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Webcomic / Val and Isaac

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From left to right: Isaac, Minnow and Val.
Val and Isaac is a Science Fantasy comic, originally hosted on the Tumblr blog of Tredlocity. Some of the comics can also be found on the creator's Twitter.

Val and Isaac are space mercenaries: Val is a gun-toting, one-eyed badass, while Isaac is a studious wizard. Occasionally, the comic shows them doing their merc work, but the strip is largely dedicated to Slice of Life antics.

Despite the title of the strip being Val and Isaac, Isaac's role tends to be more that of a secondary character, with the most focal characters being Val and Minnow, the cyborg fish girl who works as the ship's engineer. Also features a Comically Serious assassin named Space Dread.

Notable for having mostly same-sex relationships.

Val and Isaac contains the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Val's mother was heavily implied to have been abusive towards her for much of the comic's run before it was outright confirmed here.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Isaac has managed this entirely by accident.
  • Action Girl: Val, Dread, Sila, Garla. Occasionally Doris, too.
  • Action Mom: Garla has a son named Hunter (who's frequently seen playing video games with Dread).
  • Affectionate Nickname: Doris calls Minnow "Swamp Shirt" sometimes. They're a couple.
  • Alliance of Alternates: A couple strips deal with Val's hatred of these, mainly because every other version of her is a staunch, manly, and generic male hero.
  • Amazon Chaser: Sila falls for Val when the latter takes the former down in the practice ring of a virtual reality gym.
    Sila: (upon learning that Val's VR avatar is just herself) Please tell me your abs are real too.
  • Answer Cut: Just as Doris is lamenting to Minnow that she has nothing in common with her new boss, the first other member of her robot model she's ever met, it cuts to said boss and her girlfriend - who, like Minnow, is a member of an aquatic species (although more resembling a cute octopus or squid person than a fish like Minnow).
  • Anticlimax: The multiple years of foreshadowing and storytelling that Isaac's soul is missing? He forgot it behind the dryer.
  • Artifact Title: The title originated from when the only identified characters were... well, Val and Isaac. The series quickly turned into an ensemble cast, and while Val and Isaac are still main characters, Minnow is on at least equal ground, and Space Dread and Doris aren't far behind.
  • Artificial Limbs: Minnow's robot arms.
  • Ascended Extra: Metronome was introduced as the boss of Space Dread's old Mercenary Guild and was used for a one off gag involving his status as an Eldritch Abomination when Space Dread attended a guild reunion party. He later shows up as an Arc Villain for Space Dread and Zuri, with a plan to create an Eternal War across the galaxy so mercs like he and Dread always have work available.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Wizard cuisine, which while extremely creative and cool can also be a nightmare to actually eat, as Val learned first-hand when she dropped her watch in a bowl of infinite nachos.
    • Space Dread's boomerang gun, which just flies back and hits her in the face.
    • Val uses a Recoil Boost to fly briefly at one point, but it takes so much energy the gun needs to recharge for a while after doing so.
    • An early comic (seen here) showed Minnow trying out a number of specialty arms, most of which amounted to this (e.g. an arm made from a swarm of nanobots: can shapeshift, but the moment it runs out of power the swarms essentially turns into a pile of powder that has to be cleaned up).
  • Back from the Dead: There's a pill called Resurrectol which can bring you back from the dead, but it only works if you die within eight hours of taking it, and your body is mostly intact. Also, it's super expensive. Dread used it for a while, but gave it up for various reasons.
