A planned webcomic adventure started in 2012 (inside Das Nordlicht 91's head...), Special Inteligence centers on the eponymous division of the U.S. government's Office of Extracurricular Intervention Operations (O.E.I.O.), made up of a variety of people, be they bad ass ex-soldiers or just Adorkable nerds. Together, the S.I.D. are tasked to battle threats both mundane or otherwise extraordinary.Of course, setting up a unit comprised of a melting pot of different personalities, there's bound to be dysfunction, which seems to be the highlights of the webcomic other than the off the wall action. With that said, the characters include:
Joffrey Crosby: One of the new recruits to the S.I.D. program, who's a bit childish, and a bright optimist. His quest for maturity, along with his budding romance with Sharon Carter, a close friend of his, form the majority of Crosby's character development.
Olivia Smithson: Former U.S. Navy officer assigned to the S.I.D. after saving her fellow soldiers from a chimaera monster during a routine training mission gone south. At the end of Series I, she's now a Super Soldier.
John Bauer: Badass robotic man whose personality and consciousness are modeled on a deceased U.S. Special Forces soldier.
Alice Baines: Empathic telepath who's seen better days, but still continues to fight the good fight as a S.I.D. agent.
Roy Kessel: An all-around snarky Jerkass who's infamous for saying the wrong things at the wrong time, but can be counted on to help out his teammates when things get desperate.
Justin Porter: Another new recruit to the S.I.D. program, signed on for his amazing memory retention abilities.
Elliot Shade: The S.I.D. team's Mission Control. Introverted, but he's a dependable team member.
Sharon Carter: Joffrey Crosby's girlfriend who's as every bit as optimistic as him. She joins S.I.D. as a Sixth Ranger during the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" arc.
As stated before, the key element of the series, other than the "saving the world" thing, seems to be the relationships within a unit with so many differing personalities working together. The series also takes place within the same universe as The Northern Light, with the two series even crossing over for a storyline, where S.I.D. have to team up with NL and Synergy to fight off a band of mutant miscreants that plan to pollute Niagara Falls.
"Special Intelligence" provides examples of:
Action Girl: Olivia Smithson, Alice Baines, and even Sharon Carter. Particularly once Sharon joins up with the S.I.D.
Adorkable: The "nerds" of the S.I.D. team, all of them.
Agent Scully: Olivia started out as this well before joining S.I.D., but quickly changed her tune after a monstrous creature attacked her U.S. Navy crew.
Alliterative Name: Sharon Carter, as well as O.E.I.O. Director Lyle Lancaster, and Lorne Laurinaitis.s a multinational effort, with different cultures coming together to help out.
Amusing Alien: Robbie, a slightly insane Cloudcuckoolander alien that the S.I.D. team meets in the first two issues.
Badass Crew: The S.I.D. team, even with the nerds on the roster.
Badass Family: Believe it or not, the Carter clan. Tom Carter served in the U.S. Army Rangers, Natalie Carter was a former FBI agent, and of course, their daughter Sharon is an agent of the O.E.I.O.'s S.I.D. unit.
Bad Future: Alice gets a vision of a particularly craptastic one, where the O.E.I.O. has been terminated, nearly all her friends are dead, and Shabadoo has taken over the planet.
It's also a bad future for Crosby, as he's apparently gone into exile after failing to save Sharon from Shabadoo's new demonic forces.
Battle Couple: Joffrey/Sharon, Olivia/Brett, as well as Justin/Alice.
Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Apparently, the O.E.I.O. was set up by President Roosevelt in the 1940s in response to the Nazis turn to the supernatural in their efforts to take over the world.
Unless you have one hell of a death wish, don't ever try to kill Sharon Carter, because Joffrey flippin' Crosby will fucking kick your head in.
Hell, even Lorne Laurinaitis suspending Sharon for supposedly "acting out of line" (she had saved Roy, even when the order was to retreat) manages to rile Joffrey up something fierce.
Conversely, the opposite is true for Sharon if anyone ever tries to come after Crosby.
Don't even think of threatening Olivia Smithson in front of John Bauer.
Betty and Veronica: Joffrey Crosby falls in love with Sharon Carter (Betty) and fellow S.I.D. agent Olivia Smithson (Veronica). However, by the time Series I ends, Crosby ends up with Sharon.
Beware the Nice Ones: Joffrey. Fucking. Crosby. He's generally a nice, if a bit air-headed agent, but do something like, say, attempt to kill Sharon Carter, Crosby will outright tear you apart.
Beware the Silly Ones: Josef Shabadoo is ultimately a laughable failure villain in his first appearance. The next time he appears? He's got his own evil team and they manage to be a dangerous threat for the S.I.D. crew, even managing to capture Alice Baines in the process. Good God.
Big Bad: Mr. Decker, Josef "Joey" Shabadoo, the Bloodserpents, The Legion of Darkness, etc.
