[REPOST/LNH] Saviours of the NET #7: 'A Fight Scene! A FightScene!'

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 29 16:55:50 PDT 2006

in article 1146241793.241585.93540 at u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com, Tom Russell
at milos_parker at yahoo.com wrote on 4/28/06 9:30 AM:

> martinphipps2 at yahoo.com wrote:
>> Between The Leadership Crisis and The Marriage of Pocket Man and
>> Organic Lass, I made a point of using ALL the characters on the roster
>> to date, with most of them getting dialogue, some for the first time.
> Speaking of the leadership crisis-- I'm going to say something
> controversial.  Ultimate Ninja, the greatest leader the LNH has ever
> had, has been the leader of the LNH for many, many years now.
> I think being leader of the LNH is the greatest thing that ever
> happened to the Ninja.  We've seen, over time, many different aspects
> of his personality, many different slants on and interpetations of the
> character.  And, like wReam said in the How-to-Write guide, it's
> because there's not really a wrong way to write the Ultimate Ninja.
> And that's part of what makes him an ideal leader; a character who is
> more specific, whose personality is more rigorously defined and
> complex, would be harder to "get" for many writers, it would be easier
> to get it "wrong".

Well you probably can get Ultimate Ninja wrong.
(DRH's Scales of Justice had an incredibly absurd take
on the Ninja as this crazed Disc Jockey shilling LNH
merchandise.  Funny, but completely wrong.)

But the Ultimate Ninja is perhaps the perfect character to be
the leader because he can be in both serious and silly stories,
he's got an edge to him (Kill first ask questions later) which
makes him an interesting character to write.  There's always
the possibility that he'll completely lose it one of these days
and completely slaughter the entire LNH.  That's why he's a
great character.  He's never boring (it's hard for people who
pull the hearts out of people's chests to be boring).

> The Ultimate Ninja has been developed over time into one of the richest
> characters in the Legion, and that's because he's the leader, because
> he's in the position to be logically a part of so many stories, written
> by so many different authors.  Now, here comes the controversial part.
>> From time to time, there's been talk of holding a new leadership
> election.  Of replacing UN with another character.  Nothing has ever
> come of this talk, and nothing probably ever will.  And, really, the
> Ninja doesn't need to be replaced, and I'd be perfectly happy reading
> about the Ninja-as-leader for the rest of my natural life.  But, a new
> leadership election is worth considering for at least one in-story
> reason:

I did try to plant the seeds last year for a Manga Man as leader of the LNH
story (which Martin ripped right out from the ground).

> Giving another character the same chance.
> The Legion is full of characters whose personalities are somewhat
> ill-defined and vague.  Now, Martin, Drizzt, Saxon, and a host of
> others have worked towards giving these characters a little bit of
> life-- as Martin mentions in this very same thread.  And, on ocassion,
> an author will find a character-- like Mainstream Man-- and see
> something there that no one else did.  And so they try to bring that
> character to life, give them the focus and love that they deserve.
> Both Steven Howard and I did this with good ol' MM.  (How well I
> succeeded is up to the reader.)

Of course it seems that Web of the Mainstream Man has become a Pocket Man

> I think that one of these underdeveloped characters is ripe to be
> improved by committee.  To have different slants and interpetations
> presented.  To be-- LEADER OF THE LNH!
> Now, I'm not talking about a character with a well-defined personality
> trait: Super-Apathy Lad and Adamant Authority-on-Everything would be
> terrible choices not only because they would be terrible leaders, but
> also because they're too well-defined by that one aspect of their
> personality.  Too one-dimensional.
> I'm talking about characters who have remained somewhat cipher like.
> For example, Multi-Tasking Man.  Now, he's had lots of appearances, but
> when he appears, the only "colour" he gets is that he's doing four or
> six different things at once, including, invariably, playing Net.Trek.
> Now, there's nothing wrong with that: it's a solid gag.  But it has no
> personality.  One can extrapolate, for example, that he's either
> extremely focused no matter how many things are bearing down on him,
> that he's dependable and responsible.  Which are all great leadership
> traits.  That, plus his underdeveloped personality, make him ripe for a
> leadership slot, for the kind of character work and attention the Ninja
> has recieved.  (And if someone can't come up with much personality, the
> multi-tasking is a fine gag to fall back on.)

I would disagree with MTM being a cipher.  In Saviors of the Net I believe
I compared him to the Norse God Heimdall (the God who guards the rainbow
bridge Bi-Frost and will sound the horn when Ragnarok comes).  He's the
LNH's guy who sits constantly in the Monitor Room waiting to announce the
End or any Crossover that happens to come before it.

I think it's been established (MTM miniseries) that he really hates his
job and would prefer to be out on the streets fighting crime, but he also
knows that the LNH needs him to do his job and that he's the best as what
he does.  I don't think MTM has the ambition to be leader of the LNH.  He
doesn't see that job as important ("any idiot can be leader of the LNH, it
takes a real brilliant mind to do my job").  He probably sees himself as
the most important member of the LNH.  The LNH can go without UN, Cheesecake
Eater Lad, Kid Kirby, Dr. Stomper, Organic Lass, and the rest; but without
MTM the entire LNH would fall apart ("who else is going to do my job?  That
Clown wReamhack?")  He sees himself as the glue that holds the Looniverse
together.  He's also kind of a mentor to wReamhack and Renegade Programmer.

So basically he's a work-a-holic who hates his job and sees himself as the
most important member of the LNH (he just thinks that though, he's not
arrogant to actually tell his colleagues that).

> Or Cheesecake-Eater Lad.  This most iconic and lovable of LNHers is
> still something of a cipher.  I mean, he's a nice guy, likes to help
> people out, but that's about it.  Where's the personality?  He's kinda
> vague.  CEL is, like the Ninja, another character that you can't write
> wrong.  (And, looking at an in-story reason for a replacement, he--
> like Catalyst Lass or Pocket Man-- is one of the Ninja's most-trusted
> friends, and thus an excellent choice.)

Cheescake-Eater lad probably had the ambition back before he got
married and stuff, but I don't think he has the same drive.

And I don't think making a character Leader of the LNH will help give
some character personality.

> Ideally, IF-- and I'm only saying IF, I'll say it one more time to make
> it stick-- IF we were going to have another leadership election... our
> best bet would be an underdeveloped character in the unreserved pool, a
> character from the first few years of the LNH.
> And while I'm not sure if the time is ripe to have a leadership change,
> I think any time is ripe to at least discuss it, the pros and cons, et
> cetera.
> And that's my somewhat controversial statement.

I think having a villain has leader of the LNH might be interesting (for a
year or so... not any longer).  Tsar Chasm maybe.

At the moment though it still looks like Ultimate Ninja is still the most
interesting character to be leader of the LNH.

Arthur "How about Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad as leader?" Spitzer

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