->''"To the cafeteria... '''FOR JUSTICE!'''"''

'''''[[http://ps238.nodwick.com/ PS238]]''''' is a comic book series about the eponymous first public school for metaprodigies -- [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual super-children, in other words]]. That is, if you can call a top-secret underground school "public".

Created by Aaron Williams, who is also known as the maker of ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}'' and ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity'' -- all of which can be viewed on [[http://www.nodwick.com/ Nodwick dot com]] -- it has been described as "Take the kids from [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Springfield Elementary]], give them ComicBook/{{X-Men}} powers, and send 'em to [[Franchise/HarryPotter Hogwarts]]."

Basically concerned with the general, superpowered going-ons of a school filled with superpowered children (most of whom are the children of {{Lawyer Friendly Cameo}}s of various well-known Franchise/{{Marvel|Universe}} and [[Franchise/TheDCU DC]] heroes), ''[=PS238=]'' follows a small core cast of about ten to twelve kids, with plenty more who make cameos. The closest thing the series has to a protagonist is Tyler Marlocke, the notably only non-superpowered student on campus.

Needless to say, the series thrives on SuperHero-related tropes, and indeed, tropes in general. Several characters are openly GenreSavvy, including Tyler at times -- though he would probably prefer if those tropes ''weren't'' there.

Originally a print comic, Aaron has followed the example of [[Webcomic/GirlGenius the Foglios]] and released it as a webcomic. The online version has now caught up to the print version and new content is being released. In 2008, a licensed RolePlayingGame using the ''[[TabletopGame/{{Champions}} Hero System]]'' was published.

----
!!''[=PS238=]'' provides examples of the following tropes:

Name a superhero-related trope. ''Any'' superhero-related trope.

* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: Despite the fact that they could eventually end up with one that consists of absurdly powerful people, this is averted. When Tyler got elected Class President, the faculty had yet to figure out what responsibilities the Class President was supposed to have. So far, said duties have consisted entirely of participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
* AcademyOfAdventure: They try to keep the super-trouble away, but the administrators [[LampshadeHanging seem to accept that it's inevitable]].
* AcademyOfEvil: Praetorian Academy is a private school for metahumans that's not publicly traded, looks regimented and militaristic, dresses its students up in uniforms and faceless masks and gives them codenames, and its headmaster is a shadowy, enigmatic figure. [[spoiler:Subverted, as the intent behind it involves anything ''but'' releasing more supervillains into the wild.]]
* ActionSurvivor: Tyler. [[spoiler:Although, as time goes by, he is slowly approaching BadassNormal. He's already running toward danger of his own volition.]]
* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted. Human [=AIs=], like Doctor Positron, exist and they're all perfectly nice. The only exception was Prospero's robot companion, which was implied to have gotten damaged in the crash. [[spoiler:TheSingularity is pretty nice too, for an omnipotent extradimensional AI. Think of it as a sort of omnipotent schoolteacher with a somewhat quirky sense of humour.]]
* AlternateUniverse: Tyler sees a few alternate versions of himself in the Castle Beyond Time and Space. One is a JerkassWoobie who is one of the most powerful people on the planet but has a hair-trigger temper, another is more along the lines of what his parents wanted (but lives in a world conquered by aliens), and the third is a ridiculously powerful telepath who accidentally turned the human race into a HiveMind he himself is unable to join, making him the last individual on Earth.
* AnimalEyeSpy: The Flea and insects.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: A telepath exposed while holding political office, admits that he's used his telepathic abilities to defeat opponents, win elections, and get good deals on cars.
* ArtShift: One issue contains school reports from the superkids that are drawn by children of the same age.
* TheAtoner: Cranston is attempting this [[spoiler:but Toby may have inadvertently messed this up for him as a side-effect of his RealityWarper powers.]] Depending on how closely you're reading, the scene is either an OhCrap moment or a moment of FridgeBrilliance, because [[spoiler:neither Toby nor Tyler realize the significance of the exchange demanded by Toby's powers, and thus Toby's statement passes without comment]].
** Later lampshaded by Cranston [[spoiler:as he is unable to reveal Durbin's identity as the Headmaster because Durbin knows his headband is non-functional and threatens to reveal that]]. Cranston wonders aloud if that would have been his 'atonement' [[spoiler:for his Presidential bid.]]
* AuthorAvatar: While there haven't been any explicit versions of the author himself in the series, Miss Kyle is modeled after his wife.
* BadassLongcoat: Cecil Holmes. The longcoat becomes Badass unto itself as well as making Cecil Badass.
* BadassNormal:
** The Revenant, Tyler's mentor (who bears a [[CaptainErsatz striking resemblance]] to Franchise/{{Batman}}/MoonKnight, right down to most powered heroes not trusting him or thinking he's crazy).
** Tyler himself can be considered a BadassNormal in training. (A time-travel storyline offers a glimpse of his adult self in which he's Revenant's partner.)
* BadBadActing: When Zodon [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=171 sarcastically "acts" to keep up the illusion of being a normal child]]: "Oh, ow, ow, ow. My innards. I fear I shall never recover." Cue FacePalm from Ms. Kyle. Justified in that he really isn't trying, and is deliberately being bad to express his contempt for the whole thing.
* BatterUp: The supervillain The Sinister Shortstop was armed with a baseball bat that caused whatever was hit with it to explode. It recently came into the hands of one of [=PS238=]'s students, who's held onto it because it complements her existing powers, which are entirely defensive.
* BeehiveBarrier: When [[spoiler:Aurora's "ghost"]] attacks Ambriel, her DeflectorShield is briefly visible as a geodesic crystalline dome.
