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Characters / Ex-Heroes

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The various characters in the Ex-series. SPOILER WARNING if you haven't read all the books, read at your own risk!

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     The Heroes 

St. George (formerly the Mighty Dragon, real name: George H. Bailey)

The most powerful of the heroes at the Mount. St. George possesses super-strength, near-unbreakable skin, flight, and the ability to breathe fire, powers he obtained after being hit by a meteor and then doused with chemicals. He is widely seen as a symbol of hope to the populace of Los Angeles (both before and after the Zombocalypse) and has a romantic interest in Stealth.

  • The Cape: Comes with being an Expy of Superman.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Hopes to pull this on Stealth to get her to like him. This doesn't keep him from having sex with other women until then, though.
  • Deadpan Snarker: George has shown signs of this from time to time.
    Stealth: From what I understand, you have not needed your abilities past strength and invulnerability. I am sure I could throw you from the top of any structure of significant height and your ability to fly would reassert itself.
    George: Thanks, I love you, too.
  • Expy: Serves as the setting's version of Superman (at least in character and status as a symbol of hope) and even based his outfit on him.
  • Flying Brick: Is one of the best equipped for fighting exes as a result.
  • Hope Bringer: George's status as this to survivors is brought up in several books. It was also key to Stealth's plan on setting up the Mount in the first place.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest, most moral members of the heroes. He has a number of flaws but they don't change this.
  • No-Sell: Part of what makes St. George so valuable is he's got skin too tough for zombies to bite through, so he's effectively invincible to your average Ex.
  • Playing with Fire: His fire breath.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Him and Stealth.
  • Shout-Out: He shares his name with the main character of It's a Wonderful Life, a common conversation topic (even in his introductory POV chapter).
  • Super Strength: A Downplayed Trope example where he points out he's probably not even remotely close to being as strong as Spider-Man, let alone Superman, but his ability to throw a couple of tons around still makes him all but invincible in their world.

Stealth (real name: Karen Quilt)

A dark and brooding antihero who becomes the mastermind of "The Mount" as the last bastion of human survival in Los Angeles. Before the Zombocalypse, she was a genius former underwear model whose good looks made it nigh impossible for her to be taken seriously in academia, leading her to better the world via vigilantism instead. Stealth's coldness tends to rub her teammates the wrong way and she is never seen out of uniform until the third book.

  • The Ace: Stealth has no superpowers but is a genius, physically perfect, and easily the most-dangerous of the heroes.
  • Antihero: Is easily the most ruthless of the group as well as practical. She is definitely one of the good guys, though.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Implied by Ex-Purgatory and its flashbacks.
  • Asexual: Has shown only a mild interest in sex but may be asexual romantic since she starts seeing George, though see below.
  • Bi the Way: Sort of. She experimented with both genders in college before giving the whole thing up as a waste of time. She eventually begins a relationship with St. George.
  • Black Boss Lady: Black and the absolute highest authority at the Mount. Even St. George has to run things by her.
  • Boobs of Steel: As mentioned in the first book. She has an ample bust despite her otherwise muscular frame.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Stealth is a statuesque knockout of a woman who made a significant amount of money as an underwear model, but she's also a genius polymath. Much of the reason why she's a masked superhero in the first place is because she had a great deal of trouble getting anyone in academia to take the ex-model seriously.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Her general character arc with St. George.
  • Expy: The Batman of the Ex-Heroes verse.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Knows Los Angeles is impossible to save so focuses on saving as many as possible in a sustainable manner.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her costume is apparently very tight and accentuating her generous figure.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Her and St. George.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Stealth is one of the world's smartest people. She also struggled to be taken seriously due to the fact she's incredibly gorgeous.
  • Sociopathic Hero: What she believes herself to be. Her compassion is just very-very hard to express.
  • Suddenly Ethnicity: Her ethnicity was unknown until Ex-Communication due to her habit of never removing her costume around others, so most of the gang hadn't known she was black.
  • Straight Man: Stealth plays this to Barry due to being The Comically Serious
  • The Cowl: Comes with being an Expy of Batman.
  • The Spock: Illogical things drive her nuts.
  • Tyke Bomb: Is revealed to have been this by Ex-Purgatory with her father being a Sudanese intelligence agent and terrorist who wanted her to be one as well.

