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Literature / Fighting Monsters

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Fighting Monsters is an ongoing Web Serial Novel about superheroes. The narrative follows Cassandra Donovan, who gains powers along with all the other supers in an event called The Intervention. Cassandra becomes the first superhero and takes on the identity Golden Age, trying to find balance in her life between saving people and attempting to live a normal life. The webserial takes it's name from the Nietzsche quote regarding He Who Fights Monsters and, unsurprisingly, the theme of being human versus becoming a monster features heavily.

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Fighting Monsters was launched July 27, 2015 and updates anywhere from once to three times a week. There are 3 arcs planned, and the serial is currently halfway through the second arc.


Fighting Monsters contains examples of:

  • Car Fu: Golden Age finishes Razorwire by smashing his head in with a 2012 Ford Escape before dropping the car on him.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Played straight with Metropolitan's costume.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Lord Cypher's ability to read minds makes him capable of keeping up in fights with even Golden Age, despite her distinct speed advantage.
  • Conveniently Coherent Thoughts:
    • Lord Cypher appears to be able to easily discern specific details from people's minds with only a short amount of time to scan them.
    • Averted with Cassandra post Arc One, however. She seems to pick up random details without much control, and only seems to be capable of getting a general sense of people's thoughts and emotional state for the most part
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  • Chest Insignia: Played straight. Golden Age has a gold coin as an insignia, directly located in the center of her chest.
  • Deflector Shields: Lord Cypher's telekinesis also manifests in the form of a short ranged force field that allows him to go toe to toe with even the strongest of superheroes.
  • Differently Powered Individual: Played with. Empowered is the technical term for people who acquired powers during The Intervention, and Cassandra uses the term on occasion, but most of the time superheroes and supervillains are called just that.
  • Doomed Hometown: At the end of Arc One, the final fight between Golden Age and Lord Cypher happens in Cassandra's hometown. By the end, all the civilians in the town are dead, and most of the buildings have been destroyed.
  • Emotion Control: Heartbeat's power gives her empathy and the ability to influence people's emotions on a mass scale. Given that she is in charge of protecting New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine all by herself, the range on it is kinda ridiculous.
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  • Gravity Master: Bass Drop's power gives her the ability to control gravity, using it to smash enemies and grant herself flight.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The work is named after this trope, even if the prologue is spent insulting and criticizing the original quote.
  • The Golden Age of Comic Books: Referenced in universe, and what Golden Age named herself after. The story, however, very much does not follow Golden Age style optimism or conventions.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: Averted. Very few characters have flight, and Golden Age frequently wishes that she could.
  • In a Single Bound: Golden Age's solution to her lack of flight is to take a page from classic Superman comics and just jump.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Golden Age's powerset is remarkably straightforward: speed, strength, and durability. The thing that makes her dangerous is how effectively she uses that high speed (even if she doesn't use it particularly cleverly)
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The Intervention. Information isn't given about what happened that day, but it's stated in universe to not have seemed like an important day, until people started developing superpowers afterwards.
  • Playing with Fire: Judging by his name, and some of the things he's done according to the narration, Kilnmouth.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Since we don't actually learn Cassandra's name until Chapter Eight, and the first mention of her gender is Chapter Three, it's easy to fixate on her interest in comics, and her nature as a badass superhero, and assume that she's male. Played with in universe as well, as several people make comments about how they would've assumed that the first superhero would be a guy.
  • Superpowered Alter Ego: Warhound's powers all come from his ability to turn into a superpowered form that possesses powers.
  • Time Stands Still: Alex Carpenter's primary power. Although it turns out it only slows time down approximately 200 times over, meaning that speedsters like Cassandra can still move in it's range of influence.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Looking Glass can create portals that he can see through, and that can transport non-organic matter, and can make them with relative ease, as well as make a shocking amount at a time. Within the span of a sentence, he created enough portals to thoroughly scan the surrounding twenty mile area.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted. Golden Age specifically states that she's willing to kill people who cross the line, and that she can't aspire to be like Batman, since he's fictional. Similarly, villains don't appear to care about collateral damage.
  • Wham Line: “We can resume our discussion later as well, Cassandra.”
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