REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #43 - July 2007 [spoilers]

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at
Sat Aug 18 05:11:07 PDT 2007

[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #43 - July 2007 [spoilers]

Reviewed This Issue:
      Haiku Gorilla #309-327  [LNH]
      Kid Kid #1-2  [LNH]
      LNH Comics Presents #501  [LNH]
      Time Capsules #10  [ASH]
      Untold Tales Of The Looniverse #5  [LNH]
      Weird Comics #2  [LNH]

Also posted:
      58.5 #6  [LNH]
      Coherent Super Stories #5  [ASH]
      Jolt City #10  [8Fold]

     Apropos of nothing in particular except keeping all of you
     After a lengthy lead time I finally started a new RPG campaign
in July.  My last campaign setting didn't turn out so well because of
conflicting opinions of what it should be like: it was supposed to be
crypto-historic Nazi occultism, and while I was heavily into the crypto-
historic occultism angle several of the players (who also do miniatures
wargaming) were more interested in the military battle aspects.  Since
the latter wasn't a subject of specialisation for me like it was for the
other players, I didn't think I could do justice to their expectations,
and the campaign only lasted three or four adventures.
     (Briefly making this comics relevant: Theoretically of course I
could use all that research to write a 'Gesar of Ling Vs. the Antarctic
Space Nazis!!!' story to post to RACC - but I think that that would be
more a pulp style story with crypto-historic Nazi occultism trappings...)
     In any case, I settled upon something that I thought we could all
agree on: a Dr Who RPG campaign.  After talking with the others about
what they thought would be best in terms of character mix (single Time
Lord and companions versus all Time Lord group), and reading what may
- perhaps - have been far too much of the _About Time_ episode guides,
I started with an adventure set on Gallifrey (*obviously* set prior to
the current 21C series) designed to give the characters the excuse to
develop an interest in having adventures.  We ended with a cliffhanger
involving the classic Dr Who standby: running up and down corridors!
We'll see how things go.
     Uhm, yeah.  Anyway, I think this month will be mainly plot
summaries.  More so than usual, I mean.
     Spoilers below:


Haiku Gorilla #309-327
`American Nightmare'
A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
by Tom Russell

     Oh, this is cute.
     In the first half of this story back in June the Congress adopted
the principles to work only in haiku for the benefit of member Haiku
     In the July issues this causes problems.  Debate and legislation in
haiku is so vague that it allows for the sort of chop-logic that one
would expect in an Alice In Wonderland skit.  Anti-torture legislation
is passed that is used to deem opposition to the President to be `undue
harm', thereby allowing all the Democrats in both Houses save Haiku
Gorilla to be locked up as torturers.  With only Haiku Gorilla left in
the Congress as opposition, Hexadecimal Luthor is able to fiddle with
the 22nd Amendment of the Usenetted States Constitution, thereby allowing
him to make a grab for a third term in office.

Kid Kid #1-2
A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
by Tim Munn

     These two issues kind of remind me of those old stories from Marvel
where you'd have two separate characters with the same 'super' name
fighting for who gets to keep it.  For comic book licensing purposes
one of them *had* to have that name, but it wasn't as though the example
multiple Green Lanterns had any effect, meaning that you get fights like
the one between the Luke Cage Power Man and the Erik Josten Power Man.
And then there was the way that Genis-Vell kept nicking Monica Rambeau's
code names...
     So, you have this fight with incidental bad puns brewing between
Kid Kid (who's a human child) and Kid Kid (who's a goat child).  The
former just is on the run after getting into a fight with Ultimate Ninja
and Boring Man, but the latter catches up with him.  After a brief
battle the human Kid Kid escapes.  The situation is just itching for a

LNH Comics Presents #501
'Outrageous Villainy'   (Infinite Leadership Crisis #466)
A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
by Rob Rogers

     In an extremely oblique way the length of this story is partly my
fault.  No, really.  Rob emailed an advance copy to several people,
including myself, asking for feedback and *specifically* asking if there
were any parts that we though could be cut to get it down to a less
daunting size.  I printed out a copy and then left it until 10pm that
evening, before deciding that I should at least start reading it as I
sat in bed.  I found it compelling reading and didn't stop reading until
I finished it at midnight, but - and this is the important bit - while I
was able to offer advice on several points of continuity or character
ownership I couldn't identify any parts of the story that I would think
of as being worth dumping.  There were parts that were better than
others, of course, but nothing that I would be comfortable saying were
so bad that they had to go.  This is why I probably make a merely
adequate editor of my own writing: I can't even kill other peoples'
literary babies, let alone my own.
     Plot in brief: It's the closing days on the Infinite Leadership
Crisis.  The villains, nominally led by the monomaniac Easily-Discovered
Bran Mite (for whom we see the Secret Origin) have gained control of the
city of Net.ropolis in the absence of the Legion.  Mr Homage, with a
mature insight into the reality of the situation that we don't normally
see from that particular villain, warns EDBMite that he should be keeping
a lower profile, for the simple reason that sooner or later the heroes
will come back and that the Legion Always Wins.  This warning proves
prophetic as the Legion returns and rallies against the villains.  Cue
many cool fight scenes; if I were forced to choose one I'd probably have
to pick the way that You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad fights
Plummet, but there are so many other options that it wouldn't surprise
me if other readers all had different favourites.

Time Capsules #10
An Academy of Super-Heroes [ASH] series
by Dave Van Domelen

     And here's the other story that's at least partly my fault.
Nothwithstanding any commentaries that Dvandom may have received via
private email, my disquiet about the difference between the historical
record of the mainstream ASH universe and the divergent timeline depicted
in _Coherent Super Stories_ #4 is recorded for all to see in the previous
EoMR, so I can hardly deny culpability.  I will note that, based on the
reply in the resulting discussion thread, it seems that while the plot
of CSS#4 did indeed get away from Dvandom to an extent, it was not quite
as extreme an extent as it initially seemed: Solar Max and Kleinvogel
stumbled into a divergence, and then Solar Max decided to meddle rather
than keep intervention as inconsequential as possible as had originally
been plotted.
     (And if you want to be truly pedantic about keeping the record
straight, after reading the _Second Age Sourcebook_ I nitpicked a point
of continuity difference between it and _Constellation_ #28 that prompted
Dvandom to write a whole new FAQ about ASH's alternate realities.  Such
is the phenomenal cosmic power of my anal-retentiveness; and it's such a
pity that I don't have proper skills in literary criticism to make use
of it instead dwelling on minor continuity discrepancies.  Oh well...)
     In any case, this issue acts as a sort of `flip side' version of
CCS#4, showing what happened in mainstream ASH continuum.  Archeology
students in 2136 carefully excavate the Baines household and peruse
Bobby's diary.  From the retirement of Dragonfly and Ladyhawke, through
the birth of their son, through Bobby's obituary.  And along the way the
unexplained (to them) dimensional inversion that was caused by Solar Max
and Kleinvogel returning to their proper timeline.
     This issue has a more funerary atmosphere than CSS#4, for obvious
reasons.  CCS#4 had a bittersweet mixture of mourning the loss of one
of the superhero greats while also setting up a bright legacy that
effectively extends the Second Heroic Age until it merges with the Third.
In this story even the knowledge that Bobby's son Rad will be a note-
worthy hero in his own right isn't enough to dispel the sense of gloom.
Which is strange considering that, as per the mechanics given in the
Altiversal Guide FAQ, both timelines would have suffered much the same
amount of near-overwhelming devastation at the culmination of the

Untold Tales Of The Looniverse #5
'Transvestites: More Than Meets The Eye'
A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
by Martin Phipps

     <blink blink>  Ah.  Okay.  A combination of transvestism,
gratuitous sex, political satire, and necrophilia.  This would be why
there's an Acraphobe content rating, wouldn't it?
     Actually, it occurs to me (weeks after reading the story) that a
story involving alien transvestites infiltrating Earth society was
probably begging to include a brief Rocky Horror Picture Show reference.
And the juxtaposition of Transformers and Rocky Horror wouldn't have
been too incongruous if Martin had used the appearance by Bill Clinton
for an 'out of control lust' joke.  Lost opportunity there, I'm afraid.
     It also occurs to me that Martin is parodying the underlying
*concept* of the Transformers movie rather than any of the characters,
like Lalo did with the Geekobots in _58.5_ #6.  Which is a shame.
Parodying the characters in that way would have been even more likely to
send any hardcore Transformers fans running to find some bleach to scrub
out their brains.  <innocent look>  I mean, I'm sure there must be some
Transformers fans on rec.arts.comics.creative, right?
     Anyway.  There are these aliens from the planet VictorVictoria who
are observing Looniearth, but who have recently started taking an active
role in shaping society.  They are not what they seem.  Apparently
Hillary Clinton is one of them, and they are willing to kill anyone who
finds out AND objects on the technicality that the President of the
Usenetted States has to be native-born.  Huh.  You'd think they'd just...
oh, I don't know... learnt to *keep their mouths shut* rather than blab
everything while having random sexual encounters.  Gosh, this is getting
more like Rocky Horror every second: aliens who do stupid things when
their sex drives aren't fulfilled.
     And then...  Darn.  Okay, look.  If the amount of time musing over
a topic and/or searching for a solution is an indicator of the magnitude
of the subject, then my biggest problem with this story is Hellary.  You
know, the evil twin of Hillary from a mirror universe who came to the
mainsteam Looniverse in search of revenge, coercing Congress into passing
the LNH Registration Act, and ultimately becoming the Beige Queen of the
Heckfire Club.  I can't seem to find the original story where Hellary
replaced the mainstream Hillary, but I've got a nagging feeling that
Hellary killed her.  How did Hillary survive?  Or maybe she didn't, and
has since been resurrected in a random reshuffling of the timeline during
some Event or other.  (It worked for Jason Todd, after all.)  And Hellary
was supposed to have been destroyed by Psykeye in _System Corruptors_ #20,
but turned up again and as late as _Mortal Posting 5_ still had
presidential ambitions.  Whatever.  What I wanna know is, which version
of Hillary is this?
     Oh yeah.  And my Inner Adolescent (which is like an Inner Child,
but with a smuttier mind) is simply gibbering at the thought of the
machinations between the alien Hillary and Hex Luthor, so it's lucky
for the rest of you that I write so slowly that you won't have to ever
worry about seeing the ramifications.

Weird Comics #2
'I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Momma'
A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
by Lalo Martins

     It took me a while to realise that _Weird Comics_ #1 was posted
back in 2001 as an epilogue to the Birth Of A Villain cascade, and
wasn't a Beige Countdown crossover that I'd somehow missed.
     Anyway.  It's thoughtful of Lalo to habitually begin so many of his
stories with a 'what has gone before' summary.  That said, this whole
issue is basically summary: a catch-up issue set after the return of the
Legion from the Infinite Leadership Crisis/Infinite April problem.
     Weirdness Magnet muses on that problem, plus the events which
have been happening over in _58.5_ while the Legion was away, and then
discovers to his consternation that he's in the running for leader of
the Legion of Net.Heroes.  He and other Legionnaires discuss Weirdness
Magnet's evil twin, break the fourth wall wondering whether the
information that know so far is stuff that they'll be allowed to discuss
on camera where the readers can hear it, and eat cheesecake.  And there's
a blooper reel at the end.

Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup can be found at:

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