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Webcomic / Love and Capes

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Abby Tennyson is starting a relationship with her accountant, Mark Spencer. Sure, he's a bit clumsy, busy at odd times, and very different from the sort of guys she usually dates, but there's a real connection there. And Mark, for his part, loves her dearly. He just has to get ready to tell her the biggest secret of his life.

He's actually the Crusader, one of the world's most powerful superheroes.

Love and Capes is, at its heart, a romantic comedy that shows the progress of Abby and Mark's relationship—the mundane (dealing with Mark's highly critical mother), the not-so-mundane (such as the fact that one of Mark's ex-girlfriends is Amazonia, who has much the same power set as him and who wants to get back together with him), and the more four-color problems that only superheroes have to deal with (an Evil Twin and the like).

Love and Capes was originally a twelve-issue print comic by artist Thom Zahler, with two followup miniseries, Ever After and What to Expect. Zahler has begun posting it online as a webcomic here. The series has returned again with The Family Way (2020) showing Mark and Abby raising little James and Hayley; and In the Time (2020-2021), now in progress, about how our heroes deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic. You can read it serialized here for free.

This work contains examples of:

  • Babies Ever After: Abby and Crusader have a baby boy named James (After James Joyce or James T. Kirk). Years later it's shown that they have a baby girl named Hayley, who can glow.
  • Badass Normal: Darkblade, in his role as a Batman Captain Ersatz. Amazonia from an alternate timeline later points out that Abby has essentially become one herself as time has gone on.
  • Bat Deduction: Darkblade naturally pulls this off. He deduces, seconds after Crusader merely sips a cup of coffee and looks off to the side, that Abby's pregnant. He's right, of course.
  • Beta Couple: Darkblade and Amazonia become this.
  • Better as Friends: Paul and Charlotte go on one date; halfway through they decide there's no spark between them and spend the rest of the evening happily snarking about Mark and Abby.
  • Better the Devil You Know: Something Abby and Amazonia discuss about Mark's mother while drunk after Abby's gown fitting. Mark's mother may be tough as nails and Brutally Honest, but you know where you stand with her. As Amazonia puts it, Mark's mother didn't like her but was upfront about it; Amazonia's own mother is passive-aggressive.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: It ends up saving the Crusader's life. Evil Brain goes back five years to kill him at 11:58 AM with a death ray. Abby also goes back in time to warn Mark, after she woke up in the new timeline and convinced Doc Karma that she was not delusional. When her verbal attempts in disguise and phone calls fail, she takes off her hologram and kisses Mark as herself. They make out and he only leaves at midnight, with the death weapon having only one shot and a minute of time. Abby then ends up back in her timeline, and late to the wedding.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: A couple of panels after Windstar's funeral, Abby finds out she's pregnant.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Mark gives up his powers for 24 hours so that he can have a day without interruption with Abby. Unlike many examples, though, it's not problematic (it wears off right on schedule, and Darkblade covers for him). This also happens when he and Abby switch bodies.
  • Call-Back: When Mark discusses giving up on being Crusader for the sake of their imminent child, Abby reminds him of what she said back when they were still dating - she loved him for being both Mark and the Crusader, and she wouldn't want him to give up either one. Also, in the finale, there's a call back to the wedding. Just as Mark and Abby both used Time Travel and disguise magic to watch their nuptials incognito, the future version of their son, with Mark's powers, disguises himself as Major Might in part to be around for his birth.
  • Captain Ersatz: Almost all of the heroes shown. Most prominently, Crusader for Superman, Darkblade for Batman, and Amazonia for Wonder Woman.
    • In-story, another example is Major Might, who clearly idolizes Crusader. He's actually a double example, as he's a kid who wished for the power set of his idol, and he's grown up in his super identity, so in-story, he's a copy of Crusader, while he's also a copy of Billy Batson/Captain Marvel with a different origin story.
    • The character of Amazonia is a lot more like Maxima, who is an alien warrior queen who always has amorous intentions towards Superman, seeing him as her perfect mate.
