Mutton Mania is a Chaotic Add-On Cascade that appeared on rec.arts.comics.creative from January to February 2000. In the story, the Legion of Net.Heroes battles a group of villains who are transforming people into sheep.
During a discussion of the RACCies, the yearly awards presented on rec.arts.comics.creative, writer Josh Hartung noted the difficulty many writers faced in attracting reviews and criticism of their work:
- "Yeah! Geez! Here and I kill Cannon Fodder twice, I get Gorilla Grad laid, I kill a Hackemon in a rat trap _and_ get Ultimate Ninja drunk ALL IN ONE EPISODE and what do I get? A correction! A damned correction! What do I have to _do_ people?!?!? Fill the headquarters with SHEEP!?!?!."
Writer Rob Rogers decided to do just that, creating a storyline in which the LNHQ is filled with teenage girls who have been turned into sheep. The story became a cascade, with writers Josh Hartung, Martin Phipps, uplink, Ken Schmidt, Marc Singer and Jennifer Whitson contributing 29 segments during the next two months.
While attending a boy-band concert, LNH member Weirdness Girl is startled to find her fellow teenage concert-goers transformed into sheep. She herds them back to LNH Headquarters, where their presence upsets the building's resident flock of Kiwis. An eclectic group of Legionnaires decides to investigate the mystery:
- "We do not have a mighty team of warriors: we're down to Ultimate Ninja, who's hung over; Fred, who's Fred; Captain Cleanup, who's exhausted; Steak & Potatoes Man, who's obsessed; The Indie, who appears to be missing; Onion Lad, who's an idiot; and you [Easily-Discovered Man], who happens to be the supreme ruler of all idiots."
- —Opinionated Lad, Mutton Mania #5
Rather than solving the mystery, however, the heroes spend most of the story arguing over which of their enemies is responsible. At times, the characters make abortive attempts to pursue one villain or another, but their actions are checked by the intervention of either the Lords of Retcon, who reboot the story, or the Knights of Continuity, who fight to preserve the status quo. The deadlock is finally broken by Opinionated Lad, who draws on the collective opinions of everyone on the Internet to put forward his own idea of how the story should proceed.
The story ends with the arrival of the Ultimate Savior, who declares that the entire episode – with crowds of impressionable young women turning into sheep – has been an allegory created by the evil Mechanical Author, who has replaced the LNH writers. As a result, the conclusion of Mutton Mania leads directly into the final chapter of another cascade, Saviors of the Net, in which the LNH joins Ultimate Savior to defeat the Mechanical Author.
Ultimate Mercenary #7 crossed over with Mutton Mania over a decade after the fact.
Where to Read
It was also reposted by Arthur Spitzer in "Classic LNH Adventures" format:
- Part One (Issues #1-4)
- Part Two (Issues #5-7)
- Part Three (Issues #8-9)
- Part Four (Issues #10-11)
- Part Five (Issues #12-13)
- Part Six (Issues #14-15)
- Part Seven (Issues #16-17)
- Part Eight (Issues #18-19)
- Part Nine (Issues #20-21)
- Part Ten (Issues #22-23)
- Part Eleven (Issues #24-25)
- Part Twelve (Issues #25.5-28)
- Part Thirteen and..??? (Epilogue, Epi-Epilogue, and Saviors of the Net #12.5)