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Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings

Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings published on 10 Comments on Five Recs: Webcomics with Fantasy/Superhero/Gaming Parody Settings

It’s Pride Month, which sounds like the perfect time to do a reclist of LGBT+ webcomics, the only problem is…most of the comics I like have LGBT+ characters! It doesn’t exactly narrow things down.

Take this list. All five of these comics have some gay stuff going on, and it’s not even the theme. I just wanted to rec some books about “superhero-type settings, but make them deconstructions.”

Empowered: Sexy superhero sendup. Emp wants to join the Superhomeys, but they won’t vote her in because her powerset is too embarrassing. It’s an almost-invincible alien super-suit! Its one weakness is…bondage.

There’s already canon F/F in the secondary cast, and I’m pretty sure the main characters (our heroine, her supervillain-grunt-for-hire boyfriend, and her hard-drinking ninja BFF) are headed for an M/F/F Emp Has Two Hands situation.

Sleepless Domain: In this city, magical girls are a known thing, with all the worldbuilding (good and bad) that implies.

Teams get merchandise and sponsorship deals! There’s a school with special hours to account for how they’re up all night fighting monsters! Adult ex-magical-girls can become therapists for the next generation! And boy, are they going to need it.

Telling you “which girls start dating” or “which girl is trans” would be spoilery, so let me just say that they’re in there.

Order of the Stick: Adventuring party of stick figures is out to kill the lich, gets wrapped up in a world-saving quest against a monster drawn only as a scribble. They fight with magic, teamwork (sort of), and jabs at D&D’s sillier mechanics. Or, well, jabs at most of D&D’s mechanics.

Main cast mostly gets M/F romances, but the background couples have a good mix. And there’s a whole population of gender-ambiguous elves with gender-ambiguous spouses who have a hard time IDing any other species by gender, which is fun.

Homestuck: Four online friends from around the world log in to play a new game. Turns out it warps reality. Then, after we’re done sending up all kinds of weird and over-complicated video-game mechanics, it destroys the Earth, and the only way for the kids to get a new home planet is to win the game.

Also, the alien troll kids who lost the previous session are alternately helping, pestering, and hate-flirting with them. Awkward.

Strong Female Protagonist: Another superhero send-up, this time with a super-strong invulnerable ex-hero. She’s trying to have a normal college life without being overwhelmed by the lingering trauma of teenage heroics. You can guess how that goes.

The artist is married to ND Stevenson, showrunner of the She-Ra reboot…and if you’ve watched that, let’s just say some of this will hit awfully familiar. (In a good way.) Especially if you’re a Catra fan.

A cut of Bookshop’s profits goes to local bookstores — you can even pick a specific favorite store to support. If you buy through one of these links, I get a cut as the referrer, so it supports this comic too.

Have a favorite parody/deconstruction webcomic that isn’t on this list? Got a request for themes I should rec in future months? Drop a comment and share!

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10 Comments

I love Empowered and how Emp has grown into the role of a superhero despite the best efforts of some of the douchecaps on her team. It really needs more love.

Also, I agree 100% that Emp, Thugboy and Ninjette will be canon OT3.

Emp is honestly a work of sublime genius. This girl starts out as a series of horny commissions, the author gets that backwards worldbuilding bug where you have something cool (in this case, cute powered girl in skin-tight leotard which tends to tear in fanservicey ways) and starts working backwards into the why of it (the suit is the thing that grants powers, and it’s naturally flimsy, but self repairs and doesn’t work under other layers) which then leads to the motivation of WHY she’s continuing to subject herself to these situations, which then explodes into one of the most self-aware fanservice comics I’ve ever seen. When it comes to webcomics made by male artists, the only other who comes close would be Grrl Power, and that one’s not quite as focused on the tittilation factor, of having a cast of attractive powerful people, but when it does it’s an equal oppurtunity cake provider.

One comic that doesn’t get nearly enough attention is Magellan. http://magellanverse.com/comic/20040307wannabe/

It’s a solid original comic series about hero cadets with solid worldbuilding, fun characters, clever powersets. It’s set mostly in NZ/Australia, and has a nicely representative diverse cast. It’s also one of a surprisingly large number of comics that I’ve started reading and clicked with, and then the author comes out as trans. She didn’t even make a big deal of it, one day the server blew up and the whole site had to be manually rebuilt from surviving backups, and she just quietly replaced her name on all the pages. Good for her.

Regarding “Sleepless Domain,” I feel like saying “telling you which girls start dating is a spoiler” already gives the game away.

Not sure what “the game” is, here.

I mean, saying that “telling you which girls start dating is a spoiler” will tell the reader which girls are dating about ten chapters before they actually do.

There are plenty of readers who were following along with the comic as it was posted, who called that certain girls were going to start dating about ten chapters before they actually did!

So this isn’t enough information to give people a dramatically different reading experience than many of them were gonna have either way.

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