  • Badass Normal: Val, who is allergic to cybernetics and only has one eye, manages to outdo Space Dread, who is by her own estimates mostly made up of cybernetics and dark magic.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The mystErious bEing in Isaac's head is strongly implied to be responsible for Isaac losing his soul—evidenced by a partially-obscured line of hEr text that reads "thanks for lEnding mE your so". But, much later, we learn both where his soul went, and what she was probably actually thanking him for, via part of one of her hidden Walls of Text:
    hEr: you lEft your soul in the ship's laundry room last wEEk it's bEhind thE dryEr hEy can i borrow your songwriting skills i wanna try writing a ballad
  • Battle in the Centre of the Mind: An early story involved Val and Isaac being hired to do some pest control, only to find that said pests had been forcibly melded into a Hive Mind by a telepath who was a rebel against the Kazgar Empire, who mistook Val as a soldier hunting for her specifically. After Isaac uses magic to sneak Val into the hive mind, the two clash in a mental landscape, and the rebel briefly overpowers Val, but makes the mistake of looking at Val's childhood memories, taking her off-guard enough for Val to gain the upper hand. The two end up making a deal to remove the telepath from the animals (fulfilling the pest control contract) and provide her a new body (the original having died a while ago) in exchange for the telepath riding in Val's mind until the new body is ready, much to Val's annoyance.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Isaac is generally a friendly, good-natured dude who ambles through life providing magical assistance to Val, who wreaks all the actual havoc, and likes crochet. In the Wizardball arc, though, when Dread encourages him to apply himself, he takes apart Weatherton's team (even if they end up losing, it's impressive to watch).
    Dread: I've seen that guy work. He's legit.
  • Big Fun: Kraig is much bulkier than his husband Liam, and is the more easygoing and fun of the two.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Kazgar language that's shown up a few times is Morse Code.
  • Black Magic: Space Dread is partially made of it, and it partially works through I Know Your True Name.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Garla.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Centre: Val. Badass space mercenary. Collects guns. Likes a fight. Crumbles on the spot when Minnow sniffles and tears up.
  • Butch Lesbian: Val is a tough space mercenary whose standard outfit is a suit of armour and considers busting up bandit outposts to be a fun afternoon.
  • Came Back Wrong: A guy who'd fallen foul of a Tome of Eldritch Lore asked his spouse to do him a favor when he died and hire someone to kill him in the event he came back as a zombie. Wise decision.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Kraig, for some reason, thinks that wizards can't lie, which is not the case.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: One of Dread's mothers started out delivering lines like "Another fly trapped in my web of despair!"
  • Carnivore Confusion: Minnow's dads were at one point uncertain whether they could feed her anchovies. Turns out she loved them. (They eventually decided that fish eating different species of fish was pretty normal.)
  • The Casanova: A rare female example in Zuri Starr, an assassin, Adventure Archaeologist, and "omni-seducer" who apparently makes money on the side as a Black Widow (though she only targets dictators and CEOs). She's noted to be able to perform Instant Seduction on anything attracted to women, as well as inanimate objects.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Let's put it this way: the main recurring characters are Val, Isaac, Minnow, Doris, Garla, Space Dread, Liam, and Kraig. Of those eight, seven are or have been in relationships with another person of the same gender—Val with Sila, Minnow with Doris, Space Dread (who is also trans) has gone out with multiple women in the past (Garla in at least one comic, and Brynn in the Wizardball arc), and is in a relationship with Dex, who's nonbinary, and Minnow's dads Liam & Kraig. Minnow has had boyfriends, so she's probably bi, and Isaac is aroace (and briefly dated his best friend Twitch in wizard college, who's nonbinary and also aroace).
    hackium: why they all gay tho :^)c
    tredlocity: cause its space
  • Censor Box:
    • A protection spell that kills anyone who so much as touches the one it's cast on has its name scribbled out.
    • When Dread says her deadname, it's scribbled out.
  • Chained to a Railway:
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Metronome, Space Dread's former mercenary boss, comes back as the Arc Villain of the "Dread and Zuri do a casino heist" storyline.
    • One three-page arc involved Space Dread and Isaac curing a child of an overly-aggressive protection spell that killed anyone that touched them. Five real-world years later, that same storyline was revisited, revealing that the way Isaac "fixed" the curse was by taking it on himself and asking it to kill him via old age, and that the curse is still around as the mysterious dEmon in his head.
  • Childhood Friends: Val and Garla have been friends since they were kids.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The three main characters are red/pink (Val), blue (Isaac), and green (Minnow).
  • Cold Ham: Space Dread's facial expression rarely changes, but she's incredibly dramatic (to the point of refusing to waste "cool tricks" on lesser mooks, even when she and Val are out of other options).
  • Complexity Addiction: It's suggested that this is why Doris's boss, Iris, is working retail: she's too obsessed with the idea that everything around her is some kind of criminal plot, and so pulls many a Sherlock Scan on trying to "prove" wider conspiracies that don't actually exist. Even when she does catch a criminal shoplifting in the store, she insists on trying to work backwards to find a chain of evidence, and attempted to fire Doris for just admitting they saw them on the security tape.
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • It's noted that Space Dread's showy combat style actually tends to slow her down—at one point she refuses to fight because she's used up all her cool moves and doesn't want to repeat herself.
    • Strips focusing on Isaac often parody the rather quirky contraptions designed by wizards in media, like a door that will only open if you serenade it, a painting that forces you into the third dimension, or a rifle made of knitted wool (it shrinks into a pistol in the wash) that don't have any clear advantages over their mundane counterparts, but sure are wacky. Val often makes remarks along the lines of "I hate whimsy."
  • Cool Sword: Isaac makes one for Val.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The Children of Kazgar built a weaponized version of this through a combination of dark science and magic, called the Song of the Prince. When used on a location (up to and including a planet), it would rewrite any magic, technology or cultural object to match that of the Kazgar Empire, effectively forcibly converting a population to their side while wiping out the original culture from history. Fortunately, the original Song was destroyed by rebels before it could be used, marking the day that Kazgar lost. However, even pieces of the Song could go off and overwrite the immediate vicinity, as Val finds out the hard way, though thankfully this wears off as soon as said piece is destroyed.
  • Cupid's Arrow: Well, "Romanticore's Arrow". Isaac gets hit by it here, though his Asexuality means it does zilch to him. It's apparently a regular occurrence, as the Romanticore keeps getting told to hit a "Plumber Isaac," despite the individual in question having issues with commitment. Isaac thinks the Romanticores should unionize.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Doris towards "baby" robots, aka. newer models still under warranty.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted. Neither Minnow's robot arms nor Space Dread's unspecified cybernetics stop them from being gigantic nerds.
  • Cyborg Wizard: Fairly common due to the setting. In particular, Space Dread claims to be made up of cybernetics and dark magic.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Space Dread is described as a ruthless, murderous bounty hunter. She is also a colossal nerd and good friends with Val's crew.
    • According to the author here, this also applies to "dark magic." Magic in general is neutral, it's just that dark magic is more volatile if used carelessly as it taps into more dangerous energies than regular magic.
  • Demonic Possession: The "Terror Space" at one point takes over Isaac's mind, so Val tricks it into doing all the chores.
  • Didn't Think This Through: For one mission, Val and Isaac have to move completely undetected, so they need an invisibility spell. However, they also can't make any sounds, so they can only use hand signals. The penny only drops after they've become invisible.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Val is apparently considered this by her alternate universe doppelgängers.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A recurring bit shows that, when Minnow and Doris are together, they can often fail to do their jobs because they're too busy with each other.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Isaac's father is not very fond of magic (which makes it difficult for Isaac to get his approval at times), though it's portrayed more in a "It's not the same as real work" way than any actual hatred. It's later revealed that this dislike partly comes from the way he viewed wizards as people who "only use magic to show off" instead of doing something more beneficial like curing diseases like shadowlung, one which afflicted his wife (Isaac's mother) and left her bedridden before her death. Isaac apparently started learning magic for this purpose, but only learned a spell that could ease one's suffering slightly.
  • The Dreaded: Space Dread.
  • Ear Fins: Minnow sports a pair of green fins on the sides of her head.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • Garla's head used to be more rectangular and lacked a chin prior to gaining her current rounded one. Her fur also looked much coarser.
    • Earlier comics had Minnow's standard outfit include a pair of goggles; she still wears them, albeit very rarely. She also did not have cybernetic arms in the original We Draw Comics collab.
    • Doris used to wear a blue knit cap, but like with Minnow's goggles it's been mostly dropped.
    • Space Dread, in the first artwork of her, had Iron Man-esque lines extending from the corners of her mouth and across her cheeks, which never appeared again. A number of early comics also drew her hat as a top hat, when it later morphed into a wide-brimmed fedora. A later comic made a reference to her having a top hat phase.
    • The original artwork of Val had her armor in white rather than burgundy, which was changed due to looking too much like a stormtrooper.
  • The Empire: Val's race and/or civilization, The Children of Kazgar, were this, but they were defeated in a Great Offscreen War some time in the past.
  • The Engineer: This is Minnow's job.
  • Entendre Failure: this strip.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
  • Extended Disarming: here.
  • Eye Beams: Space Dread can shoot fire from her eye... as well as extinguish them with a puff of air from another eye.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Val can't use cybernetics (due to allergies) or magic (see Healing Magic Is the Hardest entry below) to obtain a new left eye, so she sports one of these. She keeps gum in the empty socket.
  • Famed In-Story: Space Dread has an incredibly fearsome, entirely warranted reputation.
  • Fish People: Minnow.
  • Friendly Enemies: Despite no longer being constantly at each other's throats, Space Dread does still occasionally consider killing Val whenever Val's bounty starts to get large enough.
    Val: (as they both draw guns) Dread, c'mon.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Doris's model name, DOR15, describes the two things she was designed to do: "Detective Or Retail, Mark 15"
  • Fusion Dance: Isaac fuses himself and Minnow together into a composite for a while because they need a technomancer, and since Minnow's good with techno and Isaac's good with 'mancy... It works, surprisingly enough.
  • Good All Along: The dEmon in Isaac's head is an incredibly ominous presence, heavily hinted to be responsible for stealing his soul. But in its Origins Episode, it's revealed by the hidden text to be horribly guilty about its role as a killing curse, willingly joined Isaac so it could stop, and an adorably earnest fan of their new host. And they had nothing to do with his soul, he just dropped it behind the dryer.
  • Halloween Episode: Fear Day has Dread, Isaac, and Val explaining some of their worlds' Fear Day decorations and the history behind them.
  • Happily Adopted: Minnow. Though Liam is a bit strict, her fathers obviously adore her and vice-versa.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Healing magic apparently relies on the subject's memories of the affected body parts, so older wounds and wounds associated with highly mentally traumatic events can't be healed properly. Isaac tried healing Val's eye once, but the result was bad enough that he just casts a depth perception boosting spell every week or so now.
  • Ho Yay: In-universe, Minnow rewatches her old favorite show Barbaricelle (an apparent Xena: Warrior Princess counterpart), and realizes that she liked the show mostly because of the, er, rather close partnership between Barbarcielle and Walanda the Sky Witch.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Val's a downplayed example, not being good with digital security.
  • I Know Your True Name: Dark magic apparently draws power from names. It's been confirmed that "real name" means the one you consider to be yours, so Space Dread's deadname doesn't count, and since she was already going by "Space Dread" when she found a name that felt right, she and her moms are the only ones that know it. A warlock who tracked down her birth certificate found this out the hard way.
  • Impossible Thief: That'd be Dex, who stole Space Dread's heart away. Er...
  • Inconvenient Summons: A bandit attacks Isaac's sister while he's in the bath, he answers her summons wearing a Modesty Towel.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Liam resembles a stick insect.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: This is apparently very common in the universe. The coffee machine developed sentience so often that they decided to just let it go off and become an adventurer.
  • Interspecies Romance: Honestly, it'd be easier to name romances in the comic that are actually between members of the same species (most of whom are parents).
  • Ironic Fear: Despite being from an amphibious species, Minnow had an issue with water as a child for some reason.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: A comic involving Zuri, an omni-seducer, reveals that her powers don't work on Isaac because he's asexual—despite the fact that it's noted that an omni-seducer can work their mojo on inanimate objects. The comic offers two explanations for this: either omni-seduction also grants a limited form of sentience to those objects, which therefore wouldn't work on a being that was already sentient, or "the universe is just weird, I dunno."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dread works as a hired killer and has a deadpan, sarcastic personality, but Garla has no problem trusting her around Hunter, and she's the one who points out to Isaac how important the match is to his team leader during the Wizardball arc.
  • Jet Pack: Val uses one to fight The Bhangoghat Pit Monster.
  • Large Ham: Dread's ex-supervillain mother was like this in her old career, so you can kind of see where Dread gets it.
  • Last of His Kind: Minnow believes she's this for her unknown, fish-like species. Apparently "endlings" are common enough that there's a seminar aimed at them.
  • Lazy Alias: Doris is accused of this, being a DOR15 robot who goes by Doris, by her overly paranoid boss.
  • Limited Wardrobe: To the untrained eye, Isaac's wardrobe is full of identical dull blue robes, but those attuned to magical super-frequencies see the truth: one of them is the costume of Stardust the Super Wizard.
  • Literal-Minded: Val has trouble picking up on Sila's meaning here:
    Sila: My hero! However shall I repay you?
    Val: Oh, you can just transfer the credits to my-
    Sila: I have a better idea.
    [she whispers into Val's ear while Val starts blushing]
    Val: (awkwardly) Th-that sounds nice, but we need to cover the fuel costs to-
    Sila: Yes, I will pay you for real too.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • A spear in a pedestal can only be pulled out by a descendant of Fioll the Paladin. So Garla just pulls the pedestal out of the ground.
    • The original warning sign on the cookie pantry says "He or she who trespasses this room shall be cursed." - which doesn't apply to Twitch, who's nonbinary. So they put up a new sign saying "They who trespass this room shall be cursed.".
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: One story sees Val, Isaac, and Dread get their minds trapped in the collective mindscape of a Face Hugger species known as humbugs, where they're all in a shared fantasy of themselves as children. Dread breaks out by punching a humbug off her face, while Val and Isaac escape by resolving psychological issues.
  • Magic Eater: Space Dread has weapons made specifically to counteract these types.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Space Dread has four arms, and despite her dorkiness is clearly very competent at her job.
  • Mundane Utility: Dread is shown using her shapeshifting to do things like take multiple free samples or get movie tickets for "one adult, one child" so she can put her feet up.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: The more we learn about Space Dread, the dorkier she gets: she likes juggling and took her title from her MMO character. She ended up joining her space merc chapter because she happened to be in the room when it formed, and her current outfit began as the cosplay she was wearing at an anime convention when she had to perform a job without time to change.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Being the 'only thing on the planet' that can vanquish the Big Evil Whatever isn't all that meaningful sometimes.
  • No-Sell: Isaac being asexual means that things like the song of a siren and the arrow of a "Romanticore" have no effect on him (the latter apparently happens on a regular basis).
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: Space is gay, by all appearances. There's no real evidence of homophobia or transphobia (the closest thing is a warlock thinking that Space Dread's deadname would work on her), and the majority of the cast are some stripe of not-heterosexual without facing any barriers for it. One imagines that, when a romance between a humanoid insect with robot arms and a war machine made of solid stone becomes a feasible thing, the fact that they're both guys is barely worth mentioning.
    • There actually is one society that appears to be heteronormative, and it's Kazgar, which is explicitly fascist.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Colin, one of Minnow's classmates had people copying off of him because they thought his brain was really big until they learned that it was actually his butt. One classmate, Nathan, kept copying off him, but since Colin hated him he made sure that he got the wrong answers.
  • The One with a Personal Life: Space Dread's mercenary guild has a member named Emotion Joe, who's well adjusted, has friends outside of mercenary work, and a happy family. This makes him unpopular with other mercenaries, and very popular with everyone else.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Common practice among space adventurers for protection from dark magic. From the main cast, Minnow and Space Dread both use characters' names from an MMO they played. Space Dread specifically made sure that nobody but her parents know her true name, audience included. Dark magic was considered a died out myth of Minnow's birth planet, but she went with a nickname when moving out into spacefaring life just to sound cooler.
