Legion of Net. Heroes

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The Legion of Net. Heroes also called LNH is a shared universe setting in which many writers use the same characters, ideas, and places in their stories, often working together. It is also the name of the most important group in the setting.

Beginning[change | change source]

On April 27, 1992, a member of the USENET newsgroup rec.arts.comics said that his name was Spelling Boy. Two days later, another member, named Dan'l Danehy-Oakes, took the name California Kid and said he was a member of the "Legion of Net.Heroes". Soon others were choosing colourful names for themselves, such as Cheesecake-Eater Lad and CAPTAIN CAPITALIZE.[1]

On May 5, Steven Librande got fed up with the silly "net.hero" names and chose the name Doctor Killfile a "net.villain".[2]

Benjamin Pierce or Marvel_Zombie Lad sent out a call for all net.heroes to fight back. Forty-four different writers worked together on the first LNH story, later called "The Cosmic Plot Device Caper".[3] The story was never finished, and that summer most people forgot about the LNH.

In the fall, Todd "Scavenger" Kogutt brought the LNH back.[4] Many new writers and stories appeared. Some writers published their stories in multiple parts or serials much like American comic books.

Finding a home[change | change source]

The LNH moved to its own newsgroup, alt.comics.lnh, before finding their permanent home on rec.arts.comics.creative [1], or RACC. RACC is home to other shared universes, like ASH [2], OMEGA [3] and 8FOLD [4]. Russ "Eagle" Allbery is RACC's moderator—a person who makes sure ads and pornography do not appear on the group—and archivist—which means he keeps copies of all stories. [5]

The Looniverse[change | change source]

The world of the LNH is called the Looniverse. In many ways it is like our own universe and Earth. But there are some differences. For example, net.heroes, net.villains, and super-powers exist.

Many of the cities in the Looniverse have silly names. The real city of Chicago is called "Sig.ago" in the Looniverse.[5] The LNH itself is based in "Net.ropolis", and many stories take place there.

Many people in the Looniverse know that they are fictional characters—something which is called "breaking the fourth wall". For example, in one story, "The Case of the Clueless Mystery" by Gary St. Lawrence,[6] the heroes read the script for the story they are in to find out how to beat the villain.

The Looniverse contains many mutually-exclusive ideas—things that can not exist at the same time. Sometimes, characters falling off a cliff are in real danger. Other times, they pop back into shape like cartoon characters. Some characters age in real time. Other characters never seem to age at all. Yet all these characters exist side-by-side.

Many of the cities in the Looniverse have net-based names: Net.ropolis and Sig.ago, for example.[6]

The Legion[change | change source]

The headquarters of the LNH (called LNHHQ or LNHQ) is based in Net.ropolis. The team has hundreds of members. Some of them form "sub-groups". For example, one sub-group, the "TSK Force" [7], deals with small things like bad manners.

Legionnaires (also known as LNHers or LNH'rs) can stay at LNHQ for free. The building is very strange. The size of a room changes to fit the number of people in the room.

It has been hinted in some stories that LNHQ is alive.

The Cast[change | change source]

Because the LNH is so large, we can not list all its members in this article. Here are a few.

  • Ultimate Ninja[8]: the leader of the LNH. He can do anything people think is oriental—Japanese, Chinese, Thai, or Korean. He uses maple seeds as weapons, calling them "Ninja bush". What makes the character interesting is that he may one day kill the entire LNH.
  • Cannon Fodder [9]: he can be killed, only to appear in the next issue. This is making fun of comic book heroes who come back from the dead.
  • Catalyst Lass [10]: she can force others to share her interests. Sometimes she does this by being sexy. Sometimes she does this by being friendly. Sometimes she does this by talking someone into it.
  • Kid Recap [11]: he can recap—or explain—what happened in other stories.
  • Master Blaster [12]: he is a sexist pig who has many guns. He says stupid things and is a parody of "manly" behaviour.
  • Sister State-the-Obvious [13]: she can tell people things everybody already knows. She is married to Master Blaster.
  • CAPTAIN CAPITALIZE [14]: he speaks only in capital letters.

Fictional History[change | change source]

The LNH began in 1992 in our world. However, in the Looniverse, the LNH has been around a lot longer than that.

Back story[change | change source]

In the 19th Century, Net.ropolis was called Babbagetown. After the name of the city changed, there was a building called the Net.ropolis Hotel Grand. It later became the Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters, or LNHHQ. [15][16]

The first LNH was formed in the 1920s by Boy Lad. He was the only member. His sidekick, Boy Lad Jr., was not allowed to join. Boy Lad disappeared.

Other heroes protected Net.ropolis:

1940s and 1950s:

  • Agents of P.U.L.P. [17]
  • Classic Squad [18]
  • Society of Wireless Heroes [19]

Some members of the Classic Squad later became members of the LNH: Old Comics Man, Golden Man, and Kid Yesterdaze.

1960s and 1970s:

  • Net.astic Nine [20]
  • Challengers of the Abominable [21]
  • Legion of Net.Hippies[22]

Sig.Lad, a member of the Net.astic Nine, later joined the LNH. Some members of the Legion of Net.Hippies also joined the Legion of Net.Heroes—Nudist Man, Super Apathy Lad, and Procrastination Boy.

1980s:

  • Legion of New-Wave Heroes [23]

Some stories say that today's LNH started in April of 1992, others say it started in the 1980s. [24]

1992-2006[change | change source]

After the "Cosmic Plot Device Caper", Rebel Yell became leader of the LNH. The entire LNH disappeared. In "501 Blues: The Long Road to Nowhere", Rebel Yell tried to find them all. [25]

The "Cry.sig on Infinite Net.Earths" [26] was a parody of the DC Comics story Crisis on Infinite Earths. Like that story, it allowed LNH writers to change things about their characters. For example, before "Cry.sig", Cheesecake-Eater Lad was married and farted a lot. After "Cry.sig", he was single and made cheesecakes. It was like the earlier Cheesecake-Eater Lad never existed. In American comic books, this is called a retcon.

