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Webcomic / Star Power

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Star Power!

Star Power is a webcomic created by Michael Terracciano and Garth Graham which ran from February 2013 to August 2020. The comic places a Super Hero in a Space Opera setting. Those familiar with the author's previous works will recognize Mookie's style in the writing and design, and Garth's touch in the art.

Danica Maris, a lab assistant on a research Space Station spots an otherwise unremarkable star that turns out to be a remnant of the cosmic force of Star Powered Sentinels, turning her into a cosmic Super Hero. However, the awakening of the last Star Power attracts the attention of the ancient enemies of the Sentinels...

While the story is completed, the site is still maintained and includes a store with print collections of the comic.


This webcomic includes following tropes:

  • Androids Are People, Too: Enforced by the Zori, who have created true artificial intelligence and consider them the children of their species. When Black Hole Bill is finally arrested, the Zori-made A.I. he killed to cover his tracks gets him marked as a child killer by their race and sent to their homeworld for his punishment. It's implied that his prison term there will be very, very unpleasant.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: See The Reveal.
  • Alien Blood: Evebians bleed purple, as seen in A Fine Introduction.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The final page makes it clear that Danica's adventures are far from over.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Pretty much the only strategy in the Countess's arsenal. Not because she lacks competence or imagination, but because she considers anything less to be cowardice, especially in the face of her race's long-hated enemy.
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  • Author Appeal: Both creators are big fans of space exploration and superhero comics.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Quincy Polgar is able to determine the Countess' attitude just from her contemptuous stare.
    Countess: Are you some kind of mutant mind reader?
    Quincy: No, Countess. I'm with Psychology Ops.
  • Benevolent Precursors: The Zel-Gux Dynasty who uplifted the worlds of the Kioleth system in ancient times, then vanished.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do NOT call Roarboar "Porkchop", or prepare for a metal fist in your face.
    • Mentioning the Zel-Gux to the Countess, they're the two most "blasphemous" words in the Scintillian language: Love and Compassion.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The Countess has Danica at her mercy but opts to rant exposition at her instead of just killing her.
  • The Capital of Brazil Is Buenos Aires: Played With, one of Danica's ex-boyfriends in this comic forgot that she's from Brazil.
  • The Cavalry:When Danica is about to be killed by the Countess, Mitch calls forth several Star Powered Sentinels. Double Subversion: it turns out the cavalry were holographic projections, but it buys a few seconds for the Galactic defence forces to arrive.
  • The Chosen Many: The Star Powered Sentinels, before the Countess wiped them out. This subversion was intentional on the part of the creators, who were cited as saying superheroes are more special when by themselves than on a team, citing - you guessed it - Aquaman as an example.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: In Perfection, Kerina covers a Singer's eyes, and averts her own when they see Doctor Brightman and Doctor Hymn after they had sex.
  • Crash in Through the Ceiling: In "Moments of Clarity", Danica is flung by her enemies' explosive weaponry to drop through the roof of the previously unknown hideout of the heretics and abominations, the Evebenians.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Both the purple haired Vebenians and green haired Evebians are utterly murderous towards each other, defaulting to "kill on sight" because they are both retaliating to slights against each other started over an unspecified Culture Clash.
  • Defector from Decadence: The Star Powered Sentinels in general, the Star Powered Sentinel Scintillian on the countesses' viewscreen specifically.
    • The Zel-Gux were renegade Scintillians. Of course, by renegade, in this context, it means "Actually decent people who gave the Star Powered Sentinels the means of overthrowing the Scintillians in the first place.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: A number of characters go barefoot, most prominently Danica in her Star Powered Sentinel uniform, as well as the Chief of Security, the Countess, and various aliens aboard Space Sanctuary Six. Danica's case may be a quirk of the uniform; it's possible all of the Star Powered Sentinels lacked foot coverings, or the Star Power may not have given her any because she was barefoot when she was empowered. The other cases are justified due to alien physiology and cultural mores.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Inverted: To the Zicuri, the explanation is the actual punchline.
  • Enigmatic Empowering Entity: Mitch, the Star Power... thing.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Played for laughs. When Danica gains a new costume with black aspects from the Star Power reemerging, one of her guards keeps insisting it means she's turned evil.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Millennium Federation technology has short-range "jump drives" that are normally only used for in-system travel and gates for inter-system travel. One of the Star Power abilities is a personal FTL drive.
  • The Federation: The Millennium Federation.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The true cause of the Evebian (green haired) vs Vebenian (purple haired) Space Elves war. Both cultures felt "oppressed" by the very existence of the other culture and protested, violently, about being "influenced" until one fight with a single casualty caused both sides to turn to actual oppression, and then genocide.
    • It's worse for the refugees. Both sides target those who either aren't blinded by genocidal rage, or are unable to fight for extermination as "monsters" and "heretics."
  • Flesh Versus Steel: Evebian and Vebenian war seems to have a vibe with the former being naturally inclined (many of them being marksman) and the latter being technologically inclined (their possession of scorpion-like vehicles), which is further detailed in their lore with Evebian's love for hunt and Vebenian's love of robotics.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: In late February 2014, Garth broke his collarbone so badly that he needed surgery, as well as a metal plate implanted into him.
  • Genocide from the Inside: The Countess did this to her species, for their "cowardice" in trying to avoid extinction against an enemy they couldn't conquer.
  • The Greys: The Graidani seem loosely based on this concept, and the Graidan who enslaved them before liberation by the Millennium Federation are probably the taller "leaders" featured in some accounts.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Thoroughly and justifyingly averted. Of the two guards watching The Countess the rookie prepares to go in guns blazing, while the more senior officer instead opts to use knock-out gas when she breaks containment and starts ranting about the Star Power.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Many of the aliens have a roughly human bodyplan. This is stated to be a deliberate choice of the artist, because people can identify more with them. Danica is expecting the aversion of this trope, when she meets the very human-looking, except for their Pointy Ears and green-hair, Vebenians.
  • Honor Before Reason: At the end of the Eighth Wormhole, when the Scintillian fleet was on the verge of total destruction, the Countess tried to order a counterattack against the Imperial fleet with nothing more than civilian vessels and hatchery ships. She literally considers the extinction of her species to be preferable to retreat from battle. When the fleet carried out said retreat against her wishes, she even went so far as to bring about her species' extinction herself. She also considers the fact that the Scintillians' ancestral enemies, the Star Powered Sentinels, actually saved them from annihilation at the guns of the Imperial fleet to be an unforgivable insult on the part of the Sentinels.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Humans have a reputation in the Millennium Federation as violent barbarians because they were fighting a generations-long war amongst themselves when First Contact was made. In fact, the announcement of Galactic Defense Diplomacy ships incoming only intensified the fighting. However, their presence also sparked a rebellion against both warring governments in the name of peace, United Earth, which slowly unified humanity with aid from the Federation. Still, humans are rather prominent in both Galactic Defense and the criminal underworld.
    • This reputation is why the Countess is assigned a human psychologist by Galactic Defense, they normally assign a shrink of the same species but since she's the last Scintillian humans were deemed "close enough".
    • Human reputation as violent and volatile warmongers is so thick that Burke can intimidate an alien twice his size with nothing but an idle threat.
  • Insistent Terminology: Whether it's a tiny star or her personal empowerment/intergalactic database, Danica will always insist on calling the Star Power "Mitch".
  • Instant Expert: As soon as she gains her powers, Danica is able to perform powered maneuvers through spacenote , fire energy blasts and erect shields, with no training or practice. She single-handedly hands humiliating defeat to a group of well-armed veteran raiders who attack the station and try to kill her. She also has complete control and is never in danger of, say, accidentally punching holes in a nearby wall when she sneezes.
  • Just Between You and Me: The Countess further cements her status as an insane megalomaniac by ranting about her people's history with the Star Powered Sentinels, despite having Danica in her custody for God knows how long instead of just killing her and being done with it.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Black Hole Bill not only beats to death one of the semi-conscious guards who imprisoned him, but he spends so much time doing so that he nearly gets caught. Then he destroys his sentient starship for getting ID'd, even though the reason it got that way was because he wasted so much time beating the guard to death.
    • Void Archangel gleefully tries to blow up the ships near Sanctuary Station Six to spite Danica, though unknown to both of them, they've been disarmed by that point.
    • The Countess wipes out her entire species because they refused to die uselessly in an unwinnable battle.
    • One of the three Void Angels who escaped The Countess, Void Archangel, and imprisonment not only attacks Galactic Defense when the latter was trying to save their lives from the Super Nova Dragon Lords, but then shoots at Danica as they're escaping while she's busy fighting RoarBoar who was trying to kill them.
  • Last of His Kind: Danica is the last of the Star-Powered Sentinels. The Countess is the last of the Scintillians, as the result of her own actions.
  • Mirroring Factions:
    • As much as the Evebians and Vebenians eschew supposed cultural differences that make them utterly abhorrent to each other (as well as minor superficial differences in appearance), their reactions to anything are identical, without fail. Harm one of them, or even be suspected of harming one of them, of either race, even accidentally, and their entire race instantly desires to utterly genocide yours.
    • When Danica gets blasted by weapons fire into a non-descript building, she stumbles upon the "heretics and monsters" that both sides of the war shun, and finds out to her eternal rage that the Evebians and the Vebenians are the same race all along. As they refer to themselves as Evebenians.
