LNH: Web of Mainstream Man # 2
milos_parker at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 23 21:45:03 PST 2006
an LNH title
MAINSTREAM MAN # 2
(a Killfile Wars tie-in)
BY TOM RUSSELL
WikiBoy sits in the lounge with Kid Recap, trading
locker room stories.
"In my school," says WikiBoy, the LNHer That Anyone
Can Edit, "they had more students than lockers, and so
I had to share a locker with this one guy. He, uh, he
didn't want to share with me. So he beat me up a
lot." He hangs his head in bitter memory.
"No he didn't," says Kid Recap.
WikiBoy smiles. "An excellent edit, my friend.
"No problem. By the way, in the last issue of WEB
OF MAINSTREAM MAN, our hero found that an indie comic
had sneaked its way into his stack. With the
assistance of Pocket Man and the hindrance of
Sarcastic Lad and Elvis Man, Mainstream Man went to
his local comic book store to demand an answer!
"The owner admitted slipping the comic into
Mainstream Man's stack at the behest of a mysterious
individual. But before he could give our stalwart
quartet any more information, he disappeared! On his
chair, Pocket Man found a circle crudely drawn in
"Now, Pok and Mainstream Man have returned to LNHQ,
chair in tow, leaving Sarc and Elvis Man to mind the
store, if you'll pardon the phrase."
"Oh... kay," says WikiBoy. "And... why did you
just tell me all that?"
"I'm Kid Recap. It's what I do."
"But why did you...?"
"Otherwise, this scene would be a bit gratuitous,
"I suppose so."
"The Purple Crayon," says Pocket Man, "was the name
used by two costumed mercenaries who had altercations
with Teenfactor. [*]
[*-- Yes, THAT Teenfactor. Sorry.]
"The first was in the employ of Dr. Killfile,"
Pocket Man continues, "and bugged their headquarters
per his request. [*] That Purple Crayon was murdered
by the second Boss Supreme, who, in turn, became the
employer of the second Purple Crayon. [**]
[*--Teenfactor # 66. ::wince::]
[**-Teenfactor # 90. Sorry again.]
"The second Purple Crayon was a young woman,
probably in her late teens. She fought Teenfactor
once and has never been heard from again. [*]
[*--Teenfactor # 94-95. Sorry.]
"Now," Pok goes on, "the energy reading I got off
the chair is wholly consistent with that used by the
Purple Crayon. Both Crayons possessed a weapon,
possibly technological in origin, which transformed
anything they drew into three-dimensional purple
"Kind of like the Green Lanterns!" says Mainstream
Man, always happy to spot an analogue. "It runs on
their imagination and will-power."
"Something like that, yes," says Pocket Man.
"The dastards! The dastardly dastards!" exclaims
Mainstream Man. "Besmirching the million year history
of the Purple Crayon Corps!"
"Not quite," says Pok. "The files state that both
Crayons used the same exact weapon. Only one is in
existence, probably some kind of prototype. Despite
Dr. Forge's best efforts to follow up on it, she was
unable to discover its origin... what are you doing?"
Mainstream Man is punching some keys at a monitor
screen. "I'm getting in touch with Carolyn Forge."
"But there's no need, MM. We have all the old
Teenfactor files right here in front..."
The monitor blinks on.
"Dr. Forge!" says Pocket Man.
"Yes, and Rick Henkerton, too," says Carolyn.
"What is this about, Pocket Man? More trouble with
my... family...?" [*-- see ROAD TO KILLFILE WARS and
the upcoming KILLFILE WARS # 1 for more details!!!]
"No," says Pocket Man. "We were just wondering if
you had any information on the Purple Crayon. We
believe he or she's involved in a case we're
"There was more than one Purple Crayon," Carolyn
says. "But we didn't really know much about them.
Mercenaries, the both of them."
"Shouldn't it all be there in the files?" offers
Rick a bit testily. "I don't know why you bothered to
call at all..."
"Yes," says Carolyn. "Everything we know about
them is on file and at your disposal."
