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Worm: The best supervillain web serial that you aren't not reading yet.

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Happens often
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I found that plot resolution really problematic, because it seemed to lend too much credence to the "bad blood" theory of evil. "I guess she was right all along, her father was a bad guy and she was doomed to be one too." Just a very uncomfortable message there.
I thought she would end up a hermit, hell even turn to veterinary, she needed a break, it was telegraphed from the start but, it didnt need to be a psychotic one. Im guessing is for plots sake. Panacea will be esential on escaping the birdcage, giving everyone involved the physiological tweaks required for functioning in vacuum.


23 Liminal Blossom
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This series is amazing. I will be commenting in the read-through thread, has not been reading this thread too much in fear of spoilers. But I must thank you for putting this on my radar. Great stuff!

not a pumpkin

Registered User
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Wildbow, the thing is she's performing far, far above human specifications with the multi-tasking (building costumes, 2x daily searches in her district, plus searching rooms people aren't in, plus the widespread surveillance nets). As in, if someone dropped her in a fMRI or PET scanner while she was doing this, I suspect the researcher would probably start drinking heavily. That or start muttering "They laughed at me back at the academy!"
Sorry, neurobiology of cognition is a hobby for me, and well, we humans only really serially process things one at a time and switch between them. She's literally running multiple parallel processes at the same time effortlessly. If I were in her shoes, it would bug the everliving hell out of me on how human I was.

Thanks. Looking forward to learning more about the Travelers. And ibid=ditto, same for Tattletale.

Pity, about Atlas. I'd lightheartedly hoped the brute had some hidden depths and habits.

Thanks for the response. And thank you for an amazing story.
I'm getting the impression Taylor's, uh, "cloud-sourcing" tasks unconsciously to the insect brains, originally just the ones that are directly related to insects doing insect things, but more generally as time goes on. I'm tempted to go through and see if she gets smarter when she has more bugs, but it's a fairly obtuse point to find evidence for.


Registered User
Validated User
Worm is good. Worm is very, very good. Worm ate my last week of free time after I first saw it posted about here, and I've run out of new Worm to read. I want more Worm.

I don't even like supers, traditionally speaking. That door had started to open well before I got to Worm, but Worm has given it a good, solid kick. There's really something quite special in the powers, and the clever uses of the powers, and the synergy when two or more capes get together to accomplish something. Or, at least, it feels pretty special and unique, me being no expert in the genre and all. Regardless, it is very well-written and I've enjoyed it immensely. It does get dark in places, but I've really felt that it's been worth it up to this point (I ran out at 15.7, if you're reading this post from the future).

Another thing I've liked was the way that, hero, villain, or "rogue," characters in Worm are people with complex backgrounds, motivations, and psychological pressures. This isn't the " 'realistic' supers is just code for a grimdark radioactive wasteland as everyone becomes a sociopath" thing that's recently been commented upon in TRO. Taylor's a supervillain who wants to do good. Some of the heroes are tarnished or entirely screwed up. Some characters still play straight to their announced roles in life, hero or villain. Not everyone has all the information and strange alliances pop up as people slot not-so-neatly into their labels. Everyone having their own background (and the interludes that show the reader how their experiences inform their reactions) really helped to keep me buried in Worm until the "Next" button just stopped working.


Registered User
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There is a hell of a lot of good material there. I could really do with 40 solid hours of this last week back - I'm pretty sure I missed something important. But first write more!

The thing that causes the most horror in me, even though it is by no means the worst thing in the setting, is the Birdcage. The arbitrary and final nature of it all imposed under cover of authority fills me with a sick rage. My attitude towards Canary is like Skitter's towards Dinah, She is the victim who's fate personally fixates me. Of course, since she is a minor character and I'm not the protagonist I guess her prospects are worse.

I also think putting Amy in the Birdcage is a real bad move by the authorities. Yes her crime was horrific, yes she'd be hard to contain in a normal prison and yes she believes that that is where she should be but she is not competent to make that call and putting a healer of that caliber, possibly the best in the world and possibly the only person who can make counter-plagues that fast, in a place where she can only be retrieved at the risk of a mass supervillain breakout is frankly boneheaded.

Finally, Siberian vs an Endbringer as brought about by Regent or Grue pretty please.


Retired User
One of the motivating factors would be the risk of Panacea snapping once again and unleashing an epidemic. If she can create a counter-plague as easily as she did, how easily could she brew up an actual plague? There's plastic eating bacterium out there. It's possible she could create something for glass, for stone or metal. How do you hold someone like that?

Not easily.

There's two places that could manage it. There's the asylum and the Birdcage. The former's a no-no given the fact that Glory Girl's in there and it's opening a pretty ugly can of worms. The latter's a place she actually wanted to go.

And of course, let's not forget that Dragon and other people in charge of the Birdcage project have likely considered many of the same angles and still agreed that Panacea should go there. They have their flaws, but are they 'boneheaded'?

Maybe they are, maybe not.

Jim Lee

New member
Also, it helps to remember that every step of the way, Amy was failed by every person who had power or influence over her. Every. Single. Step.
Taylor may have been the only person who ever actually considered just listening.


Retired User
It was really good until the slaughterhouse nine arc, after that it was decent but...

Spoiler: Show
There are many things that irk me about the nine arc, but the two main ones was it took time away from the arcs that really interested me, and replaced interesting antagonists with some depth or orginality to them with boring pseudo invincible villains, many of (Jack, Siberian, Bonesaw, Crawler) I've seen done many a many times before, and better at that. And their motivations went from making sense to "we do it for the lulz."

I mean compare Jack to say... Coil.

First their motivations. Coil has a control need, which ties nicely into his general paranoid and cautious nature, and his overall goal to take control of the city. And his paranoia and control need makes sense with how his power operates, how it makes him much safer, but not actually invincible(in fact no tougher than a normal man). And it's moderately tricky to use it optimally. I could see how this, coupled with a cautious nature and high stakes would give someone like Coil. Also, I really like his power, because it's one that would be fairly tricky to represent in a visual medium such as a comic or a movie, and it's interesting when wildbow takes advantage of the written format. And well. I like the power itself. But I digress.

Jack likes killing people. Because he's a serial murderer. Also his main weaknesses is he gives himself openings, because it wouldn't be fair otherwise. Just... argh.

And they could have worked, they has worked, in other stories, countless of times. wildbow is a good writer, and they are all very entrenched archetypes. But with Worm... Kaiser was more interesting an antagonist. Armsmaster too. Definitely Coil. Hell, bloody Skidmark was a more interesting villain as pathetic as he was, even though he was only a side character. Jack... is pointless. Same thing for the rest of the nine, some less than others.

It was just chapter after chapter with fighting the nine, and so little progressing on other things. I'm fairly glad it's over, though there is that whole two yeah thing.

Also, the drama now seems to be less because it makes sense in the story, and more drama for it's own sake, though that could be my own perceptions being skewed.

So yeah. Not trying to be to negative, I really liked it before the sh9 arc. There's some nice originality, cool themes and the take on the superhero world is pretty cool, kind of reminded me of Empowered, or even (at some points) Soon I will be Invincible. And I liked most of the characters. Main favs being Taylor, Bitch, Alec, Armsmaster and Coil. I'll keep an eye on it, I think.
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Jim Lee

New member
True, the arcs with that particular number of antagonists do feel slightly bogged down. Endbringers are cool. Supervillain gang wars are cool. That lot are cool at first, but...

Still, going interesting places right now.
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