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Fanfic / Avenger of Steel

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Avenger of Steel by Reyel is a crossover between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Man of Steel, transplanting Superman and some of his direct unique adversaries into the MCU. The storyline starts with a ‘flash-forward’ to the Black Zero Event as Zod and his forces attack Earth, and then goes on to explore the steps as SHIELD learns of Clark’s existence and he becomes part of the Avengers.

The author has also written Avenger Goddess, a story that serves as a Foil to this one as it adds Wonder Woman to another version of the MCU.


Avenger of Steel contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: One storyline actually focuses on the active women heroes of the MCU, as Sif, Jessica, Natasha, Melinda and the Ancient One join forces to stop Lorelei who is controlling Superman.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Compared to his actions in canon, anyway; where Loki’s takeover of Asgard in canon just seemed to be based around a desire to have power and enjoy himself, in this timeline Loki at least claims that his coup is motivated by his belief that Odin and Thor’s ideas of honour will prevent them doing what must be done to protect Asgard from a future threat.
    • Also a downplayed example with the Dark Elves, who are shown in a much more sympathetic light. And the presence of Alflyse proves that they're not Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Adapted Out: Lois Lane, with her role during the events of Man of Steel being taken by Natasha.
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  • Almighty Mom: Martha Kent has Nerves of Steel and will let absolutely nothing faze her, no matter what her son's superhero lifestyle drags her into.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with the Dark Elves as Alflyse proves that some of them are opposed to Malekith's genocidal plans.
  • Androids Are People, Too: Clark prompts an interesting debate between Tony and Bruce about whether an artificial intelligence programmed with the personality of a specific person (referring to the holographic interface of Jor-El that was sent to Earth with him) should be considered that person or not.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Jessica mentions her history with Kilgrave, and Clark shows nothing but contempt for the man as he listens to her story, to the point where he isn’t sure what he would have done if Jessica hadn’t confirmed that Kilgrave is dead.
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    • After Jessica learns about the Masked Vigilante, she does some research, and confirms that everyone the Vigilante has attacked was either a known criminal or a secret paedophile, to the point that even Clark can just about condone the attacks even if he objects to the scale of the subsequent beatings
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Superman might be the most powerful Avenger and have acquired a wide range of information about the universe from the Kryptonian scout ship he retrieved, but he is still comparatively inexperienced as a hero, receiving combat training from Thor.
  • Berserk Button: The idea of being under someone’s control (albeit only through a control collar rather than actual mind control) sends Jessica flying into a rage where she beats a woman into unconsciousness when the woman had just been beating Jessica down only a few moments ago. Later on, the knowledge that Clark is about to face a woman who can control men prompts Jessica to break her ‘rule’ about staying out of super-heroics to join Clark, Sif, Natasha, and Coulson’s SHIELD team in confronting Lorelei.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Lorelei takes control of Superman, the Ancient One steps in just as he is about to be used to kill Natasha, Jessica, Sif and May.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In a sense; when Kryptonians are in their native environment with no exposure to a yellow sun, Jor-El informs Natasha that they possess a strength level comparable to Captain America.
  • The Cameo: Kitty Pryde, Jubilee and Rogue from the X-Men make a cameo in Chapter 18 when they're on a plane that's crashing until Clark saves them.
  • Canon Welding:
    • In addition to placing Superman in the MCU, the X-Men have also appeared. The Shi'ar, who tend to be supporting characters and villains of the X-Men in the comics, are also mentioned by Alflyse among other alien races in Chapter 25.
    • Rao, the Kryptionian warlord who has long since been deified by the species, possessed the Orb containing the Power Stone before he hid it away on Morag.
    • The author stated that he didn't want to use certain DC characters in the story (Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, etc.) but he later changed his mind by having alien races from across the DC lore such as the Tamaraneans (Starfire and Blackfire's race from Teen Titans), the Almarac (Maxima's race), and the Thanagarians (Hawkman and Hawkgirl) exist in this universe and be mentioned by Alflyse.
  • Clark Kent Outfit:
    • Naturally, as this is Superman, but the disguise is further aided as Clark used Kelex to add a subtle virus to Earth’s computers that prevents any facial recognition software from being able to accurately compare Clark Kent and Superman’s faces.
    • Steve and Thor attempt this when accompanying Clark and Jessica out for a drink (despite Jessica insisting that the idea is stupid).
