REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #97 - January 2012 [spoilers]

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Thu Mar 1 01:04:50 PST 2012

On Mar 1, 11:00 am, "Adrian J. McClure" <mrfantast... at>

> And that, incidentally, is the reason I'm not really feeling
> Generation 2.0. I don't feel like I know these characters even at the
> most basic level. Most of them don't even feel one-dimensional yet.
> The exception is Wikipedia Brown--I liked the scene where he nit-
> picked the trolls in #5. But essentially, I have no idea who these
> characters are six issues in. I don't have a sense of their
> characteristic dialogue patterns, the way they relate to each other or
> the rest of the team, or what they're doing on the team.

I sort of feel the same way about Menace.  The way the members were
introduced, as part of a larger crowd, I have no idea who they are and
how they relate to each other.  I guess we'll have to see if I have an
idea six issues in who they are.  That being said, I think we have
enough information with which we can define relationships in
Generation 2.0.

Amazon Lass and Walter Brown: She's not surprised when she wakes up in
the infirmary and finds him there.  She asks if he had been there all
night.  So there's some vague relationship established there.  In #4
though it is clear that they are just good friends: they can argue and
it doesn't get nasty.  But then in #5 she shows some concern for him
when he says that he's the one to handle the troll.

May Nguyen and Edward Boyd: There's also something going on here.
When Edward and May first meet, Edward tells the receptionist that he
knows her so the receptionist won't give her a hard time and ask her
to leave.  Jay is pretty much invisible at this point and this is
deliberate: even though he came to the U.S. at a young age his mother
tongue is Vietnamese and he lets May do all the talking, only butting
in when he needs clarification and wants to offer clarification.  In
any conversation between May, Jay and a third person, May is going to
dominate the conversation and Jay is going to simply add annotations.
So you don't know what Jay is all about and that can't be helped.
Actually, he should probably be more dominant because he's the male
sibling so she really should be doing as he says and not the other way
around but so far they haven't had a disagreement to test their
relationship so he ends up falling her lead.  This may change.  In #4,
Edward gives May a flower to cheer her up and she thanks him.  How did
Jay feel about this?  Let's just say that not everybody goes out
seeking conflict.  Jay knows that Edward, Walter, Juliana and George
are helping them and he wouldn't want to upset the status quo.  If
Edward and May were to start dating, however, well, frankly, I haven't
thought things out that far.  I'll worry about that if and when I come
to it and then Jay's reaction will depend on the situation at the

May and Jay: Their parents are dead but what about other relatives?
They must have been raised by an aunt and uncle after their parents
death but we haven't seen them.  So how do they know that General Tran
was behind their parent's death?  How were they killed?  Actually, I
have an idea now how their father was killed but I didn't have it
worked out when I wrote #6 so that was a missed opportunity.  But,
then again, a stranger comes up to you and asks you to relive a moment
of your life why would you chose to relive such a traumatic event?  I
had it in the back of my mind that they may regret not taking the
opportunity to relive it because it would have provided them with a
clue that could help them pin their parent's murder on General Tran.
But at that particular time they were more interested in their own
privacy which I think is understandable.  Besides, there's the issue
of how to portray the death of a character's parents at the hand of a
gunman and not have it come across as a Batman parody.  I think I
would need to work out the details some more and avoid the cliche of
them all walking home one evening after a night of opera.  I'm just
not ready yet to tell that story because I haven't worked out what the
details should be.

Walter and Edward: They are best friends and they are both a bit nerdy
but Edward is way, way more outgoing than Walter.  Walter comes off as
a bit full of himself but he doesn't mean to: he's just that smart.  I
think if he wasn't in the LNH he would be inventing Facebook and
telling people if they had invented Facebook then they would have
invented Facebook.  Which is true: it's just not what people want to

Okay, so that leaves Google Lad.  He said “I used to be the sidekick
of Google Man.  Actually, Google Man didn’t have any super powers: he
was just a good fighter.
He relied on me to find the bad guys.  You see, I have the ability to
find anything or anyone just by thinking about them.  On my last
mission with Google Man… He was killed by the Yahoo.  I don’t think
anybody here wants to see that.”  Again, I think that makes sense.
There's no mystery about Google Man's death so there was no missed
opportunity there.  One question might be how Google Man recruited
Google Lad or, for that matter, why Google Man called himself Google
Man if it was Google Lad who had the power to find things.  That's
actually a good question.  Maybe he started out as Googol Man where 1
Googol is 10 to the power 100.  Not exactly Infinity Man but, then
again, none of us are.

> I forget who said this, but one of the best pieces of writing advice
> is that you have to know what your characters want. That helps them be
> active and also ensure that they have an individual presence in the
> story, that it's actually about them and not just a story that could
> involve anyone. From this point of view, #6 was a missed opportunity.
> Martin gets into the characters' origins, but only in the most basic
> level. He doesn't really answer the question of why they wanted to
> join the LNH. Well, for Google Lad I guess it's obvious enough--he's a
> legacy hero, and he wants to take revenge for his mentor and associate
> with other net.heroes. And May and Jay aren't really members yet. But
> the others--why did they become net.heroes rather than using their
> powers for other purposes? Why did they join the LNH rather than using
> their powers for other purposes? Obviously, I tend to get very in-
> depth into characterization, but you don't have to spend quite as much
> time on introspection as I have to establish that. For instance,
> Pantra will never have a backstory, and she's rather averse to
> introspection, but it's clear what she wants from life: causing
> trouble and fighting things. What about the members of Generation 2.0?

Oh but, as I've said before, that's a problem with Classic LNH too.
Why does Cheesecake Eater Lad become a Net.Hero?  He has the power to
make and eat cheesecakes.  How about Bad Timing Boy?  That was a
problem I had when I was writing Generation Y.  (I should mention at
this point that Generation Y was based on a plot given to me by Drizzt
waaaay back in June 1993: he didn't have net.access over the summer
and he said that he had this idea for a story starring the "Sidekick
Squad" and consisting of Bad-Timing Boy, Squeaky Clean, Insomnia Lad
and Typo Lad with the Fanboy King as the villain.  I added Echo Lad,
Continuity Champ Junior and Pizza Girl and called them Generation Y
but the basic concept was Drizzt's.)  I explored Bad-Timing Boy's
motivation in Generation Y #0.  Maybe I need a Generation 2.0 #0.
That seems to be where this is going.


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