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Literature / Nobody Gets the Girl

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2003 paperback cover

A superhero genre novel written by James Maxey.

Richard Rogers awakes one morning to find himself transformed into an invisible man. Suddenly thrust into a new life as a superhero called Nobody, he fights alongside two stunningly sexy superheroines — Rail Blade and the Thrill — in an effort to save the world. A one-hundred-foot baby doll with a gun for a head is just one if the obstacles in his path. The real drama lies in his quest to regain his identity. But the door to that plane of his existence may be closed forever...

There's also a standalone sequel called Burn Baby Burn: A Supervillain Novel that focuses on two of the villains from the first book, Sundancer and Pit Geek.

These books contain examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Rail Blade did this to her younger brother Alex when he grew jealous after she became Stronger with Age and started teasing her.
  • Action Girl: Rail Blade.
  • A God Am I: The more we find out about them, the more clear it becomes that both Dr. Know and Rex Monday have serious God complexes.
    • Rail Blade shows signs of this as well.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Sundancer’s leg was blown off accidentally by Pit Geek when he threw a grenade at the Thrill.
  • And I Must Scream: Part of Servant's backstory is that he was a drug kingpin that picked a fight with Rail Blade and got himself sealed in huge block of iron.
    • Before the big reveal, Richard thought the afterlife was going to mean spending the rest of eternity like a Saturday morning that would never end.
    • Rex Monday claims that he was the one who created the world and Dr. Know was created when he imagined himself in it only for someone very much like himself to fill it. while he was stayed trapped outside:
    Rex Monday: I watched, ghostlike, in horror as someone who looked, sounded, and seemingly thought just like me carried on with what should have been my life. And for years, that was all I could do. Watch, while he gathered up wealth and power, watch while he fucked my wife and fathered her children. I hated him. I despised him. And I swore that one day I would kill him.
  • Alliterative Name: Richard Rogers
  • All Women Are Lustful: According to Richard.
    Richard: And women, good God, women say the raunchiest things when men aren't around. I swear, you ever turn invisible, go hang out in a women's restroom for an hour. You'll hear shit that'll make your hair fall out. When men aren't around, women are just downright crude. I heard these two girls once, they were riding in a car, and this one was talking about her boyfriend's penis. I'm not kidding. A twenty-minute drive, and the whole way she keeps describing this penis, talking about what kind of veins it has, talking about, I swear, what kind of moods it has. I mean, come on! Men could never carry on a conversation for twenty minutes about the physical attributes of their girlfriends. They need, what, three words, tops, Hooters. Big ones.
  • Amazon Chaser: This is why Richard ultimately ended up with Rail Blade over her sister.
    Rail Blade: Have you... ever thought about me? Sexually?
    Richard: Yeah, sure. I mean, I wouldn’t have betrayed your sister when she and I were together, but from the moment I first saw you outside the plane window I thought you were amazing. I mean, maybe it’s a guy thing, but you’re flying beside us at 700 miles an hour or something and the main thing my brain is screaming is, hey, she’s hot!
    Rail Blade: Interesting. Don't I scare you?
    Richard: Terrify is a better word.
    Rail Blade: Terrify is a much better word.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: The Thrill
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite destroying and recreating the universe turning it into a Fantasy Kitchen Sink yet wasn’t willing to accept that he had an Evil Twin.
  • Badass Bookworm: Dr. Know is a black belt in seven styles of martial arts.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: After Dr. Know’s wife kills him, her daughter mentions how quiet and harmless she was, like a little statue in the library.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: In spades. Dr. Know treats his daughters Rail Blade and the Thrill as soldiers in his war. His wife (the one nonpowered member of the family) can't deal with the weirdness and reaches the point of wanting to kill him. See also the Unperson entry.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Rail Blade had Richard take Boxing Lessons for Superman as she didn’t want her sister put in danger protecting him
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Rail Blade did this after Dr. Know tried to kill her
  • Compelling Voice: The Thrill's voice has an overtone that activates people's pleasure centers when they follow her instructions.
  • Contrived Coincidence: While tailing a bomb-throwing anarchist, Thrill put him to sleep. Unfortunately the absence of any observers other than Sarah caused Richard to become solid again. Making things worse, he materialized in such a way that a wire from the bomb looped through the buttonhole on the sleeve of his shirt. Luckily the wire turned out to be the right one to disarm it.
  • Cry for the Devil: Pit Geek is a disgusting murderous creature in the first book, but is presented much more sympathetically in the second as we learn about his mental state and background. Sundancer also becomes more sympathetic, especially when she finally accepts that the war between Rex Monday and Dr. Know is over.
    • The death-row inmates Dr. Know uses for his Wetware CPU while Richard didn’t believe in the death penalty he stressed that death was preferable even if they were Asshole Victim.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Richard: it comes from being a stand-up comedian
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Rail Blade in the first book, Sundancer in the second.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: Nobody knows what the deal with Pit Geek is, not even himself or Rex Monday.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Nobody killed both Rex and Dr. Know.
  • Emotion Bomb: Panic has the power to induce raw terror over a wide area.
  • Evil Is Petty: Pit Geek and Panic killed Veronica as revenge for Richard attacking them for holding her hostage.
    • While Rex Monday sees himself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist given the number of innocent people he’s killed and the fact that he’s main motivation is revenge for what he feels is Dr Know stealing his life he is more this
  • Extreme Omnivore/Stomach of Holding: Pit Geek.
  • Forgot About His Powers: While tailing Sundancer Richard forgot that he was intangible and carefully avoided the thousands of people in the mall.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Dr. Know wants to cure all the ills of the world and is willing to kill people and take control of their lives to do it; Rex Monday wants to stop him and is willing to kill people and terrorize populations to do it. Their willingness to toss ethical constraints out the window arguably reaches the level of Evil Versus Evil.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: In Burn Baby Burn, Servant claims to have been a former drug lord who turned good after being released from the And I Must Scream mentioned above and accepting Jesus.
  • Heroic Build: Discussed a combination of Sarah’s energy and the fact that comic book heroes always seemed to be packed with muscles no matter what their profession before they gained their powers, caused Richard to decide to start doing a little weight lifting.
  • Hive Mind: This is how Dr. Know plans to prevent Cloning Blues so he can live forever.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: When Rex Monday first materialized in the real world the first thing he did was kill and eat a man who mistook told him to get off his property.
    Richard: You ate his flesh...?
    Rex Monday: Don't judge me. You can't imagine the state of mind I was in, after being trapped so long outside of reality
  • Instant Armor: Rail Blade is able to do this
  • Invisibility/Intangible Man: Richard, after he's been not-quite removed from reality. He can only be seen and touched by Dr. Know, Rail Blade, and the Thrill and Rex Monday.
  • It's All My Fault: Richard blames himself for Veronica’s death as she never would have been killed if he didn’t go to see her.
    • This is Rail Blade’s personal mantra as she feels that there is always something that she could do differently to get a better outcome
  • Kick the Dog: After explaining the The Time Traveller's Dilemma Dr. Knowbokov beat the crap out of Richard.
  • Kirk Summation: How Richard calmed Rail Blade down during her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Rail Blade’s ability allows her to protect herself and her allies.
  • Meta Origin: Dr. Nicolas Knowbokov's "vacuum bomb" caused the universe to transition to a new quantum state. Knowbokov's consciousness survived as an "observer" and provided the template around which the universe reassembled. Because he was a longtime fan of superhero comic books, the new reality included super powers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Rail Blade for Jerusalem after calming down
  • The Omnipotent: Played with on the subtlest level of consciousness, Dr. Know's mind touches the thoughts of nearly every other person in the world. He cannot focus on the direct thoughts of everyone at once, however. So the privacy of the vast majority of the world's citizens is in no danger.
  • Opposites Attract: Rail Blade and Richard
    Richard: Really. You're the most serious person I've ever met. I'm someone who's always treated life as a joke. It must be true that opposites attract, because I recognize in you something that I'm missing. You have a certain magnetism, pardon the pun. It pulled me across umpteen million miles to find you.
  • Our Worm Holes Are Different: It's revealed in Burn Baby Burn that Sundancer's actual power is to open wormholes. Since the sun happens to be the largest source of gravity in the area, the other end of the wormholes open up there, allowing her to vent fire from them.
  • Parental Favoritism: Dr. Know based this on which child had the strongest ability while raising them, leading to a lot of Sibling Rivalry.
  • Playing with Fire: Sundancer, one of Rex Monday's henchmen.
  • Power Degeneration/Your Days Are Numbered: Sundancer is immune to the heat she channels from the sun, but the hard radiation that comes with it eventually gives her cancer.
  • Power Incontinence: This happened to Rail Blade when she overtaxed herself trying to stop the war at Jerusalem only for a suicide bomber to cause her to tap into the earth’s core to stop him.
  • Power Perversion Potential: After stealing a cab ride with a pair of flight attendants and accompanying them to their hotel room, Richard engages in a bit of voyeurism as he shares a shower with one of them.
    • Averted with Dr. Knowbokov when Richard mentioned he could use his Time Machine to win the lottery. The thought had never even entered Dr. Know’s mind.
  • Powers as Programs: Played literally straight in Ap's case.
  • Punny Name: The villain in the first book calls himself Rex Monday, which is a pun on Rex Mundi, which is Latin for king of the world. Also the first book's name.
  • Ret-Gone: Richard wakes up one morning to find that nobody can see or hear him, and that he can only interact with physical objects when nobody is looking. This is a side effect of Dr. Know's time travel — he inadvertently distracted Richard's father, causing him to buy a non-defective pack of condoms.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Rail Blade after being attacked by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem.
    • And later when her father tried to kill her.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Thrill, Rail Blade, and Richard all leave after the Jerusalem fiasco.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Played with: since Rex Monday and Dr. Know are technically the same person, the battles between Thrill, Rail Blade, Panic and Sundancer are this.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Richard's initial reason for not wanting to use the time machine also counts as a Shout-Out Star Trek
  • Squick: As Richard was utilizing Power Perversion Potential the woman used the the toilet, oblivious to the fact that he was sitting on it. He found himself sharing her body.
    • When Sarah was seventeen and met a man at a concert just as they were about to get it on Amelia ripped off the roof of his Van, Dr. Know had been inside the guy’s head the entire time. Him not being able to read Richard’s mind is one of the primary reasons she became attracted to him.
  • Staying Alive: Dr. Know poisons Rail Blade after she destroys Jerusalem. The poison stops her heart, but her powers enable her to keep her blood circulating without it.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Dr. Know can enter a person's mind so thoroughly, their entire personality is subverted, allowing him to control their thoughts. Not only does this take time, often up to several weeks, but once it’s done he can’t control their bodies, as muscular movement and balance require more than the conscious mind.
  • The Time Traveler's Dilemma: When Dr. Know explains why Richard is out of phase with reality, Richard asks him if he can fix it with another time travel expedition. Dr. Know refuses to attempt it, because it would erase four other people (in Richard's absence, his parents later had two other children and his wife married someone else and had two children) from the timeline.
  • Unperson: Dr. Know had a son who was accidentally killed by Rail Blade. He buried him in an unmarked grave, destroyed all his pictures, and tried to make the family forget that he'd ever existed because the memory made Rail Blade afraid to use her powers.
  • Tricked Out Time: Richard used this to kill both Dr. Know and Rex Monday
  • Understatement: Dr. Know treats his wife trying to kill him as a downward spiral in their marriage.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The man who shot Thrill immediately after she saved his life
  • Unstoppable Rage: After a plan to bring peace to the Middle East fails disastrously, Rail Blade totally loses it and levels Jerusalem (though she does remove the people first), leaving a message threatening more of the same unless the world makes peace within a year.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Doctor Know's got a plan to save the world and he doesn't mind letting innocent civilians die or killing a few reporters who stumble across his secrets. See also the Wetware CPU entry.
  • Villain Protagonist: Sundancer and Pit Geek in Burn Baby Burn.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy Rail Blade making the fact that he tried to kill her all the more devastating.
  • Wetware CPU: Dr. Know has arranged to have death-row inmates delivered to him after faked executions; he keeps them in life support canisters and uses them as living computers.
    • Baby Gun is an atrophied body permanently installed in the giant Baby Gun doll.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: This is how Richards powers work his willpower is so great that after he was Ret-Gone he became a figment of his own imagination.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Rex Monday to Dr. Know
    Richard: Even if I believed, it doesn't matter. I mean, when it comes right down to it, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Dr. Know is up to his eyeballs in this conspiracy junk. Maybe you see yourself as some kind of noble freedom fighter in opposing him. But you said it yourself—people with noble intentions do the worst things. And you've done some fairly vile things, placing children in danger.
    Rex Monday: I won't stand by idly while Dr. Know twists the world to conform to his warped vision.