LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #97: FLAME WARS IV Part Four

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Mar 19 11:32:30 PDT 2019

On 3/10/2019 4:51 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> FLAME WARS IV #2 by Saxon Brenton and Jamie Rosen continues OMAR potty
> mouth rampage.  But how will the Net.God of trolling do against -- a Special
> Bonding Boy hug attack?


>       Listen.
>       There is a world beyond our world.

God that's a strong fucking opening.

>       Beside him Chinese Guy dropped into a stance from which he could
> either attack or defend, while activating his LNH comm.thingie to alert
> Ultimate Ninja to this latest development. On Chinese Guy's shoulder
> Lenny the squirrel had fluffed himself up and was baring his teeth.


>       The response from the newcomer was to throw abuse at CGuy. Anal-
> Retentive Archive Kid, however, breathed, "OMAR," in an undertone that
> was part adoration and part imprecation of loathing.

That's kinky as hell.

>       "Cheesecake-Eater Lad, cover ARAK will you?" said Chinese Guy
> casually. "Don't let him happen to anybody, okay?"

That's such a good line.

>  "Donkey Kong barrel roll,"
> he cried as he swept in under the troll and knocked him off his feet.
> "Double-barrel overarm hooter fling," he continued as he stuffed
> two fingers up OMAR's nose and threw the creature across the room.


>       Then, "Eeewww. Troll boogers!" Chinese Guy complained as realised
> the disproportionate amount of mucus that had gotten onto his hand during
> that last attack sequence.

X3 X3 X3

>       "Crikey. He's fast *and* strong," CGuy noted as he tried to dodge
> chunks of concrete the size of his own torso. His series of
> back-flips were almost all successful... right up until the last one.

Oof, that's a good way to put that. X3;

>       "Harhar, *loser*!" OMAR cackled sarcastically as he tossed another
> piece of debris from one hand to another in an anticipatory way. "Let's
> see you frickin' well get out of this."

Frickin'? I would've thought he'd have had more punctuation-censored swears.

>       A force bolt blew the chunk of concrete to rubble even as it was
> being held in OMAR's wrinkled green hands. "You will do *nothing*, minion
> of Flipseid," pronounced the stentorian voice of Kid Kirby as he strode
> into the remains of the lobby, accompanied by a number of other
> Legionnaires.

YEAH! Surprisingly, Kid Kirby doesn't get to fight Net.Gods often?

>       OMAR laughed. It was not a pleasant laugh. It was not the self-
> deprecatory laugh of someone who has just realised that they are in
> deep trouble and is trying to make out that the whole thing had been a
> joke. Rather, it was the laugh of someone who thinks that you are a fool,
> and doesn't care if you know it or not.


> "You stupid %$#(* $# @*&^%. You
> think you've got the better of *me*! Watch this, +*&$ers!" OMAR reached
> out with gnarled hands and groped at the air. Around the room anything up
> to third of the Legionnaires who were present clutched at their heads in
> pain, and before the eyes of the others as these unfortunate net.heroes
> joined Anal-Retentive Archive Kid in being twisted into horrible little
> green troll clones as well.

Oh man. That's quite a lot.

>       "He is the net.god of trolling," Kid Kirby declaimed, ignoring his
> loathsome adversary's taunts. "Each attack of flame and abuse serves
> naught but to make him stronger!"
>       Then the Kirbian leapt at OMAR, closing the ground between them in
> but a fraction of a second and pummelling the green troglodyte. "What is
> needed is the Zen of comic book fighting," Kid Kirby continued, smashing
> his gauntleted fists into OMAR's mouth and giving him no opportunity to
> react. "A battle whose motive force is neither the fear nor hate upon
> which this creature thrives, but instead the pure dynamic energy of
> masterly graphic design! Behold as I call upon the power of the story-
> telling skill of Jack Kirby, and we are carried inexorably from panel to
> panel in the narrative sequence by the powerful sense of composition!"


>       Kid Kirby turned to IOBoy and said, "Go now. Make use of your
> abilities against those lesser trolls who can be overcome by your flames.
> Needs be that others must deal with their master." Innovative Offense Boy
> gave Kid Kirby a nod, and turned to aid the other Legionnaires with the
> troll clones.

I'm not sure if the story is going to say, but right now, I'm thinking IOB isn't 
affected by OMAR's trollification because he expresses his anger so freely, 
without trying to ignore it, dismiss it, or push it down.

>       How dare they? OMAR fumed at the hubris of these mortals. How DARE
> they!?


>       Kid Kirby righted himself and assumed a battle stance. But he did
> not attack. Not yet. "You are powerful, o master of hate," he declaimed.
> "But methinks your power comes from outside sources. How many innocents
> have you corrupted, how many old wounds have you ripped open to bleed
> red and raw to feed your furnaces of animosity?"
>       Kid Kirby wasn't expecting a coherent answer from the alien god,
> and didn't get one. For his part he began drawing forth incomprehensible-
> looking technology from the reaches of the Kirby Zone, planning to build
> a blocking device that would sever OMAR from his source of artificial
> power. But as the innumerable pieces of technological-seeming stuff
> appeared and floated majestically at his command, Special Bonding Boy
> appeared by Kid Kirby's side and said, "If that's so, then maybe I can
> be of help."
>       Kid Kirby glanced at the empath and immediately saw the logic in
> Special Bonding Boy's offer. It was such an obvious plan. But would SBB
> have the *power* to implement it? No matter; it was a brave plan and
> worthy of the Kirbian's respect. "As you see fit," he said.

That's a GOOD sequence. :D

>       Special Bonding Boy simply shrugged, since he had not really
> expected any better from the alien flamer, and then did his stuff.
>       At this point, let us make a digression about the nature of love...

That's such a good transition.

>       There are many types of love - ranging from eros, erotic love,
> through amor, romantic love, to agape, divine love. The one we are
> interested in here is philos, brotherly love. The love of the rest of
> humanity. For many net.heroes it is the basis of their motivation to
> dress up in long underwear and fight crime - only the vengeance obsessed
> Dark Avengers fall outside of its aegis. It is the type of love that
> makes you want to throw your arms around the world and teach it to sing
> in perfect harmony. Or at least buy it a Mr. Paprika.
>       And it should go without saying that Special Bonding Boy is *very*
> good at doing philos.
>       OMAR screamed as if he had been dunked in acid.

GOD I FUCKING LOVE THIS. :D :D :D This is the kind of emotional engagement I 
come here for!

> Even the lowliest of
> Flipseid's minions is a force to be reckoned with."
>       "Then how could he have been affected by Special Bonding Boy at
> all?" Fearless Leader asked.
>       "Because he had absolutely no defences against love," explained SBB.
> "If you want we could go into an extended discussion on how 'Love
> Conquers All' is a fundamental comic book principle - it certainly is in
> the Kurt Busiek books - but that would only explain how it could be
> strong enough to affect him at all. The true crux of the matter is that
> OMAR doesn't understand anything but hate. He isn't even one of those
> manipulators who can use love and affection by twisting it into
> interesting ways to mess people up. He literally can't understand it,
> let alone defend against it."

This came back really nicely in LNH v2 #50. :D

> Halfway down the corridor, there was a cry of
> "Cheesecake-Eater Lad!" and C-ELad was bowled over by something big and
> hairy.
>       "Whaooofff! Huh? Hey, Barnabas!


>       "You're right," C-ELad agreed sadly. Then a thought occurred to him.
> He turned to Captain Rat Creature and asked, "You came here with your
> sister, you said. Does she know you're playing at being a net.hero?"
>       "I am not *playing* at anything," replied Captain Rat Creature with
> an attempt at immense dignity.


>       "I THink I am missing someTHing."

...not to be dickish but... has anyone ever written Alliterative Lass who knows 
how alliteration works? @-@

>       "BRANB'SS!!!" came an angry cry. Captain Rat Creature cringed. The
> two LNHers looked up to see another space hamster stalking towards them.
> "I have been looking *everywhere* for you! And what do I find you've been
> doing? Sneaking off and having silly #@*&ing fights with these dirty
> *humans*..."
Ohhhhh that's gotta be *hard as hell* for him @-@

>       Just as Cheesecake-Eater Lad was about to let loose with his cheese-
> cake dispensers, Captain Rat Creature threw a pawfull of silvery dust at
> aLLiterative Lass and Re'quee. Within a few seconds they were unconscious
> on the floor."
>       "Sleep spell," muttered Captain Rat Creature, sitting down heavily
> on his haunches.


