Supermassive Black Hole A*
("A star") is a hard sci-fi webcomic telling stories from a human civilization in the center of our galaxy, and more specifically, the covert search for a particularly powerful bit of Lost Technology
, and the lives ruined by it. Here, energy and raw materials are abundant and life is cheap. A*
is in a black-and-white cinematic format, and updates Monday through Friday.
Supermassive Black Hole A* contains examples of:
- Action Survivor: Vero Plank, our hero, is a simple tramp freighter crewman. But the instant shit got real, he Took a Level in Badass.
- Arbitrary Maximum Range: Apparently, the 'boomships' have a greater laser range than standard Mega Corp fighters. Possibly justified, because they are stated to be faster, and therefore more capable of dodging incoming laser fire, and therefore capable of engaging effectively at greater ranges than a slower, less dodgy opponent.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: because the stars are much closer together at the galactic core than they are out in the vicinity of Earth, this is possible despite the lack of Faster-than-Light Travel.
- Bigger Bad: Oswalt and Perriman are mentioned only in legend, and those legends make it clear they were not nice.
- Body Backup Drive/Respawn Point: Selenis has a cloning facility with dozens of bodies in reserve. However, the process is... inexact.
- Colony Drop: A ship 10 times the size of a galaxy-class freighter, moving at 10 percent light speed, hits a planet. Only those important enough to get on the few evacuation ships survive.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Solvan Mar gets the most screen time, but it's implied that he's far from the only one.
- Death by Sex: The rare male example.
- Earth-that-Was: Suggested throughout, being directly addressed in the most recent story arc. There's a historical society dedicated to collecting artifacts and data about Earth. They even have something called a "tree..."
- Femme Fatale: Selenis.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Odd, in a comic otherwise extremely hard.
- Lost Technology: Perriman's 'perfected' cloning technology.
- Mega Corp: Many, and powerful. Conventional government has been mentioned only once, and only in passing.
- Stealth In Space: A relatively realistic usage. Fusion engines leave a radiation trail that can be easily tracked, while chemical engines do not.
- Sci Fi Writers Have No Senseof Scale: Averted. Distances in the core are much smaller, as noted above.
- There Are No Good Executives: There was one.
- We Can Rule Together