Marc: Today I was drugged, battered and nearly killed. My mouth was magically removed and I have met an Eternal Victim, a paranoid bard and a conjuring boy who is the son of an imp. -And you still ask me a question like that? Of course I stay!
Union of Heroes (German title: Union der Helden) is a photo-webcomic authored by Arne Schulenberg, with the photos shot by Jens Sundheim. It exists as an English and a German version.
The story so far deals with Social Sciences student Marc Ridbeck, living in in the Ruhr area in Germany, who one day wakes up in an alternative universe where superheroes really exist. His counterpart in this universe is a superhero himself (called "the Erzengel"), but he has disappeared without a trace, so Marc has to take his place and become the new Erzengel. Soon Marc meets other superheroes, such as the the Eternal Victim or the Nordstadt-Barde - and of course has to fight his first villains too...
The English version of the comic can be read here.
This webcomic contains examples of:
- Aliens in Cardiff: Superheroes in the Ruhr area!
- Art Shift: Although this is a photo-comic, if the background of a character is told, the strips are drawn.
- Badass Arm-Fold: The Evil Wittener does this when The Master finds out that he is in fact the former hero named "The Man From The Booth"
- Blessed with Suck: Lynn's super-power is to die in the place of other people (and then to come back to life herself). Sure, useful for rescuing people in lethal situations - but dying over and over again, and often quite violently, certainly hurts... (and it makes her a woobie, too.)
- Cities Of Adventure — Plural, because the Ruhr area consists of more than just one city.
- Creator Provincialism: Author Arne Schulenberg lives in Dortmund, a major city of the Ruhr area. The use of this trope is certainly deliberate, considering that there aren't really that much comics set in the Ruhr area, not to mention comics about super-heroes...
- Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest — Averted, at least still. Jana knows that Marc is actually not "her" Marc.
- Eiffel Tower Effect: Some of the shooting locations are immediately recognizable, at least for people native to the Ruhr area.
- Face–Heel Turn: The Wittener was once The Man From The Booth, a hero everyone assumed to be dead.
- Jenny Everywhere: Turns up in episode 3.
- German Humor
- Legacy Character: Marc as the Erzengel is technically this, although it is not yet clear if the "real" Erzengel will eventually reappear.
- Monumental Battle: Dortmund's most distinctive landmark, the U-Tower, was attacked by the Alliance of Evil, because the Union of Heroes' headquarters were located there. Leading to...
- Monumental Damage: During the attack of the Alliance of Evil, the U-Tower has been severely damaged and had to be rebuild. (The scaffoldings and cranes in the photos of the tower are real, but the Real Life reasons for the tower's refurbishment (weathering, ect.) are far more mundane.)
- Not Wearing Tights: Most of the heroes dress more or less like civilians.
- Product Placement: It's a photocomic so there are lots of products in it. For example knifes from Wüsthof, Solingen.
- Punny Name: "Erzengel" is the German word for "archangel", but "Erz" can also mean "ore", alluding here to Marc's metal-related super-powers.
- The Trickster: Claus Koboldssohn seems to be one. In chapter 6, he is even (briefly) Lynn's Trickster Mentor.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Jana, Marc and the Original-Erzengel. In our world Jana is the ex-girlfriend of Marc. In the parallel world she still is the girlfriend of the Original-Erzengel.
- Write What You Know: The writer of Union of Heroes lives in the area where the stories take place and is a collector of superhero comic books.
- Would Hit a Girl: Almost all the evil guys: Manero, Ahres and The Wittener.