"Right," says Pocket Man. "We, uh... we just
thought we'd check. Thank you, Dr. Forge. Pocket Man
out." He presses the button on the monitor, ending
the correspondence. He pivots slowly in his chair
until he comes face to face with Mainstream Man.
"That doesn't count as a crossover tie-in."
"What are you talking about?" says Mainstream Man,
taking umbrage. "Of course it counts! Carolyn and
Rick are integral parts of the KILLFILE WARS event!
They just appeared in my story! Gratuitously! That
sounds like a tie-in to me."
"But this had nothing to do with KILLFILE WARS."
"There was a footnote!" protests Mainstream Man.
"It's just a..."
"With three exclamation points! Good gravy, man!
"It's just a footnote, MM," says Pocket Man.
Suddenly, a glowing Killfile globe floats by. It
stops in the center of the room, bobs and weaves a few
times, and then floats out the way it came.
"Well?" says Mainstream Man, crossing his arms
against his chest.
"Fine. It's a tie-in," concedes Pocket Man. "Now,
if we can get back to work...? If she has the
intelligence to properly utilize her weapon, one might
assume that Purple Crayon II is still in possession of
both the crayon and her life. Assumptions are
dangerous things, though. First off, there hasn't
been any sight of her by anyone since her encounter
"If I was a betting man," says Mainstream Man,
"which I'm not (the comic books pretty much max out my
financial resources [which reminds the humble author:
do the legionnaires receive some kind of stipend or
allowance?], which leaves out gambling) I'd place my
money on it being someone new. Remember, the comic
shop owner said the person who paid him to put that...
that... that *thing* in my pull-box... he said it was
a man. So the Purple Crayon can't be a woman."
"That's assuming the two people are one and the
same," says Pocket Man, "which also assumes that these
two phenomenon are even related. And...?"
"... Assumptions are dangerous things?"
"That's right. It's quite possible that the
Crayon's beef is solely with the owner of the comic
"Well, where does that leave us, then?" says
Mainstream Man. "It's pretty much a dead trail, isn't
"Sarc and Elvis Man are still at the comic book
store," reminds Pocket Man. "Hopefully they'll turn
up some information on the owner. His residential
"That's assuming he has one," says Mainstream Man
with a sense of authority about him. "Assumptions
"There's being careful," interrupts Pocket Man,
"and there's being stupid."
Pocket Man hangs up the telephone and turns to
Mainstream Man. "That was Sarc. We got a name and an
address. Frank Rocco. You and I will go, but in case
you are the Crayon's actual target, we'll need
"Why can't Sarc and Elvis Man go?"
A little eight-year-old kid walks into the comic
book store and sizes up Sarcastic Lad and Elvis Man
with scrutiny. "You guys new?"
"Brand spanking new!" says the caustic crusader.
"I just got out this morning. Man, it's really cold
out here. And dry. But when you spend forty years
deep inside your mother's uterus, you get kind of
acclimated to the humidity."
The little kid backs away and out the door.
"Bad juju, man," mutters Elvis Man. "Bad juju.
But I love you, man. Love you like a brother. Man,
you ever wonder what it would be like to be a sock?"
"I can't believe you had to ask that question,"
says Pocket Man.
"All right," says Mainstream Man. "You and me,
then. Let me just run upstairs to my room and grab a
couple comics for the..."
"Nuh-uh. No comics."
"But Pok! I always take a few comics with me!"
"Oh, god," said the Ultimate Ninja. "That giant
leech is attacking the city! Pocket Man, Sarcastic
Lad, you get as many people to safety as you can!"
"Got it, chief!"
"Limp-Asparagus Lad, use your..."
"My drama-dampening powers to... yes, yes..."
"Cameo appearance!" said Sarc. "What do you
"Cheesecake Eater Lad, see if you can scrounge up
some salt." The Ninja narrowed his eyes. "A lot of
"What about me?" said Mainstream Man. "How can I
"Uh, Mainstream Man... uh, you... you read your
Mainstream Man smiled and turned the page.
"And that," says Pocket Man, "is exactly why you're
not taking any comics with you. End of discussion."
"Lester! Lester O'Brien!" says Pocket Man warmly
as they pass the receptionist's desk. "Les, it's been
a long time, hasn't it?"
"You got that right," says Lester. "Hey,
Mainstream Man. Nice threads."
"You see? This disguise didn't even fool Lester,
and he hasn't seen me in over ten years!" complains
"The disguise stays," says Pocket Man, walking
towards the door.
Mainstream Man follows. "The moustache itches,
and, and the, the tags! The tags! You've got to cut
the tags out! They're driving me up the wall! Just
the way they feel against my skin...!"
"...and it's just really wigging me out, and..."
"We're here now," says Pocket Man. "You can stop
whining." He knocks on the door.
A young woman answers. Her hair is long and black
and straight, luxurious and lustrous, not so much
reflecting the sunlight as defying it. She's a little
overweight and carries the excess fat in her hips, but
she's not unpleasant to look at: her smile is
charming, her eyes are pretty when she's not being
sullen. Her belly is like a smooth dark plain of
wheat, baking in the sun; her breasts, two magnificent
cannons that have no need of gunpowder to sink a man.
Her lips are thin and wane, and when she smiles, she
shows her white-white teeth and the tip of her
pink-pink tongue. Her neck is long and lovely like a
slender leg, so lovely that it reduces all men (and
some women) into raving lunatic vampires.
She is covered, head to toe, in a uniform
resembling a giant hamburger turned on its side.
"Good afternoon. May I help you?"
Pocket Man peers into the mass of fake plastic
sesame seeds that adorned the front bun, trying to
locate her eyes. "Officer Briscoe," he says. "And
this is my partner, County Junior. We're looking..."
Pocket Man turns towards his now moustacheless
teammate; he has also ripped out the tag from his
shirt, and a sizable portion of the shirt to boot.
"I'm sorry," says Mainstream Man, looking at the tag
and piece of fabric in his hand with tears dripping
down his face. "I tried, Pok. I really tried to
leave it be. But I couldn't take it anymore. It...
"Pok?" says the hamburgeress astutely.
"No, you misheard," begins Pocket Man.
"Oh, shoot!" cries Mainstream Man, overlapping both
of them. "I screwed up!"
"No, you didn't," says Pocket Man, sing-songing.
"Yes, I did! Because now she knows that you're
"He did say Pok, after all!" says the hamburgeress.
"Well, I guess the jig is up, then," says Pocket
Man. "Thanks for not blowing our cover, MM. Yes,
miss, you've got us dead to..."
"Mrs.," she says. "I *am* wearing a ring."
"Yes, yes of course," says Pocket Man, now
recognizing a slight bulge in the bun. "I'm Pocket
Man, of the LNH, and with me is Mainstream Man, of the
"It's my book," says Mainstream Man. "I think I
should get top billing."
"Yeah, Frank's told me about you, Mainstream Man.
You annoy the crap out of him."
"It's Frank that we're here about," says Pocket
Man. "You see, we were talking to him in the comic
book store when he quite suddenly disappeared. We
suspect a net.villain is involved and so we're looking
into it. If you wouldn't mind answering some
"Sure, sure, come on in," she says. She turns
around awkwardly, the heel of the bun to them, and
waddles into the house. They follow and shut the
Mainstream Man and Pocket Man sit down on the
leather sofa. Their host plops down on an adjacent
chair. There is a coffee table next to Mainstream
Man, and on it several graphic novels.
"So, my husband just disappeared...?"
"There was this purple..." Mainstream Man begins.
Pocket Man glares at him and he trails off: "... ring
on his... chair..."
"We're looking into some things," says Pocket Man.
"Nothing definite yet. Do you know if your husband
had any enemies, anyone who would want to hurt him?
Or hurt you through him, for that matter."
"I have a friendly rivalry with the mascot for
Net.ernational House of Pancakes," says the sexy
hamburger housewife. "But nothing serious... I assume
you've talked to his old teammates?"
"Teammates?" says Pocket Man.
"Frank... used to be a net.villain," she says.
"Don't you know that? He should be in your files. He
fought a couple of LNHers. He and his teammates..."
