Comic Book / The Ten-Seconders
"Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God's decomposition? Gods too decompose."

If you meet a 'God' you expect to just last ten seconds, correct? I only counted to eight.

The Ten-Seconders is a comic series in the British comics anthology 2000 AD written by Rob Williams. It first appeared in 2000 AD #1469 (January, 2006).

The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where super-powered beings, called "Gods", have destroyed human civilization and taken over the planet. The few humans who oppose the "Gods" are dubbed "Ten-Seconders", because that is how long they are expected to last against their other-worldly enemies.

This comic provides examples of:

  • Beware the Superman: A group of aliens crash-landed on Earth to escape a greater threat and posed as godlike superheroes to rule over humanity. These "Gods" then decided that humans were beneath them and proceed to wipe out their civilization.
  • Cape Busters: The Ten-Seconders are the last humans who can fight the Gods. They get the name from how long they're expected to last in a straight-up fight with these superbeings.
  • Chain Pain: Watchtower executes Hero with the very chain he forged to hold Watchtower captive.
  • Deconstruction: Of super-heroes, and people's belief in them.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Two humans become Gods with their help.
  • Elite Mooks: The Disciples, humans whom the Gods have experimented on. While they have their own powers, they're nothing compared to the actual Gods.
  • Evil Is Petty: Why did the Gods turn on humanity? They were bored.
  • Expy: Many of the Gods take inspiration from popular super-heroes and archetypes.
    • Hero: Superman. Seen as the leader of the Gods, and comes with all the Flying Brick super-powers, as well as his association with light/the sun.
    • Lord Mach: Super Speedster.
    • Damage: Hulk. Incredibly strong, dumb as a rock, very gullible, and deeply emotional.
    • The Scientist: Mister Fantastic. Very inteligent, and possesses the power to stretch and shape himself however he pleases.
    • Kane: Batman. Despite his lack of powers, he takes down Gods through well-constructed planning. Oddly, eschews high-tech weaponry for simple tools, such as rifles and C4.
    • Lense: Green Lantern. His armor has a science-fiction aesthetic, and his powers allow him to create green-colored constructs.
    • Arachne: unsurprisingly, Spider-Man. He also possesses a weird sense of humour aimed at his opponents and makes a reference to the "friendly neighbourhood" that the more famous Spidey is so fond of.
  • Meaningful Name: "The Ten-Seconders", as explained above. All of the Gods' names.
  • Mooks: The Followers, humans who obey the will of the Gods. They're the ones who captured The Scientist in the first place.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The Scientist left the Gods when he realized their flaws, and seeks to genuinely help humanity, despite being a God himself.
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Hero" is the leader of the Gods, but he's more of a supervillain than a superhero, being a tyrannical maniac who spearheaded the destruction of human civilization and keeps at least one of his fellow Gods in captivity.
  • No Such Thing as Space Jesus: The Ten-Seconders are shocked to find out that the Gods, despite their super-natural powers and even their title, are simply aliens from another world.
  • Physical God: What the Gods convinced people they were. Turns out, they're just aliens.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Mach is a very depraved take on this; he's a Super Speedster who enjoys raping women and implies that he uses his power to make it as painful as possible.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Damage is a super-strong super-durable rampaging beast, but he's actually very childlike. When he confronts The Scientist, he simply slaps Damage, puts him into time-out, then has him march into the sea on a fool's errand.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Followers of the Gods with their black suits, and their symbol is very similar to the symbol used by the AWB, a white supremacist and neo-nazi group.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Most definitely not. He not only turns Jenny into a God, but gives the Ten-Seconders the best chance they've ever had to rid their world of the Gods once and for all.
  • Rubber Man: The Scientist is able to bend and extend his body as much as he wants. He's an Expy of Reed Richards, after all.
  • Scenery Gorn: There are many panels showing the destruction that the "Gods" wrought on the planet, especially London and New York City.
  • Shooting Superman: Kane tries this on Malloy.
  • Straw Nihilist: Malloy, leader of the Ten-Seconders, throughout much of the series. He was actually training to be a priest before the Gods attacked. By the time the story starts, he's taken up reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra, with his inner-monologue often quoting the book. In the end, after ridding the world of a few Gods, he finally starts to believe again.
  • You Monster!: After The Scientist saves Jennifer from Mach's attempt to rape her, she calls him a disgusting monster before delivering the finishing blow.