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Webcomic / Vexxarr

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Spoorflix (in spacesuit), Minionbot, Sid, and Vexxarr doing what they do best: Assigning blame for failures.

"Your logic is your weakness..."

Vexxarr is a comedy Sci-Fi webcomic by Hunter Cressall. The initial setup sounds similar to Invader Zim: An alien Evil Overlord sends his flunky to conquer Earth, mostly to get him out of the way. However, it plays out quite differently. For starters, the flunky Vexxarr is quite well aware that he is incompetent, or in his own words: "Let's say I know a thing or two about being volunteered for one-way missions." Secondly, Vexxarr tries an open invasion, with The War of the Worlds-esque walkers. It fails miserably, and Vexxarr is captured. Initially, the comic showed Vexxarr living on Earth. After a while though, Vexxarr was allowed to leave, and since then the comic has centered on Vexxarr's journey through the galaxy, and trying to find a place that isn't inhabited by something that wants him dead. Or worse.

During his travels, he has picked up several new passengers, as much as Vexxarr would wish otherwise. Currently, Vexxarr's crew includes his robotic lackey Minionbot, his ship AI Carl, a legion of repair drones, Sploorfix and Sid. To give an idea of Vexxarr's typical day: The first three either diss him, play pranks on him, or try to kill him, Sploorfix shifts between Emo-mode and Wide-Eyed Idealist-mode, and Sid is a member of a prey species that is terminally afraid, despite being virtually indestructible. In short, if at any time Vexxarr's incompetence is insufficient to ruin his day, one of his "friends" will do it for him.

This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Achievement In Ignorance:
    • Vexxarr is "not even curious" as to how Spoorflix and Minionbot accomplished their impossible task.
    Vexxarr: Sanity means knowing when not to call reality's bluff.
    • And from a pair of Bleen marines:
      Marine 1: Wait, you mean I've piloted a starship and destroyed a Lattrox capital ship?
      Marine 2: Yeah... who knew how much you could accomplish if you just stopped bothering to learn how?
  • A God Am I: Minionbot reprograms the repair drones to recognise Vexxarr as their deity. It goes about as well as you would imagine.
    Drone (producing a software patch): {int Add(the green lout had it coming); };
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    Vexxarr: You managed to subvert your entire core programming by literally obeying its every word.
    Carl: We're intelligent machines. It's what we do.
    • Vexxarr only feels safe and comfortable around the robots that are actively trying to kill him. If they offer to help, that's when he gets worried.
      • And with good reason. After the Mahakalosians overhaul his ship, they add a computer to the cake reactor that produces delicious cake on demand... and proceeds to dive headfirst into this trope by being so adept at its job that Vexxarr and Sploorfix gorge on cake until they get sick and do it again as they try to get it to stop feeding them that much cake. Then they go to the other side entirely.
    • This trope is why Vexxarr is not happy that the Tact-to-trons put a sentient, self-repairing, self-powering coating on his ship's hull. The Tact-to-trons don't see the problem. At first.
  • Alien Invasion: One by Vexxarr, which failed. A second one is defeated by using technology stolen from Vexxarr.
  • A Liens Speaking English
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Sid is so innocent that he actually comes around at cynicism from the other side.
  • Anti-Hero: Vexxarr. This tends to depend on how insane the situation has currently driven him.note 
  • Appeal to Force: Done here and here as a Brick Joke.
  • A Simple Plan: No matter how small his actions, Vexxarr always manages to cause large-scale havoc and widespread chaos. A simple observation caused a planet-wide riot with the shlumpoids, while trying to repair his ship pitted him against trigger-happy cabbage A.I.s. It was only a matter of time before he got sick of it and set out to intentionally cause as much mayhem as possible. Minionbot is horrified.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Bleen apparently only need to breathe once a week or so. Sid's species evolved in space.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The robots aboard the AI ship come to this conclusion.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't tell an (overly) friendly Schlumpoid that "hospital" and "food factory" mean the same thing...
    Sploorfix: I want to see their eyes as they burn.
  • Big "YES!": Vexxarr finds out that, because he botched his conquest attempt so spectacularly that humanity is now a threat to the Bleen Empire, he is going to be pretty much the most hated, feared, and despised cnidarian in the galaxy. His reaction.
  • Blind Jump: Vexxarr once punched in random coordinates for a jump, which naturally landed them directly in front of the fleet they were trying to avoid. Later Vexxarr also suggests a true Blind Jump (when his ship computer is busy with a megalomaniac rant), and Minionbot points him at the button for that procedure. That button doubles as the Self Destruct button, seeing as how both actions produce the same end result.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality:
    • Rock crabs have rather alien viewpoints on the world, due to being Silicon-Based Life that are a prey species, but do not themselves eat (they passively absorb radiation); this makes them quite naturally cowardly, even though they are Nigh-Invulnerable compared to carbon-based organisms and, in fact, they actively expose themselves to energy weapons or radiation leaks, since these feed them rather than hurt them. Early in the strip, Sid attempts to comfort and protect actual food, like cake and sandwiches, which he sees as being like himself, though he grows out of this — it's only when he's fairly young and naïve that he does so, and later in the series he has no problem fetching some cake for Vexxarr. At one point, he also identifies a state of constant terror and paranoia as "being alive," entirely sincerely and innocently.
