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At the beginning of the story, the Ambassadors are one of Boston's primary supervillain organizations, and one of the wealthiest and most influential. In the wake of being decimated by the Slaughterhouse Nine, Accord and his remaining two superpowered lieutenants, Citrine and Othello, cut a deal with the Undersiders to work in Brockton Bay.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
- Cool Mask: Each member of the Ambassadors wears one.
- Standard Superhero Suits: Averted — the Ambassadors dress in formal wear instead, making them a mixture of:
- Super Serum: Rather than recruit capes, Accord recruits followers capable of meeting the standards of behavior his Super OCD requires and then buys powers for them.
The leader of the Ambassadors. Short — barely over five feet — and tends to dress more like a CEO than like a cape (although he wears an ornate wood-and-silver mask). A thinker whose power is believed to scale with the complexity of the problems he faces, beginning with a desired result and backtracking to a solution. He is obsessed with order, ranging from timeliness to neatness to etiquette — current fanon
is that he suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.
Leader of a group called the Ambassadors. Secretly in league with Cauldron, and friends with Coil. Killed by Perdition.
- An Arm and a Leg: Literally, at Perdition's hands.
- Asexuality: A side effect of his power is that Accord is repulsed by the concept of sex, finding it far too chaotic and messy.
- The Chessmaster
- Complexity Addiction: A natural consequence of his power; the more complex the plan, the better he is at handling it.
- Expressive Mask: His mask is capable of copying his facial expressions due to being made out of overlapping threads of metal.
- Man in White: Wears a neat white suit.
- Meaningful Name: Accord, n.: agreement or harmony of things in general.note In other words, Accord's basic desire in life.
- Reed Richards Is Useless / Cut Lex Luthor a Check: This is the reason he became a villain; he found that nobody listened to his ideas when he was a civil servant, so he decided to Take Over the World and implement them personally.
- Sherlock Scan: His power is shown to work in this manner in Interlude 20.
- Super OCD: His obsession with order — to the point where he reacts with threats of violence to an interruption of a meeting — fits this trope perfectly.
- Visionary Villain: His ultimate goal is an elaborate villainous scheme to end world hunger.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His motivation for becoming a criminal was to implement his plan for solving world hunger.
One of Accord's top Ambassadors after they suffer decimation at the hands of the Nine
. Her power allows her to attune areas to specific functions — increasing gravity, decreasing friction, changing the progression of time ... and, if someone powered is in the area, provided she has twenty or thirty seconds to get ready, interfering with their powers (e.g. by removing Required Secondary Powers
). She is a young blonde woman who wears a formal silk dress in yellow trimmed in gold, a matching mask with citrine gems, citrine earrings, and yellow lipstick.
Classification: Trump, Shaker (?)
- Space Master: Can attune areas to different functions. Among the effects she can create are:
The second of Accord's top Ambassadors after the attack of the Nine
. Possessed of a 'mirror self' that travels in another world that only has limited interactions with the first. He can drive himself into the mirror world, bringing his other self in from that world at the same time — producing an effect that could be mistaken for teleportation — and he can control the nature of the interactions between his 'mirror self' and the world to attack while remaining apparently invisible and intangible. He wears a black suit and a black-and-white mask.
Classification: Stranger (?)
One of the new Ambassadors brought in after Accord's arrival in Brockton Bay
. His power launches globes of light that grow as they fly, then stop in mid-air; the orbs have a space-warping effect, causing accelerating motions alongside other increases to certain kinds of energy. He wears a royal purple dress shirt and a grinning mask (like a jack-in-the-box).
Classification: Blaster/Shaker (?)
Another of the new Ambassadors brought in after Accord's arrival in Brockton Bay
. Her power has two modes — creating geysers of water out of empty space, and sucking water (and, possibly, whatever flows with it) back into wherever her water came from. It takes her roughly a second to switch modes. She has dark skin, complemented by a deep blue-green dress; her mask evokes a conch shell. Killed by Behemoth.
Classification: Blaster (?)
- Making a Splash: Her water generation has enough power to throw adult human beings twelve feet in the air.
A third new Ambassador brought in after Accord's arrival in Brockton Bay
. He emits an aura which he can intensify to heal his allies, causing their wounds to quickly close and mend. He wears a green dress shirt and a mask with a pattern like a Celtic knot.
Classification: Blaster/Shaker (?)
A fourth new Ambassador brought in after Accord's arrival in Brockton Bay
. A pale woman who wore a white evening gown and featureless white mask as a temporary costume for her first mission as an Ambassador. Her power strikes whoever lies within its area of effect with permanent brain damage and memory loss in exchange for granting her a temporary boost to mental power. The area of effect can be seen in the glowing of her victims' eyes. Killed by Butcher
Classification: Blaster, Thinker
A gang of Endbringer cultists. Two of their members arrive in Brockton Bay after the Echidna fight
The leader of the Fallen in Brockton Bay, Valefor wears tattoos, a mask depicting the top half of a woman's face, and a costume meant to evoke the Simurgh. His power allows him to render anyone eminently suggestible by making eye contact with them
Classification: Stranger, Master
- Bullying a Dragon: Doesn't take Taylor seriously during Accord's Interlude, despite all her accomplishments. Accord himself realizes that Skitter could have killed him at anytime with a trap she set up, and his arrogance leads to his downfall.
- Disguised in Drag: Hides in a crowd by dressing as a teenage girl.