    • The two separate database files detailing the history of the each race are comically similar to each other, to the point where the historian recording it was probably just copying and pasting lots of things while rolling their eyes at the ridiculousness of it all.
  • Misery Poker: Grex Obil and Burke trade Dark and Troubled Past stories, and turns out both of them became Void Angels due to some rather hefty Broken Pedestal problems.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: When Danica uses the Star Power, her eyes become all white, although, on close examination, what appears to be her pupils can be seen, like in the last panel of this page.
  • Moral Myopia: There is no "right" side on the green vs purple war. Speaking with the purple-haired Vebenians, it would seem that the downtrodden Vebenians are guilty of Disproportionate Retribution, responding to internment camps with genocide, but speaking with the oppressors, the Evebians, by their own admission, the Evebians are the ones guilty of Disproportionate Retribution, seeking to kill them as a result of a fight where one Vebenians killed one Evebian, and we don't even know the circumstances of that particular fight. The Vebenians retaliating and judging the Evebians by their own standards only serves to convince the Evebians that they were right, and genocide of the Vebenians in the first place was the correct reaction.
  • The Nicknamer: Danica has a habit of giving names to everything.
  • No True Scotsman: The Countess feels that no true Scintillian should ever retreat, offer or accept surrender, or otherwise allow themselves to be defeated in combat without dying in the process. She is very disappointed in her species for fleeing back to Timeless Space following the defeat of the Eighth Wormhole. And by "very disappointed," I mean "killed literally every other member of her species as punishment for their cowardice."
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: The war Danica stumbles upon, after responding to an alien distress signal, involves two races of nearly identical in appearance Space Elves. The green-haired Evebians see the purple-haired ones as "abominations". They occupied their homeland and put them in internment camps. The purple haired race rebelled, using the Evebians' own weapons against them and drove them off, but the Evebians are so insistent on trying to lock them all up again, that the purple haired race has utterly come to believe that "True freedom will only be achieved when every last one of those grassheads are wiped from the face of the planet".
  • Oral Fixation: The Chief usually has a "chew stick" approximately the size of a cigarette in his mouth. When reports of an incident with the Supernova Dragon Lords and Danica getting her powers back arrive in quick succession he switches to something bigger.
  • Pardon My Klingon: "Zuck" is apparently a common swearword in this universe.
  • People of Hair Color: As seen before, the Evebians have green hair, and as seen here, they're called "grassheads" by the purple haired people they're trying to exterminate.
  • Planet of Hats: Entire species, even Humans despite their varied traits, are portrayed as monolithic cultures with singular traits (e.g- Every Shulentin members being friendly, Zairakians being organized, Ladori being culinary experts and explorers, and so on).
  • Precursors: The Galactic civilization that created the Sentinels. Whose empire dwarfed the Millenium Federation.
  • Portal Slam: In this strip, a Gate has been opened, and then closes while Sanchez was trying to enter. By Star Power, who had no idea he was trying to go through.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Doctor and Chief. While they clash heads over how to deal with Danica's situation, they both want foremost to keep her safe.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Scintillians created the Star Powered Sentinels to be their enforcers, only for the Sentinels to betray their despotic creators.
    • The Zel-Gux are Scintillians who rebelled against their leaders, and took a new name for themselves. It literally means Love and Compassion, the two most "blasphemous" words in the Scintillian language.
  • Revenge Before Reason: One of the three Void Angels initially sent to kill Danica, the Star Power, has become fixated on killing her to the exclusion of all else, even his own survival, or that of his two wingmen, for having the audacity to... NOT DIE! To date, he has attacked Galactic defense officers who were saving his life, and the lives of his two wingmen from the Super Nova Dragon Lords, has shot at Danica while she was fighting the Super Nova Dragon Lords to save the lives of the Galactic Defense officers he beat up which unwittingly let the Void Angels escape with their lives, and after finding out that Danica is still alive, the guy is furious that he didn't turn around for a second shot despite the fact that doing so would have put him right in the cross hairs of the Super Nova Dragon Lords who were going trying to kill him at the time! And he's STILL fixated on her despite not even having enough money to buy food, let alone fuel or ammo for his ship's guns!
  • Secret-Keeper: Dr. Brightman and the Chief for Danica, initially.
  • Self-Made Orphan: The Countess killed first her mother and then the rest of her species for retreating from certain extinction.
  • Shipless Faster-Than-Light Travel: Wielders of the Star Power have the unique ability (for the present galactic civilization) to travel FTL between stars without a gate, much less a ship.
  • Show Within a Show: Psi Cop, an absolutely brainless piece of cheese that Danica and her friends watch together and enjoy MST-ing in their downtime. Even Old Tom admits it's absolutely stupid and yet he can't stop watching.
