Website: Epic Tales
Epic Tales is a website created by Eric J. Barkman where he hosts superhero stories by himself, and his friends, set in a shared superhero universe. The contributing writers so far are Eric J. Barkman, Kenneth Tomson, Thomas Penner, Evan Barkman, and Jozef Braun.
Series on the site are:
- Shadow Hawk - The first series on the site, follows the adventures of Shadow Hawk, an invulnerable superhero who wants to get revenge on his father's killer.
- Ghost - The second series to launch, this one by Kenneth Tomson, follows the adventures of the title character, and his best friend Karen, who are on the run from a mad scientist.
- Black Cats - The second series by Eric J. Barkman, this follows an all female superhero team. The leader is a hologram, and the other members are a nearly 3000 year old Greek woman with a healing factor, a cop from another planet, a pyrokinetic environmentalist, a genetically engineered humanoid lioness, and an extremely powerful girl from the future.
- Sentinel - The third series by Eric J. Barkman is combines sci-fi and political intrigue as it follows the head of the Department of Superhuman Affairs, who is also the Guardian Corps Agent in charge of protecting the Sol System.
- Fallen Blade - A series by Thomas Penner, it seems to follow a hobo, who as of yet doesn't seem to be either super, or a hero.
- Bluestar - A series by Evan Barkman, it follows the title character who has your standard powerset of flight, superstrength, and superspeed. He's been flying around space for who knows how long, and is now headed back to Earth.
- Tales of River City - A series by Jozef Braun which follows the adventures of three superheroes in River City. A 17 year old DA who seems to have similar powers to Bluestar, a ninja girl, and Bruce Wayne as Iron Man (or something to that affect).
- Thrive - A series by Jared Penner, which seems to be set on another planet or something. The only series, so far, that doesn't seem to involve superheroes/supervillains, so far.
- Astral Controller - Unlike the other series which are in text, this one is a movie series, and stars Astral Controller, who is a recurring character in Shadow Hawk. So far all that's up is a trailer for the first movie, which looks pretty good, other then the voice dubbing in one part.
Tropes featured include:
- Affably Evil: Troy the Wendigo seems like he might fit this despite needing to eat humans. Which is interesting since humans only become wendigos if they resort to cannibalism in the first place.
- Appropriated Appellation: Sponge was given her name by the newspapers. It seems to have stuck, as the following story has her referred to as such.
- Back from the Dead: David Wilson died in the first Shadow Hawk story only to become the Astral Controller.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: In one story, Shadow Hawk goes up to a cop, from behind so that the cop doesn't see him, and begins asking what's going on, in his most commanding voice. The cop answers his questions, and only after Shadow Hawk says that he can take care of the villain does the cop turn around to see who he's been giving information to.
- Big Applesauce: Shadow Hawk is set in New York City (at least nominally).
- Body Surf: Astral Controller is only able to interact with the physical world by possessing human hosts. In his first appearance he switches between multiple different hosts as the situation requires.
- The Casanova: Shadow Hawk.
- Clark Kenting: Shadow Hawk may have a full body costume, but he uses his birth name as his superhero identity. His logic is that it's such an obvious connection, that people will think it's too obvious. So far everyone who has met both of his identities has been able to figure it out, as well as a few who have only met one of his identities, but know of the other.
- The Commissioner Gordon: Lt. Luke Bennet for Shadow Hawk.
- Death by Origin Story:
- Shadow Hawk's father is killed. This is what leads to him becoming a superhero, so that he can learn about his father's killer and get revenge.
- Astral Controller is an example of someone whose death was their origin story, as David Wilson only become Astral Controller after he died because of a deal he made with Hades.
- Gender-Neutral Writing:
- At one point, Diana needs help from a friend to hack into CODIS. While talking about this friend both Diana and John keep referring to this friend with the word 'friend', rather then using 'he' or 'she'. It's so noticeable that it's obviously intentional.
- A slightly less obvious example is when it's mentioned that Diana is going out with someone named Alex. No gender is mentioned for Alex.
- Immune to Bullets: Shadow Hawk is immune to bullets. And everything else.
- Required Secondary Powers: In the sixth Shadow Hawk, Shadow Hawk's required secondary abilities are actually a major plot point, as there is a character whose presence negates them. Also interesting in that Shadow Hawk's powers are magical in nature, while the negation powers are scientific in nature.
- Revenge: This is Shadow Hawk's motivation for being a superhero. Or so he claims. His best friend Diana thinks he's just doing it for the thrills, although this is only mentioned once.
- Story Arc: Shadow Hawk has an ongoing arc about Shadow Hawk wanting to get revenge on the Shapeshifter, who killed his father. It also has a subplot arc about how he got a girl pregnant in the first story.