Person of Mass Destruction

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Dr. Manhattan, giving "the finger" a whole new meaning.

I'm a walking nightmare, an arsenal of doom
I kill conversation as I walk into the room
I'm a three line whip, I'm the sort of thing they ban
I'm a walking disaster, I'm a demolition man

The Police"Demolition Man"

So you've got a force capable of destroying vast amounts of people, land, and possibly the universe, and essentially have the ability to commit a war crime with the wave of a hand. It's just what any super villain or Omnicidal Maniac could possibly want, and then some. There's just one catch...

It's contained by the most unstable thing in the universe. A person.

Uh oh.

A Speculative Fiction trope dating at least to World War II and the bombing of Hiroshima (possibly even earlier), the Person of Mass Destruction is almost always a metaphor for real-world weapons—either subtly, not subtly or somewhere in between. Often the result of trying to create a Super Soldier. Almost always comes with an Aesop about the dangers of letting the metaphorical genie out of the bottle or to convey a Science Is Bad message. Especially if female, the Person of Mass Destruction is very likely to turn into The Woobie or suffer a Superpower Meltdown at some point.

You'd think their own side would take this into account and at least try to make things easier; on the logic that one would want to be on the good side of a weapon capable of saving or destroying them, but curiously this is not the case. No, people who resort to using a Person of Mass Destruction usually treat them like crap and go Bullying a Dragon. It's possible that this indicates that they are shamed for having to resort to this, and are displacing this into abuse. Or maybe it just never occurs to them that they would benefit from having good relations with the person that can either save them all or kill them all instantly. On the other hand, the prerequisite megalomania to build or exploit such a person, as well as the ego to assume that one can control it, tends to mean that the people controlling (or trying to control) the PMD are of the sort that isn't particularly concerned with their personal well being. Nice people tend not to have uses for tools of unimaginable destructive force, after all.

If they're a main or recurring character, a common plotline for them will be trying to avoid Bad Powers, Bad People, or coming to realize that they're better off leaving the planet; either by realizing A God Am I and turning into an Energy Being or, more tragically, committing suicide. If they didn't start so overpowering, they may give up their powers or lose them in some other fashion.

Likely overlaps with Weapon of Mass Destruction and Walking Wasteland. Omnicidal Maniacs themselves often have similar powers but tend to take a more... pro-active approach in using their abilities than normal examples of this trope. Compare and contrast One-Man Army, where the character is usually not treated this way but nevertheless gains an impressive kill-count. One of these can also be a Tyke Bomb, but a Person Of Mass Destruction can be made entirely by accident and still become a metaphor for dangerous weapons and bad science. For those that defy this trope, see I Am Not a Gun.

Note, just having the ability to cause damage does not make someone an example of this trope. While a Person Of Mass Destruction is rarely below class 2 on the Super Weight Scale, lack of giant superpowers doesn't disqualify one from this trope so long as they are akin to dangerous weapons in the setting.

Examples of Person of Mass Destruction include:

Anime and Manga

  • Hotaru Tomoe from Sailor Moon, a.k.a. Sailor Saturn the senshi of destruction and rebirth is a perfect example. Able to destroy a planet at will, and just about anything by sacrificing herself in the process.
  • In Bleach, all the Captains and Vice-Captains of the shinigami have 80% of their energy sealed away when in the real world without special permission to release all of it. Guess why.
    • During the Karakura Town Attack arc, Shinigami scientists had to find a way to teleport the whole town into another dimension, because otherwise it would be for sure destroyed by the power of captains and Espada fighting all over the place. And it almost failed, which would have been even worse, since Ichimaru Gin sliced the upper halves of buildings in a 13 km radius; not to mention what would have happened had Yamamoto's power not been nullified.
    • Ulquiorra's Segunda Resurrecion Etapa and Hollow Ichigo's full power form in chapters 347 to 352, are probably the biggest (and most explosive) examples so far.
    • Barragan before his death in his Resurrection form counts as this. Starrk is most likely this, stating to be able to fire 1,000 ceros at once in his Resurrection form.
    • Subverted with Wonderweiss, actually, who was built to counter a Person of Mass Destruction- Yamamoto.
    • Above all others, Ichigo is weaponized and deployed most clearly as one, for various reasons. Chief among them being: 1.)His personality means he's essentially laser guided. 2.) He's free of the command structure and has no limiters. and 3.) His potential power is far and away the most devastating destructive force in the Bleach-verse, should it be somehow unlocked.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Kyrie is definitely a Person of Mass...well World Destruction actually. He basically has the power to revert anything (even the entire planet) back to its elemental sand. He was created by the gods specifically for this purpose, and his power becomes active whenever someone comes along who sincerely wishes the world would end.
  • One of the best-known examples is eponymous Akira and his fellow Numbers, complete with an opening scene of a mushroom cloud destroying Tokyo. And that's just in the first thirty seconds. The ultimate example is probably Akira's successor, Tetsuo, proving that the Japanese government didn't learn a blessed thing the first time around.
  • Hayate of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS demonstrates personal offensive magic on the scale of a small nuclear device, complete with evacuation warnings and authorisation requirements to release her limiters for combat. Due to the way she received her magic, "sub-nuclear explosion" is in fact the only way she can use it. Nanoha, Fate, Signum, and Vita qualify to a lesser extent, also requiring Power Limiters. They are all treated with enormous amounts of respect.
    • When Caro was discovered by her village to be an insanely powerful dragon-summoner, she was shunned. Even some members of the TSAB suggested she would only be useful as a weapon. Fortunately the above people thought this idea was stupid.
    • And Nanoha herself is not called White Devil without reason. In doujinshi, especially, she (or her device) is very prone to unleashing destruction anywhere, anytime.
    • There are also the kings of Ancient Belka, who sacrificed their bodies to become living weapons of mass destruction that could lead their people to war as symbols of power. Considering how the few still existing come in Mysterious Waif form, they're quite sought after by those planning acts of terrorism.
    • Reinforce (in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's) fits most, being literally a tool that fulfills its masters wish to destroy everything. Power-wise, Reinforce might just be the most powerful character in the franchise, easily fending off Fate's Plasma Smasher and Nanoha's Excelion Buster at the same time, breaking through Nanoha's shield without much effort and casting a Starlight Breaker that leaves a city-sized explosion.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka has so much magical talent that if she became a Puella Magi, she would be capable of destroying the most powerful witch in a single blast. And then she becomes an ultimate witch who really can and does remove all life from the world. Part of the plot of the story is centered around when she would actually make her wish.
  • The Record of a Fallen Vampire has Strauss, the vampire immune to the sun who also has an almost godly amount of magic, and Adelheid, the Moonlight of Corrosion.
  • Ryner Lute of The Legend of the Legendary Heroes. He has the power to blow people up, cause things to implode, and completely disintegrate things in a matter of seconds, simply by thinking about it. And yet, people intentionally try to piss him off and provoke him. Real smart, huh?
  • Chise of Saikano is a particularly cruel example of the horrible repercussions after she is turned into a super weapon, though it varies on the version, anime or manga. In both cases everyone dies. Everyone.
    • In the anime version, she still has her powers, but doesn't actually cause the destruction directly, but isn't powerful enough to stop the rampaging Eldritch Abomination and gives up about halfway through story. Maybe.
    • In the manga, she consciously and single-handedly kills everyone in the human race, save for Shuji.
  • The Otome of Mai-Otome are thinly veiled analogs for WMDs, complete with a "SOLT" conference based on the real world "SALT" (Strategic Arms Limitations Talks) and issues similar to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The main Otome also have the added danger of being volatile young women in the middle of a twisted Love Triangle, so you know there's going to be trouble. One of the girls involved in that triangle (Nina) snaps and literally tries to destroy the world in the last few episodes.
  • Mewtwo of the first Pokémon movie, despite not being human, is definitely a Person of Mass Destruction. This is made all the more apparent by the fact that in some translations his birthplace is listed as Mile Island. His power is so great the he was able to create an unnaturally huge hurricane that would've eventually wiped out all life on the planet, aside from those on his island in the eye of the storm just by thinking about it, then dissipated the storm just as easily after his Heel Face Turn. Note that he was in no way focusing his full power on the storm at any time, and in fact kept expanding it even while controlling hundreds of individual pokeballs, taking on his ancestor Mew in a psychic battle (in which Mewtwo had the upper hand), completely dominating the mind of at least one human, and psychically suppressing the abilities of every other Pokemon on the island. Afterwards, he then telekinetically lifted every single person and pokemon on the island—easily over a hundred individuals weighing several tons in total, and again without any noticeable strain—erased their memories of the entire thing, and teleported them—again, en masse—to a port several miles away. It's a good thing he wanted to "prove himself" before his purge—had he been more efficient, he probably could have easily wiped out humanity in an afternoon at most.
    • To further put this in perspective, a similar storm was generated in the second movie, but only after the three legendary birds had been fighting all-out for some time. Each of these three combatants, by the way, are implied to be so powerful that they are able to change the climate of wherever they are just by existing—and Mewtwo equaled their combined power without even trying!
      • Said birds (Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres) and Lugia, who shut the storm in that movie down, all have weather control as explicit abilities. Mewtwo does not. He was duplicating it using telekinesis. Yes, that means he's better several Olympus Mons in their specialization while faking that ability with another ability entirely. Be very afraid.
    • May be a coincidence, but his powers glow the exact same color as Cerenkov radiation.
  • Whitebeard from One Piece is definitely an example of this. His earthquake powers were once described as being enough to destroy the world. And then Blackbeard causes a tsunami, make an entire island tilt on it's side, splits it in half, and collapses one of the largest buildings in the world.
    • Mermaid Princess Shirahoshi can summon and speak to Sea Kings, some of the most powerful and intelligent creatures in the sea. This ability also makes her the ancient weapon Poseidon.
  • Vash from Trigun is (literally) single-handedly capable of destroying cities without meaning to, and is referred to as "the Humanoid Typhoon" throughout the series. His weaker, genocidal twin brother, on the other hand, wipes out millions of people and by the end of the manga poses a danger to humanity throughout the entire galaxy. This example, incidentally, shows us one effective Restraining Bolt for such a character: pacifism and/or guilt. He also has the dubious honor of being the first person to be declared a natural disaster; you know you're a Person of Mass Destruction when any damage you cause is labelled an "act of God".
  • Stink Bomb, the second story in the Memories anthology film, is about a chemist who swallows a tablet, thinking that it's harmless cold medicine. Unfortunately, it turns out to be an experimental drug that makes him emit clouds of poison gas. (It also gives him immunity to most conventional weaponry.) What makes this Person of Mass Destruction particularly dangerous is that he has no idea that he's emitting all this poison, and is on a delivery mission that will take him straight into a major population center.
  • As a "Rynasapien", Kurau from Kurau Phantom Memory can potentially wipe out entire populations. Her sense of morality prevents her from doing so, but unfortunately other Rynasapiens feel less restricted.
  • A running theme in Suzumiya Haruhi is keeping the title character from getting bored, since as an immature and easily fed up Reality Warper, she has the potential to destroy the world as we know it (without consciously intending to) and remake it into something more entertaining. Several factions within the series make it their goal to prevent this, while others actually want it to happen.
  • The diclonii from Elfen Lied are a borderline example; through their spreading of The Virus that propagate their species and their powerful psychic abilities, they're a very real danger for humanity (especially due to the Masquerade)... However, most are already shamelessly homicidal due to maltreatment, and the Government Conspiracy treating the few diclonii they don't cull as lab rats do not improve matters.
    • Lucy also gets steadily less borderline as time goes by in the manga, and eventually disappears by the end of it all, where her vectors become so numerous and massive, she can wipe out all of humanity from a single location.
  • The Contractors from Darker than Black are also borderline versions of this. Few of them have powers that would make them a serious danger to an organized military force, but they're nonetheless extremely dangerous and also possess an emotional detachment, including a lack of compunction towards killing. While humans know better than to use them as unwilling lab rats, they're nonetheless shunned, feared and hated by most people aware of their existence and treated as little more than living weapons.
  • Victor of Busou Renkin is significantly smaller in radius than most Persons of Mass Destruction, but more deadly: thanks to his always-on energy absorption powers, he would likely kill every human being within a kilometer or two if he stayed in one place for more than an hour. Main character Kazuki is immune, but only because he's turning into a Victor-alike himself.
  • Lina Inverse from Slayers routinely hurls spells that blow up cities. Her most powerful spell has the potential to unmake creation. In fact, In the first episode of the new series, Slayers Revolution, Lina is arrested "On suspicion of being Lina Inverse". There is perhaps only one person in the world that she fears: her elder sister Luna, who is stated to have taken down a Plasma Dragon with a mundane kitchen knife. And she possesses an Infinity+1 Sword. Word of God says Luna is equal in power to Xelloss, who is really freaking powerful.[1]
  • Ranma's final opponent in Ranma ½ is the Phoenix Emperor Saffron. If his maturation ritual is completed successfully, he becomes a living "power plant" to Mt. Phoenix and all its people, constantly shedding light and heat without the slightest effort. If something goes awry, though, he loses control of his power, becoming psychotic, and releasing his energy as raw flame and beams capable of vaporizing mountains. As one character put it, he's like "a flamethrower without a safety valve."
  • Naruto and his fellow jinchuuriki all have very nasty demons sealed inside of them. It is a bad idea to piss them off. But of course, they get the Bullying a Dragon treatment.
    • They really get to show off their power later on in the manga, causing blasts that vapourize entire mountain ranges with ease.
    • Pain manages to catapult himself up to Dragonball Z levels of destruction with ease. Not only does he control 6 different bodies at the same time, each of whom have impressive destructive powers, but he also completely and utterly annihilates the village of Konoha with a single attack that can be best described as a Wave Motion Gun that uses gravity to crush the entire town..And he can also use a sphere of condensed gravitational energy to rip off entire chunks of the earth's surface to form a mini moon.
    • Onoki and his sensei Mu can combine fire,earth and wind elements to form Jinton(Dust release) bombs which can disintegrate their targets on a molecular level.
    • Kakuzu can use wind,fire lightning elemental techniques that dwarf a forest casually,
    • Maito Gai can unlock Chakra gates inside his body drastically increasing his physical abilities.In this mode he can create flaming Tsunami destroying shockwaves or fire tiger shaped mega blasts of air pressure.
    • Deidara as well, seeing as he can create pseudo atomic bombs whenever he fells like it. He can also turn himself into a bomb and explode, although obviously he can only do it once. And now he's been brought back to life as an immortal zombie, same as most of the rest of Akatsuki. He's outright stated that he can go nuclear repeatedly, as the resurrection technique allows himself to reform. Person of mass destruction INDEED.
    • Konan's most powerful technique uses billions of explosives. She uses it in a failed attempt to kill a single person.
    • But the real Uchiha Madara puts everyone else to shame when he summons giant fucking meteors out of the sky. And that's just for starters.
  • Once the two sisters come together to form Genocyber, nothing is left standing after their rampage.
  • The Crusniks in Trinity Blood. In the backstory (which isn't discussed in the anime, but is All There in the Manual), during the Armageddon War Abel singlehandedly killed seven million humans.
  • Ifurita of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World is one. However, she's far more level-headed and self-controlled than most examples. (At least the OVA version is. The TV series version, on the other hand...)
  • Mahoro of Mahoromatic is an extraordinarily powerful Robot Girl who wields a huge pistol and can rip apart Humongous Mecha with her bare hands. She was created specifically to battle aliens. The trope of her creators treating her like crap is notably averted, as everyone really likes her and are friendly to her, and the fact that the more she uses her ultimate weapon, the shorter her lifespan is. Has a major part in parts of the plot, where using it could kill her. It eventually does.
  • Kyouran Kazoku Nikki has Gouykouou, whose mere presence on Earth could make it violently explode if he doesn't actively suppress his power. Thankfully, he's the nicest guy anyone will ever meet.
  • Several people in Mahou Sensei Negima qualify. Just about any powerful mage could probably take out a good chunk of a city with little trouble. Then you have the really strong guys, such as Jack Rakan (accidentally blew up a mountain), Fate (pretty much obliterate an entire city sector with the flick of his wrist), Evangeline (beat the crap out of Fate when they fought), and Nagi (who beat Evangeline with no trouble at all). But the most ridiculous example is Asuna; her Anti-Magic actually caused a Floating Continent to crash, and nearly destroyed the entire Magic World. Even worse is the fact that she didn't intend to do that; other people are capable of harnessing that power.
    • In-Universe, many people believe Queen Arika to be one of these, thinking she caused a Floating Continent to crash. She's actually taking the blame for Asuna.
    • Chachamaru also counts now that's capable of summoning a Kill Sat that can take out an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo! fits here, at least in her original OVA form, since she is listed as destroying several planets in her past. An honourable mention should also go out to Tenchi himself, as when his godself manifested in OVA 3, he nearly destroyed all that exists. Give him his due, he doesn't mess about.
  • Dragonball Z, in absolute spades. Consider that planet-destruction was a normal occurrence by the Saiyan Saga (Piccolo with the moon, Vegeta with Planet Arlia), and that every heroic character becomes infinitely stronger after that... Even Krillin could probably destroy a planet with a click of his fingers by the end of the Namek Saga, and by comparison to Frieza he's so weak as to not even be a consideration. Perfect Cell claimed to be able to destroy the entire solar system in a single blast with his energy, before Gohan stopped him.
    • Then we get to the Buu Saga, by which time not only has every heroic character become so much stronger, Goku almost shakes the planet in two merely by transforming into a Super Saiyan 3, and Buu begins to tear holes in the fabric of reality merely by screaming.
  • Almost any and all State Alchemists in Fullmetal Alchemist. Roy Mustang burns down whole city blocks by snapping his fingers. Solf J. Kimblee blows up neighborhoods by clapping his hands. Alex Louis Armstrong rearranges the earth's crust by punching it. Basque Grand transmutes entire buildings into weapons. Isaac McDougal nearly buried Central City in a glacial layer of ice. It's worth noting that the Ishvalan civil war—which had been dragging on for seven years—ended within months of Order #3066 going out. What was the order? To weaponize and send in the State Alchemists.
    • One of the victims of that order, Scar, later went on to become another Person of Mass Destruction, gaining the ability to deconstruct matter with a touch. One could argue that many of the Homunculi count, due to their regeneration powers, and ability to take down almost anyone, including State Alchemists. One-Man Army Wrath and Pride definitely count, as does their creator, Father and his Good Counterpart, Van Hohenheim.
      • Father takes the trope up to the next level; he is so powerful that he is able to absorb God, and create a sun in the palm of his hand.
  • Taken a bit less serious in Ouran High School Host Club (obviously) with Hunny-senpai. After Japan's Secretary of Defence watched him beat the ever loving crap out of his father (who was supposedly the greatest martial artist of their great martial art family), he asked Hunny never to fight in public again, lest other countries believe Japan was making a Weapon of Mass Destruction (i.e. this trope). At the time Hunny couldn't have been but 15 or 16.
  • The "Codes" of Code Breaker are people of mass destruction under the control of EDEN and protect Japan; the "Re-Codes" are Terrorists Without a Cause led, ironically, by the Aloof Older Brother of the Jerkass Facade character. People in both groups were abused because of their powers, and now feel useful and free, respectively.
  • A Mad Scientist creates PoMDs in Out Code (no relation to Code: Breaker aside from pyrokinetic main characters), including a guy who's basically Seto Kaiba with Magneto's powers (but weaker) and causing several people to weep and sweat acid.
  • Guilmon from Digimon Tamers, when you piss him off and unleash the Digital Hazard, resulting in a creature that could destroy the world simply by existing. Subverted in that he was accidentally created by someone who didn't want a weapon of mass destruction.
  • The Tribe of Heroes in Heroic Age was a race composed entirely of Blood Knight Kaiju who nearly wiped themselves out in a massive civil war that obliterated entire star systems in the crossfire. As punishment, the Tribe of Gold (the gods of this particular fictional universe) sealed each of the five surviving members of the tribe into the bodies of members of other tribes. These individuals, called "Nodos", possess incredible powers (like super strength and the ability to survive in hard vacuum) even in their normal forms, and can also call upon the Heroes within them to transform into Nigh Invulnerable Kaiju capable of annihilating entire armadas without breaking a sweat.
  • All of the major-level paopei in Houshin Engi are capable of some serious destruction, but none match this trope as well as Nataku, the Human Paopei (long story). And then there's ultimate Big Bad Jyoka, who is so ridiculously powerful that it takes a Combined Energy Attack from the gods themselves to take down.
  • Beyblade 's third season G-Rev arc involves Boris happily assuming his new Person of Mass Destruction Brooklyn is going to help him Take Over the World. Unfortunately for everyone, Brooklyn turns out to be Ax Crazy and far more interested in destroying everything than following the Evil Plan.
  • The titular Index of A Certain Magical Index. She has a library of 103,000 magical texts in her brain and a photographic memory. Combine this with the ability to use that knowledge, and she could destroy the world. Subverted that she doesn't know she can use magic, and her superiors want to keep it that way.
    • Several characters in later novels who won the Superpower Lottery big time certainly fit this trope. Includes but is not limited to: Kanzaki Kaori, Archangel Gabriel, Acqua of the Back, Fiamma of the Right.
    • Also every Level 5 Esper.
    • Accelerator was dropped off of a supersonic bomber as a back-up plan in case bombing with a laser/magma-like blade didn't work.
  • Gildarts from Fairy Tail wields the "Crash" magic, allowing him to destroy pretty much anything he touches. Unfortunately for the people of Magnolia town, he often lets his mind wander while walking, and fails to pay attention to things like walls, houses and buildings, thus leaving a trail of destruction behind him as he benignly ploughs through them. When the townspeople caught wind of his return, they hastily activate a mechanism that essentially changes the town's layout to give him a straight path to the guild. He also counts as a Handicapped Badass, due to having lost some of his limbs and a few internal organs to a black dragon that even he couldn't defeat.
  • Nagumo from Urotsukidouji (when in demon form). Also the Chojin and his counterpart Kyo-O.
  • The Wretched Egg/Red Man/Shiro from Deadman Wonderland is this, managing to cause an earthquake powerful enough to destroy most of Tokyo. Also has the ability to massacre people with the wave of a hand.
  • Toward the Terra has the Type Blue Mu, who are capable of single-handedly destroying starships and stopping beams from Planet Killers. Finally, the Mu have enough of Fantastic Racism and declare war on humankind and society controlled by computers. The only thing inhabitants of next attacked world can do, is to observe how their planetary defense is massacred by 7 teenagers.
  • All the minus in Medaka Box certainly count with the exception, apparently, of Shiranui: Kumagawa can revert everything to nothingness(including the friggin' world), Shibuki can open long gone scars(and that includes damages doing to structures of buildings..Just guess what happens when she goes to a recently rebuilt or reformed one and uses her power...), Mukae has the power to corrode things with her bare hands(even the air!!) and she uses it to melt away an entire school building, and last but not least, Gagamaru, who can move any kind of injuries he would suffer to another random person...Luckily, he was never hit by something like a falling plane or an explosion of some sort.Or, at least that we know it.
  • Chise from Saikano is often treated as (and almost certainly was written, in a sense, to represent) a human nuke. By the end of the story, there's only one human left alive ( possibly two, but that depends upon whether you agree to classify her as a human by this point). Not directly by her fault, but she's very well aware that ultimately, she did it.

Comic Books

  • The Incredible Hulk is one of the earliest examples. Like Godzilla, he was created by a bomb, and some adaptations literally compare him to the atomic weapon that spawned him; for example, the shockwaves he creates from smashing things are compared to the blast wave of a nuke.
  • As is his DC Comics pastiche Goraiko, who is of Japanese origin and even has an attack shaped like a mushroom cloud.
  • In Marvel Comics' "New Universe", Ken Connell, the Starbrand, discovers his POMD potential when he accidentally annihilates the city of Pittsburgh by trying to transfer the Starbrand to an inanimate object ten miles in the air over the city.
  • Superman has gotten this treatment in several instances, often when under Mind Control.
    • Notably in The Dark Knight Returns, where "Ronnie" tells the American people not to worry about rising tensions with the Soviet Union because God is on their side, or (wink) the next best thing anyhow.
    • Also used at the end of Kingdom Come, when Superman is one of the few survivors of an atomic bomb that takes out a good chunk of the DCU's superhero population. He then sets off towards the UN, fully aware that they're the ones who called in the strike. The UN's collective reaction: "Oh, fuck."
  • Doctor Manhattan of Watchmen is one of the most blatant examples, having been turned from a career of watchmaking to study nuclear physics by his father and given God-like powers thanks to a nuclear accident.
  • The original 1940s All-Star Comics had a story where the Justice Society of America started fighting in the war, logical issues aside. This was retconned to be a hallucination to which they were subjected when captured by psychic supervillain Brain Wave. Green Lantern was shown horrified at the destruction he had caused in order to defeat the Japanese, uttering the line "I have become death, destroyer of worlds," a quote known for its use by Robert Oppenheimer (originally quoted, incorrectly, from the Bhagavad Gita) after the first deployment of the atom bomb.
    • This was taken further in the Elseworld story The Golden Age, in which Green Lantern witnesses the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and, realizing that his power is on par with the atom bomb, puts his ring away and retires in the belief that no human deserves to wield such power. His reluctant return at the end of the story to combat the archvillain is his shining moment, and one of the few times in or out of continuity we truly see how much Alan Scott means to The DCU.
  • Flare stories, online since the fourth quarter of 2007, feature Marian Press, a literal "Blonde Bombshell".
  • The Wildstorm universe actually uses the trope name as one of several generic terms for superhumans—and with The Authority around, who can blame them?
    • The Authority is, after all, a team where one single member freezes a whole country (on a different world, mind you) in time for a second, effectively teleporting the entire landmass and everyone and everything on it into space. Then they go kill the thing that accidentally put life on Earth in the first place, and is almost as big as the planet itself.
    • Jack Hawksmoor even lampshades this at one point, telling the President of the United States something to the point of: "We don't have weapons of mass destruction. We ARE weapons of mass destruction. Don't fuck with us."
    • And later on, this is taken to its logical conclusion: The Authority takes over the USA, forces what amounts to martial law. Then a rebellion made up of other People of Mass Destruction fought against their power.... and it ends up with Washington being nuked. Oops.
  • In the Marvel Universe, Black Bolt of the Inhumans, whose voice is so powerful that a shout could awaken volcanoes and cause earthquakes on the other side of the planet. His birth cries devastated a city. He fears his own powers so much that he's taken a lifelong vow of silence.. .but when he declares war, he really declares "War."
    • In the "War of Kings" storyline he and the Inhumans do go to war against the Shi'ar and their evil emperor Vulcan (aka Gabriel Summers), who is also a Person of Mass Destruction and a Complete Monster to boot. What happens when two of these forces collide? Both are apparently dead by the end of the story.
  • In the House of M storyline in the Marvel Universe, Scarlet Witch ends up becoming one of these, and is somewhat obedient, at first.
  • The term is used in reference to The Ultimates in the first issue of Ultimates 2, after Captain America (comics) single-handedly frees hostages in the Middle East; the world is worried that the US government might start using the Ultimates in politically-motivated conflicts. Gee, ya think?
  • Jean Grey, in any incarnation when she takes on the codename Phoenix. In the original Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean destroyed a star, snuffing out the billions of lives on an orbiting planet. In the end of that story, she realized what she would become and chose the more tragic option of committing suicide.
    • Don't forget "Here Comes Tomorrow", which ends with Jean being able to alter the Universe according to her desire, noting that this is "Phoenix Work" meaning it's something she'll be doing more than once.
  • The Spectre. The Wrath of God, Old Testament-style. Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Annihilated an entire country. And sank modern-day Atlantis.
    • But arguably, not a person but a force... he traditionally becomes less dangerous when he inhabits a human host. If you manage to push that human to the breaking point, however, the Spectre starts getting Biblical again.
  • Black Adam, when pissed off, is quite literally a one-man war. He managed to get a good portion of the DCU united against him just to stop him. In the process of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, he annihilated an entire fucking country. He also managed to hold off the JLA, the JSA, the Teen Titans, and the Great Ten all at once, not to mention single-handedly killing off the Eldritch Abominations that were sent to kill him in the first place.
  • Kingdom Come has Captain Atom's protective armor torn off, releasing enough radioactive fallout to sterilize several Midwestern states.
    • Monarch is effectively Captain Atom's Super-Powered Evil Side, amped up by a factor of 50. When Superman-Prime ripped open his armor, it annihilated a universe.
  • In Supreme Power, Marvel's Alternate Company Equivalent and Deconstruction of the Justice League of America, when Mark Milton aka Hyperion (Superman-Expy) learns that his whole life has been controlled by the United States government, the head of the project discusses what an angry high-powered Flying Brick could do. To adequately describe the casualty rate that Mark can inflict from the attack alone (not factoring in all the deaths from various infrastructure failures that result from the attack and cut-off supply lines making aid impossible) one researcher uses the term "Mega-deaths". At one point, he is traced by the Richter Scale vibrations he causes with his attacks! They are very graphic in the images as well.
  • Depending on the author, Jack of Hearts from the Marvel Universe has been considered this. His powers came from every cell of his body being infused with an experimental power substance called "Zero fluid." Without his suit, designed to channel and control the energy he generates, he would effectively turn into a small sun (he has been retconned enough that this is probably no longer canon).
  • Max, from Sam and Max, has been called the most violent force in the universe by the Season 1 Big Bad.
  • X-Men favorite Gambit always seemed to have an okay power, nothing too special, then he met one of his alternate universe counterparts New Sun, and, well, let's just say that is a very apt name.
  • Marvel's Civil War was kicked off when Nitro, previously a C-List villain whose power was to "explode", detonated with the force of a low-yield nuke. This leveled a small town and brought the attention and ire of the general public down on the heads of superheroes everywhere. (Amazingly enough, at no point in the Civil War storyline did anyone ever utter the line "It's all Nitro's fault".)
    • Unless you count the Wolverine Civil War tie-in dedicated to him trying to hunt down Nitro. But the actual main comic itself, yup.
  • The Human Bomb is DC's counterpart to Nitro.
  • The Marvel Universe also has Robert Reynolds, aka The Sentry, who has the power of "a million exploding suns". Easily the strongest individual on Earth (matched only by The Hulk), capable of flight, super speed, super strength; and those are just the powers he uses most often. The Superpower Lottery made him quite rich... but also seriously unhinged, with a (very chatty) Super-Powered Evil Side. Not to mention that at one point he was taking directions from Norman Osborn.
  • Solar Man of the Atom in both the Valiant Comics and Dark Horse Comics versions.
  • A Distant Soil has Seren, Liana, and Jason.
  • Viltrumites are an army of conquering Flying Bricks.
  • The scarab graphed onto Jaime Reyes's spine in Blue Beetle has an arsenal that includes everything from nukes to a BFG that has "potential theological implications." It's likely only by the virtue of Jaime being Incorruptible Pure Pureness that the world isn't already a burnt cinder.
    • Unfortunately, the scarab is one of many, seeded throughout the universe to aid their masters, the Reach, in conquering or destroying planets—and on most of those worlds, they easily managed to overwhelm their hosts. Jaime managed to escape that fate because his scarab was malfunctioning, but it's still dangerous, even so.
  • Justice League and Martian Manhunter villain Despero has become a walking engine of psychokinetic destruction following his various rebirths and power-ups. It takes the entire League to put him down, and he frequently levels entire city blocks in the process.
  • Doomsday. All there in the name really. Is basically on a mission to wipe out literally every other living thing in universe with his bare hands and just about capable of pulling it off.

