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The Mount

Heroes of the Mount

The various superheroes keeping the Mount safe from zombies and supervillains alike. Many of them were active as heroes prior to the outbreak of the ex-virus.

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    St.George/The Mighty Dragon 

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 Adjectival Superhero: The Mighty Dragon! ...before he changed it to St. George.
  • Almighty Janitor: A hilariously literal version: he really was a janitor before he became the greatest hero of them all. It was still his day job until the ex-virus hit.
  • Book Dumb: He's not particularly dim, but when compared to Danielle (a Gadgeteer Genius), Barry (a nuclear physicist), and Stealth (a polymath and brilliant tactician) he comes across as this a little bit. Barry even calls him a lovable idiot in Ex-Isle.
  • 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 shows 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. His origin story is reminiscent of The Flash, being hit with a cosmic event that doused him in chemicals.
  • Flying Brick: It makes him the best to fight the exes since their teeth break instead of his skin.
    • Flying Firepower: In addition to the above Flying Brick powers, George also has the nifty ability to belch fire. You know, like a dragon.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Though it's not much compared to Josh's or even Maddy's healing abilities, George's immune system is so strong it basically kills any disease that enters his body, meaning that even if an ex's bite breaks his skin (such as from a zombified demon) he can't actually die from all the infections.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: One of his go-to attacks when dealing with massive crowds of exes is to simply grab one and start using it like a flail or battering ram.
  • The Hero: From a Doylist perspective, he's inarguably the protagonist; from a Watsonian perspective, he's the superhero for everyone, even the bad guys.
  • 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.
    Stealth: The populace of Los Angeles all but worships you as a saint.
  • Idiot Ball: George decides to take Madeline a.k.a Corpse Girl along to a new group of survivors despite the fact she looks like a talking Ex. She does prove to be an asset, but it was still a pretty dumb move.
  • In a Single Bound: St. George had a version of this originally, before unlocking the ability to actually fly at the end of the first book. This proves to be an important plot point in the fifth book for two reasons:
    • All that everyone knew pre-outbreak was that the Dragon could leap and glide long distances, but not fly. The fact that George had unlocked true flight by the time of Ex-Isle acts as "evidence" to the Lemurians that he wasn't really who he claimed to be.
    • Much later in the book, Barry pokes a hole in Nautilus's claim of having been best friends with the Dragon. Since the former was located in Hawaii and the latter was based out in Los Angeles, how could they have hung out together as often as Nautilus claimed if the Dragon couldn't fly?
  • Meaningful Rename: He changes his codename to St. George to better represent his status as the Mount's symbol of hope, as well as allow people to refer to him by his real name.
  • Mythical Motifs: The dragon, and later the saint most known for slaying a dragon.
  • 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: He and Stealth become an official couple between Ex-Patriots and Ex-Communication.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The legend of Saint George is most known for slaying a dragon, symbolizing good ultimately prevailing over evil. Even the chapter where Stealth and George plan to save LA is titled 'St. George kills The Mighty Dragon.'
  • 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.
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    Stealth 

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.
  • Agent Scully: When it comes to real, working magic. Despite this she is willing to follow its rules even if she doesn't believe it's actually magic.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Stealth is repeatedly described to be as beautiful as she is built.
  • Antihero: Is easily the most ruthless of the group as well as practical. She is definitely one of the good guys, though.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Confirmed in Ex-Purgatory and its flashbacks. She even tells George her dad put forth the ultimatum of either he kills her or she kills him.
  • Badass Normal: As mentioned, she has no superpowers (or even a facsimile of one, such as Danielle's Cerberus suit). This does not hinder her heroics in the slightest.
  • Black Boss Lady: Black and the absolute highest authority at the Mount. Even St. George and Mayor Richard 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.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As might be expected of a Batman expy. She even keeps a spare mask in her belt.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Her general character arc with St. George.
  • Expy: Quiet, reserved, and slightly creepy? Check. A tactical genius who's always planning three steps ahead? Check. Wears an all-black uniform decked with various weapons? Check. Sexually desirable beyond all reason? Check. Yup, she's the Batman of the Ex-Heroes verse.
  • Guns Akimbo: Her preferred method of combat is to use as many guns as she has limbs available to show off her...
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Stealth rivals Rushuna Tendo with her ability to put bullets in the heads of zombies with her pistols. No less than Captain Freedom himself ponders that he's known decorated snipers who would be envious of her accuracy.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Knows Los Angeles is impossible to save, so focuses on saving as many as possible in a sustainable manner. Even her relationship with St. George (before it turned romantic) was largely based upon his status as LA's Hope Bringer.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her costume is apparently very tight and accentuates her generous figure.
  • Out of Focus: In the fifth book, she only appears in the first couple of chapters and the epilogue.
  • Relationship Upgrade: She and St. George become an official couple between Ex-Patriots and Ex-Communication.
  • 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 and was a former underwear model.
  • 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.
  • Stripperiffic: Averted. Stealth's form-fitting outfit is sexualized by outsiders but practical. She did however design it to be objectifiable, to reinforce people's perceptions of her as an inhuman 'thing'.
  • 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 

Gorgon (real name: Nikolai Bartamian)

An underhanded vigilante who received a 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.


