LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #52: LNH Triple 10

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 22:14:42 PST 2018

Am I going to respond to a post from March for fun? Fuck yeah I am. Everything 
Arthur's been reposting is a good read, and I'm so happy he's doing it.

On 3/11/2018 5:43 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> All good things come to an end, and so must Joltin' Jeff
> McCoskey's LNH Triple Play.  I mean at the end of the issue
> is the promise of an issue eleven involving some epic with
> the Hooded Ho'`od Wins that were running around at the time,
> but probably due to Jennifer "Mistlock" Whitson dropping off
> for a bit and by the time she returned to writing more issues
> of Misfits, Jeff was too busy writing stuff for the Omega imprint
> to go back and do that issue or issues.

Ahhhhh, fair.

> But as issues go, this is certainly a fine ending for a great
> series.  We have Golden Man in a tale probably inspired by
> Kurt Busiek's Astro City series.

Oh lovely!

> 	Abruptly, I awaken.
> 	The maddening silence of the LNH alert has not stirred my
> slumber.  It is simply the rebellion of a body having slept too long.

That's a really good line. I can see Jeff pushing at his literary leanings, and 
it makes sense that he went into Omega.

> 	None do.  At 11am, a cat is stuck in a tree.  Thirty seconds of
> coaxing Tabby into my arms, one minute of explaining who I am to the
> LNH fan who owns her.  Zero punches thrown.

Okay but this is the best thing a net.hero can do I think. Supporting the 
community. Making the world feel safer, nicer - and more colorful. Hecking worth it.

> 	11:20am.  A fire breaks out in an abandoned tenement.  One
> minute to extinguish the blaze with Golden Breath, one minute to
> explain who I am to the Net.ropolis Fire Department.  Seven minutes
> to determine that the blaze has no taint of arson or illegal
> activity.  Zero punches thrown.

SUPER important!!! holy fuck

> 	1:30pm.  I finish a long, slow lunch.  No one sits with me,
> though I am not bad looking, nor grim 'n' gritty.  My only contact is
> explaining who I am to an LNHer who knows everyone.  Fan.Boy does not
> sit with me either.  Despite Cheesecake-Eater Lad's 'Mr. Paprika
> Cheesecake,' zero punches thrown.
> 	2:10pm.  I wander the halls of the LNHHQ.  Beautiful heroines
> pass me continually -- all untouchable.  Organic Lass fiddles with
> her wedding ring, lost deep in thought.  Ordinary Lady breezes past,
> on the way to meet Innovative-Offense Boy.  Suzy Sorority sneaks from
> Frat Boy's room, not even mustering an embarrassed lie.  I fondly
> remember Judak, Tour Guide Girl, Lurking Girl.  All with writers.
> All with lovers.  Counting one frustrated blow to the wall, one punch
> thrown.

I'm gonna be honest, neither of these paragraphs fit the overall theme. They 
both feel like a generic White Male Great American Novelist idea of desire and 
lack of fulfillment.

> 	4:20pm.  A three car pileup on the Beltway jams traffic.  Two
> minutes to clear the cars.  Thirty seconds to fly one victim to a
> hospital that accepts his HMO.

No but seriously, I feel like I'm supposed to empathize with him being 
disappointed at constantly doing meaningful, necessary work that helps people on 
a personal level. Is this what being a cis man does to you, because I'm glad I 
got out of that racket

> 	5:00pm.  I eat dinner at Net.Hero Cafe -- an eatery festooned
> with Net.Hero trivia and overpriced chicken dishes.  Eight minutes to
> explain to the maitre d' who I am, thirty minutes to get served,
> sitting as I am alone in the back.  The table reserved for visiting
> heroes is taken by Shokk the Electric Man.

I mean, okay, I realize that I'm supposed to empathize with him for doing all of 
this work and not getting recognition, especially in light of other heroes 
getting more. But there's this really unpleasant sense of fame as something he's 
*owed*, something that it's tragic for such a man to be denied. And further, 
it's played as the only meaningful "payment" you can get for such deeds.

