Literature: Wonder City Stories
Superpowers are the least of their problemsWonder City Stories is a Super Hero themed Web Serial Novel focused on a Ensemble Cast of more than normal characters within Wonder City.The story explores the lives of the residents of Wonder City with a particular focus on gender, race and sexuality issues. It lies somewhere between a deconstruction and a reconstruction. This is a universe where a middle-aged black woman is the Superman Expy and a homeless elderly veteran is the Captain America Expy. Where superpowers are just another complicating factor in your life. Where there are no comic book death second chances.
This series provides examples of:
- Adventurer Archaeologist - An unsavoury version of this exists in Tizemt's back story. He 'discovered' The lost city Tizemt comes and took her away as part of a civilise the savage experiment.
- Ambiguous Gender - X, assistant to Madame Destiny, Oracle in waiting, and genderqueer androgyne.
- Artificial Human - Citizen Pain, a polite android superhero.
- Big Beautiful Woman - The Fat Lady, an extremely powerful superhuman, is a knockout and an opera singer.
- Catch Phrase - Many of the cafes and shops in Wonder City are callouts to some of these from both Marvel and DC Comics. E.g., the Great Scot Coffeehouse, the Sufferin' Sappho Bookstore and Cafe.
- Dysfunctional Family - There are several examples of dysfunctional superpowered families, from Megan Amazon's strained relationship with her mother, the Amazon, to the Canis family of shapechangers, who all have different relationships to their self-identities that cause strife between the siblings.
- Godzilla Threshold - A cosmic-level threat within the city causes the Kosmic Klaxon to sound signalling this.
- Lost World - Tizemt/Zenobia the Congo Queen comes from a lost city, through she insists they were not lost. They knew exactly where they were.
- Intangibility - The villain Grey Phantom did this to Meteor and shoved her into a wall, there by killing her.
- Old Superhero - Mister Metropolitan, one of the main characters, is a retired superhero who wears his old uniform for his desk duties at the Young Paranormals' Christian Association (YPCA).
- Older Than They Look - Several examples wander the streets of Wonder City, but the best example is the Equestrian, an 80-something who stopped aging at 13 because of a magical pact.
- Our Vampires Are Different - Some Wonder City vampires take after the Dracula mode, meaning sunlight doesn't burn them. This can lead to some confusion when interacting with less classically read humans. One, Zoltan, keeps a tube of glitter around to help convince young women.
- Powers via Possession - G is possessed by a ghost. When the ghost takes over she becomes the hero Meteor.
- Reed Richards Is Useless - The Paranormal Invention Control Act means super tech cannot be sold to the public unless the government is satisfied that it cannot in any way be weaponized. Since this is just about impossible super tech stays in the hands of inventors and their close associates.
- Roof Hopping - Megan Amazon. In her own words, she's a jumper not a flyer.
- Seers - Madame Destiny, fortune-teller and current host of the The Oracle.
- Shapeshifting - Simon Canis can turn into a wolf, as can his mother and his siblings. His mother was originally a wolf uplifted by a supervillain. The human form came later.
- Sitting on the Roof - Superheroes in Wonder City enjoy this and some buildings provide special ledges for them to do so - complete with 15 minute timeslots and reinforced pavements to help non flies get down.
- Super Registration Act - People with powers, superhero or private person, have Para Reg cards which double as ID.
- Super Strength - Megan Amazon, the focus character for the opening chapters, has this.
- Uplifted Animal - Simon Canis' mother was originally an uplifted wolf before gaining human form.