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An occasionally Acrophobe LNH title

Issue #2
When Titans Fight Scene
Part 4 of Leftovers

Written by and copyright 1997 Saxon Brenton

Cover is reminiscent of _DC versus Marvel_ #1. Squidman rushes in to 
fight Fearless Leader, as do Macroman and Makkaroni, Elastic Sock and 
Mr. Thingy, Wolfenblitz and Lobotomy, and Hals Jordon and the Radiant 
Rollerblader. Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story prepares to 
face Maui, who is grinning and gesturing in a 'come and get me' attitude. 
Towering above them all are the green and orange faces of the Siblings.

          "Both Earths were created at the same time in two quite similar 
          universes! They vibrate differently - which keeps them apart!
              - The Silver Age Flash to the Golden Age Flash, in 'Flash 
                Of Two Worlds' _Flash_ #123 (Sep 1961)

          "In Hawaii there is a curious legend that says the world was 
          created out of Chaos, which itself was the ruins of an even 
          earlier world. No one can tell what the mysterious wrecked 
          world was like, nor the chaos that succeeded it - but the new 
          and glorious world we all know emerged from it."
              - A.W. Reed, _Myths And Legends Of Polynesia_

         "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers 
         exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will 
         instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more 
          bizarre and inexplicable.
         "There is another theory that states that this has already happened."
              - Douglas Adams, _The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe_

  Kid Recap walks on panel and clears his throat. "Last issue Kid Not 
Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story was flung into the far, far, far 
future as a result of the machinations of the Fandom Zone Criminals. 
He was rescued from the Meantime by a collective entity called Humanity, 
who is now telling him the tale of when the Looniverse was divided 
against itself in an event known as the Bifurcation, and the net.heroes 
of the two halves were forced into a life and death contest to determine 
which would live and which would die.
  "Now read on."

                        - o o O O O o o -


Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story versus Maui:
  With a rumble the building collapsed on Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon 
Hour Story. He flew forward as fast as he could to prevent becoming 
trapped under tonnes of debris; he could easily survive the impact, but 
even a moment's incapacitation would spell defeat under the rules for 
this fight scene laid down by the Siblings. As it was he was only tagged 
by a few pieces of the collapsed structure.
  Still, those bits seemed to consist of twisted beams. He couldn't just 
shrug the aside, and although he could tear them apart he was loathe 
to take the time even for that. So instead, he said the Word:
  There was a roll of thunder, and suddenly he was skinny little Terry 
Namu again. The teenager slipped easily out between through the spaces 
between the girders that would have been too big for his alter ego. 
.oO(Hmm. Looks like there's benefits to being a weedy little nerd after 
all,) he thought. Then he prepare to say the Word again, and continue 
the struggle.
  Then out of the corner of his eye, Terry caught sight of something 
that confused him mightily. Across the road, engaging in what could only 
be described as a slugfest in the 'mindlessly muscle-bound manner' were 
himself and Maui.
  "Good likeness, don't you think?" asked Maui from behind him. Terry 
spun around. The god was sitting on the bonnet of a car, apparently in 
a state of repose. He turned his attention from the fanboy pleasing fight 
scene across the way and winked at the youth.
  "It's an illusion. The big fellows see them," he pointed, "but not 
us." Maui shrugged. "It's a time gaining device. We need to talk, and 
we don't want them spying on us."
  Warily the young man asked, "Talk about what?"
  "Saving both worlds," Maui replied simply. Then his face turned grim. 
"I did not take part in causing this world to Be - raising father Rangi 
the sky from mother Papa the ground, in setting the sun in its path, 
and going to the effort of fishing the dry lands from the sea - just 
to watch it destroyed by two brawling brothers blinded by their sibling 
  Terry paused, examining the idea. It coincided with his own 
preferences. Certainly, he didn't want the death of a whole universe 
on his conscience. "Are you sure you can keep Them from noticing?"
  Maui grinned mischievously. "Of course. I'm a Trickster: underhanded 
and devious. What, did you expect some thunder god who's tactics would 
be to charge in and try to win the day with brute force?" The god looked 
amused and depreciative. "Forget that, they all suffer from hammer envy."
  "Those two are a lot more powerful than mere thunder gods," Terry 
pointed out meaningfully.
  If anything, Maui just looked more amused. "But not necessarily more 
intelligent. I mean, really. They're the embodiments of two whole 
_universes_, but even given the limitation of not being able to confront 
each other directly, the best they can come up with is a series of 
  Terry smiled at his point. Still, he was dealing with a trickster god. 
"I like the sound of it, but how do I know I can trust you?"
  Maui considered, briefly looking sober. "You don't. And all things 
being equal, you probably wouldn't and shouldn't. But in this case you 
have no choice. Entire universes are at stake, and I don't intend to let 
them fail. You may join me if you wish, or you may stay here and watch 
the extended battle. But if you stay, you will _not_ be allowed to 
interfere with the outcome, or warn Those Two."
  "Huh? And how would you stop me?"
  "Try to move," the god replied, gesturing with an open hand in 
invitation. Terry tried to do so. He found he couldn't shift more than 
from foot to foot on the spot. He was hardly paralysed, and could turn 
around and wouldn't get cramps, but it became clear that he wasn't able 
to abscond. Saying Net.zam didn't help either.
  "Technically speaking I've already won. You're immobilised. But I need 
for Them to see an ongoing fight to delay their final judgement. 
Invisible and intangible, you would stay here, safely out of the way 
until Those Two have been brought to their senses. Either that or the 
fights conclude with the destruction of one or another world." Then Maui 
laughed. "But that's ridiculous. That would mean that I would fail, which 
is silly. I intend to keep both worlds intact."
  The god leaned forward. "Would you like to help?" he asked with a grin.
  Terry hardly had a choice in the matter. The threat to remain trapped 
here was an irrelevance. What was important was saving lives. "Yes."

