[[caption-width-right:350: Our main cast from left to right; [[ButtMonkey Schultz]], [[GeniusDitz Fleischer]], [[SatisfiedStreetRat Roth]], [[TheHeart Klein]], [[TheStoic Hertz]], and [[SmallNameBigEgo Zeppelin Von Schultheiss]].]]

A webcomic by Melissa Albino, aka Nalem, ''[[http://www.lighterthanheir.com/ Lighter Than Heir]]'' is about Zeppelin von Schultheiss, a volant girl who's also the daughter of Hemmel Von Schultheiss. Due to being recognized as the daughter of a war hero, Zeppelin didn't take too kindly to anything she did being ignored so when she turned nineteen, she signed up for the military in hopes of becoming an even bigger war hero. With an ego as big as hers, she'll be in for a surprise.

Updates every Wednesday and Friday.


!!''Lighter Than Heir'' contains examples of:

* BreakTheHaughty: Austerlitz admits that a big part of his DrillSergeantNasty training was supposed to do this for Zeppelin. Despite it failing, he grudgingly lets her graduate from training with the rest. Time will tell if this actually happens.
** [[spoiler: Her disastrous tour of Zamora and finding her father's butchered corpse]] have done a much better job of being this trope.
* CerebusSyndrome: Even in its more violent and dramatic bits, the strip stays relatively lighthearted - until Zeppelin [[spoiler:is vivisected, then finds her father's corpse]], at which point [[TwoLinesNoWaiting all the plotlines]] start to get very dark, very fast.
* CycleOfRevenge: Steiner originally attacked Zamora for unclear reasons. The Zamorans of today hate them for it, to the point of infiltrating their bases and sabotaging their weapons. This, understandably, annoys the Steiners, and around and around it goes. Roth is nearly killed by a scout who beats him bloody because her family was killed by Steiners when she was eight--never mind that he was twelve at the time, and thus clearly not in any way responsible.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Sergeant Austerlitz, who is actually a decorated veteran. In an interesting twist, it doesn't fully work in instilling discipline in the squad of the protagonists (see MildlyMilitary). [[spoiler:Then again, this is possibly due to the saboteur and spy who had infiltrated their squad.]]
* EvilLuddite: Zamorans hate Steiner war machines and seem to dislike technology in general. [[spoiler: [[DoubleStandard Their government doesn't seem to mind using technology to breed or create super soldiers though]]...]]
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: The squad members all have their hair shaved off after entering training camp. They later grow it back out.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** Going by the names and general behavior, the Steiners are obviously German in heritage, with some of them (including Zeppelin) spouting off a few phrases in German from time to time.
** The Zamorans are harder to pin down in terms of culture, but the origin of the name points to them being from a counterpart of Spain. (Zamora is a province in Spain, as well as the name of the capital city of said province.)
* HeroicBSOD: Ria, after sniping someone to save Austerlitz.
* {{Hypocrite}}:
** For a country that hates all machines, the Zamorans sure have a lot of guns.
** The scientist in charge of the Zamoran volant project claims that human enhancement is totally different than the technology the Zamorans hate. However, she seems to be a bit sarcastic and just seems to be paying lip service to the idea. She doesn't seem to be Zamoran at all, and even experimented on Steiners in the past.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha: Fleischer have made one with Hertz's help, because she wanted one.
* {{Jerkass}}: Roth and Austerlitz, Hertz to an extent, but Zeppelin is the main offender.
** [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Jerks With A Heart Of Gold]]: Roth when Fleischer's around, Austerlitz due to actually wanting to create great soldiers ([[ComedicSociopathy doesn't stop him from taking amusement in other's pain.]])
* LensmanArmsRace: Looks it's heading this way with Zamoran volant super soldiers versus Steiner mechas.
* MildlyMilitary: Played with. The majority of the military does run on fairly tight discipline. The squad of the protagonists...not so much. The military brass doesn't seem overly concerned, though. [[spoiler:This is because they are more focused on the possibility of the war re-starting.]]
* TheMole: It becomes very clear early on that there is one on the training grounds. [[spoiler:It turns out to be Kurt Grunwald, who not only feigned being broken by the training, but is also secretly a volant like Zepplin.]]
* MoodWhiplash: After [[spoiler: getting treated to seeing whatever's left of her dad]], we cut immediately to a flashback of an adorable Zeppelin celebrating her fifth birthday.
* PoliceState: When Steinebech enters a state of war, the civilian government steps down and the military takes full control of the country. When Steinebech went back to war against Zamora, the first thing General Eckstein did was have any Zamoran or anyone of Zamoran descent arrested on suspicion of espionage.
* PoorCommunicationKills: There's a ''long'' list.
** Vogel intentionally got the team lost instead of just telling them that he didn't want to show up home with some Steiner medical tech on his arm. This led to them wandering a bombed-out ruin that had become a secret research facility.
** The volants guarding said research facility refused to believe that the team was escorting a Zamoran home, and immediately attacked.
** When they finally got Vogel home, Hertz and Roth went to use the old Steiner radio tower without asking any questions. Vogel would have been able to tell them that it had been repurposed into a military outpost, and was off limits.
** When one of the scouts saw Hertz and Roth approaching, she nearly killed them, assuming they were spies, and refused to listen to anything to the contrary. She later lied to her superiors, claiming Roth fell off the tower instead of admitting she beat him up herself.
** When they're in prison, the prime minister doesn't believe them either--partly because of the scout lying to her, and partly because the Zamoran they claim to be escorting is nowhere to be found. But at least she started by asking why they were in the country.
** Hertz managed to get a message back to Steiner before they were arrested, so Austerlitz rolls in like he owns the place, having not even bothered to call ahead and let the Zamorans know he's coming to peacefully extract his men.
** And ''someone'' (possibly the Zamoran prime minister, possibly someone else entirely) is organizing Zamoran youths to infiltrate Steiner and cripple their infrastructure, which is a large part of what started the war.
* {{Steampunk}}: Some influences are there, such as the machines they pilot and the metallic arm cast.
* ScarsAreForever: Hertz has a strange set of scars on his back. [[spoiler:They're from a failed procedure to turn him into a volant. Zeppelin later finds herself injured in the same manner by a similar machine, in an effort to vivisect her and learn more about volants.]]
* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: [[spoiler: Zeppelin wakes up (after having being shot down) cocooned inside a steampunk-ish version of this.]]
* SuperSoldier: [[spoiler:It turns out that the Zamorans have been trying to create artificial volants for years. Hertz is an early victim of a failed procedure to do so.]]
* WalkOnWater: Anyone who's a volant is capable of this due to being buoyant enough not to sink.
* WellDoneDaughterGirl: Zepplin suffers from this bad in regards to her father. What makes it brutal is that he died a war hero when she was a little girl.
* WhamLine: Page 378. [[spoiler: "...Dad?"]]
* WonTheWarLostThePeace: Steinebech. They won the previous war and imposed some terms, but Zamora has clearly broken whatever treaty they had, is trying to create more super soldiers and is waging a guerrila war against Steinbech. [[spoiler: As of comic 465 they have assassinated Steinbech's chancelor.]]