LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #221: LNH vII #50 Part One

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Nov 8 21:25:57 PST 2021

On 11/7/21 4:23 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> And this is part one of the Big Mega Multi-Writer Issue of LNH vII #50.

WOOOOO! I've probably read thru this half a dozen times or more since I posted 
it. Everyone put so much good energy into it.

> It took a bit longer than that.  Two years in fact (it would finally get
> posted on Nov 2nd, 2014).

Heck yeah @. at v

> I remember there was talk back in RACCCon 2012 among some of the
> people there about possibly finishing the issue.  I was the one that
> vetoed that idea -- so you can probably blame me for it not being
> finished back in 2012.  And part of the reason I didn't really want to
> tackle it back then was due to the big writer flame war that had just
> happened around that time.

Completely understandable, and TBH, The Cat With Glasses was very much worth it. :>

> LNH vII #50 is (perhaps) the last story of the Martin Phipps era of the
> LNH.

Yeah. @.@

> Martin was kind of the John Byrne of the LNH.  As John Byrne was
> an important force in history of superhero comics -- Marin was an
> important force in the LNH Imprint.  He certainly helped define the LNH
> style and influenced a bunch of other LNH writers like Ken Schmidt and
> Jeff McCoskey who in turn influenced others (like myself).  But like
> John Byrne, he also had a habit of getting into all kinds of feuds with
> the various other LNH writers.  Look at any big flamewar from RACC and
> alt.comics.lnh's past -- and most likely you'll see Martin as a big player
> with in them.

That's a good comparison, yeah.

> Back in 2011 around the time people were making the LNH20 Imprint,
> Martin had written some distortion of the truth that caused me to
> blow up at him, which caused a big flamewar with the end result being
> me not really wanting to deal with Martin anymore and me boycotting
> writing his characters (and me essentially giving him the silent treatment
> for the most part).

Oh god, I remember that bullshit. LNH20 barely got off the ground because of him.

> This made writing for LNH v2 #50 a kind of awkward experience for me since
> Martin was a heavy part of this (as well as his character, Master Blaster)
> so that was one of the reasons why I didn't really want to deal with
> finishing this issue back at RACCCon 2012. 

Incredibly understandable. I feel like you, me, and Jeanne all felt individually 
responsible for the post-Martingeddon slump, but really, it's nobody's fault but 
his. (And, you know, all the other forces that keep us from writing, internal 
and external.)

> And during the writing of #50,
> there was this dispute between Martin and Drew involving Kid Enthusiastic's
> characterization (Kid E being a Drew character -- so probably the person
> that understands the character the most -- you'd think -- if you were some
> person other than Martin). 

You'd think, right? And it was really a small thing, and it seemed like we had 
resolved it amicably and then--

> So, while everyone is still working on #50 --
> Martin decides to write issue #51 and posts it.


> #51 seems to have been
> written just to troll Drew --

That was part of it, and it was also justifying horrifying takes on queer 
characters *and* Master Blaster tormenting WikiBoy[*] and also started with a 
summary of #50 that ended with "There. Now you don't have to read it." or 
something. @@

[*]Also weirdly John Byrne-esque, actually, comparable to his Fantastic Four run 
saying that Galactus's existence is cosmically necessary And That Is That. I'm 
not sure if I'm Chris Claremont in that situation or Jeanne is. X3

> and of course there's another big flame war
> and Martin pretty much burned every last bridge he had with the LNH and he
> quit RACC for good (granted he did wind up making a sock puppet account
> (April White -- was that the name?) so he could write some stuff for the
> LNHY Imprint.)

That was the name, yeah. He wrote a few more of his extremely flat movie 
parodies, which everyone ignored, and then he disappeared for good.

> And all that sort of killed whatever momentum there was for finishing #50.
> But Drew eventually (maybe with some help from Jean -- can't quite remember)
> did finish the whole thing and edit it into something coherent and posted it
> in 2014.

:> Jeanne definitely helped, including just keeping my writing energy up in 
general. X3

> There was some dated stuff that was rewritten (I remember making a
> reference to Kony 2012 meme).

Yep yep. X3 God 2012 was weird. Tho not as weird, I admit, as 2021.

> We begin in the LNH Cafeteria -- all of the LNH'rs are abuzz about the 20th
> Anniversary party that Catalyst Lass is planning.  And on the menu is
> Taco Salad Cheesecake (and perhaps even worse things than that).

:D :D :D

>                       :NN:
>                       :NNNN:
>                       :NNNNNN:
>                       :NNNNNNNN:
> :LLLLLLL:           :NNNNNNNNNN:         :NNNNNNNN:            :hhhhhhh:
> :LLLLLLL:           :NNNNNNNNNNNN:       :NNNNNNNN:            :hhhhhhh:
> :LLLLLLL:           :NNNNNNNNNNNNNN:     :NNNNNNNN:            :hhhhhhh:
> :LLLLLLL:           :NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN:  :NNNNNNNN:            :hhhhhhh:
> :LLLLLLL:           :NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN: :NNNNNNNNhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:
> :LLLLLLL:           :NNNNNNNN: :NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:
> :LLLLLLL:           :NNNNNNNN:   :NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:
> :LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLNNNNNNNN:          :NNNNNNNNN:            :hhhhhhh:
>                                             :NNNNNNN:
>                                               :NNNNN:
>                                                 :NNN:
>                                                   :N:

Who was it that put this logo together originally? It's great. <3

>    |--------------*-------------------*------------------*--------------|
>    |LNHLNHLNHLNHLN|              VOLUME TWO              |LNHLNHLNHLNHLN|
>    |NHLNHLNHLNHLNH|      "The Challenge From Before"     |NHLNHLNHLNHLNH|
>    |LNHLNHLNHLNHLN|  written by and copyright 2012-2014  |LNHLNHLNHLNHLN|
>    |--------------*-------------------*------------------*--------------|

I had fun putting together all this front/back matter. X3

> * In LNH THE EARLY YEARS #3: Irony Man (Toony Stork) related the origin
>     of the LNH. The LNH was founded many years ago when Rick Smith of the
>     Toon Brigade summoned Irony Man, Lurking Girl, Loquacious Lad, Kid
>     Yesterdaze, and Marvel Zombie Lad to defeat an impending threat. It
>     turned out there wasn't any; it was simply a practical joke. But the
>     five heroes decided to get together to found the Legion of Net.Heroes
>     should a real threat emerge. Or at least that's the official story...

gaaaaad Martin's origins. Can't wait for Retcon Year.

> * In BEIGE MIDNIGHT and LNH VOLUME 2: Irony Man betrayed the LNH in a
>     devil's bargain to save the world. Disgraced, he threw himself into a
>     final battle - but ended up praised for a save that wasn't his. He has
>     retired and appointed a successor, the mysterious Irony Man II...

:3 This turned out so fun.

> * In STAY DEAD!, DON'T STAY DEAD!, and NOT DEAD!: On their very first
>     mission for the Legion of Net.Heroes, against a threat known as Beige
>     Midnight, Horrible Name Lad and Poignant Death Lass died. Ensign
>     Bodybag welcomed them to the Afterlife. They saw Don't Stay Dead Man
>     come for one of their teammates and give him True Death, but when the
>     higher powers decided that they were more interesting than he was,
>     they returned to the Looniverse -- just in time for Taco Salad
>     Cheesecake...

I love that this-all tied in so nicely. :D

>       Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. [The sidekick of Ubiquitous Boy's sidekick
> Ubiquitous Lad (or is it the other way around?) -- Footnote Girl]

Ubiquitous Boy and Ubiquitous Lad are both Rob's characters, but I'm not sure if 
they've ever actually shown up in a story (ironically). X3

> My god! Look at what's happening to the world!
> People are suffering! Tyrants are brutalizing their citizens! Children
> being forced into armies in Africa!
I remember specifically trying to keep the spirit of the Kony reference.

>       "Oh," said WikiBoy, with a slightly shameful look on his face.
> "That's, uh, that's my beaver tail."
>       "Why in the world do you have a beaver tail?"
>       "Oh, well, Master Blaster said I had one, so... now I have one."

I like that it turned out that the discussion of the ethics of the Master 
Blaster/WikiBoy situation became the last Master Blaster story. X3

>       "Do you see what's happening here?" said You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-
> Enough Lad, turning to his friends. "How can the LNH fight the evil and
> injustices in the world -- when it takes a blind eye to the evil and
> injustice within its own halls?

This is a theme I've been coming back to. <3 It's extremely relevant nowadays. @-@

>       You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad slammed open the door to
> Master Blaster's room. "You're an asshole!"