    • A later comic reveals that Dread also used the name Zora when she first joined her guild.
    • Twitch's original name is Lore Woodwind; "Twitch" seems to have started as a reference to how their eyes twitch when they get mad.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Garla is basically a space minotaur.
  • Our Sirens Are Different: Isaac harvests some songs from sirens as a component of his dad's birthday gift. He's immune to their song because he's asexual, but his gay sister—-who was on the phone with him at the time—-wasn't so lucky. (She was fine, after some physical restraining and a cold shower.)
  • Overly Long Name: Isaac's full name is Isaac merely-born-in-a-lakeside-cottage-one-drizzly-afternoon-fifty-days-before-the-grand-harvest Rydle
  • The Paranoiac: Doris's new boss could perhaps stand to have her detective programming debugged.
    Doris: And then she accused me of bugging her office to expose her secrets or whatever!
  • Parents as People: Minnow's dads are good, although Liam can be a bit overprotective; Isaac's father has certain issues with wizardry (note that Isaac is a wizard) and keeps talking up Isaac's sister's axe business but does seem to care on some level, and Val is at one point shown slamming some booze and insulting her mother's charred helmet.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Quite literally, with Val and Isaac.
  • Portmanteau: Liam and Craig Rockbug.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: We never actually get to see much of the antagonism, but at least two different people (including Space Dread) have greeted Val with relative cordiality after attempting to kill her in past- after all, "space mercenary" is just a job.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Subverted with Space Dread, who has red skin and wears black. While she's Edgy (TM), and apparently tried to kill Val once, she ends up as basically their wacky neighbor.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Right down to color schemes, with pink/red Val being more aggressive and violent while blue Isaac is more relaxed and careful.
  • Retired Monster: One (or more likely both) of Dread's mothers used to be a supervillain.
  • Robosexual: Minnow (a cyborg) is dating Doris (a robot).
    • Apparently every alternate universe version of Minnow is also dating a robot, except for the one who is a robot. (That one's dating a tree.)
    • Further underlining this, it seems that in this universe, aquatic life forms dating robots is relatively common. Iris's girlfriend is an octopus girl, and at a convention for retail robots, they get in a line for food with a group that apparently consists of nothing but varying kinds of Fish People with cyborg parts.
  • Robot Girl: Doris, Floaty Floats, and Doris's boss Iris.
  • Robot Hair: It's reprogrammable!
  • Sapient House: Thraggaron's Promised Word is the seventh oldest sentient temple in the galaxy. She has a humanoid son who's also a sentient structure, and can let people inside him.
  • Science Fantasy: It's a sci-fi setting where ghosts are a thing, one can fly through the haunted Terror Space, and "wizard cuisine" exists (featuring such dishes as the aptly-named Literally Endless Bowl of Nachos).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Minnow asks Garla about Val's mother, Garla's reaction is to finish her drink and bail out the nearest window.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Space Dread tends to get stuck when she shapeshifts into a smaller form. She did an entire mission in the form of a baby because she didn't want to admit that she needed help getting bigger again.
  • Sherlock Scan: This is apparently a focus of Doris's product line. Iris attempts to use it on Doris, but somehow manages to get "you were a barista who fell in love with a coffee machine, eloped, and changed your name to start a new life" out of "your name sounds like it could be a Lazy Alias."
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Fighting over who Minnow should be with starts an actual war In-Universe (and for bonus irony, they're unaware she's actually in a relationship with Doris).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities:
  • The Smurfette Principle: Much to Val's displeasure, it turns out that whenever an Alliance of Alternates situation happens, she is the only Val to be female, as "we thought more than one was redundant."
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Val is not good at this dating thing.
  • Sommelier Speak: Iris indulges in this, though she's talking about oil, not wine.
  • Soul-Sucking Retail Job: Doris would prefer to be a criminal investigator, and would be amazing if she was one, but her planet doesn't exactly have a lot of crime, so her retail job is the best that she's got. Once she's fired, she manages to locate a new one, which is hellish in an entirely new way (her boss, another robot of the same design, is a weird, paranoid overachiever).
  • The Soulless: Isaac, apparently, although his reaction to the idea is along the lines of "huh, that's odd", and it doesn't seem to have had any psychological effect on him. It seems like he misplaced it somewhere and only found out later. He forgot it behind the dryer.
  • Supernaturally Validated Trans Person: Space Dread once avoided being hexed because a deadname doesn't count as true name for the purpose of curses (she chose her name after she'd began using Space Dread as an alias, so only her and her mums know it). As a result, a Warlock who went out of the way to find her birth certificate was wasting his time, and she just pulled a Boom, Headshot! on him.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Doris plays with this a fair bit. Though she spends most of the strip working a dead-end retail job, she also demonstrates a lot of unusual abilities. Later on, it's revealed that her name is actually "Detective or Retail-15," and therefore she also has a lot of functions (like built-in weapons, a teched-up Sherlock Scan, and investigation tools) that see no use in her current job. It's implied that building otherwise-specialized robots with a backup "or Retail" function is downright common, so it wouldn't be unheard of to see robots with military-grade weaponry mopping up spills or working a cash register.
    • A later strip has an entire convention for robots with an additional "retail" function.
  • Teleportation: Val's ship has a teleporter, although because it's old, organic things using it are horribly mutated - and Isaac's magic can't teleport things long distances. On the bright side, this allows Doris to come visiting, since she's a Robot Girl with no organic parts.
  • Token Wizard: Isaac is this to the rest of the main cast (whose abilities mostly come from being highly trained, robots, aliens, cyborgs or highly trained alien cyborgs). This is typically played for laughs when the arcane nature of his powers clash with the scifi aspects of the Science Fantasy setting (e.g. a massive monster which can just be shot, as its "only" weakness was the only weakness on its planet). Space Dread also has some skill with dark magic, though she doesn't use it as often.
  • The Un-Smile: "Maybe smiling is counterproductive.."
  • Ungrateful Bastard: A man leaves Doris a 3-star review after she saved his life because "it will encourage her to work harder".
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Every time Space Dread is seen in casual clothes, she has a different outfit. And every single one of them is a Lemon Demon reference.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Space Dread and Isaac both are capable of it, and both use Minnow's form for aquatically-inclined work, much to her extreme distaste. Once Val uses a hologram mod to her armor to look like Minnow, Isaac says that it's gone too far and has to stop.
  • Weight and Switch: Space Dread replaces an idol with a stapler. It actually works, although the explorers who show up the week after neglect to take this precaution.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Isaac really wants to impress his father, but since all his skills revolve around magic- which his dad hates- he has a hard time of it.
    • While it turns out his father finds the magic hammer Isaac gave him very useful, he won't admit it to Isaac's face since he knows his son will rub it in (which was indeed Isaac's plan).
    • Later, Isaac's father tries to set up Isaac with a girl, and while Isaac is correct when he suspects something is wrong (the girl was a plant monster shapeshifter controlling his father's mind that preys on magic users), she was telling the truth about his father being proud of Isaac, having found out about him when his father was bragging about him to his friends at the market. This brings Isaac to Tears of Joy.
    • An anglerfish causes Isaac to see a photo of his dad saying he's proud of his son.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: Starts here. Twitch makes a magic costume that appears as the observer's greatest fear. Isaac sees a note from "Every Wizard" telling him he can't practice magic anymore, Wally sees a t-bone steak being donated to charity without any tax deduction!, their teacher Ms. Everdale sees her younger self asking how many books she's written, and Twitch themself saw Isaac saying "I don't really wanna be your friend, but I'm too nice to say it", though they insisted it was just spiders.
  • The Worm That Walks: Space Dread can apparently turn into a swarm of bugs, although it gives her a headache.
  • Wrench Wench: Officially Minnow's job, but she's just as likely to end up fighting alongside Val and Isaac when they're on missions.