open/close all folders
Staff of PS238
"Dagnab Cytocorp hardware! If I found out who's been ordering from that cheap-wad supplier...I might as well make my own eprom chips if we're going to use this junk!"A technologically-inclined metahuman with a level-nine intelligence. Owner and founder of Clay Industries, and formerly the superhero Mantium.
- Almighty Janitor: His job is quite a bit more than "janitor," but he doesn't come across as "teaching staff" normally. He's the maintenance guy for PS238. Along with the guy that designed and built it.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Built all the tech in the school, including the "lockervator", the hologram projectors, the power-testing equipment, and Zodon's "Barry Ween" chip.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Strongly hinted at, as the various engineering skillsets he demonstrates (including holographic generators, Power Armor, computers, the machinery that operates the school, and space flight) suggest at least passing familiarity with multiple scientific disciplines. Downplayed in that other teachers at PS238 (Mr. Alloy, most prominently) are the ones responsible for teaching most science courses.
- Power Armor: His suit resembles the Iron Man suit in function, but not form.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted, he modifies NASA equipment and is rich from selling some of his stuff via Clay Corporation.
- Triple Shifter: Hershel's lack of sleep comes up multiple times in the series, first mentioned as a drawback to his super-intellect - he's constantly thinking of new things he can do, which distracts him from sleep. He ends up becoming the school's maintenance crew, shop teacher, and still has time to help run his multinational corporation and give assistance to NASA and other governmental agencies as needed.
"Even when you think you're doing the right thing, you might be going about it in the wrong way."Former president of the United States, and current principal of PS238.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: He had used his telepathic powers to defeat political opponents, win elections, and get great deals on cars.
- The Atoner: Seems to view his tenure as principal as this. To complete the above quote:Tyler: Did you do something wrong?
Cranston: I hope not. I'm still deciding if I did.
- The Masquerade: Only about a handful of people know of Cranston's powers and the true reasons he resigned from the presidency. To most people he's a baseline human and ex-president turned principal for "health reasons."
- Mind over Matter: He has telekinetic powers. Without his limiter, he's strong enough to hold several half a ceiling of rock for an extended period, but with it he can barely lift a pencil.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Until the "Cranston Incident" ended it in the Back Story.
- Power Limiter: His headband sharply limits both his telepathic and telekinetic abilities, to the point that he gets a headache from telekinetically pushing a button on his phone.
- Telepathy: He used his mind reading abilities to further his political career by cutting through the lies and half-truths inherent to Washington. He doesn't seem to have any mind-control abilities, but the conspirators who deposed him were terrified that he did.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Referring to his time when he was using his powers as President.
Positron 1A human-looking robot with a large family who acts as the school's science adviser.
- Do-Anything Robot: Subverted when he has trouble fighting off aliens without the weapons in his combat body.
- Me's a Crowd: He's made multiple versions of himself, which are living different lives.
- Uncanny Valley: In-Universe. Normally, Doc P appears pretty much human, but (at least when interacting with his other selves) can lapse into Uncanny Valley-ness pretty badly. The other teachers tell him to knock it off because he's so unconvincing it's creeping them out.
Vashti Imperia/Spell Syrin
"Only you see my true appearance. To everyone else I look like Vashti Imperia, J. Crew patron."Teacher of the supernatural students at PS238, "Spell Syrin" has a habit of using illusions instead of actually donning normal clothing.
- Master of Illusion: Her primary power. She can use more violent spells, but they're far more taxing.
- Mundane Utility: Uses illusion spells so she can walk around wearing the high-fantasy sorceress outfit she prefers without jeopardizing the Masquerade of PS238.
- Stable Time Loop: Ended up playing the role of the "evil witch" her younger self stole her grimoire from.
- Teleporters and Transporters: She generally only breaks out these spells in an emergency, but she can quickly and accurately teleport across distances of miles at the very least.
- True Sight: One of her spells allows her this; outside of her illusions, the power she uses most frequently.
"I think that's our cue. Let's go stomp some aliens."A giant man composed of some kind of rock, and the school's PE teacher.
- Expy: Looks like the Thing. Talks like the Thing. And has a line in resigned sarcasm when the Gadgeteer Genius's gizmos go wrong like the Thing.
- Gentle Giant: He is a nice, compassionate and caring teacher.
- Nigh Invulnerable: He's been driven something like four feet into concrete flooring by a blow to the head. It doesn't seem to have done much more than stun him briefly (and leave him stuck).
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Max may be a massively strong, stone-tough bruiser that's more than seven feet tall, but he's pretty much stuck that way, which isn't much fun. He doesn't fit through doorways very well, can't move very fast and he can't even wear shoes, since they just kind of... burst.
Christina Kyle/Micro MightThe only member of the staff with any actual experience teaching, and therefore someone the rest of the teachers refer to when they need help. Was known as Micro-Might when she was a superhero, due to her ability to increase her strength and density as she shrinks. Word of God is that she was explicitly based off the author's wife.
- Christmas Cake: She has had trouble dating.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: The fact that she's authorized to give detention (and is hinted to regularly do so to Von Fogg and Zodon) is not so unusual. The fact that she's been authorized to do so to the media teams that try to accompany Jenny and Dillon, however, is well beyond what teachers are usually allowed. Worth noting, the threat of handing it out works.
- Deadpan Snarker: Less than most,but she often resorts to sarky comments when things get too crazy.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: Done by Harold when he assaulted the school. He overclocked her powers, thereby making activation causing her to become too dense to move.
- Mama Bear: Mess with her students and she'll punch your face in.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Becomes stronger as she becomes smaller, due to keeping the same mass.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A sensible, compassionate and level-headed teacher.
Wayne Miller/The Human Alloy
"I've faced down military-level ordnance, fought beings with laser-beam eyes, taken on the worst the underworld has to offer... but [teaching] scares me worse than Doctor Von Fogg's legion of mole-warriors on a mushroom bender."A science teacher with the ability to turn things (including himself) into various metals. He was hired after the school's opening to teach classes.
- Chrome Champion: His skin is a silver metal of some variety. Based on the fact that he can cause chemical reactions to spontaneously happen at some amount of range, he's of the Reality Warper variety.
- Expy: Of Captain Atom.
- Extra-ore-dinary: Turned a door into gold once. The full extent of his abilities in this area have not been explained.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": For Wil Wheaton.
- Reality Warper: A low-scale version, he's able to cause chemical reactions to suddenly happen nearby, no matter how unlikely they would be (in theory, he could transform any nearby source of carbon into a diamond, for example).
Other School Staff:
Isadore NewbySchool doctor, superpowered healer and mundane medically trained.
- Healing Hands: The extent of her abilities is unknown, but most of her work is done using science instead.
Alice OberonTeacher of the Rainmaker classes. Canonically completely powerless. Why she's in charge of the Rainmaker students remains unexplained.
- Team Normal: The only teacher at PS238 without powers.
Roland WoosterFormer Battle Butler for the defunct Union of Justice (a.k.a., most of the current teaching staff).
- Battle Butler: For the Union of Justice, the superhero league most of the teachers used to belong to.
