LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #217: LNH Comics Presents #508/System Corrupters #27
arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 26 14:37:12 PDT 2021
You can sift through the racc list archive
or you can try google groups racc for these issues of LNH Comics Presents
and System Corrupters.
And Martin Phipps also gets into the whole Wil Alambre cover art inspiration
game with this issue of LNH Comics Presents #508 where we go back to the year
1776 and meet Lord New Hampshire. Will Lord New Hampshire be successful in
squashing those Rebellious Yanks Dreams of Liberty? And will we get some
explanation of why it's King Charles III and not King George III? (Also
I should point out that Wil Alambre did write a couple issues Host of
Net.Libertines, which was in a way inspired by my Leaping Nacho Hurter
issue of LNH Comics Presents)
Also we have Rob Rogers writing System Corrupters #27. Some kid with a
nickname of the Minotaur just wants to make it big in the big city, but
will he be able to navigate through the twisted pathways of the System
Corrupter Zone? What? That's not a thing? Rod Serling's estate wants
to talk to me?
| | Classic
| | =
| | ____ ____ _ ____ ___
| |__ |  | |  | | | |  | | _ \
|____| \__] \__ | |_| \__/ |_|\_\
|_| OF NET.HEROES
LNH Comics Presents #508/System Corrupters #27
From: Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Date: Sat Aug 20 03:26:54 PDT 2011
London, July 13th, 1776
Word had gotten to King Charles III that the colonialists in America
had declared independence. This could not do. He summoned me and
twelve of my closest friends to his presence.
"Thank you for coming so quickly," the king said.
"Your majesty!" I said. "It is our duty to serve!"
"Indeed!" the king said, "but some of your brethren have forgotten
their duty! These Americans!"
"What would you have us do?" I asked.
The king nodded. "You will no longer be known by your old names.
You are to be Lord New Hampshire." He addressed each of us in turn
and gave us all titles corresponding to each of the thirteen
colonies. "I want you to lead my army again the American rebels! I
want you to inspire them to fight! I have provided you all with
bright red uniforms. Please follow the courtier to the other room so
you can change into them."
The thirteen of us followed the courtier to a changing room. The
uniforms were made of the finest cloth and colored with the rarest of
dyes. They truly reflected the greatness of Britain.
The courtier brought us back to face the king.
"Ah! very good!" the king said. "Especially you, Lord New
Hampshire! You look especially dashing!"
"Thank you, your majesty!"
"In fact, seeing you in your uniform gives me an idea! The fleet
won't be ready for another week so, Lord New Hampshire, I have a job
just for you!"
For five nights I put on two shows a night in a local theater, as
per the king's orders. Ten women, five on each side of me, were
dressed in the summer dresses as I stood there in my new uniform and
read aloud a speech for the audience to hear. This was propaganda: we
were to get the people behind this war against the colonialists.
Anyway, just as I was finishing my speech the fun part came.
"Lord New Hampshire!" a child cried out. "It's George Washington!"
The child was the same child every night for both shows. He was
part of the act. As was, of course, the man dressed up as George
Washington. He would come up behind me and I would turn around and
hit him and knock him to the ground. It was all in fun!
Anyway, that all ended when we had to get in our ships and sail to
America. The trip took a couple of months so I'll spare you the
details. Ultimately we arrived in Boston and began our attack.
The war was going well. We were trained soldiers fighting militia,
after all. But there was one American who was a real threat.
He was known as the Orange Skeleton. Rumor had it that he was one
of the terrorists who participated in the Boston Tea Party. But he
accidentally fell in the water. All that tea mixed with sea water:
it... changed him. His skin became jaundiced and he became so very
thin. Yet he had become a symbol of American resistance! He
therefore had to be stopped!
We learned through a spy we had placed among the rebels that the
Orange Skeleton had a plan to strike back against England! I had to
find out what that plan was! The thirteen of us were sent as a group
to fight our way through the rebels and get to the Orange Skeleton.
Only I survived to face him!
"The Orange Skeleton!" I said. "We meet at last!"
"You are too late, Lord New Hampshire!" he said. "My plan has
already been set in motion!"
"What have you done?" I asked.
The Orange Skeleton gestured to the sky. There I saw a big red
balloon. It was a hot air balloon.