Fan Works

  • The Unexpected Results series (a Trinity Blood fan fic) has Johanna Sinclair, a character with time manipulation abilities that can trigger what is referred to as 'temporal whiplash', with the effect varying according to the age of the victim. In the case of a human it'll have a similar effect to an electric shock and usually knocks them out. When used on a vampire the result is akin to a bomb going off and it is theorized that using it against anything older than a vampire (i.e. a Crusnik) would be like setting off a nuke. This puts her in the rather difficult position of being theoretically capable of taking out the Big Bad but not without a hell of a lot of collateral damage.
  • Shinji in Shinji and Warhammer40K, due in part to the ever-increasing scale of the battles with the Angels, usually ends up destroying much of Tokyo-3 in his efforts to save it, to his considerable chagrin. After a leave of absence, the fact that surprise reinforcements cause so much devastation tips off the defenders that he's returned. There's also a time when whatever ability lets him sync with an Eva get flipped inside out, briefly giving him the power to "crack the planet in half," but he spends a whole story arc trying to fix it.
  • Deep Sleep, a Heroes fanfic, has Peter and Sylar battle (fully utilizing their powers) and inadvertently shattering continents, leaving the west half of the Americas a smoking wasteland, killing millions, and bringing about a very Bad Future.
  • Mark Westion in Yukari Is Free [1] (an Azumanga Daioh Mega Crossover) possesses the power to fire giant lasers. At one point in the story, he fires one so big it accidentally destroys a planet. His girlfriend then hits him in the face with a baseball bat.
  • Justin in Kira Is Justice.
  • Yachiru and Hitsugaya in Uninvited Guests. Between the two of them, they completely destroy Las Noches and defeat all espada in a couple of hours; though Hitsugaya was in berserk mode most of the time and Yachiru technically did it by accident. Or did she..?
  • Paul in With Strings Attached, who could (if he wanted to, which he doesn't) either systematically and tirelessly dismantle everything in his path, or periodically reduce circular chunks of it to molten glass.
    • Probably the others as well. John rejected many of the things the Kansael told him he can do and implied that he's unbeatable in the ocean; George at the very least could wreak havoc as a dragon; and Ringo apparently has a huge amount of power behind him that he's never tapped into. Luckily, they're Actual Pacifists, and besides, their experiences on Earth taught them what the really important things in life are, so it's easy for them to reject the seductive call of power. Which really isn't that seductive, given how much Suck it came with.
  • Shar, from The Secret Return of Alex Mack. Imagine, if you will, a pyrokinetic nine-year-old capable of killing Godzilla unassisted.
  • Both Ranma and Kasumi in the Ranma ½/Sailor Moon crossover fic Desperately Seeking Ranma. They start out disturbingly powerful and just keep getting more so.


  • The villain Nuclear Man from Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was supposed to be an Anvilicious statement about nukes... until it was shown that he was actually solar powered, making him possibly the greenest supervillain in existence. Ouch.
    • Well, what is the Sun but a giant hydrogen bomb that's too big to stop exploding?
  • Aurora/Marie Zorn in Babylon A.D. is believed to be a viral weapon at first. In the book "Babylon Babies" another woman is used in this fashion—when she comes into proximity with the pheromones of her target, her body rapidly creates a virus that kills several hundred people in minutes, wiping out the upper echelons of the Neolite sect.
  • Neo in The Matrix. I assume that's not a spoiler.
  • Paul Atreides, especially in the David Lynch version of Dune, is capable of calling gigantic sandworms, using the Voice and using sonic weapons without the weirding module. His name is a killing word.
    • Even more so, Paul's son Leto II and his distant descendant Miles Teg. Either of those is more than a match for a small army of opponents.


