Blue Light Productions presents

Limp-Asparagus Lad #5     Who is Retcon Lad?
By Saxon Brenton 
Editing by The Mystic Mongoose

Cover: Shows Joe, dressed in a gaudily coloured spandex costume, in 
a situation similar to the cover of #1: alone in a white cover. Rather 
than Limp-Asparagus Lad's look of mild surprise however, Joe simply 
looks embarrassed as he reaches to adjust the material of his costume.

  In the computer centre of the LNHQ, five people were present, trying to 
resolve the mystery of Joe's past comic book incarnation, revealed last 
issue when he was subjected to the Reversion Ray Projector by W.I.R.E.D. 
(We Intend Rule and Eternal Domination). Present are Joe, Limp-Asparagus 
Lad, Fourth Wall Lass, wReamhack, and Doctor Stomper.
  Doctor Stomper began. "I've called you all here because I believe I 
have an explanation. I had wReamhack run a universal systems search for 
references to Joe that may throw light on this situation."
  "I found something in the archives of the other comics related 
newsgroups," wReamhack explained, and brought up part of an article by 
Tylendel, posted to rec.arts.comics.xbooks in early March:

   Here's a challenge for all you creative X-Fans!  Come up with your ideas 
   for the members of the new x-team, Generation X!!!  Include codenames, 
   real identities, powers, origins, appearance, and personality traits! 
   Maybe we can send the best ones to Scott Lobdell?  who knows?  We could 
   influence the future of Xbooks as we know them!  Put on those thinking 
   caps true believers!!!!!

  "So what's that got to do with me?" Joe asked after reading it.
  "Take a look at what one of the follow-ups in the same thread was," 
replied wReamhack. The screen now showed another post, this one by Saxon 

   Real Name: Joseph "Joe" Forsythe

   Power: Retcon has the ability to alter past history to conform to his 
   desires. His greatest limitation is that he cannot change something 
   that has already happened (is "real") without explaining why it was not/
   is not now real, or in other words he must give an 
   explanation of the misunderstanding/dream/hoax/whatever that led 
   to the original interpretation of the now false history. 
   This means that the histories of people, creatures, items, 
   and places that he changes tend to become horribly convoluted. 
   In Generation X a continuing mystery about his power should be 
   an uncertainty about exactly how much and how far he can affect things.

   Personality. Retcon has a potentially awesome power that scares him 
   stiff. Before manifesting his mutant abilities Joe was a happy 
   outgoing, reasonably well-adjusted teenager. He was also a fanboy, 
   and could discuss and theorize about the most esoteric of topics 
   with the best of them. After gaining his power he was shocked to 
   find several things from real life reconforming themselves to his 
   musing. He has since become slowly more taciturn, withdrawn, and 
   brooding as he tries to control himself and not change anything 
   else. He has worried friends and family by his apparent loss of 
   interest in social activities (including fandom), his hermit-like 
   lifestyle, and his steady loss in weight (from worry rather than 
   physical reasons).

     In Generation X Retcon should be written not so much as a combatant 
   (although he could easily win most fights by simply "rescripting" bits 
   of an opponent's recent past) but as a mutant who needs training 
   with a dangerous power desperately. Despite the fact that he remembers 
   what the past "really" was, he feels lost among the tangled knot 
   of pasts he creates. The problem is, however, that as a member of 
   Generation X he has learnt all the various complications of 
   Psylock/Kwannon/Revanance; Rachel/Phoenix; Illyana/Darkchild; 
   Cable/Nathan/Stryfe; etc ad nauseum. He is therefore paranoidly 
   afraid that not only could he screw up his companion's lives, but in some 
   way he doesn't understand already has. Thus, despite the opportunities 
   for help and training available, there is a good chance he could 
   withdraw completely.

   Appearance: White American male, 15 years old, 5' 3", long dark brown 
   hair, green eyes, currently badly underweight.

