Creator: John Ridley aka: Those Who Walk In Darkness
Scriptwriter and NPR commentator who occasionally writes novels. As yet, this page only has tropes for three of his works—add more if you know more.Those Who Walk in Darkness and its sequel What Fire Cannot Burn. Described as SuperheroDeconstructions in the manner of Watchmen, they follow Soledad "Bullet" O'Rourke, a cop who specializes in hunting downmutantsand "freaks".
Black and Gray Morality: Most of the "freak" targets are more willing to get their hands dirty than the average superhero, although typically with reason or after being attacked. The protagonist is an unabashedly Fantastic Racist who kills an unarmed woman for having the power to stop other people from being hurt. This may go as far as Villain Protagonist.
Complexity Addiction: The metanormals really, really would be more effective if they weren't obsessed with style, irony, or practically being comic book characters. Justified with the metanormals with more revenge-driven motives, but when a shapeshifter trying to run turns into a big, lumbering brick wall, he almost deserves the inevitable rain of shotgun shells.
Covers Always Lie: a mild case, but one that appears on seemingly every edition of both books. Soledad repeatedly describes herself as a BAMF (Bad Ass Mother-Fucker), and the covers show her as having those letters tattooed on her shoulder. In the story, her tattoo instead reads "We don't need another hero."
Deadly Euphemism: When MTac "serves a warrant", there's a good deal more bullets, poisons, and sedatives and much fewer actual arrests involved than you'd expect.
Fantastic Racism: It's not immediately apparent, but the author's rooting for the mutants. So far, only one has been evil, and another even begged for his life.
Holding Out for a Hero: Lampshaded and Subverted in the background. Soledad, at least, seems to think that normal humans were just sitting around whenever a villain popped up, waiting for a hero to save them, but we're also told that the mayor of San Fransisco dropped everything to try and help.
Super Registration Act: they're way beyond that now, at least in America. Any time a mutant is identified, they're ordered to surrender. Compliance results in "a life of sedation in a cell" if you're lucky, medical experimentation if you're not. Failure to comply is punishable by immediate death.
Token Minority: Most superheroes are white males, with a few exceptions like Nubian Princess. Lampshaded, since Soledad is black.
Soledad frequently remarks in her monologue that people underestimate and patronize because she is a black female. There are some times she's correct and a few times where it feels like she's trying to convince herself that the world is out to get her.