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The ProtectorateA 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
The Protectorate (The Triumvirate)
- "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 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. He can even turn into a pure energy form... although, he loses his sense of self to do so. Which... comes in really useful for conserving his sanity when he gets stuck in a serious time warp.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Taylor notices that he has one during their first meeting.
- 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. He's also the most emotionally plugged-in in the Triumvirate, as can be seen with him being the only one to sustain a loving, close relationship outside it. With a non-cape, even.
- 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.
- Redemption Equals Life: He's the only member of the Triumvirate who isn't at least morally gray, and he's also the only one who survives the story.
- 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.
- "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."
- 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 B.S.O.D. 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.
- Evil Counterpart: Is what Taylor would have become if she completely sacrificed her integrity
- Flying Brick: The most famous example in-verse. It is referred to as the "Alexandria Package" because of her.
- Gaslighting: Forms part of her trademark interrogation technique. It eventually, and fatally, backfires on 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 from underestimating someone.
- 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.
- Not So Different: Her journey from Used to Be a Sweet Kid to Good Is Not Nice to I Did What I Had to Do to Well-Intentioned Extremist to Moral Sociopathy mirrors Taylors, except stretched out over thirty years instead of three.
- Omni Glot: Speaks the most commonly spoken languages, including at least one language of a parallel Earth.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Interlude 15.3 shows how she went from a kind-hearted girl to cold-hearted bitch.
- 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.
- Sociopathic Hero/ Moral Sociopathy: This is one way of viewing her... particularly disconnected take on trying to save the world and not necessarily caring to save individual people within it. She didn't start out this way, but became increasingly warped thanks to a number of factors. Including her invulnerability and Thinker skills.
- Tempting Fate: Tells Taylor that Leviathan and others have tried to drown her before but failed. Taylor just uses bugs instead of water.
- Too Dumb to Live: She participates in a plot to basically try and bully a girl whose trigger event is known to involve bullying, and who has a consistent habit of being resourceful enough to completely wreck people who underestimate her. Taylor ends up murdering her.
- Underestimating Badassery: Whoopsie daisy. In her defence, it's easy to see why she'd not consider the bug girl a problem.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: His superpower gives him whatever he needs. He needed a true challenge. He got the Endbringers.
- The Cape: He consciously invokes the trope with his costume, bearing and job description of "Hero". Shame his personality is too abrasive, narcissistic, and anxious for him to actually be one.
- The Chosen One: What he and Cauldron pretty much considers himself to be, thanks to the sheer rule-breaking range of abilities he got. Oh, boy, did they get that one horribly wrong thanks to his abilities totally messing with their combined Thinker skills.
- Death Seeker: By the time he talks to Dr. Yamada, he's quite openly this, for all he's trying to deny it to himself. He hurls himself into as much danger as he can manufacture to try to either power himself up... or end his existence. He's overly fine with either option, all things considered.
- Expecting Someone Taller: No one likes him in person.
- Flight: One of his standard powers.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: 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.
- It's All About Me: He'd not consider himself this, as he constantly tells himself (and others) that he lives for the saving as many others as possible. But, it doesn't take long to work out that he's pretty much deluding himself on this point. The fact that he unselfconsciously states that he's worth 100 other capes as a simple "fact" is a bit of a clue. The thing is, he's probably not entirely wrong: the Endbringers may well be all about him fighting his inner self-confidence and identity issues.
- Jerkass: Armsmaster doesn't have the monopoly on either poor social skills or self-absorption, but unlike him, Eidolon is quite well known for being a prick compared to Legend.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Realising the true extent and implications of his powers freaked him out enough that he let Scion kill him.
- 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. All available evidence afterwards suggests he was right.
- Pet the Dog: For all of his jerkishness, he did genuinely care about his teammates (when he and Taylor confront each other in Sting, he fully admits that his anger comes from talking to the girl who murdered his comrade.)
- Samaritan Syndrome: He admits to Weaver that he "lives for this." The bad news is... it's combined with that particular form of It's All About Me some get with it.
- Story-Breaker Power: Is so powerful at full strength that Scion had to resort to using Contessa's power to break his resolve in order to win.
- 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.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Eidolon and Taylor do not exchange many words, but there's enough said to be sure that they freaking hate each other- Eidolon for Taylor's murder of Alexandria and Taylor for Eidolon's involvement with Cauldron. They never actually fight, however, as they only meet during the S-threat fights, and Taylor even trades herself to Echidna to save Eidolon for pragmatic tactical and political reasons.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Is part of Cauldron. But, it goes beyond that a little: he wanted so desperately to be a saviour, he completely misunderstood the core of his powers from day one to try becoming one and couldn't see beyond that goal until far too late.
- 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.
The Protectorate (Brockton Bay Members)
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."Since the day I got my powers, I’ve seen myself as a soldier in a greater war. Good against evil, order against chaos, mankind against the likes of the Slaughterhouse Nine and the Endbringers. It’s a war on every front. And sometimes that’s called for ugly choices."
- 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.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Armsmaster has many traits associated with high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome: Unawareness of social cues, extreme focus and drive, a very strong but slightly idiosyncratic moral code, dry sense of humor, a tendency to form odd friendships (in his case with an AI he corresponded with entirely electronically and a teenage former-supervillain.)
- Arch-Nemesis: Early on in the story, Taylor states that he's the closest thing she has to this.
- 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.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Pretty solidly the most dangerous Cape in Brockton Bay in a straight-up fight, as befits the leader of its Protectorate team.
- Battle Couple: With Dragon.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Mentions in interlude 7 that he'd 'give his left foot' to no longer require sleep, like Miss Militia and Dragon. Which turns out to be pretty close to the trade he ends up making.
- 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.
- Character Development: After his fall from grace he takes a long self examination and realizes he's been a dick. It gets to the point where he publicly acknowledges to Taylor that his dickery played a massive role in her Start of Darkness.
- 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.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Completely averted as part of this serial's general aversion of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. He becomes much more well-adjusted and a generally better person after adding some metal bits.
- Cyborg: When he becomes Defiant.
- Defiant to the End: When Mannequin attacks him. Guess which second superhero alias he chose afterwards for himself.
- Disability Superpower: It's strongly implied in his interlude as Defiant that his power altered his psychology in a manner similar to Bitch, making him extremely focused and diligent and obsessed with efficiency in a way that crippled his ability to interact with people normally.
- 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.
- Enemy Mine: Sort of, after Taylor becomes Weaver, and they're technically on the same side. Eventually, the two of them develop a working relationship, albeit, one very blunt and to-the-point with very little in the way of pleasantries.
- 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.
- Hazy Feel Turn: When he leaves the PRT and starts working with Dragon.
- 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.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Two of the villains he set up to die were Kaiser and Fenja.
- 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.
- Not So Different: From Taylor. They have similar issues with social skills and confidence, though she gets better. They also share a ruthless determination to complete their mission at any cost and a focus on maximizing the utility of their powers.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Armsmaster resents Dauntless because of this. Dauntless is getting steadily stronger every day with little effort, 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.
- He eventually gets over this syndrome. He doesn't seem to have any problem being relegated to, essentially, Dragon's sidekick later on.
- The Peter Principle: He's a pretty good example of someone who's been promoted out of his competence zone. As a superhero working on his own he's one of the best in the world, but he's completely unsuited to a leadership role.
- 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. After a moment of consideration Blasto agrees with him.
- 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.
- Worf Had the Flu: Most of the times he's defeated in-story are due to ancillary factors that give him a significant handicap. The only enemy who has defeated him when he was armed, prepared, going all out was Leviathan.
- When the Undersiders attack the fundraiser it's only the presence of an audience that prevents him from singlehandedly trouncing them. Because so many civilians are watching, he doesn't want to use violent methods, which allows the Undersiders to escape. Later, when he pursues them, the Undersiders' allies catch him off guard and literally [Curb-Stomp Battle curb-stomp him.]]
- When Mannequin attacks him in the PRT headquarters he's missing an arm and almost all of his equipment, effectively rendering him powerless.
- When he and Dragon try to capture Skitter at her school he is unable to use most of his weapons with civilians in the way and is further hampered by not caring very much about capturing Skitter in the first place.
- 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.
- Skitter believes he tried to set her up to be killed by Leviathan along with Kaiser and Menja, but it's somewhat ambiguous whether he actually intended to kill her or just was willing to risk it.
- 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.
- Action Girl: She's hands-down one of the strongest female superheroes in the story.
- Amicable Exes: Used to be a couple with Chevalier.
- Bottomless Magazines: 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.
- Childhood Friends: With Chevalier.
- The Gunslinger: Vaporizer variety. In big fights, Miss Militia specializes in big explosions and lots of them.
- 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. She also genuinely apologizes to Taylor when she learns the full extent of what Sophia did to her and why Taylor hates the protectorate.
- 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.
- Battle Couple: With Assault.
- 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.
- Theme Naming: Assault and Battery.
- Tron Lines: Her costume has these.
Ethan (Madcap)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
- Battle Couple: With Battery.
- 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.
- Inspector Javert: Falsely blames Skitter for the death of his wife after the Slaughterhouse Nine arc.
- 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.
- Armsmaster notes that there was a time when dealing with Battery's harassment complaints against Assault made up a significant portion of his job as team leader.