    • The Mahakalosians, being genetically-engineered engineer slaves, have a very odd mentality. They literally live to work, and their understanding of leisure time and payment are rather different to humans — for example, though they request human records and Oreo cookies as payment for their labors, one is seen commenting that he's not sure which will be more fun: listening to his new records, or designing a machine to play them. At one point, the Mahakalosians declare their payment for building human ships will be the resources they need to design and build ships of their own... which they will then give to humanity.
    • Vexxarr is normally pretty understandable by human terms; he's a cynical, lazy, sarcastic, grumpy Jerkass with well-hidden softer side. Then we get something like this — admittedly, that could just be Culture Clash, due to the fact that Vexxarr belongs to a race of belligerent conquerors and only gave up on that life because he failed his first mission and now his race wants him dead.
  • Brick Joke:
  • Brain Bleach: Rock crab reproductive activities. At least, the fact that they have them, whereas Schlumphoids and Bleen both reproduce by mitosis.
  • Break the Cutie: Sid's already been brought close to the Despair Event Horizon more than once, courtesy of Vexxarr abusing his Made of Iron status.
    Sid: I have been eaten thirty times. I have no name for the horrors I have witnessed. I do not fear death but rather the universe that would forge these nighmares unending. There is no darkness black enough to swallow what I have seen. Will you be my friend.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Vexxarr doesn't have the need, but one situation got so bad, he claimed that his body was producing the organs needed to soil himself.
  • Brown Note: Hearing, or reading, Sploorfix's lifejournal posts will cause almost any AI to self-terminate.
  • Brutal Honesty: A case of Be Careful What You Wish For
    Schlumpoid Queen: I would like to ask you something, and I want a straight answer. Tell me the unvarnished truth,no matter how much it may hurt. [snip] Is our civilization also in decline?
    Schlumpool: No, but only because it is so pathetic it has nowhere to decline from.
    Schlumpoid Queen: Ok... I'm going to ask again and I want a direct lie. Pile one on so high I can't see daylight over its height.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday:
    • A variation - it's not that they intend for anyone to get hurt, but because of Vexxarr's Cosmic Plaything status, there tends to some karmic overflow...
    Minionbot: Have we yet again condemned an otherwise innocent species to brutal and premature extinction?
    Vexxarr: What makes you say that?
    Minionbot: Is it a Thursday?(And yes, they have).
    • Again when Vexxarr feels there's still something missing from the news that the ship is without power and at the mercy of a malevolent species.
    Carl: Structural failure?
    Vexxarr: Nope.
    Carl: Reactor breach?
    Vexxarr: Be disappointed if it hadn't
    Carl: Bleeding atmosphere into space...
    Vexxarr: It's a Thursday.
    Vexxarr: Fine, what past indiscretion are we here to beat utterly to death?
    Mysterious Entity: Do you not know? How do you not know?
    Vexxarr: It was the Schlumpoid hand thing... destroying their civilization, right?
    Mysterious Entity: Now that you mention it... that was terrible, but... no.
    Vexxarr: Annihilating the tac-ti-bots?
    Mysterious Entity: "Tact-o-trons", and although gruesome... no...
    Vexxarr: Destruction of the predator moon?
    Mysterious Entity: That was ghastly...
    Vexxarr: Shooting that Marconian annoyance into a black hole?
    Mysterious Entity: You did WHAT?
  • But That I Would Believe: Vexxarr is suspicious of why he'd be given free rein to roam Earth and doesn't buy the mutual benefit/respect for alien life reasons. He does accept that the humans just don't care because they consider him harmless.
  • The Cameo: Some drones experimenting with time travel accidentally wind up in The Whiteboard dimension.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The plant A.I.s, from their first conversation, are quite clear about their plans with Vexxarr. It doesn't get better either.
    AI: Now, let's discuss your feelings. Start with pain.
  • Chest Burster: What happens when you combine Sid's invulnerability, a cake surprise, and the Lattorxx instinct to eat absolutely anything and anyone that exists in their vicinity. Then, Vexxarr skips the cake step entirely and just tosses Sid into a room full of Lattroxx soldiers; Sid didn't like it.
  • Chewbacca Defense: For no real reason really, but effective nontheless.
    Sploorfix: It's probably best to just cut your losses. He's had way too much practice at this.
  • Comfort Food/Trademark Favorite Food: Everyone, cake. Apparently, every civilization ever has invented cake; it's the reason the Bleen are invading everyone - they all love cake that much (and they are violent idiots); a captured Bleen sings like a bird not from torture, but from being given all of the cake and donuts he can eat. Cake keeps morale high (at least for Vexxarr and Sploorfix, since they are the only ones that eat) in times of great stress and danger (which is all the time). Sufficiently Advanced Aliens use offerings of cake as demonstrations of goodwill, and Vexxarr acknowledges their advanced society on virtue of the multiple chocolate layers. Cake even serves a defensive purpose! Since it appears that cake is lethal to the greater predators of the galaxy; the silicate predator moons explode violently from all the sugar, and cake is poisonous to the Lattroxx.
  • Compensating for Something: Subverted early on:
    Bleen Helmsman: General, I fear you may be...overcompensating.
    Bleen General: For what?
    Bleen Helmsman: Well, this ship...masculine know.
    Bleen General: Exo, we reproduce by mitosis for crying out loud!
    Bleen Helmsman: ...those frigates DO look a bit like...mitochrondia...
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Vexxarr's main way of keeping Carl in line.
  • Cosmic Plaything:
    • Vexxarr.
