Created By: Earnest on March 1, 2011 Last Edited By: Earnest on March 5, 2011
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Superhuman Transfusion

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Trope
(Formerly Bloody Powerful)

A subtrope of Super Empowering. John has one or more Stock Superpowers of the genetic and/or magical variety. He may have gained them from birth thanks to Superpowerful Genetics, genetic experimentation, or most likely Super Serum. Alternately, he has mystic powers in a setting where The Power of Blood and Blood Magic are very real, so his blood contains a measure of his magic. In short, his powers course through his blood in a very real sense.

Suddenly, his friend Jack gets shot by one of his enemies, and has only minutes to live before even his copious blood supply runs out! Just by luck, Jack and John are the same blood type, and a quick emergency transfusion ensues... which quickly results in an Emergency Transformation. Thanks to the blood-borne nature of John's powers, Jack now has those same abilities! They might be temporary and last only as long as John's blood is in his system, or they may trigger a similar reaction in Jack's body and give him permanent (and potentially different) powers.

It bears mentioning that in Real Life, blood transfusions in no way transfer the donor's genes into the recipient's DNA. The red and white blood cells last only a few months before dying without leaving a trace. Since Phlebotinum is involved, this is often ignored or justified by The Professor as John's blood "triggering" latent superpowers in Jack or causing the equivalent of a superpower-allergy.

If John's powers are biological/genetic/chemical in nature, Jack getting these powers is often justified by The Professor explaining that the donation triggered dormant genes in Jack, or actually did somehow overwrite parts of his genome. If John's powers are magical in nature, then the reason Jack gets similar powers may have to do with Blood Magic. In these cases "John" might not even be the same species as Jack, such as a dragon or even vampire (of the mystical, non viral based types).


Anime and Manga
  • In the manga Wolf Guy, Akira gives blood to Chiba after Hadou nearly kills him, and Chiba is healed by it and becomes a werewolf--and crazy, with the ability to change at will into some mutated-looking wolf-beast, unlike Akira's transformation. So, not a completely identical transference of abilities, but Akira didn't realize his powers would transfer at all.

Comic Books
  • This is She-Hulk's origin. She needed a blood transfusion and Bruce was on hand, afterwards she was permanently changed into a hulk, albeit she retained her personality and intellect.
  • This is how Patriot of the Young Avengers got his powers. His grandfather, a Super Soldier of the same type as Captain America, gave him a blood transfusion.

Live-Action TV
  • The 4400 had an inversion. Isabel, the first child born to two returnees, produces pure Promycin. When all the other returnees are suffering from an anti-promycin drug, her blood cures Shawn who went on to use his own healing powers on everyone else.
  • A scifi version appears in Dark Angel. When Max gives an emergency transfusion to Logan, her stem-cell-laden blood in and starts to repair his spine.
  • In Heroes Claire's blood can be used to heal other people through transfusion.
  • In the tv movie Deep Red. It has a girl whose blood rejuvenates the recipient and grants Voluntary Shape Shifting. In a twist, the power only lasts for a limited time, and regular transfusions are needed for people to sustain them. It's because of this that the bad guy, who has some of her blood in his system, is after her.

Video Games
  • In Freedom Force, this is how Liberty Lad got his powers, Minuteman gave him a blood transfusion after his Reckless Sidekick behavior got him shot.
  • In Mega Man ZX, a "Mega Man" is a Maverick Raid survivor who harness the blood of the Big Bad Master Albert via donation. His blood (or rather, the contained DNA) is the key of unlocking the Biometal's power and allowing them to Megamerge with it.

Western Animation
  • There is an episode of Krypto the Superdog where the cat gets his powers this way.

Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • March 1, 2011
    DAN004
    Really close to Superpowerful Genetics.
  • March 1, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Not really. Superpowerful Genetics is about family inheritance; this is about the superpowers, in a sense, being "spread" from one to another, turning the latter into a superhero.

    If I remember right, Marvel Comics's She-Hulk got her powers this way: from Bruce.
  • March 1, 2011
    UnicornBlood
    Except that doesn't make perfect sense. When people say "It's in my blood" they really mean "It's because I'm related to these people" The actual blood isn't what makes them related, it's the genes.

    Unless that was a metaphor, in which case I suppose the episode of Krypto the Superdog where the cat gets his powers would count as this.
  • March 1, 2011
    Earnest
    True. The thing is the "power" isn't necessarily genetic-- or if it is, it's somehow able to leap frog onto the recipient, activate dormant genes, or trigger a reaction in the body that effectively mimics the donor's powers. The Phlebotinum and logistics vary, but the core of the trope remains the same: blood transfusion from superhero = you get powers.
  • March 1, 2011
    ladygem
    In [[Heroes]] Claire's blood can be used to heal other people through transfusion.
  • March 1, 2011
    Nndaia
    A scifi version appears in Dark Angel. When Max gives an emergency transfusion to Logan, her stem-cell-laden blood in and starts to repair his spine.
  • March 1, 2011
    Earnest
    ^ To format a series you use the curly brackets {{Heroes}}. Also, two apostrophes on either side will italicize it. So this ''{{Heroes}}'' produces this Heroes.