"We didn't know," says Pocket Man. "Do you know
who his teammates were?"
"It was before my time," she says. "He had already
gone to jail and straightened himself out before I
entered the picture. He put all that behind him. He
doesn't really like to talk about it, and I respect
"Do you know what codename he operated under?"
"It's written down somewhere. One second." With
some difficulty, she manages to get herself back on
her feet. She waddles out of the room.
Pocket Man turns to Mainstream Man. "And this is
why assumptions can be such dangerous things. If we
had done a search for his name before we left
headquarters, we would know this already and have some
fresh leads and could get cracking on them after we
leave. But, we assumed that he wasn't a net.villain.
Now, we're going to have to troop all the way back to
LNHHQ, run the search, and then troop off to who knows
The housewife re-enters the room, a scrap of paper
somehow pinned to her bun. Pocket Man reads it aloud
before, well, pocketing it. "The Purple Muffin..."
"I'm sorry I can't be of more help," says the
housewife. "Please, Mr. Pocket Man, promise me you'll
bring him back safe."
"I'll try my best," says Pocket Man.
"Please. Promise me."
"It's what we do," says Pocket Man. "If you hear
anything about Frank, or you think of anything,
anything at all, please don't hesitate to call. Let
me get my card..."
Pok reaches into one of his pockets. He puts the
hand in deeper, fishing around. "Now where...?" He
digs deeper, his forearm submerged. "Ah-ha! Got it!"
He tries to pull his arm out. "It's stuck," he
says. "Feels like... like something... or someone...
is tugging on it..." Suddenly, his arm jerks into the
pocket, elbow and all. Pocket Man struggles, sweat
beading his forehead. Slowly, more and more of his
arm falls prey to the renegade pocket.
"Um..." says the hamburgeress. "Aren't you going
to help him?"
"Right!" says Mainstream Man, leaping into action
and dropping the graphic novel he had been browsing.
He reaches over to Pocket Man, but before he can grab
ahold of his arm and engage in tug-of-war with the
infernal pocket, Pocket Man's body suddenly and
violently jerks towards the pocket. His shoulder and
head is swallowed, followed by the rest of his body
and his jacket.
Mainstream Man stands there, blinking. "Gah!"
"Well," says the hamburgeress, "I guess that puts
you in kind of a pickle, doesn't it?"
"Don't worry, ma'am," Mainstream Man says, trying
to emulate Pocket Man's cool reserve. "I'll rescue
not only my teammate, but your husband, as well.
Mainstream Man is on the case!"
He heads for the door. He pivots back to her. "By
the way, could I borrow that Kirby hardcover I was
The Maid of Molecules!
The Purple Muffins Story!
WikiBoy actually does something!
So does Mainstream Man!
Well, sort of!
O what a tangled web we weave-- in
WEB OF MAINSTREAM MAN # 3!
Mainstream Man created by Marc A. Nicol and is
currently reserved by myself.
WikiBoy, the Purple Crayon, and the Purple Muffin
created and reserved by myself.
Pocket Man, Elvis Man, and Sarcastic Lad created by
Gary St. Lawrence and not reserved.
Ultimate Ninja created by wReam and is kind of, sort
of not reserved.
Kid Recap created by Josh Geurink and not reserved.
Cheesecake Eater Lad created by M. Jotham Millheiser
and not reserved.
Lester O'Brien created by Ken Schmidt and not
reserved. I'm planning a little story with the
receptionists. I'm not reserving them or anything,
nor am I making any major changes. Just a heads up in
case anyone else has any plans for the characters.
The name "Limp-Asparagus Lad" was created by wReam and
the Mystic Mongoose; the character was first written
and greatly fleshed out by Saxon Brenton.
Limp-Asparagus Lad appears here through his kind
Carolyn Forge was created by myself but is currently
reserved/written by Jesse Willey, who created her
current paramour, Rick Henkerton; they appear here
through the cabbage-wielder's kind permission.
And while we're on the subject of Willey's KILLFILE
WARS... "the ingenious Dr. Killfile" was created by
(C) COPYRIGHT 2006 TOM RUSSELL.
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