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Webcomic / Super Temps

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Implausible Deniability thy name is Skull Girl

Super Temps is a super-hero parody comic where not only are all the principal characters are punch clock heroes and villains, but many other stock characters (from the Damsel in Distress to the mooks) are ALSO just working their day jobs. It's set in a world where the entire economy is based off the merchandising and media sales from the public conflicts of Supers (and the government owns a large stake in it). Additionally, everyone has a power — most of them just suck in a comic book sense, like having all the small, lost objects show up in your dryer, or immunity to cholesterol.

The main character is Skull Girl, who is naive, sweet, energetic, undeniably cute and amazingly competent, yet for all intents and purposes she is a Minion with an F in Evil (at least while wearing her Stripperiffic villain costume — which she designed purposely uncomfortable in an attempt to make herself cranky and keep herself 'evil'). She is a new graduate, and after a series of failed attempts to enter the industry, finally gets her break.

The titular "Super Temps" is actually the name of the biggest super temporary-employment agency which supplies the 'flavour of the week' antagonist as well as occasionally one-shot heroes for whatever capers have been planned.

The cast is large and quirky, and probably the most notable element of the comic is that it's a super-hero comic with no actual evil characters (and very little real heroics) in it.

This comic contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Iron Pants and his B.S.P. (Beer Swilling Pig) are both this; Iron Pants lampshades it himself. Like most things in "Super Temps," it is Played for Laughs.
  • Anti-Magic: Skull Girl appears to be immune to Psycha's powers.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: While he already had the hots for her, Skull Girl allowing Hydro to actually use his powers sealed it.
  • Berserk Button: Never mention Saskatoon within earshot of Hydromancer.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Both Kim and Skiv regard Skully as a younger sister and are willing to go out on a limb for her because of that.
  • Bland-Name Product: Le Frenchie's is this somewhat, and Flask's Coffee has an obvious real-life parallel.
  • Catchphrase: "I'm not cute, I'm EVIL!"
  • Cat Girl: Jenny the Kat, by way of being a type one Animal-Themed Superbeing.
  • Chest Insignia: Skull Girl has a pair of them conveniently positioned. Quite a few of the other characters have a more traditional version.
  • Clark Kenting: Supers are supposed to do this, it doesn't work but everyone just goes along with it anyway.
  • Combat by Champion: Armies of the past tended to have a lot of normal people and a single leader who won the Superpower Lottery. This dynamic evolved from the normal people not wanting to die meaninglessly when the war would boil down to which champion was better.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Both Skull Girl and Jenny the Kat have demonstrated they will do this from time to time, despite the battles being staged for the most part. Jenny shredded Skull Girl's top so she had to cover herself; Skull Girl in retaliation gave Jenny a kick to the groin.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Averted with Kim (so far) as she has been working in Skull Girl's best interests (she prevented Strife from short-changing Skull Girl's contract) seemingly with no ulterior motive (it was rumoured she was hot for Skully, but Kim has stated otherwise). Freddie le Frenchie plays this straight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Skiv, and besides drinking coffee that's all he seems to do. Iron Pants occasionally falls under this trope.
  • Death Is Cheap: …if your name is Armageddon.
  • Dating Catwoman: Hydro and Skull Girl's relationship parodies this, as did the relationship of Skull Girl's parents.
  • Elemental Powers: Since in the world of "Super Temps" everyone has powers, there are people who fall under this category. Among the main cast, there's High Voltage and Hydromancer.
  • Fan Disservice: Iron Pants, 40-something parody of Iron Man, runs around in a helmet, armoured pants, and sneakers. He has a notable beer gut and chest hair.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Hydromancer, much to his chagrin. Also, Skiv — what is his power, anyway?
  • Genki Girl: Skull Girl; she was banned from having coffee, sugar, or chocolate at one of her jobs as a result.
  • Gentle Giant, Team Mom and Team Dad: Mr. Evil, for both the Villain AND Hero teams. Busy guy.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Shown by most of the cast when exerting their powers beyond 'slap.'
  • Gratuitous French: While this is somewhat downplayed by the setting being in Canada, Skully's insults often appear this way given that the story takes place in Toronto.
  • Hero with an F in Good: Jenny, full stop.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Jackie.
