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The character page for Lighter Than Heir. Be warned that because many characters are more than they appear, spoilers abound.

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Trainees from Steinbech Military Camp

     Zeppelin Von Schultheiss
"What happens today will determine where my future lies!"

Self centered and conceited, Zeppelin's the story's protagonist who wants to claim her father's title as her country's greatest hero. Be afraid.

  • Bad Liar: Evidently.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Possibly with Hertz. At least they say they don't hate each other anymore.
    Schultz: I give them two weeks.
    Klein: What, until they make out?
    Schultz: Until they kill each other.
  • Berserk Button: Don't compare her to her father.
  • Bi the Way: If her dream sequence on the ship is indicative of anything
  • Blood Knight: Would rather prefer to fight than calmly solve her problems.
  • Character Development: A reporter passive-aggressively accused her of starting the war. Fighting back a fury, she only says she's sorry to the reporter.
  • Cry Cute: Zeppelin's usually only about sympathetic when she's crying.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Possibly heading in this direction.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After a reporter accused her of starting the war..
  • The Fashionista: It goes in hand with her oversized ego. She complains about Hertz laying down a bed next to a bunk that they have to sleep in (due to being shackled together) being tacky and asymmetrical, goes full-on Nonuniform Uniform after graduating from boot camp, and yells for Schultz to stop describing the horrors of being court-martialed...when all he mentioned was being thrown into the brig for a year and being forced to wear an orange prison jumpsuit.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Yells out "WAS ZUM TEUFEL!?" a few times. This is about as harsh as "What the fuck!?" is in English, and the only instance of the word "fuck" in the comic is censored.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • At times, either due to emotional trauma or shellshock from fighting.
    • Not to mention from discovering her father's vivisected corpse.
  • Ironic Nickname: Her mother calls her "Engelchen", which means Angel. It's ironic because she has an abrasive personality and in the story she goes on to brutally kill several enemies. Though she could be considered a different type of angel.
  • It Runs in the Family: Major Hohenhut's flashback shows that Hemmel had the same love of flair and the spotlight as Zeppelin does, though fortunately he is less abrasive. Sergeant Austerlitz's flashback likewise shows that Hemmel had the same Patriotic Fervor.
  • It's All About Me: Has a big ego at first. Gradually grows out of this as the series progresses. Gradually.
  • It's All My Fault: See "Drowning My Sorrows" above. Hertz of all people is the one who has to reassure her that the war isn't her fault.
  • Jerkass: By far the biggest one we've seen in the series. At least on the Steinbech side. She's growing out of it. Gradually.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She was overly brusque about Ada's hesitation when the Zamoran Volants attacked their truck and definitely too harsh in saying she shouldn't have saved Ada to her face, but she had a point - the squad's lives were in danger, and it was them or their enemies.
  • Karma Houdini: It's exceedingly rare for her to face real consequences for any of her selfish actions, ranging from frequent acts of insubordination against her superiors, to outright attacking comrades for minor slights. At one point she directly sabotages Hertz's efforts at stopping an enemy because she wanted to be the one to finish the fight, and this action directly leads to said enemy escaping. Even she starts to wonder how she hasn't been court martialed. It's at least partially implied, however, that the reason for this treatment is due to her Volant abilities and the fact that at least two people in power were friends with her father.
  • Multicolored Hair: The tips of her dull magenta-colored hair are colored black before she enlists, and she has them dyed again after graduating.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: Often modifies her uniform when required to wear one. She justifies this with Loophole Abuse, and it even gets lampshaded at one point.
  • Parental Abandonment: Resents her father for dying on a dangerous mission that he didn't need to take, and is angry with her mother for inexplicably failing to write or visit her.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Zeppelin is very patriotic. She criticizes her squad mates for joining the military out of self-interest instead of patriotism (even though she enlisted primarily to win glory) and at one point described herself as being willing to die for her country.
  • Police Brutality: While guarding the Steinbech-Zamora border.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: She holds bigoted attitudes towards the Zamorans after a Zamoran spy tried to strangle her to death.
    Zeppelin: (singing) Send the Zamos home, don't let those jerk butts roam, cleaning out the street, it can be so sweet!
    Schultz: You know, you'd almost be cute right now if you weren't so terrible.
  • Power Fist: Gets a pair of giant robot gauntlets to keep her in action after she breaks her hands in a fight. Despite being made of scrap, they're surprisingly dexterous. And plenty potent when when used as a flying bludgeon, of course.
  • Sanity Slippage: After someone tried to strangle her in training camp, she became increasingly paranoid and tried to avoid sleeping whenever possible (said sleep deprivation only worsening the problem). Fortunately the paranoia subsides once the killer is identified and chased off.
  • Ship Tease: Her mutual hatred of Hertz cooled down into Hertz being her only confidant.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Due to having a war hero for a father, she sees herself as someone more capable for a job than others. She later admits she's lucky to be tolerated still after how she's acted.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Zeppelin's squadmates have a bit of trouble adapting to the violence expected of a soldiering. Zeppelin does not and consistently has little issue with resorting to force. She considered attempting to personally murder Hertz when she feared he had attempted to strangle her in her hospital bed! That being said, she does seem to take her military obligations with some seriousness and decried her squadmates for signing up after they discussed their more-personal motives for doing it. It later turns out she's not quite as unaffected by her body count as it initially seems and she gets some HeroicBSODs over her killings.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The goggles she wears to keep the air out of her eyes when she flies. They belonged to her father, and he gave them to her right before he died.
  • Ultimate Job Security: As she once admitted herself, she would most likely have been kicked out of the military long ago if it wasn't for her being a volant.
  • Walk on Water: Volants are capable of this due to being buoyant enough not to sink.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Hertz was about to finish off Grunwald, she attacks him, causing the gun to drop and fire its last round, letting Grunwald escape. She's almost kicked out of the military for this.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair has a dull magenta color to it. This is her natural hair color since that's what grows back after being shaved for boot camp, and her black tips are gone.

     Emmerich Hertz
"Oh, for god's sake..."

Cold and introverted, Hertz is one of Zeppelin's "comrades" she first meets in boot camp, who surprisingly hates her already. What's his problem?

     Fritz Roth
"You can't just hold someone up with just any pistol! You gotta ensure it has the best shot!"

Without a proper family or home, Roth is a slick talking con-man who figured joining the military would be an improvement over a life on the streets.

  • Berserk Button: Don't make Fleischer cry.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Gradually, but best exemplified when he didn't take well to Zeppelin's berating of Fleischer.
  • Cat Fight: Seems to appreciate them. On page 600 a Funny Background Event shows Zeppelin (who is covered in mud) about to start a fight with Captain Nora (who is wearing a bikini). While Schultz tries to calm them down and Hurtz facepalms, Fritz just watches with a big grin on his face.
  • Con Man: His back story. He plays Schultz for his cigars and rum and wins - subverted because he didn't really do anything; Schultz is just a terrible card player.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was living on the streets for a period of time. In his flash back he's depicted being ganged up by two men and beaten. He also had to replace his jaw with a titanium one after the real one got damaged beyond repair.
  • Hot-Blooded: When Zeppelin criticizes the others in the squad for joining for personal reasons, Roth immediately starts a fist-fight. By contrast, the others just stare angrily at her.
  • Jerkass: He uses Mathis's inexperience with gambling to seize care package, looks at a naked picture of Mathis's girlfriend (which was included in the care package) and shows it to the rest of the group (and later tells her that Mathis showed them the picture ... fortunately for Mathis she wasn't angry about this).
    • As Vogel's journal puts it...
    Roth... Uh... He's... Roth is a jerk. Unless you happen to be Ada Fleischer.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He cares greatly for Fleischer.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Ada Fleischer. They've very close, he won't let anyone hurt her, and he starts crying when he thinks her life is endangered. However, as he told Hurtz, there's no romance.
  • Made of Iron: Sort of; he has a prosthetic jaw made out of titanium. He also survived his face being repeatedly bashed in with a rifle butt by a Zamorian Soldier despite a medic expecting that he would die of the injury through the night - he's lucky Austerlitz's convoy arrived when it did.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Here, where he reacts to his finger getting shot off in a training accident. Justified in that he's been through worse. Titanium jaw replacement, right?
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Roth doesn't show fear often, but when Ada is seriously hurt he immediately starts blubbering.
  • Ship Tease: Some with Ada, at least until she started dating Roemer.
  • Ship Sinking: Mentions that Ada is dating Roemer and says it's simply not more than that between him and Ada to Hertz.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: On page 629, when Kurt Bosque accused Zeppelin of being Not So Different, Roth calls him out on the hypocrisy of daring to call anyone else a Monster. It's worth noting that just a moment earlier Kurt gravely injured Ada Fleischer.
  • Team Chef: He worked in a restaurant beforehand.

     Ria Klein
"Now, it's been a while but we talked on the bus! Ria Klein? I was the model!"

Originally a fashion model, Klein's been molded into quite a fine soldier, while still retaining her sweet and caring attitude.

  • Break the Cutie: She's a lot quieter after the escort mission of Vogel and Schultz coldly tells her to never ever mention how she kissed him.
  • Cold Sniper: after some character development, she goes from a soft-hearted girl playing at soldiers to a dead-eyed killing machine. She laughs again for the first time on Schweinefleisch, having begun to come to terms with how she's changed.
  • Ditzy Genius: Acknowledged in universe as flightly and a bit absentminded but a great marksman.
  • Expository Hair Style: She originally wore her hair down, now it's tied up as shown in the picture like her mouth.
  • It Gets Easier: She breaks down after her first kill, even though it was to save a teammate. The next time we see her in combat, she calmly snipes multiple enemies in a row.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: You can tell she's The Heart of the squad from her blonde hair. Though this gets tested...
  • The Heart: Starts out as the least hostile member of the group. When Roth kicks Zeppelin out of the group, Klein's the only one who objects.
  • Panty Shot: Unfortunately produced one after Ada grabs the rifle she hid under her long skirt.
  • The Pollyanna: Starts out as a Perpetual Smiler who tries to keep everyone in good spirits. A combination of Zep's rejection toward teamwork and her first kill in battle result in her going dark for quite a while.
  • Trouser Space: Hid a rifle under her long skirt as the squad went into New Martino.

     Ada Fleischer
"Oh my gosh! So flippin' stellar!"

A rabid fangirl and lover for all things stellar, Fleischer mostly joined the military to be around her idol, Zeppelin. Hopefully she has her own special talents.

  • Big "SHUT UP!": Gives Schultz one for daring to insinuate that the squad won't need a military mech to peacefully walk a Zamoran man back across the border.
  • Bi the Way: Dating Roemer and voices her attraction to other beautiful ladies, but seemed pretty into Roth.
  • Ditzy Genius: A bit clumsy and accident prone, but is capable of creating and piloting a mech suit. She made her own with Hertz's help, and proceeded to subvert the genius part by trying to finish what Hertz started except she rendered it non-functional.
  • Doomed Hometown: Port Stal, her hometown, was exterminated by the Zamoran Navy. Her family are the only known survivors.
  • Fangirl: Is initially excited to meet Zeppelin Schultheiss, but Zeppelin being Zeppelin cures her of that.
  • Heroic BSoD: She has one upon learning that her hometown was exterminated.
  • Homemade Inventions: When the Steiner Military started to utilize Humongous Mecha, she was so impressed she made a smaller verson of one out of scrap metal. It accidentally fell and broke Vogel's arm.
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: In the cast page it states Fleischer is pronounced "FLYSH-er".
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Fritz Roth. They've very close, and he won't let anyone hurt her, but there's no romance.
  • Wham Line: And here's the encore!
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Port Stahl, her hometown, was exterminated by the Zamorian Navy.

     Mathis Schultz
"We got really close, but you can't live on happiness alone."

Schultz is a former actor, and since joining the military, has become a nervous wreck. He joined the military to provide for him and his girlfriend. At least, that what she was before he ran off without consulting her first.

  • The Big Damn Kiss: Winds up on the receiving end of one from Ria, after they'd narrowly escaped peril. Given that providing for his girlfriend is the entire reason he joined the military, he's none too pleased about it and insists that they act like the whole thing never happened.
  • Butt-Monkey: The most high strung of the group, he picked on by the rest of the group the most often.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Constantly complaining about how insane most of the exploits of the group are.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Serious example, his insistence to Klein on her kissing him.
  • Literal Metaphor: On page 238 he complains that Zeppelin is going to give him an ulcer. A few pages earlier, on page 227, he is seen taking antacid pills.
  • Lovable Coward: He is regularly panicking about the dangerous situations they find themselves in, but is not afraid enough to endanger the rest of the group. After Zeppelin's attempt to slap him calm fails, the rest of the group just opts to lie to him to make the situation seem less dire.
  • Motivational Lie: His squadmates feed him a few of these.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Played for Laughs on page 236, when Schultz reports Zeppelin for police brutality.
    Zeppelin: "Son of a ..."
    Major Hohenhut: "Same goes for you Schultz!
    Schultz: "What?!"
    Major Hohenhut: "You sold out your own steiner comrade, traitor! Down on the ground!"
  • Starving Artist: An actor who joined the military because he wanted to provide for his girlfriend and couldn't do so on an actor's budget.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Zeppelin tells him he needs to grow a backbone. He retorts that he's plenty hard. He means, his bone is. His backbone. In his spine.
  • The Stool Pigeon: See Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves above.

     Gus Eisenhauer 
Kinda awkward and out of place, Eisenhauer only joined the military for the "pretty clothes."
  • Drama Queen: The first and often most vocal person to complain about the latest round of trouble, whether it be too much blood for his liking or having to crawl through sewage.
    • He seems to have a weak stomach for smells, and finds the animals pens on a ship even more unbearable than the sewers.
  • The Medic

Other Steinbech Characters

     Hemmel Von Schultheiss 
Steinbech's greatest war hero. He died 10 years ago. He was amazing. His daughter Zeppelin hates him.

  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: He's introduced this way on page 7.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: How he dies.
  • Disappeared Dad: He went on a mission, promised his daughter he'd be back, and died.
  • Good Parents: Flashbacks show him to be a nurturing father to Zeppelin, such as encoraging her to practice flying and giving her his goggles. The reason she seems to dislike him is because he died taking an unnecessary risk, therefore being separated from her.
  • Happily Married: To Abigail.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: A hero to Steinbech.
  • Insert Grenade Here: Uses this to kill General Alexandrov.
  • It Runs in the Family: Flashbacks show that he is just as prideful and ruthless as his daughter. Though he seems to have significantly better social skills as nobody in his squad has a bad word to say of him.
  • Patriotic Fervor: He openly describes himself as a soldier willing to die for his country.
  • Posthumous Character: Dead by the time the story begins. The audience only learns about him when other characters have flashbacks or talk about him in conversations.
  • Retirony: He went on one last mission after he had already retired from the army. This is the mission where he dies.

     Volker Austerlitz 
Sergeant Major Austerlitz is the soldiers' sadistic, energetic, hot headed drill sergeant. What's a sergeant major doing being a drill sergeant?

  • Childish Tooth Gap: Averted Trope. He's got a tooth gap on the middle of his upper teeth, but...drill sergeant and all.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Regularly abuses his trainees both verbally and physically. He considers two casualties (implied fatal, at least a serious injury) out of the latest batch of recruits to be better than usual. His response to Zeppelin and Emmerich getting into a fight is to physically cuff them both together at the wrist for over a month. The cuffs weren't taken off for any reason until they were freed, so by the time they were, their wrists had been marked raw with rashes all over.
  • Lennon Specs: Rarely seen without his ruby-tinted glasses. He claims he can see fine without 'em, so being a Sgt. Major, he seems to wear them just because they look cool.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Grunwald's sabotaged all of the base's weapons, aside from Austerlitz's pistol which fell into the pool. Grunwald was mistakenly unafraid of said pistol because of the latter fact.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He does not pull any punches when it comes to making his trainees' lives hell, and his attitude isn't much better when he takes the battlefield. That said, it's just part of the job to him, and he's perfectly capable of being much more soft-spoken and considerate when the situation calls for it.
  • Sergeant Rock: Eventually takes this role as his trainees grow into full soldiers, and beyond. He's later seen refusing to get off the field into a mech by Roemer's offer (though he says to himself a mech hardly seems safer with the Zamorans' targeting the mechs first).

     General Maria Eckstein

"Steinbech will not falter in the face of this unwarranted aggression. Stand firm. Stand together. And we will prevail."

The general of Steinbech's armed forces, Eckstein is a no-nonsense woman devoted to the safety and security of her country. In her past she ran special ops with Hemmel Von Schultheiss.

  • Fantastic Racism: Her distaste for Zamorans was worrying even before the war began. The moment she takes power she orders everyone of Zamoran blood arrested just on suspicion of being a spy.
  • Four-Star Badass: Her qualifications aside, her response to an assault on her base is to immediately man an AA gun and open fire.
  • Friendly Sniper: During her active duty days she favored a scoped rifle, but she was just as jovial as the rest of her squad.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Personally conducts the questioning of a Zamoran General she had taken prisoner, beating him bloody and even impaling his shoulder with a knife when he refuses to talk.
  • Just the First Citizen: Takes the title of Sovereign General after the assassination of the prime minister.
  • Properly Paranoid: She suspecting of the Zamorans...and then the Zamorans outright attacked them first.

     Avery Roemer 
Tenacious and confident, but also a tad too impulsive, Roemer approaches conflict head on with very little thought. First introduced accompanying Sgt. Major Austerlitz into Zamora.

     Trudy Dahl

A veteran Steinbech soldier.

  • Amazonian Beauty: Arguably the tallest character in the comic, built like a Greek statue, and strong enough to subdue a pair of wild boars with her bare hands. And then carry them over her shoulders back to camp.
  • Expy: Bears a strong physical resemblence to Zarya, but little else besides.
  • Made of Iron: Holy damn, Roth has nothing on this girl. She survives getting caught in a bomb detonation that leveled the base around her, and not only that, but she's healed from her injuries sufficiently that she was ready to return to duty within days.
  • Not So Above It All: Generally serious and task-oriented, but she's quick to fire off a (TERRIBLE) pun in response to her soldiers' griping when first introduced.
  • Sergeant Rock: Her actual rank is unclear, but when in the field, she's good at taking charge. To say nothing of how well she can hold herself in a fight.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is pink, and from seeing it starting to grow back after being all burned off from an explosion, that's her natural hair color.

     Madeline Adler 


Zamoran Characters

     Prime Minister Rosario Medina 
Leader of Zamora, and a visionary who's driven to both protect her country and see it restored to greatness.

     Kurt Grunwald A.K.A. Kurt Bosque 
An artist who joined the Steinbech military after his inheritance dried up. Quiet and nonexistant. "Kind of a lameass," according to Roth.

  • Black Sheep: Appears to be this to his family. When Ria Klein is hostile to Kurt, his cousin Vogel assumes it's because Kurt stole from them and almost kicks him out of the house. It's implied this wouldn't have been the first time Kurt caused trouble.
  • Breaking Speech: Pretty good at giving these. Even if his intent isn't to completely demoralize his foe, he can still keep them busy and confused long enough to gain the upper hand.
  • Covert Pervert: When he finds the naked picture of Schultz's girlfriend, he smiles and keeps it for himself.
  • Break the Haughty: In battle he often had a Psycho Smirk and taunted his enemies, but he is left speechless when Zeppelin destroys his ship and kills most of his crew.
  • Flight: He's a Volant, just like Zeppelin, but he's an early, successful example of the Volant induction program in Zamora.
  • Foreshadowing: Explains his poor ability at gun assembly to Hertz due to his town not having a lot of guns around the place. Someone jokes that his town sounds fictional. Actually, it's because he's from Zamora, who are a lot less into technology than Steinbach.
  • Glass Cannon: Can dish it out thanks to good proficiency with his Volant abilities, but can't take it. He goes from smugly boasting about his victory, to screaming and bawling from a gunshot wound in about 0.2 seconds flat.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: He's reduced to this for a page after being shot in arm by Hertz. He gets more eloquent right after, though.
  • Make an Example of Them: Does this when he is boarding Captain Nora's ship. He murders one her crew members when she tells him to leave.
  • Mercy Kill: Claims that his attempted strangulation of Zeppelin was this, as he knew Steinbech would just try to manipulate and exploit her Volant nature for its own sick gains and wanted to free her from that fate. Jury's out on how much of this was sincere.
  • The Mole: Was a spy for Zamora all along, sent to infiltrate the academy and sabotage their latest efforts of recruitment.
  • Not So Different: Accuses Zeppelin of this on page 629. It seems to give Zeppelin pause, but Roth rightly points out that it's hypocritical of Kurt to call anyone else a monster.
  • Psycho Smirk: Once his cover is blown, he tends to show this a lot when he thinks he has the upper hand.
  • We Can Rule Together: He asks Zeppelin to defect to Zamora, claiming that she'll gain more respect and glory there than she ever could in Steinbech. She rejects his offer.

A Zamoran civilian who got injured while visiting Steinbech. A Steiner Military Squad attempted to escort him home as a show of goodwill.
  • Broken Aesop: When explaining Zamora's luddism to the main cast, Vogel uses a hypothetical situation where one needs to get something out of a tree and forgoes using a latter so that climbing it will be more rewarding. This leads them to think that Zamora doesn't have ladders, and to belittle Zamora's refusal to use technology in general.
  • Challenge Seeker: Vogel seems to be a downplayed example. At one point Vogol states that he prefers climbing trees unassisted instead of using a ladder, and when traveling to Steinbech he tried climbing over a border wall despite having legal paperwork to climb through the entrance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He can certainly bring the snark when he wants to, like when Hurtz makes a racist comment on page 294.
    Hurtz: Zamora isn't some primitive wasteland. They have clothes and buildings and ... other stuff.
    Vogel: Yes, Hurtz. We too learned to make fire and wheels. Glad that earns your approval.
  • First-Name Basis: Vogel's last name is currently unknown. It might be Bosque because that's his cousin Kurt's surname, but that's no guarantee because it hasn't been revealed if they are maternal or paternal cousins.
  • From Bad to Worse: His trip to Steinbech followed this pattern. First he tried climbing over the border wall, so Zeppelin caused him to fall off and hit the ground. Then he tried going through the entrance, and Ria Klein almost shot him. Then when he entered the city a racist Steiner soldier gave him a bloody nose by punching him in the face, and almost beat him up for getting blood on their shirts. Fleischer scared the racist soldiers away with her improvised Mecha, but when Vogel tried to thank her it accidentally fell over and maimed him.
  • Token Heroic Orc: So far Vogel is one of five Zamoran characters with any real characterization note . He is also the only one who is remotely good.

     Marilyn Villalobos 
Top researcher in Zamora's top-secret science division.


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