REVIEW: LNH: Legion of Net.Heroes Vol 2. Annual #1

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Thu Jun 1 09:02:48 PDT 2006

As always, spoilers

> Legion of Net.Heroes Vol 2. Annual #1
> Wikfinite Crisis
> A Killfile Wars Tie-In Event
> By Jesse N. Willey
> Special Thanks to Jamas Enright and Tom Russell


Early last month, I came down pretty hard on Jesse Willey for his LNH
vol. 2 # 13 and for a number of reasons: out-of-character behavior, an
incomprehensible plot, blurry motives, bad pacing, and above all the
usurping of a flagship title, which by its very nature should be
accessible, for a continuity-heavy crossover story.  This issue has
some of the same problems, but not all of them: the character work is
fairly sharp with the main characters, even if the supporting cast does
come across as plot-puppets.

A big improvement is in the exposition department.  Jesse often claims
that if he was to explain what was going on, it would result in stories
that were too long; I get the feeling he thinks it would hamper or
weigh down the progession of the plot.  But he proves in this story
that he can handle exposition well.

The story begins with Master Blaster and WikiBoy (here edited into
Wikiboy) in a training exercise which results in the LNHer Anyone Can
Edit being transformed into a hand grenade with a hard-on for Nancy
Drew.  (And, really, Nancy Drew _is_ pretty hot... she can chum with my
blue roadster any day.)

Now, how, one might ask, does this count as exposition?  Because in
writing this scene, he _establishes_ the basic relationship between
Master Blaster and WikiBoy, he shows us their basic personalities, and,
when he brings in Sister State-the-Obvious, he establishes, quite
deftly, the nature of her relationship with her husband _and_ with

And really, that's all it takes.  One doesn't need to explain the
history of Master Blaster and WikiBoy in summary text; one doesn't even
need to explain how WikiBoy's powers work, since a fair demonstration
is given within.  This is the way exposition should be.

Now, the story that comes out of this exposition-- in which Master
Blaster runs into various alternate reality versions of himself, the
result of the machinations of someone named Excess, whose retconning
powers rival those of Retcon Lad.  She and Retcon Lad find themselves
sequestered on "The Zeroth Floor" of LNHHQ--

    	"The zeroth floor.   It's below the first floor but above the
> basements.  One of many limbo dimensions.   Most multidimensional
> buildings have them," Excess said.

It's an amusing idea, and the story proper is full of amusing ideas and
moments.  For example, a female version of Master Blaster finds
him/herself unwittingly hitting on a female version of Deja Dude, which
makes his/her stomach churn.  Or, the revelation that Excess gained her
considerable knowledge from "Interdimensional Travel for Dummies".

> 	"A For Dummies book?   A For Dummies book?!   You fought down a
> cosmic level being with a For Dummies book..." Retcon Lad.
> 	"Will... will fight..." she said.  "And now that you said
> that... it might not happen that way."
> 	"Like I could really negate the universe twice..."
> 	"We didn't negate the universe, so shut up... you aren't that
> powerful."
> 	"Like someone who needs a For Dummies book knows anything..."

I'm personally unfamiliar with Excess, and this is a character who
would have benefited from a breif bit of the plot-dump paragraph style
of exposition that Willey despises.

The story as a whole doesn't really gel for me.  There's some great
ideas, but that's just it: they're ideas.  If Willey had explored those
ideas further, developed them into more of a plot, it would have been a
more interesting, cohesive, and entertaining story.  As it stands, the
various ideas-- alternate Master Blasters, the Zeroth Floor-- remain
static, rather than dynamic.  Even when they tie in together-- and I
think a better term would be, "collide at the end"-- it's really two
static (though amusing) and underdeveloped ideas being wrapped up.

The story would have been much better had it been developed; the ideas
would be better served as springboards for dynamic comedy.  Again,
they're intriguing ideas-- they've got my interest-- it's too bad the
story hasn't been written yet.

To end on a positive note, though, I want to reiterate that Willey
shows a good handle on Master Blaster and wReanna, and that I liked the
Ninja's line,

> travel.   Eventually it crashed through the ceiling of LNH HQ and into
> Ultimate Ninja's penthouse.
> "... and Rhode Island is still completely under his control," said
> Cheesecake Eater Lad.     "Are you all right, Ninja?"
> "Fine.   Elevators crash through my office all the time," Ninja
> said.

Some comments, though.  First up, there's this line from The One True
Unmarried Master Blaster:

> 	"By the way.... I lied..." he said.  "I didn't sleep with your
> wife... Now if she were Sister Inflate the Obvious.... Maybe."

This brings up two things.  First, if an organ was so large as to be
obvious in the first place, would it really need inflating?

Secondly, wouldn't inflating it _hurt_?

>  Chapter Three: Day of Friggin' Lameness

The word, my friend, is frickin'.  Not friggin'.  Norse godesses need
not apply. :-P

I'll just chalk it up to the rampant retcons.


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