* BerserkButton:
** [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=907 Don't rip Julie Finsters' cape]].
** As for Victor Von Fogg:
--->'''Sign written by Zodon:''' VICTOR CAN'T CALCULATE PI PAST THE 3,000th DIGIT WITHOUT USING HIS FINGERS.\\
'''Victor:''' Oh, it's ''on'', now!
* BlessedWithSuck: Lyle can't turn off his ability to "see patterns in things" and he spends most of his time in a featureless white room to keep his brain from overloading. On the other hand, he is effectively omniscient and at one point he [[spoiler:begins to set into motion a complicated scheme to allow himself and his classmates to escape unharmed from a pair of dangerous kidnappers several issues before the kidnappers have even decided to show up]].
* BonusMaterial: "Dr. Positron's Science Corner" in some of the print issues, written as an in-universe [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle educational message]] expositing on some of the alternate history or superscience of the world.
* BrickJoke: A really weird one across two of the creator's comics, ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity'' and this. In FFN, the gamers play a supers game and end up getting metaphorically clotheslined by the discovery that a lot of the "{{Muggle}}" [=NPCs=] have been developing powers in reaction to living in a world of supers, including abilities like sensing supers and subtle mind-control of supers as a kind of camouflage. Then in ''[=PS238=]'', [[spoiler:Cecil turns up with the "sensing supers" power and one starts wondering what other of these abilities joked about in FFN will also turn up...]]
* BunglingInventor: Angie. In a variation, her gadgets all work, but they're ''too powerful''. TimTaylorTechnology is her Hat.
* ButtMonkey:
** Zodon. He ''deserves'' it.
** Tyler has moments of this as well, but in his case, it's more to [[TrainingFromHell toughen him up]].
* CapeWings: Cecil
* CaptainErsatz: ''[=PS238=]'' is ''made out of'' this trope. Two of the more outstanding examples are [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Atlas]] and [[ComicBook/GreenLantern Emerald Gauntlet]], although both have developed points of distinction from the originals as the series progresses. Among the students, there's also [[ComicBook/TheSandman "Murphy"]], the "Prince of Daydreams" (whose older sister is often mentioned in passing...), and [[SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom Victor Von Fogg]], heir of the Von Fogg family of supervillains.
* CasualDangerDialog: The Revenant is perfectly able to take calls while in the middle of fighting bad guys, and has been known to ''make'' them as well.
* TheChessmaster:
** The Revenant is involved with practically every storyline in the comic one way or another, although so far he's avoided trying to bring them all together.
** [[spoiler:The Headmaster is in the middle of a decades-long project to prevent the destruction of Earth by a future metahuman arms race, and founded Praetorian as one way to prevent it. He currently looks to be using the Von Foggs as pawns in his scheme.]]
* ChewingTheScenery:
** Von Fogg junior is especially prone to this in his first appearances, and would probably count as a LargeHam if he didn't eventually mellow down in later issues.
** American Eagle and Patriot Act also act like this on-camera.
* CloningBlues: Averted. [[spoiler:Tyler's clone gets a name (Toby), develops cosmic powers, and is adopted by his parents, who are delighted -- to the point where Tyler is worried they'll like his new "brother" better.]] However, [[spoiler:Cecil rejects Toby, though he remains close friends with Tyler]].
* CombatUninterruptus: Happens all the time with the Revenant and Tyler.
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Repeatedly used as AnAesop towards the children. Also, somewhat ironically, what the evil-looking Praetorian Academy claims is its founding principle. [[spoiler:They're genuine about it.]]
* TheComicallySerious: American Eagle during her tenure with Tyler's impromptu "superhero team".
* CompetenceZone: Averted; the kids' teachers are presented as intelligent, competent, and perfectly aware of what's going on around them. This being a comic about the kids, though, the kids still do most of the day-saving. ''Most of.''
* ConspicuousCG: Quite intentional with the Determinant and the Balagan, Entity of Order and Aspect of Chaos respectively, hinting at YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm. Later depictions are just drawn, rather than being CG'ed onto the page. Whether this is supposed to represent something or is just a cost-cutting measure is unknown.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Cecil Holmes. He actually gets pretty close to figuring out the truth about [=PS238=], but Tyler derails him with alien stuff. Ironically, Cecil can unconsciously detect superpowered beings (who he thinks are aliens) unless they are, in fact, aliens. He thinks Propero, the resident alien kid, is a normal, if weird and foreign, kid.
* ContagiousPowers:
** Tyler's parents are sending him to the school based on the theory that eventually this trope will kick in.
** [[spoiler:Cecil goes for a "trip" with Malphast and ends up with a pair of wings (plus a lot of other EldritchAbomination traits that are suppressed as long as he's in the human world).]]
* CoolPet: Argo the super-dog
* CrazyPrepared:
** The Revenant. He has a box under the seat in his jet just in case he suddenly needs to go into space.
** And Tyler is learning from the best. As of the Rainmaker story he's gotten pretty good at thinking ahead and is getting better. Exaggerated the first time Tyler teams up with the Revenant, as he deliberately loads himself with equipment to the point that he can barely move in an attempt to avoid having to actually fight crime.
* CrimefightingWithCash: The Revenant
-->'''The Revenant:''' I sometimes think access to cash is the greatest superpower of all.
* {{Crossover}}: In issue 39 it was revealed that the events of ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}'' take place in the distant past of ''[=PS238=]''. Thanks to some time-travelling and a PredestinationParadox, some of the characters from ''[=PS238=]'' briefly meet the main characters from ''Nodwick''.
* CutLexLuthorACheck
** The Crystal Skull, an ex-supervillain, has since turned his intellect to taking money from people legally, and runs one of the higher-class casinos in Las Vegas.
