"Sometimes you have to wear tights."

This is my favorite FanFiction of all time.

My experience reading the Fanfic

I found RMWT back in high school. I think it was early-to-mid high school, but I know I was definitely reading it by mid-to-late high school. I cannot recall if my friend at my final high school introduced me to it or if I read it beforehand and then found out she was reading it, too. I like to think it was the former though, because I was definitely into Homestuck and JohnKat was my OTP for YEARS before I switched schools and I read a ton of fanfiction.

So yeah, like I said, JohnKat was my OTP and then somehow I found or was introduced to this fic. And as a fangirl, it is like finding pure gold or diamonds when you find a fanfic of your OTP written by an amazing team of experienced writers who thoroughly edit and also illustrate (?!?!?!) the whole fic. I've been keeping up with RMWT for YEARS now because it is just THAT GREAT. I was like the characters ages when I started reading and now I just feel old. I went from being a student and dumb happy-go-lucky kid to a (debatably) boring adult who is at the point where I pay attention to global politics and read acts Congress is trying to pass and I care about the E C O N O M Y... but I still check back on this fics blog at least once a year to see if it has updated yet.

RMWT takes FOREVER to update. For any n00bs, the ship captain really seems to be SeargeantMeow (or Sarge) right now, but historically it was SeargeantMeow AKA Sarge (writer), Bananaramses AKA Kel (writer/editor), and Panicismyrain AKA Panic (illustrator). Apologies to Sarge if you edited with Bananaramses collaboratively in the past and I didn't properly credit you. I'm just going off of what I remember from the years I followed the blog, but it has been a HOT MINUTE since I thouroughly re-read the fic and followed the blog as intensely as I once did. But anyway, Sarge also seems to be the primary webmaster/blog updater. After the first maybe six(?) chapters of the fic, Panic seemed to hit a rough patch in life and stepped down from being the primary illustrator on the fic. And after Panic, Jove-bluh AKA Jove came in to fill that role also supplying the fic with a new, beautiful art style that thankfully wasn't too far of a jump from Panic's distinct style.

It is the collaboration between the team members and also allowing the artist plenty of time to read and then illustrate after the chapter writing is done that makes the fic sometimes take over a full year to release a new chapter. But when that chapter drops with the full art, the moment is so sweet. You can tell how much love they put into the characters and the dialogue. I don't even read Homestuck anymore, like, I could barely get through the Epilogues. And now as an adult, it's kind of hard for me to go back and reread parts since I'm viewing it through adult eyes. My obsession has faded, it was fun during the time I was younger, and now I've moved on mostly. But Sarge and Kel did such a great job of making their versions of the characters and their development so perfect for their story that those versions of the Homestuck characters are almost seperate distinct versions. It's almost like they took the basic template Homestuck laid out for each of those characters' traits and really gave them more thorough development to the point that I like RMWT AU John waaaaaay more than OG Homestuck John. Homestuck John seems to do the "right thing" to be a hero and because he is set up as a kind of "chosen one" but really he's just a guy, and also kind of a jerky kid who gets annoyed with his dad but is sad once he actually loses him. Things happen in the Homestuck world because they are written to happen as part of the DNA of Billious Slick. Events happen as a chain of events that is simultaneously being decided by the characters, but is also predestined which makes character development kind of... secondary. The focus is more on the sequence of events and how timeline interact. RMWT John does the right thing because he had good role models. He isn't just a guy pre-destined to do the superhero thing (or at least that isn't what the story is telling yet). He is unique for his wind powers, but heroes already exist in semi-abundance. He's gone through years of training and has the support (and seemingly, protection) from his dedicated father. He has examples to follow and a sense of civic duty to a continuously existing world which a far cry from Homestuck John who has to help create a new universe and narrowly escape the pre-determined destruction of his whole universe.

Homestuck John can come off more A-hole-ish because literally anyone would if they experienced that much trauma and if they understood the true nature of their universe and destiny as being totally pre-determined yet also malleable/having off-shoots and their existence as only a single blip relevant only to a greater plan that doesn't give a shit about you as a person. But remove all of that and what John do you have? Age him up, make the nature of his powers and weapons use or training totally different. You get a totally different person who behaves differently with different motivations. I just still can't get over how well of a job they did!

I should stop my disorganized fangirl rambling and get back to my experience reading this. In late high school, my friends also read this fic. During our lunch break, sometimes we talked about recent chapters and also what we hoped would happen next. We all loved JohnKat as a pairing and loved superheroes and were Homestuck weebs so it was like a perfect storm. One of my friends even drew fanart of Hemogoblin and I think she submitted it to their tumblr blog years ago. I remember seeing it on their feed. I also submitted a screenshot of my Animal Crossing: New Leaf character in a custom-designed Hemogoblin outfit, and I know that was up on their blog feed at one point. The interactive elements really added to my early experience following this fic. At that time, Homestuck was still ongoing, I was still making and doing cosplay, at least two of my friends were reading the fic, we made fanart together, and the writing team for the fic acknowledged our work and love for the story directly which you know we were sharing and chatting about the next day over our school lunches. It was a good time to be alive and into this. But even now, I believe the fic is good enough to stand on its own and be gripping without that external experience.

I believe that if you were once a Homestuck fan and if you like superhero stories, you should go ahead and read this fic. I even think you could read this fic without having ever read Homestuck! But if you have read Homestuck, it is obviously a bonus to have a basic understanding of who the characters originally were and what the relationship and the world-building is based on or changed from. Understanding the basic synopsis of Homestuck helps to understand the reason for the existence of Trolls in the RMWT superhero Alternate Universe. But even still, RMWT is so distinct that the team (or Sarge) might be able to write a version with main character names changed and write out Trolls as a species and sell the story as an indie superhero story. I think it would detract from the fun of the story for those of who know Homestuck, but I wtill think it is possible. If Sarge ever decided to just... change the copyrighted parts that way and rework the story a little and sell it, I would buy it so fast. I have the fic and art saved in a Word Doc and have contemplated hand-binding it into a physical novel myself. I also have it saved because I just love it that much and would be literally destroyed if it was ever taken down. My goal is to also eventually archive all the fanart and blog posts and the blog itself because, again, I would be literally DESTROYED if it got removed. When the tumblr "Female-presenting Nipple" and smut ban was enacted, I was losing my shit scared that RMWT and all that loving work from the creators and the fans would get dashed all at once. I watched for weeks constantly. But the difference now is that the blog survived and I'm an adult who has learned about the data-hoarder scene. So as long as I have storage for it, I am committed to archiving the blog and the fic if I can figure out how.