What if there was a Joker, but no Batman?
Oxymoron is an independent comic about an afflicted police officer hunting down a masked serial killer obsessed with murdering anyone he perceives as contradictory.
The story is a prequel to The Red Ten.
This comic provides examples of:
- Antagonist Title: Oxymoron is the Ax-Crazy psychopath carving a bloody path through Swanstown; the protagonist is Detective Mary Clark.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In a sense, Oxymoron did what he wanted. He wanted to kill off and expose the contradictory people in the city, push his two cop victims to the brink to test them even if they failed, spread overall chaos and ruin their lives, and eventually is shown in the ending to be alive and free to murder again another day.
- Big Good: The cheery rookie cop Deborah Deanie becomes one of these over the course of the story. She comes close to quitting after Oxymoron's initial murders, but after encouragement from Detective Mary to serve as her better, she ends up becoming resilient in the face of Oxymoron's threats even after he captured her girlfriend. She's so good to the point Oxymoron describes her as boring and tries and fails to make her more ruthless to make her interesting.
- Black-and-White Insanity: How Oxymoron perceives the world, since he's obsessed with and disgusted by contradiction. For instance, he murders a gang lord who has some Pet the Dog policies by sending money earned from crime to various people he cares for, since in Oxymoron's eyes there is no such thing as a bad man with some good in him, or a good man with some bad in him. He also assassinates various public servants who were corrupt in some way.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Oxymoron announces his presence to the people of Swanstown through a live news broadcast by calling himself "a very bad man" and "a plain-dealing villain".
- Cop Killer: Oxymoron murders swathes of cops during his rampage in Swanstown.
- The Corrupter: Inverted. Oxymoron jokingly tries to goad Mary into possibly becoming a killer just like him by tracking down and delivering an elusive criminal who killed her former partner, but she refuses and instead arrests him. Which is exactly what he wanted since he wants a pinnacle of good to counteract his irredeemable evil. Oxymoron responds to her trying to leave town by murdering her boyfriend and his son.
- Creator Backlash: Oxymoron's actions spawn a fan following due to him killing a series of Asshole Victim criminals and corrupt city officials, which Oxymoron blatantly mentions he hates due to how hypocritical his "fans" are by supporting wanton murder while claiming righteousness afterwards. He says he hates all of his fans and that they're all his future victims. Ironically this only makes his fans support him even more.
- Deadline News: Oxymoron forces SNN reporter Krystal Gaines to provide coverage for his crimes, promising to boost her career by giving her an exclusive heads-up on his rampage. He later murders her for this during a live interview, since this makes her a contradiction: a reporter who doesn't actually report news, but creates it.
- Defective Detective: Mary Clark has Addison's Disease, an auto-immune disease that makes her dependent on steroids to even live for the next few days. She had an episode that inadvertently caused the death of her partner, which she still feels guilty about. It also got her booted down to beat cop, until the commissioner reinstates her to deal with Oxymoron.
- Disguised Hostage Gambit: One of Oxymoron's favored tactics is to blackmail people to dress up as him and force them to kill people under threat of death or the death of their loved ones.
- The End... Or Is It?: The comic ends with Mary finally killing the Oxymoron, but she later finds a note sewn into her dog's abdomen indicating that he might not be truly dead after all.
- Eye Scream: Oxymoron starts his rampage by scooping out the eyes of a middle-aged waitress.
- Immoral Journalist: Deconstructed. The titular Ax-Crazy supervillain gives local reporter Krystal Gaines "exclusive coverage" of his growing rampage since he's an Attention Whore, which she reluctantly agrees to but joyfully banks on the boost of her career. While her reporting does end up causing more harm as Oxymoron's notoriety inspires a legion of copycats, it's pretty much An Offer You Can't Refuse, and she becomes one of his many victims later on anyway.
- Jack the Ripoff: Oxymoron's crimes inspires a legion of copycat killers who proceed to plunge the city into chaos.
- Malevolent Masked Men: Oxymoron's white mask, hiding his true identity. Later, people start to follow his example, dressing as him and going on killing sprees. There's an unmasking scene at the end, but it remains The Unreveal.
- Oxymoronic Being: The Big Bad Oxymoron has a modus operandi where he "corrects" (murders) other people for being contradictory in action or nature. Like a dangerous criminal who's prone to philanthropy or a police commissioner who's supporting a criminal to use as a mole and taking a pay cut for their child's school expenses. By his own logic, he himself is not an oxymoron since he strives to be pure evil. This is just in his head, however, and he'll come up with any excuse to kill someone, no matter how far-fetched or as a proxy to use against an intended victim.
- Politically Correct Villain: When Oxymoron tries to find some contradiction in Nice Girl Agent Deborah's past as an excuse to murder her, all he could find was the rather lame "former small town girl who is also a lesbian". He acknowledges that it takes a pretty backward mindset to declare her an oxymoron on that basis. He also remarks above all else, he's no bigot.
- Practically Joker: Oxymoron takes after the Joker with his insanity and rictus grin, though with an obsession over contradictions instead of dark comedy.
- Reformed Criminal: Detective Mary Clark used to be a small-time thief and drug dealer on the streets until the police commissioner took her in and inspired her to be a cop herself. It's for this reason she's more forgiving and sees him as a good man, despite being outed by Oxymoron as a Dirty Cop who had a gang lord on his payroll to serve as a mole and supply a cut of the profits to put his kid through school.
- Sanity Slippage: Detective Mary Clark goes through this as a result of Oxymoron's schemes as well as many others due to Oxymoron threatening or killing their loved ones.
- Saved by Canon: Anyone who has read The Red Ten knows that Oxymoron has to survive so he can appear (and die) there.
- The Unreveal: Mary takes off Oxymoron's mask after finally defeating him, but the reader never gets a clear look at him since it's shown from Oxymoron's POV. Although Mary does say she is rather disappointed that underneath it, he's just an ordinary man.
- Vice City: Swanstown is indicated to already have been a crime-ridden hellhole before Oxymoron shows up and many good-natured characters hate it or wish to leave it as soon as possible.
- Villain in a White Suit: Oxymoron uses an all-white suit with a red tie, hinting at his Ax-Crazy nature.
- Would Hurt a Child: By his own admission, Oxymoron hates children. Oxymoron mails a bomb to a classroom full of children, and later murders Mary's boyfriend's son in front of her.
- Yearning for a Nemesis: The eponymous character is, aside from going on a rampage because he can, searching for an ultimate example of good to counteract his evil and serve as a worthy opponent to suite for his own twisted idea of "greatness." He puts two of his cop victims through Hell to see if they will become his nemesis.Oxymoron: If this hellish world can produce something as rotten as me, there has to be someone to balance the scales. I believe that hero is still out there... somewhere.
- The Red Ten shows that he eventually found his "balance" in the person of Red and became an Antagonist in Mourning when she was killed.