EmpoweredAKA Elissa Megan PowersThe main character. A sweet, beautiful (despite what she thinks) and kind young woman who had dreams of fighting crime from a young age, but got saddled with an unreliable supersuit that showedeverything.
Action Girl: Her success average may not be as great as, say, Ninjette or Sistah Spooky, but Emp is still a moderately competent superhero.
Affirmative Action Girl: The Superhomeys made her a member because of some "gender quota", not because she was an awesome superhero.
Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: In volume 1 of Empowered, she is captured by a robot "Pimpotron" that scans her to see if she's worthy of a galactic harem. After deciding her butt was too big, it leaves her behind. She is clearly more devastated by the insult than relieved at her good fortune.
Ascended Fangirl: Loves superheroes so much that she took it as a college course. Then she became one and found out what most of the 'heroes' in her chosen superteam were like. She still fangirls over the leader of the Superhomeys, to the point of themed underwear.
Awesomeness by Analysis: Often. Though her crowning moment might have been figuring out how Deathmonger could find a newly risen SuperDead.
Berserk Button: Don't compare her to JLo, or say anything else that might be misunderstood as "you're fat".
Brains and Bondage: Played with, as Emp is much more into cosplay and roleplaying in bed than bondage per se, but among the roleplaying fantasies that she enjoys is one in which she is a rebellious slave girl whom Thugboy has to discipline. She also tells Ninjette that she likes it when Thugboy is very dominant with her in bed, and that she once provoked him into behaving that way by making a pun on the phrase "tie me up" (she was wearing an apron at the time, and nothing else, but had left it untied in the back). Also, in reference to when she first met Thugboy, Ocelotina later commented "That guy was practically making love to you with that rope!" As a general rule, however, Emp finds being tied up by criminals (super or otherwise) to be demeaning and traumatizing, and in no way a turn on; she is also very dismayed that she has gotten a reputation to the contrary.
Broken Bird: Played with. Emp's childhood was generally a happy one, and her parents were loving and supportive, but watching her father die of an aneurysm right in front of her deeply traumatized her, and unsurprisingly still affects her to the present. Her relationship with her mother still seems to be a good one, based on what we've seen of it, and she is, in many ways, one of the best-adjusted characters in the series. Her issues are just more apparent because of how much she wears her heart on her sleeve.
Combat Pragmatist: She used Maid Man's status as The Dreaded to distract supervillains by telling them he was behind them and then blast them in the back when they turned in horror. She also demonstrated that, while picking up a car and throwing it at a villain may look cool, driving said car into the villain at 70+ mph is much more effective.
A Degree in Useless: Emp studied Suprahuman Studies which lots of people say is useless but it helps her quite a bit in her career as a superhero, once against Crimera, and then again against Animal Style.
Empathic Weapon: Her supersuit, apparently a sapient being. Also, it's been suggested that her body issues are what keep the suit so fragile, which produces gratuitous nudity and augments her body issues, which obviously doesn't lead anywhere good. As long as it remains intact, it comes with
Nigh-Invulnerability: Sorta... it acts like ablative armour; bullets and blows tear off bits of the suit but leave her undamaged. If there's at least a tattered bikini's worth left of the suit, she can survive a ten-story fall.
Kamehame Hadoken: Which varies wildly in power depending on a number of factors, including how confident she feels.
The Heart: Her greatest power seems not to be her suit, but her compassion. It pays off big time with the Super Dead, treating them with respect and kindness.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: It becomes clear fairly quickly that Emp is a significantly more competent hero than she gives herself credit for. After this being pointed out by Ninjette, Thugboy, the Caged Demonwolf, Mind████, and Maidman, she's starting to believe it.
Even earlier than both of those examples was her effortless rescue of ThugBoy in Vol. 1, which was pretty much foreshadowing the above incidents.
At one point she completely lost her temper, and nearly killed a villain by ripping off her own bodice and suffocating him with it. She stopped herself in time, and felt horribly guilty after.
Like a Badass out of Hell: Decided to follow Spooky in her attempt to break Mind████ out of hell, and when that resulted a scam from Spooky's demonic provider trying to break out by having Spooky taking his place she beat the crap out of that devil, fought off the security and broke out of hell, all while taking a suicidal Spooky with her.
Meta Guy: In between the chapters, Emp comments on the story and her role in it. Most prominently when she drew attention to Adam Warren's Kill 'em All tendencies in his previous works and started freaking out that she might be next on the chopping block. 'S all right Emp, your name's on the cover (although even that's not enough to reassure her, as she worries it could refer to the concept of being empowered, rather than the person Empowered).
A better question was how she managed to avoid getting respect after one-shotting a world-destroying demon lord that had just wiped the floor with every other superhero combined. She only got respect from Capitan Rivet, who generally treats her with respect anyway.
Berserk Button: When he recognizes the cape who killed the Holy Avenger near the end of volume 4, he almost shoots him in front of a hundred other supers before he's stopped by Ninjette.
Cold Sniper: Zigzagged; he can be very cold and ruthless when fighting, but he's quite warm and affectionate with his friends and, especially, Emp. Also, the men he's killed often show up in his nightmares, it's implied.
Combat Pragmatist: Particularly in his cape-killer days he often uses a cape's or a super villain's weaknesses and flaws against them and will play extremely dirty if need be. A brief flashback in volume 6 shows him giving a step-by-step guide to attacking a superhero funeral that doesn't involve being a suicide bomber. Vol. 7 shows him expounding on the virtues of invoking Kill It with Fire on supers.
Dark and Troubled Past: He was part of an underground anti-Cape conspiracy who eventually went on a Cape-killing spree in a city called San Antonio; this went about as well as you'd expect and he's the only one involved that we know survived — and that only because the Cape about to vaporise him with an energy blast was so busy gloating he got hit by a bus. He then formed a new gang of minions for hire that secretly manipulated and stole from their supervillain employers, until they tried to pull that trick on Willy Pete. ThugBoy was the only one who got away alive, forced to watch as Willy Pete alternately raped his friends in the eyes with his flaming phallus and ate them. Is it any wonder he has nightmares?
Dark Secret: He's the last known survivor of the Capekillers who were involved in the San Antonio incident. If this got out, every Cape, hero or villain, would probably want to dismember him.
The Gunslinger: Is a mix of A & D, D when it comes to handguns and A when it comes to sniper rifles.
Hair of Sorrow: After the other Witless Minions got killed by Willy Pete, ThugBoy went into permanent "Whatever" mode until he met Emp and let his hair grow out. He still seems to shave - or, being half-Asian, naturally doesn't grow a beard (yet).
Why Did It Have To Be Willy Pete?: ThugBoy freaks out at the prospect of getting involved with Willy Pete again. Of course, since Willy Pete is a Nigh Invulnerable — indeed, arguably truly invulnerable, even being immune to ThugBoy's patented fire-based cape-killer tricks — psychotic monster with nuke-grade fire attacks and a penchant for murderous rape and cannibalism, it's rather an understandable fear. Especially because Willy Pete has a particular grudge against ThugBoy for escaping him once before.
Ninjette AKA Kozue KaburagiEmp's best friend and part-time Lancer. Originally introduced to us as a Punch Clock Villain, she quickly turned into a sparky, confident foil and emotional support for the self-doubting main character. Then plot happened, and we discovered why she drinks so much...
Abusive Father: There's no way to properly convey just how horribly nightmarish Ninjette's father is, or the living hell she was raised in as a result.
The Alcoholic: As she reveals in "Nine Beers with Ninjette", 'Jette's aware she has a problem, that she can't stop drinking - in fact, she's only been sober four nights since leaving home, which she spent with Emp.
It's more of a Freudian thing, because she dearly wants to, but as a princess in a Hidden Elf Village she was not allowed, and the only other man she likes now is attached to Empowered. The ensuing frustration causes her to focus her attention on ninjaing. invoked
Fate Worse than Death: Averted — before she was rescued by Emp, she narrowly avoided having her hands and feet cut off to facilitate her use as ninja breeding stock. Invoked later, when she tells Emp what could have happened.
Gratuitous Japanese: Justified. She was given a full Japanese name to make up for the dilution in the bloodline.
Inverse Ninja Law: Averted in that while she's uber-skilled and can take on 3-4 opponents alone, she has come close to dying several times when she was confronted with any more than that. Which is why she blackmails Oyuki-chan into helping with the rest of the Ayakami and pulls out every dirty trick in the book to even the odds.
Made of Iron: Seems to recover remarkably fast from what would normally be pretty traumatic injury, even without the help of Suprahuman medical science...however...
Dented Iron: Volume 8 reveals that much of her supposed recovery is powerful illusion hiding all the bruises, scars, and blunt force trauma she's still carrying, in order to put up a strong face for Emp.
Master of Disguise: All ninja are taught "hensojutsu", but she's exceptional. To the point where she consummated a marriage whilst disguised as the groom.
Caged Demonwolf, Molester of WorldsEldritch Abomination captured by Emp in some alien power-draining bondage gear. He lives on her coffee table and spouts ranting, wordy monologues.
Anti-Villain / Affably Evil: to the point that, world-destroying Eldritch Abomination or not, he's basically a good guy—being one of the comparatively few people who has a high opinion of Empowered. He certainly doesn't seem to mind hanging out on Emp's coffee table watching TV for the rest of his existence. Because to him, it's but a blip in his immortal existence.
Hidden Depths: After six volumes of overly wordy monologues, he drops the mask and reveals that not only can he speak normally, he was once mortal and can see backwards and forwards in time, like Dr. Manhattan.
The Nicknamer: Emp is "the Alpha Wench", Thugboy is "the Boy of Thug" (if he's not the P-whipped princeling), Ninjette is "the Ninja Wench" or "the boobless booby", Sistah Spooky is "the mystical Wench", Mind████ is the Sapphic/Psychosensual Wench, and so on. Also counts as a parody of Superhero Sobriquets.
Only Sane Man: The threshold for this is not that high. That an Eldritch Abomination that habitually describes himself as "The Caged Demonwolf, Molester of Worlds" gets to be the Only Sane Man in the cast tells you everything about this comic you needed to know in one sentence.
Time Abyss: Specifically states that he will outlive the universe. One of the main reasons he doesn't make too much fuss about being stuck inside a belt with nothing to do but watch TV all day. To him, this is little more than a very brief inconvenience.
Fantasy Contraception:In a Vol 7 flashback Ninjette performed a jutsu on her making sterile so she could be valued for her shinobi skills instead of her uterus, which she may have come to regret.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: She wants Ninjette to suffer, and she will - either by being killed, or crippled and carted back, or having to fight off ever-stronger ninja because her success at fighting them off proves her value as breeding stock.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold — mmmmmmmaybe. Consider that at the end of her first appearance, she indicated that she considered whatever debt she owed Ninjette to be paid, and that the traitor should expect no further help from her. A few days later (in comic time) she shows up to warn 'Jette that the Ayakami clan — all of them — are coming after 'Jette. It's possible that she did this because she enjoys Ninjette's terror. It's also possible that she actually cares. We shall see.
The superteam that employs Emp. Based on empirical analysis, most of them are either macho, sexist arsewipes or bitchy queens. Somewhat hip-hop themed.Sistah Spooky AKA TheresaA demonically-charged sorceress and a senior member of the team. Also a neurotic mess of a woman who continually puts Emp down because she hates and fears blondes. Don't worry, she has a reason.
Alpha Bitch: Spooky's Back Story (and consequent Freudian Excuse) also has her being cruelly tormented by blonde, voluptuous Libbies whilst herself a child, hence the chip on her shoulder regarding Emp.
An Arm and a Leg: Gets her right arm blasted off by one of the worm creatures in Hell. She demonstrated some healing powers earlier, so it remains to be seen whether this will be permanent.
Attention Whore: A more realistic version but she desperately craves the praise of her fellow heroes and the public and works hard maintain her image.
Even Evil Has Standards: For how much she hates Emp, she wasn't among the ones who nominated her for a Capey Award as a joke, and actually warned her of what was happening.
Furthered in Volume 8, where we learn that Spooky is actually responsible for Emp's bondage-magnet status as a result of Spooky actively willing it to happen to make sure no-one else distracted from her own star rising as a top superhero, which was also something she'd wished for. The standards come in when, having seen Emp in tears one too many times and uncertain as to how she kept going with such humiliation, Spooky actively tried to stop the spell that had rendered Emp a bondage and humiliation magnet for supervillains. It just didn't work.
Heel-Face Turn: Possibly. At the end of volume 5, she seems to have finally accepted that Emp isn't the blondeAlpha Bitch her mind makes her out to be. By vol. 7, Major Havoc has replaced Spooky as her nemesis in the introduction.
You Are Not Alone: Mind████ wanted to invoke this before her death, leaving a small copy of her mind in Spooky's consciousness to mitigate Spooky's worst memories. Afterwards, the timer runs out and it activates. It helps keep her mostly sane and focused.
You Are What You Hate: Mind████ takes a peek into Spooky's memories and instantly grasps that her public persona has been subconsciously patterned after the same vain blonde bimbos she was so traumatized by. Both physically (sans actual Blondeness) and personality.
Mind████ AKA HannahIntensely telepathic super who's been romantically involved with Sistah Spooky in the past. Stays in orbit most of the time to get away from the background thoughtstream.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: hers differs from Empowered's in that she sees herself as being an effective hero, she just doesn't feel she's as purely heroic as, for instance, Empowered, given that Empowered is a genuinely good person and Mind████ is not because she had to Mind Rape herself in order to not be a sociopath. Whether or not a willingness to Mind Rape yourself is proof of inherent goodness is a matter up for discussion.
Major HavocA super-strong, none-too-bright Jerk Jock. That's about it for his character. Because of this, we can cheer when he gets his just desserts. ( Although given that he is one of the one and a half survivors left over when his team confronted Willy Pete...)
A Father to His Men: He truly cares for his teammates, just not Emp. His description of trying to save Turbobrain from Willy Pete's fire is quite sad.
Book Dumb: Another superhero states that he dropped out after third grade. He may have been joking, but still...
Break the Haughty:In Vol 7 while he's his normal asshole self he's also absolutely terrified of another encounter with Willy Pete
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While he's definitely no genius and the degree to which he took Willy Pete lightly bordered on Too Dumb to Live, he's a professional super all right- just look at how he commanded his team when they were preparing to ambush Willy Pete (at least before it all went to hell).
In the volume seven recap, he's taken over from Spooky as Emp's no. 1 asshole teammate.
Jerkass Has a Point: While he goes out of his way to find reasons to doubt Emp's claims of victory, even Emp's allies begrudgingly admit that his arguments aren't totally wrong.
Nigh Invulnerable: Willy Pete's fire, which has the heat of a nuke, just knocked him out and destroyed his shirt.
The Worf Effect: Have we seen any battles where he didn't get the ████ kicked out of him? Even Ninjette defeats him once (though in his defense, he was at least somewhat drunk at the time).
Capitan RivetThe leader of the team. Made entirely of metal. Surprisingly, not a jerkass (he has the decency to at least try to suppress his laughter at Emp's humiliation).
The Cape: In a world full of superheroes that range from idly idiotic to actively assholish, Capitan Rivet stands out as a (mostly) genuinely nice guy and heroic figure. This may be why Emp idolizes him to the point of wearing underwear with his logo on it.
Chrome Champion: Is a stainless steel golem, and was never human to start with.
The Worf Effect: Have we seen any battles where he didn't get the ████ kicked out of him?
Syndablokk (sic!)A man with a cinderblock for a head. One of the few truly sympathetic heroes, he gives Emp some fatherly advice and compliments in his first appearance. Volume 8 reveals his secret origin; he drew a deliberately ridiculous superhuman version of himself in an art class, and the teacher transformed him.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Sometimes when a teacher asks you to imagine yourself as a superbeing, he might grant your wish. So make sure you make up a character with hands, or a face.
Divangelic AKA Vanity & Charity, AKA CourtneyA pair of Conjoined Twins; the twin on the right is Vanity, a devil, wielding a whip; on the left, we have Charity, an angel wielding a kind of morningstar. The mind boggles how they manage to live with each other. Since they were both killed by Willy Pete in #5, we may never find out. Volume 8 revealed that they were formerly a student named Courtney, who was transformed into the superhuman persona she created for an art class assignment.
Literal Split Personality: Courtney explained her first drawing of Divangelic as representing her "good girl and bad girl sides as separate but connected entities". After the transformation, Vanity and Charity live up to the concept.
MechanismoOnce a normal man, he was infected with a lady-bot's nanotech STD after sleeping with her, and turned into a mecha. Still acts as much like a human as possible, to the extent of sleeping and wanking.
My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: He was transformed via alien nanotech, and as such all the options in his cyberware interace are in the same incomprehensible alien language and alphabet, though it's fairly intuitive regardless. His tendency to just click through all the options nearly leads to a Grey Goo scenario.
MaidmanA Batman (or Robin?) expy who seems to be the most decent, well-adjusted hero so far. The full French maid dress, stiletto heels and fishnets (with garters) he always wears could be thought of as an endearing character trait. He's introduced to us as a reverse mole.
Agent Peacock: He stands out even among the other superheroes with their costumes.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Takes down Blitzcraig on national television with a vegetable dumpling that has some of Wet Blanket's power-draining essence (with Blitzcraig depowered, Maidman unleashes a martial-arts sequence that causes others to retract their snark at Maidman once he wins).
Real Men Wear Pink: He wields an explosive broom, throws doily shuriken, fights in stiletto heels with little bows on them and villains are terrified of him. The only male meido as badass is Kogarashi.
Split Personality: Apparently, his civilian identity, while aware of his alter ego's exploits as Maidman, does not approve of them. Or know how to get bloodstains out of clothing.
Superhero Sobriquets: The Garter-belted Gladiator, the Dark Knight Domestic, the Delicate Cycle Detective, the Hard-hitting Hygenist, the Sanitary Sentinel, the Iron-handed Immaculist, the Manservant of Steel, the Squeaky-clean Samurai, the Corset-clad Crusader and the Velveteen Virtuoso of Violence.
OcelotinaA former kidnapper of Emp who saw the interest in the market for a Stripperiffic heroine that was constantly getting Bound and Gagged, then used it to great financial effect to become a softcore idol.
Everyone Has Standards: "Inappropriate, I'm not into breathplay note a BDSM practice of denying the bottom air, jackass."
Exact Words: Empowered is gagged from talking about what happened at the superhero awards (other members of the Superhomeys aren't and start spreading nasty rumors about her), so Ocelotina invites her on her show and duct tapes her head so she can't talk so that Ocelotina can say how awesome Emp was.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She respects Emp and considers her a true hero. Is it sad that, even though she has humiliated Empowered in public and over the internet that she is legitimately magnitudes nicer to our heroine than anyone on Empowered's team?
The Load: "Please save me... because I'm really, really cute!".
Due to the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, most of the villains that have appeared have been comedic and one-shot. That isn't to say the rest weren't serious.Willy PeteA man who was turned into a fire elemental, and consequently gained the appetite of fire i.e. insatiable. Was the Witless Minions' (and thus Thugboy's) last employer, so they've got some history between them; it's the kind of history that usually starts with "The rivers ran red with blood...". At least he's presumed to have once been a man; there are quite a few question marks concerning Willy Pete's origin.
Fleshmaster/dWARf!A former member of the Superhomies, until he was publicly humiliated (Carrie-style) at an awards ceremony, then disappeared, or so they thought; he used his powers to secretly remould himself into a brand-new super, dWARf!, who was then accepted back in to the team.
Chekhov's Gunman: Both played straight (to a degree) and subverted; Fleshmaster is mentioned several times during Volume Four as part of the Capeys' debacle that could prove to be Emp's eventual fate if she wins anything - since it's a proven fact (and alarmingly, Sistah Spooky seems aware of this) that the suprahuman community is a bunch of dicks - but we never meet him. Turns out he was under their nose all along as dWARf, which is revealed in a stellar scene mentioned below. Ironically, dWARf sets himself up to be found out by Emp.
Clipped Wing Angel: In his fight with Emp he uses his bio-editing powers to become a monstrous giant...which doesn't even get one hit in before Emp pounds him into the floor.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Emp defeats him very quickly. She does not even let him take advantage of his powers.
MannyA Littlest Cancer Patient who met Emp thanks to the Grant-A-Wish Foundation in order to tie her up. His greatest dream was to become a supervillain. Through a strange series of events he managed to attain superhuman intelligence and (possibly) cure himself.
Affably Evil: To an extreme degree. The mad respect he has for Emp makes for a jarring contrast with the disrespect her own teammates show her.
Demonic Possession: is used as a mouthpiece by the devil that accidentally gave Sistah Spooky her powers. After the conversation ends, Deathmonger regains control and notes that he "lost a few minutes."
The Ghost: Deathmonger was mentioned in the very first story of volume 1 as the villain the Superhomies were arguing over how to defeat. Later in that volume was described as "a popular sell out supervillain" and an "overhyped jackass" by a disgruntled Big Iron. He was the central villain of the chapter 'Diseased Wench' with an army of "scythebots" but since Emp never made it to the battle nothing of him was seen. After volume 1 he dropped out of the series until volume 6- where he finally appeared after having been reimagined as The Dreaded that he was. Even then, his mask still left him as The Faceless.
Emp lassos him with a Super tongue he severed, causing Ubiquitease, a SuperDead he enslaved, to leave without him at just the right moment.
He sets Tommy Tokamak's carcass, which is powering his facility, to detonate his Collapsing Lair... And it does, with him inside thanks to Emp... although it appears that teleport sparkles are appearing around him before the explosion.
Night of the Living Mooks: Literally. The SuperDead, as a result of their abilities, are aware and helpless to do his bidding.
Retcon: From his early mentions in volume 1, nothing about Deathmonger suggested that he was anything other than a death-themed supervillain commanding an army of "scythebots", although in the first chapter Emp mentioned him drawing power from a "pan-dimensional link" which she suggested the Superhomies try to cut off. When he reappeared in volume 6, he was reimagined as an actual Necromancer who commands armies of the superdead. This could be purposeful on his part as the cover story on the subject benefits his activities, but the apparent difference was never addressed. However, in volume 6, a bunch of robots with scythe limbs are also seen around the lair, so this may not be as big a retcon as we think.
Ax-Crazy: Sometimes there's just no excuse other than this.
Disproportionate Retribution: I mean, full scale war with an allied clan over your kid chucking her virginity at one of their princes? Yes, it wrecked a potential alliance marriage with a third party (the clan head in question insisted on a virgin teenage bride) but now you're further in the hole.
Villainous Valor: In an interesting way. In preparation for her final battle with the Ayakami, Ninjette drinks, explaining that she won't walk "into a scenario likely to result in [her] death and/or dismemberment without first getting good and solidly buzzed...." Oyuki responds that Ninjette's father often says something very similar before going into battle. It reminds us that, evil though he be, Ninjette's father is still a man, who feels fear, and possibly other human feelings. That one moment renders him easily the most human of the villains in the comic (save, of course, for Manny).
Infernal Service ProviderThe demon Sistah Spooky sold her soul to for supernatural hotness, and due to a misplaced decimal point, was granted massive magical power as well. The ISP tried to correct the error quietly, but Spooky's hero actions made this impossible, and his superiors caught wind of the monumental mixup. He has no intention whatsoever of letting Spooky off the hook for this.
Batman Gambit: Granted Spooky and several others too much power on purpose, so he could eventually force one into taking his place. Only Spooky took the bait.
He also claims to have had some sort of involvement in Mind███'s death somehow.
Ironic Hell: His existence is one. A salesman who hated his job when alive, a salesman who hates his job while dead.
Faux Affably Evil: Calls Sistah Spooky "Sunshine", and claims to be moved to proverbial tears over her reuniting with Mind███, but it's painfully obvious he doesn't have a sincere bone in his body.