LNH: Retcon Year #1
mrfantastic7 at googlemail.com
Mon Apr 22 15:38:17 PDT 2019
1991. A time when no colors were too bright or too clashing, when
morally ambiguous mercenaries weren't afraid to misspell their names and
carry guns that were too big for them, when muscles were huge and
weblines were advantageous. When the Ninja Turtles were just going out
of style and the X-Men were just coming in. When Valiant was into its
first brush with relevance, and Image was just a gleam in Rob Liefeld's
cybernetic eye. When you couldn't throw a rock without hitting a trading
card series. When the Berlin Wall had just down, capitalism had won the
Cold War, history had ended and everyone had to figure out what was
coming next. When people bought and bagged and never read comics with
million-copy print runs in the certainty they'd be valuable later. When
everyone was obsessed with slime for some reason.
And when a new generation of heroes were just getting started in
LNH Non-Comics Presents
A Better-Late-Than-Never Production
Celebrating the 25th anniversary year of rec.arts.comics.creative (which
I somehow didn't realize until just now)...
LNH: RETCON YEAR
Book One: Spring
Chapter One: Say Cheesecake!
APRIL 27, 1991:
A dark shadow darted across the rooftops of Net.ropolis. He then
collapsed and started panting. He wondered how, with all the running and
swinging around they did, net.heroes ever had the energy to do anything
else. He looked down at his belly, instantly regretful of putting on
spandex. I don't really look or feel like a net.hero, he thought. No, he
told himself, a net.hero looks like whatever a net.hero looks like, so
if I am one, I do.
He couldn't help but see Burp Tower looming in the distance, like a
glass and steel middle finger raised at the whole city. A manifestation
of the pure, ugly, overwhelming power of the biggest land developer in
Net.ropolis, Y-Plex Burp. He'd knocked down the Net.ropolis Grand Hotel,
one of the city's most beloved landmarks, to build it.
When you were one of the richest and most powerful men in the city you
could be called something like Y-Plex Burp and no one would ever ask you
what it meant. You could have the power to shut down a much-loved
restaurant on a whim because you didn't like the food, and because it
was only making a reasonable amount of profit and not infinite profit. A
restaurant which happened to be the favorite of one C.E.L. Spender. And
that was what finally motivated him, after years and years of
daydreaming about it, to become a net.hero: the man called Cheesecake
He was a chef from a family of chefs that went back to the founding of
Net.ropolis, beginning with the very first Cecil Spender, whose pies
were so delicious that the very smell of them caused British soldiers to
drop dead from ecstasy. C.E.L. Spender's father could make any dish out
of any ingredients. He had once made an omlette out of burnt tires and
poison mushrooms for the Queen of England, who had pronounced it the
most delicious thing she'd ever eaten. C.E.L. Spender had all the
overwhelming talent of his family, but he could only make one thing. He
could not craft casseroles, omlettes, crepes or bouillabaisses. He could
only make one thing: Cheesecake. From the first cheesecake he ever made,
at one year old, he was clearly the greatest cheesecake maker in the
world. He could make any kind of cheesecake, including varieties that
had never been imagined before and were clearly impossible, and he could
make anything into a cheesecake. But that was all he could make. The
whole rest of the culinary world was cut off from him.
He might have called himself a mutant if he wanted to boost sales on his
comics (everybody loved mutants; nobody wanted to be one of those uncool
Avengers) but it didn't really make him feel any better. He had a highly
overspecific skill set which meant that he couldn't really make it as a
chef but he couldn't really make it as anything else, either. Then one
day, he logged onto his local BBS and found a file called "Superguy
Digest," and suddenly he had an idea.
He'd never really felt like he fit into the culinary world that his six
brothers accepted without question. Because of that, he wasn't just
going to go along with the fact that rich people could buy up something
that meant a lot to people and shut it down on a whim. Corruption is
everywhere now, goes all the way to the top... And he was going to stop
it. With the power of cheesecake. Somehow.
Cheesecake Eater Lad pulled a grapnel cheesecake out of his hammerspace
satchel and threw it at the side of the building. It exploded into a
rope made of hardened sugar. The problem was these were single use. You
couldn't reload a cheesecake, of course, that would be silly.
He pulled himself up onto the ledge and peered through the skylight
(thankfully, mobsters tended to carry out their operations in buildings
with large skylights that vigilantes could look in through). Of course.
Trading card counterfeiters. When the new wave of net.heroes had
started, the city had responded by banning comic book trading cards. But
that only meant that the mob got into the business of illegal trading
Cheesecake-Eater Lad threw himself at the skylight. It didn't budge an
inch. "What the hell was that?" said one of the mobsters below. CEL
wiped the sweat off his brow and shook his fist. You couldn't really
take a class to be a net.hero. You had to figure out all by yourself
things like how to jump through skylights, hitting them hard enough to
create a dramatic trail of shattered glass but not actually hurt
yourself or anyone else.
CEL was tempted to just cut his losses and go home but he'd spent all
this time running around rooftops and climbing up buildings so he didn't
want to let that go to waste. "GERALDO!" he shouted, and flung himself
at the window one more time. It was a perfect hit. The glass shattered
perfectly around him as he descended through the window, making a
perfect landing. The mobsters gasped in awe. "It's one of those goddamn
net.heroes!" said the first mobster. "It's uh..." He rummaged through
the cards. "Cheesecake-Eater Lad!"
Cheesecake Eater Lad stood silhouetted by the moonlight. He froze up.
He'd thought up a lot of good dramatic speeches on the way over, but now
that he was actually facing the criminals he wasn’t sure what to say.
"Uh... you’ve been killing a bunch of people and you should maybe stop."
"Like hell we will! Waste him!" The mobsters (there were maybe four of
them) raised their machine guns. Cheesecake Eater Lad yanked a smoke
bomb cheesecake out of his hammerspace satchel (you can't put
cheesecakes in an utility belt, that would be silly) and flung it at
them. The smoke burst out and made them cough and rub their eyes,
stopping them in their tracks. Unfortunately it also did the same to
Cheesecake Eater Lad. He assumed as a net.hero he'd be immune to them.
Oh well. Back to the drawing board. If he made it out in one piece.
The mobsters closed in on him. He could make out their outlines in the
dark. Now would be a perfect time to hit them... but he couldn't. The
problem was, he was basically a nice person who didn't like hurting
anyone, which would do him well in most walks of life but made it a bit
hard for him to be a net.hero.
In the thick smoke he heard a gun go off.
I guess my trading card won't be too valuable after this is done, he
YOU HAVE BEEN READING
LNH: RETCON YEAR #1
Funded by the Katzenjammer Grant for Procrastination
Cheesecake Eater Lad.....................Matthew Jotham Millheiser
Y-Plex Burp........................................Cap'n Quaaludes
J. Random Mobster #1-4..........................Jeanne Morningstar
So yeah. I'm aiming to get this out once every two weeks. I'll be
posting the first two chapters sequentially and then alternating with
Victory (so Ic an keep the same numbering, which is pleasing to my
autism brain). I'll be aiming to focus on one scene/major turning point
per chapter, sometimes splitting them up into two if they get too long,
as this one did. No schedule survives contact with reality, of course,
but I am trying to move toward posting shorter units I can get out more
quickly. Breaking the Kirby barrier, as Michel Fiffe called it.
Next: Another net.hero enters the fray!
Jeanne "The Dark Space Princess Knight" Morningstar
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