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To stamp out war and strife from the multiverse using cunning, numbers, and liberal amounts of Love Potion — such is the creed of the Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids, a race of diminutive clockwork cherubs, whose continuing adventures can be found on their Wordpress blog through a variety of media, from comics to video games by way of a large number of prose stories.

The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids is a collaborative mythos dealing in an off-kilter sci-fi concept owing a significant debt to Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Terry Pratchett, L. Frank Baum, and certain branches of Doctor Who. (And also Disney comics, as you will see below.)

The Copper-Colored Cupids have a bit of an interesting creative history, as they were originally created as a "guest feature" for the comments section of the (non-narrative) blog of comics historian and translator Joe Torcivia, before their two original creators decided there was more in the concepts than a few jokes on Valentine's Day. These origins technically make them a spin-off of the Disney Comics universe, though this has little bearing on the characters per se, being that they are by nature multiversal travelers and can crash into any fictional universe they bloody well like, and that, away from Disney censors, the writers are free to explore Darker and Edgier themes than Disney would approve of (though they never treat it in a very serious way). Still, the Cupids' oft-referenced nemeses, the Gang of the Green Gorilla, are a direct lift from another "story fragment" developed in Torcivia's comments section, and their backstory is safely rooted in the Duckburg & Mouseton mythos — make of that what you will.


The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids includes examples of:

  • Age Without Youth: The Wellsians are able to stay alive in a state of hibernation for over a century, but are little more than mummies by the end of this (until Mandragora uses alchemy to revive them).
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Master Mandragora has all the trappings of an Evil Sorcerer, and is able to use alchemy to achieve such things as to bring half-dead monsters back to life, although his alchemy still seems fundamentally rooted in real-life alchemy, specifically in the associations of various concepts with specific metals. (Being a robot, he ought to know.)
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In one comic, it transpires that the Wellsians — an alien race of telepathic octopi — don't believe in… oceans.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Director Darius's grand revenge in The Frost King's Treasure falls apart because he didn't think far enough ahead to think of a way to dispatch his assembled enemies once he had "lured them to exactly where [he] wants them". Consequently, things go about as well for him as you'd expect them to go for a normal person who has gotten himself surrounded by all his worst enemies and spent half an hour gloating about how much he wants to murder them.
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  • The Big Race: The short story The Multi-Dimensional Race obviously features such a race as its main showpiece; it is, in this case, organized by the respective Sole Survivors of two races of aliens who have been at war for generations, as a way to finally, finally have a winner and call it a day. The protagonist is drafted in by the two as the judge.
  • Black Market: The short story Misadventures in the Inderdimensional Black Market focuses on, well, what it says on the tin: a black market for Dimensional Travelers, in which to purchase supernatural items or advanced technology away from the prying eyes of the various authorities which attempt to regulate interdimensional travel.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: Mandragora is established in his first appearance to have (accidentally?) killed several Cupids with a backfiring experiment, leading to his original banishment from the Homeworld.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: The first short story is entitled Lord Thymon and the Department of Problem-Solving. Amusingly, Lord Thymon is actually the villain of the piece while the Department are the heroes. Later examples include Marksmanship-526 and the Multi-Dimensional Race and Acquaintanceship-982 and the Missing Mail Mystery.
  • Clockpunk: The Cupids themselves, and the rest of their offscreen Creator's technology, definitely fall within the aesthetic. As common in Clockpunk and Steampunk, of course, more is achieved with it than should be considered possible — but, of course, the Cupid Homeworld has a good relationship with its laws of physics, so who knows.
  • Clockwork Creature: “Copper-Colored Cupids” may be the moniker chosen for their society, but the Cupids more scientifically refer to themselves as "Clockwork Cherubs”, and have a certain Clock Punk aesthetic to them, although there is clearly more going than mere springs to keep them running; one is mentioned to possess a positronic brain.
  • Clown Car Base: The leader of the Interdimensional Black Market somehow keeps a dozen wraiths under her throne at all time, just in case they might come in handy.
  • Cool Ship: Most every Void Ship introduced in the series so far qualifies, with it even being lampshaded that some of them seem like they were designed more to look the part than to actually be comfortable forms of transportation.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: * Multiverse Mayhem, the interactive first anniversary special, not only does the player character visit the locations of several previous stories, but basically all of the Cupids' allies introduced thus far (including ones from stories not otherwise referenced in the story) are mentioned to be present at the Dance Party Ending.
  • Cupid's Arrow: The titular Copper-Colored Cupids a race of artificial, clockwork cherubs, created in the likeness of the classic Cupid figure, who believe it is their sacred duty to make everyone in the multiverse fall in love with someone, or, failing that, something. And pesky things like "free will" aren't going to stop them as they go about their work. (True to the trope name, the Cupids usually use Love Potion-coated arrows, though they have other methods of brainwashing at their disposal if necessary.)
  • Cut Phone Lines: The Governor in The Resurrection of the Wellsians completely emptied the Communications Room to prevent anyone from reporting his abusive rule to the Cupid Homeworld.
  • Cyclops: Lord Thymon has only one eye, as does Lilathia from The Multi-Dimensional Race.
  • Deceptive Disciple: In the short story The Resurrection of the Wellsians, the alchemist Mandragora is quite dismayed to realize that Digger, whom he humored by calling him his "apprentice" but always thought too stupid to be a danger to him, has been feigning stupidity and, once he's figured out all his secrets betrayed him to the rebels.
  • Demonic Dummy: Downplayed, but still substantially creepy: in a bit of a supernatural hustle, some of Madame Tarsa's wares are ventriloquist's dummies which steal your ''voice'' to speak with; you can only get it back by buying the God-forsaken thing.
  • Desert Skull: One is seen in the opening illustration of The Labors of Juliet.
  • Dimensional Travelers:
    • The Cupids are based in a dimension all of their own (known only as the Cupid Homeworld) created when they outgrew their Creator's garage and, in retaliation, told physical reality to bugger off. Hence, all their forays into other universe are examples of dimension-traveling. There is a universe (Like Reality Unless Otherwise Noted) which they designate as “Prime” and have as their main target, presumably because it's where the aforementioned Creator's garage was located, but they have been shown to invade many other, weirder worlds as well.
    • After stealing a Cupid interdimensional craft, several villains, including Darius and the Wellsians, have become malevolent variants of this as well.
  • Dug Too Deep: In The Resurrection of the Wellsians, Digger accidentally unearths an ancient crashed Martian spaceship on Venus while trying to dig a personal swimming pool for the Governor.
  • Dying Race: The Wellsians in are a version of H. G. Wells's Martians, whose civilization was already crumbling before they set their views on Earth. When we meet them in The Resurrection of the Wellsians, only seven of them shave urvived the Earth plague and escaped to Venus, where they encounter the Cupids and scheme to restore their empire.
    "We are the Wellsians! We are the last embers of the Martian Empire! And now we shall rise again!"
  • Eldritch Abomination: Being Dimensional Travelers, the Cupids often encounter such beings, and are extremely blasé about them. After trapping one (a temporal demon known as Thymon), they even set him to work in their post office, as all the tentacles come in handy.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: In the 'short story The Resurrection of the Wellsians, the alchemist Mandragora revives six hibernating Martians, only for them to (try to) kill him as soon as it suits them.
    Mandragora: "Have pity! I gave you life!"
    Wellsian: "You did give us life. And see how we repay you. Now, Master, we give you death!"
  • Foreshadowing: Frequently used, both within individual stories and across several stories. For example, Darius and Tracker spot a Wellsian among the patrons the Interdimensional Black Market in the short story of the same name, which makes no sense with regards to their original appearance in The Wellsians (where they have relatively low levels of technology and are all but wiped-out) but is later revealed to be a direct consequence of the ending of Resurrection of the Wellsians.
  • Gambit Pileup: The climax of The Resurrection of the Wellsians ends up devolving into this. To wit: the Deputy Governor reveals that he has been planning a rebellion against the tyrannical rule of the Governor. The Governor, meanwhile, has secretly been planning a coup against the wider Parliament with the help of Mandragora, except Mandragora is actually The Starscream and betrays him, briefly to the benefit the rebellion but in the end for his own purposes only. Then Mandragora's minion Digger reveals he was The Mole for the rebellion all along. Finally Mandragora, the Governor and the rebellion are all trying to use the Wellsians as weapons, only for the Wellsians to reveal they've been playing everyone else from the beginning (including the heroes).
  • Gamebooks: Multiverse Mayhem, subtitled A Multiple-Choice Cupid Caper!, the 1st anniversary special, was a choose-your-own-adventure story in second-person narrative.
  • Gem Heart: The Cupids have "crystalline hearts" whose purpose is, well, dubious to say the least — we do know that having a diamond one makes you smarter, or at least better at outside-the-box thinking, than the rank-and-file quartz ones, but it does not seem to be a Heart Drive per se, as the Cupids also have "positronic brains".
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: As they cheerfully boast, the Cupids "override free will" to make people fall in love.
  • Hammerspace: The Cupids' bows are rarely visible until they're plot-relevant, as seen most clearly in the Phantom of Flatwoods cartoon.
  • Hell Invades Heaven: Discussed in The Dark Cabaret when the characters learn that the angels are fighting in some sort of supernatural war. Sneernobiel, however, cryptically states that they're fighting something worse than demons.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: The Interdimensional Tavern, one of the only landmarks to exist in The Void (and yes, that is every bit as paradoxical as it sounds, sorry), is a fairly standard example. The owner is a golf ball and Eldritch Abominations often stop by to bully him into giving them free drinks. One would like to say you get used to it, but no, you don't.
  • Intangible Theft: Madame Tarsa's ventriloquist dummies can steal someone's voice and speak with it.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The various dimension-spanning organizations have different means of crossing the barriers between world, but the most common are small ships with traverse [[The Void|the Void]] on their way to their destination. This includes the Cupids' own vehicles, the Fog Ships, which are stated to be top-of-the-line when it comes to interdimensional vehicle, although that might just be the Cupids' own propaganda.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The Department of Problem-Solving once stopped time inside a warehouse by filling it with clocks, the idea being that, just like you have to remove a bit of a chemical substance to analyze it, or draw a bit of blood to perform a blood test, clocks only get a reading on time by absorbing and consuming a little bit of time — so put enough clocks in one place and they'll absorb ''all' the time and there won't be any left.
  • Love Potion: The Copper-Colored Cupids dip their arrows in Love Potion to make people fall in love whether they like it or not. The original formula of Love Potion was created by the Cupids' own Mad Scientist creator, but they then lost the formula and thus get their supplies directly from the goddess Aphrodite instead as "the next best thing".
  • Magic Mushroom: Toadstools with various supernatural effects are among the products on sale in the Interdimensional Black Market. The white-colored ones can turn people into obedient wraiths, and are employed by the local crime boss to keep herself supplied with minions.
  • Man in the Machine: The Detraxxi are an entire humanoid alien species who survive inside clunky robot-suits. Exactly what they look like in there is unclear.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: Though identifying as a species in their own right, the Cupids are robots, the last and greatest work of a long-gone human Creator. New 'generations' of Cupids are created every year in the Great Foundries.
  • Multiversal Conqueror:
    • The Cupids are very intently not this, spreading their "gift" in various dimensions but refusing to take over any of them. This is because various extant multiversal authorities (such as the offscreen Council of Frogs) would not take it kindly.
    • The Governor and Mandragora in The Resurrection of the Wellsians, however, have no such qualms, and plan to build an entire fleet of Fog Ships with which to branch out of the 97th Cosmos and conquer as much of the multiverse as they can. This plan is quickly highjacked by the Wellsians, who get away in the end, although there's only five of them, which ought to somewhat delay them.
    • The Detraxxi are your classic warmongnering alien conquerors
  • Mundane Utility: When Doctor Sigma has the opportunity to ask any question in the world to a trapped Eldritch Abomination in this comic, he simply asks for what the correct plural of "octopus" is. He explains that as a scientist, it would spoil his fun to have all of the actually important questions answered with zero effort.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Various Rifts between universes appear. Though some parties (like the Faction of the Fooling Fish) use them to cross from one world to the next, they can also prevent other types of dimensional transportation; when a massive Rift appears over the Homeworld in The Arena of the Detraxxi, it prevents anyone from entering or leaving the Homeworld.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Towards the beginning of The Resurrection of the Wellsians, Edwin has some trouble fastening the hatch of the Fog Ship and eventually runs along to follow the others, leaving it open. This allows the Wellsians to steal it and obtain interdimensional travel, also seemingly stranding the rest of the cast on Venus, though that they quickly find a way around.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: The Cupids aren't allowed to learn robotics, let alone alter themselves — a rule clearly put in place to avert The Singularity. Juliet-178 keeps breaking the rule, though.
  • Octopoid Aliens: The Wellsians are, as their name not-so-subtly suggests, versions of H. G. Wells's Martians (their name comes from the name they give their own planet, "Wellsia"). They are frequently described as "vampire octopuses", but look somewhat less like cephalopods than Wells's originals: their flesh is chalk-white, their tentacles are numerous and uneven (with some forking once or even twice like roots), and instead of beaks, they have almost human-like faces.
  • Oh My Gods!: The Cupids often swear by their patron goddess Aphrodite, with several variations: "By Aphrodite!", "Great Goddess!" and "By the Goddess!" are the most common.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts manifest out of the Spirit Realm, and even a physical being trapped in the Spirit Realm will be able to "cast" a ghostly image of themselves onto places they visited before in the flesh.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: It is revealed in Revenge of the Old Queen that Doctor Curious, amateur mad scientist and Crown Prince of Triskadeckia, experimented on himself and ended up accidentally mutating himself into a half-snake humanoid, forcing him to flee the palace in disgrace.
  • Public Domain Character: The Flatwoods Monster, a cryptid from 1950's urban legends, has met the Cupids on several occasions.
  • Ret-Gone: The Collective of the Retconning Crocodiles' favorite modus operandi for dealing with people who inconvenience them. Other beings and entities, such as Chronon Fleas, the Decade Stone or the Imperium, are also capable of this, with different rules depending on the source and circumstances. However, despite appearances, individuals who are retconned out of existence don't completely cease to exist, as their consciousnesses remerged in the Oblivion, from which, with considerable effort, it is possible to retrieve them.
  • Robot Republic: The Cupids have an independent government in the Homeworld, which includes the ‘Cupid Parliament’.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The ruler of the Interdimensional Black Market wears bone armor, the weirdness of which does not go uncommented-upon.
  • Start of Darkness: In The Arena of the Detraxxi, Tracker, Bibliophile and Marksmanship, catapulted back in time, come across Sharpshooter-024 and witness his rejection of the Crew's ideal and transformation into the murderous Zaroff-024 that Marksmanship met in The Most Dangerous Reveal.
  • Story Arc: The series usually runs more on standalone stories with Character Development carrying over from one to the other, instead of full-on story arcs. However, this only serves to make the exceptions more momentous:
    • The "Mandragora arc" dealt with the aftermath of the Downer Ending of The Resurrection of the Wellsians, with Pythe travelling the multiverse trying to catch up to the extremely slippery Evil Sorcerer Mandragora.
    • The "Rifts Saga", seeds for which were planted as early as the sixth story in the series, but which more properly refers to Lupan Evezan's 2020 prose stories from Planet of the Shapeshifters onwards, dealing with the consequences of mysterious Rifts spreading across dimensions and hindering the Cupids' ability to travel across the Void.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Parodied with Juliet-178, the only known female Cupid (seemingly created by a quirk of the Great Foundries)… the only practical consequences of which fact are that she has long eyelashes, a high-pitched voice, and wears a bow. Also Justified, of course, in that the Cupids are clockwork beings who are only very stylized representations of humanoid figures.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Resurrection of the Wellsians ends with the reveal that everyone else in the plot has been the Wellsians' Unwitting Pawn this entire time: even the heroes come to investigate were actually called by them so that they could make their escape aboard the heroes' own spaceship. Which they do.
  • The Blank: The Wraiths employed as security in the Interdimensional Black Market are the enslaved remnants of people who ran afoul of the Market's boss, and lost their face along with their personhood.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Used verbatim at the end of The Resurrection of the Wellsians, which ends with the entire cast (save the villains) stranded on Venus. There's room for them to find a way to make an uneventful return offscreen, but
  • The Multiverse: Many groups and agents travel the multiverse; the Cupids themselves are based in a pocket dimension all their own, and thus all of their missions involve dimensional travel.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The rebellion against the tyrannical Governor in The Resurrection of the Wellsians turns out to be planning to use the (insanely dangerous) resurrected aliens to aid their cause, just like the Governor's side which they criticize for doing so.
  • Sanity Slippage: Hiding out for years in a flawed golem body seems to have taken a toll on Mandragora's psyche by The Dark Cabaret, making him more obsessive and egomaniac than ever before.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • Juliet-178, a Copper-Colored Cupid who somehow turned out a girl even though Cupids are normally Always Male, is a parodic subversion of the trope, in that she has plenty of (not in any way stereotypically-feminine) character besides being "the girl one" and the other Cupids don't treat her any differently than they would a male Cupid.
    • Subverted again in 2020 by Stranded at Memory's End, which revealed that there were originally two female Cupids, Juliet and Lethe, before Lethe was erased from Time by the Decade Stone.
  • The X of Y:
    • The Labors of Juliet
    • The Toymaker's Labyrinth
    • The Resurrection of the Wellsians
  • There Is Another: Juliet was originally introduced as the only female Clockwork Cherub. However, in 2020, Stranded at Memory's End revealed the existence of another, Lethe, who had been trapped in a Ret-Gone limbo state since the 1990's.
  • Time Stands Still: In one short story, the Cupids stopped time within the confines of a warehouse by filling it with clocks. See It Runs on Nonsensoleum above for why this works.
  • Today, X. Tomorrow, the World!: The Governor and Mandragora's evil monologue in The Resurrection of the Wellsians boils down to "today, the Earth, tomorrow, the multiverse!".
  • Tripod Terror: The Wellsians are shown in their debut to have devised the Tripods on Earth as a last-minute solution when they realized Earth's gravity made it nearly impossible for them to move on foot. This might explain the rather slapdash engineering.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In The Resurrection of the Wellsians, all of the schemes and counter-schemes of the characters turn out to have been furthering the aims of the Wellsians themselves.
  • Vast Bureaucracy: Oh boy. The Crew is ruled by a Parliament, whose approach to any hard problem is to create a new commission or subgroup that will take care of it for them, meaning there are a lot of weird, nigh-useless government agencies running around — from relatively obvious ones like the Cupid Tax Department to bizarre, abstract ones like the Cupid Logic Commission. And in parallel to all that, there is the sprawling Cupid Intelligence Institute, the primary research center of the Cupids, which has a Vast Bureaucracy all of its own, mostly composed of a lot of very specialized Departments. (The Departments spend most of their time bickering about which problems fall into whose area of expertise, as opposed to actually solving the problems, for which reason they ended up creating a Department of Problem-Solving that actually does most of the work.)
  • Villain Episode: The 2020 side-story Darius and the Discordias saw the villainous Director Darius encounter the Drove of the Discordias, eventually enacting a reluctant team-up with Blackheart. The story mostly pulls this off because insane as Darius might be, the Discordias are worse.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left:
    • Pythe is almost certain that Mandragora survives the explosion at the end of The Resurrection of the Wellsians, though he cannot be sure. And, of course, the Wellsians themselves (or, at least, the five surviving ones) run away in their stolen Fog Ship, which was their plan all along.
    • He is revealed to have been correct in The Dark Cabaret only for Mandragora to slip away again, leaving his artificial human body behind.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Void, or Void Between Worlds, is inhabited by a large number of Eldritch Abominations banished there from their home universes. As a result, it contains something like a sense of Time and Space, but they are keyed to, and subject to the whims of, the entity enforcing them, such as Lord Thymon, who controlled Time in the Void until the Cupids captured him. At any rate, travel between dimensions is achieved via Void Ships, and the Void contains at least one perennial landmark, the Interdimensional Tavern.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Mandragora seems genuinely hurt when his assistant Digger reveals his stupidity was feigned in a effort to get him to reveal his secrets, and asks him if any of it was real. Yes, Digger answers; he really does like to dig holes in the ground to keep himself entertained. No reason.
  • Weather-Control Machine: As per The Ghosts and the Machine, the Homeworld's Department of Meteorology doesn't predict the weather in the Homeworld, it creates it.

Alternative Title(s): The Crew Of The Copper Colored Cupids


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