Gorgon (real name: Nikolai)

A hero who received mysterious blood donation in Greece and as a result got the power to absorb the strength of whomever makes eye contact with him. He often tangled with the South Seventeens in Los Angeles, and was lovers with a heroine named Banzai before she was killed in the Zombocalypse. Acts as the peacekeeper and law enforcer at the Mount before he died.

  • Character Death: He's killed by Peasy near the end of the first book.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: His POV is full of checking out his female colleagues and Male Gaze but he's actually quite charming.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Averted. His goggles are a necessity so that he doesn't accidentally knock out anyone who looks at his face.
  • Heartbroken Badass: When he finds out what happened to Banzai.
  • May–December Romance: Slightly downplayed: there was an eleven-year gap between him and Banzai.
  • Random Power Ranking: A personal quirk of his was to classify how much energy he's absorbed according to "Tiers".
  • The Cowl: Another example after Stealth, though to a lesser extent.
  • Up to Eleven: During the finale of Ex-Heroes he absorbs some energy from Zzzap and speculates classing it as either Tier 50 or Tier 100.

Cerberus (real name: Dr. Danielle Morris)

A scientist who created a suit of power armor for the military before the Zombocalypse. She is agoraphobic and feels most comfortable when in her armor. A crucial part of the Mount's defense, as she has by far the most raw destructive power and, obviously, the armor is impervious to zombie bites, though it needs Zzzap to charge.

  • A-Cup Angst: An interesting example as it's implied Cerberus is quite "ample" but feels this way compared to Stealth.
  • Expy: Of Iron Man with some flavors of War Machine through the use of conventional ballistic weapons.
  • Fiery Redhead: When she's not in her armor.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: She created an armed and armored battlesuit in a world much like our own.
  • Powered Armor: The Cerberus Battle Armor System, which which gets destroyed at the end of Purgatory by St. George. Danielle, Gibbs, and Cesar have started working on a Mark II.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Before the start of the series she was trapped inside of her armor and surrounded by exes for several days after it ran out of power. George eventually rescued her, but she's clearly suffering some form of PTSD, as she has panic attacks any time she's within sight of any exes and not in the suit.
  • Zombie Infectee: It's heavily implied at the end of Ex-Isle that Danielle got bit by a zombie and is hiding it. Her conversation with Cesar is heavily reminiscent of Passing the Torch.

Zzzap (real name: Barry Burke)

A scientist well-versed in pop culture who gained the ability to become a human lightning bolt/human-shaped nuclear explosion as a result of an experiment gone wrong. He is essential to the Mount's survival as he provides much of their power. Constantly jokes around, occasionally in inappropriate moments, which sometimes leads to the other heroes tuning him out.

  • Alliterative Name: Barry Burke
  • Big Eater: The other thing he never shuts up about, though mostly in his human form.
  • Black and Nerdy: Makes references to pop culture all the time, even in combat.
  • Black Best Friend: To St. George.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The reason he eats so much when in human form is because using his power burns away his body mass, and actually destroying things via touch in his energy form causes him a great deal of pain (when he reverts back to human form at the end of Ex-Isle after destroying a submarine, he almost suffered a heart attack). And considering he's in energy form for more than half a day every day...
  • Deadpan Snarker: In spades. Think Spider-Man's attitude.
  • I See Dead People: As he sees the electromagnetic spectrum, he eventually learns to read the lingering spiritual energies of deceased people, which started happening in the second book and kick-starts the events of third.
  • Popcultured Badass: The one most frequent to make references to comics, science-fiction, and more.

The Driver (real name: Cesar Mendoza)

A former member of the Seventeens who used to be a common thief. He has the power to possess any mechanical device, from cars to helicopters to the Cerberus battlesuit, which made him the perfect getaway car. He was introduced in the second book wanting to help out the heroes any way he can. Over time, he becomes a sort of sidekick to Danielle, though everyone refuses to call him the Driver.

  • Butt-Monkey: A Downplayed example, as absolutely no one ever calls him the Driver despite his insistence, not even in the alternate reality. He also doesn't have the scientific intelligence of Danielle or technical skill of Gibbs, so he's often stuck being relegated to simple tasks when not in combat. However, no one actively disrespects him and they do realize his usefulness.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In book five, Ex-Isle, Ceasar sacrifices several bones in his hands to fix a fence.

Corpse Girl (real name: Madelyn Sorensen)

A walking, talking dead girl who was first presumed to be an ex and is in reality a human-shaped collection of nanomachines with her body, thoughts, and memories introduced in the third book. She was a normal teenager who often went by Maddy before the Zombocalypse, and her dad was a scientist and the brains behind Project Krypton and the Unbreakables.

  • The Cassandra: She was the only one who remembered the Mount and the apocalyptic world in Purgatory and kept trying to remind George of it, with some luck.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The nanomachines that comprise her can repair any damage she takes, even being ripped in half. She still feels pain though.
  • Invisibility: Exes can't see her (not even if they're possessed by Legion), because they can only see things that are alive, and thus never attack her. This ability extends to anyone and anything she is in contact with, making her vital for support during ex attacks.
  • Nanomachines: The original Madeline died and the nanomachines that her father had injected her with while she was alive went into overdrive trying to fix it. End result is that most of her body is composed of them.
  • Precocious Crush: She's not that young (she was 17 when she died), but she's still a teenager by all accounts and has a pretty obvious crush on St. George.

     The Mount and Eden 

Christian Nguyen

  • Grand Theft Me: Smith steals her body via a psychic imprint.
  • Jerkass: She's not a very pleasant person. She's a reactionary who's constantly challenging Stealth's decisions.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At the least, she seemed to be genuine in her desire to help people, despite her attitude.
  • Psychic Powers: She possessed some latent psychic ability to bring people together, which she never knew about.

Doc Connolly

  • Ms. Exposition: She's the Mount's chief doctor and knows more about the ex-virus than almost anyone.

The South Seventeens

A former street gang that Gorgon tangled with.

  • Color Motifs: Green was a major color indicator associated with them.

     Project Krypton, the Unbreakables, and the military 

Professor Emil Sorensen

  • Absent-Minded Professor: He was always a bit of one, but the loss of his wife and daughter clearly didn't do his sanity any favors.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He's a biologist, but also somehow managed to design and create nanomachines decades ahead of their time.

Colonel Shelly

The Unbreakables in general

Captain John Carter Freedom

  • Ascended Fanboy: Captain Freedom have always looked up to St. George, hoping to meet him someday. After the second book he gets to work with George on a daily basis.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: His name actually is Freedom. His ancestor was a freed slave who changed the family name to what he considered the greatest word in the English language.
  • Bald, Black Leader Guy: Bald, black, and the highest military authority at the Mount.
  • The Captain: He's a Captain in the U.S. military.
  • Expy: An African-American Super Soldier with an American theme makes him a pretty clear reference to the Isaiah Bradley / Captain America.
  • A Father to His Men: Cares very much about the soldiers under his command.
  • Hand Cannon: His custom pistol, which is actually a shotgun that was sawed down and modified to fit in his larger hands. It's got exactly as much of a punch as it sounds.
  • Large and in Charge: Nearly seven foot tall and almost half that wide, also unquestionably in charge of the super soldiers at the Mount as well as being the general peacekeeper among the regular population of the Mount.
  • My Greatest Failure: Considers the events of the second book and everything that led to it as this. This guilt even transferred into the alternate reality.
  • Nice Guy: Notably tends to speak politely to and about anyone, even if they don't necessarily deserve it. Also, as he's in the military, the fact that he doesn't swear is quite noticeable.
  • Papa Wolf: Has taken it upon himself to play this part towards Madelyn.

First Sergeant Kennedy

  • Badass Gay: She's Captain Freedom's second in command and is a lesbian.

Lieutenant Gibbs

  • My Greatest Failure: He sees being mind-controlled by Christian Smith into attempting to kill St. George using the Cerberus suit, which lead to its ultimate destruction as this. It took Danielle months to forgive him.


Another community of survivors, on a bunch of ships pulled together.

  • Human Shield: At Nautilus' instigation they agreed to use their children as this to keep George and the others in line.