Students at PS238
Jenny Adams/American Eagle
"I'm in favor of blue - it's the same color of the skies, limitless and free, just like America."One of two kids trying to replace Freedom Fighter, the universe's Captain Ersatz of Captain America, in order to give USA's "official" superhero a political backing. She can fly using wings and fire electric blasts. According to the RPG supplement, her benefactor is the Democratic party.
- The Comically Serious: Quite a few jokes at the expense of her ridiculous patriotism.
- Deadpan Snarker: Starts growing into the role when she becomes part of Moon Shadow's super team.
- Patriotic Fervor: Every word out of her mouth involves America in some way.
- Shock and Awe: Can fire bolts of electricity or simply stun people by touching them.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To USA Patriot Act. Their constant bickering is played mostly for laughs as two kids repeating talking points they don't fully comprehend.
- Winged Humanoid: Wears a backpack above ground to conceal them.
"Bernard Smash!"The son of a man who can turn into a rampaging monster. Bernard hasn't figured out how to turn his off yet.
- Cute Bruiser: Unlike the Hulk on which he is based, Bernard is a fun loving (if simple minded) and enthusiastic child.
- Expy: The Hulk, but blue and more fun.
- Extreme Omnivore: For just one example, Zodon found some tracking devices on his chair from Praetorian Academy. He gave them to Bernard to dispose of, and assumed Bernard did so by eating them and enjoying the taste. An author's note revealed that Zodon was correct on both counts.
- Gasshole: If Zodon's to be believed, anyway. Burrito night was apparently nearly toxic.
- Hulk Speak: Pretty obvious, due to being a Hulk expy.
- Mode Lock: In theory, he should be able to turn into a normal, intelligent form. In practice...that's never happened.
Ron Peterson/Captain Clarinet
"I wasn't sure I wanted to do this saving people and stuff. It felt good to help, but I still want to make my music."Ron Peterson is the son of Atlas, one of the most powerful superheroes on the planet, he has trouble balancing his normal desires with his powers. Calls himself Captain Clarinet, after the clarinet made from his father's spaceship.
- Badass in Distress: Was taken hostage by an Argosian noble to try to lure out his father. He was then used as a bargaining chip to force his father to hold the Argosian throne the way they wanted him to.
- Break the Cutie: His story arc is the darkest in the series. His parents get a divorce after he has a breakdown over hurting someone with his powers, which makes him think it's his fault. Looking for a purpose, he joins Praetorian Academy—unaware the academy used mind control on his mother to speed the process—and is slowly broken down into an obedient minion. Then he is shipped off to Argos by accident, where he is depowered and attempted to be used as a hostage to ensure his father's good behavior. Then he is lost in space with Moon Shadow, returning to Earth after many trials and tribulations, but with his father still stuck on Argos.
- Brought Down to Normal: An Argonian raygun loaded with Argonite de-powered him in volume 8, so far permanently.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Fears his own strength because of this. One day, he might forget.
- Expy: Superboy.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Sort of; Ron's non-combative attitude means he's not very suited for fighting and the Comes Great Responsibility attitude of his father means he thinks everyone expects too much of him when he'd rather just be a musician. This leads to him joining Praetorian just so he can know what is expected of him at all times, and actually getting de-powered is conflicting to him.
- Flying Brick: Like his father, he has powers similar to human F.I.S.S. Flight, invulnerability, strength, and speed. Turns out the F.I.S.S. are the only surviving metahuman type on Argos and make up the planet's noble caste. According to Cecil, he also has the potential for superpowers from his human lineage.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: The fact that he's technically half-alien isn't really an issue. The fact that his mother isn't Argosian is a real problem to their ruling class, however.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Non-romantic version. Ron is very nice to Tyler during his school life, but he considers Moon Shadow to be The Jinx and the reason everything's gone wrong with his life. He is, naturally, completely unaware that Tyler and Moon Shadow are the same person.
- Unfortunate Names: His Argonian name is "Mo-Ron".
"If I don't eventually return that from where I took it, you'll cease to exist."A time traveler who tends to pop up out of the blue, teleport Tyler to a seemingly random time and place, and leave him holding the ball.
- Shout-Out: It is Word of God that his name was taken from two Doctor Who actors.
- Time Master: His only limits shown is that he can't travel past a specific major choice until it is made: Whether or not humanity should get to keep superpowers.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Hard to get an age on a time traveler.
Age: ?An apparently normal student at Excelsior, who turns out to be able to see ghosts.
- Powers via Possession: When possessed by a spirit who had meta-abilities in life, she has full access to them, as well as the skills to use them.
- True Sight: She can see past illusions and some holograms, plus she can see ghosts. She usually doesn't speak up about this as she doesn't want to seem like The Cassandra.
- Unhappy Medium: She learned the hard way that spirits can be really, really pushy once they learn she can see and hear them. On top of that, she knows that she's at risk for a Grand Theft Me or Demonic Possession scenario...
"I'm sorry my powers aren't special or anything."The 84th F.I.S.S., your basic Flying Brick. She comes from a poor non-super family, who could only afford a relatively simple costume for her. Suzi is her cousin. She eventually takes the name "84" as her superhero name.
- Character Development: Her growth as a hero, despite her generic powers. Taking on the name "84" is part of it.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She appears briefly in the background a few times before her official introduction, and is officially named when Taylor sees his Alternate Self "Elemental Powers" threaten her to force Ambriel's compliance.
- The Chosen One: She's now the Champion of Earth, due to winning Veles's trial. What this means has yet to be shown.
- Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Is an enthusiastic hugger, has super-strength, and sometimes forgets that who/what she hugs isn't indestructible.
- Flying Brick: The 84th recorded, specifically.
- The Glomp: Very prone to delivering (literally) bone-crushing hugs when happy or excited, much to Tyler's distress.
- Only Sane Man: Much more level-headed than most with super powers. She has considerable success because she figures out how to properly apply her powers for maximum effectiveness.
- Puppy Love: She's shown strong hints to being attracted to Moon Shadow and Tyler Marlocke. She doesn't know that they're the same person.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Unusual in that she gives it to herself - when engaging in psychic combat, an avatar of her self-confidence gives her the strength needed to save the day and choose her super identity of 84.
- You Are Number 6: Eventually, she comes to embrace her status as a relatively non-unique super, and takes on the superhero name 84.
Kevin Kramer/Emerald Gauntlet
"Let's blast it!"The son of the first Emerald Gauntlet, he is a trigger-happy kid with an Imagination-Based Superpower.
- Expy: Green Lantern. Just uses a gauntlet instead of a ring.
- Hot-Blooded: He tends to rush headlong into pretty much everything.
- Hypocritical Humor: He's suspicious of Prospero, thinking he's the herald of an alien invasion. The other kids point out that one of his classmates is already half-alien, and his father got his power gauntlet from aliens.
- Imagination-Based Superpower: He can make shields, hands, blast things...fitting for a Green Lantern expy.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Probably the most enthusiastic fan of Moon Shadow in the cast. One of his prized possessions is one of Moon Shadow's business cards.
