Flying Brick

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"My generic set of superhero abilities include enhanced vision."
The Captain, Nextwave

There's a whole lot of superpowers out there, and many different ways to get them.

However, heroes who win the Superpower Lottery frequently end up with the Flying Brick set, in which they have: Flight, Super Strength, Super Toughness (or "Made of Diamond"-type Nigh Invulnerability, for higher-level cases), and usually at least one of Super Speed, Eye Beams, Super Senses, or Super Breath. Might even include the Most Common Superpower for female Flying Built-Like-a-Brick-House set winners.

These powers seem to be compatible with any given Backstory and Super-Hero Origin, which also conveniently explains why any given hero's powers are vastly different to every other hero's flight, super strength, and Super Toughness.

Occasionally comes with a lesser, embarrassing power or a Weaksauce Weakness to "make up for" their incredible power. See also New Powers as the Plot Demands. A common manifestation of the Lightning Bruiser type. Not to be confused with Brick Joke. Replace Super Strength and Nigh Invulnerable with Frickin' Laser Beams and you get Flying Firepower.

This item is available in the Trope Co catalog.

Examples of Flying Brick include:


Comic Books: The DC Universe[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Superman is the Trope Codifier here, along with the rest of the Kryptonian race under a yellow sun. Varied for taste, though: Superman, Supergirl, and Power Girl also get supersenses, heat vision, and super breath (including freezing breath). Superboy's powers were actually rooted in "tactile telekinesis", and it was shown that eventually, he'd develop the ability to use full-on telekinetic powers. Twist: Everyone knows 'em, but hey, why not?
    • The writers made Superboy's tactile telekinesis very clear by mentioning it every 5 minutes in the Young Justice comic, presumably because anyone who didn't know about it would just assume he had the same powers as Superman, being Superboy and all. Lampshaded by Impulse complaining about it every time he mentions it.
    • Silver Age Superman is even worse. Not only can he move planets with ease, fly to other universes with ease, go back in time, and throw his voice, he also has super hypnotism, a mind-wiping kiss, and essentially New Powers as the Plot Demands.
      • In Superman IV he also has Rebuild-the-Great-Wall-of-China-Vision!
      • Then there is his greatest power - the ability to create a tiny doppelganger of himself! (This does have a minor drawback: the clone only lasts a short period of time and Superman loses his other powers for the duration.)
        • Perhaps even greater, he has the anti-Kryptonite plot contrivance power; if he doesn't figure out some way to get rid of a chunk of Kryptonite, someone will happen to come along to do it for him.
  • Wonder Woman. Twist: While very tough, is (usually) not bulletproof, but has bracelets that deflect bullets, as well as the ability to react at super-speed. Then again, if you can take punches from Superman... Occasionally, she is explicitly bulletproof and deflects bullets solely as an intimidation thing. Another explanation of the bracelets/bullets thing is that she is your standard Flying Brick invulnerable except against specifically piercing attacks (like bullets, spears, arrows, etc.), while the bracelets are the reforged Aegis of Zeus, which can stop any such attack.
    • The same powers are possessed by Wonder Girl and former Wonder Girl Donna Troy. These days, the main difference is what happens if you get caught in their lassos. Diana can make you tell the truth, Cassie can channel her anger into lightning, and Donna can use Mind Control on you.
    • Also, for a while, she had an "invisible jet" that she used to fly. This got retconned out down the line, though.
  • The Shazam Captain Marvel (who is not himself named Shazam...but now is) and the rest of the Marvel Family. Twist: His secret identity is actually powerless, he must transform into Captain Marvel by speaking a word of power, and he can use magic lightning as an offensive weapon. Furthermore, to differentiate from Superman, the fact that the Marvel Family's powers are based on magic and the gods means that they can resist magic/supernatural attacks better than Superman ever can (and Superman's explicit weakness, or at least non-resistance, to magical attacks means that if it ever comes down to a fight, as it often has, Marvel has an age).
    • Later versions added a second twist: Captain Marvel's power is diluted among active Marvel Family members; the more members of the Marvel Family that use their powers at once, the weaker each of them become. Presumably, this was added when the producers realized multiple Captain Marvels running around would be too strong. In most stories it doesn't seem to apply to their arch-enemy Black Adam, who has the same powers but draws them from a different pantheon on gods, so he's always slightly stronger than the Marvels when they're all powered up.
  • In addition to members Superman and Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes has a few:
    • Mon-El, a Captain Ersatz of Superman with the exact same powers, though as he is a Daxamite, not a Kryptonian, his weakness is lead, not kryptonite.
      • Andromeda, a Captain Ersatz for Supergirl and fellow Daxamite, is also vulnerable to lead.
    • Ultra-Boy, with the caveat that he can only use one power at a time. Although when using a Legion Flight Ring instead of his own flight power, he pretty much fits the trope.
    • Because every Legionnaire can fly because of their flight rings, Blok, the rock-man, is a literal flying brick. His postboot equivalent, Monstress, also qualifies.
    • Star Boy also had the "basic package" in the postboot continuity, plus gravity-altering powers.
  • Martian Manhunter. Twist: An alien (not unlike Superman), whose other powers include shapeshifting (which also confers on him density control, invisibility (every now and then) and intangibility) and Telepathy. The other twist: he's afraid of fire. (Depending on the era, it's either a psychological weakness or an actual physical frailty.) Even though he has heat-vision.
  • Sodam Yat, currently Ion of the Green Lantern Corps. Prophesied to be the "ultimate Green Lantern", he is possessed by the spirit called Ion, meaning he doesn't need a power ring. However, what makes him so dangerous - and a flying brick - is the fact that his people are evolutionary cousins of the Kryptonians... meaning that even without the power of Ion, when he's exposed to yellow sun energy, he's pretty much Superman. The difference? Like Mon-El and Andromeda (who came from the same planet), his weakness is lead, not kryptonite, and it's even deadlier to him than kryptonite is to Supes. How powerful is he? During the Sinestro Corps war he went toe-to-toe with Superboy-Prime (who has Silver Age level powers) and actually kept him busy for more than a few three seconds.
    • Added Twist: during said fight, Superboy-Prime stabs Sodam Yat with lead rods. His Power Ring now keeps the weakness in check: if the ring is ever removed he will die a slow, painful death.
  • The Afterburner, one of the heroes generated by the HERO Dial. The twist? He isn't invulnerable at all, which the person who had turned into him found out the hard way.
    • For that matter, the world's first superhero, a caveman who discovered the HERO Dial, who killed mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers before eventually flying to the moon.
  • Starfire from the Teen Titans, though her super-strength is often downplayed in favor of her energy blasts and babe status. She's tough, but not outright invulnerable, so she straddles the line between this and Flying Firepower.
  • Kate Spencer, Manhunter. Her supersuit gives her the strength and near-invulnerability, and her staff allows her to fly.
    • She is also the granddaughter of Iron Monro (a Retcon Captain Ersatz of the Golden Age Superman, though he couldn't fly) which helps with the near invulnerability part.
  • The third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes. With his armor, he can fly, is near-invulnerable, he can locate almost anyone in the world, his senses are enhanced, and he can carry a large amount of weight. (His practical limits in this capacity haven't really been demonstrated yet.) On top of that, the armor can generate practically any weapon imaginable.
    • For that matter, Dan Garret, the original Blue Beetle in his Silver Age post-scarab power set.
  • Booster Gold. His costume gives him superstrength, forcefields, and time travel; his goggles provide supersenses; his gauntlets let him shoot energy blasts; and he has a Legion flight ring.
  • Captain Atom, along with his loosely-defined "atomic" powers.
  • Thundermind of the Great Ten. He's even referred to as "China's Superman". Though he himself notes that "some of my siddhas are obvious -- flight, strength, invulnerability...", and goes on to list the ones that aren't so obvious, including his ability to be in multiple places at once, invisibility, and telepathy.
  • The battlesuits of the Rocket Red Brigade are effectively mass-produced Flying Bricks, giving their wearers armor, superstrength, jet-powered flight and energy blasts.
  • Power Girl, the cousin of the Golden Age Superman and sole survivor of Earth 2. For a long time, the twist was that her powers were in flux but eventually they stabilized and she has the same powers and weaknesses as Superman.
  • Like Sodam Yat above, certain other Green Lanterns have super strength and toughness with their rings granting them flight to round out this trope. Kilowog is the first notable Lantern like this we see, but there are others.
    • Even an ordinary human with one of the rings could qualify, as the ring can create any effect they want. Only a Green Lantern who doesn't think of using it to get the flying brick combo platter would go without, and even then probably only until they witness another Green Lantern doing it.
  • One storyline in Justice League subverted this tragically. Superman was in the middle of a rescue operation saving people trapped in a burning building and was stuck between trying to hold up a huge gas tank and saving a bunch of people at the same time. A new Flying Brick hero appeared and offered to hold up the gas tank while Superman got the people out. It worked, but the new hero realized too late that he lacked the Nigh Invulnerability part of the Flying Brick package when the gas tank ruptured. Worse, the new guy had a family who all shared the same powers since they all encountered the same power giving meteorite and they blamed Superman for his death. Superman blamed himself too because he just assumed that the other guy also had Nigh Invulnerability since the Flying Brick is so common in the DC universe.
  • To sum up, all Kryptonians and Daxamites in yellow sunlight, all Martians, anyone given power by Shazam, all Green Lanterns (and members of every other Lantern Corps), the Rocket Reds (via Powered Armor) and so on. DC uses Flying Bricks a lot more often than Marvel does.
  • Milestone Comics immigrants Icon (a superpowered alien) and his protege Rocket (who uses a piece of alien tech called an "inertia belt" to fly and generate forcefields).


Comic Books: The Marvel Universe[edit | hide]

  • Namor the Sub-Mariner, a Flying Brick about a year and a half before Superman could fly. Twist: Atlantean heritage makes him an underwater flying brick as well.
  • The Sentry.
    • Also has a lot of subconscious Psychic Powers such as giving the entire world Laser-Guided Amnesia about himself, and turning his headquarters—a tower on top of a Manhattan skyscraper--Invisible to Normals.
    • Also has complete control over every molecule in the universe and may or may not be either God himself or the Angel of Death. Or...something.
  • Captain Marvel. Twist: Um...see Captain Marvel, sort of. Except via aliens and super-science rather than gods and magic.
  • Ms. Marvel, before her powers were permanently leeched by Rogue. But then she got a different set of powers and became Binary after being experimented on by aliens. And then got her old powers back with some new energy powers. She has flight, super-strength, resistance to injury, and the Most Common Superpower. Twist: She can absorb ambient and directed energy, and project energy blasts from her fists (though she also had a sort of "seventh sense"/luck power for a while), but despite her impressive power level she has always been something of a second-stringer. This was played with in the House of M event, where in that Alternate Universe she was the greatest non-mutant superhero in the world. And since people kept their memories of the House of M reality, her knowledge that she could be that good has spurred her to new heights, her own monthly title, and leadership of The Avengers.
  • Gladiator, from the Shi'ar empire. Twist: His actual level of power depends on his confidence. It's implied (though the specific term isn't used) that his powers come from "tactile telekinesis" like the later version of Superboy, and he may or may not actually be aware of how his powers work.
  • The Captain in Nextwave not only has these standard powers, which he refers to as his "generic set of super-hero abilities" at one point, but he also mentions the addition of telescopic sight. Twists: the first thing he did with his superpowers was beat the crap out of the aliens who gave them to him. Once called himself "Captain ☠☠☠☠" for lack of a better name; got seven kinds of it beat out of him by Captain America (comics) for using that language.
  • For a time, Rogue of the X-Men was a Flying Brick, drained from Ms. Marvel as mentioned above. The only time her other power got used during this period tended to be when she literally took off the kid gloves. Twist: Rogue has only one natural power—that of being to temporarily drain the powers (and memories, and Life Energy) of others. If she holds on too long, though, it can become permanent...
  • Thor, the God of Thunder. Though rarely displayed, he's got Super Speed coming out the wazoo, being able to easily fight at faster than light speeds when the situation demands. Twist: Can't actually fly. Instead, he throws his hammer, which he can do with unerring accuracy for almost any distance... but doesn't let go. When he wants to stay in one place in mid-air, he spins his hammer around above his head like a helicopter. (His hammer, if you're wondering, can also float.) Also extraordinarily long-lived and has all the powers one would expect of a God of Thunder.
    • His flying brick status is roughly on a par with that of Superman, as shown in the JLA Avengers crossover, when they each won alternating fights, the implication being their powers are equal. Supes briefly goes dramatically above this into a sort of super flying brick, when Thor lends him Mjolnir and Captain America hands over his shield
    • His inability to fly depends entirely on who happens to be writing him at the moment. It's possible that they might still stick with the "I throw my hammer!" bit but the way it's portrayed there's no way it could be anything BUT true flight.
  • Iron Man. Twist: Stark himself is powerless (aside from being a genius billionaire, playboy, philanthropist); all his superhuman powers are, naturally, in his high-tech Powered Armor. Second twist: His armor needed to be periodically recharged, and the chest plate is the only thing stopping shrapnel in his chest from killing him.
    • Third twist: He can modify his suit (or build a new one) to incorporate a vast variety of powers and weapons, or simply emphasise a different aspect. He has a minimally-armed stealth-suit, a super-sized suit he calls the Hulkbuster, and so on...
      • As of Fear Itself, he has become (at least briefly) the possessor of Uru infused bleeding edge armour. Yes, Tony Stark is less Iron Man, more Uru man (resembling the Destroyer when the transformation kicked in), and as you can imagine, this version was even tougher (probably) than the Hulkbuster.
  • Silver Surfer. Granted but a portion of the Power Cosmic that is Galactus' to wield, he is incredibly strong, fast, and tough. Twist: Can fly himself, but also has a high-tech "surfboard" that allows him to do so without expending his own energy, enhances his maneuverability, and seems to increase his potential top speed beyond the speed of light.
    • Similarly, all other Heralds of Galactus, though SS is the only one with a surfboard.
  • M, of Generation X and now X-Factor. Twist: In addition to those powers, possesses telepathy, arrogance, and fashion sense. And she's a fusion of two, or at times three, sisters.
    • And only M could have "arrogance" as a fully-fledged superpower.
  • Captain Britain. Twist: Only while in Britain or in costume.
    • More recently, he's lost the geographical/costume based weaknesses, and his strength is now dependant on his self-belief, much like Gladiator. The impact is that he's now potentially stronger than ever, but the minute his self-belief fails, he becomes powerless.
  • Centennial, from Alpha Flight. Twist: He's 97 years old, and shows his age. He's also got the other powers that sometimes come with the package, like heat vision.
  • The Eternals are an entire race with this power set, in addition to Immortality and other assorted individual powers that each develops through millenia of practice and training.
  • This trope was lampshaded in volume 1 of Astonishing X-Men, where a young mutant with flight describes how he broke his legs the first time he landed because he assumed he was invulnerable too.
  • Nova (the male one from the New Warriors) got his powers from an entire Nova Corps of Human Aliens with Flying Brick powers. They were kind of like the Green Lanterns, but then they were wiped out, all but him...and he got all their powers combined, catapulting him to a top-level hero (in power, if not in fame).
  • Hyperion of the Squadron Supreme, as an atomic-powered Captain Ersatz of Superman.
  • Cannonball from the X-Men. His mutant power literally IS flying bricktitude. (He's invulnerable, but only when flying. And a good thing, since he steers like a brick, too.)
  • Longtime Avenger Wonder Man is super strong, can fly, and even shoots beams from his red eyes.
  • Ethan Edwards, otherwise known as Virtue or The Tiller, is basically a skrull verion of Superman. As such he posses this power set along with the standard skrull shape-shifting ability.
    • And apparently now he has the power of intangibilty.
  • Captain Ultra can fly, has ultra-strength and endurance, and will faint at the slightest sign of a fire.
  • One of the Avengers most dangerous foes, Count Nefaria, has this power set after being imbued with the ionicly charged powers of Powerman, Whirlwind, and The Living Laser. Needless to say it takes an entire avengers team to even slow him down.


Comic Books: Other[edit | hide]

  • Invincible himself, as well as all Viltrumites (including Omni-Man and Anissa), his brother Oliver, the Immortal, Black Samson, Martian Man, the Shapesmith (and basically every Martian), Bolt of Capes, Inc., Bulletproof, Allen the Alien, later versions of D.A. Sinclair's Re-Animen, and briefly, Monster Girl.
    • Later a whole army of Alternate Invincibles, and Conquest
  • PS238 deconstructs this power in the form of identifying metahumans with this power as having the F.I.S.S (Flying, Invulnerability, Strength, Speed) package—it is the most common power by far (and yes, in fact more common than the Most Common Superpower in that 'verse). Julie, one of the PS238 students, is the 84th person to be identified as possessing this combination, and the lack of uniqueness—combined with the fact that most people with F.I.S.S end up being C-List Fodder at best or just get civilian jobs because it's hard for them to catch a break due to this—does not help her self-esteem.
    • She's feeling a bit better about that after a couple of adventures, to the point that she now refers to herself as "84", with an appropriate symbol on her new costume. Of course, she still has to deal with other people who look down on her power set because it's so common.
    • There're also Atlas and Captain Clarinet, who are distinctive from normal F.I.S.S metahumans because they're not humans but the last Argonian and his son with a human woman, respectively. In case you weren't guessing, Atlas is a Captain Ersatz of Superman and therefore has those powers naturally.
      • This later turns to be a part of a second deconstruction: Not all Argonians are Flying Bricks. Like Earth, superpowers of all kinds developed naturally amongst some of their population. At one point the Flying Bricks, being the most numerous and powerful superhero type, took over and established noble houses to preserve the Flying Brick lineages. All non-powered Argonians became an oppressed underclass, and all non-flying brick superhero abilities were "culled". Atlas turns out to not be the Last of His Kind, but an exiled scion of the royal house--and they are not thrilled about his half-blood son.
  • Referred to as a "Powerhouse" in Magellan.
  • Apollo, of the Wildstorm universe, is the powerhouse of The Authority. He's a semi-Affectionate Parody of Superman. Twist: He literally gets his power from the sun—his body is a solar battery. He can run out of juice if he over-taxes himself, at which point he needs to recharge.
    • Also from The Authority, The Engineer. Twist: see Iron Man, but sexier, and she's never really without the suit.
      • At times Iron Man has had his armor partly built in too.
    • And Swift, who while not as strong or fast or tough as Apollo, can survive a small explosion to the face with nothing worse than a bloody nose, has razor-sharp talons, wings, and is the world's greatest huntress.
    • The Authority's first storyline had them fighting a clone army of Flying Brick terrorist Mooks.
    • Also from Wildstorm: the Wild CATS' Mr. Majestic, a Flying Brick with Eye Beams, microscopic vision, ice breath, superintelligence, telekinesis, and a limitless lifespan. Much like Superman is the standard against which DCU characters' power levels are measured, Majestic is the standard for Wildstorm. (In fact, the first Story Arc with The Authority features Jenny Sparks citing a superhero ranking system in reference to how powerful a forcefield is. Apollo, for example, is a "Majestic-class" superhero.)
  • Supreme, particularly when written by Alan Moore as homage to the Silver Age Superman.
  • Samaritan from Astro City, who is routinely depressed due to the fact that he spends too much time saving people to even bother living a normal life. In particular, he never gets a chance to do what he most loves to do--fly just for the sensation of flying.
    • A further twist is that Samaritan is not from a distant planet, hidden island, or obscured other dimension--he is from a lost possible future, and got his powers during Time Travel. He can also extend a forcefield to catch things like falling buildings and tidal waves.
    • Beautie, the life-sized doll, as well.
    • The generic nature of these powers is Lampshaded when a character describes another flying brick, Roustabout, as having "real vanilla powers".
  • Prime of Ultraforce is a classic Flying Brick whose twist is that he's really a skinny thirteen year old who generates a mass of pseudo-organic tissue around himself to appear as a muscular adult.
  • Agent M/Miracle of Fred Perry's Gold Digger, the Superman-equivelent of that universe. A flying brick who, in addition to flight and strength, also has the ability to briefly freeze time around him in a twist on superspeed.
  • Marvelman/Miracleman and family. A Captain Ersatz of the DC Captain Marvel, with the twist that he and his family and his enemies were Ret Conned as deliberately created this way after his creator was inspired by a discarded Captain Marvel comic. He's very much the Flying Brick with speed, flight, strength and invulnerability, but the series indicates that his powers are mentally based, and he could develop new powers. At the time he was revamped into his modern form, for him to be so far along the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism was also an innovative twist.
  • Zenith, a British Grant Morrison series, has a spoiled popstar named Zenith who has these powers, most of the time—they fade on a regular basis based on his body's biocycles. All the Cloud Nine "heroes" including his parents have this power set, although all of them can also develop Psychic Powers up through Godhood with training and discipline, sort of like Marvel's Eternals turned Up to Eleven.
  • Deconstructed in the Alternate Company Equivalent loaded Supreme Power, which is an Ultimate Universe Version of the Squadron Supreme, who are themselves a Justice League of America homage. Oddly enough, though, Michael Redstone can't fly despite possessing all of Hyperion's other powers.
  • Matthew Bright and Patriot of J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars.
  • The Ultimates had the Liberators invade the United States with thousands of Flying Bricks. The twist? Their super-suits had to be bonded to their bodies, and shortened their lifespan to mere months. The European heroes the Liberators presumably stole the designs from have nonlethal removable suits that give them similar powers.
  • The Plutonian from Irredeemable.
  • Threshold from DV8, who also has telepathy.
  • Rayek in Elf Quest is the only elf to get the basic set: He develops his innate telekinesis into flight (self-lifting), super-strength (other-things-lifting) and nigh-invunerability (shielding). Additionally, he was born with hypnosis (cool eye beams) and telepathy. Most other elves have to make due with one or two Superpower Lottery skills at best.
    • During the period where he was supercharged with a bunch of other dead elf souls, he managed enough Force Beams from his hands to put a giant canyon in the ground.
  • In All Fall Down, this is what Sophie becomes after absorbing the powers of every other superhero or supervillain in the world.


Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • The Otome in Mai-Otome. In fact, that's the only powers they have, if we don't count the Elements (their summonable melee weapon).
  • After its Mid-Season Upgrade, the titular Humongous Mecha from Mazinger Z has most of the set: Mazinger-Z flies, it is super strong, incredibly tough, and it has Eye Beams (introduced the trope in mecha shows, in fact) and a form of Super Breath (Rust Hurricane). It sucessors, Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer also count.
  • Most Humongous Mecha would fall in this trope, in fact:
  • Ai to Yuuki no Pig Girl Tonde Buurin... except she also turns into a talking pig.
  • Most of the cast of Dragon Ball.
  • Akio's cyborg powers in Koi Koi 7 boil down to this set. However, she's a Sentai fan, and thus even the most basic power set stands as reason for over-the-top superheroism.
  • Princess Nene in Kirameki Project has power of flight, super strength, and near invulnerability when she wears the powered suit created for her by her Wrench Wench sister Princess Kana. Strangely enough, Nene's suit also serves to make her a Fan Service object.
  • Technically Zelgadiss in The Slayers, though his Flying Brick power set does not come from a single source: Nigh Invulnerability (being headshot from a cannon only knocks him out) and strength from him being a chimera of human, demon and golem, and flying from his mastery of magics (he also knows offensive magic spells, so that's close enough to the eye beams/breath mold). He is also a literal flying brick, having a body of living stone.
  • Tenchi Muyo!'s Ryoko in most versions is this: pretty tough, hyper strong, flight capable. And has the Most Common Superpower too.
  • A lot of Shinigami in Bleach, although they more walk on air than fly.
  • Several Digimon, Like Wargreymon, Magnamon, and Omnimon qualify.
  • Alucard of Hellsing is super-strong, very hard to kill, can fly and is either very fast or a teleporter.

Film[edit | hide]


Literature[edit | hide]

  • CoreFire, Damsel and Galatea from Soon I Will Be Invincible.
  • Justice and Uberman from Perry Moore's Hero. The main character, Thom, also develops these powers near the end.
  • Every one of the heroes in the Maximum Ride series
  • Wild Cards' Starshine, in addition to his vast light-based powers. The later incarnation of The Radical has this among his array of powers. Modular Man had these powers to start with; he's since lost his flight module.
  • Magnus, in addition to immortality, heightened senses, super speed, has Flight, Super Strength, Nigh Invulnerability, and a sonic voice.
  • Captain Underpants, after he is given some Extra-Strength Super Power Juice to save his life.
  • Lestat de Lioncourt in The Vampire Chronicles series eventually gains most powers available to only the oldest vampires by drinking the blood of Akasha, the first vampire. Besides his original power of telepathy (the Mind Gift) and the usual physical strength and speed of all vampires, this includes flight (the Cloud Gift), spirit walking, and the ability to kill humans with a thought (possibly, a variation of the Fire Gift). Besides this, he also becomes as close to immune to sunlight as a vampire can get (i.e. his skin tans and it hurts like hell, but he does not die).
    • Actually, that kill-with-a-thought ability would be more a variation on the Mind gift. As noted by Khayman in one of his many segments in Queen of the Damned (which switches POV between all the characters, multiple times), that gift is actually telekinetically rupturing the victim's internal systems. For that matter, the Fire Gift isn't a separate Gift at all. It is just the selective effect of this Gift upon vampiric targets. The reason it causes incineration in vampire targets is a matter of Anne Rice's chosen lore: Vampiric blood is extremely volatile and thus it has a tendency to catch fire, which also provides Rice's unique twist on the traditional weakness to sunlight.


Live Action Television[edit | hide]

  • The Greatest American Hero. When he's not a falling brick.
  • Heroes. Peter Petrelli (who by the end of season one, had acquired Super Strength from Niki, Flight from Nathan, and, while not Nigh Invulnerable, absorbed a Healing Factor from Claire), and Sylar/Gabriel Gray (who can now fly, has a Healing Factor, and can use his Telekinesis to enhance his strength). Both are basically unstoppable. Although in Season 3 they decided it would be funny to completely nerf Peter by leaving him powerless while Sylar goes on a killing spree and becomes one of the most broken villains ever created, especially when you look at the rest of the cast of this show.
  • My Secret Identity. The main character gets the super powers of super speed, invunerability and flight (sort of, more like weightlessness as he uses aerosol cans to propell himself as he floats). In later seasons he gets super strength, making him a floating brick.
  • True Blood. Eric Northman
    • Or pretty much any vampire old enough. Godric, Russel Edgington, possibly many others...
  • Mutant X has Gabriel Ashlock (AKA Patient Zero), one of the only two New Mutants (the other being the Child) who combines all four categories: Elemental (fires energy balls), Feral (catlike speed and strength), Molecular (regeneration), and Psionic (empath). This turns out to be a case of Blessed with Suck, as he eventually explodes from the sheer energy of these combined powers.


Mythology[edit | hide]


Other[edit | hide]

  • Post-Dracula, vampires tend to embody this trope, often by means of a Healing Factor. When they can fly, that is.
  • Dragons almost universally qualify, the occasional non-flying or thin-scaled dragon aside.
  • The Toa Nuva in Bionicle, with the masks of speed, levitation, and strength. Most Makuta qualify as well


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • One of the nicknames of the F-4 Phantom II is "Flying Brick". Although it has enough "powers" to qualify, the nickname in this case was because of its shape and the belief that this thing surely should not be able to fly.
    • Also known as "The Triumph of Thrust Over Aerodynamics" and "The World's Leading Distributor of MiG Parts", among other things. The reason for the weird shape of the wings and the tailplanes is that the entire design was a huge mess, but instead of scrapping the whole project it was decided to experiment with the angle of the wings until the whole construction is somehow able to fly.
    • The F-117 Night Hawk is sometimes referred to as a "Flying Brick" because, were it not for an advanced flight control computer that continuously adjusts the control surfaces of the plane, it would fall right out of the sky. (Similarly, its ugly appearance and speculation on how it would fly lead to the nickname "The Wobblin' Goblin".)
  • Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik could well be the Trope Namer. Nicknames like Betonflugzeug (Concrete Airplane), Maatalouskone (Agricultural Machine), Eiserne Gustav (Iron Gustav) and Schwarze Tod (The Plague) describe it well.
  • The Space Shuttle is also sometimes called a "Flying Brick", because its return-to-Earth "glider" configuration is so heavy. It doesn't so much as glide as it "falls out of the sky, gently". Indeed, this is more like an inversion: Without the giant External Tank to provide fuel, the Shuttle engines are powerless; and as events have sadly shown, it is always quite vulnerable.
    • More often, it's known as the "Flying Brickyard", based on the brick-like appearance of the insulating tiles.
  • Many military planes are far more durable than they would seem. An Israeli pilot once managed to safely land an F-15 whose entire right wing had been torn off by a mid-air collision, and the infamous A-10 is darn near as close to a tank with wings as could actually fly.
    • The A-10's spiritual predecessor, the P-47 (nicknamed the "Jug" or "Juggernaut") was in its time the largest and heaviest single-engine fighter ever built. It was also built to withstand ridiculous amounts of damage. On one occasion, a German fighter ace emptied all of his guns into a lone damaged P-47. The American pilot hunkered down in his armored seat and remained relatively uninjured, and was able to fly his aircraft back to base. When he inspected his aircraft, he found at least a few hundred bullet holes in it.
      • The P-47 actually had fine aerodynamics and the introduction of the new paddle blade propeller turned it into a Lightning Bruiser. The late war P-47N with its longer wingspan and lighter wing load actually could out-turn most Japanese airplanes, and it was far faster than those it couldn't. It could also stay in the air 7 hours. A true flying brick in the not-yet-existent tradition of superhero comics.
  • The New South Wales 81 class diesel locomotive was strong and fast enough it could be used on any type of train, and was nicknamed "The Flying Brick" for its very square lines and original brick-red paint.
  • The Shelby Cobra was called a "flying brick" by some, although it was faster than the Ferraris of the time.
  • On the first test flight of the X-15, the plane was flown unfueled to glide in for testing. The heavy stubby-winged aircraft glided/fell in 3:58. Test Pilot Scott Crossfield was awarded a trophy by the Southern California Soaring Society for the world record shortest glide from 38,000 feet: a brick ground into an aerodynamic shape.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In the Freedom City setting of Mutants and Masterminds, Centurion, his Evil Counterpart Superior, and Captain Thunder (with a side order of Shock and Awe). The core M&M book calls a character with this power grouping a "Paragon" archetype.
  • This template is appropriately called The Archetype in GURPS: Supers and is the only sample template that is built on the D-scale (able to destroy a modern tank).
    • There is also a martial art named after this trope in one of the issues of Pyramid. Its main tactic is to speed up, then crash into the target. Practitioners have to provide their own flight and ability to survive such a collision.
  • The name probably comes from Champions, which refers to characters whose primary powers are strength and toughness as "bricks".
    • An extremely literal example from that game was a character who was a seemingly ordinary yet nigh-indestructible red clay brick, complete with miniature cape. Other than telepathy (for communication), its only powers were a ton of Flight and Armor; like the entry from Pyramid, its primary combat maneuver was what Champions calls a "Move Through."


