[[quoteright:260:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MsEmpowered.jpg]]

->''It is kinda [[BuffySpeak skin-crawly]] to think that, right now, some guy with [[FetishFuel "specialized tastes"]] might be getting, um, [[GenreSavvy turned on by images of me]] all [[BoundAndGagged bound 'n gagged]] [[DistressedDamsel 'n distressed...]] or even, [[{{Squick}} ick]], [[ADateWithRosiePalms you-know-what-ing]] to those images...! Brr...!''\\
'''''!'''''\\
''[[ObliviousGuiltSlinging Y-You're not like that, right?]] R-RIGHT?! Tell me you're not... p-PLEASE! [[YouBastard You seem r-REALLY NICE, okay?]]''

''Empowered'' is a graphic novel series written and drawn by Adam Warren; its chief protagonist is the [[IronicName eponymous Empowered]] ("Emp"), a [[DistressedDamsel Damsel in Distress]]-prone heroine. ''Empowered'' contains numerous {{deconstruction}}s of [[SuperHero superhero comics]] alongside healthy doses of [[BoundAndGagged bondage]], {{fanservice}}, and comedy.

It's unusual among both Western comics and manga in consisting of uninked pencil art (apart from the comics-format specials). (Adam Warren has said that this is less of a work-saver for him than you might think, as it means that he has to do all the shading and textures in pencil, instead of leaving it to the inking or colouring stage.)

Empowered is a plucky D-list superheroine who means well, even though she's generally hopeless when facing down villains. No matter how much she prepares or trains, she's inevitably betrayed by the fragile source of her superpowers: her [[{{Stripperiffic}} outrageously]] [[PaintedOnPants skin-tight]] [[ClingyCostume super-costume]] ([[EmbarrassingButEmpoweringOutfit which Emp is less than happy about, as she has numerous body-image issues]]). Emp's suit gives her immense power only while it's fully intact -- and since it's made from a material [[ClothingDamage that tears easily]] and can't be worn with anything over ''or'' under it, [[WeaksauceWeakness Emp is seldom in a position to benefit from it for long]].

She spends most of her time [[BoundAndGagged being tied up by supervillains]] -- a fact which has made her a laughing stock amongst her peers -- and either naked or near-naked. Emp's confidence gets shredded as frequently as her fragile super-suit -- [[IronWoobie and yet, she persists]].

----
!!''Empowered'' contains examples of:

* AbusiveParent: Ninjette's violent, alcoholic father.
* AchillesHeel: One of [=ThugBoy=]'s former employers had a sheer impenetrable power armor, but still needed air vents in order not to suffocate in it. He was smart enough to hide them under his cape, but not smart enough to guard them better. Not to mention, impossible to remove by the wearer if the power was disabled.
* ActionGirl:
** Ninjette
** Emp has her moments.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The Caged Demonwolf loves this.
-->'''Caged Demonwolf:''' Aye, fools, '''tremble''' before the might of a '''7-word''' chain of '''alliteration combo'''.
* AffablyEvil: Manny wants to be a supervillain. But he's just so nice about it. He talks about like a kid would talk about being an astronaut. [[spoiler:When he actually succeeds, he's still pretty nice about it, politely requesting that no-one resists so that he doesn't have to hurt anyone.]]
* AgentPeacock: Maidman
* AliensInCardiff: Ninjas in UsefulNotes/NewJersey. Even in this universe, the characters find it odd enough to comment on. Possibly because even though they're from NJ, they still do ''everything possible'' to act like stereotypical Japanese ninjas, including giving Japanese names and using honorifics even in English. In our world, that would mean they'd be over-obsessed Weeaboos, so maybe they're seen similarly there. A Ninja from an authentic Japanese clan calls Ninjette a weaboo, so they are seen that way.
* AliensMadeThemDoIt: Parodied in a ShowWithinAShow SlashFic Empowered reads about her teammates.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Empowered
* AlluringAnglerfish:
** A supervillain, who uses his lurelight to hypnotize people.
** And his [[spoiler:dead]] son, who uses it mostly to commit rape via mind-control.
* AndIMustScream: A supervillain is trapped in "energy draining bondage gear," and has to be kept at Emp's house. Hilarity ensues when he complains that he has nothing to do, and then she leaves NPR on when she has to go out. He's not isolated so much as just bored, though. He can still communicate, both with the reader through the fourth wall and with the characters... something he uses to narrate the story. Aloud. In-universe.
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: Discussed by Maidman.
-->'''Maidman:''' I'd be far more embarrassed to dress up like, say, an animal. Now that would be silly. Face it. The hundreds of would-be badass capes who practice species crossdressing as various theoretically intimidating animals? That's one step removed from being a furry. Talk about embarrassing.
* {{Animesque}}: Lampshaded by Emp in one meta-text panel.
* AntiClimacticUnmasking: Happens to Emp, who then proceeds to try to buy time by convincing them that she's a crossdressing man.
* ArentYouGoingToRavishMe: Empowered is menaced by a robotic "Pimpotron" who intends to deliver her to a galactic harem. When his sensors detect that her butt is too big for the Emperor's tastes, he apologetically leaves her [[IncrediblyLamePun behind]]. She's more upset about the insult than relieved at her good fortune. Incidentally, this is the first time readers get to know about Emp's body-image issues.
* ArtShift: In volume 8, [[spoiler:the destruction of San Antonio]] is shown in high-contrast inks instead of the usual pencils.
* AtrociousAlias: The standout example in a cast full of this would have to be "Sodomy", who was once part of a trio of villains called Rum, Sodomy, and The Lash. In spite of repeated insistence that he only represents ''heterosexual'' sodomy, he got sick of being MistakenForGay and quit.
* AuthorAppeal: Bondage, ultra-technology, gratuitous labeling, [[TheWoobie Woobies]], etc. And Metahumans with random objects (hand, gun, ''cinderblock'', etc.) for a head. Possibly subverted: Warren received several requests for superheroine bondage pieces, which became Emp. If this is to be believed, the kinkier aspects of the comic are from those initial fans, and the appeal for the author comes from trying to get away from the creepiness. Maybe.
* AuthorVocabularyCalendar: Despite his convoluted speech, the Caged Demonwolf has a noticeable fondness for saying "Jackanapes" and "much vaunted". "Brobdingnagian" shows up a couple of times as well.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Doctor Big [=McLarge=] Huge. (He is, too; half again as tall as most of the normal characters, and three times as wide.) It also doubles as a bonus ''MST3K'' reference.
* BadassBeard:
** Willy Pete, due to his elemental nature, has a ''massive'' beard '''of fire.''' (In Volume 6, it is mentioned that he has "seized the #1 ranking for Suprahuman Facial Hair.)
** Weirdbeard too (not of fire though, but prehensile).
** Phallik. The beard is so badass that it survives when [[spoiler: Phallik himself is burned to a crisp by Willy Pete]].
* BadassNormal: Ninjette; [=ThugBoy=]; Maidman. Emp also has degrees of this; her suit is so unreliable, and Emp has been stranded in so many dangerous situations, that she's developed a pretty impressive set of survival skills.
* BareYourMidriff: Sistah Spooky; Ninjette. True for Emp too as soon as her costume gets damaged.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: And so does Empowered.
* BatmanGambit: Maidman uses it at least once, on Blitzcraig / Gotterdammeruffian.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Subverted in volume 8. Ninjette seems to be her usual pretty self after her big fight with the Ayakami clan...but then she drops the ninja illusion magic and is revealed to be covered with cuts and bruises.
* BedTrick: Ninjette is renowned in Ninja circles for having pretended to be the spouse of Mitsunori, princess of a rival clan, in order to steal that clan's secrets. This included consummating their marriage -- i.e. rape by deception -- which she still feels guilty about. In volume 7, it is revealed that in her wilder moments, Ninjette has considered performing a similar feat with Emp or [=ThugBoy=] in order to get laid.
* BerserkButton: King Tyrant Lizard's [[FangThpeak speech impediment]] and the little crown [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas his mother gave him.]]
* {{BFG}}:
** [=ThugBoy=]'s 50-cal SniperRifle, although it gets destroyed during a fight.
** The B.F.Gunnaz are named after this trope.
** The hero Heavy Artillery, whose head and neck have been replaced by an artillery piece.
* {{BFS}}: Phallik's "Mighty Phallospear".
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: Emp is usually known {{in-universe}} for getting tied up... and not much else.
* BigBadWannabe:
** [[spoiler:Irresistimmovable. That [[SomeKindOfForceField Byzanium-powered force-field generator]] that he [[LuckilyMyPowersWillProtectMe won't shut up about?]] It's a ''rental''.]]
** Manny is a ''literal'' big bad wannabe. He's a kid who wants to be a supervillain. And he's ever so polite about it too. [[spoiler: He stops being a wannabe in volume 4, but despite being one of the more competent villains, he's still pretty polite.]]
* BigOlUnibrow: There's a superhero who's even named Unibrow. Of course this trope applies to him. [[spoiler:We don't learn much about him, except that he's a Superdead.]]