    • There are also superheroes Arachnerd and Yellow Flashlight, who are ersatz of Spider-Man and Green Lantern, respectively. Also there is "Steel Worker" (either Iron Man or Steel (John Henry Irons)), Blurstreak (The Flash or Quicksilver, or any one of a number of speed-based heroes), and Doctor Karma, who is similar to Doctor Strange or Doctor Fate.
  • The Cape: Mark
  • Clark Kenting: Played straight, somehow. Lampshaded very early on (before Mark reveals his identity to anyone) - Charlotte doesn't like them, and Abby thinks they're too distracting.
  • Clocktower: Mark and Paul's usual conversation spot.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Abby has to give up caffeine at one point due to pregnancy. Naturally, a deluxe coffee-maker, which had been back-ordered for over a year, finally arrives at Abby's bookstore. She also recognizes the problems with this and asks Mark to not drink coffee at home - and then proceeds to linger on his "welcome home" kiss to enjoy the taste of coffee on his breath.
  • Cosplay: Mark and Abby wander into a comic convention while at a wedding show. They pass by a rather unfortunate Crusader cosplayer, much to the chagrin of both.
  • Costume-Test Montage: Abby goes through one of these when she temporarily gains super-powers, cycling through costumes worn by Supergirl, Saturn Girl, Mary Marvel, and Black Canary before settling on one of her own.
  • The Cowl: Darkblade
  • Crimefighting with Cash: Darkblade, as befitting a Batman Captain Ersatz, although his wealth is used more as a punchline than a frequent focus. That said, he's shown also using his cash to set up other heroes (most prominently, Arachnerd) financially so that money issues don't distract them from crime-fighting.
  • Crossover: Played with. As one issue begins, Crusader and Darkblade have just come back from what was clearly IDW's Infestation crossover, even though Love and Capes wasn't actually a part of the crossover. (While there, they met up with the Doctor, who was also not officially involved.)
  • The Dark Age of Comic Books: Gently parodied.
  • Dating Catwoman: Paul even admits to having dated multiple female villains (with one, Fearleader, explicitly named) - appropriate, as he's a Captain Ersatz of the man who performed the trope-naming action. While not specifically a superhero, Charlotte inadvertently does this as well - she's a confidant of several heroes, and she goes on a date with a man who turns out to be the villain Cyber Lord.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much every character with a one-liner, although Darkblade gets the most by far.
  • Death Is Cheap: Discussed and deconstructed. It's noted at Windstar's funeral that many people think this way about superheroes, and folks are flippant about a hero's return. However, it's all too painful and real for the family of the deceased. However, the heroes are willing to indulge in some Black Humor about it - Doctor Karma has apparently Come Back Wrong once (though he stresses that his Spirit of Vengeance return was just the one time), and there's a rule regarding funerals (namely, if you've had at least 3, the others have a 90-day waiting period before conducting another for you) named after him.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Narrowly defied. When Psi-Clone impersonates Mark, he carries on an affair with Amazonia. Amazonia refuses to take it beyond kissing and tells "Mark" he should break up with Abby to be fair to his fiancee. Darkblade then tells her it was an impostor, muddling her up further. If he had gone further, it's unlikely Darkblade and Amazonia would have let him simply forget the memories while in superhero custody. Amazonia's Death Glare makes it clear that Psi-Clone is lucky he's behind bars.
  • Dressed in Layers: When Abby tries out the superhero life, she complains about not being able to wear short sleeves or skirts because they won't hide her costume.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Amazonia does this twice with ambrosia, first at Abby's gown fitting and at the latter's wedding. The first time Abby joins her, and they actually get to bond quite a bit.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • While Crusader is certainly popular enough, both among the populace at large and amongst other heroes, his endorsement deals (comics, movies, etc.) are fairly pitiful compared to other heroes'. He's particularly resentful towards the popularity of Arachnerd's movie, doubled because his best friend Darkblade actually financed the movie. He mellows out somewhat on the issue, particularly when he learns that Arachnerd, as a Captain Ersatz of Spider-Man, was struggling to make ends meet and balance his social life with his heroing life before the endorsement deal.
