As a short story series inspired by comic books, Velveteen vs. has an impressive cast of characters.
Vel and Allies
Velma Martinez / Velveteen
The series' main character, Vel is a former child superhero (which, in this world, is very similar to being a former child star). Bitter, sarcastic, and cynical but essentially good-hearted, Vel spends most of the story just trying to make a life for herself. She has the power to animate and control toys and other inanimate objects ("Anything that has a face" is the general limitation we're given in the books).
- Almighty Janitor: In Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots, West Coast Division, it's pointed out that Velma is ranked as a support hero "at best" (on the official "power level" scale, she is apparently rated at 2 out of 5). This does not stop her from wiping the floor with the nine-hero team sent at her, a whole three of which officially rank at the highest power level, 5. Elsewhere in the same chapter, the narration states that her real demonstrated power level would be 4, and that she had yet to fully reach her limits.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: In costume only. Velveteen's superhero costume includes a pair of rabbit ears and a bunny tail, inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit.
- Animate Dead: She doesn't generally do this, but her powers are capable of doing so. When Tag is killed in battle, Velveteen unconsciously reanimates him, and exhausts herself by maintaining the reanimation for two months.
- Anxiety Dreams: Of forgetting to be Velma
- Applied Phlebotinum: She apparently got her powers through exposure to an irradiated plush toy.
- Bunny Tropes: While she is not an actual rabbit, Velveteen, due to her costume being setup with bunny ears and cotton tail, ends up heir to several of the tropes.
- Bunnies for Cuteness: Part of why Marketing set up Velma as Velveteen. She was a little girl who could bring toys to life.
- Hair-Raising Hare: Near the end of the series, Velveteen shows that rabbits can be fierce.
- Playboy Bunny: Some of Velveteen's grown-up costumes approach or riff off this.
- Righteous Rabbit: Velveteen is the center of the eventual battle against Super Patriots, Inc., at which time people realize they're not the wholesome and unimpeachable force for good they present themselves.
- Came Back Wrong: An alternate universe version of her, Marionette, whose powers reanimated her after she died. Also Tag, after his death.
- An interesting example, in that they are MENTALLY fine...they just need life energy.
- Cast from Hit Points: How Velveteen's powers work; sustaining an animation takes energy from Vel. A little for things like animating a plush toy to get her a Diet Coke from the fridge, a LOT for reanimating her boyfriend for two months solid.
- Catchphrase: Velveteen has one that's pretty much only muttered to herself: "Fucked up times (number)."
- Escalatingly increasing number, in the chronological order chapters. She hits Infinity at the end of book one, and doesn't go down till the second chapter of Book two.
- Chick Magnet: It turns out that all three of her original teammates from the Jr. Super Patriots, Inc. West Coast Division had a thing for her.
- Child Soldiers / Former Child Star: Started her superheroing career as part of the Jr. Super Patriots, Inc. West Coast Division, which was half child reality star and half child soldier. The story examines just how much being essentially sold to the corporation (and their subsequent manipulations) really messed Vel up.
- Comes Great Responsibility: Alluded to while discussing her origin
- Deal with the Devil: Near the end of book 2, Vel makes one with Santa Claus...a rare sentence.
- Deadpan Snarker: She generally deals with the world with wry, weary snark.
- Deep Sleep: One night at a motel, for Velma.
- Domino Mask: Part of Velveteen's costume.
- Genre Savvy: Extremely so. She realizes early on in her career that a lot of the stock drama and superhero tropes around her are actively engineered by Marketing. And, in a nice meta example, she closely follows fan forums for inspiration (and possible strategies) on how to use her powers effectively.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Velveteen builds up an army of people who have been screwed over by Super Patriots, Inc. and their Marketing department.
- Heroic Sacrifice: How alter-Velveteen ended up causing Velveteen-prime to reality hop.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Once Velveteen resurfaces in the public eye, The Super Patriots, Inc.'s Marketing division is swift to try to brand her as a supervillain, as they do with most who leave the fold. If she hadn't been successful in getting to Oregon, it might well have succeeded.
- Hospitality for Heroes: After she helps defeat a cult of evil coffee-worshiping cultists, a mechanic fixes her car for free.
- Incompatible Orientation: Velma and Yelena
- Maybe Ever After: Vel does NOT revive Tad in the ending, though she makes it clear she'll try when she feels she's able to.
- Marionette Master: Velveteen's power
- Nice to the Waiter: Velveteen generally recruits toys for her battles by asking nicely, rather than by forcing them.
- Oh Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us!: Velveteen is disgusted by some of hers."After the fifth piece of pornographic fan art and the real-person slash fanfic novella where she liked to "do it like a rabbit," she figured the strategy tips were sort of like protection money: as long as they stayed semi-useful, she wouldn't feel compelled to wipe them off the face of the planet."
- Parental Abandonment: Velveteen's parents were abusive when she lived with them, and only cared about her as a meal ticket once her powers manifested. She was essentially sold to The Super Patriots, Inc. as a commodity.
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: Team Velveteen is composed of Velveteen herself (declared a supervillain by SPI), Tag (who washed out of training), Victory Anna (trans-dimensional refugee), Princess (untouchable by SPI due to other contractual obligations), Jackie Frost (the naughty daughter of Winter).
- Second Love: Tag.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Velma Martinez fights crime under the superhero name Velveteen. Yeah.
- Tap on the Head: In the first story — though it only knocks her down.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never learn what job Velma wanted to interview for in Portland, after she misses her interview.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With the Princess and Jackie Frost
Carrabelle Miller / Princess
A magical hero tapping into the popularity and imagery of the fairy tale princess for her powers. The Princess is a southern belle in personality and appearance, but (appropriately for a superheroine) has much more of a backbone than some might give her credit for. She's officially sponsored by a movie and theme park company who often focus on princess-based properties (an obvious reference to Disney). Princess is actually a trans woman, originally born under the name Scott Miller.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: in Princess' case, her animal companions can do anything a Disney princess' can do, and more.Princess: I can have a team of SWAT trained raccoons here in under a minute.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Princess is the entire concept of "Fairy tale princess" distilled into one person.
- Bluebird of Happiness: Trained in salon styling and cosmetology.
- Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: Sponsored by Disney (or this universe's equivalent).
- Everything's Better with Princesses: How the she gets her powers.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: One of Princess' Powers
- Meaningful Name: Cara means "dear" and Belle means "beautiful", making Carabelle a fitting name for a princess who embodies all fairytale princesses.
- Transgender: The Princess was assigned male at birth, although she is female and is almost always addressed as such. Reporters sometimes try to harass her about it, but they tend to be forcibly removed from press conferences by angry animals when this happens.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Velveteen and Jackie Frost
A blue-skinned, white-haired superheroine and Anthropomorphic Representation of winter who's one of Velveteen's closest friends. Inherited her powers from her parents, the Snow Queen and Jack Frost. Generally spends time on the Naughty List, but is generally a good person.
- Alternate Universe: In the palace of Winter is a hall of mirrors, each of which reflects an [AU]. As part of her training, Jackie had to look into all of these mirrors, in order to acquaint herself with the consequences that might come from her choices. She occasionally visits these other universes for information or advice from her own (and others') alternates. Of note are universes where she's the supervillainess Frostbite (generally those in which she doesn't have her friendships with Velveteen and the Princess to teach her right from wrong) and those in which she's Jackie Claus, daughter of Santa (in which her parents, unsure if they could properly love her, gave her to the Santa for adoption).
- Eventually, she becomes Jackie Claus for real, and is known as Jack to seperate her, and has to deal with both identities.
- An Ice Person: As befits a representative of Winter, sired by two other representatives of the same season.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of winter and the cold.
- Deadpan Snarker: Even more so than Velveteen, if that's possible.
- I Know Madden Kombat: At least some of her superheroing moves are based on figure skating.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Velveteen and Princess.
Tad Peterson / Tag
Another independent superhero and Velma's eventual boyfriend. He has the power to draw things or creatures, then bring them to three-dimensional life.