  • Antihero: Not as much as Stealth, but he's no ideal hero, that's for sure.
  • 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.
  • Hellbent For Leather: His costume was largely made out of leather. After the outbreak of the ex-virus, it also helped prevent rogue ex bites.
  • Killed Off for Real: Peasy twisted his spine in the climactic battle of Ex-Heroes, so he doesn't even come back as an ex unlike the other dead heroes.
  • May–December Romance: Slightly downplayed: there was an eleven-year gap between him and Banzai.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Not actually a vampire, but repeatedly described as such by various characters (such as Josh).
  • 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.
  • The Sheriff: He acts as this to the Mount. His power is useless against exes, but it lets him resolve internal disputes with a minimum of violence.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: A mild scumbag by superhero standards. He built his costume by lying like crazy to his contacts in the film industry, he bankrolled his vigilante career by pocketing money from downed gangbangers, and he was dating Banzai while she was still in high school.
  • Vampiric Draining: An eye-contact version, and instead of Life Energy he absorbs strength. He still leaves the people he "feeds" on unconscious most of the time, though.

    Cerberus 

Cerberus (real name: Dr. Danielle Morris)

A scientist under contract with DARPA who created a suit of powered armor for the military before the Zombocalypse. When the zombie apocalypse began, she was rebranded as a superhero and deployed in the suit when the military became desperate for a PR win. 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.


  • Ambiguously Bi: When presented with the possibility of being in a relationship with First Sergeant Kennedy, she doesn't dismiss it.
  • A-Cup Angst: An interesting example as it's implied Cerberus is quite "ample" but feels this way compared to Stealth.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Eden half of the fifth book focuses largely on her relationships as well as character development.
  • 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.
  • Hikikomori: Danielle has a bad case of agoraphobia (see Shell-Shocked Veteran below). It's implied that her being in the Cerberus suit both contributes to and is her way of coping with the condition. Getting over it is her primary character arc, mostly in Ex-Isle.
  • Logical Latecomer: She was one of the last superheroes to debut pre-apocalypse and only got sent out in the suit at all because the army didn't have time to train anyone else in how to use the armor. It takes until the events of Ex-Patriots for her to internalize the idea that she's inseparable from the Cerberus identity, and in Ex-Communication, she's quick to distance herself from Regenerator's actions on the grounds that she wasn't actually part of the superhero community or in a position to do anything about him at the time.
  • May–December Romance: Downplayed Trope: she's had several sexual (but not necessarily romantic) encounters with Cesar, who is thirteen years her junior.
  • Out of Focus: She gets very little page time in the third book, despite being one of the original heroes of the Mount. She doesn't even participate in the final battle!
  • Powered Armor: The Cerberus Battle Armor System, which which gets destroyed at the end of Ex-Purgatory by Zzzap and 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.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: Danielle/Cerberus is the primary creator and wearer of a suit of Power Armor that is used to defend The Mount, and eventually works to upgrade and replace the original.
  • Wrench Wench: When she's not out patrolling, she's always in her workshop maintaining or repairing the Cerberus armor.
  • Zombie Infectee: It's heavily implied at the end of Ex-Isle that Danielle got bit by an ex and is hiding it. Her conversation with Cesar is heavily reminiscent of Passing the Torch.

    Zzzap 

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: He's St. George's best friend, a fact Maddy uses to convince George the world was amiss in Ex-Purgatory.
  • Blessed with Suck: Barry is able to turn into an intangible nuclear fusion of a man who can fly at supersonic speeds and shoot energy blasts. Sound like a good power to have in a Zombie Apocalypse, right? Sure, until you factor in the fact that while Barry is Zzzap he can't touch anything, normal people find it hard to hear what he's saying, and the energy is Cast from Hit Points. Extra irony points because Barry is wheelchair-bound in his human form.
  • 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. He's basically the Spider-Man of the group, in personality if not powers.
  • Disability-Negating Superpower: Subverted. Zzzap is paraplegic in his human form, but as Zzzap he can't interact with physical matter without annihilating it. In his words, he's either in the chair or he can fly, but he's always changing one set of limitations for another.
  • Energy Being: When powered up, Barry essentially turns into a nuclear explosion held in place mid-explosion by his human consciousness. In his own words, he becomes a small star. Even just being near him in his energy form is enough to give people blisters, unless you're invulnerable like George.
  • Genius Cripple: Barry's wheelchair-bound and a brilliant physicist.
  • The Gadfly: He likes to troll people, whether his friends (see his prank on George at the end of Ex-Communication or, especially, the people who displease him (see: his conversations with Dr. Sorensen).
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Zzzap is the most powerful superhuman on the planet by a large margin, but he rarely has cause to demonstrate exactly what being a sentient, miniaturized star means in practice.
  • 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.
  • Living Battery: Zzzap is absolutely crucial to the Mount's power supply; they set up a set of interlocking rings (affectionately nicknamed the electric chair by everyone, even Stealth) that Barry floats in for two-thirds of every day so that the Mount can draw power from his energy form. This is actually Zzzap's primary contribution to the Mount's way of life as a whole, much more so than defending it (which generally falls to George and Cerberus). The Army attempted to do the same thing when they kidnapped Barry in Ex-Patriots.
  • Mysterious Past: Notable for being one of the few heroes (and the only active one) whose origins regarding his powers remain unexplained. All we know is that he was part of a physics lab in New Mexico working on something called the Pulsed Power project. There was an unexplained accident of some sort, and next thing we know, Barry has a trigger somewhere inside his head that he can mentally activate to turn into his energy form.
  • Popcultured Badass: The one most frequent to make references to comics, science-fiction, and more.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: Humorous example: as part of his gadfly personality, he insists on being referred to Zzzap. With all three z's.
    Hussein: The man has all the powers of the Mighty Dragon. His friend has the powers of the electrical man, Zap.
    Barry: Zzzap. Let the Z buzz on your teeth for a second.
    George: [elbows Barry]
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: Barry/Zzap is a former nuclear physicist who uses both his training and his electrical superpowers to supply energy to the survivors.

    Regenerator 

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

A superhero with regenerative abilities, Doctor Joshua Garcetti operated under the alias of The Immortal until he learned that he could share his healing factor with other people by touching them. Rebranding as The Regenerator, he was hailed as the best thing to hit Los Angeles- until his wife died, the zombie apocalypse happened and he was mauled during the evacuation of a field hospital. With his powers fully focused on preventing the spread of the infection, Josh has been effectively Brought Down to Normal, and spends his days as a depressed wreck, puttering around the Mounts hospital and acting as a spare set of hands for Doctor Conolly.


  • Affectionate Nickname: In the first book, Regenerator's peers sometimes call him "Genny."
  • 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.
  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: In the first book, it's eventually discovered that the ex-virus itself doesn't kill people; rather, it's the massive bacterial and viral payload present in a rotting human mouth that does the deed. this is a clue that Regenerator is unconsciously faking the suppression of his abilities; there was nothing about the zombie bite he wasn't capable of healing from.
  • Death Seeker: From the start of the outbreak onwards, his singular ambition in life is to find a way to stop existing.
  • 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 from the dead 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.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: His superhero costume consisted of modified motorcycle leathers.
  • 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: The other heroes couldn't kill him (the best they could do is starve him), but he eventually dies for real in Ex-Communication. See Deader than Dead above.
  • 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!
  • Treachery Cover Up: After the heroes figure out he was responsible for the apocalypse, the party line becomes that he killed himself in order to avoid the fallout of people finding out a superhero broke bad... and because they don't actually have a way to bring him to justice meaningfully.
  • Walking Spoiler: Who he is, what he can do, and why his powers ultimately make him a bad guy can't be discussed at length without revealing a lot.
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    The Driver 

The Driver (real name: Cesar Mendoza)

A former member of the Seventeens who used to be a petty 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.


  • Atrocious Alias: A number of people comment on how terrible a super-name 'The Driver' is.
  • Badass Driver: Naturally. Though he doesn't get much chance to do any real driving, he can take control of machines and control them better than any normal driver ever could. Machines like a certain suit of Powered Armor...
  • 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.
  • Cool Uncle: Cesar has a niece who he clearly dotes on. They were first introduced when St. George got civilians of the Mount to cut his hair (which was a fun event for the kids), and she was one of the kids who got the chance to do it. Cesar was actually the one who won the lottery but he gave the ticket to his niece because he knew it would make her happy.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He's got a nasty case of scarred hands from his last escapade as a criminal: he was driving away in a car (literally in the car) when he ran over spike strips, blowing out the car's tires and giving his hands criss-crossed scars.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Cesar makes a conscious effort not to swear, to the surprise of the other heroes. This is because he wants to set a good example for his niece (who he babysits now and again).
  • Heel–Face Turn: Downplayed: he wasn't a particularly dangerous supervillain or anything, but he did use his powers for crime and was a member of a notorious gang. After being offered sanctuary by the heroes, however, he's become determined to help people out.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In book five, Ex-Isle, Cesar essentially pulls a bone out of his arm in order to help put the fence around Eden back up. It's as painful as it sounds.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: This is what the Driver becomes when he uses his powers. To the point where he can feel pain.
    Driver: Y’know, that’s how my hands got all cut up. Was in a car, the wheels got shredded on a spike strip, and then my hands and feet were all shredded when I got out.
  • May–December Romance: Downplayed Trope: he's had several sexual (but not necessarily romantic) encounters with Danielle, who is thirteen years her senior.
  • Scars are Forever: He got his scars years before the story, and even up to Ex-Isle he still has them, hidden behind his mechanic's gloves.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Danielle is effectively in charge of him, and they've had multiple occasions of casual sex (largely fueled by frustration on Danielle's part).

    Captain Freedom 

Captain John Carter Freedom

A decorated soldier and the most successful participant in Project Krypton, a research program focused on producing superheroes who would be answerable to the U.S. government. A cocktail of experimental drugs and invasive brain surgeries enhanced Freedom's tissues and allow him to tap into hysterical strength as his baseline, making him the second strongest hero after St. George.


  • 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 Mc Cool Name: His name actually is Freedom. His great-great-grandfather was born a slave, but slavery was repealed when he was four. At age 18 he changed the family name to what he thought was the greatest word in the English language.
  • Bald of Authority: He's bald 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 U. S. American theme makes him a pretty clear reference to the Isaiah Bradley version of Captain America.
  • A Father to His Men: Cares very much about the soldiers under his command.
  • The Good Captain: Freedom is a polite and kindhearted military captain.
  • 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.
  • I Call It "Vera": That Hand Cannon of his? Say hello to Lady Liberty.
  • 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.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Par for the course of being The Good Captain as well as...
  • The Sheriff: Takes over the duty of policing civilians in the Mount after the position was left vacant due to Gorgon's death.

    Corpse Girl 

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 Doctor Emil Sorensen, a scientist and the brains behind Project Krypton and the Unbreakables.


  • Appropriated Appellation: The name 'Corpse Girl' was originally used to demean her by the people who kept thinking of her as nothing more than an ex. Maddy decided to adopt it as her superhero name.
  • 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.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Thanks to being, well, dead, her skin is the same deathly white coloration as exes, which contribute to her being mistaken for an ex several times. Even among those who know better, she still creeps many people out.
  • 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.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Corpse Girl seems to be this for St. George.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite her constant cheery attitude and acceptance of her and her parents' deaths, her memory problems means she can't even remember her life before the outbreak, something she laments. She rarely verbalizes this though because, in her words, she's supposed to be a hero.
  • 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: Her father injected her with experimental nanites when she got injured during her youth. Originally, they were only supposed to repair her wounds until her body could catch up, but after being ripped apart by a pack of zombi...uhh...exes they went into overdrive trying to replace basically everything. End result, she's still Madelyn, but her body is near-entirely artificial.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Strictly speaking, she's neither a corpse nor a (human) girl.
  • Plucky Girl: Her general attitude seems to be upbeat, even when people are putting her down for looking like an ex. Although, see Hidden Depths.
  • Precocious Crush: She's not that young (she was 17 when she died), and she's chronologically 20 by the time she arrives at the Mount, but due to her unique condition she's still a teenager by all accounts (and will always be) and has a pretty obvious crush on St. George.
  • Robot Girl: She's technically a gynoid composed of nanites.

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People of the Mount

The various civilians (as well as former military members) who live at the Mount and/or Eden.

    The Scavengers and Wall Guards 

The Scavengers are a group of people who regularly go out on supply runs to scavenge for resources from a now-desolate Los Angeles. They go by truck (of which the Mount has three) and are always protected by one of the heroes on runs (usually St. George). The Wall Guards are the few hundred people who, well, guard the walls of the Mount (and later, the Big Wall) to make sure no ex breaches them, with some people belonging to both groups. Though anyone can join, many individuals seem to be 'regulars', including Billie Carter, Lady Bee, Makana, Hiram Jarvis, Ilya, Al, Lynne Vines (who joins the scavengers in the first book, Derek, Danny Foe, Mark Larsen, Elena, Ty O’Neill, Elena, Paul, Mike Turner, the truck drivers Harry the Hook Luke Reid, and Johnny K and (by Ex-Isle) former Seventeens Hector and Desi.


