LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #45: The Crimes of the Brotherhood Part Eight

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 23:03:13 PDT 2018

On 1/21/2018 3:58 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> And after that, we have Scott "Zagyg" Johnson and his final issue of Unlikely Aliens
> #18 and if you looked at the LNH Timeline it would seem to suggest the final issue
> of this crossover.  But having read tons of LNH stories, I know that various issues
> of Continuity Champ and an issue of System Corruptors act as kind of an epilogue.

Ahhhhh, okay. Will need to add that to the wiki. Sigh, I've been doing badly 
keeping it up, and the new wiki's been postponed due to the person who was going 
to host it having personal issues... I should just get my own VPS and run a wiki 
myself, really~

> --------From the files of Doctor Stomper------------------------------------

Ooooh, always a treat.

>      "Okay, I'll buy that," said Intern Lad.  "But how did he get from Dr.
> Meridian's office to where Dick Grayson was fighting those hoods when Dick
> had taken the Batmobile?"

Amanda and I watched Batman Forever and Batman and Robin back-to-back one night 
(because we are masochists), and our running gag during the latter was "If only 
my girlfriend, Dr. Chase Meridian, were here!"

>     "Doc, you've done it!" said Kid Recap.  "You've saved Easily-Discovered
> Man!"
>      With a growing horror of my own, I dropped the rubber chicken.
>      "Forgive me," I said.

Oh come now. X3
>      "What...what is the meaning of this?" screamed Color-Error Lad, dashing
> across the room to glance at the card, which read as follows:
>      ********************************************************************
>      ***                      Net.ropolis Local 401                   ***
>      ***                                                              ***
>      ***         Sidekicks, Henchmen & Peripheral Characters          ***
>      ***                                                              ***
>      ***                   Easily-Discovered Man Lite                 ***
>      ***                                                              ***
>      ***                           TREASURER                          ***
>      ***                                                              ***
>      ********************************************************************
>      "No!" sputtered Color-Error Lad.  "This is some kind of trick!
> Mr. Pink...Mr. Orange...Destroy them!"
>      "Sorry, boss," said Mr. Pink, while Mr. Orange whistled 'Look for the
> Union label.' "Seems as though none of us wants to lose our 40-hour week,
> legal representation in case of capture, and those nifty newsletters they
> put out every month.  Besides, it's time for our federally-mandated coffee
> break."

Of course! The most powerful tool against inane corporate bullshit - collective 

>      "If there's one thing I hate more than superheroes, it's organized
> labor," scowled Color-Error Lad, before disappearing in a flash of gold and
> magenta.

Die mad about it <3

>      "Wow, Lite," marveled Cynical Lass.  "I had no idea you were so...
> connected.  But isn't there something of a conflict of interest between your
> being a super-hero and collecting dues from henchmen?"
>      "Not at all," I said.  "The Prof here has taught me to fight oppression
> in all its ugly forms, whether it's Acton Lord or some employer who hasn't
> been paying his workers their rightful wages."

After all, there are companies out there doing straight-up evil - telecoms 
trying to destroy net neutrality, purveyors of coal and natural gas saying 
global warming is fake, military contractors funding politicians to fight peace 
- but I want every single one of their employees to be paid a fair wage. We 
fight evil on all fronts.

>      Moments later, the three of us were strolling along a beach in Monaco.
> The Prof and I sported tuxes, while Cynical Lass wore the type of low-cut,
> tight fitting cocktail dress all super-heroines are required to wear at least
> once in their career, according to some ancient and honorable by-law.

nuuuuuu ;.;

>      Fortunately, I had remembered to bring the Universal Translator I had
> "borrowed" from Kid Kirby some time ago to get me through my French mid-term.


>      "Of course you will," said the figure, throwing his arms suddenly about
> Color-Error Lad's neck.  "Now let's kiss and make up."
>      With that, the figure planted a passionate liplock on Color-Error Lad's
> lips, backing away suddenly as those lips puckered upward in a grin.
>      "There we are," the Injoker said.  "Friends again, 'til the end.  Which
> in your case should be another two minutes or so.  Take a lesson, here, my
> easily-discolored pair: never rob another man's root-barn, and always rinse
> off your poison lipstick before going on a date."

Gaaaaah. Excellent use of the character. @-@ It occurs to me that this crossover 
brings out a bunch of villains who only ever appeared as one more member of a 
team and gives them time and space.

