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Imagine if the world's nations started an entirely different arms race. One where they strived to create the most powerful superhuman, either to solve some problem plaguing the nation or, more obviously, as a weapon. This is the world of Supergod.
Created by Warren Ellis, this is his third miniseries for Avatar Press that deals with superhumans. Black Summer had superhumans who were too human, and No Hero's superhumans were inhuman. In Supergod, the superhumans just aren't human at all anymore. They don't see the world the same way you do. Or at least that's what the drunken Unreliable Narrator keeps telling us. Their thinking and morality is claimed to be on an entirely alien level, and their ways of solving problems are truly monstrous.
The mini-series lasted for 5 issues, from October, 2009 to December, 2010.
- After the End: The series starts with a scientist (Simon Reddin) recounting how a war between the superhumans destroyed the world.
- Apocalypse How: Class 3a Possibly leaning towards Class 5 in the end since the only sure survivor is an Eldritch Abomination. Pockets of humanity are holding out in bunkers, but the world is pretty much finished.
- Arc Words: Mushrooms grow on dead things.
- Beware the Superman: A running theme in Ellis' work for Avatar Press thus far. See also Black Summer and No Hero.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The "superheroes".
- Body Horror: This is Maitreya's specialty. His first act was even transforming dozens of humans into a musical instrument, and the rest into a biological space probe.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Dajjal seems to be talking to the reader during his introduction.
- Cool Versus Awesome: Just about every battle qualifies, but issue two gives us a dead astronaut versus a dead cosmonaut. The astronaut is a cyborg, the cosmonaut is a human brain inside of a robot body.
- Covers Always Lie: See the page picture? That guy on it never really makes an appearance, or at least, none of the "heroes" wear the traditional superhero garb.
- Crapsack World: And the supergods only made it worse.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Every battle against Krishna ends up being one of these. Until the end, that is.
- Cyborg: Jerry Craven and Perun.
- Did You Just Curb Stomp Cthulhu: Krishna vs. Maitreya.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The scientists kneeling in prayer and masturbation before the undead abomination Morrigan Lugus. Shown on-panel, thankfully not in graphic detail.
- Deity of Human Origin: Lots of them.
- Driven to Suicide: Reddin. The final panels show him going to sacrifice himself to his undead "God", Morrigan Lugus.
- Eldritch Abomination: Morrigan Lugus. Physically it's a three-faced giant composed of the bodies of a trio of unfortunate astronauts fused with a mass of alien mushrooms. Mentally it's an entity beyond human comprehension whose mere presence warps the human mind. Also, in the final issue Maitreya builds Cthulhu out of an untold amount of people and rides on its shoulder to do battle with Krishna.
- Festering Fungus: Morrigan Lugus to a truly horrifying extent.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: One of the creepiest aspects of Morrigan Lugus. In spite of being a huge bloated undead abomination, its presence biochemically forces human brains into a state of religious and sexual ecstasy, making the humans kneel before it in prayer and masturbation. Oh, and the same spores that have this effect on the brain also destroy the lungs - the first batches of scientists died.
- God Is Flawed: The concept of "God" is a flawed concept caused by a biological flaw in the evolution of mankind. Thus, trying to create Gods would have been a very very bad idea... even if you didn't weaponize them... and base them on flawed humans.
- Good Is Not Nice: Maitreya is initially portrayed this way, with him brutally liberating the political prisoners he was ordered to murder.
- Hive Mind: Reddin has the (probably foolish) hope that Morrigan Lugus absorbs mental aspects of the (now billions of) people it grows on.
- How We Got Here
- Hope Spot: Most of Chapter 5 - Krishna, satisfied that he's decreased India's population to sustainable levels, stops killing and starts rebuilding, infinitely better than before. He Curb Stomps Maitreya. Jerry Craven surrenders without a fight, saying he's tired of war. Then...
- Humanoid Abomination: Several of the Supergods, especially Maitreya, Malak and Dajjal, although Dajjal's pushing the limits of "humanoid"...
- I Love the Dead: The scientists kneeling in prayer and masturbation before the undead abomination Morrigan Lugus. Shown on-panel, thankfully not in graphic detail.
