LNH20: Ultimate Mercenary v20 #1

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 10 05:18:36 PST 2012

On Feb 28, 3:58 pm, "Adrian J. McClure" <mrfantast... at gmail.com>

> Doc Nostalgia frowned authoritatively. "You're a ninja?"
> Ultimate Mercenary stood as erect and proud as he could manage. "Yes.
> I am a ninja."
> "The LNH doesn't let in killers," said Doc Nostalgia.

Everything is from UM's perspective so it isn't clear.  Is UM wearing
a full face mask?  Why doesn't DN just ask him to remove it?  Would UM
remove his mask?  Ninjas aren't supposed to remove their masks but
that's because they are assassins and people aren't supposed to know
what they look like.  But they don't wear their masks all the time
either: they have down time.  What about when UM eats in the
cafeteria?  Presumably UN only ate alone and nobody saw him take off
his mask.  It would be a bit awkward for UM to wear a mask all the
time.  There's really no reason why he should because he doesn't have
a secret identity to hide.  (UN was secretly Bandwagon Boy.)  Did UM
wear a mask the whole time he was in the mainstream LNH?

Anyway, if UM doesn't have a mask then Doc's objection doesn't make
sense: he's not a ninja assassin; he's a net.hero with ninja
training.  Even UM makes the point that he doesn't kill if he doesn't
have to.

That being said, I wish there was a scene like this for the original
UN,  Why did Continuity Champ, Rebel Yell and Lurking Girl accept
Ultimate Ninja into the LNH, especially if he always wore a mask.
We've had three storylines in which Ultimate Ninja was impersonated
(one by wReam, another by Jesse Willey [there were three UNs in his
story] and another by Arthur [the clone with wReamicus Maximus'
brain]) so having an LNHer who wore a mask all the time turned out to
be a remarkably bad idea.  And yet he became the leader of the LNH.

Not enough thought was given to character motivations back in 1992.
Like I said, why did half the LNHers join the Legion?  They were WCs
and they knew they were the writers.  For LNH20 things are a bit more
thought out.  I tried to to the same thing with LNHX: everybody had to
have a reason to want to be in the LNH, either because they had great
responsibility due to their great power or because they wanted to help
people or because all their friends were joining.

And of course nobody was getting rejected back then.  Arthur's
original WC was Slobbering Grue: he wanted Slobbering Grue on the
roster and at that point he hadn't written Jong yet.  I asked him if
he was actually going to write anything using the character: it was a
standard question that anybody would have asked.  After all, it was
unlikely that anybody else was going to use a character who'[s power
was to produce saliva.  I remember Arthur was offended.  Maybe that's
why Arthur got upset with me a few months ago: I remember he also got
upset with me when I wrote The Phantom Lettuce because he was also
writing a Phantom Menace parody and he decided he had to scrap it.

Anyway, I like the idea of characters not getting into the LNH
automatically, like with UM or with Nudist Man ("the Batman of
nudity").  I like the idea of everything being justified in story.  I
know in mainstream LNH we had those peril room scenes and characters
were accepted or approved based on their performance but here we have
an actual question of moral worthiness.  (The LNH also had a character
called Captain Napalm whose power presumably was to kill people with
napalm.  And then there was the Invisible Incendiary.  And Sarcastic
Lad.  There were probably others who were moral questionable.  Some
LNHers would have made good villains.)

That being said, I was a little bit disappointed with the ending to #3
because "I'll whip this LNH into shape" seemed a bit too reminiscent
of UN.  I see UM as a legacy character like Spiderman 2099 or Batman
Beyond or Avengers Next.  He should be his own character: sometimes he
will ask himself "What would UN have done?" but I don't think he has
to always do what UN did.  The fact is that he isn't being as well
received by LNH20 as UN was in the LNH.  If there was an opening for
the leadership of LNH20 I don't even think he'd be a candidate: he's
more of an outsider than UN ever was.  He simply doesn't know enough
about this Looniverse.  And, besides, he lost a fight to Pantra.  He's
not UN.


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