From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- "Super Effective" redirects here. For the meaning of the message displayed in battle, see Type → Type effectiveness. For the podcast of a similar name, see It's Super Effective (podcast).
Super Effective is a comical 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, primarily for humor purposes.
The humor is based on jokes and questions commonly found in the fandom, such as the fact no one has seen Brock's eyes, and Professor Oak asking the player the name of his own 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; it 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.
There are currently 85 strips.
The first 52 comics of Super Effective are being sold as a paperback book by SharkRobot.com.
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. Red is the most rational of the characters in the series and notices the obvious faults of others. He made his debut in the first strip. He currently has one Badge, the Boulder Badge. Red's Pokémon are Charmander*, Pidgey*, Zubat*, and Clefairy*.
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. Blue's only known Pokémon currently is Wartortle*.
Red's Pokédex has a personality of its own. It has a unique sense of humor with a tendency to offer immature and inappropriate suggestions for Pokémon nicknames. It also doubles as a Pokégear.
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 is somewhat cruel, cutting down tall grass with a lawnmower, killing the Pokémon hiding in it. Ramsoomair intends for Green to become more of a supporting character, like Blue. Green's Pokémon are Ivysaur and Pikachu*.
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; Nurse Joy, and a member of Team Rocket. Additionally, some characters may appear in certain issues that aren't even part of the story, such as the reporter Slowpoke who reports things well after they happen.
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. For example, Professor Oak must be told if the player is a boy or a girl and the name of his own grandson; the old man from Viridian City teaches the player how to catch Pokémon, despite the player having usually already caught Pokémon by that point; and so forth.
Ramsoomair creates all of his comics, including Super Effective, using both hand-drawn art and computer software. After scanning his images (or drawing them on a graphics tablet), Adobe Photoshop or a similar tool is used to darken the lines and finalize the image. It typically takes many hours to make a single comic. Drawing alone takes 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 more frequently.
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.
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, often incorporating game aspects.