LNH: Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #13

martinphipps2 at yahoo.com martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Mon May 1 21:48:54 PDT 2006

Tom Russell wrote:

>    Take the death of Captain Pathetic for example:
> > 	"Finally I can do some good on this team..." Captain Pathetic
> > said.
> >
> > 	There was a loud kaboom and suddenly a super powered figure in high
> > tech super armor with a large helmet was standing next to Doritron .
> Where's the drama?  The awe?
> > The man in the helmet was tearing through the shock troopers leaving
> > nothing but a pile of corpses.
> The carnage?  The telling details?
> >
> > 	"Holy crap!  It's Doctor Doritron and Monark!" Pathetic said.
> >
> > Monark spotted Captain Pathetic and kept shooting.     With one plasma
> > burst he blew out Captain Pathetic's spine.   Monark was quickly
> > surrounded by some sort of quantum bubble, which quickly popped.   He
> > stared down at Pathetic's body.
> And that's it.  That's the death of Captain Pathetic.  It should be an
> important scene.  A set-piece.  Perhaps some emotional resonance.  If
> you're going to kill off a character, that death should *mean*
> something, damn it!
>    But if you were just reading it quickly, just scanning it over, you
> would probably miss it completely.  It's the same matter-of-fact style
> that's been employed through out the rest of the story.  And, as soon
> as Pathetic is dead, Willey moves on, to the next plot point,
> >
> > "I'm glad I'm not that sad son of a bitch anymore," he said.
> ... and to the next scene.  The next story.  If I had written this
> story, I would have paused here.  Given the Captain a proper death.
> Allowed the reader some time for reflection.  Some time for this all to
> sink in.
>    And, speaking of the Captain...
>    It's true that I gave all my characters to the public domain, which
> would probably include characters created under a psuedonym for a
> silly, juvenile, and childish satirical meta-fiction.  (And Jesse has
> grabbed my old characters up by the handfuls, and often with my
> blessing.)
>    But public domain doesn't mean that you can cut off a character's
> hand, make them gay, or kill them.  (And, again, in my defense: Frat
> Boy *wasn't* gay by the end of LNH vol. 2 # 10.  It was Saxon and Jamas
> who brought that back.  Though I'm kind of glad they did.  It's an
> interesting direction for the character and it kinda sorta gets me off
> the hook. :-)  )
>    I had no problem with Jesse killing off Terrence Coffee-- even if
> his logic behind it was a little screwy.  He asked, and I said okay.
> But as for Captain Pathetic...
>    ... you didn't ask, Jesse.
>    And I wouldn't be quite so upset about it, about you killing him
> without permission, if you had even bothered to write the character
> correctly.  But much like the pussification of the Ultimate Ninja
> (scared of Vel?) and the nonsensical characterization of Gary Niceguy,
> and the way Tyler Bridge from RTKW doesn't talk or act like Tyler
> Bridge from NHOP-- you're too busy filling another slot in your
> stuck-in-second-act plot-schematic to actually bother to write the
> character according to his or her actual personality.
>    Hell, in this case, you didn't even bother to write his actual
> *powers*:
> > 	Captain Pathetic felt stronger than he ever had.   He'd heard
> > stories about dorfan power dampeners from some of the briefings on the
> > dorfs during the recent civil war.  Ultimate Ninja wanted them prepared
> > for everything.  The dorfs on the other hand probably didn't expect
> > to fight someone with the power to be completely useless.  Removing the
> > power made him almost unstoppable.
> Captain Pathetic doesn't have the power to be completely useless.  He
> has the power to be a loser.  To be the most loserly-loser that ever
> lost.  To be, in essence, pathetic.  You know who has the power to be
> useless?  Useless Powers Lad II-- new character, coming soon.  Not
> Captain Pathetic.
>    Who is, by the way, *not* a member of the LNH.  Never has been.  I
> wouldn't have minded you retconning him into the LNH, if it hadn't been
> for the sole purpose of killing him off.
>    Hell, I wouldn't have minded you killing him off if you at least
> made an attempt to make it count, instead of a cheap stunt.  And I
> probably wouldn't have minded, if you had at least asked.
>     And sure, I brought this on myself by releasing all my old
> characters to the public domain.  But you've got to have some respect
> for the unreserved pool of characters-- they're there for everybody.
> Maybe no one else would ever want to use Captain Pathetic.  But we'll
> never know now, will we?  Because you killed him off and you didn't
> even give him the benefit of his own personality.
>    And, really, enough is enough.  So:
>    This story-- or at least the death of Captain Pathetic contained
> herein-- is hereby elsewhirled.

Truth be told, Jesse sent me this story a few months ago but I didn't
have time to read it right away.  I didn't know who Captain Pathetic
was and assumed it was one of Jesse's creations.  I also was a bit
taken aback by Jesse's use of Psykeye, seeing as how Psykeye is dead
and has been for quite some time, but when the scene ended with Psykeye
"looking at adult magazines" I thought "Okay, it's a joke.  Ha ha." and
decided he hadn't canonically brought Psykeye back.

I know there was a bit of trouble way back when I wanted to kill off
Squid Boy to parody the Legacy virus.  It was actually Drizzt's idea
but I chose Squid Boy as the victim.  He was public domain but it
turned out Squid Boy's writer was still on the net.  It was decided
that I could kill off Squid Boy but I would leave room for him to come
back.  Fine.  At least when I killed him off it was the crux of the
issue, although my "issues" were short back then so it probably still
came across as a bit callous.

A similar thing happened at the end of Lagneto Saga #7:

<<Lagneto shook his head.  "I think not."  He had the remote control
for the
bomb's detonator in his hands.

  He raised the remote control up.

  He pointed it at the bomb.

  He pressed the button.

  The bomb... exploded.[**]

[**] Yes, this means that Lobdell Lad is dead.  My apologies to Drizzt
to Scott Lobdell himself.  It was nothing personal.>>

Lobdell Lad dies in a footnote.  Ouch.


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