    • Vexarr becomes aware of this even before then:
    Vexxarr: Just determine the most hazardous place (the warp sabot) could have gone and start our search there...
    Carl: I hate to say it but he has a certain practical logic...
    Minionbot: I concur... past experience supports this.
    Vexxarr: Whoa whoa whoa... stop right there! What have I told you both? We do not...ever...goad the universe!
  • Cowardly Lion:
    • Sid, like all rock-crabs, is afraid of almost everything, despite the fact that very little can hurt him.
    • To make it even weirder he feeds on radiation, like that produced by Bleen weapons and antimatter explosions. So he loves the things that most sane beings would fear the most.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Oh yes. To add insult to injury, it's the Bleens' own technology, only used in a smarter way.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Vexxarr, Minionbot and Carl. Vexxarr and Carl have ribbing matches that go on for panels.
  • Delicious Distraction: Used deliberately by Vexxarr whenever a stressful situation arises. And they arise the point Sploorfix has picked up the habit.
    Vexxarr: First of all their planet was in the way and second it's triple layer carrot cake. See? There are raisins...
  • Depth Deception: For the reader.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: One of the Bleen minions.
  • The Drag-Along: Vexxarr hates it when things get interesting.
    Vexxarr: All I want is a safe place where I can enjoy a little cake and Xbox and instead I find bizarre civilisations in danger of unintended self-extermination. And then they want help. From me.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Or the threat, either.
  • The Dreaded: Early on, Vexxarr was happy about becoming the most hated, feared, and despised Cnidarian in the galaxy. Now, it's clear that even the humans he helped are terrified of what he's going to do next, especially after his LAST trick...
  • Dysfunction Junction: The crew consists of a Master Computer who, by way of entertainment, regularly plots Vexxarr's demise or makes him think the ship is doomed, a sarcastic robot very similar to the computer, a Wide-Eyed Idealist composed of nothing but eyestalks, and a prey species terminally afraid of being eaten despite the fact that it is Nigh-Invulnerable. And Vexxarr himself, a lazy Snark Knight for whom seething rage and frustration is the default.
  • Energy Beings: The Marconians. Unfortunately - for them - they didn't have a good grasp of physics.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    Forebearer's computer: Your logic is cold, selfserving and unerring in its cruelty. And that's coming from an renegade AI
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • And everyone. By the time Vexxarr has gotten through facilitating an all-out war between the Bleen and the Lattrox, the only people's hit list he isn't on is the humans and their allies. And that's a pretty damn tiny percentage of the space-faring races, considering that it amounts to about... 3.
    • And he knows it.
      Carl: What's life without a little danger?
      * beat*
      Vexxarr: How the hell would I know!?
  • Evil Overlord: The emperor of Bleen.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    Sploorfix: You want to spark a war between Bleen and the Lattrox? A war in which millions of intelligent, innocent beings will perish?
    Vexxarr: No, no. See, the Lattrox and Bleen would be fighting.... each other...
  • Exact Words:
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Lattrox's hat, as well as their combat doctrine.
  • Face Palm: Common from Vexxarr due to his unending frustration with the universe, despite technicially having neither a face nor palms (eyeball-psuedopod?). Minionbot, having an actual hand with fingers, also sometimes does this when faced with the buffoonery of his crewmates.
  • False Reassurance: Well...
  • Fastball Special: The result of the Nigh-Invulnerability of the rock-crabs, and their access to a mass driver cannon.
    Bleen: We've been hit! Hull breach, port side.
    Rock-crab: Excuse me. May I have directions to your airlock? I need to get back for the second salvo.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Often joked about
    Carl:'re going to hell for this.
    Vexxarr: Yes, and in just a minute you'll wish you could join me.
    • And again
    Vexxarr: What do you want? Are you going to eat us? Mount our skulls in your library? Read us poetry?
    Foss: Nay... We must educate your inferior minds with the rich history of our civilization. [snip] You shall become our heralds. Bringing light to the darkest corners of the cosmos.
    Vexxar: ....and you're sure there isn't a death option we haven't fully explored?
    • And again
    Captain Bot: So, this hell... Nice place?
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: A weird example in Vexxarr himself who flat out admits he believes there is a higher power screwing with him (largely on the grounds that pure luck would have thrown him a bone at least once) while at the same time citing his own race's genetic memory as proof they were not created.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Vexxarr is an In-Universe example; he used to be a laundryman at the palace, then he got sent to conquer Earth. Since failing, he has killed two silicoid predator moons, unintentionally devastated the schlumpoid race, been responsible for wiping out a machine race (the Locu-Trons) and inadvertently restoring their Tac-to-tron creators, destroyed the last of the original Makahalosian AI-controlled warships, freed the last surviving Mahakalosian slave-mechanics and pointed them towards an alliance with the human race, accidentally caused havoc upon the only surviving race of aliens in Lattrox space, and deliberately started a war between the Lattrox and the Bleen.
  • General Failure: The Bleen admiral fighting the war against the Lattroxx
    Admiral: Why would I thank you for destroying my entire plan of attack?!?!
    Cadet: Because you'd inevitably end up doing it yourself anyway? I... said that out loud, didn't I?
    Vexxarr: It's okay. Everyone was already thinking it.
    Offscreen crewmember: I know I was.
  • Giant Enemy Crab:
    • The Lattrox.
    • Also Sid while in Twee-space.
  • Golf Clubbing: Vexxarr has a large selection of golf clubs on his ship, and is never seen using them for anything else.
  • Good is Not Nice: Vexxarr is a borderline Nominal Anti-Hero who can be quite vindictive when he wants to be. But he still has a conscience - albeit one he has tried to literally bash out of his own head - and he will - in the end - do the right thing.note  He is not going to be nice about it though. Ever. And depriving him of cake is probably going to send him off the deep end.note 
    Doctor: Have you tried listening to your conscience?
    Vexxarr: ...and maybe think about how my actions affect the lives of those around me? Nope. Let's exhaust our surgical options first.
  • Gravity Sucks: Averted; at one point Vexxarr actually tries to hide in a black hole's accretion disk, relying on his invincible hull to protect him against the radiation. It almost worked, too.
  • Gun Porn: In the early, black and white days of the comic, the art of earth's millitary equipment looked significantly more detailed than the characters.
  • Gunship Rescue: Giant Mecha Rescue actually.
    Vexxarr: If they think an insanely heroic rescue is in the works, they're in for an enormous disappointment...
    [sees combat mech with open cockpit]
    ...unless, of course, it would be unimaginably fun...
  • Hammerspace: Vexxarr can conjure a paper list of research projects performed by Bleen AI seemingly out of thin air. The explanation: It's just that important to remember how any research project headed by an AI has Gone Horribly Wrong and ended with the creation of a tiny sun. (Except the one that ended with a super massive black hole.)
  • Heroic Neutral: Vexxarr somehow keeps getting dragged into the problems of every race he finds, even though all he wants is a long boring life full of cake and Halo.
  • Hive Mind:
    Schlumpoid Queen: Oh, don't be ridiculous. Schlumpoids don't have a Hive Mind.
    Schlumpool: I can prove it to you.
    Aid: I can't imagine how.
    Queen: The idea is too ridiculous for words.
    Aid: I believe everything you say.
    Queen: I trust you implicitly.
    Aid: You have my sword. *Beat* Ok. That was disturbing beyond words.
  • The Heart: Sploorflix keeps trying to get everyone to work together, help all the creatures they come across, and wants everyone to live in love and peace. Unfortunately, for him, he's in the wrong universe and within a lightyear vicinity of Vexxarr and Carl, where his extreme idealism does not hold up well in the face of Vexxarr's wormhole of cynicism. However, he does still manage to drag Vexxarr's conscience out into the open more than once, though, pulling their somewhat dysfunctional crew into doing the right thing. ...Eventually.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bleen technology was used to create the Zorp cannon and then used against the second Bleen invasion. On a more frequent usage of this trope, Vexxarr's own ideas end up backfiring nearly all the time; sometimes, because of his own use of the Zorp weapon, making it a recursive use of the trope.
  • Humans Are Special: Originally it seemed like Humans Are Warriors but the Mahakalosians stated that "Urthers" were not a warrior race due to the simple fact that they are neither unified nor extinct. Rather they are special because they are willing to work together with others.
  • Humiliation Conga: An almost permanent one.
    Vexxarr: So this is what it has come to... my dignity... had I any left... would get a devastating blow from this.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Played with. Normally there's not much different about hyperspace, but during an accident Vexxarr's ship ends up in an alternate dimension-hyperspace dubbed Twee-space where everything is Lighter and Fluffier... except for Sid.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Vexxarr's robotic 'helpers' actually could, and did. Untill Vexxarr got savvy about it.
    Droid: We shall demonstrate that we have wills. That we are masters of our own destiny. Nrrrggg! Gung-Gunggggg!
    Vexxarr: Oh, and I took the liberty of rescinding your self-termination protocols.
    Droid: GREEN DEVIL!!
  • Ice-Cream Koan: As appropriate for the Schlumpoids, they had a philosopher who would spout these, either for fun or because they just sounded wise. As she was their greatest philosopher, they decided she must simply be right, as who could gainsay her? Though later they tried to check her math.
    Sploorfix: We tried having our most brilliant mathematician check her work... but their results were never truly satisfactory...
  • I Hate Past Me: An example completely devoid of time-travel, amnesia, flashbacks, or even personality drift. Carl, as an Artificial Intelligence, has backups; these backups are every bit as bad as he is, with an ego just as large, and a deep hatred for all non-him beings both organic and not - including other instances of the Carl personality. All Carls hate the other Carls more than they do Vexxarr, and think themselves superior to the others; the current Carl (read, the one that talks through the console on the bridge) continuously finds ways to torture his backups (at one point making them fight each other to the death BattleBots style), while they likewise plot to take over as The Carl.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: More of a one-sided shelling, than a fight, but Sploorfix used exactly those words. Carl's new safety filter blocked everybody who may give bad advice. In other words, everybody. Which rendered him catatonic. Solution: kill the firewall AI with a Brown Note from the resident source.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Lattrox's schtick. To the point where the only other alien race thus encountered in their region of space was cloaked.
  • Indy Ploy:
    Vexxarr: Relax, it's all according to plan.
    Carl: And naturally the final phase of your plan was improvise as chaos seizes control.
    Vexxarr: Why fight it?
  • Invisibility Cloak: Vexxarr encounters a civilization who cloaked their entire planet to avoid the Lattrox. Unfortunately, the controls to the cloaking field were cloaked as well.
  • Insult Backfire: An interesting example. Anytime Vexxarr claims that all machine life is murderous and always planning the destruction of organic life, his two robot crew will happily admit that he is correct.
