Follow TV Tropes


Webcomic / Trace

Go To
Trace is a South Korean webtoon (webcomic) series written and illustrated by manhwa artist Go Yeong-hun or known as his pen name, "Nasty Cat".

Thirty years ago, a mysterious species of creatures known as Troubles began a gradual invasion to conquer the Earth. However, entering the human world unleashes energy with an unexpected consequence: the creation of humans with mutant superpowers. Whether they gain their new abilities at birth or in the course of life, these rare humans are known by only one name—Traces. A Trouble always leaves behind a Trace.

One such Trace is Sa Ghang Gwon. His birth as a Trace killed his father and terrified his mother to such an extent that she fled for her life. Now, he must live a double life to protect his adopted family. By day, he plays the role of school wimp, but by night he's a Trouble hunter. All goes well until one day, a Trouble appears in his very own classroom and threatens Taeun—his closest friend and family member.


Kim Yun-Seong is another Trace, who acquired his mutant abilities during his early 30s. Soon after the acquisition, his wife and daughter were taken away from him for experimental purposes. All goes well until he loses contact with his family. There is an attempt at his life. Yun-Seong reports this to the police and finds himself a wanted man. He eventually finds where his family is but can't go in because of the Traces guarding the building. After almost getting killed, another Trace finds him and offers a plan to get into the building.

Translations of Trace can be found here. The offical site for the webcomic can be found here.

The movie version of this is under development.

A sequel, Trace 1.5, is now under way. with already four chapters in.


Trace has examples of:

  • Adult Fear: This is unique among other X-man-esque spin-offs in the fact that it follows the journey of a middle aged business man as he develops mutant powers, rather than the usual gang of high school teenagers. Since this a Crapsack World he lives in, his wife and daughter are taken away by the government under the pretense of normal screening and testing, when really they are used for human experimentation. The protagonist doesn't realize this until he breaks into the facility, where he is greeted by the sight of his wife's head floating in a vat. Talk about preying on a typical father's worst feelings of helplessness.
  • Author Appeal: The artist said that he wanted to create the world of superheroes with a Korean identity.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Kwon Ghang Sa and Eun Tae Han, to each other.
  • An Ice Person: Sa Ghang Gwon
  • Body Horror
  • Creepy Child: That mysterious kid with the bowl cut.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Everywhere.
  • Cute Bruiser: Cha Mi-ri
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Jang Mi to Morrienoah Jin, which turns out to be a double subversion. Though Jang Mi still went through with the original plan.
  • Dead All Along: Kim Yun Seong family is explained to have been killed shortly before the attack that led him to suspect that something was going terribly wrong.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Troubles, they're vaguely human in shape but have some form of body horror.
  • Government Conspiracy: Among other things, the dissection and experimentation of traces and their families.
  • Guinea Pig Family: Jeong Hee Sub & family.
  • Hotblooded: Eun Taehan and Cha Miri
  • Killed Off for Real: Jeong Hee Sub
  • Made of Iron: Apparently becoming a trace makes you something like this. At the very least they're much more durable then normal humans.
  • Mad Scientist
  • The Men in Black: Most unnamed government agents.
  • Mutants: The Traces.
  • Mysterious Watcher: That creepy kid with the bowl cut.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: At some point most people forget that The Beggar's name is actually Kim Yun-seong. It doesn't help much when non-Korean readers have trouble getting Korean names.
  • Personality Powers: There's a couple of examples, mostly however is the violent Cha Mi Ri's super strength.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Beggar Team, consisting of a beggar, some assassins, a gambler who cheats, a bank robber, and violent schoolgirl.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Traces tend to have Made of Iron as a secondary power.
  • Superheroes: The traces do resemble mutants of the Marvel universe or metahumans of the DC universe.
  • School of Hard Knocks: The separate school the traces attends seems to be a combination this and a Superhero School since graduates can join trouble extermination groups, and the more violent traces tend to duke it out with little to know immediate consequences(though it might just apply to Cha Mi-ri becaue her father's a politican.
  • Super Registration Act: The government does this with all traces, any that don't comply if found get arrested and shipped to a prison for a few months.
  • Technical Pacifist: The Beggar Team in Rebellion.
  • The Stoic: Morrienoah Jin Before meeting Jang Mi.
  • Took a Level in Badass
  • Tsundere: Morrienoah Jin, of the Type A variety, after meeting Jang Mi.
  • Web First
  • The Woobie: Yun-Seong and Gangkwon.
  • X-Ray Vision


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: