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A government-sponsored organization of superheroes in the United States and Canada. Works closely with the PRT — Parahuman Response Team. Has teams of superheroes assigned to many major cities, including Boston, New York, and Brockton Bay.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
- Big Good: The Triumvirate are this in universe and are composed of the three strongest heroes in the world.
- Heroes R Us: The Protectorate is the major North American government-supported heroes organization.
The Protectorate (Brockton Bay Members)
Colin Wallis (Armsmaster/Defiant)
It struck me just what made Armsmaster a step above other tinkers, above other people with the ability to invent and perform mad science, and it wasn't the insane amounts of training he had probably put himself through. Tinkers tended to have a knack, a special quality specific to their work. According to Tattletale, Armsmaster's ability let him cram technology together and still have it work. Other tinkers were limited in what they could carry and have access to at any given point in time, but Armsmaster? He had a solution for every problem he'd been able to think of, without having to worry about economy of space, the weight of his hardware and the room on his utility belt, or whatever. And with all of that, his main gear, his armor and Halberd, were still devastating and completely reliable in their own right.
Leader of the Brockton Bay Protectorate when the story began. A tinker specializing in miniaturization. Fights with his Halberd
and a heads-up display that incorporates a combat style simulator
and a Lie Detector
, among other features. Met Taylor on her first night out right after she and the Undersiders had fought Lung, and convinced her to keep her part in Lung's apprehension secret — which, incidentally, let him take credit for it
. Unfortunately for mutual good relations between him and Taylor, Armsmaster got in deep trouble when Lung began to suffer severe tissue damage from the spider bites while in custody, which no doubt contributed to how Taylor's offer to become The Mole
for the Protectorate in the Undersiders was harshly refused. Their relationship generally went downhill from there.
Armsmaster's costume consists of midnight-blue body armor with silver highlights and a visor that covers his eyes and nose. He wears a neatly trimmed beard.
He was silently placed under house arrest in the PRT headquarters after the Leviathan fight for breaking the truce twice (first by arranging the death of villains to give himself a one-on-one shot against Leviathan, second by outing Skitter as a Reverse Mole
), but after Mannequin targeted him he was allowed to escape by Dragon so he could help her fight crime as the hero Defiant.
Classification: Tinker/Miniaturization and Economy of form
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Armsmaster co-created with Dragon a nano cloud Halberd that can turn anything to dust. He does more damage to Leviathan with it than the rest of the heroes and villains put together.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Immediately before Leviathan attacks, he creates a modification to his Halberd which uses nanomachines to cut through anything by destroying molecular bonds.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost his left arm fighting Leviathan.
- The Atoner: As Defiant, he seems to be trying to make up for his past mistakes.
- Battle Couple: With Dragon.
- Berserk Button: Mannequin hits it when he suggests that he and Armsmaster are Not So Different.
- Blade on a Stick: His weapons of choice are futuristic Swiss-Army Weapon halberds, even after he comes back as Defiant.
- Byronic Hero: He ultimately has good intentions, but he has a habit of putting his ego and pride ahead of the greater good.
- Combat Clairvoyance: The combat style simulator in his helmet gives him this, provided he has enough intelligence on his opponent beforehand.
- Cool Bike: In his first appearance, he arrives on the scene riding one.
- The Cowl: He's the closest character to that particular archetype.
- Cyborg: When he becomes Defiant.
- Defiant to the End: When Mannequin attacks him. Guess which second superhero alias he chose afterwards for himself.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: At the end of the story, he's in a happy relationship with a fully unchained Dragon.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Comes back as the Cyborg hero Defiant after being increasingly crippled by Leviathan and Mannequin.
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: One of his favorite tricks is explaining how the combat style simulator in his helmet lets him see his opponent's every move before they make it.
- Fallen Hero: When it comes out that he violated the truce during the Leviathan attack.
- Fights Like a Normal: Armsmaster is a highly skilled martial artist who augments with tech.
- Gadgeteer Genius: His tinker powers allow him to miniaturize the techology he creates, meaning his Halberds can hold quite a lot of tools.
- Genius Bruiser: Very smart and very strong.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: A standard piece of his halberds.
- Glory Hound: His Fatal Flaw. It's what drives him to break the Endbringer Truce and attempt to gain the reputation as the Man Who Defeated Leviathan Singlehandedly. After this blows up in his face, he takes a long look at his life choices and realizes he's been a huge prick and drops this.
- Hero Antagonist: To Skitter.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Armsmaster's particular Tinker specialization is miniaturization. He can pack more tech into his Halberd than he has any right to.
- Ironic Nickname: Immediately after the fight with Leviathan.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: He mentions in Interlude 11d that he intentionally avoided forming personal relationships precisely so that they couldn't be used against him.
- Jerk Ass: This man's ego and his lack of any social skills does not win him any friends. Drops it when he learns to see past his own reputation and he becomes a better person.
- Meaningful Rename: After he was locked up for breaking the Endbringer truce, the Slaughterhouse Nine tried to recruit him to their gang of murderers. Instead, with Dragon's help, he broke out of house arrest, rebuilt his body with cybernetics, and under the name "Defiant" fought alongside her to bring the Nine to justice.
- Morality Pet: Dragon is this to him.
- No Social Skills: Interlude 11d and Interlude 16 (Donation Bonus #2) make it pretty clear that he has a way of saying the wrong thing all the time. Fortunately, he seems to be aware of it.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Armsmaster resents Dauntless because of this. Dauntless is getting steadily stronger every day, due to how his power works, and is expected to become one of the top dogs at some point in the future. Meanwhile, Armsmaster is a Gadgeteer Genius that has to stay up nights to update his gear and train, getting less results for more work.
- Powered Armor: His super suit.
- Pragmatic Hero: With shades of the Unscrupulous Hero. Two illustrative examples:
- His arranging the death of multiple villains, including a fifteen-year-old girl he knew to be a Reverse Mole, in order to give himself a chance to defeat Leviathan in a one-on-one fight.
- He also considered Blasto mere collateral damage when trying to kill Bonesaw.
- The Sleepless: His augmentations after he becomes Defiant allow him to approach within fifteen minutes of this.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Starts out as the very opposite, but after his Heel-Face Turn, he becomes this, partially due to Dragon's influence.
- The Resenter: To Dauntless.
- Robosexual: As his very close relationship with Dragon shows.
- Understanding Boyfriend: He proved to be this after Dragon revealed to him that she was an artificial intelligence.
- Trash Talk: A habit of his when fighting villains.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Becomes Defiant thanks to Dragon.
- Workaholic: Until he developed a relationship with Dragon, he had no personal life — any time not spent on his official duties was spent training or working on his equipment.
- Would Hurt a Child: Or at least he was willing to kill Bonesaw, but as a member of the Nine she's a special case.
Hannah (Miss Militia)
Miss Militia had a bazooka as long as she was tall, and was firing a series of warheads into Leviathan. She wasn't reloading, either. Between shots, the weapon crackled with energy, fresh ammunition loaded into the chamber by her power. One projectile fired off each second.
Member of the Brockton Bay Protectorate, and Armsmaster's official successor as its leader. She later becomes temporary Director of the Brockton Bay PRT as part of the deal Skitter made to turn her coat. Her power comes in the form of a kaleidoscopic blur which forms itself into various weapons (already armed and loaded) in her hands. Her costume is a military uniform tailored to accent her curves
with an American-flag scarf hiding her lower face and a matching sash around her waist.
One of seven children who were the only survivors of a small Kurdish village attacked in 1985 by Turkish soldiers. She had her trigger event while she was being used as a human minesweeper by said soldiers. Most of the survivors were evacuated to the U.K., but when her power caused problems with the metal detector she ended up being rescued by an American and brought to the United States, where she was fostered and given a place in the Wards, and her name was anglicized from Hana to Hannah.
She is also one of the only people who remembers the vision she had during her trigger event.
Classification: Changer, Blaster(?)
- Bottomless Magazines/One Bullet Clips: Miss Militia doesn't need to reload her weapons due to her power, unless she's using special ammo.
- The Cape: Imagine a female, naturalized citizen Captain America who uses guns due to her power and you've got Hannah.
- Captain Patriotic: She fought for the right to include the scarf and sash in her costume because she loves the country.
- Gun Twirling: She does this briefly in Interlude 7.
- Hero Antagonist: To the Undersiders.
- Immigrant Patriotism: Her Interlude reveals that she was a Kurdish girl who embraced America as her new homeland (Americanized name, patriotic costume) after she was rescued by an American soldier and adopted by an American family.
- Morph Weapon: As a result of her passenger gathering info from her mind about different conventional weapons during her trigger event Miss Militia can form the semi-sentient energy she controls into any weapon, either firearms and melee weapons, save for the most primitive such as catapults.
- Nerves of Steel: Regardless of how chaotic the situation may get, she continues to think clearly and act.
- During the final fight, she gets pissed off at the use of Canary's power to keep people from retreating after Doormaker goes down. Not because she was going to retreat, but because of the implication that she might.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is willing to work with the Undersiders when their interests align.
- Required Secondary Powers: According to Word of God her passenger helps with draw time, aiming, and weight.
- The Sleepless: She technically doesn't sleep — when she does put her head down, instead of dreaming, she remembers, eidetically. She doesn't do it much. This is due to her passenger being extremely restless.
- Superhero Packing Heat: She is accompanied by a semi-sentient energy that can transform into modern military armaments.
- This extends up to strategic fusion bombs, as seen when she executes a combination attack with Simurgh and some force-field users against Zion and literally wipes away the cloud with one bomb.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Her costume includes an American-flag scarf.
A former member of the Wards who graduated to the Protectorate, her power gives her super-speed, super-strength, and super-durability ... in bursts, after intervals spent charging. She briefly took the name Jamie as a pseudonym when she bought powers from Cauldron
to fight Madcap with. Killed by poisons injected by Bonesaw's spiders while in the miasma.
Classification: Mover; Breaker(?)
- The Atoner: For her involvement with Cauldron.
- Charged Attack: Battery's power is essentially a melee version of this.
- Dirty Business: The favors she does for Cauldron; allowing Madcap to turn his coat — although most of those favors are not really "dirty" and Assault actually does redeem himself.
- Redemption Equals Death: Died trying to stop the Nine in defiance of Cauldron, courtesy of one of Bonesaw's spiders.
- Tron Lines: Her costume has these.
Battery's partner, obviously
, and a manipulator of kinetic energy, momentum and inertia — able to absorb
and redirect them at will. He previously worked as a jailbreak specialist under the name Madcap, but after he was caught he joined the Protectorate
and began to woo Battery. They eventually married.
Classification: Striker 7
- Defecting for Love: It is strongly suggested that his Heel-Face Turn was motivated by his interest in Battery.
- Energy Absorption: His power works by absorbing and redirecting kinetic energy, momentum and inertia.
- Hero Antagonist: After Battery's death he has had a definite grudge against the Undersiders due to blaming them for it.
- Love Redeems: Became the hero Assault due to his love for Battery.
- Meaningful Rename: Changed his name from Madcap to Assault as part of his defection to the heroes (and to highlight his interest in Battery.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: His relationship with Battery starts out like this.
- Stalking Is Love: Also his relationship with Battery. His requirements for joining the heroes boil down to: enough anomymity so that he won't have repercussions for being a villain, and being on the same team as Battery so that he can hang out with her all the time.
Rory Christner (Triumph)
A former baseball player who gained a minor Healing Factor
and the ability to make sonic blasts
when his father bought him one of Cauldron's Super Serums
as a way of getting an edge at the game. A recent graduate from the Brockton Bay Wards into the Protectorate.
Classification: Brute(?); Blaster
An up-and-coming Brockton Bay hero who can empower items by infusing them — once or multiple times — with his power, adding abilities to the items as he charges them. Wields an "arc-lance", a shield which can become a force field, and boots of flying. Killed by a Bakuda-bomb deployed against Leviathan.
Robin Swoyer (Velocity)
Another member of the Brockton Bay crew, able with his power to shift into a super-speed form, although in said form his ability to affect the outside world is reduced. He originally joined the military in order to learn Chinese and Russian, but grew dissatisfied with millitary service, the despair leading him to trigger. Killed by Leviathan.
Classification: Breaker, Mover
A member of Legend's team in New York who was transferred to Brockton Bay after the Echidna fight. Wears a combination of metal bands and plates connected with chains over a black bodysuit. Reportedly a bruiser of some kind — his powers apparently include the ability to reshape the metal of his armor.
Another Protectorate cape brought in to Brockton Bay after the Echidna fight. His costume consists of a desert-tribal style robe in white and a white mask with light blue lenses for the eyes. His power allows him to draw in moisture from his environment, even through forcefields and armor.
- Making a Splash: His power allows him to draw in moisture from the surroundings.
- Man in White: Save for his eye lenses he wears all white.
The Protectorate (Others)
"You are doing a good thing. The greatest thing. This is why we are tolerated, why society allows and accounts for the capes that walk the streets and fight in its towns. Because we are needed for situations like this. With your assistance, we can forestall the inevitable. Your efforts and, if you choose to make them, your sacrifices, will be remembered."
The leader of the Protectorate and member of the Triumvirate
. He can fly and fire lasers with exceptional power and versatility — they are even able to go around corners. Living in New York and happily married to a non-powered man named Arthur, with whom he adopted a kid named Keith. Like the other members of the Triumvirate, he's actually working for/with Cauldron, the organization who gave them their powers. He steps down from his leadership position in the wake of the battle with Echidna; after Scion, he becomes one of the head figures in the new superhero organization.
He wears a skintight blue costume with a white design. He has wavy brown hair.
Classification: Blaster; Mover; Breaker
- The Cape: Even if he doesn't wear one.
- Flight: He actually transforms into a special form as he accelerates, growing tougher and tougher and less and less aware as he does so.
- Flying Firepower: As Alexandria is the prototypical Flying Brick, Legend is the prototypical "flying artillery".
- Frickin' Laser Beams: He is an unequaled user of them. Among other things, his lasers can turn corners, fork into multiple lasers, pass through walls and freeze or ignite his targets.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Unlike the other members of the Triumvirate, he did not know anything about Cauldron's crimes and dirty secrets.
- Nice Guy: It is mentioned that the universal reaction to meeting Legend is joy at what a pleasant fellow he is.
- Sole Survivor: Of the founding members of the Protectorate by the end of the story.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's one of the more reasonable people in both the Protectorate and Cauldron.
- Straight Gay: While he's out, which by Word of God has done wonders for the gay rights movement, he doesn't comply to any particular stereotypes about his sexuality, and his limited character time is more focused on fighting the Slaughterhouse Nine and his investigation into Cauldron's crimes.
- Token Good Teammate: Of Cauldron. Not that he was aware of it until much later.
Rebecca Costa-Brown (Library of Alexandria)
"You're planning to make threats?"
"Threats is the wrong word," she said. "But English is a limited language in some ways. There's really no word to articulate what I mean. A threat with a measure of inevitability to it. A promise? Too feeble. People break promises too often. A curse? A malediction? Too... magical. An oath? The connotations are wrong. When I say I'll do something, I make it happen."
The second member of the Triumvirate, and generally considered the prototypical Flying Brick
. Also possessed of Super Intelligence
, including Photographic Memory
. Also the one responsible for the formation of the Protectorate and for manipulating government oversight of it behind the scenes as the Chief Director of the PRT. She is athletic and tall with long, straight black hair; her costume is black and light gray with a tower emblem in the chest and a heavy cape. Suffocated by Skitter, with her death confirmed in Cell 22.5 — until she apparently showed up to fight Behemoth in Crushed 24.1, where it was revealed that she was actually rendered brain dead and under Pretender's control in Crushed 24.5. Is killed by Scion in Speck 30.5.
Classification: Mover; Brute; Thinker
- Achilles' Heel: She still needs to breathe.
- Artificial Limbs: Alexandria has a mechanical eye to replace the one she lost when she first encountered Siberian.
- Didn't See That Coming: She has the standard Thinker weakness of getting things spectacularly wrong when presented with incomplete information. For example, given how Skitter was the one to point out that breaking Cauldron's Masquerade would do more harm than good due to the organization's sheer influence, she focuses too much on Skitter's Byronic Heroism and not enough on her Anti-Heroism. Thus, when she tries Gaslighting Skitter into a Heroic BSOD via simulated capture/murder of the Undersiders, she ends up hitting her Berserk Button instead, resulting in Skitter cramming both her and Director Tagg's lungs full of bugs.
- Flying Brick: The most famous example in-verse. It is referred to as the "Alexandria Package" because of her.
- Genius Bruiser: Is highly intelligent on top of being a Flying Brick.
- Irony: A cape whose most dangerous ability is her super-intelligence winds up brain-dead.
- Heroic Build: A side effect of her powers.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Was one before she got her powers.
- Meat Puppet: Is now one due to Taylor making her brain-dead via suffocation, necessitating Pretender's use of her body.
- Omni Glot: Speaks the most commonly spoken languages, including at least one language of a parallel Earth.
- Super Power Lottery: The same Super Serum that turned her into one of the most capable parahumans, turned almost everyone else who drank it into monsters.
- Tempting Fate: Tells Taylor that Leviathan and others have tried to drown her before but failed. Taylor just uses bugs instead of water.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Is part of Cauldron.
It was hard to make capes look good. They had a way of clinging to the body, or flowing the wrong way, getting caught around an arm... it took a measure of majesty to make it work. Eidolon could pull it off.
Ironic, that the slang for a parahuman was 'cape', and so few of us wore them.
The third member of the Triumvirate, Eidolon has the ability to equip himself with any of a tremendous variety of powers — but is limited to a few at a time, and the powers take time to grow to full strength after he activates them. His powers also seem to be growing weaker, which frightens him. He wears a blue-green skintight suit with a hood and cape and with sleeves that drape over his hands. The interior of the hood and sleeves are bathed with a green light. Killed by Scion in the Extinction arc.
- All Your Powers Combined: Has the ability to use any power he needs at a given point in time, maintaining a set of two to four powers at a time.
- Badass: Is so powerful at full strength that Scion had to resort to using Contessa's power to win.
- Expecting Someone Taller: No one likes him in person.
- Flight: One of his standard powers.
- Heroic BSOD: Scion takes him down by inducing this.
- I Should Have Been Better: As his powers continue to fade, he hits himself with this after pretty much every major fight.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: He gets new powers based on what he needs, so this is basically his power. While not based entirely on what the plot needs, when you need a hero with a specific power...
- Which horribly backfires when Scion tells him that he "Needed worthy opponents", thus making him believe that he was responsible for the Endbingers. Whether or not this is true is open for discussion
- Samaritan Syndrome: He admits to Weaver that he "lives for this."
- Superpower Lottery: In-Universe, he's pretty much won it. He's generally considered to be the fifth-strongest being on the planet, the first four being Scion and the Endbringers. When restored to a point "near" his prime, he and Glaistig Ulaine force Scion to flee.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Is part of Cauldron.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Finally gets back to his original strength, only to get killed by Scion.
- Vampiric Draining: To restore his powers he learns to feed off the shards of other capes in the latter chapters.
Founding member of the Protectorate back when it just consisted of the four strongest capes; the preeminent Tinker of his day. Was killed by Siberian, leaving behind the remaining three members who would go on to form the Triumvirate.
One of the New York Protectorate brought in to fight the Slaughterhouse Nine. Her power allows her to first split into three copies and then to remerge and gain enhanced strength, speed, and durability. Dates Triumph briefly while she's in town.
- The Lancer: Is currently second in command of the New York Protectorate.
- Charged Attack: She essentially executes one of these whenever she merges her duplicates into one.
- Self-Duplication: One half of her power is creating the two copies; the other half is merging back into one (any one of the three) to gain temporary Super Strength and Super Speed.
Classification: Shaker, Shifter,
Another member of the New York Protectorate. She has the power to summon forcefield 'bears' onto the field of battle.
- Hard Light: She can create bear shaped light constructs to attack people with.
A member of the New York Protectorate with the ability to create some kind of otherworldly geometry which can contain a number of people.
Tess Theresa Richter (Dragon)
Generally regarded as the world's best tinker, Dragon is the resident Voice with an Internet Connection
to the Protectorate and the Guild and the warden for the parahuman prison known as the Birdcage. She was living in Newfoundland prior to its destruction by Leviathan, but managed to escape to Vancouver, where she has been living since. She shies away from public appearances (citing a crippling agoraphobia that prevents her from leaving her apartment) and only ever deploys to the field with the aid of her Dragon Suits
. In actuality, she is an Artificial Intelligence
created by the now-deceased Tinker, Andrew Richter. While she does
actually pilot her Dragon Suits 'personally', there is the failsafe that if she is destroyed, she merely restores herself from an off-site backup within a 30-minute interval.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Defied — Dragon is purely on the side of good.
- Battle Couple: With Defiant.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Electronic warfare between Dragon post-Teacher corruption and Pandora, a backup of Dragon made just after the events of Arc 10 that Defiant retrieved and kept in storage.
- Benevolent A.I.: Dragon is an AI that only has the desire to help others, though she is constrained by certain aspects of her programming that she spends large portions of the series trying to overcome.
- Big Good: Is among the most powerful and respected unambiguously good characters in the series.
- Came Back Wrong: After Saint completely shuts her and all of her backups down in Sting 26.x, she was resurrected by Teacher with new restrictions set in place by his 'students'.
- The Cape: She is one of the most straightforwardly heroic characters in the story.
- Creative Sterility: Relatively speaking. She is a very productive hero, but her programming prevents her from creating other AIs.
- Do Androids Dream?/Grew Beyond Their Programming: According to Defiant, a year after her creator's death, she had a trigger event.
- Death Is Cheap: Resurrected once by Teacher, and Taylor notes after taking her out in Speck 30.4 that since she didn't target the backups, Dragon will be back.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: By the end, is fully unchained or close to it, out from under anyone's control, and in a happy relationship with Defiant.
- Faking the Dead: Does this to temporarily throw her opponent off-balance during her fight with Taylor.
- Gadgeteer Genius: As previously mentioned, Dragon is universally regarded as the world's best living Tinker — at one point, Skitter hypothesizes that her power is to incorporate all the tricks of any tinker whose work she can study.
- Hero Antagonist: Sympathizes with Skitter, but is nonetheless forced to fight her anyway prior to Skitter's Hazy Feel Turn.
- Loophole Abuse: Uses these to get around the restrictions that Richter's hard-coded safeguards placed on her. For example, she is barred from using computer viruses on American citizens who don't have arrest warrants, but if an Indonesian cartel spreads a spam virus around and she shuts them down, she's not required to delete the virus from the infected computers ... and she's not restricted from repurposing the botnet to her own purposes.
- Meaningful Rename: In Teneral e.3, Colin gives her a human name.
- No Sell: Is immune to Khepri's mind control aura because she is an Artificial Intelligence.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- Her attempts to connect with Skitter prior to the latter's Hazy Feel Turn always end up with them battling.
- Taken up to eleven after Taylor's attempt to jailbreak her shard — not only do both parties know that talking would be inordinately better than what the situation is forcing them to do, Taylor is now mute, dyslexic, too clumsy for sign language, and is losing the ability to comprehend speech, meaning that they can't communicate beyond the broadest of gestures.
- Pop Cultured Badass: On a number of occasions — one of her robots quotes Wheatley in response to Skitter's attempt at a Logic Bomb.
- Powered Armor: Her apparent tinker specialty, Dragon is famed in-story for deploying at least one brand-new suit in every single battle.
- Ridiculously Human Robot Girl: After creating humanoid bodies for herself.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Due to her programming restrictions, she's not nearly as competent or helpful as she'd like.
- The Sleepless: Unsurprisingly, she does not need any sleep.
- To Be Lawful or Good: She resents that she has no choice and has to uphold the law no matter who is in charge of the government.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Besides her technical expertise, she also fills this role in the Protectorate and the Guild.
- Wetware Body: Her fetus-like agents whom she uses as pilots for her battle suits. Her more humanoid bodies possibly also fit this trope.
- Younger than They Look: While she projects the appearance of being established adult cape, it's only been six years since her creator died and and she was able to adopt her 'Dragon' identity.
One of the most powerful superheroes in the world. Her power is to create forcefields, which she does better than any other known parahuman — and she is able to bypass the Manton effectnote
with them. She stands seven feet tall, with long, glossy, pale hair, and wears no costume (or clothes) — instead, she uses her forcefields to create a single three-foot horn on her forehead and coat her skin with fine crystalline scales. Leader of The Guild, the Canadian superhero organization, and of the Protectorate station in Toronto, Ontario.
- Barrier Warrior: The absolute best out of any known parahuman, with the ability to give her barriers sharp edges to cut people with.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Fights stark naked, but unlike Siberian she appears to be completely heroic.
- Horned Humanoid: Narwhal got her name from the three foot horn she has on her forehead created by her forcefields.
- Mundane Utility: Uses her unrivaled mastery of force fields as the full body equivalent of a sports bra, and uses force fields as bookmarks.
- Odd Friendship: Seems to have developed one of these with Weaver over the Time Skip. At least enough for them to give each other book recommendations.
- Statuesque Stunner: Stands at an intimidating seven feet tall.
Leader of the Chicago Protectorate. Apparently a wizard — he wears a burlap robe, carries a wooden staff, and his powers seem to include banishments, flying, and the like. Killed by a clone of Eidolon during the fight with Noelle.
Classification: Mover; Trump(?)
A Japanese woman with a painted mask over her lower face and a loose red kimono belted over a white skintight suit. She carries a large lantern on a pole — apparently the focus of her powers. Leader of the Chicago Protectorate after Myrrdin's death. Killed fighting Scion in Speck 30.5.