** A minor supervillain known as The Headmaster (no connection to the Headmaster of Praetorian Academy), who had the power to detach his head and throw it at people, retired from a fairly unsuccessful life of crime to become the spokesman for a chain of bowling alleys.
* DaddysLittleVillain: [[spoiler:Alexandria Von Fogg, Victor's sister and a student at the Praetorian Academy.]]
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Zodon
** Miss Kyle resorts to it sometimes:
--->'''Victor Von Fogg:''' (''to Zodon'') You will '''pay''' for this, '''oh''', yes...\\
'''Miss Kyle:''' Let's keep the vendettas down to a dull roar, okay?
** The Singularity
--->'''Singularity:''' Approach, chosen of Argos, chosen of the Emerald Ones!\\
'''[[spoiler:Julie & Kevin]]:''' Who, us?\\
'''Singularity:''' No, I'm talking to the two '''other''' people standing '''behind''' you.
* DeconstructorFleet: Of the superhero genre.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: The leader of the plot against the Masquerade casino was [[spoiler:Beryl, the desk clerk]].
* DroolHello: When Malphast [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=417 accidentally summons a tentacled thing]], it naturally drools on Tyler.
* DrunkWithPower: Subverted. [[spoiler: Victor von Fogg]] obtains a machine that grants ultimate power over the shape of the universe, but it also grants him perspective. He is frustrated that he is incapable of doing anything evil with it.
* DumbMuscle: Bernard
* EquivalentExchange: [[spoiler:The basis of Toby's RealityWarper powers. Doing things much more complicated than flight creates an after-effect to balance out what he did, for better or worse.]]
* EvilChancellor: [[spoiler:Drax]]
* EvolutionaryLevels: Discussed and sort of justified. In one of the "Science Corners", Dr. Positron hypothesizes that the relatively high frequency of the FlyingBrick powers may indicate a more stable metahuman gene complex that will eventually provide the baseline for all humanity. Given later developments [[spoiler:that inarguably demonstrate a cosmic force of some sort influencing the development of powers, evolution may actually ''be'' set with levels and goals]].
* ExpositionBeam: Tyler learns of [[spoiler:Principal Cranston's backstory when his headband is damaged by reliving his memories]].
* {{Expy}}:
** Almost every character who is not an outright CaptainErsatz is an expy of a known superhero comics archetype, without blatantly referencing any one single comics character. An example would be Herschel Clay, [[spoiler:who turns out to be an expy of ComicBook/IronMan.]]
** The classic definition of an Expy as being reusing elements of your ''own'' characters applies to TheSingularity, who's a high-tech version of the [[PowersThatBe Powers What Is]] from ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}''.
** Tyler, being the baseline normal stuck in the middle of practically all trouble with little else recourse than to snark at it, is very similar to Nodwick himself. Although one that doesn't get treated nearly as badly.
* FacePalm: Frequently used by Ms. Kyle and the other teachers.
* FantasticRacism:
** Between metahumans and normal people. According to Revenant, Tyler's own parents have expressed the (frankly rather ugly) opinion that non-metas have no business trying to change the world, despite making up the majority of the world. It puts their relationship to their son in an uncomfortable light.
** On the flip side, metahumans are apparently forbidden from holding higher political office in the US. [[spoiler: Though given that the only time this comes into play was when dealing with a telepath, it might just be that certain powers, such as telepathy and mind-control, disqualify you.]] They're also not allowed to serve in the armed forces while they maintain a superhero identity, though this is more pragmatism than prejudice (the army needs to know the superpowered being in their midst is a soldier first and everything else second).
** [[spoiler:Argonians look down on everyone who does not have FlyingBrick powers. Normal humans are treated as an inferior underclass; other metahumans as outright threats.]]
* FantasyKitchenSink: As usual for a Superhero setting, they have {{Mutants}}, [[FunctionalMagic magic]], aliens, [[PhysicalGod gods]], beings from AnotherDimension, {{time travel}}lers, and SchizoTech galore.
* FastballSpecial: Rockslide and Micro Might.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Zodon manages to convince the otherwise mild-mannered and rather cowardly FlyingBrick, Forak, to guard a dimensional portal while he's on the other side with some of the other kids. The threats he makes are spoken of only in whispers, but Forak is terrified enough to even stand against the CreepyChild Alexandria Von Fogg when she shows up to disrupt matters. Towards the end, Hershel convince him to tell him what was said. Turns out that Zodon threatened to [[spoiler:delete all his Achievements]] if he didn't do as he was told. Terrifying!
* FiveManBand: Tyler's impromptu "team" in his first fight with Charles Brigman.
** Tyler -- TheHero / TheSmartGuy
** Emerald Gauntlet -- TheLancer
** American Eagle and Captain Clarinet -- TheBigGuy
** Julie -- TheChick
* FlyingBrick:
** Deconstructed as being a F.I.S.S. (flight, invulnerability, strength and speed). This package is so common that F.I.S.S. heroes are just given a number. Julie, one of the current [=PS238=] students, is number 84.
** Further deconstructed when [[spoiler:Earth makes contact with Argos. Flying bricks rule the planet in noble houses with normal people (called "softies") as an oppressed underclass. All other superpowers are referred to as "ferals" and are implied to have been culled from the Argonian gene pool long ago]].
* FollowInMyFootsteps:
** Tyler is expected to do this, despite the fact that he didn't inherit his parent's superpowers.
** Ron feels pressure of this nature as well.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:The alternative universes Tyler glimpses in the mirrors at the Castle Beyond Time and Space foreshadow later events, such as the alien virus that turns humans into aliens and Tyler (or rather his clone) becoming the most powerful meta-prodigy at [=PS238=].]]
