The Best Superhero Story Isn’t A Comic Book (or a Film)

TL;DR: It’s actually this, an online serial novel entitled “Worm”.

Taylor Herbert is your average ordinary high school girl. By day, she gets picked on by the mean girls. By night she’s a superhero.

Okay, so not so average ordinary.

Under the alias Skitter, Taylor basically smashes her way through a whole host of villains, making Squirrel Girl and Superman look like elementary school dodgeball players. And she does this with only two powers: 1) she senses all bugs (insects, spiders, worms, &c) within several hundred feet and 2) she can control the bugs she senses within the same radius.

The whole thing is a massive (and I do mean massive) deconstruction of the entire superhero genre. It hits all the standard notes: worldwide superhero league, supervillain prison, a team of incredibly dangerous supervillains, existential monsters that make enemies like Doomsday¬†and Galactus look like tutorial bosses, a multiverse….

But I really shouldn’t say too much, because there are a ton of twists and turns to the story. Suffice to say that this novel takes all those common superhero elements and delves into why they exist at all: where did these superpowers come from? Why are those with superpowers so prone to voilence — either causing it as supervillains or fighting crime as superheroes?

Worm also has hands down the best superpowers in the genre, considering not only just the powers themselves, but the changes to a person’s mind and body that such powers would require. Taylor, for example, gains a huge boost to her ability to multitask to compensate for her need to constantly micromanage the army of bugs under her control.

The author also adds two useful categories for superpowers: Tinkers and Thinkers. Thinkers are supers with great mental powers, such as telepathy and prescience, but also things like super-analysis. One character, Tattletale, is basically Sherlock Holmes. Tinkers, then, have access to advanced technologies so far advanced that no one else is able to even repair the things they build. So in this world, people like Iron Man and Batman are justified in not mass producing their great inventions simply because they can’t.

I should warn that this story gets really dark. Lots of characters die, some in very horrible ways. There’s also quite a bit of cussing and a little sexual content.

That being said, if this post hadn’t already thoroughly implied as much, I very much suggest reading this. It’s amazing and beautiful, and is more than just a good superhero story but a good story in general. The thought put into this is phenomenal.

In case you missed the top, click

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Fabrication: Animal Life

So sentient biocrystal.

I plan on there being two varieties: pure biocrystal sentients, and integrated biocrystal sentients. The latter of these two varieties would be far more common, if only because most biocrystal creatures wouldn’t need to move around much and thus would be better categorized as plants, and because the cerulite networks necessary to create sentience would be far more complicated than the biological neural networks necessary.

Pure biocrystal sentients (purists) would only really exist in environments where the nutrients necessary to persist and produce offspring were hard to come by. And seeing as biocrystal creatures feed off of sand and rocks, I can’t imagine many places where such creatures would exist. Perhaps in the depths of the ocean, or in particularly dense vegetation. Though, given biocrystal is supposed to also be able to somewhat feed off of organic matter, they might not even appear in some of these areas.

These purists would be composed primarily of large portions of rosete, and probably they would be generally snake-like in form, or perhaps even lizard-like.

Integrated biocrystal sentients (integrationists) would be far more common, and probably far more interesting. After all, technically these would be composite beings, a symbiotic relationship in a single form; the host would have to find some way to pass on the biocrystal symbiotes on to their children.

Probably all animal kingdoms would contain integrationists, though my primary conception of such creatures are generally reptilian — or more accurately, dinosaurish.

I imagine kinds of stegasaurs or dimetrodons with white albate sails along their spine, or large tortoises covered in black melanite, possibly pattered with albate as well.

I could probably come up with some other kinds of these creatures, but it’s getting late and I have to save *something* for my next post(s).

Questions? Want more details? Comment! Maybe I’ll come up with some answers or something cool in this system!