This was a Martin scene, and required a lot of editing to square with what the 
issue eventually became, but I think I kept the spirit of it. :>

>       "NO!" shouted Kid Enthusiastic. "Rob!  What are you doing?!"
>       "He literally-- wait, what are you doing here?"
>       "Oh, I've been taking classes! Did you know your room is right next
> to the yoga studio?"
>       "Absolutely not and you can't prove I did."

There wasn't an introduction here, so I made one and I think it's funny. X3
>       Master Blaster shrugged. "Look, net.heroes aren't just people in
> costumes. We have a purpose! My purpose is to inflict pain and injury!"

I tried to put in as good a counterargument for the anti-Master Blaster 
sentiments as I could.

>       You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad shrugged. "I suppose..."
>       "All right, then..."
>       "...that this is your way of wimping out."
>       "...wimping out?" Master Blaster said.
>       " oh god " said Kid Enthusiastic.
>       Master Blaster lifted the entire missile in the air and shoved it
> down You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad's throat. "@#$% YOU!"
>       By coincidence, this was the code that activated the nuclear device.
> YNHMHELad's stomach underwent a tactical atomic explosion.

This climax is Martin's and it's also pretty funny. X3

>       "It's an alien! A Dorf! A Dorfian shapeshifter!" said Ubiquitous Boy
> Lad Jr., voice filled with horror and relief.


>       Right on cue, as if from thin air, Doctor Stomper appeared.
>       "Gah!" said Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr.

Due to the piecemeal writing process, a *lot* of characters just kind of popped 
up out of nowhere in this story, and I tried to smooth those transitions as best 
I could. I'd be better at it now. X3

>       "It's quite simple," Dr. Stomper explained. "This *is* the real
> You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad. Clearly, You're-Not-Hitting-Me-
> Hard-Enough Lad has always been a Dorf. Why do you think he always
> wanted people to hit him? Is that normal human behavior? Why, not at
> all! But it's perfectly normal behavior for a Dorf!"

This is a pretty funny idea, I'll admit. X3 I think it was another Martin one?

>       In a burst of blue-green light, Masterplan Lad fell through the air
> into the bushes in front of the LNHQ. He spat out the leaves that
> Domestic Lad had so carefully curated and stood up.

So, after Jeanne put Masterplan Lad in this, other writers kept using him in new 
LNH v2 stories. This, of course, is rad, but also, there had never been a story 
written where he actually joined the LNH - he'd only ever appeared as an ally of 
Ultimate Mercenary as they journeyed thru various alternate timelines. Jeanne 
tied that up in Just Another Cascade, around the time I was working toward 
finishing this, and I took the opportunity to do a little continuity-finagling 
via time travel. Not that you need to know that, because...

> It didn't
> matter, as the effect was clearly meant to keep this story simple, so
> you didn't have to catch up with the whole convoluted Ultimate Mercenary
> storyline (in which he had originally appeared) to read it.


>        Heaving a sigh of frustration, he passed through the double doors
> and saw a Japanese woman sitting behind the desk, hurriedly struggling
> to get some paperwork done. This must be Kyoko Ishikawa.

Jeanne and I use her a lot! :D

>        "No, I'm already a member of the team, though I haven't been around
> very much. I'm Masterplan Lad." He hoped she wouldn't remember who he
> was, not to mention the fact that he'd accidentally destroyed the LNHQ.
> [In one of the Infinite Leadership Crisis issues that Adrian swears he's
> going to write someday -- Footnote Girl]
>        "Wait, didn't you destroy the LNHQ?"


>       "We used to be LNH members. Why can't we find the cafeteria?"
> pondered Poignant Death Lass. "Maybe it's because we're more real now --
> not just a one-off joke, meant only to die. We must struggle on our own
> merits..."

Notably, part of Scott's original concept for PDL said that she "speaks 
roughly", which we all kind of forgot for a while. X3; Sorry, Scott. I've been 
trying to get back to that but I haven't had a place for her lately (HHS has 
enough characters, you know?).

>       "Why," Cynical Lass asked, "are you shouting right outside the door
> to my room when I'm trying to sleep?"
>       Namer Boy did his best to reply, though his efforts in this regard
> were hindered by the continued presence of Cynical Lass' palm on his
> face. She sighed, and removed her hand.
>       "It's noon," Namer Boy said, rubbing his face.
>       "Ah," Cynical Lass said. "And some vestigial roosterish part of you
> insists on shouting every day at noon, is that it?"