>      The floor opened, and with a sudden swoosh the Prof and I were outside
> the Injoker's casino and lying on the beach next to Cynical Lass.
>      "You get thrown out too?" I asked.
>      "Of course not," she said.  "I won seven thousand francs and came out
> here for a smoke.


> Mehrzad was a couple of years
> older than Luka, but they'd been friends for years now, to the extent
> that Luka had been around when she'd decided her real name was infernally
> boring, and thus unofficially changed it to Mehrzad Ziafarsanji - a name
> she deemed sufficiently mysterious and exotic to fit her personality.

That's a bit uncomfortable, that.

>       Her burden of trays disposed of, Mehrzad grabbed a seat next to
> Luka, glancing at her with an appraising eye.  "Killer shades.  Lemme
> guess - walked into that door again?"
>       Luka shrugged.  "I keep on asking the old man to fix the spring, or
> at least move the coathook to some position slightly less likely to hit
> me in the eye when it slams shut, but..."  She shrugged again.  "Maybe
> after the next royalty check comes in or something."

Whereas this is... appropriately subtle. *goes get the basket full of hugs*

>       Quite frankly, a lot of people would be puzzled by the fact that she
> was so in awe of a group of people who were, quite frankly, lower-tier
> net.heroes.  There were quite a few heroes that it would be
> understandable to be impressed with - primarily members of the Legion,
> the creme de la creme of the spandex set.  And quite a lot of generally
> reasonable people were afraid of or nervous around heroes in general -
> after all, when you're prone to getting stomped on by Vali/dev, people
> tend to stay well out of the footprint radius.  However, getting mildly
> obsessed about a group of heroes who haven't really done much over the
> course of their careers is considered slightly odd by most of the
> population of Net.ropolis.
>       Luka knew that, but quite frankly didn't care.  Okay, so up until
> last fall she'd been mostly of the opinion that they were boring,
> self-important blowhards who could all just get lost without
> significantly harming anything, but this was different somehow.  (Just
> don't ask her to explain exactly why.)

Ahhhhh, she's a superhero hipster, got it. (As opposed to a hipster superhero, a 
la Jack Knight.)

>       "Much the same reason you are, I believe.  I consider myself an
> otaku among otaku - the proverbial Otaking, if you would -

Otaku no Video is such a weird thing. Half geek self-loating, half geek 
self-validation. (And I hardly need to say it, but one million times better than 
Ready Player One.)

>       Luka blinked, staring at the coins for a moment, then fumbled with
> her gothically-cool (naturally) black mini-purse attached to her belt.
> Stuff from another universe, used by the Unlikely Aliens, actually having
> _belonged_ to Zagyg...  There was no way she was going to let this
> opportunity slip by.

I mean, I'd do the same thing.

>       Luka examined the coins closely, with intense interest, looking at
> the embossments, the textures, the logos, the mild discolorations, etc.
> with the near-fanatical intensity of someone going after utterly useless
> trivia about their favorite subjects.  (All of you who know, for
> instance, what FIRRIB or FIBRIR stands for will know exactly what I
> mean.)

Oh dammit, I do. X3

> And afterwards... well, today
> Japanimation,

*kneejerk scream of revulsion, then settles back into seat*

> tomorrow, maybe network television and next Friday, the world?"
>       "Leaving the weekend free," Demented Designer mused as he stared out
> the large window looking onto the factory floor below.  "I like it."


>  the high-speed
> multi-destination VCRs turning out tapes to be distributed to stations
> and sold to kids at obscene profit margins,

With only like two fuckin' episodes per tape, of course >:/

>       "Standard plan?"
>       "Yep.  You mess with their clothes, I mess with their minds, and the
> troops pound them to a pulp.  Who knows?  It might even work this time."

Appropriately lackadasical.

>       [At this point, a description of the office would seem in order, as
> it's about to become the site of a rather large battle.  It's fairly
> large, with only two large hardwood desks positioned in the middle of the
> room, facing the picture window on the north wall.  One (Plotchopper's)
> is scattered with his 'scripts,' while the other (Demented Designer's)
> has various toys, costumes, and blueprints spread across it.  The south
> wall holds the main door to the halls and offices beyond, while the east
> and west walls are blank, with the muffled ruckus coming from the eastern
> one.  In the northwest corner, Plotchopper has set up his 'editing desk,'
> with a stack of anime videos, and his custom splicer, set up upon it.
> Several shelves along all four walls hold rows of anime videos or manga
> compilations.  The discolored rectangle of ceiling above the door will be
> ignored for now.]