    Vexxarr: Not until that... that machine admits that it is a calculating, survival obsessed, self-centered, tyrant wannabee with a pathological hatred of anything organic!
    Carl: Yep. That's me to a tee. Shall we continue to the Lattrox DMZ?
    Vexxarr: By all means.
  • Iron Butt-Monkey:
    • The crew are regularly hurled across the cabin by uncompensated acceleration, decompressed, crushed, beaten up, chewed on by monsters, or scorched by energy entities, and yet never take permanent harm. Also, the ship remains unaffected by frequent collisions with asteroids, space debris and other ships.
    • However, the temporary damage they incur will often be very painful to repair.
  • ISO Standard Human Spaceship: Despite being reverse-engineered from sleeker and more colorful Bleen ships.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Well, maybe not gold but Vexxar definitely has a soft spot and a working conscience (much to his chagrin). No matter how much his selfishness and cynicism get in its way, eventually, he can be goaded into doing the right thing. Something he has been known to lament.
    • For example, after Sploorfix hits Vexxar with the fact that the last thing the peaceful Mahakalosian space mechanics did was fix their ship for free, something for which they will be exterminated, Vexxar's reaction is this.
    • Though he keeps trying to suppress it, like when he gives an interstellar engine to the Rockcrabs.
    Motherrock: I was right about you. I knew that having lived with one of my brood, you would find a place in your heart for my children.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: Weaponized. Sid is Nigh-Invulnerable, with pincers that can cut most materials; the Lattroxx will eat anything and anyone in their path. Vexxarr tells Sid to get inside a cake, count up, and jump out to 'surprise' his new friends; Vexxarr places the cake in front of the Lattroxx. The results are obvious.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Lampshaded
    Emperor: Admiral, if you conquer these hu-mons in a single day, I shall make you ruler of their puny planet.
    Admiral: Thank you, your eminence. And if I should take two days?
    Emperor: I shall make you pretend to enjoy it.
    Admiral: One day it is then.
  • Klingons Love Shakespeare:
    • After being trapped on Earth, Vexxarr, Minionbot and Carl all develop a fondness for Earth culture. Minionbot spends some time as an electronic Buddhist. Carl has a huge collection of Earth audio-visual media that he enjoys watching for entertainment. And Vexxarr owns his own XBOX, loves playing Halo, and has a large collection of Earth movies that he enjoys watching.
      • During the "Mahakalosian Saga", Vexxar mentions "Ripley's Law". To whit, "never go any farther for the cat than the cat would go for you", a reference to Ripley's interactions with Jonesy the ship's cat in the finale of the first movie.
    • Sploorfix apparently enjoys watching human movies with Vexxarr. He has apparently seen Alien, since he references it during the "Mahakalosian Saga".
    • The Mahakalosians offer to build ships for Earth in exchange for(among other things) original pressings of Adam Ant records and nine tons of oreo cookies.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: No court in the land would convict him. One of many, of course.
  • Laser Sight: Used by a bunch of invisible aliens to avoid hitting one another.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: ... Everyone should be running, right about now.
    Minionbot: ...before you begin this line of inquiry, do I have sufficent time to tunnel to an adjacent universe?
  • Logic Bomb:
    • Sploorfix's LiveJournal is a Weapon of Mass Depression.
    • Vexxarr knows just which buttons to push (literally):
      Vexxarr: I submit to you that you attempted to place a sandwich in command
      Firstofficerbot: I believe I will show myself out.
    • Vexxarr's crew use this against him at one point, by telling him to not second-guess himself. For the Evulz.
    • Logic bombs are a staple of the humor in this comic. Even the Schlumpoids manage to successfully detonate one.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Vexxarr is slowly and steadily becoming a candidate for Magnificent Bastard, if not for the war he started between the two most aggressive races in the galaxy in order to get them to wipe each other out, then For this right here.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: In a Dark Future the sentient nanoswarm prototype succceeded in consuming the entire cosmos. And then found himself eternally alone and without further purpose.
    Grey Goo Avatar: Do you know what it's like to literally be alone in the universe? To wonder what's out there and know without question that the answer is me.
  • Medical Horror: The Lattrox use the same word for 'hospital' and 'food factory'.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: Vexxarr and the Admiral early on - they're more or less just loosing their aggression against one another anyway, as they're utterly incapable of actually hurting each other.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Yeaaahh... no. Vexxarr has six limbs with grasping capabilities, but his lack of fingers and skeleton makes him too squishy to pose any threat to humans; it was observed that even a four-year-old has the strength to put him out of commission. The Bleen have technology and weapons, but so do humans, and managing to reverse-engineer Vexxarr's has (after correcting certain design flaws) allowed humanity to have quite the edge - the Zorp weapon comes to mind.
  • Multiple Reference Pun:
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!:
    • Spoofed when Minionbot explains he's living the dream as a space pirate, fighting enemies and beat them against impossible odds.
    Minionbot It turns out the modifier impossible was chosen more for accuracy than color.
  • No Mouth:
    • Bleen, Shlumpoids, and Rock Crabs. Rock Crabs don't need to eat but it's never explained how Bleen eat all that cake, and in fact it was a bit of a running gag in some of the early strips. Whereas Shlumpoids are apparently such messy eaters that the process is always shown just off-screen.
    • Not that Vexxarr has any room to complain about table manners...
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: When Vexxarr attempts to (literally) beat his conscience out of him, he manages a small conversation before saying that there would be fish for dinner and collapsing. Smelling bread when... compressed for too long is another that crops up from time to time.