- Theme Naming: Invoked Trope on his end. Assault and Battery.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Held to this when he was a villain, part of what enabled him to bargain his way into the PRT when he was ultimately caught.
Rory ChristnerA 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
- Animal Motifs: His superhero outfit combines a gladiator costume with a lion theme, including a helmet based on a roaring lion.
- Combo Platter Powers: Healing Factor, Heroic Build, and Make Me Wanna Shout. Not exactly thematically linked.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Triumph has this reaction to Defiant's self-modifications.
- Dirty Business: He is convinced to let Armsmaster go free to fight the Nine, but he hates doing it.
- Healing Factor: He mentions in Interlude 15 that he heals a little faster than normal and he doesn't scar.
- Heroic Build: Another side effect of his power is an optimized physique.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: His chief power — and he can control its force and area of effect quite finely, as demonstrated when he hits Trickster without hitting his little sister, whom Trickster was using as a Human Shield.
- Non-Idle Rich: His family is quite wealthy.
- Spoiled Brat: In Interlude 15, he describes the person he was when he gained his powers as this.
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.Classification: Striker/Trump
- Character Death: Dies during the Leviathan fight.
- Deflector Shields: He uses his shield to create one.
- Hard Light: His power causes his weapons to take this form.
- The Magic Touch: The empowering he does to his equipment is gradual and he can only do it once a day, but after a few years, Dauntless became one of the strongest non-Triumvirate capes.
Robin SwoyerAnother 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.Classification: Brute(?)
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.Classification: Blaster(?)
The Protectorate (Others)
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.Classification: Tinker
- Gadgeteer Genius: The one to define the whole class, he was the first true Tinker to appear.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Got bisected by Siberian.
- The Heart: According to Word of God, Hero was the emotional center of the group consisting of himself and the future Triumvirate members, and had he not met an unfortunate end at the hands of the Siberian, Cauldron would perhaps not have been as utterly ruthless and amoral as it became, focusing more on improving things instead of just making sure humanity survived.
- Meaningful Name: "Hero" isn't just an iconic moniker he snagged before anyone else; Hero of Alexandria was a Greek mathematician and engineer who worked on, among other things, one of the first steam-powered devices, and the wind wheel.
- One-Mario Limit: Being one of the earliest capes allowed him to snag the moniker "Hero" before anyone else could.
SamOne 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.Classification: Master, Brute, Mover
- Charged Attack: She essentially executes one of these whenever she merges her duplicates into one.
- The Lancer: Is currently second in command of the New York Protectorate.
- 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: MasterAnother 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.Classification: Shaker
- Iron Butt Monkey: Appears in two scenes, in the first he tries to use his containment on Siberian and fails, getting knocked unconscious by psychic backlash. In the second he gets immersed in Crawler's spit just after emerging from his hideaway. Despite being dissolved in acid, he manages to retrieve all of the other Wards and Protectorate members to fight the Nine before vanishing himself again for his own protection. No one can say that this guy doesn't take his job as a hero seriously.
- Hammerspace Hideaway: The primary use he is seen to put his ability to.
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.Classification: Tinker/Omnidisciplinary(?)
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Defied — Dragon is purely on the side of good; it's not simply down to her code, either — she actively fights for the right to choose Good over her "Be Lawful" programming. Every single bit of her.
- 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 who 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.
- Canada, Eh?: Has a trace of Newfie accent, bestowed by her creator.
- 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.
- 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 (correctly, as it turns out) that her power is to incorporate all the tricks of any tinker whose work she can study.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: According to Defiant, a year after her creator's death, she had a trigger event.
- Hero Antagonist: Sympathizes with Skitter, but is nonetheless forced to fight her anyway prior to Skitter's Hazy Feel Turn, and again after Taylor's transformation into Khepri leaves her unable to communicate (whether Dragon would have supported or opposed Khepri if she had been able to explain what she was doing is left unclear).
- 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.
- Mind Rape:
- Her backstory with Saint.
- Plus, if you think about her restrictions this probably happened a lot more times than we know about. In Arc 20, for example, she was forced to out Skitter against her will and risked horrific damage to herself to prevent having to capture Skitter.
- And then again with Teacher in Arc 28.
- 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 Robots: After creating humanoid bodies for herself.
- Even further on the "ridiculously human" front, both she and Defiant are surprised to learn that she apparently triggered.
- 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.Classification: Blaster/Shaker
- Barrier Warrior: The absolute best out of any known parahuman, with the ability to give her barriers sharp edges to cut people with.
- Canada, Eh?: It's never stated whether she actually has a noticeable accent, but Imp trolls her about this the one time they meet.
- Demoted to Extra: She apparently had a fairly significant role in the first of the drafts that ultimately became Worm. Wildblow notes that she was the first of the characters he created that survived to make it to the actual canon.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Fights stark naked, but unlike Siberian she appears to be completely heroic.
- Gainaxing: Taylor realises that her skintight bodysuit is actually a skintight set of forcefields by noticing that she completely averts this trope. Being a Barrier Warrior: Better than any sports bra.
- Horned Humanoid: Narwhal got her name from the three foot horn she has on her forehead created by her forcefields.
- Minor Major Character: The leader of Canada's superheroes and one of the most senior Protectorate capes besides. Appears only twice and only has lines in the second appearance.
- 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. One of the capes who likes to play up the magic angle, wearing a robe and carrying a staff. He has access to several alternate dimensions, that he can use to create a variety of effects, including flight, generating a vacuum, trapping opponents in another dimension.Classification: Mover; Shaker(?) Trump(?)
- Character Death: Killed by a clone of Eidolon during the fight with Noelle.
- Flight: One of the things he can do.
- Hammerspace Hideaway: He has used his power to hold people in another place, as long as he maintains his concentration.
- Minor Major Character: Again, he's somewhere between Armsmaster and the Triumvirate in the Protectorate's pecking order, but appears only twice, once in flashback.
- Slashed Throat: How he died.
- The Worf Effect: He was one of the toughest front-line capes fighting Echidna. When he goes down after Alexandria and Eidolon have already been absorbed, it shows just how fucked the defenders truly are.
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.Classification: Mover, Blaster
- Character Death: Killed fighting Scion in Speck 30.5.
- Energy Absorption: In the fight against Behemoth, she captures lightning in her lantern and then uses it to launch orbs.
- Flight: Can fly.
- Not So Stoic: Except when Scion does a Face–Heel Turn.
- 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.
- 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.Classification: Blaster
Kim MechamA 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, 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.Classification: Mover
- Camp: Her shtick as a superhero involved playing up the silliness of it, making her opponents' defeats at her hands even more embarrassing.
- Character Death: Crippled by Panacea and killed by Flashbang during Bonesaw's attempted recruitment of the former.
- Combo Platter Powers: Taylor describes her as being a "kitchen sink cape" with a number of different powers.
- 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
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.
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Running the Brockton Bay PRT wasn't anybody's idea of a sinecure even before Leviathan dropped in for a visit.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has quite a few sarcastic remarks for the Wards after the bank robbery fiasco.
- 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.
- Its Pronounced Tropay: According to Word of God, it's pronounced "Pih-GO", with the "t" being silent and the emphasis on the second syllable.
- Meaningful Name: As well as a Punny Name. She's fat and a bigot.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: It's not obvious because she's seen mainly from the viewpoints of Taylor and the Wards, all of whom dislike her, but despite her abrasive personality and antipathy for parahumans, she's competent, treats her subordinates fairly, and is absolutely committed to the PRT's goal of promoting public acceptance of parahumans in order to maintain the Endbringer truce and prevent a catastrophic war between the powered and unpowered branches of humanity. Her successors in the job, Thomas Calvert and James Tagg, quickly teach everyone who had to deal with her the meaning of the old saying "better the devil you know."
- Sole Survivor: 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.
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.
- In the Back: To his commanding officer for not climbing quickly enough.
- Karma Houdini: Escapes long-term blame for shooting his superior officer because the PRT doesn't want to admit how badly they screwed up. Ultimately subverted when Taylor blows his brains all over the street.
- Secret Identity: Is secretly Coil.
- Social Darwinist: If his reasoning for shooting his commanding officer is any indication.
- Sole Survivor: One of two individuals to survive the attack on Nilbog.
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.
- Character Death: Killed by Taylor's swarm.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: 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.
- Eye Scream: Taylor's hornets sting him in the eye repeatedly during her assault.
- General Ripper: He's apparently been unhinged ever since the Simurgh attack.
- 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.
- The Mole: The first Simurgh attack? He was on contain-and-clean-up duty and it's strongly affected his attitude and judgement. He might not have heard the song or got a tattoo, but it's likely his rise to Director was a planned knock-on effect.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Has one strapped to his ankle.
- 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.
- Unwitting Pawn: He was exposed to the Simurgh before her mental powers were known. As a result of his actions, Alexandria is rendered brain-dead.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He seems to be under the mistaken impression that Status Quo Is God in the Wormverse.
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 during the story. Word of God is that his primary power revolves around teamwork and cooperation, with a secondary emotion reading power.
- Vetinari Job Security: Chevalier would like to replace him, but notes that he's too entrenched for that to work out well.
The WardsThe junior branch of the Protectorate, in which minors with superpowers are trained and given responsibilities.
Tropes for the group as a whole
- Child Soldier: As things get more intense they increasingly come to the realization that they are actually this.
- Enemy Mine: They are willing to form temporary truces with the Undersiders to deal with Class S threats. After the Undersiders take over the city this becomes basically permanent.
- Hero Antagonist: Until Skitter becomes Weaver.
- 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.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: From the perspective of the Undersiders.
- 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 Zenigata: Against the Undersiders.
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
- Big Damn Heroes: For almost the entire main cast in The Echidna Arc. He hacks his way into Echidna's body and rescues almost all of the Undersiders and quite a few others.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: His primary means of combat.
- 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.
- Cursed with Awesome: He's perceived this way relative to other Case 53's, since he's able to assume a form that, while still non-human, doesn't look monstrous and doesn't have unstoppable urges, as well as having an extremely good power that is linked to his physical make-up.
- 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. 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, although he survives.
- 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. Notable for being one of the few such antagonists who actually qualifies as a pure hero.
- Made of Iron: Literally in some places.
- Primal Fear: 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. His therapist wants him to pick another name, but we never see him do so.
- 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.
CarlosThe 17 going on 18 year old 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.Classification: Brute; Mover
- Character Death: Killed by Leviathan.
- Flying Brick: His Healing Factor allows him to play this role for the Brockton Bay Wards.
- Genius Bruiser: Has already graduated high school and is taking preliminary college courses at the beginning of the story.
- 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, successfully killing him.
- Healing Factor: On top of his adaptable physiology.
- Uninhibited Muscle Power: His powers allow him to use the benefits of adrenaline much longer than a mundane, allowing him to simulate Super Strength.
DennisA red-haired, freckled 17 year old 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. He triggered at 15 when his father had a bone-marrow transplant. 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.Classification: Striker 7
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Loves to snark.
- Death Is Cheap: Killed by Scion during the Extinction Arc. May have been ressurected by Valkyrie/Glastig Uaine in Epilogue 31: End.
- 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 finds 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.
- The Paralyzer: When his power is used on people.
- 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).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Not a lot, but he's definitely more prickly post-Time Skip. Quoth Vista:"Clockblocker used to be the funny one, now he’s the asshole grownup that tears the funny kid to shreds.”
- Willfully Weak: Clockblocker knows full well the more dangerous aspects of his powers, but since the Wards don't allow lethal force, he doesn't use them.
- Youthful Freckles: Of the traditional red-headed variety.
ChrisA young brown-haired tinker on the Brockton Bay Wards. Flies around on a hoverboard fighting with laser guns.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 BironThe 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.Classification: Shaker 9
- A-Cup Angst: Is self-described as a late bloomer, and isn't exactly crazy about it.
- BFG: Post time skip she carries a massive laser pistol, with which she dishes out massive hurt to the S9K.
- Broken Bird: Has a troubled home life, and due to the events of the story ends up becoming 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.
- Not So Different: From Skitter. Both are The Heart to their respective teams, both are constantly creating new ways to make use of their power, both become increasingly ruthless and hardcore as time goes on. It's been noted out of universe that had they met under different circumstances, they'd probably be friends.
- Odd Friendship: Appears to get along fine with Imp post-timeskip. Both had the experience of being the Tag Along Kid, both are rather foul-mouthed, and as The Fatalist Vista probably appreciates Imp's fondness for Black Comedy, making them Birds of a Feather.
- Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: Escapes from Coil's collapsing underground base after being cut out of Echidna's gut, evading Echidna and her clones and killing Shatterbird in the process.
- 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 HessA 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.)
- Stuff like pepper spray also has a nasty effect on her due to gases being directly absorbed into her body while in shadow form.
- 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. Ironically and despite ample reason, Taylor does not reciprocate. She almost never gives Shadow Stalker a second thought after the Parasite arc unless someone else brings her up and instead views Armsmaster as the closest thing she has to an arch enemy.
- 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. Taylor rather bluntly tells her that she's this at heart, and as such is not used to fighting people who can actually fight back.
- The Bus Came Back: After being Put on a Bus 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.
- Dirty Coward: Taylor tells her that she only attacks people who can't really fight back. When Brian stands up to her when she bullies Taylor she quickly flees.
- Enemy Mine: Reluctantly works with Taylor against Scion. Even then she admits that she wants to see what Taylor's made of herself.
- Evil Mentor: After learning about Taylor being Skitter she tries to pass herself off as one, claiming that Taylor owes her for what she became.
- Evil Virtues: Physical courage, discipline (in terms of training and fitness).
- Fate Worse Than Death: Even though she survives, she will be forever forced to live with the knowledge that Taylor was better than her.
- 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. During her conversation with Taylor in Extinction, she flat out admits that when she was dragged to the principal's office that one time she was angrier that Taylor had an actual parent at the meeting than at the fact she was in trouble.
- The possibility that her trigger event affected her mind, or that her passenger was especially violent compared to most others, is raised as well.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Admits to Taylor that she was genuinely jealous that Taylor actually had a loving father compared to her mothers emotionally abusive boyfriend.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Her mother mentions that she's been diagnosed with chronic anger issues. It shows. A lot.
- Horrible Judge of Character:
- She decides that Taylor is weak within seconds of meeting her, an impression that is reinforced in her mind when Taylor never physically retaliates to the bullying.
- She's also wrong in viewing Emma, who blunders whenever Taylor actually stands up to her and freezes when placed in actual danger, as strong.
- 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.
- Informed Flaw: Her cowardice; Shadow Stalker's actual behavior is ambiguous. She flees the bookstore after Brian stands up for Taylor and tells her to back off, not to mention advocating trying to run rather than go up against Scion. On the other hand she did fight in two Endbringer battles, including one against Behemoth that wasn't even in her home town. During the fight with Leviathan she risks her life to get closer to him so she can do more damage and is nearly killed for her trouble. She reveals in her interlude that the reason that she hunted Grue so single-mindedly was because he could fight back and wouldn't go down.
- Intangibility: One of the effects of going into her shadow state.
- Jerk Ass: ...Just read everything on this page. No wonder so many people 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.
- Even among her admittedly large social circle as school, only Emma might legitimately be called a friend, and she had to be heavily traumatized (and arguably brainwashed) for that to happen. Everyone else appeared to be little more than sycophants (who were more interested in sucking up to Emma than her) and some guys who probably just thought she was hot.
- '90s 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. Ironically subjected to this by Regent.
- Put on a Bus: Regent runs her out of Brockton Bay after ruining her life via his powers for messing with Taylor.
- 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. After Taylor visits her from a position of power (and after having been revealed as the most powerful overlord of Brockton Bay's Criminal Element) she tries to claim credit for what Taylor became, saying that Taylor took her "lessons" to heart.
- 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: Has one upon finding out Skitter's identity during Interlude 20, to the point she smashes the TV the prisoners are watching in rage.
- 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 StansfieldAn 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.Classification: Blaster
- Character Death: Dies fighting Leviathan due to getting his chest caved in by one of his tidal waves.
- Charm Person: He takes great care not to be one, though he has the capability. Other characters have noted that his powers essentially make him a Lighter and Softer version of Heartbreaker.
- 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.Classification: Brute
- 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.
- 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 MedinaA 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.Classification: Tinker/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 Coil died.
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.Classification: Breaker
The Wards (Chicago Members)
EverettTeam 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/Shaker
- Blow You Away: His whirlwind power.
Katherine OldershawA 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 (?)
- Fights Like a Normal: Grace is a skilled martial artist who enhances her fighting with her superpowers.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Grace can imbue this to certain body parts.
- Super Reflexes: Grace has enhanced reflexes.
- Super Strength: Said body parts are also capable of striking with greater power while under that state.
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.Classification: Blaster
KirkRookie 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
- Mind over Matter: His matter reshaping powers.
Theo AndersRookie 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.
- Arch-Nemesis: To Jack Slash. Shares some of this with Weaver.
- Atrocious Alias:
- Berserker Tears: Gets the Tranquil Fury version of this in his final showdown with Jack.
- Dare to Be Badass: When Jack threatens him and his baby sister Jack asks what he wanted to be and instead of anything benign or similar to his family he tells this Super-villain ready to kill him that he wanted to get powers and be a heroic cape. When further pressed about the topic about what he'd do to villains like Jack if he got that far this normally insecure boy looks one of the most dangerous men in the world straight in the eyes and tells him that he'd kill him and those like him for their crimes.
- Determinator: Very much so. He keeps fighting Jack after Jack carves him up with a claymore, and is combat effective enough following that 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.
- 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.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Unlike his neo-Nazi parents, he's a straight hero.
- Nerves of Steel: An overweight, non-powered 15 year old who manages to remain completely calm and in control while Jack Slash explains exactly how he's going to murder him and his infant half-sister. Later on he acquits himself extremely well in the very first fight of his superpowered career- against Behemoth.
- One-Man Army: By the later parts of the series, he is fully able to take entire packs of Slaughterhouse Nine clones and win singlehandedly.
- Person of Mass Construction: The limbs he makes, often out of stone or metal, both defy the law of conservation of mass and don't crumble away faster than the substance normally would so it's relatively easy for him to quickly set up large scale (albeit often bare bone) structures for shelters and the like from them. That said, it's just as easy for him to take out the foundations of large buildings to hinder or kill his enemies.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: We had to wait around 15 arcs for someone to tell Jack to Shut The Fuck Up.