- It Got Worse: From the beginning we know that the world ends up getting wrecked, but somehow Ellis manages to make each issue hit harder and harder until the very end. Ras goes nuclear in Somalia. Libertador goes nuclear in Venezuela. The environment is ruined. Chunks of the moon are raining down on Earth. Coastal cities are flooded. Parts of continents are lost. Humanity is mostly extinct. Jerry Craven surrenders to Krishna, who kisses him on the lips - then Dajjal shows up and basically says, "The Singularity is boring! Kill'Em All!" - and detonates his power source, destroying most of Eurasia along with Jerry Craven and Krishna. And in the words of the narrator: "Finally, things got as worse as they could." Morrigan Lugus, the last surviving superhuman/weaponised god, inherits the Earth. Just as planned. Mushrooms grow on dead things.
- Jesus Was Crazy: The narration about "JC" builds up in this direction, but ultimately averts it as JC instead turns out to be the Only Sane Man who tries to make peace with Krishna.
- The Omniscient: Dajjal can see emergent timelines and the new timelines born from every action.
- Organic Technology: Morrigan Lugus to an extent. The narrator claims that it's a mycological computer on a meat substrate; in other words, a fungal computer.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Defied to the point of mankind's extinction. Morrigan Lugus claimed that faith itself is a biological flaw, and implied that a technological civilization that fails to transcend this flaw cannot survive.
- Porn Stash: When asked why he exists, Morrigan Lugus says a lot of unflattering things about mankind and himself. His concluding remark is that he is their stash.
- He's also referring to being their drug stash; "Religion is the opium of the masses," after all, and he explains how acts of worship induce the production of naturally in the body occurring drugs.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Morrigan Lugus gives one to a younger Reddin. One of Warren Ellis' better speeches in a career full of great ones, this one on the failure of religion to encourage ethical behavior and the failure of humans to transcend that failure. See the quotes page for the whole Wall of Text.
- Rule of Creepy: Basic premise for the entire work, it seems. And the author really goes out of his way.
- Morrigan Lugus's origin combines that of the Fantastic Four (space as the trigger for superpowers) and The Quatermass Experiment (three astronauts are fused with an alien spore that has the potential to end life on Earth). Warren Ellis is a known fan of Nigel Kneale.
- Dajjal has Doctor Manhattan's power and even less humanity.
- Jerry Craven is the Six Million Dollar Man  With a Significant Monogram that make him the true champion of Eagle Land.
- Sliding Scale of Unavoidable Versus Unforgivable: The narrator ponder this a lot, especially regarding the actions of the various supergods.
- Stealth Pun: The narrator comments on Maitreya making a "musical instrument" and a space probe shortly after his awakening. They resemble a penis, or "meat whistle", and an over-sized spermatozoa, respectively.
- Surrogate Soliloquy: Simon Reddin records his thoughts for an unseen listener (on what would appear to be a tape recorder) as if he's actually having a conversation with the other person. Considering that the other person is said to be in America, the world is ending and the human race is pretty much gonna die, the chances of the other party receiving the message are pretty low.
- Taking You with Me: Dajjal takes this to genocidal levels, killing off a billion people and dooming the world as a part of his suicide. To make it worse, he claim to do it simply because he's bored.
- Unreliable Narrator: Reddin's drunk, depressed, hungry, medicated, traumatized and horny. He does mention that his actual inside information is limited, and some of the stuff we see is just his speculations. He also mentions that he wasn't exactly considered sane before things started going to hell either.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: How Krishna approaches India's problems.
- Walking Wasteland: Malak.
- Would Be Rude to Say Genocide: At the end, JC claims that he doesn't think Krishna has done anything wrong at all. After Krishna did his own little Final Solution on a large part of the population of India. And yes, this earns JC an Only Sane Man pedestal from the Unreliable Narrator (although it's pretty clear that neither are exactly sane by that point).
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Pretty much all of the scientists, politicians and bureaucrats behind the various Supergod projects.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: Krishna is, among other things, a super-advanced AI programmed to protect India. Naturally, he starts with protecting it from overpopulation.
- ↑ Actually, he cost six point five billion dollars to make.