Big Damn Heroes: Crosby manages to pull this off in the penultimate chapter of the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" arc, with John Bauer joining in for added badassery.
Let's not forget the time that Sharon pulled this off in the climax of "Invasion From Hell", providing her friends some much needed calvalry against the Bloodserpents.
John Bauer and "Dead or alive, you're coming with me."
"That's classified information!" Spoken by a number of characters, but usually those employed by the O.E.I.O.
Cerebus Syndrome: While most of Series I's early arcs involved fantastic threats usually played for laughs, the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" arc featured a dramatic change with a turn for the darker side of things at times.
One strip has a quick cameo from several characters from SPECWAR.
Darkest Hour: "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Chapter III" ends with Decker well on his way of conquering Earth, the O.E.I.O. team left in defeat, and Joffrey Crosby wallowing in despair. However, that turns around in Chapter IV, as a well-timed talk with Sharon Carter is enough to inspire Crosby to go on.
Darker and Edgier: The "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" storyline is decidedly darker than what had come before.
Dismantled MacGuffin: The American Knight activator was originally split into three portions, leading to The Team having to find them before it fell into the wrong hands.
Drowning My Sorrows: Crosby during "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing", as we see him apparently "drunk" on milkshakes and crooning like there's no tomorrow.
Dysfunction Junction: Bound to happen when your specialized intelligence unit has a by*the*book military brat, a stone*faced robotic man who doesn't care much for most things, a nerdy manchild who's got romance issues, an empathic telepath with a tragic backstory, a stiff man in a suit who happens to be an alcoholic, among others.
Eye Scream: The Bloodserpents' leader punishes an underling's failure by brutally doing this to said mook.
Fun with Acronyms: The Office of Extracurricular Intervention Operations, and its successor in Series II, the Office of Extranormal Intelligence Operations. The acronym doesn't spell anything in particular, though.
Future Me Scares Me: Crosby is less than enthused with finding out about his future self having gone into exile after bearing witness to Sharon getting killed by a demonic Josef Shabadoo and his new forces from hell. Which ends up being a motivator of sorts for Crosby, eventually.
Game Face: The Dreamkillers, who pose as humans (or possess humans), will reveal their true forms whenever they go in for the kill in a person's dreams, or when nearing death.
Generation Xerox: It's revealed that Mr. Crosby is as heroic and noble as his son, but interestingly enough, he's not as childish as his son.
Genre Savvy: The nerds that partially make up the S.I.D., which proves quite helpful when aiding the unit's elite soldiers.
It's explicitly stated that the nerds were recruited for this sole purpose.
Handicapped Badass: Once she joins the S.I.D, Sharon Carter, who becomes quite a friggin' badass, even with minor paralysis.
Hate Plague: Induced by the titular creatures in "Angry, Angry Hippodemons".
The Heart: Sharon Carter once she joins the S.I.D. team, is definitely the heart and soul of The Team. She often is the one who motivates her teammates to go on and is able to pull anyone of them out of despair just by simply giving a heart-to-heart talk.
She (or, at the very least, her mind) is even able to make James-Michael Liles, one of the Dreamkillers, turn good.
Heel-Face Turn: In Series II, James-Michael Liles, who formerly was a Dreamkiller, turned on his masters after spending prolongued time inside Sharon's mind.
Henshin Hero: The American Knight activator works in this manner, transforming the user into a Kamen Rider*esque hero.
Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: Crosby seems to have a weird version of his events planned in his head, featuring a fantasized version of himself named "Sidney Crosby".
Heroic Bystander: Surprisingly, Rocky Stone managed to save the day during the "Dreamkillers" arc as he K Os a crazed civilian under the influence of the titular villains.
A early flashback shows how Roy Kessel was recruited for the S.I.D. team, as he saved Olivia Smithson from a marauding bad guy.
This is how Sharon ultimately joins the S.I.D. in "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing", as she rescues Crosby from one of Decker's goons, as the two then make their way to stop Decker once and for all.
Heroic BSOD: Crosby suffers this during the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" arc when the reality of the severity of Decker's threat strikes a major nerve for the young S.I.D. agent.
If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Upon joining the S.I.D., James-Michael gets chewed out by Crosby, who warns what will happen if he decides to harm Sharon in any way. Crosby does calm down after that initial threat, though.
Journey to the Center of the Mind: The Dreamkillers launch an invasion of minds all over Earth in order to bring nightmares to humanity, and it so happens that they invade Sharon's mind as a result, leading to Alice, Crosby, and John Bauer to enter to rescue Sharon from the Dreamkillers.
Kneel Before Zod: Decker attempts to do this to Crosby in the climax of "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing". Of course, Crosby is too damned stubborn, and proceeds to hobble up and slap the baddie in the face, buying time for John Bauer and Olivia to send in the reinforcements.
Knight of Cerebus: Mr. Decker, a magnificent bastard corporate slimebag, actually a time-traveling conqueror who's taken up residence in the present so that he can take it over. The arc in which Decker features in has such "fun" moments as John Bauer getting beaten within an inch of his life by Decker, Crosby nearly suffering a Heroic BSOD, and the O.E.I.O. being shut down, right as Earth's being laid waste by the bad guys.
Last Name Basis: John Bauer seems to call his peers solely by their surnames.
Lock and Load Montage: Just before the final battle with Decker's forces, there's a sequence where The Team get themselves armed and ready. John Bauer, Olivia, and Brett prepare themselves with guns and explosive weaponry, while Crosby, Sharon, Alice, Thomas, and Justin prepare with non*conventional gear.
Magic Versus Science: The O.E.I.O. uses a combination of both in fighting enemy forces, whereas the villains they fight also tend to have a mix in their use of both.
The Man Behind the Curtain: Boss Shades is actulay just a scrawny wimp who came up with the tougher persona as a means to scare enemies.
Man Child: Played for both laughs and drama with Joffrey Crosby. He's frequently told to "grow up", and part of his character arc deals with this.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Mr. Decker beating John flippin' Bauer into unconsciousness at the start of the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" arc.
No Name Given: Crosby's dad is simply just known to others as "Mr. Crosby".
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: By the time Series II kicks in, the following happens in short order: The old O.E.I.O. is replaced by a similar organization with the same acronym, Olivia is turned into a super-soldier, Sharon joins the new S.I.D. and is in love with Crosby, among other things.
Official Couple: Not only Joffrey/Sharon, but also Olivia/Brett, and Alice/Justin for added measure.
Oh Crap: While "oh, shit" is Crosby's catchphrase du jour, there's other notable moments of this in the comic:
Mr. Decker, after clearly dominating over our heroes and so on, has this reaction when Crosby, Bauer, and Olivia refuse to give up, and when Carter comes in for the rescue, along with the other S.I.D. team members, and a buttload of O.E.I.O. reinforcements.
Psycho Prototype: Jack Steele to John Bauer, as revealed in "Secrets Unraveled".
Punny Name: Rocky Stone, the name of a minor character.
Redundant Rescue: One strip has Crosby making a heroic charge to save Sharon from a menacing troll, only to find the troll defeated by a simple Groin Attack by Sharon. Needless to say, Crosby was impressed.
Rescue Arc: "And I'll Form The Head" features Sharon leading the S.I.D. team in rescuing a kidnapped Crosby from Boss Shades.
Roaring Rampage of Rescue: With Crosby kidnapped during the "And I'll Form The Head" arc, Sharon volunteers to lead the rescue effort.
Robotic Reveal: Needless to say, Mr. Decker's brutal beatdown of John Bauer pretty much spelled out the fact that he's an artificial robotic man.
Rogues Gallery: The Team has contended with numerous threats over the course of the webcoming, including: Josef Shabadoo and his Legion of Darkness, Mr. Decker, Boss Shades, the demon Khimaera, friggin' Dracula, the Dreamkillers, and even zombie Nazis.
"Just kiss her, already!" Most characters' advice to Crosby in regards to his relationship with Sharon.
"You Canadians are sad, strange people."
Roy saying far too much than he's asked.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Josef Shabadoo releases the Khimaeara from an underwater chamber, in order to destroy the Mystic Peninsula.
Secret Diary: "Interlude II: CLASSIFIED" centers on Alice's diary, which Justin subsequently finds. Hilarity (and heartwarming) ensues.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: A unique triple*team variant, as Crosby, Olivia, and Justin teamed up to shut up Shabadoo in "Mystic Peninsula"
Shabadoo: Y'see, I am no longer the joke you mean people have made me out to be. I have the power....no, correction ** I AM THE POW***
Crosby: No, you don't, fuzzyboy. I'm really out of it today and not in the mood, and well, I'm going to kick your silly ass.
Olivia: Regardless of what my partner says, Shabadoo, we're bringing you to custody.
Justin: Uh......(beat) what they said.
Crosby decides he's had enough of Lorne Laurinaitis's meddling and lets loose:
Crosby: Sir, with all due respect, I think I speak for everyone when I say that I've had just about enough of your "help". We've risked our asses saving the entire universe from some time traveling asshole, plus protected a magical peninsula from another asshole, all the while you sit here texting and making needless changes to our team. I could tolerate that, but once you suspend one of the finest agents I've ever met and my girlfriend, you've pushed the wrong, wrong button, sir.
Joffrey (again) won't have any of Decker's grandstanding:
Decker: What makes you think you have a chance of stopping me, child? I have already won.
Crosby: Correction, Decker. You've already lost. I'm just waiting for the calvary.
