Follow TV Tropes


Flying Brick

Go To
"My generic set of superhero abilities include enhanced vision."
The Captain, Nextwave

There's a whole lot of superpowers out there, and many different ways to get them.

Despite this variety, many heroes frequently end up with the Flying Brick set, an assortment of abilities including but not limited to: Flight, Super Strength, Super Toughness/Nigh-Invulnerability, and usually at least one of Super Speed, Eye Beams (or other energy-projection attack), Super Senses, or Super Breath.

These powers seem to be compatible with any given Backstory and Super Hero Origin, which also conveniently explains why any given hero's powers are vastly different from every other hero's flight, super strength, and Super Toughness.

Occasionally comes with a lesser, embarrassing power or a Weaksauce Weakness to "make up for" their incredible power. A common manifestation of the Lightning Bruiser type. Not to be confused with Brick Joke, nor bricks that are thrown during riots or robberies. Spaceships that look like flying bricks are Standard Human Spaceships. Replace Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability with the power to shoot/cast Fireballs, Hand Blasts or the like and you get Flying Firepower.

Part of the reason for the popularity of this power set is that it allows for a flexible variety of story situations that are easy to set up within relatively normal human definitions, albeit to a superhuman degree.

Contrast Fragile Flyer, where toughness is sacrificed for aerial mobility.

The name comes from a flight sim for the Archimedes (Interdictor) from 1989 which specifically used the term Flying Brick Mode for the invulnerability cheat (with a predictable Easter Egg if you switched to external view).

This item is available in the Trope Co. catalog.


    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books — DC 
  • Superman:
    • Clark Kent is the Trope Codifier here, along with the rest of the Kryptonian race under a yellow sun. Varied for taste, though: Superman, Supergirl, and Power Girl also get supersenses, heat vision, and super breath (including freezing breath). Superboy's powers were actually rooted in "tactile telekinesis", and it was shown that eventually, he'd develop the ability to use full-on telekinetic powers.
    • In the New 52 reboot, Kryptonians do gain one additional power, and that's to release a massive burst of solar energy (in fact, it's implied the heat vision is an extension of this) for colossal damage and power, but leaves them pretty dried up (i.e. vulnerable like a human) for 24 hours, presumably because they use all of the solar energy stored in their cells.
    • The writers made Superboy's tactile telekinesis very clear by mentioning it every 5 minutes in the Young Justice comic, presumably because anyone who didn't know about it would just assume he had the same powers as Superman, being Superboy and all. Lampshaded by Impulse complaining about it every time he mentions it.
    • Krypton No More: In addition to the heroes -Superman, Supergirl and Krypto-, most of the villains found in this story count: Protector, Radion and the J'ai aliens are pretty strong and can fly.
    • In War World, Superman and Supergirl fly across the galaxy faster than light and withstand the impact of explosions that can obliterate a planet.
  • Superman's cousin Supergirl has the full Kryptonian pack: super-strength, super-speed, flight, invulnerability, super-senses, heat vision, several breath weapons... and some versions are an Action Bomb.
    • In her origin stories, Kara arrives on Earth and she promptly discovers in quick succession she is invulnerable, super-strong and can fly.
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Kara gets a Red Lantern ring temporarily. She gains the ability to vomit burning plasma, and her ring gives her an extra set of powers: creation of light constructs, force-fields, space warping...
    • In the first issue of Supergirl (Rebirth) Kara shows her flying brick skills: she survives being hurled into the Sun, flies back to Earth in a matter of seconds, and wrestles a super-strong werewolf.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Kara Zor-El and Linda Danvers fight Rebel, a one-time villain who is super-strong and can fly.
    • In Superman: Brainiac, Kara demonstrates her Flying Brick skills when she chases a missile that Brainiac shoots at the Sun.
  • Their counterparts Bizarro and Bizarrogirl have their same powers, although usually they come with a twist.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • While very tough, Wonder Woman is (usually) not bulletproof, but has bracelets that deflect bullets, as well as the ability to react at super-speed. Then again, if you can take punches from Superman... Occasionally, she is explicitly bulletproof and deflects bullets solely as an intimidation thing. Another explanation of the bracelets/bullets thing is that she is your standard example invulnerable except against specifically piercing attacks (like bullets, spears, arrows, etc.), while the bracelets are the reforged Aegis of Zeus, which can stop any such attack.
    • As Nubia is Diana's sister she has a near identical powerset which includes flight and being far more durable than the average human.
    • The same powers are possessed by both Wonder Girls Donna Troy and Cassandra Sandsmark. These days, the main difference is what happens if you get caught in their lassos. Diana can make you tell the truth, Cassie can channel her anger into lightning, and Donna can use Mind Control on you.
    • Also, from the beginning and for many years, she had a silent, invisible robot airplane that runs on voice commands as well as normal piloting. This got retconned out down the line, though. And then got reintroduced because (A) it's iconic, and (B) it serves useful story purposes (taking people with her on her travels).
    • It seems it was just not practical to have a super-powered hero who had to depend on an airplane to fly or at least surf through the air. Robert Kanigher took over Wonder Woman in 1958, and decided that while the Amazons could not fly, they could be lifted up by strong air currents and "glide". In the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman, the god Hermes specifically gave Diana the power of flight.
  • DC Captain Marvel, alternatively known as Shazam (who was not himself named Shazam... but now is) and the rest of the Marvel Family. Twist: His secret identity is actually powerless; he must transform into Captain Marvel by speaking a word of power, and he can use magic lightning as an offensive weapon. Furthermore, to differentiate from Superman, the fact that the Marvel Family's powers are based on magic and the gods means that they can resist magic/supernatural attacks better than Superman ever can (and Superman's explicit weakness, or at least non-resistance, to magical attacks means that if it ever comes down to a fight, as it often has, Marvel has an edge).
    • Later versions added a second twist: Captain Marvel's power is diluted among active Marvel Family members; the more members of the Marvel Family that use their powers at once, the weaker each of them become. Presumably, this was added when the producers realized multiple Captain Marvels running around would be too strong. In most stories it doesn't seem to apply to their arch-enemy Black Adam, who has the same powers, but is powered up by the Egyptian Gods instead so he's always slightly stronger than the Marvels when they're all powered up.
  • In addition to members Superman and Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes has a few:
    • Mon-El, a Captain Ersatz of Superman with the exact same powers, though as he is a Daxamite, (a genetic offshoot of Kryptonians) with his weakness is lead, not kryptonite. Andromeda, a Captain Ersatz for Supergirl and fellow Daxamite, is also vulnerable to lead.
    • Ultra-Boy, with the caveat that he can only use one power at a time. Although when using a Legion Flight Ring instead of his own flight power, he pretty much fits the trope.
    • Because every Legionnaire can fly because of their flight rings, Blok, the rock-man, is a literal flying brick. His postboot equivalent, Monstress, also qualifies.
    • Star Boy also had the "basic package" in the postboot continuity, plus gravity-altering powers.
    • In Justice League 3000, which replaced the legion in the New 52, their version of Superman is similar to the original, but lacks most of the original's "bonus" powers like heat vision. Implicitly this is because he's not Kryptonian.
  • Martian Manhunter. Twist: An alien (not unlike Superman), whose other powers include shapeshifting (which also confers on him density control, invisibility (every now and then) and intangibility) and telepathy. The other twist: he's afraid of fire. (Depending on the era, it's either a psychological weakness or an actual physical frailty.) Even though he has heat-vision.
  • Sodam Yat, a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Prophesied to be the "ultimate Green Lantern", he was briefly possessed by the spirit called Ion, meaning he didn't need a power ring. However, what makes him so dangerous — and a flying brick — is the fact that he's also a Daxamite (Kryptonians that immigrated to the planet Daxam who would evolve differently, gaining a weakness to lead)... meaning that even without the power of Ion, when he's exposed to yellow sun energy, he's pretty much Superman. During the Sinestro Corps War, he went toe-to-toe with Superboy-Prime (who has Silver Age level powers) and actually kept him busy for more than a few seconds. Added Twist: during said fight, Superboy-Prime stabs Sodam Yat with lead rods. His power ring now keeps the lead poisoning in check: if the ring is ever removed, he will die a slow, painful death.
  • The Afterburner, one of the heroes generated by the HERO Dial. The twist? He isn't invulnerable at all, which the person who had turned into him found out the hard way. For that matter, the world's first superhero, a caveman who discovered the HERO Dial, who killed mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers before eventually flying to the moon.
  • Starfire from the Teen Titans, though her superhuman strength is often downplayed in favor of her energy blasts and babe status. She's tough, but not outright invulnerable, so she straddles the line between this and Flying Firepower.
  • Kate Spencer, Manhunter. Her supersuit gives her the strength and near-invulnerability, and her staff allows her to fly. She is also the granddaughter of Iron Munro (a Retcon Captain Ersatz of the Golden Age Superman, though he couldn't fly) which helps with the near invulnerability part.
  • The third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes. With his armor, he can fly, is near-invulnerable, he can locate almost anyone in the world, his senses are enhanced, and he can carry a large amount of weight. (His practical limits in this capacity haven't really been demonstrated yet.) On top of that, the armor can generate practically any weapon imaginable. For that matter, Dan Garret, the original Blue Beetle in his Silver Age post-scarab power set.
  • Booster Gold. His costume gives him superstrength, forcefields, and time travel; his goggles provide supersenses; his gauntlets let him shoot energy blasts; and he has a Legion flight ring.
  • Captain Atom, along with his loosely-defined "atomic" powers.
  • Thundermind of the Great Ten. He's even referred to as "China's Superman". Though he himself notes that "some of my siddhas are obvious — flight, strength, invulnerability...", and goes on to list the ones that aren't so obvious, including his ability to be in multiple places at once, invisibility, and telepathy.
  • The battlesuits of the Rocket Red Brigade are effectively mass-produced Flying Bricks, giving their wearers armor, superstrength, jet-powered flight and energy blasts.
  • Power Girl, the cousin of the Golden Age Superman and sole survivor of Earth 2. For a long time, the twist was that her powers were in flux but eventually they stabilized and she has the same powers and weaknesses as Superman.
  • Like Sodam Yat above, certain other Green Lanterns have super strength and toughness with their rings granting them flight to round out this trope. Kilowog is the first notable Lantern like this we see, but there are others. Even an ordinary human with one of the rings could qualify, as the ring can create any effect they want. Only a Green Lantern who doesn't think of using it to get the flying brick combo platter would go without, and even then probably only until they witness another Green Lantern doing it.
  • One storyline in JLA subverted this tragically. Superman was in the middle of a rescue operation saving people trapped in a burning building and was stuck between trying to hold up a huge gas tank and saving a bunch of people at the same time. A new hero appeared and offered to hold up the gas tank while Superman got the people out. It worked, but the new hero realized too late that he lacked the Nigh-Invulnerability part of the package—or more specifically, he wasn't fireproof— when the gas tank ruptured. Worse, the new guy had a family who all shared the same powers since they all encountered the same power giving meteorite and they blamed Superman for his death. Superman blamed himself too because he just assumed that the other guy also had Nigh-Invulnerability since this is so common in The DCU.
  • Milestone hero, Icon, was purposefully made to be Superman but if he was black. As such, not only does he share his origin of being an Alien, he also has most of his powers too such as Flight, Super Strength, Super Speed, etc. Superman himself at one point commented that Icon is one of the few guys he knows who can fight toe to toe with him.
    • His Sidekick, Rocket, is able to simulate similar powers thanks to the special belt Icon gave her, which is actually a piece of Alien tehcnology that gives her the ability to absorb and manipulate Kinetic Energy.
  • Orion of the New Gods. His strength and Healing Factor are inborn, and his Astro Harness allows him to fly as well as fire his Astro Force.
  • Captain Comet was originally an example of this trope, as he could fly, had superhuman strength, and also has telekinesis, clairvoyance, a Healing Factor, and the ability to shoot fire from his hands. However, in recent decades he lost his superhuman strength.
  • Golden Age hero Captain Triumph is invulnerable and can also fly, shapeshift, turn invisible, and influence thoughts. While he does have the super strength to punch through bank vaults, he can't use that strength against other humans, so most people can shrug off his punches.
  • Ryan Kendall, the second Black Condor, can fly, has a Healing Factor, and is telekinetic in lieu of having superhuman strength.'
  • Miss America has the powers of flight, increased strength, transmutation (she can transform people, change her size, and make objects come to life) and Resurrective Immortality.
  • To sum up, all Kryptonians and Daxamites in yellow sunlight, all Martians, anyone given power by Shazam, all Green Lanterns (and members of every other Lantern Corps), the Rocket Reds (via Powered Armor) and so on. DC uses Flying Bricks a lot more often than Marvel does.

    Comic Books — Marvel 
  • The Sentry. Generally comparable to Silver Age Superman, in both raw power and power set. A weakened version was easily beating World War Hulk before he lost control — and that loss of control pretty much leveled Manhattan.
  • Captain Marvel
    • Mar-Vell: Twist: He's a supersoldier among his kind. The Kree typically only possess twice the strength, endurance, stamina and with some invulnerability. However, various scientific experiments along with cosmic powers increased his capabilities to greater amounts while gaining his "cosmic awareness" (allowing him to know exactly what he needed to know at any moment) along with being able to absorb and manipulate energy (he usually relies on solar, but can do so with others.) Other neat tricks include some form of telekinesis, faster healing and at one point, changing size after overabsorbing massive amounts of energy through a wrecked star.
    • Carol Danvers, before her powers were permanently leeched by Rogue. But then she became Binary after being experimented on by the Brood, gaining a whole new set of powers including manipulation of the entire electromagnetic spectrum and some gravity control. And then got her old powers back with some new energy powers. She has flight, super-strength, resistance to injury, and the Most Common Superpower. Twist: She can absorb ambient and directed energy, and project energy blasts from her fists (though she also had a sort of "seventh sense"/luck power for a while), but despite her impressive power level she has always been something of a second-stringer. This was played with in the House of M event, where in that Alternate Universe she was the greatest non-mutant superhero in the world. And since people kept their memories of the House of M reality, her knowledge that she could be that good has spurred her to new heights, her own monthly title, and leadership of The Avengers.
  • Blue Marvel (no relation to Ms. or Captain) is another Superman Substitute with a similar basic set of powers. He doesn't appear quite as overpowered as Sentry or Silver Age Supes — though he managed to hold his own with the former for a while, but is still probably one of the most powerful Avengers in terms of raw strength. Blue Marvel had the misfortune of starting his superhero career at a time when the public didn't like the idea of a black superhero. When he was accidentally unmasked, the public uproar resulted in the President asking him to retire. He got back in the game in modern times. Twist: In addition to the standard flying brick package, he is also a living antimatter reactor. He can manipulate negative matter energy from antimatter to fire energy blasts and create energy constructs. He can also manipulate matter on the molecular level, which he is more than intelligent enough to do so.
  • Gladiator, from the Shi'ar empire. Twist: His actual level of power depends on his confidence. It's implied (though the specific term isn't used) that his powers come from "tactile telekinesis" like the later version of Superboy, and he may or may not actually be aware of how his powers work.
    • At full power, he's easily matching high level Thor.
    • His son has the same powers, with the added caveat that he's a teenager. Nothing, not even briefly being turned into a Brood (which he thought was awesome to the point that he didn't want to be turned back to normal), can shake up his confidence.
  • The Captain in Nextwave not only has these standard powers, which he refers to as his "generic set of super-hero abilities" at one point, but he also mentions the addition of telescopic sight. Twists: the first thing he did with his superpowers was beat the crap out of the aliens who gave them to him. Once called himself "Captain ☠☠☠☠" for lack of a better name; got seven kinds of it beat out of him by Captain America for using that language. The original joke to The Captain was that he had been all of the obscure "Captain ____" flying brick heroes in the Marvel Universe, of which there are several. Did you know there was a Captain Rectitude? There is. This was somewhat recharacterized in the actual comic.
  • For a time, Rogue of the X-Men was a Flying Brick, drained from Ms. Marvel as mentioned above. The only time her other power got used during this period tended to be when she literally took off the kid gloves. Twist: Rogue has only one natural power—that of being to temporarily drain the powers (and memories, and Life Energy) of others. If she holds on too long, though, it can become permanent...Her Age of Apocalypse counterpart was also a Flying Brick, though in that continuity it was the result of a very specific application of the magnetic abilities she had stolen from Polaris. As of Uncanny Avengers, Rogue is once again a Flying Brick thanks to her absorption of Wonder Man's essence.
  • Thor, the God of Thunder. Though rarely displayed, he's got Super Speed coming out the wazoo, being able to easily fight at faster than light speeds when the situation demands. Twist: Can't actually fly. Instead, he throws his hammer, which he can do with unerring accuracy for almost any distance... but doesn't let go. When he wants to stay in one place in mid-air, he spins his hammer around above his head like a helicopter. (His hammer, if you're wondering, can also float.) Also extraordinarily long-lived and has all the powers one would expect of a God of Thunder.
    • His flying brick status is roughly on a par with that of Superman, as shown in the JLA Avengers crossover, when they each won alternating fights, the implication being their powers are equal. Supes briefly goes dramatically above this into a sort of super flying brick, when Thor lends him Mjolnir and Captain America hands over his shield.
    • His inability to fly depends entirely on who happens to be writing him at the moment. It's possible that they might still stick with the "I throw my hammer!" bit but the way it's portrayed there's no way it could be anything BUT true flight.
    • And then you have to factor in his vast array of other powers. Elemental control, energy absorption — of all kinds — several varieties of Galactus busting attacks (notably the God Blast), one shot from which sent a well fed Galactus running for his life.
  • Though Iron Man himself is powerless (aside from being a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist), all his superhuman powers are, naturally, in his high-tech Powered Armor, which lets him fly and at least hold his own against, if not overpower, supervillains and other superheroes alike. Tony's allies Rhodey and Pepper have also donned Powered Armor designed by Tony to become Flying Bricks as War Machine and Rescue. War Machine was equipped with a lot of firepower, while Rescue had electromagnetic abilities.
  • Silver Surfer. Granted but a portion of the Power Cosmic that is Galactus' to wield, he is incredibly strong, fast, and tough. Twist: Can fly himself, but also has a high-tech "surfboard" that allows him to do so without expending his own energy, enhances his maneuverability, and seems to increase his potential top speed beyond the speed of light. Similarly, all other Heralds of Galactus, though SS is the only one with a surfboard.
  • M, of Generation X and X-Factor. Twist: In addition to those powers, also possesses telepathy, the ability to Fusion Dance with her siblings, sort of, arrogance, and fashion sense. (Only M could have "arrogance" as a fully-fledged superpower.)
  • Captain Britain. Twist: Only while in Britain or in costume. More recently, though, he's lost the geographical/costume-based weaknesses, and his strength is now dependent on his self-belief, much like Gladiator. The impact is that he's now potentially stronger than ever, but the minute his self-belief fails, he becomes powerless. A bit like Britain itself, really. His alternate universe teenage self Kid Britain introduced in Avengers Arena has the same confidence based powers, which he fuels by being a Jerk Jock bully at the Braddock Academy. He meets his end when the triple whammy of realizing he was manipulated by his girlfriend, being insulted by the girl with whom he cheated on his girlfriend, and actually being hurt by the guy he used to bully often weakens him enough that he gets his head cut off.
  • Centennial, from Alpha Flight. Twist: He's 97 years old, and shows his age. He's also got the other powers that sometimes come with the package, like heat vision.
  • The Eternals are an entire race with this power set, in addition to Immortality and other assorted individual powers that each develops through millenia of practice and training.
  • This trope was lampshaded in volume 1 of Astonishing X-Men, where a young mutant with flight describes how he broke his legs the first time he landed because he assumed he was invulnerable too.
  • Nova (the male one from the New Warriors) got his powers from an entire Nova Corps of Human Aliens with Flying Brick powers. They were kind of like the Green Lanterns, but then they were wiped out, all but him...and he got all their powers combined, catapulting him to a top-level hero (in power, if not in fame).
  • Hyperion of the Squadron Supreme, as an atomic-powered Captain Ersatz of Superman. From the same comic, Princess Zarda, the Wonder Woman Wannabe with twists and limitations similar to Wonder Woman's above (and one version of her is Ax-Crazy.)
  • Cannonball from the New Mutants. His mutant power literally IS flying brickitude: he's invulnerable, but only when flying. And a good thing, since he steers like a brick, too. He can't hover at all and has very little control over his speed or direction.
  • Nate Grey can, or could before being de-powered, achieve this by channelling his telekinesis through his body, allowing him to tank punches from Captain Britain and Colossus without being more than pissed off and catch Ares' axe. among other things. With his psionic armour, he actually managed to hurt Thanos (or one of the Thanosi).
  • Longtime Avenger Wonder Man is super strong, can fly, and even shoots beams from his red eyes. Twist: After falling into a coma due to the side-effects of the procedure that empowered him, his body converted itself into ionic energy. While he still looks human, he's an Energy Being. This granted him energy-based powers and removed the need for air, food, or water.
  • Ethan Edwards, otherwise known as Virtue or The Tiller, is basically a Skrull version of Superman. As such he posses this power set along with the standard skrull shape-shifting ability. And apparently now he has the power of intangibility. The end of his arc with Spider-Man also has him gain Healing Hands.
  • Captain Ultra can fly, has ultra-strength and endurance, and will faint at the slightest sign of a fire.
  • One of the Avengers most dangerous foes, Count Nefaria, has this power set after being imbued with the ionicly charged powers of Powerman, Whirlwind, and The Living Laser. Needless to say it takes an entire Avengers team to even slow him down.
  • America Chavez, aka Miss America, has super-strength, super-toughness, super-speed (the level of which varies significantly), and flight. Twist: she also has the ability to create portals (often by kicking them open), which allows her to transport herself and others anywhere from a few miles away, to one of Marvel's many Alternate Universes, to other dimensions and planes of existence outside the multiverse.
  • The Ultimates had the Liberators invade the United States with thousands of Flying Bricks. The twist? Their super-suits had to be bonded to their bodies, and shortened their lifespan to mere months. The European heroes the Liberators presumably stole the designs from have nonlethal removable suits that give them similar powers.
  • Jessica Jones (debuted in the Marvel MAX series Alias) is a downplayed version of this. She can fly, but she gets airsick and she's bad at landing. She's also stronger and tougher than the average human, though in effect this just means she can trash human opponents with ease: her backstory includes catching a haymaker from The Vision (It's a Long Storynote ) that "only" put her in a coma for several weeks (it's strongly implied a baseline human would've been killed instantly). In Alias she once warns an Arc Villain not to shoot at her because she's Immune to Bullets, but her Internal Monologue says she doesn't actually know if she's bulletproof and isn't interested in finding out.