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Alexander Pierce, as in canon, who is already planning how to eliminate the Avengers and Superman because they don’t fit his view of how the world should be run under HYDRA.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Jor-El hologram describes Zod as suffering from this, as Zod is automatically thinking of the repopulation of Krypton in terms of a military operation where he has to conquer territory and defeat an ‘enemy’ because he’s psychologically incapable of considering alternative diplomatic methods.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk are barely able to hold their own against Faora, never mind the rest of Zod’s forces.
    • Subverted in a later conflict when the Hulk is able to match Nam-Ek, but was aided by the fact that Nam-Ek wasn’t flying but willing to engage in a direct fist-fight.
    • After Thor returns to Earth once the Kryptonians have been defeated, he notes that any conflict between a Kryptonian and an Asgardian would depend on factors like exposure to a yellow sun or the advanced weapons or training either possess; during a tournament to celebrate the Convergence, Superman easily defeats Skurge and then engages in a prolonged but evenly-matched battle with Thor, the God of Thunder finding Superman a challenge even after Thor starts using Mjolnir.
    • Just how powerless normal criminals are against Superman is clearly shown when he intercepts a suicide bombing by Madame Gao's forces against a Russian base as they prepare to hunt down the Masked Man; after stopping the bombs against the first building, Superman puts down every single Russian in the building in a matter of seconds before any of them can even react to his presence, and does the same to at least two other Russian bases in the next few minutes.
  • The Cynic: Jessica is an obvious example of this, but even Clark, despite his desire to see the best in people, can’t fully trust SHIELD forces with his identity.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Natasha tells Clark some details about her life in the Red Room, including how she was taken at such a young age that she doesn't remember her parents, and was made to do such awful things she feels that she'll never redeem herself.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Natasha is fully aware that Martha shows her pictures of Clark as a child to encourage her not to think of Clark as a threat, but has to concede that it works as she can’t picture him as a dangerous alien threat after seeing a photo of him dressed as a duck.
  • The Dreaded: Superman has become so feared by the criminals of New York in particular that they avoid using guns and won’t even risk saying his name in case it attracts his attention.
  • Dying Race: The Dark Elves, as they simply are not compatible with the nature of the universe.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • During the Black Zero Event, Jessica Jones saves the life of a young boy and his aunt May. Coincidence? Unlikely…
    • Matt saves Claire from a thug known as Aleksei "Rhino" Sytsevich; again, unlikely to be a coincidence.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Discussed by Natasha, who notes that a lot of evil men are still fully capable of loving their mothers.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Natasha's old contact in the Russian mafia, Sergei, makes it clear that for all the awful things he's done he's still disgusted and horrified by the depths that the Hand is willing to sink to.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Lorelei is utterly incapable of comprehending the idea that Kal-El would help humans rather than try to rule them.
  • Fangirl: Skye cannot stop geeking out over Superman when they meet.
  • Fish out of Water: Goes back and forth for Kal-El; he is inexperienced as a hero and an Avenger, but his raw power makes up for that more than once, and he has spent some time doing research in the Kryptonian scout ship he retrieved that gives him more information about the wider universe than anyone else on Earth possesses.
  • Foil:
    • This fic as a whole has a foil in the author’s later fic, Avenger Goddess, which depicts Wonder Woman joining the MCU during the Second World War when Steve Rogers crash-lands on Thermyscira. Where Superman is essentially the Avengers’ ‘little brother’ who joins the Avengers after the team has come together, Wonder Woman seems set to establish herself as ‘Team Mom’ to the Avengers, possessing unconventional family ties to Tony and Natasha in particular.
    • In-narrative, Frigga notes the similarities and contrasts between Superman and Loki, as both were raised by a species other than their own unaware of their origins, but where Loki tried to conquer after learning the truth about himself, Superman dedicated his life to protecting ‘lesser races’.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • General Ross contemplates how the Avengers need to be brought under control.
    • During the Convergence, Superman briefly flies through the Realm where Hela has been imprisoned.
    • Thanos is aware of the Kryptonians and is clearly eager at the thought of killing the last of the species.
    • Maxima of Almerac is mentioned as having once tried to ‘propose’ to Odin in her quest for a worthy mate, and contemplates seeing how Thor has grown before she learns that a living Kryptonian has been discovered.
    • When Steve informs Tony that he didn’t fight in the Civil War (responding to Tony’s latest joke about how long he spent frozen), Tony says “give it a few years”…
  • Fusion Fic: Between Man of Steel and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Good Parents: Martha Kent, as per Superman canon, is a loving and supportive parent to her adopted son.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Alexander Pierce essentially gives one in Chapter 28, in the form of an internal train of thought as he reflects on why the Avengers will have to die when HYDRA takes power as they won’t accept HYDRA’s control despite Pierce’s belief that HYDRA rule is needed to save the world.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: ‘Hate’ may be a strong word, but Clark muses at one point that Jessica is a dick to everyone regardless of race, religion or disability.
  • Heel Realization: After spending centuries telling herself that the Dark Elves’ actions are justified in the name of saving their species, Alflyse realises that they have lost any right to ‘win’ after hearing how Kal-El killed the only other known member of his species in order to save another race.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Alflyse attempts this to save Superman, Sif and Frigga from the Klyntar forces.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the Avengers’ first battle with Zod’s forces, Faora steals Captain America’s shield and throws it to destroy the Quinjet they’re using.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Zod maintains this as his defence for his actions on Krypton, but Superman constantly disagrees.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Speculated to be the reason Thor didn’t explain that the Tesseract was one of the Infinity Stones, as he just didn’t realise that humanity wouldn’t know about them already.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: When Fury asks how they can trust Superman after Zod’s actions, Superman points out that if he was Earth’s enemy he could have already destroyed the Helicarrier without anyone present able to stop him.
  • It's All About Me: Lorelei’s attitude to a T; as far as she’s concerned, everyone else should be worshipping her and that’s it.
  • Jerkass: J. Jonah Jameson is so fixated on the idea of the Avengers as ‘villains’ that create threats for them to solve that even Clark Kent can’t imagine having the patience to put up with the man on a long-term basis.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jessica in particular comes across as this, as she has a very cynical attitude but soon comes to secretly admire Clark’s genuine desire to be a hero.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Averted when Superman and the Masked Man finally meet — due to their powers allowing them to identify each other's secret identities (in which they'd previously met), they find enough common ground to talk things out reasonably.
  • Like Brother and Sister: It’s not explicit, but while Clark has experienced potentially romantic moments with other women, his relationship with Jessica is so far close but platonic, with both of them denying the idea that they’re romantically involved with varying degrees of disgust.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • When Clark (and Jessica) break up an attempt to artificially create mutants, after they report it to SHIELD, Clark is able to submit a story on the incident (omitting his own part in the break-out) despite signing a non-disclosure form, as he wrote and submitted the story before signing said form, which only covers who he talks to about these events after signing. While he tricked them, agents such as Barton and Hill are only officially angered about it as Clark’s story exposed most of the names they could arrest for their role in the project and he was motivated by a genuine desire to do the right thing.
    • To accommodate Superman's worldwide heroics without giving him official ties to the Avengers that might result in awkward political fallout later, the other Avengers declare that Superman is 'officially' a consultant rather than a full member of the team, giving them a degree of plausible distance if Superman takes lateral action in another country but able to call on his help in a crisis.
  • Master Race: The main attitude of Zod’s forces and Zod himself, to the point that he rants about mounting a campaign of conquest against Asgard itself once Krypton has been re-established.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Martha Kent, and the deceased Jonathan Kent, to Clark/Superman.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A few of these are mentioned when Clark is travelling with Thor, Loki, Sif and the Warriors Three, such as the time Thor wore a dress and posed as his mother to retrieve a lost Mjolnir (as it turns out, even most Asgardians were unaware of the myth that Loki is the mother of Sleipnir, Sif admitting that she started that rumour to get back at Loki for taking her hair).
    • Thanos talking about how no one escapes death can be seen as a nod towards his comic self's obsessive love for Death herself.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Clark indirectly delivers a speech about this to SHIELD and the World Council (delivered to Fury by proxy via Natasha) as their work on the Tesseract is what drew the Chitauri and Zod to Earth.
    • Potentially applies to the Ancient One; her use of the Time Stone has attracted the attention of Mr Mxyzptlk, but compared to the threat of a mind-controlled Superman, the aforementioned imp isn’t quite as dangerous.
  • Oh Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us!: Faora: Path to Atonement is your typical Love Redeems bad fic, with Purple Prose galore. Poor Clark can just wail he would never date a psychopath while Darcy stays gleefully unrepentant. And that's without the fact everyone and their goldfish is shipping Superman with any member of the Avengers they can think of...
  • Open Secret: Natasha informs Coulson that she, Clint, Tony and (likely) Bruce already know he’s still alive, although Steve and Thor are likely still in the dark.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping; At one point Tricia thinks she’s overhearing Clark and Jessica having sex, but in reality Jessica is just really appreciating some of the food Martha Kent gave Clark to take to New York.
  • Power Incontinence: Recognising that the Kryptonians’ main weakness is their enhanced senses, Steve informs the Avengers that they should focus on that weakness in future confrontations after their first defeat.
  • Properly Paranoid: Clark agrees to tell Natasha about his history so long as she doesn’t enter anything about his human identity into a SHIELD database where someone could abuse that knowledge; she tells Fury about Superman's life as Clark Kent, but SHIELD files only record his identity as Kal-El.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Alflyse seemingly achieves this when she stays behind to fight off the Klyntar, with this act helping Sif recognise that not all Dark Elves are pure monsters.
  • Redemption Failure: Alflyse falls victim to this when she is forcible taken as a host by the symbiote that briefly bonded to Superman.
  • Reset Button: The only way for the Ancient One to undo the ritual that Lorelei used to take control of Superman is to use the Time Stone to reverse time for Superman and Lorelei to a point before the ritual was performed.
  • Rules Lawyer: Clark demonstrated this when he found the loophole that let him publish a story and still sign a non-disclosure with SHIELD without getting into trouble, and the Avengers as a whole demonstrate this when they arrange for him to become a ‘consultant’ Avenger, ensuring that he will be available to help them in serious problems without getting caught up in the bureaucracy that might stop Superman saving lives.
  • Ship Tease: A final pairing has yet to be 'declared', with Clark so far showing a potential for romance with Trish, Natasha, Sif, Skye (?) and Karen.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When it's revealed that criminals have taken to calling Superman "You-Know-Who" out of fear he'll appear if they say his name, there are of course Voldemort jokes made.
    • A possible reference is made to Superman's first post-Crisis meeting with Batman in the comics when Superman first confronts the Masked Man and realises his identity; Clark explicitly muses that in another world he might have taken the Masked Man straight to prison as a brutal vigilante, but having briefly met Matt and talked about the vigilante's morality to Jessica, Clark recognises that there is enough doubt for him to want to talk to Matt before he makes a decision.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: As Malekith and the Dark Elves face the Avengers during the Convergence, Natasha shoots him with SHIELD’s Destroyer-based gun mid-rant, observing to Steve that when someone admits they plan to destroy the universe it’s not necessary to hear their full speech.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Thanks to Superman's intervention, Frigga survives Malekith's attempt on her life.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Superman is extremely uncomfortable with the way people venerate him.
  • Take Up My Sword: During the battle with Lorelei, Clark lends Natasha, Jessica and Melinda May Kryptonian battle-attire, and Sif also lends Jessica a Thanagarian mace made of Nth-metal to negate Lorelei's magic.
  • There Are No Global Consequences: Averted. Superman is shown to have a definite effect on the world other than supervillain battles. Using his advanced technology and superpowers, he able to track criminals in all sorts of ways, from the pedophiles and mobsters on the internet to using his super hearing to stop shootings. It gets to the point where the smarter criminals have to start adapting their methods to a world with Superman.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Superman stands for this, as always, but as well as accepting when the other Avengers have to go that far, he has already had to make a personal exception for Zod, and muses that he may well have made another for Kilgrave if the man wasn’t (as far as Jessica knows) already dead when she told Clark about him.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: As per canon, Clark's whole attitude towards being a superhero is derived from what he learned while being raised by the Kents.
  • World's Strongest Man: Superman, naturally. Only Thor and the Hulk can really match him, and even then he's still ahead.
  • You Get What You Pay For: Jessica basically adopts this philosophy at least once; when she's hired to find out if her client's girlfriend is working as a stripper, she soon confirms that the girl is just working as a bartender at a strip club, but doesn't mention the fact that the girl is cheating as she wasn't hired to tell her client that.

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