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A Strong Start

By Mandragons, author of Milgram

Oct 17, 2014: Set in an alternate universe, Citadel starts us off with a time-honored classic; by throwing us in the deep end. I personally found it a bit tricky to follow in the first couple posts, there has been very little worldbuilding. Most of what I do know now had to be picked up as I went along. But don’t let that dissuade you. Citadel is still a newborn, and just needs time to blossom.

As previously stated, Citadel is set in a alternate universe. What I’ve gleaned so far is not positive, in terms of overall health, peace, and prosperity. The Citadel for which the serial is named after is basically what you get when you cross Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters with a militaristic governmental agency. It takes in superpowered men and women (typically teenagers or young adults) and converts them into powerful and badass agents. The world they inhabit is not a friendly place, and neither is the Citadel.

That being said, there are some new ideas for the whole ‘superhero academy’ theme. Already, we have seen fresh faced recruits beat their helpless classmates, nearly to the point of death, over and over again. While this may seem overly brutal to some of you, just remember the world they inhabit. Like I said before, there is little worldbuilding so far. What we do know is that violence, slaughter, mayhem, and war seem to occur around the globe on a regular basis. It makes sense to train your agents to fight fire with fire.

The stars of the story are interesting so far as well. A powerful man, haunted by some bloody trauma in his past. A boy who can suck the life out of you with a glance, forced to deal with this power for nearly his whole life. A shapeshifter who struggles with their sense of gender and identity. A likable self-duplicator who appears to have grander plans for the world. You’ve surely seen some of these types of characters in other forms of media, but they are still interesting to read about and follow. Citadel is still young, and will hopefully develop these people more as we go along.

For a relative newcomer on the scene of superhero web serials, Citadel is already a strong story. The posts have been frequent, the content interesting, and the premise novel. The characters appear to be complex so far, though we have yet to really dive into their psyche’s. All in all, Citadel is a good read. I recommend it to people who aren’t afraid of violence, who enjoy superhero fiction, and who are on the lookout for a writer with quite a bit of potential.

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