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Recap / My Superhero University Holding Too Tightly Afraid To Lose Control

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My Superhero University | Season 02, Episode 02: Holding Too Tightly, Afraid To Lose Control

Holiday: Attention all civilians and personnel. This is your local ACP unit speaking. Please remain orderly and calm during your proceedings. Thank you.
Clay: You know, I should be slightly offended that I didn't even have to bother disguising myself for this place.
Renegade: Mmm I can practically taste the malice in the air tonight...Even if our friends don't show up this is a good day for me already, don't you think dear?
Martin: You are here one way or the other trying to help people. In my book all that makes you is a good being. For all of our...well lets not split hairs and just call them faults, I don't think a single person in this class would say anything different. And if they do I will sick Mahvash on them for the slight.
Rally Speaker: Of course, this is all because we let one man decide how things should be run. Because one man just happened to save the planet every now and then, all while being as strong as could be. And we were all taken in. We thought he was our savior. A holy angel from on high, come to punish the wicked and create a path for tomorrow. But, and this one everyone forgets, Lucifer was an angel too. While we were suckered in by the Saint's promises of hope and a better future, he was paving the way for our world to be overrun by creatures that only the devil himself could imagine. And if you don't believe me, just take a stroll near the University the next couple blocks over. Practically the spawn of Satan himself is serving as their Principal! If that isn't a sign of the end times, I don't know what is.
Ivy Mountain: Foolish mortals. This only happened because you forgot to pay homage to your gods! And as for you, recalcitrant additional 25 lashes on top of your 35 for attempting to evade justice!
Geistcutter: I'm the Lance of Longinus, bitch! Come at us!
Mahvash: For the future, right in the middle of the stadium is a waiting kill zone...Both Guardians and Terrans—our friends from the greenhouse—are moving. Do not engage either. If the former are here for an artifact, we can intercept them...The Terrans are trying to go from drooling mania to this and if they want to play super, they can take the Guardians' opening attack...
Mikael: I'd tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again.
Renegade: The Guardians desires of a new world? The old guard trying to maintain order? This isn't the start of a new era of heroes, or humanity, or anything else. My new era starts with this, come and kill me. All of you reached the 'bad ending' you so wanted.
Mikael: utter fool, Martin. Your ideal... was never possible. I'm sorry, Martin. For what it's worth, I will avenge you. And wipe this monster from the face of the Earth.
Martin: A bad hero...Finn, how many people have you saved in your life? Let me guess, you aimed low. Maybe three digits? Less? You're wrong. Because for every one person you save, you save everyone connected to that person. Someone doesn't cry over a lost son or daughter, someone's best friend gets to call them. You put your ass on the line, no one is forcing you to, no one would mind if you went for the simple life, but you are here, saving more people then you can imagine. Because someone sees you and says 'I want to be like him when I grow up' and they go on and save people after you. You aren't a bad hero. You aren't a good hero. You're just a hero Finn...Most people made it out okay, but there might be one or two trapped somewhere. Want to make a few more differences today?

  • Short Synopsis: Pro-Terran/Gaean civilians hold a rally at the convention center within spitting distance of Saint University. The students observe to help with security. Other forces have their own plans...
  • First Post: 30 May 2019
  • Webcomic Time: 28 December 2020

Tropes - Caution, unmarked spoilers

  • A "True" Hero: A simmering conflict in the background. The Saint indicated his preference for the Ideal Hero... and is also dead. And no one is there to advise the student heroes on action. They find themselves on opposite sides of a few big choices.
  • Almighty Idiot: The Guardian Angel - as it was called in the chat, its a humongous monstrosity...that apparently runs on Windows 7.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: How the convention center incident becomes 3 then 4 sided. Squads 1,3, and 4 charge in to engage both the Terrans and the Guardians (well Renegade's cell and Malhareff army). Then Dementius enters the fray.
  • Batman Gambit: Malhareff relies on Mason destroying the sealing devices... as he advised. It may or may not have worked, but see Unwitting Pawn.
  • Boring, but Practical: Both Mahvash and Mikael hang out outside the crowded and tense convention center to observe events and have freer movement. The ones inside quickly get pinned down.
  • Break the Cutie: Martin declares he'll never live up to his Ideal Hero image after the S3 struggle. Cole is thoroughly broken by a sentence from Malharaff to the point that it triggers a Freak Out. Dante can only apologize profusely to an empty cave after having been possessed the whole arc. Subverted with Sally, who pulls herself back from the Despair Event Horizon. Perry manages to function, but is not proud of her performance in the episode.
  • Call-Back: Mahvash does exactly what she laid out in the 1st episode's training exercise: she found two (or more) sides clashing and let them punish each other while mopping up the remains and taking their prize.
  • Came Back Strong: Martin learns to channel some of his newfound power... all it took was near death. Holiday lampshades this.
  • Chance Meeting Between Antagonists: Tess and Finn bump into each other in the convention center before everything goes further FUBAR.
  • Chase Fight: Sally finally gets to the university for some care. ...And then Dementius crashes in.
  • Chevalier vs. Rogue: The pressure of this dynamic seriously hampers squad 3. Mikael considers Martin a Wide-Eyed Idealist, whose ideals occasionally threaten lives. Martin sees those who fight monsters in the squad and specifically remarked on the coldness in Mikael's eyes as he readied to fire. Further both were in combat at the time, so neither could really do any explaining. As for the verse's judgement, well Martin and Rebecca are the only ones Saint approved of (with Lucy sometimes in and sometimes out). But he's the one Token Good Teammate on the consistently antiheroic Squad 3. The clash leads to Martin's transfer and him partly giving up his ideals.
  • Cutting the Knot: Mahvash bypasses the Terrans, Guardians, and Dementius and tunnels straight to the artifact before intending to leave just as directly and advises the IW of the same. The latter just have slight problems with that.
  • Demonic Possession: Literally. Dante spends the arc with Dementius piloting his body. And, oddly, the people who should know this do know this but prioritize other issues.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: After Malharaff's gambits fail, his unmentioned second army breaches the university, gets past any unmentioned defenses, and makes off with Saint's body entirely unnoticed or interfered with and well within sight of the convention center where the action is.
  • Evil Gloating: Pretty much the only language that Malharaff and Dementius speak.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Mahvash ruthlessly prioritizes getting the task done and orders the issues descending on her squad, the other squads, and the civilians (in that order) by simple math. Later, it takes her microseconds to answer 'no' to Malhareff's Hostage for MacGuffin offer.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Guardians, Terrans, semi-affiliated humans and nonhumans of both factions, and Class 1 (and all of its sub-factions) are all thrown into the convention center and set to blend.
  • The Heavy: The role of the main villainous attacker of the arc goes to the Intergalactic Guardian Angel, a massive and horrifyingly powerful if simple-minded being that Malhareff sealed away in devices called Clastohedrons.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: Perry semi-shuts down during the hostage situation, and defaults to keeping the artifact away from Malhareff.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Malhareff uses technopathy to puppet Sally's robotic limbs and keeps her hostage to trade for the artifact. It takes Mahvash no time at all to realize Malhareff has no reason to hold up his end nor does she.note  And yet Cole believes him heartily.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Renegade tries this. Oddly enough, it works, but not as he intended.
  • New Meat: Holiday, Wilma, and technically Jenni.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Martin 'disguises' himself in a baseball cap and baggy clothing.
  • Party Scattering: The Iridium Wonders for varying reasons. Dante isn't piloting his own body. Sally positioned herself inside the convention center and got pinned down. Mahvash prioritized going straight for the goal. And Ryuu ended up running back and forth.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: How Cole's initial investigation of Dementius ends. Invoked Trope as well as Dementius calls it.
  • Save the Villain: Martin blocks Mikael's rifle fire at Renegade... for which Renegade quite literally stabs Martin through the back.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Lily manifests signs of PTSD. Not surprising, considering she may have spent years in her nightmare. Just looking at the crowd triggers her. Cole gets flashbacks himself when Malhareff takes Sally hostage. It leads to a Freak Out (see below).
  • Spanner in the Works: Cole freaks out and attacks Mahvash during the hostage incident, which sort of threw a wrench into her either just letting Malharaff sweat it out with nothing to bargain for or confuse him with the decoy.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Renegade tries one, to the point of leaving himself open in front of Mikael. Emphasis on tries.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Ellie destroys Malhareff's 'clastohedrons' releasing a geometric thing ('Intergalactic Guardian Angel'). Albeit, this trope was almost subverted as her smashing them had nothing to do with Malhareff's attempts to make Mason smash them.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Dementius spends the first part of his screen time drinking coffee. Of course, this outs marks him as definitively evil. A true hero would be sipping tea.
  • We Need a Distraction: Malhareff sets up his hologram, his mooks, and even his Intergalactic Guardian Angel.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Sally is grappling with the choice of going full robot.
  • Wild Card: Luce seems to cooperate with Mikael after a Reunion Kiss. Of course, it is Luce.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": The speaker at the rally thinks Gaea was 'too forceful' a line after praising them.

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