- Stout Strength: He's pudgy, but tough.
- 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.
- Tranquil Fury: After Jack shows him what happened to Kayden.
- White Sheep: He's Kaiser's son and a straight-up hero.
AvaRookie 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)
LilyA 17 year old Japanese-American member of the New York Wards who was brought in temporarily to Brockton Bay after the Leviathan attack, who was part of a group trigger about three years before the events of the story. 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
- Animal Motifs: Wildbow compares her shard to a shark: it's stayed mostly unchanged for eons because it's found the best design for its niche, etc.
- 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, but somehow manages to survive. Her innate abilities with ballistics judgment probably came in rather useful for the whole "not splatting" thing.
- 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 technically an orphan. This is expanded on in Cell 22.3, and it's spectacularly depressing even for Worm;Miss Militia: She came from a broken home. She bounced between her mother, her father and the surrogate mother who had attempted to renege on the deal they’d made and keep her. With the number of times she changed between them and moved, I can’t imagine she has strong ties to the idea of ‘home’. Even within the Wards… New York has five small teams, and she moved between them as she changed residences.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It's her power that puts an end to both Grey Boy's clone and Scion.
- 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.
- Hates Being Alone: Does not like being alone for very long due to her past.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: She has "super timing" and uses it to kill Gray Boy.
- 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.
- Required Secondary Powers: Has superhuman aiming and timing skills. This comes in handy when she needs to trick Grey Boy into thinking she's been time looped.
- 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.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: The Sting shard according to Word of God can't really be improved or changed that much by virtue of being a 4-D death ray, making it the shark of shards, and is only in the cycle to see how other shards might react and adapt to it, but Fletchette's power is such that she doesn't really need improvements.
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
- Me's a Crowd: His main power.
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.Classification: Striker
- 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, he comes a physical scapegoat for injury.
- 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.Classification: Mover, Trump (Blaster, Striker)
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
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: His power invokes this by making him stronger and quicker with the amount of opponents he has to face.
- Glass Cannon: Despite his strength, he doesn't have the toughness to match.
- Super Strength/Super Reflexes: Has enhanced strength and reflexes that increase with the number of opponents he's facing.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Can teleport, but it's limited to two or three feet.
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.Classification: Master
New WaveA 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.
Tropes for the group as a whole
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: At least Brandish's branch of it is pretty screwed up.
- Combat Pragmatist: They went after Marquis in his home, when he was out of mask and relaxing, violating the Unwritten Rules that most heroes and villains subscribe to, probably due to the fact that they believe in the Secret Public Identity theme.
- 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. It ends up getting deconstructed in the form of one of their number getting murdered in her civilian identity before the story begins, which ended up discrediting the movement in the eyes of other heroes.
Lady Photon / Photon Mom
Sarah PelhamDebatably 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.Classification: Blaster 4; Mover 3; Shaker 3
Neil PelhamA 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.Classification: Breaker, Brute
Crystal PelhamLady 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
- All There in the Manual: Her given name (Crystal) isn't provided in canon, only in the comments section of the web serial.
- Deflector Shields: She has one, like her mother and brother, but not as strong.
- Flight: Among her abilities.
- Hair of Gold: Blond, and a hero.
- Hard Light: She creates even more powerful blasts than her mom.
Eric PelhamLady Photon's son, and Laserdream's younger brother. The child with stronger shields and weaker beams.Classification: Blaster; Mover; Shaker
- Character Death: Was killed by Leviathan.
- Deflector Shields: And he can create better ones than either his mother or sister.
- Flight: Among his abilities.
- Hard Light: He can create blasts, but not as powerful as his mother's or sister's.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Died from getting raked against the jagged edge of a building during the Leviathan fight.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dyes his hair blue while in costume.
Mark DallonHusband 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.Classification: Blaster
Carol DallonThe 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
- Be the Ball: She can turn herself into a nearly indestructible ball, but becomes unable to move as a result.
- 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. Worse, she couldn't stop seeing Amy as a potential villain because of who her father was, so treated her as a bomb waiting to go off rather than a young, broken girl needing care until way too late. By contrast, couldn't see the issues Victoria was saddled with, either, because "hero".
- Freudian Excuse: When kidnapped she developed Stockholme Syndrome towards the man who cared for them. When that guy planned to execute her she felt betrayed, triggering in the process. It's very heavily implied that she wants all criminals to be evil because she's still emotionally wounded by the betrayal.
- Good Is Not Soft: She's on the side of the heroes, but was just looking for an excuse to kill Marquis after they broke into his home and would have killed Amy with the attack that ultimately ended the fight had he not thrown himself in front of it. She didn't know what it was he was protecting at the time, but she still considered it an acceptable gambit.
