Related Articles

13 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

Hmm. My one suggestion is that given the plot twist, I sort of want there to be less Marvel references in the middle of the story. Notably I think it slightly improves the story to replace the mention of Thor and Loki with different deities; I think that one gives away the game a bit too much.

ReplyReply
mygif

I like it. Thanks for the fiction break. I imagined it as Gotham, as if that’s the only place there are alleyways. The story works well as a way to explain the Marvel cinematic universe. And it’s himself warning himself? Cool.

Typo in 1st paragraph: “New York City alleways”

ReplyReply
mygif
philippos42 said on August 28th, 2015 at 4:07 am

@Thok: I think the name Anthony and red armor with a faceplate gave it away long before.

ReplyReply
mygif

these sorts of ideas always seem mean spirited to me

ReplyReply
mygif
Gareth Wilson said on August 29th, 2015 at 5:51 am

Good stuff. I’ve had a similar idea myself, recognising how terrible a superhero universe is. Even the early stages are no picnic. My idea was that you’d want to monitor real-world people to check if they were turning into superheroes or supervillains. Craig Venter is a worrying case, creating synthetic life and running experiments on his own yacht…

ReplyReply
mygif
L. A. Julian said on August 29th, 2015 at 12:58 pm

I think any blame belongs to Marvel and DC for creating such convoluted, self-destructing chronologies and failing to address the narrative implications as they chase the Next Big Event, not to the author for pointing this out.

ReplyReply
mygif

While this strikes me just a little as veering into the whole “don’t pull on the threads that hold the universe together” territory, it still made me smile to read and I enjoyed it, so bravo.

ReplyReply
mygif

This is a good little story, but if you want it to actually work with its intended audience, I agree with Thok; you need to do a better job of filing off the serial numbers. Loki and Thor need to go, as does the part where 616-Tony talks explicitly about his armor design.

Other than that, good stuff. Your fiction is always solid, John. Your style in superhero writing has always reminded me of Soon I Will Be Invincible.

ReplyReply
mygif

Excellent story. On par with, “What if Bertie Wooster, instead of being a mere layabout, was also Batman?”

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on August 30th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

I’m generally not a fan of stories that cut at the fragile underpinnings of superhero fiction. I mean, we’re all aware of the state of the emperor’s wardrobe; if we didn’t dig the dangle of his dongle, we would probably stop throwing money at him. But this ventured enough into wonky territory of its own that it didn’t feel like that to me. I got a chuckle out of it, anyhow.

ReplyReply
mygif

I kinda want to hook this story onto Charles Stross’ lastest book….

ReplyReply
mygif

Just wanted to say thanks for all the comments! Oh, and I thought I was being all original and smart and stuff until I read this:

http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/2747/

and realized I’d just been schooled. :)

ReplyReply
mygif

The problem with Idiocracy is its fandom. (I have an on-topic point here, I swear, just bear with me.)

On its own, Idiocracy is a perfectly serviceable farce, about a guy literally surrounded by idiots. Nothing wrong with that. But unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think of it as a chilling warning of things to come on par with 1984, as if we actually are on the way to the idiocracy. That’s completely ridiculous. (If people are actually curious about this, xkcd’s strip about it was relevant, and so is the Flynn effect.)

I hope that doesn’t derail the discussion. I brought it up by way of analogy: as a bit of short fiction with a twist ending, this post is perfectly fine, and I believe that’s all it was intended as. But other commenters seem to be reading it as an indictment of either superheroes in general or Marvel and DC in particular. If so, then depending on how you mean that, it’s either true but trivial, or not true.

There’s nothing superheroes that leads to universe-wrecking crises. (And by the way, for the people objecting to making this so clearly about Marvel, I thought the use of “flashpoint” was a nod to DC.) Invincible has had huge crises all along in the background and all along has been about family and growing up at heart. Plenty of superhero-like stories in other genres haven’t escalated to the point of their universes unraveling. On the other hand, the Marvel and DC universes pretty much are in a constant state of crisis, true. But I’d say that’s more because of the business decisions necessary for a shared universe, especially considering the bad state the publishing industry is in: they can constantly one-up each other and the previous version of themselves because they’re all corporate IPs, and they need to constantly one-up each other in order to maintain their share of a shrinking market.

That has less to do with writers or plots or characters than with their advertisers. So yes, they’re screwed up, but… of course?

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments