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Webcomic / Cassiopeia Quinn

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Cassiopeia Quinn is a Web Comic written by Gunwild and drawn by Psudonym.

Cassiopeia Quinn is a space pirate renowned for her complete disregard for the rule of law, her own safety, and pants, who plunders everything from trinkets to whole starships with the help of her best friend, Zeke the robot cowboy. Captain Madison Vrax is a young, up-and-coming officer of the Prime Galactic Navy, currently at war with the honorable warrior race known as the Vanaa. Their first encounter spawns strange alliances, new friendships, and a pursuit across the galaxy. The universe will never be the same...


Cassiopeia Quinn contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Mr. Kwah, having seen a dramatized museum exhibit about one of its fellow vanaa sacking a human colony, says "My self enjoys this propaganda. It has good ideas."
  • Adorkable: David "Kettlehead" Kettering is one of the cutest crew in Madison's ship.
  • Adult Fear: When Old Salt endangers the orphans on Cassiopeia's ship Madison and crew unanimously agree to take him down in preference to catching Quinn. Zeke even lends a much-needed hand.
  • Alien Catnip: Starch is to Vanaa what tobacco is to humans—it's even packaged similarly.
  • Anything That Moves: Le Fyne has no hang-ups on gender or species when it comes to his choice of lovers. Anything's fair game.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Vanaa's alerts when their ship is being hacked.
    Comrades, do not enter the zoom tubes! They are zooming erroneously! Doors are closing on their own! My cup-holder has disengaged!
  • Badass Adorable:
    • The Vanaa, particularly Prince Gleb's crew.
    • Also, skriptkity, a hyper-intelligent cyber-organism-dealie-thing, capable of making mincemeat out of high-level security systems while talking like a lolcat.
  • Badass Bystander: Br. Botz duel with Vrax is cut short by the random Doggo civilian Botz was holding in her hand, who frees himself and incapacitates her. He's even immortalised in Vrax's "nearly-life-sized" statue.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill One of Cass' specialties.
  • Beta Couple: Talps and Kettering.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: All over the place given the setting but standouts include the Vanaa's jelly-based biology and Theira, whose species of alien arthropods incorporate genetic material from their environment which is expressed through successive moultings. Since Theira's spent her whole life with/near humans, her biology is bizarre to her own species.
    • Xerran puberty apparently tends to occur later and be milder.
  • Blood Knight: Theira joined the Prime Galactic Navy to shoot guns, both ship's weapons and firearms.
  • Bland-Name Product: Gel-Oh.
  • Buffy Speak: Cassopeia does this.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Dr. Botz is dramatically evil and revels in the cliches. When captured and forced to work in another villain's robotics lab, she decries them for such things as a lack of creativity in their requested drones, and for keeping the railings in their labs up to the safety codes.
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  • The Casanova: Le Fyne has this rep in universe. For her part, Cassie's not interested. Her interactions with him are the one time she's all business.
  • The Chessmaster: Prince Gleb has a knack for this.
  • Cyborg:
    • As it turns out, Zeke. Apparently whatever incident required him to become one was sufficiently traumatizing that he seriously considered suicide at one point.
    • Dr. Botz, a cyborg scientist and minor antagonist.
    • Motor Minx is also a cyborg.
  • Code of Honour: a complex aversion, or possibly inversion involving Madison Vrax. Vrax's cap was given to her by her former Commanding Officer, before being killed in a Martyrdom Culture duel. Vrax inherits his post, making enemies who arguably, have a better claim to it. Vrax meets her Commander's opponent in a fencing tournament, playing a tactical match and inadvertently provoking her opponent to wound her before the signal to restart and so, forfeiting the tournament, followed by a Brothers in Arms handshake. The clear implication is that Vrax' self-defined restraint is superior to her opponent's Honour Before Reason attitude, but this is by no means universally agreed in-universe and doesn't address whether Vrax really IS unsuitable for her post.
  • Culture Police: A new faction in the Vaana, which is watching the prince.
  • Dem Bones: Apparently the Vaana naturally resemble humanoid skulls, and one, who revels in that, has what appears to be one, hopefully fake, floating around in his head.
  • For the Lulz: Cassiopeia's primary motivation for her piracy is the thrill of the execution rather than the prize at the end. Even the contents of her (impressive) trophy room are "just stuff" to her.
  • Game Face: When Theira is angry or engaged in combat, her normally human-looking face sprouts mandibles and a fanged mouth.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Zeke sure seems to think so about Cassiopeia being flirted with by Motor Minx, another girl.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The nefarious Headhunter has a scar across one of his eyes.
  • Good vs. Good: The main conflict of the story is between the Lawful Good Madison Vrax, and the Chaotic Good Cassiopeia Quinn.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe:
    • Madison Vrax, who is blue and whose skin color comes from the non-human side of her family.
    • "Kettlehead" is a male version of this trope, also possessing blue skin.
    • played with in the case of Talps, who is green .... right through...
  • Has Two Mommies: Maddie's parents, according to her childhood strips.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Madison Vrax is part Earthling, part Xerran.
    • Kettlehead is roughly 1/8th Xerran. Madison says that's more or less the average.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Defied by this Doggo who rescues himself (and Vrax)
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Parodied:
    Theira: Gimme a gun that shoots straight, and I can blast a Terran Buffalo out from between its wings! (I'm thinking of the right animal, right?)
  • Identical Grandson: Prince Poolg is able to use a museum display of his grandpa to evade a bounty hunter.
  • In Medias Res: The comic begins with Cassiopeia floating in space amid a space battle between the Regency and the Vanaa Empire, having briefly blacked out after getting hit by stray debris. It turns out she's there to steal a Regency spaceship, though we don't learn this for several pages.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Theira's species.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Between Kettlehead and Talps.
    • Two of the racers, Skarf and Lark.
  • Killer Rabbit: Farring initially holds this view towards all Vanaa, due to an encounter with The Old Salt. The latter's appearance in the race arc shows that this is not unsubstantiated. They also, like rabbits, were very low on the food chain before developing weapons.
  • Latex Space Suit: Cassiopeia starts off the comic in a skintight space suit.
  • L33t L1ng0: scriptkity speaks entirely in lolcats shoutouts and chatspeak.
  • Lilliputians: The planet in "Big Trouble" is populated by tiny dog-like people.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The tiny people from "Big Trouble" are a borderline example — they have dog ears and dog coloration.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Kettering and Talps.
  • Loveable Rogue: Quinn... depending on who you ask. On one hand, she stole Vrax's ship while mocking her the whole time and stripped it for parts. On the other hand, she gave parts from the ship to a space colony so that they could grow crops in irradiated soil.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Botz, a recurring antagonist that has attempted to take control of multiple planets.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: One of the bounty hunters seen during the Big Race chapter is a Vanaa with a suit of Powered Armor that resembles this, with their jelly body poking out the top as the 'head.' It also comes equipped with an ejector seat.
    • A policeman on a neutral colony is a miniature octopus driving around an android, with himself floating in a tank of water for the head. See here
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Theira has a double row of shark teeth in addition to the mandibles that unfold when she's angry, effectively splitting her face in half when she gets in a rant.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Quinn's normal attire is a skimpy two-piece and thigh-high boots and her character description describes one of her likes as being "pantslessness."
    • Talps up and admits that this why she likes her human form—it gets David all hot-and-bothered.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: One of the racers has three arms, allowing them to use two for driving and the third for a weapon.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Zeke is a robotic (cyborg) space cowboy.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: The space war between the Prime Galactic Navy and the Vanaa is fought using robofighter drones with actual direct conflict and loss of life being rare. The losers of the battles are allowed to retreat with their enemies saluting them as worthy opponents. It's been noted a few times that maintaining the diplomatic connections, codes of conduct, and general sense of civility to keep the war from averting this trope hard is not easy.
  • Not So Different: The Regency (which is mostly composed of humans) and the Vanaa are at war because humans and Vanaa are fairly unique among space-faring races for being naturally inclined to conquest. It's a rare-but-consistent plot point that maintaining the codes of conduct and sense of diplomatic civility needed to keep takes a lot of work.
    Vanaa King: The typical Vanaa believes that we are in opposition to the humans because we are too different. Because our appearances are different. Because their reproduction is different. Because even their food can kill us. The truth is that we fight because we are so similar.
  • Oddly Visible Eyebrows: not consistently, but Madison Vrax sometimes has this
    • Averted with Talps, who IS translucent to some extent and doesn't actually have hair at all
  • Official Couple: Cassiopeia and Zeke, though Cass will gladly flirt with just about anyone.
  • Off with His Head!: Motor Minx has her head chopped off (they're fine, being a cyborg and all) and her body stolen.
  • Open Secret: Cass is the silent partner of a public ice cream parlor run in the colony founded by Zeke's old android co-workers. It's a legitimately run business that she even pays taxes on.
    "You think I want them after me for a crime as boring as tax evasion?"
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Dr. Botz is annoying to her captor Mercy.
  • Power Perversion Potential: The Vanaa's gelatin-based physiology means that they are formidable combatants, capable of extreme strength, durability, and using their ability to change shape to squeeze through cracks and envelop enemies. Talps, on the other hands, mostly seems to use her physiological abilities to make her Kettering blush.
  • Pronoun Trouble: The Vanaa apparently do not have pronouns in their native tongue. The proper use of first-person pronouns is a sign of eloquence among Vanaa.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Most of the headhunters and mercenaries hired to capture Quinn count (Old Salt is a notable exception). Clawlossus is real standout, being a huge intelligent crab with good financial sense and terrible luck.
    Clawlossus: THIS IS TERRIBLE DAY!
  • Revenge Before Reason: Averted. When Vrax was trying to recover the stripped parts of her ship in hopes of tracking down Quinn, she finds that Quinn gave the ship's Omni-Scrubber to a space colony so they could grow crops in irradiated soil. Instead of taking it, she reported that it was in such poor condition that it wasn't even worth recovering.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • The Vanaa are a species of adorable jelly blob creatures. However, their cute appearance can be deceiving due to their military prowess.
    • The Doggo are a species of miniscule puppy-like aliens allied with the Prime Galactic Navy. After Vrax saves them from becoming the slaves of Dr. Botz, they repay her with an "almost life-size" statue - which only really comes up to her knee.
  • Robosexual:
    • Cass' relationship with Zeke.
    • Dr. Botz is implied to only be into robots.
    • Motor Minx and her girlfriend, who built Motor Minx's body herself.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Alina "Cupcake" Ison comes from a planet of peace, prosperity and politeness.
  • Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Captain Vrax has one.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker:
    • Averted; Vrax wants her crew to do this when Quinn takes her hostage. They refuse as protocol dictates that her life is too valuable to risk and they abandon the ship for Quinn to take.
    • Upheld; The next time an event like this happens, Vrax has already set standing orders for them to take the shot.
  • Shout-Out: All over the place. This page is a giant Where's Waldo? of Sci-Fi references.
  • Slime Girl: Talps has learned that taking a more human shape makes Kettering uncomfortable. So she does it a lot.
  • Space Navy: The Prime Galactic Navy.
  • Space Pirates: Quinn is one.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Talps and Kettering, no thanks to Krad's meddling.
  • The Starscream: Lieutenant Russ, Madison's stern first mate, views her as incompetent due to her inability to capture or kill Quinn, and is plotting with Captain Thekla Rosalba and Lord Admiral Theophilius Toyn — who resent Madison's unorthodox method of being appointed captain — in order to have her stripped of her position and have himself put in her place.
  • Stripperific: Not just Cassiopeia Quinn, many outlaws in the comic's universe tend to wear less clothing.
    Dealer: Actually the gentleman and lady entered dressed that way.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Madison's inherent nobility and adherence to the spirit of the law prevent her from becoming an Inspector Javert. When under stress she does become very particular about the letter of the law, but it's played for laughs.
    Madison: You forgot to include the viewport wiper fluid top-off, meaning I underpaid! Either you charge us for it, or I speak to your manager! I WILL NOT BE MADE A THIEF!
  • Tempting Fate: Right when Cass is saying that maybe she should tone things down a bit on the adventure front, Motor Minx's girlfriend calls her asking for help.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Theira. As Gunwild explains:
    You know that giant gun you only get to use in a limited way at the end of a shooter game? The one that's super overpowered and basically only there to let you deal with the final boss? Yeah, Theira will never use a gun less powerful than like, half a notch beneath that. Not if she can help it!
  • Third-Person Person: Kag always speaks in the third person.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Lefyne wears an open jacket with nothing underneath.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Quinn gets chewed out by a couple of orphans after her usual reckless disregard for safety nearly gets herself AND the kids killed. She takes the hint.
  • Visual Pun: Cassiopeia decides to operate the medical craft's interface - which is intended for Vanaa - using her butt. As the chapter's title put it, she's literally flying by the seat of her pants.


Example of: