Super Effective (webcomic)

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"Super Effective" redirects here. For the meaning of the message displayed in battle, see damage modification.

Super Effective's logo

Super Effective is a webcomic by Canadian cartoonist Scott Ramsoomair. It is based on the events of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, and was first published on April 23, 2008.

Ramsoomair is also known for his main comic, VG Cats, which parodies many video games, including Pokémon. Super Effective is devoted to the Pokémon series, and the storyline focuses on Red's journey through Kanto. Some comics do deviate slightly from the plot of the games, and this is primarily for humor purposes.

The humor is based around jokes and questions commonly found in the fandom, such as the fact no one has seen Brock's eyes, and Professor Oak doesn't know the name of his grandson. A majority of the jokes are focused towards mature readers only.

Unlike most webcomics, Super Effective does not have set days on which it is updated, and is published on an irregular basis. This is largely due to Ramsoomair's other commitments, such as VG Cats, but has also been credited to the time it takes to produce a single strip.[1]


The second strip, showing Blue, Oak, and Red


The main character of the comic, Red is based on the player character of FireRed and LeafGreen. His starter Pokémon was a Charmander. Like his game counterpart, he is a silent protagonist and thus largely speaks through his actions. Unlike a majority of the other characters in the series, Red is the most rational and notices the obvious faults of other characters in the series. He made his debut in the first strip. He currently has one badge, the Boulder Badge.

Professor Oak

Unlike his counterparts in other media, Professor Oak is portrayed as a man with little common sense, unable to remember his grandson's name or determine whether Red was a boy or a girl. He provides both Red and Blue with a Pokémon and Pokédex, giving them the task of completing it. He made his debut in the first strip.


Professor Oak's grandson, also known as Douche. Like the character on which he was based, Blue has had a strong rivalry with Red since they were babies. He also hates his grandfather for things such as forgetting his name, giving him a Squirtle which didn't know any Water-type attacks and forcing him on a quest to complete the Pokédex. He takes his catch phrase "Smell ya later!" literally, and takes the time to smell Red after a Pokémon battle. He made his debut in the second strip.

DEX v1.2

Red's Pokédex has a personality of its own. It has a unique sense of humor with a tendency to offer immature suggestions for nicknames like "Butts" for a Pidgey and "Penis" for a Metapod.


Green is based on the female player character, Leaf, and first appeared in the 29th strip. Her starter Pokémon is a Bulbasaur. She happens to display an interest in its "tentacles" that she may or may not be kidding about. She has a peppy and bright personality (and somewhat cruel, cutting down tall grass with a lawnmower, killing the Pokémon hiding in it), but she has only appeared in three strips so far. Ramsoomair intends for Green to become more of a supporting character, like Blue.[2]

Other characters

In addition to the five main characters, additional characters have been included in one or more strips. These include Brock, the first Gym Leader; the man in the Poké Mart; a Bug Catcher; the old man who teachers players how to catch Pokémon; and Nurse Joy.

Fandom jokes

Typical Oak humor
Humor relating to the frustration of finding a rare Pokémon, but having no Poké Balls to catch it with
A number of the jokes in the series are based around common jokes, questions, and criticisms of the games themselves. More often than not, the jokes are one-off 'on the spot' jokes that make their point, but don't interfere with the story. This list contains some of the more notable fandom jokes referenced in the series.
  • Strip #1: Professor Oak must be told if the player is a boy or a girl.
  • Strip #2: Professor Oak must be told his own grandson's name, potentially allowing the player to give him an insulting one.
  • Strip #5: Professor Oak gives children expensive equipment (Pokédex) and sends them on a lengthy journey (catching all known Pokémon) by themselves.
  • Strip #9: A common belief that pressing a combination of buttons allows a Pokémon to be caught more easily.
  • Strip #13: The old man from Viridian City teaches the player how to catch Pokémon, despite the player having usually already caught Pokémon by that point.
  • Strip #22: The common frustration of finding a rare Pokémon, but having no Poké Balls to catch it with.
  • Strip #23: The fact that the player gets money after each battle.
  • Strip #24: The realization that any Trainer who started with Charmander will be at a major disadvantage in the first gym.
  • Strip #25: The fact that Brock's eyes always appear closed.
  • Strip #30: Certain fan's attraction to the female counterpart despite her being around ten years old.
  • Strip #36: The fact that Gym Leaders have only two or three Pokémon at the beginning of the Trainer's quest, despite most Trainers having up to six.


Ramsoomair creates all of his comics, including Super Effective using both hand-drawn art and computer software. By scanning his images (or drawing them on a graphics tablet), Adobe Photoshop or a similar tool can be used to darken the lines and finalize the image. It typically takes many hours to make a single comic. Drawing alone is between three and nine hours, and the computer work takes a similar length of time. Ramsoomair cites this as one of the reasons why Super Effective and his other comics are not updated at a higher frequency.[1]

Ramsoomair intends to run the strip until the end of Kanto, with it basically being a scripted and humorous walkthrough of his own FireRed game. Currently, he plans for Red to catch the same Pokémon he used in the game. However, due to timing constraints, some sections of the game may be skipped.[2]

While the comic is based largely on the plot of the games, several strips have been based on events in other media, such as the anime[3], often incorporating game aspects.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 VG Cats FAQ page
  2. 2.0 2.1 Interview with Scott Ramsoomair
  3. Strip 37
  4. Strip 12

External links

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