Looking for some new superhero short stories to add to your collection? Here’s 25 shorts about superheroes young, old, strange and… well, you’ll see.
This is an entire collection of superhero short stories, from Boxfire Press. “Stephen Graham Jones (Zombie Bakeoff, It Came from Del Rio) shows us the business side of being a vigilante. Rebecca Gale (Trying, Boxfire Press 2012) takes us deep into a mine that’s very hungry and Glenn Yonezawa listens in as a sidekick bares his soul in therapy. Connor Thomas Cleary flips the coin and shows us what happens when a henchman is so over his bad-guy boss and Keith Kennedy takes us behind the lines of a true battle between good and evil. Wayne Ligon’s Straight Arrow yearns to hone some new powers and Quincy Jones asks us to consider the psychic anguish of a heartbroken, 30 million year old mind reader.”
This collection isn’t entirely superhero short stories, but it does have one of mine, aptly named Superhero—about a man who becomes a crime fighting vigilante after he learns that he knows when he’s going to die. In 2012, I received a artist’s fellowship grant from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities to turn Superhero into a scripted web series.
18. The last Superhero
The Wagners are a superhero family dynasty who have always protected the city of Coreopolis. The grandpa, John Utticus Wagner, is revered in the superhero community. He’s consistently invited to speak at superhero symposiums, has dined with the President, and has a sterling reputation as a model superhero. Every young superhero wants to be like John Utticus Wagner. Unfortunately, John’s son, Orville Wagner, is not the man his father is. He’s a terrible klutz who always manages to create disasters, like derailing subway trains and accidentally injuring innocent bystanders. Orville is mocked in the superhero community, and the family’s once sterling reputation is tarnished. They no longer are seen as the protectors of Coreopolis. They are the laughingstock of the city. When a new super villian starts terrorizing Coreopolis, it’s up to John, Orville, and Orville’s son, John II, to stop the villain and restore the family’s honor. The question is, can an old man, a klutz, and boy stop a maniacal super villain?More a novella than a short story.
19. Needs Must
Two months ago, cyborg and Nietzsche enthusiast Andrew Patel defeated Atlanta superhero Silverbolt in battle but chose to spare his life. An evening at a charity gala with his girlfriend turns awkward when Patel discovers his host is none other than Silverbolt. Then a gang of armed robbers attacks the party. Now superhero and supervillain must join forces to protect those they hold dear.
Allison Nells knew her brother Jake was on speedster, a highly-addictive drug that gives the user inhuman speed. She knew it was only a matter of time before Superhuman Narcotics questioned her about Jake. She just didn’t expect them to accuse him of murder. Now, faced with the knowledge that Jake may be a killer as well as a drug user, Allison must figure out what to do. But if Jake is as dangerous as the agents believe, her life may be the next one in peril… “Speedster” is a 3,400 word short story mixing science fiction, superhero fiction, and noir, specifically formatted for Kindle.
21. Sacred Heart
“Sacred Heart” is the origin story of a Hispanic-American superhero. The tale is set in San Jacinto, an alternative-universe analog to the modern city of Houston. The hero, a police officer by day and a masked vigilante by night, finds his courage and defines his mission through the heroism of the woman he loves.
22. Sex, Lies and General Competence
What if Superman were gay and still in the closet? What would happen if that were exposed in the wrong sociopolitical climate? Will the superhero known as General Competence survive? This short story also contains a short excerpt from The Future is the Past: A Back to the Future Parody Sequel.
23. Superhero in Disguise
Tori Lewis has followed the rules her whole life. She’s safe and well, heart intact, but there’s always been something odd about her, something hidden. Joe Clarke knows his destiny is to lead the superheroes of Double Bay just as his father before him. Nothing is going to keep him from that path. But on Halloween, no one is who they seem. Quiet girls can pretend to be bold, confident, adventurous. And even a superhero can pretend to be just a man. “Superhero in Disguise” is a short story in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, a prequel to book one, Unexpected Superhero.
24. The Superhero of Small Things
Tired of being trodden on? Tired of seeing bad people getting away with murder? Tired of being a victim? It’s time to fight back. My name is Emily. One day, I read a news report about a kitten being tortured and hurled to its death from a tower block. The person who did this was a 17 year old girl. She was cautioned and banned for keeping animals for 5 years. She received a small fine. This is what a life is worth in our world. She got away with murder. I decided to do something about it. I carried out an anonymous, random act of vengeance. I restored some balance to the world. Since then, I have continued to punish those who make society a worse place for the rest of us. As word of mouth spread, I noticed that other people were beginning to act in the same way. It turns out there are millions of us out there, hiding in the shadows, eager to fight back against the scum. Read my story. Join us.