to common sense. And moreover, the 
more times it comes into conflict with what everyone else is doing, the 
more opportunities I have for poking fun at the topic.
     YMMV. But anyway, go play. Be creative. Have Fun.


>                                It wouldn't matter if not for the fact
> that there was a time when I was updating the time line so, much like
> Saxon today, I was reading ALL the LNH stuff that was getting posted.

    I don't think I've ever updated the timeline. I've worked on the
LNH story roster, and I created the gazeteer, but I don't think I've 
ever done anything with the timeline.

Saxon Brenton     Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au

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