Webcomic: Supernormal Step
Fiona: You're the first person to say it that way...back where I belong, I mean. Everyone else says "home".
Hall: Well, it's not the same thing, is it? Only you can know what is home for you.Supernormal Step
is a Alternate Universe
fantasy webcomic by Michael Lee Lunsford that updates Mondays and Thursdays. Central to the comic are two universes
: our normal 'Verse and the Supernormal 'Verse. Fiona, a blue-haired
but otherwise normal
girl from our regular 'Verse, is accidentally pulled to the Supernormal 'Verse by two men: Jerk Ass
Jim, who is cursed to transform into a stuffed bunny
whenever he does something malicious, and Charmer
Van, who is following/helping Jim ostensibly for shits and giggles
, but really out of a sense of responsibility.
The comic follows Fiona's efforts to return to where she belongs
as well as the effects of Fiona's arrival
on the Supernormal 'Verse. Although at first the 'Verse appears quirky and strange, tensions boil between de facto
president Cavan Henderson, whose heavy hand is felt through the omnipresence of Henderson Security
, and The Nameless
, a mysterious anti-Henderson organization with eyes
everywhere. Both sides feel that Fiona is vital
to their respective causes, but Fiona isn't interested in
the problems of a universe she doesn't fully understand. And with the machinations of other strange villains in the Supernormal 'Verse, including the bizarre Mr. Kite
, it seems that getting back to the normal 'Verse will be difficult at best.
Fortunately, she has the teachings of her Crazy-Prepared
dad, her developing combat skills
, and a plethora of potential allies
, including Hall, an affable
Henderson Field Marshal muddling through
a troubling journey
of his own. With some help, Fiona may yet find her way back to where she belongs
—or find her way home.
Now has a Character Page
- Action Girl: Fiona, May, Eva, Alice, Em, presumably Cecilia...really, just about any female character that plays a major plot role.
- Adolf Hitler: Was a gremlin.
- Alien Blood: Hall and Eva have black blood.
- Alliterative Name: Hall Henderson, Vic Valentine.
- All There in the Manual: The main cast's full names, ages, heights, weights, and much more can be found on their character reference sheets. They also have theme songs.
- Alternate Universe: Supernormal Step takes place on an AU Earth with magic and fantasy creatures. However, Earth is virtually unrecognizable—Fiona only figures it out when she sees a map that looks like America.
- Always Camp: Felix the hairdresser.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Just...everyone. Akela is probably the best example.
- Angrish/Symbol Swearing: Jim, on multiple occasions.
- Animorphism: Wing the vampire can transform into a giant talking blackbird—but retains his dress shirt and tie.
- Anti-Climax: A masterful one.
- Fiona's reaction to learning that Jim was trying to pull her dad into the universe, seen here.
- "Hall, you okay?"
- Art Evolution: Comparing current pages with the first few shows a clear improvement over time, especially in proportions and shading. Compare Hall and Eva from their first appearance in Chapter 1 with the first page of Chapter 5, and then here.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Cavan Henderson was voted dictator of the United States because he single-handedly defeated Hitler...who was a little green gremlin.
- As of later comics, it's revealed that the size was severely reduced for comedic effect—the actual fight was WAY more badass.
- Awesome Yet Practical: Gloves. They look cool, sure, but they also have a purpose—focusing on gloves, particularly high-contrast ones, allows magic users to focus magic power into their hands. Taken Up to Eleven when Fiona's judgement weapon gets put into her gloves.
- Ax-Crazy: Mr. Kite.
Mr. Kite: Whatever. Nothing else left to burn, I'm bored, let's get out of here.
- And probably Jim...
- Back from the Dead: It is not known to have been accomplished yet, but it purportedly can be if the body is fresh. Mr. Henderson's main motive is to resurrect his dead elder siblings. Since their bodies are long gone, he has been attempting to channel Sympathetic Magic via paintings in order to bring their information back through time itself in order to rebuild them. He eventually succeeds.
- Badass Beard: Hall.
- Badass Longcoat: The Henderson uniform incorporates a duster.
- Also Jim, though he's more of a Jerkass Longcoat (and he spends so much time as a stuffed bunny that it's rarely played up).
- Bare Your Midriff: Fiona, very frequently.
- Bathtub Scene: Here.
- Beard of Evil: Edvard de Santigo has a very malicious-looking goatee.
- Beard of Sorrow: The only time Van has facial hair.
- Beauty Mark: Daisy has one.
