Characters: Worm Worldwide Threats
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First appearing in 1992, the Endbringers have been unsystematically wrecking human civilization ever since. They are, in fact, nearly the one and only thing which will cause heroes and villains to team up to fight. Each of them attacks roughly once a year, and never at the same time.
The Endbringers as a whole:
- Antagonistic Offspring: The Endbringers are subconscious creations of Eidolon's power (see Outside-Context Villain below for more information on that), resulting in them effectively being this to him, and after their Hazy Feel Turn, they become this to Scion by proxy as well.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The analyses that Tattletale and Blasto do on Leviathan and the Simurgh, respectively, demonstrate this quite conclusively.
- Boss Arena Urgency/Time-Limit Boss: It's noted while discussing Echidna, who doesn't have this that all the Endbringers have something that creates pressure to finish the fight quickly. A few specific examples:
- Leviathan's Making a Splash powers grow in strength with every wave he creates. How strong can they get, you ask? Well, just ask Japan or Newfoundland.
- The Simurgh's insanity-causing "song" effects more and more people for the longer she remains active. Not to mention, the longer the heroes take to drive her off, the more time she has to further her plans- and the Simurgh always has a plan.
- Bohu's fighting style is built around this. The more time she's given, the more traps she can create in the surrounding landscape- not to mention, unlike most other Endbringers, the effects of her power persists after she's defeated, so the need to defeat her quickly is even larger than you might think.
- Eldritch Abomination: No one has any idea where they come from or why they're killing people, they're stronger than any parahuman except Scion, and they blatantly violate the rules of biology and physics.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The original three Endbringers form this trio, with Behemoth, Simurgh, and Leviathan respectively.
- Genius Bruiser: Capes fighting Endbringers are routinely warned that the big scary monsters are much, much smarter than they look. This even applies to the Simurgh, who looks pretty smart to begin with.
- Hazy Feel Turn: They've stopped their campaign of extermination against humanity due to Scion going mad, but they're hardly good.
- The Heavy: Collectively with the Slaughterhouse Nine, they are the primary antagonists of the setting, but Scion remains the series' true Big Bad.
- Hero Killer: All of them can wrack up impressive body counts given enough time, though Behemoth (who's actually referred to In-Universe as "the Herokiller") and Leviathan are particularly good at this.
- Kaiju: Serve the purpose of the massive monstrous superbeings to fight in Worm.
- Nigh Invulnerable: None of the Endbringers have ever suffered permanent harm until Behemoth died. The general answer to the question of "Why didn't they try [tactic/power/weapon] against [Endbringer]?" generally boils down to "They did, and it didn't take." Word of God is that they use the parallel realities powers are based on to effectively compress the mass of a galaxy into their cores (the only vital part of them), making them so durable that only by breaking the laws of physics can one hope to kill them.
- Outside-Context Villain: No one has any idea what the Endbringers are, where they come from, or why they are trying to destroy humanity. While their origins are never explicitly stated, the story holds some clues: Interlude 29 shows an Alternate Timeline where the entity Eden was not killed. In this timeline there are Endbringer-like beings that are heavily implied to have been created by Eden in order to sow conflict among humanity. In Interlude 27, Scion tells Eidolon that he "needed worthy opponents". Assuming that Scion is telling the truth, this suggests that the Endbringers were subconsciously created by Eidolon using the power that Eden displayed in Interlude 29, since Eidolon's power gives him what he needs. Word of God has confirmed that they would not exist without Cauldron.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The standard result of a fight with them. On a good day, one out of every four capes who fight will die in the battle.
- Silicon-Based Life: The Endbringers appear to be made out of a crystalline material.
- Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: Global. The end of humanity at their hands is a real and pressing threat.
- Willfully Weak: More than one Thinker comes to the conclusion that, not only are they are smarter than they seem, but they're all basically pulling their punches. Yup: you read that right. Horrific though their attacks are, global extinction is not likely their primary objective. Because if it was, it would have been over before the first decade was out if they had brought their A-game to the table.
BehemothThe first Endbringer to appear, on December 13th, 1992; has been variously called "Hadhayosh" and "Prathama" by different characters at different times. A forty-five-foot-tall, heavily-muscled, heavily-armored bipedal one-eyed creature with the ability to manipulate energy of all kinds (e.g. electrical, thermal, kinetic) while bypassing the Manton effect* . Between attacks, it lies deep in the earth.
- Anti-Magic: Behemoth's core appears to shut off parahuman powers.
- Atomic Hate: Behemoth has power over nuclear energy, which is shown during its assault on New Delhi.
- Boss Arena Urgency: He always walks in a straight line towards something that would have catastrophic consequences if destroyed, like nuclear reactors or the Birdcage.
- Convection Schmonvection: Averted. Anyone who isn't 100% invulnerable that gets within a 30-foot radius of Behemoth will be roasted alive from the inside.
- Cyclops: Has only one eye.
- Dishing Out Dirt: He can cause earthquakes.
- Energy Absorption/Attack Reflector: He's pretty Nigh Invulnerable already, but can also just disperse the kinetic energy from incoming attacks into the ground or air as powerful shockwaves.
- Hero Killer: Has killed more of them than anything else, leading it to actually be called "The Herokiller" in-universe. Proves it during the New Delhi attack by killing Ligeia, Rime, and Regent. He also killed Phir Sē offscreen.
- Horned Humanoid: Or sort-of humanoid. He has arms and legs, at least.
- Implacable Man: Dear Lord. He is incinerated by Phir Sē's "time bomb" in Crushed 24.4, leaving him "A skeleton covered in a veneer of meat." He's still moving afterwards, and as his flesh visibly regenerates, he's undeterred from his target.
- In fact, to finally kill him, Scion has to rip him in half before vaporizing both halves, and Behemoth is still fighting after Scion rips him in two!
- Instant Death Radius: The heat radiating from his body kills anyone within thirty feet of him pretty much immediately. Only Alexandria and anyone under the effect of Usher's power are explicitly shown to be immune.
- The Juggernaut: Out of all the Endbringers, Behemoth appears to be the most unstoppable.
- Magma Man: Appears to be made out of lava, with obsidian for "teeth".
- Playing with Fire: Can project flames.
- Pure Energy: His main power, dynakinesis, is the control of all types of energy.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: He can cause massive internal injuries simply by roaring.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has a single blood-red eye.
- Shock and Awe: Can fire lightning from his fingertips, as well as manipulate the flow of electricity. The former tends to be the biggest killer of capes.
- Smarter Than You Look: As shown during the fight for New Delhi, Behemoth is far smarter than it appears.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Scion kills him by first ripping him in half before vaporizing him.
LeviathanThe second Endbringer to attack, appearing for the first time in the mid-1990s. Leviathan—also known as Jormungand or Jörmungandr—is a thirty-foot-tall bipedal, tailed monster. Its obvious powers are twofold: an "afterimage" of water that follows behind it, appearing where it just was moving at that same speed, and large-scale water telekinesis. It is obviously incredibly tough—a trait which masks the fact that it is actually Nigh Invulnerable. Recuperates deep in the ocean between assaults.
- Boss Arena Urgency: He calls in tidal waves at regular intervals, and they get stronger as the battle continues until the entire area collapses into the ocean. Brockton Bay is situated over an aquifer, which he manages to tear open.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: He walks all over the capes of Brockton Bay, but they manage to inflict injuries that clearly hamper his performance. It turns out that this is averted, as Word of God is that the Endbringers are holding back.
- Cyborg: Gained fins made of Defiant's nanotech due to an upgrade from the Simurgh.
- Hero Killer: Standard for Endbringers. Just counting recurring characters, in his first appearance he killed Dauntless, Velocity, Gallant, Aegis, Kaiser, and Fenja.
- Hope Spot: Pulls this multiple times on the capes defending Brockton Bay. Every time it looks like they're winning, he whips out a highly destructive attack that turns things back around. Case in point: when Flechette scores a headshot on him, he staggers, and then creates a lake, forcing everyone fighting him to run for their lives and destroying several city blocks.
- Knight of Cerebus/Wake-Up Call Boss: The grimness of the story jumps up a notch when he arrives, and things just get progressively worse from there.
- Lightning Bruiser: Faster than any known cape when in water.
- Making a Splash: Has the greatest water powers out of any being in the Wormverse.