  • Shown Their Work: Danica uses the astronomical telescope, research equipment on Sanctuary Six, and actual astrophysics to track incoming otherwise-undetectable Void Angel battleships the same way NASA tracks extra-solar planets.
  • Starfish Language: The people of Zicuri Ro speak in what looks like wingdings when written down.
  • Stealth in Space: Void Angel stealth-tech works by causing light to go around their ships, rendering them invisible.
  • Superheroes in Space: The series is a more traditional Space Opera universe than most examples of this trope. It's the distant future and humanity has spread to several planets, and the heroine is empowered by an ancient being as the newest (and last) of the Star Powered Sentinels who wield stellar energy to defend the galaxy from evil-doers.
  • Super Villain: the 9th Wormhole
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The major concern for Danica Maris's status as "Star Power" was the fear of her being subjected to unethical experiments by the government. However, much to the embarrassment of Chief and Dr. Brightman, democratic civilizations like Millenium Federation and its member state United Earth provided legal protections and scientific procedures to enforce ethical approach on research.
  • The Svengali: Mitch, to some extent. It's clearly withholding information from Danica regarding the history and abilities of the Star Powered Sentinels, though to what end is not currently clear.
  • Talk to the Fist: Danica just can't seem to stop punching Void Angels in the middle of their sentences, from lowly troopers to the Void Archangel himself.
  • There Are No Therapists: Thoroughly averted. The Countess gets one. Court appointed apparently.
  • They Would Cut You Up: The initial reason why the existence of the Star Power isn't made public. Turns out both Millenium Federation and United Earth have legal protections for test subjects—especially citizenry—to make this trope impossible without legal repercussions.
  • Time Dilation: Danica ask Mitch if her FTL causes this. He answers that they figured out that problem a long time ago.The Scintillians call it timeless space and use it as a last method of escape.
  • Title Drop: The first time it happens, it even comes in the same font as the title logo, so you don't miss it.
  • Translation Convention: The flashback from The Countess where only Scintillians have speaking roles consists entirely of this. They are clearly speaking their native language, but the dialogue appears to be the same language as the rest of the comic.
  • Translator Microbes: Everyone in the Federation speaks a common language. Everyone. Despite the cast coming from various independent planets and cultures, Language Barrier is never an issue. Oddly this also applies to The Countess, aka The Ninth Wormhole is literally a Fish out of Temporal Water, and there's no explanation given as to how she learned to speak "common" especially without biting her tongue off in the process. Later zig-zagged when complete sensory recordings from Star Power fails to translate the Evebians and the Vebenians into recognizable speech for the command crew of the Traveller.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: What few Void Angels still exist still want to kill Danica, even after she saved their lives. Some have more pressing matters, like getting food, while others just won't listen to reason.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Kerina to an almost ridiculous degree. Nearly every time the camera is away from her for more than a few pages she shows up with a completely different outfit and hairstyle. During the Doctor Hymn arc she changes outfits no less than nine times in a single night.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Void Angels want Danica to join them.
  • We Have Reserves: The Void Archangel believes in this trope. The Countess, however, warns him not to waste troops so carelessly. Which is quite the case of the pot calling the kettle black, as the Countess literally murdered her entire species for daring to retreat in the face of imminent annihilation.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The heroes and main characters are wholly noble, upright and just, and consider the use of lethal force either a Godzilla Threshold or a Moral Event Horizon. Some, if not most, of the villains have sympathetic motives despite doing terrible things. Utterly despicable characters like Black Hole Bill are rare, and tend to eventually get their comeuppance one way or another.
  • Wretched Hive: Axiosis, as a planet, had many influential crime families who often fought against each other and conduct interstellar criminal activities across the known space. While the intervention and aid from Millenium Federation had allowed the majority of normal inhabitants to live comfortably, the crime families had managed to entrench themselves in few cities—especially Gavo City—to the point of having a few Millenium Federation officers in their pockets.
  • You Have Failed Me: The villains have a nasty tendency to murder their own when they don't get the results they want, even at times when they're the reason things screwed up. All told, far more bad guys died because of the villains than the heroes.
    • Black Hole Bill disposed of his sentient starship because it got ID'd by Galactic Defence, despite the fact that they were only able to do so because he spent too much time beating a guard to death.
    • The Void Archangel has threatened to blow up his own ships when they failed to accomplish their mission and to force Danica to do his bidding (half because Danica doesn't want him to casually murder his own troops, half because them blowing up would take out the space station she was living on).
    • The Countess wiped out her entire species because they refused to live by her Proud Warrior Race edicts and die fighting in a pointless last stand.
    • This is what Doctor Hymn does to any of his singers who displease him in any conceivable way, no matter how apparently banal.