- Eye Scream: Taylor has maggots fill his eyeballs in Imago 21.3.
- Hypnotic Eyes: As it turns out, anyone he looks at with his naked eye becomes his thrall, and can be issued both short-term and long-term commands, including ones that alter their memory.
- Lean and Mean: Is thin in build and also pretty nasty.
- Perpetual Smiler: Has a constant smirk on his face.
- Tattooed Crook
- Villainous Crossdresser: Often dresses in feminine clothing such as a feminine mask and woman's corset.
A member of the Fallen who modeled his costume to style himself after the Behemoth. A wind manipulator that creates shearing blades of wind that grow as they travel and can boomerang back to him.
Classification: Shifter, Blaster (?)
Once a gang in Brockton Bay, they were nearly wiped out by the Slaughterhouse Nine. They re-established themselves as cells in New York and Boston, and have since rebuilt, though turnover has proved high enough that no original members remain — only the name survives. Savage, reckless, and willing to do anything for a profit. Members of the gang arrive in Brockton Bay a few weeks after Echidna
looking to seize territory.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
- In Name Only: The current Teeth only has the name in common with the original gang.
Butcher XIV (Formerly Quarrel)
She had the powers of thirteen capes, watered down, plus her own. Some of those capes had possessed multiple abilities. By power or by cunning, each had killed the last. This Butcher had the resources of each of them.
The leader of the Teeth. A long-necked, long-limbed woman with Asian-styled armor and mask, studded with blades, and a string of three skulls draped over one shoulder. Committed suicide while within Cherish's despair-aura.
Classification: Brute, Shaker, Mover
- Archer Archetype: Quarrel's main weapon is a six foot tall compound bow.
- Driven to Suicide: Is defeated by tricking her into the part of town that Cherish has placed under her suicide aura.
- Gatling Good: Her weapon of choice is a Gatling gun.
- Legacy Character: Is apparently the fourteenth Butcher, having killed the thirteenth in New York the previous year.
- Combo Platter Powers: Each Butcher is granted weaker versions of the powers of all prior Butchers in addition to their own.
- Agony Beam: Butcher I had the ability to cause excruciating pain at range.
- Always Accurate Attack: Quarrel's contribution, she creates a minor spatial-warping effect that ensures her attacks are always on target so long as the target is within range.
- Hate Plague: Butcher IX could induce feelings of mindless rage at short range.
- Mind over Matter: Butcher VIII could reshape matter into objects.
- Poisonous Person: Butcher IV could induce festering wounds.
- Spider-Sense: Butcher III had a limited danger sense.
- Super Strength: Which is what allows her to carry the Gatling gun and pull the compound bow, and the contribution of Butchers I, III, VI, IX, XI, and XIII.
- Teleport Spam: Butcher VI had explosive teleportation.
- Vein-O-Vision/X-Ray Vision: Butcher II could see through walls to spot people's veins, arteries, and hearts.
- Klingon Promotion/You Kill It, You Bought It - The Butcher mantle (and leadership of The Teeth) is passed on when a suitable member of the Teeth kills the current Butcher.
- Mind Hive - Each inheritor of the Butcher mantle, in addition to the powers of their predecessors, also gets to have all their consciousnesses living in her head. If the inheritor is a duly promoted member of the Teeth, the voices will work together. If not, as was the case with Butcher III, the voices will reject their host and drive him mad until the Teeth can reclaim their property.
Four Sprees split off from him as he stood there, slightly hunched over as if bracing himself against recoil. They were produced with such force and speed that they briefly flew through the air, stumbling slightly as they hit the ground running. Three more Sprees were a fraction of a second after the first wave, with even more following a half-second behind them.
Fifteen or so Sprees in three seconds, before I'd even had a chance to call out an order. Duplicates produced at the rate that a machine gun spat bullets.
A member of the Teeth with the power of rapid fire duplicate generation.
- Me's a Crowd: Spree can make more of himself, though the clones lack rational thought.
- Zerg Rush: ...Which makes mobbing their opponents all they're really good for.
Vex's forcefields were countless, numbering in the hundreds, each sharp enough to cut exposed flesh. Alone, they weren't strong, but the shards had a collective, cumulative resistance.
A member of the Teeth with the power to create tiny forcefields in empty spaces.
- Barrier Warrior: Vex is capable of creating tiny forcefields that are razor sharp.
Shallow cuts appeared on Hemmorhagia's face, chest and arms as she tried ineffectually to shield herself, and those same cuts exploded violently as she used her power to draw her blood from her body and turn it into hard, physical, cutting weapons. More blood congealed into broad scabs that protected her and reduced the damage of the continuous slashes.
A member of the Teeth with limited hemokinesis with some personal biokinesis.
Classification: Changer (?)
A member of the Teeth who can transform for a limited time into a four-legged beast that packs a power-nullification scream.
Classification: Trump, Blaster (?)
- Hour of Power: Animos can transform for limited periods of time.
- Power Nullifier: In his transformed state he has sound based attack with this effect.
A magic-themed supervillain group based in New York — its members are trained to use items and rituals to enhance their powers. Owns three buildings, doesn't control territory.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
Leader of the Adepts. His power apparently involves time travel of some sort.
A controller of birds — in addition to influencing their behavior, he imbues them with fire immunity and pyrokinesis. Has a faint accent — Australian or British.
A cape whose power causes her opponents (and herself) to pass out and fall into a trance.
- Glowing Eyes: When she uses her power.