- Berserk Button: Derry, as a Mood-Swinger, gets angry at the mere mention of Henderson Security, but he loses it completely when Fiona mentions that the Hendersons made her an offer, and he gets even angrier when Hall rescues her.
- Blinding Bangs: Dave. He also has shiny glasses to complement this at first, but he's not scary at all.
- Blood Magic: Jules uses it. Apparently, Van used to practice it.
- Body Motifs: The Nameless is represented by a stylized eye.
- Bowties Are Cool: Mr. Kite, Beatle (who has one painted on), and Wing.
- Breath Weapon: Fenris.
- Brick Joke: "Be nice or you go in this jar I found."
- Buffy Speak: Jules.
Jules: Come along then. You can be my apprentice... or squire... or... whatever.
Van: What does a squire do, Jules?
Jules: I don't know; he squires. We'll look it up in the dictionary later.
Eva: Hall is off investigating stuff on his own again and being generally nonconformist. Me go do with the sneaky sneaky follow time yes?
- Can't Live Without You: If a spellcaster creates a magic clone and dies, the magic used to create the clone dissipates, ending them.
- Came Back Wrong: Mr. Henderson's main motive is Necromantic, attempting to recreate his deceased elder siblings. All too many of the experimental clones are dangerously insane.
- Carpet of Virility: Averted. Van Really Gets Around and lacks one. Dave has chest hair and Perma Stubble to boot, but he's just an unhygienic Loner Geek.
- Cast of Snowflakes: The background characters are deliberately made more unique and interesting than the mains, who are all human or humanoid.
- The Cavalry: Apparently, Hendersons aren't totally useless Mooks.
- Cerebus Syndrome: A rare example of a comic that, while gaining continuity and complexity, never really lost the funny. For example, the latest arc sees Henderson Security attempting to kidnap anyone who's ever met Fiona. However, given the comic's Loads and Loads of Characters, this leads to some confusion.
- Cheeky Mouth: At least in the beginning.
- Clones Are People Too: Hall and Eva.
- Cloning Blues: Hall.
- Clothing Damage: Hall here, after Eva stabbed him with a pipe. In retaliation to his stabbing her with a pipe.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Low-ranking Hendersons wear colored bandannas on their gas masks to denote rank. Red is the lowest, and yellow is apparently equivalent to major. The eyes of the masks coordinate in color to the bandanna.
- Comedic Sociopath: Jim.
Jim: Awesome! I'm gonna see what colors he turns!
- Eva, too, and Hall to a lesser degree. Many of their scars are from each other. Word of God states that the prominent scar under Hall's eye is from "Eva and an ice cream scoop".
- Continuity Reboot: Supernormal is a reboot of Lunsford's older comic "Stuffed Jim," which can be found here. It's interesting to compare the two. Some interesting changes: Dave Gold, a minor character in Supernormal, filled Van's role in "Stuffed," and Hall and Eva were subordinates of Mr. Kite.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Van was orphaned, but this revelation only prefaces his flashback to meeting Jules.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Jim's curse. Who would think of turning someone into a stuffed bunny when they act like a jerk? Someone cool, that's who.
- Cool Bike: Fiona procures a hoverbike when she ditches Van and Jim.
- Crazy-Prepared: Fiona's father had a large set of rules and procedures which he taught to his daughter to prepare her for any situation. They have been very helpful, but only in a general way—no one really expects to be pulled into a fantasy world, after all.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Fiona's spar with Van is over in less than a minute.
- Jim makes fighting hordes of ghouls and vampires look easy.
- Curtains Match the Window: Many of the characters, including Fiona if you count her natural hair color.
- Cute Little Fangs: May.
- Cute Monster Girl: Again, May.
- Cuteness Overload: Jim's bunny form induces one here.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Lampshaded with "hot lava" here.
- Dead Serious: Oh, shi---
- Deadpan Snarker: Akela.
Akela: I'd say in your dreams, but I'd rather you just die.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Eva teases Hall about interviewing Fiona, so Hall stabs her with a pipe.
Eva: *with the pipe protruding from her chest* Uncalled for.
- Dissonant Serenity: Derry's smiley face mask has this effect.
- Eva and Hall are not remotely bothered by things like being stabbed.
- Dream Sequence: Fiona has one here.
- And another funnier, slightly disturbing one here.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Played with. When Fiona becomes the hero of Sandy Lake, she gains the adoration of an entire town - but she also feels like her privacy is being invaded and like others are exploiting her fame.
- Dynamic Entry: Hall makes an entrance.
- Electronic Eyes: It's unclear if Mr. Kite has these or not.
- The Elevator from Ipanema: Musak!
- Electro Magnetic Pulse: Magic users generate electromagnetic fields due to their abilities.
- Mr. Fanservice: Van and Hall both, especially as the art improves.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: After the four-month Time Skip in Chapter Three, Fiona's hair has started growing out and showing blonde roots.
- Expospeak: Poor Henderson.
- Eyes Always Shut: Rascal.
- That random old lady in the first chapter, until this page.
- False Flag Operation: Jim and the Nameless's own leader stage one, faking an attack on a Nameless demonstration to spark a revolution against the Hendersons.
- Fan Disservice: Mr. Kite... shirtless?
- Fanservice: Fiona appears in her underwear multiple times throughout the comic. Van and Hall have both spent time shirtless.
- Many of the wallpapers, and 100% of the pinups.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Of the third variety. With the prevalence of magic, guns are obsolete in the Supernormal universe.
- Femme Fatale: Dollface.
- Femme Fatalons: On... Mr. Kite?
- Fingerless Gloves: Gloves are HUGE in the Supernormal universe. They look cool, but apparently they have a function as well: focusing on the gloves, especially high-contrast ones, helps a magic user channel magic into his/her hands.
- First Name Basis: Hall is a Field Marshal with Henderson Security, but he's too affable to use his title. He and Fiona are on a First Name Basis from their first meeting.
- Fish out of Water: Fiona, in the beginning. She's getting better, though.
- Five-Finger Discount: Van, referenced on this page. Well, sort of...
- Five-Man Band: With the addition of Akela, we get:
- Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Wigglewiskers, but only to non-friendly targets.
- Foreign Cuss Word/Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Elvina's "I don't give a flying Faust!" Doubles as a literary Shout-Out.
- For Great Justice: Apparently, it motivated Fiona's father.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Eva likes to flaunt her assets.
- Fridge Horror: In-universe literal example here.
- Friend in the Black Market: Vic Valentine.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: May.
- Full-Contact Magic: Fiona's fighting style definitely qualifies.
- Funetik Aksent: May gets a large amount of lampshading for her ludicrous Irishness. Even her "most understandable accent" is difficult.
Random Henderson: Was that English?
Fiona: Fill me in later when you can control your accent!
- Fun with Acronyms/Overly Long Name: The Office of Acquisitions in Benefit of One and Once More the Good Mr. Kite. Catastrophe Incorporated in the Manner of Manners.
- Fun with Subtitles: "Local Hero: Found a Thing."
- Gas Mask Mooks: Low-ranking Hendersons wear masks.
- Geek Physiques: Dave is of the skinny and badly groomed variety, with his overall "hairiness" and nineties grunge flannel.
- Genki Girl: Daisy.
Daisy: *flinging her hands in the air* Ah! Massive downer! We need to fix this ASAP!
Eva: *flinging her hands in the air* Book!
- Go for the Eye: In the most wince-inducing way manageable here.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Played with. Hall and Eva are by no means made unattractive by their scars, but the scars hardly match the standard "good" scars. Sure, Hall's got the typical cool eye scar, but the rest are far from typical. Same for Eva, albeit less so. Notice how their scars are not smooth to the skin.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: "I'm going to teach this band of liars and thieves not to screw with me."
- Half-Identical Twins: Hall and Eva.
- Hallucinations: Fenris's poisonous breath induces them.
- Hands-Off Parenting: Jules, to some degree. He told Van not to leave their house, but he doesn't really enforce it, and he's perfectly okay with Van getting piercings and tattoos.
Van: *about his sneaking out*
Where did you think the piercings and tattoos came from? Jules:
I... thought you might have done them yourself? I'm less impressed now
- Heroic BSOD: Fiona, after learning that she will never return to her universe. Her face is heartbreaking.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Nosirrah favors a refined and dignified approach to this: "Excuse me."
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Mr. Kite. His canon description says it all:
Some guy. He's got some motive. Nobody really knows what that is.
- Hollywood Acid/Poison Is Corrosive: Fenris's breath.
- Humongous Mecha: Britta's robots.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Oh, Fiona.
Fiona: I just remembered I left coffee... going... coffee pot... oven thing... on...
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Fiona just wants to get back to where she belongs.
- Immortality: Hall and Eva are via a Healing Factor.
- Immortality Begins at Twenty: Hall and Eva were immortal since birth, but they seem to have aged normally and are both twenty-five.note There is no evidence that they'll stay this way, however.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: Fiona's metal... whatever it wants to be, since it's powered by judgment magic.
- Insistent Terminology: Cavan insists on being referred to as Mr. Henderson.
