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Grrl Power is a webcomic about a superheroine who works in a comic shop.

Or, to put it in its own words:

"A comic about superheroines. Well there are guys too but mostly it’s about the girls. Doing the things that super powered girls do. Fighting crime, saving the world, dating, dieting, shopping, etc. There’ll be explosions, cheesecake, beefcake, heroes and villains, angels and demons, cyborgs, ninjas, probably pirates."

Currently updates Mondays and Thursdays; the schedule in future may depend on the creator's employment situation.


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Grrl Power provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to H 
  • Absence of Evidence:
    • Inverted with Heatwave, and also combined with Comically Missing the Point and Delayed Reaction. After a bank robbery, Harem pulled a prank on Maxima that made everyone think she played kissy face with Mr. Amorphos. Later Heatwave mentions that since Maxima's lips are naturally red, she doesn't wear lipstick so she couldn't have left kissy marks on anybody.
      Harem: SERIOUSLY?
      Heatwave: Yeah, I think there's something else going on here.
    • The thing that keyed everyone in that Sydney is a super is the carrying tube for her orbs, which is a little too empty, if that makes any sense.
      Zeph: Does that tell you anything?
      Gwen: A distinct lack of anything is usually an indication of something?
  • The Ace: Sydney or Maxima, depending on the situation. Both have flight, but Maxima's flight is only useful in-atmosphere (due to her need for air and it's too slow to be useful in space), whereas Sydney can use them wherever, and can even effectively space-travel. They can both be nigh-invulnerable, but Maxima can still move freely, while Sydney need to stay inside the shield, though it can surround more people. Maxima's energy manipulation is definitely better than Sydney's, but Sydney can also manipulate items (akin to telekinesis) as well as shoot. Sydney can only use two powers at the time, while Maxima has no such limitation. Maxima is limited to normal space, while Sydney can both teleport, warp-travel, and be in two places at once.
  • Accidental Truth: To get an annoying customer to stop, Sydney tells him that Hiro is Maxima's minimum bar, dating wise, leading to a rumor that they're in a relationship. They're not, but later events show that there's at least some attraction, though they're not acting on it due to rank disparity.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
  • A-Cup Angst:
    • Sydney feels a bit inadequate sometimes in the looks department, and considering the physiques of female supers, it's fairly understandable.
    • Sciona as well, pre-Breast Expansion at least.
  • Agony of the Feet:
  • The Air Not There: An aversion — Sydney's shield does not permit air to permeate, causing her to become dizzy after a few minutes of continuous use. Sound (which involves the transfer of vibrations, rather than of physical air molecules) seems to get through just fine.
  • Alien Blood: While not actually an alien (so far as is known), Maxima apparently bleeds blue.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Played With. Casual travel is restricted to planets that have developed FTL, but though measures are taken to keep pre-FTL and immature civilizations unaware of the greater intergalactic community, there is no law against visiting less advanced planets — proper disguises are recommended, but the Veil means they're not essential. What the universe at large is really worried about is preventing technological paradigm shifts: "Don't give a caveman a space gun." Oddly enough, Sydney's orbs are one such Outside Context Problem — enough so that when she's stranded off-world, not only can she not use the Portal Network to get back, she actually is in danger of being snapped up like she originally feared.
  • All There in the Manual: The cast page has a great deal more information about the Arc-SWAT team members, their powers, and their roles in the team than has yet been revealed in the comic.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Almost all the females that have appeared so far are surprisingly toned (in fact, it seems to be a recognized side-effect of having super-powers in the setting), but the two that stand out are Maxima and Anvil. It's easier to count the aversions: Sydney, Peggy, Sandy (Ariana's assistant), Ariana, Pixel unless in were-jaguar form and Gwen (none of whom have innate powers as such).
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • There are a few hints that Vehemence may not be human, especially after we find out that the only other users of vehemic energy that Dabbler knows about are demonic.
    • Vance claims to be a Hive Mind of intelligent, superpowered spiders in a Mobile-Suit Human "skin", though he may just be a Troll and hazing Sydney.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: Demons (and possibly angels) are more-or-less humanoid beings with comprehensible if dangerous motivations who may just be Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. But then, our heroes encounter a distinctly squid-like being who doesn't seem interested in communication and may be connected to a recent planetary-scale genocide. Worryingly, it also acts like it knows something about Halo's enigmatic items of power.
  • Anvil on Head: Done with Anvil the person rather than an actual anvil, by Sydney.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Averted when Maxima asks Sydney why she isn't surprised that not only do aliens exist but Dabbler is one. Sydney replies that Maxima is a giant golden superheroine.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • When Maxima is attempting to overload Vehemence's "Vehemic energy"-based resilience, she goes for a high-powered limb shot.
    • The Super Husk loses a limb at one point, but it turns out that it can regenerate.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • The Secret Entrance sign here is meant to discourage anybody who finds it by accident.
      Sign: WARNING / CERTAIN DEATH / RABID BEES / CAT DANDER / NO WIFI
    • Deus has an impressive list of accomplishments. He made a fortune during the financial crash, owns a country which he's lifted out of poverty, has plans to give away $500 million in charity (just to see what happens), and his hair is... just astonishing.
      Deus: See?
      St. Croix: Um, yes it's quite lustrous.
  • Art Evolution: Compare Joel's first appearance to his second one the next day (actually five years later).
