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Fifteen year old Charon McKay mysteriously disappears from the small coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts and returns several months later, naked, delirious, and pregnant with no memory of anything that happened during the time she was missing. The mystery is considered solved when her post-return medical exam uncovers a operable brain tumor but her best friend Jackson Snow is still sufficiently freaked out about it to ditch Charon for Rich Bitch Christmas "Chrissy" Banks, Charon's local tormentor and rival for Jack's affections. Seizing her opportunity Chrissy seals her victory by using her family connections to permenently ruin Charon's reputation. After undergoing treatment for her tumor Charon eventually gives birth to a daughter, Rebecka, who she endeavors to raise as best she can despite the situation.
Fast forward fifteen years. Charon is an (in)famous figure in Innsmouth society but lavishes love and care on her daughter, who has turned out remarkably well considering the circumstances. However, a chance meeting with Jack (now married to Chrissy and with a daughter of his own) stokes old memories and rivalries between Chrissy and Charon, while Chrissy's daughter Misty is proving that she's her mother's daughter, albeit more devious. While Chrissy ambushing Charon outside a bar with a baseball bat and Misty setting Becka up for a fall at a local party may seem like dramatic antics, the bloody murder of Chrissy's posse by fish monsters and the monsters' own gory deaths thanks to Charon's triggered powers, at the same time as Becka's own powers trigger and draw more monsters to her, hint that all is not right with the world. Especially as the monsters repeat one theme over and over. "Shadowchild. Find. Shadowchild. KILL."
On the run from the police (thanks to Chrissy's post-traumatic blaming of Charon for the murders), mother and daughter must now confront the eldritch powers that are lurking in the shadows of Innsmouth, as an Ancient Conspiracy's plan just hit high gear and the duo are the only ones that have a chance in hell of stopping it.
Shadowgirls is a webcomic created by David Rodriguez and Dave Reynolds that you can read here. Hitting every point from horror to action to comedy to Fan Service, Shadowgirls is a unique but excellent work. Currently done with Season 1, work is currently underway on Season 2, with an epilogue and other side stories, as well as bonus material, filling in the gaps in the meantime.
Shadowgirls provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Subverted.
Becka: "I'm not worried about the party, I'm worried about my mom. If she finds out I left your house to come to a rave, she'll beat me unconscious."
Lin: "Please. Your mom never laid a hand on you."
Becka: "And yet I'm still terrified. Doesn't that say something to you?"
- Action Girl: Charon, Becka, Lin
- Action Mom: Charon
- Adults Are Useless: They're not. At least those that don't need to be rescued from a Fate Worse Than Death. Or the ones working for the bad guys.
- Alpha Bitch: Misty, again. Christmas starts out as one but gets better.
- Alt Text
- Attempted Rape: Becka was lucky, her powers choose that moment to activate.
- Badass Family: Charon and Becka McKay
- Badass Normal: Lin, Christmas appears to be one after she Took a Level In Badass until a flashback reveals she's a Badass Abnormal instead.
- Jack Snow is definitely no slouch as the high-powered attorney with the body of a high school linebacker. Sawyer taking out the EOD guy sent to off him from his hospital bed in a short-range firefight would also qualify.
- Back From the Dead : Becka's grandmother... a.k.a. the Master of the Order of Dagon. Ouch.
- Berserk Button: Do NOT tell Jackson Snow that he spent the past 93 hours awake and away from his family for no reason.
- Say an unkind word about Becka when Charon is within earshot. Go on, try it.
- Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Is she supposed to be the same species as these guys?
- Blondes Are Evil: Misty is the Anthropomorphic Personification of this trope.
- Brick Joke: Remember Chip and his friends? The guys who tried to rape Becka? Charon wasn't quite finished with them
- Brainwashing: The order "speeds up" recruitment and indoctrination by using a very ...disturbing method to do it.
- Cannon Fodder: Mother Hydra used the Slaads this way, knowing they couldn't resist. This leads to Deep One Prime to lead his fellow Deep Ones in a short lived rebellion
- Car Fu: Lampshaded.
Deep One prime: "You need only say the word, and it will be done"
Becca: "Vehicular Homocide."
- Chain of Command: Why does Becka wear that collar anyway?
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: One Deep One or Progenitor is incredibly dangerous, a whole army of them end up getting mowed down by the Shadowchild and the Master
- Cool Loser: Becka.
- Cthulhu Mythos: Both original Lovecraft works and creations of other writers are mentioned.
- Curb Stomp Battle: The end result of Robert and the other Deep Ones attempting to stop Mother Hydra.
- Cute Monster Girl: Chrissy's mother.
- Dark Is Not Evil: When two female protagonists have shadow-based powers, and the primary antagonist is light-based, this one is obvious.
- Date Rape Averted
- Delicious Fruit Pies: Is there nothing that snack cakes can't solve?
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Charon realizes the Shadowchild is trying to mind-control Becka. She rips her out of her daughter's mind with her bare hands.
- Didn't See That Coming: The Master is taken out by Chrissy when she goes Mama Bear regarding Mother Hydra's possession of her daughter.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the "Tantrums" arc of book 2, the mysterious spider-creature's assault on Becka seems to resemble a rape.
- Dogged Nice Guy: * Deconstructed in Flashing Back, where Jackson decides to stand up for himself instead of just being Charon's best friend, on the advice of the "jerk" Charon is seeing, named Gage, who keeps trying to manipulate her into sex. Note that when he does tell her, she reveals that she knew already, and uses the same manipulative techniques Gage used earlier. Gage wanted sex from Charon, and Charon wanted emotional intimacy from Jack. The Dramatic Irony is, we know that Jackson ends up falling in love with, getting married to and having a child with the Alpha Bitch, Chrissy, even though he still loves Charon to some extent, and Charon becomes the town bicycle.
- Eldritch Abomination: Mother Hydra, especially in her true form.
- Enemy Mine: Chrissy and the McKays in the first season, when faced with Misy/Mother Hydra and their threat to all of reality.
- Evil Is Easy: Give the fifteen year old girl a microphone:
Becka: "If you have two choices you can usually tell which one is right. Because it's the hardest one."
- Face Heel Turn: Robert.
- Fan Service: Charon has so much, that when when the creators announced a contest involving drawing the best Halloween costume idea for her, Becka begged readers not to go overboard because her mom can barely keep her clothes on already.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Apparently not only this is a world of Cthulhu Mythos but also vampires, werewolves and aliens. And Lovecraft was a part of organization dedicated to pass the knowledge how to fight them to the rest of humanity, masked as a fiction.
- Fan Nickname: Deep One Prime and Big Purple for Robert.
- I'm proud to say that Granny Gollum has caught on as one for Moira.
- Lindsey Jun Yeoh is also affectionately known to the fan community as The Destroyer.
- Fish People
- Foil: Charon and Christmas, Becka and Misty, Shadowchild and Mother Hydra.
- Foreshadowing Misty's speech bubbles are subtly outlined in yellow, indicating that there's more to her than meets the eye...
- Fusion Dance: Done by Charon and Becka to form/summon the true Shadowchild.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Gone Horribly Right: Removing Charon's "tumor" before she gave birth prevented the full shadow powers from being passed to Becka.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Charon is apparently quite skilled at this, although it helps that she carries around a set of brass knuckles with the word "Bitch" imprinted on them in reverse, so she leaves "Bitch"-shaped bruises where she hits.
- After the fusion dance, the Shadow Girl is carrying a set of eldritch knuckles with runes covering it. Three guesses what they translate to, first two don't count.
- Good Is Not Nice: Played brutally straight, one of the better examples is after Paul stops Lin from killing the Bloodwatch member and then hooks them up to their own brainwashing equipment before leaving. Said equipment is described to leave the victim in a frenzied drugged-out state.
- Girl Posse: and guess who's leading them (or just look at the Alpha Bitch category above).
- Groin Attack: Becca kicks Chip so hard in the balls that he vomits blood.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Christmas "Chrissy" Snow, though she doesn't know it..
- Heel Face Turn: Lin betrayed Becka, but realized what she did and went back to try to save her. They eventually reconcile. Deep One Prime/Robert and his two best friends, after they saw Mother Hydra use their Progenitors/the Slaads as Cannon Fodder. It turns out a bit less successful.
- Christmas in season 2, in a big way.
- Hollywood Cyborg: A few secondary characters.
- Hot Dad: Jackson. Quoth L Insey: "That, and if you're not the hottest dad in Innsmouth I'll turn in my uterus right now."
- Hot Mom: Charon, and she uses it to her advantage. Chrissy as well, when she toned down the bitchiness.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: the Shadowchild is not very different from the beings she fights.
- If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: Played straight with Paul, who stopped Lin from killing the Bloodwatch member that almost Brainwashed him.
- I Know Your True Name: Immensely important, given the value of "true names" in the setting. Becka being willing to tell The Dragon her full name without any fear is regarded as an immensely brave act. Similarly, knowledge of the being the Shadowchild is a fragment of's true name (Nodens) allows her to be summoned the first time.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Christmas "Chrissy" and Mistletoe "Misty" Snow, by the author's own admission
- Interspecies Romance
- Jerk Jock: Chip. But Charon gave him a good lesson.
- Kick the Dog: Misty is good at it, before and after Demonic Possession.
- Lighter and Softer: 'Shadowgirls' might not come across as all that cheery, what with the rampant carnage and monsters... until you compare it to the stuff that Lovecraft himself wrote. This series is vastly more idealistic than most works that connect to the Cthulhu Mythos.
- Case in point: the most honorable creature Becka met "looked like... well... a giant lobster thing". Also, The Little Deep One.
- Light Is Not Good: Mother Hydra
- Loser Son of Loser Dad: Becka and Charon
- Lovecraft Country: The action takes place in Innsmouth. Yes, that Innsmouth.
- Lovecraft Lite: The webcomic is set in Innsmouth, involves the Esoteric Order of Dagon, and has shoutouts to Lovecraft's Shadows over Innsmouth. You also have other things and people working against the Old Ones who manage to pull off a pretty solid win at the end of the first season
- Love Triangle: Even though Jack married Christmas, it took him fifteen years to make a real decision between her and Charon.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: The Master of the Esoteric Order of Dagon is actually Charon's mother, Moira. Charon and Becka are currently unaware of this fact.
- Mama Bear: Charon. Also Chrissy has her moments.
- Mad Scientist
- Meaningful Name: Charon
- Not quite, as it's pronounced differently in the comic.
- Odd Friendship: Christmas and Charon.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Misty/Mother Hydra.
- Parental Abandonment: Charon was raised by her grandmother after her mother abandoned her by faking her death in a fire.
- Chrissy has most likely never met her mother, based on her backstory.
- Really Gets Around: Charon is well-known around town for this.
- Redemption Equals Death: Robert and his friends
- Redemption Promotion: Christmas Snow.
- Save the Villain: Becka regrets she couldn't save Misty, even though she's aware of the possible Alternate Character Interpretation
- Shared Universe: With other webcomics like Starkweather, and with the Cthulhu Mythos.
- And with the RP that exists in the forums. Whenever you see characters like Hera and Tain popping up, that's a forumite crossover.
- Shock Party: Becca almost gets gang-raped in one of these.
- Shout-Out meets Self-Deprecation when one of Starkweather characters insults Shadowgirls and it's creators here. Also, the artist tends to sneak in little Shout Outs to his friends in the art.
- Tell Me About My Father: very awkward, when you don't actually know.
- Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Lampshaded by two Deep Ones here.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Played with for Christmas Snow who gets the moment of revelation but it doesn't seem like it has sunk in yet.
- Took a Level In Badass: Every important female character.
- Any character that has run into the fish people or the EOD and isn't dead, specifically Sawyer and Paul.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Well, it is Innsmouth. . .
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening
- Villainy Discretion Shot: Deep Ones. We know they used to raid and kidnap humans, but don't see much of this. Especially Christmas Snow's mom, who visited the beach with the intent to kill some humans twice, but both times was sidetracked by running straight into the people she doesn't want to harm.
- What Happened to the Mouse??: Christmas Snow being revealed as a half-human half-progenitor hasn't come up since the ritual near the end of Season One.
- That was true until just recently.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Fides.
- X Meets Y: Gilmore Girls meets H.P. Lovecraft - it's the whole premise of this comic.
- ↑ Attempting to put the blame on the target for not wanting to do what the manipulator wants, and using "if you really loved me" ultimatums