LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #126: Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Part Two

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun May 17 15:49:26 PDT 2020

On 11/3/2019 4:40 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> Will Irony Man try his best to find out what happened to Fearless Leader or
> will he spend the issue taking potshots at the Fearless One.  Well since this
> is a Martin issue..

Heh heh. @-@

> And LNHCP #38 by Tom Russell and Mitchell Crouch.  Okay, Irony Man is now gone
> so it's Catalyst Lass's turn to be head honcho.  Is it time to break out the --


>    Captain Cleanup grimaced: Irony Man sometimes got on
> his nerves.  Hell, he got on everybody's nerves.
>    Irony Man went to the LNH leader's office and saw
> that Fearless Leader wasn't there.  (Sleeping in on
> the job, eh?)o. Irony Man thought.  (I'll be sure to
> tell the boss all about it when he gets back.)

I do want to mention, there's clearly a character direction for Irony Man being 
established here. In the pre-ILC era, I don't remember Irony Man having this 
supercilious elitism (tho it may have been in some Irony Man-centric stories 
that I missed). It is, of course, a response to the Civil War-era 
characterization of Iron Man. But it's not a bad characterization - certainly, 
in the late Bush era, there was room for Rich Dudes Thinking They Know Best, and 
there's been more and more room ever since. And I don't really remember Irony 
Man *having* a strong characterization before this (again, I might have missed 
it), so there certainly seems to have been room.

>    Irony Man looked down longingly at the chair behind
> Ultimate Ninja's desk.  Irony Man was one of the first
> memebers of the LNH.  His dad paid for all of this!
> He bought the building, installed all the
> state-of-the-art equipment!

I think this is one of Martin's retcons, but TBH the idea of having Toony as a 
major financial backer of the Legion also works really well.

>    Irony Man smiled.  Maybe this was a good thing after
> all: Fearless Leader would show how incompetent a
> leader he was that month and then he wouldn't be
> second in command anymore.  Then the next time the
> Ninja took a vacation it would be his chance to shine.

That said, this particular viewpoint on Toony isn't quite the same as Arthur's 
characterization, and of course, Arthur's is better.

<weird jokes about Felix's genitals deleted???>>    "Alright.  But what if 
somebody happens to you?  Who
> become leader then?"
>    "Me?"  Irony Man laughed.  "Nothing's going to
> happen to me.  I'm not going anywhere."

Hmmmmm. I would say I'm not sure if this ending works - but it's Irony Man being 
paired with dramatic irony, and I love that shit, and I didn't realize Martin 
had done that, so I'll give him props for that.

>     "When was the last time you saw him?" says Cat,
> sipping her Ms. Paprika thoughtfully.
>     When Mainstream Man gets into a comic book, he
> enters a trance that even the Ultimate Ninja, in all
> his zen-like mastery, is envious of.  "Three o'clock
> this afternoon."
>     "And you're confident he was standing there,
> talking to you, for at least nine hours?"
>     "Um..."
>     "He couldn't possibly have left the room at some
> point while you were reading your comic book?"
>     "He could have."  Conservatively, he amends his
> statement: "Possibly.  But I doubt it."


>     "Cat!  Mainstream Man!"  It's Pocket Man, rushing
> down the hall.  "It's Irony Man!  He's disappeared!"
>     "I told you," says Mainstream Man.


>     "A whole bunch of us were fighting WikiBoy and..."
>     "Wait, why were you fighting WikiBoy?" says
> Mainstream Man, leaping to his friend's defense.
>     "Master Blaster got bored and edited him into an
> all-powerful villain," explains Pok.
>     Suddenly: an explosion.
>     "Actually, he's kinda sorta still on the rampage,"
> notes Pok.

Bwahaha. <3 The comedic twist of "actually, the story I was telling you is one 
we're still in the middle of" is always A++.

>     Mainstream Man and Cat follow.  The latter is
> curious: "Why didn't you just revert the edit?"
>     "Master Blaster locked the page," says Pok.  "The
> most I could do was edit some of the other pages,
> tweaking his personality so that he was more of a
> misunderstood anti-hero."
>     "I didn't know you could lock an aspect of
> WikiBoy," says Cat.
>     "You couldn't," says Pok.  "Not until Master
> Blaster edited WikiBoy so that pages could be locked."

I very much love that idea. :D

>     "WikiBoy, I'm reverting the edit," says Cat.
>     "The page is locked," snarls WikiBoy.  "Can only be
> unlocked by an administrator."
>     "WikiBoy, I am an administrator," says the maven of
> persuasion.
>     "As of when?" scoffs WikiBoy.
>     "Now," says Cat, with a snap of her fingers.  The
> edit reverts and WikiBoy falls to the ground.

And I love rules-lawyering WikiBoy. :D

>     "No," says Cat, eying the sleeping Cheesecake-Eater
> Lad apprehensively.  "Don't wake them up.  Get them
> all up and the person they elect is whoever's loudest
> and the most popular."
>     "That's democracy," says Pok.

*mild grimace of having read way too many libertarian-adjacent SF books that 
negged on democracy in ways that were, in retrospect, *super* fascist*

>     "Well, we'll still do things by the book," says
> Cat.  "But no need to disorient the others.  They
> won't be in the right mind to make a decision."

I do enjoy how Tom loves playing with Cat's manipulative streak, tho. :3 TBH, in 
my mind, this is one of the differences between her and Hell Catalyst. Catalyst 
Lass both feels the need to push people, and feels anxiety about the possibility 
of pushing too hard to make people agree with her - the latter being kind of 
personified in Hell Catalyst. HC herself is pretty chill about it - she sees the 
change as a pretty straightforward upgrade, and herself as still having pretty 
straightforward agency, so she's not too concerned about the agency of others. 
(She *is* concerned about Cat, tho, and I wanna write a story where she makes 
her go to therapy.)

>     "But what happens then?" offers Cat.  She downs the
> rest of her soda and tosses it towards WikiBoy's
> mouth.  "Power of recycling," she says coolly before
> WikiBoy ingests the aluminum can.

This is also a good show-don't-tell example of manipulativeness.

>     "It's not very democratic," says WikiBoy.
>     "You're a communist," says Cat.

There's a whole deep dive I could go on at *that* but it'd cross the line from 
"interesting take" to "distracting tangent" and I would never get this reply 
done. X3

>     "Silly boy," says Cat with a dark, throaty laugh.

This definitely reminds me of the end of Just Another Cascade #12. :3

>     "Not me," says WikiBoy.  "I don't want to disappear
> at midnight!"

...fuck, why wasn't there an ILC WikiBoy story? Why haven't *I* written an ILC 
WikiBoy story?

<Edwina the Ultimate Editor> *coughs menacingly*

Oh yes moving on with my current projects now...

> Pocket Man is
> thankfully not around to hear the things being said
> about him; WikiBoy, not being so lucky, is the victim
> of a number of unusually cruel edits.

Mmmmm, yeah, not a fan.

>     "Chances are, this is part three of a thirty-part
> multi-author crossover," offers Mainstream Man.


>     "At this point, MM?" says Cheesecake-Eater Lad
> sourly. "I wouldn't put it past her to be behind the
> whole thing."

I dunno, I've always pictured Cheesy as more sanguine than this, at least after 
going thru the '90s.

>     "Object X-Y," says Cat, pronouncing each syllable
> deliberately.


>     "I've heard of it," says Cheesecake-Eater Lad.  He
> toddles off, mysteriously mumbling to himself: "I've
> heard of it, all right..."
> <flashback>

Now I'm reminded of the DL-6 case from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. *puts hand 
on chin, looks off into the distance* Fifteen years ago...

>     "Then wait no more!  For the clever, crafty, and
> unabashedly fabulous Catalyst Lass is here!"

I especially love this Cat. :D

>     "What do you mean?"
>     "I mean, time passing differently for different
> people."
>     "Like Senses Lass being in jail for three months
> for a few years now," offered Cat.

I love this reference and I love that Tom is as much of a Saxon fanboy as I am.

>     "The Looniverse clouds one's memories, obscures
> things so that these kind of anomalies don't stand
> out," explained the Ninja.  "But they're not
> anomalies.  Time is not something that's fixed, but
> something that's always in flow, carefully calibrated
> to work differently for different people, situations,
> and authors.  In many cases, things happen in 'the
> last ten years'.  Delicate retcons just kind of
> conflate earlier adventures."

TBH, I prefer the idea that everyone is fully aware of this stuff and it's just 
how life in the Looniverse works, but I'm *also* a fan of the idea that life in 
the Looniverse works however the current author wants it to and the 
contradictions make it more fun, so I'm on-board!

