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Badass Bookworm / Webcomics

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Badass Bookworms in webcomics.

  • Curse Quest: Minerva Wiseclaw, one of the few competent characters is a skilled shot being able to take down an owl-bear in a few seconds. She is very passionate about law and is currently on a quest to save a small village's government from falling apart.
  • Nearly every educated Spark (mad scientist) in Girl Genius qualifies for this trope, including the protagonist, Agatha. Not only can they build death rays and turn even the most innocuous of mechanical items into death traps (such as a merry-go-round that can level a small town), but they are generally shown kicking butt with their bare hands (and feet) as well as with less sophisticated weapons, such as giant wrenches and rapiers. And brooms! Badassness depending on anger level seems to be common among sparks.
    • A recently-introduced character, Jorgi, is a Jägermonster with a background in academic philosophy. There's probably some overlap with the Genius Bruiser here, but he was a bookworm first.
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    • Boris Myshkin-Dolokhov is Baron Wulfenbach's right hand man and chief administrative secretary. Dolokhov isn't a Spark, but he is brilliant, ruthless and a supremely competent organiser. He was originally a librarian, until his former master gave him an extra pair of arms, along with enhanced strength, speed, balance and co-ordination, in order to turn him into the perfect juggler. However, these modifications are also highly useful in a fight. Boris is more than a match for most Jägermonsters in hand-to-hand combat.
    • Some of the librarians of the Incorruptible Library probably qualify since their Acquisitions Department is apparently heavily armed.
  • Ship Leesoo from Tower of God. Book smart, great tactician, horrible sense in fashion and master of the killer arts
  • Both Narbonic and Skin Horse have more than enough Badass Bookworms to satisfy even the most jaded troper. If Dave from the former isn't the very CHARACTERIZATION of this trope near the end, well.
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  • Dr. McNinja. Badass. Has an MD.
  • In a way, all five Agents of the Realm qualify, as they're in college, but Paige stands out as a straight-A student who won't let this whole Magical Girl business get in the way of her marks.
  • Uni-Man. He comes from a planet whose collective intelligence caused a mutation in the planet itself, and is himself a brilliant scientist, currently developing powerful weapons for Axe Cop and his team. However, when Dr. Stinky Head steals his unicorn horn, Uni-Man interrupts the ensuing carnage to reclaim his horn...and then this happens.
  • Vaarsuvius from The Order of the Stick is an excellent example.
    • Redcloak from the same comic.
    • Thus this possibly being the most popular ship in the series, aside from Vaarsuvius/Belkar
  • Zaebos from Earthsong is a member of the elite Haven Guard, and the librarian.
  • Schlock Mercenary has the relatively short and scrawny Kevyn "I am not a mad scientist" Andreyasn, who habitually wears a 13.75 kiloton antimatter bomb as an epaulet, and a less powerful, but shield-piercing one as another. He's also sometimes been enhanced with nanotech that allowed him to punch through a tank. (And was able to sneak some information out of a 'secure' research site, by asking to use a comm, and a modem, which the guard didn't recognize. "Those that don't study history tend to get their butts kicked by the geeks that do...")
    • Also, Para Ventura (when she doesn't freeze in fear) and Doctor Bunnigus, and Ennesby, and probably a few others.
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  • Colin from Goodbye Chains. Attended MIT with enough engineering blow everything the shit up. Oh, and guns. Can't forgot those.
  • Misho. Dear Gods in Yu-Shan Misho. Now being a Twilight Caste Solar is all about being a Badass Bookworm in the first place, but Misho is a glasses-wearing healer who prefers to use Awesomeness by Analysis to defeat his foes. And if you piss him off, he will obliterate you.
  • Felicia Whitewind from Fetch Quest: Saga of the Twelve Artifacts also qualifies, since not only is she a scholar, she's also capable of making it hard for thieves to get to her. Just watch her and you'll see.
  • In Jill Trent She Sir Science Sleuth, a parody Remix Comic of the original Jill Trent, Science Sleuth feature, Jill fights like the man she once was, but thanks to the wonder of Femavium, her girl-brain cells now have the proportional density of 58 girls! Perfect for Doing Science!
  • Benjamin Hewitt, protagonist of Bibliography qualifies.
  • Joey from Opey The Warhead. Complete with Berserk Button that turns him almost Axe-Crazy. Thankfully Opey snaps him out of it.
  • Dexter from Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi is able to fight on even terms against the Powerpuff Girls with his robot backpack. Also, in later chapters he fights in hand to hand combat against his rival Mandark.
  • Alexander Hamilton and Nathan Hale of The Dreamer definitely qualify.
  • bookwyrms is about some female students in a magic academy who work in its library in retrieving ancient lost tomes. To quantify their power, the demigoddess isn't the strongest one (despite displaying Hercules levels of might)
  • Nan in Lovecraft Is Missing is a librarian who also happens to be an expert in the occult. Considering this is a Cosmic Horror Story based on the works of the Master Himself, that's not exactly a field for the fainthearted. Luckily, Nan is a highly effective ass-kicker who faces thugs and Eldritch Abominations with equal aplomb.
  • Lovely Lovecraft: Howard Lovecraft (and possibly Randolph Carter).
  • Ayanah from Pawn. A physically weak scholar type, she uses her considerable smarts to traverse a legendary dungeon that claimed the lives of mighty warriors, stops the demon guardian from killing her by reciting an obscure demon law, beat said guardian by challenging her to a game she knew the demon knew nothing about, and effectively enslaved said demon with a kiss.
  • Bob of True Magic. He later threatens somebody whilst the sword's still in the book.
  • Rose from Homestuck is constantly teased about her reading material by the other kids, which is heavily weighted on the goth and fantasy side of things. Upon entering the Medium, though, she uses that knowledge to become a powerful witch, or something very like it.
  • xkcd to the forces of darkness: remembber that sysadmins are obsessive people who played way too much FPS.
  • Zokusho Comics: Jack's a mage and apparently plays chess quite well. He also sets people on fire.
  • Underling: Lazarus uses physics and chemistry to deter some pursuers.
  • Billy Thatcher from morphE wears an argyle sweater-vest and is in line to become the next world chess champion. He has also awoken as an Obrimos mage with control over all the elements and the very ebb and flow of magic. His genius, imagination and strategic thinking applied to those abilities make him the strongest mage of the seedlings by a decent margin.
  • Wapsi Square has this with Monica and Katherine, both working as anthropologists in a museum. Phix and Nudge are both librarians and could easily qualify as "Cthulhu Bookworm".
  • Whither has Finn, an unassuming bespectacled Magic Librarian, who embraces the powers bestowed on him in order to save the world (or maybe two). Even before declaring himself "not helpless" he was prone to stunts like defending his companion from a wolf. Using a pocket knife.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Mikkel was hired to be The Medic, is possibly more of a bookworm than the person hired to be the crew's scholar, and has a few Crowbar Combatant skills that, while prone to A-Team Firing, find some usefulness when combined with his Stout Strength.
  • Suzanne from Surprising Octeal was a near graduate of marine biology and, if you ignore the tentacles, not super threatening appearance-wise. But then you stop ignoring the tentacles and you remember she could probably throw you half way across the city.
  • "Chelle" (Michelle Seagal) from Dear Children is brilliant, intellectual — and also decisive and almost fearless in dangerous situations. She probably has no formal combat training (though her dad is an action star, so she might have picked up some moves), but she is certainly the most ruthless member of the Journalism Club.


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