You all know about the so-called Godmarket from your history studies. You also know the rumors that the various pagan gods and demons seeking worshippers in 1997 and 1998 ignited the Causality Wars. This is wrong. Oh, it's close to the truth, and it assigns the blame to the right party, but the Godmarket didn't ignite the Causality Wars. They've been raging throughout time and space for millenia. What we experienced was merely a very minor battle in a very large war, a war which involved powers as far beyond our comprehension as we are beyond that of a stone..
The Professor, Academy #0
The Academy of Super-Heroes Universe is a Web Original imprint on rec.arts.comics.creative (see also Legion of Net.Heroes), owned and maintained by Dave Van Domelen since 1994. The setting is mostly in the 2020s, a generation after a massive disaster (1998, in-setting) wiped out nearly half of humanity and took with it all but a handful of the world's superhumans.Relevant tropes:
The Ace/Renaissance Man: Dan "Grind" Tracey is omnicompetent. His superpower is canonically that he's better than 99% of mundane humans at — pretty much everything, including learning.
A God Am I: Rebus's plan during the "Pyramid Scheme" arc.
Aliens Are Bastards: The Pranir are organ traffickers and generally all-around dicks. The Santari, while not all-around dicks, legally consider anyone with artificial replacement parts as property rather than people.
Bio-Augmentation: Khadam's stock in trade. The crimelord Rex Umbrae is a product thereof, as is the former president-for-life of Khadam, Arnold Zugmann.
Brainwashed: Rebus does this to Agent Ridley, riddling her mind with "thetan bodies."
Brought Down to Badass: Warden when he was kidnapped by Anchors. Turned out he still remembered all the martial arts he'd telepathically stolen when he still had his powers.
Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In-setting, it is fairly well known that paranormal abilities tend to work the way the user expects them to rather than the way science would suggest. The Tesla Index is a direct measurement of the degree to which a paranormal or mundane can do distort reality with their will. Mundanes who have a tiny - but nonetheless greater than zero Tesla Index - can learn to do ritual magic.
The Great Pyramid at Giza was revealed to be a power accumulator that after five millennia had enough juice to make one a god.
Magellan's oceanbound route around the world is used by Q'Nos in a magical ritual to summon Jorumngandr. Peregryn bases his counter-ritual on the flight path of the Lucky Lady II, the first airplane to circumnavigate the globe.
Fantastic Fighting Style: The Onyx Way, practiced by the Onyx Eye Tong, grants even its Badass Normal practitioners the ability to fight blind, kill superhumans in single combat and, for the most advanced, negate telepathic assault.
Functional Magic: Peregryn, Glyph and others all wield their separate magical styles.
Heroic Sacrifice / I Did What I Had to Do: Tymythy Twystyd and The Wanderer sacrificed their own lives as well as those of nearly all of Earth's paranormals at the time to remove the gods from Earth. The alternative would have been every worshipper of every god dying to fuel the Causality Wars.
Jerkass Gods: The "massive disaster" mentioned at the top of the page? It was all their fault. Fighting each other with ridiculous collateral damage, violating causality, soul-draining their millions of worshippers to fuel their efforts ...
Legacy Hero: Solar Max, Brightsword III, Gauntlet II, Red Widow II, Lady Lawful II and III. Centurion was a Legacy Immortality example during World War II, with a more traditional legacy taking up the role in the Fourth Age. Weapons Master claims this, but he's actually the original, rejuvenated by an immortality potion.
Legion of Doom: The Conclave of Supervillains. Leadership fluctuates between Rebus and Radner until the Pyramid Scheme arc.
Light Is Not Good / Light 'em Up: Doublecross became a photonic lifeform and one of the most dangerous supervillains in the ASH universe as a result. Several other supers with light-based powers became his followers/cultists. The pre-1998 Solar Max had solar powers.
Master of Your Domain: Aaron Zander of ASH and Warden have total control of all their bodily functions and can amplify their physical abilities/senses to superhuman levels at will.
Made of Iron: Tony Drake is completely invulnerable to physical harm. Unfortunately, he still feels pain.
Meat Puppet: Mr. Strings' raison d'etre. He/she/it is a telepath with near-global range, able to control and manipulate hundreds of people worldwide.
Meta Origin: Most people get their powers from the Magene but there are also aliens, alien-modified humans, human-modified humans, powered armor and so on.
Portal Network: Sort of. Yvan Viau, a mage with a spatial affinity, created a teleport network of sorts by sympathetically binding every piece of the shattered Berlin Wall to every other piece worldwide. Anyone with a piece could teleport to the location of any other piece, until the network was destroyed.
Power Copying: Warden's other superpower is a very specialized form of telepathy that lets him instantly learn the physical skills of anyone within range. As a result, he has learned an absurd number of martial arts.
Powered Armor: several examples at varying levels of technology. Derek Radner is a big fan while Solar Max uses it in addition to his gravitational talents.
Power Incontinence: Aegis has the power to send other supers into "burnout" while borrowing their paranormal talents for himself.
Public Domain Artifact: DIY variant. Peregryn creates his own version of Tyr's Boot (made from the shoe leather of soldiers), using bits from the footwear of his superhero teammates.
Red Right Hand: Mr. Strings' hosts tend to hum when he/she/it is pleased. Usually the only way to identify one of them.
Reed Richards Is Useless: Justified in that supertech only works for the gadgeteers that made it and, to a lesser extent, superpowered people. That said, there are lots of people with useless powers who find gainful employment in keeping the supertech working. Also, plenty of experimentation has been done to integrate normaltech components into supertech enabling it to be used by normals.
His wife, Sultry, being a weather manipulator, can throw lightning around, too.
Space Master: Yvan "Labyrinthe" Viau lives and breathes this power.
Solar Max built up his gravity powers to the point where he can manipulate space fairly well, doing things like creating wormholes with one end in the sun and the other in front of his foes.
Devastator demonstrated this ability too by redirecting one of Solar Max's spatial warps to manifest in exactly the wrong place.
The Spark of Genius: Many forms of supertech created by Gadgeteers will only work for gadgeteers and other paranormals. A lot of research, some of it successful, has gone into integrating as much normaltech into it as possible so non-supers can use it too. Gimble is an extraordinary exception because her supertech can be used by anyone — even Anchors.
Speak In Unison: In this case, hum in unison. When Mr. Strings is happy, its puppets start to hum all at once.
Lightfoot has a peculiar form: he can make anything he's touching go faster. This, naturally, includes his own body.
Super Team: ASH is the premiere "big gun" superteam. STRAFE and EUROPA are more into covert operations and espionage. The Conclave of Super Villains is more of a Legion of Doom. The Freedom Alliance is a patriotic team with sinister overtones.
The current Solar Max, by distorting gravity just so, can distort space and time in useful ways — such as semi-accurate time travel.
Time Travel: The reason why the Causality Wars were so messy; the gods fought each other all over time and (to a lesser extent) space.
Chris Kelsey again.
Lightfoot, a pre-1998 superhero, survived to the current era by relativistic travel from and to Earth.
The original Solar Max did the same thing.
Token Good Teammate: Yvan Viau aka "Labyrinthe" of the CSV. Radner made him his right-hand man precisely for this reason; he's trustworthy, genuinely nice and only a supervillain because he's unflinchingly loyal to his evil sister. Radner has an image as a hardass supervillain to maintain but, with Yvan at his side, can get away with showing mercy by "letting" Yvan persuade him.
Challenger was later recruited for this role when Viau was missing for a time.