Literature / Two Percent Power

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Two Percent Power: Delivering Justice by Brian Manning is the first book of a proposed trilogy following Patrick Akiyama, a young man with the power to telekinetically control milk as he seeks to become a superhero. With the help of his overly eager friend, Trevor, and a number of other superpowered young adults, he patrols the city, fighting crime. Unfortunately for him, local crime boss Sight and his Visionaries have a master plan...

The sequel, Spilled Milk, came out November 1st, 2016, and features Patrick and his crew dealing with a new threat, a former tag team duo turned social justice vigilantes. Meanwhile, the authorities want to regain their position as the sole form of law enforcement in town...

This book exhibits the following tropes:


  • Almost Lethal Weapons: Averted. One of the struggles the heroes face is gauging reaction to threats so as to incapacitate but not kill opponents. And when the bad guys pull out weapons, even a glancing blow with a knife can be enough to take a hero out of the fight while he tries to stop the bleeding. Part of the conflict in the team is that Recurve insists on using real arrows, and he maims half of his opponents attempting to stop them.
  • Annoying Arrows: Recurve goes both ways on this. On one hand, it's made clear that even his shots to limbs do large amounts of damage, severing fingers and leading to people nearly bleeding to death. On the other hand, against super-powered opponents, the arrows do very little than annoy the targets they hit.
  • Artistic License Martial Arts: Averted. Most of the attacks used by the heroes are plausible, and the narration admits to the issues of actually trying to use those skills in battle from difficulties of keeping one's balance when kicks land, difficulties with multiple opponents, and the general wear and tear of combat on the body, even if you're just hitting the other guy.
  • Author Appeal: Brian Manning has stated that the wrestling theme of the second book was because wrestling was his first love before superheroes, and that Armageddon are based off of the made-up wrestlers whose stories he told as a child.
  • Building Swing: Patrick tries to figure out how to use his milk powers to give him this. Some mention is given of the physical perils of this including the need to avoid slack in the swinging material and the difficulty of landings. Patrick's inability to stick the landings is one of the reasons he only uses this power in emergencies.
  • The Cavalry: In the last act of the book, the heroes are confronted by the enemy reserves and look to be in a hopeless situation. Then, the embattled citizens of the town arrive and lay into the remaining Visionaries, giving the heroes a chance to regroup.
  • Civvie Spandex: The heroes of the story tend to pair up tactical gear with more traditional superhero trimmings such as emblems and masks.
  • Color Character: Black Paralysis. Yes, he's black as was his father who held the title before him.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: Striker not only uses equipment to keep up with the others, but also owns the building they operate from and supplies the rest of the team with uniforms and equipment.
  • Dance Battler: Beat Boxer uses music to fuel her powers, and her resulting fighting style comes out as very dance-like as she darts in and out of attacks with stylistic flourishes.
  • Dirty Cop: It's indicated that a large amount of the city's police force is on the take and therefore not only overlook Sight's activities, but also release captured criminals as fast as they're captured.
  • Downer Ending: The second book ends with almost all of the supervillains jailed in the last book freed, the heroes repelled in their attack on the villain headquarters, several heroes in the hospital, and two of the founding team members quitting and leaving town
  • Expy: Manning has stated that Ground Zero and Warhead were heavily patterned after Hawk and Animal of the Road Warriors.
  • Eye Beam: Deadeye's power is to emit a purple destructive beam from one of her eyes.
  • Freudian Excuse: Blindside gained her powers in an accident that also maimed her after a superhero took down a supervillain with no attention to collateral damage. She feels a need to take down superheroes as a result.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Patrick's ability to telekinetically manipulate milk seems like a pretty lousy power, but properly used, it takes down some very powerful opponents, including near the end of the first book where he's able to grab the milk inside of a villain and give it a tug.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted. Several heroes and villains hurt their hands, both from missed blows and from landed ones on facial surfaces.
  • Legacy Character: Black Paralysis inherited his identity and powers from his father.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Pulverati is a former opera singer turned villain who has sonic powers.
  • Non-Powered Costumed Hero: Striker (aka Dark Justice and a few other names...) has no powers, but relies on martial arts and sophisticated equipment.
  • Police Are Useless: More outgunned than anything else. Despite a decade of superpowers in the world, they have no countermeasure available when, say, someone is immune to bullets. Fortunately, they also recognize their need to lean on the vigilantes on occasion.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Sight tries to avoid too heinous of crimes because he knows that it will bring the police down on him no matter how big of bribes he gives them.
  • Randomly Gifted: There appears to be no particular pattern to who gets powers although the book indicates that they've been showing up for decades with the rate seemingly accelerating.
  • Roofhopping: Partway through the first book, Patrick has learned to get around in this way, using his milk powers to help propel him across the gaps.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • Part of the backstory of Warhead and Ground Zero was that they resorted to using super-steroids to keep up with the Serial Escalation happening due to the introduction of super-powers into the wrestling matches.
    • Similarly, in the second book, it's becoming clear that the presence of superpowered heroes is attracting superpowered criminals rather than driving them away.
    • Lastly, the heroes begin to adapt more extreme tactics in order to keep up with the villains, which prompts more extreme tactics from the villains...
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Recurve gets away with using a bow and arrow because his power allows him to telekinetically adjust the arrow's flight to ensure that they hit their targets consistently. Frustratingly, it prevents him from using a more modern bow, as his ability seems to depend on his emotional connection with the eponymous recurve bow he carries.
  • Superman Stays out of Gotham: Despite the series having over a decade of superheroes, and book two ending with two supervillains freeing all of the previously jailed supervillains, including Sight and the Visionaries, then declaring that they now rule the city, there's no outside superheroes (outside of two who arrived to join the team) and no law enforcement (or military) resources beyond the regular police and an attempt at a SWAT squad.
  • Superpower Russian Roulette: It's noted that many powers create an additional strain on the user's body and that it's not uncommon for people who gain powers to die as a result of using them.
  • Super Serum: XGH, an experimental growth hormone, lets regular humans keep up with superpowered opponents for a time. Over-abuse of it seems to have led to Warhead and Ground Zero gaining their powers.
  • Turncoat: Man-vil decides to work for Sight. In parallel, H2Grow defects from the Visionaries to fight with Patrick's team.
  • Whatevermancy: It's not called out as such in the book (they're not very introspective about their powers), but several people essentially wield a form of Whateverkinesis
    • Patrick can control milk
    • Weed can control Hemp
    • Recurve can control objects he's thrown or otherwise propelled

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