>       Theory Man's reply was cut off as OMAR struck back and nuked
> Net.ropolis, killing all of the Legionnaires horribly.


>       Already at the back of his mind he was working out rationalisations
> about how the LNH had cheated and their victory 'didn't count'.


>       OMAR reached out, and across the planet he could feel the millions
> upon millions of people who had already embraced his apostleship of hate.
> The feeling was wonderful, and the power he received from their hate was
> normally more than enough to energise him against any opponent. Now the
> net.god of flaming began drawing on that power, sucking it in with a
> brutal force. Many of his troll clones wavered or even collapsed as wave
> of enervation swept over them. Some of them dropped dead as their life
> force was totally given over to hate and drained away completely.

Holy shit. :o That's so much!

>       It took but a few minutes, and then OMAR held in his hands a pulsing
> ball of red light that throbbed in time to his own evil heart-beat. It
> was emotion given physical form, loathing and anger and disgust converted
> to raw energy - hate made manifest.

Reverse Spirit Bomb

>       From where OMAR stood on a mountainside some seventy kilometres to
> the south-west of Net.ropolis, he could distantly see the skyscrapers of
> the central business district in their haze of smog. He stared at it for
> a while, fixing the image in his mind and letting his anger at the Legion
> build and fester. Then with a bellow of rage he hurled the red sphere
> towards the city center. Guided more by the 'targeting system' of what
> OMAR felt hate against than by any physical trajectory, the sphere
> catapulted toward its victim.

This is really genuinely spectacle-y in a Good Way.

>       The actual detonation occurred a few hundred meters above
> RACC.Arthur Park, not too far from the Legion's headquarters. In an
> instant the city center was vaporised, as OMAR's hate exploded like an
> ersatz nuclear bomb. The lord of hate was not adverse to making use of
> natural phenomena, especially since it would leave the city contaminated
> and unclean for untold generations to come.
>                                 +-+=+-+=+-+
>       "STOP!
>       "THAT!" yelled Retcon Lad.

:D :D :D That's such a good undo.

>       A grimacing Retcon Lad was standing in the middle of the hall, with
> his arms outstretched as if to hold onto something by main force. Sparks
> of red and blue drama were crawling down his arms and earthing themselves
> in the floor.

DAMN. Yes. That's so cool.

>       "No RL," said Hell Catalyst, drawing a sharp look from Retcon Lad.
> She drew up to him and said, "Don't let him antagonise you into making
> stupid mistakes. You don't have to fight him alone. *None* of us have
> to fight him alone." She laid a hand on his arm, causing the red and
> blue sparks to run down her body as well as they their way down to earth
> themselves in the floor. "We are the Legion of Net.Heroes. United, we
> cannot be defeated. When you need help against the villains, all you have
> to do is ask."
>       Retcon Lad felt her willpower add to his in the pseudo-plausible
> way that these things happen in comic book universes. Silently Theory
> Man stepped up on the other side and also gripped an arm, tripling the
> available determination. Cheesecake-Eater Lad and Captain Rat Creature
> joined them.
>       The battle of wills that followed was short lived. Together they
> visualised an implacable wedge that drove at OMAR's mind. The little
> alien resisted briefly, and then there was a sensation like the snapping
> of some gigantic circuit breaker. The sense of OMAR's presence and the
> resistance he was putting up vanished.


>       "Fine then," said Hell Catalyst, who was more or less cruising on
> an adrenalin high by this point and felt that she could face one more
> threat to the continued existence of everything with equanimity.

Big mood! :D

>       "Theory Man, can I have a Theory on why the bottom isn't going
> to fall out of reality like the bottom out of a wet paper bag as soon as
> I relax my metaphysical grip?" Retcon Lad asked.
>       Theory Man looked a little startled. "Ah. Are you sure that's wise?
> If the universe decides to disagree with me... well, this is a life-or-
> death situation..."
>       "...And we'll be done for. Yes. But look at it this way: anything
> you can do increases our chance of survival up to a massive fifty
> percent," said Retcon Lad with a calm that was almost surreal.