  • Action Survivor: All of the scavengers are this by definition, as aside from the heroes themselves the scavengers are the most action-oriented group, and their actions are essential for the continual survival of the Mount.
  • Badass Crew: Both groups, naturally.
  • Badass Driver: Luke, Johnny, and Harry drive trucks through zombie-infested streets on a regular basis and are usually calm under pressure.
  • Badass Normal: It takes some balls to face hundreds of zombies everyday (remember, there are always hundreds of exes milling around the Wall) without going insane.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Due to their rather extensive experience of being "out in the field", scavengers are used to dealing with exes in a controlled situation and have become rather chatty with each other while out on runs.
  • Character Death: They are tough fighters who get a lot of protection and Plot Armor fighting alongside heroes, but that doesn't keep one of them from dying now and then.
    • In Ex-Heroes, Mark dies from a zombie bite and Ty is killed by Seventeens.
    • In Ex-Communication, Jarvis is bitten while on a patrol and succumbs to his wounds
    • In Ex-Purgatory, the heroes find the corpses of Makana, Billie, Derek, and Danny Foe when they return to the overrun colony. Subverted, though, since it's only an illusion and all four of those people are actually fine.
    • In Ex-Isle, Paul dies in the battle at the greenhouse.
  • Cool Old Guy: Jarvis has a graying beard and is one of the cooler members of the group. He shows Undying Loyalty to his superhero saviors (along with Billie, Dr. Connolly, Father Andy, and Lady Bee, he's one of the people most comfortable with casually chatting with them), gets Casual Danger Dialogue even when he feels certain he's going to die, and is one of the only people who both venture into the zombie-filled city for scavenging missions and takes guard shifts on the walls.
  • Demoted to Extra: Lady Bee has a Friends with Benefits relationship with George in the first few books (where she is also one of the more prominent non-powered fighters), but has barely appeared since George and Stealth got a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Makana often takes a frontline role in defending the wall against horde of zombies, and his long, dreadlocked hair is his most commented-on feature.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Harry is a surly follower of the anti-superhero Christian Nguyen and doesn’t get along well with either the heroes or the scavengers who regularly work alongside him.
  • Gate Guardian: Makana, Derek, and several Spear Carriers guard the gates and walls of The Mount. They make sure the doors only open to let out scavengers when it's safe, that new refugees aren’t Zombie Infectees, and that any zombie hordes storming the walls are met with gunfire.
  • Hero of Another Story: Some, such as Mark Larsen and Ilya, appear in flashback scenes as normal people who do a lot of work fighting off zombies and protecting people with them even before heroes show up to take them to the Mount at the tail end of their adventures.
  • Intimate Marks: Billie Carter has three tattoos. Two of them - one symbolizing her membership in the Marine Corps and another of a rose - are publicly visible. Her third - a dolphin - is not. She flirts with George by offering to let him see the dolphin, and in the third book identifying it is one of the things Max says to prove his claim that he's seen everyone and everything in the Mount.
  • Men of Sherwood: The Disaster Scavengers are Badass Normals who provide regular support to the superheroes. They are treated as trusted, essential allies, many of them are named, and they aren't treated as disposable Red Shirts or too Overshadowed by Awesome. The wall guards are less prominent, but no less effective.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Lady Bee often wears shirts that show some of her bra. In the second book, she jokes with the other scavengers about how they'd like to see her in a Chainmail Bikini.
    • Desi wears a tank top two sizes too small for her during a mission to the off-site garden. This becomes a minor plot point when Danielle briefly thinks an Unbreakable who keeps nervously ogling Desi is looking at Danielle and Cesar and plotting against them.
  • Nonconformist Dyed Hair: Lady Bee is a former Hollywood costumer and has yellow stripes dyed into her black hair (or black stripes into her yellow hair).
  • Older Than They Look: Multiple characters comment that Billie looks like a teenager, both during the Zombie Apocalypse and three years later. However, she'd already been serving in the Marines (where the minimum enlistment age is 17) for at least eighteen months before then.
  • One-Steve Limit: There's a Red Shirt wall guard named Daniel and a scavenger named Danny Foe.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Due to a life as a laborer, Al is described as having the strength of taller men.
  • Religious Bruiser: Billie Carter is one of the main Badass Normal characters in the series and is familiar with the Book of Revelations, although she isn't outspoken about her religious beliefs and doesn't share the opinions of the After Death pseudo-cult in Ex-Communication.
  • Rhyming Names: Lynne Vines has a rhyming first and last name.
  • Semper Fi: Billie Carter and Ty O'Neill are both Marines and members of Cerberus's original escort detail, and help her fight thousands of zombies in a brave and fairly successful way in a flashback before The Cavalry arrives. In the present, they have a strong bond and are among the more brave and dependable fighters.
  • Walking Armory: In Ilya's first chronological appearance (a flashback in Ex-Isle) he's been surviving on his own for several weeks with a pistol, rifle, and baseball bat (which he uses when a gunshot would attract swarms of exes who aren't already aware of his presence).
  • Zombie Infectee: Downplayed. Sometimes one of them gets bit (specifically Mike and Mark in the first book and Jarvis in the third one), but when this happens, they're always honest about it and seek immediate medical attention in the hope that it will be enough to fight off the infection and save them. This is only successful in saving the character one time out of three (and in that case it is because the zombie who bites Mike doesn't break his skin) but does prevent a surprise transformation from ever killing any of their friends.

    Christian Nguyen 

An insufferable former councilwoman who constantly has suspicions about the superheroes, especially Stealth.


  • Charm Person: Christian Nguyen’s powers work by tapping into the gestalt, allowing her to bring people together and connect them on a subconscious level. She never knew she had them though.
  • 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.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even through everything the heroes have done for LA's survivors, Christian always thinks poorly of them.
  • You Are What You Hate: Christian loathes metahumans and was in deep denial about her superpowers, which was why they went unnoticeable for so long.

    Doc Connolly 

The go-to doctor of the Mount, as well as the person the heroes go to anytime they come across something weird (which is to say, often).


  • Ms. Exposition: She's the Mount's chief doctor and knows more about the ex-virus than almost anyone.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Downplayed Trope: She's ostensibly a doctor, but is knowledgeable enough to identify the nanomachines that comprise Madelyn's body, as well as what they do.
  • Wasteland Elder: Dr. Conolly, a medical researcher with graying red hair, is the primary doctor at the Mount (a movie studio surrounded by zombies) and one of the advisors to the costumed superheroes who govern the safe-zone, all of whom are significantly younger than her.

    Richard Lihart 
A civilian leader of The Mount who is more reasonable but less influential than Christian.

    Father Andy Shepherd 
The spiritual leader of the Mount.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Andy isn't an ordained priest but he has some experience as a counselor and in the months after the collapse of civilization, morale among the surviving Catholics got low enough to make it necessary for someone to perform priestly duties, ordained or not.
  • Meaningful Name: His last name is Shepherd, and he is a Catholic priest who cares a lot about his flock like an ideal sheep herder.
  • Retired Badass: He used to be a scavenger before accepting the job of chaplain and still has an air of toughness.
  • Properly Paranoid: In Ex-Communication, Andy reluctantly argues against resurrecting Max Hale. He fears it will cause an existential crisis among many of the surviving civilians and is worried about messing with the natural order of life and death. Many of the Mount's people do view someone coming back from the dead as a sign that zombies might be capable of coming back to life and Max's resurrection causes an angry demon to attack the Mount.

    The Unbreakables 

The Unbreakables in general

The US Army's platoon of super soldiers, formed as a response to superheroes popping up all over the world.


  • Alliterative Name: Harrison's first name is Harry.
  • De-power: It is revealed in book five that with the exception of Freedom, they're all losing their super soldier abilities because Doctor Sorensen was no longer around to keep their treatments up.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Private Taylor is a homophobic, racist, misogynistic Blood Knight who is only tolerated by the others because they need an extra fighter and because he willingly sides with them after being removed from Smith's influence. Kennedy outright decks him after he calls her a dyke in Ex-Isle.
  • Men of Sherwood: The Unbreakables who survive Ex-Patriots are mostly minor characters, but they have amazing combat skills, bolster the Los Angeles survivors' defenses, and only suffer one or two fatalities over the next three books.
  • Not What I Signed Up For:
    • Harrison enlisted because he thought the war in the Middle East might get the draft reinstated and that if he enlisted he could pick his own assignment (the Army Band). He volunteered for Project Krypton to stay off the front lines, gambling on being put in the control group that didn't get powers. He didn't into the control group, his new powers made him accidentally destroy at least one instrument, and he ended up as a frontline soldier.
    • Taylor enlisted because he wanted to kill insurgents in the Middle East, only to end up at Project Krypton in Arizona, where he discovered that his skin gets easily sunburned in the desert.
  • Super Soldiers: They're the result of a super soldier program.
  • Theme Naming: All of the super soldiers are named after US Presidents, from the more famous ones like Washington and Adams to the ones few remember like Polk and Hayes.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Not counting Platoon Sergeant Kennedy, two female Unbreakables make it through the surgery and training, although one of them is unnamed and the other, Brittney Washington, is a Posthumous Character due to Smith's machinations.

First Sergeant Kennedy

Captain Freedom's second-in-command.


  • Closet Gay: She keeps her sexual orientation to herself because she continued to observe the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which was never repealed in the Ex-Heroes world because the world fell to a Zombie Apocalypse in the summer of 2009 (in our world, DADT was repealed in 2010).
  • Military Brat: She comes from a long line of serving Kennedy men, long before one ever won the seat of US presidency. The reason she's in the Army in the first place is to continue that tradition, despite not being a son as her father wished for (she's actually the youngest of three sisters).
  • Number Two: To Captain Freedom.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: Her primary motivation for joining the Army was to make her ex-military father proud, and to continute the long family tradition.

    Lieutenant Gibbs 

Lieutenant Thomas Gibbs

An Air Force lieutenant who has been trained to use the Cerberus battle suit by the military. He becomes a secondary Cerberus pilot after the events of Ex-Patriots.


  • An Arm and a Leg: He loses a leg when Zzzap burned through the original Cerberus suit with Gibbs inside, as he was under the control of Christian Smith at the time and actively trying to kill St. George. Danielle eventually built him a basic replacement leg.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: What happens to him at the climax of the fourth book.
  • 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.

    Lester 

Lester Briggs

A talkative man in charge of Eden, the Mount's off-site garden at the edge of Koreatown.


  • The Nondescript: His absolute averageness is Danielle's first impression of the man. According to her, he'd raised "average" to an art form and she even reckons he probably would've made for a very successful criminal because of it! Hilariously, the next paragraph actually describes Lester's physical appearance.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": When exes broke into Eden and one cornered him and Danielle, his only response is to curl up and repeat the word 'no'.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: He used to be known as simply Les, until he was appointed the manager of Eden. Then he started insisting everyone call him Lester.

Other Supers

Other Heroes

    Banzai 

Banzai (real name: Kathy Lee)

A Korean-American teen heroine who died during the outbreak, Banzai possessed superhuman agility and speed and embarked on a short-lived superheroic career to escape the mundanity of her life. She had a fling with Gorgon which he still hasn't recovered from.


  • A-Cup Angst: Banzai (a college freshman) laments how her fourteen-year-old sister has bigger breasts than she does. She does appreciate how it helps her Sweet Polly Oliver deception, though.
  • Combat Parkour: She had super-human agility and so favored this trope.
  • May–December Romance: Slightly downplayed: there was an eleven-year gap between her and Gorgon.
  • Fun Personified: She had a very positive and upbeat personality.
  • Genki Girl: Before she's killed and turned into a zombie.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Kathy was a pretty action-first kind of gal.
  • The Lost Lenore: She's this to Gorgon, who never got over her death.
  • Non-Indicative Name: 'Banzai' is a Japanese term, but she herself was Korean-American.
  • Personality Powers: A bouncy and energetic girl has the ability to literally bounce all over the place with her super agility. Who'd've thunk it?
  • Samaritan Syndrome: She narrowly missed the window in which Regenerator was still capable of healing her because she kept stopping to save people on the way to the hospital.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The least serious of the heroes in presentation and outlook, and the first hero to be killed during the outbreak.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: She presented as male in costume in order to draw suspicion away from her civillian identity.

    Cairax 

Maxwell Hale and Cairax Murrain

Maxwell Hale was a hotshot sorcerer who decided to push the limits of what the magical community thought to be possible and/or advisable. Through a complicated ritual of his own design, Hale was able to bind a powerful demon named Cairax Murrain into a magic amulet, which he in turn used to temporarily summon and hijack Cairax's physical form, in which he proceeded to do various heroic deeds. Despite being one of the most physically powerful heroes in Los Angeles, he still managed to get infected in his demonic form after attempting... unspecified relations with a zombified Jessica Alba.