      • It also didn't help that at the time that the movie came out, it was his tenth anniversary of becoming the Crusader, and no one noticed. Imagine if everyone forgot your 30th birthday, and you get a glimpse of what he was feeling.
    • Amazonia also gets this on her homeworld. Due to being the youngest in a large family, she's pretty much ignored until her mother gets a stroke and she has to fill in as queen. As she points out to Abby, she's living in another dimension and doing much better.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Darkblade has forgiven his father for arranging monks to kidnap him and put him in Training from Hell.
    • Amazonia's family in turn forgives her for choosing Paul over her kingdom. She still has to go into exile, but her sister Oriana vows to work on changing the law. The revived comic shows that not only is she able to visit home for two weeks, but she also regained the right to wear her tiara (and likely her royal title to go with it).
  • Escape Call: During her first date with Mark Abby had one with her sister arranged, but didn't need it. Mark called her out on it, but wasn't bothered or insulted.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Amazonia.
    Charlotte: Amazonia? Whoa. Heck, I'd do her.
    Abby: (In a quiet voice) Me too.
  • Evil Is Petty: When Evil Brain possesses a jogger, the first thing he does is insult Joggers, before ordering a "Cheesy Onion Bacon Loaf." Keep in mind that this is his first appearance in the comic, and he has previously been built up to Doctor Doom levels of supervillainy.
    Future!Evil Brain: I really hate joggers.
  • Evil Twin: Common enough that the Liberty League refers to it as a "number 6". When Amazonia makes a peace offering of a wedding dress to Abby, Mark (perhaps jokingly) suggests that Amazonia might have been replaced (she wasn't).
  • Failed a Spot Check: Mark mentions this in hindsight on their wedding day. He says he always wondered why Abby kissed him twice on their first date. More importantly, he never questioned why Abby had changed clothes. It was actually an Abby from the future who came back to save Crusader's life from an assassination attempt. Needless to say, she succeeded with The Big Damn Kiss.
  • False Reassurance: When Amazonia is watching Abby and Mark together, she asks if she will ever walk down the aisle like that with someone she loves. Her mother says in response that many women in their family have done well and are unmarried. (It doesn't help that at least several of Amazonia's older sisters are married with kids.)
  • Fantastic Time Management: Crusader forgets to do his own taxes until 11:30 p.m. on April 15. He has to have them finished and in the mail by midnight. Even using his super-speed powers, he is unable to finish them until 2 a.m. the next day. This is no problem, since he lives in the Eastern time zone; he just flies at super speed to the west coast, and mails his taxes in before midnight Pacific time.
  • First-Name Basis: Mark tells her to keep it up despite The Reveal.
  • Flying Brick: Crusader's basic power set, though he has super-senses, as befits a Superman Expy. No Heat Vision, though. Amazonia, being a Captain Ersatz of Wonder Woman, similarly has the base flight/strength/speed power set as well (though like Wondy, she lacks any sense-boosting powers).
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Windstar hints in a flashback that there are big issues related to trying this routine... which resulted in him going to a Halloween party as The Crusader instead. Which further resulted in Windstar pretending he was The Crusader when a hostage situation developed at said party.
  • Fountain of Youth: One villainous team fires a gun that does this to Mark... right before he's supposed to have dinner with his in-laws. Hijinks ensue.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Mark and Abby get one while Abby is pregnant.
  • Fridge Horror: Abby realizes it In-Universe when Mark is explaining why Dr. Karma is using a spell to suppress their baby's potential powers in utero. Mark asks Abby if she remembers when, as Crusader, he did a ceremonial opening kickoff for a football game. When she recalls that he literally booted the ball out of the stadium, Mark points out "Babies kick, too."
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Amazonia and Darkblade face one - Amazonia is due to be crowned the new queen of Leandia, and they have to either have her renounce the crown and accept exile from her home, him give up his crimefighting and the Darkblade legacy, or they'd have to break up. In part because she much prefers life on Earth to Leandia even without the burden of leadership, Amazonia gives up the crown.
