The Common People

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Synonyms: TCP
See also: The Common People Warehouse
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The Common People (TCP) was a genre of Marvel Comics fanfiction created by Kielle and Phil Foster and focusing on the ordinary people of the Marvel universe. The first story was posted by Phil in August 1996[1], and was defined as a genre by Kielle.

No superheroes. No superheroic events as seen in the comics except perhaps as a background. No existing Marvel characters except perhaps mentioned in passing, as you might mention a celebrity or a notorious felon in our world. TCP is about what the everyday person's life might be like in the Marvel Universe."[2].

The concept was further solidified by David J. Warner as he provided a guideline to writing the stories, in his post announcing his archive collecting the TCP stories in August 1996:


The idea behind The Common People anthology is that there are other mutants in the Marvel Universe that we never see, and we're all curious as to how this affects their lives and the lives of those around them. When writing a story for this anthology, be sure to follow these simple guidelines:

1. The stories must primarily be about original characters. Established Marvel characters should have no more than a small cameo part in any story (if any part at all).

2. The general subject of the story must be about 'normal' life - the idea being to portray mutants among normal society, eating dinner, going out, working, watching TV, going on holiday etc. Obviously, you should try to leave this as open as possible - avoid the sorts of superhero-saving-the-world-fighting-group-of-evil-mutants storylines we read in the comics all the time.

3. Spandex costumes are only allowed on established Marvel characters, and probably shouldn't feature too heavily in the story.

META: The Common People anthology, acff googlegroups, August 20, 1996

The first TCP stories were posted to, and then to the Outside the Lines mailing list. Its original archive was The Common People Warehouse, which went through several incarnations before winding up at With Kielle's death in 2005, her partner Laersyn allowed Sevenall to transfer the archive to This version, called Tales of the Common People, closed in November 2016. The full archive was initially transferred to AO3 in April 2016 but the TCP section (and Sevenall's own fics) appears to not have been included[3].

TCP stories were collected on other archives: for example, a number appear under the "Miscellaneous"[4] section of; and Fonts of Wisdom collected many of the earlier stories under the "X-Men Stories Just Because[5]" section.

In 2017, Nitocris started their own TCP collection in tribute to Kielle and in the hopes it would generate renewed interest in the genre and there is a Common People (Marvel Universe) tag on AO3. There is also a Common People Challenge tag on AO3 which allows for non-mutant stories.

When the Common People Warehouse went down, it held at least 357 stories by 161 authors.[6] However, this did not include all TCP stories. X rated stories were not archived, nor did Kielle accept every submission[7].

Notable Fanworks


  1. ^ a b Xmen: The Common People, 1/1 acff post by Hawk, Aug 5, 1996
  2. ^ META: The Common People anthology, acff David J Warner, Aug 20, 1996
  3. ^ - AO3
  4. ^ Comicfict.Net - All miscellaneous stories by title
  5. ^ Fonts of Wisdom: X-Men Stories Just Because
  6. ^ The Common People Warehouse (Accessed by Wayback 12 September 2009) However, the last update listed is November 2001, and I believe the archive was up, and possibly still being updated, several more years thereafter.
  7. ^ Explanations and Rules of the The Common People Warehouse (Accessed by Wayback 12 September 2009)