I mean, I know this is a consciously exaggerated story, but it's also clearly a 
story that's trying for emotional resonance, and exaggerating in that direction. 
And the emotional dynamics that it's choosing to exaggerate are... toxic? Yeah, 

It feels very much like it's imitating a lot of what was considered High Culture 
at the time - stories that were emotionally raw and honest... made by awful, 
awful men. Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and the like. Men who were honest about 
being deep in the muck of toxic thought patterns, honest about the toll that can 
take on your mind, body and soul - all things people can relate to! all things 
that are important to talk about - but who were not at all willing to be honest, 
or even put in a few minutes' thought, about what might be *better*, about how 
one might move *past* those patterns and not be so awful. Self-flagellation, not 
as contrition but as excuse, wallowing so you don't have to move *on*.

*ahem* I have opinions about this sort of thing. <#< >#> And it's definitely not 
that Jeff shows any indications here of being such an awful person. But it's 
worth thinking about in that context, I think.

Let's move ahead...

> 	Net.ro City is a great town.  Sure it's got different rules
> than our home of Misery Ridge.  But for a young woman, fresh out of
> school with big ideas and bigger dreams, it's just the kind of town
> to widen one's perspective.
> 	Besides the most important rules are the same no matter where
> you go.  Keep your ears open.  Keep your mouth shut.

Oooooh. Moving to the perspective of a cynical, poorer woman. Already I'm 
excited. :D (Also I know who this is and I'm *super* excited, but I'll wait for 
the reveal.)

> 	My sister was the first one to settle here.  She took our
> family heirloom, left Misery Ridge and its moody, brooding evil for a
> more tangible, sensible corruption.  Here in Net.ropolis.

"a more tangible, sensible corruption" is an excellent reason to become a 
net.villain. There's your real literary-ness.

> 	I didn't begrudge her the theft.  Heck, a little older and
> I'd'a taken the Revampire's Amulet myself.  She was older, she had
> first crack.  Who says there's no honor among thieves?

YAY it's Revamp Lass/Hell Catalyst's sister!

> 	I wasn't stupid.  I knew who Hiatus was right away -- a member
> of the feared Brotherhood of Net.Villains.  The last petty crook that
> got in the Brotherhood's way was never heard from again.

You know, it goes back and forth whether I believe this sort of statement. X3

I feel like there's a general feeling in superhero media that getting powers 
puts you at a level Above Normal Criminals, and that someone at that level could 
easily take out as many Normal Criminals as they want. I don't feel that 
necessarily holds (they can play up the Riddler as some kind of weird Jigsaw 
murderguy-chessmaster all they want, I ain't buying it), and especially not in 
the LNH.

On the other hand, some versions of the Brotherhood have definitely been Serious 
Criminals-y enough to, at the very least, cultivate that reputation. That's 
absolutely Mister Homage's bag, f'rinstance.

> 	Revamp Lass.  I had heard Revamp Lass' secret.
> 	My sister was Revamp Lass.


> 	Keep your ears open and your mouth shut.  Not a problem.
> 	Ok, actually big problem.  Knowledge was the worst kind of
> loot.  You could only turn it into money if you talked about it, and
> then you violated rule two.  And it invariably came down to how much
> money you could get depended on how wide you'd open your mouth.

Excellent observation.

> 	This was the kind of problem you needed a wine cooler to
> settle.

"Wine cooler" is an amazing thing to throw in there.

> 	"Hey Ears, whaddya hear?" called out a coarse thug as I
> entered.  He reached out to grab a part of me with a hand I knew
> _right_ where it'd been.  Bad enough I was female in this business.
> I hadda have straight teeth too.
> 	I smacked the disgusting paw away.  "I hear prostitutes give
> you change back."  Should be enough to fend off all but the most
> brazen suitors.  This time, it was.
> 	For when it wasn't, I packed a ceremonial knife I'd nicked back
> in Misery Ridge.  Good for excising Things Man was Not Meant to
> Conjure and disemboweling persistent suitors.  Thankfully, I hadn't
> needed to do either yet.

She's pretty amazing <3.<3

> 	"Wine cooler, Ears?"
> 	"If you're out of Zima."  A hush fell on the bar.  When you're
> listening all the time like me, these hushes are about the loudest
> thing there is.  Ordering Zima's tended to draw them, but this
> silence was different.  Less disbelief, more fear.

The cultural context here is *fascinating*.
> 	"That's right Mr. Homage, if you don't pay me, I'll tell the
> LNH you've got a spy in their midst."
> 	"Amusing, child.  You make me smile.  Now let's go for the
> belly laugh -- Grim see if she is funnier being blown to bits with
> plastique.
> 	Brr.  Not the kind of Big Noise I was hoping to make.

There's some good gritty in this without breaking the LNH-iness.

> 	"Yessir, Mr. Ninja, I have it on authority that Catalyst Lass
> is being substituted with Revamp Lass on regular intervals as a spy
> in your midst.  Me?  Oh, I'm just a concerned citizen."
> 	"Well thank you citizen.  It's your type of civic-mindedness
> that makes what we do..."
> 	"Yeah, yeah, hey, if it is Revamp Lass, she may have stolen a
> family heirloom of mine.  I don't suppose you could return the
> Revampire's Amulet without having it analyzed by Occultism Kid?"
> 	"Strange request citizen, why don't you wait here in the
> detention wing...?"

That is amazing. X3

> 	Yeah, Reva was my sister, but that got her first crack at the
> Amulet.  Now we're even.  But the LNH wouldn't likely be that stupid,
> and I'd never heard them to pay a reward.

<Kid E> Man, we really should. Share the wealth!
<Casey> Wait, we have wealth?
<Mala> Actually, how is the LNH being funded right now?
<Kid E> Well, I know Toony's foundation is still dedicated to it, even now that 
he isn't Irony Man anymore. Otherwise... hm. Worth a story! :D

> 	I waited in my sister's living room, hidden behind the couch.
> Catalyst Lass/my sister lay on the floor, Hiatus' glowing green
> effect still on her.  My ears were open and my mouth shut.  I could
> tell because I was safe and poor.


> 	I 'innocently' (Yeah I still know what it means.  I do
> crossword puzzles don't I?)

Such good characterization.
> 	I struck first in the surprise department.  "Reva are you home?
> I...oh!  Who are you?!"  If little sisters are good at nothing else,
> we're good at false, innocent surprise.


> 	"I am Hiatus of the Brotherhood of Net.Villains!"  His voice
> cracked as he tried to sound impressive.  Sap.


> 	"B-but they look so alike.  Perhaps if I had my family heirloom
> -- it's presence would let our sisterly love shine through."  I knew
> sis was out of it when that claxon of hypocrisy didn't wake her.
> Heck, that even rang false in my ears.

Amazing. <3

> 	The Net.Villain hissed as he brought the Amulet out of his
> pocket.  "This damned thing?  It cursed her in the first place!  Now
> it can save her?  Take it!"  The sap tossed me the Revampire's
> Amulet, just like that.  She must have told him what it was.  I don't
> remember which Catalyst Lass I chose, but I made it convincing.
> 	Next stop, far from Mr. Homage and the Brotherhood.  Poor Reva.
> She never knew when to keep her mouth shut.

And it ends there, because it's her story. Fabulous.

> 	(_)nce upon a time there an average looking young woman who
> possessed a piece of jewelry older than many civilizations.  It was
> the color of congealed blood in candlelight, its burnished silver
> scrollwork artistic yet unsettling.
> 	|-|er story is that it was a family heirloom passed from mother
> to daughter at a touchingingly detailed coming of age ceremony.
> 	|-|er story is a lie.  Three months ago she stole it from her
> sister, who had stolen it from her mother.  In those three months she
> had debated using it as had her sister, and come to no conclusion.
> She is no closer to a decision now than three months ago.

a.) And a new story begins~
b.) Ohhhh, this is I, Revampire, isn't it? :> I can tell by the ASCII-art 
illuminated lettering.

> 	I watch them fly by.  The LNH, with their flight.thingies --
> you could set your watch with their sonic booms tolling the hour it
> seems.

No way, they're way less organized than that o3o

> 	Me, I care.  I like peeling off a slice for myself when nobody's
> looking.  I like grabbing what ain't mine -- always seems a little
> sweeter.  And the only way to support that kind of lifestyle is to
> steer clear of the LNH.  Which ain't so easy if you become a super-
> villainness, no matter how far you keep from Net.ropolis.  Even
> Misery Ridge isn't immune to spandex.

God, I should use this characterization.

> With my lifestyle there's no running-about in
> cheap lingerie/"Dudly save me"/pressing hands to cheeks.  I'm ready
> to bolt at the drop of a hat.  Amulet in pocket, boots on, cap over
> face, and I'm ready to drop out the window to the dumpster out back.

SO good.

> 	Hiatus, you're a Net.villain.  You'll be my decision.  You stay
> out of jail, out of a Net.Hero's hair for one day and I'll follow my
> sister's footsteps.  You get nabbed, and I'll go back to Misery Ridge
> and petty larceny.  My human coin toss.


