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Was she a Stalinist? She sure as hell never did anything wrong.


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who's dat ?


girl from YA webnovel


bro you gonna need to provide more details, /leftypol/ doesn't exactly have a lot of overlap with the webnovel crowd


Genderbent Paul Atreides


okay, so worm is a deconstruction of the superhero genre that explores the politics of a world with superheroes and villains in it
basically, in the worm universe people may randomly gain supernatural powers while undergoing extreme stress, taylor hebert has such a trigger event and gets the ability to mind-control arthropods
she's generally pretty based, comes from a class-aware and unionized prole family, sees through the bullshit of the official porky-sanctioned hero system, fights fascist gangs and becomes a popular sorta-leftist warlord at one point



This isn't anime, it's a book.


>worm is anime
it's not even a comic book.


it sounds intriguing, would you say it's still worth reading for people who more or less have ignored the superhero genre ?


It's good. Nothing like other superhero media.

Here's the link:https://parahumans.wordpress.com/


shame the author wanted to stay relatively apolitical, would've been cool to see a red brockton bay
web novel was overall poorly written imo, but the highs in it go very high and i think it's overall intriguing enough to read as long as you're not afraid of skimming (i didnt skim and regretted it)


I don't think politics like that would be good for the story tbh. It was more about the plot and characters. The only political thing i remember were little characterizations and the racial gangs. I liked that it was very very subtle that the MC was from a lefty family etc. It didn't add anything and i doubt wildbow cared beyond thinking about a realistic character etc, and i'm almost certain he's not a socialist. But it complemented the ending, if you know what i'm talking about, but again, i doubt wildbow did it conciously.


>she never did anything wrong
she became a hero

>i'm almost certain he's not a socialist
He's pretty lib and Ward (Worm's sequel for anyone those who don't know) shows that, of course this is ignoring all the political posts he makes on the subreddit for canada. Anyway, it's insane to me how the protagonist is able to live an apartment after a multiversal apocalyptic event with a ton of homeless camps surrounding the city she's in meanwhile anti-cape sentiment is framed as irrational misplaced hatred. And also preaching about the importance of going to therapy in the aftermath of an apocalypse where the average person is barely finding food and shelter


Yeah Ward is trash.


It's a shame. I was looking forward to it coming off Twig since I really enjoyed how he wrote the characters in that one. Rain's arc was neat, but everything else felt at odds with itself. Especially the latter half of the story.


It's a shame what he did to the undersiders.


What was your problem with them in ward?


Didn't develop them, their parts were bad, etc. We spend something like 1,6 million words with these characters and in the sequel they're some of the worst side characters. They're literally just there, doing nothing or being retarded. All i wanted was some closure or something like that.

Now that i think about it wildbow is really bad with that (in the parahumans series) - closure - and the only important character that really has it is Taylor.


Yeah. No structure to the plot, weird focus, and while the main characters weren't that bad there were better options.


It's amateurish at places but I can't get it out of my mind tbh, and I only read it once in 2018. Very impactful ending.


>preaching about the importance of going to therapy in the aftermath of an apocalypse
whats up with neoliberals and the fetishization of therapy smh


should i read pale?


If you liked Pact or just the setting I'd say it'd be worth it to give it a shot, but it's not the same as Pact pacing and tone wise (at least from what I've read so far).


Started reading it. Way too slow for me but I'm still gonna read it.


Is ward worth reading at all?


The pacing and focus of the story is a 180 from Worm. It's far slower and fixates more on characters dealing with trauma and the aftermath of Worm than it being nonstop conflict. If that interests you then you'll get more enjoyment than others did from it.


I really like the audiobook version of Worm, finished it recently(even with its flaws, I like seeing it get better over time-):

I have a very strong aversion to most superhero stuff (there's stories and characters I definitely adore though throughout the years tho), and this hits a unique spot that I can definitely resonate with. I feel like the parahumans setting has much more potential than most works it shares a premise/genre with, and despite some of the flaws it has (need for editing, certain drags/confusing parts, etc.), it really stands out on its own. In terms of existing in the larger sphere of "capeshit", I'd go and say its one of the best creations in the entire premise, helped in a large part by the way the narrative presents itself. The protagonist and their interactions feel a lot more human than most heroes and villains in other stories, and the entire story takes on that lifelike element. The interludes (interlude 10x especially oh my lord) work really well, because they give a different perspective than the usual protagonist's narration, and can take crazy turns with that. It's also pretty cool that a lot of the main characters are young, but not in the usual youth that glamourizes high school life, quite the opposite in fact. As someone at a similar age to the characters by the end of the story, I can say they certainly feel and act similar enough to the way someone our age IRL would, especially if thrust in such a wacky superpowered premise and world like the one they're in. The sociopolitical part of the setting gives me somewhat similar vibes to Watchmen and early Spawn, especially with how the image of things presented by popular culture and media is incongruent with the reality that the characters actually live through. The criminality of many of the characters feels a lot more real in motivation, and the plot following "villains" as full-fledged characters is just a breath of fresh air. It sees the average "superhero" for how fucking deranged they'd actually be; it looks at what would happen if sociopaths, sadists, and emotionally stunted people got abilities that enabled them to act more on their tendencies, and its all so interesting. The use of powers is also a lot more grounded, and the way they're applied is certainly a lot more compelling than the average story, also in a weird way feeling almost shonen-esque at times with the classifications and the battle vs non-battle application stuff.

I think what made it click so much with me more than anything is how it didn't tow the usual moral line of most superhero settings, which is completely ignorant to reality and can even go so far as being reactionary. The type of "critique" of the genre done by Worm is IMO far better than the kind done by Injustice and similar stories, which are basically just "what if the powerful superheroes turned into bad guys, and made the world just like 1984. this is so deep, I'm so smart". Stories like the latter tend to obfuscate the problems that characters intrinsically have, by relegating any look at their flaws to exaggerated caricatures of evil that miss the whole point of a critique. The Batmans and Iron-Mans of the comic book world are horrible people regardless of them being a parallel universe evil version, hell, almost all "superheroes" are terrible and arguably worse than their villains when looking at their relation to class and the state. That's largely a product of what the superhero medium is most of the time, a moralizing escape that idealizes the current way of things and preaches the triumph of "absolute good" over the most basic of evils, while removing agency and importance from the actual people of their settings that don't get the luxury of being godlike superbeings. That concept of good gets its basis from the current social norm, which given what site we're on, we all know clearly isn't good. Even the stories that go further and critique aspects of the current status quo only go so far as being for social reform, although at this point, these constraints and problems cover most media in general. "Crimefighting" as a part of the ethos of the medium tells all here, far better than any analysis like this does. The things I do find interesting about superheroes is more looking at problems and idiosyncracies like these, its been especially compelling to read about topics such as the weird origin of heroes like Wonder Woman, moral panics like Seduction of the Innocent, the horrible treatment of artists and writers by the major comic book companies and the aftermath of that(esp works like Rick Veitch's Brat Pack), chauvinistic tendencies in comic book creators like Dave Sim and Frank Miller; and now in the modern-day, the way that huge superhero blockbusters stand as propaganda pieces for U.S. cultural and military hegemony and have turned into a mainstay within the space of capitalist media.

Worm isn't some perfect shining work that is free of the problems of the genre or the problems of media under neoliberal capitalism generally, but it certainly stands out as special, and worth at least trying out above the majority of other stuff in and out of the genre. I haven't really looked at anything relating to fans of the series, but from what I can tell it has a pretty devoted fanbase. It's the first piece of fiction I've really, really, really enjoyed in like, a year or two, after everything new got stale and I had engaged with nearly everything really good I'd be interested in. It's one of my favorite pieces of fiction I've ever engaged with at this point, pretty ballin'
(the way it handles representation is also a bit better than most other pieces of media, I know "representation" is largely idpol libshit, but idk, it feels nice to see characters of different backgrounds actually be allowed to be shitty people, or at least nuanced. It gets grating to see every Black, Latin, LGBT or Neurodivergent character either be fucked up stereotypes or pandering, one dimensional, and "perfect" without flaws or anything actually interesting about them. Also, Worm is actually a bit cognizant of class, which is more than most shit out there.)


I really enjoyed it. It was exciting and most of the characters were well written. The last arc was really exciting and the ending was good (though the end isn't exactly the happiest), and Taylor has really good development throughout the story. It does have problems, the biggest of which is its awful pacing. Some fights took way to long despite having little impact in the story, and the timeskip was poorly done and doesn't allow for you to get to know lots of the characters. It also could have done with an editor. But all in all I think it brings a lot to the table and I highly recommend reading it.


but is it leftist?


Pale is unbearably boring, and I loved Pact. Wildbow is really hit or miss these days.


easy to treat therapy as a one size fit all solution than it is to actually reconcile with why people are having those issues in the first place

Are you caught up with it? I've been reading it off and on (just got to arc 9) and found it interesting, but my main concern with it is that apparently wildbow planned for it to be a short work until he got more invested in it and decided to have it go beyond the story's original course. It's on arc 20 now, and I fear it's going to end up meandering in the way all of his story's do.


No, i've been reading it on and off too.


Just coming back to say that Wildbow peaked at the end of worm. He's not gonna write anything as good as that ending anymore.

Worm > Pact > Twig > Pale > Ward


I feel like Worm benefited heavily from the years of drafts Wildbow made of it. His other stories had a drafting process too, but nothing as extensive as Worm from what I understand. Pact is lacking in characters despite having a cool magic system and setting. It's almost as long as Worm despite the plot itself taking place over the span of like a month. Twig's setting could be cool but it's not explored much and most of the story feels like Wildbow figuring out what the plot should be, which is the same problem Ward has but I found Twig's cast interesting at least. Ward feels like the embodiment of all the flaws of Worm, Pact, and Twig wrapped in one with barely anything positive alongside it. I liked what I read of Pale so far but he decided to take the story further than he originally intended and have no idea what the state of it is now.


>fetishization of therapy
nou fetishization


Brian is probably the worst member of the undersiders, Taylor had more romantic chemistry with everybody other than him in the friend group. Do you think there was a better way to write Brian’s and Taylor’s relationship?


It's not the worst. I'm liking it more as the years pass, from a story perspective. It wasn't made to be "liked" and I respect that.


I don't know about chemistry because if I remember it right Brian wasn't that into it at first, but she was all over him from the second she saw him. Taylor found him hot and liked his style and demeanor and chased him. You're just self-inserting.

I won't lie and say that Taylor x Lisa isn't cute tho.


Idk how exactly I’m self inserting. I just think that their relationship is uninteresting


I’m pretty sure Rachel’s personality and arc is a trope, does anyone know the tropes name?


jerk with a heart of gold?


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taylor's distrust of authority would lead to her being an anarchist or a council communist at most. it would be really interesting for a fanfiction to tackle this because of course her methods of personally handling everything to the point of escalation would eventually clash with her ideological position.


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linked the 4th one wrong. marvel x worm crossover


https://archiveofourown.org/works/34525375/chapters/85935799 (this one's dead but inspired the one above)


I feel like Ward as a sequel could never live up to expectations mainly because the longer it took wildbow to finally start it the longer the community would stew in theorycrafting/fanon warping their perception of what actually happened in Worm (ending up in situations where details about the setting that get elaborated on end up called retcons), and I don't think Wildbow at the time (or even now, honestly) had the writing skills to actually deliver on the plethora of plot threads Worm set up. So you end up with a story that one section of the community or another will complain about regardless of the direction it takes. It also didn't help that wildbow wanted to write more character centric stories after Pact and that was the last thing a good chunk of people in the fanbase wanted from a Worm sequel.


I personally really liked the character stuff in worm, but Ward was just bleh, it was extremely boring and I just couldn’t help but drop it. I’m currently mostly done with Pact and personally find it to be pretty good. Wildbow can write characters really well and he is pretty good with action/fights. I don’t know what went “wrong” with ward, some of the stuff was really enjoyable and other stuff was just boring and unbearable. I hope wildbow returns to the setting at some point, the whole multiverse thing gives him infinite opportunities for settings. Also did Wildbow start a new project? Did any one read it, is it good?


Worm, to me, feels like it lost direction at a certain point and I lost interest in it. However I do enjoy a few fanfics, mostly Naruto crossovers on SpaceBattles that are fun, but those are far and few in between, too much edgelord stuff or poorly written shit for my taste.


Ward just feels like he had no idea what he wanted to do with it and was constantly trying to change the direction of the story to appease everyone and just gave up after a certain point and rushed the ending with a bunch of plot threads just left unresolved.

>I hope wildbow returns to the setting at some point

From what he's said, it doesn't seem like he'll go back to it again (or at least not anytime soon) due to the reception it got. Ignoring Pale, which you probably already know about if you're reading Pact, his latest story (which started like last week) is crime procedural called Claw which is supposed to be a short serial before he starts the next big story which most likely is the space opera super prison one he's been teasing and talking about off and on for a few years now. Haven't read it yet though.


>the space opera super prison

sounds rad asf, I hope wildbow learns all the lessons from his past works and keeps on improving.


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Just saying that Wildbow could have saved Ward or made a better version of it by setting Amy as protagonist. You know, the problematic teenager with a broody monologue and versatile powers yet vulnerable enough to set high stakes combat scenes. Parahumans, with all its worldbuilding and character interactions, is ultimately structured around fighting arcs. The audience would find her much more familiar to Taylor than Glory Girl, who was retconned as a cape nerd to appease the fanbase and has a generic Superman power that works best as a non-POV character.

It bothered me a lot that Panacea's power was never fully explored in Worm (even though canon has its reasons for Amy's power repression), because relay bugs and Khepri were really imaginative. And Ward is the perfect scenario for exploring shards' effects in a post-apocaliptic society, for creating new group dynamics based around capes and refugees as well as power interactions with allies and enemies.


Amy is a really interesting character, but I imagine a lot of people wouldn’t like her as the mc due to the strong implication of her being a body morphing rapist and her being written as a person who spends a lot of her time pitying herself.

I think Aisha would have been a better choice as an mc, she got an interesting ability that is simply but also allows a lot unique situations, she got herself bunch of potential sidekicks and her relationship with undersiders gives a lot of opportunity for angst.

I like Victoria, she has a fun dynamic with tattletale, but as a mc, she is very weak.


Her self pity is relatable to how she represses her own powers. Becoming protagonist would involve an act to bring closure to it. It's true that she borged/raped Victoria but Taylor also killed a toddler so it's a non-issue from representing heinous acts from a POV perspective.

The main thing impending this path is that rape relates more to real world problems than killing children to avoid the end of the world. And for her to be the Ward protagonist the post-S9 events couldn't have happened.

Also we have a new Claw chapter.



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Claw is pretty cinematic. When the protagonist chops down the dude I imagined it like a show Hannibal episode. It's a pity Wildbow isn't a published author yet because his works (especially this one) would work as adaptations.

Art by kalado.


Just started reading this, feels kinda heavy handed with the bullying shit, and then she finds some supervillain in her first cape outing? Idk I guess it's YA afterall


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Well I've been enjoying it well enough, some of the fights go on a bit long for me, my main issue is Skitter's decisions are often borderline incomprehensible though. I feel like she veers between ultra competent and complete idiot who only does things to set up the plot. Other characters seem to have bizarre motivations and decisions too. I'm on chapter 22 now and this feels like her most forced nonsensical decision yet to the extent that it kind of annoys me.


Keep in mind that this was the author's first published story. The subsequent ones are better written, except Ward.


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Reviewing Cauldron is funny because it is a secret cabal that controls the world due to one cape having clairvoyance powers but somehow that didn't lead to fixing the Scion problem with creative solutions. Such as actually giving him what the Entity pair wanted out of the cycle: a workable brain for an entity/shard, or making Queen Administrator the new Eden to avoid the Warrior rampage. Or get Jack Slash to tell him the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path


Anyone keeping up with Claw? I like it far more than I thought I would. My favorite part of is learning about the setting being an alt-history america where the government is in a state of collapse, rightoid militia groups are running rampant, and because police are striking everywhere the average person can become a licensed bounty hunter and most of this is happening in the background of all the identity thieving and kidnapping going on.


I personally really like worm and really like Taylors writing.
>fights go on a bit long for me,
I think this about every single fight written by wildbow, I don’t know why since he is pretty good at writing them.


I'd say Pact is on par with Worm writing wise.


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Really good tension. Poor Ripley though.

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