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Literature / Justice Wing

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Justice Wing is a Web Original series of short stories, serials and novels by Eric Burns-White. It is set in a Superherouniverse and includes a significant amount of Comic Book Tropes Deconstruction.

Its most famous story is Interviewing Leather (and its sequel Interviewing Trey), but several other stories have been written in the setting. The stories fit together, but cover several different eras. While it's intentionally kept vague, stories seem to be set anywhere from the early 1980s through to the present day, and seem to correspond to different comic book eras. (The earliest story chronologically seems to be set in The Bronze Age of Comic Books, for example, while the most current stories range up to The Modern Age of Comic Books.


Current stories include:

  • Justice Wing: Emergence: The origin story of Justice Wing and its related characters.
  • Vilify 5: Lady Velvet — a retired Super Villain — attends a convention for fans specifically of super villains alongside some old pros and at least one new villainous retiree
  • Interviewing Leather : A music journalist named Todd Chapman gets an opportunity to interview a C-list Super Villain.
    • Interviewing Trey: Todd Chapman is kidnapped by one of the most notorious, deadly, and worst of all insane villains, the Jack O'Knaves — ostensibly to write a book about the Jack, but the Jack always has a plan.

Trope Examples:

Interviewing Leather has trope examples for both Interviewing Leather and Interviewing Trey.

    Justice Wing Emergence 
  • Alliterative Name: Many examples, including but not limited to Barbara Babcock, Cindy Calloway, Leonardo Lucas, Delilah Dare, Cordelia Chance, and so on....
  • Badass Normal: Barbara Babcock is a normal reporter, but she takes down a professional mob enforcer in seconds in #2.
  • Bad Boss: Leonardo Lucas. He berates his workers and literally imprisons one to play mindgames with him instead of asking him straight out about a potential planetary extinction event.
  • Bus Fullof Innocents: Chad Keillor faces this in #1, when a tractor-trailer jackknifes behind several stopped cars full of people, meaning all of them need to be saved within seconds.
  • The Cape: Chad Keillor, without any doubt.note 
  • Captain Ersatz: Chad Keillor, one of the first protagonists, is clearly inspired by Superman. Similarly, Leonardo Lucas is inspired by Lex Luthor.
    • Barbara Babcock is cut from the Lois Lane mold, and her partner Teddy Porter could arguably be a Captain Ersatz for Jimmy Olson.
    • Cindy Calloway could similarly be inspired by Lana Lang.
    • Captain Prestige and the Power of ZEUGMA is a comic book character in the Justice Wing Universe. Kenny Kirkland can call down an exploding comet by shouting the magic word Zeugma, transforming him into the mighty Captain Prestige. This is a full Captain Ersatz of Captain Marvel/SHAZAM — taking the public domain version of the character and changing the names to avoid trademark violation.
  • City of Adventure: Crown City, Illinois seems to be a super heroic epicenter.
  • Clark Kenting: Chad Keillor, perhaps predictably.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: It is suggested that the Montreal family of Greystone City will fit this.
  • Differently Powered Individual: Project Tangent Swan refers to super powered individuals as 'expressed.'
    • Generally people with super powers, regardless of source, are called 'parahumans.'
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Leonardo Lucas's base — just called 'the Facility' — goes at least nine levels below ground.
  • Energy Absorption: Chad Keillor uses this to prevent sonic booms and air-compression fireballs, among other things.
  • Flight: Chad Keillor can fly at incredibly fast speed.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Mason Temple and Leonardo Lucas.
  • Insufferable Genius: Leonardo Lucas
  • Intrepid Reporter: Barbara Babcock and Teddy Porter
  • Military Superhero: Lynette Hardesty was a United States Air Force officer before she joined Operation Tangent Swan — her parahuman abilities were part of the reason she was selected for the program.
  • Most Common Super Power: Cordelia Chance is implied to possess this.
  • The Paragon: Chad Keillor. To the point where his later superhero codename is literally Paragon.
  • Secret Identity: At the start of the story, all parahumans are undercover.
  • Secret Keeper: Cindy Calloway knows about Chad Keillor's powers and argues that Keillor should be staying in hiding instead of using his powers even in secret.
  • Spy Catsuit: Cordelia Chance wears one of these in red. Lynette Hardesty admits to preferring these in the field as well.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: There are a number of these in play
    • Averted with Chad Keillor — he works for a major metropolitan newspaper... as a fact checker. This lets him spend most of his time out of the office 'researching at the library' (he has a degree in Library Science) and gives him the chance to help people and still make a living.
    • Mason Temple — ubertech engineer
    • Sophia Montreal and the rest of the Montreal Family are Busy Socialites.
    • Astrid Bixby is an Attorney
    • Lynette Hardesty and Lillian Tartikoff are both secret government agents.
  • Super Hero Gods: Astrid Bixby dreams of rainbow bridges and Norse mythology... and is known to be the goddess Freya in later stories.
  • Superheroes in Space: Chad Keillor was trained by an interstellar organization called Interplanet which seems to fit this mold.
  • Superheroes Wear Tights: Even though he's not a public hero as yet, Chad Keillor wears a blue bodysuit when he's out helping people.
  • Superman Substitute: Chad Keillor can fly super fast, is apparently invulnerable, can melt things, freeze things, is super strong and can lift up a car at super speed without snapping its axle off, apparently has super hearing and x-ray vision... there's really no question here.
  • Supervillain Lair: Even before parahumans are publicly known, Leonardo Lucas has one of these.
  • World's Strongest Man: Once again, Chad Keillor.
  • X-Ray Vision: Chad Keillor has this.
    Vilify 5 
  • Badass Normal: Fletcher Joan
  • The Cape: Paragon — the greatest hero on Earth... as the ex-villains know all too well.
    • Refraction retired from villany after being beaten by Paragon.
  • Clark Kenting: Subverted — one of the fans who attends Vilify 5 comes cosplaying as a blue-suited, glasses wearing mild mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper.
  • Code Name: Most of the ex-villains have these. Clinton Potifer — aka the Cipher — makes a point of insisting on his codename during the convention.
  • The Cowl: The Nightwatch.
    • Other codenamed ex-villains include Fletcher Joan, Madam Hypnos, Refraction, the Hook, Leathertooth, and of course Lady Velvet herself.
    • Heroic codenames mentioned include the Beacon, the Centurion, Paragon, and the Nightwatch.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Subverted — Refraction had started out making money legitimately with his engineering breakthroughs, only a market crash and bad contracts for his patents left him near-broke, so he decided to go into crime instead.
    • Lady Velvet is an alchemist. She started as a villain seeking wealth and luxury, but ultimately took to using her alchemical skills to make money — largely through artisanal makeup, bath, and body products... but with a few extras on the side.
  • Dating Catwoman: Lady Velvet and Nightstick, back during the brighter days of heroes and villains.
  • Fastest Thing Alive: The Beacon.
  • Leotard of Power: Lady Velvet wears one of these in (of course) velvet, as does Janet Bailey, who staffs Lady Velvet's dealer room booth.
  • Most Common Super Power: Lady Velvet herself, as well as her 'apprentice' (really her booth worker) Janet Bailey.
    • Fletcher Joan is implied to have similar attributes.
  • Superman Substitute: Paragon. He's such a Superman Substitute that the Jim Croce song "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" apparently has the lyric "You don't tug on Paragon's cape" in this universe.

Example of: