Yeah. It's 1996 all over again, and yes, this is Part the Tenth of "There Are Those Who Call Me Bruce" from The Adventures of the Adjusted League Unimpeachable.
Smell that Clinton! Who ever thought we'd smell that... funk... in....
is still a going concern, mind. It's locked to 2007, however, so... yeah. Eleven years after ALU, currently.
Here are the posts of note:
Notes on all of the above after the break!Rough Cut #2
As with Rough Cut #1, I experimented with the "bits of dialogue" to convey the sense of what's gone before. Unlike #1, pretty much all of these were picked up in ADR -- almost none of the quotes directly appear in the source material verbatum, and in some cases entirely new bits of dialogue were invented to convey the essence of what needed to be conveyed. The major thing I was trying to do was "quickly highlight important information."
The first series of quotes come from the end of "Knights in Blue Spandex," wherein Spandex Babe underwent a humiliating and on far distant reread obviously illegal arbitration in regards to her activities wherein someone died. Others of the early quotes come from "Fallout," which was the intervening storyline that included ALU #100, wherein the demoralized AIF and the invigorated ULA capture the Adjusted League, turn Q into Manilow, and turn Mensch into Lady Awe-Inspiring. So, yeah. This causes the war. Yaaaaay.
As a side note... I never though the thing I'd be relieved about was no longer having a character named Q
. If you don't know why... be happy.
As a side note? I really hate 'omniquantum megabracers.' So, expect it's never going to be said again if I can help it.
The MacGuffin turned Apotheosis Device, the Oanthet, is an obvious reference -- Oa being the homeworld of the Guardians of the Universe from Green Lantern -- and this being a story about the Green Lantern Corps satire/Lensman satire/oddly seriously implemented Xolchipalian Defense Forces... and a not so subtle callback to Hal Jordan becoming Parallax in the 90's... that it seemed apropos. Lovely, lovely dated references.
Leftenant Peter Weller (coincidence) first appeared all the way back in "Two Leagues of their Own," as did a few other people. I stubbornly choose to interpret him coincidentially similar to Buckaroo Banzai instead of all the other things he's more famous for.
Spandex Babe's bonsai was given to her by Spectrum, who gets a cameo line later in the post.
Healer's lament, in retrospect, is juxtaposed interestingly by Elizabeth Tirkoff in The League
. But then, eleven years is a long time.
Narnius, as is likely obvious, is a reference to Matt Gerber.
That damn fleet is still on its way. They still
haven't shown up to attack!
Glum's speech is an abridged version of the one she gave in CalForce #150. Because we're referring back to CalForce #150. DOES EVERYONE SEE THAT WE'RE REFERRING BACK TO CALFORCE #150 THIS EPISODE?!
The Trudy/Dianna thing gets a lot of play in the new post, obviously. It is worth noting, by the by, that Trudy's a legal adult who's choosing here to go on a sex bender. She's not actually doing anything wrong. That said, she's pretty vicious about it, because Trudy has issues and won't acknowledge how envious of Dianna, Jane and Elizabeth she is. Hm. I suppose we have to add Mandy to that list now, too.
The Kent Clark/Mighty Guy quotes are meant to set the stage for the beginning of the post, because IT'S A REACTION POST GUYS DID YOU GET THAT?! Plus, it sounded kind of like how they'd end a summary like this before the start of a West Wind
episode, which is more or less what my style guide is based on.Adjusted League Unimpeachable #110 ("There Are Those Who Call Me Bruce Part the Tenth")
Mandy's opening narration is a pretty straightforward ripoff of, say, Legends of Tomorrow's
opening narration. That said, it's a pretty simple way to get all the principals' names in the front of the post: Trashman, Mighty Guy (he gets a mention even when he doesn't appear, which is to say 'I think the rest of this whole plotline), the Dash, the Masked Bruce, Spandex Babe, Unorthodox Girl/Lass, Dangerousgirl, Healer, Mandy Harken and JOEL. If I had to narrow down who ALU was actually about, that's the list of names in a nutshell.
And yes, we are go for May 16, 1996 -- before the War, before all the other peoples's stuff, before the League, before the Y2K Bug destroyed Western Civilization as we all know it clearly did.
HEY GUYS CALFORCE #150 HAPPENED AND PEOPLE ARE REACTING TO IT NEAT HUH?
