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Person of Mass Destruction
aka: Persons Of Mass Destruction

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Dr. Manhattan, giving "the finger" a whole new meaning.

"I'm a walking nightmare, an arsenal of doom
I kill conversation as I walk into the room
I'm a three line whip, I'm the sort of thing they ban
I'm a walking disaster, I'm a demolition man."
The Police, "Demolition Man"
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A Person of Mass Destruction is a character with powers, abilities, or skills capable of causing damage on the level of a Weapon of Mass Destruction. As a Speculative Fiction trope, it is frequently used as a metaphor for real-world technology — often nuclear weapons. The source of their destructive powers varies; they may have won the Superpower Lottery, have knowledge of Things Man Was Not Meant to Know or be a Physical God. What gives them their destructive potential is less important than the fact that they have it.

The reaction to a PoMD is often fear, anger, and hate, which may cross over into outright abuse. Despite this, their chances of being either a Hero or a Villain are about the same, and depend on whether they believe With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility or Might Makes Right. A person of mass destruction is more likely than normal to undergo Superpower Meltdown at some point, channeling the fear of losing control of a conventional weapon of mass destruction, as with an Empty Quiver situation.

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They will almost always score at least as a Class 4 on the Super Weight scale or higher.

Compare with Human Weapon, for when someone is literally treated as a weapon. See also Destructive Saviour and Walking Disaster Area.


Examples:

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    Myths & Religion 
  • In Irish Mythology, Balor of the Evil Eye, as told about in The Battle of Magh Tuireadh, was a king of monstrous giants called the Fomor who used his eye as a weapon: "The Evil Eye was no ordinary eye but a deadly weapon that was never opened except on the battlefield. It was 'a ruinous venomous weapon' that needed four strong men to raise the lid from the eye with a polished grappling iron hung on massive wheels and pulleys. As the Evil Eye swept the battlefield its deadly gaze destroyed all who stood before it; whole troops of warriors lay withered in its wake and the tide of battle turned against the Tuatha Dé Danann."
  • The Bible:
    • Satan in is said to be so large that he can wipe 1/3 of the stars out of the sky with his tail, yet is still infinitely less powerful than God himself.
    • The angels count, too: God once punished Israel because David heed Satan's advice. Result? An angel was sent to wipe out many, many places off the face of the Earth, before God stopped him just as he was about to lift his finger to wipe out Jerusalem. But they are especially this during the time of Revelation.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • The Hekatonkheires were the embodiments of natural disasters, each with fifty heads and one hundred arms. Their primary tactic during the Titanomachy was continuously throwing entire mountains.
    • The Olympians themselves were no slouches, as shown when Athena repeated the mountain-throwing trick on Typhon, throwing Mount Etna at him so hard the mightiest enemy of the gods was literally buried under it with no way to get out. Zeus was even stronger.

    Pinball 
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    Podcasts 

    Roleplay 
  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Ivy's power grants her random bursts of genius that allows her to create any invention from what materials she has on hand. This means that, at any given moment, it's possible for her to create a nuke, or anything else of an equally destructive power.
    • Vivian's superpower is to rewrite reality based on her belief. One flashforward shows a future where she's been detained by the government after using her power to casually wipe entire cities off the map.
  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe there is Quantum, who can manipulate matter and energy on the quantum level. His death (he literally exploded after being mortally wounded while battling an alien invasion fleet) vaporized Triton. You know... the largest of Neptune's moons?

    Visual Novels 
  • The Mastermind/ Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. You kinda earn the title when you're almost single-handedly responsible for an event literally called The biggest, most awful, most tragic event in human history.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend it is revealed in BBL that Nageki, while alive, harbored a disease that killed any human he came in contact with within minutes. When he was imprisoned and his virus started to be weaponized, he killed himself. But the researcher wasn't finished - he worked to weaken Ryouta and gave him that same virus, five years later.
  • Hajun from Kajiri Kamui Kagura is this trope taken to probably highest possible extreme. In this setting attaining godhood allows one's inner desire to warp countless universes on conceptual level as their fundamental law. Hajun's inner desire is destruction of everything that isn't him. This gives him such power that his presence alone is enough to annihilate everything in the setting.
    • Special mention also goes to Tenma Yato, the second strongest Hadou God after Hajun. His power is so great, wouldn't his Law constantly hold the multiverse inside a time-stasis field, the world would immedeatly collapse, should time ever flow normally again. He has so much spiritual mass that he is compared as a "mountain" (Yato) supported by a "thin paper" (the multiverse) . The scale of the world can't keep up with Yato, even at the bottom of those on the "Almighty Domain" of Shinza. It is stated at the end that Yato has enough power to curbstomb all characters in the setting minus Hajun, which he could barely defend against.
    • Any Hadou God counts as this, as they utterly transcend the concept of size and therefore have no problems erasing a universe or two. They can warp their surroundings towards their own desire on a conceptual level, ignore any law of physics or replace them with their own laws and can only be stopped by a stronger God.
  • Quite a lot of people in the Nasuverse are like this.
    • For Tsukihime you have Arcueid, who has to use 70% of her power to stop herself from going into an Unstoppable Rage and even with the remaining 30% can apparently use her Marble Phantasm to pull the moon from 1000 years into the future into the sky for one night. See also: Zelretch, Aozaki Aoko, some of the Dead Apostles and even Shiki if he had the time to actually prep himself before his brain burned out. Example, killing the world around the entire school area in order to partially depower Arcueid and make her somewhat more vulnerable in Ciel's True End. Imagine if the 'point of death' of the entire world happened to be nearby him.
      • All of the Aristoteles, or Ultimate Ones, are prime examples this, taking it to apocalyptic levels. Type-Jupiter alone flattened the entire continent of North America in the backstory of Angel Notes, and Type-Mercury is considered the strongest being on Earth in terms of raw power, which is an impressive feat, given it has to share space with all the other Nasuverse examples above and below. The most notable example is probably Archetype-Earth (who, by the way, is Arcueid at full power), though, on the basis that most of the Nasuverse's stories take place on Earth. Since she's the Ultimate One of the Earth, she has total control of it (with the exception of humans and anything created by them, and she can still affect those, just not directly), so she can do just about anything with a mere thought. Swallowing cities into the earth? Done. Melting the ice caps? Done. Tilting the Earth of its axis? Done. Tearing the Earth in two? Done. The kicker is that if an Aristotele comes up against something that is somehow stronger than it, their patron planet will just pump more raw power into it until the Aristotele is stronger anyway.
    • Fate/stay night has, surprisingly, Dark Sakura because she has more magical energy than she could ever possibly use no matter what and can summon up apparently infinite giant freaky monster things if she has time. Is also the avatar of all the evils in the World.
      • Any Servant with an anti-fortress/city phantasm counts, as their phantasm is specifically designed to annihilate a fully-defended castle in one shot. Heck, even an anti-army phantasm probably would count (though on the low end of the scale, being designed to kill hundreds of Muggles rather than wiping castles and supernatural horrors completely off the face of the earth.) Also, Gilgamesh can canonically pierce through Gaeia's Ultimate Reality Marble which manifests all over the planet, the results of which would no doubt be catastrophic.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies has the phantom (a.k.a. Detective Bobby Fulbright('s imposter)). In the very beginning of the game, he bombs an entire courtroom just to destroy a tiny piece of evidence against him. And it's one of his past crimes that ultimately caused the "Dark Age of the Law" (an In-Universe-Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy era where defense attorneys, prosecutors, etc., are more distrusted than ever, and everyone pulls increasingly filthy tricks (devaluing the system further) simply because no one cares anymore). Essentially, while not directly destroying much physically, the man practically killed the entire justice system singlehandedly.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied with Kotomaru in Girl Chan In Paradise when he unleashes his secret power. Kenstar and Yusuke react with shock, while Green Guy comments that last time this happened, he destroyed a WHOOOOOOOOOOOLE kitchen.

