Literature / Mavericks
was a Web Serial Novel
written by a group of three users named Joker, Moss, and London. The series explored the superhero genre through a different lens that combines both deconstruction
, story-telling aimed at adults
and a lot
of Black Comedy
The story was centered around a woman named Jessica Napier, whose mother is the last known former superhero in Blackburn, Florida.
Jessica is a petty criminal who fled her mother's mercenary group, angry but aimless. She soon finds herself caught between the machinations of her mother and the fires of the criminal underworld, forced to lead the rebuilt Mavericks
and stop the city from falling to chaos.
Mavericks launched in August 2017 and was cancelled in January 2018.
This series provided examples of:
- Arc Villain:
- Rebecca Napier, former Maverick and current PMC nutjob, is this for From Ashes.
- Captain Ersatz: The American Spirits, mentioned only in passing, are clearly based on Captain America.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Mouse does something to a minion of Martin's that leaves her completely soaked in blood. Mercifully, it's not shown to us.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: Jessica does this with Alex and Fritz, former Cerberus operatives, twice, rather than leaving them at her mother's mercy.
- Crapsack World: Blackburn is absolutely crawling with thugs and gangbangers, has one of if not the highest murder rate in the country and at the start of the series the local superhero team has been disbanded.
- Darker and Edgier: Ooooooooooh yes. Mavericks relies heavily on Reality Ensues and the tropes of the superhero genre being brought into a world where people react to them realistically.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's hard to pick due to the setting being a World of Snark, but Jessica and especially Fritz stand out.
“I’m here because I thought there’d be free food,” Fritz called out. “We were lied to!”
- Differently Powered Individuals: Referred to as anomalies.
Fritz: What am I, a birth defect?
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Mavericks have a secret bunker in the forest near Abandoned Warehouse District. It even comes with a Superhero Trophy Shelf.
- Evil Matriarch: The Big Bad of Arc 1 is Rebecca Napier, clone-mother of series main protagonist Jessica Napier.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: Cerberus headquarters, a corporate skyscraper crawling with armed mercenaries equipped with weapons up to fighter jets.
- Gangbangers: Of many flavors! Colombian, Russian, Haitian, even a few women.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: The Russian and, more commonly, Spanish speaking citizens of Blackburn have a habit of lapsing into this.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Averted. While superheroes and villains still wear unique outfits, they're practical.
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: Rebecca's plan is to, in Detective Cardozo's words, "turn the BPD into a subsidiary of Cerberus" so she can more easily stamp out crime by any means necessary. As of Chapter 1.5, it didn't work out for her... yet.
- Mook Chivalry: Averted. Jessica is pasting all the inmates who attack her in jail... until the remaining ones all rush her at the same time, taking her down in seconds.
- Police Are Useless: Averted. While the BCPD is stretched thin, many officers are honest and competent thanks to the leadership of Chief Fletcher.
- Private Military Contractors: Cerberus Security Corporation. Not only are they run by a former superhero, they work with local governments the world over to eradicate criminals and terrorists, have access to assault rifles, a fleet of patrol vehicles and fighter jets, and can even cover up the murder of a congressman. They quite easily border on a N.G.O. Superpower.
- Power Nullifier: Anomaly inhibiting handcuffs and collars are briefly mentioned when Alex and Fritz get arrested. Fritz lampshades the implausibility of the devices.
- Shout-Out: Many.
- Sinister Subway: Up to Eleven - there's an entire criminal meet-and-greet in the Blackburn Metro.
- Too Dumb to Live: One of Mouse's goons has the great idea to make a sexist remark and flick off a mercenary leader with well-known anger management issues. Needless to say, it takes the cooperation of his buddy to save him from a bullet to the head.
- Vice City: Insanely high murder rate? Check. Street racers cruising on major roads at nearly a hundred miles an hour? Check. Gangbangers in every alley and on every street corner? Check. The murder of the district's congressman barely being noticed? Check. One of the local superheroes going nuts and killing almost all of her former teammates? Check. Hell, a quarter of the city is even officially called the Vicio District.
- White Gang-Bangers: There's implied to be plenty of white thugs, even female ones.
- World Building: Blackburn is heavily based on worldbuilding. Much of the story is dedicated to the lore of the city, and introducing tons of characters who will be more important later.