  Joe stared at the screen. "That's me," he breathed in amazement. "Except, 
I'm not that young. Or bordering on catatonic withdrawal."
  "You aren't currently that young," clarified Doctor Stomper. "But as the 
Reversion Ray's effects clearly demonstrated, your previous comic book 
incarnation," he tapped the screen, "was."
  "And as for the catatonia. Well, you were near that when we found you," 
Fourth Wall Lass reminded him gently.
  Joe shuddered at the memory. He'd tried to put that aside, the feeling of
utter helplessness and despair. FW Lass put her hand on his shoulder 
sympathetically. "I barely remember any of that," he said, squinting at the 
screen. "Which is strange, considering the way my powers work. In both 
versions," he added, pointing out the section that described how the powers 
of his 15 year old self. "All I can recall are the memories that I had 
yesterday, and they're all... hazy. I remember the memories of the events, 
but not the events themselves. It's all second hand. What happened, do you 
  Doctor Stomper spoke up. "I can theorise that you truly originated from 
this particular universe," he said, indicating the screen again. "The worst 
case scenario described occurred, or something close too it, that caused 
you to not only withdraw, perhaps mentally, from your environment, but 
definitely physically. You retconned yourself out of your home universe, 
which you were afraid of damaging more, and into another one. Since the 
Looniverse is far more flexible because of its inherent absurdity, you 
ended up here as a place less likely to be damaged. Moreover, because 
you were, effectively, running away from your problems, you retconned 
your memories of your past existence away when you inserted yourself into 
this continuity. It may be that you also aged yourself, in order to gain 
better control of your abilities."
  "Okay then, why did he retcon himself into being Limpy's cousin?" asked 
Fourth Wall Lass.
  "Apart from the most obvious, meta-continuity related answer that 
they're both being handled by the same writer?" said Doctor Stomper. 
"Possibly he was diverted to Limp-Asparagus Lad because of the recent 
increase in his weirdness factor." [L-A Lad #3 - SB]
  "Yeah, well. I guess that would do it. But aren't there heroes who're 
even greater weirdness magnets? Wouldn't Joe have, you know, gravitated 
towards them first?"
  "I think people like Swordmaster and Easily-Discovered Man Lite have 
enough problems as is without having to deal with more," observed 
Doctor Stomper.
  "That would explain it, I suppose," mused Joe, who had had his eyes 
closed in thought. His opened them again, but they still had a distant 
quality. "And since I now know what's going on, there's no need for 
mental blocks, and all my memories can return." He closed his eyes again 
as his rational for why his memories should come back was retconned into 
reality, and his recollections of his first past flooded back. "Yes," he 
said quietly. "I remember it all now." He had a pained look on his face as 
he turned to Limp-Asparagus Lad. "I'm sorry Josh. I guess this means I was 
right when I was prattling yesterday. I'm really not your cousin after all."
  "Only if you choose not to be," observed L-A Lad clinically. "You weren't 
originally, but you are now. The most recent retcon takes precedence, does 
it not?"
  Joe nodded, abashed. "Yeah, you're right. Geez, now I've got two 
families." Joe paused as a thought occurred to him. "Hold up. Is that 
universe still there?"
  Doctor Stomper looked puzzled by his question. "There's no reason why it 
should not be. I doubt if you inadvertently retconned it out of existence 
when you left. If you left because you subconsciously wanted to protect it, 
then it should still be whole."
  "No, that's not what I meant. I remember now, my mutant team is totally 
different to Marvel's Gen X comic. Different universe entirely."
  "That's correct. A divergent fanficiverse," agreed Doctor Stomper.
  "Yeah, right. So what I mean is, is anybody writing fanfiction about it 
over on r.a.c.xbooks?"
  wReamhack shook his head. "There's nothing in the archives."
  "What are you getting at?" asked FW Lass.
  "I just had this horrible thought of what happened to the Legion of 
Occult Heroes' universe. You know, without contact from writers or a 
supportive readership the whole place just withered up and died. Is that 
sort of thing likely to happen to them?"
  Doctor Stomper paused for a second as he thought about that one. "I 
don't know," he admitted. "Logically it shouldn't. The nature of the 
mainstream Marvel multiverse is to have many divergent realities, all 
connected at some point to the main continuity. Your fanficiverse should 
be able to sustain its existence by being treated as simply another 
offshoot, thus drawing on energy from general xbooks interest as long as 
it remains within r.a.c.xbooks. But ultimately..."
  "You don't know for sure."
  "No. I'm afraid not."
  Joe's face took on a determined set, and he said, "Well, I think that's 
as good an explanation as any, and I _know_ it's right."
  Doctor Stomper looked at him with surprise, knowing that comment was far 
more than just an expression of faith in the Doctor's own ability to make 
sense of the unintelligible. "It's understandable that you should make the 
attempt, but we do not know the range of your abilities. It seems unlikely 
that you could reconnect an entire universe in another newsgroup to second 
hand readership interest."
  "It's worth a try," Joe countered. Then, "I wonder if I should go and 
check them out."
  "Well, I can certainly get you there," offered FW Lass "As long as 
there's a plot thread to follow back..."
  wReamhack looked at her in surprise. "You sure you're not a Crossroads 
  "Uhm, not that I know."
  "That may not be a good idea in any case," interjected Doctor Stomper.
  "Why not?"
  "Part of the charter of this newsgroup is that there will be no 
appearance by licensed characters from other companies."
  "Poet did in his 'Sudden Impulse' arc," countered wReamhack.
  "He asked for and received permission," replied Doctor Stomper. He 
turned back to Joe. "If you return to your fanficiverse, it's almost 
certain that you'll encounter trademarked personages, leaving you open to 
attack from Lethal Lawyer. At that point only Copyright Kid and Trademark 
Lass could help you."
  "What, they'd save me?"
  "No. They'd instantly blast you into Legal Oblivion ((c) and (tm) United 
States legal system). But at least they'd make it quick and painless, and 
not run you through the mud in an insane attempt to discredit the rest of 
the Legion."
  Joe swallowed. "Uhm, right. Okay, scratch that idea."
  "Anyway," continued Doctor Stomper, returning to what he believed 
would be a less contentious subject, "this would all explain why you 
generally avoid using your powers on people, and have avoided joining 
any hero teams..."
  "Hey! Stop trying to psychoanalyse me! Okay. Fine. I don't like using my 
powers much 'cause I have screwed up in the past. And that includes 
making Logan a wolverine superevolved into human form and Raven 
Kurt's father instead of his mother. But I still want to finish high school 
and get a real life!"
  "Joe, from the point of view of this newsgroup this _is_ real life. 
Superheroes, and particularly the Legion, are the focus of this entire 
universe, and everyone else are just background characters," FW Lass 
pointed out.
  "I tend to agree with Joe," put in L-A Lad with typical tonelessness. 
"There has to be more than simply running around in spandex fighting 
villains. Why can not the normal people have lives of their own? Real 
lives, that mean something, rather than just being background crowd 
scenes and helpless victims?"
  Joe threw L-A Lad a grateful look, and said. "Okay, look. How about 
we compromise on this Terri? I'll join the Legion, but only as a reservist. 
I've got my own life to lead, and I'm not going to let superheroing ruin a 
career in accountancy the way it disrupted, say, Coma Kid's life." He 
paused for a second and added, "And _no_ spandex."
  "Mmm. Okay." She put her arms around him. "I guess I don't need you 
in a tight costume to know what your buns look like." They kissed.
  wReamhack shook his head ruefully. "I'll start typing up a roster entry."
  "I'll go get an application form for you," noted Doctor Stomper.
  Limp-Asparagus Lad watched the couple snuggled for a moment, then 
interrupted. "May I ask you something personal?"
  "Do you plan to do anything about the subplot?"
  "Uhm, I would've thought that searching out the Golden Age Asparagus 
Lad was more your role, Limpy," replied Joe. "It's your comic, after all."
  "I mean the one from last issue," L-A Lad said.
  They looked at him blankly.
  "How you were going to have to deal with Fourth Wall Lass having been 
male?" he tried prompting them.
  They continued to look at him blankly for another second, then 
comprehension dawned in Joe's eyes. "Oh. That. We've already dealt with 
  "I don't think Subplot Lad will be pleased at such a quick resolution. 
And off panel too," observed L-A Lad matter-of-factly.
  Joe shrugged. "We decided to get it out of the way as quickly as 
possible, so that I wouldn't have worry about it while we were busy 
sorting out my origin."
  Limp-Asparagus Lad nodded his head. He should have thought of that. Joe 
wasn't one to leave untidy ends loose if he could sort them out. No matter 
how sloppy he may leave his room, he preferred his lifestyle nice and tidy. 
"Still, you're probably passing up an opportunity for angst."
  "Hey, get off my case. I angsted myself clean out of my home universe. 
That should be more than enough for anyone. Real Olympic class stuff, 
  "Anyway," continued FW Lass, "we sat down immediately after we 
reported back to LNHQ, and talked it over. Like adults. Sensibly and 
rationally," she added, knowing how much the last would appeal to L-A 
  Doctor Stomper returned and handed the form to Joe.
  "_Attempted_ to deal with it sensibly and rationally," sighed Joe as he 
filled out the membership application. "That's hard to do when you still 
don't understand all the ramifications."
  "Like what?" asked wReamhack, who had been trying not to intrude on the 
conversation, but found himself intrigued by it nonetheless.
  Joe made a face. "The writer's playing head games. I still don't 
understand it all, but apparently she both is and isn't Kid Not Appearing 
In Any Retcon Hour Story, depending on how you look at it."
  "How's that possible?" the Master Hacker asked.
  "Is a photon of light a wave or a particle?" she quizzed.
  "Erk! Don't start getting philosophical on me, please," wReamhack begged.
  "Well, actually it's quite likely that when Kid Not Appearing In Any 
Retcon Hour Story became Fourth Wall Lass she gained an extensive back 
history as a new character," noted Doctor Stomper. "That would explain 
why they were able to met each other in past (albeit as yet unwritten) 
  "I had been assuming that it was time travel that accounted for that," 
said L-A Lad.
  "No," said the Doctor, shaking his head. "This is the Looniverse after 
all. We're frequently subject to an inversion of Occam's Razor: The 
simplest explanations are often the least interesting, and consequently 
turn out to be false because they contravene dramatic licence." He paused. 
"All that also implies that if Fourth Wall Lass gained back history, then 
equal but opposite reactions should cause Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon 
Hour Story to gain a future history."
  "You mean he's still around?" asked wReamhack in surprise.
  "Almost certainly," replied Doctor Stomper. "In fact, isn't he due to 
accompany you on the mission this afternoon when yet another horrible 
menace threatens Net.ropolis?"
  Fourth Wall Lass snapped her fingers. "Yeah, you're right. I'd completely 
forgotten about that."
  "You see what I mean about _trying_ to work it out?" Joe said as he 
completed the form.