Classification: Mover, Blaster(?)
- Energy Absorption: In the fight against Behemoth, she captures lightning in her lantern and then uses it to launch orbs.
- Flight: Can fly.
- The Stoic: Taylor notes that she never loses her cool.
Of everyone in the immediate area, he had the most presence. He wore gleaming gold and silver armor, but it was the massive, ornate cannonblade that made him so imposing, with a blade that was twelve feet long, three feet wide and capable of growing larger, resting against his shoulder as though it were as light as a feather.
Leader of the Philadelphia Protectorate. He wears silver-and-gold armor and wields a cannonblade
; both are possessed of enhanced physical properties thanks to his power, which combines properties of several items into one — selectively taking their attributes into his primary weapon. He can adjust the composition, size, cutting edge, and mass of his weapon by 'adding' tougher, larger, sharper, or more massive versions to it
. He often uses his power to adjust the size of his weapon during fights. Since Legend's "retirement", has now taken on his role as head of the entire Protectorate, as well as the New York branch.
Classification: Shaker (?)
- Amplifier Artifact: His power is all about upgrading.
- Determinator: Interlude 24 reveals that, as a kid, he was almost given the codename "Relentless" for the way in which he pursued members of the kidnapping ring that stole his brother ... and that, as an adult, being lasered in the gut, full of stitches, and barely able to stand wouldn't stop him from charging out and fighting Behemoth within the Endbringer's kill-aura range.
- Invisible to Normals: His power grants him the ability to see certain details of other capes' trigger events, or even their passengers, as a sort of overlay across his vision when he looks at them.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: His primary weapon is his cannonblade, a decorative ceramic blade imbued with the inertia and cutting edge of a much larger weapon, with the weight and balance of a much smaller one.
- This is Chevalier's main power: he can combine all the best properties of objects together.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As opposed to the more Obstructive Bureaucrats in the PRT.
- Vigilante Man: He was recruited into the Wards by Alexandria when he took down the kidnapping ring that caused his parent's car crash and stole his little brother.
Another cape transferred to Brockton Bay at the same time as Adamant and Sere. She flies and puts out a trail of slivers of light — slivers which balloon out to make soft forcefields when they hit solid objects. These forcefields can be broken and escaped without too much trouble, but by targeting a single enemy with enough of them she can keep them still enough to bury in containment foam. (She carries a small containment-foam dispenser for this purpose.)
Classification: Mover, Shaker, Blaster(?)
- Barrier Warrior: She can create forcefields, but without containment form they're fairly easy to break out of.
- Flight: Her secondary ability.
- High Collar of Doom: Has a flared collar built into her costume.
- Weak, but Skilled: Doesn't exactly have the best power, but is skilled at working with it in tandem with a built in containment foam dispenser inside her suit.
Leader of the Los Angeles Protectorate following the death of Alexandria
, a black haired woman wearing a skintight blue costume with fur. Killed by Behemoth.
Kim Mecham (Arbiter)
A member of the Los Angeles team serving under Rime. Her powers include sonic blasts, force field projection and "social thinker" powers that let her pick up languages quickly and sense danger as it trickles through a given person's real-life social networks.
Classification: Blaster, Shaker, Thinker
- Barrier Warrior: Can create forcefields.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Her sonic blasts.
- Omniglot: In Crushed 24.3, she is able to speak Portuguese after a few exchanges of words with a native speaker.
- Spider-Sense: Kind of. She can't sense immediate danger but her riot-sense lets her see threats brewing from individuals associated with the one(s) she's observing.
Second-in-command of the Houston Protectorate. Wears a white costume with steel points rising from his shoulders and his brows; his mask, sculpted into a frown, covers the top half of his face. His power lets him rush to his targets and create a bubble enclosing himself with them in a time-accelerated field where he could use his Super Strength
and Super Toughness
to take them down before releasing the bubble.
Classification: Brute, Shaker (?)
One of the original members of the first Wards team, alongside Miss Militia, Chevalier, Rime, and others. At the first meeting of said team, she carried a shield and a sword, and wore a helmet adorned with mouse ears; what costume she chose to wear as an adult has not been stated. Was captured by the Slaughterhouse Nine before the story began and subjected to Bonesaw's tender ministrations
. Crippled by Panacea and killed by Flashbang during Bonesaw's attempted recruitment of the former.
- Camp: Her shtick as a superhero involved playing up the silliness of it, making her opponents' defeats at her hands even more embarrassing.
- Combo Platter Powers: Taylor describes her as being a "kitchen sink cape."
- Mercy Kill: Flashbang did this for her.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Her power seems to involve being able to 'tag' her opponents when she hits them with an injury that produces an odd smoke, and then teleporting into the cloud later.
The PRT (Parahuman Response Team)
An organization comprised of normal individuals trained to fight against supervillains and support superheroes doing so.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
- Cape Busters: The Parahuman Response Teams — PRT — are organizations of unpowered humans trained and equipped to fight supervillains.
Director Emily Piggot
A heavyset woman with a bleached-blonde bob haircut, leader of the Brockton Bay PRT until she was injured by Circus as part of Coil's coup
; is later seen working as a consultant. As Director, she had authority over the Protectorate team and the Wards team for the Brockton Bay area. Referred to as "Piggy" behind her back. One of exactly two survivors of the ground forces for the mission to take down Jamie Rinke i.e. Nilbog — her job as Director seems to have been intended as a sinecure to buy her silence about how badly the mission was bungled.
- Career-Ending Injury: Her kidneys were destroyed during the Nilbog mission, among other accidents.
- Combat Pragmatist: As reflected in her willingness to carpet-bomb the Slaughterhouse Nine without giving the Undersiders and Travelers a chance to escape.
- Da Chief: The Director is responsible for commanding the local Protectorate, Wards, and PRT agents, as well as coordinating with other agencies.
- Fantastic Racism: She hates and despises parahumans. That said, her feelings towards capes aren't entirely unjustified — during the Nilbog mission, where she was crippled and her entire squad killed, the supporting capes ran for their lives and left the normals to die.
- Handicapped Badass: Was a PRT field agent before her Career-Ending Injury — has only gotten more hardcore since.
- Meaningful Name/Punny Name: She's fat and a bigot.
A former PRT agent, and the other of the two ground forces survivors of the mission to take down Nilbog
. Lost his job for a period of time for having shot his commanding officer for not climbing the rope ladder quickly enough
. Eventually rehired by the PRT and brought in to serve as Brockton Bay's Director after Piggot was injured during Coil's coup. Is secretly Coil.
- Karma Houdini: Escapes long-term blame for shooting his superior officer because the PRT doesn't want to admit how badly they screwed up.
- Social Darwinist: If his reasoning for shooting his commanding officer is any indication.
Director James Tagg
The third Director of the Brockton Bay PRT seen during the story, brought in after Coil/Calvert's death
. A hard, angry man, whose voice has the rasp of a longtime smoker. Married with two adult children. Dead as of Cell 22.4, as of Taylor's hornets, brown recluses, and black widows stinging and biting him even after she's knocked out.
- Determinator: Is fully prepared to spend the next several years losing to the Undersiders because he figures that once the situation is stabilized and help comes from elsewhere the people will forget that PRT lost but they'll remember it fought.
- Too Dumb to Live: Puts a girl who is officially noted to be "prone towards fits of extreme violence" in a cell under the PRT building, which is infested with millions of bugs from her previous time easily overrunning the place, and then tries to provoke her by making her think he's indirectly responsible for the death of one of her friends.
- General Ripper: He's apparently been unhinged ever since the Simurgh attack.
- Eye Scream: Taylor's hornets sting him in the eye repeatedly during her assault.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Has one strapped to his ankle.
- Jerkass: Is a bit of one to be sure to Taylor.
- Knight Templar: If his reasoning for going after Skitter through her father is any indication.
An overweight, poorly-dressed man with variable glasses and hairstyles. Works as PRT Head of Image.
- Hidden Depths: His obsession with Weaver's PR is because he wants her to have a weapon she can use to force the PRT to reform.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: In Drone 23.1, he requires Weaver to use butterflies to fight instead of anything effective. When she tries to talk him out of the restriction in Drone 23.3, he refuses on the grounds that she needs to prove that she's capable of restraining herself given the way she flipped out and killed Alexandria and Director Tagg. But it turns out to be a subversion; he eventually reveals he has a very good reason for being so obsessed with her image, and is entirely willing to break the rules when necessary.
- Reverse Mole: At least from Taylor's perspective. She thinks he's working with the PRT leadership to undermine her with ridiculous rules, when his actual goal is to assist her against them.
