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Literature / The Tournament of Supervillainy

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It's a Crisis on Infinity Secret Wars.

The Tournament of Supervillainy is the fifth novel of The Supervillainy Saga by C.T. Phipps.Gary Karkofsky is having a bad time of things due to the events of The Science of Supervillainy. Having released Gabrielle Anders a.k.a Ultragoddess as well as a huge number of supervillains, he's hated on both sides of the superhero/supervillain divide. Worse, the Society of Superheroes has made it their personal mission to deliver as many No-Holds-Barred Beatdown attacks as humanly possible.

Things go from bad to worse when he receives an announcement from Death that the Eternity Tournament is taking place soon and he's been chosen to represent her...along with a few of his closest friends plus some Guest Fighter characters from the author's other works. The problem is the favored pick for winner is Entropicus, a Dimension Lord who wants nothing less than to unmake reality.

Which is something he can do if he wins the tournament and receives the prize: The Primal Orbs that can grant any wish.

The Tournament of Supervillainy is a self-admitted Homage to Mortal Kombat, Dragon Ball, big epic crossover fiction, and Enter the Dragon with all the Shout-Out(s) this premise requires.

This book contains the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: Mandy's child is Retgone thanks to Destruction finding kids boring. This inspires her ghost to tell Gary to do anything he can to undo Destruction's tampering with the universe even if it means they're all Killed Off for Real.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Lampshaded and joked about in-universe. Jane Doe finds out that when she traveled from her world to Gary's that she suddenly looked like a buxom fitness model despite being a petite-sized nerd in her universe.
    • Joked about with the fact Agent G looks identical to his normal self because he's already extraordinarily good looking.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Primal Orbs bestow incredible supernatural power to whoever possesses them. When all of them are gathered together, they can be used to grant a wish. Where have we heard this before?
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Possibly the first time that it has ever been justified: an omnipotent entity loves seeing the two duke it out.
  • Big Bad: Entropicus is going to unmake reality and is the favored participant to win the tournament.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Entropicus actually serves as a Deconstruction of this. He feels that he is trapped in the role of being a monster by Destruction and resents it. Unfortunately, it is his nature and doesn't believe he can change it even if he wants to.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Revealed to be a thing in-universe as Gary finds out someone has been fiddling with the timeline. It turns out to be Destruction, a renegade Primal.
  • Crisis Crossover: The premise has the greatest heroes and villains of the Multiverse gathered together to duke it out.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Guinevere is as close to a second mother as Gabrielle has. She loathes Gary and is appalled Gabrielle would choose him over the Society of Superheroes. Its complicated by the fact Gary avenged her father and rescued her from years of imprisonment so, well, she has a different perspective than most on him.
  • Dead All Along: Mandy turns out to have been this, at least after Destruction worked a Cosmic Retcon. She was never resurrected and, instead, her corpse had the soul of dead superheroine Spellbinder put into it. Spellbinder proceeded to go along with it and drew on Mandy's memories to make it work.
  • Death Is Cheap: Averting this is a central theme of the story. Gary pulls it off.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Turns out to have been enforced by Destruction. If either good or evil scored a victory where another party was killed, he'd contrive a way to bring them back. However, he was haphazard with this method and only brought back people he found "interesting."
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Entropicus couldn't be beaten by Gary in single combat but having the fragments of Caliburn inside him poisons the Big Bad and results in him being killed due to his Healing Factor being worn out fighting Gary.
  • Deconstruction: Seems to be a parody of Tournament Arc stories. Then is revealed to be a Deconstruction of Status Quo Is God and retcons in comic books.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: Agent G, Jane, Gary, and Cassius all come from different universe types. They compare and contrast their worlds while trying to save the Multiverse.
    • G comes from a tremendously cynical Cyberpunk hard sci-fi universe. He resents its relative lack of hope and actually just flat out wants to abandon it for the more goofy and fun superhero world he's found himself in.
    • Jane comes from a Urban Fantasy world where there's no superheroes and plenty of monsters. Still, she is a Snark Knight and wants to return to keep fighting the good fight. She does want to soak up the sights while she's here, though.
    • Cassius comes from a Darker and Edgier Space Opera universe. Nothing in Gary's world is particularly weird to him, albeit he considers it all a bit goofy. He just wants to get back to his world as soon as possible.
    • Gary is fascinated by but quite content with his world, at least until he discovers it's subject to frequent tampering with by gods.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Gary manages to defeat Entropicus' son despite him being a multi-dimensional shapeshifting demon made of evil. Later, he manages to top this by defeating Ultragoddess despite her being an Expy for Supergirl.
    • Subverted by his battle against Entropicus, himself, who is a Dimension Lord baddie and way above Gary's weight class. Even when possessed of all the powers of his fellow heroes as well as skills, he's barely able to keep up with the monster. He ends up winning, ironically, by poisoning Entropicus with fragments of Caliburn. They cause Entropicus to explode from within.
    • Cassius Mass, despite being a Badass Normal protagonist of a Space Opera series, manages to do the same in reverse as he's one of the few individuals to score a conclusive win over Gary in battle. Thankfully, it wasn't a battle in the Tournament.
  • Dimension Lord: Entropicus is the ruler of his own planet at the end of the universe, which is the last civilization left.
  • Expy: Guinevere has many references to Wonder Woman, the Prismatic Commando is a Race Lift version of Captain America combined with Green Lantern, and Entropicus is one for Thanos, Darkseid, Shao Kahn, and Skeletor.
  • Evil Is Petty: Destruction is revealed to have been responsible for everything bad that has happened to, well, every superhero ever. Why? He's bored.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Entropicus wants to kill everyone in the multiverse so Gary and company are heroes by default against it.
  • For the Evulz: This is the motivation for Destruction. He's bored with regular reality and deliberately creates angsty melodrama by arranging superhero fights to continue forever. This includes killing and resurrecting participants from behind-the-scenes.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Gary has an encounter with another one of his future selves. It's one who has successfully conquered the world and ruled it for four-hundred-years. Played With as Old Gary is a Cool Old Guy and remorseful about what he did to conquer the Earth. It's also hard not to sympathize with his reasons. The world's governments came after his children due to Fantastic Racism. They fought a war against him and he won.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Entropicus is The Dragon for Destruction, who just wants the misery of superhero fights and angst to continue forever.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Death is actually banking on this with Gary. Entropicus can smash through any powerful hero with little effort but Gary is The Trickster.
    • Gary is directly compared to Dan Hibiki and for once doesn't get the reference.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Entropicus wants to kill everyone and everything in the Multiverse so he can rule it as a necromantic god king.
  • Papa Wolf: Gary is shown to a loving father to his daughter, Leia, even going to steal her a super-technology object as a gift. Future Gary reveals that he finally conquered the world when racists on both sides of a Super-Human war went after his family for containing members of both. He promptly stomped them all with the Primal Orbs.
  • Physical God: Entropicus is one of the most powerful villains in the cosmos. Gary has no chance against him...normally.
  • Polyamory: Gary is happily married to Mandy, seeing Cindy, and knocks up Gabrielle when Mandy sends him to comfort her. Its complicated by the discovery Mandy isn't actually Mandy.
  • Public Domain Character: The only ones who get mentioned like Frankenstein, Thor, Hercules, the Monkey King, and others. Subverted with clear references to Supergirl and Ryu and Ken with the names filed off.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple ones above to just about every martial arts video game and their inspiration possible.
  • Status Quo Is God: Lampshaded and Deconstructed. Gary discovers that his world has been subject to constant tampering, time compression, and retcons by the Primal Destruction. This means that heroes and villains are constantly brought back from the dead or released from imprisonment so they can fight forever.
  • Tournament Arc: A parody and straight example of both. The Eternity Tournament is a contest that draws champions from all across the Multiverse in order to compete for a wish with no limitations. Someone could wish for rulership of a planet, the dead to come back to life, or the end of everything.
  • Victory Is Boring: The entire ethos of Destruction. He's the reason so many villains have Death Is Cheap and Joker Immunity. Ironically, he's also the source of superheroes coming back from the dead as well.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Gary suggests it's this to Mortal Kombat in-universe but it also has many to the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • Worf Effect: Entropicus kills Thor Odinson as a Public Domain Character demonstration of how powerful he is.