  Much later, a flight.thingee took off from the LNHQ on a mission. It 
contained Irony Man at the controls, with Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon 
Hour Story, Fourth Wall Lass, and Limp-Asparagus Lad also present. Joe was 
not there; after he had put in his application for Legion membership as 
Retcon Lad, and Fourth Wall Lass and helped him pick out a costume of a 
loose brown and tan jump-suit, he had begged off doing anything else with 
the Legion that day, claiming he had classes to attend.
  "Perhaps we'd best go over the details of the mission for the readers' 
sakes," suggested Irony Man.
  "Very well," complied Kid. "Know that the Earth's crust beneath 
Net.ropolis has within the past few hours has exhibited signs of severe 
tectonic stress. Unless alleviated, the city and a significant part of the 
surrounding countryside will be destroyed as part of the mantle is thrust 
to the surface in geysers of fiery destruction."
  "That sounds a reworking of part of the 'Pocket Universe' storyline from 
Superman," Limp-Asparagus Lad observed dispassionately.
  "I hope the writer isn't planning on following up with the destruction of 
the Looniearth as well," FW Lass put in.
  "He'd have to do it in an Elsewhirl," said Irony Man. "The other writers 
would skin him alive if he destroyed mainstream Looniearth."
  "In truth, the possibility of the destruction of the Looniearth does 
exist. However, the effects are extremely localised, and triangulation does 
seem to indicate an identifiable, artificial source on the surface."
  "Well done, Kid," FW Lass said in ironic admiration. "I couldn't have 
said it better myself."
  "A strange comment, since I am yourself," he noted. "Although this is 
the first time we've met on panel since the dramatic revelation of our 
mutual past."
  "Actually it's the first time we've met on panel, period."
  "That is true."
  "Listen, I think the writer's getting overly cute trying to confuse 
people. Should we try and save them from that and just call ourselves 
brother and sister? It worked for the counterparts on Earth 1 and Earth 2 
back when DC still had a multiverse," suggested Fourth Wall Lass.
  "Mayhap that would be best, though they will inevitably consider us half 
siblings," Kid pointed out.
  She made a face at the idea of the new complication. "Probably, but it's 
not unheard of for a white sister to have a black brother, so it's not 
going to be _that_ confusing."
  "True, 'little sister'."
  "Why thank you, 'big brother'."
  "Have you yet dealt with the romantic subplot you were embroiled in with 
Retcon Lad?" asked KNAIARHS, changing the topic.
  She sighed. "Yes, we have."
  "How is it that you know about that subplot?" queried Limp-Asparagus Lad. 
"You weren't there."
  "On the contrary. I was there, when she was reverted to me."
  "But you are two physically separate people. Simply by reverting to a 
previous comic book incarnation identical to you doesn't mean she became 
  "Uh, no Limpy. Actually it does," FW Lass replied. "Yes, there were two 
of us, physically separate. But our identities were the same. So although 
he wasn't physically present, he remembers the confrontation with 
W.I.R.E.D. and the A.A.A. because I was him."
  Limp-Asparagus Lad pondered this for a moment, then said, "I think I 
begin to see why Joe was having so much trouble sorting your situation out."
  "Joe's being very supportive in simply trying to understand at all," FW 
Lass affirmed. "I think that's part of why I love him."
  "I think the writer must be finished trying to bamboozle the readers with 
that subplot," announced Irony Man. "We're approaching the source of 
the disturbance."
  Below, part of a formidable looking complex, miles from anywhere could 
be seem, only some of it extending partly above ground level.
  "So that's the source," said FW Lass. "Astute deduction. It _is_ a 
  "So it would seem."
  The net.heroes parked the flight.thingee and advanced towards, and then 
into, the building. They encountered no opposition.
  "Anything?" asked Irony Man of FW Lass.
  "Nope. The writer's playing it cagey. All the captions so far keep saying 
that the place _seems_ deserted."
  They continued on, eventually making their way to what seemed to be a 
control centre of some type. It was a huge room, with a gigantic Kirbian 
device suspended above a gaping pit.
  "Oh. How X-Men 150-ish," FW Lass noted.
  "Absolutely correct, heroes! But you are too late! My fiendish plan has 
already begun!"
  The net.heroes spun about, to spy the familiar form of a man clad in dark 
armour with silver highlights.
  "Exclamation!Master!" said Limp-Asparagus Lad in mild surprise.

