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Webcomic / Pacificators

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"My dream is to be a Pacificator who helps people, just like my grandmother."
Daryl Smithson

The world, due to an unknown disaster, has fallen into a second Dark Age, and only recently have some of the countries begun to climb out of it. However, there are Pacificators, people gifted with rare, "magical" Elemental Powers, who are sent around the known world on peace-keeping missions. Daryl Smithson, an aspiring Pacificator of Light, has enthusiastically taken an offer of joining Commander Bismun Volborth’s unusual platoon of T-Pacificators. Her platoon’s assignment is to investigate an ancient sea oil platform, which is rumored to be the supposed legendary "Gateway to the Heavens," for any technological relics that may either benefit or harm the Pacificators' efforts to end the Second Dark Age.

In addition to this, much of the modern technology as we know it has been lost in the future; there is only a basic form of electricity, and boats and trains are steam-powered, so any technological artifacts discovered would have a huge impact. However, there are evil forces who wish the world to remain in the Second Dark Age, and it’s against those enemies that the Pacificators have to fight for the future of the world.

Daryl’s very first assignment, to her dismay, ran into problems. Two of Daryl’s fellow platoon members never showed up, while the other two — Muneca Powell and Cinna Grossul, Pacificators of Gravity and Fire respectively — were being completely uncooperative with each other. To make matters worse, the Pacificators’ enemies — such as the rogue Renegades with their own elemental powers, and the enigmatic Japanese businesswoman Nozomi — have taken an ominous interest in the Gateway. Will Daryl be able to get one of the worst Pacificator platoons ever assembled to work together in order to complete their mission... or suffer the grave consequences of their failure?

An original webcomic by Jeffery Anderson (the author and artist). He has written the webcomic to pace more like a novel, so it starts off more slowly by building up the premise and introducing us to the characters. The first page can be found here, and an index can be found here. So far, there are 70 chapters. J.A. had originally worked with a volume-by-volume focus, although with the 43rd chapter, he has switched to a chapter-by-chapter focus.

A note to potential readers: J.A. is Deaf, and American Sign Language is his first language instead of English. Therefore, there are minor grammar errors in the story, as well as differences in pacing due to how many Deaf people tell stories (for example, pausing to point out things in the background, or explaining things further). J.A. will occasionally put little comments between the panels to explain small things, but they can be ignored or serve as an interesting insight into the storytelling styles of the Deaf. note 

J.A.'s other works include: Three Guardians, in which the sisters and brother Energeia, Akosmia, and Pragma protect the very fibers of the universe from those seeking to control them; Namaka Hamou, in which some humans have evolved into mermaids, and the star is a deaf mermaid named Gold fleeing from her secret past; the Sailor Moon fan-manga which first put J.A. on the map, The Saga of the Orb of Time, The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, and The Queen of the Kappa.

You can also find him on DeviantArt, which contains additional artwork concerning his characters.

Note from J.A. himself: he is fully focused on his geology job, and so sometimes he rushes through the artwork. But since the chapters are sort of a "storyboard," they're not fully finalized. One day, he intends to draw a true final version to his full artistic ability.

Pacificators contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Achilles' Heel: Those with powers can’t infinitely use their powers; they use up energy, and if they overexert themselves, they can black out or even kill themselves.
  • Action Fashionista: Muneca, who dresses in Victorian era clothes, and Larima, who, as per Word of God, has to look beautiful for diplomatic purposes.
  • Action Girl: The entire platoon.
  • Actual Pacifist: Larima. See Death by Origin Story.
    • This annoys Taffe to no end, because she constantly has to come to Larima's rescue.
      Taffe: Tu peux prendre soin d'eux par toi-meme, tu sais. translation 
      Larima: Mais tu sais a quelle point je deteste la violence! translation 
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Tough Fish Cafe in Lisboa, Portugal.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Breanne’s platoon’s specialty.
  • Aerith and Bob: The names come from a broad selection of countries and cultures, such as Qamra Umar (Turkey) and Captain Invaov (Russia). Characters’ names are chosen from their counties and cultures in order to be as accurate as possible. A few characters are named after minerals, as J.A. is a mineralogist.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Played With and Played for Laughs. Not all male characters which are presented are perverts. Usually, the perverted men are minor and background characters serving as a Funny Background Event. The only major male character who is regularly a pervert is Enrique (and possibly Shiva).
  • All of the Other Reindeer: It’s implied that people don’t really like those with powers; Cinna has difficulty finding dates, for example. The slur “witches” is often flung around, usually aimed at Platoon 113. Turns out there's a reason for that. Castella Brandsford, once one of the best Pacificators of Light, went mad and was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people before she was finally killed herself.
  • All There in the Manual: Some of the knowledge about the characters come from their site profiles and the occasional Word of God.
  • Amazon Brigade: Lampshaded several times to the point it's a Running Gag; Platoon 113 is now infamously known as the “Harem Platoon”.
  • Ambadassador: Larima is renowned for her great diplomatic skills, and she’s an Elite-ranked Pacificator of Water.
  • Ambition is Evil:
    • Muneca has averted this, though Cinna might say otherwise.
    • Nozomi plays this straight, as does Princess Belinda. She poisoned her own father for the throne.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The pirate Ferdinand Cook. He’s downright terrified of women and paints his nails, but is fairly skilled at fighting, both unarmed and with weapons.
    • It's pretty much confirmed by now. Let's just say that Shiva does not likes being hit on by Ferdinand.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the cover of the first volume to the cover of the fourth volume.
  • Automatic Crossbow: Qamra carries around one.
  • Badass Longcoat: Bismun and Egmond.
  • Badass Normal: Bismun and Egmond.
  • Berserk Button: The main cast have had theirs displayed at least once. Some are seen more strongly whereas the others' are implied.