    Web Original 
  • Explored and deconstructed in Sam Hughes' Fine Structure science-fiction series. Here's a relevant quote discussing why superhumans make terrible weapons of mass destruction:
    Because they're weapons, the superhumans, but they're not weapons of mass destruction. They're in one place, at one time. And you can't send a human into a city and tell him to kill ten thousand people. He'd have to do it personally, hand to hand, in twos and threes, hurling cars, taking heads, pulling down buildings on crowds. He'd have no choice but to look into the eyes of at least one in every ten of his victims, and, if he wasn't hopelessly deranged to begin with, he'd be driven there by the end. If he didn't simply resign. Either way, he'd be out of your control. And that is much more important.
    It's more humane, in a way. Walking up to your enemy and pushing your finger through his heart and out the other side is much more costly than doing the same from fifty yards away with a gun, or from the other side of the river with a mortar, or from another hemisphere with an intercontinental ballistic missile. Psychologically, that is.
    It makes you think.
  • The Knights of Grabacr from Lambda are each capable of singlehandedly wiping out entire armies. Their leader, Lady Weissteufel, does this on a regular basis.
  • Being a pilot in Pilots requires a mindset that is more or less directly antithetical to militarism or aggression, and you can't coerce them because that breaks the mental state required to switch. However, the mechanics of the power can be quite destructive—there are several cases of accidental pushback or too-small switch spheres that cause many deaths—and it gets even worse with the ADPs. X is discovered when he creates pushback that is initially mistaken for a major earthquake, by accident.
  • Many of the humanoids housed by the SCP Foundation (and that may or may not include the researchers), particularly the ones with the object class Keter. SCP-076 ("Abel") is the prime example: He can survive sustained fire from multiple .50 cal machine gun, several direct anti-personnel rocket strikes, having an incendiary grenade placed inside his chest, being crushed by nearly 14 metric tonnes of steel, and fight through entire squads of heavily-trained close-combat experts. And then tears through several meters of heavily reinforced metal before covering nearly seventy meters in three seconds to escape. He can swat bullets out of the air with a metal bar, summon an endless armory of indestructible weapons, and, as shown above, survive basically anything short of a tactical nuclear warhead. His entire containment zone is built several miles underwater as a last ditch to kill his latest body if nothing else succeeds, and he doesn't die for over an hour even then. And he is utterly Ax-Crazy, having the time of his life as he gleefully slaughters everything in his path, knowing eventually he'll get to do it all over again. Although he is shown to sometimes show twisted Villain Respect towards tough opponents, and be upset if they die. At one point his coffin activated under unknown circumstances, and the key to his vault vanished, leading to a three-year manhunt with an untold amount of casualties before he was finally put down.
  • From the Union series, Tank born Shadow Agents, depending on the Country/Colony of origin, have a kill switch installed, resulting in The Berserker. To quote a passage from the story:
    We popped the Kill Switch on a Schatten once, just to see what it could do. It tore through nearly half the Londinium ground forces before it died of blood loss. It took three days. We never made that mistake again.
  • Tennyo, of the Whateley Universe. What, the whole "antimatter in her body" thing doesn't bother you? What about the "neutron star blast" thing she did in her combat final? Or the death-blow that dissolved Killbot and disintegrated his soul? Or the thing she did when defending herself from over a hundred bad guys that ripped a hole in space-time? Or when she ate the demonically-tainted Weres that attacked the school Or what we found out in "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy": the part of her that is not Billie Wilson is older than the Earth itself and has destroyed entire interplanetary civilizations. And that's not even counting the stuff Sara is holding back from Billie...

    Real Life 
  • Typhoid Mary was a Person of Mass Destruction. She was told, but she never believed she was responsible for those typhoid outbreaks, since she'd never shown symptoms of typhoid herself. After the wave of typhoid fever was traced back to her, she was specifically forbidden from having anything to do with food preparation. So she escaped, changed identity, and went back to making food... and triggered another wave of typhoid.
  • It's rare, but a few HIV-positive individuals have been brought up on criminal charges for deliberately passing their condition on to others without their knowledge (which, naturally, is featured in an episode of Law & Order). Those who did so with numerous partners may qualify as PMD.
  • A specific variant of the Communications Officer is a soldier trained in calling down air support and artillery fire (the US calls these guys "Joint Terminal Air Controllers", with all four branches training personnel to fill this role). Using their observation skills and a portable radio, they can accurately call down many tons of high explosives on targets of their choosing, making them high value targets on the battlefield.

Alternative Title(s): Persons Of Mass Destruction

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