Alejandro Torres/The Flea
"Is now when you tell me to 'stay out of trouble' and 'go back home' and 'it's too dangerous' and stuff?"A cheerful young boy who can speak to and command insects, cling to walls, bounce off things, and similar insect-related powers. He is first introduced trailing "those guys in golden armor," who his teachers think he is making up.
- The Beastmaster/Speaks Fluent Animal: Talks to and commands insects. This is quite useful to him - flies make excellent bugs, and even high-tech powered armor can be inconvenienced by a big swarm of bees.
- Cassandra Truth: The first to learn about Praetorian Academy, but no one believes him at first.
- Expy: Effectively what happens when Spider-Man meets Ambush Bug.
- Friend to Bugs: When Charles is angry that he's being attacked by ants, Flea replies "Those are my friends you're talking about."
- Fun Personified: He's a winning combination of this and Nice Guy. One of the friendliest, most upbeat and all around fun kids at PS238; it's telling that even Cecil, who doesn't exactly have a great opinion of superhumans, enjoys his company.
- The Gadfly: Likes to play pranks, like putting ice cubes with spiders in them in the punch bowl at the Powers' party.
- In a Single Bound: Like his superhero sobriquet's source, The Flea is capable of quickly jumping many times his own height. His vertical jump is at least 30 feet, based on how cleanly he's able to clear the treeline in a forested area, and likely much higher.
- Little Bit Beastly: Those antennae aren't a part of his costume.
- Shout-Out: His mask design appears to be based on Rider 1's (the manga version, anyway).
- Wall Crawl: Has the same wallcrawling ability as Spider-Man. Including perching halfway up a wall or standing on the ceiling instead of sitting.
Ambriel Valentine/Guardian Angel
"You can't touch me, you can't hurt me, and the more you try the worse it's gonna be for you."The girl with an invisible friend who smacks people who get too close. No one knows how her power works, but she can also fool security systems.
- Barrier Warrior: She can't do anything offensive, so she just stands in front of any bad guys.
- Batter Up: She gets a baseball bat that explodes whatever it hits.
- Big Sister Instinct: At least part of why she throws herself into danger is that she knows her friends might get hurt if she doesn't. In the alternate universe mentioned below, Tyler is able to use threatening the other students to get her to back down.
- Blessed with Suck: Can't get hurt, can't get injured, can't get sick. The sucky part comes about because she never developed resistance to diseases.
- Blood Knight: Later issues show her getting a bit tooenthusiastic about violence.
- Bubble Boy: What the Blessed with Suck aspects of her Barrier Warrior powers have effectively turned her into.
- Invisibility: Of a sort - not only can she be completely hidden from cameras, she can hide other people from them if them being caught would get her in trouble.
- Jumped at the Call: Knowing she can't get hurt, she's usually the first one to go looking for trouble.
- Little Miss Snarker: She can keep up with Zodon in Snark-to-Snark Combat.
- Nigh Invulnerable: In one alternate universe, not even a Tyler stronger than the rest of the class combined could hurt her.
- Time Police: She becomes a member of such an organization, though dedicated to interdimensional travel instead of time travel.
"To be honest, I didn't know I could do it. It sort of 'happened.' I think I need to learn more about what I am from Ms. Imperia."The son of a demon and an angel. The first one ever, in fact.
- Captain Ersatz: Looks like Spawn. Has the origin of Genesis. Acts considerably nicer.
- Goo Goo Godlike: Nobody knows exactly how powerful Malphast is, or how powerful he might become, but his age and relative inexperience makes people treat him with kid gloves.
- Odd Friendship: With Cecil.
- Power Incontinence: Accidentally summons a tentacled... thing while listening to music.
- Reality Warper: Among others. Part of his remit is that there hasn't been a demon/angel hybrid before, so no-one knows what he can do.
Ultimate Powers (Spoiler character)
Toby Marlocke/Ultimate Powers
"To get what I wanted, I had to give up something: the best friend I could have."Toby Powers is the former remote-control clone body of Tyler, made during a time Tyler was frozen from an alien disease. Toby was given autonomy and sentience by the actions of the forces of Order and Chaos and formally adopted by Tyler's family. Due to errors during the cloning process he was "blessed" with Reality Warper powers based on Equivalent Exchange, and lost several of Tyler's memories.
- Clones Are People, Too: Thanks to several legal precedents on the subject, there are apparently quick ways to get him into the system. Personally, nobody seems to pay much mind to him except as Tyler's brother. In fact, the only ones bothered by him are Cecil and Tyler.
- Flight: One of the few things he can do without causing problems.
- Identity Amnesia: Of a sort. Because he's a clone that grew parts of his brain from whole cloth, Toby only has some of Tyler's memories. One set of memories that Toby lacks is that Tyler, his genetic source, is Moon Shadow.
- Power Incontinence: Every time he uses his powers to affect something,something equally bad or random happens in proportion to the scale of the task. Teleporting himself causes someone's phone to turn into a banana. Trying to give his brother powers gave every unpowered person in the world powers and depowered every superhero, and he was forced to change it back.
- Reality Warper: He can do pretty much anything. One time (off screen) he gave every unpowered person powers, took away every powered persons' powers, and then put it back again.
- Replacement Goldfish: Played with. Though he's a clone designed to impersonate Tyler, he is the empowered son Tyler's parents have always wanted. As a result, Tyler worries they'll like Toby more.
- As it turns out, Toby was worried about the same thing. He used his powers to prevent that happening at the cost of permanently alienating himself from Cecil, hence the quote. Issue #51 shows it might not take, however.
- Walking Spoiler: He throws around the Status Quo quite a bit by his arrival, not to mention being a side-effect of an Alien Invasion the cast still haven't entirely recovered from.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: He seems to have the ability to sense destinies as well, and can manipulate them as part of his power set. Naturally, doing so comes with a cost.
- Younger Than They Look: Strictly speaking, he's only a few months old, as he's only recently been cloned. Physically, he's the same age as Tyler.
Tyler Marlocke/Moon Shadow
"Look, I can't do any of the stuff you do. I don't have... you know...powers."A normal boy with two very famous heroes, Sovereign and Ultima Powers, for parents. Tyler has no powers at all and is a baseline human, but his parents, believing in his "destiny" to become a superhero, send him to PS238 anyway where he gets embroiled in a lot of trouble because of it. Tyler becomes an apprentice to The Revenant and takes on the superhero persona of "Moon Shadow" as a way to cope.
- Action Survivor: Tyler's early appearances mostly focus on him just trying to get through the daily routine of PS238 alive. He grows out of it as he becomes more proactive.
- Badass Normal: In training, at least.
- Big Brother Instinct: A sure fire way to make him suit up and beat you soundly? Threaten any of his friends or classmates (current or former), even ones that are technically his enemies (such as Ron during his stint as Argonaut). Several villains learned this the hard way.
- Chew Toy: Especially early on during his training with The Revenant.
- Cowardly Lion: Tyler does not hide the fact that he regularly fears for his life in the various situations he finds himself in. Even as he trains, he's scared even as he reflexively leaps into dangerous situations to be heroic. One example is when Julie Finster is affected by Argonite - he jumps off an aircraft to save Julie immediately, while The Revenant comments that his jet's sensors are able to calculate about how high up Tyler is based on the pitch of Tyler's screams of fear.
