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Literature / Mavericks

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Mavericks is a Web Serial Novel written by a user named Joker. The series explores the superhero genre through a different lens that combines both deconstruction and reconstruction, story-telling aimed at adults and Black Comedy.

The story follows a group of four unlikely heroes in the crime-ridden Rust Belt city of Blackburn. The threats to the city are immense, and each of them will have to fight internal battles to find the strength to keep the city from falling into complete chaos. Along the way they’ll assemble a supporting cast and learn to work together to combat villains they wouldn’t be able to alone.


Mavericks launched in August 2018 and updates six times a month.

This series provided examples of:

  • Cape Busters: Implied, but it seems SWAT has the capability to deal with anomalous criminals.
  • Code Name: In this universe, many of the hero and villain nicknames are created by the press.
  • Crapsack World: Blackburn is absolutely crawling with thugs and gangbangers, has one of if not the highest murder rate in the country and at the start of the series doesn't even have a superhero team.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Skinnyman's operations would not have taken such a beating if he hadn't experimented on the wrong man's sister.
  • Darker and Edgier: Mavericks relies heavily on Reality Ensues and the tropes of the superhero genre being brought into a world where people react to them realistically.
  • Death by Origin Story: Wilbur's parents were killed in a car accident five years before the story begins, leaving him to inherit Scholz Enterprises alone.
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  • Differently Powered Individuals: Referred to as anomalies.
  • The Dreaded: Skinnyman. Dozens of Blackburners have been kidnapped by his gang, their bodies horrifically mangled by experiments. He evades capture by sticking to the shadows of Olympic City, yet he isn't afraid to attack cops or civilians in broad daylight.
    • At one point, he even No Sells being shot and a grenade.
  • Dying Town: Surprisingly somewhat averted. Blackburn was until the very recent past a Rust Belt city that was a shell of its former self, but it recently has begun to stabilize in population and diversify its economy, cleaning out some of the blight. Some.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Skinnyman has no qualms about employing women in his vile schemes, nor does he seem to a give a hoot about race.
  • Hero's First Rescue: Wilbur saving Jessica from an ass-beating by the Mafia.
  • Human Traffickers: Skinnyman and his gang. Uniquely, they're not interested in sex or labor slavery, rather they conduct horrific experiments for an unknown reason.
  • Like Reality Unless Noted: Superhumans have existed for eons, but that doesn't mean Skrillex doesn't exist.
    • Weird Historical War: A glimpse of how the Germans used anomalies during the First World War is shown. The ultimate outcome didn't change.
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  • The Mafia: Show up a few times in Shortcircuit Volume 1, but they're a shell of their former selves and half of them are unceremoniously offed by Blackout.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Wilbur's gloves essentially function as overgrown tasers.
  • Police are Useless: Averted. Without Jeff's assistance, none of Wilbur's raids on Skinnyman's territory would have accomplished anything.
  • Power Misidentification: The public at large seems to think Wilbur is actually an electrokinetic and not using technology.
  • Vice City: Blackburn is crawling with criminals, with human traffickers more or less openly running Olympic City.
  • World Building: Blackburn is heavily based on worldbuilding. Much of the story is dedicated to the lore of the city, and introducing tons of characters who will be more important later.