Yaaaaaaay! Description!

> Easily well over six feet tall, with four arms in an
> unthreatening but ready pose, wearing an odd four-armed mustard yellow
> tunic, black pants, and a black-and-yellow bandanna wrapped around his
> head just below his catlike ears.  Come to think of it, most of the rest
> of him was really rather catlike, too.

Heeheehee. Ranma was the base of my early anime fandom (along with Sailor Moon 
ofc), so I'm feeling some nice Nostalgia Energy here.

>       Zagyg looked down at him, attempting to look impassive.  "Unlikely
> Aliens," he replied in his best imitation of Sylia Stingray in BGC #1
> (which wasn't all that good, considering that he was the wrong gender,
> speaking the wrong language, saying something almost completely
> different, and hadn't in fact seen the episode in question, or any of BGC
> for that matter.  In fact, it was just a bizarre coincidence that he'd
> stumbled across a parallel situation to that in one of the OAVs.  Either
> that or the author is really stretching for his humor but getting tangled
> in the logic of the situation.


>       "At last," Plotchopper replied.  "And about time, too."  He gestured
> at Hybrid, who immediately staggered in his tracks as the full
> discontinuity of io.iou's posts suddenly flooded his brain.  Why was Toko
> and Dezz's final exam taking all of summer vacation to get out?  Where
> did the B-Team Rangers Movie come relative to Anime Freegate?  And how
> long would Sera Monogatari drag on anyway, especially with the revamped
> rec.arts.anime.stories version of it (renamed _Bishoujo Senshi Sailor
> Comet Kohoutek_) so long-promised?  He reeled, trying to make sense of it
> all (always a mistake where Illuminati University was concerned.)

Must resist urge to find still-working archive and binge whole thing...

>       She froze for a moment.  Then her face contorted with rage.
> "HENTAI!" she shouted as she tried futilely to tug down the hem with one
> hand and leveled the other at Demented Designer, who began immediately to
> see that this tactic might not have been such a good idea.

Another uncomfortable trope, buuuuuut I might have happened to use it in Digital 
JUMP! #1 back in the day, so am I really in a place to talk? >#>

> being saved from defeat
> only by their superior skill, their great powers, and their foes' utter
> lack of any of the much-vaunted ninjitsu abilities one would expect from
> them, such as more than a bare modicum of martial arts skills and a grasp
> of tactics beyond the dogpile.


>       "Quite well," Daremo nodded.  "I hope you'll realize there's nothing
> personal in all this - a job's a job, after all, and you seem like a
> decent enough person, aside from your rather revealing attire."  Wyrd
> grumbled and resolved again to make Demented Designer seriously hurt
> before all this was over.  "So, no hard feelings for our repeated
> assaults on your person?"
>       "Not as long as you don't have any when I clobber you."
>       "Why, of course not."
>       "Much obliged."

Just another day in the Henchman Union.

>       "I see you have studied your Agrippa," Kunoichi commented, vaulting
> over Plotchopper's desk.
>       "I find it useful against Silver Midnight bladework such as your
> own," Zagyg replied, grabbing a croquet-style mallet from Demented
> Designer's desk and parrying with it.  "Masterful feint, by the way."
>       "Domo."

I do love this sort of silliness.

>       "Ha!  Now you fools are finished!" Plotchopper ranted.  "Behold, the
> ultimate product of my ingenuity and my partner's design skill, the final
> result of our Project S-ko!  Behold: the cyberninja!"
>       "Each limb is rated at over one ton of crushing strength, and
> equipped with numerous in-line weapons: laser cannons, electrical grip,
> gas charges, and more!" Demented Designer continued.  "Furthermore, she
> has been equipped with the latest in sensory enhancement packages - the
> best the supervillain black market can buy.  She is truly a marvel of
> modern design."
>       "Now - Saibaa, attack!"
>       There was a long pause.  Nobody moved.  Then, the cyberninja spoke
> in a slightly frustrated voice.
>       "Um, boss, I think you forgot one thing.  How am I supposed to reach
> the on switch with my arms turned off like this?"

Heeheehee. :3

>       Plotchopper and Demented Designer turned back to Manga Man.  "All
> right," Demented Designer shot, "since you've resisted my best up until
> now, I've got no choice."  He gestured towards Manga Man's mech,
> projecting the full strength of his redesigning ability towards it,
> straining with the effort.  "Feel the focused totality of my power!

I love it when people do this. :3 Especially with silly powers

>       "Henchmen?" Skyrunner squawked indignantly.  "The nerve!  We're
> nothing of the - awk!"

Yeah, they haven't even paid dues!

> "But here, in a domain devoted to the source of my
> power, no matter how dark and twisted you have made it, my power is
> greater than it has ever been before.  Now, feel the wrath of those you
> have mangled.  Feel the diversity of that which you have ignored.
>       "Feel the power of MANGA!"

This inspired me a lot back in the day, TBH.

>       He slammed down a tankoubon (sort of like a Japanese graphic novel)

I mean, really more like a trade paperback.
>       Manga Man smiled.  They were distracted and disoriented.  Perfect.
> "Now, for the coup de grace - shounen ai manga!"  *Slam!*
>       Skyrunner lighted on Hybrid's shoulder, leaving the ninja with the
> very scratched-up face behind.  "Yo, furball, what's all that Japanese mean?"
>       Hybrid, still bleary from Plotchopper's original assault (just when
> _would_ SNOW JOB end, anyway?), muttered, "shounen... means 'young
> man'... 'n' 'ai' m'ns... 'love'... so..."
>       Plotchopper and Demented Designer blinked.  Then they turned slowly
> to look at each other.  Their faces contorted in a mixture of shock,
> horror, and disgust.
>       "YAAAAAAHHH!"  The two of them quickly turned and ran off in
> opposite directions, trying to get as far away from each other as
> possible.

Ahhhhhh boy. ^^; Reaching peak "actually this was never really okay" levels.

>       "Now whoever fall in spring take body of young girl!  You see?"
>       No.  Oh, NO.  This could *not* be happening.

Aaaaand... achieved. ``;

>       "So, you really did a number on that guy there."
>       "Arigatou.  I thought it was one of my more inspired moments, myself."
>       "I'll say.  How long do you think it'll last?"
>       Manga Man shrugged.  "Wakarimasen.  Hot water will definitely change
> him back - but only until the next time he touches cold water.  Beyond
> that, there's ample precedent for any option.  Most curses in the manga
> were permanent, but there were some false curses that lasted only for one
> transformation.  And, of course, there's always the possibility that
> Professor Perhaps or some other member of the Brotherhood would come up
> with a cure."
>       "So in other words, it all depends on whether the next author to use
> him likes the idea or not."

> "We had help from
> an independent hero by the name of Manga Man - he was the one who
> actually cursed Plotchopper into that form."
>       "Manga Man," the sergeant said slowly.  "Would this by any chance be
> the same Manga Man who currently has over three dozen outstanding arrest
> warrants for various super-villainous crimes and misdemeanors?  The same
> one noted for a longstanding history of villainy against the Legion of
> Net.Heroes, dating back to the Cosmic Plot-Device Caper?  That Manga Man?"
>       Zagyg paused, considering this new development.


> "Say, just how much did we make from this
> caper, anyway?  Maybe if we turned enough of a profit we can keep Mr.
> Homage from having our heads on platters."
>       "Well, let's see.  There was the $20,000 seed money total between
> us.  Add in pre-orders that we'd already cleared... then deduct travel
> fees... equipment down-payments... minimal 'licensing fees' we had to pay
> to keep everything legal-looking (although I think that now that all the
> evidence is coming to light, ownership of the anime's going to revert to
> the original holders)... warehouse rental... cybernetic installation
> fees... spam... hireling bonuses... and of course the cash we skimmed off
> the top to put ourselves into fleeting luxury...  Oh, and whatever Mr.
> Homage is going to have to spend to post bail or break us out..."  He
> turned towards his partner.  "I'd say that not only did we spend our
> $20,000, we're another $20,000 in the hole."
>       "D'oh!"

Wonk wonk waaaaa~

>       Some time later, in a darkened room somewhere, a man ran a polishing
> cloth along the blade of a finely-honed katana.  On a desk before him was
> a newspaper featuring a story about a group of relative unknowns who'd
> foiled a plot by members of the Brotherhood of Net.Villains.  A
> front-page article, at that.  Admittedly, it was a small piece, below the
> 'Contaminated Gerbil Food Scare' story, but it showed promise nevertheless.
>       Relative unknowns, unaffiliated with any previously-known group, but
> with seemingly considerable power.  And of obviously heroic intent,
> despite the collaboration with Manga Man.
>       Yes, he *definitely* wanted to meet with them.

This was the last issue. Sigh. ;-;

Drew "despite all the smaller problems it's still one of my favorites" Perron

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