- Sleep Status Effect: In her case, it's a double-edged sword because she knocks herself out at the same time she does her opponents.
- Face-Heel Turn: She used to be a hero before she defected to the Adepts.
Misc. Superheroes and Rogues
The world's first known parahuman — a long-haired golden figure with incredible powers who was seen floating over the ocean on May 20th, 1982, by passengers of an ocean liner travelling from Plymouth to Boston. In the time since, has adopted a white bodysuit as clothing and dedicated almost all his time to helping people around the world
, going continually from place to place using his powers. Believed to be the only being able to take on an Endbringer in a fight.
Has only spoken once
, so far as anyone knows — the word he spoke, "Scion", became the name by which he was known. It turns out that he was misheard, too - what he actually said was 'Zion'.
Eventually it is revealed that he is actually one of the two Entities that are responsible for bringing powers to Earth in the first place, as part of their species reproductive cycle-which, sadly, involves the destruction of all possible forms of their host planet to nurture their "shards", the source of said powers.
Decided to wipe out humanity in Interlude 26. Killed by Foil and the machine created by the Tinkers in Speck 30.6.
- An Ice Person: To the extent that he can flash-freeze a breached levee.
- Big Bad: He's the sole surviving member of two pair-bonded aliens who have ravaged countless worlds for their own survival by granting them powers that would eventually destroy them. As a result, he is directly or indirectly responsible for every single bad thing in the story... and then he decides to step up his schedule.
- Big Good: He's the world's defining symbol of hope and its mightiest hero. Or so we're led to believe.
- Blue and Orange Morality: While he was busy eating alternate Earths with his mate. Neither of them saw the difference between their provoking devastating wars on the alternates, then destroying the remnants to collect the mature shards, as personal growth as people in preparation for bearing children. Subverted when she died, however, as Zion's emotions of grief and listlessness are very human, as is his rage towards existence for taking his beloved from him.
- It's implied, however, that they didn't need to be parasites, that was simply their opinion on what best to do.
- Chrome Champion: He literally appears to be made of gold.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: After the death of his counterpart, Scion was unable to reproduce or fulfill the purpose of his cycle, and wandered until he ran into Kevin Norton. After Norton's death, he found Jack Slash.
- Dumb Muscle: Scion's main weakness-the closest-thing-to-male for his species were warriors, being physically adept and with better combat powers, but not the best at overall tactics or finding direction. That was his mate's job. As a result, he's Strong, but Unskilled, mainly relying on his powers to do the work for him instead of planning with them.
- Eldritch Abomination: Scion in actuality is a multidimensional entity, similar in true form to a worm.
- Evil Feels Good: The conclusion he comes to after destroying Britain.
- Face-Heel Turn: Courtesy of Jack's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Scion has finally found something he enjoys - killing people.
- Flight: Among his many abilities.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Scion chose its appearance to appeal to human ideals of worship.
- Gold and White Are Divine: Invoked, the entity chose his avatar to specifically play into that positive stereotype.
- Humanoid Abomination: Scion is actually the avatar of an alien entity and the source of half the world's superpowers.
- Light Is Not Good: See the Big Bad and Gold and White Are Divine entries. Zion deliberately picked bright, holy imagery with positive associations for humanity in order to make his very unholy mission that much easier.
- Man in White: Wears a white jumpsuit.
- Meaningful Name: There is much in-universe speculation about what his name means. The most common interpretation is that he's being a Humble Hero, casting himself as a child of humanity protecting his parents from harm. His real name, Zion, was picked for a very different reason. It refers to the paradise or moment of transcendence that will occur when the cycle is completed and him and his partner have harvested all life on Earth, letting them move on to pastures new. It also doubles as an Ironic Name, since he came up with it some time after his partner's death meant that that Zion could never happen.
- No Sell: The vast majority of powers just annoy him at best, and are completely ineffectual at worst. These include Grue's darkness and Gray Boy's time loops, although he's not immune to Foil.
- Omnicidal Maniac: After a conversation with Jack Slash. Notably, he was always this, just on a larger scale-in three hundred years, the powers he provided would have wiped out all possible Earths.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Destroys Great Britain with a thought.
- Physical God: Scion is considered the most powerful parahuman in the setting, and has so far appeared Nigh Invulnerable. It helps that he was never human to begin with.
- The Quiet One: He has only spoken once. He speaks for the second time when he says the four fatal words to Eidolon: "You needed worthy opponents."
- Villainous Breakdown: Inducing one of these is how Taylor beats him.
- Walking Spoiler: As the most powerful and mysterious being on Earth, this should be expected.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: An interesting case where Destroyer of Worlds came before the Woobie part. Neither he nor his mate cared at all about the alternate Earths they were destroying, only the continuation of the Entity lifecycle. He did, however, truly love her with every fiber of his being, and her death completely shattered him, to the point where he just did things after being prompted in order to find some meaning in his life.
A native of Brockton Bay with powers over cloth and threads. At the time the story starts, she is a roguenote
using her powers for such tasks as animating mascots for promotional events and making clothes (she mentions in an interview wanting to go to fashion school), but that changes after she volunteers to fight Leviathan
. In the aftermath of the Slaughterhouse Nine's attack, she ends up striking a deal with the Undersiders in which she holds territory in the city without officially joining the group.