"This balloon will cross the Atlantic and travel all the way to
London! The king will see it and be... very scared! He will have to
order his army to surrender!"
"Ha ha! But, like I said, there's nothing you can do!"
"That may not be true!" I said. There was a rope dangling down from
the balloon, just close enough to the ground for me to reach if I
jumped. So i did. Then I climbed up into the balloon.
"Ha ha!" the Orange Skeleton said. "You can't stop it! You'll die
I decided I would rather die than give up! But the Orange Skeleton
was right: I couldn't do anything to stop the balloon.
Luckily for the king, the Orange Skeleton was wrong about one thing:
the balloon would not reach England. You see, the shortest route from
Massachusetts to England passes close to the Arctic circle and when
the balloon started to ice up on the northern side it started drifting
ever farther northward until the ice covering the balloon became too
much and it couldn't stay aloft.
As a result of the high altitude, my breathing had slowed. And as I
slowly got colder and colder, my entire metabolism became slower and
At least, that's what I was told by the doctors who revived me two
centuries later. After a rehabilitation period back in England, I
decided to come back to America to finish what i had started, namely
fighting injustice and protecting this country from terrorists!
Net.ropolis, present day. Ultimate Ninja's office.
Lord New Hampshire smiled. "So that's my story. May I join your
Ultimate Ninja grimaced under his mask. "Those terrorists you talk
about were the founders of this great nation!"
Lord New Hampshire looked disappointed. "You mean... Washington and
his cronies won?"
"And you hit George Washington!"
"To the floor!"
"Get out now!"
Lord New Hampshire sighed. "Very well..."
"I shall leave."
"Before I kill you!"
Lord New Hampshire got up and left.
The Ultimate Ninja took a moment to regain his composure. Then he
pressed the intercom and asked for the next applicant to be sent in.
The next applicant walked in and sat down.
"And who are you?" the Ninja asked.
The applicant cleared his throat and spoke. "I am the Likeable
Noodle Handler. I work in a Chinese restaurant handling noodles...
and people like me."
The Ultimate Ninja sighed. It was going to be one of those days.
From: EDMLite robrogers72 at gmail.com
Date: Sun Sep 18 17:44:45 PDT 2011
[Cover shows a man in a red cape staring at the bull's
head mask in his hands. All around him unwind the walls
and twisting passages of a labyrinth].
System Corruptors #27
By Rob Rogers
Let's cut to the chase.
You want to know why we exist. Why we bother.
Why we continue to fight, and to make our plans, when so few
of them seem to work. Why we continue to go up against the
Legion of Net.Heroes, when they always win, and why we do it
in Net.ropolis, when it's their backyard?
You ask because you've seen the perp walks on TV --
some smug county prosecutor hauling Wardriver or The
Invisible Hand before the cameras, their faces purple
with bruises and scarred by whatever scheme has just
blown up in their faces.
And you've said -- even if it was just to yourself --
that if you could do what they did, you wouldn't bother
with wrenching the city dam in half, or turning every trader
in the Net.ropolis stock exchange into a gorilla. You'd
steal something quietly, or you'd join the Legion and fight
crimes instead of committing them. Or you'd just sit on
your ass and tell no one about your powers, only using them
every now and then to lift up a woman's skirt, or send a
particularly irritating bike messenger over his handle bars.
But suppose for a moment that you were one of those
people -- as it says on the LNH recruitment posters -- whom
"fate has blessed with abilities beyond those of your
friends and neighbors."
Nothing too powerful; nothing like flight or
invulnerability that would let you set up as a super-hero on
your own, but something that might work well if you were
part of a group. Maybe you have the power to make everyone
and everything around you a little more resilient, so that
it's harder for them to get hurt. Or maybe you can put your
hand on a package and say exactly where it's been without
having to bother with the tracking slip.
Or maybe you have a knack for always knowing the best
way to get in and out of a building, or a city, or a
situation. The line you choose at the supermarket or the
bank is always the one that moves fastest. You've never
been stuck in traffic. And your little sister cried
herself to sleep for weeks because her hamster never did
find its way out of the wooden maze you built.
