Webcomic / Grrl Power

The marketing team at work.

Grrl Power is a webcomic about a superheroine who works in a comic shop.

Or, to put it in its own words:

"A comic about superheroines. Well there are guys too but mostly it’s about the girls. Doing the things that super powered girls do. Fighting crime, saving the world, dating, dieting, shopping, etc. Thereíll be explosions, cheesecake, beefcake, heroes and villains, angels and demons, cyborgs, ninjas, probably pirates."

Currently updates Mondays and Thursdays; the schedule in future may depend on the creator's employment situation.

Grrl Power contains examples of

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    Tropes A to H 

    Tropes I to P 

    Tropes Q to Z 
  • Quizzical Tilt: Sydney sports one when trying to figure out Death Toll's ability, complete with lampshade hanging.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Achilles constantly saying "mouth feel" ticks Sydney off enough to sock him with her Lighthook.
    Sydney: Texture! Just say texture you Portlandia level hipster dipshit!
  • Reality Ensues: Half the point of the comic is to examine some of the realistic consequences of superpowered beings coming into existence.
    • Sydney points out that a mutation of a single gene, while a good explanation for a comic, can't really account for everything with superpowers.
    • Jiggawat's positron generation (used to counter another Shock and Awe super, Glowbug) makes a lot of gamma radiation when they and the electons annihilate each other. Dabbler has to stop her battle so she can make sure no one dies from radiation poisoning!
    • On the firing range, Sydney begs to try out the minigun, which Peggy allows over Maxima's objections. It's soon revealed why Peggy was so confident.
      Maxima: OK, sometimes I forget stuff has weight.
    • Given modern forensic science, the idea of a secret identity is nearly laughable.
    • Why would aliens invade planets, especially ones with nuclear civilizations that would put up a fight, for water when undefended comets are a dime a dozen?
  • Rebus Bubble:
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Deliberately so. Dabbler has set up her tech so that most of her equipment cannot be separated from her for more than a few seconds without teleporting away to a secure facility, so that nobody can reverse engineer it and release the technology out into the world. The intergalactic community has some Prime Directive-like rules, and Earth hasn't advanced technologically or socially to the point where humanity can be trusted with Dabbler's tech.
    • On a meta-level, this is to avoid a tech spiral that would leave the world nearly unrecognizable, so Gadgeteer Genius supers are rare in the Grrl-verse.
  • Refugee from TV Land: The crossover with Wearing the Cape has Astra be this from the Grrl-verse's perspective, since the characters there are part of a fictional TV show, with Astra being pretty much identical to her character's actor.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Why the supernatural races never wrote in supers, they were afraid it might draw more attention to them.
  • Rewriting Reality: Krona, a magic user, (not a proper mage or super) can do this to a degree, though it's easier to alter existing objects, like defusing grenades or changing her hair color, than doing things like creating fireballs, and it's a lot like programming apparently. Her abilities are also apparently entirely unique.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Leon threatens to make Maxima's and Harem's bank accounts disappear if they don't knock off the rivalry in his office.
    Leon: That's right! Who's really the most powerful member of this team?
    Maxima: (Raises a Fascinating Eyebrow)
    Leon: I mean obviously it's you. Here's a new phone.
  • Running Gag: There's been several of varying lengths.
  • Russian Reversal: played straight here.
  • Sarcastic Confession: After offering multiple implausible reasons why she's carrying a poster tube everywhere, Sydney tries this:
    Sydney: It's full of... ancient artifacts that give me superpowers?
    Joel: Fine, don't tell me.
  • Save Scumming: Krona can do this with her powers.
  • Scenery Censor: Pixel pulls off her clothes before changing from her hybrid form to animal form. Her team is treated to a full view, but our gaze is blocked by the angle or by various body parts, including her tail.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The author is fond of self-directed snark in the page titles and footer remarks.note 
    • #125, which features a discussion of the Standard Police/Superhero/Celebrity Contract, is titled "Action packed document review".
  • Sensual Spandex: Dabbler goes to ARCHON's pool wearing a wetsuit that leaves nothing to the imagination, and her groin is covered — front and back — with speech bubbles reading "This thing is really tight" and "Seriously you guys".
    Dabbler: Mine's made of an unearthly material that's extraordinarily form-fitting.
    Sydney: Does it blow up like a balloon if you fart in it?
  • Sex for Services: By Deus towards Sciona, who needs a McGuffin but can't afford to buy it with money. It is framed as both getting something out of the deal as Sciona is being said to "not have been a woman in a long time" and Deus gets to add some kind of Drow-Expy to his list of conquests.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: This strip focuses on when the supervillain Glowbug finds out her white costume becomes see-though when wet. She notes that's something she should have tested before going into battle.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: The various 'Were' creatures are (mostly) significantly bigger in 'Were' form than human form. But the prize has to go to Pixel who is fairy tiny and around the same height as Sydney in human form (5 foot), but is described as 'gigantic' (7 foot tall) in 'Were' form.
  • Shipper on Deck: Anvil ships Hiro and Max, and rather forcefully at that.
