[[quoteright:236:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lovencapes2_574.jpg]]

[[caption-width-right:237:[[{{Film/Superman}} Can you read my mind?]][[note]]No.[[/note]]]]
Abby Tennyson is starting a relationship with her accountant, Mark Spencer. Sure, he's a bit clumsy, busy at odd times, and very different from the sort of guys she usually dates, but there's a real connection there. And Mark, for his part, loves her dearly. He just has to get ready to tell her the biggest secret of his life.

He's actually The Crusader, one of the world's most powerful superheroes.

''Love and Capes'' is, at its heart, a romantic comedy that shows the progress of Abby and Mark's relationship - the mundane (dealing with Mark's highly critical mother), the not-so-mundane (such as the fact that one of Mark's ex-girlfriends is Amazonia, who has much the same power set as him and who wants to get back together with him), and the more four-color problems that only superheroes have to deal with (an EvilTwin and the like).

''Love and Capes'' was originally a twelve-issue print comic by artist Thom Zahler, with two followup miniseries, ''Ever After'' and ''What to Expect''. Zahler has begun posting it online as a webcomic [[http://www.loveandcapes.com/ here]].
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!!This work contains examples of:
* {{Adorkable}}: Crusader basically gets called out for being a bit of a geek multiple times, such as how he ''always'' makes a joke about the NBA logo when he visits Paul and his basketball court; Darkblade has his moments when he indulges as well, like his insistence at not only attending trivia nights, but getting exactly 60% right to not draw attention.
* AdultFear:
** At one point the Psi-Clone [[spoiler: beats Mark in a fight after impersonating him, and returns still in guise as the Crusader. Psi-Clone as fake!Mark cheats on Abby with Amazonia, goes to Vegas, and plans to break off the engagement.]] Abby fortunately realizes that something is wrong just as [[spoiler: the real Crusader shows up]], but for a while she wasn't sure why Mark had become a different person.
** Most superheroes have {{Muggles}} for parents. In one timeline [[spoiler: Mark died fighting the Evil Brain while in the actual timeline Windstar dies]]. The parents in question have to endure their child's death being questioned, since DeathIsCheap, while they deal with the reality of the grief. Some have to undergo multiple times.
** Mark considers [[spoiler: giving up being the Crusader]] to be a more present father for his future child. He doesn't want to be an absent father causing TheCobblersChildrenHaveNoShoes.
** Doc Karma explains Mark and Abby's BodySwap with FridgeHorror; Evil Brain meant to put a GrandTheftMe on the Crusader, which might have led the villain to finding a pregnant Abby. Evil Brain previously had no qualms about [[spoiler: murdering Crusader in another timeline]].
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler: Abby and Crusader]] have a baby boy named Jamie.
* BadassNormal: Darkblade, in his role as a Franchise/{{Batman}} CaptainErsatz. Amazonia [[spoiler:from an alternate timeline]] later points out that Abby has essentially become one herself as time has gone on.
* BadassPrincess: Amazonia is one of these in her home dimension.
* BatDeduction: Darkblade naturally pulls this off. He deduces, seconds after Crusader merely sips a cup of coffee and looks off to the side, that [[spoiler: Abby's pregnant]]. He's right, of course.
* BetaCouple: [[spoiler:Darkblade and Amazonia]] become this.
* BetterAsFriends: Paul and Charlotte go on one date; halfway through they decide there's no spark between them and spend the rest of the evening [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=143 happily snarking about Mark and Abby]].
* BetterTheDevilYouKnow: Something Abby and Amazonia discuss about Mark's mother while drunk [[spoiler: after Abby's gown fitting]]. Mark's mother may be tough as nails and BrutallyHonest, but you know where you stand with her. As Amazonia puts it, Mark's mother didn't ''like'' her but was upfront about it; Amazonia's own mother is passive-aggressive.
* BirthDeathJuxtaposition: [[spoiler: A couple of panels after Windstar's funeral, Abby finds out she's pregnant.]]
* BlackBestFriend: Darkblade.
* BlandNameProduct
* BodySwap: Mark and Abby get one while Abby is pregnant.
* BroughtDownToNormal: Mark gives up his powers for 24 hours so that he can have a day without interruption with Abby. Unlike many examples, though, it's not problematic (it wears off right on schedule, and Darkblade covers for him). This also happens when he and Abby switch bodies.
* CallBack: When Mark discusses giving up on being Crusader [[spoiler: for the sake of their imminent child]], Abby reminds him of what she said back when they were still dating - she loved him for being both Mark and the Crusader, and she wouldn't want him to give up either one. Also, in the finale, there's a call back to the wedding. [[spoiler: Just as Mark and Abby both used TimeTravel and disguise magic to watch their nuptials incognito, the future version of their son, with Mark's powers, disguises himself as Major Might in part to be around for his birth.]]
* CaptainErsatz: Almost all of the heroes shown. Most prominently, Crusader for Franchise/{{Superman}}, Darkblade for Franchise/{{Batman}}, and Amazonia for Franchise/WonderWoman.
** In-story, another example is Major Might, who clearly idolizes Crusader. [[spoiler:He's actually a double example, as he's a kid who wished for the power set of his idol, and he's [[OlderAlterEgo grown up in his super identity]], so in-story, he's a copy of Crusader, while he's also a copy of Billy Batson[=/=][[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] with a different origin story.]]
** The character of Amazonia is a lot more like Maxima, who is an alien warrior queen who always has amorous intentions towards Superman, seeing him as her perfect mate.
** There are also superheroes Arachnerd and Yellow Flashlight, who are ersatz of Spider-Man and Green Lantern, respectively. Also there is "Steel Worker" (either Iron Man or Steel (John Henry Irons)), Blurstreak (The Flash or Quicksilver, or any one of a number of speed-based heroes), and Doctor Karma, who is similar to Doctor Strange or Doctor Fate.
* TheCape: Mark
* ClarkKenting: Played straight, somehow. Lampshaded very early on (before Mark reveals his identity to anyone) - Charlotte doesn't like them, and Abby thinks they're too distracting.
* {{Clocktower}}: Mark and Paul's usual conversation spot.
* ColdTurkeysAreEverywhere: Abby has to give up caffeine at one point [[spoiler: due to pregnancy]]. Naturally, a deluxe coffee-maker, which had been back-ordered for over a year, finally arrives at Abby's bookstore. She also recognizes the problems with this and asks Mark to not drink coffee at home - and then proceeds to linger on his "welcome home" kiss to enjoy the taste of coffee on his breath.
* {{Cosplay}}: Mark and Abby wander into a comic convention while at a wedding show. They pass by a rather unfortunate Crusader cosplayer, much to the chagrin of both.
* CostumeTestMontage: Abby goes through one of these when she temporarily gains super-powers, cycling through costumes worn by {{Supergirl}}, [[Comicbook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} Saturn Girl]], [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Mary Marvel]], and ComicBook/BlackCanary before settling on one of her own.
* TheCowl: Darkblade
* {{Crossover}}: Played with. As one issue begins, Crusader and Darkblade have just come back from what was clearly IDW's ''Infestation'' crossover, even though ''Love and Capes'' wasn't actually a part of the crossover. (While there, they met up with [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]], who was also not officially involved.)
* UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks: [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=241 Gently parodied]].
* DatingCatwoman: Paul even admits to having dated multiple female villains (with one, Fearleader, explicitly named) - appropriate, as he's a CaptainErsatz of [[Franchise/{{Batman}} the man]] who performed the [[TropeNamer trope-naming action]]. While not specifically a superhero, Charlotte inadvertently does this as well - she's a confidant of several heroes, and she goes on a date with a man who turns out to be the villain Cyber Lord.
* DeadpanSnarker: Pretty much every character with a one-liner, although Darkblade gets the most by far.
* DeathIsCheap: Discussed and deconstructed. It's noted at [[spoiler: Windstar's]] funeral that many people think this way about superheroes, and folks are flippant about a hero's return. However, it's all too painful and real for the family of the deceased. However, the heroes are willing to indulge in some BlackHumor about it - Doctor Karma has apparently ComeBackWrong once (though he stresses that his Spirit of Vengeance return was just the one time), and there's a rule regarding funerals (namely, if you've had at least 3, the others have a 90-day waiting period before conducting another for you) named after him.
* DressedInLayers: When Abby tries out the superhero life, she complains about not being able to wear short sleeves or skirts because they won't hide her costume.
* DrowningMySorrows: Amazonia does this twice with ambrosia, first at [[spoiler: Abby's gown fitting]] and at the latter's [[spoiler: wedding]]. The first time Abby joins her, and they actually get to bond quite a bit.
* DudeWheresMyRespect:
** While Crusader is certainly popular enough, both among the populace at large and amongst other heroes, his endorsement deals (comics, movies, etc.) are fairly pitiful compared to other heroes'. He's particularly resentful towards the popularity of Arachnerd's movie, doubled because his best friend Darkblade actually financed the movie. [[spoiler:He mellows out somewhat on the issue, particularly when he learns that Arachnerd, as a CaptainErsatz of {{Spider-Man}}, was struggling to make ends meet and balance his social life with his heroing life before the endorsement deal.]]
*** It also didn't help that at the time that the movie came out, [[spoiler: it was his tenth anniversary of becoming the Crusader, and no one noticed. Imagine if everyone forgot your 30th birthday, and you get a glimpse of what he was feeling.]]
** Amazonia also gets this on her homeworld. Due to being the youngest in a large family, she's pretty much ignored [[spoiler: until her mother gets a stroke and she has to fill in as queen]]. As she points out to Abby, she's living in another dimension and doing much better.
* EasilyForgiven:
** Darkblade has forgiven his father for arranging monks to kidnap him and put him in TrainingFromHell.
** Amazonia's family in turn [[spoiler: forgives her for choosing Paul over her kingdom. She still has to go into exile, but her sister's working to change the law.]]
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Amazonia.
-->'''Charlotte''': Amazonia? Whoa. Heck, I'd do her.
-->'''Abby''': (In a quiet voice) Me too.
* EvilIsPetty: [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=698 When Evil Brain possesses a jogger,]] the first thing he does is insult Joggers, before ordering a "Cheesy Onion Bacon Loaf." Keep in mind that this is his first appearance in the comic, and he has previously been built up to Doctor Doom levels of supervillainy.
-->'''Future!Evil Brain:''' I ''really'' hate joggers.
* EvilTwin: Common enough that the Liberty League refers to it as a "number 6".
* FalseReassurance: When Amazonia is watching Abby and Mark together, she asks if she will ever [[spoiler: walk down the aisle]] like that with someone she loves. Her mother says in response that many women in their family have done well and are unmarried.
* FantasticTimeManagement: Crusader forgets to do his own taxes until 11:30 p.m. on April 15. He has to have them finished and in the mail by midnight. Even using his super-speed powers, he is unable to finish them until 2 a.m. the next day. This is no problem, since he lives in the Eastern time zone; he just flies at super speed to the west coast, and mails his taxes in before midnight Pacific time.
* FirstNameBasis: Mark tells her to keep it up despite TheReveal.
* FlyingBrick: Crusader's basic power set, though he has super-senses, as befits a Superman Expy. No Heat Vision, though.
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself: Windstar [[DiscussedTrope hints in a flashback]] that there are big issues related to trying this routine... which resulted in him going to a Halloween party as The Crusader instead. Which further resulted in Windstar [[CostumeCopycat pretending he was The Crusader]] when a hostage situation developed at said party.
* FountainOfYouth: One villainous team fires a gun that does this to Mark... right before he's supposed to have dinner with his in-laws. Hijinks ensue.
* FriendOrIdolDecision: Amazonia and Darkblade face one - Amazonia is due to be crowned the new queen of Leandia, and they have to either have her renounce the crown and accept exile from her home, him give up his crimefighting and the Darkblade legacy, or they'd have to break up. [[spoiler: In part because she much prefers life on Earth to Leandia even without the burden of leadership, Amazonia gives up the crown.]]
* TheGhost: The Evil Brain. Each issue has at least one reference to him, but he never appears on panel in the flesh. The one time he has a speaking role, he technically appears twice... and both appearances (one a future version of the other) are not him, but him [[DemonicPossession possessing others]].
* GreatDetective: Darkblade, again just like Franchise/{{Batman}}. Taken to the point of BatDeduction when he figures out [[spoiler: that Abby's pregnant]] by asking just one question - "Is everything okay?"
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Abby wants to learn what Mark goes through as a superhero, so she goes to Doctor Karma (the one who temporarily removed Mark's powers) to get her own. BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor, though.
** ''Temporarily'' get her own, mind. Contrary to what's usually the case with this trope, Abby wasn't interested in ''having'' powers, just in understanding Mark better. [[spoiler: Which is why Doctor Karma can oblige. Love is one hell of a power-source, apparently]].
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Amazonia's response to discussing temporal anomalies and trying to make sense of them is to have alcohol on hand when she knows they're coming up.
* IWasQuiteAFashionVictim: Crusader and Darkblade regard their [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks Dark Age]] looks as this.
* InformedAbility: While Darkblade's deductive skills ''are'' played straight now and then, more often than not they're brought up in the humorous context of him failing to deduce something (such as the mystery behind ''Series/{{Lost}}'', or deducing something that was pretty obvious (such as how a villain obsessed with the number three would attack the Third National Bank at three o'clock on March 3rd).
* ItsAllAboutMe: Michelle, according to Abby.
* LegacyCharacter: Discussed at [[spoiler: Windstar's funeral - his niece also has his powerset, and she thought Mark was trying to recruit her to become the next Windstar]]. Mark notes that it shouldn't be done because of a sense of obligation, but only if the legacy feels it's who they are. [[spoiler: Windstar's niece does decide to become a hero, but with a different name and costume that evoked, but doesn't match, her uncle's identity.]]
* MeaningfulEcho: "A superhero can't save everyone." Used as a comedic RunningGag at first, on how minor things still happen to Abby despite dating a superhero. Becomes much more weighty later on [[spoiler:when Abby has her own powers and tries to save everyone on a collapsing bridge... but couldn't]].
* TheMissusAndTheEx: Abby and Amazonia, although they get past the tension eventually.
* MostCommonSuperpower: Hello there, Amazonia! It's genetic, too - when one of Zoe's sisters temporarily visits Earth to be Amazonia [[spoiler: while Zoe is preparing to potentially become the new queen]], she's practically just a PaletteSwap of her sister visually.
* MundaneUtility: SuperSpeed -- great not only for saving people fast and getting to where you're needed quickly, but also great for finishing your secret identity's accounting job in a fraction of the time. Also, as Mark says, having SuperStrength means never having to pay retail for a diamond (it's easy to get a good sized one for an engagement ring when you can just make them by hand).
** Also flying you and your girlfriend to Maui for some swimming before work the next day.
** Subverted at one point - Mark points out that SuperSpeed just lets him do things in less time - it's not any less boring.
* MustHaveCaffeine: Abby. It becomes especially apparent in ''What to Expect'' when she has to have to give up coffee while pregnant.
** After being temporarily bodyswapped with Mark, she realizes she can have coffee again; her reaction nearly deafens Paul.
* MyBelovedSmother: Amazonia's mother, who makes sure to get regular digs in on how Amazonia isn't living the life that she wants her to live. Amazonia points out to Abby that it's no coincidence that she lives and does her superheroing in a dimension other than her home dimension.
* NoodleIncident: How Mark got his [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=80 powers.]]
* NormalFishInATinyPond: Where Amazonia comes from, her powers are the norm.
** Later annotation by the author is that the powers have to do with being a member of the royal family; Zoe is the youngest sister. The MostCommonSuperpower seems to be inherent in the entire civilisation, though.
* ObnoxiousInLaws: Mark's mother for Abby, Abby's brother for Mark. Other relatives apologize to each party.
* OldShame: InUniverse, Crusader at one point in the past licensed his name out to an ice-skating show. Darkblade occasionally likes to tease him about it. He doesn't truly regret it, though, until Abby finds a bootleg recording of it.
* OvernightAgeUp: Major Might when he uses his powers; as a [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] CaptainErsatz, he's an adolescent when he's not using his powers.
* ThePowerOfLove: When Abby asks Doc Karma to give her temporary superpowers, he tells her that a spell like that requires a great source of power--but since Abby is asking out of her love for Mark, that will do nicely. (He quotes the Huey Lewis and the News song to explain this.)
* PowerPerversionPotential:
** A mild example. Abby hints to Mark that if he flies her to work that morning instead of her going in normally, they have twenty extra minutes (to fool around).
** When Mark and Abby undergo a FreakyFridayFlip due to Tiki magic, one of the rare good things they use this temporary state of affairs to do is have sex (Charlotte thinks it's gross, but they point out "Wouldn't you be curious too?").
* ReinventingTheTelephone: Doc Karma uses magical powers to contact Mark at one point (in this case, because Karma was in an alternate dimension with no other method of contact). Mark had the usual response.
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: As time goes on, some of the side effects of Mark's NighInvulnerable status are noted - he metabolizes food too quickly to be affected by particular side effects, so both alcohol and caffeine do nothing to him. He also doesn't notice temperature differences nearly as much as a normal person. Finally, while he ''can'' get a suntan, he literally has to be about a foot away from the sun to do so.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Darkblade's secret identity, "Paul Delacroix, boy mogul".
* TheRival: Amazonia for Abby; eventually, the two women mellow out toward each other. Yes, alcohol was involved. Amazonia [[spoiler: from an alternate timeline]] later reveals that this was mutual - she clung to the hopes that she'd get back together with Crusader, and she was intensely jealous to see him with a cute little blonde.
* {{Rule 63}}: When Abby tells Doctor Karma that she'd like a female physician, he brings in a female version of himself from an alternate universe. (Mark is apparently also female in this universe.)
* SecretKeeper: Abby becomes this for Mark very early. However, due to not being all that good at it at first, she ends up letting her sister Charlotte in on it by accident less than 24 hours after being let in on it. Charlotte then also becomes one, and they refrain from further slips (also true later, when Darkblade gives Mark permission to tell both sisters his identity as well).
* ShootingSuperman: {{Lampshaded}} in [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=483 issue #10]] when Abby gains temporary superpowers and Crusader is schooling her in superheroing:
-->'''Abby''': So, after they run out of bullets, why do they throw the empty guns?
-->'''Crusader''': I've been trying to figure that out for years.
* ShoutOut: The author [[http://www.loveandcapes.com/love-and-capes-trivia.html annotates these on his Web site]].
** [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=85 On page 75]], two of the spirits that are called upon are Lee and Ditko, both well-known and famous comic names.
* SmugSuper: Amazonia. Her perspective being skewed this way is why Mark broke up with her, and worse, because she doesn't consider normalcy important she never understood why they drifted apart - in fact her book cuts this out entirely, not for spite but because she legitimately didn't think it was important. She gets better about it as the series goes on.
* SnowballFight: Mark has an unfair advantage.
* SpotTheImpostor: Darkblade just goes right ahead and [[http://loveandcapes.com/lnc/?p=424 blasts them both]].
* StatingTheSimpleSolution: How Doctor Karma gets his female counterpart from another dimension to be present when [[spoiler: Abby goes into labor]]. They note the amount of work that they could do with teleportation and amnesia spells... but they found it easier for the male Doctor Karma to claim the female Doctor Karma is his cousin with a medical degree and just get the paperwork done to have her assist.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Amazonia's costume. Visits to her home dimension demonstrate that it's standard dress in her culture.
* SuperHeroOrigin: A couple are explicitly discussed and one ([[spoiler:Abby's]]) is shown. Crusader's origin is apparently extremely embarrassing.
* SuperheroesWearCapes: Not all do, but most present do. Justified at one point, when it's mentioned that they help cover the butt.
* SuperpowerfulGenetics: Discussed, as Doc Karma is incapable of determining just what, if any, powers the potential offspring of Abby and Mark will have. [[spoiler: Once the child is born, Doc Karma is finally able to tell that Jaime will get [[FlyingBrick his father's power set]].]]
* SuperPowersForADay: Abby has a wizard grant her temporary superpowers so she can understand life as a superhero. Her intention was for it to be literally this trope's name - having superpowers for 24 hours. Just after she drinks the triggering potion, she learns the ''actual'' time-limit is [[spoiler:non-existent. She'll have the powers until she decides she doesn't want them. Which she does, at the end of that story-arc.]]
* TemptingFate: When Abby sees a comic convention while shopping for wedding cakes with Mark, she asks to go in, and asks "How bad could it be?" Three panels later (not pages; panels), she gets her answer.
* TenMinuteRetirement:
** When Amazonia [[spoiler: has to become queen following her mother's stroke]], her sister Oriana has to fill in on Earth. At the [[spoiler: coronation, however, Zoe declines the crown and returns home, while Oriana becomes the new Queen of Leandia.]]
** When Abby's [[spoiler: due date draws nearer]], Mark considers giving up the Crusader mantle [[spoiler: to spend more time with his son.]] Abby tells him that while it's sweet that he would make such a sacrifice, [[spoiler: she married him fully for the Crusader and Mark side of him.]]
* TimeyWimeyBall: Time travel rules aren't even consistent within the same story, although this might be intentional as a parody of other such time travel stories. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Amazonia, when she complains about the confusing aspects of temporal physics.
* TheCobblersChildrenHaveNoShoes: Mark is super busy during tax season. After he finally lies down for an evening with Abby, she asks him how their taxes were.
--> '''Mark''': [[OhCrap Our taxes?]]
* TheUnfavorite: Quincy is this to the Tennyson family. He's a SmallNameBigEgo broadcaster who had a ''very'' short NFL career. He pretty much ignores what anyone else might want, and it grates on his entire family to no end. Even his mother isn't shy about slipping a shot at him in for the hell of it. [[spoiler: He's also the last to learn about Mark's super identity, only learning at the comic's finale.]]
* TheUnreveal: Mark wasn't born with superpowers - and apparently, the story of how he got them is somewhat embarrassing. The comic has a bit of fun not telling us his secret origin - the one time he says it onscreen, he's whispering to Abby and the text box is gibberish.
* WeirdnessCensor: The reason Abby hired Jason for the bookstore, because his first thought on seeing a man hold a large box over his head with one hand is "What's he doing with that empty box?"
* TheWildcats: When Abby temporarily has superpowers, she is trying to come up with a superhero name and asks Mark how he decided on Crusader. Mark admits it was the name of his high school football team. Abby says hers was the Cougars, and they agree she should keep looking.
* YourCostumeNeedsWork: Abby told Mark that he didn't look at all like Crusader when he told her. She didn't believe him until he started hovering in mid-air.
** Repeated when they tell Abby's parents.
-->'''Abby's mother''': Mark's tall, but he's certainly not as tall as the Crusader.
-->'''Mark''': Really? I'm pretty sure we're the same height.
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