                        - o o O O O o o -

Macroman versus Makkaroni:
  "Tag, you're it."
  "No. Tag, you're it."
  "No. Tag, you're it."
  "No. Tag, you're it."
  "No. Tag, you're it."
  "No. Tag, you're it."
  Uhh... haven't I seen this gag done somewhere else before? An issue 
of _What The..._ did it once, I think...
  Let's come back to them later.

                        - o o O O O o o -

Lobotomy verses Wolfenblitz:
  Lobotomy hefted a car and threw it at Wolfenblitz, who ducked to one 
side. Having missed its target, the car crashed into the wall behind him 
with a satisfyingly dramatic and destructive crash.
  The fact that the car - a little Volkswagon - had an occupant went 
unnoticed. The mother of three died immediately in the impact.

                        - o o O O O o o -

Hals Jordan versus the Radiant Rollerblader:
  "I can't say I'm particularly happy about this," said Hals, wielder 
of the ring-around-the-collar, as he circled about, looking for an 
  "Yeah, well, me neither," complained the Rollerblader. "Seems to me 
that in these playoffs the finals are _final_, and the losers don't get 
to come back next season for another stab at the titles. It makes a guy 
kind of crabby."
  "WHAT!?" practically screamed Hals, suddenly enraged. "Get this into 
your head, _mister_. I am NOT a CRAB-FACED GUY!"
  "Hey, I didn't say you were! Yow!" hastily replied the azure goalie 
with his tongue poking out in terror, backing off as Hals made a rush 
at him.
  Hals leapt, meaning to throttle the gleaming alien. In response the 
Rollerblader, made fast by near-panic, raised his hockey stick and 
clubbed his opponent with it in desperation.
  It took a second for the Rollerblader to realise he'd knocked Hals 
unconscious. He stopped hyperventilating and began to come down from 
the adrenalin rush.
  Well, he'd won. He wasn't particularly happy about it though. This 
sucked - even more than working for Da'Jaconar had.