    Comic Books — Other 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy herself gets flying brick powers due to a power-up in Season Eight.
  • Dynamo5 Cap was one, but the "flying" and "brick" parts got split between Livvie and Bridget, so they make do with Fastball Special maneuvers. After the Discard and Draw, Gage gets a suit of armor that seems like it'll make him a more traditional version.
  • Incandescence has the full set of brick powers with an energy topper. She regularly crashes into things while landing.
  • Invincible himself, as well as all Viltrumites (including Omni-Man and Anissa), his brother Oliver, the Immortal, Black Samson, Martian Man, the Shapesmith (and basically every Martian), Bolt of Capes, Inc., Bulletproof, Allen the Alien, later versions of D.A. Sinclair's Re-Animen, and briefly, Monster Girl. Twists: Allen also has telepathy, although it's unclear what that includes; he's never used it for anything but communicating with people in outer space. Martians also have shapeshifting and intangibility. Also, most if not all Viltrumites are significantly stronger and tougher than all other Flying Bricks in this universe, although there's variation among them.
    • Later a whole army of Alternate Invincibles, and Conquest.
  • PS238 deconstructs this power in the form of identifying metahumans with this power as having the F.I.S.S (Flying, Invulnerability, Strength, Speed) package — it is the most common power by far (and yes, in fact more common than the Most Common Superpower in that 'verse). Julie, one of the PS238 students, is the 84th person to be identified as possessing this combination, and the lack of uniqueness — combined with the fact that most people with F.I.S.S end up being C-List Fodder at best or just get civilian jobs because it's hard for them to catch a break due to this — does not help her self-esteem.
    • She's feeling a bit better about that after a couple of adventures, to the point that she has now adopted "84" as her superhero name, with an appropriate symbol on her new costume. Of course, she still has to deal with other people who look down on her power set because it's so common.
    • There're also Atlas and Captain Clarinet, who are distinctive from normal F.I.S.S metahumans because they're not humans but the last Argonian and his son with a human woman, respectively. In case you weren't guessing, Atlas is a Captain Ersatz of Superman and therefore has those powers naturally.
      • This later turns to be a part of a second deconstruction: Not all Argonians are Flying Bricks. Like Earth, superpowers of all kinds developed naturally amongst some of their population. At one point the Flying Bricks, being the most numerous and powerful superhero type, took over and established noble houses to preserve the Flying Brick lineages. All non-powered Argonians became an oppressed underclass, and all non-flying brick superhero abilities were "culled". Atlas turns out to not be the Last of His Kind, but a Hidden Backup Prince of the royal house—and they are not thrilled about his half-blood son.
  • Referred to as a "Powerhouse" in Magellan.
  • Apollo, of the Wildstorm universe, is the powerhouse of The Authority. He's a semi-Affectionate Parody of Superman. Twist: He literally gets his power from the sun—his body is a solar battery. He can run out of juice if he over-taxes himself, at which point he needs to recharge.
    • Also from The Authority, The Engineer. Twist: see Iron Man, but sexier, and she's never really without the suit.
      • At times Iron Man has had his armor partly built in too and, knowing Tony, would probably dispute the 'sexier' part.
    • And Swift, who while not as strong or fast or tough as Apollo, can survive a small explosion to the face with nothing worse than a bloody nose, has razor-sharp talons, wings, and is the world's greatest huntress.
    • The Authority's first storyline had them fighting a clone army of Flying Brick terrorist Mooks.
    • Also from Wildstorm: the Wild C.A.T.s' Mr. Majestic, a Flying Brick with Eye Beams, microscopic vision, ice breath, superintelligence, telekinesis, and a limitless lifespan. Much like Superman is the standard against which DCU characters' power levels are measured, Majestic is the standard for Wildstorm. (In fact, the first Story Arc with The Authority features Jenny Sparks citing a superhero ranking system in reference to how powerful a forcefield is. Apollo, for example, is a "Majestic-class" superhero.)
  • Supreme, particularly when written by Alan Moore as homage to the Silver Age Superman.
  • Astro City:
    • Samaritan, who is routinely depressed due to the fact that he spends too much time saving people to even bother living a normal life. In particular, he never gets a chance to do what he most loves to do—fly just for the sensation of flying.
    • Winged Victory combines this with Lady of War.
    • Beautie, the life-sized doll, as well.
    • The Gentleman
    • Supersonic, American Chibi, Starbright...
    • The generic nature of these powers is lampshaded when a character describes another superhero, Roustabout, as having "real vanilla powers".
  • Agent M/Miracle of Fred Perry's Gold Digger, the Superman Substitute of that universe. A flying brick who, in addition to flight and strength, also has the ability to briefly freeze time around him in a twist on superspeed.
  • Marvelman/Miracleman and family. A Captain Ersatz of the DC Captain Marvel, with the twist that he and his family and his enemies were retconned as deliberately created this way after his creator was inspired by a discarded Captain Marvel comic. He's very much the Flying Brick with speed, flight, strength and invulnerability, but the series indicates that his powers are mentally based, and he could develop new powers. At the time he was revamped into his modern form, for him to be so far along the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism was also an innovative twist.
  • Zenith, a British Grant Morrison series, has a spoiled popstar named Zenith who has these powers, most of the time— they fade on a regular basis based on his body's biocycles. All the Cloud Nine "heroes" including his parents have this power set, although all of them can also develop Psychic Powers up through Godhood with training and discipline, sort of like Marvel's Eternals.
  • Deconstructed in the Alternate Company Equivalent loaded Supreme Power, which is an Ultimate Universe Version of the Squadron Supreme, who are themselves a Justice League of America homage. Oddly enough, though, Michael Redstone can't fly despite possessing all of Hyperion's other powers.
  • Matthew Bright and Patriot of J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars.
  • The Plutonian from Irredeemable. Twist: he's a full-fledged Reality Warper subconsciously rewriting reality around himself to make it appear he has flying brick powers, he just isn't aware of it for most of his life.
  • Threshold from DV8, who also has telepathy.
  • Rayek in ElfQuest is the only elf to get the basic set: He develops his innate telekinesis into flight (self-lifting), super-strength (other-things-lifting) and nigh-invulnerability (shielding). Additionally, he was born with hypnosis (cool eye beams) and telepathy. Most other elves have to make due with one or two Superpower Lottery skills at best.
    • During the period where he was supercharged with a bunch of other dead elf souls, he managed enough Force Beams from his hands to put a giant canyon in the ground.
  • In All Fall Down, this is what Sophie becomes after absorbing the powers of every other superhero or supervillain in the world.
  • Femforce has Miss (later Ms.) Victory. Her daughter, who originally was called Ms. Victory and now goes by Rad, has the same powers.
    • Also Yankee Girl and her Arch-Enemy Divine Wind who gained their through separate mystical incidents during World War II.
  • Played with in Power & Glory: A-Pex may be super-strong and invulnerable, but he's also Terrified of Germs to the point where he is incapable of fighting anyone. It's up to his partner/handler to take care of things from behind the scenes.
  • The Disney Mouse and Duck Comics have the Super Goof, that is Goofy with the powers of Superman. He's surprisingly good with them, and actually causes less collateral damage than most.
  • The title character of Plutona was one in her superhero form. Her invulnerability gave out in her last fight before the comic begins since the kids find her dead in the woods.
  • Jack Kirby's Silver Star (Pacific Comics, later Topps, now Dynamite Comics) is a genetically engineered "Homo Geneticus", with the standard package plus Weird Dimensional Stuff. In the Topps version, unfortunately, he's only invulnerable to outside forces, not his own powers causing his body to decay.
  • Marshal Law: The Public Spirit, an evil Superman expy, can fly, deflect bullets using a special electromagnetic field, and shoot beams from his hands. He also has enhanced vision and super strength. The serial killer called The Sleepman also has these abilities, leading Marshal Law to believe they are the same person. The Sleepman is actually the Public Spirit's son, who inherited his parents' powers.
  • In Captain Electron, the title character is another Superman expy, with the ability to fly, super-strength, and being near-invincible. It's implied that he may have some other, more technologically-based powers, but they're never seen in the sole issue that was released.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Super Pig has most of the powerset... except she also turns into a talking pig.
  • Dragon Ball characters tend to be this starting with the turn to Dragon Ball Z: just swap out eye beams for Ki Manipulation. As it's a martial arts series, characters learn how to do these things themselves: Goku didn't attain flight until a third into the story, attacks like the Kamehameha are ki techniques that can be copied by others, and existing skills can be made better through more training. Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerable are also relative: Goku starts out the story resistant to bullets, but has his body broken by Vegeta because he was much more powerful at that time.
  • Maris The Chojo has the full powerset. Except she doesn't have full control of her strength and is as likely to break a door as open it, and her flight attempts are likely to end in crash with considerable collateral damage.
  • Akio's cyborg powers in Koi Koi 7 boil down to this set. However, she's a Sentai fan, and thus even the most basic power set stands as reason for over-the-top superheroism.
  • Princess Nene in Kirameki Project has power of flight, super strength, and near invulnerability when she wears the powered suit created for her by her Wrench Wench sister Princess Kana. Strangely enough, Nene's suit also serves to make her a Fanservice object.
  • Technically Zelgadiss in Slayers, though his Flying Brick power set does not come from a single source: Nigh-Invulnerability (being headshot from a cannon only knocks him out) and strength from him being a chimera of human, demon and golem, and flying from his mastery of magics (he also knows offensive magic spells, so that's close enough to the eye beams/breath mold). He is also a literal flying brick, having a body of living stone.
  • Tenchi Muyo!'s Ryoko in most versions is this: pretty tough, hyper strong, flight capable. And has the Most Common Superpower too.
  • A lot of Shinigami in Bleach, although they more walk on air than fly, this still functionally works the same, and they usually have super strength to go along with it.
  • Several Digimon, like WarGreymon, Magnamon, and Omegamon qualify. A large majority of Ultimate and Mega level Digimon (including those mentioned) can fly, and almost all of them are also extremely durable and strong. Not to mention all sorts of other powers or abilities they may have.
  • Alucard of Hellsing is super-strong, very hard to kill, can fly and is either very fast or a teleporter.
  • Although Flying Firepower is more common, several of the more powerful close combat oriented mages in Lyrical Nanoha such as Signum, Vita, Zest, and especially Vivio with the powerup from the Saint's Cradle fit this trope.
  • The superheroes of Anpanman each can fly and each have a super powerful punch and kick (that they can strengthen by powering it in sync). The rest becomes fair game for additions to their power arsenal (Currypanman can spit out burning-hot curry, Creampanda has a powerful headbutt, Melonpanna uses love to immobilize enemies, and Rollpanna also uses a gymnastics ribbon as a weapon).
  • It might not be obvious, but Lala of To Love Ru has all of the Flying Brick powers. She stronger, faster, and tougher than an Earthling, and her costume allows her to fly. She's also a Gadgeteer Genius. Lala doesn't often show these powers, because she's in a Harem Anime, so she usually doesn't need to fight.
  • Golden Bat, who debuted in Japanese Kamishibai (Paper Theater) in 1930, was the Ur-Example. He was the first with all the Flying Brick ingredients of the modern superhero, including stock superpowers such as Super Strength and Super Speed, Flight, The Cape, X-Ray Vision, and Bat Signal. He was later adapted into a Manga/Anime character, and was the Trope Maker for manga/anime superheroes.
  • Prince of Gamma, a Kamishibai character from the early 1930s, had the superpowers of Super Strength, invulnerability, and Flight.
  • The manga version of the Sailor Soldiers, all having some degree of Super Strength (especially Sailor Jupiter, who is noted as being incredibly strong even when untransformed, and Sailor Venus, who trains a lot) and the toughness that goes with it, and have flown in multiple occasions (even if they rarely bother).
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!:
    • Athena and her daughter, Clara, are parodies of Power Girl and Supergirl respectively and have most (if not all) their basic powers. Justified, since Athena is later revealed to be the actual Greek goddess of legend in physical form (chapter 9); making Clara a demigoddess, since her father was a mortal.
    • Chapter 9 also introduces Athena's younger sister, Artemis. She has the same powers as her sister and niece, with the added ability to create blades of pure energy from her golden wristbands.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Due to One Person, One Power, these are extremely rare. The closest is All Might; his Quirk "One For All" gives him enhanced strength, speed, and durability. While he can't actually fly, he can jump very high and then kick so hard that he gets a Recoil Boost on the air itself.
    • All Might's master, Nana Shimura, was the previous holder of One For All, which she wielded alongside her original Quirk, Float. This made her one of the world's few true flying bricks.
    • All Might's apprentice, Izuku Midoriya demonstrates this when fighting Overhaul. Thanks to Eri's Quirk, he can temporarily use One For All 100% with ease and propel himself in the air by just kicking. Later, he manifests Nana's Quirk "Float" alongside the Quirks of previous One For All users.
    • Star and Stripe uses her Reality Warper powers to grant herself All Might's strength and speed.
    • My Hero Academia: Vigilantes: Captain Celebrity is one of those rare true flying bricks. He has a tactile telekinesis Quirk that he can use on anything within a close radius, including himself; this allows him to fly, shield himself from harm, and lift things that should fall apart under their own weight. However, when he's extending his telekinesis too far (such as when he's shielding bystanders), he leaves himself vulnerable.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Metal Sonic can fly, is extremely strong, fast and tough, and is just generally the most powerful character by a long shot, besting Sonic during their two fights.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: Subverted with Yaya, whose powers were initially believed to be nothing more than Flight and Super Strength, until her true potential revealed her powers to be gravity manipulation, explaining her prior known abilities and unlocking new use for her powers.
  • In Happy Heroes, Happy S. has super strength and the ability to fly, but not much else.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: Asuka’s Red Whirlwind has flight capabilities and it is extra-strong, amazingly fast, capable to withstand the impact of several nukes, and equipped with defensive shields and an array of firearms, including a plasma arm cannon.
  • Child of the Storm: The fic blends Harry Potter with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (albeit with significant input from the main Marvel Universe) and elements of The DCU among many others, so naturally it has several.
    • Thor, naturally, with the additional Flying Firepower abilities.
    • Loki, when he wants to be, though he doesn't like flying and much prefers teleporting — which is, in any case, faster.
    • The late Jor-El was this, and estimated to be in Thor and Loki's weight class.
    • Iron Man and War Machine both qualify, particularly in their most powerful suits.
    • Diana Herculeis a.k.a. adolescent Wonder Woman, who gets more powerful as time goes by.
    • Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel is a low level version of this — he's mentioned as being able to bench press a troll, likely regarding being hit by a speeding car as an inconvenience and irritation and he has Razor Wings that enable him to fly at mach speeds. When HYDRA attack Hogwarts, he demonstrates just how terrifying this combination can be.
    • Captain Mar-Vell.
    • A certain Mister Clark Kent — though he hasn't yet learned to fly (until chapter 58 of the sequel. Then, he can fly, but he's still hilariously bad at it).
    • Harry himself is growing towards this. At the time of writing, he's currently a downplayed version, in that he can fly, but has roughly Super Soldier levels of strength, speed, and toughness, nowhere near where he will be one day - though he can use his Psychic Powers to mimic it.
    • Carol Danvers' shield turns out to not only absorb and discharge energy at will, but also be a Morph Weapon into her current canon suit. If she's absorbed sufficient energy, then she's more than capable of this.
  • Lampshaded by the otherwise super-strong, Nigh-Invulnerable Paul in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. He finds himself helplessly watching John be chased through the sky by robotic laser-eyed bats (It Makes Sense in Context), unable to do anything useful, and he says in frustration, “Why couldn't they have made me be able to fly!” (He's referring to the Dalns gods from With Strings Attached, who empowered him. Or so he believes.
    • As far as other powers goes, he keeps developing new ones, to the point where Ringo says “Who knows what power you'll get next time you blow your nose!” Absorbing and releasing energy is the least of it. He certainly hopes he develops flight some day!
  • Last Child of Krypton: In this crossover Shinji is Superman. He has the whole package: super strong, super fast, invulnerable, flight, and has Eye Beams and a Breath Weapon.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Asuka is Supergirl in this history, with all it entails: she flies, she has super strength, super speed, invulnerability, heat vision and freezing/super breath.
  • Wonderful (Mazinja): The powers of Vicky (a. k. a., Glory Girl) include Super Strength, Nigh-Invulnerability and Flight... which made her the perfect cannonball when their team needed a projectile to smash a tank.
  • Lampshaded in Tales of the Monkey Queen when Suno tells Goku to follow standard safety rules (such as not walking into traffic and wearing her seatbelt) because she'll hurt anyone she collides with.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku Midoriya is Kal-El and by extension Superman, having all of the associated powers. But he hasn't manifested his ability to fly at the start of the story, only managing to do so after he's blasted off Mt. Fuji and sent hurtling to the ground.
  • Glory Girl from Atonement is super strong and invulnerable thanks to a powerful forcefield.
  • Hellsister Trilogy has plenty of flying bricks: Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Dev-Em (Kryptonians); Satan Girl (Kryptonian duplicate); Mon-El (Daxamite); Ultra Boy (who can only use one ability at a time); the Marvel family...
  • In The Last Daughter, Taylor slowly develops flying brick abilities before finding out about her Kryptonian heritage.
  • Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation has a whole family of them: the descendants of the first Superman and Supergirl.
  • A Force of Four has several of them: Power Girl, who has the full Kryptonian package; Wonder Woman and her family; Mala, Kizo and U-Ban, three Kryptonian criminals; and Badra, an old Wonder Woman's enemy.
  • In The Measure of a Titan Starfire reminds everyone how powerful she is when she gets really, really angry.
  • In To Hell and Back (Arrowverse), Kara and Kal develop their super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability and flight capabilities during their stay in Lian Yu.
  • In Hail to the King (Thuktun Flishithy), Shinji becomes a kaiju-sized flying brick when he bonds with Zone Fighter.
  • In The Fall of Lord Frieza, everyone important, and many who aren't.
  • The Vampire of Steel has Supergirl as well as Zol-Am, a Kryptonian vampire who is considerably stronger and tougher than an average Kryptonian.
  • In The Future Flash, Bart Allen has the Kryptonian package plus access to the Speed Force.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Megamind, Metroman — an analog to Superman — has the powers of flight, speed, invulnerability and heat vision. Titan acquires all of these powers when injected with his DNA.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Wild Cards' Starshine, in addition to his vast light-based powers. The later incarnation of The Radical has this among his array of powers. Modular Man had these powers to start with; he's since lost his flight module.
  • Magnus, in addition to immortality, heightened senses, super speed, has Flight, Super Strength, Nigh-Invulnerability, and a sonic voice.
  • Captain Underpants, after he is given some Extra-Strength Super Power Juice to save his life.
  • Lestat de Lioncourt in The Vampire Chronicles series eventually gains most powers available to only the oldest vampires by drinking the blood of Akasha, the first vampire. Besides his original power of telepathy (the Mind Gift) and the usual physical strength and speed of all vampires, this includes flight (the Cloud Gift), spirit walking, and the ability to kill humans with a thought (a variation of the Mind Gift). Besides this, he also becomes as close to immune to sunlight as a vampire can get (i.e. his skin tans and it hurts like hell, but he does not die).
  • Trapped on Draconica: Daniar's use of this trope is justified: She is a dragokin, a human blessed by a dragon god with dragon-like powers, and what are dragons know for besides flying, breathing fire, and being very strong?
  • In The Girl Who Would Be King, Bonnie and Lola start with super strength, super speed, and super senses; later on, they learn how to fly.
  • Emma from Astral Cafe has all the standard super powers. She can fly, has super strength, super speed, super senses, is invulnerable, and can fire blasts of energy from her hands. Her cousin, Ultimate Man also has the same powers.
  • Monica Jarvis-Reed from The Rook.
  • Ultimate Hero has Ultimate, the world's only superhero.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain: Generic Girl is an extremely powerful hero with flight, strength, invulnerability, and speed. She earned her name because she refuses to talk to anyone or grandstand; she just stops crime and leaves. The other heroes simply didn't know what else to call her.
  • Archvillain: Mighty Mike has flight, invincibility, super speed, super strength, freeze breath, and laser vision are among his powers. The Blue Freak as well, although he only has flight, super strength and super speed.
  • These are called "Atlas types" in Wearing the Cape. Atlas himself is one, of course, and so is Astra.
  • Superheroes Anonymous has Blaze and War Hammer for two. Chelsea is an example of the villainous version.
  • In Sanctioned, Glorious has flight, invulnerability, and superstrength. Somehow, she was still stabbed to death just before the story begins.
  • The Cosmere of Brandon Sanderson has a few examples:
    • Mistborn: Most Allomancers are 'Mistings', able to use a single power associated with a particular metal. The more powerful 'Mistborn' can use every metal, and the resulting Combo Platter Powers includes both the enhanced strength and durability of pewter and the ability to push and pull against nearby metal sources from steel and iron, which can be used for Not Quite Flight by pushing against something on the ground that they can't actually move.
    • The Stormlight Archive: All Knights Radiant come with a Healing Factor and mildly enhanced strength as long as they have Stormlight, and upon swearing their fourth ideal, also gain a suit of magical Powered Armor that massively enhances their strength and durability. However, only two of the ten Orders (the Windrunners and Skybreakers) have Gravitation as one of their Surges, which they can use to fly.
  • Fighting Fantasy: In Appointment with F.E.A.R.: It's one of the four superpowers you can choose from, and the one that makes the game easier to beat. However you are not at a Superman level of invulnerability — you can be shot dead by an ordinary handgun with a single shot or roasted by a vehicle mounted flamethrower or killed by a laser cannon.
  • Worm:
    • Capes with this set of powers are referred to as having "The Alexandria Package", Alexandria being the most famous flying brick in the setting. Alexandria has almost total invincibility except for needing to breathe, and she also has Super Intelligence and a Photographic Memory on top of her physical abilities (her name is intended to be a reference to the Library of Alexandria, based on this part of her power set). The real source of Alexandria's powers is her body's cells are all locked in time at the moment she gained her powers, meaning it's physically impossible to affect them in any way. She can only be hurt by things that ignore physics, like The Siberian, or suffocation as her brain still requires oxygen.
    • Aegis has something like this power set but isn't technically invincible or super-strong. His body is able to provide redundancy for nearly any injury, as well as being able to rapidly heal otherwise fatal injuries. For example, his lungs can adapt to continue pumping blood should his heart stop working and otherwise fatal cuts (like those that would sever an artery) are only minor annoyances. He isn't actually significantly stronger than normal, but he is able to combine the ability to ignore any injures and to be in a state of ongoing adrenaline rush for hours at a time in order to throw punches that would normally break his hand or otherwise push his body beyond what a normal person could safely do in a fight. Also, He can fly.
    • Glory Girl has the full set of powers, but only her flight is the standard version of it. Her strength and toughness comes from a personal force-field that magnifies her physical attributes greatly, but whenever she takes or gives a big hit, the field shorts out for a few moments, temporarily deactivating her powers (except flight, which functions independently).
    • Scion has this as his one of his primary powers, the other being able to manipulate Pure Energy for ranged attacks. He's also by far the biggest winner of the Superpower Lottery in the series — unlike the other examples above, his Flying Brick abilities have no notable drawbacks or limitations, and he also has access to every single superpower ever documented and then some, since he's the one that gave the human race powers in the first place.
  • Worm's sequel Ward also features several people with this powerset, including the perspective character, Victoria Dallon, formerly Glory Girl and now known as Antares. It's notable in that the main character actually takes the time to analyze some of the less obvious advantages this power set gives you, such as the ability to have leverage in a hand-to-hand fight regardless of footing or position, and uses them to great effect.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Greatest American Hero. When he's not a falling brick.
  • Heroes. Peter Petrelli (who by the end of season one, had acquired Super Strength from Niki, Flight from Nathan, and, while not Nigh-Invulnerable, absorbed a Healing Factor from Claire), and Sylar/Gabriel Gray (who can now fly, has a Healing Factor, and can use his telekinesis to enhance his strength). Both are basically unstoppable. Although in Season 3 they decided it would be funny to completely nerf Peter by leaving him powerless while Sylar goes on a killing spree and becomes one of the most broken villains ever created, especially when you look at the rest of the cast of this show.
  • My Secret Identity. The main character gets the super powers of super speed, invulnerability and flight (sort of, more like weightlessness as he uses aerosol cans to propel himself as he floats). In later seasons he gets super strength, making him a floating brick.
  • True Blood. Eric Northman. Or pretty much any vampire old enough. Godric, Russel Edgington, possibly many others...
  • Like both his comic book counterpart and the character he parodies, Homelander of The Boys has the standard set; Super Strength, Super Speed, Flight, X-Ray Vision, Super Hearing, and Invulnerability. The twist is that he's not like the Man of Steel at all - in fact, he's quite the opposite.
  • Mutant X: Gabriel Ashlock (AKA Patient Zero), one of the only two New Mutants (the other being the Child) who combines all four categories of mutants in this setting: Elemental (fires energy balls), Feral (catlike speed and enhanced strength), Molecular (regeneration), and Psionic (empath). This turns out to be a case of Blessed with Suck, as he eventually explodes from the sheer energy of these combined powers.
  • Angels in Supernatural have flight, Super Strength, Super Speed, and invulnerability, as well as the ability to smite or heal with a touch, time travel, and dream walking. Talk about the Superpower Lottery.
  • The Ghost in the Doctor Who episode "The Return of Doctor Mysterio". Justified, since Grant was a huge fan of comic books, especially Superman, so the wish-granting gemstone gave him many of those powers: flight, speed, strength, endurance, hearing, and X-ray vision.