* BilingualBonus: Quite a few un-subtitled Japanese words and phrases.
* BiTheWay:
** Sistah Spooky has had relationships with both sexes.
** Ninjette had sex with a woman while disguised as said woman's husband.
** Emp is said to be a "three-drink bisexual".
* BizarreAlienBiology: Some aliens in ''Empowered'''s verse have two left kidneys. And one kind of alien (maybe the same one) has kidney equivalents that filter the bloodstream using coherent light -- essentially, FrickinLaserBeams.
* BlandNameProduct: Lots of this: "[=YouToob=]", "Grant-a-Wish Foundation", you get the idea.
* BleachedUnderpants: [[NeatFreak Maidman]] would have some criticism as to how ''well'' they've been bleached, but it's a respectable try, anyway.
* BlessedWithSuck: A form-fitting supersuit is anything but ideal for someone insecure about her body. The fact that it almost always fails when most needed is pretty sucky, too. Then note that the suit's effectiveness is based entirely on Empowered's self-esteem and factor in the above.
* BodyHorror:
** The general result of contracting a Super-STD. Yes, those exist.
** In volume 8, Sistah Spooky [[spoiler:gets her ''lips burned off'']]!
* BoldInflation: There are '''barely''' any speech bubbles in this comic that '''don't''' have a '''bolded word''' or '''two!!'''
* BoldlyComing: Not one, not two, but ''three'' of the Superhomeys obtained their powers from sex with non-humans. In fact, they met in a support group for it. One of them (Protean) gained power from an alien STD, the second was turned into a mech by nanomachines contracted through sex with an advanced android, the third due to sex with an unknown superhuman whose dialogue suggested he was made by a certain Doctor.
* BoundAndGagged: Empowered, all the freaking ''time''. See also AuthorAppeal.
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: Empowered: Joke... or Menace? Or... Menacing joke?
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Lampshaded in the collected volume, with Empowered talking about how annoying it can be.
* BriarPatching: Used in an ImagineSpot by guess whom.
-->'''"Ninjette": Cast not''' this helpless rabbit of a wench into the figurative '''briar patch''' of the fabled '''orgasms multiple!'''
* BridalCarry:
** Emp with a traumatized Ninjette. [=ThugBoy=] thinks we shouldn't read too much into it. The [[YuriFan Caged Demonwolf]] thinks differently.
** Also, sometimes [=ThugBoy=] with Emp, and (in a dream / ImagineSpot) [=ThugBoy=] with Sistah Spooky.
* BringMyBrownPants:
** Syndablokk reveals that he would have wet himself if he could in his first big encounter, and a lot of supers wear low-profile incontinence products.
** In #2, the Caged Demonwolf mentions that Major Havoc soiled himself when encountering him unbound.
* BrokenBird:
** Empowered, Ninjette ''and'' Sistah Spooky.
** [[spoiler:Mindf██k is about as much this as she can be. She's only good because she rewrote her personality to be so. While she may be smiling and kind even as she tells this story, it's pretty clear that she doesn't consider that enough to make her a good person.]]
* BroughtDownToBadass: Sometimes, Emp is more dangerous when her suit's torn. Instead of trying to use its notoriously flaky powers, she has to ''improvise'', which she's proven surprisingly adept at.
* BuffySpeak: Mainly from Emp in the Meta breaks -- and occasionally in the main story as well.
* BusmansHoliday: Kind of. In her spare time, Ninjette likes to play videogames, where the hero is... a ninja.
* ButNotTooForeign: [=ThugBoy=] claims German and Italian ancestry to "balance" his more obvious Japanese heritage. This fails to impress one {{Nazi}} employer. It is unknown if this was just him trying to fast-talk the villain.
* CallBack: Quite a few.
** For example, in volume 1, a guy knocks out Emp by smothering her with a rag drenched in halothane. In volume 3, while arguing about how many times she's been chloroformed, she mentions that she was halothaned too.
** Emp can't wear panties under her suit because they're visible, but she didn't know this until Sistah Spooky mocked her for it in the first story. During a flashback where she first meets Sistah Spooky, Emp's panties are visible.
* CaptainErsatz: A few of the characters appear to be based on mainstream comic book characters. Glue Gun Gil = Paste Pot Pete, etc. Most notably, [[Franchise/{{Batman}} THE GODDAMN MAIDMAN!]]
* CaptainObvious
* CarFu:
** The superpowered version is deconstructed in Volume 1.
** The normal version proves [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/empowered-carfu.jpg more efficient in Volume 4]].
** Explored in great detail in the short issue ''Animal Style'', including recommendations for using parts of a car in a superpowered fight.
* CassandraDidIt: In volume 5, the Superhomeys (especially Major Havoc) blame Emp for the trouble [[spoiler:dWARf!]] caused at the Capeys, since she "so obviously" could never win a fight against a supervillain on her own and must have planned it and may even be a closeted villain herself. Mindf██k pointed out that she had read Emp's mind and seen what had happened, but Havoc still thinks Emp had something to do with it and issued a gag order on all public discussions on the matter, leaving Emp unable to defend herself publicly against the already-started rumors.
* CatGirl:
** In Volume Two, [=ThugBoy=] imagines Emp as one: "Schrodinger's Catgirl!"
** And later, we get Ocelotina.
* CatholicSchoolGirlsRule: Subverted. They're indeed very hot, but also the biggest bitches you can think of. Poor [[spoiler:Theresa]]. (They all -- yes, all -- got their beauty from a DealWithTheDevil, what did you expect?)
* CatSmile: Ocelotina in #4 (see p. 155).
* CensorBox: Mostly shows up on dialogue; also used to cover naughty bits a couple of times.
* CerebusRetcon: Emp's propensity to be caught, tied up, and humiliated is played for laughs for most of the series. In Volume 8 it is revealed that Sistah Spooky actually cast spells and planted the idea in villains' minds so they would break Emp's spirit.
* CerebusSyndrome: The first three volumes are mostly comedy, with occasional hints at more dramatic plot developments and backstories. Volume four goes all out, opening with Ninjette apparently dealing with PTSD. Five sees [[spoiler:Emp's Crowning Moment of Awesome from the previous book being not only papered over by her {{Jerkass}} teammates but outright turned against her and the death of one (maybe two) main characters plus a horde of C-listers.]] Six takes the dark note at the end of five and ''runs'' with it, and is quite frankly highly disturbing. Also thoroughly [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]. The fifth volume ends on a FourthWallMailSlot with the characters hoping the next book will be LighterAndSofter. The sixth volume ends with them complaining that it wasn't. Book 8 is by far the darkest yet, with downright nightmarish imagery.
* CharacterDevelopment: Emp started the series as a neurotic mess. By Volume 5 she's a... well, still a neurotic mess, but less of one.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Ninjette & co. using [[LifeEnergy Chi]] to alter their appearance.
* ChekhovsGun:
** The suit -- [[spoiler:which is a lot more powerful than it appears, is sapient, and had a weird glowy... something... appearing over it when [=ThugBoy=] was cheering Emp up.]]
** Volume 1 has the alien bondage gear later used on Caged Demonwolf.
** Volume 4 has Chekhov's Alien Liver Infected with Alien Parasites.
** Volume 5 has Chekhov's Duct Tape.
** [[spoiler:The pile of equipment and files ████ing Oyuki-chan gave to Ninjette.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: Several.
** [[spoiler:A female hostage Empowered tries (and fails) to save from [=ThugBoy=] in Volume 1 appears again in Volume 2 trying to kidnap Empowered for ransom (and LesYay) related reasons. She then becomes a recurring character as a deliberate model for the fetish crowd that Emp keeps unintentionally feeding.]]
** [[spoiler:Deathmonger is mentioned in an early volume, but when he does appear in volume six... Hooboy. ''Hoo''boy.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Emp's embarrassing and apparently useless parlor trick of turning her suit invisible is demonstrated in a one-off story from the first volume (she is not affected, cannot wear anything over or under it, and was ''trying'' to affect only her mask instead of ''[[{{Fanservice}} everything but]]''). Turns out it had a use after all, as mentioned below. FridgeBrilliance sets in, too, when you remember how the rest of the suit's powers are tied to Emp's self-esteem, uncharacteristically rock-solid in that moment....
** In Volume 8, Emp is shown training to dodge multiple attackers by the Super Dead. In the finale of that book, [[spoiler: she uses those tricks to dodge the Hell worms.]]
%%* ChillyReception
* [[ChooseYourOwnAdventure Choose Your Own Disaster:]] Thugboy is given three choices how to respond to the question who is better in bed Empowered or Sistah Spooky. (Hint: none of these answers are correct.)
* ClingyCostume: And how.
* ClothingDamage: Empowered -- see WeaksauceWeakness, below.
* ClusterBleepBomb: All swearwords are covered with {{Censor Box}}es, which arguably makes it funnier. Special note must be made of the kunoichi so foul-mouthed that she's referred to as "████ing Oyuki-chan", who seriously cannot go for a single ████ing line without swearing.