  • The Ghost: The Evil Brain. Each issue has at least one reference to him, but he never appears on panel in the flesh. The one time he has a speaking role, he technically appears twice... and both appearances (one a future version of the other) are not him, but him possessing others.
  • Great Detective: Darkblade, again just like Batman. Taken to the point of Bat Deduction when he figures out that Abby's pregnant by asking just one question - "Is everything okay?"
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Amazonia admits she still has feelings for Mark and doesn't understand why he'd want an ordinary woman while he could have a princess. She and Abby get over it after they drink together, with Amazonia admitting she has a lot of insecurities and wishes she could prove herself worthy of love and to her family.
  • Gut Punch: This is how Abby's stint as the superhero Titania comes to an end; she tries to hold up a collapsing bridge and uses a loud voice to order everyone above her to evacuate. Several people fall, causing her to give a Big "NO!" as she surges forward to rescue them. She tearfully tells Mark that fifteen people were in the air, but she only rescued fourteen of them. Mark gives her utmost sympathy, knowing that's the hardest part of being hero.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: To hear Abby tell it, she was one in her collegiate days. For the most part, it doesn't come up during the comic - but it's worth noting that the only time she ever gets hungover during the comic's run is the time she matches drinks with Amazonia with alcohol powerful enough to make the latter drunk.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Abby wants to learn what Mark goes through as a superhero, so she goes to Doctor Karma (the one who temporarily removed Mark's powers) to get her own. Be Careful What You Wish For, though.
    • Temporarily get her own, mind. Contrary to what's usually the case with this trope, Abby wasn't interested in having powers, just in understanding Mark better. Which is why Doctor Karma can oblige. Love is one hell of a power-source, apparently.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • Amazonia's response to discussing temporal anomalies and trying to make sense of them is to have alcohol on hand when she knows they're coming up.
    • Played for laughs silently after Abby's dress fitting. When he learns that Abby and Amazonia have buried the hatchet and bonded over drinks by talking about him, Mark immediately takes a large swig of booze that could render Amazonia (who has a similar power set) blitzed, even though he can't get drunk.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Crusader and Darkblade regard their Dark Age looks as this.
  • Informed Ability: While Darkblade's deductive skills are played straight now and then, more often than not they're brought up in the humorous context of him failing to deduce something (such as the mystery behind Lost, or deducing something that was pretty obvious (such as how a villain obsessed with the number three would attack the Third National Bank at three o'clock on March 3rd).
  • It's All About Me: Michelle, according to Abby.
  • Legacy Character: Discussed at Windstar's funeral - his niece also has his powerset, and she thought Mark was trying to recruit her to become the next Windstar. Mark notes that it shouldn't be done because of a sense of obligation, but only if the legacy feels it's who they are. Windstar's niece does decide to become a hero, but with a different name and costume that evoked, but doesn't match, her uncle's identity.
  • Loophole Abuse: When Mark is late on taxes, he gets the return done but has to postmark it by the day. So he flies to the West Coast and finds a mailbox postmarked for midnight, depositing the returns there.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: This isn't in play for Mark and Abby, who are alluded multiple times to have a healthy sex life, so Mark apparently has enough control over his body to not make it an issue. That said, it does come up after Abby becomes pregnant; a developing fetus most certainly would not have that control, and Mark and Dr. Karma legitimately fear what would happen if a Baby of Steel was attempted to be brought to term in a Woman of Kleenex.
  • Meaningful Echo: "A superhero can't save everyone." Used as a comedic Running Gag at first, on how minor things still happen to Abby despite dating a superhero. Becomes much more weighty later on when Abby has her own powers and tries to save everyone on a collapsing bridge... but couldn't.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Abby and Amazonia, although they get past the tension eventually. Abby arguably becomes Amazonia's very best friend.
  • Most Common Superpower: Hello there, Amazonia! It's genetic, too - when one of Zoe's sisters, Oriana, temporarily visits Earth to be Amazonia while Zoe is preparing to potentially become the new queen, she's practically just a Palette Swap of her sister visually.
  • Mundane Utility: Super-Speed — great not only for saving people fast and getting to where you're needed quickly, but also great for finishing your secret identity's accounting job in a fraction of the time. Also, as Mark says, having Super-Strength means never having to pay retail for a diamond (it's easy to get a good-sized one for an engagement ring when you can just make them by hand).
    • Also flying you and your girlfriend to Maui for some swimming before work the next day.
    • Subverted at one point - Mark points out that Super-Speed just lets him do things in less time - it's not any less boring.
    • A villainous example with Psi-Clone on two counts. He uses the magnetic resonance vision stolen from duplicating Mark to clean up playing cards in Vegas... and he also uses the accounting knowledge his duplication rig stole from Mark to more effectively hide those winnings.
    • Abby, a bibliophile, spends her first night with Super-Speed after getting powers from Doc Karma reading basically every book in her store. Mark admits that he did pretty much the same thing when he first got powers.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Abby. It becomes especially apparent in What to Expect when she has to have to give up coffee while pregnant.
    • After being temporarily bodyswapped with Mark, she realizes she can have coffee again; her reaction nearly deafens Paul.
    • The word 'coffee' is mentioned in the kitchen every morning, so Mark and Abby aren't shocked that it becomes their daughter's Hayley first word.
  • My Beloved Smother: Amazonia's mother, who makes sure to get regular digs in on how Amazonia isn't living the life that she wants her to live. Amazonia points out to Abby that it's no coincidence that she lives and does her superheroing in a dimension other than her home dimension.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Mark, who attributes his inability to get sloshed to being Nigh-Invulnerable. When Psi-Clone copies Mark to gain his powers, he also gets this, to his annoyance.
  • Noodle Incident: How Mark got his powers.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Where Amazonia comes from, her powers are the norm.
    • Later annotation by the author is that the powers have to do with being a member of the royal family; Zoe is the youngest sister. The Most Common Superpower seems to be inherent in the entire civilization, though.
  • No-Sell: Doc Karma, for some reason, can't read Abby's mind. At all. At one point she uses this to convince an alternate timeline Doc Karma that she's telling the truth about how she knows various superheroic identities.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Mark's mother for Abby, Abby's brother for Mark. Other relatives apologize to each party.
  • Oh, Crap!: Abby has a few moments when she gets reminders of some of the four-color superhero issues that are now part of her life because of her relationship with Mark. The first such incident happens when she watches one of his super battles on television - that's when she learns that he might be extremely resilient, but he's not Nigh-Invulnerable. The sight of Mark bleeding horrifies her.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe, Crusader at one point in the past licensed his name out to an ice-skating show. Darkblade occasionally likes to tease him about it. He doesn't truly regret it, though, until Abby finds a bootleg recording of it.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Abby realizes that the man standing in front of her isn't Mark when he wants to break up with her. Because Mark was the one who popped the question and he would never give up on Abby, since he said she was the best part of his life. Cue the real Crusader showing up, in scruff, ready to kick some tail.
  • Overnight Age-Up: Major Might when he uses his powers; as a Captain Marvel Captain Ersatz, he's an adolescent when he's not using his powers.
  • The Power of Love: When Abby asks Doc Karma to give her temporary superpowers, he tells her that a spell like that requires a great source of power—but since Abby is asking out of her love for Mark, that will do nicely. (He quotes the Huey Lewis and the News song to explain this.)
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • A mild example. Abby hints to Mark that if he flies her to work that morning instead of her going in normally, they have twenty extra minutes (to fool around). There are semi-regular reminders that this is not a one-off.
    • When Mark and Abby undergo a "Freaky Friday" Flip due to Tiki magic, one of the rare good things they use this temporary state of affairs to do is experience making love as the opposite sex (Charlotte thinks it's gross, but they point out "Wouldn't you be curious too?"). Notable in that they are also averting No Pregger Sex at the same time, as Abby's body is seven months pregnant.
  • Reinventing the Telephone: Doc Karma uses magical powers to contact Mark at one point (in this case, because Karma was in an alternate dimension with no other method of contact). Mark had the usual response.
  • Required Secondary Powers: As time goes on, some of the side effects of Mark's Nigh-Invulnerable status are noted - he metabolizes food too quickly to be affected by particular side effects, so both alcohol and caffeine do nothing to him. He also doesn't notice temperature differences nearly as much as a normal person. Finally, while he can get a suntan, he literally has to be about a foot away from the sun to do so.
    • Often, it's revealed that Abby doesn't have these, usually for humor. Such as when Mark and Abby spend an evening in Maui, she comes back with a hard-to-explain tan, or the Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex example above.
  • The Rival: Amazonia for Abby; eventually, the two women mellow out toward each other. Yes, alcohol was involved. Amazonia from an alternate timeline later reveals that this was mutual - she clung to the hopes that she'd get back together with Crusader, and she was intensely jealous to see him with a cute little blonde.
  • Rule 63: When Abby tells Doctor Karma that she'd like a female physician, he brings in a female version of himself from an alternate universe. (Mark is apparently also female in this universe.)
  • Secret-Keeper: Abby becomes this for Mark very early. However, due to not being all that good at it at first, she ends up letting her sister Charlotte in on it by accident less than 24 hours after being let in on it. Charlotte then also becomes one, and they refrain from further slips (also true later, when Darkblade gives Mark permission to tell both sisters his identity as well).
  • Shooting Superman: Lampshaded in issue #10 when Abby gains temporary superpowers and Crusader is schooling her in superheroing:
    Abby: So, after they run out of bullets, why do they throw the empty guns?
    Crusader: I've been trying to figure that out for years.
  • Shout-Out: The author annotates these on his Web site.
    • On page 75, two of the spirits that are called upon are Lee and Ditko, both well-known and famous comic names.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: Other characters, like Paul and Charlotte, are usually cheerleading Mark and Abby's relationship, but sometimes they complain that they're a bit much like this trope.
  • Smug Super: Amazonia. Her perspective being skewed this way is why Mark broke up with her, and worse, because she doesn't consider normalcy important she never understood why they drifted apart - in fact her book cuts this out entirely, not for spite but because she legitimately didn't think it was important. She gets better about it as the series goes on.
  • Snowball Fight: Mark has an unfair advantage.
  • Spot the Impostor: Darkblade just goes right ahead and blasts them both.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: How Doctor Karma gets his female counterpart from another dimension to be present when Abby goes into labor. They note the amount of work that they could do with teleportation and amnesia spells... but they found it easier for the male Doctor Karma to claim the female Doctor Karma is his cousin with a medical degree and just get the paperwork done to have her assist.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Easy to overlook, as it's downplayed, but Doc Karma's civilian identity is Doctor Carmody. Might be justified, as he does not use anything to hide his face - no Clark Kenting for him - so he probably uses spells to prevent civilians from making the connection, and it extends to his name as well as his face.
  • Stripperiffic: Amazonia's costume. Visits to her home dimension demonstrate that it's standard dress in her culture.
  • Super Hero Origin: A couple are explicitly discussed and one (Abby's) is shown. Crusader's origin is apparently extremely embarrassing.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Not all do, but most present do. Justified at one point, when it's mentioned that they help cover the butt.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Discussed, as Doc Karma is incapable of determining just what, if any, powers the potential offspring of Abby and Mark will have. Once the child is born, Doc Karma is finally able to tell that James will get his father's power set.
  • Superpowers for a Day: Abby has Doc Karma grant her temporary superpowers so she can understand life as a superhero. Her intention was for it to be literally this trope's name - having superpowers for 24 hours. Just after she drinks the triggering potion, she learns the actual time-limit is non-existent. She'll have the powers until she decides she doesn't want them. Which she does, at the end of that story-arc.
  • Tempting Fate: When Abby sees a comic convention while shopping for wedding cakes with Mark, she asks to go in, and asks "How bad could it be?" Three panels later (not pages; panels), she gets her answer.
  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • When Amazonia has to become queen following her mother's stroke, her sister Oriana has to fill in on Earth. At the coronation, however, Zoe declines the crown and returns home, while Oriana becomes the new Queen of Leandia.