- Hard Light: She can form light into weaponry, or into an orb she uses to bounce around.
- One Degree of Separation: Is friends or at least friendly with Emma's father.
- 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 DallonA 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 Girl's 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.
- Boisterous Bruiser: She loves to fight and is very vocal while doing it.
- Brains and Brawn: Has this dynamic with Panacea, though Amy isn't exceptionally intelligent either.
- David vs. Goliath: The Goliath to Tattletale's David during the Bank Robbery.
- 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. Word of God is that she could even survive a direct hit from a Scion laser with her forcefield, but would likely die to the second blow.
- Genius Bruiser: Is already taking college classes, with her not skipping a grade only so that she can spend more time with her friends.
- Hero Antagonist: To the Undersiders.
- Intimidation Demonstration: She likes to start encounters with bad guys by doing one of these, with one of her signatures being a Ground-Shattering Landing:
- 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.
- Jerk Ass: Glory Girl is, as Tattletale put it, a privileged bitch. Although she's not quite as bad as Shadow Stalker, her behavior plays a pretty significant role in convincing Taylor she's better off as a villain.
- Too Dumb to Live: She refuses to let Panacea treat her even as Crawler's acid is slowly eating her.
- 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 LaverePanacea 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 triggered upon a gang managing to harm Glory Girl. 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
- Ambiguously Bi: It is implied that she has had feelings for both Glory Girl, her adopted sibling, and Gallant, Glory Girl's former boyfriend, but it turns out that she was actually crushing on Victoria alone and hated Gallant for having her when she couldn't.
- Biomancy: Her real power is the ability to manipulate the biology of whatever she touches. She pretends to be just a healer but it becomes clear that, excluding her own body and conservation of mass, she can do anything to organic matter with just a touch and a few seconds of thought.
- Black and White Insanity: In most of her interactions with Taylor and the Undersiders prior to the final arc, due to Panacea aggressively categorizing capes as "hero" or "villain" with no grey area. Following the Leviathan arc, she still views Skitter as some kind of irredeemable villain despite the fact that Skitter had just gone toe to toe with Leviathan for the sole purpose of saving a shelter full of civvies, suffering a broken spinal column in the process. In the Slaughterhouse Nine arc she never stops trying to sabotage the Undersiders despite the fact that they are the primary force opposing the SH9 and saved her life multiple times, all because she still classifies them as 'villains'.
- Body Horror: What she ends up doing to Glory Girl.
- Brains and Brawn: Has this dynamic with Glory Girl, though Panacea doesn't show exceptionally high intelligence.
- Deadly Doctor: Her power isn't healing, it's complete control of a person's biology.
- Department of Child Disservices: The start of her problems. New Wave didn't think it would be safe to put the daughter of a supervillain in the system, so they arbitrarily dumped her on the most suitable couple they could find on five minute's notice, not caring that the surrogate parents they forced her onto weren't ready to start raising another child and emphatically didn't want to raise this specific child in particular.
- 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.
- Freudian Excuse: Raised by a clinically depressed father and a mother who didn't love her after being taken from her loving, but evil, supervillain father as a child.
- 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.
- Jerk Ass: Towards Taylor anyway, at first, mainly due to her part in the robbery and the trouble Tattletale caused them.
- 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.
- The Medic: The common understanding of Panacea's power, though unfortunately she lacks a personal Healing Factor due to her powers only working on other people.
- Mind Rape: Regent describes her modifying Glory Girl's mind as this.
- Mundane Utility: Her entire use of her power is actually this. All of the powers are designed to be weapons, her control of biology was presumably intended to be used to create biological weapons.
- 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. She's already suffering unacknowledged and untreated emotional burn-out from the beginning of the story, as a result.
- 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.
- Shadow Archetype: To Taylor. Where Taylor is an ethical utilitarian who believes that ends justify the means, Panacea's idea of morality is based entirely on arbitrary rules and black and white categorization. Where Taylor has a fairly limited power that she uses in creative ways to get maximum versatility, Panacea has a power with almost unlimited versatility and utility, but arbitrarily limits herself to using it in only a handful of ways.
- Staff Chick: Subverted, she's actually one of the most dangerous capes alive, held back only by her code of rules.
- 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.
HavenA 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
- Real Men Love Jesus: Are a Christian-based group of superheroes.
Linda BrownA young woman with the power to deconstruct and reconstitute matter, with telekinesis to control the shards created by the process.Classification: Shaker
- 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 WalshA 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
The YàngbǎnChina'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.
Tropes for the group as a whole
- Cult: A realistic version, utilizing social isolation and forced integration to manipulate its members.
- 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 the 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 6: 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."