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Characters: Grrl Power

Grrl Power is an ongoing story about superheroines doing everyday superheroic things. It has quite a large cast.

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The Comic Shop

    Sydney 

Sydney Scoville / Halo

The lead character of the comic, Sydney is a hyperactive, tightly-wound geek who part-owns and runs a comic-book shop. She's also the newest member of Arcswat, and is a bit of an oddity, as she's just a normal human bonded to seven ancient orbs which give her superpowers.
  • A-Cup Angst: Especially when comparing herself with Maxima or some of the other supers she encounters. Peggy tells her that it's okay, because Peggy is built similarly, and "the A Team sticks together." Sydney is not amused.
  • Adorkable: With her big round glasses, superhero shirts, and annoying-yet-oddly-charming personality.
  • Ancient Artifact: Halo has seven of them. They're floating orbs in the colors of the spectrum, and each one gives her a different superpower:
  • Ascended Fangirl: A comics nerd turned superhero.
  • Bad Liar: Sydney cannot tell a convincing lie, occasionally leading to Cassandra Truth-style problems. It just doesn't help that she really was trying to get away from a group of nuns...
  • Barrier Warrior: When using the indigo orb. Not only can she change the size of the force field to cover large groups of people, it's strong enough to take Maxima's most powerful attacks without difficulty.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Invoked but averted: Sydney pretends she's helpless without her glasses to get a villain off his guard. She then boasts about averting the trope (thereby lampshading the aversion), pointing out that no one is so blind as to not see someone moving right near them just because you take their glasses off.
  • Cleavage Window: Stealth subversion. The cleavage window shirt Sydney wears is a Power Girl t-shirt with a fake cleavage design. The same design can be seen in the comic store window during the exterior shot.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Sydney and her power-spheres cannot be separated by more than a certain distance. Even Maxima, who can lift a truck with one hand, simply can't pull them apart. This allows Sydney a little bit of gloating at Max (especially when she falls on her butt), but is sometimes inconvenient.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: A card-carrying, tax-paying resident of Cloudcuckooland. She acts like the sun burns her, vampire-style (though it doesn't), keeps up a David Attenborough or Jacques Cousteau-style commentary while scuba-diving, and has a doodle of herself marrying a shirtless Wolverine in her note book (which she calls 'the list')
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
  • Combat Tentacles: What one assumes she'll use the violet orb for on occasion.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Has a very diverse set of abilities.
  • Companion Cube: Sydney's tube, at least in her early scenes. She uses it to hold her power orbs (which otherwise deploy themselves in a ring around her, explaining her hero name), and treats it almost as if it were sentient. Most of her Blatant Lies are attempts at covering up what's really inside it.
  • Dark Secret: Parodied. Sydney doesn't want the rest of ARC-SWAT to know that she's a vegetarian. Sadly one of the people she tells is one of Harem's duplicates, and the other four spill to everyone else within a page.
  • Dropped Glasses: Sydney drops her glasses while eating ultra-spicy ramen. just in time to catch a spiced noodle to the eye. She also later drops them during her first real super-battle, but actually turns that to her advantage; see the note on Blind Without 'Em.
  • Eye Scream: 3 million Scoville noodle, directly to the eye. Medic...
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Finding a place that serves food hot enough to induce this is one of Sydney's favorite things. She eventually succeeds.
  • Flying Brick: In effect... Her orbs can give her flight, invulnerability, and a strong energy tentacle — but only any two of those at a time.
  • Geek: And assertive about it. Not that a comics-shop-owning pop culture fan like her can exactly hide it. She might also label herself a Nerd, but she doesn't really fit the definition used on this site.
  • Genki Girl: In all her ADHD glory. There are times when she seems to be intentionally channeling Tomo.
  • Genre Savvy: According to her entry in the cast page, one of Sydney's advantages is that she can come up with more power stunts than the people whose powers they are. This is demonstrated in the opening pages, where she proves how her attack in a superhero tabletop game actually worked despite the villain's force-field.
  • He's not my boyfriend Yeah, but you wish he was, Sydney.
  • Lady Swearsalot: When she gets excited (i.e. a lot of the time), Sydney is prone to swearing in a stream-of-consciousness fashion.
  • Make Up Is Evil: Downplayed, but Sydney's not wearing make-up makes her feel this way.
  • Master of Illusion: Minor example; she can produce an illusory copy of herself she can see and hear through, courtesy of the yellow comm-ball orb.
  • Meaningful Name: Sydney Scoville loves spicy food.
  • Mundane Utility: Halo realizes she could totally cheat at Skeeball using the orbs. She can also use them to hit people with as they hurtle round her. In fact, this sometimes seems to be becoming her primary combat technique.
  • The Napoleon: Halo sometimes gets peeved about being the smallest super in the cast.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Sydney is very often drawn in cartoony poses while the rest of the cast is drawn more realistically.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Her nerd-test with Leon.
  • Perverted Drooling: When presented with a roomful of shirtless, perfectly-muscled superhero hunks.
  • Pop Cultured Badass: She obviously has a detailed knowledge of internet memes, enjoys My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic enough to have it's opening theme for a ringtone, and when Maxima is testing the strength of her forcefield, Halo starts dancing while singing "Can't Touch This" as well as proclaiming that she is "EENWEENCIBLE!"
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Sydney is not only very open in her geekery, she explicitly considers geekiness something to be proud of.
  • Rules Lawyer: Sydney, in her superhero RPG game. She knows all the tropes concerning superpowers and how to bend them to her will. This is likely to translate into Genre Savvy later on.
  • Sarcastic Confession: See the link under Bad Liar above. The last one is the truth.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: The Orbs apparently come with a skill tree.
    Sydney: DING mutha fuckas!
  • Super Power Lottery: See Ancient Artifact above.
  • They Would Cut You Up:
  • Tongue Trauma: Narrowly averted when Sydney pulled a robber by the tongue and slammed him to the ground. "averted" because the robber was another super-powered being who was in disguise. His power just happened to also be extreme stretchiness.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Nonsexual example — she speaks dismissively to the waitress at a spicy-food-oriented restaurant, prompting them to dose her food with "The Unmaker." To the astonishment of all involved, she loves it.
  • Unusual Eyebrows: Mild example: her shaggy lady brows are an unique trait for her.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Her truesight is the strongest anyone has ever seen, able to pierce a Succubus glamor with ease. Unfortunately, illusionists are apparently exceptionally rare on Earth.
    Deus: I'm sure in her line of work she'll eventually meet most of them.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: For Sydney its mittens. At least, that's the only aspect of the problem she's recognized; if something cut off or removed her hand, or otherwise rendered her unable to hold the orbs, she would also be screwed. (Though it has been noted that mittens, or being disarmed, would not render her completely helpless, as she would still be able to use her orbs as bludgeoning tools, since they respond to her mental commands — a trick she's used more than once.) She also gets a good laugh from the rest of the team when she enthusiastically informs them that she's not bulletproof — though there may be a touch of Fridge Horror there too, when one considers that she may have actually tested the red and green orbs for invincibility by having guns shot at her.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Masterfully (and hilariously) pulled off by Sydney on this page.