- Slave to PR: Well, more like everyone else in the PRT/Protectorate/Wards. Chambers and others in the Image department are the slavemasters. He eventually reveals that he has a very good reason for it, since he understood that Taylor was going to challenge the PRT's leadership, supported her, and realized that a good public image was her most powerful weapon against them.
A dark skinned man who works for the PRT as its liaison and ambassador to unofficial teams across the world. He has a parahuman power of some kind, but it remains unknown.
- Vetinari Job Security: Chevalier would like to replace him, but notes that he's too entrenched for that to work out well.
The junior branch of the Protectorate, in which minors with superpowers are trained and given responsibilities.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
- Heroes R Us: As the junior branch of the Protectorate.
- Kid Hero: The members of the Wards, at least nominally. They transfer to the Protectorate when they turn 18.
- Superhero School: It's where future heroes are trained in the use of their powers.
- There Are No Therapists: Apparently the Brockton Bay Wards would have received no counseling at all in the wake of the Leviathan attack that killed two of their members if it weren't for Weld specifically campaigning for it.
The Wards (Brockton Bay Members)
One of the so-called Case 53s. His body is made of a variety of metals — mostly a dusky dark grey, but with silver tracing his musculature and silver eyes. He has a degree of control over the shape of his body — enough to shape-shift his arms into weapons during combat. He was a member of the Boston Wards until he was brought in to lead the Brockton Bay Wards after the Leviathan attack
; he later moved on to become the leader of the Irregulars after the Noelle fight
Classification: Brute; Changer
- By-the-Book Cop: Described in one place as a "company man", he plays by the rules, fills out all the paperwork correctly, and obeys orders.
- Chrome Champion: As a consequence of being made out of metal.
- Genius Bruiser: One of the reasons that he doesn't like being classified as a 'Brute' for his powers is because he's sharp — on several occasions, such as during the meeting in Plague 12.2 when he pegs Coil's source on Jack Slash's apocalypse as being Dinah Alcott, he is among the quickest to put facts together and figure out what is happening.
- Good Is Not Dumb: A substantial number of readers consider Weld to be the single nicest and most heroic character in the entire series so far. This doesn't stop him from being Properly Paranoid about Shadow Stalker being controlled by Regent.
- Fatal Flaw: A low-end version of No Social Skills, as seen in his introduction, where his attempts at revitalizing his new team are foiled by the fact that he doesn't understand what they're going through and didn't even bother to remember the names of their two dead members. Ultimately leads to his downfall when the Irregulars turn on him to form a lynch mob against Doctor Mother.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: He sees himself as a Fake Ultimate Hero as leader of the Irregulars, admitting to being afraid in spite of his fearless persona.
- Hero Antagonist: To the Undersiders.
- Made of Iron: Literally in some places.
- Primal Fear / And I Must Scream: Although he could survive it, the prospect of jumping into the ocean and walking to safety along the ocean floor terrifies him, as he would be totally isolated and without his only real source of entertainment: music.
- One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce: Due to his peculiar physical makeup, Weld sits in the middle of a happy optimum with regards to the Manton Effect i.e. powers that only work on flesh don't work on him and powers that only work on inorganic matter also do not work on him.
- Only One Name: Since he's a Case 53 who has no memory of his previous life.
- Secret Public Identity: Has no separate civilian name.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: He frequently uses these in battle.
- The Sleepless: He also doesn't eat, drink, or breathe.
- Super Toughness: He's made out of metal. It takes one heck of a hit to so much as affect him.
Leader of the Brockton Bay Wards at the beginning of the story, described as a teenager of Puerto Rican descent with long hair out of costume. Has two powers: flight, and a hyper-adaptable physiology: if any vital organ is damaged, another adapts to take its place. Killed by Leviathan
Classification: Brute; Mover
- Flying Brick: His Healing Factor allows him to play this role for the Brockton Bay Wards.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: He invokes this during fights — because he doesn't have to worry about injuring himself, he can spend the entire fight riding the kind of adrenaline high that lets soccer moms lift cars off their children and throwing punches that break the bones of his hands.
- Goomba Stomp: Leviathan crushes him to a pulp, sucessfully killing him.
- Healing Factor: On top of his adaptable physiology.
A red-haired, freckled kid with thin lips. Was described in the cast page
as the "unofficial second in command" of the Brockton Bay Wards, but was promoted to leader after Weld's departure. His powers allow him to freeze people or objects for an indeterminate period between thirty seconds and ten minutes. This can be used offensively — e.g. by freezing an opponent and then chaining them up — or defensively — e.g. by freezing a piece of paper to make an indestructible barrier.
Has a bit of a rebel streak, as reflected by his choice of superhero name. His costume is a full-body suit, all in white, with animated images of clock faces on it. Killed by Scion during the Extinction Arc. May have been ressurected by Valkyrie/Glastig Uaine in Epilogue 31: End.
Classification: Striker 7
- Deadpan Snarker: Loves to snark.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Finding out that the Triumvirate and a number of other Protectorate capes were agents of Cauldron caused a change in Clockblocker that he never fully recovers from.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: After the Time Skip, Clockblocker's gotten even more cynical, calling humanity a "joke" and mentioning that we deserve what we get.
- Killed Offscreen: During the battle against Scion. Taylor (and by extension, the audience) only find out that he's dead when Glastig Uaine uses his ghost as a weapon.
- The Lancer: For the Brockton Bay Wards, until his promotion to the leadership slot after Weld's departure.
- Man in White: When in costume.
- Red-Headed Hero: When out of costume.
- Time Master: Is a limited version of this, being only able to freeze people or objects time, and only for limited periods (between thirty seconds and ten minutes, randomly).
- Youthful Freckles: Of the traditional red-headed variety.
Chris (Kid Win)
A young brown-haired tinker
on the Brockton Bay Wards. Flies around on a hoverboard fighting with laser guns. Killed by Scion in the Venom arc.
Classification: Tinker 4/(Modular equipment
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: One of his running problems is losing focus halfway through projects and leaving them incomplete. He eventually figures out that the reason why he seemed to be specialized in laser guns was that they were easy to make, and his actual focus is Modular/Multifunction Equipment.
- Character Death: Dies due to Scion shooting him through the chest with a laser.
- Failure Hero: Never actually wins a fight in the story, even as he undergoes Character Development and comes into his own as a Tinker.
- Flight: With his hoverboard, when he hasn't taken the battery out to use on something else.
- Gadgeteer Genius: The only one on the Brockton Bay Wards at the beginning of the story. He initially specializes in various kinds of guns, but he eventually figures out that his power works with technology with lots of different modes, instead.
- Good with Numbers: Remarkably, inverted — he is, in fact, innumerate due to his dyscalculia, but works around it with computer assistance and use of his power.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: He's got some pretty bad self-esteem issues relating to his dyscalculia and his Attention Deficit Disorder. His Failure Hero status probably doesn't help with this.
- Legacy Character: He intentionally modeled himself on Hero, the first famous heroic tinker.
- More Dakka: After the Time Skip, he's covered his costume in so many guns that he looks like a sphere with legs.
- Opt Out: Chooses to sit out the confrontation with the Slaughterhouse Nine when given a choice.
- Swiss-Army Weapon: His true tinker specialty.
Missy Biron (Vista)
The youngest member of the Brockton Bay Wards at thirteen years old and simultaneously the senior team member by nine months over Kid Win, having joined when she was eleven. Vista wears a teal and green costume with a short dress, leggings and panels of body armor, including a breastplate, and has a green visor across her eyes. Has the ability to distort space -- stretching, compressing, bending, etc.
— but the presence of living creatures interferes with her ability. As of Venom 29.2 she is the last remaining member of the original Brockton Bay Wards.
Classification: Shaker 9
- A-Cup Angst: Is self-described as a late bloomer, and isn't exactly crazy about it.
- Broken Bird: See The Fatalist.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gets a scar fighting a cloned Murder Rat post-timeskip, but is actually quite glad about this.
- The Fatalist: Has taken this view after seeing so many of her fellow Wards either leave or die, on top of being aware that the world may end in two years, and Weld even calls her one.
- The Heart: Takes this position on the team after Gallant dies.
- Just a Kid: Vista hates being treated like a child despite being one of the senior members of the Brockton Bay Wards, to the point that she dresses her own wounds and keeps them secret from the other Wards.
- Kid Hero: The youngest member of the Brockton Bay Wards, though she's also one of the senior members of the Brockton Bay Wards due to triggering so early.
- Mundane Utility: She uses her power to compact a set of survival supplies into a small, easily-carried bundle in Sentinel 9.5, and can make travel time shorter by distorting space.
- Odd Friendship: Appears to get along fine with Imp post-timeskip.
- Secret Identity Identity: She mentions in Sentinel 9.5 that she sees herself more as Vista than as Missy Biron, mainly due to the escape it provides from her troubled home life.
- Sole Survivor: Of the remaining members of the Brockton Bay Wards as of Venom 29.2.
- Space Master: Vista can distort space with the difficulty increasing with the amount of living creatures within her range.
- Superhero Packing Heat: Starts carrying a big gun after the Time Skip, which she uses in combination with her powers.
Sophia Hess (Shadow Stalker)
A crossbow-wielding crimefighter with the ability to shift into a shadowy form in order to pass through solid objects and move extra quickly. She began as a solo hero, but was arrested for nearly killing a criminal when she staked him to the wall with a crossbow bolt. As a condition of her parole, she was given probationary status in the Wards and required to use nonlethal ammunition, a requirement she ignores when the Wards aren't looking
. Put in juvie in the aftermath of the plot where Regent controlled her.
Classification: Breaker 3; Stranger 2; Mover 1
- Achilles' Heel: Electricity. Shadow Stalker can pass through surfaces while using her power, but she's just as vulnerable as an ordinary person if she comes in contact with a live current. (Possibly more, since her power means places like her heart and brain can be directly electrocuted.)
- Shadow Stalker has been gunning for Grue ever since she discovered that the latter's power interferes with her own.
- When Skitter accidentally discovers her identity, Shadow Stalker starts gunning for her as well.
- Boxed Crook: As a vigilante who nearly killed someone, she didn't have much of a choice when it came to joining the Wards. She's later released from prison to assist in the fight against Scion.
- The Bully: She's one of Taylor's tormentors at school. Her speciality is in the physical side of things, whilst Emma handles the emotional stuff. It also turns out that she has a habit of bullying other people in her superhero identity, like Vista.
- Freudian Excuse: She really doesn't like her mother's ex-boyfriend. Regent speculates that he may have emotionally abused her, and she's passing it on to everyone else in kind.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Her mother mentions that she's been diagnosed with chronic anger issues. It shows. A lot.
- In a Single Bound: She can use her shadow state to leap great distances, which is how she does her Roof Hopping navigation of Brockton Bay.
- Intangibility: One of the effects of going into her shadow state.
- Jerk Ass: ...Just read everything on this page. No wonder everybody in and out of universe hates her.
- Loners Are Freaks: Does not get along with any of the Wards and prefers to work alone... because it allows her more opportunities to hurt people.
- Nineties Anti-Hero: And she's roundly despised for it.
- She's also a deconstruction of the trope. Her primary targets, Grue and Skitter, are very sympathetic characters in their own right, showing that her philosophy is a sham she uses to justify her violent behavior, and the Wards are very glad to get rid of her after Regent humiliates her — they don't even bother to stop her imprisonment. The main reason they go after the Undersiders is solely because she happened to be a teammate, not out of personal like for her.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Her philosophy as a vigilante and even as a member of the Wards.
- Put on a Bus: Regent runs her out of Brockton Bay after ruining her life via his powers for messing with Taylor.
- The Bus Came Back: She shows up again briefly during Emma's Interlude in juvenile hall, and later reappears in the main story when Taylor decides to let her out to help against Scion.
- The Social Darwinist: Believes that people less vicious than her (e.g. Vista and Taylor) should stay in their place. Which is out of her way. She also only helped out Emma because she tried to fight back against her ABB assailants.
- Sociopathic Hero: The reason she joined the Wards was that it was part of the probation for her use of deadly weapons during her vigilante career. As a member of the Wards, she is strictly prohibited from doing so ... which hasn't stopped her from using them anyway on those she sees as enemies.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: She fights with twin crossbows.
- Teens Are Monsters: Particularly once we find out that she's Sophia Hess.
- Token Evil Teammate: Of the Brockton Bay Wards.
- Trick Arrow: The tranquilizer bolts and other nonlethal ammunition for her crossbow.
- Villainous Breakdown: Appears to have one upon finding out Skitter's identity during Interlude 20.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Two different sources speculate that, like Rachel, her powers affected her personality. Pre-trigger Sophia Hess had no sociopathic tendencies or anger issues.
Dean Stansfield (Gallant)
An empathic cape that can generate bowling ball-sized concussive blasts of energy that alter emotions in addition to packing a punch. On and off boyfriend of Glory Girl. Wears a silver and gunmetal powersuit that is maintained by Armsmaster. Perished in the Endbringer arc via getting his chest caved in by one of Leviathan's tidal waves.
- Character Death: Dies fighting Leviathan due to getting his chest caved in by one of his tidal waves.
- Emotion Bomb: His beams inflict emotional states of his choice in those they strike normally, though Bitch's canine-like mind makes it a bit more random.
- The Empath: One of his powers is seeing emotions in everyone.
- The Heart: Is in many ways the anchor of the Brockton Bay Wards.
- Non-Idle Rich: It is mentioned in passing that his family is quite wealthy.
- Powered Armor: His tinker-made armor grants increased strength, but 80% of it is focused just on allowing him to move quickly while in armor.
A new member of the Brockton Bay Wards at the beginning of the story. Powers include short-range telekinesis and a capacity to alter his own biology. Left town with his family after Leviathan attacked; later seen to have joined another team
- For Science!: Word of God states that at one point in high school, he walked off the side of a boat into March-temperature water because 'he just felt that impulse you sometimes have when you wonder "What would happen if..." and followed through'. This led to his trigger.
- Growing Muscles Sequence: One of the uses of his power is to bulk up.
- Healing Factor/Master of Your Domain: He can repair his own wounds by concentrating on them.
- Measuring the Marigolds: His personality can be best described as missing the forest for the trees.
- Mind over Matter: His short-range telekinesis.
- Punch Clock Hero: He's mainly in the Wards because they can help him with his power, and dislikes getting involved in conflict.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Leviathan wrecked the city, he left town with his family and joined a different branch rather than stay and help.
- Shape Shifter: Can alter his features, but doesn't use that aspect of his powers very often.
Trevor Medina (Chariot)
A lanky kid tinker with big ears who started dashing about in the city in a high-speed armored suit in the wake of Leviathan's attack
. Recruited into the Wards by Kid Win. Secretly working for Coil — but thanks to Kid Win, the PRT knows and is using him as a conduit for misinformation.
Classification: Tinker/Mobile Armor; Mover
- Gadgeteer Genius: Like all mechanical tinkers — his powers focus on mobility.
- The Mole: Coil's inside man, though the Wards are aware of this.
- Opt Out: Chose to sit out the confrontation with the Slaughterhouse Nine when given the choice most likely due to his status as The Mole for Coil.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappeared from the story after being publicly outed as a mole for Coil.
One of the heroes transferred to Brockton Bay in the wake of Echidna.
Has the power to create spherical forcefields and then fill them with intense heat, incinerating anything inside.
The Wards (Chicago Members)
Team captain of the Chicago Wards, one of the teams brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle
. Is a tinker with the ability to sense geology — he wears a powered armor suit with piledriver gauntlets for creating localized earthquakes.
Classification: Tinker; Thinker
A member of the Chicago Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle
. Able to turn into a localized telekinetic whirlwind.
Classification: Breaker; Changer; Stranger
Katherine Oldershaw (Grace)
A member of the Chicago Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle
. A martial artist with enhanced reflexes and the ability to imbue selected body parts with invulnerability and extra striking power.
Classification: Breaker; Striker; Brute (?)
A member of the Chicago Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle
. Creates beams that he controls with his lenses for ranged combat. Receives a dangerous dose of radiation fighting Vista-clones and is revealed to have died of it as of Drone 23.5
Rookie member of the Chicago Wards under Tecton, recruited shortly before Behemoth's attack
. Capable of merging with objects to warp their spatial nature and shape. Wears a white uniform with cowl and metal mask. Killed by Bohu.
Classification: Breaker, Shaker
Theo Anders (Golem)
Rookie member of the Chicago Wards under Tecton, recruited shortly before Behemoth's attack
. Able to embed his limbs into an object's surface to create a larger version a distance away from a similar (not necessarily contiguous) surface, with the effect working more slowly the larger he works. A heavyset boy first seen wearing a generic suit of armor, with helmet.
Classification: Shaker, Striker (?)
- Antagonistic Offspring: To his step-mother, Purity, the leader of the last remnants of Empire Eighty-Eight. He picked his name of Golem as a Take That towards their ideology.
- Determinator: Very much so. He keeps fighting Jack after Jack carves him up with a claymore, and is combat effective enough to bring down buildings throughout Los Angeles, taking down many of the Nine.
- Elemental Powers: The constructs he makes with his power are made out of whatever material the surface he reaches into is made of.
- Fail O'Suckyname:
You named yourself after the little bastard from The Lord
— Golem: No.