>       "Yes," agreed Theory Man. "Which reinforces my point. So. I would
> therefore hypothesise that since Retcon Lad is returning Net.ropolis to
> a default state in general rather than making changes to it for his own
> advantage in specific, that any damage that his powers would normally
> do to reality will be mitigated by the Looniverse's tendency towards
> maintaining it's continuity."
>       Retcon Lad nodded and slowly drew in his arms from their
> outstretched position. He had a searching look on his face, and then his
> expression cleared into a smile. "Good job, TM."

NICE. <3 <3 <3 Good use of science metafiction!

>       A small green man walked up to the gates. Hernandez challenged his
> presence and was about to put him under arrest when the ugly little
> creature looked up at him in irritated surprise and spat out, "Oh, just
> kill this dweeb."
>       Whereupon Hernandez was stabbed in the back.
>       As he fell to ground Hernandez got a good look at the other guards,
> Williams and Cholowski. They had green faces twisted into hideous rictus
> grins, and the knives that they had just used to rip open Hernandez's
> back were covered in blood. And then Corporal Hernandez died.

JEEZ. I feel like there's a whole tonal thing going on with OMAR being based 
around harshness and brutality.

>       Dr Bad-Bedside-Manner whistled. "Well, this little troll clone sure
> looks in a bad way. I'd say he's pretty much a goner."
>       "He *is* a goner," snapped Organic Lass. "Subplot Lad here just
> died within the last two minutes. Look at this."

Oof, died without a single line in the crossover. That's harsh.

>       "So," said Dr Bad-Bedside-Manner, "We've gone beyond ripping off
> 'Eclipso: The Darkness Within' and into 'The Last Laugh'." He frowned.
> "And it looks like the Writers want to celebrate the Legion's 10th
> anniversary with a bloodbath."

I feel like in some parts, though, the harshness and brutality seeps into the 
whole story?

>       During the development of this series one topic that came up was
> going to be to addressed - at least in part - the issue of the cumbersome
> size of the Legion of Net.Heroes, and putting forward an opportunity
> to... prune... it a bit.

And this in particular I have never understood. The size and open-ness of the 
Legion is part of the fun. It's not like the JLA, where you Gotta fit all of the 
people into every story; it's a whole community, a city full of superheroes 
where so many stories can be told. I feel like this is yet another round of 
judging the LNH by the standards of normative Serious corporate-published 
superhero stories, and that's a mold that it just doesn't fit.

>  A small banner
>           on the left proclaims, in green dripping letters against
>           a fiery backdrop, "A Flame Wars IV tie-in!", but scrawled
>           messily above that is "Not Much Of".]


>    It was a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. The birds were shining, the
> clouds were singing, and there wasn't a sun in the sky.

Yeah I-- what?

(Also this is amazing compared to the tone of the last story. X3 Doesn't feel 
like it fits, but in a good way.)

>    "But I still don't understand why we want to go to the hospital instead
> of back to LNHHQ," Blue Wave said. "Surely the Legion must have some sort of
> medical facilities." He stood out because of the cerulean spandex uniform
> he was wearing.
>    "Don't be stupid, unless you want Normy here poked at by Dr.
> Bad-Bedside-Manner or something. Trust me, you don't wanna go there,"
> answered Starts-Arguments-For-No-Apparent-Reason Kid. "The first rule of
> being a Net.Hero is 'whenever mysterious forces are afoot, don't go back to
> the base because something bad is going to happen to it.'"

I would object but, yeah, pretty much.

>    "..." added the Normalizer. "..." He stood out because he was unconscious,
> and being carried by his two teammates as they ran as quickly as they could.

I love that so much. X3

>    "I was under the impression," Blue Wave said between heavy breaths, "that
> the first rule of being a Net.Hero was to do your best, serve good, and never
> give up."
>    "Bzzt." SAFNAR Kid rolled his eyes. "First, those are *three* rules.
> Second, they're rules number six through eight. How're you going to follow
> those rules if a time traveling alien criminal mastermind from another
> dimension has poked a couple of extra airholes in you?"

Also excellent points.

>    The Normalizer nodded. Well, actually his head just bounced up and down in
> response to his friends having to run over a pothole. "..." he said.

X3 X3 X3

>    Blue Wave considered his allies' words. "But then... what are rules two,
> three, four, and five?" he asked.
>    "That's classified information."


>    When they got to the hospital, the nurse manning reception waved them right
> on to the 'Net.Heroes and Net.Villains Ward'. Unfortunately, that just meant
> trading a three day wait for a two hour one.

The American health care system!

>    The nurse made a second tick on her clipboard. "Mysterious ailment or
> over-exertion?"
>    "Over-exertion, we think," said SAFNAR Kid as politely as he could manage.
> Hey, he may be argumentative, but he's not dumb enough to start arguing with
> a nurse working the Net.Hero ward.


>    "Dump'im here," she said, attaching her clipboard to the end of the
> gurney, then turning to walk away.
>    "Wait!" Blue Wave called. "Aren't you going to examine him?"
>    "Meh." The nurse kept walking.

Compassion fatigue is a serious problem among mental health professionals~ I 
imagine in the middle of OMAR-ness it must be even more so.

>    Blue Wave looked down at the prone form of the Normalizer. He looked so
> peaceful, so serene...
>    *Did I look like that?* Blue Wave wondered. *When I was stranded in
> Ant.alt.ica, in cryogenic storage and transported across the dimensions...
> did I look like I was having a pleasant dream?*


>    After a few hours, the Normalizer's gurney was moved from one side of the
> hallway to the other to make room for that of Captain Hypochondriac, who was
> currently experiencing chest pains, heart palpitations, a shortness of
> breath, and a general contempt for the modern constabulary.

All Constabulary Are Bastards

>    After a few hours, the Normalizer's gurney was moved from the end of the
> hallway to the middle, to make room for the water balloon fight the hospital
> staff decided to have.


> Several days later...

...is FWIV over now? X3 Let's just ignore this caption

>    The room was dark, but that was not hindering the two intruders in any way
> thanks to their genetically modified night vision.

Oh, wait, I forgot this part. *edits Norman French and Negative Manny's pages*

>    "Bah, yu are alwayz so nehgativ."
>    "And you? You're the one with the worst French accent I've ever seen. Er,
> heard," said the bandaged one. "Just because our boss is French, that's no
> reason for you to put on that accent."


>    "I suppose I could be wrong. C'mon, let's get this guy out of here -- I
> just know we'll get caught if we stick around too long."
>    As if on cue [Naaah -- Ed.], the Etc. Ward's lights came on, revealing
> five figures standing arrayed against the villains.
>    "I told you sooooo!" howled Negative Manny.

I feel like that's his catchphrase.

>    "Halt, evildoers!" cried Captain Hypochondriac. "For I fear that today I
> suffer from chronic buttkicking syndrome, and an intermittently disappearing
> accent! If you do not flee now, you will suffer the symptoms of the former."

X3 <3

>    "I zink not!" proclaimed Norman French, twirling his mustache
> Francophonily.


>    "Then you leave us no choice," asserted Internal Bleeding Boy, clutching
> at his side. "Legion that Needs the Hospital, attack!"

X3 Two not-Legions in a row! I love it!

> Embarassing Personal Injury Lad
> leapt from an unoccupied hospital bed at Norman French, but overshot his
> target and landed, sprawled out on his back, on a tray of medical implements.
>    "Erk... I seem to have something... uh... stuck..." he said, trying
> and failing to reach the offending object.


>    "Honh honh honh," Norman French laughed Frenchily, twirling his mustache
> again. "Zeess is zee famous 'Legion'?"
>    "No," whispered Negative Manny.
>    "Oh. Vell zen..."


>    Before the dastardly doer of devilish deeds could finish his sentence, he
> was struck broadside by the Incredible Unshrinking Man -- and we mean it was
> a *very* broad side.
>    "You wouldn't happen to have anything to eat?" the Gluttonous Good Guy
> asked, munching on a turkey drumstick. "I'm starving."

Less fat jokes plz

> NEXT ISSUE: Well, hang on now. Weren't you reading that teaser up there? Go
> read Flame Wars IV #<x>!

Jamie forgot to come back and edit this bit o3o I've been there

>    The author wishes to apologize for creating more than a half-dozen new
> characters simply for some throwaway gags and a superfluous fight scene;

NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR THAT. Except apologize to me because I had to decide whether 
or not to add them to the wiki (nah).

Drew "I mean, if someone else wants to" Perron

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