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Phlebotinum Battery

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"The Earth's magnetic field has healed me, like a mother nourishes her son."
Magneto, X-Men, "Sanctuary, Part 2"

This is when a character's powers are charged by some outside source, such as sunlight or electricity or exposure to Phlebotinium. If the hero's powers are ever taken away or are weakened somehow, all the hero needs to do to get them back is regain access to this source of power and they are rejuvenated.


The exact opposite of Kryptonite Factor.

A Sub-Trope of Power Source. Compare Amulet of Concentrated Awesome, and Phlebotinum Muncher for when they feed on the phlebotinum itself. If the phlebotinum is commonplace and must be ingested, it's Power-Up Food.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mazinger Z runs on a Photon Atomic engine. When it runs out of Photon energy, it ceases functioning and it has to be replenished to work again. Its successors Great Mazinger and Mazinkaiser also works with a Photon engine. Another of its sucessors, UFO Robo Grendizer works with the same principle but different energy source.
    • In the same vein, the various Getter Robos are powered by Getter Energy, though some canons state that it can actually recharge itself.
  • Daitarn 3 is powered by the sun.
  • While many Gundam-based Mobile Suits are explicitly stated that they're ran on some sort of nuclear power, Gundam 00 takes the cake - most mook- and enemy- units are initially powered by solar energy, but are easily overwhelmed by the Gundams, which run on GN Particles. By the time the second season starts, everyone has the GN Drives - the engines that run on GN Particles. However, the villains use incomplete variations known as GN Drive Tau, which needs to be replenished once emptied, unlike the true GN Drives.
  • Interesting example in K - Clansmen get their powers from their Kings, and Kings get their powers from the Slates, the real power source (though it's hinted that the Slates get it from somewhere else, but that has yet to be explored). If a King dies, the Clansmen are left with just the powers their King gave them when he was alive, as is the case with the Red Clan in the movie that comes between seasons 1 and 2. But developing a stronger emotional connection with one's King can also make a Clansman more powerful - as in new Silver Clansman Kuroh's development from the movie through the end of season 2.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman's powers come from the yellow sun and he is essentially a solar battery. If he is weakened he can regain strength better in sunlight. This was actually a Retcon that has served to become an important part of his mythos and multiple stories have been told surrounding this.
    • In a more literal example, Superboy Prime built himself a power suit to maintain his solar energy charge and block out red sunlight.
    • Ultraman, Superman's Evil Twin from the Mirror Universe, gets his powers from Kryptonite.
  • A Green Lantern's ring is charged by a lantern connected to the central battery on Oa. The ring had a limited power life span and they would have to recharge it every so often (the exact time would change based on the continuity).
  • Marvel Comics uses this a lot:
    • X-Men leader Cyclops' red optic blasts are charged by solar power. In a pinch they can be charged by Storm's lightning (which turns them white) but it is not at all pleasant for him if he does it.
    • Cyclops' brother Havok gets his powers charged by the energy of the stars. Or the cosmic rays bombarding Earth. Or plasma in any form, Depending on the Writer. Naturally, he got a massive power boost when he got tossed into a star.
    • Sunspot absorbs sunlight and converts it into Super Strength, flight, and energy beams. He can 'store' a certain amount of it, which he has to ration carefully if he fights at night or somewhere dark. Many official descriptions of his power refer to it as a 'solar-powered battery'.
    • Moon Knight gets power boosts from the full moon.
    • The Black Panther gets his powers charged by a plant extract of Wakandan origin.
    • Water is Sub-Mariner's power source. He's still strong out of it, but if you've exposed him to heat or dehydration, immersing him in water again will restore him to strength.
  • Ultiman of Big Bang Comics is a Captain Ersatz version of Superman, but his powers come from a meteor that struck his shuttle when he was an astronaut. Today, he keeps it in a safe in his Secret Citadel, and exposes himself to its rays every now and then to recharge.
    • A pseudo-Bad Future showed a retired Ultiman, who built up a tolerance to the meteor's rays and kept having to expose himself to them for longer and longer until he got radiation sickness and had to quit the superhero game. His powers gradually faded away due to the lack of exposure to the meteor.
  • The Flash normally doesn't have this problem as he can access the Speed Force from anywhere in the universe. But in JLA/Avengers, he needs a battery pack to store energy for when he travels to the Marvel Universe which doesn't have a speed force or anything like it.
  • The Authority's Apollo is powered by sunlight (being a Superman expy). In one arc where he's low on power, the plan is to drop him midair and hope he charges up fast enough to fly before he hits the ground.

  • In Superman Returns, Superman was weakened with a Kryptonite shard in his side, so he Fought Off the Kryptonite by rising into the sunlight.
  • In Masters of the Universe, He-Man had his sword taken from him and used to unlock the secret powers of Grayskull. He was left as a strong but weaponless warrior. Retaking his sword from the lock seemed to renew his strength and even frighten the empowered Skeletor.


  • The titular hero of The Elric Saga is normally an enfeebled albino dependent on rare and exotic drugs to maintain his strength and vitality. All this changes when Stormbringer enters his life and provides the energy he needs. If seperated from the sword, or if the sword is prevented from feeding on soul-energy it passes to Elric, he sickens and almost dies.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Smallville, Clark is fighting against his Bizarro clone who has all of his powers inverted. Kryptonite strengthens him and the sunlight weakens him. It was here that Clark learns that the yellow sun fuels his powers. In an earlier episode, solar flares/sun spots cause his powers to go haywire and he doesn't have the same precision control.
  • In Lois & Clark:
    • A villain has a disintegration weapon that's capable of hurting Superman but they aren't positive they can kill him while using it. To ensure Superman is weakened, they make a catastrophe in an underground missile silo so that while using his powers he doesn't have a backup charge. Superman wins when Lois shorts out the silo door controls, opening them so he could recharge.
    • Lex Luthor is shown using the same weapon against Superman, but simply attacks at night, using Supes' parents as hostages so he won't escape to a part of the world where it's day.
  • Supergirl (2015) had an episode where Kara and Mon-El are stranded on an alien planet with a red sun. The team going to rescue them are given a yellow sun grenade in order to restore their powers if necessary.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • The giant Antaeus, from Greek Mythology, had undefeatable strength as long as he was touching the earth. Heracles defeated him by lifting him into the air and cutting him off from his source of strength, thus making this trope Older Than Feudalism.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions. Powers can be defined as drawing power from an Endurance Battery, which can be recharged through various means (electricity, sunlight, radiation, waiting for the next adventure to begin, and so on).
  • This is how Essence in general works in Exalted; it's recharged by "respiring" the local Essence (a process made more efficient by increasing levels of relaxation), with some circumstances (most notably natives of Creation or the Underworld being in the non-native one) making such respiration harder or impossible. Demesnes and manses (and the hearthstones produced by the latter) and prayer also help recharge Essence.
  • Cole from inFAMOUS needs to be in areas with electricity to recharge his powers, batteries and people can also be drained for power.

    Video Games 
  • Boktai. Django and Aaron are powered by the Sun, Lucian is powered by the Moon, and in a bit of a variation, Sabata is powered by a lack of sunlight.
    • Literally "powered by the Sun", since the game's big gimmick is that letting sunlight hit the game cartridge will power up the player character and make the game easier.
  • In Fallout 3 you can get a perk called "Solar Powered" which gives you massive stat bonuses in the daylight.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, waterbenders and firebenders get their powers from the moon and sun, respectively. Thus, firebenders are stronger during the day, and waterbenders are stronger at night.note  When a certain comet passes through the atmosphere it supercharges the firebenders' abilities, which is a major plot point throughout the series.
  • Birdman is powered by the sun, as are his sidekicks Birdboy and Birdgirl. Unlike Superman above, his batteries are much, much, shorter in storage capacity, as he runs out within minutes of leaving sunlight.
  • Savage's generator from the Justice League episode "Hereafter" generator turns out to work as one for Superman.
  • As a villainous example, when in an episode of Silverhawks Mon*Star is captured and jailed, one of his henchmen pretends to be captured in order to smuggle in a box full of the Moonstar's energy.


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