* CombatPragmatist: Empowered demonstrates this quality in the introductory chapter of Volume 4 by explaining that throwing a car at someone is not as effective as ramming someone with that car at seventy miles per hour, as she demonstrates the technique's effectiveness on a supervillain. [[spoiler:And then, since this is [[ButtMonkey Emp]][[TheWoobie owered]], the resulting crash takes her out of the fight, encases her in seat belt bondage, AND gives her JerkAss teammates time to wake up and take all the credit.]] Note that she had already tried the car-throwing trick in an earlier issue. She threw out her back with it, and felt guilty when the nice old couple who owned the car came to get it.
* ContagiousPowers: Literally; several superheroes got their powers from ''[[BoldlyComing alien STDs]]''.
* ContinuityCreep: It all started with a few "throwaway" comics which "grew".
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Makro in her TV show (volume #6). Maybe justified because she's, well, a superheroine.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: When the Caged Demonwolf mocks [=ThugBoy=] for being pussy-whipped, [=ThugBoy=] gets revenge by making the Demonwolf watch ''Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood'' all night long.
* CornerOfWoe: Ninja videogames -- SeriousBusiness.
* {{Cosplay}}: Empowered's latest-known day-job was cosplaying as... Empowered.
* CoughSnarkCough:
-->'''Major Havoc:''' *koff* Bitch.
* CrapsackWorld:
** The vast majority of superheroes are assholes, and while most villains abide by the "unwritten rules" and are up to mostly SilverAge level antics, there are four villains (in only six volumes) who have the powers to be a VERY real threat. The "kindest" of those villains "only" rapes people to death. [[AndIMustScream The rest are worse.]]
** About the superheroes... The previous leadership, currently known as "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Retirees]]", could be said to be ''worse''. Why? Well they [[spoiler: accidentally created a ''supervolcano'' on the site of a city with ''over one million people of population'', nearly destroying the whole American continent in the process, by losing control of an alien WMD they had grown reliant on]]. That's ''why'' they retired. For comparison, it took ''Willy Pete'' for the usually collateral-damage insensitive Major Havoc to call for risking that, and the rest of the Capes say that ''that'' GodzillaThreshold hasn't been crossed yet.
* CrazyPrepared: Maidman. Planning ahead, and being ready for everything, are his main weapons (as he does state himself).
* CrossPlayer: Of Phallik Spear, of all things.
* CrossPoppingVeins: As part of the {{animesque}} package.
* CurbStompBattle:
** "... guess th' white capes might be underestimatin' ol' [[spoiler:Willy Pete]] jus' a li'l bit less, next time around."
** Applied literally with Syndablokk. Although he has super-strength and durability (and a cinderblock for a head), his ''real'' power is telekinetic control over concrete. Cue villain getting stomped ''by'' the curb, and the street, and the sidewalk, and the highway overpass. The reason he doesn't use it very often? [[GodzillaThreshold MASSIVE property damage]].
* CursedWithAwesome:
** One of the suit's side effects that Emp "worries" about is... it supercharges her orgasms and libido. Gee, what a burden.
** Turns out that there is actually a price for some power, though. [[spoiler:Some people who make deals with otherworldly entities for power -- some, not all -- find that the power continues to animate their bodies after their demise, leaving them as [[NotUsingTheZWord the Superdead]].]]
* CuteLittleFangs: Whenever a character's feeling especially determined or cocky. Especially [[CatGirl Ocelotina]], of course.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Caged Demonwolf offers to use his precognition powers if Ninjette touches herself in Volume 8.
* DatingCatwoman: Empowered & [=ThugBoy=] started off this way.
* DeadlyDisc: The Maidman throws deadly ''doilies''.
* DealWithTheDevil: Sistah Spooky's origin. [[spoiler:(She made a deal for "[[VainSorceress supernatural hotness]]" and accidentally gained mystic powers out of the deal.) It's outright stated in volume 6 that many more heroes got their powers this way, and the "going to hell" part may not even be the worst bit of the deal. Although the exact nature of "bargainer" super-powers is left unclear, and some certainly come from deals with the devil, it's implied that there are more benign entities that make deals for super-powers.]]
* DeathIsCheap? Unclear. We'll see in volume 6. [[spoiler:Apparently, their bodies die, but their superpowers don't.]]
* DeconstructiveParody
* DelusionsOfEloquence: Yes, Imperial Pimpotron Alpha could give [[OneOverZero Marcus]] a run for his money. (With plenty of BoldInflation.)
* DepravedBisexual:
** What Willy Pete does to [[AnythingThatMoves anyone he can get his hands on]] (although supers, being more durable, last longer) isn't pretty.
** Inverted with [[spoiler:Sistah Spooky. The only times she approaches being a decent person, or even using sex for something other than a weapon or to prop up her own self-esteem, is when she's with her on-again, off-forever girlfriend, Mindf██k. Everyone else buys the image, but Mindf██k loves Spookums for Spookums. Spookums can't handle it, and dumps her.]] Leads to a dark, dark TearJerker.[[invoked]]
* DepthDeception: Blunt Trauma is attacking Emp! No, it was just his action figure that Ninjette threw into the air to train Emp.
* {{Determinator}}:
** This is how Emp's friends see her, if you can believe it. Hey, think about it: would ''you'' keep going in her position? Hell no -- anyone with any sanity and her issues would have incinerated the suit long ago and gone back to a superpower-free, clothing-undamaged lifestyle. What keeps her going (day after day, as opposed to during any one outing) is anyone's guess, but it ''cannot be stopped''.
--->'''Empowered:''' I do this '''stupid job''' because I'm ████ing '''Driven''' to do it!\\
Unlike '''You''', ████, I do this stupid, '''Stupid''' job because--\\
'''Because... [[PunctuatedPounding This... Is... What... I... AM]]!!!'''
** Another case is where [[spoiler:[=ThugBoy=] had to shred her suit to keep her from donning it when she was very ill.]] As of volume 4: DAMN.
** The goddamn Maidman ''definitely'' qualifies, especially considering he's a BadassNormal.
--->'''Empowered:''' You're not too hurt to do some '''caping''' are you, Mr. Maidman...?\\
'''Maidman:''' Let me think... level-one '''concussion''', couple '''broken ribs''', burst '''eardrum''', a few '''lacerations''' for a couple ounces of '''avulsed tissue'''... hmm. In other words, I'm '''good to go''', Miss.
* DisabilitySuperpower: [[spoiler:Mindf██k's brother tried to invoke this intentionally, when he did things described in the NightmareFuel entry, under YMMV]].
* DistressedDamsel:
** Empowered, despite her best efforts.
** [[spoiler:Ninjette also plays this trope bone-chillingly straight in Volume 3 vs the Ninja assassin squad sent to cut her limbs off and take her back home so she can be a brood mare. Although she did manage to [[{{Badass}} kill or majorly wound]] [[ActionGirl most of the attackers]] before the last two blindsided her.]]
* DoubleEntendre: Any superhero name that isn't TotallyRadical or JiveTurkey. Probably the best example is the female hero with the ability to grow to giant proportions: "Size Queen".
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnFemale:
** The girl who will later adopt the Ocelotina identity groping Emp in the boot of the car, which is implied in dialogue to include forcible digital penetration. This is something of an in-universe example as well, because when Sistah Spooky comes to rescue Emp, and sees obvious evidence that future-Ocelotina had been in the process of sexually assaulting Emp, she is only upset because she thinks this means that Ocelotina thinks Emp is hot, and not because one of her teammates has been sexually assaulted.
** Also the backstory reference to Ninjette having successfully impersonated the husband of a rival ninja on her wedding night.
* DoubleStandardRapeMaleOnMale: At the end of volume #1, [[AssholeVictim Major Havoc and dWARF!]] are in the hands of a villain "fond of [[Film/PulpFiction the oeuvre]] of Creator/QuentinTarantino".
* DownerEnding: Volume 5. Mentioned in the meta-interlude summing things up.
** That the book features more of these is something of a RunningGag in the recaps and epilogues.
* TheDreaded: Maidman is easily the superhero supervillains fear the most in the Empowered Universe because he ''will'' find you.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Willy Pete receives this treatment in-universe after the events of Volume Five.
* DropInCharacter: Sistah Spooky says that Mindf██k (a mighty telepath) acts just like this. "Like a wacky sitcom neighbor!"
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Emp cannot wear anything underneath or over the suit without affecting the suit's powers or ripping it. The suit is sensitive to the point that even pubic hair affects it. In volume one however, Emp wears panties underneath the suit, and is bullied by Sistah Spooky.
* {{Ecchi}}: It's manga-styled, starts out hugely suggestive, and goes from there. By now, the whole thing skirts the decency line as closely as it dares.
* EggshellClothing: One-shot villain Baby Bird. See also [[WMG/{{Empowered}} the WMG]].
* EmpathicWeapon: The hypermembrane.
