All and all, an... odd read, to say the least.
As I read it, I had a distinct feeling that the writer was severely passionate about the project, setting out a timeline for past events and characters that have played a role and will play a role and whatnot. And yet, despite how interesting a well-fleshed out superhero world always is (I mean, what's not to love??), somehow, this one fell sort of flat.
The superhero characters, Stitches not included, are, well... They feel sort of flat. They have territories, we know that. But... what exactly do these territories mean? Does Stitches have a territory? We only got to learn about a few territories, and from what we learnt, it seems like only the highest-ranking heroes, such as Hot Rod or Blockhead, have territories. That would make sense, but with all other sparse details we understand about superheroes, it feels almost throw-away in execution. It hasn't been mentioned since it was introduced. A good way to keep it going might have been to mention how Boom Mike was running through the territories of various Superheroes, or how this is generally frowned upon. Like mafia gangs. Mafia gangs are cool.
Speaking of SUperheroes with territories... the necromancer guy. I've forgotten his name, but, you know, that guy with the zombies? How is that possibly accepted? He's basically using disabled patients to do his bidding and fight. Imagine if Altzheimers gave the patient some sort of superpower. Would it be ethical for the police to use them? No, of course not, because the patients had families. Then again, Stitches did exposify that there have been many zombie plagues, some that are very very old, so it is possible that, along the way, the government just legalized using zombies in war, which would open up a lot of interesting possibilities. Nonetheless, I'd like to know and understand more about this specific area, and considering Stitches' condition, I'm sure there will be more exposition about this all.
This is a subspecies of the former part, but I'd like to make it it's own thing just because. it's a large part of the story. In short, I think you might have goofed up, or just mislead from the start. I know how it feels, when you write the synopsis you have no idea what you're doing and it's scary and "what even is my story" so you write whatever and that's fine. But what I find odd is how Bain's strength is compared to other characters. He's weaker than Nehmeenjfe and that's fine, not surprising, but... Stitches?... Stitches is just a whole mess and I'll talk about that later, but... Exactly how powerful is he?
We heard that Nehmet had fought Stitches and a bunch of dudes a while ago, and had thusly been forced down into the sewers. Cool with me. Broadens the horizons, tells us that even Nehmet can be defeated. Cool. What isn't cool is that we then learn that, supposedly, a single flick of Nehmet's antennae can take out any superhero. Any. Surviving a smack is equal to surviving a snap from the infinity gauntlet. It told us, when it happened, that Bain was a damn monster from the start. Very cool. And Stitches, a superhero who saved the world, a man Bain hadn't ever heard of, completely wiped the floor with him. No, scratch that, Stitches grabbed his ass, nailed it to the floor and rolled over it with a damn steamroller. Bain is weak. Compared to Stitches, Bain is a damn civilian.
Cool. I'd be cool with that.
If Nehmet didn't exist, that is.
I would be all for an arrogant, narcissistic monster desiring reverie realizing his place in the world at the hand of an All-Might-esque bastard who didn't even care. But this isn't that story. No, this is the story of a guy with self-doubts trying to find his confidence by becoming a hero and gaining the love of the people, something he sorely lacks. This would also be a cool story, but why this story isn't that story is for a whole other part. What I'm instead saying is that, well... Stitches is too strong. Nehmet is an overpowered bastard, cool cool just how I like it, but Stitches... Stitches is beyond that. Comparing the two is like comparing the Hulk to Iron Man. Both strong in their own right, but in a one on one, there is only one real winner.
Since we're already talking so much about characters, we might as well dive right in.
Bain is... an odd one. I'm not sure why, but he just doesn't feel quite right. Bain is a hideously deformed monster, inhuman in every way, who has spent his life in a very similar fashion as the TMNT, staring out from the sewers, tragically unloved, terribly feared. But... he isn't unloved. He's got Nehmet, who genuinely loves him, as the eighth chapter terrifically expressed. Points for that, by the way.
So, we've got a guy who has experienced love all his life, never been unhappy with what he ate, and... what else? Oh, right, he's feared. That' bad, he doesn't like that, for some reason. So, why is he feared? Well, he looks real spooky, but, as we've come to learn, being a monster in this world isn't the same as being a monster in most other worlds. Feared, yes, perhaps, but not illegal. Hell, you can even file for being unjustly attacked simply because of a bias! In other words, the fear he meets is more of the racial discrimination way than the slenderman way.
This... this is bad. I mean, it could be good, but for this story, it really isn't. Say what you will, but it would have been ten times cooler to see Bain rise up against just prejudice than injust bias. I mean, come on. If every other monster was a villain (do those exist btw? I mean, in the second chapter or so we saw an old dude going about in the tower who was a villain, but I mean like a real, actual evil one, who doesn't play by the rules of the world?), it would have been so much cooler to see Bain become a hero, even if he could have gained much greater renown through becoming a feared villain. Plus, we could have seen him get mistaken for "one of theirs", or attacked by his allies, it would have been sweet! This... isn't exactly that. Interesting, but not quite the same.
Oh, also, I really don't understand Bain's opinion of Superheroes. He likes them, he is a fan of many, he knows a lot of them, he wants to become one, but... he only wants to become a hero to get loved?... That's... Sort of really shallow. I would have been more forgiving of his want to get loved and his hallow interest in the superhero profession if it went all the way and he actually didn't give a shit about superheroes and was only in it to get famous. It would make sense, and give him a good reason for being overconfident in his abilities. His defeat at the hands of Stitches would also feel much better since it was just. It would be a story of redemption, of a monster becoming truly good, a superhero who fought for good.
Or, if his admiration for superheroes was stronger (maybe seeing superheroes fight was one of his few delights in his younger days, all alone in the sewers?) he could have had a Deku-like fixation with them. He'd train all his life to become just like them, maybe have a favourite superhero he always rooted for (he could have used his fast speed to stalk the bastard and always watch his fights), etc. His defeat at Stitches would, in this case, have been an extremely bitter defeat. But it would also inspire him to try harder, to be better. It would've been bittersweet.
As is, we have neither of these. Instead, we have a sort of amalgamation of the two, where he doesn't mind being feared, but also wants to be loved. He loves superheroes, but only wants to become one for the fame. It feels extremely conflicting. If this is handled well, it can be highlighted in-story, showing Bain's flaws in a cool way. Aka, does he really just want to be loved? It would be cool. Please do something cool.
Stitches is... I don't much understand him. He's a mental-type superhero, who curb-stomped the physical-type Bain like he was nothing. At first, I assumed that Bain was fighting some sort of hallucination or some other manifestation of Stitches' power, but it seems that was not the came. No, Stitches is just hugely powerful. I do not understand this. If I'm wrong here somewhere, please tell me, because I am about as confused as one can be. Personality-wise, he's a pretty cool dude. Relaxed and shit. Sits well with me, kind of bland when compared to all the other mentor-type characters, but hey, still pretty chill.
George is a two-bit hippie and I love him. I just hope there's a moment, someplace, somewhere, where George has to come face-to-face with how monstrous Bain truly is. Like... Bain goes apeshit, George tries to stop him, loses an arm. That kind of stuff. Always a delight to see. The only complaint I got here is that in the chapter George is introduced in, he offers Bain a pizza, and Bain remarks that it almost tastes as good as rats. But, later on, when Bain is in the tower with Stitches, he has to be hauled out because he just wanted to eat all the food. So, yeah, inconsistency, baby.
No complaints about Nehmet. Swell dude. Good father. Would be cool to see a bit of a rift between Nehmet and Bain as Bain grows more human in thought and feeling, although this might only have stood true with a more Deku-like Bain. My only complaint is that I can't understand how strong he is compared to, for example, Hot Rod. One-hit-kill or a challenge? Is everything we know about Bain's and Nehmet's strength only as seen from Bain's perspective? Who knows?
My first complaint is that the Demon Lord came knocking on Bain's door. In other words, the story came to him, not the other way around. He didn't go out actively looking for a friend, a friend (George) found him. He tried to become a hero, was rejected, and then a hero came and adopted him because of how many requests he had put in. It feels cheap. It would have made for a better Call to adventure if Bain had done something herolike to earn Stitches' favour, such as save a woman or defeat a villain. As is, adventure came to him. Not very fun.
As a final note on the actual story elements, does Bain cry acid tears or not, yo?
Overall, although characters are interesting and diverse to follow, they feel sort of flat, and motivations and goals could be a whole lot clearer. The inconsistencies between them can be cleared up through lore and worldbuilding. Speaking of worldbuilding, it needs more of it. A lot. Don't be afraid to dump exposition on us, yeh?
Nothing to see here, pretty chill. No obvious spelling mistakes, nothing bad. The story is easy to follow and actions are clear. However, it lacks something essential. I'd say that the scenery isn't quite conveyed enough, and neither are the appearances of characters. Always remember to describe characters in flowing text, and not just blocks of text. Like instead of "she had brown hair and green eyes", you can instead say "a flick of her dainty wrist removed some of her brown locks from her face, revealing green eyes underneath" or something. Puts you right there in the scene, yeh?
The same can be said with the scenery. I couldn't tell you what Centropolis looks like, where it is, or anything. I only realized this was supposed to be a DC sci-fi sorta place once Stitches was introduced. Gimme flying cars, yoooo! Give me how it feels, how people stare at Bain, how mother's pull their children closer, how men tense up in preparation for something horrible. Tell me how it feels like to be an 8-foot tall monstrosity, damn it! I wanna know! For-, for recreational, um, purposes...
Put more emotion in it. Don't be afraid to use preposterous adverbs! People might tell you the verb should be strong enough on its own, but fuck them with a four-foot steel-brimmed pole! The more information, the better. You can always learn balance later. Right now, more information isn't a bad thing. Are there trees? Do children play? How many free-carry?
Oh, also, two words of just rules, uhh... I don't know the English word for this, but Satsradning. I think. Anyhoo, you usually use either the
four-spaces-in kind of method where you start the next part a couple of paces in, or
the one with a huge space in between. Not both. You usually use the former for like actual books since it makes it easier to cram a bunch of parts on a single page, whereas the latter is better for web novels and stuff since it's nicer to look at. So, yeah, stick to one and you'll be fine.
Finally, I have to mention that when you're doing dialogue, the paragraph changes when another person starts speaking. In other words,
"It's like this," I said, doing a funny dance.
"Is it really?" you replied, sadly not mimicking my dance.
"Yes, it is," I stated, finishing my dance in a jojo-esque pose. "So, not like this?" you continued. I nodded. Not like this.
Aaaand that's it for the critique. Sorry if I said some stupid things, I know this novel isn't done yet so a lot can change, and if anything I complained about was entire, like... because you chose it, I'm very cool with it, bro.
I like the idea. TMNT, but only one dude, and in Metropolis, but with the Superhero Registration Act all done and over with. Cool idea, cool start, and, if things continue this way, a cool story. Most characters, even Steven, are quite likeable and fun to follow. Bain is an interesting fellow, and I'm excited to see what kind of shit he'll get roped into. As long as you make everyone suffer, I'm very cool with it. Rip Bain of everyone he loves. Take away his once connection to humanity. Force him to take on a fully inhuman form in order to save Centropolis. Kill off a beloved character. Do whatever you have to to make him want nothing but death!
It is exactly what he needs to become a good character.
Man, this whole book really makes me want to replay Infamous, like, that was such a good game.
I look forwards to seeing what sort of world you mould out of this, what characters we'll befriend.
Always remember, it nerf or nothing, so...
Just dew it.
alright, alright. the entire story is a rather interesting one with many twists and turns, but what weights the interesting story down is its execution. it focuses mainly on conversation - fun conversation, mind you - and kind of forgets what binds these conversations together. the characters were varied yet very alike, and I failed to notice any great nuance seperating them. sure, there were snakes and goblins and slimes and necromancers and killers, but their personalities were rather... same. now, ill have to confess, I commit the same mistake constantly of making the main character in the image of myself and therefore only creating one, but when you have as many characters as these, you'll have to cherrypick your traits. some of your humor there, some of your short temper there, so on, and so on. this way you'll have nuanced, realistic characters who you can still call your own.
- SPOILERS AHEAD -
the ending was a bit... I've only seen two stories who have been able to pull the "it was all a dream" trope well, and that was Alice In Wonderland and 1984. by "It was all a dream," I mean the trope where at the end the character wakes up and realized with a sigh of relief that it was all a dream, or, as in 1984's case, that everything that the book did and everything the characters tried and failed at was completely for nought. Winston died, not having changed a thing, O' Brian lived on to continue, the girl lived a few more years in the utilitarian dystopia, and in the end, the world did not change. a most depressing message that was executed well and with a great twist of the wrist that allowed one to slip into chronical depression without further ado.
however, this fiction did not succeed in this department and im sorry if I sound harsh.
the story ended with that around half of all those who died double-died, those whose bodies had been taken would be forced to continue, and really, everything didn't matter, or rather, it mattered just enough for one to think that it didn't matter enough. no realization came like being hit by a meteor as in the case of 1984, there was only a sense of "alright... now what?"
really, it felt hurried and stale. but I do appreciate the effort it took to finish it at all.
to the readers: if you want something simple, quick and fairly original, and you like isekai, this is for you. it's a fast read and you can finish quite a few chapters if you just give it a few minutes.
to Red: I liked it, it was fun dude, but im sure you can do better ;^)
interesting concept and idea. making it cliche as fuck, yet innovative like all hell. i have never seen anything like it! i also like how EVERYONE is all cryptic, talking about "That". i just imagine it being something "Dirty". truly a fun thing, with lots and lots of potential. im cheering you on man, keep up the cliche work!