Maybe the guys on your football team started calling
you "the Minotaur" because of this, even though the
Minotaur of legend never found his way out of the labyrinth
-- that was Theseus -- and your high school girlfriend said
you looked more like River Phoenix than some guy with the
head of a bull. But the name stuck, and it followed you
all the way from your hometown to Net.ropolis on the day
you went for your audition.
Because that's what you really wanted. You'd grown up
reading the LNH comic books, watching the anime -- your
favorite was "Dvandom Force Go!" -- even eating the cereal.
You'd made it to the second-to-last level of the SuperNES
game playing as the Ultimate Ninja. You wanted to be one
of the Legion, one of the heroes. And you bought into the
idea of what that meant, that someone like you whose power
had always made his family and his friends and even his
girlfriend just a little uncomfortable wasn't a freak, but
a hero in the making, someone who had a responsibility to
use his ability to help others.
So you walked the six blocks from the bus station to
Legion headquarters and kept warm in the all-night bagel
shop across the street, waiting for the lobby to open --
and when it did, you stood in line with the rest of them
and filled out all the right forms and said all the right
things, and so you were just as shocked as everyone else
when you were told there was no need at the moment for your
You didn't have a Plan B, or a place to stay, or a
ticket home, or even the money to come up with a ticket.
While everyone else you knew had been spending the last
year applying to colleges and angling for scholarships,
you'd been meeting with costume designers and rehearsing
what you'd say to Catalyst Lass when you finally met her.
You're staring at the cinder-block wall of the YMCA
on Scavenger Avenue, wondering why your 'ability' picked
today of all days to give out on you -- because you sure as
hell can't see a way out of this situation -- when you
see a flier for the Action League, and you reach out and
grab one of those little perforated strips of paper at the
bottom like it's a lifeline. And it is.
The Action League isn't the LNH. You're always
running down bank robbers and bagmen instead of guys in
costume. But you don't care, because you discover that
you're better in a fight than you thought, and you like
what you're doing, and surely someone from the Legion
has to notice? And you get along with the other members
of the League, even if one of them has blades where his
thumbs ought to be and another doesn't seem to have
anything special about him except that he's big, God-awful
big, and that he's really good at hurting people.
You like the work and you like the company and you
don't have a degree in law enforcement, after all, so it
takes you a couple of weeks to put together that all of
the guys you're bringing down are members of the same
gang. And it's a few more weeks before you realize that
that gang has its rivals in the city, and that you and
your friends work for one of them, that the "Action
League" is really an outfit put together by someone
called the Waffle Queen to recruit potential enforcers.
Which is what you are.
So you try to get out of it. You didn't come to
Net.ropolis, you didn't leave your little sister at
home and break up with your girlfriend and put yourself
in harm's way because you wanted to run errands for the
mob. And even though your boss, a guy who you suspect
could probably have you rubbed out if he wanted, has very
kindly taken the time to point out that you have been
responsible for taking more bad characters off the street
in the last month than the LNH has -- and that several
neighborhoods are safer than they were because of you and
your friends -- you're ready to walk away.
And then there's a fight, and Kevin -- the one you
thought of as the big guy who's good at hurting people,
who also happens to have a pretty wife and a great sense
of humor and who would lend you the shirt off his back
if he thought it would help -- gets shot by Master
Blaster. You visit Kevin in the hospital, his face gray
and his skin smelling like antiseptic and his pretty
wife alternately screaming at you for not being there and
crying into your shoulder.
It's at that moment that you see the LNH for what it
really is: a group of people who fight when they have to in
order to protect each other and to maintain control over a
particular territory. There's a word for groups like that.
That word is "gang."
And when someone from another gang -- not the police,
not the Army, just another street gang, no better than yours
-- when somebody from their gang puts somebody from yours, a
guy you've come to think of as family, into the hospital,
then there are certain steps a man needs to take.
You make arrangements with the part of your
organization that controls Mutant Town, and they agree to
give you and the other members of the League free reign
over three alleys off Mistlock Way -- three curving,
twisting switchbacks, the kind of place where a super-hero
who isn't intimately familiar with the neighborhood could
When the first patrol appears, day-glo costumes and
fresh young faces on what is probably their first
assignment outside of Legion headquarters, you and your
friends are waiting for them at the center of your
maze, and you discover a savagery within you that you
never dreamed was there...
Kevin tells you to lay low for a while after that.