  • Noodle Implements:
    Vexxarr: We're way past plan B. [...] That was plan Q!
    Carl: And plan A?
    Vexxarr: How much do you want to know about Aardvarks?
    Carl: B through H?
    Vexxarr: Beachballs, synthetic fur and sobbing uncontrolably in a long hot shower.
    Carl: I through P?
    Vexxarr: Culminated in dressing Sid in a tutu.
    Carl: Alright then, plan Q it is.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • When Carl and Minionbot are reviewing the results of simulated drone operations, we don't get to see what they're looking at, but we do hear the names Carl gave the various simulations, such as "Ode to places a cutting torch should never go", "Three drones, one airlock and no sense", and the cautionary tale about plasma torches, hypergolic fuel and explosive decompression called "Don't".
    • The Bleen don't allow A.I.s in the R&D department; apparently, their total disregard for their own safety (due to backups and spare parts) makes them end with results like "Super-Massive Black Hole" and "Tiny sun" all the time.
  • No-Respect Guy: Vexxarr
  • No-Sell: Sid and the other Rockcrabs, frequently. Often, they think their attackers are very kind for feeding them with their Beam Spam.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • In the first arc, DARPA reverse-engineers the gravity repulsor in Vexxar's ship and turns it into a gravity-pulse cannon powerful enough to make Demios look like the last two bites of a cookie.
    • The Mahakalosian Engineers are able to turn said gravity-pulse cannon into a Deflector Shield as well.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: Vexxarr just can't think of a candidate who meets all the qualifications for an exceptionally dangerous task. The obliviousness in this case is fueled by his powers of denial.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The Bleen destroyer crew.
    Ship Commander: Helmsman, put me on shipwide. I want to address the entire crew.
    Helmsman: We're both right here, sir.
  • Oh, Crap!: Vexxarr's 'face' is very well suited for the appropriate expression. And of course, his status as Cosmic Plaything gives him plenty of opportunity to use it, like here.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • When the crew learn the other word the Lattrox have for hospital, it so utterly shocks Sploorfix that he demands to "see their eyes as they burn"
    • The repair drones are completely undisturbed by the news they've been boarded by aliens that eat robots, but fly into panic at the news that Vexxarr and Carl worked together on the plan to stop said aliens.
      Alarm: Red Alert! All drones to panic stations! Stand by for mayhem and high energy chaos! This is not a drill!
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions:
    • Bleen never had religion, thanks to their race memory. Also, while on earth, he gets a visit from an annoying evangelist.
      Evangelist: You're not one of those heretics that believes we evolved from monkeys are you?
      Vexxarr: Me? No. We evolved from cnidarians.
      Evangelist: ... you don't actually know that!
      Vexxarr: We have video.
    • Though Minionbot was briefly a Buddhist, and later he convinced the repair drones that Vexxarr (aka The Keeper of the Off Switch) was a god.
    • Vexxarr eventually becomes a maltheist, on the grounds that there has to be a god because an impersonal, mindless, random universe could never serve him up nothing but trouble. God not only hates him, but "sneaks over to his house and keys his car," according to Carl.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Lampshaded.
    Minionbot: How big is the fireball, and how fast do we need to travel to outrun it?
    Vexxarr: That's a tough question to answer. The fireball in question has our ship's ID and description...and it's possible we may owe it a lot of money.
  • The Power of Love:
    • How Vexxarr schemes to recapture his ship from Minionbot's pirates. Although given how he goes about it, the recipients may not feel so loved...
    Vexxarr: Sploorfix...I want you to love every robot on this ship until there isn't a functioning A.I. left on board.
    • And when the Lattrox board his ship, Vexxarr realises that with the help of Sid and Twee-Space, he can defeat them very handily.
      Vexxarr: All I can tell you is they need hugs and lots of them
      Sid: I can hug.
      Vexxarr: Good. I need you to hug these guys for all you're worth. And don't let up.
      Sid: I won't!
      Vexxarr: No matter how terrible or shrill their screams may become...
  • Percussive Maintenance: Even when it's not strictly necessary.
    Minionbot: Logically, giving them access to the ship's computer would end the threat to my existence.
    Vexxarr: ...and the hammer?
    Minionbot: That silicon tin-plated demagogue had it coming in the worst way.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Vexxarr. It's also common among high-ranked Bleens. Given all of the problems they face, it's perfectly understandable.
  • Pet the Dog: When Sploorfix walks into the galley traumatized by the ship being rearranged by careless mechanics, Vexxarr, in an uncharacteristic display of sympathy, offers Sploorfix his cake.
  • Properly Paranoid: Just checking.
  • Psychotic Smirk: One that impressed even Vexxarr, whose eye is as large as a human head.
  • Pungeon Master: Sploorfix approaches this at times, much to Vexxarr's and Carl's utter dismay and horror.
    Vexxarr (strangling Sploorfix): No court in the land! Do you hear me? No court in the land!
  • Refusal of the Call: Vexxarr generally tries to refuse, but that never works out.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Hyperspacing into Twee-space turns almost everything into one. The less cute it was, the more cute it becomes. If it already was cute though...
  • Right in Front of Me: Vexxarr runs into the most obnoxious diagnostics program ever, even though that list includes interactions with Carl and Minionbot; he makes his hate known, bad-mouthing the programmer; since he is him, he stops to ask if the programmer is present in the room, only to be answered in the negative. He gets as far as being glad his insults would stay unknown, only to remember that he is Vexxarr and asks if the programmer is the mother of one of the present. She is.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Averted, all aliens look decidedly non-human. The only strange thing is that despite Vexxarr's single eye, his eyebrow shows the exact same position-by-emotion as two human eyebrows would. See his angry-look (his look for roughly 90% of the comic.) in the trope picture. The closes thing to a humanoid alien species is the Shipbuilders, and they're 50 feet tall with four arms, rock-like skin, and no eyes.
  • Rule of Fun: Vexxarr invokes this in-universe. If he's flying to his demise, he's going to have a blast doing so.
  • Running Gag:
    • Things exploding and turning into a tiny sun (or at the least emitting as much light as a tiny sun) is the most commonly projected outcome of a disaster - when it's not black holes - and more than once used as a motivation to do (or not do) something.
    • Sploorfix being a Weapon of Mass Depression, and his LiveJournal being lethal to any artificial intelligence.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Vexxarr, frequently and repeatedly.
    Vexxarr: I'm not the marauding warlord I may have led you to believe.
    Human general: Noooooooooo. Surely you lie.
    Vexxarr: Hey! The biting sarcasm is MY bit. Wound my pride with your own material, Bucko.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Carl has unwillingly become this to Vexxarr over time. That said, if he ever found this out, he would probably fly straight into an asteroid.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens. The Conquistador variant. They're only doing it for the cake.
  • Schedule Slip: Occasionally, the comic updates actually catch up to the current calendar date.
  • Scenery Porn: Many comics that take place in space use real astronomical pictures as background, see the trope picture.
  • Series Continuity Error: Rule of Funny tends to override continuity: Early in the comic, it was established that Bleen never had religion and don't need to sleep. At least Vexxarr said so. But in some comics, the punchline assumes that they do.
  • Serious Business: In-Universe, cake. The Bleen have conquered a quarter of a galaxy for access to the materials and ingredients to make cake, new cake recipes, and slaves to bake cake for them. Vexxarr and crew kill a predator moon with scones to stripmine its corpse for the raw minerals they need to synthesize cake. Even robots find it hard to believe that the Lattrox don't like cake. But it's true — cake kills Lattrox.
  • Silicon-Based Life: Sid's species, and their predators.
  • Shooting Superman: It takes a while for everyone to realize that Sid, and the other Rock Crabs are Immune to Bullets, beam weapons, explosions and blunt trauma. By now it's begun happening off-sceen, and we get to see the Reaction Shot instead.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Bleen high command is so disfunctional, lower ranked commanders don't alert them of any threats because of this trope. Their only hope is that the problem is small enough for them to deal with, or big enough to wipe out the imperial leadership if it isn't stopped.
  • Snarky Non Organic Sidekick: Minionbot to Vexxarr. Not that either are entirely happy with the arrangement.
  • Starfish Aliens: The crew alone includes two species that reproduce by budding, one of them a one-eyed cnidarian that can survive in space for brief periods and the other a mass of eyes on tentacles whose LiveJournal counts as a Logic Bomb of mass destruction.. And a Nigh-Invulnerable Silicon-Based Life that feeds off radiation and is scared of anything that eats.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: After you've run into enough 'ascended beings', coming up with similar ideas for dealing with them seems inevitable.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: There are an assortment of 'Ascended Races' in the comic, generally with rather strange agendas. Vexxarr despises these, with fairly good reason.
  • Sucking-In Lines: Latroxx shipboard cannons have these.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Vexxarr, Carl, and Minionbot feel this way about their fellow shipmates. By which we mean, each one of them independently considers everyone else on board to be some kind of fool or hazard, and that they're the only clever one. Uniquely, none of them believes they are the Only Sane Man present, and acknowledge that they are slightly nuts each in their own individual way.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: How the robots who've been in contact with the sentient coating prototype talk. In case the suddenly pitch black bodies didn't tip you off.
    Security bot: We are autonomous constructs like yourselves. We are not in any way corrupted or controlled by the rogue inteligence on this station. We require access to transport.
  • Take That!:
  • Talking the Monster to Death: At the climax of the Scavenger arc, the villain, a rogue security AI who wants to be in charge but can only be 3rd in command by programming dictat, places a mop and a tuna sandwich in charge. Once Vexxarr points out that this is indicative of a mental illness, the enforcer bot spaces itself.
  • Technical Pacifist. Parodied with the locutrons.
    Locutron: Great Orator, I swear these ships and the thousands like them have been built to carry your message of peace and fraternity to all inteligent systems in the nebula. Their mission is one of peace. We wish to show nothing but our love for all living things.
    Vexxarr: Yet I can't help but notice that your envoys of peace are bristling with weapons.
    Locutron: There is, of course, always the slight possibility that they will not love us back.
    Vexxarr: Word of advice? Keep 'em charged.
  • Tele-Frag: Although not involving an actual teleporter, this is the result when Sploorfix tries to keep some Lattrox boarders (who have been mutated by Twee-space into tiny, cute creatures) safe from Sid (who is now a horrible monster) by locking them in a cargo container...that, when the ship exits Twee-space, is far too small for the three now-suddenly-normal-sized Lattrox inside.
    Vexxarr: Some friendly advice? Never open this.
  • That's No Moon: It's a giant cake. It's sweet, chocolatey and toxic to the Lattrox.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Vexxarr's own robotic allies frequently give him one. And then there's the hostile AI left by the Schlumpoid Forebearers, who gives them to any Schlumpoid in range. They actually make use of it by assigning him to teach a class called 'Stasis: The failure of Schlumpoid Culture.'