* EpilepticTrees: InUniverse -- so, a {{ninja}} clan created all those {{bishonen}}, {{yaoi}} and {{moe}} girls, to lower Japan's birthrate? Note that the person describing this doesn't believe a word of it.
* EqualOpportunityEvil: The Ayakami ninjas also have (at least) one girl fighting in their rows. So do the Kaburagis.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Played with. Despite Emp ''constantly'' being powerless, bound, gagged, and at the mercy of her enemies, no villain yet has, er, taken advantage of the situation. Notable in that the standards the villains are upholding are not their own, but a code of "unwritten rules" governing hero/villain conduct, among which include not killing or defiling the heroes. Any villain foolish enough to break these rules would have a huge mob of ''pissed-off'' superheroes out for his blood.
** [[spoiler:[=ThugBoy=]]] brutally killed a previous employer who was about to commit genocide with his superweapon (as opposed to using it for ransom purposes, which everyone else assumed).
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses:
** So, so subverted with [[spoiler:Ninjette. Her family wants her back to have kids and seem perfectly fine with making her [[AndIMustScream an armless, legless, brood mare]] for the rest of her life in order to keep her at home.]]
** Subverted for laughs with Princess Arkashia, a GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe who the-man-who-became-Protean fell in love with, only to cheat on him and dump him, leaving him with nothing but painful memories... and an alien [=STD=] that dissolved him into a BlobMonster.
* EvilLaugh: Emp's laugh, when she was hatching her plot to introduce the Superhomeys to yaoi (see Springtime for Hitler example), chilled even the Caged Demonwolf.
* ExactTimeToFailure: Used to chilling effect in Volume 5.
-->'''Sistah Spooky:''' Well, I'll be damned... though, in fact, I already '''am''' damned... [[spoiler:but that divination spell I did, two weeks ago, it was right! I '''did''' wind up being '''''three seconds''''' too late, after all...!]]\\
[[spoiler:(''[[VomitDiscretionShot vomits]]'')]]\\
[[spoiler:Too late...'''too late'''...]]
* ExplainingYourPowerToTheEnemy: Emp told [=ThugBoy=] how her suit works (NOT!).
* {{Expy}}: Maidman is basically Franchise/{{Batman}} [[XMeetsY as costumed by]] [[WesternAnimation/TheTick American Maid.]]
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: The title heroine.
* EyepatchOfPower: Strapping Buck thinks about getting one at the end of #6.
* EyeScream:
** The grotesque murders preferred by Willy Pete.
** [[spoiler:Mindf██k's brother removed her eyes so she would have to use her powers to see. Sorry, made her ''dig out her own eyes with rusty kitchen scissors''.]]
* TheFaceless:
** Emp's father (in flashbacks only).
** Ninjette's father, too.
* FacialDialogue: The "intra-couple communication stealth mode" (between Emp and [=ThugBoy=]).
* FakeBoobs: How Ninjette impersonates Empowered.
* FakeBrit:[[invoked]] Supervillain "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash", formerly part of a "trio of underinformed anglophile doofuses" until Rum wound up in rehab and Sodomy [[HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday got tired of explaining that he represented purely heterosexual sodomy]].
* FallingInLoveMontage: For Mindf██k and Sistah Spooky. Followed shortly by [[spoiler:a breaking up montage.]]
* FamousLastWords:
-->[[spoiler:'''Mindf██k:''' I love you, Theresa! I'll always love y--]]
* FanDisservice: Don't even get started on the Ninjette bondage at the end of Volume 3... Let's just say that the FetishFuel is pretty effectively killed by the fact that she's in very real danger. We like Ninjette. [[spoiler:We want her to keep her limbs.]]
* FangThpeak: King Tyrant Lizard; Homunculoid
* {{Fanservice}}: Just let it be known that, in a comic that is all about the Fanservice, [[ImagineSpot "Schrödinger's Catgirl"]] ''still'' manages to stand out.
* FauxPaw: Emp as Schrödinger's Catgirl.
* FetishRetardant: An in-universe example: getting tied up in serious situations makes bondage a SERIOUS turn-off for Emp and [=ThugBoy=].
* FinaglesLaw
* FloweryElizabethanEnglish: The Caged Demonwolf combines this with SesquipedalianLoquaciousness and PurpleProse (also, thesaurus abuse) for some truly remarkable dialogue.
* FoeCooties: Emp finds out her boyfriend, [=ThugBoy=], once slept with Sistah Spookah. She asks [=ThugBoy=] who is better in bed. [=ThugBoy=] thinks if he says Sistah Spookah, he's in big trouble, and he better not say they're interchangeable in bed either. [[spoiler:He said Emp was better. Emp refuses to talk to him for about a third of the volume.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In a dream sequence, [=ThugBoy=] [[spoiler:remembers Spooky prophesying that he and Emp would be "separated by death"]]. Though what was actually shown to the audience is [[spoiler:"separated by D..."]] and the rest is cut off. Also: Does he really remember, or is it just a nightmare after all?
* FourLinesAllWaiting: The comic started with several more or less unrelated one-shots, but with time, some plots started to emerge: So far we have [=ThugBoy=]'s plot (his past, and everything Willy Pete-related), Ninjette's plot (involving the other ninjas), the Fleshmaster/Capeys/Manny plot, and of course the romantical plot for our {{OTP}} / OT3. And even now, there's time for some smaller stories.
* FreezeRay
* FreudianExcuse:
** Sistah Spooky has serious issues with blonde girls like Emp.
** Also inverted with [[spoiler: Mindf██k, who mindf██ked herself to be more kind and caring so she wouldn't be anything like her brother.]]
* FunetikAksent
* FunWithAcronyms: See below.
* FurBikini: Emp as Schrodinger's Catgirl. So good we mentioned it twice.
* FutureLoser: In a kind of ImagineSpot, where kid Emp meets her future superheroine self.
-->'''Kid Emp:''' Why do I have such a big butt as a grownup...? How did I wind up so old and f-fat...?\\
'''Current Emp:''' Thanks a lot, younger version of me.
* TheGhost: Emp's mother.
* GilliganCut: Emp wants to see [=ThugBoy=] in his Spartan 3K costume. At first he resists, then this trope happens.
* GirlsLoveStuffedAnimals: Emp and Mellow Mr. Monkey.
* TheGlomp: Even as a sound effect.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Sistah Spooky gets a pair when she is really angry. [[spoiler:Such as when Empowered comes across her after Mindf██k is killed.]]
* GodivaHair: ''Something'' has to cover the naughty bits when the suit gets wrecked....
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Emp and [=ThugBoy=], ''a lot''.
* GratuitousJapanese: Complete with Kanji. For that matter, Ninjette's very name counts; she was born and raised in New Jersey and is as white as the driven snow, but her parents named her "Kozue Kaburagi" to try and make up for three Americanized generations back in Japan.
* GraveMarkingScene: Emp often visits the grave of her father.
* GrayGoo: The third floppy issue has a gray goo eruption that turns all matter into {{Sexbot}}s, due to one of the dumber heroes abusing powerful alien technology for self-pleasure.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Princess Arkashia, with whom not-yet-Protean sleeps with, catches an alien STD and thus turns from a human into the BlobMonster we know him as.
* TheGrimReaper: In a kind of ImagineSpot. He's watching Emp and [=ThugBoy=] having sex.
* HandBlast: Emp can do this. If her suit works, which is optional.
* HarshWordImpact
* HaveYouComeToGloat: Played for tragedy when Empowered walks in on [[AlphaBitch Sistah Spooky]] [[spoiler:moments after the death of the latter's ex-lover Mindf██k. Unusually; within seconds ''Emp'' is bound, blindfolded, and surrounded by far too many levitating sharp objects as a grief-maddened mage demands to be gloated at.]]
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose
* HeelFaceTurn: [=ThugBoy=]; Ninjette
* HeroesGoneFishing: Or rather, watching ''Dancing with the Superheroes''.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:Two, possibly three even, at the end of volume 5: right after another. Sistah Spooky snaps upon being just a few seconds too late to save Mindf██k, something her powers warned her about but she didn't recognize the significance of at the time. Immediately afterwards, Emp breaks down as well, explaining to a murderous Sistah Spooky that if she had only been [[TearJerker just a little bit more confident]], maybe Mindf██k would have let her try using her powers to survive re-entry into Earth's atmosphere... the same confidence Sistah Spooky had been shredding to bits since issue #1. This reveal causes Sistah Spooky to BSOD again (and not hurt/kill our protagonist)]]
* HiddenDepths: A few characters have them -- Emp herself is the most notable example, of course, but Sistah Spooky is probably the most suprising one.
* HistoricalInJoke: It is implied that Imperial Pimpotron Alpha abducted AmeliaEarhart for a cosmic emperor's harem.
* HotLibrarian: Emp wears said outfit (as bait), and wonders if anyone would be fooled by her [[http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs16/i/2007/214/5/7/Sexy_EMPOWERED_librarian__p_2_by_AdamWarren.jpg "librarian-from-a-porn-movie"]] getup... [[spoiler:apparently, yes.]]
* HowDoIShotWeb: Guess who.
* HumiliationConga: And the dance goes on, and on... [[spoiler:But partly averted in volume 4... [[EvenEvilHasStandards by Sistah Spooky of all people]].]]
* HuskyRusskie: The guy "[[FanNickname tower head girl]]" got her superpowers from.
* AnIcePerson: Icy Mike, a one-shot supervillain who [=ThugBoy=] worked for [[spoiler:and killed him when Icy Mike wanted to kill 50,000 civilians with his cryobomb.]]
* IDontKnowMortalKombat: Ninjette and videogames about ninjas.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: This happens to Emp ''all the time''. {{Lampshaded}} with the "unwritten rules" that keep villains from going "too far". Gets a subversion in one of the first volume's stories. Emp is getting stripped naked, but not for ''that'' -- it turns out the villain wasn't interested in her, but in her supersuit. [[spoiler:He didn't know it only works when Emp wears it.]]
* ImagineSpot: Lots of them in volume 7.
** [=ThugBoy=] imagining Emp as CatGirl.
** The Caged Demonwolf imagining Emp, [=ThugBoy=] and Ninjette having hot sex together.
* TheImmodestOrgasm: Caused by her suit. [=ThugBoy=] calls it "her getting in sexual [[Anime/DragonBallZ Super Saiyan]] mode".
* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Ninjette can cleave a mosquito in half with her sword!
* IncrediblyLamePun:
** Crowquet is a crow-themed supervillain who fights with a croquet stick. [[spoiler:Psst, he's really the goddamn Maidman. But don't tell the bad guys.]]
** Also, the Lotus Nodes network -- might be a pun on the widespread Lotus Notes software.
** The [[ShowWithinAShow TV programme]] ''Superdirty Jobs'' presented by -- wait for it -- [[spoiler:Makro]].
* IndulgentFantasySegue: Several of them in volume 7, usually when someone says something they've been holding back, only for it to be retracted as never happening in the subsequent panel.
* InstantHumiliationJustAddYouTube
* InstantKnots: Ninjette used a chain to catch Emp the first time they met.
* InstantSedation: Emp gets knocked out... ''[[FetishFuel a lot]]''.
** One notable example features the Chloroformaster [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal soliloquizing]] while Emp "samples" his "wares".
** Averted, though, when someone jabs a needle into her -- it takes roughly the time you'd expect to work.
** Emp has had a lot of experience with chloroform-happy bad guys, so she purposely goes limp as soon as the rag is on "[[InvokedTrope like you see in the movies or on TV]]" to stop it happening for real -- or worse, accidentally killing her. However when the Chloroformaster captures her, it takes more than two pages for her to lose consciousnesses, implying she really was out that time.
* IronicEcho: Spooky + Mindf██k. "I know how much you love blondes..."
* IronicName: Empowered is beset with self-confidence and body-image issues, frequently ends up in [[{{Fanservice}} objectifying]] [[BoundAndGagged bondage]] [[DamselInDistress predicaments]] after being defeated, and still [[DudeWheresMyRespect gets no respect]] even when she succeeds in saving the day. Even the more generic "superpowered" interpretation of the word is ironic, given how often Emp's suit fails.
* ItsALongStory: Why the lily-white Ninjette has a Japanese name.
* {{Jerkass}}: Most of her team, and indeed, most superheroes. Maidman, Syndablokk, and Mindf██k are notable exceptions. Capitan Rivet is better than most as well, even though he cannot always resist laughing at Emp's predicaments. Really, most of everyone. The world of ''Empowered'' seems to be chock-full of heartless jerks.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Possibly Hardkore. [[spoiler:[[FreudianExcuse Being dead]]]] tends to make one a bit testy and when Emp proves herself to not be the bitch he was expecting, he looks embarrassed and more or less backs off.
** Also Ocelotina, who initially seems to be a nothing more than a money-grubbing fake superheroine cashing in on the way Emp popularized the "helpless bondage superchica" theme. Turns out that she really ''does'' respect and support Emp and is willing to speak out about one of her Crowning Moments even after a gag order was placed on the incident. Doesn't stop her exploiting Emp for profit at every opportunity of course, but at least she's happy to share it with her.
** One interpretation of [[spoiler:Mindf██k. According to her, she used to be just as evil and twisted as her brother. She used her mental powers to completely rewrite her personality, because she didn't want to be anything like him. The heart of gold comes in when you wonder why she would care about being like her brother if there wasn't any good in her in the first place.]]
* JiveTurkey: Major Havoc, dawg. Occasionally, other Superhomeys as well.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Emp
* JumpScare: Another one called by name by Ninjette, book 7, page 54
-->'''Ninjette:''' Jump scare booty!
* KatanasAreJustBetter: See Captain Katana, who has one stuck in his head... and had his arms and legs replaced with some... [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and carries one on his back]].
* KilledMidSentence: [[TearJerker In the most tragic way possible.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Mindf██k:''' I love you, Theresa. I'll '''always''' love y--]]
* KinkySpanking: Oh so very often. In bed, in daydreams, in fanfics; on one occasion on pay-per-view TV by Ocelotina over not respecting duct tape, of all things. You may guess which member of the main cast gets this treatment. Hint: it's not Caged Demonwolf.
* KnightOfCerebus
** Willy Pete
** And when Ol' Willy isn't around, Deathmonger takes his place.
* TheKnightsWhoSaySquee: Emp, towards Capitan Rivet and other superhomeys. Seen when they meet for the first time.
* LargeHam: The Caged Demonwolf, He of Many Nicknames and [[PurpleProse Thesauretorical Abusivetoriness]].
* LatexSpaceSuit: One of her hypermembrane's many abilities is providing life support in outer space. Including radiation protection, and even allowing Emp to speak.
* LetsGetDangerous: Once or twice a volume, Empowered ''will'' take down impressive threats single-handedly.
* LineOfSightName: The author got the name for a future villain from the front cover of an old magazine.
* LookBehindYou: Emp uses this trope successfully against a number of villains, claiming [[TheDreaded Maidman]] has appeared. The only ones it doesn't work on is the B.F.Gunnaz. Unfortunately for them, Maidman actually does show up that time.
* LotusEaterMachine: Anglerfish has a super power just like this, and used it to capture Emp and the group of cosplayers she was working with. The dream-vision that Emp sees is being at an award show, where she finally gains the long sought-after respect from her Superhero team mates. When used a second time, it is upped to Emp's dead father coming back to life and attending the awards show, but this throws Emp into a rage that allows her to break the spell and beat Anglerfish.
* LoveTriangle: Starting to develop between the PowerTrio. Specifically, a [[TriangRelations type 4]], or a type 6 if you have your [[LesYay yuri]] goggles on.
* MadeOfPlasticine: The super-suit is more like Made of Soap Bubbles and Spiderwebs.
* MakeSureHesDead: Emp and [=ThugBoy=] rescue Ninjette from a gang of Ninjas with extremely potent stamina and pain-suppression abilities, allowing them to get up and keep fighting after receiving horrific injuries. In an utterly nonchalant fashion, [=ThugBoy=] empties two handgun rounds into the head of every downed Ninja to make sure they're dead.
* MasterOfDisguise:
** All of the ninjas. One even disguises successfully as a ''dog''.
** And Ninjette disguises herself as the Groom well enough to trick the Bride '''during their honeymoon'''... words simply fail. Even the ninjas considered that to be an impressive feat. They still mention it in training. [[NeverLiveItDown 'Jette wishes they didn't.]] [[invoked]]
* AMatchMadeInStockholm: Amusingly, ''all'' of Emp's circle met like this. [=ThugBoy=] and Ninjette fell for her after they captured her, and Caged Demonwolf appears to have befriended them after being imprisoned on Emp's coffee table.
* McNinja: Ninjette and her clan of ninja from New Jersey.
* MeaningfulName:
** "King Tyrant Lizard" is the literal translation of "''TyrannosaurusRex''".
** "Willy Pete" is the (US)-military nickname for the extremely-hot-burning white phosphorus. "Willy Pete" is doubly [[MeaningfulName meaningful]] in a [[{{Squick}} really sick way.]]
** Empowered's actual name? [[spoiler:[[StevenUlyssesPerhero Elissa Megan Powers]]]].
* MechanicalLifeforms: At least one of them exists. She has the shape of an attractive human woman and is anatomically correct. One of the Superhomeys sleeps with her, and her nanites turn him into a mecha.
* MeetCute: Empowered and [=ThugBoy=]. She was a captured superheroine, he was the minion tying her up. Sparks flew. They don't like to talk about how they met.
* {{Meganekko}}: Lampshaded in Emp's Sexy Librarian stakeout.
* MentalAffair: [[spoiler:Sistah Spooky and Mindf██k were "mindfriends with benefits" at one point. Well, they also had a physical relationship, but it wasn't as satisfying as the mental one. For one thing, Mindf██k has no tongue.]]