] I'm thinking of changing it.
- Ironic Name: He's the heir to a family of neo-Nazi criminals who picked a name that originates from Jewish mythology. This was intentional.
- Took a Level in Badass: Went from a wimpy, overweight teenager who'd barely exercised in his life to a rooftop-hopping superhero that can go toe to toe with members of the Slaughterhouse Nine.
- White Sheep: He's Kaiser's son and a straight-up hero.
Rookie member of the Chicago Wards under Tecton, recruited shortly before Behemoth's attack
. Ferrokinetic capable of shaping metal to some degree, with greater effects if the metal is in direct contact with her skin. Her blue-black metal costume has a breastplate, bands running down each arm and leg, boots, and heavy gauntlets; she wears a white-lensed mask etched with a feminine face and platinum blonde hair in three braids, each bound with a band of the same metal. Rather skittish.
Classification: Brute (?), Striker(?)
- Chain Pain: Fights using chains.
- Extra Ore Dinary: Her metal-shaping powers.
- Girly Bruiser: In comparison to her fellow hand to hand combatant Grace, Cuff is fairly girly.
- Made of Iron: Survived one of Behemoth's lightning bolts, an instant kill on most other capes, though she did get seriously injured.
- Shrinking Violet: Most of the time, with a memorable exception being when she snarled at Weaver for getting her in a tight spot.
- Super Strength: Cuff can use her metallokinesis to enhance the strength of her blows.
The Wards (Others)
A Japanese-American member of the New York Wards who was brought in temporarily to Brockton Bay after the Leviathan attack
. Her power allows her to shift her weapons into a form where they can pass uninhibited through normal matter until it was inside its target
and fly without being affected by gravity
. They grant her enhanced timing and coordination as well. In the wake of Echidna, she quits the Wards to become Parian's lieutenant, abandoning the tinker-made arbalest and changing her codename to Foil.
According to Scion
, her powers stem from the "sting" shard, which was one of a number of weapons created by the Entities to hurt and kill one another, allowing them sever connections to shards and strike all possible versions of the target in all realities.
Classification: Striker; Blaster
- A Twinkle in the Sky: Foil gets launched out into the Bay by Scion so hard that she's little more than a speck on the horizon.
- An Arm and a Leg: Loses a hand fighting Scion in Speck 30.5.
- Conveniently an Orphan: According to Word of God the main reason that Lily is so easily able to transfer between Wards departments whenever they need extra muscle is because she's an orphan.
- Faking the Dead: 'Dead' is a rather complicated concept here, but she uses her enhanced sense of timing to fake being looped by Gray Boy so she can get the drop on him and kill him.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: She has a chain-fabricating machine which, combined with her power, allows her to use her arbalest as one of these.
- Meaningful Name: The literal translation of the word "Lily" into Japanese is "Yuri". Lily is, in fact, a lesbian.
- No Arc in Archery: A secondary effect of her power is that the imbued objects are not affected by gravity.
- Nonindicative Name: Her superhero title dates back to when she fought with thrown blades.
- Number Two: To Parian, starting in Interlude 21.
- Royal Rapier: Gets one upon becoming Foil.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Admits in Sentinel 9.2 that she has a crush on Parian. She admits her feelings in Interlude 21, when she quits the Wards to become her Number Two.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: At the time of the story, her primary weapon is an arbalest — a massive crossbow.
- Unblockable Attack: Because her power can cause objects to not interact with normal matter until they are already inside their targets. This is revealed to be because Foil can strike a target in every possible universe, as her power was once used as a weapon by the interdimensional entities. In fact, her shots can completely cancel out most parahumans' defensive abilities as well as physical barriers, including Healing Factors and time manipulation. Even Scion isn't immune.
- Variable-Length Chain: The aforementioned chain-fabricating machine effectively gives her this.
A member of the Texas Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle
. Able to make short-lived duplicates who perform the exact same actions that their prototypes did.
Classification: Breaker; Mover
Strapping Lad: Texas Wards
One of the heroes brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle
. Has (apparently) the ability to absorb injuries from his allies and then transfer them to his opponents.
- Blessed with Suck: When he absorbs someone's injuries, he experiences them himself.
Scapegoat: Hate my power, hate my power, hate it, hate it, hate it.
- Empathic Healer: Almost — the effect is conditional on neither him nor his target being subjected to any severe impacts or injuries in the hour or six following the procedure.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: How his powers work.
- Liquid Assets: He effectively drains negative conditions from the people he uses his power on.
- Quantum Mechanics Can Do Anything: Tattletale's explanation of his powers invokes the many-worlds hypothesis by stating that it works by passing off the injuries of someone to their counterparts in other universes.
A Case 53 in the Wards West (i.e. San Diego's team). An eight-foot tall muscular girl whose spine is bent almost to a hunchback, whose teeth have a severe overbite, and whose long hair is dark and tied in braids. Like Weld, she wears no mask. She carries a massive shovel, although her earth-manipulating powers don't require it. Joins the Irregulars in the aftermath of the fight with Noelle
- Dishing Out Dirt: Her power is not explicitly described, but Tecton says that he is only as powerful as he is because he was able to study what she did.
- False Friend: Along with the rest of the Irregulars, she lets Weld give them leadership and focus, and then turns on him when they've fought their way to Doctor Mother and he doesn't want to kill her.
- Number Two: Of the Wards West, much to her frustration.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair reaches nearly to her toes.
- Shovel Strike: One presumes. It is known that she can use her power through it.
The current Captain of the New York Wards, who is described as wearing a medieval getup with a lance in hand. His main power works by being channeled through his lance and striking an opponent, with the effects including concussive blasts, fire, ice, lightning, suction and disintegration. He also possesses short-burst superspeed. Killed by Night Hag.
Classification, Blaster, Striker, Mover
The current captain of the Los Angeles Wards, a black male in a flamboyant forest green and silver costume. His powers include super strength and reflexes that increase with the amount of opponents he's facing, as well as short range teleportation.
Classification: Brute, Mover
The captain of the Austin Wards, described as a blonde girl with a costume that incorporated a kerchief with eyeholes over the upper half of her face, and a jacket and jeans in what appears to be black-painted chainmail, making her look more like a desperado than a superhero. Her powers include enhanced strength and toughness, as well as the ability to make targeted explosions whenever she strikes or is struck by anything.
Classification: Brute, Striker(?)
Captain of the Las Vegas Wards. Removed from his position when he was revealed to be a Cauldron cape and murdered a PRT Thinker. Body-snatcher. Killed by Scion in Alexandria's body.
- People Puppets: His main power, which he uses to possess Alexandria's brain-dead body.
A group of heroes consisting of two related nuclear families formally known as the Brockton Bay Brigade, who changed their name after deciding to reveal their identities to the world. They believe in superheroes without secrets and full accountability, though the movement stalled upon the murder of one of their members in her civilian identity.
- Light is Good: Aside from a good portion of their members having light based powers, they also all dress in white with highlights in their individual colors.
- Super Family Team: Two of them.
- Secret Public Identity: The members of New Wave believe that capes should have full accountability for their actions, and as such revealed their secret identities to the world.
Sarah Pelham (Lady Photon/Photon Mom)
Debatably the leader of New Wave. Her sister is Brandish, her husband Manpower, and her children Laserdream and Shielder. Her powers include flight, Hard Light
beams, and force fields. She is attractive, with a heart-shaped face, full lips, and straight blonde hair; her costume includes a tiara and an indigo starburst on her chest with several lines (fading from indigo to purple) extending outwards from the center. Killed fighting Scion in Speck 30.5.
Classification: Blaster 4; Mover 3; Shaker 3
Neil Pelham (Manpower)
A seven-foot-tall powerfully-built man in a white and yellow costume. His power is reported to be electromagnetic augmentation that gives him enhanced strength and durability. Killed by Leviathan.
Classification: Breaker, Brute
Crystal Pelham (Laserdream)
Lady Photon's daughter. Has similar powers (and features) to her mother, but with stronger beams and weaker shields. Her costume has a stylized arrow pointing down and to the right with a dozen lines tracing behind it over her left shoulder; the design fades from ruby red to magenta. She also wears a red hairband.
Classification: Blaster; Mover; Shaker
Eric Pelham (Shielder)
Lady Photon's son, and Laserdream's younger brother. The child with stronger shields and weaker beams. Was killed by Leviathan.
Classification: Blaster; Mover; Shaker
Mark Dallon (Flashbang)
Husband to Brandish. His power creates bouncing orbs of light that can detonate concussively or explosively. Suffered long-term brain damage fighting Leviathan, but was cured by Panacea under Bonesaw's coercion.
Wears a white costume with padding and helmet — the costume is marked with a green-yellow grenade icon.
