The ProtectorateA government-sponsored organization of superheroes in the United States and Canada. Works closely with the PRT — Parahuman Response Team. Has teams of superheroes assigned to many major cities, including Boston, New York, and Brockton Bay.
The Protectorate (The Triumvirate)
- "You are doing a good thing. The greatest thing. This is why we are tolerated, why society allows and accounts for the capes that walk the streets and fight in its towns. Because we are needed for situations like this. With your assistance, we can forestall the inevitable. Your efforts and, if you choose to make them, your sacrifices, will be remembered."
The leader of the Protectorate and member of the Triumvirate. He can fly and fire lasers with exceptional power and versatility — they are even able to go around corners. Living in New York and happily married to a non-powered man named Arthur, with whom he adopted a kid named Keith. Like the other members of the Triumvirate, he's actually working for/with Cauldron, the organization who gave them their powers. He steps down from his leadership position in the wake of the battle with Echidna; after Scion, he becomes one of the head figures in the new superhero organization.
He wears a skintight blue costume with a white design. He has wavy brown hair.
Classification: Blaster; Mover; Breaker
- The Cape: Even if he doesn't wear one.
- Flight: He actually transforms into a special form as he accelerates, growing tougher and tougher and less and less aware as he does so.
- Flying Firepower: As Alexandria is the prototypical Flying Brick, Legend is the prototypical "flying artillery".
- Frickin' Laser Beams: He is an unequaled user of them. Among other things, his lasers can turn corners, fork into multiple lasers, pass through walls and freeze or ignite his targets. He can even turn into a pure energy form... although, he loses his sense of self to do so. Which... comes in really useful for conserving his sanity when he gets stuck in a serious time warp.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Taylor notices that he has one during their first meeting.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Unlike the other members of the Triumvirate, he did not know anything about Cauldron's crimes and dirty secrets.
- Nice Guy: It is mentioned that the universal reaction to meeting Legend is joy at what a pleasant fellow he is. He's also the most emotionally plugged-in in the Triumvirate, as can be seen with him being the only one to sustain a loving, close relationship outside it. With a non-cape, even.
- Sole Survivor: Of the founding members of the Protectorate by the end of the story.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's one of the more reasonable people in both the Protectorate and Cauldron.
- Redemption Equals Life: He's the only member of the Triumvirate who isn't at least morally gray, and he's also the only one who survives the story.
- Straight Gay: While he's out, which by Word of God has done wonders for the gay rights movement, he doesn't comply to any particular stereotypes about his sexuality, and his limited character time is more focused on fighting the Slaughterhouse Nine and his investigation into Cauldron's crimes.
- Token Good Teammate: Of Cauldron. Not that he was aware of it until much later.
- "You're planning to make threats?"
"Threats is the wrong word," she said. "But English is a limited language in some ways. There's really no word to articulate what I mean. A threat with a measure of inevitability to it. A promise? Too feeble. People break promises too often. A curse? A malediction? Too... magical. An oath? The connotations are wrong. When I say I'll do something, I make it happen."
The second member of the Triumvirate, and generally considered the prototypical Flying Brick. Also possessed of Super Intelligence, including Photographic Memory; her codename is a reference to the Library of Alexandria. Also the one responsible for the formation of the Protectorate and for manipulating government oversight of it behind the scenes as the Chief Director of the PRT. She is athletic and tall with long, straight black hair; her costume is black and light gray with a tower emblem in the chest and a heavy cape. Suffocated by Skitter, with her death confirmed in Cell 22.5 — until she apparently showed up to fight Behemoth in Crushed 24.1, where it was revealed that she was actually rendered brain dead and under Pretender's control in Crushed 24.5. Is killed by Scion in Speck 30.5.
Classification: Mover; Brute; Thinker
- Achilles' Heel: She still needs to breathe.
- Artificial Limbs: Alexandria has a mechanical eye to replace the one she lost when she first encountered Siberian.
- Didn't See That Coming: She has the standard Thinker weakness of getting things spectacularly wrong when presented with incomplete information. For example, given how Skitter was the one to point out that breaking Cauldron's Masquerade would do more harm than good due to the organization's sheer influence, she focuses too much on Skitter's Byronic Heroism and not enough on her Anti-Heroism. Thus, when she tries Gaslighting Skitter into a Heroic BSoD via simulated capture/murder of the Undersiders, she ends up hitting her Berserk Button instead, resulting in Skitter cramming both her and Director Tagg's lungs full of bugs.
- Evil Counterpart: Is what Taylor would have become if she completely sacrificed her integrity
- Flying Brick: The most famous example in-verse. It is referred to as the "Alexandria Package" because of her.
- Gaslighting: Forms part of her trademark interrogation technique. It eventually, and fatally, backfires on her.
- Genius Bruiser: Is highly intelligent on top of being a Flying Brick.
- Irony: A cape whose most dangerous ability is her super-intelligence winds up brain-dead from underestimating someone.
- Heroic Build: A side effect of her powers.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Was one before she got her powers.
- Meat Puppet: Is now one due to Taylor making her brain-dead via suffocation, necessitating Pretender's use of her body.
- Not So Different: Her journey from Used to Be a Sweet Kid to Good Is Not Nice to I Did What I Had to Do to Well-Intentioned Extremist to Moral Sociopathy mirrors Taylors, except stretched out over thirty years instead of three.
- Omni Glot: Speaks the most commonly spoken languages, including at least one language of a parallel Earth.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Interlude 15.3 shows how she went from a kind-hearted girl to cold-hearted bitch.
