HCC/SW10: "Worse Than Useless?" 24 Minute Challenge

Adrian J. McClure lord_soldeed at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 2 14:34:17 PST 2012

I'll confess to still being a little bit baffled by the whole
Superhuman World thing. It has a long and very dense history,
apparently going back to daydreams and RPG sessions from the late 80s,
and the stories I've read have very little explanation for it--I'm
still not entirely sure who either the main character Wyatt Ferguson
or Ellipsis is. There doesn't really seem to be a clear starting point
for new readers as far as I can see. (Then again, the same is true of
the LNH.) My options as a reader are either starting from the
beginning and archive-binging on that enormous amount of text or
plunging in headfirst to the current stuff and trying to figure out
what's going on. The emphasis seems to be mainly on world-building
more than character, with many of the events narrated as reports,
especially in earlier stories. That makes it a little hard for me to
identify with. But maybe I don't understand the background well enough
to see the characterization that exists. Probably, as with other long-
running superhero universes, being a bit confused and intimidated
first is part of the whole experience and later on it will all make
more sense to me.

That said, I did enjoy this piece. It's easier for me to follow
because it's focused mainly on one idea. The hook--a superhero open-
sourcing his tech--is a very strong one. (Kind of the exact opposite
of Iron Man's Armor Wars storyline.) There've been a bunch of stories
exploring what happens when superhero technology actually starts
changing the world, but the open-source angle is new and clever. I
look forward to seeing the implications of this in future SW stories,
whether or not I can make any sense of them.


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