You can always tell the parts Rob writes. His banter is razor-sharp.

>       There, a small semi-circle of super-heroes -- and Ubiquitous Boy Lad
> Jr.

Ouch, I just noticed that. X3

> "Or haven't you
> noticed that the moment someone acquires super-powers, they decide that
> the best way to solve the world's problems is by rounding up everyone
> who disagrees with them and punching them in the face."
>       "You're forgetting about the shooting and the blowing up," said
> Master Blaster, licking cheesecake from his fingers.

More of the groping at ethics! :D (note: Master Blaster is legally injunctioned 
from groping at *anything*)

> He'll also have lost all his gut flora,
> so we'll also need to contact the Dorfs to get a sample of fecal matter
> for a poop transplant."

This is also a hilarious concept - a Saxon one, IIRC, and it's very much his 
kind of attention to detail.

>       "What is it about these Dorfs," she asked, "that makes them any
> worse than all of the alien koalas, hamsters, bug people, giant
> transforming robots and sentient shades of blue you people deal with on
> a regular basis?"
>       "That's simple," said a smooth, slightly metallic voice. Cynical
> Lass turned to see the tall, armored shoulders of Irony Man filing the
> entrance to the cafeteria.
>       "We hate Dorfs because of what happened during the very first
> mission of the LNH," Irony Man said.

This is one of those retcons that fixes a lot of weird characterization, largely 
from Jesse Willey.

>       "Well, technically, yes," Doctor Stomper said. "Doctor Killfile was
> the first threat faced by the Legion of Net.Heroes. But before they
> adopted that distinctive cognomen... before they considered themselves a
> group... the individual members of the LNH participated in... another
> incident."

This is one of those retcons that's just fun and good. :D

>       "Of course," Irony Man said. "If I remember correctly, it all went
> something like this..."
>                        ~~LNH~~     ~~LNH~~     ~~LNH~~
>       "I can't believe we survived that!" Irony Man said, smoke pouring
> from the tattered remains of his armor. "I swear -- on my mother's grave
> -- I will never forget what happened this day, not for as long as I
> live!"
>                        ~~LNH~~     ~~LNH~~     ~~LNH~~
>       "Good times," Irony Man said, wistfully.

God, Rob is hilarious. X3

>       "You have eight and a half levels of Legion headquarters devoted to
> storing your memories?" gasped Poignant Death Lass, who had followed
> Horrible Name Lad into the cafeteria and was staring in wonder at the
> many varieties of cheesecake on display. "Isn't... doesn't that strike
> you as kind of a waste of space?"
>       Irony Man shrugged. "I do own the building," he said.

I mean, fair.

>       "Why on earth would we do that?" he asked. "Believe me, nothing
> good ever came from going into any of the sub-sub-basements. And
> frankly... who cares what those guys did during their first adventure?
> It's not like the Legion was even really the Legion before *I* came on
> board."

This is also a really appropriate line for the last Master Blaster story.

>       Irony Man snorted. "A job for List Lad? That's something that's
> never been said in the entire recorded history of the LNH."
>       "Oh, I don't know," said Painful Pun Person, entering the cafeteria
> with a coffee cup in her hand. (First appearance! Collect them all!)
> "I've been feeling a little listless myself, lately."

Nother one~

>       "Top Five Reasons Why I Will Not Be Attending The LNH's 20th
> Anniversary Party, Even Though Catalyst Lass Is a Smoking-Hot Babe,"
> Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad read.

I love Rob's lists. :D

> "Number 5: All tuxedos in town have
> been rented in anticipation of RACCies ceremony that was supposed to
> happen in March."

oh nooooooooooooo-- eh you know the drill.

>       "Number 3: Can't find a date, because Pullls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats-Lad
> and wReamhack found a way to hack the Match.com and eHarmony Web sites.
> Whoops," said Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad, turning crimson.
>       "I knew that story about groupies was too good to be true," Namer
> Lad muttered.

Love the callback. X3

>        "And the number one reason List Lad won't be attending tonight's
> party," Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad continued. "Because of what Toony
> Stork did to me and the woman we both loved during the LNH's very first
> mission."

An excellent cliffhanger to leave off on. :D

Drew "DUN DUN DUNNNN" Nilium

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