>     The Ninja nodded.  "As a ninja, I am in tune with
> the flow of time and can sense disturbances in it,
> like a pebble in the water."

I love ninja powers that work solely because they sound like things a ninja 
would do; that's basically how Japanese ninja lore seems to work, after all.

>     "No," said the Ninja.  "This mission is too
> dangerous to leave to just anybody.  That's why I've
> called on you two, who are among the most capable and
> trusted of my legionnaires. 

Fuck yes. <3 I think this is the era where the idea of Catalyst Lass and 
Cheesecake-Eater Lad being Seasoned Veterans really came together, and I'm Here 
For It (as you may be able to tell from me assigning them as Deputy Co-Leaders 
post-WikiLull in LNH v3 #2).

> When it became apparent that all
> three of our intrepid heroes were keeping pace with
> one another, shoulder-to-shoulder-to-shoulder, the
> Ninja cheerfully volunteered...
>     ... the fact that he would not, under any
> circumstances, be driving.


> Cheesecake-Eater Lad knew
> better than to challenge the Ninja, and Catalyst Lass
> knew better than to challenge the Ninja openly.

I love this characterization point a lot.

>     "You know," said Cheesecake-Eater Lad to Cat as the
> Ninja broke into a run (calling dibs on "shotgun",
> albeit in a very ninja-like manner), "the last
> half-dozen times that we've been on a mission
> together, I've been the one who drove."
>     "True," said Cat.  "I suppose that's because you're
> a much better driver than I am."


>     "Let's sneak around," said Cat.  "Take a roundabout
> way, scope things out, assess the situation and the
> environment."
>     "Like a Ninja," said the Leader of the LNH, his
> eyes gleaming with dreams of katana blades and shadowy
> hiding places.  "Cheesecake-Eater Lad, circle around
> Net.ropolis Heights a few times before we go in."
>     "Yes, sir!"
>     Cat yawned with considerable satisfaction.


>     As the Flight.Thingee finally came to a landing,
> our heroes found themselves face-to-face with...
>     "Lagneto!"
>     "Yes," said the Master of Lagnetism.  "I decided to
> wait here for you, so that I could show you how
> powerless you are to stop my moment of triumph!"

I love when people make Lagneto act like Silver Age Magneto instead of '90s 
Magneto-in-the-hands-of-people-who-didn't-get-Claremont Magneto.

>     "I am now unstoppable!"
>     "Could I see it for a second?" asked Cat.
>     "Sure," said Lagneto, handing it over to the maven
> of persuasion.

Unlike the "actually, the story I was telling you is one we're still in the 
middle of" joke, I don't love this kind of joke enough to marry it. I love this 

>     Wait, you say: Lagneto, (1) in custody, and (2) an
> infant?  When did THAT happen?
>     Well, suffice to say, gentle reader, (1) he
> escaped, and (2) he got better.

heeheeheehee X3

>     "This artifact is too powerful for anyone to
> control," said the Ninja, once he had set the
> Slide-Rule of Time back to its normal settings.  "No
> one must know that we have it.  And certainly not any
> of our fellow legionnaires."
>     "Keeping secrets?" said Cat.  "Why?"
>     "Don't be coy," said the Ninja.  "Imagine if Master
> Blaster got his hands on it.  Or Curly.  Or Adamant
> Authority on Everything.

I like the implication that UN's leadership style is influencing how Cat is 
acting here.

>     "For example," explains Saxon Brenton as he smiles
> warmly at the reader, 

I love this entire Bit, I've quoted it before, I put it on the wiki page for the 
Silde-Rule of Time, I just love the idea of Saxon as this kindly, avuncular host 
introducing you to the LNH, because that's how his work has always felt to me.

> "Okay, now
> let's think about this carefully, Catherine. 

I love the idea of Cat giving herself pep talks.

>     "So," she says, starting to fiddle with the
> Slide-Rule of Time.  "Let's set the zero point for the
> instant I start playing with the Slide-Rule-- i.e.,
> now-- and let's set the time period for...


>     Snow touches the ground, eliciting shock and
> surprise.
>     "It's snowing," says Sister State-the-Obvious.  "In
> April!"

ahahaha that happened here this year x-x

>     "Lunchbox Lass," she says, giddier than a giddy gid
> of giddiness, 

>     "Hi," says Lunchbox Lass, apparently springing to
> her feet.  "Don't attack me-- the traitor wasn't a
> real me, but a robot duplicate.  I'm the real Lunchbox
> Lass!"
>     "Okay," says Pok, shaking her hand.  It falls to
> the ground with a metallic clunk, wires exposed around
> her wrist.
>     "Wait," says Lunchbox Lass. "If I'm a robot...!"


>     Lunchbox Lass ignores the question, choosing
> instead to marry her fiancé, who is suddenly killed by
> a net.villain, causing her to angst and to try
> everything to save him, including traveling in time.
> In the next ten seconds, she becomes a villain: Dark
> Lunchbox Lass.

And really, who hasn't been there

>     "Oh, thank you, Pok, WikiBoy, Mainstream Man!"
>     "What for?"
>     "Are you going to kill me again?"
>     "Meh."


>     "Wait a second," says Adamant
> Authority-on-Everything, passing by.  "You still have
> to answer for your crimes as Dark Lunchbox Lass."
>     "I'll become a fugitive then!" says Lunchbox Lass.
> "And you guys will help me, right?"
>     "Um," says Pok.  "No."
>     "We hardly know you."
>     "Look out, world!" says Lunchbox Lass.  "Because
> we're the new a.outSiders!!!"
>     "What?"

X3 x3 X3

>     "Guys," says Pok in a low whisper, "let's just
> inch... away... very carefully..."


>     Pocket Man pulls something that looks
> disconcertingly like a giant mallet from one of his
> pockets.  We will never know if the super-storage
> stalwart was going to attack Lunchbox Lass or not, for
> at that moment, she disappeared.


>     "Pok, Mainstream Man, Asshat," says Master Blaster.
>     "Asshat?"
>     "WikiBoy, your name is now Asshat."
>     "God damn it," says Asshat.

Okay, I'll admit that's funny

>     "Here we are," says Master Blaster.
>     "Are you sure about this?" says Pok.
>     "It has to be them," says the caesar of cool.
> "They're up to their old tricks again!"
>     "But we don't have any record of..."
>     "Less talk," says Master Blaster.  "More action!"
>     He kicks in the door.
>     "Everything old is new again," he says.  "Isn't
> that right... Pencil Rain?!"

wat X3

>     "The name of your group is Pencil Rain," says
> Master Blaster.  "And something screwy is going on
> with the weather.  Ergo, it's your fault.

Ah. X3 X3 X3

>     "I just want what you want," says Cat.  "And that's
> what's best for your clients.  When we beat Lagneto,
> did he ever sue us?  No.  Does the Slobbering Grue
> ever send us a subpoena?

Yes, but he thinks it's a kind of fruit, so that's okay

>     "-- the LNH will go out of business.  Then who's
> going to protect the ordinary citizens of Pencil Rain
> from net.villains-- especially once said net.villains
> have learned that it's Pencil Rain that's gotten rid
> of us."


>     "It's Master Blaster," says Cat. "Wouldn't things
> be a tad bit easier with him out of everybody's hair?"
>     Just then, wReanna passes by with her offspring in
> tow.  "We're going to see Daddy," says wReanna.
>     "Cat..."
>     "There, it's done," says Cat.  She adjusts the
> Slide-Rule of Time.  "We're back to the last ten
> years.

Awwwww. <3

>     "You didn't do too badly today.  You'd make a great
> leader."
>     "What are you talking about?" says Cat.  "I'm the
> one who put Super-Apathy Lad in charge of the
> inventory room, I'm the one who's responsible for the
> season change and thus ultimately responsible for what
> happened to Master Blaster."
>     "You're also the one who fixed everything," says
> Cheesecake-Eater Lad.  "You did the right thing in the
> end.  You think quickly on your feet.  And I think
> that makes you a good leader."

Heck yes. <3 This was, of course, an influence on my characterization of her~

> Eleven fifty-nine.  Cat's bedroom.
>     Cheesecake-Eater Lad was right, Cat thinks: I
> didn't do too badly today.  But I wonder if I would
> have switched the flow of time back if not for him.
> I'd like to think I would.  I'm not selfish...
>     ... am I?
>     And with that, she disappeared.

Awwwwww. :> I need to hug her again.

>     "Someone was messing with the flow of time itself
> today," says Occultism Kid.  "I suspect that the
> ripples will be felt for the next month, if not the
> next year.  Keep searching.  Keep hoping.  But ignore
> any temporal activity."
>     "Shoot," says Stomper.  "And I thought we had
> it..."


Drew "fun stories fun times!!" Nilium

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