An organization that systematically subjects its frontline members to a grisly transformation in order to give them a fighting chance against supernatural/alien monsters threatening regular Puny Humans
. Unlike individual Superhero Origins
, the transformation here is uniform for every subject and brings about roughly the same results in all survivors.
Although "Thou Shalt Not Kill
(Humans)" may be included in The Code
to enforce Pro Human Transhumanism
or at least stave off Transhuman Treachery
, Fantastic Racism
often plays a role in the interaction between regular humans and their Not Quite Human
defenders, especially if the transformation makes them half-monster/Half-Human Hybrids
, gives them a Superpowered Evil Side
, or infects them with The Corruption
. Attempts to exploit them as a sub-human shock troops
and outright Super Human Trafficking
may be common dangers.
A staple in Dark Fantasy
but can also be included in similarly cynical works.
Anime and Manga
- The eponymous warriors in Claymore have been created to fight the demonic yoma and are actually hybrids with human and yoma DNA. Later chapters reveal that the Organization also produces yoma for Claymores to fight, all in the interest of producing ever-stronger soldiers for a Great Offscreen War.
- Freezing revolves around the invasion of Earth by an extraterrestrial force called the Nova, and a special force of genetically engineered young women called Pandoras, and their male partners, called Limiters, who are created to combat them.
- Psyren starts off this way: the characters are pulled to a desolate wasteland called Psyren, given psychic powers, and they have to combat monsters called Taboo. However, the characters aren't mass-produced and the series deviates from this initial premise fairly quickly to focus on fighting other psychic users.
- In Marvel Comics' Strikeforce: Morituri civilians volunteer to get a super soldier-like treatment which will give them miscellaneous powers in order to fight some invading aliens. Downsides:
- It's fatal within 12 months of onset of powers, often less
- The powers received are random and may not help the battle
- There's a Hulk-based one shot short story where a planet turns all their soldiers into Hulks in order to fight some big bad. After the crisis is over all the Hulks are sent away to die in a volcano.
- The OMAC soldiers from DC Comics are enhanced by nano-tech to fight rogue superheroes.
Live Action TV
- The eponymous witchers in The Witcher series were invented to kill the monsters that invaded the world after the Conjunction of the Spheres. Their creation involves brutal selection and the Trial of Herbs, which gives them superhuman agility, strength, and vision (among other things), but renders them sterile and kills most of the subjects.
- The Cobra Soldiers from Timothy Zahn's The Cobra Trilogy are enhanced by nano-tech to combat the alien Troft.
- Although there is originally just one Slayer in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she later builds up a virtual army of them, becoming this. The Slayers are infused with demon essence, becoming stronger, faster, regenerating faster, and needing less sleep than ordinary humans, in order to fight vampires, as well as demons and whatever other monsters threaten the world.
- Species RPG, based on the film Species. DNA taken from Sil is injected into human beings, turning them into alien-human hybrids and giving them some of Sil's abilities. They are then sent out to hunt down Sil's progeny. Unfortunately, the more of Sil's DNA they have in them the more they're influenced by the alien memories/mentality it imparts, and the harder they must fight against losing control.
- In Warhammer 40K, the Space Marines are humans who were subjected to a combination of drug treatments, genetic engineering, organ grafts (both organic and mechanical), mental conditioning and The Spartan Way from an early age. The resulting survivors are 6 foot tall superhumans with hands the size of dinner plates who are clad in Powered Armour and wield semi-automatic grenade launchers as sidearms... and the best hope of humanity against the monstrosities the galaxy has to throw at them.
- A related example is the existence of the pariah gene in humans; it was implanted by the (by no means friendly) Necrons in order to give some humans Anti-Magic powers in exchange for being supernaturally unlikeable. This makes them a useful weapon against the inhabitants of the warp, who are both a threat to humanity and one of the few things stopping the Necrons treating sapient life like cattle.
- Perhaps the best example are the Soul Drinkers marines, who are all Chaos-style mutants on top of being Marines but fight for humanity anyway.
- In addition to the aforementioned Training from Hell, the Exorcist chapter of Space Marines also undergo a special ritual where they are deliberately possessed by a minor warp entity which is then exorcized. This is the kind of operation only a madman or a Radical Inquisitor would attempt on normal humans, but it seems to work, and the exorcized Space Marine is now far more resistant to possession and much more effective against daemons.
- The Gray Wardens in the Dragon Age series were produced to fight the Darkspawn. Their only superpower is immunity to the Taint but it's already a huge advantage over ordinary humans. Too bad it's only temporary. Also, since the fact that they drink Darkspawn blood is kept from the public, they actually enjoy high regard from the general populace.