REVIEW: LNHCP # 36-- ILC # 1

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Wed Aug 22 22:27:01 PDT 2007

The general premise of the Infinite Leadership Crisis, as I understand
it, is this: "What would it be like if ____ was leader of the LNH, if
only for a day?"

What would make them a good choice or a bad one?  How would they deal
with a particular crisis?  How would the added responsibility affect

And since each story (ideally) focuses on one particular character,
the best ILC stories, in my opinion, are those that show us what is
unique, or funny, or interesting about that character-- stories that
make us want to read more about them, perhaps make us want to write
stories about that character.

That's the general litmus test which I'm going to be using when
reviewing these stories, along with the far more nebulous qualities of
"is it funny?" and "is it good?"


Arthur's first ILC story focuses on Fearless Leader.  I've never
really had a strong feeling for the character before-- he's one of
those legionnaires whose charm has somewhat eluded me.

Arthur paints him as someone who accepts his responsibility and duties
(even if those duties entail wearing a coconaut brassiere and fruit
hat) without much fuss.

Though I'm not sure if I'd call him "fearless".  The opening dream
sequence (slightly _less_ surreal than the stuff for which Arthur has
quickly wracked up some notoriety) sets up a feeling of vague unease
that prevades, just under the surface, through these proceedings.

The scene with Ripping Dancer, in which Fearless Leader shows some
cracks in his armour, is very touching in its way.  She serves as a
nice foil for F.L., telling us a little something about herself and
perhaps about him.  It shows some deft psychological understanding on
Arthur's part.

And of course, the scene-- with its allusions to a Wednesday coffee
date that will never take place-- is twinged with a fair amount of
dramatic irony.

This particular day is relatively calm, and I think that's the right
choice; while there are things happening, the story isn't about
Fearless Leader running from crisis to crisis, becoming exhausted
before disappearing.  It's about Fearless Leader assuming his new role
with equal parts trepedition and aplomb-- only to have it cut short.
There's something elegiac about that-- a feeling that Fearless Leader
couldabeen, if only things had turned out differently.

And that fits: Fearless Leader was created by Dvandom as a public
domain character, specifically to take on the leadership role.  Then
the Ultimate Ninja took over, and the rest is history.


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