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Averted; gun-using ARCHON members are given extensive training in gun use and safety, and until they prove that they understand the safety rules and can strip, clean and reassemble their weapons, they aren't allowed to handle ammunition. Maxima's regulations are a bit more relaxed (which is lampshaded in the script), but that's mainly because she can catch a bullet she accidentally fires before it hits anyone. She is, in any case, a serving regular with combat experience who presumably already has full training and plenty of experience.
  • Artistic License – Military: ARCHON has an interesting command structure, as lampshaded by the author.
  • At Arm's Length: Dabbler keeps Sydney at bay with a hand on her face after stealing her glasses and fooling around with them. Besides Sydney being short, Dabbler is advantaged by having four arms.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Uttered by Sydney when she becomes stranded on Sciona's homeworld.
  • Author Appeal:
    • The author admits that "the majority of this comic is just me transcribing my daydreams."
    • The same goes for the Unsound Effect, as he's very fond of "nonomatopoeia".
    • And a third time when discussing No Man Wants An Amazon — he's quite fond of the build, and admits to regularly posting "Insane Lady-Abs" on his Twitter account.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Higher-powered characters often have higher ranks. At some point in the comic Sydney goes from private to corporalnote .
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Sydney is quite upset to find out that Aurelius Shrapnel is only a financial adviser without any superpowers.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • After Krona's Save Scumming brings Sydney back after she gets shanked in the stomach, she's a bit shaken for a few seconds before gleefully invoking this, though Krona clarifies that it might not have been the case in the next page.
    • Wyrmil uses an artifact to perform a Fusion Dance with Cooter, reviving the exploded redneck, to survive Sciona's betrayal.
  • Background Magic Field: Jazza's powers apparently let her tap into Earth's.
  • Bare Your Midriff: A feature of several of the super-powered female characters' outfits, especially Maxima and Dabbler.
  • Battle Strip: Vehemence does this, which Sydney immediately lampshades.
    Sydney: What are you, an old Italian man?
  • Beat Panel:
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Despite being seemingly burned all over by Heatwave's attacks, Glowbug's skin merely looks blotchy. However, Heatwave's attack may have been based on heat exhaustion rather than outright combustion.
    • Averted after Maxima digs out of being buried from a bomb blast.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Maxima and Deus.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Or at least Sydney and Krona think so in a bonus panel after seeing Hiro's "attributes".
    Sydney: Seriously, imagine how he makes his girlfriend feel.
    Krona: Yeah.
    Sydney: His bowlegged girlfriend.
    Krona: Bet she got a big ol' grin.
  • Bland-Name Product: When Sydney is exhausted after running laps, her training officer gives her a bottle of "Joule Juice". (Not PowerAde, nope, totally different.)
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce:
  • Bleached Underpants: The author and artist of the strip is rather well-known in Furry Fandom for some rather adult works, which is harder to hide than normal as Dabbler is based on one of his characters that he drew for such a purpose.
  • Blood Magic:
    • The Mage Killer mannequins are powered by a piece of a blood drinking sword. When the shards absorb blood, they return to the lead one and enhance it with extra parts from the fallen ones. There could be up to twenty more.
    • Sciona is actually unusual in how she uses her talents; most use it for Vampiric Draining to heal themselves and restore their reserves.
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: This page with Pixel's were-jaguar form comes complete with "Dabbler Approved T&A Pose".
  • Book-Ends: The comic's first book starts and ends with a discussion about lasers being blocked by transparent shields.
  • Boring, but Practical: Deus' method of bypassing a security system that only allows living things through, but kills them in the process, is to use a potted plant with a long trunk. This is in comparison to Sciona, who sacrifices a minion to do so.
    Deus: It's funny how even large groups can become so paradigm locked on a solution that they fail to consider simple workarounds.
  • Boxed Crook:
    • The official stance of the government is that a superpowered vigilante is still a vigilante, so Archon has been tasked to track them all down and give them the option of joining Archon or facing charges for vigilantism. That said, it's the vigilantism that's the crime, not being superhuman. Using superpowers to aid in a career doing something legal is legal, and people who do so are not required to join Archon.
    • This eventually happens to Jazza Ng/Jabberwokky.
  • Brick Joke: Sydney forgot her own advicealways expect Ninjas.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Gender-inverted. Cora, Dabbler's alien friend, is the female captain of a ship staffed with sexy male aliens.

    Tropes I to P 
  • Ignore the Disability: Sydney can't stop referencing Peggy's prosthetic leg. No matter how much she wants to.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Taylor suggests that Sciona did this with the vault to lure the Council members into a trap.
  • I'll Be in My Bunk: Invoked word for word in the margin sketch, by Harem predictably enough, after Sydney promises to introduce Arianna to Hentai.
  • Imagine Spot: Used a lot.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Invoked and averted when Sydney is about to be (politely) interrogated by a fairly scary panel of people here.
    General Faulk: And don't bother trying to imagine us in our underwear, 'cause we're all dead sexy.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Eventually averted when Peggy shows Sydney that there are guys at ARCHON other than Math, the General, and Zephen. The comic simply doesn't focus on them so much.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: One of the villains in the massive brawl politely waits because Dabbler asked him to. Though not wanting to die from the sudden gamma radiation threat she was trying to solve probably contributed to his passivity.
