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Volcanic Veins

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Characters with Volcanic Veins have a form of biological Tron Lines where their veins and arteries will glow intensely from underneath the skin, sometimes even "pulsing" in time with their heartbeat or as if they had real magma flows inside their bodies. It should come as no surprise when dealing with characters who are elemental embodiments of fire and lava — where it gets interesting is that this can be used for just about any biology and power set. Ice powers? Neon blue jagged veins. Ability to manipulate Pure Energy or Mana? Holy white veins. Control over poisons? Sickly green veins (which you probably really don't want to bleed on you). A Black Magic master who's Drunk on the Dark Side? Malevolent purple veins.

Thanks to Psychoactive Powers the veins will glow proportionally strong to the character's health and emotional state. Much like Eye Lights Out, if the character dies you can expect their Volcanic Veins to "dry up", darken, and maybe even harden like cooling lava. It should be noted that artists may not have done the research and draw Volcanic Veins over places or in directions normal surface veins don't go. In these cases it may be that their "magical chi flow" doesn't necessarily have to be identical to their biological blood flow.

Compare Vein-o-Vision and X-Ray Vision. Contrast Tainted Veins, though Volcanic Veins may be a form of this trope if they're the product of an imminent Heroic RRoD. See also Throat Light.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Members of the Vandenreich in Bleach sometimes show these when using Blut Vene to defend against attacks.
  • Digimon Adventure: (2020) has a weaponized example in Abaddomon, who has glowing, vein-like cracks running around its main body. It can fire a lightning-like version of the same energy it uses in its Eye Beams from them.
  • In Umi Monogatari, those corrupted by Sedna have these, particularly on their legs, arms, and face.
  • Guy's veins glow with green G-Stone energy whenever he uses his powers in GaoGaiGar FINAL.
  • In My Hero Academia, Izuku's veins glow bright red while he's using One For All.
  • Whenever someone is under the effects of GUND-Format in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, veins across the users body start to glow. Usually red, but when the young Ericht Samaya was hooked up to the system in the series prologue it glowed blue instead.

    Comic Books 
  • Both Finnegan and Gloriana in the Top Cow series Broken Trinity starring the Witchblade and The Darkness have Volcanic Veins. In Finnegan's case they're bright blue and ice power based. Gloriana has magma red veins.
  • Batman: Bane is sometimes depicted as having glowing green pulsing veins when he injects the Venom that gives him his strength.
  • Wonder Woman (2011): The version of Hephaestus in the New 52 — later revealed to be a fake and part of a set of implanted memories in Wonder Woman (Rebirth) — has cracked-looking skin with glowing red veins on his hands, which fades into pink skin up his forearms.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): When the Two Beings, One Body Artificial Hybrid Monster X is using its powers, or when those powers flare due to one of the two heads experiencing sudden or strong emotions, it produces an autumn-orange glow.
  • Antipodes: After Jigsaw is stung by a manticore, the veins around the puncture wound become engorged, blue and glowing.
  • The Bridge: Enjin has magma hued runes and veins going across its body in both its true and humanoid form. This is to mesh with its role of Aspect of Land. Mizu, the Aspect of Sea, has icy blue markings in the same manner.

    Film — Animated 
  • Near the end of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, after Rourke is transformed by the crystal's power, there are several bizarre glowing red veins visible all over his crystallized body.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • In Animorphs #26, the alien race known as the Howlers has these. For extra points, their skin has the texture of dried lava.
  • Iron Widow: When people with strong qi are actively channeling their power, their meridian lines and eyes glow with the colour of their primary element.
  • The Monster of Elendhaven: Magic literally flows through a sorcerer's veins when they're using it, making them glow with an unnatural light. This is a physical effect as well; overused, it can scald and scar the sorcerer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Geordi was infected by a parasitic species in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Identity Crisis". Those infected turned into invisible aliens that could only be seen under UV light. When exposed, they had neon blue veins.
  • Used in a 1000 Ways to Die anecdote about a rave attendee who got so wasted that he tried to mainline the luminous fluid from a glowstick. Justified in the anatomical animations, although the fluid's light probably shouldn't have been visible through his skin in the live-action scene.
  • The Eidelons in Farscape; the occasionally glowing "veins" are actually the segmented parts of their faces which they can split open to reveal their empathic organ (one wonders where they keep their brains?).
  • In season seven of Supernatural, Castiel briefly sports bright, glowing red veins (and eyes) when he transfers Sam's Hell-induced mental agony to himself to save Sam's life.
  • The popular Ultraman Tiga kaiju Golza gains literal versions of these when he metamorphoses into Fire Golza by absorbing magma.
  • The season two premiere of The Gifted (2017) sees Reed Strucker exhibiting these. He's a mutant whose father chemically suppressed his powers. Looks like it's wearing off.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Genasi, the descendants of humanoids and elementals, have glowing lines on their bodies, unique to them and a sign of whatever element they are manifesting.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Koth of the Hammer, a powerful geo/lavamancer, has craggy growths of iron interspersed with lines of molten metal covering his arms and upper chest.
  • Pathfinder: A magma dragon's stony skin is crisscrossed by glowing cracks and fissures dripping with molten lava.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Avatar of Khaine manifests as a towering iron statue covered in a network of glowing cracks, symbolizing the immense power of the war god barely held within a physical shell.

  • Adam Power, Shaya, and the Trigore from the Power Lords line of action figures.

    Video Games 
  • The PC's tattoos start doing this in the Fable series if you use magic often.
  • Cassandra from Gemini: Heroes Reborn have her veins glowing blue when she's using her Mind over Matter powers. Clearly, too, given there's a close-up on her hands everything she does it.
  • The boss Fyrus in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • BioShock:
    • In BioShock, this trope is invoked on the protagonist's veins quite frequently, depending on the plasmid at the time. It's surprisingly well researched too.
    • It's used less often in BioShock Infinite, in favour of more visible external mutations of Booker's hands, but it still appears as part of the Charge Vigor's manifestation. It can be seen with Shock Jockey too, but only at certain angles.
  • Beowulf from Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening has glowing white lines in his arms and wings.
  • Ether One gives its protagonist glowing blue veins when using their memory-restoring device.
  • In Octopath Traveler, the Chapter 3 and 4 bosses of Cyrus's story gain this upon using blood-crystals.
  • Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza in Pokémon, with their veins prominently pulsating in the title screens of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire/Emerald versions. Groudon manifests the "volcanic" part a bit more, since it rules over land and lives in a volcano. Groudon and Kyogre's Primal Reversions take this even further with Groudon's veins full of lava and Kyogre's much more pronounced, glowing bright yellow.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bane and the Titan Henchmen have glowing green Venom/Titan pulsating throughout their bodies.
  • Anders in Dragon Age II manifests these and Glowing Eyes of Doom whenever Justice/Vengeance asserts itself.
    • Should a Mage Hawke specialise in Blood Magic, they get these.
  • The Drakes from Battle for Wesnoth normally have green scaled skin, but the Burner family, with their stronger connection to their inner fire, have gray skin. As their fire gets stronger, it shows more and more through their scales and their veins that they eventually become blazing red, as in the case of Inferno and Armageddon Drakes.
  • Nano-soldiers in Red Faction 2 have either Volcanic Veins or Tron Lines around their eyes and down their arms that pulse when they do something nano-related.
  • The protagonist of Overlord II has bright blue veins on his dark blue skin.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • After Bolvar Fordragon was resurrected/saved by red dragon fire at the Wrathgate, his body was left charred and covered in veins of ember.
    • Deathwing has literal volcanic veins, due to Power Incontinence as a result of his corruption, he has cracks in his body through which lava seeps out. If not for his armor holding him together, he wouldn't have lasted as long he did.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Senator Armstrong gains these in the final boss battle of the game.
  • Collector Drones in Mass Effect 2 do this when Harbinger assumes direct control.
    • Commander Shepard also has a downplayed version of this: as their Renegade score increases, the cybernetic implants around their face become more pronounced with a notable crimson glow. This also extends to their eyes.
  • Revenants in Mortal Kombat X have volcanic veins, especially on their torsos, upper arms, and around their eyes. It's particularly prominent on Kitana and Jax. This is in contrast to the previous game, where revenants had cracked grey skin to reveal their undead status.
  • XCOM 2's Templars all have these in purple, likely a result of their advanced Psychic Powers.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, the Demon Tsukuyomi's body pulses with red light, which comes from its death from being burned alive.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: When Hazel injects himself with Dust, he develops veins through his arms of the same colour as the Dust; the veins produce effects based on the Dust he's used. Lightning Dust produces yellow veins that crackle with electricity; Fire Dust produces red veins that spark with flames; Ice Dust produces ice-blue veins and Hard Light Dust produces white veins. Earth Dust is the exception, causing the skin to sprout rocky crystals instead of producing veins.

  • Ava in Ava's Demon has had Volcanic Veins ever since the pact with Wrathia.
  • In Crankrats, this is one of the manifestations of a Crankrat's power.
  • Willow of Earthsong gets deep purple veins around her manifest stone and then up her arms when she develops and then overuses her soulstone power of manipulating soulstones.

    Web Original 
  • In Phaeton when Trayen energises, Kazuo absorbs rather than nullifies, Lalita absorbs water, Frost powers up and probably a few things that haven't been mentioned yet, this will happen.

    Western Animation 
  • In the later episodes of Code Lyoko, the Kolossus sports quite literal Volcanic Veins since it has the appearance of a giant lava Golem. As expected, they cool down and the glow dissipates once it's finally killed.
  • From Wakfu, Rubilax the major Shushu has glowing Volcanic Veins in his true, demonic giant form.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, both Queen Eclipsa and Moon develop these from using black magic.
  • Megatron from Transformers: Prime briefly displays Volcanic Veins as a result of being corrupted by Dark Energon during his fight with Optimus Prime.
  • Steven Universe: The five-Gem fusion Obsidian has red glowing lines all throughout her body and hair.
  • Staying too long in the titular Final Space can lead to someone getting Final Space poisoning, which usually takes the form of the person's veins glowing yellow.
  • The Coven sigils from The Owl House have this effect once activated. When the Draining Spell is activated, the sigils glow, then spread glowing yellow lines up the victim's arm and across their whole body as their lifeforce and magic are slowly drained. This effect is extremely painful, and victims experience weakness, then paralysis in the limb that has the sigil, then growing overall fatigue until they fall unconscious, followed by eventual death. The only way to stop it, aside from ending the Draining Spell itself, is to amputate the limb with the sigil on it, which Raine ends up doing to Eda.

    Real Life 
  • Certain medical tests involve injecting the patient with a mild radioactive isotope, which shows up something like this on radiation-sensitive cameras.
  • There is a story out there about a drug dealer who tripped out at a rave and injected glow stick fluid into his veins. He had this effect for several minutes, and became the center of attention... and then he dropped dead.
  • Modern genetic engineering allows to introduce some genes into plants, making them glow under certain conditions. In particular, there are pictures of tobacco plant which is glowing more or less uniformly except its leaves, where it looks surprisingly like this.
    • There is a species of orchid, macodes peteola, that can look like its veins are glowing TRON-style (see?). Yes, it's naturally-occurring, if you're wondering.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Glowing Veins, Vein Glorious


She-Hulk Transforms

Jennifer Walters's first transformation into She-Hulk is portrayed as an exhilarated experience, and she uses her new powers to free herself.

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Main / TransformationExhilaration

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