Noctis Lex: Random Chapter

By Shamus Posted Thursday Oct 22, 2009

Filed under: Nerd Culture 67 comments

The title of this post is a lie. This isn’t nearly long enough to be a chapter. This is just me playing around with the idea I talked about here. I’ll note that NaNoWriMo is coming up. I certainly don’t have time to write a proper novel, but I might take the opportunity to play around with this story some more. It seems like there’s room for some of these types of stories out there. Okay, slightly “realistic” superhero stuff has been done (and done well) but it hasn’t quite been done to death the way (say) medieval fantasy has.

Anyway, here it is, for what it’s worth…

Violet peers out over the edge of the roof and stamps her feet a few times to try and coax her body into making a little more heat. She doesn’t have any trouble keeping warm when they’re on the move, but stopping like this just slows down the blood flow. She’s pulled her glossy white and gold cape around her in a very non-heroic pose.

“So you’re still going out with her?” Fastball is talking to Brick. Some of the other heroes know each other outside of crimefighting and they shoot the breeze about personal stuff during downtime like this.

Brick is standing on the very edge of the roof, arms folded. He’s almost a silhouette against the city lights below. He nods his head, “I told her my secret identity last night.”

“Which one?”, Fastball asks idly.

“The architect one.”

“Why architect?”, Fastball asks, looking up. He’s crouched on the ledge next to Brick, back bent and looking vaguely like a very thin, angular ape in this light.

Brick shrugs, “She seems to be soft for artistic types.”

“Why didn’t you just do the painter thing again?”

“Think about where she lives,” Brick says chidingly, “She likes money too much to go for the whole ‘starving painter’ thing.”


Violet can remember being awestruck when she joined the group and met Brick for the first time. He was square-jaw, broad-shoulders, dimple-cheeks gorgeous. At twenty-nine, he’s the oldest member of the Steel Defenders, and he’s the unofficial leader of the team. Her enthusiasm was doused when she finally got a sense of who he really is. He’s not a bad guy or anything, and he’s saved more lives than most of the other members of the team combined. He’s just a selfish asshole sometimes. He has wit and charm that he can turn on at will, which he uses to mask his default personality.

“Cold roof is cold.”, Ophelia says curtly, “Let’s DO something.”

Ophelia didn’t show up for the last couple of weeks. The high-school aged heroes are always a little unreliable like that. This week she appeared with a new costume. The new one has kind of an emo vampire thing going on. She’s got a lot of white makeup and dark eyeliner, with lots of flowy bits of dark cloth hanging from her like a tattered cape. They had to talk her out of changing her name to “Eclipse”.

“Yeah”, Violet agrees, “This guy isn’t going to show. We should head back towards the metro and sweep the lots again.”

“Give it a few more minutes.”, Brick says, “He’ll show.”

It’s just the four of them tonight. The others are still away due to the holidays. Or the cold.

There’s a long pause. Eventually Fastball speaks up, “I thought you said she was a stripper or something?”

Brick shakes his head, “Ex-stripper. Now she’s a… I dunno. A clerk or some crap now. Like, at a law firm or something? I think she told me but I wasn’t paying attention.” Brick spits off the edge of the roof, and there’s a pause while he waits to see where it will land. “Anyway, when I told her my secret identity she cried.

Fastball laughs. He’s got a loud, high-pitched voice. Not effeminate, but harsh and abrasive. His laugh always has a taunting quality to it. “You gonna keep seeing her?”

“Noooo.”, Brick replies as if this is the most ludicrous suggestion he’s ever heard, “She talks way too much. I figure I’ll see her a couple more times, make the most of it.”

“What about the one we saved from that fire?”

“I didn’t call her. Maybe I will later. I dunno. She had kind of a big butt.”

Ophelia groans, “When this guy shows up I’m going to crucify him for making us wait around in the cold like this.” She levitates a bit and makes all the strips of cloth flare outward as if she were facing into a harsh wind. She’s been sort of practicing this move all evening.

A flash of white light radiates from the street behind them, followed by a thunderclap. Brick bounds to the opposite edge of the roof and looks down, “There. What did I tell you? He’s a natural.”

There’s a guy on the street below, flinging lightning bolts with his fingertips. There’s no sign of any technology on him. Brick was right. He’s another natural.

“Let’s kick his ass!”, Ophelia says, but she doesn’t actually move. She’s a natural as well, but she’s also as fragile as a commoner and so she makes sure to stay behind everyone else.

Brick is standing still, watching carefully. Lightning-guy is standing in the middle of an intersection throwing bolts around. He’s gesturing wildly and setting random things on fire. People are abandoning their cars and running. His screams are maniacal.

There’s a pop and one of the traffic lights explode. This startles the guy and makes him flinch. Then he gets embarrassed and intensifies his attack.

“He just broke through”, Brick says, nodding. “He can’t control it.”

Sure enough, the guy is pointing, but the bolts of energy don’t seem to be striking where he points. They’re just sort of radiating from his hands, sometimes shooting sideways or straight up. His screams are a mixture of rage and frustration.

“Probably a crackhead or something”, Fastball offers.

Brick doesn’t answer. He waits for another minute or so. Eventually the guy is more or less out of things that can be easily set on fire. The intersection is deserted. His bolts of energy seem to be getting weaker and shorter. Eventually he stops blasting and starts hammering on the hood of a smoldering car with his fists.

“That’s our cue”, Brick says, and steps off the roof. There is a pause as he free-falls six stories before he hits the pavement like a wrecking ball. Lightning guy spins around to see six and a half feet of muscle heading his way.

The rest of them dive off after him.


From The Archives:

67 thoughts on “Noctis Lex: Random Chapter

  1. Rosseloh says:

    That was friggin awesome.
    I’d read it.

    You gotta wonder what the city maintenance people think about all this hero stuff. In this intersection alone, you have fires, a blown up traffic light, and a big pothole where Brick landed…

  2. Hawkehunt says:

    I guess it depends which city maintenance people you’re talking about. Plenty of work for the labourers, so they’d love the job security. Admin types? Not so much…

  3. Gandaug says:

    I’d definitely read more of that.

    Someday, Shamus, you’re going to write something I don’t like. Maybe. You’re work has been 100% so far. The odds have got to catch up someday. Don’t they?

    By the way how do I get a personalized avatar like Rosseloh up there?

    1. Shamus says:


      Most newer WordPress blogs are hooked in to Gravatar like this, so if you link your email with an image it will automatically show up on all WP blogs.

  4. UTAlan says:

    Dude, these rock. Keep it up!

  5. Vladius says:

    Cold roof is cold.

  6. Jeremiah says:

    I liked that they stood around waiting for his outburst to run it’s course. Instead of charging in to try and prevent as much damage (to property and people), they sit there on the rooftop while lightning-guy gets it out of his system.

  7. Chariot says:

    I love it. I hope to see more Shamus!

  8. Louis says:

    I agree with Gandaug, I still haven’t found anything you’ve written that I didn’t enjoy reading, even when it’s been on topics I wasn’t interested in.

    I love this super hero background and I really like the bit you just posted above. I vote strongly in favor of you expounding on it more, just make sure to let us read it :)

  9. Thunderbat says:

    Can’t really think of an eloquent way to say “MORE”, so, hey.. MORE, please.

  10. FluffyBunny says:

    I agree, good story thus far!

    Shamus, not sure if you’ve noticed this already, or if you are still interested in doing so, but you could spend some Cryptic points to rename your in-game character to “Lex Noctis.” Only costs 280 points:

    That is, if you haven’t deleted her already to make room for more characters….

  11. Alex says:

    Just a data point that’ll probably be in a thinly populated area of the scatterplot, but the fact that it’s written in the present tense and the immediate introduction of adolescent relationship drama combined to almost physically kick me out of the story at first. However, the actual ideas in this scene – the fake secret identities to be used at whim, the discussion of the nature of superpowers and one’s control over them – are extremely interesting. As long as the writing and characterization don’t stray too far into Joss Whedon territory, I think you’ve got the beginning of something very good here.

  12. Yahzi says:

    Alex has a point – I couldn’t figure out whose point of view this was written from. It reads more like a script treatment than a story.

    I loved the “secret identity” gag. “Which one?”

    I thought it drew more on Watchman than Whedon.

  13. elias says:

    Definitely an enjoyable read.

    And it’s from Violet’s point of view, but she doesn’t talk much. It almost sounded like first person for a while there; at the end I had to scroll up to check if it was. But no: third-person.

    I like it.

  14. Ludo says:

    more. More. MORE !

    You really have a talent for this, please continue :)

  15. RichVR says:

    Quality story is quality.

  16. Kameron says:

    Yeah, I agree with Alex, not a fan of the present tense. It’s challenging to be consistent (you slip out of it towards the middle of the story for a couple paragraphs). Otherwise, strong introduction of the characters and good world-building.

  17. Menegil says:

    Me likes.


    Me bows to yooo.

  18. Huckleberry says:

    I don’t think that Shamus slips out of it in the middle: I guess the paragraph you refer to is the one that starts with “Violet can remember” — and Shamus uses the past tense to talk about the things past that she remembers.

    @Shamus: More, please! :)

  19. Anachronist says:

    So, Shamus, is this going to become another novel? It looks promising so far.

  20. Zeta Kai says:

    1) Thanks for the Gravatar link. I was wondering, but never took the time to ask.

    2) This story is fascinating, especially in conjunction with the origin story earlier. I’d love to read more. Your writing style is very compelling.

  21. Dr. Big says:


  22. Dr. Big says:


  23. Lochiel says:

    Judging from your superhero writing, I bet you’ll love the Union Dues stories over at Escape Pod. Each story is a self contained part of a larger universe; a universe in which those with powers are required to be members of the Super Hero Union. Great stuff.

  24. 1d30 says:

    I (X)th the motion for you to keep writing it.

    Can I get a *Gavel* “motion has passed”?

  25. Blackbird71 says:

    Well, I guess I’ll be the voice of dissent.

    Don’t get me wrong Shamus, your writing is quality as always, and this one story does look interesting. I just have a personal issue with the subject matter in general. Having already read the character backstory you posted for Noctis Lex, I think I have an idea where this is going (but by all means, correct me if I’m wrong).

    Honestly, I’ve just had my fill of the “gritty, harsh reality of superhero life” type of stories. My thoughts on the whole subject are about the same as on the emo teen vampire scene: it’s tired, it’s overplayed, and it completely defeats the point of the genre by removing everything that made it cool in the first place.

    It’s probably just me, but I just don’t care to see or read about superheroes with all the problems of everyone else. If I want to read about real life problems, I’ll read about real people. It’s just hard to elevate someone to “superhero” status when all you ever see is how messed up they are (just like it’s hard to fear a vampire when it’s an angsty teenager with acne). Of course, I understand that there can be some real depth to the exploration of the moral dilemas of the hero, but lately it seems that it’s always done with far too much focus on the problems and never showing any of the redeeming qualities that make the person “heroic” in the first place. Wasn’t it Arthur on “The Tick” who observed something to the effect that all superheroes were just sexually frustrated adolescents in costumes? While this idea can make for a good comedy bit, it just wears thin when it’s made dramatic.

    Anyway Shamus, I hope don’t take my gripes with the general theme too personally, and don’t let the rantings of one whiner put you off from writing what has the potential to be a great story. I’ve seen your creative ability before, and I still have hope that you can surprise me. Either way though, don’t concern yourself too much just because your latest project might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you enjoy doing it, that’s great, and if you’re willing to share it with us, that’s even better. I seriously do appreciate all the entertainment you provide, even when I whine about it. I guess I just find it easier to be preemptively dissappointed about things :)

  26. Randy Johnson says:

    @Fluffy Bunny: There are alot of things on that store page that I find highly offensive. First of all, points don’t convert to dollars evenly, so converting the cost to real money takes time. Second, new ingame content is being released via that page without any means of attaining it ingame. Third, You are REQUIRED to purchase extra character slots in a bundle of 4 and it cost 15 bucks; thats an entire months subscription. Fourth, Retconning is still incredibily expensive ingame, without a benefit to only doing it rarely, which means the people willing to throw down really money will be able to make the FOTM build any time they want, while everyone else can’t even fix that pointless talent they took at level 5 when they didn’t know how stats worked.

    @Blackbird: Thats got alot to do with the fact that superheroes in general are overplayed, and thanks to watchmen, gritty harsh realities have become more popular. I still find Lex Noctis and the other heroes in her story to be original enough to not feel overplayed to me. I particularly like the imagery we got on the villian.

  27. Trevor B says:

    That was pretty decent. I like that the heroes (or whatever) actually use some strategy and wait for lightning-guy to tire himself out before attacking. I’m sure a more experienced/powerful superhero would attack immediately to prevent any injuries, but this group does what it must.

  28. DaveMc says:

    I enjoyed this a lot. Personally, I have a great fondness for stories with a “the mundane amid the fantastic” theme, so the current boom in such things is a bonus for me, Blackbird. :) It’s not gritty or not-gritty that matters, to me, it’s needing-to-go-to-the-bathroom or needing-to-clean-the-cape versus all-consequences-vanishing-into-the-void-between-exploits.

    One teensy critique that I hope I can make without being offensive: some of the punctuation was a bit jarring. For example, everyone’s favourite line: “Cold roof is cold.”, Ophelia says curtly, “Let's DO something.”

    I’d have thought that should be: “Cold roof is cold,” Ophelia says curtly. “Let’s DO something.” (Of course, you’re probably typing this with one hand while doing your day job with the other, so feel free to ignore this level of nit-picking.)

  29. Ergonomic Cat says:

    blackbird: But how interesting is a novelized version of Superman?

    “Dear Diary: Kicked more ass today. Saved the world twice. Gonna kiss Lois later. Love ya!”

  30. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Also, I totally blame Shamus for making me start writing one of these of my own.

  31. Dr. Big says:

    Well DaveMc, you’re closer, but that punctuation still isn’t correct. It should read “I’m a complete douche, roflcopter.”

  32. Fizban says:

    Like it, would read more of it, etc. I don’t know how well I can compare it to Watchmen having only seen the movie, but I think it goes different enough to be it’s own thing. The movie focused most of it’s attention on the grit and what it means in the now, while this is more about finding out that the world is in fact gritty in the first place. I don’t like “coming of age” stories, but this is technically one, so it must be doing something right to make it interesting.

  33. Blackbird71 says:

    @Randy Johnson (28)

    For the most part I’ll agree that the heroes are original, with the obvious exception of the goth emo teen. That put me off a bit probably because it puts two of my pet peeves together at once.

  34. Rutskarn says:

    I liked it a lot. You established all the characters very well, and I’m interested to see where it’s going.

    If I had one weak personal pseudo-suggestion (and this is really just bleeding in from my Thing I’m Working On Doing/Not Doing This Month), more confident in your ability to imply things without saying them. That sounds like total writers’ workshop jargon, so let me clarify: like, when you’re mentioning that some members will just chat casually with one another, their conversation stands on its own. Their dialogue establishes perfectly well that these two guys know each other pretty well, but since the others are either not participating or don’t care, it’s really more of a personal thing.

    So, yeah, take that or leave it. It’s probably stylistic anyway.

    Unrelated: L4D2 trailer’s up.

  35. DaveMc says:

    @Dr. Big: Whoa. That seems uncalled for. (Reading it again, I’m not entirely sure who it’s aimed at: me, Shamus, or the character in the story?)

    1. Shamus says:

      DaveMc & Rutskarn: Thanks for the constructive feedback.

      DrBig: Yeah, your post come off as pretty inflammatory. I don’t know what you’re saying, but I hope you can say it with better manners than that.

  36. Rutskarn says:

    Blackbird: Actually, I think it’d be awesome to see a show/book about awkward vampires with acne. In theory, they should be loved and feared, but the reality is that they can’t inspire dread without blowing their cover and getting staked. Also, since they’re immortal, they’re kinda pimple-faced dorks forever.

    I am so definitely using this in one of my stories.

  37. HeadHunter says:

    @ Blackbird #27:

    So, I guess heroes like Spiderman don’t appeal to you? There’s a guy whose powers don’t even help him pay the rent.

    He’s an everyman, the only difference is the obligation that comes with his ability. That he has problems just like ours is part of his appeal.

    People like heroes who are human. Superman is cool, to be sure, but he’s alien in more ways than one. We can’t identify with him. We can identify with the cast of Heroes, though… can’t we?

  38. Corsair says:

    Maybe if they weren’t all juggling the Idiot Ball, yeah. :P

  39. Dr. Big says:

    The character, and Shamus indirectly.

  40. RedClyde says:

    I enjoyed it, and wouldn’t mind seeing more. The only thing I didn’t like was that Violet (the obvious viewpoint character) just disappeared as the chapter went on. At least a thought or impression about the lightning guy would have been enough.

    It’s too bad you don’t have time to participate in NaNo. I recommend it to anybody who counts writing as one of their hobbies; it’s wicked fun.

  41. vede says:

    Wow. You really need to continue this.

    I do think you should have given us some setup before you started, though, since I thought this would be about Noctis Lex, and not… whoever she was before that. (Oh no, I don’t remember!) Although I do think that part of the story is far more interesting than the post-prison part.

    Also, I was reading and I noticed the “Cold roof is cold” bit, and thought… Before, I think this would have just made you seem like a bad writer, but now, it just seems to characterize Ophelia as a standard internet denizen. It actually added a bit of personality. Which is weird, I guess, considering it’s, like, an internet meme or something.

  42. Rutskarn says:

    RedClyde–I went back and forth on it, and decided not to. Mostly cos a.) I’m in college now and b.) I’m afraid it’d detract from my *actual* writing projects.

  43. Rolaran says:

    I enjoyed it. Brick felt like the sort of person that kind of makes me want to slap them in real life, but I’m thinking that was the intention.

    By the way, on the subject of superhero stories, have you heard of “How to Succeed in Evil” at all? It’s an audiobook set in a world where superheroes and villains are around, but tend to be egotistical, destructive, and horrifically irresponsible (in the story above, the kind of hero who would jump in and punch the lightning-guy across several city blocks, which would then be destroyed in the ensuing battle). The main character acts as a consultant to supervillians, trying to make them focus less on wanton destruction and more on profitability. It seesaws between being quite dark, and being absolutely hilarious. You can listen to it here:

  44. TainInfernus says:

    I like what you’ve done here. Keep it up. I’m too cheap to play Champions but I enjoy the idea.
    I like the idea of the “natural” vs. the, I suppose, technically-enhanced superheroes.

  45. Chargone says:

    i like.

    though i must say, present tense is something to be careful of. i open up a book in the library written in the present tense, it doesn’t take much for me to put it right back down. 1st person little more.

    worst train wrecks i’ve ever seen are first person AND present tense… ugh. i have seen it done right. but it’s so very easy to get wrong.

    this one manages not to :D

    as for the whole ‘gritty superhero reality’ thing, you’re probably fine as long as the juvenile relationship stuff comes up in side references about their behaviour, like here… but if you start focusing on that sort of the thing entire thing will crash and burn. might take a long time, but it will.

    anyways. all the above aside, this is a very nice piece of writing, and more would not go amiss if it were offered.

  46. Scipio says:

    I would love to see more writing from you Shamus. You write strong dialog, which imho is pretty tough. The present tense usage threw me off at first, but I stopped noticing after the first few paragraphs. I find writing in the present tense to be quite difficult, and I will usually accidentally mix in past tense.

  47. Zaxares says:

    I’m curious just to see how Violet gets off the building. XD As a normal person, I have a feeling that by the time she gets down there, the fight’s all over!

  48. DaveMc says:

    @Lochiel, @Rolaran: Thanks for the pointers to Union Dues and How to Succeed in Evil, those both sound like a lot of fun, from my preliminary listenings. Another recommendation along those lines: “Soon I Will Be Invincible”, by Austin Grossman. ( When Dr. Horrible came out, it reminded me quite a lot of SIWBI, though in fact I’d guess that they are examples of convergent evolution rather than either being derived from the other.

  49. Dr. Big says:

    Alright. You’re using an obscure meme whose origins are a thoroughly rotten community. At best, it will make the work dated and that particular line mystifying. At worst, you’ll be pulling a Reaver and the reader will instantly hate Ophelia more than any possible villain you could introduce later.

    1. Shamus says:

      * Not so obscure – I hear it all the time on forums, MMO’s, blog posts, and the occasional email.
      * Origins – I’ve never messed with 4Chan. (I assume you mean 4chan.) I’ve heard of the meme anyway. It’s safe to say the meme has grown well beyond 4chan by now.
      * Dated – This is true of any teenage lingo. It’s okay for it to be dated in some cases. If I was writing a story about a kid in 2004, I’d throw in a bunch of 733tsp3ak (or whatever) to their writings.
      * Mystifying – It’s okay if the line is mystifying. Kids say stuff online that baffles me all the time. Sometimes I get it through context, sometimes I connect the dots later, sometimes I ignore it. I could just have easily have made up some random fictitious lingo for her. This one has the advantage that it will ring true and amuse a few people. (Note above: It made some people laugh.)
      * If anyone is going to HATE a 16 year old girl for using net lingo, then the problem is with the reader, not the character.

  50. Dr. Big says:

    Okay, so only the people who knows its origin will hate her.

  51. Ergonomic Cat says:

    LOLcats pretty consistently use phrases like that. I’d wager far more people put it to them.

    Also, can you show me on the doll where 4chan touched you?

  52. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Stupid phone can’t do edits.

    Edit above: I know my comment is in poor taste. I figured it was appropriate when referencing 4chan.

  53. Blackbird71 says:

    @Headhunter (39)

    I’ll agree that a hero (super or otherwise) having a human side does make them more relateable and can be interesting. My problem is when the human side becomes the focus rather than the flavor, because if all we ever see is the human fallability, then they are no different from a character in any other story, and there’s really no point. I’m okay with the “heroes aren’t perfect” perspective, but when it descends into the “a hero’s life is so much angst and pain and they’re just like everyone else” that I just lose interest. Probably because at that point, the character is no longer relatable, because they’re really not like everyone else. Life is definitely not easy, but most people I know don’t spend all their time moping and whining about it, and people who do (heroes included) are just plain annoying.

    The reason I’m a bit apprehensive about Shamus’ work with this story is because of Noctis Lex’s backstory. It’s indicated that the story will be about this group of “heroes” who are in actuality a bunch of ego driven screw-ups who cause more problems than they solve, being directly or indirectly responsible for general destruction and the deaths of civilian bystanders. From there the story will go on to deal with all the mental anguish and guilt over these events, and that’s really not something that holds any interest for me; it just feels like so much over-the-top drama. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be written, nor that Shamus can’t do a good job of writing it, I’m merely throwing in my $0.02 on why it doesn’t appeal to me.

    @Shamus (53)

    I’ll agree that the meme is not that obscure, frequently used in forums and often gracing all the more intelligent (/sarcasm) discussion boards. However, I’ve never heard anyone actually use a phrase like that in vocal speech, and I have to say that if someone did, they would sound like a complete idiot. There are many things used in written communication (particularly in internet forums and text speak) that just don’t translate well into the spoken word. But hey, maybe that’s the sort of character you’re going for: someone whose intelligence and sanity are called into question.

  54. Rutskarn says:

    Blackbird: As someone who was most recently a high schooler, I can confirm that people did say that. Even people who didn’t use /b/.

    Even here at college, “cool story bro” and “fail” are common catchphrases among the non-internet addicted.

  55. Cuthalion says:

    I can confirm what Rutskarn said. At my college, people use “fail” all the time, to the point where it’s not even amusing anymore.

    The only guy I hear “bro” from much is this South African dude in my hall. It’s awesome, ’cause of his thick accent.

    I haven’t heard the “old X is old” spoken aloud though. But it makes more sense in spoken word than “lol” and “omg”, both of which I have heard aloud.

    Edit: Oh, and nice story Shamus. I like. Though I hope Ophelia doesn’t get overly stereotyped and thereby dehumanized. And I found present tense to be jarring at first, but I stopped noticing partway through. As long as you can be consistent, have fun with that, should you decide to waste even more of your precious time on this.

  56. ccesarano says:

    Just commenting on the present tense as well. It works as long as you keep it in Violet’s first-person perspective, as it kind of sounds like notes she would have recorded or have recalled to organize into her thesis. Gives it a feel that makes it genuine, I guess. Sounds like the thoughts as they occur in her head, or as she jots them into Microsoft Word.

    That is, until you get to “Violet” and she refers to herself in the third person. Then again, isn’t every super hero just a little bit nuts?

  57. Blackbird71 says:

    @Rutskarn (58)

    Um, what does “bro” have to do with the internet?

    That’s been a part of slang since long before the internet was around.

  58. Terrible says:

    I want to know what happens next.

  59. Rutskarn says:

    Blackbird: “Bro” is not new slang.

    “Cool story bro” is.

  60. GrizzlyReaper says:

    Thanks, Shamus! Worked great.

  61. Skeevetheimpossible says:


  62. Otters34 says:

    I’d agree with Blackbird on finding ‘realistic’, or more accurately deeply flawed, superheroes rather dull and pointless to read about. It’s saved by Mr. Young’s wonderful talents, but Brick reminds me of the grotesquely common ‘he looks all pretty but he’s really a horrific monster inside’ type of character. It reminds me of the article on where supervillans were condoned because they were reminiscent of ‘smart'(weren’t we all) kids being bullied at school by the popular kids. I mean, how do the minions feel, with this effortlessly brilliant mind jerking them about and using them like a really brittle hammer against people they might well admire? Why does nobody think of that, and only the envy of the common man for the power they were denied?

  63. Stringycustard says:

    @Otters34: I don’t think the characters here were deeply flawed at all – rather they had some normal flaws or idiosyncrasies. Sure it was played up a little, but not to the point where it seems unreal. I’ve met/know folks who behave on par or even more extreme than the characters depicted. Fair enough that you don’t dig the whole “real” vibe, though.

    I liked the story, and although I also prefer past tense, this worked well and was an enjoyable read. I like the way the “heroes” (as they are really just out for fame and personal rewards than an actual want to help) hold back a bit and only attack when the guy is essentially defenseless – had they swooped in sooner property damage and risk to bystanders would have been greatly reduced. Huh, unheroic heroes.

    Please keep this on as some sort of series or something Shamus, I think a large number of people would appreciate you continuing with this.

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