  • The Load: Subverted and played straight by Jenny the Kat. She's vain, arrogant and considers herself far more competent than she is but she has also can be underhandedly cunning and hits hard (which is actually a problem since as a hero, she's not supposed to hurt anyone).
  • Magic Pants: Subverted for Christie: the remains of her clothes stayed on because they were stretched.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Skull Girl, in part due to her thinking that Evil Is Cool, if it's of the professional supervillain kind.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Skiv, all the time. Kim really hates it when people assume she's lesbian, which is most of the time.
  • Morality Pet: Skully is this for Hydro, since she prevents his outbursts.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Hydromancer, at one point.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Skull Girl, while on the job.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Skiv, and the moment he doesn't he drops unconscious, except in his first appearance.
  • One-Man Army: That is Skully in a nutshell. Her powers allow her to decimate any threat so well that she has to hold herself back. If she went off the deep-end at any point, mass destruction and chaos would ensue! (Possibly also an example of I Am Not Left-Handed or Willfully Weak.)
    • Word of God: This is true of many professional supers. Mr. Evil, High Voltage, Hydromancer, and even Iron Pants are all capable of mass destruction.
  • Open Secret: Most of the supposed gimmicks and other facets of the supers industry involve this.
  • Power at a Price: "The more powerful the super, the loser the grasp on reality." The hero system evolved from the fact that those with useful powers were not fit to lead, but could be employed by competent rulers as champions.
  • Powered Armor: Iron Pants is this, which begs the question of what power he was born with.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: All of them. Ironically, most of the heroes are incredibly dysfunctional with the exception of the leader.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: All of them. Ironically, the 'villain' team tends to cooperate better as a team than the heroes do.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Well, not so much warning as an indication of shock when it comes to Skiv. However, Skull Girl plays it straight when using her full power.
  • Say My Name: An unusual one that's actually a place.
  • Second Super-Identity: There are even legal limits on them!
  • Secret Identity: This Open Secret is always Played for Laughs. This also results in a fair bit of Secret Identity Apathy. Both are enforced by the Supers Industry being a career.
  • Single-Power Superheroes: Everyone in the world of "Super Temps" has a power of some kind, some just have more far-reaching effects than others.
  • Shout-Out: Well, aside from the entire comic being a parody of Super Hero comics, there's the bit about names of coffee joints, as well as the running gag of "pointy-haired morons".
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Hydromancer, especially if you bring up M–––––––ing Saskatoon.
  • Smoke Out: Played straight with Skull Girl. Parodied with Jenny the Kat, who not only used one in strong wind but also did it while on top of a tower from which there'd be no way to leave unseen.
  • Stripperiffic: All of the women's costumes, and they know it.
  • Superhero Paradox: Averted, since everyone has powers, and the super business is there to re-route potential destructive agents into entertainment.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes / Superheroes Wear Tights: "...tactical stupidity is simple common courtesy in the super business. We have no excuse for our fashion sense."
  • Superpower Lottery: Supers are the ones who won this; everyone else has negligible ones (or nearly so, see the summary).
  • Super Registration Act: Inverted in some respects as it's supported by the big powerful supers, played straight in that it's enforced. The union fees are steep, but as the benefits of registration include regular salary, merchandising deals and a certain degree of legal immunity for the damage caused, it's rather popular. It also helps that everyone in Super Temps does have some sort of special ability (even if it does suck).
  • Super Team: On the villainous side there are companies like "Evil Inc." The heroes have "Justice Unlimited." There are probably others too.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Mr. Evil has yellow, corpse-like eyes. Skiv has rarely seen red eyes.
  • Title Drop: In the world of "Super Temps," there is an agency for temporary employment as a super, "Super Temps." This is lampshaded.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Skull Girl is terrified of this to the point of some minor Heroic BSoD
  • Webcomic Time: Oh so much. The comic has been running since 2004, and less than a year has passed in the story — it's just approaching fall now. It is lampshaded at least once.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Both Skull Girl and Psychadelchick; a world feature where super-powers often lead to odd hair colours. Psychadelchick is especially proud of her natural hot-pink hair colour.