- "End of the World" Special: Tom makes Tyler be the one to decide whether metahumans and superpowers should continue to exist or whether they should fade away again. Tyler chooses the former.
- Expy: He's basically Nodwick (voice of reason that lacks powers and tends to end up in the center of all ongoing troubles) with all the Butt Monkey tendencies and the snarking toned down severely.
- Genre Savvy: Given that he was raised by two powerful heroes, he's already quite aware of the various conventions of his world. This, combined with Only Sane Man, is a large part of how he's still alive.
- The Hero: The closest thing the comic has to a main character.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Implied at several points, and finally outright stated in Chapter 2 of the online incarnation of the comic, is that Tyler's parents attempted just about every Super Empowering Super Hero Origin that they could think of. All Tyler got out of it were lots of visits to the doctor to make sure he wasn't hurt.
- Indy Ploy: Tyler's greatest asset outside of his Genre Savvy and being the Only Sane Man is that he's extremely good at thinking on his feet. The Bureau of Alien Monitoring deception that both the teachers of PS238 and the Revenant used to their benefit? Tyler came up with that on the spot when Cecil was questioning him. Given that he took a quick look around when fighting Charles and came up plans to counter what Charles was likely able to do based on that, he's training to become an expert at Xanatos Speed Chess.
- The Jinx: A very directed and specific one, aimed mainly at Captain Clarinet. Zodon also thinks Tyler is one, but as Tyler actively meddles with some of Zodon's more villainous schemes, it's more like Spanner in the Works.
- Loves My Alter Ego: A non-romantic version.
- Most of the students see Tyler merely as the Team Normal, likeable but not really special in any way. However, they admire Moon Shadow very much, especially Emerald Gauntlet and 84.
- Inverted with Ron/Captain Clarinet. He hates Moon Shadow but is Tyler's second closest friend after Cecil.
- Muggle Born of Mages: Basically why's he's at PS238. His parents are convinced he's going to have powers eventually, but he's pretty clearly a normal kid. At least at first.
- My Card: The Revenant has provided Tyler with some to hand out as Moon Shadow; they're primarily intended to impress people who receive them.
- Only Sane Man: In a lot of ways. He's remarkably normal for being raised by two crazy superheroes.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: He cannot understand how none of the other kids can tell he's Moon Shadow.
- Parental Neglect: Ultima and Sovereign aren't what you'd call "hands-on" parents for Tyler, at all, and seem completely deluded in their continued insistence that it's his "destiny: to gain superpowers one day while basically sending him away to school and never visiting. Toby really doesn't help matters, being everything his parents dreamed of.
- Shrouded in Myth: His Moon Shadow persona; the other PS238 kids are sure that he has a host of undefined powers and abilities.
- Spanner in the Works: Yeah, Zodon's plans get screwed up whenever Tyler gets involved... although Zodon can't even conceive that it's due to intentional sabotage on Tyler's fault, guided by Tom's advice.
- Superpowerful Genetics: Subverted: His parents are incredibly powerful superheroes, but he's a completely normal kid. Played straight in most alternate realities.
- Two-Person Love Triangle: Puppy Love version - there are several indications that Julie Finster is attracted to both Tyler and Moon Shadow, not realizing that they're the same person.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: If he wasn't, he'd be dead, even in a relatively lighthearted comic like this.Revenant: Don't you find it at all funny that a child is lecturing an adult on airplane safety?
Moon Shadow: NO!
Revenant: You're a very unusual kid. I need to get you on some roller coasters or something.
Morpheus, Prince of Daydreams
"I am acquainted with all stories form this world and others as they form the tableau of what you quaintly call 'reality.' The dreams of all sentient beings come together to shape what we see when we walk apart from the realms of sleep, and the whimsical novels of which we speak give their small contribution to making whole that which we see as the universe."The shattered god of dreams. His sister dropped him off at PS238 while the rest of his family searches for his missing parts.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: He was the god of dreams.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Morpheus from The Sandman. Naturally, his aboveground hologram looks exactly like a young Neil Gaiman.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He's not entirely "there."
- Depower: The reason he's in an elementary school; he's been reduced to the child-sized "Prince of Daydreams."
- Pieces of God: He's been completely broken apart; it's suggested that the largest piece is what currently attends PS 238. At one point, one of his other pieces was brought back to him, allowing him to merge and get some of his memories back.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He can get...verbose.
- Time Abyss: Despite his child-like size, he's about as old as the universe itself.
Poly Mekkis/Poly Mer
"One time I grabbed our mailbox when Mom was driving to the mall, and when we got there, my arm was—"A rubberized girl who enjoys playing around with everyone. Manages to stay fun even in the middle of an alien invasion.
- Cloudcuckoolander: A bit on the odd side.
- Genki Girl: Excessively cheerful and has lots of fun with her powers.
- Mundane Utility: She uses her powers to keep herself entertained. For example, that isn't gum that she inflates into a bubble.
- Rubber Man: Provides her with immunity to electrical attacks, clothing, and bubblegum for when she's bored.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Implied to have been an invoked trope by her father, which her mother wasn't very fond of.
- Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Says, "I'm glad I don't have to worry about costumes", implying that what looks like a costume is just her body. This grosses out her friend 84.
"This is a sample of DNA that came from what you call a 'cafeteria.' It has evolved several times since I constructed this device. I have concerns for those consuming it."An alien who arrives at the school with little warning and got enrolled onto the school owing to his child-like size and temperament. He has a gun that shoots little balls he uses to get peoples' attention.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: He's apparently able to survive in space with nothing but his helmet.
- Expospeak Gag: Once his dialogue is translated.
- The Faceless: Thanks to his space helmet.
- Foreign Queasine: His attitude about the cafeteria food.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Quickly becomes friends with Angie through this.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: Only to Angie.
- Shout-Out: His name is one In-Universe, to another traveler stranded with no way home.
- Those Two Guys: With Angie.
- The Unintelligible: Prospero's dialogue is actually written with a font in which every character looks more or less the same. This font is decipherable, and reveals his dialogue for the first issue to contain nothing but comments from the author and Monty Python references. Later issues become slightly more in-character-esque.
- Vague Age: Nobody knows his age or even if he counts as a "child" by his race's standards. He's part of the school anyway because it's the best place to keep him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He was willing to destroy the Earth to ensure all traces of the Alien Invasion were removed.
"Ha! Never fails! You got owned, Dude! Now let's finish da Acessorizin'."A friendly, nearly incomprehensible troublemaker who builds robots out of junk and spare parts. Friends with Prospero.
- Bamboo Technology: She makes most of her devices from what she can scavenge from her dad's junkyard. This includes a rocket ship and a space station.
- Bungling Inventor: Her gadgets all work, but they're too powerful. Tim Taylor Technology is her Hat.
- Catch Phrase: Knowhatimsayin'?
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Hinted that some of her more fantastic creations only work right when she's using them, or at least in the vicinity.
- Explosive Overclocking: She's excellent at this. Sometimes, even intentionally.
- Gadgeteer Genius: In some ways more than Herschel.
- Those Two Guys: With Prospero.
- Totally Radical: Talks entirely in New York slang. Even though she's from St. Louis.
- Translator Buddy: To Prospero. No-one knows how she can understand him.
- Tricked-Out Gloves: She wears a gauntlet on her left hand that gives her some additional computation and interface tricks. Hershel generally has her turn it in during class.
Suzi Finster/Suzi Fusion
"Doctor Positron says my internal body temperature can melt lead!"The walking nuclear reactor, and proud member of the Nuclear Family. Cousin to Julie.
- Cheerful Child: Most of the time.
- The Cutie: Being one of the younger students.
- Demoted to Extra: A core member of the cast in the first few issues, but recently here appearances have been usually relegated to The Cameo.
- Flight: She usually doesn't, since she sheds excessive radiation in the process.
- Gasleak Coverup: Tends to prompt these.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: It has something to do with her powers.
USA Patriot Act
Dillon Fillmore/USA Patriot Act
"The defender of patriotism has arrived! And he's here to hone his skills and fight injustice!"One of two kids trying to replace Freedom Fighter, the universe's Captain Ersatz of Captain America, in order to give USA's "official" superhero a political backing. His powers appear to lie in the Super Strength and Super Toughness domains, and he can throw his costume's epaulets. According to the RPG supplement, he is backed by the Republican Party.
- Expy: Captain America. He's even got the star-in-circle emblem that is prevalent in Cap's shield.
- Patriotic Fervor: Every word out of his mouth involves America in some way.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To American Eagle. Their constant bickering is played mostly for laughs as two kids repeating political talking points they don't fully comprehend.
- Super Soldier: His natural powers were enhanced by the government, then enhanced further by Zodon's space station.
- Super Strength: And it's been growing, lately...Zodon: What's that?
Patriot: Two cars from the town salvage yard, I wadded them up like tissue paper.
Victor Mycroft Von Fogg
"Join Von Fogg or be vaporized from space."Proud son of the Von Fogg family, owner of several large businesses, and rival to Zodon.
- A God Am I: Inverted. Victor invented a machine that granted him omnipotence in an alternate dimension in volume 10. However, with the ensuing gain of perspective he becomes a benign entity that spends his time encoding poems and music into the background radiation of the cosmos and saves galaxies from destruction. Once back in his own dimension his own achievements only serve to annoy him.
- Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Von Fogg already owns stock in several corporations, and he's one of the heirs to a supervillain who owns an entire country. Part of his allowance is expressed in power generation, enough to run a supercomputer capable of granting godlike power (but not continuously).
- Big Bad: It's what he's striving for.
- Character Development: Has gone from a more maniacal Evil Laugh type of villain to a Deadpan Snarker capable of rivaling Zodon.
- Enemy Mine: Without asking, even. "So yes, we saved the planet. Again. Do I get a t-shirt if I do it a third time?"
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Extended to the whole family - Alexandra and Victor affirm that they will never cheat family.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Though not on the same level as some of the others.
- Insufferable Genius: Not quite on the same level as Zodon on either count, but he's quite capable (he made Toby's body, after all) and frequently rude and/or dismissive to other students. He's more disdainful than actively aggressive, but few students bother with him regardless.
- Jerkass: He's marginally more polite than Zodon, but he's still a villain in training, and he acts with various levels of disdain towards "the plebians" he goes to school with.
- The Rival: To Zodon.
Franklin Springer/The Whiz
"Let's play kickball! Me against everybody!"The local speedster. Tends to forget to slow down.
- Competition Freak: Specifically, races.Dr Positron: Whiz, the reason I had you race with 84 was because previous testing shows that you don't give us your best efforts unless you think you're competing against someone.
Whiz: You mean it was a trick? I'm never doing anything like this again!
Dr Positron: Then I'll have no choice but to give the first and second place trophies to 84.
Whiz: Rematch! Tomorrow!
- Mundane Utility: Enjoys using his speed powers to play sports - he offers to play every position at once and have the others play against him as a team.
- Power Incontinence: He has to have his hair and nails trimmed multiple times a day to keep others from noticing how fast they grow.
- Super Speed: Not to the levels of The Flash, but pretty fast.
"My brain is going to hemorrhage. If I wasn't given the chance to do independent study in the labs, I'd go caroling ape-beans."A young evil genius confined to a hoverchair. Has a chip implanted in his brain early on to curb his excessive swearing.
- Bad Liar: Zodon either can't be bothered to lie in any way that sounds plausible, or (when annoyed) is extremely transparent.
- Berserk Button: Any mention of his parents, where they are or what he did to them.
- Big Bad: In training. Has a one-upping rivalry going with Victor Von Fogg as a result.
- Butt Monkey: Deserves it every time.
- Character Development: Becomes noticeably less manic, and also less villainous over time.
- The Cynic: He is completely unapologetic about his own behavior.
- Deadpan Snarker: When he's not swearing up a storm.
- Enemy Mine: Teams up with several of the more morally centered students to prevent Von Fogg from destroying a particular universe. Specifically, the one he sent his parents to.
- Et Tu, Brute?: His parents talking openly about preferring if he'd not have powers apparently made him somewhat bitter.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite overhearing his parents discussing how things would have been better if he wasn't a meta, he still can't bring himself to do any harm to his mother and father, no matter how betrayed he felt. Of course, sending them to another dimension where they can have their wish isn't harmful to them...
- Evil Genius: And one in direct opposition to another one (Victor Von Fogg).
- Genius Cripple: Being an expy of MODOK, Zodon never leaves (or is seen outside) his hover-chair. It's fairly probable his real limbs have atrophied quite badly by now.
- Harmless Villain: In the beginning of the series, due to being constantly thwarted. Later on, simply because he's too cynical to try anything that does real damage to anyone. His last "villainous" act in the series was trying his hand at card counting, and even then it backfired on him.
- Insufferable Genius: He's pretty damned good at anything scientific, able to create a hover chair and even figure out how to do Time Travel. That said, he's a raging narcissist who insults everyone, regardless of what they're capable of or even if they're working together at the time. It's shown in flashback that even his parents had a hard time tolerating him.
- Jerk Ass: Sees everyone else as his lesser, and only ever cooperates when he can't resist.
- Leet Lingo: Code C-134N (Clean). It seals his float chair and effectively puts him through a wash cycle, followed by a spin dry.
- Morality Pet: His treatment of his parents and Alternate Zodon is pretty much the closest thing he gets to this trope. It still included kidnapping and Laser-Guided Amnesia.
- My Brain Is Big: It must account for about half his body weight.
- Pet the Dog: Mind you, he is still a Jerkass about it, but he does do one nice thing. When picking an alternate universe in which to send his parents, he chooses one where his alternate self was both screwed over by the alternate parents and was orphaned, so that said alternate self could get the decent parents that he deserved.
- Self-Made Orphan: A non-lethal kind. He brainwashed and transported his muggle parents to a parallel dimension with no superpowers, whose local Zodon was an orphan.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Zodon swears on average once every second sentence. Having all his swears censored means it's sort of forgettable after a while.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Victor and Tyler.
