http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/docbiopage1_3472.png
[[caption-width:250:Antihero protagonist Dr. Herville Schtein]]

-> "The disastrous rise of a supervillain superstar."

A webcomic about the life of Dr. Herville Schtein, an abnormal scientist who descends into a life of supervillainy. Think if a StartOfDarkness was the first book in a series that you read, and it starred someone who was a JerkassWoobie scientist, and you've got the right idea.

Set in an alternate timeline in the 2057-2060s where the Cuban missile crisis was never averted, the world in String Theory is recovering from a major war which split the world between capitalist and communist super powers--with the scale tipped a little in the USSR's favor.

It nominally updates Wednesdays and can be found [[http://stringtheorycomic.com/ here]].

Also, while String Theory is not R-rated, it nevertheless contains adult concepts and is written for adult sensibilities.

Now has [[Characters/StringTheory a character page.]]

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!!This webcomic provides examples of:

* AbsentMindedProfessor: Osgood, somewhat.
* AbusiveParents: Schtein's mother, both mentally and physically. She believed showing your children affection gave them unrealistic expectations of the adult world. Might not be so far from the truth considering [[CrapsackWorld what kind of world]] they live in.
--> '''Marcus''': Hey, did you know Dr. Schtein can dislocate his shoulder really easily? It's 'cause his mom pulled his arm out of its socket so many times!
* TheAlcoholic: One of Schtein's many, many problems.
* AllThereInTheManual: Schtein has a [[http://www.formspring.me/drschtein formspring account]], where he discusses a lot of his past including [[spoiler: his divorce with Janet and relationship with Alice]], weeks before it was really talked about in the main comic.
* ArtEvolution: Of the usually dramatic kind as the creator gets better. It starts off as [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapterone/pageone/ zero background unshaded outlines]] and ends up as [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-six/chp6-page-07/ full color scenery porn]].
* AskAStupidQuestion: [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-six/chp6-page-30/ Delia Osgood to Ben Langstrom in the hospital]]:
-->'''Delia''': Ben, how are you doing?
-->'''Ben''': Well, I'm a gnarled, slimy torso now, I feel like I'm still on fire, and I can only see out of one eye. \
So I guess I'd say I'm doing '''JUST PEACHY'''.
* BlackEyesOfCrazy: Actually, they're just prosthetics. Foreshadowing though, maybe?
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Phineas. (And even Schtein before he went grey!)
* BodyHorror: The last three panels of [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-six/chp6-page-11/ this]] page.
* BreakoutCharacter: Marcus was first intended to be one-time-only, but fans liked him so much the artist decided to make him a recurring character.
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: How Schtein is convinced to [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-five/chp5-page-5/ visit Chicago]].
-->'''Schtein''': "You can't be serious! I refuse! You couldn't '''pay''' me to go in there!"
-->'''Abel''':
-->'''Schtein''': "Or, perhaps you could."
* BuffySpeak: Schtein, surprisingly enough, is quite prone to this when excited or [[{{Angrish}} upset]].
* CastOfSnowflakes
* CrapsackWorld: Megacorporations run rampant, people living off the grid are hunted by the government and thrown in prison, much of the United States is a radioactive dustbowl, Chicago is a quarantine zone devoid of human life but filled with fungus zombies, the list goes on.
* DaysOfFuturePast: It's set in the 2050's, yet society is that of the 1950's.
* DirtyCommunists: How everyone views the USSR. We haven't actually seen any yet, but considering the above trope...
* DisappearedDad: [[spoiler:Dr. Schtein has an estranged daughter named Alice.]] Schtein's father also died soon after he was born.
* DividedStatesOfAmerica
* DrJerk: Schtein, though he's NotThatKindOfDoctor.
* DumbassNoMore: [[spoiler:Dr Schtein]] was born with some degree of mental retardation - his genius intelligence was a result of [[spoiler:his grandfather's experiments]].
* ElectronicEyes: Dr. Herville Schtein
* EvilGenius: Schtein's future. At the moment he's just on the 'genius' side.
* EyeScream: The comic starts shortly after an accident that resulted in Schtein's eyes ''melting out of his head''. Laurence had an eye gouged out by a so far unseen character.
* FlatWhat: Schtein's reaction when he's been told that he's been assigned to the garbage duty at the prison.
* ForeShadowing: Schtein slowly obtaining, by natural and unrelated events, the hallmarks of a stereotypical mad scientist. The gloves, through his phobia. The cat, through the stupidity. The eyes, through the accident. Also foreshadowed with his controversial political opinions.
** And on the opposite end of the spectrum, Langstrom seems to be becoming a super hero. Scientist who was severely injured in an accident caused by an antagonistic colleague. Miraculous survival. Sudden obtainment of strange powers.
* GeekyTurnOn: Schtein falls for Delia the moment she suggests a way to improve the station's plasma fusion generator.
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke:
** Parodied when a forced evolutionary virus creates "man-kitty-things" that get into everything. Schtein also keeps one as an adorable pet.
** Played entirely straight with the fate of Chicago.
* GenreSavvy: [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-six/chp6-page-10/ Dr Schtein in Chicago]].
-->'''Schtein''': "Uh, yeah, I don't know if you guys noticed, but we're '''already''' in a horror movie. I'm [[TheProtagonist the stalwart hero]], destined to face his [[NaziGrandpa scary, estranged grandfather]]. You are the [[SlasherMovie stupid teens]] [[DeathBySex destined to die while making out or whatever]]. So, sweetie, you may as well go ahead and take your top off. We're pretty much [[FanService guaranteed to see your tits]]."
** [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-six/chp6-page-11/ And again...]]
-->'''Schtein''': There, see, [[TemptingFate right on time]]. You're all "[[ItsQuietTooQuiet It's too quiet]], guys." Instant weird shit."
** [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-six/chp6-page-13/ And again]]
-->'''John''': "I'm impressed, Doc. You keep your cool pretty well. Had you pegged for a total crybaby."
-->'''Schtein''': "Oh, gosh, thanks. I'm just not worried. Like I said earlier, I'm [[TheProtagonist the main character]] in this little horror show. I've got [[PlotArmor plot armor]]."
* [[BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults Hallway Of Overheard Insults]]: [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapterone/page-thirty-nine/ Complete]] [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapterone/page-forty/ with]] EvilPlan {{Exposition}} via ExactEavesdropping.
* HatesBeingTouched: Schtein
* HiddenSupplies: Phineas gives Schtein a weapon to defend himself against the other prisoners, and tells Schtein to hide it inside his [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chaptertwo/page-fortytwo/ mattress]].
* HotScientist: Osgood. Schtein for some.
* InsufferableGenius: Schtein and Langstrom
* JerkAss: Benjamin Langstrom and Schtein.
** It should be noted that Langstrom was civil (even cloyingly ''nice'') to Schtein when they first met, until [[http://evilengine9.deviantart.com/art/Who-s-the-first-jerk-152399796 Schtein pissed him off]]. Schtein is definitely a JerkAss to everyone he meets; that's probably not the case for Langstrom.
** Drew [=MacManus=]. After pages of him beating and otherwise tormenting Schtein that lead up to [[spoiler:a very disturbing rape threat]], readers are actually rooting for Schtein to kill him.
* [[PoliticallyIncorrectHero Licensed Sexist]]: Schtein.
* LikableVillain: Schtein, though he hasn't reached the villain bit yet.
* MistakenForGay: [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chaptertwo/page-fortyone/ Phineas]].
-->'''Phineas''': No, no, no. Don't. Be. Dense. I know you, Dr. Herville Albert Schtein.
-->'''Schtein''': Oh God. You've got a weird crush on me, don't you?
* MixAndMatchCritters: The man-kitties.
* TheMole: [[spoiler: [=JayJay=] tells the warden about the explosives in order to lighten his sentence.]]
* NoSenseOfPersonalSpace: Osgood.
* OhCrap: Schtein's face when he hears the name [[spoiler: Warden '''Langstrom.''']]
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Osgood is horrified by Schtein's [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/pagetwentytwo/ opinions]].
* PoirotSpeak: Dr Orville von Schtein's speech is sprinkled with bits of German.
-->'''Orville von Schtein''': "You did not speak until you were sechs... oder sieben? Ja, I believe you had just become seven."
* PrisonRape: [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-three/page-five-2/ Narrowly avoided, to Schtein's relief.]]
** Panel four is [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-three/page-three-2/ highly suggestive]] of rape.
* PuppyDogEyes: Schtein uses it on Krow, one of Drew's men. Krow [[DontLookAtMe doesn't react]] [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown well]].
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: What the comic is all about.
* PsychicPowers: A result of some of Orville von Schtein's experiments.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The irises of Schtein's new eyes. Foreshadowing?
* RightHandCat: Marcus.
* TheRival: Langstrom, to Schtein.
* RivalScienceTeams: The U.S. Government intentionally sets this up, thinking it will make the scientists work faster. It [[IncrediblyLamePun backfires]].
** Schtein's attempt to sabotage Langstrom's team jump-starts the plot.
* SceneryPorn: The artist really likes to go all out on backgrounds.
* ShoePhone: When Schtein sarcastically asks Phineas how he communicates with his employers.
-->'''Schtein''': How, exactly, are you contacting them? Telepathic waves? Cloned messenger pigeons? Secret phone in your shoe?
* ShoutOut:
** You can see [[Series/TheWalkingDead Andrea]] working as a prison guard and [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Dr. Drakken]] in a prison outfit in the first panel of [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chaptertwo/page-fortyseven/ page 47]].
** Schtein has framed posters for [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/uncategorized/page-twenty-two/ Casablanca]] and [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/uncategorized/page-twenty-three/ Doctor Zhivago]] in his apartment.
** Early in his career Schtein was found shoving kittens into the [[VideoGame/{{Fallout}} Forced Evolutionary Virus]] injection chamber.
* SinisterSchnoz: Schtein.
* SlasherSmile: Mostly used by Phineas.
** [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-three/page-thirtyseven-2/ "Remember that time I drove a bunch of nails into your legs?"]]
* StartOfDarkness: The comic is billed as "The disastrous rise of a supervillain superstar," so this really shouldn't be a surprise.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-three/page-fiftyeight/ First panel.]]
* TalkingAnimal: Marcus, the result of a genetic engineering experiment.
* TeleportersAndTransporters: Schtein (and Langstrom's rival division) is trying to build a functioning matter teleportation device. So far he has gone through a lot of guinea pigs.
* TerrifiedOfGerms: Schtein is severely mysophobic and wears gloves all the time except when he's eating.
* TruthSerum: Dr Auditore, the prison psychiatrist, tries it on Dr Schtein. It [[http://www.stringtheorycomic.com/comics/chapter-three/page-thirtytwo/ backfires]].
* VillainProtagonist: Schtein.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Schtein is thirty-four.