But the organization has taken notice, now, and they
want to know if you have any other ideas. It turns out
you do. It turns out that the old Financial Trust
Building, where Kevin had worked as a security guard
before the League recruited him, is one of the largest
secure repositories for bearer bonds in the Tri-State area.
They've changed things since he worked there, Kevin
tells you. In his day, everyone worked at an open desk.
Now it's all cubicles, floor after floor, grey felt walls
stretching from colorless carpet to the ceiling.
Make a few changes -- shift a wall here, create a blind
alley there -- and the whole thing becomes a perfect maze,
the kind that allows your team to slip in and out, bonds in
hand, while the police and the LNH are wandering around,
hopelessly lost, just a few feet away.
You net nearly $7 million on that job, and now your
boss is clapping you on the shoulder -- only he isn't
your boss any more, not really, and Kevin's wife just
about faints when she sees the check you give her, and
your sister gets a scholarship to attend the private
university of her dreams, though she never knows the
Now even your former boss is telling you to take it
easy for a while, but you don't want to. You want the LNH
to come looking for you. You want it so badly that you
agree to wear the red cape and the bull's head mask you said
was ridiculous when you were first invited to join the
You've had a plan to trap the LNH simmering in your
mind for months, but you've kept it on the shelf because
there's no money angle: revenge brings you respect, and
it's satisfying as hell, but it doesn't pay the bills.
Then you learn through an especially talkative woman
at your gym that three researchers working on something
called a biometric cloak -- a nanotechnological gimcrack
that effectively makes its user invisible to detection by
electronic surveillance methods -- will be attending a
conference in Net.ropolis.
What you're considering now qualifies as kidnapping,
industrial espionage, possibly even treason; the government
considers the device to be a potential threat to national
security, as evidenced by the details they've posted around
the convention center and its hotels. This is real crime,
real super-villainy; you can't justify this as anything that
will make society better, or provide for the needs of your
family or Kevin or Kevin's wife (and the need to provide for
Kevin's wife has become more acute in recent weeks, as your
relationship with her has become more interesting).
You know that you are about to cross a line that cannot
ever be un-crossed. And yet you also know that you will
never be able to convince Master Blaster and the other big
guns of the LNH to come after you simply by robbing banks.
The convention center is in the middle of downtown --
there's no chance of bottling anyone up in a remote alley
this time -- so you propose a plan to reconfigure the city's
sewer system, something that will prevent any flying heroes
from avoiding your maze.
But re-routing the sewer requires more in terms of
manpower and resources than you have at your disposal, which
is how you wind up on the 57th floor of one of the tallest
skyscrapers in Net.ropolis, in the executive office of the
You never see her face -- only her long, enameled
fingers, zebra-striped by the shadows from her blinds --
and after you've made your pitch, she keeps you standing
in front of her desk for a long time.
And while you're staring at your reflection in the
black volcanic glass of her desktop you think about what
she wants you to be thinking about, which is that even if
everything goes exactly according to your plan, you are
going to end up owing her organization more than you can
expect to make on this job, or the next three jobs.
You don't want to think about what will happen if
things don't go according to plan. If you were going to
walk away, to reconsider, the time to do it is...
And then she leans forward, and with something that
looks like a little round waffle on the end of a fork
she stamps your request: APPROVED.
Two days later two of her people in mustard-colored
blazers show up in front of your apartment, and though they
are very deferential and say, over and over, that they are
only on site to implement your plan, both you and they
understand perfectly who is in charge, and it is not you.
And you don't care.
Because twenty-four hours later your crew -- people
Kevin recommended -- emerge from the earth like fiddler
crabs and pull the scientists, their research and the only
working prototype of their device into the earth.
The sky fills with helicopters and caped heroes, and
the ground vibrates with sirens and you sweat beneath your
ridiculous bull's mask, your hands clenched around the
$60,000 vibro-ax that the Waffle Queen's people insisted you
carry and wait for the inevitable to happen.
They don't play by the rules. The Ultimate Ninja
slices through your carefully-constructed walls. Irony
Man disables your electronic traps (though the mechanical
ones work just fine, and you have the satisfaction of
seeing the armored hero squirm beneath a spring-loaded crush
trap like a wriggling rat). And Catalyst Lass -- what,
besides the obvious, did you ever see in her, anyway? --
does something to Kevin's men so that they turn against him,
leaving the southern portion of your maze without defenders.
And you don't mind. Because they're here. The A
squad. The cream of the Legion of Net.Heroes has arrived on
your doorstep. And even if you can no longer quite remember
how Kevin looked in the hospital -- even if, though you
would never admit it, even to yourself, it might be
convenient if Kevin were to go away for a while -- having
the LNH here is the opportunity you've been waiting for your
entire life, and you have no intention of wasting it.
One of the hostages begins prattling on again about
something -- you'd have thought the bull's head and the
vibrating ax would have dissuaded most people from trying
to negotiate with you, but he is an engineer -- and you
growl at him, not wanting to distract yourself from looking
for the Ultimate Ninja, who has disappeared from your
surveillance network. That's not a problem; you don't
need to be able to see your foe to defeat him, after all,
but it would help to know where he is...
... and then you see what you've been waiting for.
So arrogant that he doesn't even bother to seek cover
as he bulldozes his way into your inner sanctum, his twin
ray guns or energy pistols or whatever they are knocking
two of your new hires, Jeremy and Evans, through the nearest
walls (you told them to apply for the supplemental health
insurance, and did they listen? No. But you can be sure
one or both of them will have hired a personal injury lawyer
Master Blaster stands there, smirking, saying something
that you assume he believes to be clever, despite the fact
that his ears, like yours, must surely be ringing from the
echo of his gunfire in the tiny chamber...
...and what you feel at that moment isn't fear of the
...or anger at what he did to your former friend...
...or resentment at the LNH for ruining your life...
...or recognition that if the Legion doesn't destroy you
in the next 30 seconds, the Waffle Queen's people surely
What you feel is bloodlust, pure and simple, and perhaps
curiosity to see what the ax in your hands will do when it
bites into the armor of the man standing in front of you.
And just when it finally occurs to you to wonder why
Master Blaster is standing there -- just standing there! --
you feel the rush of air behind you, and in that instant
you know that the next thing you will feel is the sensation
of the Ultimate Ninja's foot shattering your jaw.
The last thing you remember before the room fades to
purple is that you and your sister used exactly the same
strategy to take down the final boss in the LNH video game,
so many summers ago.
Your sister visits you in prison. No one else does,
not Kevin or his wife, which tells you all you needed to
know about the future of that relationship. She doesn't
say anything during the visit, though you ask her about
school and her experiments and that boy you heard she was
What you expect, while she stands there with one hand
on the glass partition between the two of you, what you
hope, is that she will shake her head and roll her eyes and
say "A bull's head? Really? Really?"
You've forgotten that she's in college, now.
"The Minotaur was a creature of royal blood, with the
power of a god in his veins," your sister says. "No one
alive knew the passageways of the Labyrinth better than he.
"So why did he never leave?" she asks.
And that is the last you see of her.
You want to tell her not to worry about prison -- it's
simply another maze after all, and you've always been good
at finding the best way out of any situation. After three
weeks, when the damage to your jaw has finally begun to
heal, you hear through the prison grapevine that something
has happened to the Waffle Queen, and you feel as though you
can breathe again: you are free in a way you had not dreamed
would ever be possible again.
You can leave the city, not for home, but perhaps
for someplace better. Sao Paolo. Or Prague. Or Crete.
You've heard wonderful things about Crete.
And then, two nights before you are about to execute
your plan of escape, you hear someone in the yard talking
about how glad they are to be in a state prison, rather
than in the holding facility beneath Legion of Net.Heroes
"It's like a maze down there," they say...
...and though you try to ignore the comment, the
thought that the LNH could be trapped in a maze of their
own making, that you could turn their very building
against them, that your last proposal very nearly worked,
except for a few minor structural defects...
...all of that is a record that plays day and night
in your brain, until without thinking of it at all,
you have begun to plan...
Catalyst Lass created by Elisabeth Reba.
Irony Man created by Doug Moran.
Master Blaster created by Robert Ramirez.
Ultimate Ninja created by wReam.
All other characters created by and (c) the author.
"It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil
often attracts the weak."
Next Week: Something that has LNH in title probably...
Arthur "Same Classic Channel. But Same Time? Probably not." Spitzer
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