After "Cry.sig", the Ultimate Ninja joined the LNH. Rebel Yell shared the leadership with Ultimate Ninja and Continuity Champ. Later, Rebel Yell left the LNH [27]. Ultimate Ninja became leader of the LNH.

The Ultimate Ninja thought an LNH member named Myk-El was a traitor and killed him. In the story "Retcon Hour", Myk-El came back to life and it was proved that he was not a traitor. "Retcon Hour" was one of the biggest LNH stories, and was written by fourteen people. [28]

In "Looniverse Adrift", the first net.villain, Dr. Killfile, was destroyed. Another villain, Tsar Chasm (a pun on sarcasm), also died. [29] Both later returned from the dead. [30]. [31].

Pocket Man married Organic Lass in the first LNH wedding [32].

In 1999, one of the most popular characters, Panta, was retconned out of existence [33].

In 2000, Hexadecimal Luthor—a parody of Superman villain Lex Luthor—became President of the United States. He won a second term in 2004.

In March of 2001, the city of Sig.ago was destroyed. It was later rebuilt. [34]

In July of 2001, many characters were married [35]:

  • Deja Dude and Imelda
  • Master Blaster and Sister State-the-Obvious
  • Innovative Offense Boy and Ordinary Lady
  • Cheesecake-Eater Lad and aLLiterative Lass

Stories[change | change source]

Here are some of the best-liked LNH stories. As you can see, not all the stories are silly. There are many different types of stories and characters.

  • Aeneas and Ferris[36], by K. M. Wilcox. It is about a net.villain who lives with a net.hero. They are friends. The stories are sometimes sad and odd.
  • Alt. Riders[37], by Jamas Enright. These stories are adventures. The Alt.Riders stop bad things before they happen.
  • Dvandom Force[38], by Dave Van Domelen. These stories are sometimes funny and sometimes dramatic. Many times it makes fun of anime—a type of Japanese cartoon.
  • Easily-Discovered Man[39], by Rob Rogers. Easily-Discovered Man can glow bright green. His sidekick, Easily-Discovered Man Lite, tells the stories to the reader. These stories are funny, but they are more about people whose lives are funny.
  • Limp-Asparagus Lad[40], by Saxon Brenton. Some of these stories are funny, and some are not. Many stories are about the link between writers, characters, and readers.
  • LNH[41]. These stories are about the LNH. Different people write the stories. Most of them are silly, but some are not.
  • LNH Triple Play[42], by Jeff McCoskey. These stories have three main characters. The funny parts are very sweet and gentle. These stories show many sides to the characters.
  • Misfits[43], by Jennifer Whiston. These stories are very dark and serious. They are about three women. Many times they fight demons.
  • Saviors of the Net[44]. This story was mostly funny. It was written by many writers, who each took turns. It is about a team of heroes who create a god called "The Mechanical Author". The Mechanical Author takes control of the Looniverse and tries to make it perfect. This story continued in another story, called Mutton Mania[45].
  • Tales of the LNH[46], by Hubert Bartels. These stories are funny and thoughtful. They make fun of lots of movies and books. They are about Panta, a woman who is part-cat. She was very popular.
  • Writer's Block Woman (and Mouse) [47], by Jessica Ihimaera-Smiler. These stories are very silly. Writer's Block Woman loves being a net.hero. Her daughter and sidekick, Mouse, does not.

Spin-Off Imprints[change | change source]

Other groups took ideas from the LNH and made their own groups, or "imprints".

  • The Net. Trenchcoat Brigade[48]. The NTB wear long coats and fight demons with magic. [49].
  • The PULP Imprint[50]: Jeff McCoskey created the PULP Imprint to tell Pulp Fiction type tales set in the LNH's past.
  • The LNH-Men Universe[51][52]: Jeff McCoskey wrote a story called The Golden LNH-Men. It combined LNH-type characters with a parody of the comic book Watchmen. Peter "Tick" Milan and Matthew "Badger" Rossi wrote a second story called LNH-Men: The Silver Age.
  • League of Heroes[53]: These are stories by Ben Rawluk that take place in a setting like the Looniverse, but different.
  • The Order of St. Doomas[54]: These stories are about a group that goes after sphammers—people who post ads and pornography—or "spam"—to newsgroups.
  • The LNH2 Imprint[55]: Martin Phipps created this imprint to tell stories taking place in the LNH's future.
  • The LNHY Imprint[56]: Arthur Spitzer created this universe, which is like the Looniverse, but different. Unlike the normal Looniverse, there are only a few LNH members.

Importance[change | change source]

There have been thousands of LNH stories by many writers. Writers work together on stories from all over the world: the LNH has writers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, the Philippines, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. It is an "open universe", which means that anyone can join. This is probably why it is still active.

References[change | change source]

  1. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics/browse_thread/thread/99f96d23932a9546/2f233def357d57fd?q=Legion+of+Net+Heroes&
  2. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics/browse_thread/thread/1db3cc1bba81bffa/b3b1222cdabd8236?q=Legion+of+Net+Villains&
  3. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics/browse_thread/thread/e8ddccfdd635e2e/e784681e2335b0f7?q=Legion+of+Net+Villains&rnum=21#e784681e2335b0f7
  4. http://www.eyrie.org/lnh/faq.html
  5. http://www.eyrie.org/lnh/gazette.html
  6. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comics.lnh/msg/d5ad142db42c3fc9?dmode=source