Union Dues is a series of short superhero stories by Jeffrey R. DeRego. Superhero is an interesting genre if that's even the right word. It has one core premise, people will be doing exciting things dressed in flashy costumes. As far as I can tell that's it. I think you might even be able get away with dropping the exciting things part though I've never seen it tried. While most superhero fiction fits quite neatly into the adventure story genre, it works just fine for horror, comedy, drama, and romance.

Union Dues stick mostly to the tried and true action with a side of drama angle. If the series has a hook it's the slow reveal of the Union and the setting more generally. At the start the Union appears to be a Justice League type institution albeit on a larger scale. What differentiates this from the Standard Marvel/DC fair is the sense of tension between super humans and muggles. Superheroes have been around for a few generations and law enforcement clearly doesn't like them from story one. As the tales progress the Union begins to look more and more fascistic both toward their own members and to the rest of the world.

And that's where this series got me and pulled me in. What is the Union? How did it get this way? Why all of the lies? Why are there only five types of powers? What's up with this alternate history timeline? Is this USA really this messed up or are we just getting the distorted views of indoctrinated Union members? When I decided to pursue the entire series I was afraid that these question weren't going to be addressed or the answer would be some hand waving garbage but it wasn't. DeRego made compelling superhero setting where I still don't know who the good guys and bad guys are. But that's just me. I think any number of people could read these stories and come away thinking the good guys and bad guys were perfectly clear. That's real moral ambiguity. If you want some unusual superhero fare what I believe to be the entire series is availible here. Be warned it gets really dark in some places.

IRON NODER: WE'LL RUST WHEN WE'RE DEAD

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