    The healing reminded me of the tv movie Deep Red. It has a girl whose blood rejuvenates the recipient and grants Voluntary Shape Shifting. In a twist, the power only lasts for a limited time, and regular transfusions are needed for people to sustain them. It's because of this that the bad guy, who has some of her blood in his system, is after her.
  • March 1, 2011
    DAN004
    So, regardless of being DNA-related or not, the blood is the key? Okay...

    Here comes my example.
    • In Mega Man ZX, a "Mega Man" is a Maverick Raid survivor who harness the blood of the Big Bad Master Albert via donation. His blood (or rather, the contained DNA) is the key of unlocking the Biometal's power and allowing them to Megamerge with it.
  • March 1, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • In the manga Wolf Guy, Akira gives blood to Chiba after Hadou nearly kills him, and Chiba is healed by it and becomes a werewolf--and crazy, with the ability to change at will into some mutated-looking wolf-beast, unlike Akira's transformation. So, not a completely identical transference of abilities, but Akira didn't realize his powers would transfer at all.
  • March 2, 2011
    Speedball
    This is She-Hulk's origin.
  • March 2, 2011
    TonyG
    Tex Avery plays it for laughs (natch) in the Walter Lantz cartoon "Crazy Mixed-up Pup". A man and his dog are run over and the paramedics give them transfusions, only the man gets canine plasma and the dog gets human plasma, resulting in a man acting like a dog and vice versa.
  • March 2, 2011
    Glucharina
    Chloe Armstrong was able to cure lieutenant Scott with blood transfusion in episode "Cloverdale"
  • March 2, 2011
    JCCyC
    Would be better with Alice And Bob instead of "John and Jack". Edit: I think the name is just fine. Has the right amount of Pun.
  • March 2, 2011
    foxley
    In a Golden Age Superman story, Lois Lane dreams she gets a blood transfusion from Superman and gains superpowers, becoming Superwoman.
  • March 2, 2011
    randomsurfer
    "This is how Patriot of the Young Avengers got his powers. His grandfather, a Super Soldier of the same type as Captain America, gave him a blood transfusion."

    Um, no. That's what he claimed, but really Patriot was secretly taking an illegal, Black Market mutant growth hormone.
  • March 2, 2011
    Earnest
    That was at first, after that he got powers permanently from the transfusion.
  • March 4, 2011
    BlackDragon
    There's a Penny Arcade comic where, after a car-crash, Gabe and Tycho end up in the hospital and get blood-transfusions. Gabe ends up getting blood donated by Spider Man, and immediately develops web-shooting abilities, much to his joy.

    Tycho got monkey-blood.
  • March 5, 2011
    JoeG
    • PS 238: When Tyler (who has no superpowers) is infected with an alien virus, he is given a transfusion from super-strong Julie so that her super-antibodies can destroy the virus.
  • March 5, 2011
    BlackDragon
    @Joe G: I'm not sure if that counts as an example in this case, though it fits the letter of the trope... Tyler didn't gain superpowers from the transfusion, and in fact, it would've killed him if they hadn't flushed it from his system immediately after eliminating the virus.
  • March 5, 2011
    SKJAM
    In Futaba Kun Change Misaki gets the temporary ability to turn into a boy when she's transfused with Futaba's blood. Later justified as her latent Shimeru genes (apparently quite widespread in the Japanese population) being activated by Futaba's active genderbending factor.
  • March 5, 2011
    Skyro
    I'm not sure the Mega Man ZX example counts, since it's implied that Albert used his influence to get trace amounts of DNA into everyone through the upgrades that make Reploids and Humans essentially the same. The DNA lets them megamerge, but they still need the biometal to have superpowers. Not to mention the DNA may just be stored as data in both cases (since Reploids and Humans both have machine parts) and is simply submitted as a confirmation code when the person says "megamerge!"
  • March 5, 2011
    Antigone3
    Spitfire of The Invaders (Marvel Comics) gained superpowers from a blood transfusion from the first Human Torch. I'm not sure how that worked, given that the first Human Torch was an android.
  • March 5, 2011
    MetaFour
    • In {{Hellboy: The Island}}, Hellboy gets drained of his blood (He Gets Better) and a prophet of the Ogdru Jahad absorbs it. This causes the prophet to begin transforming into a copy of Anung un Rama, the demon that Hell wanted HB to be. The man is then driven insane.

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