* ForGreatJustice: "To the cafeteria... for Justice!"
* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: Anything to do with Order and Chaos.
-->'''Lord of Order:''' When you observe the actions of an ''imp'' and ''cherub'' who influence the clone of [[spoiler:Tyler Marlocke]]...\\
'''Lord of Chaos:''' ...what you see them doing isn't truly ''real''. It's just how your eyes try to explain what's going on to your brain, which is sensitive and doesn't do metaphysical stuff if it can avoid it.
* FunPersonified:
** Flea, who is probably a collective {{Expy}} of similar characters SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} and ComicBook/AmbushBug. (He also has elements of Franchise/SpiderMan, WesternAnimation/TheTick, and the most recent BlueBeetle -- there's a whole big arthropod-themed hero mashup going on here.)
** Also [[RubberMan Poly Mer]]: "If I inflate myself, I can make a fart noise that lasts for an hour!"
* GadgeteerGenius:
** Herschel Clay/[[spoiler:Mantium]]
** Angie
* GenreSavvy: Many of the heroes and the villains. One even notes at one point that he '''has''' read the EvilOverlordList.
* GeometricMagic: [[spoiler:Alec, who ends up being able to do magic with scribbled runes after some exposure to Malphast.]]
* TheGhost: A metahuman-hating Senator Durbin, who apparently was a political opponent of Cranston, is mentioned several times during the comic without ever appearing. [[spoiler:Turns out he's The Headmaster.]]
* GlamourFailure: Zodon attempts to adjust his personal hologram to impersonate an adult, so that [[spoiler: he can play blackjack in Vegas]]. Instead, he retains his "kid" form, but [[BodyHorror stretches his face until it's four feet high.]] Hilariously, [[FailedASpotCheck he doesn't seem to notice]] until someone points it out to him.
* GoneHorriblyRight: An alternate universe version of Tyler with powerful telepathy tries to "touch" every mind on Earth. He succeeds, but ends up permanently linking everyone's mind together except for his own in a HiveMind. The effects seem to be positive, with wars abolished, and everyone working together for the betterment of all. The only truly unfortunate effect we see is Tyler being lonely, as there is no single other person to talk to anymore.
* GrapplingHookPistol: Tyler's still getting the hang of it. HilarityEnsues. Interestingly, it's about the size of the ''Series/MythBusters'' model, and thus is worn as a sizeable forearm bracer rather than sitting in the utility belt. The winch on that thing is incredibly powerful, able to pull creatures that outmass Tyler by at least 100:1 -- by the ''tooth'' (Which also implies a lot about how strong the tooth was).[[note]]It's possible that the winch isn't quite ''that'' strong. Any extended tooth like the one the winch grabs is going to be very sensitive to being pulled on, not matter how well anchored it is. The dragon, feeling a sharp tug on a sensitive spot, instinctively jerks his head in that direction to relieve the pressure, and ends up putting his head through the wall.[[/note]]
* GuardianEntity: Ambriel's power. She talks to her force field and treats it as if it were a living thing, but initially there was no sign that it's anything but a force field that automatically intercepts anything harmful. However, after [[spoiler:she dies and comes back]], the field seems to be more selective. When one of her classmates insults her, the guardian angel throws something at them in retaliation. It also makes her and her companions invisible to surveillance systems whenever it would benefit her to not be seen.
* GuileHero: Tyler. Whatever you do, don't take his business card.
* HarmlessVillain:
** Zodon. He ''would'' count as NotSoHarmlessVillain as he has both a will and potential to cause a lot of carnage, but [[ButtMonkey events usually conspire]] to keep his malicious acts in check.
** Victor Von Fogg probably counts for this as well.
* HealingHands: Dr. Newby, the school medic, has this -- fortunately for Tyler. He needs it. A lot.
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: When the pupils are reading their creative writing assignments, Dylan's story features a very handsome and powerful version of himself defeating Victor's father and saving the world, while his rival Jenny is completely useless. It ends abruptly when Jenny and Victor sets his essay on fire.
-->'''Dylan:''' I consider this an assault on my basic freedoms and liberty.
* HeroicBSOD: Captain Clarinet suffers one -- preceded by a quick bout of WhatHaveIDone -- after [[spoiler:punching out Charles.]]
* HighClassGlass:
** Victor Von Fogg's headgear comes with a lens giving the effect of a monocle. Just like his father.
** The Headmaster of Praetorian Academy also has a lens over one eye as part of his cyborg gear.
* HiveMind: The Commonality, created by an alternate universe version of Tyler. He had such powerful telepathy, he decided to see if he could touch every mind on Earth at once. It worked, but he was unable to stop the link once he made it. It's also a rare (at least relatively) positive example of the trope -- the Commonality seems entirely benevolent, and has made rapid strides toward improving not only people's lives, but the planet itself.
* HolographicDisguise: Those [=PS238=] students who can't just change into normal clothes (because they're part-machine, or bright blue, or whatever) get image emitters to help them blend in with the oblivious above-ground {{muggle}}s.
* HurlItIntoTheSun: Issue #40 revolves around an installation that uses this method of disposing of dangerous super-gadgets.
* HurricaneOfEuphemisms: You know one is supposed to be happening when Zodon starts singing "Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}".
* IHaveManyNames: How Murphy introduces himself.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Captain Clarinet. [[spoiler:Or so you'd think. Subverted.]]
* ImpliedLoveInterest:
** Julie "84" Finster to Tyler. Though, as both of them are eleven, it's more like "[[PuppyLove implied childhood crush]]".
** After the Mister Extraordinary issue, it's implied that Tom keeps going back to the past to visit Naomi, leaving her gifts and even taking her to other time periods, and, much later, it's heavily implied that they will be married or at least in a relationship as adults.
* InstrumentOfMurder: Captain Clarinet's clarinet.
* IntercontinuityCrossover: Sort of -- the Revenant was created by Creator/MichaelStackpole for the TabletopGame ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' and was "donated" to the ''[=PS238=]''-verse. The Stackpole version also appears in the short story "Peer Review" and in ''InHeroYearsImDead''. The Revenant mentions this role-playing game to Tyler in passing.
* IsThisThingStillOn: Doctor Von Fogg's pre-recorded gloating in issue #10.
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Zodon (funny version)
** Charles (less so)
* JerkassHasAPoint: [[spoiler: For all Praetorian Academy's jerkishness, their actual goals (training metahumans to behave [[ComesGreatResponsibility With Great Responsibility]] and averting the potential of a GooGooGodlike scenario leading to an EarthShatteringKaboom) are highly desirable.]]
* KindaBusyHere: The Revenant, every time Tyler calls him for advice. But he's so badass he can whomp supervillains and give career counselling simultaneously without breaking a sweat.
* LandslideElection: Tyler becomes Class President in one of these, despite the fact that he wasn't running. This is because nobody in the class liked either of the actual candidates, so they voted for him as a write-in candidate.
* LastOfHisKind: Atlas. [[spoiler:Or so he thinks...]]
* LaughablyEvil: Zodon and Von Fogg again.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
-->'''Creator/WilWheaton:''' ...and I'm even writing a story for a comic book about a character I played on television. Neat, huh?
* LittleProfessorDialog: From GadgeteerGenius kids, supernatural kids, and [[PatrioticFervor politically backed]] kids.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* LookMaNoPlane: Captain Clarinet starts out with a pathological fear of flying, due to having repeated nightmares of being sucked into a jet-engine. It doesn't particularly improve matters when Zodon "helpfully" reminds him that his invulnerability ensures that, should that happen, he'd come out on the other side unscattered... while the plane plummets to the ground in flames with the passengers aboard.... And then Zodon plays a "practical joke" on him that results in it happening in real life. It backfires spectacularly in that it ends up curing the good Captain of his phobia instead of compounding it when he is forced to use his flight to put the damaged plane down safely.
* LoopholeAbuse: The Crystal Skull weasels out of giving Zodon $100,000 by giving him store credit instead of cash, since his lawyers noted that they never specified what form the payment would take. Technically this would actually be more expensive due to the way casino gift shops work, but the Crystal Skull was probably worried about 1) not giving a budding super-villain a leg up, and 2) staying in the Revenant's good graces.
* MagicPants: Funny in-universe example, with a dash of LateToThePunchline:
-->'''[[RubberMan Poly Mer]]:''' I'm glad I don't have to worry about costumes.\\
'''[[FlyingBrick Julie]]:''' You don't?\\
'''Poly Mer:''' Nope.\\
(''beat'')\\
'''Poly Mer:''' What?\\
'''Julie:''' Nothing. Just... nothing.
* MagneticMedium:
** Satori Deacon, one of the Excelsior kids who turns out to have a power, can see ghosts and other supernatural phenomena. She ''hates it'', because as soon as any given ghost figures this out, they will ''bug the living crap out of her'' with requests from beyond the grave.
** [[spoiler:And Cecil, the conspiracy theorist who thinks the [=PS238=] kids are (all) aliens, turns out to be able to sense metahumans. This being the series that it is, he gets what he sees, which sparks the conspiracy theories, presumably because he gets some sort of "otherness" feeling when the sense goes off. Notably, he doesn't seem to recognize Prospero, the ''actual alien''. Most likely because, while Prospero is an alien, he's a ''normal'' alien and not a meta-alien.]]
* MalignedMixedMarriage: Malphast's parents, an angel and a demon who have kept their relationship, and particularly the fact that it has issue, secret because they expect unpleasant consequences if they're found out. [[spoiler:It turns out that their superiors had known all along.]]
* ManOfSteelWomanOfKleenex:
** Apparently averted with Atlas and Lisa Larson.
** Implied with 84 and Moon Shadow [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=642 when she gives him a hug]].
* {{Masquerade}}: The presence of [=PS238=].
* MetaphoricallyTrue: When Cranston used to be president he was accused of using a telepath to read his opponent's minds, and he swore that he had no telepaths of any kind on his payroll. He didn't. He wasn't on his own payroll after all.
* MoodWhiplash: There are some surprisingly dark and serious elements to the series, which is also more thoughtful than you might expect, based on the description at the top of the page.
* MostCommonSuperpower: Averted. The one character who could probably conform to this trope is revealed to have had "work" done to look that way. Of course, most of the cast is grade-school age. Then again, Spell Siryn certainly looks to be in very good shape, especially since her powers are magical, not physical (of course, it's not like the right magic couldn't help keep her in shape). Micro-might seems to have a normal, even slightly stocky build, though her power (becoming smaller and denser) might be partly responsible, and we never see her wearing anything but loose dresses except for times when she is using her powers.
* MuggingTheMonster: The school bullies above ground have the bad habit of picking on the wrong metahumans.
* MundaneUtility:
** Inverted with the original Project Rainmaker, which was meant to find military uses for the powers of metaprodigies who don't have combat-oriented powers. The project got its name for its original subject, who could make it rain (or stop raining) at will.
** The modern Project Rainmaker has been brought in line with the rest of [=PS238=], teaching kids with non-combat powers to handle their powers responsibly. They're still separated from the other students, because they rarely have powers that allow them to handle the sort of punishment that the regular students deal with on a daily basis.
** The kids with combat-related powers also manage to find ways to put their various strengths to mundane use. For example, whenever [[PunnyName Poly]] [[RubberMan Mer]] gets bored, she can [[{{Squick}} use her tongue as chewing gum.]]
* MutantDraftBoard: Averted, as [=PS238=] is just a superhero-flavoured school and is, if anything, ''less'' sinister than the regular kind. [[spoiler:Praetorian Academy, meanwhile, is not an aversion.]]
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg:
-->'''Tyler:''' ...he says if he sees me at school again, he'll splat my friends. Oh, and Zodon, too.
* MysteryMeat: According to Prospero the food in the cafeteria is evolving. According to Malphast it's amazing how readily it animates into a homunculus.
* {{Nanomachines}}: [[spoiler:The "ghost" of Aurora.]]
** Several pieces of super-technology, including some programmed by Clay Industries for quick construction [[spoiler:which were stolen by the Headmaster to build Praetorian Academy, and which fused with him to make him a cyborg]].
* NightmareFuel: Invoked by the Revenant when discussing [[spoiler:Harold's power nullification and enhancement abilities]]. A lot of supers have a very bad response to the idea of someone messing with their powers.
* NosyNeighbor: Cecil Holmes, who doesn't know the school secretly has superhero students, so is convinced it's being infiltrated by aliens in disguise. [[spoiler:Later, it's been established that Cecil can detect metahumans. He's very disappointed that "the aliens were a lie."... But not for long.]]
* OneWayVisor: Emerald Gauntlet; Patriot Act
* OnlySaneMan: Tyler, regarding PaperThinDisguise.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent
* OverlordJr: Victor Von Fogg
* PapaWolf: You do not kidnap the daughter of Mister Extraordinary (the first recorded metahuman). He will rip your car apart then beat you over the head with the largest part left.
* PaperThinDisguise: In the ''[=PS238=]'' universe, a simple mask can fool your best friends and family into thinking you're a completely different person. Tyler is highly worried by the implications this has. Notably, it only seems to work on people who are part of the whole "superhero" shtick -- even teachers and super-intellects are fooled by it, but Cecil isn't. Cecil has jokingly suggested that Tyler's inexplicable ability to not be recognized by any of his metahuman acquaintances when dressed as Moon Shadow is his superpower.
* PatrioticFervor: Parodied with "American Eagle" and "USA Patriot Act".
* PensieveFlashback: While mentally linked to Principal Cranston, Tyler relives the latter's memories of his short tenure as President of the USA, while seeing himself in Cranston's spot.
* PickyEater: One of the Emerald Gauntlets apparently does not like Chinese food. Which is how the younger one knows about TakeAThirdOption.
* PimpDuds: As a practical joke, [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=723 some tampering with Zodon's holographic disguise]] makes him look like he's wearing Pimp Duds.
* PowerIncontinence:
** [[spoiler:After Principal Cranston's headband is damaged and removed, a hex to punish removal kicks in. Instead of him being able to hear other's thoughts, now his thoughts are projected out. The one who placed the hex has to help control this, as the removal of the limiter was justified at the time.]]
** The Rainmaker can invoke this in other metahumans.
* PowerNullifier:
** [[spoiler:Harold]]
** [[spoiler:Cranston's headband]] is also supposed to be one of these, but it doesn't work completely -- he can still lift pens and push buttons while wearing it. (Telekinetically, that is -- his hands work just fine either way.) It still visibly hurts him to do even that much, though.
* PowersViaPossession: Satori
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: Patriot Act's discs.
* PsychicStatic: The Revenant is fond of using Music/TheAlanParsonsProject music. He specifically mentions "Sirius", the instrumental lead-in to "[[ParanoiaFuel Eye in the Sky]]", which featured the repeated line "[[{{Telepathy}} I can read your mind]]". (And the album, also called ''Eye in the Sky'', had a mystic symbol on the album cover which looks suspiciously similar to the Revenant's ChestInsignia.)
* {{Reconstruction}}: As much as Williams enjoys deconstructing superhero tropes, his affection for them shows through and he often follows up by quickly reconstructing them all over again. Not everything is rosy for the heroes and often RealityEnsues from their powers and experiences, and some have rather shallow motives and fairly JerkAss-ish behavior (such as within the Finster extended family). Yet at the same time they remain firmly committed to doing the best they can as well as they know how, and remain ''heroes'' that they and their families and friends can respect.
* RemoteBody: Toby was originally one for Tyler.
* RestrainingBolt:
** Zodon's "Barry Ween" chip to prevent swearing.
** [[spoiler:Cranston's headband]]. Also an ExplosiveLeash.
* RetiredBadass: Most of the [=PS238=] teachers are former superheroes. They're more than capable of getting their hands dirty to protect their students, although they tend to suffer from TheWorfEffect to allow the students to shine.
* RunningGag: Whenever anyone new shows up, Zodon and Von Fogg will hand them minion application forms sooner rather than later.
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:Aurora, one of the former members of the Union of Justice, 'haunts' the school's basement as a ghost made of {{Nanomachines}}. She's kept in there by solid-steel walls with EM fields. It's currently unknown why she's locked in there, though judging by her current personality she underwent a HeelFaceTurn at some point.]]
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Averted; one of the main problems for the Revenant is that many of his wealthy cover identities have [[FridgeLogic problems with tax evasion charges]].
* SecretIdentity:
** All superpowered students at the school are required to practice having a secret identity (those that end up going into hero work are expected to discard this "practice identity" when they start their careers.) They must appear as normal humans aboveground, and wear their costumes in the secret underground classrooms.
** Moon Shadow subverts it by being a normal human with a secret identity to hide who he is from the supers.
* SeriousBusiness: Foursquare.
* ShoutOut: Apart from all the superhero homages, there are also homages to non-superhero comics, including:
** Zodon's human disguise makes him look like a character from ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide''.
** To ''Series/DoctorWho'':
*** The time-traveller Tom Davidson is named after two of the stars of the show (and the cover art for issue #12, in which Tom features heavily, includes a homage to one of the old ''Doctor Who'' title logos).
*** In another issue, Murphy quotes Leela in "The Robots of Death".
*** And the Revenant acquired a familiar-looking ultrasonic tool from an unnamed man in return for help the Revenant gave him in a defunct timeline.
** One humorous two-panel joke has the Revenant decrypting the names "Wayne, B" and "Grayson, D".
** Creator/PhilFoglio and his family appear as supervillains. He gets another ShoutOut when Zodon gets his hands on a [[Webcomic/GirlGenius Heterodyne]] Tachyon Generator.
** Revenant's Alfred [[CaptainErsatz Ersatz]] is named Cranston, most likely a reference to Lamont Cranston, a.k.a. Radio/TheShadow. The Revenant also uses the alias Kent Allard, which happens to be another secret Identity of The Shadow. Allard's character design also has a notable resemblance to author Michael Stackpole, the creator of Revenant.
** [[spoiler:Toby being simultaneously bossed about by Order and Chaos]] is represented by him as [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Captain Kirk]] -- complete with StarTrekShake.
** Bernard has a [[Webcomic/PvP Skull]] doll.
** Spell Syrin tells off her magic students for trying to start a [[Franchise/HarryPotter Quidditch]] game.
** Tyler uses the Franchise/StargateVerse to convince Cecil that one of the "aliens" is on their side.
** Tyler finds himself in a ''Film/{{Tron}}'' costume from his clone's superpowers leaking out.
** When Alec's drawing causes the Headmaster's computer to crash, it begins to sing [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey "Daisy, Daisy"]].
** The Trans-Dimensional Defense Division's seal contains the number [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy forty-two]].
** When Cecil confronts Zodon and tells him that he knows he is an alien, Zodon replies [[Series/TheXFiles "The truth is out there, kid,]] so why don't you go find it?"
** Coach Rockslide's real last name, Krutz, is a reference back to ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}'', where it was itself (not much of) an anagram of [[Webcomic/PvP Scott Kurtz]].
* ShroudedInMyth: [[spoiler:Moon Shadow]] gains a near-mythical reputation amongst the [=PS238=] students.
* SimilarSquad: A trip "sideways to the seconds, underneath the third and fifth dimensions" takes Malphast and Cecil to a school occupied by [[MonstrousHumanoid tentacled aardvark-snouted children]] ... two of whom, arguing about who will kneel before the other's intellect, are the bowler-hatted Von Phtago and the thick-spectacled Zodthulu.
* TheSlowPath: Zodon takes it to get back to the present day from ~10,000 years ago, HumanPopsicle style.
* SmokeOut: Moonshadow improves this trick with a smoke rocket, making Argosians believe he took flight -- [[InvertedTrope while he legs it]].
* SpecialGuest: In a very bizarre but hilarious situation, Creator/WilWheaton guest stars in the comic about superpower career day, as the representative of meta-humans who go into the Entertainment industry. In the ''[=PS238=]'' universe, he not only played Wesley but single-handedly used his psychokinetic superpowers to do most of the special effects for ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', which apparently helped cancel out some of his character being a CreatorsPet in this universe. Zodon still hates him, though.
* SpiderLimbs: [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=1402 A supervillainess]] that the Revenant is fighting while mentoring Cecil.
* StableTimeLoop: Vashti "Spell Siryn" Imperia's origin story. She was kidnapped by a witch as a little girl (In the era of ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}''), and eventually stole the witch's spellbook and used it to become a powerful mage. Thousands of years later, she ended up going back in time, where she kidnapped her younger self, and deliberately left a copy of her early spellbook lying around to be stolen.
* StageMom: Tyler's parents are utterly convinced they can micromanage their son into becoming the World's Greatest Super Hero (when they aren't [[ParentalObliviousness ignoring him]]).
-->'''Ultima:''' To even ''think'' otherwise is to defy the ''will'' of the ''Universe''.
* StrangerInAStrangeSchool: Tyler doesn't pretend to be anything else, but between the fact that both his parents are legendary superheroes and the school being a constant WeirdnessMagnet, he has no choice but to become an ActionSurvivor in order to, well, survive. Currently in training to become BadassNormal.
* StrawCharacter / PompousPoliticalPundit: Jenny (American Eagle) and Dillon (USA PATRIOT Act) both sound like they learned how to speak from political sound bites and 24-hour news channels. Neither one's backing party is explicitly identified, though Dillon's dialogue would fit comfortably with a conservative Republican, while Jenny reads like a conservative Democrat.
* SuddenlyFluentInGibberish: Angie can somehow understand what Prospero is saying. Nobody knows how. It might be because she's a super-intellect who is smart enough to build rocket ships out of scrapped cars in her spare time. She spends a lot of time with him, and picked up the language quickly.
* SuperheroSchool: Naturally, [[CaptainObvious the eponymous school]]. Praetorian Academy is a privatized version, as well has having heavy military-school overtones.
* SuperRegistrationAct: Averted. None is enforced, though many superheroes choose to anyhow. One of the early comics, a mock advertisement, indicates that [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=28 "full disclosure gains access to scholarships, grants, and placement assistance"]].
* SuperpowerfulGenetics: Well, duh. The school's full of children of superheroes who have one or more of their parents' powers, alongside a few "first-generation" metahumans (whose parents were normal), and Tyler, a subversion by being the only non-powered child of metahumans known to exist. [[spoiler:This gets deconstructed later by "BigBad" The Headmaster, an anti-metahuman WellIntentionedExtremist, who considers superheroics a form of courtship display meant to showcase the superpowers of the individuals involved. He argues that eventually, competition for mates, evolution of powers and crossbreeding of metahuman with metahuman will lead to the piling on of powers over several generations, creating more and more powerful superpowered children until eventually a GooGooGodlike scenario and the probable destruction of planet Earth.]]
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Zodon, after being caught red-handed cheating at blackjack.
-->'''Zodon:''' I'm not doing anything suspicious that can be ''proven'' within a hundred decimal places!
* TakeAThirdOption: "We want a hamburger, I mean, another option!"
* [[KilledMidSentence Teleported Away Mid-Sentence]]: [[spoiler:Charles]] tends to do this.
* TeleportersAndTransporters:
** [[spoiler:Charles]]
** The Earth Defense League has a teleporter linked, among other places, to the principal's office of [=PS238=].
* TimeAbyss: [[spoiler:TheSingularity.]]
* TimeyWimeyBall
* TooMuchInformation: The kids' reaction to the explanation of the toilet facilities during their field trip to the moon. [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=235 EEEEEEWWWW!]]
* TransformingMecha: Prospero's spaceship.
* TurbineBlender: Captain Clarinet is afraid of this happening to him if he flies. That is, until Zodon points out that ''he'd'' be the one blending the turbines. (It doesn't make him feel better, mostly because Zodon goes on to describe what happens to the people on the plane.)
* UnusualEuphemism (mixed with TongueTied): Whenever Zodon tries to cuss, the chip in his head causes him to say a random innocuous word instead. If he goes on a [[ClusterFBomb rant-length obscenity crawl]], it switches into "Showtunes Mode"... "Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}", for example. Or "Theatre/ManOfLaMancha"... Or "Theatre/TheMusicMan". {{Lampshaded}} by Victor Von Fogg once.[[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=623 "And you swear like a G-rated sailor."]]
-->'''Zodon:''' I'm going '''[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: caroling ]]
''' ape'''[[/folder]]

[[folder: beans ]]
'''!
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Rainmaker. And [[spoiler:The Headmaster]].
* WhamEpisode: Issues 25-27 (''Invasion Day'', ''Quarantine'', and ''Remember When I Was President?''). Several major plot threads come together as: aliens openly invade Earth with a "bioforming" retrovirus; [[spoiler:Tyler is infected as Patient Zero to spread it to the rest of humanity and has to be quarantined in stasis]]; one of Zodon's plots comes to fruition; we learn the secrets of PS238's faculty and how (and why) the school was founded; the school [[spoiler:is heavily damaged and nearly destroyed]]; and we even get to see Revenant's face (...maybe). A ''lot'' of important new plots, character developments, and changes to the world arise from the fallout of this story. It remains one of the biggest climaxes the series has had.
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: Beautifully averted.
** The children in the Rainmaker program are all in possession of powers that are pretty much useless when it comes to things like fighting crime or saving the world. However, the purpose of the program is to give them an opportunity to explore using their powers in the private sector. A perfect example is a kid who can make any object as edible and nutritious (and tasty) as he wants; he won't be fighting any supervillains any time soon, but several restaurant chains are already lined up to headhunt him. Not to mention the job offers from Hollywood for the one who can change the distribution of body fat in people.
** Creator/WilWheaton used a modest telekinetic talent (think "can lift a trashcan" level, not "stop bullets with his mind") to allow models to remain competitive in the special effects department.
* WhatTheHellHero: Satori almost becomes violent when confronting the healer who brought [[spoiler: Ambriel]] back to life. She claims "how would you feel if after being born, you were dragged back to where you were before you were born?", but Satori was talking to [[spoiler: Ambriel]] before and at the moment of her resurrection, and knows this is not true, at least in this case. She knows perfectly well that [[spoiler: Ambriel]] was ''very'' unhappy with her situation and will be overjoyed to come back to life. No explanation is given for Satori being so furious that the teacher actually has to physically pull her away from the healer.
* {{Wingdinglish}}: Alien tongues are in strange font, but otherwise readable. Prospero's walls of text in his introductory chapters starts off with "If you can read this" and goes on with Creator/MontyPython quotes, a recipe, etc, to avoid heavy spoilers, but in the rest of the series, his utterings are often hilarious. (some of them are available [[http://pastebin.com/sSH4Sr3q here]].)
* WiseBeyondTheirYears:
** Most of the children super-intellects, like Victor and Zodon.
** Tom Davidson.
** Murphy straddles the line between this and {{Cloudcuckoolander}}.
* TheWorfEffect: The teachers often suffer this to allow the kids to take center stage. Partly justified if one of the kids has a power far better suited to a situation. Also justified in that the teachers are all former famous superheroes whose powers were well known, so villains who've done their research know what to expect from them. The students, however, are mostly complete unknowns and therefore aren't as easy to predict.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/?p=970 By Ron.]]
* WrenchWench: Angie
* WriteWhoYouKnow: In-universe. Every one of the class' "creative writing" exercises is a story that is rather transparently about the person who wrote it (though Tyler's classmates don't see this in his story about Moon Shadow). Most of them are describing events that actually happened.
* YourHeadAsplode: [[spoiler:Tyler's clone has a bomb inside the control device that lets Tyler uplink with it. Victor's immediate response to hearing that the clone is no longer needed is to trigger it -- [[SubvertedTrope fortunately the device was outside the clone's head at the time.]]]]

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