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

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A-H 

    Tropes I-P 

  • Ignore the Disability: Sydney can't stop referencing Peggy's prosthetic leg. No matter how much she wants to.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Invoked and averted when Sydney is about to be (politely) interrogated by a fairly scary panel of people here.
    General Faulk: And don't bother trying to imagine us in our underwear, 'cause we're all dead sexy.
  • I'll Be in My Bunk: Invoked word for word in the margin sketch on this page, by Harem predictably enough, after Sydney promises to introduce Arianna to Hentai.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Eventually averted when Peggy shows Sydney that there are guys at Archon other than Math, the General, and Zephen. The comic simply doesn't focus on them so much.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: One of the villains in the massive brawl politely waits because Dabbler asked him to. Though not wanting to die from the sudden gamma radiation threat she was trying to solve probably contributed to his passivity.
    Barberian: I'm just here because some of my buddies came. I'm a hairdresser!
    Dabbler: Well, you could always surrender.
    Barberian: Could I? That would be so great!
  • Info Dump: Word of God admits the press conference is essentially this.
  • Invisible Parents: Mostly not relevant, since even the youngest characters are over eighteen, and thus old enough that there's no need to mention their parents. During the dinner after the press conference, however, Sydney realizes that she revealed her powers on live international television before she told her parents about them.
    Sydney: I HAVE TO MAKE A CALL!
  • Jaw Drop: In any comic where you have supers mixing with normals, you expect them. Then there's the one that occurs when Sydney eats. a second bite of 3-million-Scoville soup.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Addressed and largely avoided, given the stunned reactions of the various Alphabet Agencies.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Invoked by Sydney when testing out her orange orb for the press.
  • Laser Blade: Pixel's power as a super is laser claws, which she can only use in her were-jaguar hybrid or animal forms.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
  • Mangaesque: There's some visible manga influence here.
  • Mage Killer: The supernatural meeting is attacked by magic mannequins designed to kill mages and other supernatural beings like weres.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Sydney accidentally puts herself in one when hugging Anvil.
    Sydney: ...Our height differential is making this hug extremely awkward.
    Anvil: Now you know why I like dating tall guys.
    Dabbler: But sleeping with a short guy...
  • Masochist's Meal: Sydney intentionally offends the waitress of a restaurant specializing in spicy food, and then signs a legal waiver, just to make sure she gets sufficiently spicy food.
  • Masquerade:
    • Averted, Archon holds a press conference both to confirm that yes, supers exist and have existed for so long they may have inspired some myths and folklore, and also to announce the new government "super police" Arc-SWAT, who are not permitted to use false identities.
    • Played straight later when Sydney discovers a couple of non-humans in disguise at Club OONTZ. Dabbler explains that Earth actually has a decent sized alien population. Coupled with her earlier comments about humanity's xenophobic tendencies, it seems that there's probably nothing sinister involved, just immigrants/tourists who really know how to blend in.
  • Meaningful Name: In the usual way of superhero comics, pretty much all the members of Arc-Swat — along with many of their opponents — have meaningful code-names. For example:
    • Maxima: Most powerful member of the group. She also has the ability to "max out" one attribute (strength, defense, flight, speed, and blasting power) at the expense of the others.
    • Halo: Her orbs' default position is that of a halo. Also, her actual last name Scoville: Sydney loves spicy food.
    • Dabbler: Has a wide selection of abilities (basically a high-level Jack-of-All-Trades).
    • Anvil: One of her main powers is the ability to absorb tremendous amounts of force.
    • Harem: Able to make one of herself through self-cloning (up to 5 bodies total).
    • Heatwave: Playing with Fire.
    • Math: Master of precision striking.
    • Mr. Amorphous: Stretching powers.
    • Achilles: Invulnerability (though this excludes the heel).
    • Super Hiro: The cast page lists him as "Superman-lite".
    • Stalwart: Super-strength.
    • Jiggawatt: Electricity-based powers. That's not a misspelling, "That's how Doc Brown said it."
    • Notably subverted (and lampshaded with extreme prejudice) with Aurelius Shrapnell, who is a financial advisor with no superpowers. Also his son who is named Mervyn and not "M.I.R.V."
    • The two vampire ladies Sydney talks to have names very appropriate for vampires, Scarlet and Crimson.
  • Mildly Military:  Played with.  Arc-SWAT is a military organization, and members are given ranks and expected to act appropriately befitting those ranks.  They're even given basic training including firearms, despite the fact that most of them are more lethal than the average tank.  That being said, supers are incredibly rare, so the team is forced to take what they can get.  It seems like ninety percent of them spend half their time in remedial PR courses.  On the plus side, dress code is relaxed.
    Varia: [regarding a feather in her hair]  If anyone asks, it's for religious reasons.
    Sydney: Maxima has gold skin and Harem is wearing purple lipstick.  I think you're okay.
  • Military Superhero: Maxima, Peggy and several other members of Arc Swat have military backgrounds, and retain their rank.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Sydney admits to Peggy that she mistook Peggy for a lesbian due to her short pink hair and lack of makeup, and was surprised when Peggy happily watched some of the men going shirtless. Peggy isn't offended, and in fact replies that she can find things to like about both genders.
    • See also the note for Always Camp.
  • Moment Killer: A non-sexual one when Sydney sucks the wind out of Maxima's sails.
  • Moral Guardians: Invoked by Arianna when attempting to get Sydney to temper her behavior around the media. It even includes a Shout-Out to the current page image.
  • Most Common Superpower: Subverted, played straight and discussed. Sydney is a short, average looking young woman with mild A-Cup Angst. Most supers, however, are either curvy females with not a B-Cup among them or perfectly muscled Adonis-class men. It's discussed in-comic that it can't be mere coincidence that all supers with innate powers look like ideal human beings. Later, Sydney deconstructs the idea of this being a result of supers' divergent evolution. This is all justified to an extent, as several members of the team have been seen to train to keep in shape.
  • Mundane Solution: Discussed with regards to aliens. Why invade a planet armed with nuclear technology instead of mining ice from undefended low-gravity comets?
  • Murderous Mannequin: The mage-slayer mannequins, equipped in SWAT-style gear with equipment to deal with mages, aliens and supernatural entities. Their fake bodies are also utilized with several features to make them difficult to dispose of permanently; their fake and reinforced bodies are fairly durable and can reconstruct themselves if the limbs aren't completely destroyed. Furthermore, attempting to fight them with magic results in a Mana Drain counterattack which consequently fuels them for a potential Action Bomb right there.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: During a chat with Dabbler over her nature, Sydney imagines a Bee-Vampire-Fish-Succubus.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sydney was once arrested for aggravated assault, which was dismissed as self defense due to the fact that the person was trying to mug her. The only thing on the police report was "Oh The Humanity."
    Sydney: REPENT!
    Mugger: I swear to god I'll reform!
  • Noodle Incident:
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Twilight Council tends to act like this when not putting on airs for visitors.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • For Vehemence, after he punches Maxima at full strength... and only manages to make her take one step back and break her nose, but she won't let him know that.
      Vehemence: Ha ha ha, what the fuck.
    • If Anvil, Queen of the No Sell, warns you off of getting hit by someone, you know it's bad.
    • Later, when Dabbler realizes that Vehemence gains power from violence... after he's been fighting the team for a couple intense minutes.
    • A group of construction workers are talking about the female team members while they're taking over in helping get the overpass back on track, doing the stereotypical conversation construction workers do when they see an attractive lady. Sydney, who saw one of them make the "boob heft" hands (in addition to her ability to read lips a bit), asks them how they know none of the Arc ladies have enough super hearing to hear them. Cue horrified realization.
  • One of Us: Sydney definitely is, so it's likely the author is as well, particularly in light of the rampant Conversational Troping that occurs In-Universe.
    • Confirmed when the author linked to TV Tropes during the fundraiser for the site makeover.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: To various degrees. Dabbler, Harem, Anvil, Math, Mr. Amorphous, Achilles, Jiggawatt, and Varia all primarily use their superhero identities in common conversation, but Maxima, Brook (Heatwave), Hiro (Super Hiro), Adrian, and Vance all use their civilian names more. And of course, none of them have secret identities. Sydney falls somewhere in the middle, with the press generally referring to her as "Ms. Scoville," her coworkers referring to her as Sydney, and her fans using Halo.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Sydney will test you if you claim to be a nerd.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: A more literal example than most, as she keeps sticking it in her mouth in the presence of a teammate that lost her leg at the calf.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: For starters, it's possible to end up a different type of were than the one that sired you.
  • Pass the Popcorn:
  • Perma-Shave: Those with natural super powers, in addition to being physically perfect, are also incapable of growing body hair. Sydney is a little disappointed to find that this includes the men.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Raised as a possibility; Dabbler explains how she detected the invisible X, and describes what she could in principle do about him.
  • Post Modern Magic: Some magic users treat spells like programming language for magic.
  • Power Levels: Shown from a 1-9 scale on the cast page. Maxima is the most powerful (9), then Dabbler, Hiro and Math (7), then Sydney, Jiggawatt, Stalwart and Mr. Amorphous (6), and then everyone else is a 5 except Peggy who rates a 3.
  • The Power of Love: A variant. Dabbler, as a succubus, gains strength from tantric energy; that is to say sex, lust, and lovemaking.
  • Power Perversion Potential: A topic which the writer clearly finds amusing.
  • Product Placement: It's partially obstructed, but Maxima apparently drinks Guinness Black.
  • Prosthetic Limb Reveal: Sydney is taking a tour of the Arc-SWAT superhero facility, given mostly by Peggy the sniper. They are already friends at that point, and Sydney has reached the stage of being fitted for her uniform by the time she spots a couple spares of Peggy's prosthetic leg in a corner of the workroom. It isn't treated as a big deal in the story, although Sydney winds up having a panic attack because she can't stop accidentally making one-leg jokes.
    Peggy: Oh, that. Lost it in Afghanistan. *raps on leg*
  • Punch Clock Villain: One of the bad guys at the restaurant fight offers to surrender after watching Dabbler and Jiggawatt take out Glowbug, saying he only came because some of his friends came and he's just a hairdresser. Considering Vehemence's violence aura...

    Tropes Q-Z 

  • 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.
  • 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.
    • She later demonstrates predictive text that literally predicts the future by a few seconds, and hacks Sidney's bladder so she can wait on going to the bathroom.
    • She can use Save Scumming in real life.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. However, it's fairly rare, because the writer considers it to be, logically, a very powerful ability.
  • 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: Lampshaded in the author commentary at the bottom of a Math-focused strip.
    Author: Witty banter may be a free action, but timing still matters.
  • Tempting Fate: Deliberately invoked for a positive result.
  • Too Much Information: Name-dropped by Sydney when Dabbler's openly discussing her "activities" last night.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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' invulnerability is rated as a 6.
  • Vertigo Effect: When Sydney sees Dabbler pull something out of Hammerspace, complete with "Dolly Zoom" Unsound Effect.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Sydney pukes after almost getting shot, when Maxima shows her the bullet.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Well not walking per se, but definitely counts with a number of well-toned guys standing around an entertainment hall all tricked out of their shirts by Harem definitely counts, in one of the more recent pages Bonus points for all the female cast members present being very aware how attractive the guys are, and for added kicks one of the guys makes mention of the scene probably falling under sexual harassment in the work place, with Harem responding with a "If you mean by that hubba hubba!"
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: After growing significantly in size, Vehemence's pants burst under the strain.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Worf Effect: Concretia makes an entrance, complete with stats, and immediately blows away Mr. Amorphous and Achillies to show how bad arsed she is. Then in the very next page she is taken down by Math to show just how bad-arsed normal he is.
  • 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 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.