> Suddenly the bar doors flip open.  The harsh
> daylight silhouettes a man in a flapping coat, holding a large staff.
> 	"Once I would have thought it bad form to drink before noon..."
> 	"Crap, the Dvandom Stranger!" peals out someone, and the bar
> clears out.  RobGoblin gets tangled in the table, trapping him and
> Hiatus.  This is gonna be the shortest decision process on record.
> 	The newcomer steps out of the light.  "Dvandom Stranger?  Hell
> no, I'm the Phantom Walker.  And I just want a drink.  Anyone lose a
> yardstick out front?"  He passes my human coin toss and nods with a
> smirk.  "You gentlemen keeping your noses clean?"
> 	They nod and rush out.  Well, score one for the villains.

*snerk* That's great.

> Works for me, gets me in to an air vent while
> Hiatus has an audience with his new boss, Lagneto.
> 	"Frankly, Hiatus, I'm not concerned with your emotional
> problems.  The Brotherhood asked me to step in and run this as a
> business.  That's what I'm doing.  Revamp Lass became either Hell
> Catalyst or Catalyst Lass -- get over it."  Tell 'im.  I have.  "Now
> get out and turn a profit or I'll have to research some of Mr.
> Homage's old performance counselling procedures."

I feel like this is Lagneto very much in "trying to do net.villain right and 
getting slowly emotionally fucked up by it" mode.

> 	Ugly Girl and Girlwatcher make quick work of the jewel
> thieves.  Hiatus was staking out the joint for a robbery of his own
> when it got hit by these amateurs.  Did they forget what city they
> were in?  A daylight robbery?  Nice call Mr. Bell.

It's a good point. X3

> As they lead the
> thieves to their waiting flight thingie, Girlwatcher looks right at
> me!  Even though I'm hidden across the street, behind a dumpster,
> dressed like a bum!

NICE use of the particular character.

> One of the thieves drops a sack as they toss
> him into the plane.  It lands right at Hiatus's feet and nobody notices
> but me.  The LNHers fly off.  The crowd leaves.  Hiatus beats feet
> with a fortune in jewelry.
> 	Unreal.  The guy is a nervous sap and it just falls into his
> lap.  Maybe there is something to this game.  If nothing else it puts
> you in the right places for this kinda stuff to happen.

Excellent justification. :>

> 	The Barkeep nods to one of the men at Hiatus's table.  The guy
> gulps, stands up, then breaks for the back door.  They're on him, of
> course.  Ugly Girl kicks him really hard where we girls all learn to
> kick first.  There's no fight after that.  With some menacing looks
> to the crowd, they walk out again with their prisoner.
> 	"What's that all about?" I ask a thug at the next table.
> 	He smiles with three teeth.  "This place can't afford ta cross
> the Brotherhood.  Bartender picks who gets beat on instead."
> 	"But he'll go to jail."
> 	"Nah, they got nothin' on 'im.  Beatin's the worst part.  That
> was a nasty kick he got, but 'least with the Legion he gets ta keep
> 'em..."

Is "beating" really what yr average net.hero would do? Then again, this was a 
fight that was ended with one blow, so, I suppose that makes sense...

> 	"Why are you following me?!  Don't you know who I am?"  He
> sounds more scared than I am.  Makes him kick that much harder
> though.  I roll away.  The Revampire's Amulet will let me fight back
> at least equal to this turkey, probably better.

Sure, why not?

> 	The gold trail dissolves as he stops flying forward.  Then he
> darts off in another direction, chased by his golden tail.  Amazing!
> I know he saw us!  With a motif like that he had to be one of the Big
> Boys.  But he just flew away!

Ahhhhh, links right back into the opening story. Very nice. :>

> 	I look over at Hiatus, mounting another attack.  He recognizes
> me and stops.  This Villain couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag
> without using his 'hiatus beams.'  He can't plan, he's a boaster, and
> he's got insecurity that would fill a vault.  Plus he's lucky and has
> the protection of the Brotherhood.
> 	I can do better than this.

Yesssss. Follow that feeling, girl! :D

> 	He speaks to me.  "You're Revamp Lass's sister, aren't you?"
> 	I smile to him.   "No.  I'm the _new_ Revamp Lass.

Dun dun dunnnn...

Drew "and POST!" Perron

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