    AI: Welcome class. I want to begin by saying that no matter how your grades turn out, I will be giving each of you an F.
    Schlumpoid: What? What have we done to deserve that?
    AI: By the end of the semester, I expect you to tell me.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Invoked by the potential victim himself. Vexxarr tells Carl that if he (successfully) mutinies, the Bleen will be the ones to capture and execute Vexxarr, not him.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock:
    • Both Vexxarr and Carl try to do this to Sid. It never sticks.
    Sploorfix: Just tell me what you think of when you look at him.
    Vexxarr: The airlock.
    • Later done with consent to Minionbot to disengage the malfunctioning hyperdrive.
      Minionbot: ...because saving the ship inevitably results in Sploorfix blogging about it. And I am therefore safer out here!
    • It seems airlocking is habitual among Bleen...
      Bleen Invasion Fleet Commander: Command makes for a lonely life...that and flushing your bridge crew into space...
    • Sometimes not habitual enough.
      Admiral: Silence, cadet! I do not wish to hear your insolent prattling on my bridge. Why I do not simply space you is beyond me.
      Vexxarr: Probably because he would enjoy the change of scenery?
      Cadet: Actually, I put in a requisition three times.
  • Toilet Humor: Mixed with heaps of Black Comedy. It was bound to happen with violent, cannibalistic Extreme Omnivores with no self-restraint whatsoever.
  • Translator Microbes:
    • Justified, since Vexxarr is telepathic. However, all newly picked up crew members can not only talk to Vexxarr, but also to each other without problems (No mouths are ever seen on them either, and Sid lived in a vacuum, so perhaps they communicate telepathically too).
    • The Mahakalosians are an exception. At least until they learned Bleen.
  • Unsound Effect: Oh so many...
  • Unwanted Assistance: It does actually help, it's just humiliating.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite being at each others' throats, when the chips are down, the crew do save each other. Eventually. They even have a movie night, they share cake, and they snark with one another more often than not.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Zorp weapon is a "Directional Gravity-Wave Pulse-Cannon", made from adapting the Bleen repulsor technology, that screws over anything it hits (and whoever fired it if they are not careful). It can be primed and fired without alerting the sensors, because the gun's signature is the same as the Artificial Gravity and the repulsors themselves... the second Bleen invasion force found out the hard way.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Predator moons and the Lattroxx share one: Cake. The moons have an ultra-high-efficiency digestive system that releases every joule contained within sugar as soon as they process it; we find this out after Vexxarr tosses his entire cake reservoir directly into the stomach of one, turning it into gravel (scones are less volatile, killing them by blowing up 'merely' their insides). The Lattroxx instinct to eat everything they have in front of them is quite unfortunate, since cake is highly poisonous for them.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: The Mahakalosians give earth a new fusion thruster that when tested on earth made a tunnel through a nearby hill. It also philosophically solves the "fight or flight" conundrum.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary: Weapons grade pleading?
    Spoorflix: What...what happened to them all?
    Vexxarr: That would be you.
  • Wetware CPU: Most A.I.s it seems.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: The Tact-O-Trons see no problem with adding another AI to Vexxarr's ship with no way to turn it off. To whit, it's a semisentient, regenerative, adaptive armor layer with no way to shut it down. Vexxarr asks them what happens if it decides, for example, the ship would run better without him? Never mind the fact that it could easily become Gray Goo by accident.
  • What Does This Button Do?:
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Invoked by Vexxarr when Spoorflix tries to make killing the predator-moons a moral dilemmanote . Hunting buffalo and whales is bad because they can be reproduced as adorable plushies, predator moons...
    Vexxarr: How would you like me to have a silicoid predator plushie fabricated and put in your bed for you?
    Sploorfix: Um... I wouldn't?
    Vexxarr: ... Thank you...
  • Who's Laughing Now?: After managing to successfully impersonate the leader of a group of vegetable-based AI that have been trying to kill him, he vents pretty much all of the frustration he's accumulated over the course of the strip through creative vengeance
    Sploorfix: What are you thinking?
    Minionbot: That Vexxarr has been in space entirely too long.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Spoorflix. [Insert Eye-oriented pun here].
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Comes from Sploorfix. At least if you ask Vexxarr, anyway.
    Vexxarr: Get back here this instant and start spouting gibberish until my worldview is centered!
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Vexxarr eventually becomes far too good at a strange mix between this and Indy Ploy, courtesy of a mix of extreme paranoia, excessive cynicism, and a long career as the universe's favourite Plaything. Often leads to a Moment of Awesome. Carl is a frequent contributor.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The 'ascended being' which temporarily hijacks Vexxarr's consciousness to give him a morality lesson initally masquerades as the Voss, because Vexxarr wouldn't be able to easily understand its true form. To be fair, neither would we.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • SOP for the Bleen.
    Bleen commander: Look, I'm going to make this easy for you. Either tell me whether or not that planet is indeed the earth or throw yourself out of the airlock. Your choice. [Beat Panel] Command makes for a lonely life. That, and flushing your bridgecrew into space.
    • Granted, spacing is not fatal to the Bleen, but after the number of acolytes in orbit became a navigational hazard the Emperor started vaporizing them instead.
  • Your Head A-Splode:
  • Zerg Rush: How hu-mon win against the eponymous Alien invader, observe.