LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #107: Just Imagine Saxon Brenton's RACCies! Part Six

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon May 27 22:28:56 PDT 2019

On 5/19/2019 5:24 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> Saxon Brenton returns with issue 11.  Will Manga man wander over to the
> LNHQ's vending machine to get a cup of coffee?  And will we get an answer
> to that in very first sentence of this story?
> And Martin Phipps returns with #12.  Will the Ultimate Ninja be able to
> live with the fact that Sidewinder thinks he's a sellout?  Or will this
> be the Ultimate Undoing of the Ultimate Ninja?

I think there's an easy answer to that one, too. X3

> In it's rather scattershot way, the Legion's total inability to focus
> on the problem at hand was paradoxically reassuring.  He had seen
> things like this before - with the heroes haring off in hundred
> different directions at once, trying to solve a multitude of problems
> simultaneously.  They would, inevitably, overcome them all, just in
> time to get their act together for the big climactic fight scene
> against the main bad guy.
> He smiled.  He'd had a number of his own villainous schemes thwarted
> in just that manner.  Ah, great days, great days.

I love how much Manga Man appreciates the LNH. This goes with the point made 
earlier in the cascade that he is, in significant part, responsible for their 
heroing, and would go on to be a big influence on how I characterized Manga Man 

> Still, it was mildly irritating that Tsar Chasm could waltz in during
> the _Birth Of A Villain_ cascade and wrest for himself the leadership
> of a group of Legionnaires for battle against Melissa and the Church
> of the Fourth Wall, while he, Manga Man, could not.  He made a mental
> note to remember that as a slight against himself, so that he could
> work it in as a revenge motive the next time he came into direct
> conflict against the Legion.

I remember, back in the day, reading this for the first time, and going 
"...wait, what's Saxon doing." And reading the rest, and slowly realizing that, 
somehow, not everyone agreed that Manga Man should be a good guy now? X3

> When Manga Man arrived at the LNH-HQ computer room, it flickered
> briefly as it reacted to his presence and reconfigured itself into a
> more manga/anime design sensibility.  No longer was it a large
> computing centre with impressive equipment and a few chocolate
> wrappers where Renegade Programmer had dropped them.  Now it was an
> absolutely gi-normous computer centre, several stories tall, with all
> sorts of funky looking computer equipment and consols and
> unidentifiable techy looking stuff, which included huge metallic
> conduits of vaguely disturbing organic shape that flowed down from the
> walls to connect to the consols.  Numerous holographic displays
> floated in mid-air (some at levels and angels that made them
> essentially impossible to read from ground levels, but there you go).
> It looked pretty neat.

ooooooh ahhhhhh. Super shiny. (Tho I wonder which manga are being drawn on here? 
X3 It doesn't ring a bell immediately.)

> "Then I guess we'd better start," said Renegade Programmer.  "The
> ballot was just posted, so we've got just under a month to sort this
> out."
> "A month?" said Manga Man.  "Oh, of course.  Real Life time."
> Depending on how fast the posting rate for stories in the cascade
> were, the amount of time that they, personally, actually had could be
> considerably less.

Almost certainly. o3o In fact, i'm pretty sure the ballot being posted took out 
a lot of the steam on this. Or maybe that was just my chronic 
not-getting-things-done guilt. X3

> "So you think we'll find a cure while the others are busy?"
> "Immediately? No," replied Manga Man.  "Well, not unless this story is
> being set up for an ironic, post-modern ending.  More likely -
> certainly more preferably - several different attempts to deal with
> the problem will all produce results and come together at the same
> time for a dramatic ending."

That certainly would have been preferable, but Manga Man is overestimating the 
narrative coordination of a cascade. x3

> Which was true... as far as it went.  Manga Man currently *did* have a
> smaller organisation than he had possessed before - but not by much.
> The REAL reason that he didn't have the resources available was
> because they were pretty much all tied up in his attempts to ferment
> chaos in other fanfiction newsgroups as part of a power grab attempt
> [as revealed in _Cauliflower The Christmas Miracle Pooch_ #4 -
> Footnote Girl].  And bluntly, Manga Man wanted to keep these two
> projects absolutely separate.  If they became entangled, the
> inevitably the LNH would take down his own project as part of the
> mopping up operation to this virus problem.  So, no siphoning off even
> a tiny number of minions to help out with the virus problem; too much
> risk of the LNH finding out about it.  And besides, if he couldn't
> manipulate the LNH by himself while his loyal minions did their
> assigned tasks, well, what sort of an evil mastermind was he?

I had not actually read Cauliflower at this point, and god, this idea just kinda 
hit me for a loop. X3 On the one hand, I definitely was unknowingly messing with 
pre-existing continuity, but on the other, this chapter straight-up invalidates 
the character beats I'd put forward. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But fixing it lead to some really 
interesting stuff, so, no harm, no foul.

> "I just realised that we've missed something.  All of us, you Legion
> mega-brains included," Manga Man said smoothly.  "How did the Grapety
> Purple Man get into Real Life -1 to mind control that dimension's
> counterpart of Saxon Brenton?  I think I'd better go and investigate
> that."  And with a swirl of his cape he turned and left.

...I mean, he's a cosmic being with very undefined powers. X3 I think that's 
explanation enough.

> I haven't got much of an idea of why Manga Man was
> bored at the start of _Just Imagine..._ except that perhaps that
> fermenting chaos is just so *routine* these days?

Yeah see what I mean o3o;

> "He's a lawyer," Ultimate Ninja said, "and a good one.  If we hadn't
> hired him then the Kool-Aid company would have hired him.  Then we'd
> have to take our chances with a different lawyer."
> Meanwhile, the Legion's financiers, Irony Man and Elvis Man, discussed
> the case with Leroy Laurel, aka Lethal Lawyer.

...I'm not sure that makes sense? X3

> "Not bad," wReamHack explained.  "All the major anti-virus software
> companies have been contacted and are aware of this new virus and are
> including a fix for the virus in the current versions of their
> programs.  They're also sending out updates to people who have already
> purchased their software."
> "Yeah," wReamHack said, "but the biggest threat was to eyrie.org.  As
> long as Eagle keeps his computers virus free then the eyrie archives
> will be safe.  I don't know about google.com.  All we can do is wait
> and see what happens when the RACCies results come back."

Honestly, I'm extremely Not Sure what Martin was doing here. This takes *the* 
big driving plot point of the cascade off the table in an extremely undramatic 
way? And like, if he had decided "okay the cascade has gone on too long, needs 
to end" (as he eventually would, after, to be fair, everybody else had petered 
out), that would be one thing. But the story's being continued here... without 
its main conflict? Huh?

> "Who are you?" Firewire asked.
> "I am the Shoe Devil!" the Shoe Devil told him.  "Remember?  I granted
> you your powers in exchange for your services!"

I guess this scene was to... remind... people... these characters existed? 
Without doing anything with them? o3o

Drew "I'm complaining a lot here but it seems appropriate" Perron

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