Shipper on Deck: Roy, for reasons that even he can't elaborate on, seems to like to ship Crosby/Sharon.
Roy: Hey, I don't have to elaborate. You and her were made for one another, dammit.
Shipping Bed Death: Averted, as we see both Sharon and Crosby's characters developing well after getting together in the "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" arc. Then again, falling in love seemed to be essential to both their character arcs.
As confirmed by Word of God, Joffrey Crosby's surname is a deliberate reference to both Sidney Crosby and Joffrey Lupul.
Even more deliberate by the fact that we see Joffrey use "Sidney Crosby" as an alias in a few strips.
Part 2 of "Reborn in the USA" has Sharon wearing a Hufflepuff scarf, while standing next to Marc, who himself is wearing a Captain America t-shirt.
The O.E.I.O. superiors' advice of "Don't freak out" to the new S.I.D. recruits.
The exterior of the Shop-Stop that Rocky Stone and Carter Cole work at shows it adjacent to a Buy More.
In one strip, the heroes even go to said Buy More location to get the tools they need to fight Shabadoo's Legion of Darkness.
Josef "Joey" Shabadoo, the villain from the "Mystic Peninsula" arc, is a clear reference to "Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo", a gag from The Simpsons.
Smug Snake O.E.I.O. director Lorne Laurinaitis, going by what the creators have said, is based on a certain Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Monday Night Raw.
John Bauer is appropriately a gestalt of John Casey and Jack Bauer.
As implied in one strip, Crosby's cellphone's ringtone is apparently "Chelsea Dagger". We even see him humming along to it.
Smug Snake: The O.E.I.O.'s new director, Lorne Laurinaitis. He's a supposed master planner who thinks he's acting on what's best for the O.E.I.O., but end up being detrimental to the organization and particularly, the S.I.D. team.
Super Soldier: Olivia volunteers to become one near Series I's end.
Strapped to an Operating Table: Olivia Smithson is a frequent victim of this, but she's definitely an unwilling one. She even escapes one instance, when Boss Shades attempts to do this.
Super Mode: After being rescued from Boss Shades's clutches, Crosby is injected with a serum that heals him of his injuries, but it also grants him superpowers for a brief while, too.
Super Toughness: John Bauer. Which makes sense, given that he's a robotic artificial human and all.
Super Wheel Chair: Averted with Sharon's wheelchair. She's offered one upon joining the S.I.D. team, but Sharon ultimately refuses, maintaining her traditional wheelchair.
10-Minute Retirement: Crosby briefly quitting the O.E.I.O. during "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" after suffering a Heroic BSOD. It ends once Sharon gives Crosby an inspiring and awesome pep talk.
There Was a Door: Crosby crashes through a wall with a mech he was piloting to save the day, while shouting "OH YEAH!" in one strip.
The War on Terror: Seems to have been supplanted by more extraordinary threats, as it turns out.
Those Two Guys: Rocky Stone and Carter Cole, two friends of Joffrey and Justin's who work at the Shop-Stop.
Title Drop: "Not just any kind of intelligence, Mr. Crosby. Special intelligence."
"Don't ask why we've got special intelligence. We just do."
To Be Continued: Or rather, "RSLTN.EXE Not Found" (That's "Resolution Not Found" for those not tech-literate.)
Took a Level in Badass: Is it any coincidence that Joffrey's transformation into competent S.I.D. agent coincides with his growing up?
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Sharon becoming one awesome Handicapped Badass once she joins the S.I.D. as a new recruit.
This also goes for villains too, as Josef Shabadoo demonstrates during "Mystic Peninsula".
Tyrant Takes the Helm: Lorne Laurinaitis at the start of Series II. His ego and unwillingness to let The Team get to do their jobs end up being a detriment, but Laurinaitis is quickly replaced by a returning Lyle Lancaster.
True Companions: Particularly during "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing", we see how the S.I.D. are closely tight knit with one another as they fight off Decker's forces.
The Unpronounceable: The true name of the creature known as "Khimaera", according to the O.E.I.O.'s files.
Villainous Breakdown: Decker falls into this spectacularly after his plan blows up in his face, and the S.I.D. agents turn the tide on a seemingly hopeless situation. The formerly calm and collective Decker is then reduced to just screaming and ranting and raving about our heroes' failure yet to come.
Wangst: Turned on its head in regards to Crosby and the major character arcs involving him. We see him lamenting about not being able to "grow up", as well as the fact that he can't win Sharon Carter's heart, but not to any extent of him crying or bawling his eyes out.
Welcome Episode: The first arc involves Joffrey Crosby and Justin Porter being welcomed into the S.I.D. program.
The "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" arc: Featuring a legitimately dangerous threat in Mr. Decker and his conquering forces from the future, the near defeat of the O.E.I.O., as well as the climax of Crosby's Character Development.