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The Deviant Universe is an ongoing webcomic project headed by Maurizio Apostolico and hosted on DeviantArt, with the intent of giving the deviantART community its own superhero universe (ala the Marvel Universe and The DCU). The project started in January 2011, when artists from the deviantART community were invited to showcase original superheroes and villains (called Deviants in-universe) and use them in a variety of monthly challenges.

On April 2011 the project begun developing an overarching story, starting when one of the world's greatest heroes, Agent 42X, is put under mind control to assassinate the president. Since then, the project has had its large cast of characters go up against alien invasions, time travel, demon uprisings and birthday parties.

The Deviant Universe group can be found here.

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Not to be confused with the Deviantart Extended Universe, a similar project instead born of fantasy roleplay that uses certain Deviants as characters.


This Work Shows Examples Of The Following Tropes:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Pixel becomes this in the Dark Future story. Apart from that, the general population of sentient machines are a respectable bunch.
  • The Alcatraz: The Fortress, which had a mass prison break and was rebuilt some years later.
  • Alien Invasion: Two of them, led by the same individual.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A lot of character back-stories and information can be found on their profiles, instead of the comics themselves. Some artists may also have other comics featuring their characters outside of the DU.
    • All of Agent 42X’s backstory is also covered in its own comic series, with the events of DU acting as a sequel of sorts.
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  • Alternate Universe: The Dark Dimension, where heroes are villains and vice-versa.
  • Alternate Timeline: The Dark Future, set in the year 2032 where A rogue AI has all but killed everyone on Earth.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The Cult of Omega is a global-spanning group that ultimately wishes for the return of the Dark God Omega.
  • Apocalypse How: Planetary Class 4 by the end of Dark Future.
  • Armies Are Evil: ARES.
  • Art Evolution: You can see this best with artists involved in the project for a long time.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Omega Keys, which when used revive the Dark God Omega.
  • Assimilation Plot: The ultimate goal of Cross’ arch-nemesis Knave, who planned to do this by arming a bomb that would transform everyone on Earth into hosts for eldritch symbiotes.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: This tends to happen with the villains, with Psi-Void, Anarchy, and Omega being the strongest of their respective factions. Averted with the Thunder Force, usually led by their physically weakest member.
  • Author Appeal: By the very nature of allowing artists to have their own characters do whatever they want within the restraints of the challenges.
  • Avenging the Villain: Following the death of Veladius Redd, his daughter takes over ARES.
  • Back Story: Every named character has a backstory. One is actually needed (however brief) to enter a character.
  • Badass Family: There are families where every member has done notable heroics and/or villainy. Most notably the Rogers, the Masons and the Brewsters.
  • Bad Future: The Dark Future story.
  • Beach Episode: The monthly challenge before the Maximum Destruction story was basically an excuse to get heroes and villains in beach wear.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Vigil, on multiple occasions.
  • Big Bad: Psi-Void, Lord ARES, Omega and Deathwatch.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: The Heroes United Arc had heroes defending Earth from 3 global threats at the same time.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Omega Rising arc ended with the heroes victory at the cost of every named character being erased from space-time, some of them permanently.
  • Black and White Morality: Named characters are put in either the Hero camp or the Villain camp. That hasn't stopped certain stories from blurring the lines a little.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Ends up happening to heroes the world over during the Brutal Brawl story.
  • Breather Episode: Animal Boy’s birthday party, which preceded a war that nearly laid waste to the Earth.
  • Call-Back: Many characters reference events that happened in past stories.
  • Cape Busters: The RAPTOR Organization started as this, led by Animal Boy and Agent 42X.
  • Character Development: Since the stories play out in mostly real time, many heroes and villains have had at least some.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Many an item and plot device show up to be revealed as important later on for either character driven side-stories or the multi-part summer arcs.
  • Christmas Episode: Always in December (also involves the artists to do gifts for another artist member of the DU).
  • Clone Army: Almost all of ARES are made up of these.
  • Comic-Book Time: Averted, as each story usually takes place in the month it is made.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The origins of Hammer Girl, who beforehand was the eldritch creature known as the Storyteller.
  • Crossover Cosmology
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Omega vs the Thunder Force during the Omega Rising finale. Omega won the battle, but lost the war.
  • Dark Secret: While many characters have their own from their backstories or side comics, Christina Rogers being responsible for the Genocide Wave is considered in-universe to be the most notorious one
  • Depending on the Artist: Given that anyone can join in and take part, the quality of art between artists varies A LOT.
  • Deus ex Machina: Vigil, whose appearances have turned the tide of battle on multiple occasions.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The rookie Thunder Force member Eris punching the Dark God Omega to the surprise of everyone present.
  • Doomsday Device: The Vigilante could have potentially erased everyone on the planet from existence.
  • Double Agent: Lloyd - Director of RAPTOR, is an ARES agent.
  • Equippable Ally: Thanks to the Deviant Containment Device, a bracelet with the power to capture a Deviant and allow the bracelet wearer to take on their form and powers.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Where The Tower of Seeds event took place.
  • Expendable Clone: The ARES army.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: There is at least one of every kind of creature you can think of.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Given how many artists there are, this was bound to happen once artists started working together on stories.
  • Fun with Acronyms: R.A.P.T.O.R. (Resistance Against People Terrorizing Our Race) and A.R.E.S. (Aggression Reigns Ever Supreme).
  • Fusion Dance:
    • The events of the last chapter of Maximum Destruction allowed those fighting Psi-Void to fuse into a single, more powerful being temporarily.
    • One challenge involves fusing two characters into a single character.
  • Gender Bender: One of the monthly challenges had artists draw characters as the opposite to their physical gender.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When Omega laid waste to the world, Christina Rogers felt she had little choice other than use a weapon powered by a kidnapped superhero to stop him.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: From time to time several challenges involves this, usually on the first months of the year.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Christina Rogers accidentally creating the Genocide Wave, an event that is still having negative consequences years later.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The characters capable of regeneration are far more likely to be shown with serious battle damage.
  • Great Escape: The first act of the Dark Legion was to help prisoners of the Fortress do this.
  • Halloween Episode: Ranging from Zombies, Mutants to Nightmare Fuel.
  • Hell Gate: Used by Anarchy to try and bring Omega back to Earth.
  • Hell on Earth: When Omega ruled over Earth.
  • Hero Killer: Psi-Void claimed this title by killing Great-Man.
  • Homage: One challenge involved artists remaking comic covers featuring their characters.
  • Humongous Mecha: The VanGuard, which stands at 250ft tall.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: One challenge had artists drawing their characters interacting with characters from other franchises outside of the DU.
  • Interspecies Romance: While romance is rare because of its Super Hero focus, there is the occasional Human/Demon relationship.
  • La Résistance
    • The Freedom Fighters during the Freedom War arc.
    • The heroes during the Omega Rising arc.
  • Legion of Doom: The Dark Legion, which has had two incarnations over the course of the story.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: As of October 2014, there are over 300 named characters.
  • MacGuffin: Quite a few, the major ones being Omega Keys and the Vigilante device.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: The heroes had to do this with pieces of AI being Pixel in the Freedom War story. The villains did the same with the Omega Keys in the Omega Rising story.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Most notably, Corvus is this to the Dark Legion.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover
  • Mind Control: Has been the focus of several story arcs, including the very first.
  • Mirror Match: One story involved heroes and villains fighting themselves from another universe where they were the opposite alignment.
  • Mirror Universe: The Dark Dimension is a counterpart to the Deviant Universe where every character's alignment is the opposite.
  • The Multiverse: Various characters have appeared from alternate universes, and one story arc involved an attack by another universe.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: You activate a weapon designed to kill a living god, but not only does it succeed in just sealing him away you also end up erasing every hero and villain from the face of the Earth, some of them permanently. And to make matters worse, the effects will bounce back every year, potentially making random people just disappear on the spot.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In one story, heroes end up doing this to each other because of mind control.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: While the supernatural is part of the in-universe history, Psi-Void’s invasion of Earth forever changed the public’s perception and caused a flood of heroes and villains to act more publicly.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: There are vastly different types of creatures that call themselves “weres”.
  • Only in It for the Money: Leo, who was part of the Thunder Force, became a supervillain for this reason alone.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • The main reason why the Freedom War ended up escalating the way it did.
    • The Tower of Babel story had everyone on Earth unable to communicate because of magic.
  • Powered Armour: Some heroes have this, then there were the power belts made by Wildman that gave every hero armour.
  • Power Glows: Psi-Void’s eyes glow when using his power. Justified because he’s an energy being underneath his armour.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Dark Thunder Force, a team of villains that come from a Mirror Universe.
  • Put on a Bus: Quite a few heroes and villains have left with no warning, usually because their creator no longer writes stories for them.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: During the Freedom War, the freedom fighters intended to save Pixel from becoming evil and destroying the world.
  • Secret Identity: Most heroes and villains have one.
  • Shared Universe
  • Shout-Out: While many appear in individual comic pages depending on the artist, the Freedom War arc was a shout out to Marvel’s Civil War.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: You can find characters on every part of the scale here.
  • Stock Superpowers: At one point there was probably a character with the power you’re thinking of.
  • Story Arc: A large scale 3-part story takes place every summer.
  • Super Hero: As if it wasn’t obvious.
  • Super Power Lottery: With almost any character allowed entry, everything from Badass Normals to Physical Gods show up.
  • Super Registration Act: The catalyst for the Freedom War arc that failed once it was revealed that the act was set up by a villain.
  • Super Team: The Thunder Force is the most famous, which at one point had 27 members.
  • Super Villain: Also obvious.
  • The Reveal: During the second summer arc it was revealed that the entire civil war scenario was orchestrated by the supervillain Host in disguise.
  • Robot War: The plot to the Dark Future story.
  • Take a Third Option: While imprisoned, Veladius Redd gives Agent 42X the choice to either helping him escape, or allowing him to expose the truth about the Genocide Wave. 42X shoots him in the head.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The end of the Maximum Destruction arc forced heroes and villains to team up if they wanted any chance to escape Psi-Void.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: One of the motivations behind Angel Crusher using a time portal to set up a fighting tournament.
  • To Hell and Back: Both the Thunder Force and the Dark Legion do this in the Heroes United story.
  • Turn in Your Badge: For being part of a splinter team, several members of the Thunder Force were booted from the team, including the last original members Wildman and Cross.
  • To Be Continued... Right Now: The epilogue for a story arc is soon followed by the start of the next monthly challenge.
  • Tournament Arc: Planet AFL served as the fifth summer event story.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Everyone on the Thunder Force side of the Freedom War Thanks to the Dark Legion.
  • Up to Eleven: The Heroes United arc had heroes across the world fighting off killer robots from a mind-controlled president, a demon invasion and an alien terraforming plot ON THE SAME DAY.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: This is the case more often than not, especially with monthly challenges involving a villain’s evil scheme.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Friendly Biopet Cooperation and Kageyama’s company simply have enough money and clout to prevent persecution.
  • The Virus: The Monster Brawl incident involved a widespread infestation that turned people into monsters. Said virus was unleashed by the Tribals.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Happened to many upon being erased via the Genocide Wave and then coming back.
  • Wham Episode: The Dark Future story where everyone died (in an alternate timeline), and the finale to Omega Rising.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: Omega is so powerful that his release alone caused a wave of energy meteors to shoot out across the world.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: The subject of the Reign of Fear story.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Happens with every summer story arc, since each one is as long as 3 normal stories.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One of the few What If stories uses this as a setting.


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