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • City of Heroes lets you build toward this model—start with the Tanker (hero) or Brute (villain) archetype, and the Super Strength and Invulnerability powersets. At level six, add the Flight power pool (and don't forget to take Flight itself at level 14). To really come dangerously close to Superman, take the Body Mastery epic power pool when your security level gets into the 40s, and you'll get your eye beams and a few other goodies. But really any powersets taken by those two archetypes work about the same, with different quirks and special effects. Of course the game's signature hero, Statesman, has the typical Flying Brick powers. (His twist? Lightning powers, since he's the Incarnate of Zeus.)
    • There's also the Stone Armor set. If you take flight, you can literally become a flying brick.
      • Twist: In order to fly, a character using Stone Armor needs to deactivate some or all of their protective powers. You can fly, or be a brick, but not both at once.
  • Champions Online actually makes it easier to create this powerset - simply cherry pick between Might and other power sets (mostly Powered Armor), and choose Flight when it's time to pick your travel power after the intro.
  • The dragons in Dragon Age have the strength, the durability (they are the toughest fights in the game), and can fly. Curiously, they are the only things in the game that can fly, as griffons are presently extinct.
  • Freedom Force has plenty of 'em. ManBot definitely.
    • Actually, Freedom Force averts this trope: Characters can not use melee attcks while flying, making flying bricks essentially useless. You can either fly or be a brick. Also, Man-Bot himself is more of an Energy Projector than a brawler, though he does have a high defense stat and strong melee attacks.
  • Metroid gives us Samus Aran, whenever she has her suit upgraded fully. Especially in the 2D games where the Space Jump lets her summersault indefinitely. Except then she's more of a flying buzzsaw.
  • "For a brick, he flew pretty good!"
  • Any Sonic the Hedgehog character in a Super Mode has this as part of their power set.
  • The Kodiak transport ship from the Mass Effect series is described to "fly like a brick" by a pilot of one, Cortez, in the third game. It certainly looks like it, though the player never actually gets to fly one.
  • Mario and Luigi, minus the actual flying. Super Speed, Super Strength, and In a Single Bound are their standard powers, though they can gain flight through certain power-ups.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Pastel Defender Heliotrope, Heliotrope is a sex doll brought to life by Imported Alien Phlebotinum; in addition to animation and sentience, she gains Flying Brick powers.
  • in Fellowship of Heroes, the lead hero, Crusader, is a christian-themed Flying Brick who regards his powers as both a natural mutation and a god-given gift (Lord works in Mysterious ways and such), and the comic itself takes the time to explain the (pseudo)science behind his super-strength aura and it's relation to his flight powers. In short, his aura lets him fly through the air by working like an inside-out jet engine. Without the plane attached.
  • Energize is flying brick, plus he has energy-based powers Subverted, when it's revealed it's only a part of his true power, omnipotence-sorta thing
  • The Crossoverlord lampshaded it with it's two female flying bricks, The Green Avenger and Dasien - both found similarities in her powers interesting.
  • Many charcters from the Heroes Unite universe fits this trope. Not only Energize and Dasien, as mentioned above, but also The Blonde Marvel, who combines it with a parody of Most Common Superpower, SHELL, who's just a Japanese Iron Man equivalent in a term of powers, and Relik, who has this set plus many other abilities, as long, as his armor is activated.
    • Other flying bricks include Titan (green skinned time traveller from the future), Tazer (also has energy powers) and Nebulon (also has energy blasts from hands)
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, Bob once got Flying Brick powers, briefly. Ironically, he's usually pretty effective against bad guys when he's just himself. With powers, he discovered he was a dangerous klutz.
  • Elliot of El Goonish Shive has a spell that turns him into this. He was already uncommonly strong thanks to his Anime-Style Martial Arts classes, but after using a powerful magical artifact to try to cure himself of a Magitek-induced Gender Bender, he developed the ability to transform into a female superhero with accelerated healing, flight, and the Most Common Superpower.
  • Magellan has several of these, including Epoch on the main superhero force, Captain Victoria of the Australian superhero force, and two of the cadets (Charisma and Bill). Justified in that it's mentioned that the eponymous academy tries to recruit as many of these as possible.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe has too many of these to list them all on one page. This being a roleplaying game based on comic book heroes, the trope is as common as you might imagine.
    • Ultra-Man, Golden Marvel, Centennial, Empyrion, Thunder, Champion, Dharma, Kismet, Shaktimaan, Scanner, Protonik, Paladin, El Grifo Rojo, The Aryan (a white supremacist NPC crimefighter who most of the players hated to deal with), Khof (imaging Superman if he'd been raised in Muhammar Khadafi's Libya), Phenom, Independence, Captain Hammer, Lady Liberty, Gladiadora, Shining Dawn, Ulkataranara, Ultra, Relampago, and Armageddon Girl, just to name a random twenty-five.
  • Not an uncommon power set in the Whateley Universe. For example, Lancer of Team Kimba plays this completely straight, being a 'telekinetic brick' with super-strength, flight, and a forcefield that he's learned to extend a bit to cover weapons he uses, but no ranged powers other than picking things up and throwing them thus far. And Tennyo arguably has this as a subset of her powers, though it's easy to overlook underneath her flashy energy blasts/sword and reality-rending 'death blow'.
  • In Fine Structure, the Powers gain this set of abilities, plus the ability to move in Bullet Time. Each new Power is specifically twice as strong as the last: Arika is 256 times faster and stronger than a normal human, while Jason is 512 times faster and stronger. It is of some concern that, if the trend continues, there will soon be Power millions of times stronger than ordinary humans.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Powerpuff Girls, who are the most powerful heroes in their world, and they're all about five years old.
    • Also their Spear Counterpart, the Rowdyruff Boys, whose leader is incidentally named Brick.
  • Several Transformers doubtlessly qualify, and being giant, transforming, living robots, they also tend to boast incredible firepower and other skills and abilities. In G1, every Decepticon could fly in robot mode, whether they turned into a jet or a gun or a casette player.
    • This goes for Gobots as well.
  • Word Girl's powers are like this, aside from her powers of literacy immense vocabulary.
  • Darkwing Duck once met up with Comet Guy, a Flying Brick who wanted to train with the universe's greatest hero. Twist? Comet Guy is as smart as a brick. Oh, and the sound of a bell causes him to dance uncontrollably (until he hears a whistle), injuring friend and foe. He also shoots little comet bolts and has to hide in his hat to travel between planets.
  • Hawkgirl, as portrayed in Justice League. (The comicbook versions of the Hawkfamily are a case of Clothes Make the Superman.) Her edge is that she fights with an Energy Mace, which, in addition to smashing things, is very useful for deflecting lasers, disrupting energy fields, and negating magic.
  • Captain Planet, along with his Elemental Powers.
  • Perhaps the oldest example in Western Animation, aside from Superman himself, is the great Mighty Mouse; who apparently got his powers from some sort of magic cheese, and as a result, has strength, speed, invulnerability. flight, and in at least one cartoon, magnetic/telekinetic powers as well.
  • The classic TV Superhero Underdog also deserves a mention here.
  • Ben 10 featured Ultimos, an alien superhero with powers of super strength, flight, and laser vision. He isn't explicitly stated to have Nigh Invulnerability, though.
  • Strong Man from The Mighty Heroes.
  • Silver Sentry, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Superman analogue, naturally contains this power set.