  • Kaylin Nera in Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra is one. This isn't even a spoiler.
  • The most powerful Channelers in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Three thousand years before the books start the male channelers going insane resulted in continents being reshaped and set humanity back thousand of years. Lews Therin's suicide alone reared up a large volcano. The less powerful damane and Aes Sedai of the current age can be compared to bringing tanks into a medieval conflict when on the battlefield. The Asha'man are worse. And then there's the pair of devices that are powerful enough to let a single man and woman working together break the world all on their own, or challenge God.
    • The supposed potential to challenge God (or The Other Guy) is one woman's opinion. The potential to "crack the world like an egg," on the other hand, is a physical feat and thus more likely to be an accurate appraisal.
    • Rand certainly qualifies, having taken out armies all by his lonesome throughout the series.
  • In Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, one antisocial character, Raven, connected himself through a Dead-Man Switch to a literal nuclear bomb and claimed individual sovereignty. The Aesop appears to be about the elasticity of sovereignty rather than the perils of nukes.
    • Mind you, Raven is a very obvious parody of the type of Badass characters often found in Cyberpunk fiction. The main character, Hiro Protagonist, hangs a big lampshade on him.
  • Kurt Vonnegut's 1950 short story Report on the Barnhouse Effect is about Professor Arthur Barnhouse who develops the ability to affect physical objects and events through the force of his mind. He becomes the first Weapon of Mass Destruction with a conscience.
  • In Charles Sheffield's novel Dark As Day, one character has a bloodstream full of nanodevices that, if dropped into a gas giant, would cause the planet to collapse and release a burst of energy sufficient to wipe out civilization... and an obsessive fascination with the kind of turbulent weather patterns gas giants are full of.
  • Firestarter by Stephen King.
    • Also Carrie, by the same author. As an adolescent who's only very recently gained any reliable powers, which get stronger as the book goes on, she totals a town. Had she survived, there's no reason to think her powers would not have kept increasing, and she certainly isn't the most emotionally stable person around.
  • Melantha Green from Timothy Zahn's The Green and the Gray. It's implied that her earthquake-causing powers could level New York City if the Green/Grey rivalry ever escalated to full-on war.
  • Any sufficiently powerful magic user in L.E. Modesitt's fantasy novels will have the capability to become one of these, and will usually end up killing large numbers of people no matter how much they wish they didn't have to.
  • In Stephen R. Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series Covenant is one of these through his partial control of wild magic. In the Second Chronicles the Big Bad's aim is to force Covenant to surrender not by making him weaker but by making him so powerful he can't use his power without risking all of reality.
  • The Freehold Black Ops in Mike Z. Williamson's The Weapon fit this trope because of their Spartan Way training. Instead of special powers, it's a matter of being ruthless, creative, and cross-trained to the point of being Crazy Prepared.
  • Some Adept-level mages in the Heralds of Valdemar books have power of this magnitude—Vanyel is said to be capable of destroying a fair-sized city, and indeed does go kaboom in a fairly spectacular manner in his final Heroic Sacrifice. Occasionally, even "ordinary" Heralds can get fairly destructive, especially Lavan Firestorm who essentially outdoes Vanyel's feat with mind-magic alone.
    • In the Mage Wars prequels, the combined detonation of the accumulated magical power of two opposing Mage Lords set off the Cataclysm whose effects are still felt thousands of years later. (The large, almost perfectly circular inland sea on Valdemar's border? The equally circular, considerably larger grassland some kingdoms to the south? The two Lords' citadels were once located at their centers—and they're the least important effects of the conflict.)
  • Flinx, of Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, is something of a walking psychic time bomb, as he has a tendency to erupt in massive, uncontrolled telekinetic detonations when severely provoked. These are invariably highly destructive to his immediate surroundings, albeit not quite at the city/planet level. Ironically, this ability may turn out to be the key to saving the universe.
  • The canonical example from the early Perry Rhodan universe would be Ivan Ivanovich Gorachin—a Russian-born mutant best remembered for having two heads (with separate personalities) and the ability to cause nuclear explosions at will so long as he had targets containing carbon or calcium to work on. (Like, say, humans. Fortunately for the good guys his Heel Face Turn followed shortly after his introduction.)
  • Jame from Chronicles of the Kencyrath is already this to a degree, although she tends to be more of the spark that lights the powder-keg. It looks, though, like she's destined to be Nemesis, the avatar of the Destruction aspect of her God, and that's quite some mass destruction indeed.
  • Aside from the obligatory demons, vampires and such, the German horror/fantasy/SF pulp series Professor Zamorra features a recurring species of near-human aliens, the so-called 'Eternals'. (Who did, of course, try to invade Earth at least once before.) Aside from having the obligatory advanced technology, much of their personal power comes from magical crystals known as Dhyarras, which come in distinct numbered power levels; social rank is determined largely by the ability to control the more powerful ones (with failure to do so generally resulting in insanity or death). Crystals of the highest (13th) order, only one of which is technically supposed to exist at a time because it doubles as the symbol of authority of the Dynasty's absolute leader, are explicitly stated to be powerful enough to destroy entire planets.
  • Goddamn Carnival of the Deepgate Codex books.
  • The Archive from The Dresden Files. Even putting aside that she knows the nuclear launch codes for every country on the planet, Ivy's ten years old and capable of holding off 8 fallen angels at once, with almost no resources, without breaking a sweat. But what else do you expect from the living repository of all human knowledge?
    • Ebenezar McCoy once pulled a disused Soviet satellite out of orbit and dropped it on someone, and he's the weakest member of the Senior Council. Guess that's where Harry got his tendency to burn down buildings...
    • Harry Dresden himself gets pretty close to this. He's capable of throwing a giant demonic werewolf across a city block with no preparation. When faced with the start of a Zombie Apocalypse, he responds by making his own zombie out of something much bigger than people, which stomps on National Guard trucks as an afterthought. When he goes to rescue someone from faerieland and encounters more resistance than he expected, he sets the whole place on fire.
      • Harry's got a tendency to pull off highly destructive and risky magic that can leave even those who are used to dealing with near-godlike beings staring in shock. With access to soulfire and the power of the Winter Knight, there's a good chance he's now closer to being a PMD than even he realizes. If he's not a PMD now, it seems almost certain that he will be before it's all said and done.
    • The Wardens of the White Council are an entire military force composed of PMDs. In Turn Coat, Harry sees a handful of Wardens go all-out to fight a bunch of nasties, and he's left completely dumbstruck. Of course, that's somewhat earlier in his career than some of the examples above.
  • In something of a subversion, Harry Potter is harassed by his non-magical relatives, who walk a fine line between their own perceived power over him and his ability (and their knowledge of his ability) to cause them magical damage.
  • In Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series the protagonist at one point seeks out an artifact used by his ancestor, the Darkvoid Device. To Owen's surprise, the Device is not some alien artifact but rather an infant. Placed in suspended animation at the center of the Madness Maze, it had absorbed so much power that the one time it awoke it had created the Darkvoid, a region of space where hundreds of stars had simply been extinguished.
  • Any of the High Lords from the Codex Alera will absolutely destroy you, since they're incredibly powerful crafters with control over all six elements. But especially the First Lord; Gaius Sextus wiped out two cohorts worth of brainwashed Super Soldiers by himself without slowing down and cast a fear spell so powerful that it destroyed an entire legion, leaving only one soldier not curled into a ball on the ground, who he promptly cuts down.
    • Not to mention his Taking You with Me moment, where he creates a volcano underneath the capital city of Alera. It is awesome.
    • Also not to mention our dear Guile Hero Gaius Octavian, who combines all that power with a devious little mind that looks at everything sideways and upside-down. He once had to get through the gates of Riva, a product of centuries of the strongest furycrafting which added up into something that could take dozens of fireballs without the slightest scorch mark. Tavi pries it apart by using plants to make cracks and pits in the surface, then pushing water in and freezing it. When it finally shatters, the pent-up furies are released and... well, it takes four minutes for the buildings to finish collapsing.
  • In the Babylon 5 Expanded Universe trilogy The Passing Of The Technomages, young technomage Galen becomes this after learning the spell that creates an unstoppable Sphere of Destruction. While there are limits on the spell, such as range and size, there is no limit on how fast or how many times Galen can cast it, the spell being one of the most primitive. In a fit of rage, Galen casts the spell dozens of times to level an entire city in a matter of minutes (by destroying building supports) and eliminates 4 powerful warships (by literally taking out their power cores). And after that, he demands to be taken straight to the enemy homeworld to destroy everything there. It is no wonder both sides fear the technomages.
    • He becomes even more powerful by the end of the trilogy. By the time of the Crusade, he is the strongest technomage in existence, simply because only one other technomage has managed to work in harmony with the tech instead of controlling it, but he died shortly after.
  • The enslaved gods in the first book of the Inheritance Trilogy, who are used as Attack Animals by their mortal masters, the Arameri family. Although these gods are "hobbled" and less powerful than before their enslavement, they're still collectively responsible for deadly epidemics, "disappearing" the inhabitants of cities, and turning a few mountains into craters. They are especially deadly because they're pissed about their enslavement; they will follow any instructions strictly to the letter, and will use any loophole to try and kill their masters. Their most powerful member, Nahadoth, uses a badly-worded command to sink a continent in a fit of pique. He was trying for the whole planet. The gods' mortal owners, who have used these gods to set themselves up as rulers of the world, tend to avoid using him for this reason.
  • Retired Drop Commando Alicia DeVries in David Weber's Path of the Fury}} (revised/expanded in In Fury Born) is practically a PMD with her standard commando loadout of cyborgish enhancements. Then she gets inhabited by the last surviving Greek Fury, Tisiphone. Said Greek Goddess soon learns to interface with computers and other technology through Alicia's built in radio interface and no security system can stop her, especially since she can also dip into other humans' brains for information. Next Alicia/Tisiphone steal one of the elite AI fighter ships, which are their own special kind of POMD when combined with a "normal" enhanced human specially selected and trained to interface with those ships. The tripartite human/goddess/computer fusion becomes the unstoppable force to smash the people who murdered Alicia's family and the entire populations of several colony worlds.
  • Dragon riders from the Inheritance Cycle. There are limits (those being your own ingenuity with magic and whether or not a particular spell exerts more energy than your body possesses), but otherwise there is literally nothing that they cannot do. The dragons they are partnered with are unable to mold magic beyond freak happenstance, but wield far greater power than their riders. Also: Riders can more or less meld their mind with their dragon's and use their resources for magic, which is the difference between moving a Sedan and moving an aircraft carrier. In the third book, it is revealed that utilizing the magical core of a dead dragon, an Eldunari (or multiple dead dragons, a la Galbatorix), the aircraft carrier can be bumped up to Texas, depending on how many Eldunari one has and how saturated with magic they are.
  • Jaenelle as Witch in the Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop. Even as a child she had immense power; upon reaching her mature strength, she is estimated to be six to six thousand times more powerful than the most powerful male in the history of the Blood (who once erased an entire culture from existence when his Berserk Button was pushed) and she states that she is so powerful that if she unleashed herself, she would destroy all of the Blood; human, nonhuman, and dead.
  • In Night Watch an exceptionally strong curse can turn the victim into one of these. Usually cursed ones die from a fallen brick or mugger's knife, but when the curse runs out of control, it can result in things like a random gas explosion, sudden outbreak of mutated flu or an unprovoked nuclear attack. On a related note, Others beyond categories are these by default, wielding incredibly destructive powers, including the aforementioned curses.
    • The novel Day Watch appears to be about Zabulon attempting to resurrect a powerful ancient Other named Fafnir, whose favorite form is a dragon. However, even someone as powerful as Fafnir, while doing a lot of damage and killing a lot of people, would eventually be stopped by modern human technology. As one character puts it, in a fight between helicopter gunships and a dragon, he'd bet on the gunships. They may not kill Fafnir, but they'd stop him. Worst case, Nuke'Em works just as well on the Others as it does on everything else.
      • Also, enchanted weapons (such as submachineguns) work very well against the Others, mostly because it takes more time to cast a spell then to pull the trigger. Which is not to say anything about enchanted remote-controlled guns, which completely surprise the Others because they can't detect them (i.e. machines have no malice, and the operator is too far away).
  • Percy Freakin' Jackson. Not only is he capable of destroying entire armies by himself, he also once caused a volcanic eruption that resulted in one million people being evacuated and the literal father of all monsters being released from his prison beneath the volcano. He's so powerful that the Big Bad singles him out in the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, as the key for a blood sacrifice to bring on the gods' downfall.
  • From The Stormlight Archive, Szeth-son-son-Vallano, Truthless of Shinovar. Not only does he kill quite a few people, Szeth tends to destroy the environment he kills them in nicely. Dalinar also kills hundreds of enemies every battle scene in which he appears. Really, anybody with a Shardblade and/or Shardplate counts as this, at least potentially, Szeth is particularly dangerous because in addition to having a Shardblade he's also a Magic Knight with Gravity Master powers.
  • The Sith Emperor, as described in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, is supposedly more powerful than Palpatine ever was. The only thing matching his power is his madness and obsession with immortality. To show off, his guards are never present during audiences, even with other powerful Sith lords (who are allowed to keep their weapons). Furthermore, he always sits facing away from the door. He has Black Eyes of Evil and Voice of the Legion. He attained immortality by absorbing the life-force of everything alive on his homeworld, including insects and plants. It was he who corrupted Revan and Malak, turning them to the Dark Side to use them as vanguard for his invasion of the Republic. As powerful as he is, even Revan can't match the Emperor.
  • In Shadow Ops, anyone capable of using one of the rare prohibited forms of magic (Black magic, necromancy, gate magic, or sentient elemental creation) is automatically one of these - which is why they're illegal to begin with. Necromancy and sentient elemental creation allows for their user to essentially create an entire army instantly. Someone who can use gate magic can pretty much move anywhere they want instantly and has access to a weapon that can effortlessly slice through any material. Black Magic is control of entropy, and the person who can use it can near-instantly decay anything—living, dead, organic, mechanical, it doesn't matter. Scylla, the only user of this power, demonstrates it quite spectacularly when she uses it to literally destroy the entire defensive perimeter of a military base, killing hundreds of people, with about as much effort as crushing insects.
  • Jesus Himself in the Left Behind book series, as His Word alone can kill many people en masse.

Live-Action TV

  • Ted's power on Heroes was nuclear based. Despite the fears that he'd use those powers to detonate New York, turns out it wasn't Ted they had to worry about...
  • The 4400 has a returnee who was a non-nuclear example.
  • At one point Crichton of Farscape winds up wearing a nuclear bomb with a few dozen kinds of dead-man's switches. He's not happy about it. "Hi... Honey. Huh. Guess what I did at work today? I wore a bomb. A nuclear bomb in a field of flowers. I could get lucky. Tomorrow I could have a bigger bomb. I could kill... more people. Maybe they'll be innocent people. Children... maybe." And this is to say nothing of his wormhole knowledge.
  • In Babylon 5, Vorlons used telepaths for their war with the Shadows. Most of the telepaths were of "regular" "read thoughts, cause headache" kind, and their only combat use was to disrupt the link Shadow battleships had with their pilots. However, (at least) one telepath, Lyta Alexander, was upgraded Up to Eleven and became the equivalent of a Doomsday Device. Thankfully, we never learn what exactly they were capable of.
  • Star Trek: Voyager ("Child's Play"). Icheb has been genetically engineered to pass on an infection that will destroy Borg cubes when he is assimilated (this causes problems when Voyager returns the youth to what they assume will be his doting parents). When you think that the average cube has a crew of ten of thousands of drones and can destroy a Federation battlefleet, this is pretty damned impressive.
  • Illyria in Angel is depowered quickly to avoid this.
  • Doomsday on Smallville is this trope crossed with Serial Killer.
  • The Doctor, from Doctor Who, who once killed his entire race.
    • Rose "whoops, I absorbed the core of the Tardis" Tyler in "The Parting of the Ways", who psychically vaporized an entire fleet of Daleks without even thinking very hard.
      • The writer notes that she is basically the Phoenix from X-Men, sans-psychic powers.
    • It's important to consider that the Doctor not only has the technological knowledge of the Time Lords, but also constant access to the same kind of omnipotence as mentioned above, which he probably could use even more effectively, thanks to his advanced understanding of physics. And using it would only cost him a regeneration, not result in any kind of permanent damage. The only reason he doesn't is that he doesn't trust his own morals.

The Doctor: No one’s ever meant to have that power. If a Time Lord did that, he’d become a god, a vengeful god.

