Subject: The Case File of John Phoenix: An Inexplicable Ace Attorney Fanfic Phenomenon
Posted on: 2020-07-18 04:09:07 UTC
So I want to preface this by saying that even if you don’t know Ace Attorney, you should stick around, because you don’t really need to know the canon to understand how bizarre this is.
Earlier today, I decided to look at the Ace Attorney section on FFN at the behest of Silv, after she ran out of badfic to spork in the #badfic channel of the Discord. And I found a phenomenon that is entirely inexplicable, allegedly managed to get an OC added to FFN’s fandom tags, and is surprisingly recent. Like, this year recent.
As a note, I’d recommend exercising caution when following any of the following hyperlinks/doing your own investigation. There’s just so much that I’m not confident I’ll be able to catch every single potentially-applicable content warning.
THE OC (and original story)
Allow me to introduce you to John Phoenix, uncanonical nephew of Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney (born to Phoenix’s uncanonical sister). John Phoenix first appeared in the story The Adventures of John Phoenix, released on February 17th, 2020. It’s an introduction to the titular character, John Phoenix, who is painfully obviously a questionably quality Parody Sue--or, Stu, as the case may be--and follows him from his glittery newborn stage to his… adventures in heaven.
Not because he died, mind you, but because the characters flew airplanes to heaven because heaven is in the clouds so obviously you can fly to it. Obviously.
There are some oddly religious overtones in some bits of this, but they just kind of exist and it isn’t a topic that seems to be emphasized, plus there’s plenty of Bad besides that. Mostly in the form of Hot Takes that are meant more for sheer shock value than for the purpose of exploring the intricacies and pitfalls of the justice system and morality. And blatant violation of canon, among other things. As a note, I can’t exactly attest to how missionable this is.
But in the interest of time, I’ll directly quote and summarize a few things from the first couple of chapters of the fic:
According to this, a virgin birth is what it’s called when you don’t know the name of a baby’s father.
This: “Then suddenly the baby reached out and touched Phoenix's lawyer badge that Phoenix uses when he needs to defend people in court. Baby John's face lit up and he seemed to absorb magical powers from the badge. Then his face grew very solemn, as if in that moment he peeked into a window to the future and was contemplating some great destiny that lay before him.”
The fic says John Phoenix has multiple mental disorders that are forgotten about within a handful of paragraphs and will probably infuriate most of the people reading this, if my knowledge of the PPC community is somewhat accurate.
John Phoenix has super accelerated growth and becomes a young adult and apprentice to a criminal defense attorney in the span of two months.
There is far more to this, but for the sake of brevity I’ll leave it at that (though I’m probably going to at least spork this in the Discord because yeesh). Putting that aside, let’s move on to…
As mentioned above, this all began on February 17th, 2020, when the story The Adventures of John Phoenix was originally posted. Subsequently, multiple other authors apparently seemed to take the idea of this strange, strange OC and absolutely run with it. To the point of getting an original character added to the character tags, though it was removed when I went to check.
This blog post on Tumblr summarizes the overall situation better than I probably could (thanks to FourMoons for digging it up). This Reddit post has an actual screenshot of John Phoenix in the character tags. And somebody made an Ace Attorney Online version of the original and put it on YouTube. It’s a bizarre situation, to say the least.
I may make a follow-up to this with a rough timeline of how this situation is going down, but it won’t be tonight. Mostly because it’s almost midnight, I’m tired, and there is (from what I can tell) a fair bit of drama to unpack.