REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #96 - December 2011 [spoilers]

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Sun Jan 29 21:59:31 PST 2012

I just realized that this never showed up either on my newsserver or on
Google Groups, so I'm sending it out once more.

On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 00:16:47 +0000 (UTC), Saxon Brenton wrote:

> [REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #96 - December 2011 [spoilers]  

YAY EoMR is back! <3

> Also posted:

Damn, I hadn't realized quite how busy December was even *beyond* LNH20!

> There were two new writers appearing on RACC 
> in 2011 who haven't had an introductory review yet: Ryunosuke in June 
> with _Shadow Shift_ #1 and Leto in November with _Tales From The Tesla 
> Institute_ #1.  This is not acceptable, and therefore this issue will 
> begin with belated coverage of those two issues before moving on to a 
> small selection of stories from December 2011.

Woohoo!  Events proceed apace.

> Also _Captain Sestina_ was left out of my Looniverse eligibles listing. 
> [ARAK looks up at the audience, who are bewildered by the last reference] 
> What!?  Look, unlike the lazy writer, I actually clean up my own messes!

Much obliged, son of thunder.

>      A more metatextual one is: is the genre of this series best 
> described as superheroes fighting monsters, or a more Nightbreed-like 
> horror story with superhuman conflict?  Okay, those are two extremes for 
> something that might not be so clear cut, but the distinction remains 
> useful.

Hm.  I'll let Ryunosuke weigh in on this, but I'll say as the editor that I 
think it's less superheroes *or* horror than it is urban fantasy. (Mind, it 
can be all three, but I think that's the "core" of it, with the other two 
as byproducts.)

> And then at the end, the brief description of the emotional alienation 
> between Josh and his father.  (Actually, that raises another question: 
> is this state the result of Josh's shellshock from encountering the 
> reavers, or is it the normal state of affairs between these two?)  

I'm wondering that myself!

>      This is a small but intriguing point that my attention keeps 
> returning to.  Why introduce a story setting with Nikola Tesla in such a 
> prominent position and not use him as the protagonist, or at least one of 
> the viewpoint characters?

Seems pretty obvious to me: To focus on the "normal" characters' reactions 
to the awesome weirdo. (That and to set up the ending, of course.)

> My 
> gut feeling is that she's deliberately moulding her professional 
> character in order to advance her prospects of working personally with 
> her hero Tesla, rather than as another researcher at the Tesla 
> Institute.

I would most definitely agree.

> She gets zapped 
> instead, and has either gained superpowers (if we're working in a 
> four-colour superhero paradigm) or has been pushed to posthuman status 
> (if we're working in a general science fiction paradigm).

Six of one...

> I've been holding off while trying to think of an 
> angle that would be suitably impressive for something like the event 
> marking the Legion of Net.Heroes' 20th anniversary.  No such luck.  So, 
> instead of gravitas you'll just have to put up with semi-random babbling.

That's how I do it! <3

>      (As an aside, I have been wondering to what extent the LNH20 
> reboot might suffer from 'classic storyline repeat-itis'.
> I'm suspecting the 
> LNH20 aren't likely to suffer from that.  After all, the major comic book 
> publishers have also had policies to recap their protagonists' origin 
> stories regularly, on the grounds that "each comic is someone's first". 
> The LNH, or any of the net.fiction imprints published on RACC for that 
> matter, don't have that problem both because the easy accessibility of 
> back issues in the archives as well as the fact that this writing is a 
> non-paying hobby rather than a business model that can't afford to risk 
> alienating potential readers due to obscurity.  The LNH in particular 
> would simply throw out a gratuitous footnote or editorial note and then 
> proceed with the story.)

Well, there's that, and the fact that the LNH20 origins of characters 
who've been brought back for the new universe tend to be very different 
anyway. (I'm working on Kid Enthusiastic's right now!)

>      The other significant design factor explicit in the reboot is the 
> availability for use of characters.

Yeah, this was definitely a big topic on my mind.  Everybody who donated 
characters towards it was a bit help, especially Tom - Adrian has basically 
taken all the unused potential of Teenfactor and realized it, one character 
at a time.

> For example, there was once a time when I would not have believed that 
> the once mighty Superguy imprint would have been reduced solely to the 
> prolific output of Gary Olson.  The Legion of Net.Heroes (in whatever 
> incarnation) has a powerful and flexible storytelling engine because of 
> its parodic nature - but that doesn't guarantee publishing immortality.

Indeed.  Mind, I think it helps that RACC's easier to find than the 
Superguy list, but that doesn't mean anything if nobody has a reason to 
come here.

>      For my part I've been pondering if there's any storyline I can write 
> that I feel fits LNH20.  

Yes *please*!  Any random idea you want to run with would be so great.

> For a half week or so in early January I was 
> overcome by the fevered thought that perhaps I could move the _Limp-
> Asparagus Lad_ series from LNH to LNH20.  Not duplicate the character 
> concepts you understand, but move the whole series: the original 
> characters and their histories, the series' back-story and ongoing 
> storylines.  The whole kit and caboodle.  This of course would be a 
> catastrophic affront to continuity, much like the way the _Legion of 
> Super Heroes_ was thrown into disarray in the wake of the Crisis On 
> Infinite Earths when Superboy was deleted from continuity.  

...that's pretty great. (Also, terrible.  But in a great way. <3)

>      (Another aside:  I'm on record as saying that I think of 
> Cheesecake-Eater Lad as the iconic heart of the LNH.  Now, LNH classic 
> will continue on as normal.  But in the last half week I realised that 
> in the hypothetical event that it was shut down, and all those orphaned 
> writer characters from the early 1990s were placed off limits, I would 
> feel compelled to write the occasional Cheesecake-Eater Lad fan.fic and 
> post it on alt.comics.lnh.  Just because.  It was an odd moment of 
> introspection and self-revelation.)

*giggles* Yeah, pretty much. (Though, man, I've only ever used him once...)

> It tells the story of Powernaut, formerly a sickly young man who 
> through sheer determination uses physical and mental exercise to raise 
> himself to the peak of human perfection, 


> In other words, instead of just seeing 
> the things, cartoony art lets us see the things as a combination of what 
> they are and what they represent, even if this is at the expense of 
> exact physically identifying characteristics.

Ooooooh.  A very good way of putting it. <3

> That 
> said, there are still many possibilities for complications that this 
> situation.  The one that springs to my mind is why one government or 
> another hasn't tried to grab a monopoly on the Ellipsis tech as a 
> strategic resource.'re talking Ellipsis, right?  With Silver Age Superman-level power 
and Warren Ellis Authority-level political extremism?  Yeah, I don't think 
that'd last long.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, needs to come up with a villain 
organization parodying SOPA...

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