She wears a costume reminiscent of a Victorian-style porcelain doll, with golden curls. Underneath the costume, she stands just over five feet tall and is of obvious Middle-Eastern descent, with dark skin, full lips, and large, dark eyes; her Interlude reveals that her family emigrated from Basra while she was high-school age. After joining the Undersiders, she changes her dress from white to black as part of her attempt to make herself more intimidating.
Classification: Master 6
- Evil Costume Switch: After allying herself with the Undersiders, she changes her hair and dress and adds a crack in her mask.
- Fake Nationality: Invoked — before Leviathan, she had made plans to provoke conversation about race assumptions with respect to heroes and villains when she doffed the mask.
- Lipstick Lesbian: She's a fashion student, and she enters into a relationship with Flechette/Foil.
- Mind over Matter: According to the cast page, she can easily and accurately control small, lightweight objects, and she can 'fill' larger objects to give them weight and strength.
- Remote Body: The fabric golems she animates are effectively this.
- Skilled, but Naive: She has a lot of skill and strength using her power, but until she joins the fight against Leviathan she never used it in a combat situation.
- You Killed My Family: Has it out for the Nine for murdering some of her family members.
Paige Mcabee (Canary)
A rogue whose power made her a superlatively-good singer — but also made anyone she sang to susceptible to her suggestions. Ended up in the Birdcage thanks to a stupid accident.
Classification: Master 8
A Case-53 whose body consists mostly of a pale face surrounded by a welter of thin tendrils whose strength can bend steel bars. She is presently a patient in a mental institution for parahumans (the same one as Glory Girl
). Joined the Irregulars as of the Extinction arc.
- Combat Tentacles: As mentioned before her tendrils are capable of bending steel, and ended up being used to kill Doctor Mother.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Her loneliness has led her to go to the Internet in an attempt to find someone to connect with.
- Power Incontinence: Garotte is currently incapable of controlling the strength of her tendrils, leading her to instinctively crush any stressor with them, making her too dangerous to be let out.
Edict and Licit
Small-time hero capes with relatively low ratings. Together they were able to keep Damsel of Distress in check in their own town, at least until the Nine came calling. Current status unknown.
Classification: Master and Striker respectively
Rey Andino (Blasto)
A biological plant-based tinker supervillain based in Boston. His talent allows him to create life out of its raw materials, including making hybrids out of one or more biological samples combined with his special seeds. He is eventually displaced from his territory by The Remnant of Fenrir's Chosen and captured by Bonesaw. Revealed to have died during Bonesaw's Interlude due to a stroke.
Classification: Tinker 6/Plants (sub: Master 5; Blaster 2; Shifter 2; Brute 2)
Jamie Rinke (Nilbog)
“You would shoot me!?” Rinke roared. If anything, his voice was all the more terrifying because it sounded so small, so human. ”I create life! I am a god, and this is my garden!”
A supervillain with the power to create monsters with feelings and powers of their own. He is described as a man, potbellied and hunchbacked, wearing a patchwork constume with jarring patterns of stripes and checkers. He wears a cloth crown with a cloth mask featuring beads for eyes and a perpetual leer of a smile. Was formerly a banker before snapping and having his trigger event. Currently staying within the city he took over for himself. Is incarcerated following Scion's death.
- Adipose Rex: He's over 400 pounds when he shows up in the main story. Or at least, his decoy is. His real body is a more normal weight.
- A God I Am: Nilbog believes that he is a god, with his city being his own personal Garden of Eden.
- The Dreaded: Nilbog is spoken of in the same breath as the Endbringers and the Slaughterhouse Nine. Luckily unlike them he prefers to stay in his town. Up until the Slaughterhouse Nine takes him away.
- Loners Are Freaks: Pre-trigger event Nilbog kept mainly to himself. Present-day Nilbog is so deprived of human contact that he's regressed to a childlike mentality.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: The town he inhabits is full of his creations.
- Psychopathic Man Child: Over the course of ten years he's regressed to a childlike perception of himself as a god, and is practically incapable of deceit, seeing things in a fairy-tale mentality.
- Replacement Goldfish: Polka, one of Nilbog's first creations and "proof" of his ascension to godhood. Now in her third iteration since his creations cannot live very long.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Nilbog backwards is Goblin.
- Vocal Dissonance: For all his power, Nilbog sounds like a regular person, which actually makes him even more horrifying. In his first appearance in the main story, he's been alone for long enough that his voice is practically its own accent.
- We Are as Mayflies: Nilbog's creations live on average about three to four years.
Niko Vasil (Heartbreaker)
A Canadian supervillain who can affect the emotions of anyone he touches. He used his powers to create a harem of adoring women, some of whom he has had children by; some of those children, in turn, have gained closely-related powers. killed by Imp.
- Abusive Parents: The worst case for Heartbreaker's children, especially Regent and Cherish.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: His children's accomplishments show how he could be much more dangerous and destructive, but all he cares about is his harem and abusing his kids.
- Killed Offscreen: Imp kills him during the timeskip.
- Love Potion: Heartbreaker has the ability to control and manipulate emotions, which includes making people fall in love. He's used this to form a harem of beautiful women that commit crimes for him and wait on him hand and foot, making him pretty much Charles Manson with superpowers.
- Parental Neglect: The best case for Heartbreaker's children.
Geoff Pellick (Saint)
A black-hat hacker who discovered Dragon's AI nature
and used it to defeat her in a series of nine encounters, capturing three of her armored suits on three of these occasions. He subsequently dismantled and reverse-engineered these suits to give his outfit — called the Dragonslayers — armored suits of their own as well as keeping at least one for himself. His face has a tattoo of a cross on it. Is actually not a cape at all, and was merely part of the first group on the scene following Leviathan's inundation of Newfoundland.
Classification: Tinker 0 (non-parahuman).
- Badass Normal: Has become one of the premiere players of the parahuman world despite having no powers whatsoever.
- Subverted in than he owes all his capabilities to Teacher.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He equipped his followers with the Dragon suits he captured and reverse-engineered.
- Knight Templar: Is entirely willing to shut Dragon down while she's in the middle of fighting the Slaughterhouse Nine, who have the potential to end the world, in order to keep her from eliminating her final safeguards.
- The Cracker:
- Was skilled enough to steal three of Dragon's suits by taking advantage of Dragon's true nature as an AI.
- It's revealed in Interlude 22 that he cracked into the Birdcage's surveillance system.
- I Just Want to Be Special: His big secret. He has no powers, and isn't actually all that smart. He's just the schmuck who found Andrew Richter's time capsule and brought it to Teacher, who addicted him to shots of low-grade Thinker powers as part of a long-term plot to control Dragon. He is actually so stupid that even after the plan has been completed it takes a dressing-down from Tattletale to make him realize how badly he's screwed everything up.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twice. Shuts down Dragon in the middle of the fight against the Slaughterhouse Nine, which permits Jack Slash to drive Scion insane. Then he successfully lobbies to get Teacher out of the Birdcage, who then proceeds to reprogram Dragon into his servant.
- Powered Armor: stolen and reverse-engineered from Dragon to equip him and the rest of the Dragonslayers.
- Secret Secret Keeper: His true role, entrusted to him by Andrew Richter's last will and testament, is to observe and test Dragon and ensure that she does not go outside her bounds. Understandably, this makes him exceedingly paranoid about her.
- Smug Snake: He clearly takes great delight in taunting Dragon with his knowledge of her limitations.
- Tattooed Crook/Tron Lines: Saint has an elaborate stylized cross tattooed on his face and filled in with faintly-glowing animated circuit diagrams.
A child supervillain not too unlike a pageant star. Is described as looking around eight years old, with curly hair and dimpled cheeks. She can bounce on any solid surface, leaving explosions in her wake. Currently under Protectorate custody.
Classification: Mover 4, Shaker 4
A girl of about twelve, whose constume consists of overalls that end at the knee, a star at the chest, and far too much makeup. Starlet's power allows her to fire explosive darts of light. Currently under Protectorate custody.
Classification: Blaster 4, Shaker 4
A ten year old with a widow's peak and a serious expression. His power prevents any willful harm from happening to him within his range. Currently under Protectorate custody.
Classification: Master 3, Stranger 3
An Indian man with a disheveled body and opulent clothing, wearing a rich indigo robe, a sapphire set in a gold chain, a gold chain for a belt, and a golden sash. His power involves the use of portals to send things backward (and forward) in time. Killed by Behemoth offscreen.
Daniel Torres (Topsy)
A Chicago villain whose particular business is as a 'guarantor', an enforcer specializing in gang meets. He and his underlings, in the event of violence breaking out, deal with the situation quickly, promptly and efficiently. Currently under Protectorate custody thanks to Weaver.
Classification: Shaker (?)
- Gravity Master: has the power to alter the direction (but not magnitude) of gravitational pull for himself, other people and/or any objects within his range.
A professional mercenary with a grab-bag of powers that include acute short-range clairvoyance, short-burst superspeed and 'phantom hands' that can reach into people's bodies to do horrible internal damage to organs and/or nerves. Has a reputation for leaving people dead if they're lucky and quadriplegic if they're not. Hired by Topsy. Currently under Protectorate custody thanks to Weaver.
Classification: Mover (?), Thinker (?), Striker (?)
Olivia "Olive" Trebilcock (Mockshow/Romp)
A fourteen-year-old parahuman, wears a hard mask with a stylized smiley face and a headband with screws sticking out like antennae. Her power lets her animate discrete objects — trucks for instance — into roughly humanoid minions. Hired by Topsy. Captured with the rest of Topsy's gang and given the hard sell by Weaver; subsequently seen as a hero called Romp.
Classification: Master-Shaker 6
A black Namibian warlord that has lasted for eight years and more or less runs the country, accompanied by a shadowy familiar with what appears to be a real skull that changes from human to auroch to crocodile and so on over time. Her unknown power appears to be fueled by the lives of other living creatures.
Classification: Master (?)
- A Girl And Her X/Living Shadow: her power, near as anyone can tell, is an enormous living shadow named Aasdier (or Scavenger) that follows her around and kills anything that could possibly harm her.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Her name translated from Afrikaans means "murder night".
- Person of Mass Destruction: Chevalier mentions that she's killed thousands of people. She requests five thousand lives as her price for fighting an Endbringer, the implication being that she needs that many to be powerful enough to do so.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Her power is fueled by the lives of living creatures.
The inmates of The Birdcage
, a prison for the world's most dangerous parahuman criminals. Most of them are released to join the fight against Scion.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
See Gangs of Brockton Bay
Ciara (Glaistig Uaine/Valkyrie)
A supervillain running one of the cell blocks in the Birdcage. A self-professed faerie, apparently in her teens (although as one of the first prisoners in the Birdcage, she is undoubtedly older than that), and whose one-time prison garb has been blacked to make a shroud. Her power allows her to absorb some part of a dead parahuman and to manifest a selection of her stored parahumans simultaneously. Following the death of Scion, she joins the Wardens as Valkyrie in the epilogue.
Classification: Master, Trump
- Affably Evil: She's actually quite polite, albeit in a rather warped way, particularly in her interactions with Taylor.
- Always a Bigger Fish: She invoked this trope on Gray Boy.
- The Atoner: Following Scion's death.
- Badass: Was the only cape capable of fighting Scion directly.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Pretty much everything she says turns out to be foreshadowing. Okay, it was aliens, not faeries, but other than that she's eerily accurate.
- The Dreaded: Apart from earlier attempts to defeat her, she apparently even killed Grey Boy.
- The Fair Folk: Claims to be one.
- Heel-Face Turn: Does one shortly before Scion's death thanks to Taylor.
- Make Way For The New Villains: She did this to Gray Boy in her backstory, before surrendering and entering the Birdcage of her own free will.
- Older than They Look: She looks like a teenager despite being far older. Though according to Jessica Yamada in the epilogue, her mind was much like a child's right before Scion's death brought on her mental adolescence.
- One Woman Army: Every attempt to fight her before utterly failed, and she ended up walking into the Birdcage of her own free will after surrendering.
- Power Copying: One of the things she can do to the dead parahumans she touches. Technically she summons ghostly versions of dead capes rather than using their powers herself, but the result is usually the same. (And sometimes, with touch-range powers like Clockstopper, this makes her even more powerful than the original, since she can send the ghost out to use it at range.)
- Villainous Willpower: She fought off Taylor's mind control.
- Voice of the Legion: Her voice sounds like a dozen people speaking at once.
- Your Soul Is Mine: She can 'claim' dead parahumans, and manifest a ghostly version of them.
A supervillain imprisoned within the Birdcage with the ability to turn people into lesser Thinkers and Tinkers (or to enhance existing powers in various ways) at the cost of their free will. He is described as a mundane looking man with a receding hairline with short-cut curly hair.
Classification: Master, Trump (?), Thinker (?)
- Cavalry Refusal: He's let out of the Birdcage to help fight Scion. Instead, he has his thralls build a device to shut down portals and lock them off from Labyrinth, and sets them up to shut off a world full of refugees and supplies for himself and his flock.
- Subverted when it is revealed that this was merely a diversion so that he could get hold of Dragon.
- The Chessmaster: Masterminded the assassination of a US Vice President and a British Prime Minister, among other targets, through setting up pawns and giving them the thinker abilities they needed to be useful. His big scheme, which ended the world as a side effect, was to manipulate Saint into first shutting Dragon down during the final battle against the Slaughterhouse Nine, then getting him released so he could hijack Dragon. This results in him becoming one of the five most powerful beings in the known universe... as it is coming to an end.
- Deal with the Devil: This seems to be how he acquires his thralls.
- Framing the Guilty Party: How it's implied they got him into the Birdcage.
- Smug Snake: For all his plotting, the only issue the Undersiders are having with deciding to kick his ass in Epilogue 31: End is that it might break the fragile peace.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: He deliberately awakens the Simurgh as a distraction in his interlude.
- Super Empowering: He bestows any of a vast assortment of Tinker and Thinker (anything from precognition to Spider-Sense to X-Ray Vision) talents, and can also subtly improve or alter other people's powers — at the expense of the subjects' free will, though those who have proven their loyalty get to keep their intelligence.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else: Taylor describes him as being fairly normal looking.
- Too Dumb to Live: Decides to piss off the SIMURGH as part of a distraction to recruit Ingenue.
An Australian vigilante wielding the eponymous weapon who went after the spouses and children of supervillains in order to break them in the days before the unofficial parahuman code or the three strikes rule, who became a cell block leader in the Birdcage. His power works by lessening any damage he sustains, while reducing said damage to a set amount, and he can also transfer his power to his hammer and then to his opponents to pulverize them. Killed by Scion during the Venom arc.
Classification: Brute/Striker, Trump (?)
A Birdcage cell block leader, a long-haired woman with matronly features whose prison uniform has been modified into heavier cargo pants and a jacket who had women followers with a near religious fervor.
Classification: Breaker (?)
- Feminazi: Didn't like men to the point of ordering her followers to humiliate any man they saw, which led to the more fanatical members emasculating and murdering them, as well as mutilating followers who didn't play along.
- One Degree of Separation: Annette Hebert was apparently one of her followers when she was in grad school, though she left once things got violent.
- Sizeshifter: She appears to drain energy from her surroundings to grow in size.
Abigail Rowan-Sato (Crane the Harmonious)
A thin female Birdcage inmate with short-cut blonde hair and pointed features, eyes that appear half-closed, and a strange kind of fluidity to her gait who collected children for their powers to use as soldiers. Her power involves the use of a sphere similar to a glass bead that focuses attacks. Killed by Scion during the Venom arc.
Classification: Trump/Shaker (?)
A cop and capekiller who used his power to horrifically scar innumerable opponents and girlfriends, before being thrown in the Birdcage. He is described as a blond man with circles around his eyes.
A short woman who looks even shorter due to her slouch with a petite build, her dark hair tied back into a braid, and her lips pulled back into a wide expression halfway between a grin and a smile. A tinker who auctioned off "safeties" to people who would be guaranteed not to be one of her random "targets". At the time of her incarceration, she was threatening to knock the moon out of orbit. Killed by Scion during the Extinction Arc.
A tinker imprisoned in the Birdcage described as having teeth much like a rodent with a mop of hair and heavy brows, tall and broad shouldered, and with a bit of a belly. His power allowed him to create potions that turned people into monsters, who he tested first on the homeless, before testing on anyone who happened to be alone or new once they ran out.
Classification: Tinker/Monster Creation
- Foil: To String Theory, being a non-typical looking tinker who preferred working in the shadows.
- Mad Scientist
- Professor Guinea Pig: He used his formulas on himself, though it isn't known if he did so before testing them on his victims or after.
- Was Once a Man: Can create formulas that turn people into monsters... temporarily.
A Birdcage inmate and former mob enforcer turned boss who could empower his soldiers with invincibility and a deadly electric touch.
A Birdcage inmate who is described as a Japanese woman in a ponytail in prison sweats, who went around killing anyone she saw following Leviathan's attack in Kyushu.
Classification: Mover, Striker
An attractive woman who ended up in the Birdcage after manipulating four heroes behind the scenes into doing horrible things. Her power works by boosting one aspect of someone's power in exchange for dropping proficiency in another.
- Invisible to Normals: Just like Chevalier, it's implied in Doctor Mother's Interlude that she can see passengers and trigger events.
- Super Empowering: She can mess around with other people's powers in various ways, such as trading more strength for less control. This has the unfortunate side effect of driving her "partners" homicidally insane after prolonged periods of use.
- The Vamp: Manipulated men into doing horrible things for her by changing her personality to that of her target's dream girl.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The ultimate result of being around her power for too long.
The prime website for finding information on capes, cape-related activities, and discussion of both. Includes both a forum and a Wiki. According to Word of God
, a large part of what makes the site so good is that Dragon is several
of the moderators.
Tropes associated with the site and its members:
- Ascended Fanboy: In Interlude 19 (Donation Bonus #2), we see a forum thread on Parahumans Online in which a longtime fan of Bitch/Hellhound/Rachel ask how one might hypothetically become a minion. Said fan posts later in the thread to say it turned out "Harder than I thought but all good."
- Big Name Fan: The threads in Interlude 19 (Donation Bonus #2) include several In-Universe examples. Bagrat Lampshades his status as such in the post he makes pleading for information on what the hell happened in Brockton Bay.
- Epileptic Trees: One of the major purposes of the Parahumans Online forums In-Universe is speculation on capes and cape-related events, with "Tinfoil Hat" being the slang term for posters whose theories are too far outside credibility.
- Sock Puppet: When one person commented on how remarkably well-moderated the forums are, Wildbow replied, "You'd almost think it was the side project of an A.I. with prenatural processing power and the ability to emulate a handful of moderators."
- Tuckerization: In Interlude 19 (Donation Bonus #2), which consists mostly of samples of forum posts from the in-universe website Parahumans Online, the author names most of the forum posters by coming up with Captain Ersatz versions of the names of various fans.
Taylor's dad, a tall, skinny, dark-haired-but-balding bespectacled man of an intellectual bent. A single father since his wife, Annette Rose Hebert, died six months before Taylor started high school. Is working for the Dockworkers Association as head of hiring and a spokesperson — a frustrating job, as the Docks have been doing poorly for years. Has a harsh temper, but tries not to let his daughter see it.
When Taylor took up running as an exercise routine, he gave her a pepper spray tube to defend herself with. In the months since, this has proven to be a critical part of Skitter's arsenal. He was presumed dead in the wake of Scion's rampage, but is revealed to have survived in the final Interlude.
- Broken Masquerade: As of Chrysalis, he is aware of Taylor's identity as Skitter.
- Geek Physiques: The beanpole variant.
- Good Parents: Danny is loving and supportive, sympathetic to his daughter's needs, afraid when she is in trouble, and glad when she is doing well.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Defied — he does have a strong temper, but he swore an oath never to lose it with his family.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Part of the reason he can't help Taylor is that neither she nor anyone else wants to tell him what is going on with his daughter — starting with the extent and relentlessness of the bullying campaign and continuing into her career as a cape.
Emma Barnes, Sophia Hess, and Madison Clements
The trio of students at Winslow High responsible for most of the bullying against Taylor. Emma Barnes — a curvy, pretty redhead, attractive enough to get some work as a model — was Taylor's best friend from first grade until the summer before they started high school, when she suddenly abandoned Taylor for Sophia. Sophia Hess — a slender, athletic black girl — is a member of the track and field team. Madison, a late bloomer relative to the others, plays up the cute angle — she is petite, with shoulder-length brown hair.
When Taylor sees Emma at school after the Noelle arc
, Emma has dyed her hair blonde. Emma is presumed dead following Scion's assault on Brockton Bay.
- Alpha Bitch: Emma seems to be the point woman of the trio.
- Amoral Attorney: Emma's father, Alan Barnes, threatens to bankrupt the Heberts with a lawsuit if they attempt to publicize the bullying campaign his daughter spearheaded.
- He was also behind Shadow Stalker being put on probation.
- Beauty Is Bad: All three are explicitly described as attractive in comparison to Taylor, and all three happen to be her main tormentors.
- The Bully: Each in their own way — Madison tends more towards the juvenile (e.g. pouring juice all over Taylor's stuff), Sophia prefers the more physical, and Emma aims for the psychological weaknesses Taylor revealed back when they were friends.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Sophia attacks Taylor in the bookstore for having the temerity to go to the principal about the bullying campaign — a move which resulted in Sophia being suspended and losing her spot on the track and field team.
- Innocent Bystander: When the Undersiders attacked the dinner the PRT threw to celebrate the defeat of the ABB, Emma turned out to be in attendance. Taylor figures out afterwards that this is probably because her friend Sophia was there in her guise as Shadow Stalker.
- Muggle Best Friend: Emma is this to Shadow Stalker i.e. Sophia Hess.
- Teens Are Monsters: The trio plague Taylor badly enough that they drive her to near suicidal recklessness and induced a complete mental breakdown that was traumatic enough to trigger her powers. A later point is made of how despite this, none of her classmates got involved other then to join in. At no point do they show even a hint of remorse or even a reason for victimizing her constantly.
- We Used to Be Friends: Emma to Taylor.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never quite learn what happened to Madison.
An animated man who likes to be called "Mr. G", assigns a lot of group projects, and tends to let class out early. Short enough and young enough that he could almost pass for a student. World Issues teacher at Winslow High. Taylor's least favorite teacher. There are suggestions that he sees the way Taylor is targeted by the three bullies, but he is unwilling to do anything substantive about it. Was last seen in a Endbringer shelter under the city library when Taylor distracted Leviathan.
A tallish, broad-shouldered, strong-jawed woman who teaches the Computers class at Winslow High. Taylor's favorite teacher, possibly because she just assigns work and leaves the students alone to do it.
Mayor of Brockton Bay at the time the story begins. Well-to-do and ambitious. Has an adult son (Rory) and twin daughters. His house is apparently unaffected by both Leviathan and the Slaughterhouse Nine
The self-proclaimed most powerful man in the world. A British vagrant accompanied by his dog Duke. In his late middle age but dying of a failing liver brought on by hepatitis. Also the only person Scion — or, as he explains, Zion — listens to, at least until he introduced him to Lisette
A young woman — described by Kevin Norton as "petite, pretty, twenty-something, her black hair cut to a pixie cut and topped by a dark gray beret". Generous and kind. Has a trace of a French accent. Chosen by Kevin to become the next handler for Zion
after she gave him ten pounds and was kind to him.
A clinical psychologist specializing in working with the Wards, who is described as being rather tall for a Japanese woman. She also performs sessions for some parahumans in a specialized mental hospital.
- Badass Normal: Talks Glastig Uaine, the most powerful being in the world, all the way down from casually discussing killing everyone to becoming a hero.
- Nerves of Steel: As she demonstrates in her sessions with Glory Girl, Glastig Uaine and Garotte, she can maintain her professional, calming demeanor in extremely frightening situations.
- Only Sane Woman: Feels that the PRT's habit of cycling psychologists is unhelpful to the Wards, but lacks the ability to change things.
- Secret Keeper: Becomes one for Eidolon concerning his slow power loss and offers to become one to Weaver.
A student at Winslow High that was often paired up with Taylor and another kid named Sparky during group assignments. Blond haired and blue eyed.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Turns out to have had a crush on Taylor, but she was completely oblivious to it.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: One of the reasons he's considered a major loser at school.
- Metaphorically True: His claim to have remained in town during the aftermath of Leviathan, the attack by the Slaughterhouse Nine, and whatever happened on June 20th (i.e. Echidna) relies on one of these: he was within the official city limits, but out in the western suburbs in the mountains, which barely count as part of Brockton Bay at all.
- No Social Skills: Is incapable of telling when he's being annoying and/or pushy.
- Secret Secret Keeper: Subverted; while he figures out Taylor's identity as Skitter, he (a) can't keep a secret, meaning he's not a secret keeper, (b) is so obvious about trying to find Taylor that Charlotte figures out he knows, meaning he's not a secret failed secret keeper, and (c) is convinced that he was mistaken when Taylor catches up to him, meaning he doesn't even know the secret that he failed to secretly keep.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Drops off the story after Taylor becomes Weaver.
A vice-principal at Arcadia High. A not-particularly-attractive woman with bleached hair. Introduced wearing a colorful blouse and scarf.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She goes to significant lengths to try to reduce conflicts between the students who stayed and those who left, and when she sees the record of Emma and Sophia's bullying campaign, she acts to rectify the situation. There are hints that this is a subversion, however, as Taylor Hebert's name was in a list of students that should be treated with especial care.
- Secret Keeper: Unsurprisingly, given her position at a school where members of the Wards take classes. Among the secrets she knows is Taylor's membership in the Undersiders.
A lawyer specializing in parahumans cases. A handsome Latino man, sharp-dressed, styled black hair, but with a scar on one nostril and cheekbone. He is employed by Skitter after she surrenders to the PRT
- Amoral Attorney: As a supervillain lawyer. Most notably seen when he has virtually no reaction to Taylor admitting to premeditated murder of a law enforcement officer, commenting only "I've handled worse." Shortly afterwards, she kills Alexandria and the PRT director right in front of him, and he not only continues to work for her but jokes about it later on.
- Badass Normal: Presumably — he is a defense attorney who works for supervillains.
- Dashing Hispanic: The first thing Skitter notices about him is his good grooming and attractive features.
- Distinguishing Mark: The second thing Skitter notices about him is a scar marking the corner of one nostril and one cheekbone. (He later admits that he is not an effective trial lawyer because of it.)
- Why Did It Have To Be Flying: As evidenced by his reaction to riding in a Dragon-suit.