Lightning Bruiser: Literature

  • The Ents in The Lord of the Rings, and their semi-sentient Huorn allies. They're pretty slow in their day-to-day, but they make long strides that can cover ground quickly when sufficiently motivated. They're explicitly stated to be stronger than trolls, and the only thing they're all that vulnerable to is fire. Even that's only relative: fire is harmful to them in the long run, but in the short run it just makes them angry.
  • Bael, and to a lesser extent, Rand al'Thor from The Wheel of Time series. Rand is mentioned as being taller than the majority of his countrymen, and Bael is often described as "The tallest man I've seen, even among the Aiel", but both are usually some of first to crack a can of high-speed whoopass.
  • Various characters in the Warhammer 40,000 Grey Knights novels, including the eponymous Space Marines and quite a few of their enemies.
  • A key plot element in The Far Arena is the fact that the main character averts this. The idea that a small man might become a major "sports" star in any era is a bigger obstacle to anyone in the 20th century believing that he's a frozen-and-reanimated Roman gladiator than the bizarre mechanics of his journey.
  • Obould Many-Arrows of R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels is an orc blessed by a god to be as strong as a bull and as fast as a mountain cat. Combine that besides being just damn tough, he wears nearly impenetrable armor.
  • Several main characters in Animorphs favour Lightning Bruiser as their combat morph. These include Jake (Siberian tiger), David (African lion) and Rachel (Grizzly bear).
    • An enemy example would be the Howlers: the favored shocktroops of Crayak. They are fast, tough and have been manufactured to be the perfect warriors. On top of that they have a sonic attack which can debilitate anyone close by and long, metallic claws on their hands. The Animorphs eventually defeat them through guile, but in a straight battle One Howler draws with all six Animorphs plus Erek giving intel.
  • Derek of the Darkest Powers series, who is also a Genius Bruiser. He's over six feet tall, weighs 220lbs of pure muscle, has shoulders as broad as the average doorway, and essentially has the reflexes of a cat on speed.
  • Yama from Lord of Light is big enough to lift and carry half again his own weight in armored flesh several miles at a run, and fast enough to kill half a dozen people who get in his way before they can draw their weapons.
  • The largest Culture ships (GS Vs: General Systems Vehicles) represent the majority of the Culture's population centers. Their controlling AI's are nurturing, paternal, and extremely caring. However, if you happen to declare war, pray that you never face one in battle. Once that it's certain that its population is safe, you will be facing a 200 kilometre long badass who will convert its multi-billion-tonne mass into engines and weapons. You will not be able to outrun it and it is more than capable of engaging entire fleets on its own.
  • Chinese Celestials (including the titular dragon) from the Temeraire series. There are dragons in the West that can overtake them in level flight. There are those who can outmaneuver them in close quarters. There are very few that could do both; and good luck finding one that can do either, match their (20 tons displacement or so, but only slightly smaller than the largest dragon species that displaces 50) size, and unleash a fearsome breath weapon.
  • Allanon from the Shannara series. He's a seven foot tall man who's built like a wrestler, and moves with deceptive speed, grace, and stealth. He's also the last Druid and has a bit of a Kung-Fu Wizard thing going for him as well. Not a man you want to mess with. Other examples include The Reaper from The Elfstones Of Shannara, The Koden and The Creepers from The Heritage of Shannara, many Trolls, and all of the Mwellrets.
  • Jack Reacher is built like a football player. He follows a rule of thumb in fights that goes "get your retaliation in first". He often hits first and more often hits last.
  • Pewterarms, a.k.a. Thugs, from Mistborn are Mistings with the power to increase their bodies' physical abilities. While Super Strength is the obvious application of this power, a Thug who knows what he or she is doing is superhumanly quick and dextrous as well. Full Mistborn and Inqusitors are this trope even moreso; their combination of abilities makes them incredibly mobile and capable of both taking and dishing out a tremendous amount of punishment.
  • Achilles from The Iliad is the greatest fighter of the Trojan War, and he's described as "swift-footed" more often than anything else.
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: The other knights have their strengths and flaws but Chris is fast, tough, skilled and strong.
  • The Vord Queen in the Codex Alera books is terrifyingly powerful. While she looks a bit like a Cute Monster Girl (or at least tries), she's faster and stronger than Aleran crafters using Bullet Time and Super Strength, crafts better than anyone anyway, can run up walls and ceilings, and is generally able to slice you to little pieces. Oh, and balest bolts bounce off her skin. To make matters worse, she's a brilliant commander with a massive, Hive Minded army consisting in large part of lesser Lightning Bruisers.
  • Max the Silent from Andrew Vachss's Burke books, despite not looking very powerful at first glance, is death in close quarters. He moves like a Fragile Speedster and hits like a much heavier man. In the event that someone manages to land a blow on him, it becomes apparent that he can shrug off should-be-painful stuff like multiple knee strikes from Muay Thai exponents.
  • All three types of vampire in The Dresden Files. The Black Court vampires are known for being the strongest and fastest by a fair margin, though they possess the standard vampire weaknesses (sunlight, garlic, etc.). The Red Court ends up second in strength, but with less weaknesses (only vulnerable to sunlight, symbols of faith, or a wound to their stomach, which is where they store their power-granting blood). The White Court has none of the standard vamp vulnerabilities, and the least physical strength, but they're still a force to be reckoned with (at one point, White Court vampire Thomas Raith faces a ghoul that hesitates for about a quarter of a second when fighting him; in response, Thomas splits its skull with his kukri knife, commenting that it might as well have put a bullet in its brain itself by giving him that much time).
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians
    • The title character can be this, particularly in water. Even out of it, and without the Achilles Curse, he can still strike fast and hard enough to defeat entire formations of Roman Demigods
    • In the latest books, the demigods are frequently caught up fighting a group of giants who where designed(birthed?) to be anti-Olympians. Although the more powerful demigods (such as Percy, and his Roman counterpart Jason Grace) can knock one down temporarily, it takes the combined strength of a demigod and a full olympian to beat them.
  • The Prince Serg (and presumably other ships of its class) in the Vorkosigan Saga.
    Tung: What in hell's that? It's too big to be that fast. It's too fast to be that big.
  • In Dale Brown books, the Tin Man and CID units can't be stopped by anything smaller than anti-tank weaponry, themselves mount tank-killer weapons and still allow their users to move at least as fast as, if not faster than normal humans. However, CID units, since they tower over unaugmented humans, are hampered in confined spaces.
  • Later versions of Bolos are as large as World War One battleships, and can reach 500 KPH.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has several examples. The most obvious is probably the E-Wing, which has impressive firepower and speed enough to match an A-Wing, but without its weak shields and tissue-paper hull.
  • Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series has the USS Walker, a World War One-era four-stacker destroyer, considered to be Cannon Fodder by World War II standards, especially against the Japanese. However, as soon as it crosses over to an alternate Earth, it's not only the strongest ship (until the Amagi shows up) thanks to its HE rounds being a bane of any wooden ship but also the fastest with most sailing races/factions still using sails (or steamer/sailing hybrids). The Grik are also this on land, being able to move very fast and attack either with Medieval weapons or with their sharp claws and teeth.
  • The titular Lunen is fond of striking hard and fast.
  • Conan the Barbarian. Quite contrary to the clumsy dullard portrayed by the Governator, the character in the original stories by Robert E. Howard is downright scary. Not only massively powerful, but also stupendously fast; descriptors like "pantherish", "dynamic", "explosive", "steel-trap quickness" and "blinding speed" are commonplace. In his hands swords flicker like lightning, too fast for the eye to follow, and when he bursts like a coiled snake into sudden murderous action he invariably takes everybody by surprise, even people holding him at crossbow point. He also has a tendency to wear much more armor than the fellow in the film, who gears up only in preparation for the final battle.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, there are two in Westeros that would likely qualify at the moment. If you are bigger or stronger than either Sandor Clegane or Brienne of Tarth, they are faster and more skilled than you. If you are faster or more skilled than they, they are brutally strong enough to compensate. Oh, and, just because you may be more technically skilled and polished (well done, you, for managing that), doesn't mean they can't beat you on the common-sensical side of brutal bashing, either. There's a reason why Jaime Lannister puts both of them on his "try not to annoy without cause" list.
    • In a duel, after losing his shield and facing a man with roughly as much skill as him who wields a flaming sword (there is nothing Sandor fears more than fire), Sandor is still able to simply bash against his opponent's defences until his opponent's sword breaks and then kill him.
    • Brienne, a woman, is larger and stronger than most men, and typically fights in full plate armor. Her speed is never really mentioned until she is given the Valyrian steel sword Oathkeeper, at which point she tends to be able to attack faster than her opponents as well.
  • Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments is very fast, very strong, and very enduring, thanks to Valentine's training.
  • Bush of the Horatio Hornblower series is once described as having "immense strength allied to lightfooted quickness." He's definitely a person you want on your side in a melee—most of the sailors are just described as big and strong, and Hornblower isn't incapable but is much physically weaker than Bush.
  • In the Dragonlance novel War of the Twins, Caramon is forced to fight a half ogre mercenary chief. He assumes his speed will be enough to ensure his victory, as not only are ogres slow, but this one has a wooden leg. It turns out the creature's human half makes him a match for Caramon in speed while leaving him more than enough strength to be the stronger of the two.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain gives us Ray, who has Captain America levels of strength and speed. On the higher end of the scale we have Generic Girl, a Flying Brick with Super Speed. She's able to take out one of the most powerful supervillains ever in eighteen seconds flat.
  • Nico from The Spirit Thief and following books. Her demonseed allows her to take hits that would kill most people, and heal at incredible rates. She's also insanely fast and and 'step through shadows' to dodge her enemy's attacks. Combine that with the fact that she hits heavy, especially against spirits, which she can consume through skin contact alone. The only drawback she has is the toll this takes on her mental battle against the demon's influence.
  • Project Nemesis: By the sequel General Gordon becomes an eight ft tall juggernaut that is as fast as he is strong and durable. The only one who can take him head on is Lilly, who is just as strong, but even faster.