     The Villains 

Legion (formerly Peasy/PZ, 'Patient Zero', real name: Rodney Casares)

  • Big Bad: Showing up in multiple books makes him the closest thing that the series has to a recurring antagonist, even if there are other foes who are arguably greater threats.
  • Body Surf: After coming back, he exists as a disembodied consciousness that can inhabit one or several zombies at any given time.
  • Character Development: He starts out as a stereotypical street gang leader turned post-apocalyptic warlord, and he mostly hangs onto this mentality...but by the third book, he knows that Cairax is a serious threat and aids the heroes in killing the demon. Afterwards, he gives them an hour to return safely to the Mount.
  • Death Activated Super Power: His ability to control zombies didn't manifest until he was turned into a zombie, himself...and the ability to possess any zombie at any time came after the destruction of his original body in the first book.
  • Discard and Draw: He starts out having a massive, muscular body due to being a reject from Project Krypton and the ability to control the undead. After Cerberus kills him in the first book, he loses his old body, but gains the ability to possess any zombie at any time.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: He peppers his speeches with a bunch of Latino curses, especially when he gets mad.
  • Hate Sink: Even outside of being a murderous Eldritch Abomination, he's incredibly petty and sexist.
  • Hero Killer: He murders Gorgon during the climax of the first book.
  • Hidden Depths: As much of a thug as he is, he's rather big on keeping his word once he gives it. He kept looking for Dr. Sorenson's wife and daughter after their deal, and honors his promise to let the heroes return to the Mount uncontested after they kill Cairax.
  • Joker Immunity: A justified example - because he's a free-roaming disembodied consciousness, he can just hop into another zombie if the body he's currently inhabiting gets killed.
  • Non-Indicative Name: He's not actually Patient Zero.

Agent John Smith

  • Badass in a Nice Suit: For a given value of "badass" - he prefers to let others do the fighting for him, and his powers aren't meant for direct combat. But given that he can take a (admittedly glancing) knife wound along the neck and survive long enough to get medical help, he's not exactly a pushover.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's awfully nice, given the circumstances. He turns out to be one half of the Big Bad Duumverate in the second book.
  • Compelling Voice: He's got a knack for getting others to agree with him. It's thanks to his powers.
  • Expy: Badass in a Nice Suit? Emphasis on his ability to break others by talking? Traps the heroes in a world that isn't real? Exactly which Smith are we talking about, here?
  • Logical Weakness: Having a Compelling Voice doesn't work so well when the roar of a helicopter engine is drowning out the sound of you talking. And it definitely doesn't help when someone throws a knife that severs your vocal cords.
  • More Than Mind Control: His powers work this way - all he has to do is ask a question, and let subliminal suggestion take care of the rest.
  • Older Than They Look: It's mentioned at least twice that he's got a youthful smile, but when he lets it slip, the weariness of an older man is visible.
  • Power Perversion Potential: He discovered exactly what being a Charm Person could do for him in a co-ed college, and he wasn't afraid to exploit that.

Maxwell Hale and Cairax Murrain

  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The amulet that Maxwell uses to transform into Cairax - among other things, it has a jet-black obsidian lens that was carved with bone to trap the light during a solar eclipse.
  • Back from the Dead: Technically, it's zombification, but the undead Cairax isn't staying down. Played a lot more straight in the third book, with both Maxwell and Cairax.
  • Big Bad: The demon half of the equation becomes the chief threat in the third book. Turns out that the human half was in on it, too - or, at least, he pretended to be. Maybe.
  • Demonic Possession: An unusual inverted example - Maxwell summons the demon lord Cairax to take his place, but it's his mind in the demon's body.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The demon Cairax, when Max isn't possessing him and using his body to fight for good. It actually makes Cairax furious that everyone would cheer his name, instead of cowering in fear.
  • The Dreaded: Cairax was this to anyone in the mystic community, outright mentioned to be one of the great lords of the Abyss. When he assumes proper physical existence on the mortal plane, Max believes that there's no stopping him.
  • Expy: of Etrigan with some elements of Constantine and Deadman
  • Face Death with Dignity: In the third book's finale, Max decides he's through cheating death, and allows himself to succumb to the gunshot wounds that Stealth inflicted on him.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Maxwell, due to siding with Cairax in the third book - except that he deliberately told the heroes how Cairax might be killed beforehand, and claims that he had to make sure his act was as convincing as possible. St. George isn't sure he believes it, even after Maxwell dies.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: It's implied that hijacking Cairax's body subtly influenced Max's mind back whenever he transforms.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Attention is frequently drawn to Cairax's sharp, tusk-like chompers. They're strong enough to pierce St. George's skin!

Regenerator (formerly The Immortal Man, real name: Joshua Garcetti)

  • Badass Bookworm: He used to be a doctor, before becoming a hero - and then, later, the instigator of a zombie outbreak. As the third book shows, he's learned how to use his powers in rather dangerous ways.
  • Bad with the Bone: His most definitive actions scene has him fighting with throwing blades of bone and a whip of ligaments and teeth - that, thanks to his regenerative powers, he created by tearing out his own bones and sinews.
  • Deader Than Dead: Seemingly impossible, due to his formidable regenerating ability. However, being possessed by Cairax was implied to consume his soul; and Stealth decapitates his corpse later just to be sure than he's not coming back.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He used to be one of the good guys, until his responsibility in causing a Zombie Apocalypse left him Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in order to hide it.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: A regenerating man who can heal others, even when they're fatally wounded? Doesn't sound so bad...until his grief-driven effort to bring his wife back ended up kick-starting a Zombie Apocalypse! And his ability to constantly heal later makes him a perfect host for Cairax, since he won't suffer Possession Burnout.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: His power is super-regeneration, making him almost impossible to kill. He used to be able to heal others, too, before his culpability in the zombie outbreak caused him to unconsciously suppress that aspect of his powers out of self-loathing.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Whether it's his understanding that he's to blame for the zombie outbreak, or the fact that his old friends have come to hate him for what he's done, by the time the third book comes around, he willingly lets Cairax possess him, even knowing that his consciousness and soul will be lost forever.
  • Driven to Suicide: He's made several attempts to kill himself during the first year of the Zombie Apocalypse. That he caused. Come the third book, he finally succeeds by letting Cairax possess him, causing his soul to quietly fade away into oblivion.
  • Love Makes You Evil: After a horrific screw-up at the hospital results in his wife's death, Josh used his powers to try and resurrect her. Thing is, while he was successful in re-animating her body, her mind didn't come back with it...and since he couldn't bring himself to put her down, she broke out later and attacked the man who would later become "Patient Zero," passing her death-cheating aspects onto him. And all the while, Josh hid his responsibility in the whole mess.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's his fault there are zombies to begin with. His wife died, and he tried to use his powers to bring her back to life. It worked, but not in the way he wanted it to.
  • Never My Fault: He insists that he only did what anyone else would do by attempting to use his powers to bring his wife back. That much, arguably, is understandable - however, he refuses to take responsibility for covering up his involvement in the zombie outbreak, going so far as to sabotage medical tests!
  • Walking Spoiler: Who he is, what he can do, and why his powers make ultimately make him a bad guy can't be discussed at length without revealing a lot.

Christian Smith

A sort of mental clone of John created when he used his powers on Christian Nguyen.

  • Brought Down to Normal: Doctor Connolly surgically removes her vocal chords to prevent her from using her powers.
  • Compelling Voice: Like the original Smith, she has the power to control people with her voice.
  • Grand Theft Me: She took over Christian's body and replaced her mind with a copy of John Smith's mind.
  • More Than Mind Control: Her powers work the same way as John's - all she has to do is ask a question, and let subliminal suggestion take care of the rest.

Nautilus (real name: Maleko)

  • Expy: Of Aquaman.
  • Made of Iron: He survived getting close to Zzzap, although it did hurt him.
  • Miles Gloriosus: He fed the people of Lemuria a huge number of elaborate lies where he and the Mighty Dragon were Bash Brothers. He quickly goes off the deep-end when George shows up in Lemuria and has no idea who he is.
  • Nuke 'em: What he attempts to do in Ex-Isle to convince the Lemurians that nukes did devastate the world.
  • Shark Man: He is described as having the fangs of a shark.
  • Super Strength: He's said to be the strongest man alive when he's underwater. He proves it when he pushes a submarine a mile out from Lemuria.



A former hero that died during the outbreak.


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