- Fiona is Fiona, not Fi, Fi-Fi, or Fiifuls.
- Although not really Insistent Terminology, Hall and Fiona draw a line between "where one belongs" and "one's home" here that makes it difficult to keep saying, "Fiona wants to go back home."
- Jerk Ass: Jim. This is also the reason he was cursed, though the specifics haven't been made clear yet.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted; Jim can be changed back to a human by committing a good deed, but he's pure Jerk Ass and has to go out of his way to be nice.
- Killed Off for Real: Nosirrah, Johnny.
- Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Vampires can wear full-body suits to go out during the daytime.
- La Résistance: The Nameless.
- The group Jim was part of in the normal universe that Fiona's dad founded.
- Last Name Basis: Cavan insists that Hall and Eva call him "Mr. Henderson", even though they seem to be related (same last name).
- Lean and Mean: Mr. Kite.
- Limited Wardrobe: Averted.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Oh. My. God.
- And the thing is? They're all distinct, and they all come back. Every character reappears in some capacity later in the storyline.
- Loners Are Freaks: Dave isn't what one would call sociable.
- Love Triangle: There appears to be a type three with Akela and Hall having an interest in Fiona.
- MacGuffin: Supernormal Steps, the highly coveted book Van and Jim used to pull Fiona to the Supernormal 'Verse. Currently, Henderson Security has the last remaining copy.
- The Mad Hatter: Mr. Kite and Beatle seem aware that they're... a bit off.
- Magic A Is Magic A: It's not clear how magic works in the Supernormal universe. It's confidence-based - according to Cecilia, anyone who 100% believes they can do it can use simple magic - and it generates an electromagnetic field but it's never explained where it comes from.
You don't get how magic works? It- It's magic
- Man Child: Eva has elements of this.
- The Mentor: Cecilia.
- Mister Strangenoun: Mr. Kite.
- Mood Whiplash: "Alright ladies, time to play follow the handsome man... But seriously we could die at any moment."
- Ms. Fanservice: Eva fits this.
- Mundane Utility: Fiona uses her magic as a flashlight here.
- Mysterious Past: Hall apparently made some "past mistakes", but whether this qualifies as a Dark and Troubled Past is debatable, as it hinges on Cavan's definition of a "mistake".
- Naïve Newcomer: Fiona.
- Neck Snap: How Fiona defeats Fenris. And it is squicky.
- Nerd Glasses: Elvina and Britta.
- Nice Guy: Van genuinely cares about helping Fiona and treats the people he meets with respect and kindness.
- Additionally, Hall actually cares about people, taking the "Security" half of Henderson Security more seriously.
Hall: It's called being nice to the citizens; you should try it.
- Nice Hat: May and Beatle have sweet hats.
- Non-Action Snarker: Dave, of the geek variety.
- Noodle Incident: The baby carriage bonfire debacle?
- Word of God states that the prominent scar under Hall's eye is from "Eva and an ice cream scoop".
- The rare explained Noodle Incident: In response to a DeviantArt commenter, whose comment was essentially "I bet he took the last of the ice cream and Eva stabbed him in the eye":
Think more unreasonable
, like he came back from the store and told her they were out of strawberry.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Fiona is only interested in doing anything if it might result in getting her a portal back to the normal 'Verse.
- Oh, Crap: "Dad?!"
- Sharp-eyed readers will note that the guy from this page is the skeleton in the yellow shirt here, making this an "Oh, Crap" for the reader.
- Cavan's Dead Serious moment (see above).
- Older Than They Look: Cavan, according to Fiona's intel.
- Orcus on His Throne: Cavan hasn't done much besides paint a "creepy blind chick" and speak ominously, until this page.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires in the Supernormal universe seem to have a variety of unique powers. Wing leads a "flock" of vampires that can shapeshift into birds, and Nosirrah can turn parts of his body to stone and produce a sword from his abdomen for some reason.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Why hello, May, we totally didn't see you there!
- Plot Parallel: Hall's B-plot search for the truth about Mason parallels Fiona's A-plot journey.
- Power Glows: Magic is represented as glowing energy in most cases.
- The Power of Rock: Fiona's new magic technique ROCK!
- Power Trio: Fiona, Van, and Jim, until the main group shifted into Five-Man Band Territory. Related tropes:
- Punk in the Trunk: May is a Type II.
- Rage Against the Reflection: After her dad died, Fiona had a moment like this. But instead of destroying her reflection, she hacked off most of her hair and dyed the rest blue.
- Really 700 Years Old: Cavan's lost track of his age.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eva and Hall, respectively. See here.
- While Eva and Hall are a very straightforward example, Jim (red) and Van (blue) get a bit more complex. Jim is "red" in the sense that he is more "passionate" (read: irritable), defiant, and brawny; however, he lacks the enthusiasm and zest for life also associated with the red oni. Van is "blue" in that he is laid back, responsible, and somewhat more intellectual; however, he is not even remotely cold, aloof, or stoic.
- Refused The Call: Fiona refused to select a side in the Henderson/Nameless war.
- Robot Buddy: A villainous example: Beatle, Mr. Kite's robot assistant.
- The Runaway: Van ran away from foster care and was taken in by Jules.
- Fiona ran away from home after her dad died. She also runs away from her problems when they're too much for her to handle.
- Scars Are Forever: And since Hall and Eva are both immortal, they're really forever.
- Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear: Jim. In his human form, he can "kick people into the stratosphere," but in his stuffed bunny form, he's pretty much limited to shouting expletives.
- Sexy Shirt Switch: May wears Van's shirt here.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Cavan Henderson.
- Van as well. Apparently, Jules insisted that Van have fashion sense.
- Ship Tease: Eva constantly harasses Hall for his generally platonic interest in Fiona. This doesn't come to much of anything until this page, when it becomes clear that Eva may be on to something.
- Shout-Out: Mr. Kite makes a lot of popular music references.
- Sibling Rivalry: Most of those scars on Hall and Eva are from each other.
- Silent Snarker: Em.
- Skull for a Head: Jules, sort of. He just wears the skull as "face decor", but he can furrow his (skeletal) brow and emote with it.
- Slasher Smile: here.
- Spanner in the Works: Sort of. Although Fiona isn't a fool or ditz, her arrival has thrown a monkey wrench into the gears of the Supernormal 'Verse.
- The Speechless: Em has no mouth. This doesn't seem to be a problem for her.
- State Sec: Henderson Security.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: "You called, I came; I came, you called? What difference is there!"
- Stock British Phrases: In case you didn't notice the giant Union Jack on Dave's T-shirt.
- The Stoic: Hall has elements of this. Although he shows a full range of emotion, he's usually calm, cool, and collected. His mildly amused expression is roughly equivalent to Eva's childish glee. Until...
- Strong Family Resemblance: Fiona and her dad.
- And Inga to Elvina and Britta.
- Tap on the Head: It's even lampshaded here.
- Tattooed Crook: Alice and Van, with more emphasis on the tattooed than on the crook.
- Technically a Smile: Welcome to Rascals!
- Think Nothing of It: Fiona is a loner type and is pretty upset by the attention given to her after she defeats Fenris.
- Third-Person Person: Felix.
- Those Guys: The Trifecta of Might.
- Time for Plan B: Mocked by Beatle.
Beatle: Trust me when I say plans B through 19 were completely insane.
- Title Drop: The book Van and Jim used to pull Fiona into the 'Verse is called Supernormal Steps.
- Totem Pole Trench: Suggested jokingly by Fiona to Akela when they need to get into a secure area...
- ...and then actually attempted on the next page when (as Lunsford summed it up on his Tumblr) neither of them could think of anything better.
- Trapped in Another World: Fiona. No, really.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Fiona finally gets to a copy of the book that Van and Jim used to summon her, only to learn that sending her back is impossible. Turns out to be a Kick the Dog when we learn that Edvard was lying.
- You Didn't Ask: Jim offers this excuse for not revealing that he was trying to summon Fiona's father.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Fiona, though her blue hair isn't natural. Additionally, Hall and Eva have green and black hair that seems to be biological.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Derry and Em can shapeshift parts of their bodies, and Wing and his vampire "flock" can transform into birds.
- Mr. Kite has several forms, including Hall.
- Dollface is probably the most literal shapeshifter in the comic, transforming herself onto a movie screen and into Fiona in an effort to seduce Hall.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Dave Gold is apparently British enough to wear a Union Jack on his chest.
- While Rome Burns: Seemingly referenced in this official art here.
- White Mask of Doom: Derry's smiley face mask.
- Whole Episode Flashback: Chapter Five primarily consists of exposition on Fiona, Jim, and Van's backgrounds.
- Wicked Cultured: Edvard de Santigo.
- Cavan also fits this, but his level of evilness is unclear.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: The first time we see Dave's eyes, here.
- Wingding Eyes: Britta's Humongous Mecha employ these, as do many Hendersons.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: According to Fiona, her younger brother Lucas assumed the Promotion to Parent role when their dad died and encouraged Fiona to run away.