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Chrome Champion

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Comic Books and related media seem to love the idea of combining people with stuff Made of Shiny, hence the number of characters not just using Powered Armor but completely encased in a metal skin. It might be an organic metal skin, "liquid metal", or perhaps a super advanced Nanomachine suit of Powered Armor. Whatever the cause, the visual effect is of a transformed human with skin that is metallic, often silver, and polished to a mirror-like shine. If these figures go unclothed — and they usually do — Barbie Doll Anatomy will be in play.

These types generally have one of two power sets. They either are Nigh Invulnerable and have Super Strength, or are fairly high up in terms of power, usually being Reality Warpers or in control of some fundamental natural force.

Their appearance usually explains their power. The connotations here are that the character is "as strong and tough as steel", or that they are the cosmic/human equivalent of a Magic Mirror, capable of "reflecting" on the nature of existence and deriving power from it.


Compare Star-Spangled Spandex and Sculpted Physique, contrast with Tin Tyrant. This is also a common ability for someone with Extra-ore-dinary powers.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Wildstorm: Void and The Engineer. Void is a mysterious alien entity that bonded with a human woman, granting her teleportation and strange intuition. The Engineer is much like Iron Man, but has replaced her blood with Nanomachines which act as a Green Lantern Ring - and extrudes some of it through the pores of her skin as skin-tight armor. Yes, she is essentially running around naked. She's an exhibitionist.
  • DC Comics
    • Captain Atom, Citizen Steel, and the Bulleteer. Captain Atom is of the "cosmic" and "super strong" varieties, being a man with the substance of an extradimensional organism grafted to his flesh. Citizen Steel is super strong and tough, with the twist of having a very limited sense of touch due to his organic steel skin. The Bulleteer is super strong and tough, thanks to an accident involving metallic smartskin.
    • Bombshell of the Teen Titans. Her powers are derived from the same source as Captain Atom.
    • Captain Atom's Evil Counterpart (and also a member of Green Lantern's Rogues Gallery) Major Force.
    • The Metal Men are humanoid robots each made of a specific metal and properties to match: Lead is slow, tough and blocks radiation, Mercury can flow through cracks, etc. Most of them aren't actually shiny, though... Tina/Platinum, and Copper in the newer versions, are usually drawn to appear so, but the others, even Gold, generally aren't (and Mercury is red, probably for the same reasons the Marvel character of the same name has red hair). Lead is a dull grey, Tin (and Nameless, who's also made of tin) is a dull white, and Iron is a kind of blue (presumably he's supposed to be the color of a rifle barrel).
    • For a time, Cyborg from the Teen Titans had his soul transferred into a transformable alien robot called the Omegadrome. During this period, he basically looked like a gold version of the Silver Surfer.
    • Piston Force, a cousin of D.C. force of Superboy and the Ravers, has silvery metallic skin, and his transformation is explicitly more than skin deep since his he no longer has human blood instead possessing black circulatory fluid.
    • Green Lantern villain Goldface. GL's ring doesn't work on him because, you know, yellow... gold... same dif. His protege, The Flash villain Blacksmith, was much the same.
    • There's also her cohort, the slow-witted behemoth Girder, who got his powers from being thrown in a vat of molten slag from STAR Labs after trying to assault a female coworker. He also rusts painfully, and gets torn in half by Magenta's magnetic powers on more than one occasion.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes: The Legion has Ferro Lad (or just Ferro in the Postboot version), who can become living iron at will, all the way to his core. The properties of his metal self allowed the Preboot version to make a Heroic Sacrifice by using himself as a conductor when the last-ditch weapon the Legion was using against a Sun Eater broke down.
    • Superboy (1994) anti-villain Silver Sword is encased in a silvery substance that responds to his mental commands and works as armor, a morph-weapon and a flight suit for him.
    • Waverider from Armageddon 2001 had parts of his body in a shiny metallic form when he became a time traveler.
