[REVIEW] [LNH] The Tribulations of Kid Review #3

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Sep 8 00:55:47 PDT 2010




The Tribulations of KID REVIEW, Issue #3

Featuring reviews of:
[LNH] Beige Midnight #1-4: "Imperium Hex"
[8FOLD] My Father's Son #1: "It's A Start"

Written by Andrew Perron



All was quiet on the bridge of the RACCelestial Examination, 
Verification and Imagination Elliptical Wrangling Satellite.  The only 
noise was the subtle beeping of the cryogenic pod sitting in the 
corner.  The lid frooshed open, and Kid Review yaaaaaaaaaaawned.

"Mmmmm." He smacked his lips and looked at his not-Apple-branded tablet 
PC. "Ah, excellent.  The cloud of Chartreuse Retcon Hour Story (harmful 
only to title characters of review series) has passed.  This definitely 
explains why I haven't had an issue for over half a year!"

He stumbled out of the pod and into the bathroom.  After something I'm 
not going to describe because it would just be that joke from Austin 
Powers all over again, he went into the kitchenette, pouring himself a 
bowl of Paprika-Os ("Now that's a part of a *man*'s complete 
breakfast!") and a glass of lemonade.  A flutter of paper caught his 
eye; a note was stuck to the fridge.

[ Andrew,

[ Off to train with the Critique Monks of Gauri Sankar.  C&C at Space
[ Veterinarian. Be back soon.  Love you!

[ Lady Review

Kid Review smiled.  He sauntered to the RACComputer, still munching. 
"Mlphbrh--" He swallowed. "Sylvia, bring up all stories posted while I 
was in coldsleep, plus everything flagged in the archives."

As the data scrolled up, he finished off his breakfast. "Let's get to 
the older stuff first.  Sylvia, bring up Beige Midnight."


[LNH] Beige Midnight #1-4: "Imperium Hex"

"Beige Midnight is the second half of the mega-event that started with 
Beige Countdown.  The issues in this arc were written by Arthur Spitzer 
and Saxon Brenton.  And they're huge; in fact, I notice that most 
issues of this series could easily have been split into two or three.  
Thus, the "slowness" of this series is revealed as Actually Writing Way 
More Than It Seems.  As such, I'm not going to be able to remark on 
everything in every issue; I'll go through them one by one and make 
comments as appropriate."

"The main plot is about The HexFire Club, an alliance of mostly 
supervillains headed by Hex Luthor who have taken control of the LNH, 
and the Legion of Net.Villains, an alliance of mostly supervillains who 
want to destroy the LNH.  Guess who's caught in the middle, with 
mind-control, manipulation, and evil clones all sapping their ability 
to deal with the looming threat of the Bryttle Brothers, cosmic evil 
types who are going to awaken and destroy the Looniverse."

"An ongoing subplot in this arc deals with the Bicycle Liberation 
Front, a group of LNHers who have tricked Irony Man into sending them 
off into the Middle East. (There are actually multiple groups in the 
story that independently name themselves the Bicycle Liberation Front, 
but it doesn't really come to anything.) Saxon's the main writer on 
this bit."

Beige Midnight #1: "The Bigger They Are"

"Catalyst Lass's bit near the beginning is great, though it feels like 
it should've been a bit further up - anything tailored to new readers 
should be as near the beginning as possible.  Still, it's some of 
Arthur's best comedy writing, some well-done characterization, and an 
excellent summary of the situation so far."

"Both the drama and the comedy in this series are best when they come 
out of characters' actions and reactions.  It seems like Arthur has a 
tendency towards melodrama when he feels like he's got a dramatic point 
to make, but when it's a natural reaction of a character to a 
situation, it's much more convincing."

"Where did Al-Qaeda Amerika originally show up?  I know they were 
mentioned as a hypothetical in the 9/11 issue of Limp-Asparagus Lad..."

"The running gag of Mynabird's obsession with Easily-Discovered Man 
Lite is great, as is Londonbroil's role as the Why Don't You Just Shoot 
Him Guy.  There are several new villains introduced here, and they're 
all entertaining, but my favorite has to be Color-Error Man's 
Brother-In-Law.  Just such a great name! (The LNH-Readers-Who-Are-Sick-
To-Death-With-These-Damn-Neverending-Events Liberation Front is 
similarly hilarious.)"

Beige Midnight #2: "The Dungeons of Freedom...!"

"Remember when I mentioned melodrama up there?  Thread Bear's opening 
scene twists that around and uses the build-up for hilarity.  

"The Bicycle Liberation Front goes in for metahumor.  Really, I'd read 
a series where every episode was an essay by Saxon musing on the nature 
of writing and superhero universes - of course, then we'd miss the way 
he uses it to fuel characterization.  (Bit of a digression here: I love 
how the LNH is able to take fourth wall breaking and actually turn it 
into a dramatic point.  The apex of this was, of course, Legion of 
Occult Heroes #4.) In this case, Fourth Wall Lass's teammates are 
worried that her enhanced powers (after she used the Rung of Revamp in 
Infinite Leadership Crisis) are causing her to slowly become detached 
from reality, seeing the world around her as a literary constructs and 
not as places and people."

"And then we have Twitter. Twitter is an awesome character, in the vein 
of Miss Martian and Squirrel Girl.  Speaking of, is she a mutant?"

"I love the Freedom Chip heroes with ridiculously specific powers 
tailored to defeat these specific villains, and, naturally, the 
clever/ridiculous ways they overcome them. (Especially good was the 
fact that the same thing that let RobGoblin overcome Anatomy Lesson Lad 
left him open to Not-Ultimate-Savior.) And it took me until the second 
reading to realize The Living Non-Alcoholic Beer was set up in the 
first issue."

"Also, Irony Man's big 'welp, time to start redeeming myself' moment.  
Irony Man standing up to Hex is awesome; it seemed like the blinders 
were going back on in #3, but then #4 shows the depths of his angst.  
Not sure if I'd change that or not."

"The second Bicycle Liberation Front scene doesn't work quite as well.  
I think it's because--"


A noise like rending metal reverberated through the REVIEWSat.  Kid 
Review leapt to his feet. "Sylvia, damage report!"

It scrolled up.  Something had smashed through the shields and the hull 
on one of the lower levels.  An elliptical object, high iron content...

He took a deep breath.  Just another meteor, okay.  The shields were 
supposed to keep them out, but there were a lot of exotic Looniversal 
metals that could disrupt them.  The hull had already sealed itself, 
and the maintenance bots were on their way to collect the space rock.

...but there was always room for a "just in case".  Kid Review picked 
up his tablet and walked towards the tubeway, writing as he went.


"...I think it's because it's attempting action, but we don't really 
get to see the results of what the characters are doing 'on-screen'."

Beige Midnight #3: "The Final Piece"

"Ooooh, ground-level view of the event!  Always good for adding 
emotional resonance.  Very nice."

"Long lists of wacky and ridiculous things that have happened offscreen 
are always good for a laugh.  Fourth Wall Lass's angst makes a lot of 
sense, and shows that, far from becoming detached as her teammates have 
feared, she's acutely aware of the danger that the innocents of her 
world face."

"Hmmmm, a story about the original battles of URL.za and Mish.RAM... if 
it was set in ancient Afgha.net.stan, we could work in 
Zoroastrianism... hmmm... er, what?"

"Bicycle Repair Lad's slowly-building insane ranting is unexpected but 
hilarious.  So often, you have the hero either come out unchanged by 
such an ordeal, or become stereotypically angsty and broody.  Cackling 
madness is refreshing."

"Reading the Al-Qaeda Amerika fight scene reminds me of some of the 
international superteams from the ASH setting; I'd like to see some of 
these characters get more ization.  Also, am I the only one who's 
really skeeved out by soul-damage?  This could be a whole separate 
rant, but suffice to say: it doesn't make sense to me, and really seems 
like it should be a bigger deal than it's usually made out to be."

"Ah, yes, the Romantic Innuendo flashback.  I mentioned in my review of 
Beige Countdown that Romantic Innuendo had originally been male and was 
now female, missing the most probable explanation - that the current 
version was a legacy character.  This shows how it happened, and segues 
into an interesting scene where Fearless Leader teeters on the brink of 

"ApocaLISP's scene feels a bit random.  It reminds me of crossover 
chapters where characters from other parts of the crossover would show 
up just to remind you of what's going on over there, except, of course, 
that there's no other story here.  Is this a set-up for some 

"The Twitter/ARAK scene also comes out of nowhere, but it works - good 
characterization, good twists.  ...you know that tongue-kissing doesn't 
actually spread AIDS, right?"

"The fake Ultimate Ninja comes to confront him, and Fearless Leader, 
pushed beyond the edge, goes... well, fearless.  Awesome."

Beige Midnight #4: "The Coronation"

"Oh, Building Suspense Lad.  Your pointless melodrama entertains us all 
- as do Fearless Leader's attempts to deal with the LNH-Readers-Who-
Are-Sick-To-Death-With-These-Damn-Neverending-Events-Liberation Front."

"The Bicycle Liberation Front (huh, just noticed that)'s complex, 
carefully-laid-out Three Wishes Plan is engaging on a plane of 
intellectual interest and dramatic deed.  Best line:"

    "And that was the rather terrifying moment that the djinni realised 
    that the intense looks of the humans had nothing to do with greed. 
    It was judgement."

"(Tangent: If djinni are 'composed of smokeless fire', then why are 
they so often associated with smoke?  Clouds of smoke coming out as 
they appear, wispy body parts trailing off...)"

"The way the chip works is *equally* intellectually awesome.  *Of 
course* it's stumping Dr. Stomper, and *of course* only the Incredibly 
Stupid Man can figure it out.  Well-done!"

"Wow, this issue is long.  Zipping right by some funny stuff - Dr. 
Freddy N. Slip, Little-Monkey-wrench Lass's memorial, the return of Dr. 
F, angry biting ferrets - we get to all the plot elements coming 
together.  Ripping Dancer's plans colliding with Mynabird's plans 
colliding with Hex's plans colliding with Ultimate Ninja's plans 
colliding with Lagneto's plans colliding with the LNH!  Everybody takes 
off their masks, or get them taken off for them!"

"Zipping by more good stuff here, including a scene that comes out of 
nowhere with the *real* Easily Discovered Man Lite, a wonderful inner 
conflict scene with Fearless Leader, and... my question is, why does he 
even *have* a Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Tank?"

"Speaking of inner conflict, the Manga Man/Ripping Dancer/Mynabird plot 
comes to a close here.  Mynabird gets to be a badass, Ripping Dancer 
gets redemption (without everything being tied up neatly), and Manga 
Man gets his just desserts."

"Oh, *very* nice.  I want to give special attention to this.  The 
reason the "deactivate WikiBoy to deactivate the Cosmic Plot Device" 
scene works is that each step follows on from the next, logically but 
unexpectedly.  And the fact that it uses a perfect combination of 
long-unused LNHers is icing on the cake. (Ah, poor WikiBoy.)"


    Then it was all white.

    White was originally the national auto racing color of Japan until
    international racing colors were abandoned due to sponsorship, 
    thought Obscure Trivia Lad.

    And then..."

"Wonderful death scene.  Didn't actually expect you to kill OTL!"

"It's interesting how Irony Man still believes in this plan.  Does he 
really think it's the right thing to do, or is he clutching at shards 
of justification?"

"Hahahaha AWESOME.  I wondered how the Bicycle Liberation Front was 
going to tie into the main plot, and taking a speech and turning it 
into literal reality is possibly the best idea for political satire 
I've ever seen.  A perfect climax."

Beige Midnight #1-4: "Imperium Hex"

"Overall, the first arc of Beige Midnight is even better than Beige 
Countdown.  The clunky moments are fewer, the awesome moments are 
greater, and there's a real sense of things moving forward in each 


Kid Review hit "Save" and turned down the corridor.  Ah, there was the 
offending object, an unremarkable chunk of space rock that had already 
warmed to room temperature.  Maintenance bots had sealed the hole, and 
were running around, scanning the properties of the meteor itself and 
making little "eep" noises.

Everything seemed to be well in hand... but that "just in case" reared 
its head again. Kid Review opened a panel on the wall and climbed up 
into a Jefferycarters tube.  He curled up in the close metal walls of 
the maintenance shaft and scanned RACC for something a bit more recent.


[8FOLD] My Father's Son #1: "It's A Start"

"My Father's Son is Saxon Brenton's first title in the Eightfold 
universe, and, I believe, the first Eightfold title written by anyone 
other than the founders, Tom Russell and Jamie Rosen.  Personally, 
Saxon is one of my favorite writers (Limp-Asparagus Lad was one of the 
series that introduced me to the LNH and RACC), so I was excited about 
this from the moment I first heard."

"The story introduces us to Slowpoke, a four-color hero.  He battles 
the Crime Mime, using good old Garnder Fox-style thinking-out-the-(not-
quite-a)-deathtrap to defeat him.  But he's one of those heroes with a 
secret identity, and for a reason; he's a student at Burlington 
College, a school for metahumans, and as his father was a notorious bad 
guy.  If the faculty found out, they'd blow a gasket, thus setting up 
what looks like one of the main conflicts of the series."

"First, let's get the negative out of the way.  The exposition isn't 
worked in very well.  Many of the paragraphs follow a formula: use one 
sentence to describe what Slowpoke is doing/saying/thinking, and spend 
the rest of them explaining why.  Dropping in big chunks of infodump is 
a Saxon Brenton trademark, but he's gotten better at integrating it 
into the story over time.  Here, though, it's not blended as well."

"Now, to gush about the positive.  Slowpoke has the beginnings of an 
interesting character, even if they're not fully explored.  He's 
methodical and analytical about his powers and their use (another 
Brenton trademark), but seems to be a lot more inclined to action than 
most of his characters."

"Burlington is also interesting.  Saxon expressed worry that he'd be 
accused of ripping off Avengers Academy, but in fact, it reminds me far 
more of Harry Potter - the emphasis seems to be more on a boarding 
school for metahuman kids, rather than a training regimen for young 
superheroes.  Of course, we'll probably see more of the training side 
as the series goes on, but it definitely seems to have bringing them up 
in a stable environment as one of its purposes."

"One other point: I'm not sure why he's called Slowpoke if his main 
ability is phasing.  Perhaps it's one of those 'don't give away the 
nature of your powers' identities?"

"Overall, it's a rocky beginning, but one filled with possibilities.  
Like the man said, it's a start!"


Kid Review pondered the last paragraph; it was kind of lame.  As 
wiggled with the phrasing, he slowly came to realize that something was 
off.  It hit him - the maintenance bots had gone quiet.

Kid Review slipped down the tube and silently cracked the hatch.  Hm, 
nothing seemed to be amiss... well, except for the rock having unfolded 
itself into a humanoid form and the wreckage of the maintenance bots 
being strewn around it.

"Cardoid active," intoned the robot of rock. "Mission: Destroy all 



Author's Note: This was originally going to be several times the size, 
but I've decided that I'd, y'know, like to actually *post* these.  So I 
chopped it down and filled it out.  Expect future issues to come out 
more often and concentrate on a few reviews.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, posting this and going to bed.

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