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Fanfic / Hammerverse

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When all you have is a Hammer is a My Hero Academia For Want of a Nail Fan Fiction written by Flitty (FFN link here).

Author’s summary: When All You Have Is a Hammer... Use it to make all the other tools you need. Izuku's quirk is not suited for hero duty, anyone else could tell him. But Izuku isn't anyone else, so instead he sets about making it work anyway.

Izuku’s quirk? Gender-Swap.

Note: This page is called Hammerverse rather than When All You Have Is A Hammer, in order to avoid it appearing as a link on the trope page of the same name.


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Izuku. Without anything but a backpack with some dumbbells inside, they break four of the sludge villain’s teeth, tear out an eyeball, and then hold it ransom for Bakugo’s life.
    • Uraraka’s shaping up to be this too, if her performance in the entrance exam is anything to go by.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Izuku is much more observant (noticing that something is odd about Uraraka’s quirk during their first meeting, as well as realising that All Might has an injury before meeting him), as a result of spending so long analysing their own quirk.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Downplayed with Izuku. Their quirk gives them a hefty boost in confidence compared to canon, but they still tiptoe around Bakugo and mutter when their nerves get the best of them. They also identify as non-binary as a result of their quirk and a load of time spent on the internet looking for help with said quirk.
    • Both Izuku and Inko are more secretive than Canon. Izuku hiding their quirk, and Inko hiding that she already knows about their quirk.
  • Broken Record: Inverted - after overusing their quirk in the practical exam, Izuku’s mind starts skipping words. It wears off.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Izuku shows shades of this versus the sludge villain, when they break the villain’s teeth while he’s distracted, steal an eye and hold it for ransom. They also quickly realise that they can team up with Uraraka during the entrance exams, bolstering each other’s quirks with their own.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • The first time Izuku discovers their Quirk, they stay as a girl for a week to see if it has a time limit. Upon turning back into a boy, they immediately collapse of dehydration and starvation because both forms need to eat.
    • Izuku didn't realize that overusing their Quirk in a short period of time would result in some rather nasty backlash. After the practical portion of U.A.'s entrance exam, their brain is so fried that they fail the written portion.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Izumi gives All-Might her notebook filled with ideas to retain his strength as a hero and when asked, gives him her real address. A few chapters later, All-Might visits the Midoriya residence looking for "Izumi Midoriya".
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Because Izuku hid their Quirk from Bakugo, the latter thinks Izumi is a completely different person. As time goes by, Izumi has to lie more to hide she's also Izuku, such as claiming the reason Bakugo didn't see her name on the scoreboard for the entrance exam is because non-passing scores aren't posted and declaring that since she failed, she's going to become a vigilante instead.
  • For Want of a Nail: Izuku doesn’t get One for All, gives All Might a way to retain his strength as a hero, and the entrance exam goes very differently from Canon.
  • Foreshadowing: Several have been made, but exactly what they’re foreshadowing isn’t clear just yet.
  • Gender Bender: A rare example where Izuku begins gender-swapping from a young age, and identifies as non-binary regardless of their current form.
  • Hammerspace: Izuku has a limited one, with its size relying on how well they can visualise the objects they store. Anything light enough to carry can fit in there.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter title so far is a single word relating to money in some way, such as ‘Investment’, ‘Charity’ and ‘Gamble’.
  • Portal Cut: Izuku can choose to send only part of an object to Hammerspace, resulting in this.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Izuku still grows up wanting to be a hero, meets All Might, attempts to rescue Bakugo from the sludge villain and (presumably, given that the fic hasn’t gotten that far) gets into Class 1-A at UA.
  • Irony: Izuku thinks that the written portion of the UA exam will be ‘almost upsettingly easy’. As a result of some unforeseen quirk backlash, the written portion is the part they end up failing.
  • Oh, Crap!: Izuku's response to All-Might showing up at their house looking for "Izumi Midoriya".
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Izumi is even shorter than Izuku but the use of their Quirk along with Uraraka's nets them the highest score on the practical exam.
  • Reality Ensues: Despite Izuku's intelligence and best efforts, they're only four when their Quirk manifests so Inko quickly notices her son regularly becoming a daughter instead.
  • Required Secondary Powers: This is what makes Izuku’s quirk so great. They don’t carry injuries or exhaustion between forms so they can fight for twice as long; they can train each form differently to give themselves more options in a fight; they can store objects in Hammerspace as they switch forms (and after some practice, at will); Portal Cut objects to craft weapons; teleport (though they haven’t figured that one out quite yet) and much more - all as a side-effect to their Gender Bender quirk.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Inko knows the basics of Izuku's Quirk and does what she can to surreptitiously help them, such as "not paying attention" at meal times so Izuku can eat in both forms or causing some training bras to be "accidentally" shipped to their home.
  • Sobriquet Sex Switch: After the meeting with All Might, Izuku begins referring to their female form as Izumi. When talking about themselves in general, they still use Izuku, however.
  • Spit Take: Nedzu chokes on his tea when Izuku reveals their quirk to him. It happens again off-screen.
  • Stations of the Canon: So far, has visited three of them: the meeting with All Might, the sludge villain incident, and the UA entrance exam. All three have played out very differently from Canon.
  • Superpower Lottery: Referenced in chapter 2:
    Izuku didn't win the quirk lottery, Inko will readily admit. But when you can take two-thousand yen, invest it and get hundreds of millions in return, the lottery doesn't seem all that important anymore. And metaphorically, that's exactly what Izuku's done.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Izuku's hairdresser notices that cutting their hair takes much longer than it should (because they change genders during it to make sure both forms get a haircut), Inko pretends he has a "deja vu" Quirk that undoes the hairdresser's work. Izuku plays along.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Once more, Izuku’s quirk.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Ironically averted, despite the name of the fanfic.
  • Write What You Know: According to the author’s comments, they identify as non-binary themselves.

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