I've long maintained a policy of not giving away spoilers for my bygone comic Cheer! in the vain hope that some day I'd pick up where I left off and continue. I think the possibility of that happening any more is dwindling at a similar pace to the number of people who might still care! So, having that desire to draw again, I figured I might as well share this image, riddled with errors as it may be. I really wish I could redraw Alex... and most of Jo. Maybe I should try another version now that I've shaken off some of the cobwebs.
Most superhero stories (of which Cheer! basically was in intent) would start somewhere in the middle, with the heroes established to some extent as heroes and already involved in much daring do. After all, who would want to read five issues of Peter Parker just being some high school guy before any radioactive spiders entered the scene! When I started Cheer!, I made the purposeful decision to start at the beginning, before super powers and before super adventures. This was partly because Cheer! was a spin-off and, thereby, came with an interested audience without having to lure people in with action. But mostly it was because I had no idea where I was going with anything when I started.
This picture might have been somewhere near the beginning of Cheer! had I started in media res... the main cast having already gotten their powers and... I don't know... investigating a dark warehouse or something.
Alex, being the main character of Cheer!, also has the strangest and most eclectic mixture of powers. Even after losing the robe of intelligence, she maintains the knowledge of being a Channeller, and much more potent without the game world's restrictions. As such she has the power to summon and, to a limited extent, shape fire and void. The fire has many obvious uses typically surrounding burning things, while void is a perfect buffer to make shields out of, and is also how she doesn't burn herself. Excessive use of void leads to leeching of one's own body heat and energy, so it does have its limits. Bree also stays around, living primarily in Alex's shadow but coming out whenever her defensive qualities are needed. And finally Alex maintains the "ability" to randomly transform into various mythical and fantasy creature hybrids whenever she's seriously stressed or emotional. These transformations are almost never useful.
Jo is the only character who had her superpowers since the beginning. She has a mixture of perfect attention and memory for everything happening around her. She doesn't have supernatural senses, but anything that can be observed by astute human senses will be noticed and remembered by Jo. When she ignores most of it, she functions quite well, but she becomes easily overwhelmed by the details if she tries to focus. Eventually, with the help of her cousin Kal, she realizes what she can do really is a superpower of sorts and she learns to control it, noticing, understanding and being able to point out critical details at key times. She's also completely immune to mind-altering effects such as illusions, mind control and, to her eventual potential chagrin, alcohol and other drugs. Her wand is and always was a red herring, having no use in the story except as a portable club. I did intend to show it actually doing something in an epilogue though... (and I just realized I forgot her choker and bracers in this picture... another error!)
Lita lost her sword and other accessories from the game world in the fight with Aulon, but she managed to keep the "plate armor." From then on, she started wearing it as underwear whenever she could as she discovered the enchantments of the armor still functioned. These enchantments give her superhuman strength, exceptional resilience (she's not bullet-proof, but she can take a beating) and exceptionally quick healing (HP regeneration). And that's really it. Everyone else's powers have some drawbacks that lead to potential drama, but Lita's are pretty straightforward and drama free. That way I could use her as a rock for the others when things get too stressful.
And then there's Sam whose powers weren't even hinted at yet (they were coming in the next chapter). Sam, through a combination of personal valor, coincidence and Organizational mistakes, ended up inheriting the essence of the last war dragon. While this bestowed Sam with the powers of that dragon (mostly various shapes and powers of wind, but basically she has the potency of a very large hurricane) it also gave her some of the dragon's thoughts and emotions which prove an incredible mental burden for Sam's control-seeking nature. Eventually she does come to grips with these thoughts, at least enough to have decent control of her wind powers (slicing air, pushing air, flight, etc) but it's always a fight between her controlled, peace-loving nature and the joyously destructive and chaotic spirit of the dragon.
And there you have it! For anyone who ploughed through that wall of text, "spoilers" for Cheer! and where I was intending to take the characters. They were never going to be an active crime-fighting team... no one apart from Jo has any interest in being superheroes. But events were going to keep happening around them and sweeping them up into a battle for the survival of Earth itself... and more importantly, a battle for School Spirit! Goooo Kangaroos!