- Unusual Euphemism: Due to the Barry Ween chip. When he really gets going, it switches to Show Tunes.
- Wise Beyond His Years: According to the role-playing game, Zodon is five years old. Subverted in that while he's learned a lot of more advanced words and knows how the world of adults work, in temperament he is still quite true to his age.
The HeadmasterThe mysterious leader of Praetorian Academy. Not revealed until well after Praetorian has become a staple of the comic. He is a cyborged human of unknown origins interested in the PS238 students, and metahumanity in general.
- Body Horror: His body was unwillingly assimilated by an AI into a snakelike cyborg with claws for hands. He barely has any human features left.
- The Chessmaster: His plans seem to be very far-reaching and it's unknown just how many irons he's got in the fire.
- Fantastic Racism: Seems to dislike metahumans in general. Perhaps understandable, given he was a baseline human himself.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Until around issue 50.
- High-Class Glass: He has a lens instead of his left eye, resembling a monocle.
- Hypocrite: He tried to prevent the construction of PS238 because he feared that Cranston would become a tyrant with his own brainwashed metahuman army. When he failed to stop it, his response was to steal a PS238 prototype, construct Praetorian Academy with him as its dictatorial leader, and brainwash a metahuman army. He even mentions that Cranston believed he was doing things for good reasons, and completely fails to notice the parallel.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Given the power that current metahumans possess at what he calls "Omega 3" level, his prediction that an "Omega 1" level metahuman might destroy Earth seems frighteningly plausible. He is still going about it in an extremely unethical way.
The PrefectPrefect of Praetorian Academy and aide to the Headmaster. Eventually revealed to be a robot.
- Evil Counterpart: To Doctor Positron. It's implied he is connected to the other Positrons without leaking anything back.
Underguard GreyhoundA somewhat enthusiastic recruiter for Praetorian during the work mess. He seems to have some kind of connection with Tyler.
- See Others, under Charles Brigman.
Praetorian ArgonautA deeply troubled young boy who was tricked into joining the Academy due to his mother being mind controlled.
- See PS238 students, under Ron.
Lady Alexandra Von Fogg
"Von Foggs do not humble themselves."Victor's older sister, who was sent to Praetorian instead of PS238. She is significantly more of a "team player" than him.
- Daddy's Little Villain: She seems to be following in her father's footsteps.
- Deadpan Snarker: She snarks almost constantly and towards everyone.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Extended to the whole family - Alexandra and Victor affirm that they will never cheat family.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Just as smart as her brother...
- Manipulative Bitch: ...but more ruthless and manipulative.
- Insistent Terminology: Insists on being referred to as Lady Alexandra by anyone she considers her intellectual inferior. Everyone, in other words.
- Tsundere: She insists to Kevin that she is not helping him, their interests are just temporarily aligned. Also, she's not walking with him—they're just heading to the same place, that's all.
Praetorian BullhornSeen here.A praetorian more interested in money than purpose or fame.
Praetorian EchoSeen here
Praetorian FrostbiteSeen here.A girl with ice powers. She's not particularly enthusiastic about being a Praetorian.
Praetorian AjaxA F.I.S.S. Praetorian student. His F.I.S.S. number is 82.
- A Day in the Limelight: Issue 51 begins from his point of view.
- Deadpan Snarker: At least towards Forak. Although Forak has that sort of effect on everyone.
- Fan Boy: Of 84. He's planning on making his superhero name 82 when he graduates from Praetorian.
- The Faceless: He's only been seen with his mask on so far.
- Genre Savvy: His responses to the Headmaster's Secret Test of Character causes the headmaster to grade him a four on the "Vetinari scale".
- The Mole: Sent by the Headmaster to keep tabs on the F.I.S.S. group that was started in the wake of Julie's decision to go by 84. It's not totally clear how committed he is to the role.
Potential Champions of EarthThe five great heroes chosen by Veles as potential replacements as Champion of Earth and sent into a mystic egg to prove themselves.
Julie Finster AKA 84
See her entry under Students at PS238
"Don't any of you know what 'narcissistic sociopath' means?"A member of The Plasma Pack with the ability to manipulate energy and some matter (her own words "mostly to make it explode"). While not the leader she is clearly the brains of the outfit, so much so that Veles chooses her over the team's official leader, the Trigger Happy Meson as a potential Champion of Earth.
- Laser-Guided Karma: In the opposite direction of the others hit with this after Veles' test. Although she gets kicked off her team because she embarrassed Plasma Pack's leader during the test, her nice attitude and ability to temper impulsive team members immediately gets her an invitation to join Firedrake's team, the Elementalists.
- Mundane Utility: Has fine enough control over particle motion that she can "speak" by having the air near someone's ears vibrate in the same way her voice would carry, and pick up whispers in response. She uses this to offer encouragement to 84.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The principle application of her powers, although she has learned to do a number of other utilitarian things with them too.
- The Man Behind the Man: A rare heroic example, Phlogiston gives her leader a lot of quiet advice, because he tends to rush in without thinking.
- Women Are Wiser: Probably because she has spent quite a bit of time steering an unpredictable and impulsive leader while simultaneously trying to come up with ways to make use of her powers without causing serious collateral damage, Phlogiston is a lot more level headed and less egotistical that other major heroes we have seen.
"I trust you can all take care of yourselves while I show him some real feats of magic?"The Conjurer is a powerful mystic and leader of Superhero team The High Arcana, a team of magic based heroes.
- Ambition Is Evil: When he fails the second question of the final guardian, he goes on a rant about how all superheroes are ambitious, and there's nothing wrong with advancing your career while saving the world. The guardian didn't care; it just cares that his answer was incomplete, and therefore wrong.
- Expy: Of Doctor Fate in the specific due to his appearance, what with the helmet and all. His arrogance and dismissing of others with "less subtle" powers calls to mind a number of other magical heroes.
- Dark Secret: When the guardian of the final gate asks its first question, for which of the remaining three is most guilty of having a false self, Firedrake says himself but is told to be incorrect. As The Conjurer quickly changes the subject when 84 wonders who the correct answer is, plus the guardian specifically says that 84 doesn't have either the number or depths of self-deceptions the other two had, it's clear that The Conjurer is hiding something.
- Good Is Not Nice: While a grade A superhero and therefore has likely saved the world a few times he can be really dismissive of those he considers beneath him, which is most people.
- Insufferable Genius: He's the participant in the competition to replace Atlas as Champion of Earth with the most knowledge about the task at hand, and he even is able to educate one of the obstacles about how the magic affected everyone, including said obstacle. That said, well, see below.
- Laser-Guided Karma: While not quite as bad as Neuronet, his actions and attitude during Veles' test also gets him kicked off the team that he formerly led.
- The Proud Elite: He clearly considers magic use to be the pinnacle of human endeavor and makes no secret of his opinion of other types of super power, or indeed of magic users he considers less accomplished than himself.
"You can get your Harry Potter stuff ready while I'm making wizard stir fry!"A member of The Elementalists with the ability to control fire. A jock who tends to rush in to things and say things without thinking, it is unclear if he is the leader of the team or not but he is one of the heroes chosen by Veles as a potential Champion of Earth and he did seem to be picking the people in control.
- Catch Phrase: "Fire in the hole, baby!" Apparently his teammates wish he would stop saying it.
- Expy: Of The Human Torch.
- The Gadfly: Because his powers are extremely destructive, he can't just let loose with his full strength because the collateral damage would probably be worse than if the villain were allowed to escape. Frequently, he has to serve as a distraction while his less-destructive teammates stop the foe. He sometimes has a hard time stopping this behavior, as seen when he first interacts with 84.
- Hero Insurance: He explains his mouthiness as a side effect of not having this - see above.
- How Do I Shot Web?: During Veles' test, he tacitly admits that he only knows how to go full power with his flame abilities. His continued membership on his team is conditional on Phlogiston also joining and helping him rein in his power.
- Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: His main problem. He's a superhero, and his powers are almost exclusively destructive.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gives off this vibe. While he is rude and dismissive of 84, the things he says are less along the lines of "Why are we stuck with a little girl" and more "At least the little girl we are stuck with is hard to hurt." He also apologizes to 84 for his comments later. He also is quick to offer Phlogiston a position on his team, although that isn't totally selfless; he all but admits that his continued membership is dependent on getting power instruction from her.
- Good Is Not Nice: A prominent superhero, but a bit of a mouthy jerk.
- Playing with Fire: His power set centers around setting things on fire.
- You Watch Too Much X: One of his teammates feels he watches too many action movies. It shows.
"When we're done with you we'll erase the memory of your humiliating defeat so it doesn’t ruin your time in prison!"Leader of The Psikinetics, a team of psychic superheroes. A powerful telekinetic and telepath.
- Good Is Not Nice: Perhaps the worst example, see Kick the Dog for why. At least the others are just rude.
- Kick the Dog: Using Mind Control on 84 and Phlogiston
- Laser-Guided Karma: His little stunt listed under Kick the Dog ended up getting him eliminated too. Compounded further at the end: his Jerkass antics get him kicked off the team he led.
- People Puppets: He can use his mental powers to control the actions of others. He does this to 84 and Phlogiston, which causes both he and Phlogiston to be eliminated.
- With Friends Like These...: Neuronet, we do not use Mind Control on our teammates.
Ul-Ron Peterson/AtlasCaptain Clarinet's father, and a Captain Ersatz for Superman. The last survivor of planet Argos, sent there before the planet's destruction as an infant, he was raised by a human father and became a superhero as an adult.
- The Cameo: In Williams' other work, Nodwick's Q-Force 4 spin-off. He essentially acts as damage control to the "heroes" by making sure they get assigned missions where they're unable to actually harm innocents when they inevitably cock up.
- The Cape: Like his inspiration. Deconstructed as his inability to stop being heroic wrecks his marriage and leaves him unable to see that his son doesn't actually want to follow in his footsteps.
- Flying Brick: The most well-known example In-Universe, and Earth's most powerful one.
- Hidden Backup Prince: Of the Argonian royal house. By the time Argon reconnects with him, he's the only one left who can become king.
- Kryptonite Factor: He is vulnerable to "Argonite", the irradiated pieces left over from Argon. Except it turns out it's a synthetic material created by the U.S. army, and it works on all Flying Bricks.
- Internal Reformist: Decides to stay behind on Argos to cover for Ron's escape and to try and save the planet's oppressed underclass.
- Parents as People: He tries his best with Ron, but his job keeps him busy and he's blind to the fact that Ron doesn't really want to be a superhero like himself. Eventually this leads to his divorce from Ron's mother.
- Tomato in the Mirror: It turns out Argos isn't destroyed, and he isn't so much its "last survivor" as "scion of its royal house sent away to keep him out of reach of assassins". And the U.S. already knew that, and furthermore invented Argonite, a material harmful to him, to keep him in check. He doesn't respond well to the knowledge.
Agent Cecil Holmes
Age: 8An alien-obsessed, paranoid conspiracy nut. Tyler's best friend.
- Badass Longcoat: Which he is never seen without. After it turns into Cape Wings, he swears he's never taking it off again.
- Cthulhumanoid: But only when he's traveling though dimensions.
- Conspiracy Theorist: According to some of his friends, he gets obsessed with "secrets." Then he manages to stumble upon a real one.
- Kid Detective: He might be paranoid, but he's also detail-oriented and methodical. He did uncover the PS238 conspiracy, after all.
- Meaningful Name: His first name means 'Blind' in Latin, fitting for one who spends most of the plot 'blind' to what is really going on. As for his second name... hm, wonder what someone named Holmes could be like.
- Nosy Neighbor: Constantly checks up on people due to the conspiracies he sees.
- Properly Paranoid: Turns out, the conspiracy he sees is real. He's just wrong about that they are.
- Psychic Powers: Turns out, he has a passive ability to detect nearby metahumans. This is why he makes friends with the non-powered Tyler, who doesn't give off the weird vibe that all the other kids do.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Although the only thing he's wrong about is that The Masquerade hides superheroes instead of aliens.
Charles BrigmanA deeply unpleasant middle school student and a delinquent. He becomes Tyler's "Arch-Enemy" (by popular vote from Tyler's Genre Savvy classmates), despite not being metahuman. He later awakens to metahuman powers due to manipulation by the Lords of Order and Chaos, has a brief stint as a wannabe supervillain, and is last seen abducted by the "Guys in Gold Armor".
- Bullying a Dragon: He (unwisely) tries picking on Malphast while normal. He also thinks he's done this when he abducts Tyler, not knowing that Tyler has no powers.
- Delinquents: His first appearance in the comic has him shoplifting. He only gets worse from there.
- Explosive Leash: Courtesy of Praetorian.
- Jerkass: Immediately tries using his powers for personal gratification and petty revenge.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He's pretty much the main reason anyone would agree with Praetorian's measures. Charles would be a severe danger to people if unsupervised, even at his young age.
- Teleporters and Transporters: He can teleport himself and anyone he touches to any location he's visited in person, including across dimensional borders. He also maintains momentum between "jumps."
Dr. Philippe Von Fogg
"What kind of world is it where a man who can build a zeppelin-mounted death ray can't even operate a simple camcorder?"Father of Victor and Alexandria, head of the Von Fogg empire, and long time rival of the elder Emerald Gauntlet. Also a little kooky.
- Expy: If Doctor Doom was a family man, he'd be Von Fogg.
"I sometimes think access to cash is the greatest superpower of all."A friendly Badass Normal who becomes Tyler's mentor so that he doesn't get killed going to a school for super kids. He was originally created by Michael Stackpole for the short story "Peer Review" and subsequently donated to the strip.
- Badass Normal: He notes that metahumans get a little upset that he fights supervillains without powers of his own.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: It seems that he's in the middle of fighting off a villain whenever anyone calls him (except when Cranston called for the first time, when The Revenant was just finished with doing so). He never has any problem doing superheroics while holding a conversation.
- The Chessmaster:
- He quietly appropriated the Bureau of Alien Monitoring Tyler invented in order to put Cecil's talents to good use.
- He donated a lot of money to Cranston's presidential campaign just so he could get five minutes of face time with the president if he ever needed it.
