LNH20: Twenty-Fisted Comics #1
pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Jun 24 11:43:52 PDT 2012
>From the metafictional past of Earth-20 comes...
T W E N T Y
F I S T E D
C O M I C S
#1: THE LAWLESS LEVELS! WRITTEN BY ANDREW PERRON
[ The cover shows a tall, radiant figure with a proud bearing. She
wears with a golden tiara, a bright yellow cape clasped at the neck, a
long-sleeved green top, a sky-blue chainmail skirt, and military-cuffed
boots. A caption box says, "Introducing... LADY FAIRPLAY!" ]
[ And that cover can be seen! At:
GOLDEN AGE VERY-DISTURBED-SCARY-CREATURE MAN! Spiritualist Professor O.
Iji Boarde was visited in his dreams by the goddess Persephone, who
War is overflowing the halls of the dead! Hades cannot hold them!
Take this, the Mantle of Pluto, and fight to end war!
Now he fights adorned in monsters from the Golden Age of Greece!
LASS LADY, The First Hero! Mysterious champion of freedom, she wields
the Liberty Rifle, which shoots not death, but Theta Radiation,
dispelling dark, controlling thoughts! She knows that We Can Do It!
DOC NOSTALGIA! The Man of Alloy, rocketed from his home planet of
Groupon to fight in the name of his race's past and our world's future!
And introducing LADY FAIRPLAY! At the request of the brilliant
scientist Professor Amazo, Mary Lee, modest young school teacher,
underwent an experiment which transformed her into a beautiful creature
with unlimited energic powers! Now she assumes the role of Lady
Fairplay, goddess of chastisement and dreaded foe of the underworld!
Today, the enigma men and women of the 20th century face - THE LAWLESS
Late at night, in the palatial mansion of noted occultist Orenthal Iji
"What's this? Something's awakened me-- out of a deep sleep-- there is
a great wrongness in the air!"
He steals to the secret room, behind the bust of Persephone!
"All fear is darkness-- but darkness knows fear of GOLDEN AGE VERY-
GAVDSCM (as the busy people of our modern era, where Time is Money,
call him) takes the stairs up to the roof, where the Very-Disturbed-
Scary Aerogyro awaits - but halfway up, there is a terrifying
"What--!? This is no longer old-growth pine that surrounds me, but COLD
STONE! And who is that up ahead...?"
"Golden Age Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man!"
"Lass Lady!" said GAVDSCM, seeing the Understudy to the Statue of
Liberty step from the flickering torchlit shadows. "What are *you*
"The same thing as us, I wager!" The ruggedly masculine form of Doc
Nostalgia turned the corner, along with a woman with a flaxen cape.
"Waken in the night by foreboding, and when we went to face it--!"
"Lady Lass, Doc Nostalgia, and Golden Age Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature
Man!" said the mysterious woman. "Never did I expect to be part of such
a collection of titans!"
"You have the advantage of us, my lady!" said GAVDSCM.
She curtsied regally. "Lady Fairplay, sir, late a defender of the
"We may all be late," said Doc Nostalgia, "if this place has its way!
Look - down the corridor!"
It came capering, a green-skinned thing, short, with a bulbous nose and
protruding ears. It wore naught but tanned hides, but in its hand bore
a wickedly sharp blade.
"What is *that*?" gasped Lady Fairplay.
"Fascinating," said GAVDSCM. "A goblin, or gob, as often encountered in
"Whatever it is, I'm going to take care of it right now!" Doc Nostalgia
strode boldly forward, but Lass Lady put a hand on his arm.
"Let me take a crack!" she said, hefting the Liberty Rifle.
"Bah!" said Doc Nostalgia. "Your constant insistence on pacifism grates
like a burr in my boot!" But he stepped back, not without a huff.
Lass Lady took careful aim. The gob was loping down the corridor,
slavering thru a wide, toothy grin. She squeezed the trigger, and a
beam of pure iridescence blazed across the gap!
The goblin fell back, dropping the blade. In a clear, human voice, he
said, "Ohhhh... anyone get the number'a that truck?"
Lady Fairplay rushed over. "Your name-- tell us your name!"
"Ugh! Marty Fairchild, atcha soivice. And-- h-hey, what?! What
Golden Age Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man stepped forward. "It seems
the man's been transformed!"
Doc Nostalgia, green around the gills, shouted, "You have to do
"Wait a moment, there's..." GAVDSCM drew a piece of paper from the
false goblin's tattered garments. In a flash, the gob's form became a
middle-aged man wearing long underwear!
Lass Lady helped Marty Fairchild to his feet. GAVDSCM stroked his chin
beneath his curtain mask. "Goblin Foot Soldier... Alignment: Always
Chaotic Evil... One attack per round, damage 1d6, slashing..." He shook
his head. "I can't make heads or tails of it!"
Lady Fairplay peered. "'Per round' reminds one of sport, like boxing,
or board games, like chess. And look - 'hit dice'. These are
instructions for a game!"
"Dungeons and goblins?" Doc Nostalgia shook his head. "Some game!"
Lass Lady gasped. The others turned to see Marty Fairchild's form
vanish into nothingness! Where he had been, copper coins clinked to the
"Vanished!" said Lass Lady.
"But to where?" asked Lady Fairplay.
"Either safe in bed," said Doc Nostalgia, an ominous glint in his eye,
A chill wind passed thru the dungeon. Golden Age Very-Disturbed-Scary-
Creature Man shivered, then realized-- "A draft! Perhaps, a way out!"
They spread out, looking for the source-- "Here!" called Lass Lady. A
stone was loose. With a mighty creak, the wall swung inward to reveal
stone steps leading down.
The heroes fearlessly descended. "Another twisty little corridor, just
like the last," muttered Doc Nostalgia.
"Spread out!" called Lass Lady. "There may yet be a way, either out -
or towards our fiendish foe!"
GAVDSCM pulled out his Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Stick, carved into
the likeness of Typhon, and tapped at the walls and floor. The stone
was of no type he could identify, seductive glimmers sparkling within
it. At one point, a floor tile dropped beneath his cane, and a great
bladed pendulum scythed thru the space before him!
Then a shout and the clangour of battle came from whence he'd come!
Golden Age Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man rushed to help!
Doc Nostalgia had grappled a great, hairy, two-legged beast with the
head and horns of a bull! Lady Fairplay was flanking it, aiming energic
jabs at its kidneys, while Lass Lady was attempting to set up a shot
that wouldn't hit her allies.
"Allow me!" GAVDSCM tossed a tiny glass vial, which broke on the
beast's horns. A pool of inky shadow engulfed its head. "Now!"
Doc Nostalgia and Lady Fairplay fell back. The beast roared and
thrashed about! Lass Lady fired, and the beast staggered. "Oh... what?
Good heavens! What's happened to me?"
GAVDSCM hung back. Might he be prevented from disappearing, from being
condemned to the awfully ambiguous fate of Marty Fairchild? But Lady
Fairplay plucked the game rules from the shaggy coat. "Don't worry,
sir, that was just a dream."
"Just a dream..." The old man in the evening gown vanished.
Doc Nostalgia rounded on her. "Do you know what you--"
"Yes, I do," she said, with a supercilious schoolmarm's demeanor
settling over her. "These people have been presented as monsters for us
to fight, not a papery puzzle. Whomever the master of this dungeon is,
his objective is battle, and anything unuseful is no longer his
"Meaning he's not done with *us*!" said Lass Lady.
And as those words were spoken, stone scraped 'gainst stone, and a new
doorway opened next to them. The stairs led into darkness.
The four eyed the stairwell with trepidation.
"We're being herded," noted Golden Age Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature
Man. "Shall we follow the proffered path?"
Doc Nostalgia crossed his arms. "My judgment seems inadequate for these
Lass Lady patted him on the shoulder. "Cheer up, chum! Your strong
right arm hasn't failed us yet!"
Mollified, Doc Nostalgia walked down into an empty room, nothing in it
but the torches on the walls. The others followed, GAVDSCM taking up
"Well, I honestly don't see the--" As soon as his boot touched the
floor, it shook with a nauseating quiver and reared up around them.
"Jumping Jonah!" shouted Doc Nostalgia. "The room itself is swallowing
Lass Lady fired pell-mell into the ground. "It's not working! This is
no human transformed, but a SOULLESS THING!"
"Then we must treat it as a rabid animal - to be put down!" GAVDSCM
grabbed a torch and tossed it to the undulating floor. A screech
reverberated thru the stone.
"Hah! Finally!" Doc Nostalgia leapt into the air, coming down with all
his strength on the thing - which burst apart, sending them tumbling
into a hell of stone and flesh!
Lady Fairplay felt a moment of vertigo and lightness, then fell with a
heavy shock thru her bones. She blacked out for a moment, then came to
atop a pile of putrid flesh. Around her were the groans of fallen
They were at the meeting of four corridors. Four empty corridors - or
were they? No - because she could hear it - a hideous sucking - she
could see it - translucent, mucoid flesh rolling, bones suspended,
lolling grotesquely - crawling, grinding down - towards them - no
escape - no escape!!
"NO!" shouted Lady Fairplay. "You have put us in your game - we have
played it! We have been winning! But to have rocks fall and surround us
with inescapable death--"
She pushed herself to her feet, arm hanging limply at her side. "That,
sir, is the tantrum of an unsocialized infant! That, sir - is NOT
A gust blew-- a tornado blew--
And when the rush of air stilled, the dungeon was gone. Golden Age
Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man stood on his roof, in the clear, cold
The next day, Prof. Board gave his good friend Taylor Gable a call.
"...and I found myself in the building's hallway, in full costume,"
said the revival theater owner who was, in truth, the dauntless Doc
"Curiouser still!" said Prof. Boarde. "One must wonder - is this
mysterious master of games gone? Or will we see his like again?"
"Well, I know one thing - we've surely not seen the last of LADY
Author's Note: Woo! LNH20 Lives!
Lady Fairplay is, in fact, an actual Golden Age comics character,
appearing in Bang-Up Comics #1-3, published by Progressive Publishers.
She's fallen into the public domain, so I decided to pull that
deliciously LNHy name and concept into a story.
"Enigma men" is a pre-Network term for net.heroes. It's based on
"mystery men", of course, with an LNHy reference to computing -
specifically, the Enigma code machine, a form of single-purpose analog
GAVDSCM's personality went in a very different direction than I
expected, but when the character tells you what they're thinking, all
you can do is listen! Also, "O. Iji Boarde" is my attempt at matching
the cheese factor of Arthur's secret ID for the original VDSCM, Dr.
Freddy N. Slip, the World's Sanest Psychiatrist.
I'm fairly sure that no one has ever been able to find out who Lass
Lady was in her civilian life, or even if she had one (thus giving her
the distinction of having a mysterious past without being angsty).
And yes, the force behind this issue's events is linked to the origin
of a certain charismatic LNHer...
GOLDEN AGE VERY-DISTURBED-SCARY-CREATURE MAN: A thin, tall man of
Eastern European descent. Wears a flowing black cape with light gray
silhouettes of mythological monsters embroidered on it. Under this, a
renaissance shirt and breeches, black buckled boots and gloves, and a
curtain mask with Medusa's face on it. As Prof. Boarde, habitually
wears natty suits and white gloves.
LASS LADY: Wears a white version of a Revolutionary-era minuteman's
uniform, expertly tailored to fit, with red and blue pinstripes and a
blue domino mask. She has freckles, blond hair, and a very curvy,
zaftig form (modern media would call it "fat" if the public didn't
*still* adore her).
DOC NOSTALGIA: A muscular, square-jawed man with hair of an odd
blue-black hue. Wears a bright blue and black version of an American
World War I Army uniform, with a black neckerchief and a blue ranger's
hat, and a circle on the chest with the letters "DN" in it.
LADY FAIRPLAY: See cover, of course!
Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, took me forever to make the cover,
but it was worth it.
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