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The Metro City Chronicles
is a series of online stories focused on the lives and adventures of the eponymous Metro City's
local Super Heroes
as they fight crime and deal with life. Each story is a first person narrative with a different character viewpoint for each arc.
The first story can be found here
. This one follows Atlas and sets up the Metro City backdrop.
The Metro City Chronicles show examples of:
- Action Mom: Gamma Girl.
- A Father to His Men: Despite not being the team's leader (as there is technically no team) Atlas still manages to dance the line between this and Team Dad.
- A God Am I: The alien villainess Princess Nebula after she gets possessed by Zeus.
- Alien Blood: Squid Kid has black blood.
- Alien Invasion
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Gamma Girl has blue skin. Strych-9's hair and skin are green. Jonni Rotten also has green skin, but that's less because of pigmentation and more because of decomposition.
- Amicably Divorced: Hypothermia and his wife are divorced, mostly because his powers make it almost impossible for them to have a normal family life. They still meet weekly so they can spend time together with their son. Hypothermia is still miserable about the situation, though.
- An Ice Person: Hypothermia.
- Apocalypse Day Planner: Over the past few decades, evil wizard Maximillian Mortis has apparently made a habit of this.
"He reversed the planet's rotation in the 1950s, sold the Earth's soul to Hell in the '70s. (...) He actually blew up the Earth twice in the '60s, and he and Tiamat destroyed the whole universe in the '90s."
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Hello, Chrome Cobra.
- Ax-Crazy: Strych-9 and Professor Kaboom.
- Badass Driver: Wheelman's powers revolve around this. He can drive clear across the country in a few hours, drive up the sides of buildings, and perform literally impossible stunts, no matter what car he's in.
- Badass Normal: Penitente.
- Ballet: Hybrid is a ballerina in her civilian life.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Atlas is a Gentle Giant. Hybrid is chirpy and part of a dance troupe. Squid Kid is a Perky Goth college student. All of them can and will kick your ass.
- Berserker: Hybrid. She's gotten better at controlling herself, though, and now uses her reputation to intimidate bad guys.
- Chrome Cobra Is Watching You
- The Big Guy: Atlas.
- The Blank: Hypothermia.
- Blue Blood: Defender.
- Body Horror: Squid Kid, due to some meddling with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know has nearly indestructible tentacles that sprout from her back at will. If she leaves them out too long, her skin turns inky black and she starts looking like a more threatening version of the heartless.
- Calling Your Attacks: Silver Protector Kumiko's spells work this way.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Penitente.
- The Cheerleader: Beelzebambi is described as "a psychotic succubus in a cheerleader outfit who can make herself burn with super-hot hellfire."
- City of Adventure: Metro City.
- Combat Tentacles: Squid Kid.
- Cool Bike: Penitente's preferred mode of transportation.
- Creepy Monotone: Gearbox's voice is described as sounding like Douglas Rain, the actor who voiced HAL in "2001."
- Cyborg: Defender, Piledriver, and Synthia.
- Dance Battler: Hybrid converts her ballet training into a fighting technique at one point.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of the characters.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?
- Divine Parentage: Wheelman
- Domino Mask: Hybrid, Miss Mega, and the Star all wear them.
- Electric Torture: Yan Sin does this to Squid Kid.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Daphne Diller does not like being called Daffodil.
- Energy Being: When Star goes "full cosmic".
"I emit heightened degrees of heat, blindingly intense light, and extreme levels of stellar whupass
- Entropy and Chaos Magic: The specialty of Khaoss from the Lords of Villainy.
- Even Evil Has Standards
- Evil Gloating: Evoked and lampshaded. Villains can't resist a good monologue.
- Eyeless Face: Polyphemus. And Squid Kid gets like this if she uses her powers for too long without a break.
- Face Monster Turn: This briefly happens to both Polyphemus and Phantasmo. In Polyphemus' case, it's how he got his powers — a mad scientist rewrote his genetic code and subjected him to mind control. Phantasmo goes through it after he's bitten by a vampire.
- Face Your Fears: The fear demons force Defender and Beelzebambi to deal with a number of phobia scenarios, ranging from monsterized superheroes and piano teachers to bullies, bear traps, and haunted houses, before they'll let them escape.
- Fanboy: Phantasmo loves all kinds of geeky activities, including playing Magic: The Gathering, watching Star Trek, and playing Pathfinder. He is also thrilled when Piledriver, one of his favorite pro wrestlers, moves to town.