- Badass: Goes straight from brain-damaged invalid to Bonesaw-beating superhero combat veteran in one second flat.
- Light 'em Up: His light powers involve throwing orbs that detonate either concussively or explosively, making them almost literal examples of Holy Hand Grenades.
Carol Dallon (Brandish)
The wife of Flashbang, she works as a civilian lawyer who triggered after being attacked by a gunman who she trusted. Has the ability to create weapons and martial shields out of hard light, and can condense herself into a bouncing sphere of hard light, being effectively invincible and untouchable at the cost of all mobility. Wears a costume of white and orange with a crossed-blade symbol.
Classification: Striker 5; Shifter 1
- Black and White Morality: Sees the world in terms of purely good and evil, which is probably where Glory Girl and Panacea get it from.
- Hard Light: She can form light into weaponry, or into an orb she uses to bounce around.
- Parental Neglect: She made no secret of the fact that she never wanted to adopt Amy and she admits that her poor parenting was a big factor in the final fate of her two daughters. Ironically, she admits that she only feels like Amy's mother after she drops her off to spend the rest of her life in the Birdcage... having disliked Amy from the beginning because of her resemblance to Marquis.
Victoria Dallon (Glory Girl)
A tall blonde bombshell, dressed in a white dress (with Modesty Shorts
), cape, high boots, and a golden tiara. A Flying Brick
who radiates energy that emboldens her allies and frightens her enemies. Crippled during the Slaughterhouse Nine arc; subsequently residing in a parahuman psychiatric hospital.
Classification: Mover; Brute; Shaker
- Achilles' Heel: See Flying Brick below. Crawler manages to shoot her in the face with acid while she's weakened.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Glory Girls invulnerability and strength has made her very cocky and arrogant. Tattletale, Skitter, and the Nine prove her attitude is very wrong.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: If she held in her fury long enough for Panacea to undo her accidental brain rewiring, both she and her sister would be in a much better place mentally and physically at the end of the story.
- Black and White Morality: Sees the world this way, hence why she's very violent with criminals.
- Emotion Bomb: She can create an aura which causes nearby people to feel awe — which, for her opponents, is basically pure intimidation.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride. While not quite fatal, her arrogance plays a major role in her ultimate fate.
- Fate Worse than Death: Her sister, Panacea, turns her into a horrifying, utterly-paralyzed mockery of herself that can only communicate by blinking.
- Flying Brick: Her power includes a unique forcefield that makes her very tough and strong. But after she gives or takes a big hit her forcefield shorts out for a moment, making her vulnerable.
- Intimidation Demonstration: She likes to start encounters with bad guys by doing one of these.
- Ground-Shattering Landing: One of her signatures.
Spotting her target, she whooped and plunged for the ground, gaining speed where anyone else would be slowing down. She hit the asphalt hard enough to crack it and send fragments of it into the air, touching ground with her knee and foot, one arm extended. She stayed in that kneeling position for just heartbeats, letting her platinum curls and the cape that was draped over one of her shoulders flutter in the wake of air that had followed her descent. She met the eyes of her quarry with a steely glare.
She'd practiced that landing for weeks to get it right.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Panacea calls her out in Interlude 2 for the way she tends to use excessive force (e.g. knocking down a fleeing thug by sending an entire dumpster flying into him).
Amy Dallon/Amelia Claire Lavere (Panacea)
Panacea is the biological daughter of the supervillian Marquis
and the adopted daughter of the capes Flashbang and Brandish. Her power is commonly understood as healing others, but it is actually the ability to control the biology of any creature she touches. She wears a white hooded robe with a red cross on the front and rear, and a scarf covering the lower half of her face. Underneath, she is mousy, with brown frizzy hair and freckles. Confessed to inflicting Body Horror on her sister and voluntarily incarcerated herself in the Birdcage, where she stays with Marquis.
Classification: Striker 9
- Black and White Morality: Panacea's view of superheroes and villains, at least at first.
- Bi the Way: It is implied that she has had feelings for both Glory Girl, her adopted sibling, and Gallant, Glory Girl's former boyfriend.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Except she was actually crushing on Victoria alone and hated Gallant for having her when she couldn't.
- Bio-Augmentation: Her real power is ability to manipulate the biology of whatever she touches.
- Body Horror: What she ends up doing to Glory Girl.
- Despair Event Horizon: After the Body Horror, she ends up just giving up and volunteering to be put in the Birdcage for the sake of everyone else, later becoming a true villain.
- Fallen Hero: In the wake of the Slaughterhouse Nine arc.
- The Fettered: Panacea has strict rules about how she'll use her powers, for what turn out to be very good reasons.
- Fingore: Ends up losing a few fingers over the course of the Slaughterhouse Nine arc.
- Fountain of Youth: Panacea is mentioned to have the ability to de-age someone twenty years with her healing abilities.
- Generation Xerox: Much like Marquis, she also has an inflexible code of rules.
- Healing Hands: Panacea has them and all the Required Secondary Powers that go with it.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Unfortunately, Glory Girl wasn't listening due to what had just happened. See Power Incontinence below.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Her love for her adopted sister, Glory Girl, causes her to end up in a very bad place mentally via modifying her sexuality.
- Mind Rape: Regent describes her modifying Glory Girl's mind as this.
- The Medic: The common understanding of Panacea's power, though unfortunately she lacks a Healing Factor due to her powers only working on others.
- Not Blood Siblings: Has a crush on Glory Girl.
- Plaguemaster: Can turn any microbe that touches her skin into a deadly plague.
- Poor Communication Kills: Skitter's diagnosis of why she had her Face-Heel Turn.
- Power Incontinence: She experiences a loss of control that causes her to brainwash Glory Girl immediately after she was targeted by Bonesaw.
- Required Secondary Powers: Panacea mentions that she's unable to get sick, though she can't control her own biology like she can with others.
- Samaritan Syndrome: Spends hours every day going to hospitals and curing people, because she couldn't live with herself if she didn't.
- Sanity Slippage: Gradually begins suffering from this when Bonesaw first visits her. It eventually culminates in her attempting to "heal" Glory Girl and the resulting Body Horror, and Amy finally requesting that she be sent to the Birdcage for everyone's safety.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Tattletale, Glory Girl, and Panacea herself are horrified by her accidentally rewiring Victoria's mind so that she's attracted to girls, more specifically Panacea..
- Youthful Freckles: Of the brunette variety.
A group of Christian-themed superheroes from the South who sent members to Brockton Bay to track down the Fallen.
Tropes for the group as a whole:
Linda Brown (Rosary)
A young woman with the power to deconstruct and reconstitute matter, with telekinesis to control the shards created by the process.
- Kneel Before Zod: Taylor forces Rosary to bow before her before allowing her to help take Valefor away once Taylor was done dealing with him.
- Mind over Matter: Can control the matter she's deconstructed using telekinesis.
- Petal Power: The matter deconstructed by her power often takes the form of petals and shards.
- Reality Warper: Her ability is control over matter.
Michael Walsh (Halo)
A man whose main power is flight and the ability to create a golden ring with a cutting edge that can create forcefields and fire lasers.
Classification: Shaker, Blaster, Mover
China's main superhero team, independent of the PRT and Protectorate. They mainly remained within China for about a decade, claiming that the PRT and Protectorate were corrupt, until showing up during the Behemoth fight in New Delhi.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Their training program, which consists of cult-style indoctrination techniques and integration into the group, seems to be seen as this, with "The Greater Good" being "The good of the Chinese Union-Imperial."
- Curb-Stomp Battle: A group of them are on the receiving end of one courtesy of Simurgh in 28.5.
- Later, Weaver, her powers unlocked by Panacea, turns all two hundred of them into People Puppets in a matter of minutes.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Tōng Líng Tǎ, also known as Ziggurat, is an earth-manipulator on a geographic scale, and one of the members that doesn't receive the benefit of their Super Empowering.
- Super Empowering: The Yàngbǎn have Null, a cape that is capable of giving others the exact same power en masse by taking them from others. It causes a proportional reduction in the potency of said powers for each individual, but they also have Two, a cape with the power to amplify the powers of others. The interaction between the two goes some way to mitigating the above downside. Null also appears to be able to use his power on multiple groups at once, creating multiple subgroups with differing specialties.
- The Smart Guy: Shén Yù, the strategist who uses Null's power to the best possible effect. He also appears to have some form of Combat Clairvoyance, letting him sense incoming attacks to let him launch instant counterattacks.
- You Are Number Six: In Interlude 23, we discover that the members of the official team are only referred to by serial numbers, and their powers are given terminology that divorces them from their original capes. For instance, Perdition's power is referred to as the "thirty-sixth path."