LNH: Legion of Net.Heroes vol 2. #17

Jesse Willey cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 18 02:55:24 PDT 2006

> Three different threads intersect in this
> Willey-penned issue, and for
> once they actually tie in together in a coherent and
> structurally-sound
> fashion (as coherent and structurally-sound, anyway,
> as a time loop
> story can be).

   Technically, this is a parody of time loop stories.
  Which is why certain aspects are extremely over the

> All-in-all, it's very solid writing from Willey.  He
> did _decently_
> with the Annual story as far as M.B. was concerned,
> but there the notes
> seemed just a mite bit off.  Here, they're
> pitch-perfect, as least as
> far as I'm concerned.  (It'd be interesting to see
> what his creator
> thinks; Martin's interpertation of his character is
> different than my
> take on him, and it's damn nice of him to allow me
> to write the
> character in that gonzo style.)

  Master Blaster was a little off in the annual
because a certain persons (who shall remain nameless)
wouldn't let me do everything I wanted to with their
characters.  So MB's responses couldn't be exactly the
way they were supposed to.  Once I only had only had
to deal with a fellow member of the August First
Brigade, the issue wrote itself.  Which beats my other
solution.  Use said characters and hope it made the
creators laugh hard enough to forgive me.     

> And keeps on falling inbetween every other scene. 
> And, dear reader, if
> you know that this issue concerns Monark's true
> identity, and if you
> notice that the story keeps cutting to the seemingly
> insignificant
> event of Applicant Lad falling-- then you know that
> Applicant Lad and
> Monark are one and the same.

  Actually, no.  He really was Master Blaster.    The
joke being that Master Blaster, inspite of or because
of, how stupid he is changed that possiblity-- twice
even.   Yes, I was setting up that second change from
the get go... but still.  He really was Master Blaster
there for a second.    

> Now, if I was to do an Applicant Lad is Monark
> story, I would have
> focused more on Applicant Lad.  Not made him the
> main character, per
> se, but made him a more integral part of the action,
> had him fighting
> alongside Master Blaster up until the revelation. 
> That would have made
> it more subtle, I think, and subtelty is something
> Willey tries for
> (sometimes, I find his work _too_ subtle for my
> tastes).

  In this case, I was following the laws of parody.
Monark is a parody of Monarch (from DC's Armegeddon:
2001).   Who was supposed to be Captain Atom.  There
was even some evidence there was even quite a bit of
albeit circumstantial evidence that he was.  But the
ending got leaked.  So Paul Levitz had the issue
delayed and all of a sudden Hawk became Monarch and no
one cared.    

> By focusing attention on Applicant Lad when he's
> doing something as
> monotonous as falling down an elevator shaft, it's
> not hard at all to
> figure out what's going to happen when he stops.  It
> makes it too
> obvious, far beyond even a Tom Russell story.

  I don't care if it was obvious.   I was going for
funny.   You know... ha-ha.
> So, at least for this reader, the mystery itself
> wasn't satisfactory.
> As for the solution-- my google-fu reveals a grand
> total of six
> Applicant Lad appearances.  Two in '04, one in '05,
> and three this year
> (those appearances being Vel # 1/2, 1, and 11; LNH
> Annual # 1; Onion
> Lad # 9, and this story).  And, really, while this
> isn't quite the
> equivlant of Norman Osborn-- it's damn close.

   I was sloppy--- okay.  I needed a way out of this
Master Blaster (eiher one) is Monark plot so I
wouldn't piss Martin off.  I needed someone that
wouldn't piss anyone else off.  That pretty much
limited it my characters.  From there I was further
limited by characters that were still alive and I
wouldn't miss.  So, I was stuck with Grandma Man (who
hasn't made any actual appearances just the occasional
gag reference) and Applicant Lad.  

> You see, as some of you younguns might not know, the
> Green Goblin's
> true identity was shrouded in mystery through out
> the original
> Lee-Ditko run.  Comics fan would wonder feverently
> about who the Green
> Goblin could really be.  There weren't any leading
> suspects, and so the
> speculation would be purely fanciful: what if it was
> J. Jonah Jameson,
> for example, or Ned Leeds.

  I heard part of the reason Ditko left was a
disagreement with Stan over Green Goblin.  Stan wanted
to reveal who the Goblin was at the end of the arc. 
If Ditko had his way, we'd still be here in 2006 and
Goblin would still be unknown.   He'd be like The One
Armed Man from The Fugitive. 

   Though I think the evidence made it all very clear.
 Norman Osborne was never really meant to be the Green
Goblin.  It was actually May Parker all along. 

> Ditko left, and so the first thing Stan did, after
> he got John Romita
> (who, admittedly, could draw girls several licks
> better than the
> moodier Ditko), was wrap up the Green Goblin
> mystery.  He revealed that
> it was really Norman Osborn behind the mask. 
> Norman.  Osborn.  The guy

  I'm telling you man... the evidence was all pointing
at May.  Stan didn't want that.  So used Osborne.

> Comics fans, or so I've been told and can imagine,
> were mightily let
> down.  This was the most disappointing revelation in
> comics history,
> and would remain so until Stern wrote his "No, Ned
> Leeds WASN'T really
> the Hobgoblin" storyline.

  Which was a Dematies retcon, right?  Because I
remember reading issues where they said Ned Leeds WAS
the Hobgoblin initially but had gotten killed and Jack
O'Lantern found out, stole the suit and took over the

  And actually, it remained that way until Rokk Krinn
was revealed to be The Time Trapper.  Because The Time
Trapper didn't have to be anybody.  He was from a
million years in the future.   He could have just been
Joe Future off the the street but nooooooo.   
>  I'm not suggesting that Monark should have been
> Master Blaster, nor do
> I think Willey's solution is a bad one.  I'm just
> pointing out that for
> a mystery to matter to a reader, you really have to
> stoke the fire.
> Make the mystery villain a force to be reckoned
> with.  Give us possible
> suspects, allow us to debate the probability of one
> choice or the
> other, and MAKE US WANT TO DEBATE.

  There were other suspects... Onion Lad for one.

> > "You are not me... it's just one of those Freudian
> Luke in the
> > swamp things.  You know... cause he really didn't
> want to admit he
> > wanted to screw Natile Portman.
> Um.  I think that either,
>    (a) you have your trilogies mixed up, or
>    (b) you have your princesses mixed up, or
>    (c) it IS a Freudian thing (i.e., an Oedipus
> Complex).

  From MB's point of view that scene in the swamp was
about discovering his father.  The father in turn
represents Luke's destiny-- to become his father. 
Yes, that sort of destiny thing is very Oedipal.  Of
course MB would think that'd include screwing Natalie
  What Master Blaster doesn't realize is that  Luke
destroys this father aspect of himself.  He rejects
the destiny his father offers him.  The swamp scene is
really about an establishment of identity other than
one that destiny provides us.   The irony is then
furthered when Master Blaster has a similar but more
literal encounter in the cargo bay where he two
rejects fate.   
   See, those two years of film classes weren't a
   - Jess, who though Natalie Portman was good in
'Garden State'.  

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