- Not Quite Flight: Dashes up mist buttes he creates during the final fight.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Even compared to the other Endbringers. His hydrokinesis gives him the largest destructive range of any being in the setting except Scion, allowing him to ravage whole countries. When he attacked Japan, he sank the entire island of Kyushu into the ocean, killing nearly ten million people along with most of the country's heroes and causing such enormous economic damage that Japan became a third-world country virtually overnight.
- Smarter Than You Look: He proves this responding to Armsmaster's ploy by letting Armsmaster think he's winning right up to the moment that he has the storm sewers explode open.
- Soft Water: Completely averted. Not only does his water afterimage follow his every move, it carries the same kinetic energy. He uses this to increase his attack range significantly.
The SimurghThe third Endbringer to arrive, appearing just after the turn of the millennium. Also known as Ziz. A fifteen-foot-tall, flying, waiflike alabaster-white female human figure with pure grey eyes, long platinum hair, and numerous asymmetrically-placed white-feathered wings. Her obvious powers are telekinetic; her less-obvious powers are prophetic: she intentionally adjusts the events in places she attacks to set up the survivors as walking Disaster Dominoes that might fall months or years after the initial event. Rests between attacks in the thermosphere, three hundred or more kilometers above the earth.
- Big Bad Wannabe: The Simurgh controls the other Endbringers' actions, and is arguably a major factor in just about anything that happens in the entire series, but Scion is and remains the series' actual Big Bad.
- Bishonen Line: The most human-looking Endbringer is also the most dangerous. When talking about the Endbringers, Taylor says:"If Behemoth hadn't already turned the area into a radioactive, magma-ridden wasteland. If Leviathan hadn't built up enough momentum with his waves. If the Simurgh...Ok, the Simurgh was different, I had to admit. The issue with her wasn't so much winning the battle. It was what came after. Win every battle against her, lose the war, more or less."
- Disaster Dominoes: What she creates when she attacks. The survivors become more dangerous down the line, and often do more damage than she did in her original attack. See William Manton (the Siberian), Noelle (Echidna) and the rest of the Travelers, or Alan Gramme (Mannequin) for a few examples.
- Emotion Bomb: She can use the below-linked Emotion Control on a city-wide scale.
- Emotion Control: She generally builds upon already existing feelings of anger and dissatisfaction in her attacks.
- Enthralling Siren: As it turns out, she hams this roll up to the max with her theatrical swooping down, singing and general showing off. She could just as easily stealth it, if she wished. She doesn't actually need to sing to do her thing; and leaving a duplicate-self to draw eyes and act as a decoy while she sneaks under the radar is in her repertoire.
- Faking the Dead: Survived the final battle with Scion by creating a decoy.
- Flight: Can fly.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: It's pretty much known she had some bigger scheme beyond just making things worse. It's known she's Mission Control for the other endbringers. What that agenda is? Who knows.
- Large Ham: The Simurgh LOVES her drama. The song? Completely unneeded, just her showing off. Her method of upgrading Leviathan? Falling out of the sky to stab him with a sword containing the upgrade like an angel descending to slay a serpent.
- Man Behind the Man: Appears to have deliberately set events in motion to make Taylor become Khepri.
- Mind over Matter: Her more obvious power.
- Mind Virus: In her attacks, her power acts like one, though it doesn't quite spread like one.
- Mission Control: Seems to be this to the other Endbringers.
- Non-Linear Character: The Simurgh is incapable of perceiving the present, only the past and future.
- The Omniscient: Her ability to set up her victims to cause devastation months or years after their encounter suggests a degree of prescience that approaches this.
- Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe and out. Just look at the comments section for the chapter where her abilities are revealed.
- Power Copying: Thinker and Tinker powers are her speciality... and, if she needs a gadget, idea or way of thinking she can't come up with herself, all she needs to do is get close enough to somebody who either has had it, could have it down some alternate fork or will have it down the line. And, then steal and adapt it to her needs. The more Thinkers and Tinkers in her range for longer periods? The more creative in looting their timelines she can be. Now, ask yourself what she got from Manton, Gramme and the various other brushes with Cauldron over years. Let alone Tattletale.
- Power Floats: Her Flight abilities are granted by telekinesis rather than actual flight.
- Psychic Powers: Is the only true telepath in the setting.
- Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: With the machine being the psychology of the victims.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Generally referred to as "the Simurgh".
- Squishy Wizard: Kind of. Like any other Endbringer, the Simurgh is Nigh Invulnerable, but compared to the other five, her durability is fairly slight, and she has few options for close-quarters fighting. This is demonstrated in the Final Battle with Scion, where he floors the Simurgh fairly easily.
- Time-Limit Boss: Anyone who stays in the radius of her song for too long without some power protecting them will become one of her pawns.
- Winged Humanoid: Unlike Behemoth and Leviathan, she's the least "bestial" of the trio.
- Xenofiction: Part of one interlude uses her point of view. It's roughly as human as Zion.
KhonsuThe fourth Endbringer to strike, first appearing in Japan in 2012. Described by Weaver as being somewhere between Leviathan and Behemoth in size, black in color with a broad physique, a permanent snarl on his face, silvery white teeth, tendrils like the whiskers of a catfish marking the corners of his mouth, and lacking clothing. Khonsu also has features somewhere between leaves and fins, with elaborate designs at the edges, curling away from elbows, his wrist, his fingers and around his legs, making his fingers and toes into claws, and leaving dangerous looking blades elsewhere. His known powers include the use of circular fields in which time is either slowed or increased and wide-ranging teleportation.Classification: Mover, Shaker (?)
- And I Must Scream: What happens to most of those trapped in his time fields: locked in a relatively small area, unable to escape, and forced to slowly starve or dehydrate to death.
- Barrier Warrior: Uses time manipulation to block Scion's attacks.
- Bishonen Line: Is humanoid in shape like the Simurgh.
- Broken Streak: Khonsu is the first Endbringer not named after a Biblical/Talmudic creature. He also breaks the pattern of each Endbringer being about 15 feet shorter than the last by being between Leviathan and Behemoth in size.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Is unclothed, like the Simurgh.
- Get Back Here Boss: Constantly teleports away whenever things go bad for him. It gets so bad that the Triumvirate is forced to take turns fighting him.
- Meaningful Name: Much like the Egyptian god he's named after, Khonsu has control over time. He is also mainly defensive in nature while his namesake is also known as the Defender.
- Stone Wall: Is focused mainly on defense.
- Time Master: Speeds or slows time immensely in circular fields that orbit around him. People caught in them can be reduced to dust, skeletons, or bloody smears. He can also use the time-altering fields on himself to accelerate his healing.
- Time-Limit Boss: Approximately every half-hour, he draws in his time fields to repair most of the damage he's taken, then teleports to another city.
- Villain Teleportation: Uses this to stay a step ahead of the capes harrying it, in his first appearance teleporting from Japan to Cape Verde all the way off in western Africa. In Scarab 25.5, Taylor mentions that they've been trying to fight him for days due to his teleporting.
Tohu and BohuThe fifth (and sixth) Endbringer(s) to strike, appearing in Bucharest in 2012. Bohu manipulates the battlefield, setting up traps for the defending capes and also covering the area with a shower of flying blades. Tohu chooses up to three capes, her three faces becoming distorted images of them, and copies their powers.
- Boss Arena Urgency: Bohu slowly fills the defending city with obstacles and traps, meaning that the longer the fight continues, the harder it is for the defending capes. Tohu takes some time to choose all of her masks.
- Dual Boss: Tohu and Bohu always attack together.
- Evil Is Bigger: Bohu is over one thousand three hundred feet tall, the largest of the Endbringers by far.
- Flechette Storm: Bohu's blades, which fly through the air in between successive alterations to the environment.
- Maid and Maiden: They incorporate elements of this archetype, with Bohu as the Maid and Tohu as the Maiden. Tattletale even points this out at one point.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Tohu has four clawed arms that take on traits of the people whose powers she copies.
- Power Copying: Tohu takes the powers and visages of up to three capes, who don't have to be present on the battlefield or even alive.
- Taken Up to Eleven against Scion: Tohu took to selecting Eidolon and Glastig Uaine as two of her three capes, and then deploying Eidolon as one of her ghosts.
- Super Power Lottery: Tohu's ability to have whatever three powers she feels like without even the minor limits Eidolon and Glastig Uaine have makes her ludicrously powerful, even for an Endbringer.
- Trap Master: Bohu.
The Slaughterhouse Nine
A group of nine serial killer capes led by the sociopathic Jack Slash and the amoral child tinker Bonesaw that go around causing all manner of death and destruction across North America For the Evulz, to the point that they have all have a kill order. Though it would seem that they have a plan to jump-start the apocalypse beneath that reason.
Tropes for the Nine as a whole:
- Badass Transplant: The Nine often augment their members with improved organs courtesy of Bonesaw, making them even harder to kill. How badass? Bonesaw gets stabbed in the neck and eye in one incident, loses both arms in another, and gets impaled in the heart and cut in half in a third, and is barely affected by any of them.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Most of the Nine have powers that are pretty much impossible to use for good, and many were pretty nasty even before they got their powers.
- Special mention goes to Breed, who has the power to create Xenomorph-like alien bugs that infect people and eat their way out. Somehow a career as a superhero doesn't seem in the cards for someone with that power.
- The Bully: Taylor thinks that when it comes down to it, they are this trope taken way, way Up to Eleven.
- Carnival of Killers: Once served as such for the original Teeth before killing them off.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The cloned Slaughterhouse Nine give the heroes slightly less of a hard time than the originals had in previous encounters, though this may simply be because the heroes have improved since the Time Skip, as well as Jack purposely using them as cannon fodder. Other factors include the fact that, after Brockton Bay, the heroes learned the weaknesses of some of the key members (e.g. the Siberian being a projection created by an otherwise-unpowered parahuman), and the Crawler clones haven't had time to develop into the Nigh Invulnerable monsters that the original had become by the time he died. It's later explained that this is also because their connections to their passengers aren't as mature.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: They make a point to inflict these.
- The Dreaded: The Slaughterhouse Nine invoke terror in all who encounter them.
- Fate Worse Than Death: They specialize in dishing these out, especially Bonesaw and Grey Boy. Regent considers joining them to be a Fate Worse Than Death as well.
- Good Powers, Bad People: Bonesaw and Mannequin both had enormous potential to use their powers for good. In fact, Mannequin was doing just that under the name of Sphere before his work was destroyed in an attack by the Simurgh, and Bonesaw helps Panacea as the best medics they have during the last arc.
- Hero Killer: Often, with examples including Battery.
- High Heel-Face Turn: Pretty subverted in the first Slaughterhouse Nine arc. Two members of the Nine, both female, defect. Of the two, Shatterbird is enslaved by Alec and forced to fight for the Undersiders as a puppet for the remainder of her life, and Cherish actually does attempt to make a deal with the good guys, but they don't trust her, imprison her in solitary confinement, and then she suffers one of the worst fates worse than death in a series full of them when her former team catches up to her.
- High Turnover Rate: They're constantly looking for new members since at least some of them get killed every time they attack a city.
- Kick the Dog: Into orbit, and pretty much constantly.
- Press-Ganged: The Nine usually force potential members to go through tests to break them down and kill potential members who are weak.
- Non-Indicative Name: Most of the time there's only six of them due to the high turnover rate, and Bonesaw in particular was recruited relatively recently.
- Send in the Clones: It's revealed in Interlude 20 that Bonesaw is growing a number of clones created from the genetic material of nearly every past and present member of the Slaughterhouse Nine. It's mentioned in Interlude 25 that she's successfully created 275 clones.
- Serial Killer: An entire group of them. In Taylor's words, they're what happens when messed-up people get even worse after getting powers.
- Sliding Scale of Villain Threat. They're at City level, but upgrade to Global when they try to end the world.
- Tom the Dark Lord: Jack Slash purposely had the idea of giving people lame names so that they'd be even more terrifying as a result.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Nine, during their assault of a hospital, attack the nursery first.
"My interest is in the design of people. What makes them tick? What holds them together? All too often, it's one little thing. In architecture they call it a keystone. The one stone that keeps the entire arch from collapsing. The weak point. And I'm very, very good at finding those weak points."The present leader of the Nine, he has the ability to make the cutting edge of his knives extend as far as he likes outwards from their physical length. He is described by Dinah Alcott as the man who will set the end of the world in motion. According to Scion, his power is the result of receiving the weakened "broadcast" shard that allowed communication between the Entities, which grants him both his blade-projection powers and his instinctive Thinker ability.Trapped in an endless time-loop by Gray Boy's clone.Classification: Striker/Blaster (?), Thinker
- Abusive Parents: According to Word of God his parents were mentally unbalanced and left him trapped in a bomb shelter with a one-way radio link to his father, who wanted to use it to instill Jacob with sufficient fear of the threats of the outside world. This left him broken, but his parents left him there because it was easier, leading to him triggering upon finally leaving the shelter and finding out the world was absolutely fine.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted. He's not exactly weak, but his team includes people like Crawler and Siberian, some of the most powerful characters in the setting. He's able to keep them in line because he's The Social Expert.
- Bare Your Midriff: A Rare Male Example. His shirts are always unbuttoned at the bottom.
- Beard of Evil: Has a goatee.
- BFS: Jack wields a four-foot-long claymore in lieu of his normal knives during his battle with Golem.
- Big Bad: Of the Slaughterhouse Nine arcs.
- The Corrupter: His specialty. And how he brings about the end of the world when he causes Scion's Face-Heel Turn.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: See The Social Expert, and the main reason he's in charge despite having a relatively weak power.
- Evil Is Sexy: Taylor describes him as looking very attractive in-universe.
- Expy: Of The Joker, especially the version from The Dark Knight.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Gets trapped in one of Gray Boy's time loops.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's surprisingly polite. Doesn't make him any less of a monster.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Before becoming the leader and founder of the current iteration of Slaughterhouse Nine, Jack was originally just another thug, though even then he was feared.
- Gutted Like a Fish: Threatens to cut Theo from "cock to chin" when they first meet.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: All of the events that lead to his Fate Worse Than Death were set in motion by him, from Golem, to Weaver, to the Gray Boy clone.
- Hope Crusher: This is him in a nutshell, driving good if flawed people off the edge and recruiting from monsters that results.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Jack Slash can cut down entire crowds with a single swing due to his ability to extend the edge of a blade an absurd distance, completely invisibly.
- Klingon Promotion: Jack Slash got his position by killing King, the original leader of the Nine.
- Knife Nut: His powers make them very handy since they get rid of the range issue.
- Manipulative Bastard/The Social Expert: Jack Slash isn't the leader of a pack of the most deadly mass murderers on the planet because of his power—he's the leader because he's frighteningly good at identifying what people need, what they want, and what they fear, and using that information to steer them in whatever direction he likes.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Upon finding out that he will cause the end of the world, he decides that sounds like a great idea.
- Shadow Archetype: To Taylor, both being parahumans with relatively weak powers who manage to get on top anyway. Both are also pretty good at understanding the strengths and weaknesses of others.
- The Sociopath: He has an extremely good understanding of how people work, but is so utterly lacking in empathy that he kills thousands and knowingly sets up the deaths of billions simply because he likes conflict.
- Spider-Sense: How his second power works. He can sense and communicate on a limited level with other people's passengers, letting him know when and how they're about to attack. This has made him invincible for thirty years, and it's implied that it's so subtle that he doesn't even know it exists. It only works on superpowered people, though, so when he's finally taken down, it's because of a PRT officer in Powered Armor.
- Sword Beam: He can extend the cutting edges of his knives to frighteningly-long distances.
- Would Hurt a Child: Threatened to murder Aster and Theo in his Interlude, and has certainly murdered children before.
- Would Hit a Girl: Had no problems giving Tattletale a Glasgow Smile for mouthing off, and has certainly murdered women in the past.
"Bonesaw laughed, and it was a sound without reservations, not shaped by social constraint or culture or self-censorship. It was the laugh of a child, free and without a care."
Be a good girl.A demented but childlike tinker no older than fourteen who specializes in organic beings. She joined the Slaughterhouse Nine after they killed her entire family and had her revive them, only to do it again over and over until she broke mentally.Classification: Tinker/Biology, Trump
- Ambiguous Innocence: Bonesaw in a nutshell. She's one of the worst serial killers in the Wormverse, but she doesn't necessarily do what she does because of malice. Rather, she feels that the idea of a concrete moral system is absurd and doesn't apply to her, and she does what she does because she finds it fun and interesting.
- Subverted, it was just an act she played so Jack didn't kill her.
- The Atoner: After Jack is defeated, Riley gives up the name Bonesaw and dedicates herself to helping heal people.
- Back from the Dead: Bonesaw can bring people back to life if they're not too damaged.
- Becoming the Mask: Twice, first when she genuinely falls into the mindset she was initially faking to fit in with the Slaughterhouse Nine, and second when her faked friendship with someone outside of the S9 becomes real and contributes to her Heel-Face Turn.
- Blondes Are Evil: Or at least very demented.
- Body Horror: She herself looks pretty much normal, but she inflicts this on anyone unfortunate to fall into her clutches.
- Cheerful Child: Which when combined with her tendencies makes her even creepier.
- Child Prodigy: Is very well versed in the workings of the human body.
- Creepy Child: A little girl whose power is basically that she understands bodies well enough to create Frankenstein's monsters. She makes a lot. And her "family" is a group of psychopaths.
- Cyborg: Although her enhancements are all on the inside.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Slaughterhouse Nine, a group of psychopathic killers, are viewed by Bonesaw as family. It's as disturbing as it sounds, and while most of the group are simply amused by Bonesaw's monsters, "Siberian's fondness for Bonesaw bordered on the maternal, like a mother bear for her cub."
- Even Evil Has Standards: In her own words, not even she is crazy enough to attempt making an Endbringer. Which makes her actually saner than Blasto.
- Expy: Averted. Despite the similarities, she is explicitly not an Expy of Fran; Wildbow had not yet heard of Franken Fran when he created Bonesaw.
- Gadgeteer Genius: While most of what she does is highly biological, her spiders and spine demonstrate a lot of mechanical expertise as well.
- Giver of Lame Names: Bonesaw admits that she's terrible at naming her creations.
- Good Powers, Bad People: Bonesaw is capable of doing incredible surgeries, and can even bring back the dead if their body is intact, but is completely amoral and sees people mainly as toys for her amusement.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Bonesaw's inner monologue in her Interlude exhibits this. She also tends to talk like this and demands it of others, only swearing on very rare occasions.
- Heel Realization: Has one in Interlude 25, courtesy of Contessa and two years away from Jack.
- Mad Doctor/Mad Scientist: Bonesaw is a classic example—the "art" she makes with her hands and her spider-robots starts at Body Horror and only gets worse from there.
- Made of Iron: Her enhancements enable her to survive huge amounts of damage. This is most noticeable in her fight with Defiant in Interlude 19, in which she keeps her usual cheer even after being impaled and bisected.
- Meaningful Rename: Riley's abandonment of the name "Bonesaw" reflects her desire to move away from the awful things she did as Bonesaw.
- People Puppets: Is capable of hijacking people's bodies in order to do her bidding.
- Perpetual Smiler: Always walks around with a smile on her face.
- Plague Master: Can easily create various diseases, and fills her own body with killer viruses in case she's cut.
- Stepford Smiler: Is revealed to be one in her Interlude.
- Wetware CPU: Her spiders are revealed in Interlude 25 to work using interconnected lumps of grey matter, with computer chips for more basic functions.
"He knew all too well that Shatterbird pretended civility, but she got as restless as Siberian when things got quiet, and she would look up from whatever book she read every thirty, fifteen or ten seconds, as if waiting for something to happen, craving it."A telekinetic of silicon, controlling the glass through high-frequency sounds and one of the most successful members of the team at identifying new candidates for membership. She was born in the Arab Emirates and dosed with a Cauldron formula, prompting the manifestation of her powers and the deaths of thousands. Eventually made her way to London, then America, joining the Slaughterhouse Nine. Captured by Regent, and abandoned by the surviving members of the Slaughterhouse Nine when they left the city.Classification: Mover; Blaster(?)
- Animal Motifs: Birds.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Her power gives her essentially perfect control over every piece of glass within multiple city blocks of her location. She has a much...cruder effect on sand and the silicon in electronic devices.
- Flight: Whether she does so with her costume or via some other means is unclear.
- Glass Cannon: Literally and metaphorically. Her offensive capabilities are phenomenal. Defensively, she's one of the Nine's weakest members.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: Her power, with some added telekinesis.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The whole reason she kills people is because she wants to be perceived as powerful. She ends up a powerless puppet under Regent's control, and he humiliates her in petty ways to keep her emotionally drained so she can't break free if she gets too far away.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Her power works through soundwaves.
- Narcissist: She's defined by her ego, which is Jack's primary means of controlling her.
- Person of Mass Destruction: She can break (and then weaponize) glass over a radius of several miles. When the Nine arrive in a city, she invariably kicks off the festivities by demolishing it.
- Winged Humanoid: Isn't one, but her costume evokes it by having stained glass take the shape of a bird around her, topped with a bird mask on her head.
"Crawler was one of the two group members who had yet to rejoin the group. He was engaged with a young man with a glow that suffused his hair and emanated from his eyes and mouth. White flashes appeared with little accuracy and devastating effect, carving spherical chunks out of the brute. This only encouraged the monster, and Crawler eagerly paced closer, his wounds closing together with a startling rapidity. So few things could hurt Crawler these days that Jack rarely got to see the regeneration in full effect. Crawler's healing powers appeared to play out in fast-forward when compared to even the regenerators who could heal wounds in seconds. Hundreds of pounds of flesh were replaced in one or two heartbeats."A massive regenerator who in his original form was a rather small man, standing about 5'5". Every time he is harmed by something and survives, he becomes more able to resist it in the future.Classification: Brute
- Adaptive Ability: Crawler of the Slaughterhouse Nine is not only a regenerator, he becomes immune to whatever made him need to regenerate in the first place. He throws himself into suicidal situations for this very reason.
- The Brute: Crawler is considered one of the Nine's heavy hitters as well as Brute being his official cape classification.
- Combat Sadomasochist: As previously mentioned, he throws himself into suicidal situations so that his Adaptive Ability can heal him. Nothing pleases him more than being given a chance to get hurt, to the point that he secretly wishes that Siberan would try to seriously hurt him.
- Combat Tentacles: Has tentacles on his legs for attacking people.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Has eyes all along his torso.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: The fact that before triggering he was just a 5'5" man seems to suggest this.
- Healing Factor: Even worse, he grows stronger adaptations as he heals. He wants nothing more than to grow stronger in this way.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Crawler purposely does this in order to make himself stronger.
- Nigh Invulnerable: By the time the story starts, he's so nearly invincible that even Scrub's blasts barely slow him. In fact, he's killed not through brute force but transmuting him into a nonliving substance, namely glass. Though later on, the Crawler clones are too new and haven't adapted enough to be as dangerous as the original, making them easier to kill if enough firepower is used on them.
- Super Spit: His saliva is highly caustic.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The PRT killed him and Mannequin using Tinker-made super bombs (Bakuda's specialty), and Dragon kills two of his clones by using nanowire to turn them into Pink Mist.
- To the Pain: When Skitter manages to temporarily best him in Prey 14.4, he goes into detail into what he'll do when he catches her:"Run, little girl!" Crawler's broken voice carried, a rumble so low I could feel it. "I'll get free! I'll catch you! I'll hold you down and lick your skin until it melts! I'll pluck your eyes out with the tip of my tongue! I have your scent and you cannot ever stop me! You cannot ever escape!"
- Was Once a Man: Crawler no longer even looks human due to all the adaptations he's had.
- The Worf Barrage: Crawler deliberately invokes this on his opponents, letting them hit him with everything they have and shrugging it off before becoming immune to it. Piggot uses this against him by telling him where to stand to be hit by a barrage of Bakuda's bombs, which prove to be too much even for him.
Alan Gramme (Mannequin)
"What was going on behind that expressionless mask? Was he coming up with a battle plan? Maybe, maybe not. ... Or maybe, behind that hard shell, he was in the throes of mental anguish. Maybe he was spending every second of every day reliving the day he lost his family and his dreams to a nigh-unstoppable, malignant force."Known as Sphere before he became a victim of the Simurgh. Was trying to solve all the world's big problems—famine, global warming, etc.—but flipped when his wife and children were killed and sealed himself away in a doll-like body.Classification: Tinker/Biomes, Terraforming, Self-contained Ecosystems
- Arch-Enemy: To Skitter, first because she is trying to help people in her territory, but afterwards because she kicked his ass.
- Blondes Are Evil: Going by a young clone, Mannequin was blond before his Start of Darkness.
- Confusion Fu: Due to being mostly modular, his fighting style is never quite the same twice, and his flexibility and many weapons give him a lot of options. His clones seem to have distinct styles as well.
- Cranial Processing Unit: Averted; his brain is stored in his chest.
- Cyborg: Became one after his Start of Darkness.
- Death Seeker: According to Word of God, he desires death deep down.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: Mannequin hates being called by his first name as it reminds him of who he once was.
- Evil Is Petty: Few things bother Mannequin as much as seeing someone try to help others and succeed where he had catastrophically failed, which is why he decided to target the people under Skitter's protection.
- Expy: Of Mr. Freeze—a brilliant scientist who becomes a monster due to something happening to his wife and can only survive inside a sealed suit. Later on, he even uses some ice-based tech.
- The Faceless: Mannequin's face is completely blank, as his head is primarily decorative.
- Man in White: His constructed body is white, which further compounds his plain weirdness.
- Meaningful Rename: Went by Sphere before his family was killed and he went crazy.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Was trying to avert this with his work. Then the Simurgh showed up...
- Slashed Throat: His favorite means of killing.
- The Speechless: Mannequin literally doesn't have a mouth or means of verbal communication, all self-inflicted.
- Start of Darkness: His family's death led him to become Mannequin.
- Was Once a Man: Before he turned himself into a self-contained puppet-like cyborg.
"The Siberian." A woman, naked from head to toe, her body painted in alternating stripes of jet black and snow white. She had gone up against the Triumvirate—Legend, Alexandria and Eidolon—on a dozen occasions, and she was still around to talk about it. Or around, at least. From what I'd read, she didn't talk.An invincible black-and-white-striped woman with a fetish for eating people, although she does not need them for sustenance. Capable of bestowing her invincibility on anyone or anything she touches. Actually a projection created by William Manton.Classification: Breaker, Brute, Master, Trump
- Arch-Enemy: To the Triumvirate, due to killing Hero and permanently injuring Alexandria.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Siberian can punch through any defense, including Alexandria's otherwise-complete immunity to any damage.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Siberian doesn't, or clothes for that matter. But it's not like she really needs them.
- The Dragon: She is nearly always with Jack, serves as a silent enforcer, and is by far the strongest member of the team.
- The Dreaded: When Glory Girl and Brandish see her, they run without so much as a word, simply abandoning several civilians in the process.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: She does this in battle against groups. Anyone caught in her path is seriously injured, since she cannot be affected by the collision force, meaning that any matter coming into contact with her is displaced without resistance.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Siberian fights stark naked.
- Gravity Master: Can choose whether gravity can affect her or not.
- Hero Killer: While pretty much all of the Slaughterhouse Nine are this, Siberian is of particular note due to being the one who killed the original Hero.
- Hope Spot: Darkly invoked—one of her favorite games is to hunt a target, wound them, and then let them get a small edge before catching up to attack them again.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Eats people out of a perverse sense of pleasure.
- The Juggernaut: The Siberian's Nigh-Invulnerability makes her unkillable and absolutely unstoppable, which allows her to damage even heroes that have Nigh-Invulnerability. Only effects that are similarly inviolate can stop her, and even then, they only cancel out the projection temporarily.
- Nigh Invulnerable: The Siberian as a projection at least is completely immune to any sort of harm. Her body ignores any kind of force applied to it, so she cannot be damaged by any means, nor can her movement be impeded.
- No Sell: Pretty much any attack against her will turn out like this. The only things that have been able to stop her are impacting something that Clockblocker has time-frozen, getting shot by items Flechette/Foil has affected, and Scion.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Comes up so close to Bitch in her Interlude that their chests are touching.
- Knight of Cerebus: Not to the story itself, but to the setting as a whole. Legend reflects that Siberian's appearance was really the end of the Golden Age of superheroes.
- Killed Offscreen: Courtesy of Dragon and Defiant.
- Replacement Goldfish: It seems probable that she acts maternally towards Bonesaw because of what happened to his daughter.
- The Speechless: Is assumed to be this, but informs Bitch that actually, she killed everyone else who'd ever heard her voice.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Is called "the Siberian" more often than just "Siberian", although that's heard as well.
"So I burned the pimp to scare him, then I burned him to hurt him, for payback over his hounding me, and then I couldn't really stop myself. I burned him to death."A manipulator of fire who becomes less and less controlled the more fire she is using. Able to teleport freely through flames. Was incarcerated in the same facility as Labyrinth, once. Saw herself as Elle's friend. It was not actually mutual. Twenty-ish, dark brown hair, green eyes, and a vertical row of cigarette burns on each cheek.Classification: Blaster; Mover
- Creepy Monotone: Due to her power deadening her emotions.
- Character Death: Grue kills her by bashing her head against the wall.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Goes barefoot much of the time.
- Emotionless Girl: Very nearly, especially if she's been using her power.
- Playing with Fire: Her main power.
- Scars Are Forever: Her cigarette-burn scars down her cheeks from which she takes her name.
- The Sociopath: A low-functioning example, but only when using her powers. The pain of having her conscience come back, though, causes her to use her power as much as possible.
- Teleporters and Transporters: She can jump freely from point to point within any fire and between fires.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Every time she uses her powers, she becomes more and more unstable.
Cherie Vasil (Cherish)
"She closed her eyes for a moment, listened for the music that came from his mind and body. The jangling, dissonant noise of alarm, the throbbing percussion of mortal fear, every part of his body shifting into fight or flight mode. The underlying notes spoke to his personality. His love of his family, his fear that he was about to leave them behind, anger towards her, a momentary anxiety that he was overreacting. She grasped this in the fraction of a second. Reaching for that mortal fear, she wrenched it."A daughter of Heartbreaker who escaped and joined the Nine after she killed Hatchet Face. Detects and controls emotions.Classification: Master
- And I Must Scream: The Nine trap her for her treachery in an impervious, life-sustaining shell of Mannequin's design and sink her to the bottom of the derelict Boat Graveyard, where she is expected to live for several (tens of) thousand(s) (of) years.
- Presumably put out of her misery when Scion destroys the Eastern Seaboard on Earth Bet.
- Arch-Enemy: To Alec.
- Break the Haughty: What happened during the Slaughterhouse Nine arc and, before then, the "tests" they made her undergo before becoming a member.
- Broken Bird: She had to go through 8 tests twice to join the Slaughterhouse Nine. Mannequin ordered her to get a massive tattoo that would degrade her in other's eyes, Burnscar ordered her to kill a loved one, Siberian chased her for three days, biting off a finger each time she was caught until time was up, Shatterbird stuck her in a blacked out room with a shard of glass following her for an undisclosed period of time. When she finally got to Jack's test, he was slightly upset that she was already broken, so his test is to go through the first eight all over again. Bonesaw even revived Hatchet Face for it.
- Delinquent Hair: It has a red streak in it.
- The Ditz: Twisted empath she may be, but she is neither very bright nor insightful with it. Nor can she relate to the people she reads. It makes her... a bit random.
- The Empath: She can detect people's emotions from across the entire city, both allowing her to track them and allowing her to detect their relationships with each other. Ironically, she might be able to determine people's emotional states like a champ, but she's seriously unable to relate enough to be reliable for anything more than broad-strokes.
- Emotion Control: When she's close enough, she can induce emotional states in her targets at will.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first action Cherish takes in her interlude is a mistake that nearly gets her killed.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Well, more like "a sociopath who cannot comprehend people with working empathy-sympathy pathways even if she can see their readout displays", but same difference in her particularly bonkers case.
- Fan Disservice: She's an attractive girl...with gigantic, absolutely hideous tattoos on her stomach and back.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Due to her impending punishment for trying to usurp the Nine.
- Horrible Judge of Character/ Motive Misidentification: As powerful as her empathetic abilities are, she makes a number of major errors in her analysis of the major players in Brockton Bay, including completely missing Skitter's actual motivations. Worse: thinking she could gain subtle neurological control over Bonesaw given enough time? Girl, what about "Mad Doctor" did you miss?
- Outgambitted: ... Let's just say trying to pull a fast one on Jack was only ever going to go one way and leave it at that, eh?
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: One of her favorite weapons.
- Teens Are Monsters: She's about 18. And, like most of the rest of her family, lacking in the real empathy department.
- Trauma Conga Line: She thought running away from Daddy would improve her life... Nope: not they way she went about it.
Hatchet FaceA Power Nullifier with superhuman strength and enhanced durability. Cherish used her range advantage to kill him; Bonesaw brought his corpse back to something resembling life. Cloned by Bonesaw.Classification: Trump; Brute
- An Axe to Grind: His favorite weapon is a woodcutter's axe.
- Driven to Suicide: How Cherish killed him.
- Power Nullifier: His main ability, which made him especially deadly to capes since most are helpless without their powers.
- Super Strength/Super Toughness: Is super strong and tough to the point of shrugging off most damage.
Ashley Stillions (Damsel of Distress)A relatively harmless villainess who makes her home in a small town, occasionally trying to extend her influence into the larger, neighboring cities only to fail and return to lick her wounds. Damsel has space-warping powers, capable of destroying any matter or construction, albeit with a minimum of control. She was recruited by the Slaughterhouse Nine to increase their numbers, only to be killed by Defiant as he pursued them.Classification: Mover; Shaker
- Creepily Long Arms: Has extremely long arms.
- Creepy Long Fingers: As well as extremely long fingers.
- Deal with the Devil: Agreed to Bonesaw's modifications in order to control her powers, only to become more of a monster.
- Evil Gloating Is compelled to do these due to her Power Incontinence.
- Harmless Villain: Wasn't considered much of a threat prior to joining the Nine.
- Power Incontinence: She can't control her powers, described by wildbow as the result of her passenger constantly pushing her to be ambitious and punishing her for failure.
- Punny Name: She's the cause of distress instead of being in distress.
- Space Master: She can destroy any matter or construction in range, but it's very chaotic.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Has white hair and happens to be a villain.
Gray BoyOne of the first members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, whom Jack remembers quite fondly. Prepubescent in appearance, older than ten but younger than fourteen, with neatly parted hair and a private school uniform, complete with glossy black shoes. He also has a monochrome effect surrounding him, occasionally flickering with his body looking in a different direction. His power traps people in loops for all eternity, with only their minds continuing to progress.Classification: Shaker(?)
- Creepy Child: Looks like he crawled out of a formal black-and-white, private school photograph from the mid-C20th. Yeah. And, that's before you work out what he does.
- The Dragon: Plays this to Jack after being cloned, until...
- Fate Worse Than Death: His power traps people in a loop until, in his own words, "the sun goes out." During this loop, the only changes to the affected parties are from what he inflicts on them (such as a cut or burn), and in the progression of their thoughts. Pain inflicted on them is repeated over and over and over, and they can only speak a few syllables at a time before being rewound.
- Make Way for the New Villains: What originally happened to him courtesy of Glaistig Uaine, applying retroactively in the story itself when Glaistig manifests Gray Boy's spirit.
- Older Than They Look: Gray Boy's power prevents him from aging.
- Resurrective Immortality: According to Word of God, Gray Boy is automatically revived by his time reversion powers even if he suffers a lethal wound, though Foil's power seems to be able to bypass this effect.
- Sadist: Probably the worst out of the Nine in this regard.
- Shrouded in Myth: The attitudes of King and Jack Slash towards Gray Boy made this clear long before his clone demonstrated just how dangerous he was.
- The Starscream: He gets fed up with Jack's mounting failures and loops him during the final confrontation.
- Time Master: In addition to keeping him alive, his time reversion prevents any aging. As such, he always looks exactly like he did when he first got his powers, clothing included.
- Walking Spoiler: A lot of things about his character are kept hidden for a long time.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: According to Word of God, the original Grey Boy was similar to Labyrinth in that he wasn't very lucid using his powers, to the point that King recruited him mainly because King's power allowed him to get close without being trapped by it.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: According to Word of God, Cauldron manipulated Glaistig Uaine into absorbing him mainly because more capes were getting removed from play than he was theoretically worth battling Scion, but his power still needed to be in play.
Gabriel Maxberry (King)The original leader of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a seven-foot-tall blond, who was killed by Jack Slash and Harbinger, later known as Number Man. Cloned by Bonesaw. His power transfers his injuries to everyone he's touched in a 24-hour period.Classification: Striker, Brute
- Badass: So much so that it took Jack Slash and Harbinger to kill him.
- In the Back: How Jack and Harbinger killed him.
- Large and in Charge: The leader of the Nine, and about half a foot taller than Jack who replaced him.
- Liquid Assets: His injury transference ability.
- No Sell: According to Word of God his power allowed him to be effectively immune to Gray Boy's ability, which is how he was able to get a hold on him.
- Posthumous Character: King is long dead by the events of the story.
- Super Strength: Self-explanatory.
ChucklesA former member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a tall, pear-shaped, fat clown with super speed powers with a twist. He has super speed in the head and legs, and super strength in the chest and arms. Unfortunately, his powers had the nasty side effect of causing him to perceive the world in perpetual slow motion, leaving him unable to communicate. He has only managed to teach himself to make a sound that is similar to laughter, hence the name. This eventually caused him to lose his mind. His post-modification self also has arms that zig-zagged, consisting of more elbow than arm, that trail behind him like ribbons.Classification: Brute, Mover
- Evil Laugh: A rather unique one that is described as a discordant sound, as if there were a different voice for each syllable of the utterance.
- Fat Bastard: Is pretty fat, and pretty evil.
- Monster Clown: His makeup is actually made up of tattooed on scars.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Post-modification he has several limbs.
- The Speechless: But he can laugh.
- Super Speed: His main power, focused in his head and feet.
- Super Strength: His other power, focused on his chest and arms.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Was driven mad by how quickly he perceived the world.
CrimsonOne of the earliest members of the Slaughterhouse Nine. Winter's lover. Powers up into a super-strong form by consuming the blood of multiple victims. Cloned by Bonesaw.Classification: Shifter
- BFS: Carries a sword that is as long as he is tall—after he's Hulked out.
- Hulking Out/Our Vampires Are Different: After he's drunk enough blood, Crimson grows into a form Weaver describes as "big, muscular, fueled by rage and impulse". She states that "his flesh would be engorged, purple-red, the veins would be standing out. He'd be as hard as iron, strong".
- Unholy Matrimony: With Winter.
WinterOne of the previous members of the Slaughterhouse Nine and a former arms dealer and slave trader, Winter was a white-haired woman with white irises edged in black. Crimson's lover. Her power involved a dampening effect that caused locations to lose heat, moving objects to lose inertia, and humans to lose will.Classification: Shaker(?), Breaker(?)
- An Ice Person: As a side effect of her actual power.
- Child Soldier: Started out as one, according to Bonesaw.
- Sadist: Got a kick out of torturing people.
- Super Villain Packing Heat: Winter carries around firearms like sniper rifles.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Crimson.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Has white hair and happens to be a villain.
Nice GuyA previous member of the Slaughterhouse Nine whose power makes people incapable of perceiving him as a threat.Classification: Stranger
- Jedi Mind Trick: When he uses his power on people, they can still see and interact with him, but they are unable to recognize him as a potential threat.
- Nice Guy: Averted, he's anything but.
- The Nondescript: To the point that people can barely recognize that he's standing there in front of them if his power is "on".
- Shoot the Hostage: Being willing to do this is one way of getting around his power.
BreedA former and founding member of the Slaughterhouse Nine whose power allowed him to create insectoid parasites.Classification: Master
- Bad Powers, Bad People: It's hard to be a superhero when your power is making nightmarish bugs that breed inside people's bodies.
- Kill It with Fire: Breed died originally from someone shooting an incendiary missile at the building he was in.
- No Sell: His parasites are immune to Weaver's control, despite their insectoid shape.
- Orifice Invasion: His parasites can and will enter bodies through the mouth, nose, and anus.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else: Is described as fairly normal-looking in appearance.
ScreamerFormer member of the Slaughterhouse Nine with the ability to manipulate sound within a huge area. She used it to amplify her voice, alter her voice to match others' voices, throw her voice to speak directly into people's ears (pretending to be their thoughts), or cancel out sounds she doesn't want heard.Classification: Shaker(?)
- Hell Is That Noise: Weaponizes it by speaking into people's ears.
- Inner Monologue: After adapting to people's voices, she can imitate this.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Usually a subtle version of this, but is able to stun people with loud screeches.
- Voice Changeling: The primary use for her ability.
NyxA former and founding member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, and a Case-53. She has red skin, black eyes, and vents along her hairline, the back of her neck, and down the backs of her arms. These vents can generate a poison gas which she forms into solid shapes that move at her will. If she chooses to release it or the shape is broken by other means, the gas is released.Classification: Stranger
- Poisonous Person: Her illusions are made of poison gas which either knocks you out at best or causes permanent brain damage and organ failure at worse. She also seems limited in how much gas she can produce.
SkinslipOne of the newer members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a minor regenerator with the ability to manipulate his own skin. He can extend this ability by flaying people and crudely stitching or stapling their skin to his. This gives him wider (if disgusting) reach and lets him bludgeon/asphyxiate foes, scale buildings, and other applications.Classification: Changer
- Body Horror: Has a patchwork appearance due to his added skin.
- Building Swing: uses large patchwork quilts of skin to grapple buildings and get to/from rooftops.
- Healing Factor: Skinslip has a relatively weak one.
- Genuine Human Hide: Uses this to enhance his powers.
- Master of Your Domain: His skin manipulation ability.
Night HagOne of the newer members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, Night Hag is a dark-haired woman wearing a black dress with skin as white as chalk. Her power appears to be location possession, being able to reform herself if destroyed from from any area she has "infected" with her power. A breaker with the secondary benefits of not needing sleep or food.Classification: Breaker/Mover (?)
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Her skin is described as being as white as chalk.
- The Needless: She doesn't need to eat or drink.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Her location-possession power, though it works best with materials above the ground.
- Woman in Black: Is always seen in black.
MiasmaA former member of the Nine who can turn invisible and undetectable, spewing an odorless gas that wears away at other's minds, causing headaches, ringing in the ears, watery eyes and eventual blindness, memory loss and coma.Classification: Stranger, Blaster
- Bad Powers, Bad People: It's hard to imagine any good use for his power.
- Invisibility: Can turn invisible.
- Loss of Identity: What his power can do to you, right before sending you into a coma.
- Poisonous Person: Spews poison gas.
PsychosomaA former and founding member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a tall and narrow bald man with a pencil thin mustache and beard, spidery fingers, and clothes that look as if they were draped on. Has the ability to warp people into rabid monsters that can climb on walls. Dealing enough damage breaks the effect and returns them to their normal, unhurt self.Classification: Stranger 4; Master 7
- Bald of Evil: Is completely bald.
- Baleful Polymorph: Seems to be his ability.
- Body Horror: His ability causes one victim's ribs to distend, and his arms to turn into claws.
- Lean and Mean: Is skeletally thin.
- This Was His True Form: Hurting people affected by his power seems to be the only way to reverse it. Though it is not as simple as it sounds as if you break the effect for one, the others would then tear the freed victim apart if nearby.
A mysterious organization that appears to have figured out how to give people powers.
Cauldron as a whole:
- Antagonistic Offspring: The Case 53s are basically this to them as a group. The hundreds of people with a staggering array of powers who they created (often without anything resembling informed consent), isolated, psychologically and physically abused and then just discarded or, worse, kept in solitary confinement for years? Yeah: how was that not going to backfire horribly in some way?
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Most groups, in a situation where they need to send an enforcer to bust some heads, would send a Brute or a Striker. Cauldron sends Thinkers. However, this is also their Achilles' Heel: too many Thinkers means too few rounded people to keep them all grounded.
- Expy: Of SEELE from Neon Genesis Evangelion. The pocket dimension they use for their council meetings seems to be designed after the SEELE council holograms.
- Greater Scope Villain: As the story progresses, a lot of problems in the Wormverse are traced back to them. Dragon herself rates them as being on the same level as the Endbringers and the Slaughterhouse Nine in terms of their danger to the world. However, they're knocked out of the Big Bad role by Scion, and end up being more of an extremely amoral and surprisingly ineffectual Big Good.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: When their headquarters are invaded by the Case 53s they turned into deformed creatures and abandoned on Earth Bet.
- Trying to keep Eidolon in the game whatever it took when misunderstanding the core of his ability? Whoops. Talk about creating monsters that can bite you...
- Not Wearing Tights: No one in Cauldron's inner circle dresses like a stereotypical hero or villain.
- Oddly Small Organization: For all the influence that can ultimately be traced back to them, there are only fewer than ten people who are actual, direct Cauldron employees rather than just power-buyers, proxies or Unwitting Pawns.
- Story-Breaker Power: Contessa and Number Man are probably the most powerful non-Endbringer Thinkers in the web novel. In general, all their members except Doctor Mother are ludicrously powerful.
- Super Serum: They make these and sell them, hoping that their formula will balance out the tendency of people who triggered normally to become villains by letting them gain their powers in a less-traumatizing way.
- Supervillain Lair: The huge complex in which they work, which may possibly be in another dimension.
- The Syndicate: Which trades in super serums.
- We Are Everywhere: A lot of capes, heroes and villains alike, have ties to them due to their super serum ring. Notable examples include Battery, Coil, and the Triumvirate.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: They claim that their goal is to avert the apocalypse, but we eventually learn that they allowed it to happen because they believed it was inevitable and could only be postponed, which would only make things worse.
- They were right.
William MantonA famous early researcher into capes, and the one for whom the Manton effect—the inability of most parahumans to affect both living and nonliving matter—was named. Worked for Cauldron for some time, but when he tried to give his daughter powers using one of their formulas and failed, he quit and used a stolen formula to become the Siberian - which is why the Siberian resembles his daughter.
- Despair Event Horizon: The loss of his daughter led him to become the Siberian.
- Killed Offscreen: Which causes the same to happen to his projection.
- Mysterious Past: What happened to him between becoming the Siberian and joining the Slaughterhouse Nine is largely unknown, as are several other facets of his character, which are only hinted at.
- Tattooed Crook: He has a tattoo on each hand. One is Cauldron's symbol (which also marks the Case 53s), and the other used to be used to mark victims of the Simurgh.
Doctor MotherThe apparent chief of the organization, described as a black woman with long hair in a doctor's getup. Personally recruited Rebecca Costa-Brown, among others.
- Above Good and Evil: Gives off this vibe when explaining the rationale for her actions.
- Badass Normal: She never actually gains powers herself, despite having the potential to trigger, but she leads one of the most powerful organizations in the series.
- Determined Defeatist: She doesn't believe that Scion can be defeated, but she's still trying.
- Lack of Empathy: It becomes fairly obvious that Doctor Mother has a very poor grasp of the feelings of other people. It's probably at least part of why Cauldron is so bad at saving the world.
- Karmic Death: Gets crushed by Garrote, a Case 53, in Vemon 29.7.
- Mad Scientist: It appears that she is in charge of recruiting (or kidnapping) and dosing patients with the Super Serums. However, it eventually turns out that not only is she not a Tinker, or even a parahuman, she's not even actually a doctor; what little actual science is involved in producing the power serums is done using Contessa and the Number Man's powers.
- The Man Behind the Man: Well, woman, Doctor Mother was responsible for Coil and the Triumvirate, among others.
- Moral Sociopathy: She's in it to save humanity a whole, whatever it takes, no matter how much blood covers the ground. The problem is that she can't actually emotionally engage with people very well, so she takes some very dubious and circuitous routes to do it. The implications are that she never could actually understand people fully, even before she found a crusade worth further chopping her empathy off for.
- Not So Different: Doctor Mother could basically be described as how Taylor would act on a world-wide scale, except that Taylor never completely sheds her sense of morals.
- Not So Stoic: After the Undersiders and the Guild take control of three of the Endbringers, she's briefly rendered incapable of forming complete words.
- One Bad Mother: Doctor Mother is the woman behind various capes, and she's the head of an evil (or, at the very least, amoral) organization.
- Smug Snake: She tries to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but it becomes more and more apparent to everyone but herself that she's failed the basic competence exam.
- Straw Vulcan: Her Fatal Flaw—she's become so divorced from her own emotions that she's lost her instinctive understanding of human behavior. For example, explaining why you wouldn't know the real name of a heavily-traumatized Case 53, i.e., not knowing them personally and there's a lot of "data" to sift through, might not endear you to that Case 53 enough to save your life.
- The Unfettered: She's willing to do absolutely anything if it might save humanity from Scion.
- Woman in White: Tends to wear white outfits.
The Number Man
"He understood numbers, and through them, he understood everything."A Thinker in the employ of Cauldron, responsible for managing funds for many capes, legitimate and not. He is described as a bookish middle-aged man wearing a button-up shirt and thin-rimmed glasses, his blond hair cut short to be easy to maintain. Was also the monitor for the Undersiders' bank accounts on the behalf of Coil. Once fought alongside Jacob—the man who became Jack Slash—as a member of the Slaughterhouse Nine in his former identity as Harbinger. Cloned by Bonesaw.Classification: Thinker
- Affably Evil: He certainly values politeness, and he seems quite annoyed by the active sadism of his clones, whose personalities were designed more on hearsay than any real information on him.
- Badass: Solely through Awesomeness by Analysis.
- Black Cloak/In the Hood: His original costume as Harbinger.
- The Cracker: Is a skilled hacker thanks to his powers making it child's play.
- Foil: To Jack Slash of all people, even still considering him a friend.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Is always seen wearing glasses.
- Good with Numbers: Doctor implies they don't need to test each batch of formula on multiple test subjects because because Number Man can whip out the percentages on the spot. In fact, Number Man is so good with numbers...
- ...that he can predict exactly how someone will act or react, making him especially dangerous in battle, though, according to him, it works better at range, so, as a result...
- ...his power also makes him an excellent sniper, using ricochets to expertly put down opponents.
- He threatened to do a Shatterpoint Tap to a super-strong parahuman's skull if he didn't back down.
- Measuring the Marigolds: As far as the Number Man is concerned, numbers are the only thing that's true, likely as a side effect of his power.
- Mundane Utility: With full knowledge of the Number Man's powers, his usage of it in banking comes across as this.
- Not Wearing Tights: Number Man purposely dresses as normal as possible. Despite looking like a nerd (complete with pocket protector), he's still fairly intimidating in Taylor's eyes.
- Precision F-Strike: He drops an F-bomb when he realizes what Scion is trying to do to Cauldron's base.
- Semantic Superpower: You'd be quite surprised at what being "merely" Good with Numbers can entail. Let us count the ways: horizontal wall-running, shrugging off a multiple-story drop, surviving an explosion in the case of his clones just by spinning in the exact right way, setting up a controlled demolition on the fly...
- The Sociopath: What do you expect? About his only...um..."friends" are Doctor Mother, Jack Slash, and himselves. That says a lot.
- Teens Are Monsters: Going by the fact that his clones were teenagers, Number Man was only in his teens when he became part of the Slaughterhouse Nine.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Number Man believes his actions help to make the world a better place.
DoormakerCapable of tearing portals through the alternate Earths, allowing Cauldron to pick up test subjects from everywhere but Earth Bet and (when desired) leave them on Earth Bet. Is effectively the gatekeeper to Cauldron's facilities, which are implied to also be in an alternate plane themselves.Classification: Shaker(?)
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Is extremely good at portals, particularly between worlds. Can't do anything else (including know who wants a portal to where) without a stunningly-good clairvoyant right next to him to help him.
- Character Death: Is claimed by Glaistig Uaine in Speck 30.6.
- Portal Door: Creates these against an ordinary-looking door, or even in mid-air to allow for transit.
- Sensory Overload: Is effectively blind and deaf due to his Super Senses.
Fortuna (Contessa)The Doctor's right-hand woman since the formation of Cauldron, if not earlier. Acts as her aide, bodyguard, and enforcer. She is described as an attractive woman of either French or Italian descent around Danny Hebert's age with slightly-longer-than-shoulder-length black hair between wavy and curly. Her outfit consists mainly of black suits tailor-made to fit her body. Capable of single-handedly incapacitating Faultline's entire crew. Contessa's power appears to be some sort of precognition and/or Super Reflexes, but these are actually just facets of her true power, which automatically supplies her with whatever steps she needs to take to succeed at the task she visualizes, whether it be combat, psychological manipulation, or Cauldron's long-term plans. Unusually enough, she lacks the common Thinker weakness of being cancelled out by other Thinkers. In Interlude 26, it is revealed that her shard is neither "dead" (like Cauldron-supers) nor from from Scion (like all known trigger-supers). Seemingly killed fighting the Irregulars due to Mantellum's power, only to be revealed to have survived in Interlude 29.Classification: Thinker
- Achilles' Heel: Her power allows her to answer any question...but she doesn't always know the best question to ask.
- Awesome by Analysis: Physically, she's no stronger or faster than a normal human, but her power allows her to effortlessly demolish entire teams of capes.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Contessa is always seen wearing a woman's suit.
- Blank Slate: Or, as near as dammit. She's not called "the bogeyman" for nothing: nobody in-world besides Doctor Mother knows much about her. And, there isn't much to know, as she very rarely talks. Without somebody to supply questions for her to find answers to or a goal for her to select a route that works, she becomes rudderless.
- Combat Clairvoyance: What is seen of her fight with Lung's former gang suggests this, and she explains to Weaver that her power works by calculating the path needed to victory, and following through. It doesn't work on Endbringers, meaning that Taylor's crazy plan to recruit the Simurgh completely blindsided her.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivers one to everyone she fights with the exception of Mantellum. Bonus points for finishing off one member of Lung's old gang with an actual curbstomp.
- Dodge the Bullet: In Lung's Interlude, she dodges and parries several bullets at point-blank range.
- The Dragon: To the Doctor.
- Dragon-in-Chief: A variation. Doctor Mother makes most of the overarching decisions and serves as Cauldron's face, and Contessa relies on her for direction because she never really grew up, but Cauldron's core plan and driving goal actually come from Contessa—Doctor Mother was just chosen as the face and official leader because Contessa was a child when they started.
- The Dreaded: Contessa is so feared by other capes, despite not even knowing her name, that she's referred to simply as "her". When Weaver asks Prefab her classification, she's told, "Thinker. Don't worry about the number. Just run."
- Enigmatic Minion: No one really knows Contessa's deal except Doctor Mother. Maybe.
- Faking the Dead: How she avoids getting killed by the Irregulars during their raid of Cauldron's base.
- He Knows Too Much: In Number Man's Interlude, it's mentioned that Contessa's job is more or less to assassinate people who learn too much about Cauldron and attempt to release that information.
- Hero Killer: She single-handedly incapacitated Faultline's crew, and, upon meeting Weaver, handed her a total defeat, making it clear that she could've killed her at any time.
- Knife Nut: Contessa's Weapon of Choice is a stiletto no longer than a finger.
- Lady of War: Lung describes her as being very graceful in combat.
- Meatgrinder Surgery: One of the (many) benefits of her superpower is that she can turn this into a useful, viable option. Best exemplified when she performs preliminary brain surgery with a Double Tap to the back of the head in order to save someone's life.
- Mundane Utility: Her power makes her pretty much invincible. It also lets her know how to tie a necktie.
- No Sell: See One Villain, Hold The Weaksauce.
- One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce:
- Inverted since Contessa is an antagonist, but she happens to be immune to the Thinker weakness of being canceled out by other Thinkers. Certain beings such as Scion and Endbringers are immune to her ability, but, even then, she can still predict their actions by considering the situation as a hypothetical, though it is possible for them to surprise her. Unfortunately for her, Mantellum was able to counter her completely.
- The Simurgh can trump it whenever she feels like by being a precognitive Endbringer, as seen when Taylor's plan to recruit the Endbringers actually works.
- Pet the Dog:
- Saves Taylor's life and sanity with a couple of bullets.
- After Scion is no longer a threat and Cauldron disbands, she tries to become a nicer person. Emphasis on tries, but, hey, at least she's making the effort.
- The Quiet One: Contessa doesn't talk much, and when she does, it's quick and to the point. This is due to the fact that her power is being used to translate.
- Secret Keeper: The world believes she killed Khepri. She's happy to let them.
- The Worf Effect: Her offscreen match with Faultline's crew was impressive enough, but far more vivid was her curb stomping in Crushed 24.2 of Weaver and the Chicago Wards, handing Taylor one of her very few outright losses.
- Would Hurt a Child: Contessa had no compunctions about killing every non-Lung member of his original street gang, despite all of them being little more than teenagers at the time, and would've killed Weaver and the Chicago Wards if they hadn't backed down.
- The Unfettered: Does not care about anything but stopping Zion.
- Walking Spoiler: As a character this close to the story of Worm, it's to be expected.