"The disastrous rise of a supervillain superstar."
A webcomic about the life of Dr. Herville Schtein, an abnormal scientist who descends into a life of supervillainy. Think if a Start of Darkness was the first book in a series that you read, and it starred someone who was a Jerkass Woobie scientist, and you've got the right idea.Set in an alternate timeline in the 2057-2060s where the Cuban missile crisis was never averted, the world in String Theory is recovering from a major war which split the world between capitalist and communist super powers—with the scale tipped a little in the USSR's favor.It nominally updates Wednesdays and can be found here.Also, while String Theory is not R-rated, it nevertheless contains adult concepts and is written for adult sensibilities.Now has a character page.
Abusive Parents: Schtein's mother, both mentally and physically. She believed showing your children affection gave them unrealistic expectations of the adult world. Might not be so far from the truth considering what kind of world they live in.
Marcus: Hey, did you know Dr. Schtein can dislocate his shoulder really easily? It's 'cause his mom pulled his arm out of its socket so many times!
All There in the Manual: Schtein has a formspring account, where he discusses a lot of his past including his divorce with Janet and relationship with Alice, weeks before it was really talked about in the main comic.
Schtein: "You can't be serious! I refuse! You couldn't pay me to go in there!"
Abel: <opens a briefcase full of money>
Schtein: "Or, perhaps you could."
Buffy Speak: Schtein, surprisingly enough, is quite prone to this when excited or upset.
Cast of Snowflakes: Even background characters have individual designs. Not to mention many characters can be identified by their hands alone.
Crapsack World: Megacorporations run rampant, people living off the grid are hunted by the government and thrown in prison, much of the United States is a radioactive dustbowl, Chicago is a quarantine zone devoid of human life but filled with fungus zombies, the list goes on.
Evil Genius: Schtein's future. At the moment he's just on the 'genius' side.
Eye Scream: The comic starts shortly after an accident that resulted in Schtein's eyes melting out of his head. Laurence had an eye gouged out by a so far unseen character.
Flat "What.": Schtein's reaction when he's been told that he's been assigned to the garbage duty at the prison.
Fore Shadowing: Schtein slowly obtaining, by natural and unrelated events, the hallmarks of a stereotypical mad scientist. The gloves, through his phobia. The cat, through the stupidity. The eyes, through the accident. Also foreshadowed with his controversial political opinions.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum, Langstrom seems to be becoming a super hero. Scientist who was severely injured in an accident caused by an antagonistic colleague. Miraculous survival. Sudden obtainment of strange powers.
Geeky Turn-On: Schtein falls for Delia the moment she suggests a way to improve the station's plasma fusion generator.
It should be noted that Langstrom was civil (even cloyingly nice) to Schtein when they first met, until Schtein pissed him off. Schtein is definitely a Jerk Ass to everyone he meets; that's probably not the case for Langstrom.
Drew MacManus. After pages of him beating and otherwise tormenting Schtein that lead up to a very disturbing rape threat, readers are actually rooting for Schtein to kill him.