* TheMerch: In-story, there are official Superhomey ringtones and themed T-shirts, plus action figures of their Rogues' Gallery. Not to mention the Capitan Rivet panties Emp often wears when out of uniform.
* MetaGuy:
** Empowered regularly [[NoFourthWall breaks the fourth wall]] when she appears in the title pages of stories; Ninjette and [=ThugBoy=] {{lampshade}} this when they appear and have no idea who she's talking to.
** The Caged Demonwolf breaks the wall at the end of volume 1, filling us in on the story's aftermath. Lampshaded in a later story, [[spoiler:when he seems to be going meta, but is actually him talking to Emp's powersuit. Later still, he appears to go meta again, by referencing plotlines that haven't ''happened'' yet... but we eventually discover that he can ''see the future.'']]
** [=ThugBoy=] gets in on the act later on when he gives us a "tour" of Empowered's sleeping habits. {{Lampshaded}} when we find out [=ThugBoy=] [[TwoScenesOneDialogue is talking to his average]] {{mook}} friend.
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Mindf██k admits being tired of reading the filthy minds of lunatics.
* MoodWhiplash:
** Especially volume 6, which inserts jokes in between dealing with some seriously dark material.
** The Caged Demonwolf's paean to mortality in volume 7.
** The one-shot "Internal Medicine" is a wacky Jette and Emp romp through an alien dimension. It ends with a vision of the future [[spoiler:that pretty much confirms Ninjette is going to die.]]
* {{Mooks}}: [=ThugBoy=]'s old gang, the "Witless Minions", who stole from the villains they worked for.
* MostCommonSuperpower: Averted. Besides Ninjette's snark about her bust, none of the heroines sport anything bigger than a C-cup, except the superheroine Jugganaut (and this seems to be justified in her powers). Called out by name in volume 7, when Ninjette and Emp switched outfits.
-->'''Ninjette-as-Empowered:''' And ''I'm'' a super-heroine tragically lacking the ''most common superpower'' for girlcapes! As in, well, ''boobs''. ''Super''-boobs, whateva.
* MrFanservice: [=ThugBoy=] is a shining example, albeit possibly a spectacularly misplaced one.
* MsFanservice:
** Emp is arguably a Deconstruction.
** Ocelotina is an in-universe example.
* MultipurposeTongue: Superheroine Mother Tongue has one.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** [=ThugBoy=] and Emp suiting up in the manner of a LockAndLoadMontage, complete with jump cuts and action lines... in [[FetishFuel fetish outfits.]]
** ''Anything'' described by the [[LargeHam Caged Demonwolf.]]
* MundaneUtility: Remember that Emp's suit turbocharges her orgasms? They once used a piece of it as a condom. But it worked too well -- [=ThugBoy=] could barely last ten seconds.
* MyGreatestFailure: Both Emp and Sistah Spooky over the death of Mindf██k.
* MySensorsIndicateYouWantToTapThat: The Caged Demonwolf is very susceptible for things like this.
* NakedApron: Is a sign things are going well for Emp and [=ThugBoy=].
* NeckLift: One of [=ThugBoy=]'s employers did this with one of the Witless Minions. [[spoiler:And then, [=ThugBoy=] killed him.]]
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Emp hasn't quite figured out how her suit works. Outright lampshaded towards the end of volume 4 -- Emp discovers her suit can let her [[spoiler:[[WallCrawl cling to things]]]] and she's as shocked as the people watching.
* NightmareFace: The deep sea creatures they're chumming with anti-putti.
* {{Ninja}}: Ninjette, obviously. And several clans of them.
* NippleAndDimed: Fully bared breasts are frequently blocked by hair, ragged strips of cloth, shuriken pasties, and so forth.
* NoDeadBodyPoops: Averted. [[spoiler:Emp witnessed this happening to her daddy when she was a little girl.]]
* NoodleIncident: Several storylines were (presumably temporarily) cut from the books, moved between books, etc. These are brought up during the meta-pages, with the characters warning each other not to talk about that stuff yet cause it wasn't in this book.
** Notable examples are [=ThugBoy=] cosplaying (particularly bad because the author didn't have time to remove reference to it from the back of one of the books), [=ThugBoy=] wearing Empowered's suit, etc.
** There's also the question as to why Emp's extremely skintight suit doesn't show any camel toe, this was lampshade-hung in volume 3 and by the end of volume 6 still hasn't been explained (and is lamented as possibly never will be).
* NoRespectGuy: Empowered. Where to begin?
* NotRightInTheBed: Since Emp started wearing her suit, she climaxes "at the drop of a hat". NotThatTheresAnythingWrongWithThat.
* NotSoDifferent: [[spoiler:[=dWARf!=]/Fleshmaster]] calls this between himself and Empowered, [[spoiler:but she proves him wrong.]]
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: [[spoiler:The Superhomeys think Willy Pete is just some D-list nobody. Turns out that's only because he likes to keep a low profile and go after mooks and D-list villains. The 10-man team sent to get him (for a PR boost) finds this out at the hard way, as he wipes them all out with ease in a matter of seconds by using a blast of flames so powerful it's like hitting them with ''a nuke'']].
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: Once, Ninjette fell from a high house, but used a chain to get hold of a street lantern.
* NotUsingTheZWord: [[spoiler:In-universe. The dead superheroes whose powers live on are zombies, but no-one calls them that.]] ([[spoiler:Ninjette does, but Emp promptly lets her know that they hate being called that.]])
* [[OhCrapThereAreFanficsOfUs Oh Crap! There Are Yaoi Doujinshi of Us...]]: At one point, Emp even turns to them.
* OneLiner: In #2, Emp discusses the PreAsskickingOneLiner trope with [=ThugBoy=] and Ninjette. In #6, she tries one, but goofs up:
-->'''Emp:''' Karma's a bitch, isn't it? Well, so am I!
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: We still don't know [=ThugBoy=]'s real name. Also, we learned Emp's and Ninjette's real names as late as #3. In fact, the only names of the superheroes we know are: Theresa (Sistah Spooky), Tommy (Protean), Bob ([[spoiler:Phallik]]), Julie (Plutonium Blonde) and Maria (not totally clear but probably Mother Tongue). Along with a couple of the supervillains, Aaron (Kid Anglerfish) and Jerome (King Tyrant Lizard). But all other real names of supers are unknown either.
* OnTheNext: Much like ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', the "in the next issue" back pages combine genuine teases at plot elements with outright lies for RuleOfFunny.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping:
** In her civilian guise, Emp affects a patently false Southern drawl.
** Also the villain Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (formerly a trio) who Emp describes as an "underinformed anglophile doofus":
--->'''Rum, Sodomy and the Lash:''' HEY! You made me slip out of character. ''Enough'' of this ''shite!''
** The caged demonwolf loses his usually loud and blusterous style of speaking when [[spoiler:he talks with a drunken Ninjette about her abusive childhood, instead calmly and gently describing to her how painful it is to be an immortal out of step with the normal flow of time, watching her life simultaneously as they meet for the first time and also as he sees her for the last time at the moment of her death.]]
* OriginsIssue: Averted until volume 6, where we learn how Emp got her suit. [[spoiler:It came in the mail. ''That raises even more questions!'']]
* PaperThinDisguise: Emp cosplaying as herself. Bonus irony points for the PVC disguise being much thicker than the thinner-than-body-paint supersuit.
* PeoplePuppets: A standard psychic power in this 'verse.
* PigLatin: Once used by the very dorky supervillain in #1.
* {{Pirate}}: '''A'''dvanced '''R'''estraint '''R'''esearch.
* PlentyOfBlondes: Happened while Sistah Spooky was in high school.
* PlotDrivenBreakdown: It is easier to list the times when Emp's [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman Hypermembrane]] ''does'' work correctly.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Wet Blanket personifies this trope. Strangely, working together with supervillains is no problem for him. His teammates on the other hand....
* {{Portmanteau}}: Adam Warren ''really'' loves using these for world-specific neologisms.
* PowerIncontinence: Poor Mindf██k can't speak outside of telepathy (which has the side effect of leaking brutal honesty with every sentence), and has to avoid crowds as all the excess thoughts cause headaches. (Note that Mindf██k's lack of vocal speech has nothing inherently to do with her power. See NightmareFuel in YMMV.) And to top it off, Volume 8 reveals that [[spoiler:the road goes both ways when she's asleep, after Spooky gets a peek into her nightmares.]]
* PowerNullifier: Wet Blanket
* PowerPerversionPotential:
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d when Emp even admits she uses her suit for this. Subverted when she gave [=ThugBoy=] a part of her costume to use it as a condom. The sensation was great, but he could last barely ten seconds.
** Also used extensively by Mindf██k. In fact, [[spoiler:she's terrible at sex when not using her powers.]]
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Emp and friends [[ConversedTrope discuss]] the best way to do this, or whether you should use it at all.
* PrehensileHair: Weirdbeard
* PronounTrouble: [[spoiler:Emp's suit insists to the Caged Demonwolf that it's not technically female, despite its feminine shape, but he doesn't care about technicalities.]]
* PsychoSerum: A variant -- Mayfly gives you [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder Mad-science level genius]], at the cost of filling your brain with tumors [[DeadlyUpgrade that kill you within forty-eight hours]]. And that's only when it works -- which is ''point two percent'' of the time. Mostly it just kills you.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "Her. Boobs. Are. '''Faaake!'''"
* PunctuatedPounding: "'''THIS! IS! WHAT! I! AM!!!'''"
* PunnyName: '''Many.''' Stigmata Hari, [[NuMetal Gnümetal]], Plutonium Blonde, Valkyrie Eleison, Eye Eye Sir, Gooey Samaritan, Ubiquitease, Blitzcraig...
* PuppyDogEyes: Emp in a meta-panel begs the reader NOT to look at her bare butt in the next story.
* PurpleProse: Lo, the Caged Demonwolf doth speak in a hue most violet! Adam Warren writes his dialogue with the aid of a thesaurus.
* {{Qipao}}: Ninjette wears one to the Capeys Awards.
* RapeAsDrama: Rape, cannibalism and burning people alive as Drama -- by Willy Pete.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: For as often as Empowered ends up bound, gagged, and nude in a room full of villains, they rarely attempt to assault her because this would violate the "Unwritten rules" between heroes and villains. In volume 7, Major Havoc explicitly threatens Emp that if they don't find and kill Willy Pete for all the heroes he's murdered, then ''all'' the rules might be gone -- including this one.
* RealMenWearPink:
** He may wear a dress, high stiletto heels, and pretty, pretty white panties, but everyone's heard of the goddamn Maidman.
** Also, Hardkore is a case of Real Men Are Pink.
* RedShirt: For one of their employers, the Witless Minions had to wear shirts with an emblem looking like a bullseye. Wow. Now that is...
* RepeatAfterMe:
-->'''Protean:''' Call me "uncle", Doomsloth!\\
'''Doomsloth:''' *cough* Uncle Doomsloth!
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: Several examples.
** Captain Katana, who has a magic katana stuck in the top of his head down his spine, as well as others replacing his limbs. At the Capeys when the PowerNullifier was taking effect, he was disabled by the pain.
** Several that are implied if not outright stated; Heavy Artillery has a mounted cannon for a head. How does he breathe? And the "tower head girl" with a hat that seems to be taller than she is not breaking her neck.
** And, of course, the fact that Emp's naughty bits never show through the costume despite it being described as more closely fitting than body paint.
* ReverseGrip: Ninja like to hold their blades this way.
* RoofHopping: Ninjette trains Emp in this.
* RuleOfFunny: The blocked-out swearwords? Edging closer to the line between titillation and pr0n than previously thought possible? All for giggles. [[http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=21727 Really]].
* SaveTheVillain: A couple times.
* SayItWithHearts
* SayMyName: Used by Emp during sex.
-->'''Emp:''' What's... my... name?\\
'''[=ThugBoy=]:''' Uhhh... which one, baby?
* ScarpiaUltimatum: [[spoiler:Empowered receives one of these in the volume 4 finale. [[BerserkButton It accomplishes not a whole lot more than pissing her off.]]]]
* SceneryCensor: Flat out '''abused'''.
* SelfMadeMan: A heroic variant: [[spoiler:Mindf██k, who used her psychic powers on her own brain to surgically remove her non-heroic impulses. The way she explains it, she was a villain in all but name before she did so.]]
* SensualSpandex: Empowered, for the short time it actually stays on her.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: With made-up and [[WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture wiki words]], no less, leading to DelusionsOfEloquence.
-->'''Imperial Pimpotron Alpha:''' For I, '''Imperial Pimpotron Alpha''' am '''scouticruiting''' you for priviligious '''erotiservitude''' in the '''Cosmolactic Emperor's Harem'''!
* SexySantaDress: Emp, in some bonus material.
* ShapeshifterGuiltTrip: Kind of, with Anglerfish. [[spoiler:He pretends to be Emp's daddy who never really died. She's not happy.]]
* ShipperOnDeck: Demonwolf ships Emp×[=ThugBoy=]×Ninjette.
* ShoutOut: Plenty...
** ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
*** 2nd Edition, with shirts sporting "INT. 19 (supra-genius)" or "STR. 18(00)", as well as "+5 Holy Avenger".
*** The space station is even called "The d10" (the ''D&D'' method of describing a 10-sided die) and looks the part.
** ''Manga/MaisonIkkoku'': Emp's "Piyo Piyo" [[NakedApron apron]].
** ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'': [[Film/SpaceMutiny Dr. Big McLarge Huge]]
** When Ninjette tells Emp how her suit sprouted wings (which Emp can't remember), Emp pictures herself as a devil. Her mental picture looks quite a bit like she's cosplaying as [[Franchise/{{Disgaea}} Etna]].
** [=ThugBoy=] wears a T-shirt with [[VideoGame/KatamariDamacy the King of All Cosmos]] on it at one point.
** The Superhomeys' undisclosed meeting location is room 3B, a reference to the imaginary lecture hall where the wizards of Unseen University in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' pretend to have class.
** It's the [[Franchise/{{Batman}} goddamn Maidman]]!
** A shout-out to [[{{Imageboards}} 4chan]] even made its way into one of the books.
** In the early chapter "It's Like This" when Emp is explaining the weaknesses of her suit to a gang of thugs (which includes [=ThugBoy=]) there's a brief flashback of Sistah Spooky yelling for help while being held by what appears to be an [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Evangelion unit]] (judging from its silhouette).
** In volume 7, Caged Demonwolf sings "Baby Got Back" in his own style. It is glorious.
* ShowingOffTheNewBody: Sistah Spooky did this after she received it.
* SickeninglySweethearts: "No, you should wear that outfit (tee hee)!" -- "No, you should wear that outfit (tee hee)!" No wonder the Caged Demonwolf imagines a scene with better dialogue, in his usual flowery style.
* SissyVillain: The galactic emperor from the in-universe FanFiction who forces Major Havoc and Syndablokk to have sex together.
* SlashFic: In-universe, even. Emp reads slash about two of her male teammates. [[spoiler:They're delighted.]]
* SlouchOfVillainy: See SissyVillain.
* SlowClap: Emp gets it by her fellow superheroes at the Capeys. [=ThugBoy=] lampshades it. [[spoiler:But it's just an illusion made by Anglerfish anyway.]]
* SmokeOut: Used by Ninjette, naturally... in book 2, to avoid ''embarrassment'' before [=ThugBoy=] before fleeing through a window. (And note that logically, since she leaves the tattered remains of Emp's suit behind, she's buck naked.)
* SmugSuper: Most of the other superheroes we meet are little more than overpowered and overgrown [[AlphaBitch high school]] [[JerkJock bullies]] deeply in love with their own superpowers. And a lot of the villains are pretty much the same.
%%* {{Soaperizing}}
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: Male and Female versions used at once: one chapter is called "[[MeaningfulName Elephants, Cups and Canoes]]".
* SpeechBubbleCensoring: Not a few panels avoid full frontal nudity thus.
* SpeechBubbles: Syndablokk has cinderblock-formed ones, for one example. Also, Adam Warren often uses speech bubbles containing the heads of characters which are off-panel so you know who said what.
* SpeedLines: Japanese-style, with the characters in focus.
* SpringtimeForHitler: [[spoiler:Emp tries to give the sexist males in the Superhomeys a taste of their own objectification by introducing them to [[BoysLove yaoi]] {{doujinshi}} of themselves. When they find out it's written by girls, it's taken as a ''compliment''.]] Oh, and then [[spoiler:she finds out one of the guys is gay, and immediately [[YaoiFangirl turns perverted]] [[NotSoDifferent as well]].]]
* StarfishAliens: We have seen only one of them. They're huge (their liver weighs 700 kilograms alone!), have three eyes, and their veins seem to be on the outside of their bodies.
* StepfordSmiler:
** Depending on how you look at it, either subverted or taken UpToEleven by [[spoiler:Mindf██k: she ''reprogrammed her mind'' to be warm and compassionate.]]
** [[spoiler:After Mindf██k's death, Sistah Spooky uses sorcery upon her expression and voice to play it tragically straight.]]
* StockNinjaWeaponry: The Ayakami ninja use shuriken, kunai, senbon, various swords and gama.
* StopBeingStereotypical: Sistah Spooky chews out Emp for crying, because she is "reinforcing stereotypes about female superheroes" or so.
* {{Stripperiffic}}:
** Emp describes her own costume as "[[PaintedOnPants Painted-on Slutwear]]", and it was voted most "Sluttastic and Do-Me-Riffic". Consequently, she is not happy about it in the least.
** Ninjette and Sistah Spooky aren't overdressed either.
** Even the nurses in the Suprahuman Ward are stripperiffic -- female ''and'' male.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: "F██k a robot. F██k a robot. F██k a robot..."
* StylisticSuck: The fanfiction in volume 1 is a pretty mild example, all considered.