    • Muneca hates being touched, vulgar and rude things. Cinna is quite good at pushing these buttons.
    • Cinna rages at bossy people (like Muneca), being picked on about her freckles, or being called ugly.
    • Daryl hates being called fat, as Enlil and Rendo learned the painful way.
    • Larima is not fond of being called either "wide-hipped" or a Mary Sue. And do not treat Taffe poorly, or even leer at her. Her big sister's watching.
    • Taffe is dangerous if her sister is endangered. (And it turns out Taffe's sensitive about her Hartman Hips, too.)
    • Breanne earns a special mention here as well - do not call her short nor a kid. She is 26, and she has the identification card to prove it!
  • The Bait: Cinna, though she had it coming. And is it ever sweet.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Larima and Daryl can respond quite dangerously when pushed to their limits.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Daryl thinks Bismun has one, though we have yet to see it in action.
    • In an example of Big Sister Instinct, Larima used to beat up the bullies picking on Taffe when they were kids.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A few examples throughout the comic:
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Estabens. Belinda poisoned her own father for the throne.
  • Birthday Episode: Subverted, since Daryl’s birthday was not the focus of the fourth volume. However, it was intertwined amongst the plot.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Enrique is always surrounded by sparkles. Played for Laughs.
  • Blessed with Suck:
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The platoon, courtesy of Larima, Daryl/Taffe/Muneca, and Cinna.
  • Blue Blood: Multiple examples, but the most prominent one is the royal family of Spain, the Estabens.
  • Booby Trap: The water balloons Cinna used to "pad" herself up when she played The Bait.
  • Bookworm: Muneca and Taffe.
  • Bound and Gagged: How Cinna and Egmond handled Rendo, which apparently wasn’t what the guidelines outlined, according to Muneca.
  • Bridal Carry: Inverted. The Preserver Austin did this with his little sister Amanda, another Preserver. The twist is that Amanda is dead.
  • Broken Pedestal: Daryl originally idolized Cinna and Muneca. Then she found out how they behave around each other and she calls them out on this.
  • Burning with Anger: Those with fire powers can actually suffer from heatstroke if they get too angry.
  • Butt-Monkey: Muneca is the favored target, though everybody else becomes fair game as some point.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Lampshaded by Cinna and Qamra when discussing Rendo’s preferences while trying to decide who would be The Bait. Taffe won’t do, because Larima "stole so much from her chest," and Qamra herself stated that Cinna had to be "padded up" in order to be a successful The Bait.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Torbern sisters occasionally speak in French. Sometimes the author/artist translates, but not always.
    • We also get a bit of Spanish in the scenes with Princess Belinda and her messenger.
    • In the later chapters, we start seeing some Italian here and there (most notably when Aphrodite and Cinna got into another Volleying Insults fight... in Italian).
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Taffe, Larima, the Shadow Sleuth, Daryl, Egmond, Allan, and Amon appeared in various forms in J.A's earlier Sailor Moon fancomics (out of the bunch, Daryl and Allan has been the most changed from their original personas - and we don't know about Egmond yet).
    • J.A. is more than happy to put in cameos of fan-made characters, both Pacificators and regular people. None of them currently have played any role other than just appearing in the background.
  • Card Games: Breanne is renowned for the game she invented, The Way of the Fate, which is based on mythology and astrology.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: While some of the characters are more soft in looks than the others and the art style itself is relatively subtle - unless J.A. wanted the humor - they do have differences. A good example is the Spanish royal family - Princess Belinda and her brothers all share the (slightly) large nose, high cheekbones, and a strong chin, a combination which none of the other characters have.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Taffe is assigned leader of the platoon by Bismun, but she couldn’t care less; in addition to this, Muneca is very ambitious to gain power. This causes friction between Taffe and Muneca.
  • Character Development: Definitely occuring, especially in the relationship between Cinna and Muneca; by the end of the fourth volume, they hate each other slightly less.
  • Christianity is Catholic: Subverted; so far, we've only seen the nuns (in an off-handed reference), are told that Zeus was a Christian, and met Kathy Lee, who is Catholic, but judging from the amount of Shown Their Work in this story, we can safely assume that J.A. knows the difference between the Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Played for Laughs with one of the "clown musicians."
    Lead musician: This one almost died when he scrambled upon [the Preservers’] secret place! They tried to shoot at him, but by Elvis’ hair, he barely escaped with his hair intact!
    Musician in question: (wiggles his fingers through his hair) Actually...
    • A serious one with Shiva and Egmond; they ended their sword duel as Shiva finally drew blood via a scratch on Egmond’s arm. Egmond only managed to hack off a bit of Shiva’s hair.
  • Clothing Damage: It’s not for Fanservice, however; rather, it’s a mixture of humor, Shown Their Work, and a threat.
    Kathy Lee: Surrender if you wish not to lose your hair and your clothing.
  • The Coats Are Off: Muneca, being old-fashioned, peels off a glove and throws it at Yuma as a challenge. Bonus point for smacking him in the face with it.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: There is a required uniform code.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Some of characters, usually those with the powers of Fire or Air, but Taffe is an interesting case - while she does hit below the belt, that doesn’t stand out. What does is that she takes advantage of her deafness, a fact that very few people know about her, since she uses her power of air to help her hear, as seen here (observe Gincoi's shock and confusion when his attack failed).
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Implied to be why some of the regular Pacificators (and plain people) seem to be leery around the people with powers, and forced those to undergo rigorous training to become T-Pacificators or be labeled renegades if they refuse.
  • Comically Missing the Point: There's a nice little example.
    Cinna: (when discussing who would be the best candidate for being The Bait) Hey, what about Ex-Boss [Qamra]?
    Qamra: Like he’d interested in some one-eyed woman.
    Cinna: That’s right, you’re too old.
  • Common Tongue: Standard English; apparently, Pacificators are discouraged from speaking in their native languages, which makes Muneca slipping into Spanish showing that she’s slowly growing more flexible about rules.
  • Cool Boat: The Muscovite (Moscow, Russia) ironclad warship.
  • Cool Shades: Benito wears a pair of teashades.
  • Covered with Scars: In chapter 37, we discover that Muneca is covered with serious burn scars.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Cinna and Muneca first met. It Got Worse, naturally.
    • To elaborate, it was their very first day at the Academy, and thanks to crashing into each other (and getting distracted by their first ever fight), they ended up late for their classes... and in detention. They've come to totally hate each other ever since that day.
    • Also happened between Travis and Breanne. Luckily, Breanne forgave Travis quickly enough.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: One of the many methods J.A. uses to show anger, most often on Cinna. Sometimes he uses the anime-esque version, but sometimes he draws a more realistic one with the vein in the middle of the forehead and the one in the neck.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once the platoon finally gets their act together.
    • Also if you piss off Muneca big time.
  • Cute Bruiser: Breanne; she’s the tiniest adult character thus far, but this doesn’t stop her.
  • Damsel in Distress: Larima; apparently she’ve gotten kidnapped so often, her team are sick of it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Implied with Daryl, as well as the whole platoon. Especially so with Muneca.
  • Death by Origin Story: The Torbern sisters, which is why Larima hates violence; their parents were killed in a war.
  • Death Glare: Muneca has a really scary one, as Aphrodite discovers.
  • Death Ray: The clown musicians claims that the Preservers have one that can blow the moon up, much to the Pacificators’ disbelief.
  • Deconstruction: Daryl was made fat so there would be a work with a positive portrayal of a chubby person, according to Word of God.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Muneca. It’s all thanks to Daryl.
    • Ever since Daryl accidentally discovers Muneca's secret in chapter 37, Muneca has been a lot more flexible and warm around Daryl - for example in chapter 40, Muneca actually willingly touched Daryl!
    • This gets pointed out by Muneca's only childhood friend, Kathy Lee.
      • Kathy (to Daryl): I'm glad to see that Miss Powell has gained a few more friends since then, however. For a long time, I was the only person who she considered a friend.
  • Die or Fly: This seems to be how Daryl learns new tricks. She figured out how to flare the orb atop her staff brightly when her platoon was stranded out at the ocean, and she discovered how to use solar power to sting people when faced with real danger; after all, the Preservers had rifles and weren’t afraid to use them.
  • Dirty Coward: Rendo.
  • Disability Superpower: Taffe. She’s deaf, but uses her power of air to amplify sounds, which is how hearing aids work in Real Life.
  • Downer Ending: Several chapters. The saddest one so far has to be the end to Chapter 32 - the female Preserver had just been murdered; she’s the first death we see on-screen, and to top it off, she was killed in front of her brother.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Commander Breanne Geothe.
    Breanne: You better or I’ll make you run for kilometers until you’re nothing but a walking skeleton!
    • And later...
    Breanne: Go! Go! Go! Before I crack my whip on you!
    Daryl: I won't want to have her as my commander.
  • Driving Question: What secret does the Gateway hold?
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Nozomi, who is nocturnal.
  • Elective Mute: Egmond.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Breanne. Lampshaded in-universe; she’s infamously known as the midget with the gothic outfit who likes some witch stuff.
  • Elemental Powers: T-Pacificators and Renegades.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Based on science, however. A good example is water versus lightning - because water conducts electricity, the water user is vulnerable to lightning, but so is the lightning user as well, since being wet increases the risk of electrocuting themselves. Another good example is fire against wind; the fire users have to be careful when fighting wind users because wind can put out fire or spread it beyond control.
  • Enemy Mine: Briefly with the Pacificators and the Preservers in chapter 32, when the Shadow Sleuth attacked them.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Cinna to Daryl. Played for Laughs.
  • Everyone Can See It: Bismun and Qamra.
    • Possibly Christopher and Breanne. (At least, Shirley and Daryl can see it.)
  • Evil Laugh: We get one from Daryl, of all people, in the "Cinna as The Bait" arc.
    Cinna: That new spinster laugh, where’s it coming from?!
    • It’s a quirk of Breanne’s. Her laugh is like this: hss hss hss.
  • The Evil Princess: Princess Belinda
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Inverted in a sense. Taffe routinely eavesdrops quite a bit on her platoon because she can, but once she did manage to catch wind of a plot between the bad guys.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Qamra.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The pirate captain who went down with his ship when it was sunk by the Russians’ ironclad warship.
  • Fade Out: J.A. managed to get one to work quite nicely on paper by drawing panels progressively darker until the last one on the page is all black.
  • Fake Boobs: In order to be The Bait, Cinna had to wear two large water balloons since she has a small bust. It actually served a double purpose - lightning users are vulnerable to water attacks, since it increases the risk of electrocuting themselves. It’s what Cinna used to capture Rendo.
  • False Camera Effects: A few times, especially blurring and fading, most usually when a flashback is unveiled. There’s also fade-out, done by a series of shrinking black panels.
  • The Fashionista: Muneca and Larima. Daryl likes girly things, but feels far too insecure to wear them often, and Cinna likes to dress "sexy" for her dates, but otherwise she’s not a fan of the girly girl things. Taffe is a Tomboy, though one who wears pegasus hairpins.
  • Fastball Special: An off-screen one with Muneca and Taffe, which doubles as a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • By chapter 40, it's confirmed to be a trick of Muneca's, when Bismun asked her to "throw him" over to the ship (didn't happen, however - Muneca was out of energy).
  • Femme Fatale: Princess Belinda. Per Word of God, she was based on Tsar Catherine the Great, who was rumored to use her body to gain political favors.
    • It's implied that Larima is this also. Cinna taunts her about sleeping "with some dirty kings," and Breanne claims to be "in awe of [Larima]" for what she did to resolve certain matters.
  • Fiery Redhead: Cinna. Literally, if she's not careful.
  • Fights Like a Normal:
  • First-Name Basis: Most of the platoon with each other, including the commander. When he first met Daryl, he makes a point of telling her she could call him Bismun.
  • Flashback: There's a mysterious, yet-to-be-explained one of Daryl and her grandmother Helen.
    • Thanks to another flashback, we now know that Daryl's grandmother Helen was the first one to train Daryl in her light powers.
    • Flashback Effects: J.A. opted for the transparent-type style.
  • Flipping the Bird: Cinna does this a lot, though often with censorship. The offending finger itself is usually off-screen, but her hand is on-screen, with just enough visible for us to be able to figure it out. These are most often aimed at Muneca.
  • Floorboard Failure: Or rather, dock failure - Muneca threw the Shadow Sleuth through the pier.
    • Fridge Logic kicks in here, especially in the light of the later chapters. Muneca throwing a guy through the pier is pretty extreme for her, almost to the point where it's Out of Character. However, we now know several things: Muneca has really warmed up to Daryl (consider that the sleuth tried to hurt, and maybe even kill, Daryl), that she and Kathy are best friends (and Kathy had been seriously injured in this fight), and that she nearly got blown up by a cannonball (Muneca is terrified of fire attacks, and for good reason - she was badly burned in a fire as a kid). Mix those things together, and you've got one pissed-off lady.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Played with the Torbern sisters. Larima loves being a Pacificator, while Taffe never wanted to be one, and takes her duty very seriously, but she’s a bit more independent-spirited and whimsical when compared to Taffe.
  • Funbag Airbag: A fun one where Aphrodite was cloaked when Daryl walked into her with enough force to cause Aphrodite to lose the apple she was snacking on.
  • Funny Background Event: J.A. likes to put those in. Be sure to look closely at each panel, as odds are good that you will find a gem.
  • Get Out!: Muneca gave Daryl a big "LEAVE!" when Daryl accidentally saw Muneca's burn scars. Luckily, Daryl didn't listen.
  • The Gambler: Bismun. Lampshaded by Qamra.
  • Giggling Villain: Breanne. Subverted in that she’s not a villain, but still giggles like a snake: hss hss hss.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: We haven’t seen any serious confrontation between Larima and Taffe yet, but friction definitely is there - Taffe refused to hug Larima back, for example, when they are reunited in Basque. Word of God says that there is a rift between the sisters which Larima doesn’t realize yet.
    • In chapter 42, they had a big (off-screen) fight, apparently because Taffe was pissed that Larima had taken such a reckless action, note  whereas Larima thinks Taffe is overreacting.
    • Confirmed in chapter 45, where we get a flashback to the fight itself.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Yuma nearly got Muneca with a bomb. She managed to parry in time, however, and it pissed her off.
    • There is a small dose of Fridge Horror in this - now we know that Muneca was caught in a fire as a small kid, and has extensive burn scars, thanks to that. Now, consider that she nearly got hit in the face with a firebomb. No wonder she went berserk.
  • Glowing Eyes: When those with powers use their abilities, their eyes glow. A good example is when Muneca pulled that trick with the warship. The Muscovite captain actually had an Oh, Crap! moment when he saw her eyes glowing.
    • This gives us a nice bit of Fridge Brilliance, too. Pay close attention to Taffe's eyes from the moment she's introduced - there's usually a very faint glow in her pupils. Why? She's deaf, and uses her power constantly to hear.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Bismun has a couple of the good variety on his face and chest. In chapter 40, he got another one thanks to Shiva.
    • Ferdinand the pirate now has one on his cheek (of the evil variety), thanks to Muneca.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: So far, the only character we see smoking is Benito, assistant manager to the sinister Nozomi. Nozomi herself doesn’t think Smoking Is Cool, however, and has been on Benito’s case to not smoke in her presence.
  • Graying Morality: To both Daryl and the readers.
  • Groin Attack: The author/artist J.A. is fond of throwing in Groin Attacks for the humor.
  • Handicapped Badass: Qamra and Taffe.
  • Handsome Lech: Played with Enrique; he’s a "sticky womanizer" who was inspired by Yahoo’s "List of the top 5 men women should avoid" article.
  • Hartman Hips: Don’t call Larima wide-hipped. It’s one of the few things that is guaranteed to tick her off.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Muneca and Cinna. Daryl've got her work cut out for her.
  • The Heart: Daryl. Larima thinks she is this, but she's actually more of The Face.
  • Hero Academy: We don’t know yet if they teach regular kids together with those with powers or separately, but there definitely are schools for Pacificators.
  • Heroic BSoD: Daryl experienced a mild one after her second mission; she contemplated quitting the platoon and starting anew.
  • Hollywood Thin: Cinna, as lampshaded by Daryl (“You need to eat more”).
  • Honor Before Reason: Muneca is very obsessed with her duty. This leads to problems between herself and her platoon.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Christopher and Breanne.
    Shirley: She has a taste for big men.
    Christopher: The kind she can climb on like a monkey!
  • The Hyena: Cinna is this when it comes to Muneca.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Cinna reading the personal ads in hopes of finding a hot guy to date:
      Cinna: More of those boring and desperate guys. They’re no good.
    • Muneca gets a shot at this, too:
      Daryl: Yeah, there are some oriental attires you can try. I can write my to my brother and ask for some catalogues.
      Muneca: Perhaps, but I hear that they’re restrictive.
      Cinna: (whispering) Funny to hear that coming from a heavy dresser.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Cinna. She really doesn’t like her power of fire.
  • I Like Swords: Egmond and Shiva. Ferdinand Cook sort of counts, but he's just as fond of his gun.
  • Impact Silhouette: We get one from Ferdinand Cook when he discovers that there are women aboard the ship he tried to hijack.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Daryl does this once out of gratitude because Cinna had apologized for her actions.
  • Invisible Jerkass: Subverted, as Aphrodite is a Lovable Coward and a tease.
  • Invisibility: Aphrodite’s power. Hilarity Ensues when Aphrodite meets Cinna and Muneca.
  • Jack of All Stats: Bismun.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Christopher and Breanne.
  • A Kind of One: Muneca, the only Pacificator of Gravity - she was so highly valuable that when she became available for recruitment, it had to be decided by a lottery which Bismun apparently rigged.
  • Klingon Promotion: Princess Belinda.
  • La Résistance: Basque against Spain.
  • Large Ham: Shiva, though Larima and Enrique also have their moments.
  • Last-Name Basis: Muneca, being the polite doll she is, addresses her platoon and commander by their last name, complete with proper titles. The fact that Daryl responded in kind without issue seems to be what warms Muneca up to Daryl so quickly.
    • Muneca is such a Proper Lady that she and Kathy Lee even address each other as Miss Powell and Miss Lee, despite being best friends in school and remaining very good friends afterwards.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: The Pacificators.
  • Legacy Character: Daryl is implied to be this; her grandmother, Helen Churchill, was a very famous Pacificator of Light who helped to unite Italy and found many T-Pacificators. Bismun gambles on this when he asked Daryl to join his platoon, forgoing the usual four-year training.
    Bismun: I’m placing my hopes on her.
    • Further supported in Chapter 43. Apparently, the Pacificators organization intentionally suppress those with certain types of powers by purposefully mislabeling their level and strength (most gets labeled as "feeblers"), which meant they end up with mundane jobs far away from fighting. Bismun suspects the superiors are afraid of another Castella Brandsford incident.
      • Oh, and by the way? Turns out Castella Brandsford had the same kind of power Helen Churchill did... and it's this exact power that Daryl inherited from Helen. That's right, they intentionally labeled Daryl as a weak Pacificator, whereas in reality, she's potentially another Castella Brandsford in making - which is why Bismun recruited Daryl immediately. He wanted to help her learn how to manage her powers and not go insane like Castella did.
  • Little Miss Badass: Breanne, even though she’s an adult.
  • Lovable Coward: Aphrodite.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Muneca really hates it when Cinna calls her "Doll." explanation 
  • Mama Bear: Muneca is one, to the sense that she doesn't like it when anyone is cruel to a child, regardless of whether the said child's a brat or not.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Enrique.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Breanne (though she’s one of the good guys) and Princess Belinda.
  • Mary Sue: In-universe, Enlil calls Larima one as an insult.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • The Mole: Qamra might be one. Look very closely at "Odin" in the first link - notice the headband?
  • Mood-Swinger: Muneca and Cinna. Their powers are implied to play a part in this - Muneca can become very depressed very swiftly, and Cinna is Hot-Blooded.
    • Chapter 43 confirms that powers do affect the person's mental health, along with physical well-being.
  • Mood Whiplash: J.A. sure can catch you off guard. At first, those Mood Whiplashes aren’t such a big deal, but then the fourth volume came...
  • Mooning: Jacob did it to taunt Cinna.
  • Most Common Superpower:
    • Muneca likely wears a corset with her Victorian-era clothes, and she is very private, though Word of God have had confirmed that she has an impressive rack; Cinna also suspects this. (By the fifth volume, it's pretty much confirmed in-universe. Cinna mercilessly teases Muneca about it.)
    • Cinna also lampshades the trope when she gets her disguise:
      Cinna: Damn! Why do they have to be so heavy?! There’s no way the superheroines in those crappy comics can run around with those weights!
  • Mundane Utility: Discouraged because excessive usage of powers can shorten one’s lifespan, but it still happens. Examples include Cinna burning Muneca’s butt for absolutely no reason other to pick on her and Osiris using his reflective power to "hide" the magazine Enlil and Aphrodite were reading to get their attention.
  • My Greatest Failure: The death of Porenn Carlson, the Pacificator of Light before Daryl, and the resulting Balkan Wars is this for Bismun.
  • Mythology Gag: Occasionally, we see references to J.A.'s previous Sailor Moon fanmanga.
    • Taffe is a Voice Changeling, which was the special talent of her original persona. Likewise, her "special combo" (kick the knee, palm heel strike into the chin, then Groin Attack) was from the fanmanga.
    • Whether the platoon travels by train, we usually could see Hotaru (Sailor Saturn) and Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) in the background. In The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, Hotaru and Makoto travelled to their destination by train.
    • The Shadow Sleuth seems to have retained his mysterious shadowy powers from his origins.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Muneca and Cinna often, though this also extends to the rest of the platoon. As Captain Blackbeard said, "Ye be worst Pacificators I ever worked wid!".
  • The Nicknamer: Cinna, especially when it comes to Muneca, who hates being called "Doll." Naturally, Cinna plays with every variable of this.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Many of the characters were based on real life people.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Implied to be the case with T-Pacificators; Cinna had yet another failed date in which the guy bailed out on her right after he noticed "this stupid watch." T-Pacificators are required to wear watches with identifying seals and their initials.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in chapter 44 (a few chapters earlier J.A. starts to feel more comfortable touching upon squicky topics, and he wanted his female characters to be realistic). Poor Muneca.
  • Noodle Incident: How Cinna lost her tooth and the time Muneca got stuck in the school air vent.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: Muneca didn’t understand Taffe was trying to tell her to stay quiet while Taffe was fighting a sleuth on the train, as the sleuth didn’t know Muneca was there yet.
  • Not So Stoic: Taffe; Larima’s safety is her Berserk Button. (Which makes sense, since the sisters are the only family they have left.)
    • This led to a big fight between the two in chapter 42.
  • Ocular Gushers: Often a part of the Funny Background Event. A favorite of J.A.’s are men bawling their eyes out after losing a bet.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Bismun and his infamous "Harem Platoon."
    • Turns out it was fully intentional. Muneca was Bismun's first recruit, and she specifically requested an all-female platoon for reasons yet to be known.
  • One of the Boys: Cinna plays with this.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Ferdinand gets two of those when Taffe and Larima brawled with him:
    Ferdinand: (after Taffe claps her hands) Argh! Me ears! (then Larima makes him slip) Arggh, me spleen!
  • Parental Abandonment: The Torbern sisters (see Death by Origin Story).
  • Pie in the Face: Muneca got one from Aphrodite. Cinna and Taffe laughed themselves silly when they saw her. With teammates like these...
  • Pirate: The "wanna-be pirate" Ferdinand Cook. He’s an annoying pest to the town of Lisboa, however. But in the fourth volume, it looks as he’s finally becoming more of a genuine threat. In the last pages of the fourth volume, he ended up with the Key to the Gateway, and he's really starting to shine in the fifth volume.
  • Perception Filter: An interesting take on the trope, as Osiris’ power is that he can "reflect" surroundings to fool others into thinking they're seeing something that isn't there.
  • The Pessimist: Osiris, doubled as Played for Laughs and Fridge Brilliance, as seeing he was dead for a moment before being revived.
  • The Pigpen: Osiris to a degree. He’s not visibly dirty, but sometimes flies are seen buzzing around him since he doesn’t take enough baths; also the King of Spain. However, this symbolizes that he was dying from being poisoned.
  • Plot Device: The key to the Gateway to the Heavens; the Gateway itself; possibly Cinna’s bracelet which was made from platinum, one of the "legendary metals from the past".
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Averted. The characters' powers are fairly consistant. They can and do learn new tricks, and can improve their stamina and endurance, but it could take years. It took four volumes for one of them, Daryl, to actually learn a new trick, The Power of the Sun.
  • Power Crutch:
    • Daryl must have her staff with the orb.
    • Cinna and Kathy Lee (and others with the fire power) can’t create fire without fuel and oxygen.
    • Larima must have access to water (same applies to any with the power of water). She also knows it’s not ethical to leech water from a human body.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: We see this twice because the characters only have a finite amount of energy, and have to rest to recover. The first time was when Muneca pulled her trick with the ironclad warship. The second was when Larima caught a cannonball and flung it back at the same ironclad warship. Worse, she was already running low on energy.
  • Pride: Muneca especially struggles with this. It’s implied with Cinna does as well, but nobody has called her out on this yet.
    • According to Enrique, this is a character flaw of Bismun's.
  • Proper Lady: At the first glance, Muneca seems to be one of those. Then one gets to know her...
  • The Prophecy: Mentioned, but not addressed yet. Known as the "Prophecies of Ares."
  • Race Against the Clock: The mission in Northern Spain had to be done in a week (as per Princess Belinda's orders). Also, there was the race in order to stop the Preservers from stealing the ancient boat. They failed, and the Russians sunk the boat in the ensuring fight.
  • Random Power Ranking: There are two systems of ranking.
    • The renegades are from 1 to 10 with 1 being the weakest; for example, Yuma is a rank 7 Fire renegade.
    • The one for the Pacificators known so far is, starting with the weakest: novice, B, A, and Elite. Note "T" is not a rank; it's short for "telekinesis" and refers to how Pacificators activate their powers. In chapter 43, we discover that some of the T-Pacificators had been intentionally ranked much lower than their actual level, out of fear that they'll reach their true potential and go on a rampage like Castella Brandsford did.
  • Randomly Gifted: Possibly; so far, it's not known if the elemental powers are genetically passed down. Those with powers are pretty rare in the first place (there are only seventeen T-Pacificators... out of an organization with over 350 people), and it’s lightly implied that for a family to have two, like the Torbern sisters, is highly unusual.
    • Apparently, women are much more likely to have powers than men.
  • Real Women Have Curves: While Daryl struggles with her weight, she’s the main character, a sweetheart, and portrayed realistically.
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses: Taffe. Cinna plays with this as well.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Torbern sisters, with Larima as red and Taffe as blue.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The organized Renegades. Lampshaded by Cinna when Muneca tells them about the "young lad who can apparently run really fast."
    Cinna: Great, what’s his name? Mercury? note 
  • Revenge: Chapter 20 is titled "Sweet Revenge." It’s a barrel of laughs whenever Cinna is concerned. Just look at the cover.
    Larima: Ce sera une vengeance douce! translation 
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: Allan, who is also a Generic Guy.
  • Rubber Face: Cinna pulls this on Daryl on the Chapter 12 cover.
  • The Runaway: Shiva ran away to escape Indian and family politics.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Most obvious with Daryl; see quote at the top of this page. Larima is also frequently pulled into these situations. The others have traces of this, as well, though it's not necessarily their only motivation - Muneca is equally ambitious, for example.
  • Sanity Slippage: What happened to Castella Brandsford.
    • And this is exactly what the top-shots are afraid would happen to Daryl Smithson, who has the same power Castella did.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ferdinand Cook when he realized that he’s touching Taffe, who is a girl.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Implied to be the case with Muneca and Kathy. While Muneca does follow the rules (and is pretty strict about it), her very good friend, Kathy (who apparently is in a considerably higher position), happily gives Muneca a hefty sum of support, such as commending her for being brave enough to face off the renegades, despite accomplishing nothing.
  • Scot Ireland: Kathy Lee is from Ireland; however her hair is a pale orange, rather than a straight red. Cinna averts the redhead stereotype by being Italian.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Princess Belinda, at least on her father's side. Their mother were killed a while ago by terrorists.
  • Shameful Strip: It happened to Shiva. At first, it's Played for Laughs, but became a plot point; the thief was after the contract paper in Shiva’s pockets.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Cinna; however, she was an unwilling The Bait, complete with Fake Boobs.
  • Shout-Out: Occasionally we'll see cameos of characters from J.A.'s other works (Namaka Hamou and The Three Guardians).
    • In chapter 43, there was a shout out to Sailor Moon - in-universe, the story was considered an "ancient Japanese story." It's this very story that inspired Bismun to create a platoon consisting entirely of T-Pacificators.
  • Shown Their Work: There's quite a bit of research throughout, especially involving the main characters’ countries of Britain, France, Spain, and Italy; a good example is food. Cinna the Italian loves seasoning and spices, while Muneca the Spaniard doesn’t quite as much.
    Cinna: (after Muneca stole a breadstick from her plate) Hey, you thieving doll... (Muneca bites into the breadstick and grimaces) Tee hee. That’s seasoned garlic bread. (Muneca throws the half-eaten breadstick into Cinna’s plate with a wince) Eww, doll germs!
  • Sibling Team: The Torbern sisters.
  • The Silent Bob: Egmond. Discussed by Cinna and Daryl at one point.
  • Sleazy Politician: Enrique, as implied by Bismun, Qamra, and Word of God.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The story starts out very upbeat, but is slowly starting to see darker hints here and there that everything’s not quite what it looks...
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality:
    • Passes the Bechdel Test, and at level 5. Amusingly, the main characters, the Harem, Platoon 113, are all girls except the commander, Bismun. There are many male supporting characters and it’s nicely balanced. The author has stated he enjoys making realistic, flawed characters, so you’ll see men and women of all kinds.
    • It must be admitted, however, that the numerous Funny Background Events tend to deal with men. J.A. seems comfortable with poking fun at his own gender.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: Ranging from Credible (the pirate Ferdinand Cook) to High (Nozomi).
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Just for reading, though. Muneca appears to be able to see far things fine, so she may be farsighted. note 
  • Smarter Than You Look: Aphrodite is actually pretty clever; she laid out an effective trap for Muneca, for example.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Larima. Played for Laughs lightly when Larima gives a rousing speech to Daryl.
  • Sour Prudes: Subverted by Muneca, sort of - she’s actually a very modest and polite person.
    Cinna: That’s because you don’t like to be touched, let alone making love!
  • Spiky Hair: Bismun. Breanne calls him "Conehead."
  • Standing Between the Enemies: Daryl threw herself into a fight between Cinna and Muneca, but they didn’t see her, so Egmond had to stop them.
  • Static Stun Gun: Apparently, the ancients had some kind of anti-rioting taser-like weapons which radiates something that stings people. The Pacificators don’t know what they do, only that they work. Daryl took inspiration from this anti-riot weapon and discovered how to use The Power of the Sun for the same purpose.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Muneca is taller than many men. Earlier on, she was drawn much shorter than Bismun and other men, though with Art Evolution, she has shot up in height.
    • Recently, Word of God has told us that Muneca is over six feet tall.
  • Stepford Smiler: Implied with Daryl and Larima.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Cinna to Muneca:
    Muneca: Oh? You’re not from the islands?
    Cinna: Of course not! I’m from Italy, not Scotland or Ireland! That’s just some dumb stereotype about redheads like me!
  • Stubborn Mule: Muneca, that silly stubborn doll.
  • Subject101: There's a full index on powers and how they work for both the Pacificators and Renegades.
  • Succession Crisis: Spain - the King was dying, and he hasn't named a heir, so a civil war nearly erupted before he finally does so. He named Princess Belinda the heir.
  • Super Registration Act: An interesting take on the trope. Rather than registering the people with powers, the people are forced to be either T-Pacificators or renegades. There’s no Take a Third Option at all.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: How Taffe sees her platoon. Yes, that includes her own sister.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Emotionless Girl Taffe gets unusually flustered whenever Cinna teases her about Gincoi.
  • Symbol Swearing: J.A. uses symbols and pictures, most commonly a skull, in place of words.
  • Take a Third Option: Not allowed for the people with powers. Either they become T-Pacificators, or they’re labeled renegades.
    Taffe: The reality is that either we [with powers] become a Pacificator or be labeled as a renegade.
    Daryl: But people should be allowed to decide on how they live their lives!
    Taffe: Perhaps that’s how we have renegades like Shiva.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Gincoi; at least, Taffe apparently thinks so.
  • Team Chef: Daryl and Larima.
  • Team Mom: Oddly, the seventeen-year-old (and the youngest) Daryl is this to her platoon. Daryl’s still settling into her role, but it’s pretty clear by the end of the fourth volume that she would definitely be this.
  • Technical Pacifist: Larima.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Muneca and Cinna, though it seems to be very slowly improving, thanks to Daryl.
  • Telekinesis: How powers work in-universe. That’s what the T-Pacificators stands for.
  • That's an Order!: Taffe really doesn’t care much about being the leader of her platoon, but when she gives orders, they listen. She even got Muneca - who Hates Being Touched - to sit still and let Taffe touch her.
  • "The Reason Your Platoon Suck" Speech: Bismun gets one from Qamra, of all people, about his platoon in chapter 43. Here's the whole speech below (spoilered for those who don't want to see it).
    Qamra: Taffe Torbern shows absolutely no motivation for the job. She doesn't care about getting her teammates to cooperate. She's not suited to be the leader of your platoon.
    Qamra: Larima Torbern's too independent, which makes her a poor team player. Worse still, she've shown a refusal to learn from her mistakes with the platoon. She's better off as a freelancing Pacificator.
    Qamra: I'm confident in Cinna Grossul's abilities, but she can't show what she can do as long as Muneca Powell is suppressing her.
    Qamra: Miss Powell's unique power of gravity apparently has made her so arrogant, it's difficult to cooperate with her. Like Larima, she's a bad team player.
    Qamra: Daryl Smithson, that poor young girl...
  • Theme Naming: The author/artist, J.A., is a mineralogist; you can see this reflected in the names of some of his characters:
    • Cinna is named after cinnabar, a famously bright red mineral.
    • Larima is derived from larimar, a blue stone.
    • Taffe is from taaffeite.
    • Bismun comes from bismuth.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: An in-universe example; apparently Cinna doesn't like the new name Pacificators. She preferred the old name, Guardians.
    • Cinna (along with Shiva and Enlil - not that they know of each other's position) also didn't like the change of the rank names ("General" into "Chancellor," for example).
    • This is actually turning into a plot point - apparently, several Pacificators have quit over the name change (and many other policy changes), and Breanne is plotting to bring down the Chancellor.
  • Threatening Shark: Whenever there are deaths out on the ocean, there will be sharks coming for the meal.
  • Toilet Humor: Subverted in a sense. Muneca was upset that the ship’s bathroom had been blown up by the Russians; Cinna later tells the story to the Torbern sisters about how Muneca had to squeeze into a closet with a bucket.
    Cinna: You should’ve seen her face when I told her that there was a second bathroom! (Cue Muneca glaring at Cinna.)
  • Token Minority: While there are characters of many backgrounds, Qamra is a special case, since the creator specifically wanted an Arabic person in the story.
  • Tomboy: Taffe. Lampshaded by Enlil, who calls her "Tomboy." Taffe does seem to like pegasi, however, since she seems flustered when Daryl mentions that Taffe wears pegasus hairpins.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Torbern sisters. Lampshaded by Enlil and Shiva; also played with by Cinna and Muneca.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Ferdinand Cook the "wanna-be pirate." How dumb is he? He mistook Taffe for a boy twice, though she intentionally invokes the trope the second time.
    • To really drive it home, we get this gem from Ferdinand the second time he meets Taffe:
      Ferdinand: Eh? Where have I seen this boy before?
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Various breads for Daryl, tea for Muneca, and apple pies for Kathy Lee.
  • Trick Bomb: Cinna, which goes with Power Crutch - those bombs contain the fuel necessary for Cinna’s power. Kathy Lee, another Fire Pacificator, specializes in this as well.
    • Shiva and Yuma also has those bombs, which implies that there is an underground black market concerning weapons.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: Breanne wears a pair of tricked-out boots which have hidden daggers and pepper spray projectiles.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: As mentioned in the introduction, there was a second Dark Age in which much of the knowledge and technology has been lost - and it's not all. In addition, much of their history has also been lost… so they have no idea how much time has passed since - and it's implied to have been centuries. So, this is a weird example of the trope.
  • Victory by Endurance: How we would've expected the Wizard Duel between Taffe and Gincoi to end, since they were pretty much equals when it comes to technique. Taffe takes advantage of her deafness to catch Gincoi off guard.
  • Voice Changeling: Taffe has a talent for imitating voices, despite being deaf. Later, a Chekhov's Gun when she uses it to trick the Too Dumb to Live Ferdinand.
  • The Voiceless: Egmond, at least in the past. He's changed into more of an Elective Mute.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Happens to Daryl a couple times.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Also happens to Daryl a few times.
  • Waif-Fu: Breanne.
  • Walk on Water: Word of God says that Muneca can do this with her power - though it’s more of being-carried-by-water-without-falling-into-it. Muneca actually doesn’t know how to swim. See the lower right corner on this page.
    • We're treated to a look at Muneca's very first attempt. It worked... for a couple seconds.
    • We finally get to see this in action in chapter 40, and boy, is it awesome.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Preservers are rumored to have found and hidden some old ones.
  • Welcome Episode: For Daryl.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Preservers seem to be this. They go to extreme measures to preserve the artifacts of the past, even going as far as to stealing from and shooting (and likely killing) the Pacificators.
    Preserver: So much have been lost in the past, and we must obtain and preserve every relic we find regardless.
  • Wham Line
    • The Spanish King gave one to his children when he named his daughter the heir to the throne; later, the Spanish King had another one with his daughter, Princess Belinda.
    The King: It’s ironic that your name was Latin for a beautiful snake, and the snake turns out to be venomous.
    • Taffe also gave one to Daryl:
      Taffe: I never wanted to be a Pacificator in the first place.
  • Wham Shot
    • There's one panel in Chapter 37: "Breaking Through," in which Daryl discovers Muneca's burn scars.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Daryl and other T-Pacificators of Light, commonly called "feeblers."
    • However, as Castella Brandsford has shown, the power of light can all too easily be deadly...
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Muneca and Cinna, often and usually on each other.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Breanne and Christopher. Lampshaded in a note Shirley gives Christopher: "One of my dreams is to arrange a big wedding ceremony. When you and Breanne decide to go for it, please give me a call!"
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A serious risk for the lightning users; if they’re not careful, they can literally fry their brains. Rendo is an example of this.
    • It may be the case for the other types of powers, as well - see Castella Brandsford.
      • Confirmed in chapter 43. This reason is exactly why the superiors are keeping an eye on Daryl.
  • Wizard Duel: Known as "The Way of the Power." We get to see one between Taffe and Gincoi. Taffe wins.
  • Working with the Ex: Bismun and Breanne. They only had one date, though.
  • Wrench Wench: Taffe. She specializes in taking apart guns.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Spanish civil war threatened to tear apart Spain.