Snowy66 on Aug 13th 2017 at 1:46:15 AM
Last Edited By:
Snowy66 on Oct 8th 2017 at 1:21:03 AM
Page Type: trope
On any given Super Team, there will typically be several members with an assortment of powers, along with that one person with no powers. But what if it's the inverse? What if there is a team made up of Badass Normals with that one member being the only one who has powers? This is the Token Super.
Perhaps having powers is rare and the Token Super is one of a kind, or maybe a group of powerless individuals banded together with one super individual tagging along.
The Token Super may likely serve as The Champion for the team, as having powers gives them an unfair advantage over everyone else and is likely of being the most useful member. May also overlap with Hero Protagonist, since even The Hero needs something to explain why he's special.
Subtrope of Token Minority.
Anime and manga
- In Dragon Ball:
- General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army is the only one who possesses any sort of powers, having Psychic Powers that enable paralysis and telekinesis.
- In Dragon Ball Super, Obuni seems to be the only member of Team Universe 10 capable of using Ki Attacks, with virtually everyone else relying on brute strength. Even Lilibeu and Jium who utilize flight, do so because of wings they naturally possess and not due to a superpower. Although Lilibeu does later demonstrate the ability to breathe fire.
- The Protagonist of almost every Yu-Gi-Oh! series, will be the sole member of their team to possess the particular unusual power of the series. (The only exception is Yusei Fudo in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, where his whole team shares his power).
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Yugi Muto holds one of the Millennium Items, in his case the Millennium Puzzle. The Millennium Puzzle enables him to access his Superpowered Alter Ego, Yami Yugi, who is actually the spirit of an Egyptian Pharaoh that resides in Yugi.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Jaden Yuki is later accompanied by Yubel, formerly a Arc Villain before having a Heel–Face Turn when Jaden fuses with her. From there on in, Jaden can harness Yubel's power as a Super Mode which manifests an Eye Colour Change.
- In Yu Gi Oh Zexal, Yuma Tsukumo and his extra-dimensional companion Astral can undergo fusion known as ZEXAL to create a Golden Super Mode for Yuma.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Yuya Sakaki and his dimensional counterpartss have the ability to "Awaken", where they become more malicious and powerful. It's revealed this is actually Zarc's will attempting to take over his reincarnations.
- In Sword Art Online:
- During the Aincrad arc, Kirito is the only known player to possess the Dual Wielding skill set, which the game granted to the player with the fastest reaction time. There's also the fact that he was a beta-player with insanely high stats so that normal players can't inflict any lasting damage on him. All of this gave him a huge advantage over other players, where he would end up as The Champion of any party or guild he joined. The following arcs continue this by either allowing him to use an Old Save Bonus from his Aincrad avatar (that, as a result, is comparatively more powerful than anybody else on the game), or his immense amounts of experience playing make him an absurdly dangerous melee player.
- If you don't count Kirito, then Yui certainly qualifies. She's a Benevolent A.I. with administrator powers so she could instant kill any unbeatable boss in the game, along with being an Immortal Object that couldn't be destroyed conventionally. In fact, in the Aincrad arc she became a case of Too Powerful to Live and was almost deleted. She was only able to return after a depowering, but even so she was able to use her AI nature to see the code that underpinned monsters and NPCs enabling her to provide valuable information.
- Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen is the Trope Codifier, winning big on the Superpower Lottery and ending up as the only hero in the Watchmen continuity to have powers, which are god-like. The rest of the Watchmen are all Non Powered Costumed Heros.
- In Birds of Prey. For a long time, Black Canary was the only member of the team with a Metahuman ability (her "Canary Cry"). Other members with superhuman powers have since come and gone on short stints (such as Power Girl, Little Barda, Hawk and Dove and Misfit), but Canary is pretty much the most steady member with this advantage.
- Shining Knight is this for the original incarnation of the Seven Soldiers. While the rest of his team were Non Powered Costumed Heroes. Shining Knight rode a winged horse, wielded an enchanted sword and wore enchanted armor.
- Poison Ivy serves as this for the Gotham City Sirens, possessing her trademark Green Thumb powers while Harley Quinn and Catwoman have no superpowers.
- Damien Wayne/ Robin was this for the Batfamily for a little while when he got powers temporarily.
- In the original Dracula, Mina is the only member of Van Helsing's Vampire Hunter crew who has supernatural powers, due to an, uh, close encounter with the title villain half-way through the book. These allow her to "tune in" into Dracula's head, letting Van Helsing track his movement.
- Downplayed in The Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf is an angelic spirit in human form, traveling with the otherwise non-magical Fellowship. His exalted origins are largely unknown to the party and his displays of power are minimal, since his Valar masters require that the victory over Sauron be won by the people of Middle-Earth.
Films — Live-Action
- Alice from Resident Evil became this for her La Résistance team after contracting the T-virus but with it instead granting her powers rather than the zombie degeneration.
- Captain America was this to the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger, being the only Super Soldier in a team of normal military soldiers. Subverted later on when Cap joins the Avengers which was a Super Team full of fellow superheroes.
- Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. True to the source material, he is the only hero with actual powers, once again being depicted as a Physical God in an otherwise un-super world.
- Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy. After Obi-Wan was killed, Luke was the only force user left on the Millennium Falcon crew and the Rebel Alliance in general.
- Subverted in All Superheroes Must Die, the team are all Brought Down to Normal at the beginning of the film, except for Charge who retains his Super Strength for some reason. It turns out that the reason the depowering serum didn't work on Charge is because he never had powers in the first place, his strength is from working out.
- The Wolverine had a noticeable lack of mutants for an X-Men film, with Wolverine instead dealing with samurai mooks. Though on the bad guys' side, they still have Viper.
Live Action TV
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., none of the original members of Team Coulson possess powers, except Daisy Johnson / Skye / Quake, who is an Inhuman capable of causing vibrations.
- For Arrowverse
- In Arrow
- Team Arrow is the resident Badass Normal team in the Arrowverse. This changes in Season 3, with the addition of Ray Palmer / The Atom who wears a Powered Armor enabling flight, Hand Blasts, and size changing, though Ray eventually leaves to join The Legends. Later in Season 5, among the new recruits is Rory Regan/Ragman who wears mythical rags that give him powers such as cloth tentacles or immense durability, though he left the team after being Brought Down to Normal. Even later in Season 5, Dinah Drake was recruited as a replacement Black Canary, being a metahuman who had a sonic scream.
- In Season 2, Roy Harper became this thanks to the ''Mirakuru" in his system, which gave him Super Strength. Sadly, also became into The Berserker as most of the surviving Mirakuru users becoming a Tragic Monster for the team, being the first that received the antidote that Brought Down to Normal at the end of the season.
- In Season 4, the HIVE are a large syndicate of cult like loyalists with no powers, serving under Damien Darhk a master of Blood Magic capable of telekinesis and Life Draining.
- In Season 5, Prometheus assembled his own team to oppose Oliver and Team Arrow. All members are Badass Normals, except for Black Siren, who is also a metahuman capable of sonic screams.
- In The Flash (2014). Barry Allen/The Flash was this for Team Flash early in the series. Being the only member with superpowers meant he was typically the only one who would be out in the field to fight against the Villain of the Week, while everyone else served as Mission Control. Subverted over time when several other members developed powers too and could give Barry a hand from time-to-time.
- In Legends of Tomorrow. Season 2 introduces the Legion of Doom, which is a Big Bad Quartet of some of the nastiest villains from throughout the Arrowverse. None of the members have powes, except for Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash who is a speedster, as well as the one in charge.
- The Suicide Squad, debuted on Arrow, as a team comprised entirely of powerless criminals with special talents. However in Season 3 of The Flash (2014), it's revealed Cheetah also became a Squad member at some point.
- In Arrow
- In Doctor Who
- Most incarnations of Team TARDIS only has the Doctor as the Token Non-Human and by extension all his Time Lord abilities. Though occasionally one of his companions will end up gaining powers on one of their adventures.
- Though he will be best known working alone, sometimes The Master also makes a team to take down The Doctor, in which he's the Token Super. Two of the most known alliances he made are with Chang Lee and Lucy Saxon, who helped him in his evil plans.
- In Merlin (2008), the titular character was the only one of Arthur's allies to possess magic. Technically Morgana always had magic, but didn't know it until much later, by which she had betrayed Arthur. While Gaius performed magic in the past, but had given up these habits and only used it as a last resort. So overall Merlin is still the only one who actively uses magic to help Arthur.
- In Penny Dreadful, Vanessa is the only member of Sir Malcolm's little vampire-hunting gang who has psychic powers. Subverted at the end of season one, however, when it is revealed that Ethan is actually a unwitting werewolf and he begins using his beast form against the bad guys.
- Raven Baxter of That's So Raven is the main trio's resident psychic, getting flashes of future visions that can constantly help them out.
- In Life is Strange, thanks to her Time Master powers, the Player Character Max is the only person investigating the disappearance of Rachel Amber with powers. Technically only Chloe is officially on their "team", but they get a lot of help from other characters who they keep Locked Out of the Loop like Warren and Kate, and eventually other characters connected to Rachel start cooperating with them. More specifically; Frank can join their investigation (should you avoid killing him when asking him for info), and David catches up (having found Max and Chloe's notes) and pulls a Big Damn Heroes in the final episode.
- In Starship Promise, none of the crew members of The Promise have powers, except for Nova, a Super Soldier.
- All of the Gotham Girls are Badass Normal Action Girls, except Poison Ivy who has her trademark Green Thumb powers .
- In DM of the Rings, a D&D Campaign Comic based on Lord of the Rings, the players see Gandalf's rather arbitrary magic powers as just another sign of a Canon Sue GMPC who's railroading their characters into being spectators in their own campaign.
- Ben Tennyson of the original Ben 10 series was this at first, as Gwen and Grandpa Max didn't have powers to start off with. Though it gets dropped once Gwen gets a spell book and starts practicing magic.
- Danny Phantom is the only one in his family with ghost powers.
- Artha from Dragon Booster. Most characters are Badass Normals who use technology, however Artha can transform into the Dragon Booster, possessing powerful armor and a bond with his dragon, Beau. Later on, Artha also becomes an Empowered Badass Normal even in his civilian form, when he learns to "release the human" and can perform mag-attacks.
- In Sparkle Friends, features three normal kids, a pet gorilla, and Gun-gi. Gun-gi is a flying pink creature who spews reality warping vomit, which gives a variety of effects including giving the kids superpowers.
- Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Clone Wars depict squads, corps, even battalions of brave and loyal Clone Troopers fighting fiercely against Separatist forces. The clones are led by a Jedi Knight, who is effectively a wizard with "the Force" as his magic. Ultimately it's a one Force wizard and his Redshirt Army versus cookie-cutter "clankers."
- Dawn from Total Drama who has Psychic Powers. Her ability to read auras, understand animals, and being a Voice for the Voiceless for B has helped the Toxic Rats out on several occasions.
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