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Web Video / The Platoon of Power Squadron

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Left to right: Jonas, Virginia, Sebastian, Donald

A YouTube-based serial about four twenty-somethings sharing an apartment together in Chicago. Oh yeah, and they all happen to have superpowers.

The show revolves around Donald, Jonas, Sebastian, and Virginia trying to go about their lives while also trying to deal with, and depending on the person in question, either exploit or ignore their superpowers. Meanwhile, a mysterious supernatural entity possesses people in search of an unstoppable force of power... and our super-powered protagonists catch its eye.

Also known as PoPS. The series concluded in 2017, and a full playlist with all the episodes can be found here. The YouTube channel is here.

This show provides examples of:

  • Acting for Two: Of a sort. Fox 4/Bellatrix spends a lot of time away from Sebastian and her other copies, effectively making her a different character entirely.
  • Action Girl: Both Sebastian and Virginia step it up a LOT in Episode Seven.
  • All There in the Manual: The names of the doctor and nurses who tend to Jonas in Episode 10 are in the credits, as Dr. Mountbatten-Windsor, Nurse Dylan, and Nurse Murphy respectively.
  • Aw Look They Really Do Love Eachother: When Donald loses his job, the team realizes they can no longer pay their rent. It's a split vote on moving together to a smaller apartment or kicking Donald out in exchange for a new roommate, and it's up to Jonas to decide. He and Donald do NOT get along. And then...
    Donald: Great. I'm gonna go pack up my things.
    Jonas: ...I think we should all move together.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Estal's so used to the routine of going out, getting mugged, and being saved by Donald, that by Episode Seven, she's not even trying anymore.
  • Badass Longcoat: Jonas's black trench coat during the winter episodes.
  • Berserk Button: Bella is completely unresponsive to her captors' threats and physical abuse. Threaten her boyfriend, though, and she shows you what she's really made of.
  • Body Surf: In Episode 3, an unknown evil force starts out as a black cloud, takes over a teenage boy's body, and takes over other people as it finds stronger bodies to inhabit.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Once Bella's Berserk Button is pressed in Episode 7, we find out she could have broken out at any time and beaten up all the guys surrounding her no problem.
  • Brick Joke: In Episode 2. McTrick walks home from the comic book store, and Jonas shuts off his brain. Later, Donald talks about how he shocked a guy to death and brought him back.
    Jonas: Oh, that reminds me. *Glowing eyes.*
  • Buffy Speak: "You can't be a vigilante without first being vigilant-y...-ish."
  • Bullet Catch: If Donald drinks carbonated grape juice, it messes with his powers enough to let him make an impregnable shield or coating around himself that even bullets can't get through. After testing it out, he tries catching the bullet in his hand as it's shot, and it works. It does burn him a little, though, given that the bullet just came out of a gun. Donald's used this technique several times since.
    • In Episode 7, Jonas also does this using telekinesis, first stopping the bullet in mid-air, then grabbing it and trowing it into one of the other bad guys.
  • Butt-Monkey: Riley. Everyone hates Riley. It's gotten to the point that he's genuinely really surprised that it's someone else that gets singled out when they meet their new trainer in Episode 8.
    Ten: (to Ricky) Feeling like you might be the most fun to teach.
    Riley: Thank God, I was pretty sure that was gonna land on me.
  • Call-Back: In Episode 7, Jonas tries to convince Donald to visit the Keeper of the Secrets.
    Donald: No way, dude. I'm still getting over the whole super-sorority let-down.
    • In Episode 8:
    Donald: When's the last time you had an afternoon doing a little *takes a shot* science?
  • Cliffhanger: Episode 9 ends with Damon holding Fox Four's body hostage and Sebastian rushing off to save her. Donald and Virginia follow closely behind, while Jonas refuses due to fear of losing control of his powers again.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Seen in Episode 4 when a reporter talks about an "L-Virus" epidemic.
  • Comic-Book Time: Downplayed. Events could play out in the span of a month, but time seems to go faster between episodes.
  • Conversational Troping: Jonas and Donald on the roof is of particular note when they talk about what type of superpower Donald most resembles (Batman, but not the Frank Miller version)
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Donald starts acting this way towards Estal in Episode 8, to the point where he starts physically pushing her around while interrogating her about another guy and ignoring her telling him to stop. He's snapped out of it before he can do any serious damage, and it ends up breaking the Damsel curse – Donald thought he was supposed to save Estal from the danger she least expects, but it turns out, he was that danger. He tried to apologize afterwards, but Estal was having none of it. Thankfully, it's all undone by Jonas time travelling and re-writing the past since before Donald started heading down that road.
  • Cursed with Awesome: How Jonas feels about his god-like powers. He saves the world every day by making an effort not to use them. Virginia worries that her time-stopping might have unseen consequences. Sebastian is upset when split-off versions of her get independent ideas. Only Donald appears to be completely happy with his awesome powers.
  • Daydream Surprise: Seen in Episode 2 when Donald is in a bear costume.
    Annoying Kid: Your mother must be so proud.
    Donald: Eat voltage, kid!
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The title.
  • Designated Victim: Estal literally can't go out for one night without being harassed by muggers or potential rapists. It doesn't matter how much or little effort she puts into her appearance, where she goes, what route she takes, it all ends the same. She can't even get a job at a cash register because it keeps getting robbed. It's explained that she became a Damsel when Donald became a superhero, and is instinctively drawn to dangerous zones and future crime scenes. This will stop happening to her only when she is saved by an unlikely hero from the danger she least expects, whatever that may be. This is discussed and lampshaded by several characters, with Donald even comparing his constant rescuing of her to other famous examples of this trope.
  • Do Wrong, Right: After one of Estal's muggers gives up crime and apologizes to her, she forgives him, then tries to make him feel better by saying that he was very bad at mugging. She'd know, she's been mugged plenty.
  • Einstein Hair: The Keeper of Secrets has this.
  • Evil Laugh: Donald during his fight with Jonas and Sebastian while he's shocking them both with lightning. Subverted because he's not evil, but at the moment he was mad with power.
  • Exact Words: Sebastian tries this tactic to convince her and Virginia's first customer to let them take the case.
    Sebastian: We haven't failed a case yet.
    Virginia: *Pointed look*
    Sebastian: ...Well, we haven't!
  • Eye Scream: Carl gets this twice. The first time around, Donald blinds him with a shock straight to the sockets. Later, Damon forces his useless eyes out of his head and replaces them with smokey ones.
  • Fanservice: Episode 4/Part 1.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: It seems one of the goons at the end of Episode Seven wasn't quite knocked out hard enough. Neither were the other three bad guys.
  • Finishing Stomp: How Bill meets his end, courtesy of a possessed Bella.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Donald is on the computer in Episode 7, some of the other tabs open include Google searches for “how to get girls naked” and “getting free pizza”.
  • Funny Background Event: In Episode 8, Sebastian drinks a glass of raw eggs and immediately spits (and washes) it out. Meanwhile, Jonas and Virginia keep talking about fight training.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The main group has two guys (Donald and Jonas) and two girls (Virginia and Sebastian, counting all the Sebastians as one).
  • Gender-Blender Name: Sebastian totally rocks the traditionally-male name.
  • Genre Savvy: Jonas. Donald goes to him for help because he knows a lot about superheroes ("There's nothing wrong with that!"), and Jonas even unwittingly predicts the existence of the evil smoke thingy.
    • And in Episode 7, Ricky is the first to realize he's in deep with the super-powered shenanigans. Couples with Genre Blindness when Carl tries to Hand Wave everything Ricky throws at him.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Especially if it's the same girl.
    Precious: Look, we knows you got a bunch of dem, like, clones running around, we've seen them. ...So you ever, like, fool around with them or somethin', you know?
    Carl pulls Precious back, interrupting him.
    Precious: Wh- hey! We were all thinkin' it!
  • Goth: The Keeper of the Keeper of Secrets is a male variant, complete with black fingernail polish and a bit of a thing for drama.
  • Heel Realization: Donald in Episode 8 after he almost attacks Estal. Subverted when he's posessed by the smoke-monster, attacks the others, and Jonas blows off his head. Double Subverted when Jonas takes a 4-day Stable Time Loop to avoid Donald getting posessed, at the end of which they have a serious talk about heroism.
  • How We Got Here: Episode Seven starts like this.
  • I Call It "Vera": Zig-Zagged. Ten, the fight trainer, has a baseball bat which he calls Trish. He acknowledges "she" is inanimate but he also talks about "her" like a girlfriend.
    Ten: *Holds up a baseball bat.* This is Trish. Don't ever try to talk to Trish. People think that because I named her they can talk to her — she's not a cartoon, she can't talk back.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Jonas, and Virginia to a degree.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Damon in Episode Six, where he gets a craving for his wife.
  • Insistent Terminology: “Not a family!”
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In Episode 6:
    Sebastian: Yeah, but now you know you can totally bust into a place using superpowers and not have everything get out of hand.
    *Cut to Donald getting shot at as he runs out of a drug lab.*
  • Jerkass: Jonas. He has a crush on Virginia, so when she goes out on a date with another guy, he secretly mind controls her date to give her a really bad time. (It also seems possible that he's done this before in the past).
    • He also heavily implies he forced a lot of girls at 16 to date him, and since he had full control...
  • Leitmotif: Each of the four main characters has one that plays whenever they use their powers. You can listen to them here.
  • Limited Wardrobe: For some unexplained reason, Jonas wears the same shirt in every episode.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Donald can stop normal peoples' hearts with lightning, but he can also restart them with a quick jolt.
  • Metaphorically True: Sebastian: "We haven't failed a case yet."
  • Mood Whiplash: Riley's death in Episode 8 really put a damper on things.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Spike, Roxy, and Veronique are the only normals to know about the Platoon's powers. Spike in particular is good at playing the normal human when the occasion arises.
  • Odd Name Out: Danny, Dicky, Riley, Ricky, and... Bill.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: We see a variation when introduced to the Keeper of the Secrets.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Jonas hasn't gotten one yet, but he does give one to a guy he mind controls.
  • Psychic Powers: Jonas has the abilities of telekinesis, Mind Control, pyrokinesis, and telepathy. He finally shows Donald some of the things he can do with his powers in Episode 5, Part 5.
  • Self-Duplication: Sebastian. She can self-duplicate and she often uses her clones to go to work for her or play video games with her.
  • Shock and Awe: Donald. "Energy Ball!!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • "And you know what happens to a toad when it gets struck by lightning."
    • To Avatar: The Last Airbender: “Man, I am trying to see if Katara's going to end up with Aang or Zuko! Kinda hoping Aang, but I am never going to find out if you keep bothering me about this!
    • Jonas is shown watching Bleach in Episode 3, even singing the opening song and shouting "Orihime!" at some point.
    • Jake Jarvi (the writer/director/producer/Jonas/everything) is obviously a Joss Whedon fanboy, as there are several references to his work. (On a side note, it seems that Sebastian probably ships Buffy/Giles).
  • Sitting on the Roof: Of a sort. In Episode 8, Donald and Jonas climb to the top of a skyscraper and have a serious discussion about heroism.
    Jonas: Yeah, you come up here to feel like a hero.
  • The Stinger: Episode Seven has Sebastian punching the guy who hired them to steal an expensive statue.
  • Super-Strength: It's very likely all four of the main cast get this along with their individual powers. Jonas and Donald's experimenting has uncovered that they're far more susceptible to each other's attacks than to non-superpowered Spike's, and on the inverse, their powers affect regular people much more than each other. Fox Four has also demonstrated extreme strength.
  • Taser Tag Weakness: Unsurprisingly subverted. Bill tries to take down Donald this way, completely forgetting that Donald USES electricity as an attack. It ends up supercharging him for a while, leading him to zap anything he touches, including his phone and another person. Thankfully, it wears off.
  • Team Mom: Virginia. She refers to the group as a family, and she breaks up a superpower fight between the other three in Episode 1 with a short, momish lecture afterwards. Happens again in Episode 5 when Donald doesn't return from fighting crime and Virginia gets worried.
  • Teleport Spam: While Virginia's power is not technically teleporting, it can be used to much the same effect in battle. This is best demonstrated in Episode 7, where, when combined with Sebastian's clones, it produces truly amazing results.
  • Theme Naming: The four business men left from Damon's old company are Danny, Dicky, Riley, and Rickey. And then there's Bill, who was just hired, so he hadn't gotten a chance to prove himself worthy or unworthy.
  • Time Master: Virginia. Though she can initially only make time stand still for everyone but herself, she later discovers that she can unstop other people, teleport, and time travel.
  • Title Drop: The gang comes up with it on the spot in episode 5.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Jonas, good guy dark actions both in episode 7 where he kills four people and describes it as adding to his death tally and implied in his past where he was a horrible person as a teenager and he clings to his resolve not to use his powers to keep himself honest.
  • Villainous BSoD: Jonas is hinted at having one of these in the past, forcing him to try to never use his powers again. He still has a hard time controlling the impulse though.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Super-Sorority, the Mediocri-team, and Steve Man aren't seen after their one scene. (Well, except for the sewing girl.) Possibly justified, as episode 9 reveals that Brian, who was running the meeting, and the guy who took the sheet, were looking for the Platoon and set up the meet up specifically to do so.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Bill's the only one of Damon's henchmen who's not okay with getting physical when interrogating Bella, even if it takes him a while to speak up about it.
  • Your Head Asplode:
    • Damon does this to Dicky in Episode 7. It's also one of the more horrific things Jonas can do and does, in Episode 8.
    • Jonas exploded Donald's head in Episode 9 when his body was possessed by Damon/the smoke monster.