City of Zeroes

City of Zeroes

City of Zeroes is a popular webcomic that centers upon the lives of several civilians in City of Heroes, an online game where you can play as a superhero. City of Zeroes is run by Derek Sweet. It began in October 25, 2004, originally only appearing once per week, and then it started being released twice per week on March 27, 2006. The comic is a very interesting take on the "City of..." universe because instead of focusing on the heroes and villains like so many other webcomics for this game do, it discuses the issues involved in being a citizen in Paragon City. Because of the nature of the game, citizens are constantly subjected to abuse so that the game players have someone to save and thus gain experience.

There is also a comic book format of the strip available for free viewing on the site that is a joint project with Roan Moore.


Primary Characters

* Derek: One of the two primary characters. A cynical, yet slightly sadistic man who lives in Paragon City. His best friend is Dar'k. He tends to hate heroes and can abuse alcohol, drugs, or tobacco at times.

* Dar'k: Derek's best friend. He tends to be calmer and more mellow than Derek, though can hold an extreme grudge. Plays the innocent lovable geek.

* Sketch: A friend of Dar'k and Derek. He is even calmer than Dar'k at times, yet can be very quick to anger. He has an uncle who farms pumpkins. He is Denise's cousin by marriage which was an issue of some controversy in the comic.

* Denise: Originally introduced as Dar'k's love interest, she eventually became more of a character in her own right later. She is dating Sketch, who is her cousin by marriage which was an issue of some controversy in the comic.

* Lt. Baykin: A depressed police officer who pushes around civilians because he cannot take on the super-powered thugs of Paragon City. He lost a hand when he once stood up to a zombie.

* Mimi: The least seen of the main characters. She is continually trying to get lucky with a superhero.

* Salty Pete: A sailor/pirate/secret agent that Dar'k met while on his trip to the Rogue Isles. Is delusional and often hallucinates.

* Muhammad: The only gay character in all of City of Zeroes. Originally showed up in reference to the Danish Muslim Cartoon controversy. Later became involved in some of the storylines and was responsible for goading Dar'k into robbing a bank and turning himself into a villain as a result.

Lesser Known Characters

* Goth Guy: Not a lot is known about this character. He wears all black and has long black hair. He has never been given an official name but has appeared in the background a few times and even starred in a couple comics.

* Q't$#R: Has appeared very infrequently. Only seen in the very early days of the comic. Very generic looking character. Had a short interaction with Mimi before getting eletrocuted. Also known as Agurrk.


City of Zeroes generally explores concepts that are meant to confuse and perplex the brain, while still being hilarious, as well as critique or praise aspects of City of Heroes. To say that this comic strip is simply for entertainment would be misleading, as it often touches on issues of a philosophical nature. One of the primary examples of this is how the main character, Derek, is constantly trying to figure out this universe he is trapped in. The comic book project with Roan Moore is a deep example of this obsession of his as the entire plot is focused around Derek discovering that he is actually inside a video game. This story was very well received by the "City of..." community and has been lauded as an exceptional achievement in storytelling, leaving the game universe and even breaking into the real world at times.

Individual storylines permeate the strip comic series, such as when Dar'k became a villain, when Derek and Dar'k visited the Rogue Isles, and when multiple versions of Derek's self appeared from the future to save the present-time Derek's life. Some one-off comics were eventually developed into storylines after positive fan response.

Some notable storylines include:

*Dar'k Journey: Dar'k gets trapped in the Rouge Islands and Derek, Sketch, Denise go to save him. Notable for being the first lengthy storyline, most previous comics were independent of one another or only a few strips in story length.

*The Christmas Arc: Derek gets mistaken for a hero after one goes insane. Hilarity ensues.

*War Zeroes: Dar'k stands up for himself and turns into a villain. Derek is tricked into helping the heroes fight the Rikti. Generally considered to be the best storyline by fans.

*Funny Fish: Derek buys a fish that is supposedly funny. Developed into a story arc after fans responded positively.


City of Zeroes has a moderate and dedicated following. Many comment upon topics such as politics and the weather in a section dedicated to such comments beneath each comic. Throughout the history of the comic there have been two supergroups and one villain group focused around the comic, most notable of them was "Zero Tolerance" in which all the heroes were made up to look like citizens with special powers.

Derek Sweet is also an active writer and comedian, and occasionally posts material for people to comment on.

External links

* [ Main Website]
* [ Warcry Mirror]
* [ IGN Mirror]
* [ Mirror]
* [ Coldfront Mirror]
* [ Entry]

News Articles

* [ WarCry coverage of Issue #3 release]
* [ Gameamp coverage of Issue #3 release]
* [ Gamercircle coverage of Costume Contest]
* [ Coldfront coverage of Issue #2 release]
* [ PlayGirlz coverage of City of Zeroes Game]

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