LNH: Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 3 #3: "Sequels are Always Worse" [4/6]

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 10 10:20:08 PST 2020

"Hmm, OK, what now..." said Mashup Laq. What powersets would best 
enhance their already considerable puzzle-solving and lateral thinking 
abilities? Then they had it! Combining the powers of Gamer Boy and 
Deductive Logic Man, they became Adventure Game Puzzle Solving Enby! Who 
had the power to solve the cat hair moustache puzzle in Gabriel Knight 
in five seconds without a walkthrough!

"Okay," they said, "by setting up all the jukeboxes in the room to play 
What's New Pussycat except for the one that plays It's Not Unusual, a la 
Salt and Pepper Diner, I can create a glitch that allows me to break out 
of the dream scenario!" They realized, too late, that they could have 
just used the powers of Glitch Girl, but unnecessarily overcomplicated 
solutions to simple problems were a foundational element of both 
adventure games and Silver Age comics.

They sent another ghost body over to Occultism Kid and Doctor Stomper. 
"I can get out now!" they said.

Occultism Kid nodded. "I can link you up with Doctor Stomper's mind and 
help him escape,"  he said, "but I'll have to stay here to use illusion 
magic and fool the system into thinking you're both still there."

"All right." Doctor Stomper and Occultism Kid nodded nods of uneasy 
mutual respect.

After jimmying the jukeboxes, Mashup Laq felt themself rising out of the 
pod they'd been trapped in. They surveyed the dreadful scene. The 
demonic virtual-reality machine that had hellfire decals on the side 
contained a huge number of suspended animation pods that held every 
LNHer (and a couple of villains) who'd been dragged into this. Two of 
the pods were empty, though. Doctor Stomper, who'd been having a lot of 
sleep problems lately, was still struggling to wake up.

They poked their head through the wall and saw Catalyst Lass manacled to 
a metal slab by techno-manacles you see all the time in superhero 
cartoons, and the villains responsible standing over her.

"Sarcastic Lad and Token Girl have escaped!" growl/shout/whispered 

Mashup Laq wasn't surprised, both because of Tara's strength of will 
(except when it came to impulse-buying merchandise for anime she liked) 
and how closely linked she was to Cat.

"A shame," said Romantic Innuendo, "but . It's time to move on to the 
next phase of our plan... Go bring me the pod of Sister State-the-Obvious."


Sister State-the-Obvious, of course, had been talking with Loquacious Lad.

"You know," said Loquacious Lad, "this scenario has an aura of the 
distinctly surreal, or unreal, and likely demonic in nature. I wonder 
if, in fact, we are experiencing a sort of artificial reality or dream 

"We're in an evil virtual reality machine," said Sister State-the-Obvious.

"Now as I was saying..." said Loquacious Lad. Their whole conversation 
had gone like this.

It was one of those times when a minor frustration suddenly drew in all 
the major frustrations that had been hovering around it that she hadn't 
known how to put into words and it all snapped into place at once. She 
thought about how intensely heteronormative the early LNH was. She 
thought about all the awful lines in otherwise great issues; all the 
jokes that were based on oppressive thinking that the writers might not 
even have been aware of but were still there. She thought about 
Contraption Man, torturing himself with guilt even though Self-Righteous 
Preacher had literally tortured him with the, however uneasy, approval 
of many in the Legion. [LNH Triple Play #5]. She thought of just how 
much frankly abusive behavior the LNH had tolerated for the sake of Comedy.

And of course, she thought of her ex-husband, who was involved in so 
much of that. Someone who was frustratingly *almost* good but who kept 
being drawn back into the same awful behavior patterns, who kept 
harassing his teammates and making their lives miserable and never faced 
any consequences.

All her frustrations fused into a core of white-hot rage.

"It's time now." She heard a voice from above her, not really absorbing 
the words it was saying. " This is a spare Revampire Amulet I, er, 
borrowed from my once-lover, Revamp Lass. It will be used to channel the 
Power Byrne, which through the Flames of Silver Age Female Character 
Rage will turn her sexy and evil, as happens in every John Byrne run. 
You see, the other part of my plan is to get Sister State-the-Obvious to 
rejoin the Brotherhood. We could use another woman, you see, since 
Doctor Killfile isn't really interested in relationships. I could set 
her up with Marvel Zombie Lad, or Polybag Person--or both!--but first, I 
will use her to kill you!"

At that exact moment, Token Girl and Sarcastic Lad charged into the 
room, with Mashup Laq close behind; the still-not-quite-awake Doctor 
Stomper staggered in after them. Token Girl knocked over DNSDaemon with 
a volley of bus tokens, and Sarcastic Lad charged in on him like a bull 
on Red Bull, pitting his own demonic sarcastic powers against 
DNSDaemon's hellborn hypertech.

"You call yourself a demon from Hell?" Sarcastic Lad said to DNSDaemon. 
"You'd never make it in a KISS cover band!"

It backfired. DNSDaemon, who'd been feeling anxious all day, suddenly 
felt their anxiety and frustration coalesce into anger. The flame on 
their coattails shot upwards. "Yikes," said Sarcastic Lad as DNSDaemon 
slashed at him with the mighty techno-hellfire claymore they had summoned.

Mashup Laq transformed themself into a combination of Self-Righteous 
Preacher and the X-Intruder, the Uncanny X-orcist, and blasted the 
DNSDaemon with a giant Liefeld squirtgun of holy water.

DNSDaemon screamed. Their techno-claymore transformed into two hellfire 
pistols and blasted Mashup Laq's squirtgun rifle out of their hand. 
Mashup Laq pulled out two squirtgun pistols and the two of them engaged 
in an operatic, balletic John Woo gunfight.

Gradually they grew closer to each other in the dance of battle. They 
came closer and ever closer to making out, just like Nicholas Cage and 
John Travolta in Face/Off. John Woo's original idea, of course, was that 
Nicholas Cage and John Travolta were ex-lovers, but the studio 
intervened. Since this is a 2020 netfiction story rather than a 1990s 
action movie, there was nothing to stop Mashup Laq and DNSDaemon from 
making out. They threw aside their guns and rolled around together in 
the heat of passion.

"Eeeep," said DNSDaemon, and disappeared in sudden burst of anxiety.

"Huh," said Mashup Laq, not entirely sure how to feel about what had 
just happened. "I guess I... won?"

But it was too late.

The flames of the Byrne-power of the amulet consumed Sister 
State-the-Obvious. When they faded away, she was wearing a kind of red 
dominatrix outfit. Dr. Stomper had to admit that he could see the appeal 
of this.

"Sister State-the-Obvious is no more! I am Sister Sexy, Evil and Mad as 

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