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From Dave's art site: Circa Constellation #13, with Sword of Sig. 3/31/93
Sig.Lad is a net.hero created by Dave Van Domelen. See also Sig.Lad (20).
Alter Ego: Richard Franklins
Aliases: Lots (see Powers and Abilities)
Primary Writer: Dave Van Domelen
Status: Former member of Dvandom Force and the LNH (Classic Team) (deceased)
Usability: Reserved


Sig.Lad first popped into existence during the Cosmic Plot Device Caper to help the LNH stop his time-displaced future twin Acton Lord. His past has undergone massive and frequent retconning since then. His current origin is that he was the son of Mister Thingy, leader of the Net.astic Nine, who was given the Super Molder Serum to save his life[1].

For a while he was Sig.File Man's sidekick. At some later point, he was joined with the Sig.Force and entered the LNH. After a number of incoherent adventures, he sacrificed his life to prevent his archnemesis Acton Lord from flooding the net with corrupted Sig.Lad GIF.clones. Most of the GIF.clones succumbed to the corruption and faded away, leaving behind two – Sig.Lad and Acton Lord, actually his own corrupted GIF.clone counterpart!

The Sig.Lad who was (more or less) the original appeared to die, but returned as the amnesiac Claymore, the Sig.Warrior[2]. During the Electrocutioner's Song, he threatened to succumb to the instability of his fellow GIF.clones, but with help from an avatar of Merlin, gained stability through the net's manifestation of the sword Excalibur— the Sword of Sig!

After all this, he went on a leave of absence to find himself and ended up finding Constellation instead. They formed the Secret Dvanders along with Particle Man and fought side by side for many months, during which Sig.Lad discovered he and Acton Lord were incarnations of King Arthur and Modred. He spent a lot of time working with Constellation, being a sounding board for the cosmic hero's emotional struggles and a force to push him towards resolving them.

When Constellation left the Looniverse, the Secret Dvanders became Dvandom Force, and Sig.Lad became leader. Unfortunately...

Sig.Lad has done a good job of staying dead, but still hangs out in the RACCCafe. His ghost once appeared to Wayne the Invid to keep him company during Christmas. (Assuming Wayne wasn't just hallucinating due to crossovers/bad weed.)

During the Infinite Leadership Crisis, Occultism Kid attempted to summon Sig.Lad's ghost to find out what was causing the problem of the disappearing leaders, but instead, summoned a shade composed of the astral remains of all the most unstable and short-lived Sig.Lad copies.


I know what it's like to be all alone, cast adrift on the sea of continuity. Even before I died.
Dvandom Force Christmas Special

Currently is very mellow (he's dead, you see). When alive was rather driven, especially when it came to his arch-enemy and alternate self, Acton Lord. In matters not relating to Acton Lord, he was very calm and centered.

Powers and Abilities

Connection to the semi-mystical Sig.Force, resulting in the ability to change shape and fill the new form with power based on how good of a punnish "sig." name is possible. Examples include In.sig.nificance Lad, Sig.Lock Holmes, and Cyber.sig. Also possessed minor bagel magic and the ability to generate real-object GIFs with his Gauntlet of GIF.


Brown hair, pale skin. Usually wore the red-and-gray costume seen above, though he had a couple others early on.


Sig.Lad is the son of Mister Thingy and the !Visible Woman. Everyone in Category:Richard Franklins is, in some way, a version of him.

His alternate-universe counterparts include Cig.Lad of the Oddball Legion (tho see below).


The original GIF in question – wait, did this just make another clone?

As Sig.Lad was one of the first LNHers to have an illustration of him which was uploaded to FTP archives, he became susceptible to GIF.cloning, where different copies of the GIF he was in would become literal copies of him – and become corrupted, thanks to the power of Acton Lord. (In real life, the file on the FTP did get corrupted.) This led to the recursive creation of Acton Lord as his evil "son," which in turn led to a substantial number of other temporal counterparts.

The post-GIF.cloning Sig.Lad didn't always consider himself to be the same person as the original. During his confrontation with his Oddball LNH counterpart Cig.Lad[4], he determined that the dangerous effect which would come from an LNHer touching their Oddball counterpart wouldn't affect him – because Cig.Lad, not having a corresponding Acton Lord, was not truly his counterpart[5]. He matter-of-factly explained to Lurking Girl that the original Sig.Lad was dead.

The GIF.clones were thrown in as a possible way of explaining all the LNHers who turned up with no origins in the post-Cosmic Plot Device Caper period. Only one LNHer, Limp-Asparagus Lad, is known to be an ex-GIF.clone[6].



  1. See Dvandom Force #43-45 – Footnote Girl
  2. A pun on "Namor the Sub-Mariner." Get it?
  3. Dvandom Force #46-48: X-Post FactoFootnote Girl
  4. Constellation #18 – Footnote Girl
  5. Of course, given the reason Another LNH Title? Really? #8 established for the warning about the Oddball LNH, he might have been wrong. Who knows?
  6. By the way, most of this played out before the Spider-Man clone saga. Yes, the LNH handled these themes in a way that made more sense.


From Dave's art site: Over 20 years later, I took the above costume [top of page] and painted it onto an Aquaman Domo-kun figure. June 2014.