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Wingfic is a fanfiction genre in which one or more human characters sprouts a pair of wings.
Fanfic written for a fandom in which the character canonically has wings (e.g. Good Omens) is usually not considered wingfic. However, as a response to a surge of wingfic, a Good Omens writer came up with wingless fic, wherein canonically winged characters suddenly and inexplicably lose them. Wingfic can be whimsical, but it can also be much darker in tone.
Backstory for the presence of wings varies:
- The winged character is an angel.
- The winged character was experimented upon, exposed to radiation, etc.
- No explanation is given.
- The wings may appear suddenly.
- The character may have had the wings all along.
- Other characters may or may not be surprised that the character has wings.
History of the Genre
The exact date of the emergence of wingfic as a genre is uncertain. It might have already existed in Professionals fandom. The popularization of wingfic most likely originated in the anime fandom, where canon characters are more likely to have wings or to simply be depicted with wings in advertising promos. One of the earliest and better known examples of wingfic would be Natalie Baan's appropriately titled "Wings."
Wingfic was definitely visible in popslash by 2001. Since popslash was a mixing fandom, many media fans met anime fans for the first time (and vice versa). From popslash, wingfic spread to Lotrips, where it became wildly popular. Its popularity in Lotrips even inspired a few horn!fic and tail!fic stories in which horns and/or tails were either a surprise or, in AU fics, normal. Once a rare bird, wingfic is now observed quite regularly in most fandoms. See also fannish osmosis.
Fannish wingart certainly existed prior to 2001, and so did wingfic. For example, Marilyn Cole drew a winged Spock for Naked Times #12 in 1986. And the story Styx and Stones from 1987 by Alexis Fegan Black is wingfic that had an illustration of a winged Spock.
- The wings, Spock recalled, had mysteriously grown from his back when he had felt a need for aeriel surveying of his new world. It had begun with what he’d thought a skin irritation of some sort; and, unable to see himself in any type of reflective surface, he had not understood what was happening until the transformation was complete.
- And yet… Jim was lost.
- Even the wings of a guardian could not shielded him from whatever dreams he was living in the darkest regions of his unconscious mind.
- There was one other Spock had learned to do and, dropping his head into his hands, the pale soft wings trembling as his shoulders heaved, he began to weep.
The Theban Band's art suggests that wingfic existed in the X-Files fandom as well. They had a winged Krycek on their manip site as early as 1999, and other winged Mulder and Krycek manips soon followed. In 2000, these images were part of the fantasy section of the site, together with other hybrids. By 2001, winged characters had their own subpage, and in 2002, there was a subsection on the fantasy page that was called wings. The Theban Band's website has a disclaimer on every page stating that "these images are manipulated to illustrate these characters as portrayed in slash fanfiction and are in no way intended to represent the actors who play these characters."
- Bandom (Fall Out Boy): Marabou. by provetheworst. Pete/Patrick slash. Pete's wings appear without explanation. (2006)
- Bandom (My Chemical Romance): An Inexplicable Occurrence of Angels by stele3. Frank/Gerard. Frank is an angel. (2007)
- Gokusen: Wing!Crackfic by anenko. Sawada Shin/Yamaguchi Kumiko, het. Kumiko's wings are an inherited trait. (2008).
- Harry Potter: Chains of Earth by dysonrules. Harry/Draco slash. Draco is forced to drink a potion that gives him wings. (2010)
- Inception: Technically a Virtue by mirabella. Arthur/Eames slash. Eames forges himself wings for a job. (2010).
- K-pop (Dong Bang Shin Ki): Touched By an Angel by Rana Eros. Jaejoong/Yunho, Junsu/Yoochun. Yunho is an angel. (2008)
- Merlin: I Could’ve Been One Of Those Things First by hackfirst. Merlin accidentally gives Arthur wings. Arthur/Merlin (2009)
- Merlin: The Dragon Within by gfeather. In the aftermath of the Great Dragon’s attack on Camelot, the city is left with the enormous task of recovering from all it has lost. Left a broken man by the loss of Morgana and Kigharrah’s fiery rampage, Uther’s rule begins to fail. Arthur finds himself struggling to hold the kingdom together while Merlin slowly begins to discover all that becoming a Dragonlord entails. Arthur/Merlin. (2012)
- Naruto: Wings! by emmykay. Kakashi/Iruka, yaoi. Modern AU. Kakashi is an angel. (2012)
- Prince of Tennis: Flight by kishmet. Tezuka/Ryouma, yaoi, AU. Ryouma has always had wings. (2006)
- Sherlock BBC: A City In The Head Of A Pin by mad_maudlin. John wakes up from the explosion by the pool to discover that he can see wings on the backs of people who were previously without them. These wings are apparently magical enough to not be bothered by clothing and chairs, and real enough to block the telly. (2010). No pairings.
- The Social Network: .on the wings of complete and utter inconvenience by thisissirius. Mark Zuckerberg/Eduardo Saverin, slash. Mark's wings appear without explanation. (2011)
- Stargate Atlantis: And You Loathe the Ground by sardonicsmiley. McShep slash. 100,000+ words of Rodney-gets-wings whump. (2009)
- Starsky and Hutch: Starsky's Wings by Allie. Gen. Starsky starts to grow wings. Because. Inspired fanart by Nicol Tyler.
- Supernatural: Every Me and Every You by runedgirl. Sam/Dean slash. For a year, Dean is cursed to have wings and Sam a tail. It makes hunting kind of tricky. (2010)
- Tsubasa Chronicle: Haibane by Mikkeneko. Gen. The characters take on the physical characteristics of the worlds they travel to; they travel to one where people have wings. (2010)
- X: Wings by Natalie Baan. Kamui/Subaru, yaoi. ? (1998)
- Beauty and the Beast: Winged Vincent by Rita Terrell, possibly from the zine A Life Without Limits. (1990s)
- Harry Potter: Anakim by Stella Moon, from Chains of Earth by dysonrules (Draco Malfoy, digital painting, 2010).
- Merlin: Winged Merlin by Itzcoatl (Acrylic on canvas board, 2010).
Gallery of Wing Art
cover of Angelfood, a Blake's 7 zine (2002)
Starsky from Starsky & Hutch
Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap
Ray Doyle from The Professionals
Sam Winchester from Supernatural
Sherlock from Sherlock (BBC)
Avon from Blake's 7
Resources & Related Links
- Some Blind Hand - listing of popslash wingfic
- unruffled - Lotrips wingfic Livejournal community
- Mergatrude's WINGFIC Master List for due South and C6D
- Ratcreature's SGA thematic list: Wingfic
- Thematic list: Canon characters with wings in Harry Potter fic
- Wingfic themed list of J2 fic at J2-recs
- Fanworks tagged with "wingfic" on Archive of Our Own.
- Wingfic tag on Pinboard.
- Flights of Angels by Daegaer.
- See Talk:Wingfic.
- "Wings" was originally posted to Aestheticism in 1998.
- comment posted by wax_jism
- See the story header for Alulae by Megolas.
- Collected Short Stories by Alex Fegan Black, Styx & Stones - summary. (Accessed 12 January 2010)
- The Theban Band - Fantasy, via Wayback, archived 2000. Mulder and Krycek are sometimes depicted as angels, sometimes as demons with horns and tails. (Accessed 08 November 2008)
- The Theban Band - Angels, via Wayback, archived 2001. The subpage was called Angels, but it already had TBwings.html in its URL, and there were examples of winged Methos and Scully too. (Accessed 08 November 2008)
- The Theban Band - Fantasy, via Wayback, archived 2002. (Accessed 08 November 2008)