    Alt Text: Anvil is the matchmaking equivalent of a bull in a china shop.
  • Ship Tease: A couple have been hinted at.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Invoked when Maxima demonstrates why ARC-SWAT carries firearms rather than just relying on their powers.
  • Smug Super: Maxima takes her sweet time stopping a bank robbery despite having enough speed to catch bullets. When one of the civilians she rescued protests her behavior Maxima brushes him off ("You were never in any danger"), finally cracking her knuckles to scare him away. Sure, the hostages were safe especially since the "bank robbers" were agents of ARC carrying out a publicity stunt on PR manager Arianna's orders, but they must have also been stressed and terrified, seeing as how they were at the mercy of men with guns for several minutes.
    • This works against her when facing the Super Husk. As the commentary explains, Maxima can stop 95% of her foes in battle easily when it comes to physical force, but when an enemy has other tricks, like Hypnotic Eyes...
  • Snark Ball: All the senior officers. No audience surrogates or characters with an excessive sense of humor are in the scene, so as The Rant explains, the normally serious people are the ones carrying the jokes. It works because, in the absence of their subordinates, they don't have to maintain the appearance of being consummately professional.
  • Spit Take: Lampshaded by the name on the soda can in the last two panels of this page. Also doubles as a Shout-Out to Not a Villain.
  • Spy Speak: Spoofed with the mini-comic below the main one.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When discussing how to track Cooter, Sydney says that it's too bad that, since they were sure that the other end was booby-trapped, they couldn't go through themselves, and that it sucked that Dabbler couldn't have put a tracking spell on a rock and sent that through. Cue awkward silence.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Maxima and most of the other female supers. Not Sydney, which is openly lampshaded. Maxima's looks are apparently part of the reason for her feminism. Getting checked out so much makes her feel like many men only see her as an "exotic blow up doll", according to Word of God on the cast page.
  • Stealth Pun: Sydney grabs her teammate Anvil out of the sky and flings her down onto a super tough thug. She just dropped an anvil on him. She imitates the Road Runner right after.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Dabbler shows here that she loves seducing and confusing the new recruits.
  • Super Registration Act: Played with. As noted in the press conference where Archon is officially announced, this isn't in effect — empowered individuals in the private sector aren't required to register with the government at all, and are protected by Second Amendment rights. On the other hand, they don't get any special protection, either. Archon is there to provide accountability and training to those who want to put those powers to use in crime-fighting or otherwise helping people, but "superheroes" who attack villains without sanction are vigilantes, and thus may be treated as criminals.
  • Super Speed: One of the known powers, exhibited by both Maxima and the supervillain Silent Shadow (and indirectly by Sydney using the Flight Orb). However, it's fairly rare, because the writer considers it to be, logically, a very powerful ability.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Even Maxima's expression softened a bit for Sciona when they see the remains of her civilization's city.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Since there's no such thing as a universal superpower dampener, every supervillain needs to be kept in a cell designed to neutralize or counteract their specific powers.
  • Take That!: Obviously the author isn't a huge fan of Fox News Channel.
    • Varia is one towards comic characters who take the idea of a Meaningful Name so far it gets ridiculous.
  • Talking Is a Free Action:
  • Teleportation:
    • Harem is the main teleporter in the comic, with Me's a Crowd aspects to her power as well.
    • Sydney's Comm-Ball gives her a partial teleport ("Telepresence") and later gains the ability to teleport herself to where Holo-Sydney is.
  • Tempting Fate: Deliberately invoked for a positive result.
  • This Explains So Much: When Ingsol asks if Sydney has a "stupidity aura" or something, Maxima briefly bursts out laughing before regaining composure and saying no, but it would explain a lot.
  • Too Much Information: Name-dropped by Sydney when Dabbler's openly discussing her "activities" last night.
  • Too Soon: Sydney makes a Planet of the Apes reference when watching Sciona react to the apparent destruction of her homeworld. Maxima points out this trope, and even Sydney concedes the point.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Math kicks a knife into a bad guy's mouth, where it gets lodged between his teeth and draws blood. The guys freaks out for a couple seconds until Math knocks him out and yanks the knife out.
  • Tongue Trauma: Narrowly averted when Sydney pulled a robber by the tongue and slammed him to the ground. "Averted" because the robber was another super-powered being in disguise. His power just happened to also be extreme stretchiness.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: The concepts behind this trope are strongly implied. Zeph, a highly experienced scholar/adventurer, knows a lot about the occult, but apparently has to leave actual spell-casting to Gwen, who freely admits to being a bit of a novice ó even when it's a matter of life and death. Evidently, she has a gift that he lacks. She's described as basically self-taught, but she had to acquire the right reference books to accomplish this.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: Maxima purposefully let Cooter escape so they could track him via a spell of Dabbler's and find his boss.
  • Troll:
    • Dabbler, Harem, and Math all have their moments, but the king is whoever put this sign up. (Link may be considered mildly NSFW.)
    • Deus also indulges for his own amusement, notably with Maxima, purposefully acting as if she was asking about one item he had when he knew she meant another.
    • A few of the Archon ladies, knowing Math is outside their locked training session, deliberately say things to get him agitated while they watch via camera.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Maxima and Peggy apparently had this planned out for a while.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Tony and his half-sister/cousin Olivia are the results of someone's fantasy coming true. He ended up living with the two and their mother. Their grandmother seems to have fun with it to the point of keeping a tape recorder with a laugh track on it around.
  • Undisclosed Funds: While the exact number was not given, at first glance Sydney assumed that her first biweekly paycheck was an annual paycheck. Which probably makes it mid-five digits at a minimum. Justified by the fact that superhumans are literally one in a million, so they are a finite and irreplaceable resource, so the government is willing to pay quite a lot to keep them under control.
  • Unishment: After the fight, Maxima calls out Math for losing to Jabberwokky after she flashed him, telling him to "...go get on the internet and stare at boobs until you're bored of looking at them".
    Math: Is... is that an order?
    Maxima: What do you think?
    Math: I think this military thing is starting to pay off!
  • Un Sound Effect: The author admits to loving the inherent entertainment value in "nonomatopoeia".
  • Up to Eleven: On a 1 to 5 scale for superpowers, Achilles's invulnerability is rated as a 6.
  • Utility Belt: Archon members design their own. And then have to go through PT while wearing them as a test to see they have the sense to only load up on gear that is practical to carry with them all the time.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: One of the reasons for the Veil is to prevent this, but it works against the Council when the Weirdness Censor allows one of Sciona's allies to get one "Coot" to help them in their plans.
  • Variant Power Copying: Varia gets powers that are similar, but not identical to those whom she touches. For instance, Harem allows her to teleport alongside her, while Jiggawatt has lightning abilities but gives Varia magnetic control instead.
  • Vertigo Effect: When Sydney sees Dabbler pull something out of Hammerspace, complete with "Dolly Zoom" Unsound Effect.
  • Visual Pun: Dabbler casts a heat spell on Sydney — which has the unfortunate side-effect of also heating her kitty.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Sydney pukes after almost getting shot, when Maxima shows her the bullet.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: After growing significantly in size, Vehemence's pants burst under the strain.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: The reason why even team-members who can cut tanks into "blowed up ribbons" are still issued firearms; even if your finger is much deadlier than any Hand Cannon, it can't compete for sheer visual menace.
  • Webcomic Time: The story's first day ended with strip #294, posted roughly four and a half years after the first (23rd August 2010). Strip #500 is on the night of day three. Since the main story is a flashback of several months from page one, unless a timeskip occurs, at this rate the author will die of old age before returning to the story's present day.
  • Weirdness Censor: Turns out there is one — dubbed "The Veil" — and it's artificial; created by a consortium of supernatural entities to ward off torch-waving Muggles. Someone is organizing attacks on the sigils that power it in order to eliminate it.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Lampshaded when Ariana asks Maxima if she's considered everything Sydney might do as an Arc SWAT member.
    Maxima: What's the worst that could happen? I can't believe I just said that with a straight face.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Often averted:
    • Peggy takes advantage of the fact that many supers are only annoyed by bullets in the restaurant fight, especially with Concretia.
    • Maxima tends to go for quick takedowns in fights.
    • When Sydney asks why the Twilight Council would be unable to destroy the artifacts in the vault, Maxima and Dabbler tell her that some artifacts can only be destroyed under certain conditions, might require more energy than they can control to destroy, or serve some other function that necessitates keeping them around, like containing a magical virus.
  • Worf Effect:
  • Wrong Context Magic: Krona's (apparently unique) Rewriting Reality abilities are magical in nature, but she is not a regular mage or super, to the point she's given her own category.
  • X-Ray Vision: Averted (to the relief of all the female supers), and also discussed: if a perverted superhero wanted to use X-ray vision to peep in on women in the shower... what's stopping him from using x-ray vision when they're not in the shower? And even then, all he's going to see is the woman's skeleton, since this is X-ray vision.
  • Yin-Yang Clash: A minor supervillain claims to be both irresistible force and immoveable object in this strip. It doesn't end well.
  • You Answered Your Own Question: Sydney in some Alt Text:
    Sydney: What is it with martial artists always wanting tougher oppon... No, wait, I answered my own question.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Syndey's love of spicy food has given her weapons-grade halitosis. The Archon medical staff has prescribed her breath mints.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Sydney is a fairly out-of-shape comic book nerd, but when she's angry enough, she instinctively pulls off physical feats she shouldn't be capable of. Like judo throwing a grown man by his tongue.