- Crazy-Prepared: Nothing rattles this guy. Any problem that comes up, he's probably got at least six solutions on hand.
- Crimefighting with Cash: See the quote.
- Expy: Of Batman (but much more cheerful).
- Genre Savvy: Shows it off less frequently than Tyler, but he's had enough experience with supers that he's able to predict what will happen in many circumstances.
- Kirk Summation: As revealed by the Crystal Skull, The Revenant will hand out these to villains to get them to stop crime and use their powers and skills legally to profit. As the Skull mentions, it took in at least his case.
Harold Nelson/The Rainmaker
"The government wants to know how superpowers work, so they poke and prod the folks with powers that can't fight back. Like us."An orphan with the power to make it rain, he was taken in by the government during the 1960s and, under the auspices of the "Rainmaker Program", tested to see if they could discover the source of his powers. After escaping thanks to a Mad Scientist, Harold spends the following thirty years on the run before discovering the "Rainmaker Program" is active again in PS238 and comes gunning for it.
- Almighty Janitor: To hide his identity after his Heel–Face Turn.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He can use his power-amplifying ability to this effect, making it such that any activation of a power is beyond the user's control.
- Power Nullifier: After being exposed to Doctor Irons' prototype MRI, he gained the ability to ramp up or negate metahuman abilities.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: More benign example than most, but his treatment wasn't exactly "humane."
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's convinced the new Rainmaker program is just as bad as the old one.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Deconstructed. His background is exactly because his power, making or stopping rain, made it possible to imprison and experiment on him.
"I've said all along you'll do great things, my boy, great things... Just so long as you listen to me."A Mad Scientist operating in the 1960ies, Irons replaced his entire body with primitive robotics. As part of his sentence he was brought in to oversee the Rainmaker Project, where he promptly overcharged Harold's powers and escaped with him in the confusion.
- Compelling Voice: His voicebox lets him tap into harmonics that leaves people highly open to suggestion.
- Devil in Plain Sight: It's fairly obvious he's up to no good from the beginning, but his voice means he gets to stick around.
- Evil Genius: Implied to be one of Earth's first super-genius metahumans, capable of advanced robotics decades before his time.
- Genius Cripple: An offhand comment implies his "real: body was sickly, hence his swap to robotics. Still counts since his body was destroyed and left him as a head.
- Oracular Head: Reduced to a head after an unfortunate lightning strike.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Self-inflicted. His motivation for helping Harold is to get a hold of someone who can build him a new body.
"My house has sworn that the rightful heir shall be restored, and by the first crown I shall not let you stand in the way of that oath!"An Argosian noble, sent to Earth to recover Ul-Ron (Atlas).
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Just about all of Argon's upper class seem to be inherently a bunch of self-serving jerks. Dax-Ra stands out even among them.
- Fantastic Racism: He despises Forak for being a lower class of noble than himself, Ron for being half-"softling", most of the population of Earth because they allow "ferals"…
- Flying Brick: On the level of Atlas and Ron.
- I Have Your Wife: He depowers Ron and tries to use him as a hostage.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Dax-Ra goes from being a jerk, to almost looking like a reasonable product of a rotten system, to cementing himself as the jerk he initially looked like.
- Jerkass: Hoo boy, is he a dozy. Nobody seems to like him at all.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Dax-Ra is immensely classist and rude towards his inferiors, compared to his more respectful behavior towards Atlas and 84. This seems to extend to everyone beneath him, considering the way the guards of the Argosian palace act behind his back.
ForakThe engineer of Dax-Ra's ship. A barely noble Argosian with a permanent "minion" attitude to life.
- Acrophobic Bird: Prone to getting airsick if he flies too high.
- Blue and Orange Morality: As a result of living in permanent servitude to the Argosian overclass he has a very warped outlook on life, including valuing machines higher than "softlings".
- Extreme Doormat: He is almost incapable of personal initiative, and completely incapable of saying "no" to anyone he perceives as authority.
- Field Promotion: Upon learning that Atlas has left, the U.S. military makes Forak take up the role as a fellow Argosian. Unfortunately they discover too late that Forak isn't nearly in the same class as Atlas, and that almost any human Flying Brick would make a better fit.
- Flying Brick: Barely qualifies. He can fly slightly faster than running speed and is bulletproof (although they still hurt) but by Earth standards he's barely metahuman. He also has no heroic mindset whatsoever.
- Otaku: Collects toys and action figures. Values his X-Box achievements more than his life.
"I know I'm being a bit of an A-type personality, but that's godhood for you..."Veles, Slavic god of the earth, magic and trickery, fated to eternally challenge the thunder god Perun in order to keep the seasons flowing. With the passing of Perun from Earth, Veles chose Atlas to play the part of the thunder god in his annual battle for dominance.
- Expy: He looks like a Loki-equivalent, and acts like Mr. Mxyzptlk.
- Friendly Enemy: Having someone to challenge is his purpose for being. That doesn't mean he has to be a jerk about it, so he isn't.
- Physical God: His onscreen abilities so far indicate that he's beyond any mortals. His challenges seem to be more symbolic than actual full-contact fighting.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted. While it initially makes him look villainous and devil-like, it turns out he's not really all that villainous.
- The Trickster: Like his mythological namesake.
- You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me: His reaction to seeing Forak touted as Atlas' replacement.
Flap-jawed Lamebrained Orbital Yammering Drivel-spigotThe AI in Zodon's space station. He didn't give it an AI, but some stolen nanites got lose, upgrading it and granting it sentience. The AI decided Zodon was its father, much to his embarrassment.
- Benevolent A.I.: Not only is it slavishly loyal to Zodon despite his repeated abuse, but it is unfailingly friendly to everyone else, as well. It upgrades Vance and gives it gradual free will just because Tyler and Ron asked it to.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's usually too busy groveling, but it does occasionally get some snark in.FLOYD: You can absorb kinetic energy, so you should get stronger when you're hit.
USA Patriot Act: Just like this great nation!
FLOYD: I haven't studied history, but I don't think—
USA Patriot Act: AMERICA!
FLOYD: Sure, why not?
- Nanomachines: Not only did nanites give it sentience and allow it to upgrade itself on the fly, but it can use them to upgrade organic beings (which it does to USA Patriot Act) and other machines (which it does to Vance).
Valiant LanceOnce Dax-Ra's personal ship, it was stolen by Tyler and Ron when they escaped Argos. During their trek back to Earth, the ship was attacked by a giant space-squid thing. It was saved by the intervention of Zodon's space station, which used Vance's onboard fabricator to build nanites that fused Vance with the squid, turning it into a techno-organic ship with free will. Vance then ended up with Cecil as captain, if only because Cecil had stolen the captain's chair earlier.
- Benevolent A.I.: Less slavishly so than FLOYD, but it is still always as helpful as possible, even though FLOYD gave it free will.
- Organic Technology: Unwillingly. FLOYD fused it with the space-squid as the most expedient way of dealing with the problem. It's unclear what effect this has on Vance's abilities.
- Servile Snarker: Though it obeys Cecil loyally, it's not above snarking at his constant mangled sci-fi references.