- Fantastic Racism: Sentient AIs are supposed to be captured and sent to government facilities so they can be dismantled and used as weapons. Most heroes cover for them because all metahumans used to be seen that way.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: You've got Ridiculously Human Robots and mechas right along side the Cthulhu Mythos and outright magic.
- First-Person Smartass
- Foundling: Hybrid.
- Frozen Face: Gearbox's face is mostly immobile.
- Fun with Acronyms: S.K.U.L.L. picked their name first, then had to come up with something to fit the acronym. They went with "Society for Konquest, Unlawfulness, Larceny, and Lying." They also mention driving around in a S.K.U.L.L. T.R.U.C.K. and celebrating with a S.K.U.L.L. P.A.R.T.Y.
- Functional Magic: Some people have it. Other people think it's annoying.
- The Fundamentalist: Purity of the Alpha Alliance.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Iota.
- Genius Bruiser: Atlas and Miss Mega are both very strong, and they both hold professional jobs. But Polyphemus really carries the trope — he's a 12-foot-tall superstrong monster with the brain of a pompous, elderly English professor who prefers to teach classes in his custom-made tweed jackets...
- Grumpy Old Man: Polyphemus may look like a musclebound monster, but mentally, he's still an 84-year-old grouch.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Hybrid, although it turns out she’s only one third human, to her devastation.
- Halloween Episode: Defender's storyarc takes place over a particularly hectic Halloween night.
- Hard Light: The Chrome Cobra's suit generates hard light swords and other hand weapons.
- Healing Factor: Gamma Girl, Hybrid, and Squid Kid.
- Hell Gate: The fear demons open one up in the middle of one of the local parks.
- Heroic BSOD: When Hybrid finds out that she isn't a mutant human, but an entirely fabricated genetic experiment.
- Hulk Speak: Penny Dreadful talks like this.
- I Know What You Fear: The fear demons torment everyone in the city by taking the forms of whatever each person is most frightened of.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Radiation is behind the origins of Gamma Girl, Strych-9, and Professor Kaboom.
- Improvised Weapon: Penitente. His fight against Khaoss involves throwing everything from pushpins to a rubber band ball to a live rattlesnake at the bad guy.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Iota.
- Iron Lady: Chrome Cobra.
- I See Dead People: El Phantasmo can see and talk to ghosts.
- Kid Hero: El Phantasmo and Calypso.
- Lesbian Jock: Piledriver used to be a pro wrestler and currently works as a sports reporter at the local newspaper.
- Life of the Party: Wheelman.
- Lightning Bruiser: Express. He notes that he's not as fast as other Speedster heroes but has a lot more strength.
- Lizard Folk: The Thrugs.
- Lovecraft Lite: Squid Kid.
- Lovecraftian Super Power: Squid Kid again.
- Ludicrous Precision: Gearbox measures almost everything out this way.
- Mad Scientist: Professor Kaboom.
- Magical Girl: Silver Protector Kumiko.
- Magicians Are Wizards: Cosmo the Astounding, a low-rent criminal wizard for hire.
- Masked Luchador: El Phantasmo wears a luchador mask.
- Mass Hypnosis: The alien invaders and the Greek gods use this to take over the Earth.
- Monster Clown: Mr. Punch. He's not really a monster or a particularly rotten guy, for a supervillain, but Squid Kid really does not like clowns.
- Morally Ambiguous Ducktorate: Professor Quackers.
- Muggle Foster Parents: Hybrid.
- Music Soothes The Savage Beast: Hybrid can break herself out of her berserker rages by thinking about dancing.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Chrome Cobra gets one.
- My Suit Is Also Super: Most superheroes and villains have costumes made of shapeshifting Futorium Atoms. In fact, the costumes are provided by an organization called the Futorium Support Foundation.
- Nebulous Evil Organization: S.K.U.L.L. is the most prominent one the series has included, though they're generally pretty unsuccessful. Others that have been mentioned include le Conservatoire Malefique and the Ophidian Union.
- The Necrocracy: Draculopolis, a nation of vampires, located in the territory formerly known as Transylvania. A spell cast over the city makes it night all the time, and faucets dispense mystically-replenishing blood. Dracula is the democratically elected president. It's not a particularly evil place — Dracula is focused on making vampires into productive world citizens, though there are still plenty of evil vamps out there.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Daphne 'Daffodil' Diller, to the annoyance of every villain who's ever broken a weapon or wasted a bullet on her.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Squid Kid is one of the few people able to resist the paralyzing fear powers of the fear demons. She's still terrified out of her wits, but she's able to keep functioning because she loves being scared so much.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
"[Shadow Shinobi], a ninja with shadow powers. Yes, that's exactly as irritating and frustrating as it sounds."
- There's also the global terror organization S.K.U.L.L., which has a bunch of robot ninjas in their arsenal.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Gamma Girl is the only person who can see or hear Sparky Isotope, the relentlessly cheerful Spirit of Radiation.
- Old Shame: In-universe, there was a popular cartoon a few years back based on Silver Protector Kumiko's exploits. All the younger characters in the series watched it and loved it. Kumiko is not fond of it at all.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Iota and, to a lesser degree, Hypothermia.
- Opponent Switch: The Metro City heroes do this on a pretty regular basis.
- Our Demons Are Different: Domina Maleficus of the Lords of Villainy, and Beelzebambi of the Architects of Ruin.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Phantasmo's power has him being followed round by a bunch of kickass Spirit Advisors.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Jonni Rotten is in a constant state of decomposition. She's also a weapons master who can puke worms on people.
- Perky Goth: Lenore AKA Squid Kid.
- Police Brutality: The Metro City Police Department can be a little quick with the tasers.
- Powered Armor: A kind of hero colloquially referred to as Battlesuits. Chrome Cobra is a prominent battlesuit who is unofficially the one in charge of the Metro City heroes. Defender is one as well.
- Powers via Possession: A group of the heroes their own powers temporarily turbocharged after they are possessed by the Greek gods.
- Prince Charming: Emperor Charming.
- Private Detective: Daphne Diller.
- Professional Wrestling: Piledriver used to wrestle as a heel in the American Super Wrestling Association. She has a tendency to monologue during battles as if she were recording an over-the-top pre-match promo.
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Gearbox doesn't want to be human and often doesn't like them very much. But he's got serious rage issues and is a master of sarcasm.
- Secret Identity: Most of the heroes have one. Some like Squid Kid and Gamma Girl don't because their Super Hero Origins happened publicly. Express doesn't because he openly advertises his services as a hero.
- Secret Keeper: Occasionally, heroes will accidentally learn each other's secret identities.
- Secret Public Identity: Daphne Diller is invulnerable and is more or less immortal. She also refuses to be a crime fighter, instead opting to keep her job as a private investigator. As such, when she does get sucked into crime fighting, everyone knows her name.
- Shape Shifter: Hybrid and Gearbox.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: The Chrome Cobra has to do this to fight Emperor Charming.
- Shoryuken: Squid Kid does this to Yan Sin.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: El Phantasmo.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: From clown themed thieves with giant toy hammers to cults of evil, to Lovecraftian Eldritch Abominations.
- Space Police: The Intergalactic Defense Patrol.
- Statuesque Stunner: Miss Mega is over eight feet tall.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Two of Phantasmo's ghosts, the Terrific Tucker Twins, particularly love making themselves look like this.
- Stuffed into a Trashcan: Squid Kid falls into a dumpster twice.
- Stun Guns: Defender and Iota.
- Super Hero
- Super Powered Robot Meter Maid: The AIs.
- Super Speed: Express.
- Super Strength: Miss Mega, Atlas, Calypso, Polyphemus, and Piledriver.
- Super Strong Child: Atlas has three kids and they all take after their dad.
- Super Team: If you ask any of the heroes in Metro City, they will insist that they are all freelancers who just happen to work together. Played straight with the defunct Assembly of Order and the Alpha Alliance.
- Technopath: Black Hat.
- Technical Pacifist: Defender's weaponry is all technically nonlethal. That won't stop her from shutting down your jet boots when you're a thousand feet in the air.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted. It's stated that superheroes avoid killing anyone, but if it's a choice between killing a villain and letting the villain kill others, the heroes will err on the side of saving innocent lives.
- Took a Level in Badass: Subverted with Squid Kid. She tries to go badass with a new costume, new name, and new attitude. The results are less than ideal.
- Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Miss Mega vs. Splatter. They're two of the strongest people in the world. When they start fighting, everyone backs off, keeps the civilians out of the way, suffers through the inevitable property damage, and waits for them to wear each other out.
- Voice of the Legion: Squid Kid gets this occasionally.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Apparently, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI labeled all metahumans “Human Subversives” and subjected them to immediate capture and dissection. Sentient AI also still get this treatment if they’re caught by government officials.
- Whip It Good: Penitente.
- X-Ray Vision: Squid Kid, though the power only lets her see through masks and clothing.