Literature / Shadowboy
is a 2014 Superhero novel narrated by Travis Colfax, the titular Shadowboy at the end of his term as a sidekick. As the only non-powered member of a family of Heroes, Travis doubts his ability to continue as a solo member of the Hero Community. Thanks largely to a literal Hero Insurance
requirement for people with a strong connection to active Heroes, he can't afford to walk away.
While the bulk of the community's attention is on an alien threat, Travis tracks down a handful of missing gang members only to stumble onto a carefully hidden plot by the amoral Omnidisciplinary Scientist
Doctor Omicron. Though soundly beaten, Travis agrees to remain active until Omicron can be tracked down and his plans foiled.
It has a sequel Shadowdemon
The Author's home page is at http://evcombine.net
Shadowboy provides examples of the following tropes:
- Half-Human Hybrid: Xiv, the result of attempting to reverse engineer a male dragon from fragmentary female DNA.
- Hero Insurance: Literal Hero Insurance issued by the government with premiums adjusted for the licencee's destructive potential.
- The Hero's Birthday: Both Shadowboy and Shadowdemon start near Travis' birthday.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: The backstory for Miss Pain and her motivation for joining the team.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Visible mostly in Travis' narration, which leads to occurrences of Male Gaze
- Idle Rich: Jack keeps up this persona for his Secret Identity.
- Killed Off for Real: Both Cupric and Agent Six suffer this fate.
- The Lancer: Miss Pain
- The Leader: Travis
- Leader Wannabe: Miss Pain at first
- Magic Pants: (Averted) The Shapeshifting bestowed by Project Thirteen devastates clothing. Pam's outfit had to be specially made to allow partial transformation without taking damage.
- Male Gaze: The Narrator being an aforementioned Hormone Addled Teenager.
- Man in the Machine: Doctor Omicron, after what the Nazis did to him, he could only survive in a life support suit, which he has built up into powered armor.
- Mecha-Mooks: Omicron Bots, being cheap, easily replaced robots Doctor Omicron regards as disposable.
- The Medic: Stephanie
- Missing Mom: Mrs. Colfax was dead before the events of the story, as is the previous Ixahau.
- Mooks: A plethora, including Omicron Bots, Final Star Cultists, Ygnaza soldiers and Morlock Society members.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Doctor Omicron
- No Sell: By Several Characters, most notably, Xiao shrugs off everything Travis and Xiv throw at him until the very end of the fight.
- Number Two: Stephanie as the only other member with a leadership endorsement, and takes over the role of team lead when Travis is out of commission.
- Oh, Crap!: Valeria's appearance for Travis, followed soon thereafter with one for Doctor Omicron when Travis notes that the only thing separating them is a thin polycarbonate window. Comes back in the Sequel when Donny speaks the phrase verbatim as he realizes he's the target of a cluster bomb.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Doctor Omicron
- Only in It for the Money: Doctor Omicron only aids the Final Star Cultists for the paycheck, and even offers his services to the heroes against the Ygnaza for the right price.
- Partial Transformation: Pam and the survivors of Project Thirteen can opt to only partially switch between forms.
- Powers Do the Fighting: Miss Pain works this way as she fights using psychic constructs.
- Psychic Powers: Miss Pain, more in the sequel with Serar and Irvin Keyes.
- The Reliable One: Travis sees himself as this and strives towards that goal. Got him elected leader of the team.
- Retired Badass: Neutrino and an informed trait of the entire Fund Board.
- Secret Identity: Everyone has one because criminals started targeting family.
- Shooting Superman: Averted — the Greelers realize in short order that their bullets do nothing to Jack.
- The Sneaky Guy: Travis, lacking powers, relies more on stealth to survive.
- Squishy Wizard: Stephanie has to build up power before an attack, and has few defenses beyond her magic.
- Standard Superhero Setting: Fully embraced short of Death is Cheap.
- The Stoic: Stephanie, because Magic requires a great deal of mental discipline.
- Superpowerful Genetics: Virtually everyone with a powered parent inherited the potential.
- Swallowed Whole: Travis suffers this fate at the hands of Valeria, but manages to escape.
- Talkative Loon: Masquerade talks to everyone, even himself. He doesn't wait for a response most of the time.
- The Team Benefactor: The Community Fund as embodied by Neutrino.
- Team Pet: Xiv, arguably
- Team Prima Donna: Miss Pain started this way, but got better.
- Terror Hero: Razordemon treats his reputation as a weapon all its own.
- Trophy Room: Albeit one that is mostly empty
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Pam and the survivors of Project Thirteen gained the ability to change between human and demi-dragon forms.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Other than being slightly east of the great plains, the location of New Port Arthur is never given.
- Ye Olde Nuclear Silo: The team moves into a renovated Gruefield 18 Nuclear Missile facility.