    Joel 

Joel

Sydney's shop's co-owner. More laid-back than Sydney (which is not hard), and usually good at weathering her moods (harder).
  • Straight Man: He seems to be the more reasonable, business-minded member of the partnership.

    Tony 

Tony

A hot guy who shops at Sydney's shop, and on whom she's got an ill-hidden crush.

    Olivia 

Olivia

Tony's sister/cousin (it's a long story). Friends with Sydney.

ARCHON supers

    ARCHON 

A team of government-sponsored superheroes who recruit Sydney. Tropes applying to the whole team:
  • Cape Busters: Although the Archon field teams are supers themselves, part of their mandate is to address the antics of superpowered vigilantes — so the government has them performing this function. Certainly, the basically non-powered Archon leadership are in the business of controlling supers.
  • Code Name: Each fieldable member has one.
  • Heroic Build: With one aversion, every member of the team is a perfect physical specimen.
  • Mildly Military: Some aspects of the team are remarkably informal — such as military discipline administered via atomic wedgie.
  • Military Spandex: Most of the team's costumes are along the lines of military jumpsuits.
  • Military Superhero: Archon is provisionally organized under the DoD.
  • Secret Identity: Averted. As members of an official peace-keeping organization, all of the members of Archon have public identities.
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Systematically averted, from what we can tell. The team's outfits seem to be fairly standard, sensible military-type uniforms. Except Dabbler's.
  • Superheroes Stay Single: Averted. At least two of the team's members are explicitly noted to be dating.
  • Superhero Speciation: Only played partially straight. While each hero has a different thematic and different main powers, several powers overlap — there are several flyers, at least two characters with Super Toughness, and a couple with Super Strength.

    Maxima 

Maxima / Maximillia Leander

The commanding officer of the Arclight squad the comic follows. Powerful, beautiful, and a vehement feminist, she serves as something of a straight man to Halo, much to the former's regret.

    Dabbler 

Dabbler / Xuriel Shahara Tantalis

Part demon, part alien, cybernetic, psychic, magical, trained in martial arts, and mutant besides, this beguiling creature seems to exist to make off-color jokes and be a thorn in Maxima's side.

    Harem 

Harem / Daphne DeShantis

A teleporting duplicator, Harem's original body doesn't disappear when she teleports, allowing her to have up to five bodies coexisting at one time. Bisexual and something of a tease, she gets on several of the others' nerves.
  • Alliterative Name: Appropriate to the superhero thing.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: If you tell one of her bodies something or one of her bodies sees something (such as Dabbler's Beholder spell, Sydney's accidental joke about Math's name, or Sydney being a vegetarian), the other four will often react to that something even if the one watching/listening is keeping it together.
  • Differently Dressed Duplicates: Although all her five copies share one mind, over the years, they've started to differentiate their outfits and even their personalities, despite technically still being one person with one mind.
  • Flash Step: Comes with the teleporting territory.
  • Hive Mind: Due to her Me's a Crowd powers. Hilariously demonstrated here when Maxima gives Harem a painful atomic wedgie. All five of her clones react.
  • Me's a Crowd: When Harem teleports, she can leave behind a functional copy of herself. She can create up to five at once, each with different clothing and hair style.
  • The Mole: She's using her powers to play double agent on Archon with Machina Industries because she feels Archon are too full of themselves. And because she thinks it's fun. It has been hinted that she may be a Triple Agent, also because it's fun.
  • Only Six Faces: Played with. On the one hand, she goes to a great deal of effort to make sure that her bodies look and even act different, despite being identical clones. On the other hand, the appearances she chose are clearly based on other team members, so it can be easy to mix them up if you're not careful.
  • Power Perversion Potential: She has five bodies with one mind, and calls herself Harem.
  • Self-Duplication: When she teleports, she can leave behind a functional copy of herself. She can create up to five at once, each with different clothing and hair style. Interestingly, the more of herself she's got in existence at once, the weaker each one is.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: See self-duplication above. Her main function so far seems to be fetching the team's arsenal, since most of it is not stuff you can tote around normally.
    • Some specifics are given in #207. The overall weight of all the copies and their clothes is added to what they're carrying for a sort of overall teleporting weight limit (total weight of clones+whatever clones wear and carry cannot exceed X, by Harem's explanation). When they start having to bring in heavy weaponry one considers taking off her boots to try and stay under the limit before deciding she'll just have to "unteleport" for a bit to reduce the load safely.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: She's actually nineteen, but acts with maturity on par with Maxima and Arianna. This is because of her five bodies allow her to basically experience five times as much as normal people. For example, the cast page notes that she usually has one body sleeping and one body studying while the other three do more interesting things.

    Anvil 

Anvil / Kenya Cassidy

A super-strong, energy-absorbing powerhouse. Anvil is good friends with Maxima and is the only one of the three African-American members of the team we've been introduced to thus far.

    Heatwave 

Heatwave / Brook Falls

A ditzy pyrokinetic who's dating Mr. Amorphous.
  • The Ditz: Brook wonders how Maxima could have kissed Mr. Amorphous (Brook's boyfriend) and left lipstick on his face when Maxima doesn't wear lipstick. By the time she meets up with Amorphous again she's ready to beat Max up — until it's explained to her that Harem was actually responsible. She then tries make boiling soda explode on Harem, who teleports to get out of the way, so Brook only soaks herself. And then she threatens Harem by melting the can in her hand ... effectively welding her own hand shut. Word of God is that she isn't actually as dumb as she appears, but she tends to process information in a non-standard order.
  • Expy: Her powers and parts of her personality suggest the Human Torch — apart from her being a hot, ditzy, redheaded female, of course.
  • Fiery Redhead: She has both a hot-headed personality and heat powers.
  • Flying Firepower: Flight is a secondary power of hers.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead
  • Mundane Utility: Heatwave uses her heat powers to make popcorn.
  • Playing with Fire: Her power.

    Math 

Math / Mathias (Last name unknown)

An incredibly accomplished martial artist — so much so that his skills skirt the line between training and actual superpowers. He's also a lecherous creep, though usually a lovable one.

