Worm-1 is the theme based upon the Worm web serial written by Wildbow. Essentially a story about superheroes and supervillains, Worm tells the story of Taylor Hebert, a young teenage woman who discovers that she has an unusual power and becomes immersed in the secret world of superhero politics, culminating in a series of incredible world-altering events.
In the world of Worm, people with superpowers - termed 'parahumans' - emerged all of a sudden in the year 1982. The first superhero - a golden-skinned man who called himself Scion - appeared to the world out of nowhere, hovering above a random point of the Atlantic Ocean. His first action was to cure a man of cancer with a touch and, from there, Scion proceeded to fly around the world, righting wrongs and saving lives with nary a word. Scion, along with the first generation of superheroes to reveal themselves - the Triumvirate - seemed like benevolent deities.
By 1989, however, the golden age of superheroes had ended. One of them, Vikare, was clubbed over the head as he attempted to quell a riot. He died of a brain aneurysm in hospital. It turned out that the superheroes weren't deities, just people. And people could be flawed. People could be killed. And more and more of the people who developed powers - whom collectively became known as 'capes' - were using them towards simple, selfish ends. By 2011, independent villains and government-regulated heroes exist in a state similar to gang warfare, bound by unspoken rules to prevent undue escalation of parahuman conflict, continually struggling against each other.
It is this element that drives the heart of Worm, the fallible nature of people even when given world-shaking powers and abilities, that people may do the wrong things for the right reasons and vice versa.
Worm is a world standing on a fragile precipice, only just kept from falling over the edge, and many people feel as if there is an apocalypse looming just over the horizon. There are more villains than heroes, thanks to the traumatic 'trigger events' associated with manifesting a parahuman power. However, those villains pale in comparison to the apocalyptic Endbringers, whose world-shaking power can only be matched by Scion himself. It is a very different world to the one we know, one that has been twisted and altered by the minds and powers of parahumans leaving the socio-political state, as well as the day to day life of the average person, irrevocably changed. Still, it is a world that, while the valleys might be deeper and darker, the peaks are that much more higher and brighter to compensate. There are many people doing terrible things but there are almost as many people doing their best to make the world a better place. And maybe - just maybe - that will be enough.
This theme is set in the year 2011, just prior to the beginning of the main storyline concerning Taylor joining with the Undersiders. Unification took place during the Simurgh's attack on Canberra.
Worm can be found at: https://parahumans.wordpress.com/