Tabletop Games

  • All psykers (psychic humans) in Warhammer 40,000 have the potential to be this, not so much because of their abilities themselves but because they are incredibly vulnerable to Demonic Possession (which is bad), and are correspondingly treated with paranoid caution (at best) by the unbelievably repressive Imperium.
    • The most powerful psykers (class Alpha Plus) can (depending on the type of power they have), mind-control entire cities, incinerate armies or snap a battle titan (the series' Humongous Mecha) in half with a mere thought. To make matters worse, the minds of current humans aren't built to handle Beta-and-above levels of psionic power, causing most psykers of such power levels to usually be batshit insane, not to mention very short-lived, as their presence attracts daemons like flies to honey, usually resulting in them exploding apart in a gory fashion while reality tears asunder and daemonic legions march forth to slaughter all life on the world. One of the very few and most notable exceptions is the God-Emperor of Mankind, who is beyond superhuman in both body and mind.
    • Ork Weirdboyz use a form of magic tied to "Orkiness", that latent gestalt energy generated by every Ork, and used by them every day on an instinctual basis to tell the laws of physics to sit down and shut up. Weirdboyz tap into it more directly than other Orks though, channeling it into power blasts or giant feet falling from the sky. The more Orks around the psyker, the more powerful his magic is. There is a catch, however: if there are too many boyz around, or they get too excited, the poor Weirdboy can't handle the sheer amount of power, which can cause his magic to fizzle... or himself to go nuclear. Yuks ensue.
  • Considering Rifts has rules for playing as a minor god, this should not come as a surprise. However the bar for Person of Mass Destruction is low; anyone in MDC body armor and packing an energy weapon is as durable as many modern armored fighting vehicles. Annihilating a rural village is well within the means of low-level player characters, unless said village pulls Superweapon Surprise with a supernatural protector or someone hiding a suit of power armor in their shed.
    • Given that in Rifts creatures wandering the safer parts of the world are generally somewhat challenging for a party of low-level player characters, intelligent players will consider what it means for there to be an apparently undefended, unmolested village in the middle of nowhere in particular...
  • The flexible, comic-book-based rules system of Mutants and Masterminds and its parabolic power progression make it easy to create a starting character with the ability to take on an army or wipe out a city. Omega, the Big Bad of the Freedom City setting, is a threat on a cosmic level and could personally blow through a mountain in seconds.
    • Duplication and a reasonable smattering of other powers can provide you with a starting character that is an army and can wipe out a city by personally dismantling it piece by piece.
      • That's nothing. It is possible to make a PL 4 (most starting characters are PL 10) character with an 8-point (out of 150 for the average starting character) power which completely destroys a planet.
  • While not as extreme as some of the others on this page, the mages in Mage: The Awakening essentially become one of these when they reach mastery of virtually any Arcanum. The archmasters are more direct examples, to the point where they essentially have a non-aggression pact to prevent themselves from destroying the world, and instead conduct their affairs through a series of proxies, a la the Cold War.
  • In Dark Ages: Mage (a historical setting for Mage: The Ascension)... to be honest, the time needed for this is exactly the amount of time one needs for standard character creation, if we count being able to be an orbital bomber enough for this.[2] So you can destroy towns with fire from the air needing only some simple item like a coin as a focus object (so not even clothes necessary) with a character out of creation. Oh, and the best part of this... that's all in medieval times. (Yes, orbital bombardment in a medieval setting.)
    • Most Old World of Darkness games can make madly powerful characters compared to sane things in their setting—usually ones that are one-trick wonders—but in Mage it won't even be a one-trick wonder. Sure you're human, but then again you can be a human foreseeing the future, living several thousand years, avoiding all situations where being a "fragile human" could be a problem, just by knowing about them in advance and manipulating things like change, destiny, minds, natural forces and so on, to just achieve what you wished.
  • The whole point of Exalted is that you play as one of these. Exalted are very, very powerful—but no more mentally stable than the average person. In fact, due to the Great Curse, they're quite prone to become unhinged and abuse their power. It's a game mechanic. When an experienced Exalt starts to look even a little bit angry, run.
    • Don't. You'll only die tired.
    • This is also the case for a lot of major NPCs, such as the Deathlords, each of whom is, in their current state, entirely capable of taking on everything in the Underworld except the other Deathlords without backup.
    • While all Exalts are good at this, Infernals have access to an entire charm tree built around a Fantastic Nuke effect. The most terrifying Infernal Shintai Charm, Demon Emperor, basically turns a large area around you into ground zero for anyone you don't specifically declare exempt, unless they grovel at your feet. Infernal Charms are quite literally as awesome as hell.
    • Abyssals are also skilled in this area, but that's less about killing everyone who annoys you and more about blighting large chunks of Creation straight into the Underworld.
  • Nobilis is another one where PCs tend to be phenomenally powerful but not particularly stable; most Nobles were pretty screwed-up people even before they were given their godlike powers and found themselves serving an inhuman morality code. Oh, and the Earth is ruled by a Complete Monster who, among other things, has forbidden Nobles to love on punishment of being forced to kill their own loved ones if caught.
  • In the game Scion you play as the mortal offspring of a god. You start out essentially as a minor superhero, but given enough time you can build yourself up to full god status and can do essentially anything within your purview (for instance, if you're a god of death you can kill essentially anyone up to and including the population of whole nations at will; or if you're a god of strength you can pick up the Willis Tower...and the Empire State the same either hand...and use them as battle clubs...)
  • The Wild Talents game system actually details in its power generation tutorial how to build a power with unlimited range that halts nuclear fusion. Not terribly useful on its own, unless you spend the extra points to change the duration to permanent. For someone of a heroic bent, a power like this could be useful against a crazed dictator who has just launched his entire nuclear arsenal against the world. For someone a little more unhinged? Turn off the sun. FOREVER. Or, until the Game Master reveals your opposite number exists who has the power to restart nuclear fusion.
  • The Magic: The Gathering Expy card game series Duel Masters is full of creatures like that. To name a few:
    • Bolshack Dragon (the cities who have messed up with him are probably fated to become ruins).
    • The Giant class from Nature realm (Earthstomp Giant, for an example, causes such damage to the environment while fighting that his battle comrades wonder if he is really on their side)
      • An even more extreme example would be Stratosphere Giant, who came in the ninth set, and defeated the seemingly unstopabble Big Bad creature since the beginning of card game, using his toe.The villain got better, but still.....
    • The Light Bringers in general, since they are created with components such "a nuclear warhead unstable enough to blow a continent clear off the planet".
    • To round up, it's easier to point the creature who cannot put a continent in danger.
  • Magic: The Gathering itself has a few.
    • Planeswalkers are entirely capable of wiping out entire battlefields or blasting mountain ranges into shrapnel with the right spell, such as Decree of Annihilation.
    • Also, in the lore, there are three great threats to the multiverse and everything in it: The vast, ravening hordes of the Eldrazi, The vast, Ravenous hordes of Phyrexia, and Nicol Bolas, all by himself.