* {{Superdickery}}: The first full page of volume 7 is composed of alarming excerpts from the rest of the comic. [[spoiler:They're either taken out of context, or they're from {{imagine spot}}s.]]
* SuperheroesWearCapes: By several; not by Emp however, to her chagrin.
* {{Supervillain}}: A whole sub-culture of them, most of whom have captured and tied Emp at some time or another. And most of them treat her with more courtesy than her own teammates (not that the bar is set very high there).
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Was Emp ever spanked by Spookums? She doesn't want to comment.
* SuspiciouslySpecificTense: In volume 7, [[spoiler:Sistah Spooky accidentally slips to the mental projection of Mindf██k that the real one is dead. The projection is pissed.]]
* SweatDrop: Part of the {{animesque}} package.
* SweetPollyOliver: Subverted; Emp once tries to fool some thugs into believing that her suit "gynocamouflages" her (in other words: that she's really a guy) to buy some time.
* TakeABiteOutOfCrime: Emp does it when her suit doesn't work anymore. Well, at the beginning. Later she stopped it, because bitten mooks tend to have grudges.
* TakeThat:
** Maidman may be a [[WholesomeCrossdresser crossdresser]], but at least he's not a [[AnimalThemedSuperbeing furry]]. Because ''that'' would be embarassing.
** Caged Demonwolf is a fan of the New York Yankees, and makes it fairly clear he's a bandwagoner.
--->'''Demonwolf:''' Are they not widely renowned as an '''"Empire of Evil"''' like unto his own matchless malevolence!?
* TalkingYourWayOut: Emp manages this on a few occasions.
* TamponRun: [=ThugBoy=] has to do it. The Violator of Worlds suggests one to get out of the vicinity of Emp and [=ThugBoy=]'s knock down drag out.
* TheTease: The author won't be showing any full nudity anytime soon.
* TeethFlying: Emp and Anglerfish. Compare how long his teeth were before and after Emp beat him up.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Emp starts out a blatantly neurotic mess, and the more the supporting cast is developed the clearer it is that she is not alone. Except Mindf██k, in a way (and a slightly disturbing way, at that). But she only therapizes herself.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: Used by many characters, including Emp.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: Noted almost word-for-word when a training session ends with a multi-story drop.
* ThreateningShark: One of them bites Emp during one of her training sessions from hell. Since she's wearing her suit at the time, it affords her a chance to launch into a hilarious rant against the shark.
-->'''Emp:''' THANKS FOR REINFORCING MY NEGATIVE PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT SHARKS, JERKOFF!
* ThreesomeSubtext: involving Emp, Thugboy, and Ninjette, often hilariously unsubtle.
* ThrowTheDogABone: There is one, just one panel in volume 5 where Emp, after being kidnapped [[spoiler:along with a bunch of the Superhomeys' celebrity doubles, donning her super suit (which she'd wrapped around her waist) and telling off the double who insulted her earlier]], actually smiles in anticipation, because the mooks have no idea what's coming.
* ToHellAndBack: [[spoiler:The main plot of volume 8.]]
* TheTopicOfCancer: The drug "Mayfly" has a 1 in 200 chance of giving you super intelligence, but ''will'' kill you within 24 hours from brain cancer. ''Unless'' you manage to use your newfound genius in order to survive... as a horrible, grotesque mass of cancerous flesh.
* ToplessnessFromTheBack: Provided mostly by Emp herself with generous Ninjette assistance.
* TrainingFromHell: Well, more of a Workout Session from Hell, but still...
* TrrrillingRrrs: Katastrophe. (It's not an accent, rather him purring to fit in with the sabertooth theme. Although sabertooth tigers probably are unlikely to purr.)
* TyrannosaurusRex: King Tyrant Lizard (InvokedTrope -- see MeaningfulName -- but he isn't as tall as one, and also hasn't the short arms).
* UniversalTranslator: Through her mask, Emp can see translations of at least some alien languages. Subverted in that the translations tend to be... odd.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: [[spoiler:Between Ninjette and [=ThugBoy=] for certain, and it is difficult to rule out the thing between Ninjette and Empowered as something wholly in the [[TheImp Caged Demonwolf's]] perverted mind.]]
* {{Vaporwear}}:
** Nothing can be worn over or under the suit. Including pubic hair. The fact that it [[BarbieDollAnatomy doesn't show off]] her nipples or "camel toe" is a RunningGag NoodleIncident in the series.
** Ninjette doesn't wear underwear, either. Unlike Emp, she could if she wanted to.
* VillainsOutShopping: Subverted when we see a group of ninja hacking a body into 100 pieces (per the client's request) whilst one ninja is monitoring and idly browsing the web in the next room.
-->"85." -hack- "86." -slice-\\
"I'm telling you, Opera is the ideal choice for a ninja's web browser."\\
"87." -schinck- "88." -gchonk-
* VirginPower: Variant -- the "Seiseiryoku-henkan-sentou no jutsu" transforms sexual frustration into fighting power.
* VisualInnuendo:
** More common for males, curiously enough, with [=ThugBoy=] as the primary target. Notice his gun on the cover of volume 1.
** "Aieee! Me canoe be swampin'!"
* VomitIndiscretionShot: For both Emp and [=ThugBoy=].
* WallCrawling: Emp eventually discovers this as another of the suit's minor powers, much to Ninjette's chagrin.
* WallJump: Ninjette -- 'cause, you know, {{Ninja}}.
* WeaksauceWeakness:
** Empowered's supersuit gives her powers -- unless it's [[ClothingDamage ripped or damaged]]. Which ''always'' happens. [[GoodThingYouCanHeal Good thing it can regenerate]]. This is very likely to be psychological rather than an actual weakness. After all, the suit was in tatters when she [[spoiler:[[CurbStompBattle curb stomped]] [[BigBad dWARf!/Fleshmaster]] at the end of volume 4]]. Confirmed as of volume 7. [[spoiler:Ninjette tears off parts of Emp's suit without her knowing, and Emp remains just as combat effective. Then Ninjette reminds Emp of her failures, and Emp's powers disappear. Thus, while it is likely there is still a critical mass of costume required for powers, almost all of Emp's power-drains are psychological.]]
** Also, Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash, too... a crippling phobia of fabric stores will suck the menace out of ''any'' villain.
* {{Whatevermancy}}: Ninjas in Empowered's world can learn all kinds of cool magic, like kyonyujutsu (fake boobery magic), sosuijutsu (fast/quick/early to be drunk magic), sekushi nyanko "Monroe walk" jutsu (sexy cat "Monroe walk" magic), and more.
* WhatMeasureIsAMook:
** {{Defied|Trope}} at the end of volume 2.
** Played for laughs at the end of volume 3 however: "Okay, okay, a bunch of ninjas did wind up getting killed... But, pfft, WTFEVA. ████ 'em." These guys totally deserved it though.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: With the exception of [=ThugBoy=], Ninjette, The Caged Demonwolf, Ocelotina, Maidman, Sistah Spooky, Mindf██k, Syndablokk, Manny, and [[spoiler:the Superdead]] basically no-one believes Empowered is an effective superheroine -- in fact, thanks to Major Havoc, some people think she's a villain in disguise. And yet she still throws herself into being a superheroine unreservedly, because of this trope.
* WhipItGood: Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Maidman
* WitchWithACapitalB: Emp calls Spooky "a literal witch. Boo, hiss."
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech:
** During Emp's CrowningMomentOfAwesome -- see "Crouching Moron Hidden Badass" above.
** Earlier on, Syndablokk gets one when he explains that his power causes nothing ''but'' collateral damage (he has elemental command of masonry and stonework). Being one of the (very) few decent heroes, he's extremely reluctant to use his ability unless the villain's already wrecked everything around him.
* WorstWhateverEver: Major Havoc's fanfic about himself is derided by the internet folks as WORST. HAVOCFIC. EVER. And not just anyone: his fanfic, with its tragic lack of homoerotic undertones, is panned by one Elissa P.
* XRayVision: Another one of the suit's cool-but-useless-in-a-fight powers.
* XtremeKoolLetterz: dWARf! -- and yes, the exclamation point is part of his name.
* YaoiFangirl:
** Empowered. Obviously.
** A few of her female team-mates (Yummy Mummy and another one, unnamed as yet) have also gotten interested ... possibly even more than Emp herself.
* YouBastard: About once a volume, Empowered will let the reader know how much she ''hates'' that someone is enjoying her bondage scenes. She also gets mad when she suspects a reader is staring at her butt. Really, starting in about volume 2, the comic itself starts going out of its way to make the reader feel terrible for being aroused at all by it.
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Repeatedly from ████ing Oyuki-chan to Ninjette.
* YouNoTakeCandle: See HuskyRusskie. Also, Princess Arkashia from the same story.
* ZergRush: The "Flood the Zone" tactic the Superhomeys attempt on Willy Pete. [[GoneHorriblyWrong Now how did that work out again...?]]

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''END Counterfactual scenario''
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