Infinite Leadership Crisis
The Infinite Leadership Crisis, also known as the Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig, was a multi-writer storyline appearing in LNH Comics Presents from issue #35 to issue #502.
Every day, the Legion has a new leader! Every night, at the stroke of midnight— they disappear!! Over the 465 days of Infinite April, the Legion struggles to uncover the mysterious force causing them to disappear one by one – before the last Legionnaire vanishes!
In a review of the Saviors of the Net cascade on April 28, 2006, writer Amabel Holland suggested that the Ultimate Ninja's role as leader of the Legion of Net.Heroes had led to the development of his personality by several writers, making him a better-defined, more interesting character than many of his peers. Holland argued that other members of the LNH could achieve greater depth if given the chance to lead the team. Her review led writer Jamas Enright to make the following suggestion:
- "I suggest now to anyone interested in this idea to write a "Leader for the Day" type story. If you really want to give a bid for a character, prove to the rest of us that that person works."
The idea remained dormant until March 6, 2007, when writer Arthur Spitzer proposed a storyline in which a different member of the LNH would take charge of the team each day during the month of April. Eight writers – Saxon Brenton, Mitchell Crouch, Jamas Enright, Jessica Ihimaera-Smiler, Martin Phipps, ajd Rob Rogers, plus Arthur and Amabel – agreed to participate, collectively producing a story a day from March 31 through May 1, 2007. A conceit of the story involved the leadership crisis lasting beyond April 30 to an "Infinite April" of 465 days. This allowed other writers, including Lalo Martins and Drew Nilium, to take part in the story even after April 2007 had ended.
The title of the story is a parody of DC Comics' 2005 mini-series Infinite Crisis. It is also an homage to the Leadership Crisis, the 1993 LNH storyline in which the Ultimate Ninja replaced Rebel Yell as leader of the team, and to Jeff Barnes's classic LNH mini-series, Cry.Sig on Infinite Net.Earths.
The Legion of Net.Heroes is thrown into chaos when its leader, the Ultimate Ninja, leaves for a month's vacation. While his chosen replacement, Fearless Leader, proves competent, he vanishes without a trace at midnight. His successors, Irony Man and Catalyst Lass, do the same on subsequent nights, prompting the rest of the team to suspect the involvement of one or more of their enemies.
Despite their best efforts, the LNH cannot identify the source of the disappearances. In desperation, the team turns to member Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad, who uses his powers to select a new leader each day. Top scientist Doctor Stomper tries to compensate for the missing members by constructing robot duplicates, and veteran member Kid Kirby returns from hiatus to aid the search.
Not surprisingly, each member of the team reacts differently to the mantle of leadership and the knowledge that they may disappear. Some struggle to unravel the mystery of the missing leaders. Others use their newfound power to settle scores or remake the LNH in their image. A few try to avoid the responsibility, while others — such as Super Apathy Lad and Deja Dude — never discover they've become leader until the moment of their disappearance.
The LNH must also contend with a series of attacks from many of their old foes, including the Chuggernaut, the Dorf Empire and the Time Crapper. In addition, several new enemies – such as Carassion, Doctor Glockenspiel, Mother Time, and even Satan himself – arise to plague the Legion.
Recurring subplots include the large amount of paperwork required of the LNH leader (which some heroes attempt and others avoid) and the efforts of member PR Kid to involve the Legion in several bizarre promotional schemes, including LNH Dice.
After a seemingly "infinite April" of 465 days, the leadership crisis reaches its climax when the LNH's army of robot duplicates rebels, attacking friend and foe alike. To defeat them, the last remaining Legionnaire makes a fatal decision – one that reveals the fate of the missing leaders, but has terrible consequences for both the LNH and the city of Net.ropolis. The story's conclusion leads directly into a new series, Beige Countdown.
A full List of Infinite Leadership Crisis Stories has been compiled, with each leader and each day marked off – a useful resource for anyone who wants to insert a new episode, wink wink
Several new characters debuted during the Infinite Leadership Crisis, including the Incredibly Stupid Man, J. Random Kiwi and Suddenly Exploding Boy!. As is often the case in LNH stories, many of these characters were originally created as one-shot jokes before being picked up and developed by other writers.
During the crisis, the members of Acra Flight, a net.hero team in the LNH2 universe composed of the children of LNH members, entered the Looniverse and became the New Misfits. This became 58.5, showing the events of Infinite April from a different perspective.
As a result of the crisis, the LNH held its first election for team leader since 1995. The election took place both in-story and among the rec.arts.comics.creative readership, with the incumbent, Ultimate Ninja, keeping his place.
In the 2007 awards, Infinite Leadership Crisis won RACCies:Favorite Arc, and in 2009, it was inducted into the RACC Hall of Fame, identifying it as one of the best story arcs ever posted to RACC.