The Z Universe

My superhero fiction takes place in the Z Universe, so named after Z City, the most important metropolis in the stories.

(Plus, Z is a cool, easy-to-remember letter, ain’t it?)

Much like the Marvel and DC comic book universes, characters, themes, and locations overlap between my various series.

While it’s not necessary to read every one of my novels to understand what’s going on (though I sure wish you would devour every word I write!), reading all of them will give you a deeper understanding of the universe, with its amazing characters, powerful factions, and epic confrontations.

The reading order of the stories that take place in the Z Universe:

Double Lives – Johnny Wagner, Godlike PI Book One

Primal Nature – Johnny Wagner, Godlike PI Book Two

The World Savers – The Elites Book One

The Compassionate Assassin

Rogue Superheroes – The Elites Book Two

Nightfall – The Elites Book Three

Here are some locations in Z City that are mentioned frequently throughout the stories:

Midtown: the financial and business hub of the city.

Bootheel: the blue-collar section. The residents here are salty and anti-authority, and the buildings are often rundown or “historic.”

Forest Hills: a suburb on the edge of the city. Your standard suburb: white picket fences, two-car garages, few trees.

The Garden: where the wealthy live. The area is too large to be gated, but the people who live here wish it was. Mansions, perfectly-manicured lawns, servants maintaining statuary and cobblestone paths, smugness.

Jameson Bay: the large body of water the city sits nearby. Reasonably unpolluted. Z City has a fair-sized port, and commercial fishing is still a viable industry.

Ironrock Island: a small island in the center of Jameson Bay. Home of MegaMax Prison and the Superhuman Detention Center, the prison and jail, respectively, for superpowered criminals. Unlike other facilities that house superhumans, MegaMax has few breakouts.

Organizations and groups important to the stories:

The Division of Superhuman Crime (DSC): Located in Z City, this organization is supposed to prosecute crimes committed by superhumans, as its name indicates, but society’s fear of superhumans – combined with the machinations of the DSC’s chief prosecutor, Damien Woodruff – has allowed the DSC to become immensely powerful. Currently its tendrils are reaching into every aspect of superhuman affairs – but that may change, if Woodruff is toppled or a determined hero challenges the DSC’s authority….

The Elites: the world’s greatest superteam – usually. There are various incarnations of the team, and each version has its own strengths and weaknesses. To see exactly what happens to the Elites, read the stories! Primal Nature is the best starting point, and of course the Elites series details their adventures.

Superhuman Support Squad (SSS, or Triple S): a coalition of unpowered humans and superheroes, funded by various U.S. government agencies. The idea is for highly-skilled humans to support, train, and partner on missions with fledgling superheroes. Not only will this make the superheroes more effective, it will increase understanding between superhumans and normal humans. The casualty rate for humans in the Squad is astronomical, for obvious reasons, and plenty of would-be superheroes also never make it out of the gate.

Department of Superhuman Affairs (DSA): the Cabinet-level department tasked with monitoring, coordinating, and regulating all things superhuman. Like Z City’s Division of Superhuman Crime, the DSA’s mandate is far-reaching, but it’s not as corrupt…yet.

More to be added as needed. There are a million things that could go here, but I want the worldbuilding of the stories to do the work!

If you’ve read any of the Z Universe novels and feel like I need to list something, drop me a line.