    • Cyber-Cat, a very shiny cyborg assassin-thief with a cat theme who works for Talia al Ghul, fought Catwoman and later showed up as part of Circe's group of villains in The Witch and the Warrior.
    • Peter Platinum, the DC One Million counterpart of Booster Gold, wears an advanced version of Booster's power suit that makes him look like he's completely coated in silvery material.
  • Silver Surfer, Colossus, and ROM from the Marvel Universe.
    • The Silver Surfer is the epitome of the cosmically powered Chrome Champion. A Zenn-Lavian granted a fraction of the Power Cosmic and coated with a radiation/pressure/cold-resistant metal shell, he's so powerful he's one of the few Flying Bricks who can easily best most characters in the Marvel Universe. (At least a few stories have shown the Surfer's outer coating removed, leaving an ordinary-looking bald guy underneath. It's suggested that he requires said protection to fly through space and survive, but it's never explained why none of the other heralds of Galactus other than Nova seem to require it...)
    • Colossus is a super strong and tough type, who can transform at will from a normal (though fairly large and muscular) flesh-and-blood human to what the comics refer to as "organic" osmium steel).
  • Galactus himself starts sporting this look in Ultimate Hunger after merging with his Ultimate universe counterpart Gah Lak Tus, a Hive Mind swarm of killer robots.
  • Mercury of X-Men is of the liquid metal variety... except her hair, which remains red for some reason. She's a shapeshifter instead of strong. The element mercury is associated with the color red for a couple of reasons: First, "Everyone knows" mercury is the stuff in thermometers; some thermometers are clearly full of a red liquid. Second, Mercury compounds are often red; vermilion and cinnabar are both mercury compounds.
  • In Ultimate Fantastic Four, Victor Van Damme is transformed into a being of living metal by the teleportation experiment that he sabotaged.
  • Earth X:
    • Iron Maiden, who sounds like an Iron Man ripoff, but she's simply coated in Vibranium, which she can manipulate. Not very shiny, though.
    • In Universe X, Doctor Doom was redeemed after he died and helped kill Death (don't think about that too hard). In the wake of that he became one of Captain Marvel's archangels, and along with Iron Man had a completely metallic skin.
  • Steeljack from Astro City is another super strong type. He was coated with a liquid steel that like Citizen Steel, cuts down on his sense of touch, but he's completely human underneath. Twist: He's tarnishing with age, having been a super villain for decades and going into his late fifties in the story arc he's in.
  • Spider-Man:
  • Wetworks: All members of Wetworks benefit from this trope, though they are golden rather than chrome.
  • The Goon had Dr. Alloy, who was a Mad Scientist Anti-Villain Well Intentioned Extremist Klutz. A few of the trade paperbacks include some design sketches for the character, with artist Eric Powell lamenting that too many of the early designs just look like the Silver Surfer cosplaying as Mr. Freeze.
  • August General in Iron, of DC's Great Ten, had his skin turned into living armor by the side-effect of a cure for an alien infection. He averts Made of Shiny, however, as his armor looks like rusted iron. He also has an extremely stunted sense of touch.
  • In Adam Warren's superhero comedy Empowered, Capitan Rivet.
  • Tony Stark's new Model 51 'Endo-Sym' armor.
  • Avengers Academy has Mettle, who actually is a red variant compared to the standard silver.
  • Family: He isn't shown using it much, but Al apparently has the power to turn his body into metal.
  • An early 90s indie comic. Chrome is about an astronaut who was melded with his silvery survival suit. Cut off from the outside world in the absence of electronic input.

    Fan Works 


    Films — Animation 
  • Jack Jack in The Incredibles briefly becomes one of these as he "scrolls" through his powers.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Fantastic Four (2005). Doctor Doom had metal "growing" under his skin and get revealed when the Human Torch attacks him with flames, though it's implied he's completely made of metal. Rise of the Silver Surfer has him keep his powers but revert to flesh, and later return to his all metallic exterior when he steals the Silver Surfer's powers.
  • Brass Body in The Man with the Iron Fists, notable in that his skin is, well, brass colored.
  • The T-1000 of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a nigh invincible and shapeshifting Terminator made of metal liquid.
  • Colossus again in the X-Men Film Series.

  • In James Maxley's Bitterwood series, some Atlantians wear their nanites as a skin, including the revived Jazz, who technically IS the skin. She remarks about its defensive qualities, being almost invulnerable to all harm excepting underspacial weapons.. In the epilogue, the dragon known as Hex keeps a gold-colored version that he gets from the villain and uses it to challenge any dragon bold enough to claim kingship.
  • Codex Alera: A sufficiently skilled Metalcrafter can manifest their Fury as a metal coating over their entire body, although only two character in the series are shown to be able to actually do so. The First Lord, probably the most overall powerful crafter, turns into steel before flying to battle and blowing up the Citadel. Araris Valerian, widely regarded as the best metalcrafter on the planet, does this as well when fighting the Vord Queen (and survives). The transformation does have at least one obvious weakness, as the Vord Queen freezes him in place. Since his skin is metal, and it is turning brittle from the cold, it begins to cause Araris extreme pain.
  • In Elantris, before the Reod, the Elantrians have metallic silver skin that glows. However it's not clear if their skin actually has any metallic properties beyond it's appearance.
  • Hyperion Cantos:
  • Moon Rainbow: The Exotes (or, less derisive, Citgals) from Sergei Pavlov's series were initially a group of spacemen who acquired a whole bunch of cool powers due to contact and symbiotic relationship with a lifeform that is essentially a colony of living nanomachines. One most obvious manifestation of this relationship was the need to secrete a thick ooze of these nanomachines out of the skin, turning a host into a living metal statue. It was actually a part of the symbiote's lifecycle, but this layer could be controlled and used, for example, as a protective suit, enabling a man to survive a hard vacuum indefinitely.
  • Nuklear Age: Mighty Metallic Magno Man can turn himself into solid, animated tungsten and has magnetic powers.
  • A character in Pandora's Star has such an extreme amount of implants and organic circuitry tattoos that his skin is golden, which conceals built in weaponry and personal shielding.
  • Secret Histories: The Dreaded Drood family's signature armor is a seamless, featureless, impenetrable gold shell that's summoned out of their torcs. Justified since it's Magitek powered by a Sufficiently Advanced Alien from a higher plane of existence; wearers can see, breathe, and speak through the metal, and it can extend into Morph Weapons.
  • Skolian Saga: Thanks to genetic engineering, several members of the imperial family, while not actually made of gold, have metallic-golden skin, hair and eyes.
  • Worm features at least two:
    • Weld, a boy literally made of metal. Weld's character actually explores some of the downsides to this power: since he cannot ever turn it off, his body is metal all the time, which means he can't feel sensation as well as most people, and his senses of smell and taste are practically nonexistent. He can eat, but generally requires much less food than normal and of course gets no enjoyment from it. His hearing is still fine, so he generally spends a lot of his free time listening to music. He also has a secondary power of absorbing metal into his body which he cannot control, so he has to be careful to avoid touching metal surfaces.
    • Scion, who appears golden, but is sufficiently durable that his exact composition is unknown. Scion is actually composed of a close approximation of human flesh, and his durability is the result of him replacing damaged tissue with undamaged tissue he gets from a landmass-sized reservoir. He just makes himself look golden because it looks godly.
  • Lord Melchor Blackburn from The Zombie Knight is capable of turning into a living mass of mercury (or several such masses) by combining the pan-rozum hyper state with his native mercury transfiguration. General Lawrence can do the same, except with radium. Other servants with metallic transfiguration abilities can also invoke the trope, but not to the same extent.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Heroes: Danny Pine, a minor character.
  • The Invisible Man: Subverted by Darien Fawlkes. There is a short window in between normal and completely invisible where the entire surface area of what's becoming invisible (usually himself) is a shiny silver. The only super power associated with that, however, is invisibility and a low body temperature. And insanity.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow, Nate Haywood is a historian, who ends up being badly hurt on a mission, and his life is only saved because of a Super Serum, which turns him into a super-strong metal man. He starts calling himself "Steel", since his grandfather was a great World War II hero named "Commander Steel".
  • In Super Sentai and Power Rangers, a number of Sixth Rangers set themselves apart from the rest of the team by wearing shiny metallic gold or silver suits. This has become more obvious and more common over the years due to improved costume materials. The Gold Samurai Ranger inspires this reaction:
    Emily: (dazed) Wow...he's so sparkly!

  • Just about everyone remembers the nude chrome Fembot of Viper more than the game itself.
  • The titular character in The Machine Bride Of Pin Bot too. Makes sense, considering she's a robot.
  • Though they're not superheroes, everyone in Silverball Mania is shiny, chrome, and naked.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Rifts Glitterboys are Powered Armor examples, being Nigh Invulnerable and having Super Strength. The brilliant silver armor was originally just a defence against laser weapons, but now that The End of the World as We Know It has come and gone, the shining appearance has made them symbols of hope for humanity in the time After the End.
  • Exalted has a spell called Invulnerable Skin of Bronze. It's advised not to go swimming with that in use.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Glass Walkers have the gift Steel Fur, which gives them an armor bonus while slightly reducing their dexterity.
  • GURPS has the Body of Metal meta-trait which you can either have intrinsically or get via magic. Ultra-Tech has a nanobot suit of armor that makes you more durable, stronger and faster.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Silver Centurion, a sample of the Champion class created for D&D 3.5 by Rich Burlew.
    • Among the Planar Touchstones described in the 3.5E Planar Handbook, there is the Life Molds of Neumannus on the Lawful Neutral plane of Mechanus. Those seeking its high-order power pay the resident Inevitables (living constructs) with blood, and in exchange gets placed in a mold modifying their bodies. Afterward, they can cover themselves in a layer of flexible iron that protect them against weapons, fire and acid, and increase their strength (but lower their dexterity), and also remove any need for breathing.
    • D&D gorgons aren't the traditional hideous snake-haired women, but large bulls with iron-plated skin and a breath weapon that turns enemies to stone.
  • Magic: The Gathering has Karn, Silver Golem. A golem made of silver. Becomes a Tin Tyrant later on when possessed by Phyrexia, then goes back to being a Chrome Champion again.
  • War Hammer Fantasy Roleplay also has this, one of the mutations that a Champion of Chaos can get is the metal body. All of your flesh is turned into metal and you receive some really nice bonuses to toughness and strength as a result. Wizards of the Gold school also have a ritual that can turn your body into shiny, solid gold. Current leader and champion of the wizard orders, Balthazar Gelt has done this.
  • Eclipse Phase has a form of armor called the Smart Skin, consisting of a layer of Nanomachines that covers the user's body and has the flexibility and texture of skin until it is activated, at which point it becomes rigid and protective. It's described as resembling a layer of liquid mercury.
  • Shadowrun has the nova-hot SimSense megastar Mariah Mercurial, who sports implanted sheaths of shiny metal on her body.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Mario from Super Mario 64. He also appeared in the original Super Smash Bros. as a sub-boss. As of Super Smash Bros. Melee, any character can become this using the Metal Box.
  • Pokémon: Some Pokémon of the Steel type, such as Steelix, Scizor and Jirachi.
  • Dural from Virtua Fighter.
  • Street Fighter series.
    • Seth from Street Fighter IV.
    • Urien from Street Fighter III, who covers himself in liquid metal when fighting and makes metallic clongs when struck. He is a Tin Tyrant; his powers and machinations are geared largely towards destruction, unlike his brother, Gill.
  • The Wheel of Fate from House of the Dead 3.
  • Flying Dragon for the Nintendo 64 featured metallized versions of the playable characters as sub-bosses.
  • Halo 5: Guardians has the silver-colored "Ultra" line of Covenant vehicles, the members of which have very strong armor and explosive primary weapons.
  • The second SoulCalibur game (Soul Calibur 1) has unlockable chrome skins of all the characters.
  • The Bronze Colossus of Dwarf Fortress is often depicted as this.
  • Fi from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is one, which fits with her being the spirit of the Goddess/Master Sword. Same goes for Ghirahim, her Evil Counterpart, in his One-Winged Angel form.
  • Galactus randomly appoints two of the main villains (Wesker, Akuma, Dormammu, or Doctor Doom) as his heralds for his Boss Battle in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. All 4 characters take on a shiny metallic appearance, mimicking the Silver Surfer. The Heroes & Heralds mode in Ultimate allows everyone else to take on the same appearance. This is unusual, because in the comics, Galactus has had numerous other heralds who didn't actually change in appearance or take on a form similar to Silver Surfer's, so the trope is applied to the game because it's an easy way to show that a character has become a herald.
  • The "Iron Flesh" pyromancy in Dark Souls temporarily turns the player character into one of these, sacrificing mobility for a considerable boost to defense and poise.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, one possible color for both your character's skin and for armor or helms is "mirror". Unfortunately for the player, the effect is purely visual. However there is a "camouflage" spell which has the same visual effect and provides concealment.
  • Holy Champions in Nexus Clash can transform into solid steel, granting them Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability. In one version of the game they were so strong that they could wield telephone poles and throw cars, though their powers have been channeled into Good Old Fisticuffs more recently.
  • Pac-Man World: Pac-Man when he has the Chrome Power-Up.

  • "Largous" in the Dragon Tails superhero arc has the power to turn his body into an indestructible metal. It...isn't as good as it sounds.
  • Tempts Fate from Goblins has a belt that covers him with invincible, Colossus-style armor whenever he's jumping or falling.
  • Villainous example: Sluggy Freelance's Crushestro and his wife Chestro.
  • Maxima from Grrl Power is made of some kind of golden metal. All she'll say is that 1: It's not actually gold, and 2: It's classified. Though apparently no one knows what it is anyway, so it's kind of moot.
  • Scale, the heroine of Cameo Comic, received a wristband from the Magitek world of Magical Misfits, that can cover her body with an armor of liquid metal, as well as growing blades over her arms, T-1000-style.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Mirror is a telekinetic brick, but his skintight energy field reflects light, giving him a chromed appearance. Unfortunately, he can't turn it off.
    • Silver Ghost has a similar effect when using her force field.
    • Pearlescent is also similar, but her PK field appears nacreous (like a pearl), hence her code name. Like Silver Ghost, she can control it.
    • Dr Langston, who is the former superhero Tin Man, has chrome-like skin which he covers with spray-on latex when in public.
  • In Darwin's Soldiers, Gustave injects himself with a Super Serum that infuses his bones, claws and teeth with metal in addition to granting him metallic skin.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • While fish aren't actually made of metal, many species' scales give off the illusion of being metallic due to containing pigment cells called iridophores. These cells are so good at creating reflective, crome-like surfaces that they're currently being used as inspiration for new optical devices. As for the fish that use them: their silvery scales allow them to reflect scattered sunlight such that a predator can't detect them by looking for their shadow.
  • The Scaly-foot snail is a snail that lives in deep-sea geothermal vents. What makes this snail so special is that it has scales on its foot that are made of iron sulfide. It is the only known animal that uses actual iron as armor.


Video Example(s):


Silver Shy Guy

These Shy Guys have a layer of silver on them, which is invincible except against Iron Jumps and Spin Jumps, which peel it off.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChromeChampion

Media sources:

Main / ChromeChampion