    • When Abby's due date draws nearer, Mark considers giving up the Crusader mantle to spend more time with his son. Abby tells him that while it's sweet that he would make such a sacrifice, she married him fully for the Crusader and Mark side of him.
  • Throwing Your Gun at the Enemy: Discussed in #10 when Abby gains temporary superpowers and Crusader is schooling her in superheroing:
    Abby: So, after they run out of bullets, why do they throw the empty guns?
    Crusader: I've been trying to figure that out for years.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time travel rules aren't even consistent within the same story, although this might be intentional as a parody of other such time travel stories. Lampshaded by Amazonia, when she complains about the confusing aspects of temporal physics.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Mark is super busy during tax season as a self-employed accountant. After he finally lies down for an evening with Abby, she asks him how their taxes were.
    Mark: Our taxes?
  • The Unfavorite: Quincy is this to the Tennyson family. He's a Small Name, Big Ego broadcaster who had a very short NFL career. He pretty much ignores what anyone else might want, and it grates on his entire family to no end. Even his mother isn't shy about slipping a shot at him in for the hell of it. He's also the last to learn about Mark's super identity, only learning at the comic's original finale.
  • The Unreveal: Mark wasn't born with superpowers - and apparently, the story of how he got them is somewhat embarrassing. The comic has a bit of fun not telling us his secret origin - the one time he says it onscreen, he's whispering to Abby and the text box is gibberishnote .
  • Weirdness Censor: The reason Abby hired Jason for the bookstore, because his first thought on seeing a man hold a large box over his head with one hand is "What's he doing with that empty box?"
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Abby gets so drunk after her dress fitting that she doesn't realize until the next day that she invited Amazonia to her wedding.
  • The Wildcats: When Abby temporarily has superpowers, she is trying to come up with a superhero name and asks Mark how he decided on Crusader. Mark admits it was the name of his high school football team. Abby says hers was the Cougars, and they agree she should keep looking.
  • X-Ray Vision: Mark denies having it... because it's magnetic resonance vision, not x-ray. Abby still calls him out for lying to her when he uses it. Darkblade still has ways around it, though.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Abby told Mark that he didn't look at all like Crusader when he told her. She didn't believe him until he started hovering in mid-air.
    • Repeated when they tell Abby's parents.
    Abby's mother: Mark's tall, but he's certainly not as tall as the Crusader.
    Mark: Really? I'm pretty sure we're the same height.

In the Time Of COVID has the following tropes:

  • Bratty Half-Pint: James has shades of this, what with begging "Mommy" for bedtime stories and bargaining with Mark to fly and do playtime with powers.
    • Crusader relates to Darkblade that James had figured out how to lock someone out of his online schooling program, by inputting the password wrong five times. As the only error you receive is "invalid password", it took his parents two weeks to figure out what happened. (Crusader is also unamused at how proud Darkblade is of James' cleverness.)
  • Beardness Protection Program: Subverted. Mark chose for the Crusader to not wear a mask, as it helps to humanize the world's most powerful hero and connect with people; masks tend to be intimidating. However, that also means that it limits his grooming options in maintaining his secret identity. He is at first reluctant to wear a medical mask for the reasons mentioned and the fact that his body cannot harbor the Covid-19 virus anyway, until Darkblade points out that if both of his identities wear a mask, Mark is free to grow a beard like he's always wanted.
  • Formerly Fit: Quincy has gained weight due to all of the workout centers being closed and baking to deal with the stress of the pandemic. 
  • Hidden Depths: Quincy while on furlough has started baking to deal with the stress. He offers Mark some cookies when the latter checks on him, and Mark admits they're delicious. 
  • It's the Principle of the Thing: Discussed in a positive way; Mark points out that he doesn't need to wear a mask because he can't get sick with COVID or unwittingly carry it, and he chose not to wear a traditional mask because people would be scared of himnote . Abby replies that he would set a good example for others if he wore one, for those that are immunocompromised or plain stubborn. Mark admits that she's right and masks up appropriately in and out of costume.