    Mr. Amorphous 

Mr. Amorphous / (Civilian Name Unknown)

A super-stretchy member of the Arcswat team. Currently dating Heatwave.
  • Expy: To some extent, in terms of abilities, of various famous comic-book rubber men: Mr. Fantastic, Plastic Man, and the Elongated Man. However, he seems to focus less on the stretching as such and more on the benefits control of his body gives him — strength, toughness, disguise, and so on.
  • Rubber Man: His primary superpower.
  • Shapeshifting: Control of his bodily form extends to disguise abilities.
  • Super Strength: Apparently a function of his control of his body's form and density.

    Achilles 

Achilles / Harold (Last name unknown)

"You can only drive a car off a plane into an ammo dump so many times before it gets boring."

An utterly invulnerable man (to the extent that he takes calming swims in active volcanoes and knocks missiles out of the air with his face). Personality-wise, Achilles is somewhat stuck in the '80s, though it's uncertain whether that's just what he's like or if it's a side-effect of his powers.
  • The Ageless: Apparently part of his invulnerability—nothing can harm him, not even time.
  • Clothing Damage: After hanging out in an explosion, he gets mad that the marshmallows in his pocket melted, ruining his jacket. Then we see that the entire back of his outfit is gone. Word of God is that he goes through clothes like The Incredible Hulk does, only without transforming.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Pulls off a pretty good plan by blocking Heavenly Sword's energy blade with his eyeball, counting on the shock of seeing that making her drop the sword. He then ends up picked up by the villainess and thrown into a wall.
  • Fastball Special: He can be utilized as a human bullet by his stronger teammates.
  • Fights Like a Normal: He's invulnerable, but not really that much more powerful than a normal human otherwise.
  • Meaningful Name: Well, it's a superheroic codename, but Achilles is obviously named for Achilles, minus the heel.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: He's described as having "Proper, aggravating invincibility." He's shrugged off attacks that can destroy matter on the subatomic level.
    • He once stopped a cruise missile by headbutting it, and "didn't feel" the resulting explosion.
    • He's the only one other than Maxima to hang out in the massive explosion she caused.
    • His eyeball can block an energy blade.
  • Older than They Look: As part of being The Ageless. He's a little over fifty, but looks to be in his mid-twenties.
  • Stock Scream: Lets loose the Goofy Holler when punched through a roof.
  • Stone Wall: He's Nigh Invulnerable minus the nigh. The problem being, he's otherwise basically just a normal person (albeit 1.5 times as strong as most, since he doesn't have to worry about tearing muscles or anything).
  • You Fight Like a Cow: His unofficial "Power".

    X 

X / (Civilian Name Unknown)

Sydney: What's your name?
X: ...X.
Sydney: That's forgettably generic.
X: That's the point.

The classified handler Archon has watching Dabbler, just in case she was serving as the vanguard of an invasion force, or something similar. He's laconic and pragmatic, suiting his job as a spy; he evidently uses a high-tech invisibility/stealth suit, which may be his own design.

    Jiggawatt 

Jiggawatt / (Civilian Name Unknown)

A lightning- oriented super; she can create lightning, control lightning, and turn into lightning, allowing her rapid travel. She seems to have a mildly goofy sense of humor combined with a readiness to do the job she's paid for.
  • Electric Black Gal: Insofar as she manifests the trope, she's a slightly unusual gender flipped version. Actually, her specific appearance and lightning-hurling combat style might make her a bit more like a visual Expy of Storm of the X-Men, although when the writer realized this, he changed her hair color retroactively from white to gold, to reduce the similarity.
  • Hand Blast: Her basic offensive power; point at people and zap them with lightning. She's fast enough to knock incoming thrown objects out of the air with a reflex defensive blast.
  • Ride the Lightning: How she gets around when she needs to be quick.
  • Shock and Awe: Her schtick — lightning is her power.

ARCHON Normals

    Peggy 

Peggy

"Superpowers are like vegans—they can't wait to tell you about them."

A sniper and helicopter pilot, and the only active-duty member of ARCHON we meet who doesn't have superpowers or a close approximation thereto.
  • Badass Normal: Peggy is clearly very good at what she does, and feels perfectly able to work with a team of supers.
  • Bi the Way: She offhandedly explains that she's more attracted to people rather than genders, after Sydney initially picks up a lesbian vibe off her looks, then notices her enjoying the parade of shirtless superguys.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: When told to try and avoid fatalities in a large-scale combat, Peggy can always resort to, say, shooting a sword out of an opponent's hands.
  • Friendly Sniper: Evidently her primary function when the team gets into fights.
  • Genre Savvy: Her "supers are like vegans, they can't wait to tell you all about [their powers]" speech was proven correct by the end of the page. It's later proven right again during the team's first battle where many of the villains do in fact boast or show off their powers — though some have to be prompted by Sydney.
  • Handicapped Badass: She's a military sniper who lost her leg in action — but none of her badassitude.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: While not as cinematic as some, she does shoot a sword out of somebody's hands, at sniping ranges, in the middle of a fight.
  • Punny Name: She's got a prosthetic leg. And her name is Peggy. Har har.

    Arianna 

Arianna

The PR representative and legal counsel for ARCHON. Enjoys tweaking Maxima and manipulating the press.
  • Amoral Attorney: Largely averted so far. She points out she can't screw Syndey over with the Archon contract because then she'd have to sue herself later. And after confirming that a waitress at the steakhouse the villains just wrecked can definitely sue said villains for damages, she offers to help in doing so with much enthusiasm — although admittedly that fits with some of her devious ideas about making life difficult for supervillains.
  • The Chessmaster: Arianna is seen playing Maxima like a fiddle for her amusement and the advancement of her organization as a bonus. Further events may eventually upgrade this status to Magnificent Bastard. However, Max seems to be manipulating right back at her...
  • Large Ham: While she's mostly one of the sanest characters around, her manic moments jump headfirst into full-on ham territory, usually with some of the most exaggerated expression in the comic.
  • Not Me This Time: Since she arranged the fake bank heist, Maxima apparently assumes that Arianna may also have staged the first supervillain attack. In a wordless conversation of expressions and gestures across the room, Ariana emphatically insists otherwise.
  • Only Sane Woman: As a pragmatic (and manipulative) non-powered lawyer with PR responsibilities towards a team of supers, Arianna tends towards this trope. Though she's had one or two manic moments.

    The General 

General Faulk

The officer in charge of ARCHON.

    Leon 

Leon

The technical expert at ARCHON. A self-avowed nerd with a bit of a complex about dealing with beautiful women (which makes working with superheroines an ... interesting prospect).
  • Cannot Talk to Women: The incredibly pretty ones, anyway. He seems okay with Sydney. Also with Maxima, likely because she doesn't flaunt when having discussions with him.
  • Geek: Actually, Leon proclaims himself to be both a geek and a Nerd, and Sydney has checked him out and confirmed this. However, their use of the latter term doesn't really accord with the definition used on this site.
  • Hollywood Hacking: He mercilessly skewers it in one memorable exchange.
  • Hacker Cave: His office in Archon headquarters is a fairly clean, well-lit example. We see at least four monitors and several cans of soda.
  • One Head Taller: A good deal taller than Sydney, who a few seconds after noting this wonders how "Leon Scoville" sounds.

    Zephen 

Zephan Zoeng

A consultant with ARCHON, Zephan is a retired adventurer with years of experience studying the odder parts of the world.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Sydney apologizes to him after making a quip about getting the orbs in an old Chinese relic shop. He simply smiles and jokes back that they always have the best stuff there.
  • Collector of the Strange: As a scholar of the unusual, he's accumulated bits and baubles, as well as knowledge.
  • Cool Old Guy: Totally fine with Syndey's quip about Asian antique shops and generally seems like a laid-back and funny guy.

    Gwen 

Gwen

Actually a novice magician, but evidently not at a level to operate in the field; she works on the support side at ARCHON.

Other Characters

    Deus 

Deus

A mysterious businessman, the head of Machina Industries. Apparently being set up as a villain for the comic.

    Vale 

Vale

Deus's assistant and probably his bodyguard. Given her mannerisms and her collection of swords, presumably some kind of martial artist.

Supervillains

    Heavenly Sword 

Heavenly Sword

A swordswoman who participates in the attack on the restaurant.
  • BFS/Laser Blade: Her power revolves around energy "blades" which her superpower enables her to create around any long, thin object which she holds in her hand.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Trounces Dabbler in a sword fight and easily deflects her magical attacks while doing so. Word of God puts her at a four on the power scale.

    Jabberwokky 

Jabberwokky

A martial artist who participates in the attack on the restaurant.

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