That said, this is always where Elizabeth was going to get her chance to properly react to the end of CalForce -- this is obviously quite a while before the actual dinner where it happens, but I wanted to get it in. She had a faster, less heartfelt reaction back in the day in Adjusted League Unimpeachable Academy, but pretty much from the day Elizabeth Tirkoff signed her Superfluous Productions contract and came aboard, her narrative arc has been defined by Loss. Loss of Faith (no pun intended), loss of her active membership in CalForce, loss of CalForce itself, here... by the time of the League loss of Bruce Rogers, and the perceived loss of his legacy, loss of friendships et cetera. In one sense, this is also a loss of innocence -- Elizabeth noting the "it's not my fault" mantra of Key and Yury in particular. She can't go back to CalForce now, because they broke up. Faith is transcended. She has thoroughly burned her Mega Intelligence Bureau bridge. What she has is the Academy, now. So, that.
Also, the return of "don't call me Liz." Long time readers will remember that in CalForce and before, she in fact is
called Liz. Yes, I've been waiting over 20 years to play this out. Back in the League, it's worth remembering, she's willing to let Rad call her Liz. There will be more on this soon.
I feel weird not interviewing anyone for the Continuity Note position. I guess mothballing production back in the 90's means not having to fill that thing.
Bruce/Kent: more CalForce Acknowledgement, as well as me acknowledging we're back to ALU by having Kent guest star in one scene. It also underscores something I never got to do enough of back in the day when Kent was actually on my payroll instead of Gary's -- Kent and Bruce have a different relationship with each other than they have with almost anyone else. Back in "Unorthodox Biochemical Revenge" Bruce made reference to this -- he took Trudy despite having every red flag go off because Kent wanted her, and he trusts Kent. Kent also trusts Bruce. If the Trashman/Dangerousman relationship is my thinly veiled reference to the Dark Knight Returns-and-after Batman/Superman relationship, Trashman/Mighty Guy is my satire/pastiche of the Golden, Silver and Bronze Age best friendship of Batman and Superman. Right down to talking about Flores's legs.
Also, if Gary ever wants to do something contradicting Kent's opinion of Flores romantically, there's no actual contradiction. Kent contains multitudes and they're all kind of talking at once.
I wanted to make it clear, too, that Key dumping Kent had an impact on Kent, even though it wasn't exactly a killshot. I'm sentimental. I felt like I could afford to do that since we know what happens to them in the 21st Century.
I have no joke, I just giggle when I consider the band "Hot Pieces of CalForce Ass" in concert, with Liz Tirkoff totally rocking out on the flute in the background. From my current musical perspective, I kind of see this as Babymetal-Meets-Bad-Religion-and-Some-Ja
zz-Flutist-they-can't-ditch. Also, Elizabeth has made reference to her flute/musical background in other stuff I wrote at some point. She too contains multitudes. Some of whom are secret agents.
Why old chum? Why not, old chum?
I actually referenced Brigadier General John Stark and didn't do a Peggy Shippen breast joke. I must be slipping.
I actually referenced Ethan Allen and didn't do a furniture store joke. I must be slipping.
I would have posted all this on Friday, only the Edison, NJ joke was a Hoboken joke, and I wasn't about to do one of those on Friday or
I named a character Spandex Babe. I just have to own it.
I'm actually pretty happy with the Masked Bruce/Spandy Vermont scene. It set things, I think, really well.
Apropos of nothing, I'd managed to forget just how annoying it is to go through the post and make sure the Unorthodox Girl/Unorthodox Lass order is right. I may have blown it in pickups, no less.
If I were Mandy, force fields wouldn't ping my weirdness radar either. She eats weirder for breakfast.
Scholarman. Why did I bring back Scholarman? Because there's a reason to bring back Scholarman. Right now, he's pretty much as he was back before going on the long hiatus. In the League he is very different. He has had a miserable life in a lot of ways. Man is there room to get worse.
Can I admit something? To you, my friends?
Yeah. Elizabeth Tirkoff is an M.D. and one of the greatest psychologists and psychiatrists in 000SUPERGUY history... because I misread a document when I was researching her back in the 90's. Chalandra Harkness
was the government psychologist. Elizabeth Tirkoff
was purely a spy. I managed to invert them somewhere before I took Elizabeth over. Gary has always been kind to me about this. Anyway, she's a psychologist NOW, baby! But Chalandra got to be a super-wealthy CEO so she wins.
Obviously the rising arrogance of Mike is a thing. As is the rising depression of Dianna. But one of the little things I like here is Dianna knows what Bruce needs to know, in part because this was her life for so long, but Bruce asked Mike first and Dianna didn't volunteer. Because why would she?
In rereading ALU before writing this post, I actively wondered why no one called Bruce on his theatrics. So, go Mike, I guess?
Bruce/Trudy, counterpoint to Kent/Bruce. As was said back in "Knights in Blue Spandex," Trudy's become Bruce's friend in a way almost no one else can be on the team. This now goes the other way. That she's still scared of the scary voice is a thing. And yes, I intentionally didn't let Trudy and Bruce actually tell Elizabeth about Dianna later in the post, because why would I encourage healing? I have a rep. Edit:
I didn't realize I actually posted this on Rash Hashana, and here's Trudy repenting for her sin against another.
I also wanted to make it at least moderately clear that Trudy did nothing wrong
by having her party on planet Seattle. Her sin was in how she dismissed Dianna. I also didn't want Bruce to come down on a girl who's, like, 20 years old (actually just over 20 years old) for deigning to drink and have sex at a celebration after she thought she was going to die. Trudy isn't
a teenager any more, even if Trudy herself isn't sure about the 'adult' thing.
I never did nearly as much with the Dash as I wanted. Here's my chance, I guess. She's by far the most powerful (Mike notwithstanding) and in ways the most removed. There's too much to do not to do it somewhere in here. She's the least worried about Mike -- she loves him, and he seems to be the closest to Mike when he's with her. That said, she is a little
skeeved. As she admits.
It was weirdly fun to get back to the League of Unconcerned Scientists and promptly capture them all. Mike was right about one thing -- they're not really in the ALU's League (no pun intended) any more, without Andy Awe-Inspiring or Doctor Unorthodox propping them up. This also puts them nicely in position to let them do terrible things during "The Ballad of Richard Less."
Mandy has had an unbreakable brip (cf Scothguard, the man with the unbreakable brip) for most of the series. Yeah, I'm actually going to pay that off someday.
Mandy/Kid Solipsism: I showed this scene to a friend who was directly impressed that I could take Kid Solipsism, a character he actively dislikes (because he's actively unlikable) and do a sweet thing with him. I also kind of wanted to underscore that yes, indeed, the Kid could
give her superpowers, but instead he's in love and so he's given her a 25 Charisma. Her physical appearance has not changed, at least in my head. It's just, the Kid sees that appearance as utterly beautiful, so it is
and everyone suddenly sees it.
This reflects how Mandy gets super intelligence later, of course. Right now, at least she has Super Self Esteem powers. So, yay Amazi-Girl?
One of the things I really like about getting back to ALU? I have permission to use more of Mason's Mazing Mob than I do in the League -- in particular, I can use Dreamweaver, Mental and Mighty Dog, since this had been arranged years and years ago. Naturally, neither Dreamweaver nor Mental of them was in today's post, and Mighty Dog only got a cameo description.
Phobos is at a conference. Phobos is going to continue to be a robust and active part of Superguy at least in my stuff, but he won't appear onscreen. It's hard enough writing Alice. Phobos would break me.
Nobody was there because Nobody's as into Dani as she is into him. Spoiler alert, they're totally married in the League. And kind of freaky. But that's their bag, man.
I actually have maps of the Chick-Mouse's towers now, based on the real floorplans of Warren Towers at 700 Comm Ave, which is what this is. Expect something to be done with that, but in the meantime expect me to make more references to floor and room numbers than I used to. For the record, A Tower is the Academy, B Tower is the ALU base, and C Tower is living space for the ALU and the students. This will matter more soon.
Mike is a lot more reasonable here, obviously. He sounds way more like Mike, too. I'd be scared too. He does have one point, though. Mike soloing a base isn't anything Trashman doesn't do, like, every week. Sauce, for the goose, Mister Saavick
I liked having Doctor Pepper be the voice of exposition here -- I always liked Doctor Pepper. He's so cheerfully horrible. He's also the one least likely to lie -- that's not very Pepper like, after all. And yes, Bruce was lying about the Dr. Pepper. He's not an idiot. He also wouldn't give Sinestro 'Yellow Power Ring cola.' What would Doctor Pepper do with a glass of his namesake beverage? We're not going to find out because Bruce isn't stupid.
To my knowledge, Mike hasn't used or done a Monty Python thing 'for real' since getting the Oanthet. Dun dun DUN!
DeVry. Also, old chum.
Cursory movement on the B and C plots and concatenation of tertiary cast! Whoo hoo! Also, we can get off planet Seattle once and for all! WHOO HOO! Man, that's going to be a crowded ship.
Also... as I kind of made oblique reference at the time... Jennifer Lien was kind of set up as the Hot Chick (they all have one) of Voyager, which seems dated after she got turfed out for Jeri Ryan. It wasn't her fault -- Kes's narrative didn't have the zazz they hoped. And Ryan rocked the part. Still, I'm kind of weirdly glad pre-Jeri Ryan me thought "well, the best way to make this timeless is to include Jennifer Lien because we'll still be talking about her a la Terry Ferrill, Marina Sertis et al!" She's had a hard life in places, post trek, but this Coincidental version gets to be kind of the lead space hero of this band of malcontents.
The cast list is a cast list. Enjoy