To be concluded in: If this is the last issue of the story, then we 
  must be due for a fight scene.

LNH Roster entries
NAME: Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story (Terry)
  CREATED BY: Badger (though the revamping is Saxon Brenton's fault)
  POWERS: Various deliberately ill-defined powers of pre-Crisis 
  Superman level. Includes: super strength, invulnerability, flight, 
  optic force blasts, anthropic restorative abilities, unconsciousness 
  causing concussive blasts.
  ADD NOTES: Revamped into Fourth Wall Lass. The fact that they 
  coexist as separate people is purely to confuse people (like 
  readers :-). They refer to themselves as brother and sister.
  STATUS: Alive
  WEAKNESS: Retcon Hour story poisoning
  APPEARANCE: Navy, azure, black and white bodysuit; navy cape 
  with azure trim.

NAME: Retcon Lad (Joe Forsythe)
  CREATED BY: (Saxon Brenton)
  POWERS: Can create retcons, as long as he can fit it into 
  continuity, or explain why past continuity is false.
  ADD NOTES: Reluctant net.hero. Inadvertently retconned himself out 
  of his home universe into the Looniverse while in a catatonic 
  depression. Cousin of Limp-Asparagus Lad.
  STATUS: Alive; Reservist in LNH.
  APPEARANCE: Brown and tan jump-suit, bandana mask; refuses to 
  wear spandex.


Limp-Asparagus Lad by Saxon Brenton, created by The Mystic Mongoose 
  and wReam
Exclamation!Master!, Fourth Wall Lass, and Retcon Lad by Saxon Brenton
Doctor Stomper and Irony Man by Public Domain
Coma Kid by The Mystic Mongoose
Copyright Kid and Trademark Lass by The Stirge
Easily-Discovered Man Lite by Rob Rogers
Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour and Swordmaster by Badger
Legion of Occult Heroes by Paul Hardy
Lethal Lawyer by Mark Friedman
wReamhack by wReam

Quote from r.a.c.xbooks by Tylendel

All characters (c) and (tm) their respective owners and/or creators

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