Video Games

  • In Tales of the Abyss, it's stated that anyone who can use hyperresonance would be able to use the ability to destroy everything, right down to the atmosphere itself. It's because of this reason that Asch, the only character who can actually control it, never uses it: it's just too powerful.
  • On the subject of Tales games, Tales of Vesperia gives us Estelle, whose powers consume so much aer that they could indirectly lead to the destruction of the world. They're also lethal to the Entelexeia.
  • Splosion Man is practically a Trope Namer.
  • Utsuho Reiuji of Touhou gained the power to manipulate nuclear fusion, making her a living, breathing atomic bomb star and, if she were to ever fully harness her power, she would be almost completely unstoppable. Initially she somehow got the idea to take over Gensoukyou/burn it to the ground, but now she brings free electricity to its denizens.
    • Cheerful Child Flandre Scarlet possesses the ability to One-Hit Kill absolutely anything simply by bringing its "eye" into her hand, as well as a lack of comprehension as to the extent of her power. She has been basically confined to the basement of Koumakan for almost five hundred years due to fears of the damage she could cause, and aside from her sister Remilia no-one wants to be anywhere near her.
  • Justice from the Guilty Gear series is certainly this. Converted into a magic-infused superbeing known as a Gear and intended as a weapon by "a certain major country," she grows to resent and hate humankind (despite having been one herself before becoming a Gear), turning on them in a fit of spite and malice. As she also possessed the ability to mentally control every other Gear in the world, it was a very impressive fit. She begins in grand fashion by disintegrating the islands of Japan. The boss of the next game, her daughter Dizzy, takes up the mantle in Guilty Gear X, though is notably much more benevolent, and in fact fearful of her own powers.
    • Sol Badguy, who Gears were based off of. Gets fed up with his side and kills their Gears.
      • It's worth noting that Sol holds back A LOT in all of his fights. Plus he wears a power limiting headband because if he didn't he'd be rampaging country to country, destroying the world.
  • Final Fantasy VI starts with the Empire subjugating Terra, half-human and half-Esper, whose powers are so great she annihilated a battallion of Magitek troopers in seconds. Locke's rescue of her, and Kefka's attempts to recapture her, drive the first 10 hours or so of the plot. Afterwards, the Empire sets its sights on the Espers themselves.
    • Terra's also faster than the world's fastest airship, is treated by the resistance as the one hope of standing up to the Empire, able to open a magically sealed gate that no one, human or esper, could open, is described by the team's knowledgeable wizard guy as "more than magic" or rather, more powerful than it, and, oh yeah, participates in taking out several Gods at the game's ending.
    • And while we're speaking of the FFs, Final Fantasy XII gives us Ashe, who chooses at the end not to become one (being a one woman army helped by five one sidekick armies is reasonably sufficient to restore her throne), and of course Final Fantasy X: Yuna's pilgrimage is basically a quest to become a nun of mass destruction.
      • Final Fantasy X has a Person-cum-monster of Mass Destruction as the entire driving point of its world and history, as Sin is in actuality a summoned Horror surrounding its Summoner, Yu Yevon. Sin is doomed to return until that little sucker is ripped out and dealt with outside of Sin's core, in point of fact. Tidus may be considered a Smartbomb of Mass Destruction as his entire reason for existing is to break the cycle of sacrifice and renewal so Sin and that which opposes it can be put to an end, once and for all.
    • Final Fantasy IX had Kuja who had a Taking You with Me so epic he managed to destroy a planet single-handedly. He then upped the ante and nearly destroyed a second one.
      • Also from FFIX anyone who can use summon magic. While Queen Brahne was wielding Dagger's summons she was able to conquer an entire continent. Given how it compares to when your characters use the same summons this is also an example of Cutscene Power to the Max
    • In Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, anyone who ranks SOLDIER First Class or the equivalent, or higher.
      • Sephiroth, who (pre-madness), was apparently capable of casually slicing up the Junon Cannon like a carrot stick... one-handed.
      • Zack (who decimated an entire division of the Shinra army), as well as Genesis and Angeal in Crisis Core.
      • Cloud becomes one by the time of Advent Children.
      • Dirge of Cerberus shows Vincent (especially in his Chaos persona) and top level Tsviets like Wiess qualifying as this.
    • SeeD in Final Fantasy VIII are implied to be an entire Badass Army of these. The field exam that Squall goes through at the beginning involves nine SeeD troops and twelve SeeD candidates taking on an entire Galbadian army and winning.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII there is the L'cie. A group of six L'cie manage to be more than a match for the entire Cocoon military. In fact, a key portion of the plot revolves around the group becoming Persons of Mass Destruction.
  • They don't have any superpowers as such, and if you have them dead to rights are as easy to kill as any other human being—but the deliberate unleashing of a Silencer from the Crusader games is viewed not unlike the use of a small tactical nuke. When one goes rogue, it doesn't take the bad guys long, once they figure out where he's gone, to imagine exactly how much trouble they're in.
  • Galen "Starkiller" Marek, the main character of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is trained to use the Force to its maximum potential, uncaring of supposed limits and truly embodying "size matters not". He can bring down a Star Destroyer by himself, as well as create what are practically Force Shockwaves. And then there's Luke. If he went Sith, he would've been a definite Person of Mass Destruction. As it is, he's just the Jedi's personal assassin.
  • In addition to their horrendously powerful fighting abilities, such as deflecting tank shells, the Valkyria in Valkyria Chronicles are capable of using the Valkyria's Flame, a devastating suicide attack that causes an explosion powerful enough to rival most nuclear bombs.
  • Fayt, the hero of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time turned out to literally be able to just plain delete things out of existence. As can the secondary female lead, Maria. Although she requires a physical catalyst.
  • In Disgaea characters who have at least overlord-level strength can and will destroy the world if really ticked off. Though they can only do to when using Cutscene Power to the Max. Laharl does do it in a Bad End, as does Mao.
  • Pretty much anyone and everyone in the Geneforge games who uses the augmentation canisters or the eponymous Artifact of Doom. Combine this with the tendency of such people to turn into Ax Crazy psychopaths, and you've got a recipe for disaster on your hands.
    • Not just canister junkies. In Geneforge 5, one Shaper offhandedly mentions that, with the proper equipment and training, she can control 40+ creations at once, at a distance of several miles, the average of which are 12-foot tall humanoids that can punch through walls.
  • Your (nameless) character in Crackdown.
  • In the backstory of the Warcraft series, the Guardians of Tirisfal were an order of these. Each Guardian was a powerful mage who, upon growing old, transferred all their magic to their successor. Things go downhill when Medivh, the last one, gets possessed by the demon they were supposed to fight.
    • Technically speaking, the Player Character in the offshoot World of Warcraft is one of these. In terms of storyline, the average level 85 (at the point of levelling to 85, in an obvious case of Gameplay and Story Segregation) has, at that point, foiled several large invasion attempts from Ragnaros and the Qiraji Empire, handed the Black Dragonflight a major defeat, and Toppled Naxxramas (though after the second Expansion Pack the character does this section in Wrath Of The Lich king)in Vanilla alone. In The Burning Crusade, the PC then proceeds to hold back a Demonic Invasion, kill off Well-Intentioned Extremist Illidan Stormrage, newly Ax Crazy Kael'thas Sunstrider, and prevents Kil'Jaedan from being summoned to Azeroth. In Wrath Of The Lich King you proceed to systematically destroy Scourge Strongholds until the titular Lich King has NO defences against the NPC led army storming his fortress, handing ANOTHER defeat to the Black Dragonflight, and killing Malygos, before finally entering Cataclysm content, in which you hand the first defeats to Deathwing, preventing a new Troll Empire from rising, and in the latest patch (4.2) foiling another invasion by Ragnaros and his armies from the Elemental Plains. May also tie in with the PC being an in-universe Memetic Badass.
  • Yuriko Omega in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is basically the Japanese schoolgirl version of Tetsuo.
    • She can be considered a weaponized version of Haruhi.
  • Jak, in Jak II, was injected with Dark Eco in order to be used against the Metal Heads. Since he proceeded to rack up a hecatomb of Metal Head and Krimzon Guard kills, one can only assume the Baron was too successful for his own good.
  • Alex Mercer in Prototype is another one of the "possibly an accident" variants, as resulting from a virus.
  • As well as being an all around badass, Solid Snake, now Old Snake as of Metal Gear Solid 4, has to deal with some very heavy complications. Most pressing of which is that due to his unfortunate bout of accelerated aging due to being an artifical human, the FoxDie virus implanted in him in Metal Gear Solid has mutated to the point where instead of affecting specific targets it affects anyone and everyone, and Snake must face the prospect of becoming one of the most dangerous biological weapons on Earth in time. By the end of the game Snake makes the decision to kill himself before this happens, but thankfully however this is averted by the end with the timely arrival of Big Boss, who relays the information that a new FoxDie virus injected into him has eliminated the mutant strain. Snake can at least spend what's left of his life in peace.
    • On that subject, Big Boss/Naked Snake was considered such an incredible soldier that his post mortem (or so they thought) DNA became a highly prized commodity. So much so that the antagonist of Metal Gear Solid, Liquid Snake, makes it one of his ransom demands. Big Boss may not have caused things to explode by winking at them, but if your genetic material becomes that valuable after you die you might as well be on par with weapons of mass destruction.
  • Arc the Lad gives us Choko, and The Big Bad: he was a normal human who willingly turned himself into an Eldritch Abomination and nearly destroyed the biosphere more than once.
  • Kyrie of World Destruction is really called the Destruction Code. Appropriate, because he can literally turn everything in the world into sand. And he almost does before The Power of Love says otherwise.
  • Jack in Mass Effect 2 is basically the setting's equivalent of Starkiller as the product of Biotics experimentation from Cerberus. In her recruitment mission, after releasing her from her cryo-chamber she proceeds to rampage unarmed through the prison station that held her.
  • Positron in City of Heroes used to be this way for much of the game's history. He suffered an accident during the Rikti Wars that left his massive radioactive powers unstable and forced him to live inside his sealed suit - because not doing so could level an entire city. During the first plot arc of the Top Cow run of the City of Heroes comic, Lord Recluse drained the powers of all the superheroes and Positron was forced to seal himself within the Phalanx's base because he'd already begun to leak anti-matter. A makeshift attempt to repair his suit in this arc let him function somewhat normally, but he was still a danger to his team until the heroes powers were restored at the end of the arc. He still remained stuck in the suit until the comic's final arc, when an attack by a mutated Hero 1 ruptured his suit and killed him and several of his team mates. The Dark Watcher was able to restore him to life, and resurrection finally cured him of his instability. This was reflected in the game as well, where Positron now appears without his helmet. Of course, if he were ever to get injured like that again...
  • F.E.A.R.: Alma Wade, an immensely powerful psychic child who twists and bends reality to her will and is outright said to be "the mother of the apocalypse." A nuclear explosion didn't do much to slow her down, either....
    • In the third game, her birth pains are enough to knock over skyscrapers.
  • The player character in Escape Velocity: Nova by the end of The Polaris storyline. Universe-bending psychic powers sufficient to destroy planets... many of the NPCs are probably relieved when you transcend and merge with the universe at the end.
    • Which is peanuts compared to the Vellos storyline, where you are a walking demigod for most of the end. And then you wake up some real gods.
  • High level mages in Dominions can, with the research to go with their skill, annihilate or simply dominate the minds of armies consisting of hundreds of soldiers. With some preparation time (one turn/month) and the majority of magical gems in your nations treasury, make a second sun to screw up the races who aren't used to heat, plunge the world into eternal night, accelerate time to kill all living beings in a few years and call on armageddon.
  • Ghost operatives in StarCraft, an otherwise fairly gritty and realistic sci-fi universe except for the part where human psychics can cloak and commit genocide with their minds. Especially Kerrigan, who had been captured by the Zerg to serve them, instead managed to overpower them and at one point was queen of the entire Zerg swarm. Which also provided her with some biological upgrades, allowing her to survive nukes.
    • Then there's Nova from the cancelled Starcraft: Nova, whose telepathic and telekinetic powers, as revealed in the prequel book, are of the Up to Eleven variety. When she witnesses the deaths of her parents, she unintentionally emits a telekinetic wave that kill everyone around her and shatters the transparent dome atop their house, which is said to have been designed to stop nukes. She can also Mind Control anyone to do her bidding and even capable of limited levitation (by telekinetically lifting herself).
    • Tassadar becomes one for a short while when he combines the powers of the High Templar with those of the Dark Templar to destroy the Overmind, although it costs him his life. This was previously done by Adun, although he used the power as a distraction.
      • In StarCraft 2, it's revealed that he somehow survived. We may be seeing more of this from him in the later campaigns...
  • Omega in Mega Man Zero 3, used by Dr. Weil as the instrument for enacting Elf Wars. Meaningful Name indeed...
  • The Bhaalspawn in Baldur's Gate II (both the original and even more so the expansion) are sometimes treated like this, but in this case the characters who do so are somewhat lacking justification for it. A Bhaalspawn can certainly be a One-Man Army like any high-level character, and getting to high enough levels they can approach this kind of power. But many are just ordinary, unpowered (and un-murderous) people.
  • The playable characters in Alter AILA are treated like this. While their abilities (in most cases) are really more like One Man Armies, they're WMD analogues that both the Empire and Rebellion want to control or destroy, and victory in the war will go to whoever gets control of the most Super Soldiers. Black, meanwhile, is the real deal, capable of one-shotting Humongous Mecha. Jackals are the result of Imperial research into creating these, and the project led to the destruction of the city they were created in. And that's just the Alpha version; the Evil Genius has created a more powerful Jackal as his secret weapon. And finally, Aila is an Artificial Human created from Lost Technology, and is powerful beyond human comprehension. This is not a metaphor.
  • Ryu in Breath of Fire III left a trail of charred corpses in his wake even as a young whelp, the reason the dragon clan never fought back against Myria was that they feared they would become this. In Breath of Fire IV, when Kaiser is first unleashed it easily devestates an entire village.
  • In Fire Emblem Akaneia, Tiki, the daughter of Naga, is stated as having the potential to lay waste to the entire continent if she ever lost her mind; a fate many of her fellow dragons avoided by taking on human forms and becoming the Manakete race. She also became human, though her sheer power still posed a risk to her sanity despite this, and was thus put into a deep sleep by her mother before she passed away. She's eventually awakened some 1000 years later, but frequently forced to sleep until Shield of Seals is repaired, afterwhich she's finally able to live a normal life thanks to it properly containing her power.
  • Kratos. Unstoppable Rage given form. He gave One-Man Army a new meaning by becoming a one-man armageddon. If anything from Greek myth was left alive by the end of God of War III, it's because he hadn't killed it yet.
  • Id from Xenogears. Destroying a village by a momentary outbreak, wiping out an entire army, fighting Gears bare handed...
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has the Greybeards, who, much like Black Bolt above, have taken a vow of silence because their voices are too powerful. Only one of them can talk to you without making the ground shake. Luckily for others, they stay on their monastery at the world's tallest mountain, not getting involved with Skyrim's problems

Arngeir: Their voices are too powerful for anyone not trained in the way of the voice. Even a whisper could kill you.

  • The player in Knights of the Old Republic II is constantly accused of being one, having destroyed worlds both accidentally and on purpose.
    • Darth Nihilus is a frighteningly literal example. He's more like an Eldritch Abomination than a man at this point and when he sees the Force, he goes and devours the entire planet to sate his hunger. An entire planet, Katarr, had all life on it wiped out, except for one person who became his apprentice.

Visual Novels

  • Quite a lot of people in the Nasuverse are like this.
    • For Tsukihime you have Arcueid, who has to use 70% of her power to stop herself from going into an Unstoppable Rage and even with the remaining 30% can apparently use her Marble Phantasm to pull the moon from 1000 years into the future into the sky for one night. See also: Zelretch, Aozaki Aoko, some of the Dead Apostles and even Shiki if he had the time to actually prep himself before his brain burned out. Example, killing the world around the entire school area in order to partially depower Arcueid and make her somewhat more vulnerable in Ciel's True End. Imagine if the 'point of death' of the entire world happened to be nearby him.
    • Fate/stay night has, surprisingly, Dark Sakura because she has more magical energy than she could ever possibly use no matter what and can summon up apparently infinite giant freaky monster things if she has time. Is also the avatar of the devil. Some of the Servants like Gilgamesh could also probably blow up entire cities in a single blow if they felt like it. Servants tend to be much more about focused destruction than the characters in Tsukihime though, who cause wide area damage. Aozoki can blow up cities on a whim, for example!
      • Any Servant with an anti-fortress/city phantasm counts, as their phantasm is specifically designed to annihilate a fully-defended castle in one shot. Heck, even an anti-army phantasm probably would count (though on the low end of the scale, being designed to kill hundreds of Muggles rather than wiping castles and supernatural horrors completely off the face of the earth.) Also, Gilgamesh can canonically blow up the planet if he a) ever took anyone seriously b) took the time to fully spin-charge Ea.

Web Comics

Thief: The Thief's Almanac didn't say anything about atomic detonations either...

    • It is explained early on that Black Mage is actually a nexus of magical energy in human form, which may explain his vast power.
    • It probably helps that the Hadoken is literally fueled by The Power of Love as well. As in, it drains some love from the universe, enough to up the divorce rate slightly with each blast. Good thing it usually has a once-per-day limit.
  • Riff from Sluggy Freelance tends to view Aylee this way, thinking her species' instincts could make her try to take over the world. This belief turns out to be more justified than he knows in the sense that we eventually find out that the normal pattern of behaviour for someone of her species would be to breed a whole Horde of Alien Locusts to consume everything on the planet and then bury into the centre of it and explode.
  • Given the things that the most powerful Sparks in Girl Genius are capable of creating with minimal resources, they probably qualify. Agatha once converted a travelling circus into a mechanised army capable of destroying a whole regiment of Baron Wulfenbach's troops, and regularly builds death rays with little time and effort (the most recent one was capable of blowing a huge hole in a wall of Castle Heterodyne, one of its other turrets, and a distant mountain; she constructed it in her sleep). Gilgamesh was able to create an array of electrical conductors which directed energy into a small rod he carries, which allowed him to destroy an army of battle clanks. At one point, he threatens to reduce Britain to molten slag and set the surrounding seas boiling for the next thousand years. It is implied that Klaus Wulfenbach started alone - he now rules most of Europa.
  • One of the main themes in Erfworld. Stanley doesn't want to be one of these, but he's damn good at it.
    • So, for that matter, is Parson. Incredible resourcefulness + magical compulsion to try and win battles = lots of dead enemies.
  • Last Res0rt has Veled in this role, and if the concept doesn't scare you already... she's the one in CHARGE.
  • The Freak Angels, are a bunch of powerful psychics. While individually they are capable of great destructive force (they can telekinetically tear a man apart), their powers increase greatly when working in concert. A few of them at a time can demolish buildings, cause explosions, and tear through small armies. All twelve of them can strike the Earth with enough force to cause catastrophic earthquakes, tidal waves and geomagnetic disturbances.
  • Jack Noir of Homestuck becomes one after taking the Black Queen's ring. Shows off his power by devastating two planets.
    • And after his fourth and final prototyping, he enters the Trolls' session and obliterates fourteen more planets. But first he kills the amassed army of robo-Aradias.
    • Jade Harley in the newer updates. She has all the powers of a First Guardian and a God Tier Witch of Space. She can shrink entire planets down to the size of tennis balls, and punches a hole through the Fourth Wall with a ship that she's levitating herself. A ship that she's moving to 'almost the speed of light'.
    • John drilled a hole into the centre of a planet using his wind powers, so he could be pretty damn destructive if he wanted to. He also has one awesome hammer.
    • While we're on the subject of God Tiers, Vriska Serket, to the point where according to Doc Scratch, she actually had a decent chance against Jack.
    • Not actually demonstrated as yet, but mentioned: God-Tier Dave apparently won the Superpower Lottery in terms of class, as he's a heavy-combat role with an eminently abusable element. Aradia could freeze Jack in place with her powers over time. Combine that with Dave's badassery, habit of having more than one of himself in the same place at the same time, and an Infinity+1 Sword, and you have a recipe for absolute destruction.
  • Radd, in Kid Radd, can charge his attack to whatever is the maximum value on the system he's in. In the 8-bit game he's from it's 255. In 12-bit games he becomes a Game Breaker. On modern 32-bit systems, his attack could potentially crash the whole Internet.

Web Original

  • From the Union series, Tank born Shadow Agents, depending on the Country/Colony of origin, have a kill switch installed, resulting in The Berserker. To quote a passage from the story:

We popped the Kill Switch on a Schatten once, just to see what it could do. It tore through nearly half the Londinium ground forces before it died of blood loss. It took three days. We never made that mistake again.

  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe there is Quantum, a who can manipulate matter and energy on the quantum level. His death (he literally exploded after being mortally wounded while battling an alien invasion fleet) vaporized Triton. You know... the largest of Neptune's moons?
  • Pretty much all the humans and humanoids housed by the SCP Foundation (and that may or may not include the researchers).
  • Tennyo, of the Whateley Universe. What, the whole 'antimatter in her body' thing doesn't bother you? What about the 'neutron star blast' thing she did in her combat final? Or the death-blow that dissolved Killbot and disintegrated his soul? Or the thing she did when defending herself from over a hundred bad guys that ripped a hole in space-time? Or when she ate the demonically-tainted Weres that attacked the school? Or...
    • Or what we found out in "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy": the part of her that is not Billie Wilson is older than Mankind and has destroyed entire interplanetary civilizations.
  • Explored and deconstructed in Sam Hughes' Fine Structure science fiction series. Here's a relevant quote discussing why superhumans make terrible weapons of mass destruction:

Because they're weapons, the superhumans, but they're not weapons of mass destruction. They're in one place, at one time. And you can't send a human into a city and tell him to kill ten thousand people. He'd have to do it personally, hand to hand, in twos and threes, hurling cars, taking heads, pulling down buildings on crowds. He'd have no choice but to look into the eyes of at least one in every ten of his victims, and, if he wasn't hopelessly deranged to begin with, he'd be driven there by the end. If he didn't simply resign. Either way, he'd be out of your control. And that is much more important.
It's more humane, in a way. Walking up to your enemy and pushing your finger through his heart and out the other side is much more costly than doing the same from fifty yards away with a gun, or from the other side of the river with a mortar, or from another hemisphere with an intercontinental ballistic missile. Psychologically, that is.
It makes you think.

  • Being a pilot in Pilots requires a mindset that is more or less directly antithetical to militarism or aggression, and you can't coerce them because that breaks the mental state required to switch. However, the mechanics of the power can be quite destructive—there are several cases of accidental pushback or too-small switch spheres that cause many deaths—and it gets even worse with the ADPs. X is discovered when he creates pushback that is initially mistaken for a major earthquake, by accident.
  • The Knights of Grabacr from Lambda are each capable of singlehandedly wiping out entire armies. Their leader, Lady Weissteufel, does this on a regular basis.

Western Animation

  • An episode of Justice League Unlimited featured a guy with (basically) a black hole in his gut.
    • There's also Captain Atom, who's pretty much walking nuclear fallout contained in a suit.
    • Above everyone else is Ivo's Android (Amazo in the comics) who has enough power to make Dr. Manhattan look like an amateur. It can easily destroy the universe with a simple thought. Fortunately, by the time its ever-growing power reached that point, it had gone from villain to True Neutral.
  • Rex from Generator Rex is treated as one.
  • In the finale of Kim Possible, the sidekick Ron Stoppable became one of these when he finally got control of his Mystical Monkey Powers. He managed to defeat two powerful giant aliens and hurl them effortlessly into the sky and caused them to crash head on into their crashing spaceship. Needless to say, enemy and ally alike were impressed, shocked, and a little nervous.
    • On a technicality, he was already one due to his destructive clumsiness. The only difference now is he can voluntarily control the chaos he causes.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang (and any Avatar actually) when in his Physical God mode. In season one final he single-handly wiped out the Fire Nation fleet sent to destroy a whole nation. There were attempts to use this power as a Weapon of Mass Destruction—all of which, as you can guess, didn’t end well.
    • And anyone in the Avatar State in general, in fact. Subverted, however, in that there is one critical weakness to this state, as Roku points out:

Roku: In the Avatar State, you are at your most powerful, but you are also at your most vulnerable.
Aang: What do you mean?
Roku: If you are killed in the Avatar State, the reincarnation cycle will be broken, and the Avatar will cease to exist.

Real Life

  • Typhoid Mary was a Person of Mass Destruction. She was told, but she never believed she was responsible for those typhoid outbreaks, since she'd never shown symptoms of typhoid herself. After the wave of typhoid fever was traced back to her, she was specifically forbidden from having anything to do with food preparation. So she escaped, changed identity, and went back to making food... and triggered another wave of typhoid.
  • Likewise, the spread of HIV in the first decade or so of the AIDS epidemic has been traced back to a specific handful of infectees. Many of the first wave of North American AIDS cases originated with an individual male flight attendant who'd contracted HIV overseas, then scored in dozens of U.S. and Canadian cities where his flights had stopped overnight.
    • It's rare, but a few HIV-positive individuals have been brought up on criminal charges for deliberately passing their condition on to others without their knowledge (which, naturally, is featured in an episode of Law & Order). Those who did so with numerous partners may qualify as PMD.
  1. Now that Chaos Dragon and Hellmaster are dead, he's the fifth most powerful demon in the world.
  2. An Order of Hermes character investing in the elemental manipulation(/creation/anything) path of their magic can easily achieve the ability to 1) fly 2) manipulate air (meaning a personal pressurised air pocket around the mage) 3) manipulate forces like gravity (potentially meaning no g-forces) 4) burn (village/town wide if necessary), from great distances if necessary... and that's just level 3 of a very parabolic 1-5 scale. And by the default character creation rules level 3 is something you can just simply just pick for your character without gimping them in other aspects, or taking any flaws.