  • Post-Dracula, vampires tend to embody this trope, often by means of a Healing Factor. When they can fly, that is.
  • Dragons almost universally qualify, the occasional non-flying or thin-scaled dragon aside.
  • The Toa Nuva in BIONICLE, with the masks of speed, levitation, and strength. Most Makuta qualify as well. Twist: The power is in their masks, not their own strength, and none of the Toa Nuva have all of the Nuva masks, though they can apply the effects as a team. They need to combine their power to become true flying bricks.
  • The original Brick Joke.

  • Red Panda Adventures: Two Superman Substitutes, Mr. Amazing and the Black Eagle, possess flight, speed, strength, near-invulnerability, and energy beams, and both received their powers from the same source: A formula called "Royal Jelly" created by a reformed supervillain named Doctor Bumblebee. The formula was intended to increase a human's energy-conversion rates such that a person could go for long periods of time on a minimal amount of food, potentially wiping out world hunger. The superpowers were an unintended and largely unstable side effect and both Mr. Amazing and the Black Eagle came out of experiments by the Canadian government to try to stablize the formula and create super soldiers for World War II.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Captain New Japan has videos that make him look like one, soaring around the worlds and above the clouds. When it comes to matches, not so much.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Mutants & Masterminds, the archetype for a character with this power grouping is called the "Paragon".
  • This template is appropriately called The Archetype in GURPS Supers and is the only sample template that is built on the D-scale (able to destroy a modern tank). There is also a martial art named after this trope in one of the issues of Pyramid. Its main tactic is to speed up, then crash into the target. Practitioners have to provide their own flight and ability to survive such a collision.
  • The name probably comes from Champions, which refers to characters whose primary powers are strength and toughness as "bricks".
    • "Brick" characters are relatively common in Champions — including among its cast of more or less canon NPCs — because buying up strength to at least some moderately superhuman level is relatively cheap (especially in superheroic campaigns where normal human stat maxima by default don't apply) and obviously has multiple practical applications, so that's one half of the trope right there. Adding Flight — actually one of the less exotic and more flexible movement modes the game has to offer — can be a bit of a no-brainer after that.
    • Champions also has a character type known as a "Demi-Brick" with less Strength (say, only enough to lift a car overhead, instead of a tank or small ship), but better reflexes and a wider variety of tricks.
    • An extremely literal example was one character who was a seemingly ordinary yet nigh-indestructible red clay brick, complete with miniature cape. Other than telepathy (for communication), its only powers were a ton of Flight and Armor; like the entry from Pyramid, its primary combat maneuver was what Champions calls a "Move Through."
  • From the Magic: The Gathering setting of Innistrad, Avacyn, Angel of Hope is a good example of one. Although she's no faster than the average creature, she's really strong, capable of flight, and Nigh-Invulnerable. Twist: she also has the ability to turn the rest of your creatures Nigh-Invulnerable as well.
    • In theory, any creature in Magic with high power and toughness, and the abilities flying and haste, would fit the Flying Brick trope. If they have to be humanoid to count, angels like Akroma, Angel of Wrath are probably the best example.
    • With Wings of Aesthir any creature can be this!
  • Legacy in Sentinels of the Multiverse has this as his powerset, with his additional power being an enhanced danger-sense. His powers are all genetic, passed down from his ancestors, and his daughter (who is another playable character) gain Eye Beams as her power. The Super Strength aspect of his powers is downplayed, though he has access to some attack cards that let him do a lot of damage. The Super Toughness is played up more, though, as his role in the team is to serve as the leader and damage-taker, and he even has cards that let him redirect attack to him, as well as shrug off damage or even ignore an entire damage type. His Evil Counterpart, Iron Legacy, however, dispenses with the whole notion of holding back; he uses all his powers to deal horrendous amounts of damage to everyone as well as shrugging off most attacks and healing damage.

    Video Games 
  • In order to be a part of the 8 Guardian Generals from Asura's Wrath you need to have these powers as a part of your base powerset. Certain ones have different powers to distinguish themselves, but all of them (with the possible exception of Kalrow and that's possibly only due to his age) are this to some degree. However, few of them can actually fly but they can either jump really well or punch the ground hard enough to propel them into the air.
  • City of Heroes lets you build toward this model—start with the Tanker (hero) or Brute (villain) archetype, and the Super Strength and Invulnerability powersets. At level six, add the Flight power pool (and don't forget to take Flight itself at level 14). To really come dangerously close to Superman, take the Body Mastery epic power pool when your security level gets into the 40s, and you'll get your eye beams and a few other goodies. But really any powersets taken by those two archetypes work about the same, with different quirks and special effects. Of course the game's signature hero, Statesman, has the typical Flying Brick powers. (His twist? Lightning powers, since he's the Incarnate of Zeus.)
    • There's also the Stone Armor set. If you take flight, you can literally become a flying brick.
      • Twist: In order to fly, a character using Stone Armor needs to deactivate some or all of their protective powers. You can fly, or be a brick, but not both at once.
  • Champions Online actually makes it easier to create this powerset — simply cherry pick between Might and other power sets (mostly Powered Armor), and choose Flight when it's time to pick your travel power after the intro.
  • Freedom Force actually averts this trope: Characters cannot use melee attacks while flying, making flying bricks essentially useless. You can either fly or be a brick. Man-Bot himself is more of an Energy Projector than a brawler, though he does have a high defense stat and strong melee attacks.
  • Metroid gives us Samus Aran, whenever she has her suit upgraded fully. Especially in the 2D games where the Space Jump lets her somersault indefinitely. Except then she's more of a flying buzzsaw.
  • The protagonist of Megaton Rainfall is indestructible, flies a trillion times the speed of light and can destroy cities with his Hand Blasts.