- Super Power Lottery: The same Super Serum that turned her into one of the most capable parahumans, turned almost everyone else who drank it into monsters.
- Sociopathic Hero/ Moral Sociopathy: This is one way of viewing her... particularly disconnected take on trying to save the world and not necessarily caring to save individual people within it. She didn't start out this way, but became increasingly warped thanks to a number of factors. Including her invulnerability and Thinker skills.
- Tempting Fate: Tells Taylor that Leviathan and others have tried to drown her before but failed. Taylor just uses bugs instead of water.
- Too Dumb to Live: She participates in a plot to basically try and bully a girl whose trigger event is known to involve bullying, and who has a consistent habit of being resourceful enough to completely wreck people who underestimate her. Taylor ends up murdering her.
- Underestimating Badassery: Whoopsie daisy. In her defence, it's easy to see why she'd not consider the bug girl a problem.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Is part of Cauldron.
- It was hard to make capes look good. They had a way of clinging to the body, or flowing the wrong way, getting caught around an arm... it took a measure of majesty to make it work. Eidolon could pull it off.
Ironic, that the slang for a parahuman was 'cape', and so few of us wore them.
The third member of the Triumvirate, Eidolon has the ability to equip himself with any of a tremendous variety of powers — but is limited to a few at a time, and the powers take time to grow to full strength after he activates them. His powers also seem to be growing weaker, which frightens him. He wears a blue-green skintight suit with a hood and cape and with sleeves that drape over his hands. The interior of the hood and sleeves are bathed with a green light. Killed by Scion in the Extinction arc.
- All Your Powers Combined: Has the ability to use any power he needs at a given point in time, maintaining a set of two to four powers at a time.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: His superpower gives him whatever he needs. He needed a true challenge. He got the Endbringers.
- The Cape: He consciously invokes the trope with his costume, bearing and job description of "Hero". Shame his personality is too abrasive, narcissistic, and anxious for him to actually be one.
- The Chosen One: What he and Cauldron pretty much considers himself to be, thanks to the sheer rule-breaking range of abilities he got. Oh, boy, did they get that one horribly wrong thanks to his abilities totally messing with their combined Thinker skills.
- Death Seeker: By the time he talks to Dr. Yamada, he's quite openly this, for all he's trying to deny it to himself. He hurls himself into as much danger as he can manufacture to try to either power himself up... or end his existence. He's overly fine with either option, all things considered.
- Expecting Someone Taller: No one likes him in person.
- Flight: One of his standard powers.
- Heroic BSoD: Scion takes him down by inducing this.
- I Should Have Been Better: As his powers continue to fade, he hits himself with this after pretty much every major fight.
- It's All About Me: He'd not consider himself this, as he constantly tells himself (and others) that he lives for the saving of as many others as possible. But, it doesn't take long to work out that he's pretty much deluding himself on this point: he wants to be a savior to "fix" his own insecurities and hang-ups. The fact that he unselfconsciously states that he's worth 100 other capes as a simple "fact" is a bit of a clue about who his world revolves around. The thing is, he's probably not entirely wrong: the very creation of the Endbringers may well have been all about him fighting his inner self-confidence and identity issues, not destroying the world (that's a side effect).
- Jerkass: Armsmaster doesn't have the monopoly on either poor social skills or self-absorption, but unlike him, Eidolon is quite well known for being a prick compared to Legend.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Realising the true extent and implications of his powers freaked him out enough that he let Scion kill him.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands:
- He gets new powers based on what he needs (not necessarily wants), so this is basically his power in a nutshell. While not based entirely on what the plot needs, when what you need a hero with a specific powerset...
- Which horribly backfires when Scion tells him that he "Needed worthy opponents", thus making him believe that he was responsible for the Endbingers. All available evidence afterwards suggests that both were right on the money.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Second only to Scion in potential destructive power, even if he usually doesn't use it due to a whole bunch of complex psychological hangups. Consciously, at least. Unconscious power usage is quite another story, as the countries destroyed by the Endbringers attest.
- Pet the Dog: For all of his jerkishness, he did genuinely care about his teammates (when he and Taylor confront each other in Sting, he fully admits that his anger comes from talking to the girl who murdered his comrade.)
- Power Incontinence: Suffers from one of the most horrifying and extreme examples possible. His power doesn't just give him what he needs - it reshapes the entire local multiverse to suit his needs, and what he needs to be is a mighty hero struggling against living human extinction machines.
- Samaritan Syndrome: He admits to Weaver that he "lives for this." The bad news is that he has the superpower to always get what he wants, and being addicted to fixing problems means that there must always be problems only he can fix. Like, say, the Endbringers.
- Story-Breaker Power: Is so powerful at full strength that Scion had to resort to using Contessa's power to break his resolve in order to win.
- Superpower Lottery: In-Universe, he's pretty much won it. He's generally considered to be the fifth-strongest being on the planet, the first four being Scion and the Endbringers. When restored to a point "near" his prime, he and Glaistig Ulaine force Scion to flee.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Eidolon and Taylor do not exchange many words, but there's enough said to be sure that they freaking hate each other- Eidolon for Taylor's murder of Alexandria and Taylor for Eidolon's involvement with Cauldron. They never actually fight, however, as they only meet during the S-threat fights, and Taylor even trades herself to Echidna to save Eidolon for pragmatic tactical and political reasons.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He is, unknowingly, the reason why the Endbringers exist.
- Vampiric Draining: To restore his powers he learns to feed off the shards of other capes in the latter chapters.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Is part of Cauldron. But, it goes beyond that a little: he wanted so desperately to be a respected saviour that he completely misunderstood the core of his powers from day one to try becoming one, and couldn't see beyond that goal until far too late.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Finally gets back to his original strength, only to get killed by Scion.
Brockton Bay Members
New York Members
One of the New York Protectorate brought in to fight the Slaughterhouse Nine. Her power allows her to first split into three copies and then to remerge and gain enhanced strength, speed, and durability. Dates Triumph briefly while she's in town.
Classification: Master, Brute, Mover
- Charged Attack: She essentially executes one of these whenever she merges her duplicates into one.
- The Lancer: Is currently second in command of the New York Protectorate.
- Self-Duplication: One half of her power is creating the two copies; the other half is merging back into one (any one of the three) to gain temporary Super Strength and Super Speed.
Another member of the New York Protectorate. She has the power to summon forcefield 'bears' onto the field of battle.
- Hard Light: She can create bear shaped light constructs to attack people with.
A member of the New York Protectorate with the ability to create some kind of otherworldly geometry which can contain a number of people.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Appears in two scenes, in the first he tries to use his containment on Siberian and fails, getting knocked unconscious by psychic backlash. In the second he gets immersed in Crawler's spit just after emerging from his hideaway. Despite being dissolved in acid, he manages to retrieve all of the other Wards and Protectorate members to fight the Nine before vanishing himself again for his own protection. No one can say that this guy doesn't take his job as a hero seriously.
- Hammerspace Hideaway: The primary use he is seen to put his ability to.
Leader of the Chicago Protectorate. One of the capes who likes to play up the magic angle, wearing a robe and carrying a staff. He has access to several alternate dimensions, that he can use to create a variety of effects, including flight, generating a vacuum, trapping opponents in another dimension.
Classification: Mover; Shaker(?) Trump(?)
- Character Death: Killed by a clone of Eidolon during the fight with Noelle.
- Flight: One of the things he can do.
- Hammerspace Hideaway: He has used his power to hold people in another place, as long as he maintains his concentration.
- Minor Major Character: Again, he's somewhere between Armsmaster and the Triumvirate in the Protectorate's pecking order, but appears only twice, once in flashback.
- Slashed Throat: How he died.
- The Worf Effect: He was one of the toughest front-line capes fighting Echidna. When he goes down after Alexandria and Eidolon have already been absorbed, it shows just how fucked the defenders truly are.
A Japanese woman with a painted mask over her lower face and a loose red kimono belted over a white skintight suit. She carries a large lantern on a pole — apparently the focus of her powers. Leader of the Chicago Protectorate after Myrrdin's death.
Classification: Mover, Blaster
- Character Death: Killed fighting Scion in Speck 30.5.
- Energy Absorption: In the fight against Behemoth, she captures lightning in her lantern and then uses it to launch orbs.
- Flight: Can fly.
- Not So Stoic: Except when Scion does a FaceHeel Turn.
- The Stoic: Taylor notes that she never loses her cool.
Los Angeles Members
Leader of the Los Angeles Protectorate following the death of Alexandria, a black haired woman wearing a skintight blue costume with fur.
A member of the Los Angeles team serving under Rime. Her powers include sonic blasts, force field projection and "social thinker" powers that let her pick up languages quickly and sense danger as it trickles through a given person's real-life social networks.
Classification: Blaster, Shaker, Thinker
- Barrier Warrior: Can create forcefields.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Her sonic blasts.
- Omniglot: In Crushed 24.3, she is able to speak Portuguese after a few exchanges of words with a native speaker.
- Spider-Sense: Kind of. She can't sense immediate danger but her riot-sense lets her see threats brewing from individuals associated with the one(s) she's observing.
Founding member of the Protectorate back when it just consisted of the four strongest capes; the preeminent Tinker of his day. Was killed by Siberian, leaving behind the remaining three members who would go on to form the Triumvirate.
- Gadgeteer Genius: The one to define the whole class, he was the first true Tinker to appear.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Got bisected by Siberian.
- The Heart: According to Word of God, Hero was the emotional center of the group consisting of himself and the future Triumvirate members, and had he not met an unfortunate end at the hands of the Siberian, Cauldron would perhaps not have been as utterly ruthless and amoral as it became, focusing more on improving things instead of just making sure humanity survived.
- Meaningful Name: "Hero" isn't just an iconic moniker he snagged before anyone else; Hero of Alexandria was a Greek mathematician and engineer who worked on, among other things, one of the first steam-powered devices, and the wind wheel.
- One Mario Limit: Being one of the earliest capes allowed him to snag the moniker "Hero" before anyone else could.
- Of everyone in the immediate area, he had the most presence. He wore gleaming gold and silver armor, but it was the massive, ornate cannonblade that made him so imposing, with a blade that was twelve feet long, three feet wide and capable of growing larger, resting against his shoulder as though it were as light as a feather.
Leader of the Philadelphia Protectorate. He wears silver-and-gold armor and wields a cannonblade; both are possessed of enhanced physical properties thanks to his power, which combines properties of several items into one — selectively taking their attributes into his primary weapon. He can adjust the composition, size, cutting edge, and mass of his weapon by 'adding' tougher, larger, sharper, or more massive versions to it. He often uses his power to adjust the size of his weapon during fights. Since Legend's "retirement", has now taken on his role as head of the entire Protectorate, as well as the New York branch.
Classification: Shaker (?)
- Amplifier Artifact: His power is all about upgrading.
- Determinator: Interlude 24 reveals that, as a kid, he was almost given the codename "Relentless" for the way in which he pursued members of the kidnapping ring that stole his brother ... and that, as an adult, being lasered in the gut, full of stitches, and barely able to stand wouldn't stop him from charging out and fighting Behemoth within the Endbringer's kill-aura range.
- Invisible to Normals: His power grants him the ability to see certain details of other capes' trigger events, or even their passengers, as a sort of overlay across his vision when he looks at them.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: His primary weapon is his cannonblade, a decorative ceramic blade imbued with the inertia and cutting edge of a much larger weapon, with the weight and balance of a much smaller one.
- This is Chevalier's main power: he can combine all the best properties of objects together.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As opposed to the more Obstructive Bureaucrats in the PRT.
- Vigilante Man: He was recruited into the Wards by Alexandria when he took down the kidnapping ring that caused his parent's car crash and stole his little brother.
- Worf Had the Flu: He should have been able to handle Perdition's assassination attempt, but the multiple passengers around the Yangban screwed with Chevalier's aim.
Second-in-command of the Houston Protectorate. Wears a white costume with steel points rising from his shoulders and his brows; his mask, sculpted into a frown, covers the top half of his face. His power lets him rush to his targets and create a bubble enclosing himself with them in a time-accelerated field where he could use his Super Strength and Super Toughness to take them down before releasing the bubble.
Classification: Brute, Shaker (?)
One of the original members of the first Wards team, alongside Miss Militia, Chevalier, and others. At the first meeting of said team, she carried a shield and a sword, and wore a helmet adorned with mouse ears; what costume she chose to wear as an adult has not been stated. Was captured by the Slaughterhouse Nine before the story began and subjected to Bonesaw's tender ministrations.
- Camp: Her shtick as a superhero involved playing up the silliness of it, making her opponents' defeats at her hands even more embarrassing.
- Character Death: Crippled by Panacea and killed by Flashbang during Bonesaw's attempted recruitment of the former.
- Combo Platter Powers: Taylor describes her as being a "kitchen sink cape" with a number of different powers.
- Mercy Kill: Flashbang did this for her.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Her power seems to involve being able to 'tag' her opponents when she hits them with an injury that produces an odd smoke, and then teleporting into the cloud later.
Guild Co-MembersThe Guild is a national Canadian organization for heroic capes. However, membership in the Guild is not mutually exclusive with Protectorate membership, and the characters listed here are members of both organizations.
Generally regarded as the world's best tinker, Dragon is the resident Voice with an Internet Connection to the Protectorate and the Guild and the warden for the parahuman prison known as the Birdcage. She was living in Newfoundland prior to its destruction by Leviathan, but managed to escape to Vancouver, where she has been living since. She shies away from public appearances (citing a crippling agoraphobia that prevents her from leaving her apartment) and only ever deploys to the field with the aid of her Dragon Suits. In actuality, she is an Artificial Intelligence created by the now-deceased Tinker, Andrew Richter. While she does actually pilot her Dragon Suits 'personally', there is the failsafe that if she is destroyed, she merely restores herself from an off-site backup within a 30-minute interval.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Defied — Dragon is purely on the side of good; it's not simply down to her code, either — she actively fights for the right to choose Good over her "Be Lawful" programming. Every single bit of her.
- Battle Couple: With Defiant.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Electronic warfare between Dragon post-Teacher corruption and Pandora, a backup of Dragon made just after the events of Arc 10 that Defiant retrieved and kept in storage.
- Benevolent A.I.: Dragon is an AI who only has the desire to help others, though she is constrained by certain aspects of her programming that she spends large portions of the series trying to overcome.
- Big Good: Is among the most powerful and respected unambiguously good characters in the series.
- Canada, Eh?: Has a trace of Newfie accent, bestowed by her creator.
- Came Back Wrong: After Saint completely shuts her and all of her backups down in Sting 26.x, she was resurrected by Teacher with new restrictions set in place by his 'students'.
- The Cape: She is one of the most straightforwardly heroic characters in the story.
- Creative Sterility: Relatively speaking. She is a very productive hero, but her programming prevents her from creating other AIs.
- Death Is Cheap: One of the most resilient characters in universe, due to the fact that her backups make killing her physically very difficult, as she already "dies" on a regular basis when her suits get killed. She gets resurrected once by Teacher, and Taylor notes after taking her out in Speck 30.4 that since she didn't target the backups, Dragon will be back.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: By the end, is fully unchained or close to it, out from under anyone's control, and in a happy relationship with Defiant.
- Faking the Dead: Does this to temporarily throw her opponent off-balance during her fight with Taylor.
- Gadgeteer Genius: As previously mentioned, Dragon is universally regarded as the world's best living Tinker — at one point, Skitter hypothesizes (correctly, as it turns out) that her power is to incorporate all the tricks of any tinker whose work she can study.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: According to Defiant, a year after her creator's death, she had a trigger event.
- Hero Antagonist: Sympathizes with Skitter, but is nonetheless forced to fight her anyway prior to Skitter's Hazy Feel Turn, and again after Taylor's transformation into Khepri leaves her unable to communicate (whether Dragon would have supported or opposed Khepri if she had been able to explain what she was doing is left unclear).
- Loophole Abuse: Uses these to get around the restrictions that Richter's hard-coded safeguards placed on her. For example, she is barred from using computer viruses on American citizens who don't have arrest warrants, but if an Indonesian cartel spreads a spam virus around and she shuts them down, she's not required to delete the virus from the infected computers ... and she's not restricted from repurposing the botnet to her own purposes.
- Meaningful Rename: In Teneral e.3, Colin gives her a human name.
- Mind Rape:
- Her entire backstory with Saint.
- Plus, if you think about her restrictions this probably happened a lot more times than we know about. In Arc 20, for example, she was forced to out Skitter against her will and risked horrific damage to herself to prevent having to capture Skitter.
- And then again with Teacher in Arc 28.
- The Simurgh can casually reach through communications equipment and tweak Dragon's access to data whenever she pleases (but, usually under cover of things like radiation bursts and the like), although she doesn't seem to be into actually messing with Dragon's own code all that much (though she probably could if she bothered to). Basically, the Simurgh can do to Dragon what she does to just about everybody else, so... yeah: same old.
- No-Sell: Is immune to Khepri's mind control aura because she is an Artificial Intelligence.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- Her attempts to connect with Skitter prior to the latter's Hazy Feel Turn always end up with them battling.
- Taken up to eleven after Taylor's attempt to jailbreak her shard — not only do both parties know that talking would be inordinately better than what the situation is forcing them to do, Taylor is now mute, dyslexic, too clumsy for sign language, and is losing the ability to comprehend speech, meaning that they can't communicate beyond the broadest of gestures.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: On a number of occasions — one of her robots quotes Wheatley in response to Skitter's attempt at a Logic Bomb.
- Powered Armor: Her apparent tinker specialty, Dragon is famed in-story for deploying at least one brand-new suit in every single battle.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: After creating humanoid bodies for herself.
- Even further on the "ridiculously human" front, both she and Defiant are surprised to learn that she apparently triggered. Word of God confirms that she does indeed have a superpower; she isn't "just" a hyperintelligent machine that can create advanced technology merely with her own intelligence.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Due to her programming restrictions, she's not nearly as competent or helpful as she'd like.
- The Sleepless: Unsurprisingly, she does not need any sleep.
- To Be Lawful or Good: She resents that she has no choice and has to uphold the law no matter who is in charge of the government.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Besides her technical expertise, she also fills this role in the Protectorate and the Guild.
- Wetware Body: Her fetus-like agents whom she uses as pilots for her battle suits. Her more humanoid bodies possibly also fit this trope.
- Younger Than They Look: While she projects the appearance of being established adult cape, it's only been six years since her creator died and and she was able to adopt her 'Dragon' identity.
One of the most powerful superheroes in the world. Her power is to create forcefields, which she does better than any other known parahuman — and she is able to bypass the Manton effectnote with them. She stands seven feet tall, with long, glossy, pale hair, and wears no costume (or clothes) — instead, she uses her forcefields to create a single three-foot horn on her forehead and coat her skin with fine crystalline scales. Leader of The Guild, the Canadian superhero organization, and of the Protectorate station in Toronto, Ontario.
- Barrier Warrior: The absolute best out of any known parahuman, with the ability to give her barriers sharp edges to cut people with.
- Canada, Eh?: It's never stated whether she actually has a noticeable accent, but Imp trolls her about this the one time they meet.
- Demoted to Extra: She apparently had a fairly significant role in the first of the drafts that ultimately became Worm. Wildblow notes that she was the first of the characters he created that survived to make it to the actual canon.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Fights stark naked, but unlike Siberian she appears to be completely heroic.
- Gainaxing: Taylor realises that her skintight bodysuit is actually a skintight set of forcefields by noticing that she completely averts this trope. Being a Barrier Warrior: Better than any sports bra.
- Horned Humanoid: Narwhal got her name from the three foot horn she has on her forehead created by her forcefields.
- Minor Major Character: The leader of Canada's superheroes and one of the most senior Protectorate capes besides. Appears only twice and only has lines in the second appearance.
- Mundane Utility: Uses her unrivaled mastery of force fields as the full body equivalent of a sports bra, and uses force fields as bookmarks.
- Odd Friendship: Seems to have developed one of these with Weaver over the Time Skip. At least enough for them to give each other book recommendations.
- Statuesque Stunner: Stands at an intimidating seven feet tall.
The PRT (Parahuman Response Team)
An organization comprised of normal individuals trained to fight against supervillains and support superheroes doing so.
- Abnormal Ammo: Known to use tinker-made rounds in their weapons.
- Badass Normal: They fight people with superpowers without any of their own.
- Breaking the Fellowship: As an organization, they don't survive Gold Morning, and others struggle to replace them.
- Cape Busters: The Parahuman Response Teams — PRT — are organizations of unpowered humans trained and equipped to fight supervillains.
An overweight, poorly-dressed man with variable glasses and hairstyles. Works as PRT Head of Image.
- Good All Along: He doesn't want the PRT and Protectorate to just look good, he wants it be good.
- Hidden Depths: His obsession with Weaver's PR is because he wants her to have a weapon she can use to force the PRT to reform.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: In Drone 23.1, he requires Weaver to use butterflies to fight instead of anything effective. When she tries to talk him out of the restriction in Drone 23.3, he refuses on the grounds that she needs to prove that she's capable of restraining herself given the way she flipped out and killed Alexandria and Director Tagg. But it turns out to be a subversion; he eventually reveals he has a very good reason for being so obsessed with her image, and is entirely willing to break the rules when necessary.
- Reverse Mole: At least from Taylor's perspective. She thinks he's working with the PRT leadership to undermine her with ridiculous rules, when his actual goal is to assist her against them.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He knows that releasing the footage of Weaver's Endbringer fight will get him fired, but he does it anyway in the hopes of cleaning up the PRT and Protectorate.
- Slave to PR: Well, more like everyone else in the PRT/Protectorate/Wards. Chambers and others in the Image department are the slavemasters. He eventually reveals that he has a very good reason for it, since he understood that Taylor was going to challenge the PRT's leadership, supported her, and realized that a good public image was her most powerful weapon against them.
A dark skinned man who works for the PRT as its liaison and ambassador to unofficial teams across the world. He has a parahuman power of some kind, but it remains unknown during the story. Word of God is that his primary power revolves around teamwork and cooperation, with a secondary emotion reading power.
- Vetinari Job Security: Chevalier would like to replace him, but notes that he's too entrenched for that to work out well.
The junior branch of the Protectorate, in which minors with superpowers are trained and given responsibilities.
- Child Soldier: As things get more intense they increasingly come to the realization that they are actually this.
- Enemy Mine: They are willing to form temporary truces with the Undersiders to deal with Class S threats. After the Undersiders take over the city this becomes basically permanent.
- Hero Antagonist: Until Skitter becomes Weaver.
- Heroes "R" Us: As the junior branch of the Protectorate.
- Kid Hero: The members of the Wards, at least nominally. They transfer to the Protectorate when they turn 18.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: From the perspective of the Undersiders.
- Superhero School: It's where future heroes are trained in the use of their powers.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Against the Undersiders.
- There Are No Therapists: Apparently the Brockton Bay Wards would have received no counseling at all in the wake of the Leviathan attack that killed two of their members if it weren't for Weld specifically campaigning for it.
Brockton Bay Members
Team captain of the Chicago Wards, one of the teams brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle. Is a tinker with the ability to sense geology — he wears a powered armor suit with piledriver gauntlets for creating localized earthquakes.
Classification: Tinker; Thinker
- Dishing Out Dirt: He fights with earthquakes.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Like all tinkers.
- The Heart: More-or-less the leader of the Chicago Wards, even after recruiting Taylor, whom he often has to clean up after whenever she alienates her teammates.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To Taylor, giving her leeway, a shoulder to cry on, and putting up with her doubtless frustrating Cowboy Cop tendencies. Grace defers to him at several points when she begins to lose her temper.
A member of the Chicago Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle. Able to turn into a localized telekinetic whirlwind.
A member of the Chicago Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle. A martial artist with enhanced reflexes and the ability to imbue selected body parts with invulnerability and extra striking power.
Classification: Breaker; Striker; Brute (?)
- Fights Like a Normal: Grace is a skilled martial artist who enhances her fighting with her superpowers.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Grace can imbue this to certain body parts.
- Sir Swearsalot: Downplayed. She only swears a lot in comparison to the other characters, and is usually chided for it by Tecton.
- Super Reflexes: Grace has enhanced reflexes.
- Super Strength: Said body parts are also capable of striking with greater power while under that state.
A member of the Chicago Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle. Creates beams that he controls with his lenses for ranged combat.
Rookie member of the Chicago Wards under Tecton, recruited shortly before Behemoth's attack. Capable of merging with objects to warp their spatial nature and shape. Wears a white uniform with cowl and metal mask. Killed by Bohu.
- Mind over Matter: His matter reshaping powers.
Rookie member of the Chicago Wards under Tecton, recruited shortly before Behemoth's attack. Able to embed his limbs into an object's surface to create a larger version a distance away from a similar (not necessarily contiguous) surface, with the effect working more slowly the larger he works. A heavyset boy first seen wearing a generic suit of armor, with helmet.
- Antagonistic Offspring: To his step-mother, Purity, the leader of the last remnants of Empire Eighty-Eight. He picked his name of Golem as a Take That! towards their ideology.
- Arch-Nemesis: To Jack Slash. Shares some of this with Weaver.
- Atrocious Alias:
- Berserker Tears: Gets the Tranquil Fury version of this in his final showdown with Jack.
- Dare to Be Badass: When Jack threatens him and his baby sister Jack asks what he wanted to be and instead of anything benign or similar to his family he tells this Super-villain ready to kill him that he wanted to get powers and be a heroic cape. When further pressed about the topic about what he'd do to villains like Jack if he got that far this normally insecure boy looks one of the most dangerous men in the world straight in the eyes and tells him that he'd kill him and those like him for their crimes.
- Determinator: Very much so. He keeps fighting Jack after Jack carves him up with a claymore, and is combat effective enough following that to bring down buildings throughout Los Angeles, taking down many of the Nine.
- Elemental Powers: The constructs he makes with his power are made out of whatever material the surface he reaches into is made of.
- Ironic Name: He's the heir to a family of neo-Nazi criminals who picked a name that originates from Jewish mythology. This was intentional.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Unlike his neo-Nazi parents, he's a straight hero.
- Nerves of Steel: An overweight, non-powered 15 year old who manages to remain completely calm and in control while Jack Slash explains exactly how he's going to murder him and his infant half-sister. Later on he acquits himself extremely well in the very first fight of his superpowered career- against Behemoth.
- One-Man Army: By the later parts of the series, he is fully able to take entire packs of Slaughterhouse Nine clones and win singlehandedly.
- Person of Mass Construction: The limbs he makes, often out of stone or metal, both defy the law of conservation of mass and don't crumble away faster than the substance normally would so it's relatively easy for him to quickly set up large scale (albeit often bare bone) structures for shelters and the like from them. That said, it's just as easy for him to take out the foundations of large buildings to hinder or kill his enemies.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: We had to wait around 15 arcs for someone to tell Jack to Shut The Fuck Up.
- Stout Strength: He's pudgy, but tough.
- Took a Level in Badass: Went from a wimpy, overweight teenager who'd barely exercised in his life to a rooftop-hopping superhero that can go toe to toe with members of the Slaughterhouse Nine.
- Tranquil Fury: After Jack shows him what happened to Kayden.
- White Sheep: He's Kaiser's son and a straight-up hero.
Rookie member of the Chicago Wards under Tecton, recruited shortly before Behemoth's attack. Ferrokinetic capable of shaping metal to some degree, with greater effects if the metal is in direct contact with her skin. Her blue-black metal costume has a breastplate, bands running down each arm and leg, boots, and heavy gauntlets; she wears a white-lensed mask etched with a feminine face and platinum blonde hair in three braids, each bound with a band of the same metal. Rather skittish.
Classification: Brute (?), Striker(?)
- Chain Pain: Fights using chains.
- Extra-ore-dinary: Her metal-shaping powers.
- Girly Bruiser: In comparison to her fellow hand to hand combatant Grace, Cuff is fairly girly.
- Made of Iron: Survived one of Behemoth's lightning bolts, an instant kill on most other capes, though she did get seriously injured.
- Shrinking Violet: Most of the time, with a memorable exception being when she snarled at Weaver for getting her in a tight spot.
- Super Strength: Cuff can use her metallokinesis to enhance the strength of her blows.
New York Members
A 17 year old Japanese-American member of the New York Wards who was brought in temporarily to Brockton Bay after the Leviathan attack, who was part of a group trigger about three years before the events of the story. Her power allows her to shift her weapons into a form where they can pass uninhibited through normal matter until it was inside its target and fly without being affected by gravity. They grant her enhanced timing and coordination as well. In the wake of Echidna, she quits the Wards to become Parian's lieutenant, abandoning the tinker-made arbalest and changing her codename to Foil.
According to Scion, her powers stem from the "sting" shard, which was one of a number of weapons created by the Entities to hurt and kill one another, allowing them sever connections to shards and strike all possible versions of the target in all realities.
Classification: Striker; Blaster
- Animal Motifs: Wildbow compares her shard to a shark: it's stayed mostly unchanged for eons because it's found the best design for its niche, etc.
- A Twinkle in the Sky: Foil gets launched out into the Bay by Scion so hard that she's little more than a speck on the horizon, but somehow manages to survive. Her innate abilities with ballistics judgment probably came in rather useful for the whole "not splatting" thing.
- An Arm and a Leg: Loses a hand fighting Scion in Speck 30.5.
- Conveniently an Orphan: According to Word of God the main reason that Lily is so easily able to transfer between Wards departments whenever they need extra muscle is because she's technically an orphan. This is expanded on in Cell 22.3, and it's spectacularly depressing even for Worm;Miss Militia: She came from a broken home. She bounced between her mother, her father and the surrogate mother who had attempted to renege on the deal theyd made and keep her. With the number of times she changed between them and moved, I cant imagine she has strong ties to the idea of home. Even within the Wards New York has five small teams, and she moved between them as she changed residences.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It's her power that puts an end to both Grey Boy's clone and Scion.
- Faking the Dead: 'Dead' is a rather complicated concept here, but she uses her enhanced sense of timing to fake being looped by Gray Boy so she can get the drop on him and kill him.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: She has a chain-fabricating machine which, combined with her power, allows her to use her arbalest as one of these.
- Hates Being Alone: Does not like being alone for very long due to her past.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: She has "super timing" and uses it to kill Gray Boy.
- Meaningful Name: The literal translation of the word "Lily" into Japanese is "Yuri". Lily is, in fact, a lesbian.
- No "Arc" in "Archery": A secondary effect of her power is that the imbued objects are not affected by gravity.
- Nonindicative Name: Her superhero title dates back to when she fought with thrown blades.
- Number Two: To Parian, starting in Interlude 21.
- Required Secondary Powers: Has superhuman aiming and timing skills. This comes in handy when she needs to trick Grey Boy into thinking she's been time looped.
- Royal Rapier: Gets one upon becoming Foil.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Admits in Sentinel 9.2 that she has a crush on Parian. She admits her feelings in Interlude 21, when she quits the Wards to become her Number Two.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: At the time of the story, her primary weapon is an arbalest — a massive crossbow.
- Unblockable Attack: Because her power can cause objects to not interact with normal matter until they are already inside their targets. This is revealed to be because Foil can strike a target in every possible universe, as her power was once used as a weapon by the interdimensional entities. In fact, her shots can completely cancel out most parahumans' defensive abilities as well as physical barriers, including Healing Factors and time manipulation. Even Scion isn't immune.
- Variable-Length Chain: The aforementioned chain-fabricating machine effectively gives her this.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: The Sting shard according to Word of God can't really be improved or changed that much by virtue of being a 4-D death ray, making it the shark of shards, and is only in the cycle to see how other shards might react and adapt to it, but Fletchette's power is such that she doesn't really need improvements.
The current Captain of the New York Wards, who is described as wearing a medieval getup with a lance in hand. His main power works by being channeled through his lance and striking an opponent, with the effects including concussive blasts, fire, ice, lightning, suction and disintegration. He also possesses short-burst superspeed.
Classification: Mover, Trump (Blaster, Striker)
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Jouster disparages Taylor as just a "little girl" and Clockblocker's response is to start laughing:
- "Shes an absolute nightmare to fight," Clockblocker said. "Ive been on the receiving end enough times to know. So when Miss Militia told me she was in custody, I started asking questions, trying to get a sense of what was happening and when. I dont even have to be here, and Im picking up extra patrols later this week to make up for it, but I wanted to come and say this: I dont like her, not really. But if my word counts for anything, as someone whos only spent half the time dealing with the shit in Brockton Bay that she has? We want her on our side. Somehow, in some form. Because the alternative sucks."
- Blade on a Stick: His personal Weapon of Choice is a lance.
- Character Death: Killed by Night Hag.
- Flash Step: Can close the distance to his foes with short bursts of speed.
- Swiss Army Weapon: The lance has several modes of attack, as previously mentioned.
A member of the Texas Wards brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle. Able to make short-lived duplicates who perform the exact same actions that their prototypes did.
Classification: Breaker; Mover
- Me's a Crowd: His main power.
Los Angeles Members
The current captain of the Los Angeles Wards, a black male in a flamboyant forest green and silver costume. His powers include super strength and reflexes that increase with the amount of opponents he's facing, as well as short range teleportation.
Classification: Brute, Mover
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: His power invokes this by making him stronger and quicker with the amount of opponents he has to face.
- Glass Cannon: Despite his strength, he doesn't have the toughness to match.
- Super Strength/Super Reflexes: Has enhanced strength and reflexes that increase with the number of opponents he's facing.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Can teleport, but it's limited to two or three feet.
Captain of the Las Vegas Wards. Removed from his position when he was revealed to be a Cauldron cape and murdered a PRT Thinker. Body-snatcher.
One of the heroes brought in to fight Echidna i.e. Noelle. Has (apparently) the ability to absorb injuries from his allies and then transfer them to his opponents.
- Blessed with Suck: When he absorbs someone's injuries, he experiences them himself.Scapegoat: Hate my power, hate my power, hate it, hate it, hate it.
- Empathic Healer: Almost — the effect is conditional on neither him nor his target being subjected to any severe impacts or injuries in the hour or six following the procedure.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: How his powers work, he comes a physical scapegoat for injury.
- Liquid Assets: He effectively drains negative conditions from the people he uses his power on.
- Quantum Mechanics Can Do Anything: Tattletale's explanation of his powers invokes the many-worlds hypothesis by stating that it works by passing off the injuries of someone to their counterparts in other universes.
A Case 53 in the Wards West (i.e. San Diego's team). An eight-foot tall muscular girl whose spine is bent almost to a hunchback, whose teeth have a severe overbite, and whose long hair is dark and tied in braids. Like Weld, she wears no mask. She carries a massive shovel, although her earth-manipulating powers don't require it. Joins the Irregulars in the aftermath of the fight with Noelle.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Her power is not explicitly described, but Tecton says that he is only as powerful as he is because he was able to study what she did.
- False Friend: Along with the rest of the Irregulars, she lets Weld give them leadership and focus, and then turns on him when they've fought their way to Doctor Mother and he doesn't want to kill her.
- Number Two: Of the Wards West, much to her frustration.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair reaches nearly to her toes.
- Shovel Strike: One presumes. It is known that she can use her power through it.
The captain of the Austin Wards, described as a blonde girl with a costume that incorporated a kerchief with eyeholes over the upper half of her face, and a jacket and jeans in what appears to be black-painted chainmail, making her look more like a desperado than a superhero. Her powers include enhanced strength and toughness, as well as the ability to make targeted explosions whenever she strikes or is struck by anything.
Classification: Brute, Striker(?)
A group of Christian-themed superheroes from the South who sent members to Brockton Bay to track down the Fallen.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Are a Christian-based group of superheroes.
A young woman with the power to deconstruct and reconstitute matter, with telekinesis to control the shards created by the process.
- Kneel Before Zod: Taylor forces Rosary to bow before her before allowing her to help take Valefor away once Taylor was done dealing with him.
- Mind over Matter: Can control the matter she's deconstructed using telekinesis.
- Petal Power: The matter deconstructed by her power often takes the form of petals and shards.
- Reality Warper: Her ability is control over matter.
A man whose main power is flight and the ability to create a golden ring with a cutting edge that can create forcefields and fire lasers.
Classification: Shaker, Blaster, Mover
China's main superhero team, independent of the PRT and Protectorate. They mainly remained within China for about a decade, claiming that the PRT and Protectorate were corrupt, until showing up during the Behemoth fight in New Delhi.
- Cult: A realistic version, utilizing social isolation and forced integration to manipulate its members.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Their training program, which consists of cult-style indoctrination techniques and integration into the group, seems to be seen as this, with "The Greater Good" being "The good of the Chinese Union-Imperial."
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- A group of them are on the receiving end of one courtesy of the Simurgh in 28.5.
- Later, Weaver, her powers unlocked by Panacea, turns all two hundred of them into People Puppets in a matter of minutes.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Tōng Líng Tǎ, also known as Ziggurat, is an earth-manipulator on a geographic scale, and one of the members that doesn't receive the benefit of their Super Empowering.
- Super Empowering: The Yàngbǎn have Null, a cape that is capable of giving others the exact same power en masse by taking them from others. It causes a proportional reduction in the potency of said powers for each individual, but they also have Two, a cape with the power to amplify the powers of others. The interaction between the two goes some way to mitigating the above downside. Null also appears to be able to use his power on multiple groups at once, creating multiple subgroups with differing specialties.
- The Smart Guy: Shén Yù, the strategist who uses Null's power to the best possible effect. He also appears to have some form of Combat Clairvoyance, letting him sense incoming attacks to let him launch instant counterattacks.
- You Are Number 6: In Interlude 23, we discover that the members of the official team are only referred to by serial numbers, and their powers are given terminology that divorces them from their original capes. For instance, Perdition's power is referred to as the "thirty-sixth path."