Toby, Pete, Lorna, and Emily are just average kids—until they stumble upon a Web site called Hero.com and download powers that turn them into superheroes. At first, flying, teleporting, and shooting lasers from their eyes seems like nothing but fun. But when the supervillain Doc Tempest kidnaps Toby and Lorna’s mom, things take a darker turn.
Now the heroes must band together and use their new skills—from super-strength to invisibility—to rescue their mom, fight evil, meet other superheroes from the Hero.com FAQ and try to save the world from destruction.
Of course, little do they know that Villain.net is out there too, recruiting teens for the other side...
Sister series to Villain.net.
Tropes found in this work:
- Action Survivor: Sarah (Toby and Lorna's mother) is able to handle being kidnapped (without access to her medication) quite well, all things considered.
- Batman Cold Open: The second book starts with the kids stopping a pirate CD shipment.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Greek gods and a lot of action movie stars were primes.
- Chekhov's Gun: It's mentioned in passing that Mr. Patel is over two months late with his payment for Toby and Lorna's paper route. When they need to buy the superpowers to face Doc Tempest, they ask Mr. Patel to buy them in lieu of handing over the money.
- Dating Catwoman: Lorna has a bit of a crush on school bully Jake Hunter, who is also the protagonist of Villain.net. It's worth mentioning that he likes her back.
- Differently Powered Individuals: People born with powers are called primes. Superpowered people are sometimes collectively called supers.
- Dirty Coward: Pete occasionally needs some persuasion from his friends to be heroic, and he fears that the constant bullying he's suffered has made him this.
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Hero.com offers a free, one-hour trial. If you want a wider selection of powers, the ability to use more than one power, and more time to use them (24 full hours), you need to pay up.
- I Believe I Can Fly: Most downloaders obviously choose this ability but it's also common among primes.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: The boys decide that since they read comic books, they can totally handle being superheroes. Not so much.
- Irony: Doc Tempest is about to rob Fort Knox, and the kids don't have the money to buy the powers to stop him.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: In the first book, the kids think they got on the site after their house was struck by lightning. The sequels reveal they were deliberately chosen
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Doc Tempest. He even gets in a Not That Kind of Doctor joke at one point.
- Nerd Glasses: Pete has these as a pair of glasses that he got as a freebie from the optometrist. He ends up having to use them after he melts holes in his original pair with laser vision.
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Council of Evil.
- Pair the Smart Ones: Pete and the equally tech-savvy Emily seem to have feelings for each other.
- Powers as Programs: One of the most literal examples.
- Read the Freaking Manual: The characters never bother bother to reads the site's guidelines.
- Stereotypical Nerd: Pete. He wears Nerd Glasses, has computer smarts, is into comic books, and is a prime bullying target.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: This and Villain.net are mostly separate stories, but make occasional references to each other.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: This is lampshaded, with some of the powers on the website making no sense whatsoever to the characters. For example, in an early book, one character accidentally downloads a power that allows him to shoot bubbles from his fingers (not exploding or anything, just regular bubbles), and another that allows you to change your foe's HAIR COLOR. Why would those powers be available?