                        - o o O O O o o -

  But there were _other_ rather obvious parallels between the characters 
of the big two publisher that would have had the fanboys drooling, but 
which for rather obvious reasons of their imprint DC and Marvel didn't 
cover. Let's take a peek at a few of them...

                        - o o O O O o o -

The Somnambulist versus Net.Mare:
  The Somnambulist stood on a small piece of firmament (read: raw 
nothing) floating across a roiling void. Unfettered by the constraint 
of mere fan pleasing computer-enhanced graphics, the dreamscape about 
him churned in ways that could only be derived from long, polysyllabic 
word like squamous, anarchic, and sinople.
  It was seldom indeed that the Lord of Plotlines found himself 
stalemated in such a way. There were some few beings his peer - or even 
superior - but in the province of dreams he had always believed himself 
supreme. To find himself in a situation that argued otherwise was both 
more than mildly bemusing and vexatious.
  Observe the Somnambulist as he stands athwart his lump of proto-matter. 
Tall and thin, his skin is white and his hair is a haystack-like affair 
of darkness. He wears about him a robe of shadow, which is trendy because 
it's black and goes with anything, especially neo-gothic pretentiousness. 
Currently he stands impassive, watching the gavaunting figure before him.
  "Bwahahahahahaha!" cried Net.Mare with malicious glee from the back 
of his mount, a wooden hobby horse with a face painted into a sneer. 
Net.Mare was similarly a thin man with chalk white skin and a wild and 
unruly mane of dark hair. The main difference between himself and the 
other was that he as dressed in a tightly fitting robe of tacky green 
plaid. Oh yeah, and unlike the Somnambulist he had eyes.
  "You should not be here," stated the Somnambulist in a creepy looking 
voice (Yes, I said creepy looking. This is a net.comic after all, and 
the graphic design of the word balloons is very important.)
  "Should or should not have little meaning to me," declared Net.Mare. 
"All that is important is having the power to carry out my desires!"
  The Somnambulist shook his head, disappointed that one so powerful 
should be in the grip of such a self-aggrandising philosophy. "No. The 
Lee was right. Trite as it may sound, with great power does come great 
responsibility. We of Great Power are the servants of the living. We are 
their servants, their thralls. Their dolls."
  "_They_ are _my_ chattel," sneered Net.Mare. "Their minds are my 
playground, their unconsciousness my orchard to pick whatever fruits 
of fear I choose to cultivate."
  "You are a parasite, feeding off their fears and disquiet," countered 
the Somnambulist quietly. "And since what they have naturally is not 
enough, even now during this time of universal unrest, you sow the seeds 
of further discord," he exposited. "You must stop."
  Net.Mare laughed. "Make me."
  The Somnambulist cocked his head to one side, recognising the implicit 
challenge. "No. I have no need to be drawn into a gaudy physical conflict 
to stop you."
  "Then how else will you stop me? My control over the dreams of 
loonihumanty is every bit as strong as yours. Mere willpower will not 
stop me," the Duke of Dark Dreams smirked, an odious grin that was 
echoed in the painted features of his horse.
  "With the superior power of intelligently written and well-plotted 
adult literature," countered the Somnambulist simply.
  Net.Mare laughed uproariously. "Very well then. You try to stop me 
with your 'well-plotted adult literature'. I will restrict myself purely 
to blatant aggression and power plays. Then we'll see who defeats who." 
Pulling back on the reigns of his horse, he wheeled away and headed off.
  For his part the Somnambulist watched him go without expression. The 
Dark Dreamlord was moving towards the heart of the Musing. To the place 
were the raw energies of sleep would be most accessible.

                        - o o O O O o o -

Net.Thing versus Stupid Thing:
  The Stupid Thing moved, leaving unspeakable mess in its wake. But it 
was all organic, so that was alright.
  Nevertheless, the Net.Thing recoiled. This creeping intrusion of muck 
and mire was not just a corruption of pixels, but a fundamental 
infestation. At least it wasn't something like spham jheli though, which 
could cause even the most resilient of systems to crash. But still, the 
Prime Founder of the Parliament of Nodes could not allow himself to be 
surrounded and the baud rate to be compromised. He advanced to finish 
off this thing off.
  The Stupid Thing reached out and grabbed its opponent's physical form. 
The PAIN! Not since the Administrator Affair had the Net.Thing felt such 
agony in his data packets. He withdrew, confused, back into the safety 
of the virtual environment. What the...? And then an explanation occurred 
to him.
  Whatever knew stupidity burned at the Stupid Thing's touch.
  Net.Thing had never considered himself particularly frivolous; being 
protector and Heir of the Net was a serious and demanding task. Yet 
context was everything. The Trenchcoat Brigade, of whom he was a member, 
derived from a _looniverse_. Whether fairly or not, _everything_ from 
such places was considered stupid. If it had the motivation to do so, 
the Stupid Thing could probably put the entire dimension to torch and 
everything in it.
  Net.Thing multitasked, backing up vital memory in secure off-site 
storage and simultaneously searching indexes for a clue as to how to 
deal with this. He had to come up with a plan; defensive tactics could 
not suffice for long.
  Net.Thing had no desire to harm this other muck-encrusted mockery, 
so he examined what non-lethal  options were available. Entangle it 
within part of the world.wide.web? Stagger and stunt it with an excess 
of raw data from a decompressed ftp download? Trap it in an echoserver? 
Draw a weapon out of a MUDDing environment?
  A MUDDing environment...
  He smiled. There was a way. The Brigade may prefer to work in worlds 
away from the Net (or so it said in the FAQ, Net.Thing had never really 
noticed it himself) but they were based in the looniverses. An the 
looniverses were based firmly in the net.
  Returning down a local datapath, the Net.Thing exited through a I/O 
port to where the Stupid Thing was. "@toad!" he cried.
  The Stupid Thing turned into a toad.
  Net.Thing picked up the toad, emailed the cleaning staff to come and 
take care of the mess, then left.

                        - o o O O O o o -

The Somnambulist versus Net.Mare:
  Net.Mare was exulting. He stood within the throne room of the 
Somnambulist, absorbing energies from the very center of his rival's 
dreamscape. The power! The wonderful, orgasmic power!
  About him the world trembled and groaned at his very presence. If an 
object or creature offended his sight, he summarily obliterated it. The 
dwellers and servants of the Somnambulist's abode fled blindly out into 
the shores of night.
  The doors to the throne room opened. The Somnambulist entered.
  "You must desist Net.Mare," stated the Lord of the Musing bluntly.
  "I think not," he smirked.
  "You are wreaking great harm."
  "What harm I do is of no concern to me," pooh-poohed Net.Mare 
dismissively. "This world is mine now. Mine to do as I will!" he 
screamed, sweeping out his arms in a wide arc, releasing a shockwave 
of power that devastated the castle, reducing it to rubble.
  Net.Mare threw back his head and smiled. It was not a pleasant smile. 
Above, the sky was a pale silver blue. "Mine to do anything I want," he 
whispered. And then he began to grow.
  The perspective shifts. The following panel shows Net.Mare from below, 
from the point of view of just behind the Somnambulist's shoulder. The 
latter is seemingly unharmed by the destruction of his castle, and is 
watching a 100 meter tall Net.Mare rise up through the clouds. "What 
will your precious charges think when they see me rise up to dominate 
the skies of their dreams?" Net.Mare asked rhetorically.
  The next panel is cropped from just above Net.Mare's head, looking 
down with him at the dreamscape far below. "Will they wake screaming, 
I wonder? Or will they bow down and worship me, as should be?"
  The third panel is a front-on shot of Net.Mare against the silver blue 
sky. He holds his hands out in front of him, fists clenched. "It doesn't 
matter I suppose. I'm absorbing all the power of your dreamworld, little 
Somnambulist, leaving none for you. Now I _am_ your dreamworld, and 
I can make them fear or worship me, or both, as I see fit."
  The fourth panel is a repetition of the front-on shot of the third, 
save that Net.Mare is ducking back from having just bumped his head of 
something transparent. "Net.Mare?" asks one of the Somnambulist's creepy 
looking word balloons. "You disappoint me Net.Mare. Power, it is true, 
can be used to accomplish almost anything, but to do so it must be used 
  The next panel has pulled back to show Net.Mare probing the limits of 
some sort of barrier. "The mere possession of power does not enable one 
to do anything," continues the calm, sourceless voice of the 
Somnambulist. "One must know how to wield it to its fullest capacity. 
That is something seldom mastered in fits of unrestrained destruction. 
It is always harder to create than to destroy, and harder still to 
  Finally, the shot has pulled back so far that it can be seen that 
Net.Mare is imprisoned within a globe held by the Somnambulist. "These, 
then, are the lessons that best teach the skill of how to wield power 
absolute. Had you been inclined to use your power responsibly for 
constructive purposes you would have know that. In time, you may even 
have become my match."
  The Somnambulist held the globe up to his face for closer scrutiny. 
"But for now, you have lost this challenge."

To Be Continued

Character Credits:
  Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story created by Badger (Matt 
Rossi). Reserved by Saxon Brenton.
  Elastic Sock, Net.Mare, and the Siblings created by Saxon Brenton.
  Fearless Leader is Public Domain. So is Maui by dint of his 
mythological status.
  Hals Jordan created by... uh... Jef Kolodziej?
  Lobotomy created by Scav (Todd Kogutt).
  Kid Recap created by Rob Rogers.
  Macroman and Mr. Thingy created by Dvandom (Dave Van Domelen).
  Makkaroni created by Kyle Lucke.
  Net.Thing created by Glenn Carnegy.
  Radiant Rollerblader created by Badger.
  The Somnambulist created by Tick (Peter Milan).
  Squidman created by David Goldfarb. Reserved by Dvandom.
  Stupid Thing created by Hubert Bartels.
  Wolfenblitz created by Abhay Khosla.

All characters copyright 1997 their owners or creators.

Add Notes Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story:
  The story within a story that Humanity relates is obviously based on 
the DC versus Marvel comic from the start of 1996 (and just in time for 
the second round this year; go read Spider Boy Teamup. Yay Legion of 
Galactic Guardians!). The use of characters for this sub-arc does not 
necessarily mean that they are exact analogues of those who took part 
in the original mini; I had to do a bit of shoehorning for some of them. 
I plan to do a run down in the Add Notes next issue to cover the more 
obscure characters.

  Of course, 'Bifurcation' is something of a misnomer, since the 
Looniverse wasn't splintered into just _two_ fragments. The ones 
represented here are merely the two 'biggest' and nominally the most 
'important'. There are other pieces, which are also having their own 
problems. I don't have space to show them here, but I think you can get 
the gist of what's going on by musing over this post from Elmo from 
January 1996:

From: (Octoelmo)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.dc.universe,rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe,
Subject: MILESTONE v MALIBU--The Crossover NOBODY Demanded!
Date: 26 Jan 96 16:53:03 -0600
Distribution: world

The Crossover nobody demanded because they just hadn't thought of it yet.

Two little bitty Tron-looking entities get jealous of their big 
brothers and decide to have a little contest of their own...

                               The Ultraverse


                   Xombi           vs          Firearm
                   Fade            vs          Spectrum
                   Rocket          vs          Topaz
                   Boogieman       vs          Ghoul
                   Donner          vs          Mantra
                   Sideshow        vs          Anything

                            AND, in battles
                            decided by the 

                   Icon            vs          Prime
                   Hardware        vs          Prototype
                   Static          vs          Zip Zap
                   Wise Son        vs          Hardcase
                   Kobalt          vs          Night Man

                        Conceived and Produced by:
                     Rick Jones & Greg "Elmo" Morrow

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