  • 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.
  • Body Surf: How Max comes Back from the Dead.
  • Deal with the Devil: Max made a deal with Cairax during the time they were stuck in their shared ex-body. The deal? Cairax would cease torturing Max for his trapping the Reaver Lord, in exchange for Max delivering a suitable host to Cairax so that he can manifest in the world and conquer it.
  • 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. As well, he does this to do good.
  • Expy: Of Etrigan with some elements of Hellblazer 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: Max is fatally shot by Stealth at the climax of book three, and unlike previously, he's got no cheats this time.
  • 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!
  • Out with a Bang: Cairax died the first time due to getting a blow job from zombie Jessica Alba. No one is sure how to react when told about this. This later proves to be an exaggerated rumor, though; he was actually "just slipping her a little tongue".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He had this reputation while he was working to trap Cairax.
  • Terror Hero: More than any other hero (even Stealth), Cairax was this. His primary activity was terrorizing drug dealers and junkies in Venice Beach.
  • Tongue Trauma: What happened to him courtesy of Jessica Alba's ex.

    Midknight 

Midknight

A knight-themed hero with darkness-generation powers. He was killed at the tail end of the outbreak, immediately before the heroes began work on constructing The Mount.


  • Casting a Shadow: His power allows him to project darkness.
  • Elite Zombie: One of the few remaining infected with superpowers. He acts as an elite unit for Peasy and the Seventeens when they lay siege to the Mount.
  • Killed Off for Real: Zzzap incinerates his ex at the climax of Ex-Heroes.
  • Punny Name: He was a knight-themed superhero with darkness powers.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: When he dies, George expresses suprise that he'd lasted as long as he did; his power was next to useless against the exes, who are Too Dumb to Fool.
  • What Happened to Mommy?: Downplayed version. St. George refuses to kill him out of sentimentality, instead flying his zombified body out to the hills any time he gets too close to the Mount.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: In-universe. Midkight was one of the few heroes that St. George didn't know very well, and it bothers him that they didn't get a chance to be friends in earnest.

    Blockbuster 

Blockbuster

A hero about whom little is known, beyond the fact that he had enormous strength and stamina. St. George was forced to break his neck after he became infected following an ill-advised last stand against the infected.

  • The Big Guy: Remembered by Gorgon as having been eight feet tall and seven feet wide.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Having to kill him was one of the many factors that led St. George to abandon the Mighty Dragon persona.
  • Fad Super: Implied; he was operating in Hollywood under the name Blockbuster.
  • The Ghost: Never appears in person.
  • The Juggernaut: After reanimating, he began walking straight through buildings in pursuit of his targets, levelling seven city blocks before The Mighty Dragon was able to kill him.
  • Meaningful Name: His cape handle became decidedly more literal after he turned into a zombie and started wiping out dozens of buildings by walking into them.
  • Neck Snap: This was how George put Blockbuster down: by breaking his neck. It had to have been done by George because he was the only one strong enough to pull it off.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He caused millions in property damage as a zombie. It's telling that out of all the zombified heroes, Blockbuster is the only one St. George went out of his way to kill - it would have been impossible to live in the city otherwise.

    The Awesome Ape 

The Awesome Ape

A Chicago-based superhero with enhanced strength and agility, he's mentioned as having worked with Zzzap to fight the infection in Illinois.


    Marduk 

Marduk

An Iraqi superhero with the ability to transform into an actual dragon.


  • Chekhov's Gunman: He's first mentioned in the second book as a national security concern prompting the reactivation of Project Krypton. In book five, Nautilus explains away St. George as actually being Marduk impersonating The Mighty Dragon, and this clues in Hussein, an Iraqi expat who saw Marduk in person, that Nautilus isn't on the up-and-up.
  • The Ghost: He never shows up in person, which becomes a plot point in the fifth book.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Named after the Babylonian god Marduk.
  • Weredragon: What he is.
  • Scaled Up: His superpower is specifically to transform into a dragon, scales and flight and all.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's never made clear if he survived the apocalypse or not.

    The Super Samurai 

The Super Samurai

A team of sentai-themed heroes based in Japan who survived the apocalypse and established a safezone similar to The Mount.


  • Expy: Of the Super Sentai.
  • Hero of Another Story: They spent five books doing did exactly what the LA heroes did, halfway across the planet. Zzzap noted that most of them survived the outbreak.
  • The Ghost: Due to their distance from Los Angeles, Zzzap is the only person capable of reaching them.

The Villains

     Legion 

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

The former leader of the South Seventeens gang, and a former test subject of Project Krypton. He was the closest thing Gorgon had to an archenemy, and he was the first ever person to get bitten by an ex (the very first ex, at that). Originally presumed dead, he turns out to have survived and gotten a rather terrifying superpower: to be able to control any and all exes in his vicinity. He goes on to menace the heroes several times in multiple books.


  • 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.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Random gangbanger to superzombie.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Rodney randomly turns up with the power to control the zombies, to survive the zombification with his own intelligence intact, and with enhanced physical abilities and stature he never had in life. The most that's ever explained about him is that he used to be a random gangbanger and that he was one of the first victims of the disease, but he is otherwise completely unique and exists for no reason other than to present a massive threat to the main cast. Though he does get some backstory in the second book, it doesn't really explain all that much...
    • At the same time, subverted, since his plan isn't global destruction or to wipe out all the heroes, and he tells them several times that he would welcome everyone except Gorgon to his side. He just wants two things: revenge on Gorgon, who beat him up several times prior to the Zombie Apocalypse, and to take total control of Los Angeles. The only reason he hasn't taken over the world so far is due to the fact that he just isn't smart enough to make the most effective use of his powers.
  • 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 I Gave My Word 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.
  • I Am Legion: Rodney changes his name to Legion after his powers get stronger.
  • 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.
  • Kick the Dog: Peasy's most disgusting moment is undoubtedly when he reveals he's been using Banzai's zombie corpse for sex. Even worse is that he did it purely to spite Gorgon.
  • Non-Indicative Name: He's not actually Patient Zero, but rather Patient Zero's first victim.

     Agent Smith 

Agent John Smith

An agent of the Department of Homeland Security assigned to DARPA, and eventually to both the Cerberus project and Project Krypton.


  • 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 Ensemble in the second book.
  • Charm Person: Smith is able to control other people by simply asking them questions.
  • 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?
  • Faux Affably Evil: He always presents himself in a polite manner, but don't let that fool you: it's all part of the act of manipulating everyone around him.
  • 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.

     Cairax 

Cairax Murrain

A high ranking demon Max Hale managed to trap in a special amulet prior to the outbreak of the ex-virus. Max used Cairax's body in a reverse-possession to become a superhero, and over time people started chanting Cairax's name with hope. This displeased the actual Cairax, who tortured Max to no end when their shared body became an ex after... unspecified relations with a zombified Jessica Alba. When Max successfully revives himself in the Mount, Cairax follows suit to enact his terrible vengeance upon the sorcerer, as well as every living thing in the Mount.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. As well, he does this to do good.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Cairax's full title is the Reaver Lord.
  • The Dreaded: Cairax was this to anyone in the magic 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.
  • Holy Burns Evil: The only way to defeat him is to use holy objects or imagery.
    • One of the ways to banish him is by using the Fisherman's Ring, which is traditionally worn by the Pope. Although, Max was the one who told the heroes this...
    • The other way is by reenacting a scene of an angel slaying a demon with a silver blade, frequently seen in religious artwork. One would need a being made of light and thought in the image of God (i.e. man)...
  • Horns of Villainy: This demonic fiend is noted to have a crown of curling horns.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: Cairax is a humongous Horned Humanoid with various demonic features, such as huge tusks and a coiling tail.
  • 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!
  • Mystical Plague: In the Ex-Heroes universe, The Black Death was the result of cultists summoning Cairax into our world.
  • Plaguemaster: Apparently he was the one responsible for The Plague. Yes, ''that'' plague.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Defeating him required the use of silver, although unlike Silver Bullets commonly used for werewolves, this time it has to be a silver blade that's seen blood and combat...

     Christian Smith 

Christian Smith

An odd mental clone of John Smith created when he used his powers on Christian Nguyen, which resulted in a copy of Smith's consciousness now occupying Christian's body.


  • 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.
  • Fingore: Stealth shoots off a couple of her fingers at the end of book four, and in book five she's described by Danielle as having a hook-hand.
  • 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 

Nautilus (real name: Maleko)

A small-time superhero from Hawaii who has the ability to turn into a hulking shark-person. The extremely specific nature of his power meant that he had little hero work to do aside from rescuing swimmers and assisting shipwrecks.... until the apocalypse hit, and he found his calling as a superhuman warlord.


  • Expy: Of Aquaman.
  • Evil Is Petty: Nautilus' motivation for telling everyone there's no cities left? He didn't want his followers to leave him.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He was a superhero who let the position of power and authority get to his head, resulting in him forming a manmade island for survivors to live on under his tyrannical rule.
  • Logical Weakness: In his Shark Man form he's built to withstand the high pressure of the deep seas. Bringing him up to the atmosphere where there is lower pressure than the surface (something St. George is able to do) robs him of his strength.
  • 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.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: He's got a serious chip on his shoulder, due to basically being the embodiment of all the jokes people make about how Aquaman is useless away from the water, and he relishes the zombie apocalypse as an opportunity to play up his own status in the former superhero community to people who don't know any better.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Nautilus spends his last fight with George ranting about how George took his power and respect from him and then makes a failed suicide attempt before being forced to face the people he lied to.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Indirectly: he instituted a hostage system of putting children in cages suspended above the open ocean. This is used as a negotiation tactic for any new people who come to Lemuria, since he figured decent people wouldn't risk the kids and thus would be more willing to parley with Lemurian demands.

Other Characters

    The South Seventeens 

A former street gang that Gorgon often tangled with back in the day.


  • Color Motifs: Green was a major color indicator associated with them.
  • Gangbangers: They were a petty street gang that remained active after the outbreak.

    Project: Krypton 

Professor Emil Sorensen

The genius mind behind Project: Krypton, as well as the father of Madelyn Sorensen aka Corpse Girl.


  • 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.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: Dr. Sorenson is a biologist and the inventor of a serum for government super soldiers, and survives the zombie outbreak. He soon dies, leaving Dr. Conolly back in the role as the only remaining scientist of that discipline.

Colonel Shelly

The commanding officer in charge of the base out at Yuma. As far as anyone knows, he might be the highest-ranked military officer remaining in the United States.

    Lemuria 

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, Barry, and Maddy in line.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: Mitchel Kirby apparently insists on everyone knowing his name is spelled with one L. He's constantly described from George's perspective as Mitchel-with-one-l.
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