    Barberian: I'm just here because some of my buddies came. I'm a hairdresser!
    Dabbler: Well, you could always surrender.
    Barberian: Could I? That would be so great!
  • Info Dump: Word of God admits the press conference is essentially this.
  • In My Language, That Sounds Like...: A joke that is used and played with when Sydney, after getting, umm, friendly with hot canine furry alien Frix, thinks to ask what his species are called — and learns that he’s a “Woof”. Then she tells him that she’s a human, and discovers that’s a funny word in his language.
  • Insult Backfire: Deus' impervious ego No-Sells Maxima's snarky dismissal of Deus' relative importance.
  • Invisible Parents: Mostly not relevant, since even the youngest characters are over eighteen, and thus old enough that there's no need to mention their parents. During the dinner after the press conference, however, Sydney realizes that she revealed her powers on live international television before she told her parents about them.
    Sydney: I HAVE TO MAKE A CALL!
  • It Can Think: The fight with the rogue blood mage's creation shows that it can strategize to a degree, and even talk, and it surviving its apparent destruction and leaving shows it has self preservation instincts.
  • Jaw Drop: In any comic where you have supers mixing with normals, you expect them. Then there's the one that occurs when Sydney eatsa second bite of 3-million-Scoville soup.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Azilus’ demands that supers not be allowed to be seated at the Council is bluntly stated but logical. While the Council has usually had good relations with the US Government, supers aren't protected by the Veil. This, combined with their recently achieved global fame, means that their mere presence at the meeting endangers the very existence of the Council and its member races.
    Ingsol: I thought he was just being a dick, but that's a really good point.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Addressed and largely avoided, given the stunned reactions of the various Alphabet Agencies.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Invoked by Sydney when testing out her orange orb for the press.
  • Lame Comeback: "For Whom the Death Tolls" explains his name as a "phrasic portmanteau!"
    Atomic Bombshell: Yeah well you're a phrasic... dumb face.
    FWtDT: Wow, I'm going to need some aloe for that burn.
  • Laser Blade:
    • Pixel's power as a super is laser claws, which she can only use in her were-jaguar hybrid or animal forms.
    • The Super Brawl featured Heavenly Sword (no, not that one), who can form energy barriers around wielded weaponry, including whips.
  • Late to the Punchline: That Visual Pun of Sydney dropping Anvil on Vehemence's head? Harem finally got it two nights later.
    Harem: Hey Anvil, when you jump out of a plane like that, we should call it the Acme Special. [thought bubble of Sydney making the same joke] VORP Jesus. Christ. Sydney.
    Sydney: Huh?
    Harem: Because you dropped an anvil on his head!
    Sydney: What? Oh. God, Harem, take your damn time.
  • Late to the Realization: Sydney's too excited about finally using her powers openly to register what Maxima says.
    Sydney: I'm all squatted and fielded. Now what?
    Maxima: Just survive.
    Sydney: Ok. Wait WHAT'?
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
  • Mangaesque: There's some visible manga influence here.
  • Mage Killer: The supernatural meeting is attacked by magic mannequins designed to kill mages and other supernatural beings like weres.
  • Making a Splash: Sydney was hoping that one of the unknown orbs would have this power.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Sydney accidentally puts herself in one when hugging Anvil.
    Sydney: ...Our height differential is making this hug extremely awkward.
    Anvil: Now you know why I like dating tall guys.
    Dabbler: But sleeping with a short guy...
  • Masochist's Meal: Sydney intentionally offends the waitress of a restaurant specializing in spicy food, and then signs a legal waiver, just to make sure she gets sufficiently spicy food.
  • Masquerade:
    • Averted, ARCHON holds a press conference both to confirm that yes, supers exist and have existed for so long they may have inspired some myths and folklore, and also to announce the new government "super police" Arc-SWAT, who are not permitted to use false identities.
    • Played straight later when Sydney discovers a couple of non-humans in disguise at Club OONTZ. Dabbler explains that Earth actually has a decent sized alien population. Coupled with her earlier comments about humanity's xenophobic tendencies, it seems that there's probably nothing sinister involved, just immigrants/tourists who really know how to blend in.
    • Having supers be public knowledge actually helps by allowing supernatural events to be attributed to supers.
  • Meaningful Name: In the usual way of superhero comics, pretty much all the members of Arc-SWAT — along with many of their opponents — have meaningful code-names. For example:
    • Maxima: Most powerful member of the group. She also has the ability to "max out" one attribute (strength, defense, flight, speed, and blasting power) at the expense of the others.
    • Halo: Her orbs' default position is that of a halo. Also, her actual last name Scoville: Sydney loves spicy food.
    • Dabbler: Has a wide selection of abilities (basically a high-level Jack-of-All-Trades).
    • Anvil: One of her main powers is the ability to absorb tremendous amounts of force.
    • Harem: Able to make one of herself through self-cloning (up to 5 bodies total).
    • Heatwave: Playing with Fire.
    • Math: Master of precision striking.
    • Mr. Amorphous: Stretching powers.
    • Achilles: Invulnerability (though this excludes the heel).
    • Super Hiro: The cast page lists him as "Superman-lite".
    • Stalwart: Super-strength.
    • Jiggawatt: Electricity-based powers. That's not a misspelling, "That's how Doc Brown said it."
    • Notably subverted (and lampshaded with extreme prejudice) with Aurelius Shrapnell, who is a financial advisor with no superpowers. Also his son who is named Mervyn and not "M.I.R.V."
    • The two vampire ladies Sydney talks to have names very appropriate for vampires, Scarlet and Crimson.
  • The Merch: In-Universe, Arianna has multiple spreadsheets predicting merchandising sales, and was especially happy when Sydney signed on, as her seven orbs spell out the three most wonderful words in marketing.
  • Mildly Military:  Played with.  Arc-SWAT is a military organization, and members are given ranks and expected to act appropriately befitting those ranks. They're even given basic training including firearms, despite the fact that most of them are more lethal than the average tank. That being said, supers are incredibly rare, so the team is forced to take what they can get. It seems like ninety percent of them spend half their time in remedial PR courses. On the plus side, dress code is relaxed.
    Varia: [regarding a feather in her hair] If anyone asks, it's for religious reasons.
    Sydney: Maxima has gold skin and Harem is wearing purple lipstick. I think you're okay.
  • Military Superhero: Maxima, Peggy and several other members of Arc-SWAT have military backgrounds, and retain their rank.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Sydney and Deus (along with Vale) do this a few times when on an alien space station.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Sydney admits to Peggy that she mistook Peggy for a lesbian due to her short pink hair and lack of makeup, and was surprised when Peggy happily watched some of the men going shirtless. Peggy isn't offended, and in fact replies that she can find things to like about both genders.
    • In regard to minor and probably accidental villain the Barberian, who not only has a slightly camp two-tone Mohawk hairstyle, but does rather provoke a mistaken guess in other ways.
      Harem: So! Uh... You're a barber, right?
      The Barberian: I prefer the term coiffure artiste.
      Harem: ...And yet you had sex with Dabbler. Who is a woman.
      Dabbler: Don't worry, he's straight. I checked. A lot.
  • Moment Killer: A non-sexual one when Sydney sucks the wind out of Maxima's sails.
  • Mood Whiplash: Sydney has a brief Heroic BSoD after realizing she might have died prior to Krona's reset, hugging Maxima for comfort. Maxima, being Maxima, is at a loss for words, eventually reassuring Sydney they have on-base counselors to help her...and getting cut short when the bladder snooze alarm goes off and Sydney races away with a shouted "I have to pee!"
  • Moral Guardians: Invoked by Arianna when attempting to get Sydney to temper her behavior around the media. It even includes a Shout-Out to the current page image.
  • Most Common Superpower:
    • Subverted, played straight and discussed. Sydney is a short, average-looking young woman with mild A-Cup Angst. Most supers, however, are either curvy females with not a B-Cup among them or perfectly muscled Adonis-class men. It's discussed in-comic that it can't be mere coincidence that all supers with innate powers look like ideal human beings. Later, Sydney deconstructs the idea of this being a result of supers' divergent evolution. This is all justified to an extent, as several members of the team have been seen to train to keep in shape.
    • Invoked by Sciona. Upon regaining her original form, she takes the opportunity to add "+2 (At least)" to her chest.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Heatwave uses her powers to pop a bag of popcorn.
    • The spell that upholds The Masquerade is global, so the Council made modifications to the Sigils that support it to allow other spells, especially communication ones, to piggyback on it. This bites them in the butt when the function is disabled to buy more time for repairs, as a vault is breached but the alarm spells can't reach anyone.
    • An Imagine Spot from Maxima about the risks of having boudoir photos of herself around takes the cake.
      Blonde Scientist: You invented the world's first wormhole technology to steal... ooh, those are hot!
  • Mundane Solution: Discussed with regards to aliens. Why invade a planet armed with nuclear technology instead of mining ice from undefended low-gravity comets?
  • Murderous Mannequin: The mage-slayer mannequins, equipped in SWAT-style gear with equipment to deal with mages, aliens and supernatural entities. Their fake bodies are also utilized with several features to make them difficult to dispose of permanently; their fake and reinforced bodies are fairly durable and can reconstruct themselves if the limbs aren't completely destroyed. Furthermore, attempting to fight them with magic results in a Mana Drain counterattack which consequently fuels them for a potential Action Bomb right there.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Not spoken but Maxima's reaction to Harem checking out her rack is every bit this trope.
  • Naked Apron: To take her mind off Sydney being stranded on Sciona's world, Dabbler makes cookies... at 3:00AM... in nothing but an apron and lacy panties. Maxima notices that she's drawn a crowd.
    Maxima: And what are you all doing?
    Achilles: I'm going to assume that's a rhetorical question.
    Math: Watching Dabbler cook is a spectator sport.
    Anvil: I'm just here for the cookies.
  • Naughty Tentacles: The Wyrmil/Cooter fusion summons some to cover their escape. Though they’re only naughty because that’s what they’re usually summoned to be. Actually, they’re quite affable, and apologize when they realize the situation.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: During a chat with Dabbler over her nature, Sydney imagines a Bee-Vampire-Fish-Succubus.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Invoked and examined; alien eating establishments have a on-the-spot genetic scanner capable of determining exactly what a customer can and can not consume. Though Sydney proceeds to freak the hell out of dozens of alien species by stuffing her face with something spicy enough to dissolve silverware.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sydney was once arrested for aggravated assault, which was dismissed as self defense due to the fact that the person was trying to mug her. The only thing on the police report was "Oh The Humanity."
    Sydney: REPENT!
    Mugger: I swear to god I'll reform!
  • Noodle Incident:
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: After being shocked by a villain with electrical powers, and saved from the fall by a teammate, Heatwave mumbles "This little piggy went to pain town."
  • No-Sell:
  • Nosebleed: Sydney gets a massive one when Harem pranks her. Even Maxima is freaked out by it.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Twilight Council tends to act like this when not putting on airs for visitors.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • For Vehemence, after he punches Maxima at full strength... and only manages to make her take one step back and break her nose, but she won't let him know that.
      Vehemence: Ha ha ha, what the fuck.
    • If Anvil, Queen of the No-Sell, warns you off of getting hit by someone, you know it's bad.
    • Later, when Dabbler realizes that Vehemence gains power from violence... after he's been fighting the team for a couple intense minutes.
    • A group of construction workers are talking about the female team members while they're taking over in helping get the overpass back on track, doing the stereotypical conversation construction workers do when they see an attractive lady. Sydney, who saw one of them make the "boob heft" hands (in addition to her ability to read lips a bit), asks them how they know none of the Arc ladies have enough super hearing to hear them. Cue horrified realization.
    • Sydney gloats after defeating a giant alien single-handedly... until she becomes aware of more approaching.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: To various degrees. Dabbler, Harem, Anvil, Math, Mr. Amorphous, Achilles, Jiggawatt, and Varia all primarily use their superhero identities in common conversation, but Maxima, Brook (Heatwave), Hiro (Super Hiro), Adrian, and Vance all use their civilian names more. And of course, none of them have secret identities. Sydney falls somewhere in the middle, with the press generally referring to her as "Ms. Scoville," her coworkers referring to her as Sydney, and her fans using Halo.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Sydney will test you if you claim to be a nerd.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: A more literal example than most, as she keeps sticking it in her mouth in the presence of a teammate that lost her leg at the calf.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: For starters, it's possible to end up a different type of were than the one that sired you.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Parodied after Sydney punches Dabbler in the lower back for an earlier (sexual) prank.
    Dabbler: Aaah! Right in the ol' gazorpazovum!
  • Paper Bag Popping: A flashback panel shows that a younger Maxima discovered her power to shoot blasts of energy with her hand when her brother woke her up by popping a paper bag as a joke, resulting in a large, burning hole in the wall of their house.
  • Pass the Popcorn:
  • Perma-Shave: Those with natural super powers, in addition to being physically perfect, are also incapable of growing body hair below the neck. Sydney is a little disappointed to find that this includes the men.
  • Phallic Weapon: Played With. One magic user at a summit of supernaturals has a Book Safe of Holding with built-in indexing; Mana Potions and Magic Antidotes are stored in cut-outs accessed by looking up the relevant word. When she looks up "assault rifle", the book flips to a rifle butt sticking out of a hole shaped like a penis and testicles — but it turns out the "testicles" are just the silhouette of the Beta C-Mag.
  • Phrase Catcher: Dabbler's mere presence has a tendency to make all straight women repeat "Not a lesbian!" in their heads like a mantra.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Raised as a possibility; Dabbler explains how she detected the invisible X, and describes what she could in principle do about him.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Some magic users treat spells like programming language for magic.
  • Power Copying: Sciona can use blood from supers to replicate powers.
  • Power Levels: Shown from a 1-9 scale on the cast page. Maxima is the most powerful (9), then Dabbler, Hiro and Math (7), then Sydney, Jiggawatt, Stalwart and Mr. Amorphous (6), and then everyone else is a 5 except Peggy who rates a 3.
  • The Power of Hate: Vehemence gains strength from vehemic energy; good old fashioned violence. He mentions the LA Race Riots as being particularly strengthening for him.
  • The Power of Love: A variant. Dabbler, as a succubus, gains strength from tantric energy; that is to say sex, lust, and lovemaking.
  • Power Perversion Potential: A topic which the writer clearly finds amusing.
  • Product Placement: It's partially obstructed, but Maxima apparently drinks Guinness Black.
  • Prosthetic Limb Reveal: Sydney is taking a tour of the Arc-SWAT superhero facility, given mostly by Peggy the sniper. They are already friends at that point, and Sydney has reached the stage of being fitted for her uniform by the time she spots a couple spares of Peggy's prosthetic leg in a corner of the workroom. It isn't treated as a big deal in the story, although Sydney winds up having a panic attack because she can't stop accidentally making one-leg jokes.
    Peggy: Oh, that. Lost it in Afghanistan. [raps on leg]
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: At the beginning of the parking lot fight, Maxima is wearing a shirt saying, "Cum Amplus Potentia Venit Amplus Orus"; "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." note 
  • Punch-Clock Villain: One of the bad guys at the restaurant fight offers to surrender after watching Dabbler and Jiggawatt take out Glowbug, saying he only came because some of his friends came and he's just a hairdresser. Considering Vehemence's violence aura... He's later used as Dabbler's "take-home meal".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Multiple examples.
  • Putting on the Reich: Literally, in the case of Luftwaffles Restaurant.

    Tropes Q to Z 
  • Quizzical Tilt: Sydney sports one when trying to figure out Death Toll's ability, complete with lampshade hanging.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Achilles constantly saying "mouth feel" ticks Sydney off enough to sock him with her Lighthook.
    Sydney: Texture! Just say texture you Portlandia level hipster dipshit!
  • Reaction Shot: The entirety of page #739 is dedicated to Sydney flipping money into her swear jar II for all the swearing she did in deep space, as Maxima slowly realizes the implications of what she's saying.
  • Reality Ensues: Half the point of the comic is to examine some of the realistic consequences of superpowered beings coming into existence.
    • Sydney points out that a mutation of a single gene, while a good explanation for a comic, can't really account for everything with superpowers.
    • Jiggawat's positron generation (used to counter another Shock and Awe super, Glowbug) makes a lot of gamma radiation when they and the electons annihilate each other. Dabbler has to stop her battle so she can make sure no one dies from radiation poisoning!
    • On the firing range, Sydney begs to try out the minigun, which Peggy allows over Maxima's objections. It's soon revealed why Peggy was so confident.
      Maxima: OK, sometimes I forget stuff has weight.
    • Given modern forensic science, the idea of a secret identity is nearly laughable.
    • Why would aliens invade planets, especially ones with nuclear civilizations that would put up a fight, for water when undefended comets are a dime a dozen?
    • Sydney's flight orb can only reach about Mach 4, which is not fast enough to get into space from Earth or a similarly sized planet. Also, the moon is really far away. Kinda subverted when she updates it to going really fast, possibly even faster than Maxima, but the Moon is still a bit far. Hyperspace is an option, though.
  • Rebus Bubble:
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Deliberately so.
    • Dabbler has set up her tech so that most of her equipment cannot be separated from her for more than a few seconds without teleporting away to a secure facility, so that nobody can reverse engineer it and release the technology out into the world. The intergalactic community has some Prime Directive-like rules, and Earth hasn't advanced technologically or socially to the point where humanity can be trusted with Dabbler's tech.
    • On a meta-level, this is to avoid a tech spiral that would leave the world nearly unrecognizable, so Gadgeteer Genius supers are rare in the Grrl-verse.
  • Refugee from TV Land: The crossover with Wearing the Cape has Astra be this from the Grrl-verse's perspective, since the characters there are part of a fictional TV show, with Astra being pretty much identical to her character's actor.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Why the supernatural races never wrote in supers; they were afraid it might draw more attention to them.
  • Rewriting Reality: Krona, a magic user, (not a proper mage or super) can do this to a degree, though it's easier to alter existing objects, like defusing grenades or changing her hair color, than doing things like creating fireballs, and it's a lot like programming apparently. Her abilities are also apparently entirely unique.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Leon threatens to make Maxima's and Harem's bank accounts disappear if they don't knock off the rivalry in his office.
    Leon: That's right! Who's really the most powerful member of this team?
    Maxima: [raises a Fascinating Eyebrow]
    Leon: I mean obviously it's you. Here's a new phone.
  • Running Gag: There's been several of varying lengths.
  • Russian Reversal: Played straight here.
  • Sarcastic Confession: After offering multiple implausible reasons why she's carrying a poster tube everywhere, Sydney tries this:
    Sydney: It's full of... ancient artifacts that give me superpowers?
    Joel: Fine, don't tell me.
  • Save Scumming: Krona can do this with her powers.
  • Scenery Censor: Pixel pulls off her clothes before changing from her hybrid form to animal form. Her team is treated to a full view, but our gaze is blocked by the angle or by various body parts, including her tail.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The author is fond of self-directed snark in the page titles and footer remarks.note 
    • #125, which features a discussion of the Standard Police/Superhero/Celebrity Contract, is titled "Action packed document review".
  • Sensual Spandex: Dabbler goes to ARCHON's pool wearing a wetsuit that leaves nothing to the imagination, and her groin is covered — front and back — with speech bubbles reading "This thing is really tight" and "Seriously you guys". Note that this isn't a case of Superheroes Wear Tights because they're about to spend a fair amount of time underwater, and it's not their usual clothing.
    Dabbler: Mine's made of an unearthly material that's extraordinarily form-fitting.
    Sydney: Does it blow up like a balloon if you fart in it?
  • Sex for Services: By Deus towards Sciona, who needs a MacGuffin but can't afford to buy it with money. It is framed as both getting something out of the deal as Sciona is being said to "not have been a woman in a long time" and Deus gets to add some kind of Drow-Expy to his list of conquests.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: This strip focuses on when the supervillain Glowbug finds out her white costume becomes see-though when wet. She notes that's something she should have tested before going into battle.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: The various 'Were' creatures are (mostly) significantly bigger in 'Were' form than human form. But the prize has to go to Pixel who is fairy tiny and around the same height as Sydney in human form (5 foot), but is described as 'gigantic' (7 foot tall) in 'Were' form.
  • Shipper on Deck: Anvil ships Hiro and Max, and rather forcefully at that.
    Alt Text: Anvil is the matchmaking equivalent of a bull in a china shop.
  • Ship Tease: A couple have been hinted at.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Invoked when Maxima demonstrates why ARC-SWAT carries firearms rather than just relying on their powers.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Sydney makes Harem lose her bikini top in the pool after pranking her with Halo's recently discovered air-generating orb.
  • Smug Super:
    • Maxima takes her sweet time stopping a bank robbery despite having enough speed to catch bullets. When one of the civilians she rescued protests her behavior Maxima brushes him off ("You were never in any danger"), finally cracking her knuckles to scare him away. Sure, the hostages were safe especially since the "bank robbers" were agents of ARC carrying out a publicity stunt on PR manager Arianna's orders, but they must have also been stressed and terrified, seeing as how they were at the mercy of men with guns for several minutes.
    • This works against her when facing the Super Husk. As the commentary explains, Maxima can stop 95% of her foes in battle easily when it comes to physical force, but when an enemy has other tricks, like Hypnotic Eyes....
  • Snark Ball: All the senior officers. No audience surrogates or characters with an excessive sense of humor are in the scene, so as The Rant explains, the normally serious people are the ones carrying the jokes. It works because, in the absence of their subordinates, they don't have to maintain the appearance of being consummately professional.
  • Speech-Bubble Censoring: Anvil sports a very detailed one when discussing her assets — pay close attention to the exact shape of her speech bubble.
  • Spit Take:
  • Spy Speak: Spoofed with the mini-comic below the main one.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When discussing how to track Cooter, Sydney says that it's too bad that, since they were sure that the other end was booby-trapped, they couldn't go through themselves, and that it sucked that Dabbler couldn't have put a tracking spell on a rock and sent that through. Cue awkward silence.
  • Statuesque Stunner:
    • Maxima and most of the other female supers. Not Sydney, which is openly lampshaded. Maxima's looks are apparently part of the reason for her feminism. Getting checked out so much makes her feel like many men only see her as an "exotic blow up doll", according to Word of God on the cast page.
    • Literally, in the case of Concretia, one of the baddies in the restaurant brawl, seeing as she's made of stone. Math even mentions it.
  • Stealth Pun: Sydney grabs her teammate Anvil out of the sky and flings her down onto a super tough thug. She just dropped an anvil on him. She imitates the Road Runner right after.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Dabbler shows here that she loves seducing and confusing the new recruits.
  • Superheroes Wear Tights: Partially averted. The members of ARCHON wear military uniforms, since it's a military organization. (Civilian contractors Math and Dabbler don't; Math wears street clothing, and Dabbler... well, dresses about like a succubus would be expected to.) Vigilante/unaffiliated superheroes and supervillains sometimes do. The subject simply never comes up, despite the trope being common in the in-universe comics.
  • Super Registration Act: Played with. As noted in the press conference where ARCHON is officially announced, this isn't in effect — empowered individuals in the private sector aren't required to register with the government at all, and are protected by Second Amendment rights. On the other hand, they don't get any special protection, either. ARCHON is there to provide accountability and training to those who want to put those powers to use in crime-fighting or otherwise helping people, but "superheroes" who attack villains without sanction are vigilantes, and thus may be treated as criminals.
  • Super Speed: One of the known powers, exhibited by both Maxima and the supervillain Silent Shadow (and indirectly by Sydney using the Flight Orb). However, it's fairly rare, because the writer considers it to be, logically, a very powerful ability.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Even Maxima's expression softened a bit for Sciona when they see the remains of her civilization's city.
  • The Swear Jar: Sydney uses one, and it apparently got full enough that she could buy a car with it. After her trip to space, she started up Swear Jar II, and drops ten grand in it to compensate for everything she said while in space.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Since there's no such thing as a universal superpower dampener, every supervillain needs to be kept in a cell designed to neutralize or counteract their specific powers.
  • Take That!:
  • Taking the Fight Outside: Sciona and Vale start shoving each other. Deus shoos them outside before they can scuff up his detailed marble.
  • Talking Is a Free Action:
  • Teleportation:
    • Harem is the main teleporter in the comic, with Me's a Crowd aspects to her power as well.
    • Sydney's Comm-Ball gives her a partial teleport ("Telepresence") and later gains the ability to teleport herself to where Holo-Sydney is.
  • Technology Levels: The basic division is between pre and post-FTL civilizations, but there's a third category that's extremely advanced but mostly keep to themselves. Sydney's orbs might be the first real evidence of a fourth, even more advanced, "Nth" tier civilization.
  • Tempting Fate: Deliberately invoked for a positive result.
  • This Explains So Much: When Ingsol asks if Sydney has a "stupidity aura" or something, Maxima briefly bursts out laughing before regaining composure and saying no, but it would explain a lot.
  • Tongue Trauma: Narrowly averted when Sydney grabs a robber by the tongue and slams him to the ground. It's averted because the "robber" is another super-powered being in disguise. His power just happens to be extreme stretchiness.
  • Too Much Information: Name-dropped by Sydney when Dabbler's openly discussing her "activities" last night.
  • Too Soon: In-universe; Sydney makes a Planet of the Apes reference while watching Sciona react to the apparent destruction of her homeworld. Maxima invokes this trope, and even Sydney concedes the point.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Math kicks a knife into a bad guy's mouth, where it gets lodged between his teeth and draws blood. The guys freaks out for a couple of seconds until Math knocks him out and yanks the knife out.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: The concepts behind this trope are strongly implied. Zeph, a highly experienced scholar/adventurer, knows a lot about the occult, but apparently has to leave actual spell-casting to Gwen, who freely admits to being a bit of a novice — even when it's a matter of life and death. Evidently, she has a gift that he lacks. She's described as basically self-taught, but she had to acquire the right reference books to accomplish this.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: Maxima purposefully lets Cooter escape so they can track him via a spell of Dabbler's and find his boss.
  • Troll:
    • Dabbler, Harem, and Math all have their moments, but the king is whoever put this sign up. (Link may be considered mildly NSFW.)
    • Deus also indulges for his own amusement, notably with Maxima, purposefully acting as if she was asking about one item he had when he knew she meant another.
    • A few of the Archon ladies, knowing Math is outside their locked training session, deliberately say things to get him agitated while they watch via camera.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Tony and his half-sister/cousin Olivia are the results of someone's fantasy coming true. He ended up living with the two and their mother. Their grandmother seems to have fun with it to the point of keeping a tape recorder with a laugh track on it around.
  • Undisclosed Funds: While the exact number was not given, at first glance Sydney assumed that her first biweekly paycheck was an annual paycheck. Which probably makes it mid-five digits at a minimum. Justified by the fact that superhumans are literally one in a million, so they are a finite and irreplaceable resource, so the government is willing to pay quite a lot to keep them under control.
  • Unishment: After the fight, Maxima calls out Math for losing to Jabberwokky after she flashed him, telling him to "...go get on the internet and stare at boobs until you're bored of looking at them".
    Math: Is... is that an order?
    Maxima: What do you think?
    Math: I think this military thing is starting to pay off!
  • Un Sound Effect: The author admits to loving the inherent entertainment value in "nonomatopoeia".
  • Up to Eleven: On a 1 to 5 scale for superpowers, Achilles's invulnerability is rated as a 6.
  • Utility Belt: ARCHON members design their own. They then have to go through PT while wearing them as a test to see they have the sense to only load up on gear that is practical to carry with them all the time.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: One of the reasons for the Veil is to prevent this, but it works against the Council when the Weirdness Censor allows one of Sciona's allies to get one "Coot" to help them in their plans.
  • Variant Power Copying: Varia gets powers that are similar, but not identical to those whom she touches. For instance, Harem allows her to teleport alongside her, while Jiggawatt has lightning abilities but gives Varia magnetic control instead.
  • Vertigo Effect: When Sydney sees Dabbler pull something out of Hammerspace, complete with "Dolly Zoom" Unsound Effect.
  • Visual Pun: Dabbler casts a heat spell on Sydney — which has the unfortunate side-effect of also heating her kitty.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Sydney pukes after almost getting shot, when Maxima shows her the bullet.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: After growing significantly in size, Vehemence's pants burst under the strain.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: The reason why even team-members who can cut tanks into "blowed up ribbons" are still issued firearms; even if your finger is much deadlier than any Hand Cannon, it can't compete for sheer visual menace.
  • Webcomic Time: The story's first day ended with strip #294, posted roughly four and a half years after the first (23rd August 2010). Strip #500 is set on the night of day three. Since the main story is a flashback of several months from page one, without a time-skip, the author looked likely to die of old age before returning to the story's present day. Fortunately perhaps, in "A Timely Prank", it turns out that a time-skip has happened, in the form of the portal to Sciona's home planet, which propelled Sydney two months into the future as a side-effect of its instability — though it only felt like two days to her, as that's how long it took her to return to earth after the portal closed.
  • Weirdness Censor: It turns out there is one — dubbed "The Veil" — and it's artificial; created by a consortium of supernatural entities to ward off torch-waving Muggles. And someone is organizing attacks on the sigils that power it in order to eliminate it.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Lampshaded when Ariana asks Maxima if she's considered everything Sydney might do as an Arc-SWAT member.
    Maxima: What's the worst that could happen? I can't believe I just said that with a straight face.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Often averted:
    • Peggy takes advantage of the fact that many supers are only annoyed by bullets in the restaurant fight, especially with Concretia.
    • Maxima tends to go for quick takedowns in fights.
    • When Sydney asks why the Twilight Council would be unable to destroy the artifacts in the vault, Maxima and Dabbler tell her that some artifacts can only be destroyed under certain conditions, might require more energy than they can control to destroy, or serve some other function that necessitates keeping them around, like containing a magical virus.
  • Worf Effect:
  • Wrong Context Magic: Krona's (apparently unique) Rewriting Reality abilities are magical in nature, but she is not a regular mage or super, to the point she's given her own category.
  • X-Ray Vision: Averted (to the relief of all the female supers), and also discussed: if a perverted superhero wanted to use X-ray vision to peep in on women in the shower... what's stopping him from using x-ray vision when they're not in the shower? And even then, all he's going to see is the woman's skeleton, since this is X-ray vision.
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: After finding out that Jabberwokky is still influenced by Dabbler's charm kiss, Maxima has some strict orders:
    Maxima: Until this is resolved, I don't want you two in the same room, understood?
    Jabberwokky: [restrained] I want to punch her in the mouth and then kiss it all better!
    Maxima: [massages her temples] SIIIIIIIIIIGH I'll take that as a yes.
  • Yin-Yang Clash: A minor supervillain claims to be both irresistible force and immoveable object in this strip. It doesn't end well.
  • You Answered Your Own Question: Sydney in some Alt Text:
    What is it with martial artists always wanting tougher oppon... No, wait, I answered my own question.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Syndey's love of spicy food has given her weapons-grade halitosis. The ARCHON medical staff has prescribed her breath mints.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Sydney is a fairly out-of-shape comic book nerd, but when she's angry enough, she instinctively pulls off physical feats she shouldn't be capable of. Like judo throwing a grown man by his tongue.
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