    Web Comics 
  • In Pastel Defender Heliotrope, Heliotrope is a sex doll brought to life by Imported Alien Phlebotinum; in addition to animation and sentience, she gains Flying Brick powers.
  • in Fellowship of Heroes, the lead hero, Crusader, is a Christian-themed Flying Brick who regards his powers as both a natural mutation and a god-given gift (Lord works in Mysterious ways and such), and the comic itself takes the time to explain the (pseudo)science behind his super-strength aura and it's relation to his flight powers. In short, his aura lets him fly through the air by working like an inside-out jet engine. Without the plane attached.
  • Energize is a flying brick plus energy-based powers. Subverted, when it's revealed it's only a part of his true power, omnipotence-sorta thing.
  • The Crossoverlord lampshaded this when it's two female flying bricks, The Green Avenger and Dasien, found the similarities in their powers interesting.
  • Many characters from the Heroes Unite universe fits this trope. Not only Energize and Dasien, as mentioned above, but also The Blonde Marvel, who combines it with a parody of Most Common Superpower, SHELL, who's just a Japanese Iron Man equivalent in a term of powers, and Relik, who has this set plus many other abilities, as long, as his armor is activated. Other flying bricks include Tazer (also has energy powers), Nebulon (also has energy blasts from hands), Amalgam, L.E.G.E.N.D. (a robot) and Comet Kid (essentially Green Lantern's powerset).
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Bob once got these powers, briefly. Ironically, he's usually pretty effective against bad guys when he's just himself. With powers, he discovered he was a dangerous klutz.
  • El Goonish Shive:
  • Magellan has several of these, including Epoch on the main superhero force, Captain Victoria of the Australian superhero force, and two of the cadets (Charisma and Bill). Justified in that it's mentioned that the eponymous academy tries to recruit as many of these as possible.
  • Grrl Power has several:
    • Maxima has flight, super-strength, invulnerability, super-strength, and energy beams. She can adjust the balance of her powers, for example, dumping everything into invulnerability to get Superman-level durability.
    • Main character Sydney "The Mighty Halo" Scoville gets flight, an impenetrable force-field, a super-strong tentacle, energy blasts, truesight/telepresence, and assorted other powers from her orbs, with the caveat that she can only use two of her powers at a time.
    • Super Hiro has flight, super-strength, invulnerability, and an improbable tendency to lose his shirt during combat.
  • Superbitch has this power set. Her sidekick, the art hobo, not so much.
  • Most of the tournament fighters in Dragon Ball Multiverse.
  • Strong Female Protagonist: Alison Green, aka Mega Girl, has Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability; while she can be stunned by blunt-force trauma, the only thing (so far) that's actually hurt her are a former villain's microns-thin blade-arms. Also, she can make enormous jumps and accidentally discovers how to levitate, which eventually progresses to full-on flight, since her powers fall under the umbrella of tactile telekinesis, and she is still developing. She's actually something of a Deconstruction of the trope, as she genuinely wants to help change the world for the better, but realizes that being able to beat up the bad guys isn't enough on its own to do that. The biggest lasting good she's been able to achieve so far include leveraging her name and connections to create an organization dedicated to advancing social justice for minority supers, and forcibly coercing a more selfish super into enhancing another's regenerative powers to the point of advancing organ donor medicine to an unmatched level.
  • Paragon of Supermom has Super Strength, Nigh-Invulnerability, and Flight.
  • Iron Violet has superhuman strength, invulnerability, flight and enhanced agility.
  • In Full Frontal Nerdity, when they play a superhero Deconstruction RPG, Shawn's character is actually called the Flying Brick. Unfortunately, he can't actually use his powers without causing massive destruction and probably killing people.
  • Heroine Chic has the superhero Valiant, whose powers include Flight, Super Speed, Super Strength, and various super-senses. When Zoe takes temporary custody of his power-granting Eternity Stone, she manifests the same slate of powers.

    Web Original 
  • Destorm and Mike Diva portray a pair of these in their three part Heroes And Villains Music Video series. Said powers are acquired from sleeping with Mike's girlfriend.
  • Whateley Universe: It's not an uncommon power set:
    • Lancer of Team Kimba plays this completely straight, being a 'psychokinetic brick' with super-strength, flight, and a forcefield that he's learned to extend a bit to cover weapons he uses, but no ranged powers other than picking things up and throwing them thus far. It has been stated that there are several such tricks ('knife hand', making the PK field frictionless, the Attack Reflector skill, etc.) which in principle any PK brick, Package Deal Psychic, or Telekinetic can learn, but that most never master more than a few of them.
    • Tennyo arguably has this as a subset of her powers, though it's easy to overlook underneath her flashy energy blasts/sword and reality-rending 'death blow'.
    • Note that there are several ways to get the same basic set of effects, including psychokinesis (as in the case of Lancer), density warping (e.g., Phase), gravity control (e.g., Superchick, G-Force), space/time warping combined with the Exemplar powerset and regeneration (e.g., Tennyo), and several others. This means that it is crucially important to know which kind of Flying Brick one is to use the powers well, and both information and disinformation about others' powers are no less factors than with other powers.
    • Just as important, because these powersets are fairly common combinations with equally well-known limitations, and given that your typical Flying Bricks have been living in the proverbial "world of cardboard" since manifesting and thus rarely use their full strength, there are several known ways of taking most of them out — for all its power, it is one of the easiest powersets to overcome through superior training and planning. This is the favorite trick Ito-soke uses in his introductory demo for Basic Martial Arts classes, with him getting the better of one such brick in four or five classes on the first day of school each year. To say that seeing an elderly baseline human doing this leaves a lasting impression (in the students minds, if not necessarily the dojo walls) is an understatement.
  • In Fine Structure, the Powers gain this set of abilities, plus the ability to move in Bullet Time. Each new Power is specifically twice as strong as the last: Arika is 256 times faster and stronger than a normal human, while Jason is 512 times faster and stronger. It is of some concern that, if the trend continues, there will soon be Power millions of times stronger than ordinary humans.
  • The titular vigilante in The Flying Man.
  • Lightning Dust's Crystal Eye has this power set.
  • Happy Tree Friends has Splendid the Flying Squirrel, who has all the powers mentioned in the trope description with the possible exception of Super Breath.
  • Parodied in The Demented Cartoon Movie. Super Blah, in his climactic confrontation with Evil Blah, swats away hordes of attacking Mooks by flexing his arms a bit, but shares the really stupid weakness of every other Blah. In an earlier scene he flies into space in an attempt to stop a meteor on collision course with the Earth, only for it to crash into him and then the Earth, which explodes again.
  • How to Hero refers to this kind of hero as a "flying tank" because they can fly, have super strength, and usually shoot things from their eye.

    Western Animation 
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • The Powerpuff Girls, who are the most powerful heroes in their world, and they're all about five years old.
    • Also their Spear Counterpart, the Rowdyruff Boys, whose leader is incidentally named Brick.
  • Several Transformers doubtlessly qualify, and being giant, transforming, living robots, they also tend to boast incredible firepower and other skills and abilities. In G1, every Decepticon could fly in robot mode, whether they turned into a jet or a gun or a cassette player.
    • It goes double for the Autobot Superion. Yes, he's made up of five jet-bots, but put 'em all together and you get something that looks about as aerodynamic as an office tower. The counterparts' engines wings are neither large enough nor placed properly on Superion that you get the idea that they're responsible at all for his flight. It's clear the writers thought "he's made of jets, so he flies. Rule of Cool, man." and never asked themselves "what makes him fly?"
    • As all Decepticons fly, so do Decepticon gestalts. Including the hulking-even-by-gestalt-standards Devastator, made of construction vehicles. In all these cases, they just levitate into the air like Superman, and fly as far and as fast as the plot requires today.
    • At least Bruticus, and therefore his Transformers: Robots in Disguise repaint Ruination, has one component that's a helicopter. It's kinda hilarious to see Ruination fly around by the tiny propeller on its shoulder.
    • This goes for Gobots as well.
  • WordGirl's powers are like this, aside from her powers of literacy immense vocabulary.
  • Darkwing Duck once met up with Comet Guy, a Flying Brick who wanted to train with the universe's greatest hero. Twist? Comet Guy is as smart as a brick. Oh, and the sound of a bell causes him to dance uncontrollably (until he hears a whistle), injuring friend and foe. He also shoots little comet bolts and has to hide in his hat to travel between planets. Later Comet Guy takes Darkwing to his homeworld, a Planet of Flying Bricks! Who are all only slightly less stupid than Comet Guy.
  • Hawkgirl, as portrayed in Justice League. (The comicbook versions of the Hawkfamily are a case of Clothes Make the Superman.) Her edge is that she fights with an Energy Mace, which, in addition to smashing things, is very useful for deflecting lasers, disrupting energy fields, and negating magic.
  • Captain Planet, along with his Elemental Powers.
  • Perhaps the oldest example in Western Animation, aside from Superman himself, is the great Mighty Mouse; who apparently got his powers from some sort of magic cheese, and as a result, has strength, speed, invulnerability. flight, and in at least one cartoon, magnetic/telekinetic powers as well.
  • The classic TV Superhero Underdog also deserves a mention here.
  • Ben 10 featured Ultimos, an alien superhero with powers of super strength, flight, and laser vision. He isn't explicitly stated to have Nigh-Invulnerability, though.
  • Strong Man from The Mighty Heroes.
  • Silver Sentry, the Superman Substitute from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), naturally contains this power set.
  • The Atom Ant Show's main character was a flying ant with superhuman strength.
  • Atomic Puppet: Captain Atomic was a classic flying brick — superhuman strength, supersonic flight, and lightning-fast reflexes. Naturally, he passed it on to Joey when he got turned into a sock puppet.
  • The Plastic Man show featured Mighty Man. The twist? He's a flying brick who is also smaller than an average brick in his powered form.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: With the premise of the show being that literally everyone has powers, it is no wonder they have an example of this- theirs being Chip Damage, a perfectly generic superhero who K.O. and most others idolize and who turns out to be a robot built to give people hope to become heroes.
  • Miraculous Ladybug has the New York-based superhero Majestia, a Superman/Wonder Woman pastiche with the former's powerset.

    Real Life 
  • As a general rule, when the term, "Flying Brick" is brought up in real life, it's not this trope. Instead, it's more about how LITTLE the aircraft in question wants to fly.
  • The Peregrine Falcon uses this as a hunting strategy. Once it locates potential prey from high up in the sky, it dives down and basically turns itself into a living torpedo. It's the actual impact that kills its prey.
  • One of the nicknames of the F-4 Phantom II is "Flying Brick". Although it has enough "powers" to qualify, the nickname in this case was because if one or both of the engines suffered a "malf", this thing surely will NOT be able to fly.
    • Also known as "The Triumph of Thrust Over Aerodynamics" and "The World's Leading Distributor of MiG Parts", among other things. The reason for the weird shape of the wings and the tailplanes is that the entire design was a huge mess, but instead of scrapping the whole project it was decided to experiment with the angle of the wings until the whole construction is somehow able to fly.
    • The F-117 Night Hawk is sometimes referred to as a "Flying Brick" because, were it not for an advanced flight control computer that continuously adjusts the control surfaces of the plane, it would fall right out of the sky. (Similarly, its ugly appearance and speculation on how it would fly led to the nickname "The Wobblin' Goblin".)
  • Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik could well be the Trope Namer. Nicknames like Betonflugzeug (Concrete Airplane), Maatalouskone (Agricultural Machine), Eiserner Gustav (Iron Gustav) and Schwarzer Tod (The Black Death, after the disease) describe it well.
  • The Vickers Wellington subverted this, it was actually an incredibly weak construction, and the skin could be pierced with a ballpoint pen, or even a very strong punch to it. On the other hand, it had a geodesic airframe, so its airframe was so durable that it could come home with most of the fuselage shot away.
  • The Space Shuttle is also sometimes called a "Flying Brick", because its return-to-Earth "glider" configuration is so heavy that it has, as one NASA engineer put it, "all the aerodynamic properties of a pair of pliers" and "the glide-slope of a brick". It doesn't so much as glide as it "falls out of the sky, gently". Indeed, this is more like an inversion; without the giant External Tank to provide fuel, the Shuttle engines are powerless; and as events have sadly shown, it is always quite vulnerable.
    • The shuttle is also often known as the "Flying Brickyard", based on the brick-like appearance of the insulating tiles.
  • Many military planes are far more durable than they would seem. For example, the F-22 is designed to have multiple load paths across several heavy-duty titanium bulkheads to spread out loads and forces, increasing survivability. An Israeli pilot once managed to safely land an F-15 whose entire right wing had been torn off by a mid-air collision, and the infamous A-10 is darn near as close to a tank with wings as could actually fly.
    • The A-10's spiritual predecessor, the P-47 (nicknamed the "Thunderbolt" or "Juggernaut") was in its time the largest and heaviest single-engine fighter ever built. It was also built to withstand ridiculous amounts of damage. On one occasion, a German fighter ace emptied all of his guns into a lone damaged P-47. The American pilot, Robert S. Johnson, hunkered down in his armored seat and remained relatively uninjured, and was able to fly his aircraft back to base. When he inspected his aircraft, he found at least a few hundred bullet holes in it.
      • Note: Johnson counted a hundred bullet holes without even moving. Needless to say, he gave up at that point.
      • The P-47 actually had fine aerodynamics and the introduction of the new paddle blade propeller turned it into a Lightning Bruiser. The late war P-47N with its longer wingspan and lighter wing load actually could out-turn most Japanese airplanes, and it was far faster than those it couldn't. It could also stay in the air 7 hours. A true flying brick in the not-yet-existent tradition of superhero comics.
      • Caveat: the P-47 could only out-turn them at high speeds. But so could pretty much every other American fighter of the war.
      • And pretty much every American aircraft in WWII could be considered a flying brick. American design philosophy called for lots of firepower and airframes that could soak up tremendous amounts of damage. The F4U and F6F were every bit as tough as the P-47, the P-40 was legendary for its ability to absorb damage, and pound for pound the F4F may have been tougher than any of them. Then there's the B-17, which while not particularly fast may as well be the poster child for the ability of American aircraft to still be able to fly after having the hell shot out of it.
  • The aforementioned B-17 deserves a mention of its own. Its official name was literally, "Flying Fortress", christened by a reporter who, upon watching the original prototype being rolled out for the competition, virtually every inch covered in guns, exclaimed, "Why, it's a flying fortress!" And it certainly lived up to its name. On one occasion, a Bf-109 collided in mid-air with a B-17, and not only did the B-17 in question survive the collision and return home, it did so with the 109 still lodged in the plane! The very existence of this aircraft encouraged both the Germans and the Japanese (the Italians received most of their aircraft armament from the Germans) to begin developing heavier and heavier weapons, with most end war designs by both nations being capable of fielding 30mm autocannons, 50% larger in caliber than the 20mm cannons used by most European nations otherwise, and more than TWICE the caliber of the standard .50 Browning used by the US on most aircraft. Of course, combat losses early on were highly unsustainable, but for the record, these were missions flying over enemy airspace that was almost guaranteed to be filled with enemy fighters, during broad daylight, with no fighter escort. There is no bomber in the world that would be able to manage low losses under these conditions, and yet it was still enough that, while the defensive guns proved insufficient to defend the formation, they did make bomber interception somewhere between the eastern front and Volksgrenadier in favorite assignments of the Wehrmacht. B-17s shot down as many Wehrmacht fighters during the war as fighter planes did, even with a two-year head start for the fighters.
  • The New South Wales 81 class diesel locomotive was strong and fast enough it could be used on any type of train, and was nicknamed "The Flying Brick" for its very square lines and original brick-red paint.
  • The Shelby Cobra was called a "flying brick" by some, although it was faster than the Ferraris of the time.
  • On the first test flight of the X-15, the plane was flown unfueled to glide in for testing. The heavy stubby-winged aircraft glided/fell in 3:58. Test Pilot Scott Crossfield was awarded a trophy by the Southern California Soaring Society for the world record shortest glide from 38,000 feet: a brick ground into an aerodynamic shape.
  • The Soviet Mi-24 "Hind" has been given the name "The Flying Tank" by Russians and was nicknamed "Shaitan-Arba" (Satan's Chariot) by Afghan rebels during the Soviet-Afghan War. The Hind is a heavily armed and armored attack helicopter capable of taking incredible amounts of punishment. The Mujahedin had great difficulty taking these helicopters down, even with heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft cannons, until the United States supplied them with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. It isn't without its problems, though. It has difficulty making tight turns ("difficulty" in this case meaning "prone to cutting its own tail off with its rotors and crashing"), can't hover if it is fully loaded (a fully loaded "Hind" needs a runway to take off) and the tail is not as well armored, and is especially vulnerable.
    • Modern military helicopters are highly durable. Despite the highly publicized losses of MH-60 Black Hawks in Mogadishu in 1993, what often isn't mentioned is that two other Black Hawks were also struck by RPGs. However, these didn't hit the tail rotor, so they managed to fly back to safe ground.
    • Tail rotors are a weak point for most helicopter designs, since a damaged rotor may not be able to counteract the immense torque generated by the main rotor. A few helicopter designs have used other methods of countering torque, including two main rotors stacked on top of each other rotating in opposite directions, or even routing the exhaust of the turbine powerplant through the tail boom to replace a complicated tail rotor with a relatively simple angled jet exhaust.
  • The German Federal Railway Class 120 electric locomotive, at least according to this editorial.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Flying Tank


The Last Son Of Alcatraz

The Last Son is obviously based on Superman, being a cape-wearing entity with unearthly powers who flies, has super strength and is immune to most human artillery. He just has one extra power, that being the ability to change his own size at will.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / SupermanSubstitute

Media sources: