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"Remember, with great power comes great current squared times resistance.[1]"


Super powered individuals are, believe it or not, closely related to nuclear reactors. Oh sure, they don't (usually) eat uranium, or even have a nuclear accident to credit with their powers, but when facing critical injuries or mental attacks they run the risk of losing control of their powers and going into a Superpower Meltdown the likes of which could make Chernobyl look like a radioactive cough by comparison.

This depends on the power in question and its source. Nuclear and radiation based heroes have a distressing tendency to go nuclear under duress, but any super with enough raw power can have a meltdown, no matter the source: psychic, mystic, or technological. Normal people using a Green Lantern Ring or Artifact of Doom can inadvertently cause it to self destruct, or do so themselves if they internalized its power. This can also happen to heroes abusing Explosive Overclocking, who may enter Heroic RROD and start showing Volcanic Veins. Villains who are Drunk on the Dark Side might take One-Winged Angel a level too far and peter out humiliatingly. A genetically empowered hero may lose control and become a Biological Mashup. Shape Shifters will usually go lose control of their Shapeshifter Mashup and go into a Shapeshifter Swan Song.

Less lethally, if the hero/villain is only modestly powered or hit with Green Rocks to cause a short circuit, then the meltdown might only take the form of their normal power causing random effects. Like telekinesis mimicking a poltergeist rather than de-atomizing everything, or a pyrokinetic setting nearby objects on fire rather than exploding. Should their power require constant concentration to keep stable, then any effect that destroys their concentration could be potentially fatal for all involved.

A common occurrence is for a hero going into meltdown to be coaxed back from the brink using Heroic Willpower, or forced to do a Heroic Sacrifice and fly away to save those nearby. If a Love Interest is nearby, a Cooldown Hug can reliably stop the meltdown. Occasionally, a hero or villain might purposefully trigger it to try and kill their rival, since the Sphere of Destruction such a meltdown generates tends to be pretty devastating. Whether this works on not depends on if they're the lead.

Compare Spontaneous Human Combustion, Load-Bearing Boss, Unstoppable Rage, Super-Powered Evil Side, Action Bomb, Power Incontinence, and Taking You with Me. See also Power Degeneration, Clone Degeneration and Flawed Prototype.

Contrast Heroic RROD, where the meltdown is mostly contained within the hero.

Examples of Superpower Meltdown include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, this is Father's ultimate downfall. After he uses the souls of Amestris to suppress "God" within his body, Hohenheim's countermeasure strips him of the energy, leaving him with only the few souls of Xerxes he originally had. He's then forced to use up what's left of his philosopher's stone, allowing "God" to break free and drag him into the Gate.
    • And by Dragging him into the Gate we mean crushing him into nothingness in the real world and then dragging him into the Gate.
      • And by crushing him into nothingness we mean grabbing him with nightmarish little tendrils that emerged from the hole torn in his stomach and then forcing everything into the same hole.
  • In the manga of Elfen Lied: Lucy going in to a literal meltdown due abusing of her telekinetic powers while destroying some planes and then for saving Kouta
  • Tetsuo's horrific mutation scene from Akira was the result of him finally losing control of his powers.
  • Miroku from Inuyasha's power is a meltdown. More precisely, he has a black hole in the palm of his hand, held at bay with an enchanted string of prayer beads, and though it's potentially the most destructive power anyone on the team has, it will eventually melt down and eat him regardless of how often he uses it, though overuse will hurry his end.
    • This got worse in the manga as a result of Miroku absorbing a lot of Big Bad Naraku's poison. Though Kikyo purified some of it, the poison that's left cuts deeper into his body every time he uses the Wind Tunnel. Considering that he's continually forced into situations that compel him to use his Wind Tunnel, his only chance of survival lies in the other characters killing Naraku before his Wind Tunnel swallows him up. Which they ultimately do.
      • This also occurs in an anime movie, in which Miroku fights a villain who also has a wind scar in his hand. To get more suction to beat Miroku, he takes a blade and intentionally makes the hole wider. You can guess what happens next.
  • Chiaotzu and Android 16 in Dragonball Z triggered Super Power Meltdowns to try and defeat The Dragon and Big Bad of separate arcs as part of a Heroic Sacrifice. It didn't work.
    • The villain Cell threatened to destroy the planet by triggering his own, Goku teleports them both away. Ironically, while he is the lead, his Heroic Sacrifice was partly in vain since Cell survives and Gohan has to beat him.
      • One wonders why Goku didn't teleport himself and Kaio back, without Cell...
      • He should have easily been able to do it, had he not spent thirty minutes saying goodbye to everyone.
        • Thirty minutes? He had a few seconds at most.
        • Which by DBZ standards of speed and strength could easily span an entire episode or even two, and that was reached by Frieza saga itself. Since then... Goku's mastered Super Saiyan, has instant teleportation and even in base form could have wiped the floor with Frieza.
    • If you're going to count Chiaotzu and #16, shouldn't Vegeta's Heroic Sacrifice against Majin Buu count as well?
  • In Zettai Karen Children, Kaoru is nearly killed when her psychic powers begin to go haywire, slamming a helicopter carrying herself and others into a building and being crushed on the ground by the weight of her power. She's saved when her supervisor shows something similar to The Power of Friendship; she has the guts to then stop her own heart, resulting in the cancellation of the meltdown.
    • Later, a lesser case occurs - when Minamoto quits his position as the supervisor of Tha Children (due to the new head of BABEL being too much of a Manipulative Bastard for him to endure), The Children responds by breaking into tears - and spontaneously calling up a huge whirlwind of mixed ESP that nearly dismantles the BABEL tower.
  • In Claymore, the only people effective at finding and killing monstrous youma are the titular Claymores, women with youma flesh implanted in them; this also grants them increased physical abilities, and lets them draw on even more physical abilities if they choose to. If they draw too much, though, they risk 'awakening' and transforming into a murderous, human-eating Awakened Being that, due to its composite origin, is vastly more powerful and dangerous than the monsters they were supposed to be fighting in the first place. In actual practice, by the time the story takes place, the 'serious' threats are all Awakened Beings, and youma are little more than mooks... and yet they keep producing more Claymores to fight the Awakened Beings they produced when the previous Claymores went insane. It's eventually revealed that the obviously insane nature of this strategy is deliberate on the part of the organization that creates Claymores, and their real goal was to create and test Awakened Beings from the start.
  • Tsukihime's Tohno Shiki has the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which perceive the nature of death in the form of lines and dots on virtually everything. He potentially risks this trope every time he takes off his ability-sealing glasses, and (later on) when his eyes become too strong to be suppressed. It has been stated that it wouldn't be strange for everything to fall apart around him, just from his being nearby.
  • The Guyver armor does this if its Control Medal is torn out. Among the things that happen is that the armor EATS the user.
  • In Naruto, Smug Snake Deidara eats his own explosive clay made by him, in the hopes of killing Sasuke as well, and goes nuclear. It didn't work, as Sasuke survived...and his partner Tobi escaped too.
  • In Witchblade anime bionical Cloneblades works nice (though not as good as real thing) and does not causes problems (unlike self-willed Witchblade) until some minor damage happens to trigger deterioration. Shortly afterwards, transforming power's failure ensues and user ends up crystallized (and usually shattered). And of course it's irremovable. Witchblade itself is more perfect, but quickly overloads a human body.
  • The bakkoutou in Bleach cause this in their wielders fairly regularly. The less powerful generally just get devoured by the bakkoutou after excessive use, but a strong enough user might just get to blow up instead.
    • The first time Ichigo took on a Gillian also resulted in one of these. The powerful upgrade he had just received was beyond his body's current ability to handle and would have resulted in a nasty death if Ishida hadn't saved him.
  • Not exactly a superhero, but in Digimon Tamers, Takato's rage and despair forces Guilmon to digivolve to Meggidramon...whose very existence starts to shatter the fabric of the Digital World.
    • In Digimon Savers, Masaru forces ShineGreymon into a corrupted Burst Mode, which then proceeds to go on a rampage until the power consumes it, killing Agumon (he gets better).
    • This seems to be a habit of dinosaur based digimon and their partners going all the way back to Tai in Digimon Adventure. He purposely puts himself in danger which causes Greymon to turn into his evil corrupt form and promptly pummel everything within reach until his power burns out and he reverts to one of his lowest stages.
  • Isako in Dennou Coil deliberately triggers one of these in order to close a portal to the Other Side.
  • Subaru's famous berserker scene in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha was apparently her first use of her cyborg abilities as well as using her normal armaments as hard as she possibly could. Afterward, her gear is horribly damaged and she nearly destroyed her intelligent device entirely. Couple that with not bothering to dodge or block attacks and she was pretty seriously injured after that.
  • Katsumi in Silent Möbius after she finds Robert De Vice dead, her grief and anger make her magical power leash out, blowing up the apartment building in a Pillar of Light as she screams inside the fire with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • In Heroic Age, the result of two or more Nodos fighting each other for long enough is "Frenzy", wherein the Nodos succumbs to pure rage, gains greatly amplified powers (considering what they're capable of normally, this is kinda scary), starts mutating in decidedly painful-looking ways, and generally destroys everything in its path (ships, fleets, planets, etc) until eventually releasing an amount of energy comparable to a supernova, which also kills the Nodos.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, Tsukune's vampire blood injections power him up immensely, but they slowly eat away at both his body and his humanity. He's gained some measure of control over those powers at this point, but he still occasionally loses control
  • In Turn a Gundam, when the Turn A and Turn X are fighting one another at the end, both begin releasing the Moonlight Butterfly against the pilots' wishes. The last time that happened, humanity was knocked back into the Stone Age and Earth's ecosystem was shattered, and it's taken over 2,000 years to repair the damage. It's hinted that the two machines were programmed to destroy one another at any cost, so were utilizing the greatest power they possessed in order to do so. This ends with the Moonlight Butterfly malfunctioning and sealing the two machines inside a solid cocoon of nanomachines, locking them in an eternal stalemate. Loran barely makes it out in time. Ghingnham isn't so lucky.

Comic Books

  • Captain Atom in the DC comic Kingdom Come, inadvertently causes the US Midwest to become a radioactive wasteland when the Parasite ruptures his containment suit. This has almost happened to him a few other times in mainstream DC continuity, since unlike other Energy Beings he's made of nuclear radiation.
  • In the Italian Disney comic Paperinik New Adventures, Donald Duck has a superhero identity and one of his allies is the sole survivor of a destroyed planet who has literally absorbed the power of her star (yeah, it's a bit of a Superman shout-out) gaining control over matter and energy. The energy she has at disposal is immense, and if she were to release it fully it would cause her to go nova. Really.
    • After she finds out that a few hundreds of her people, including her lover, survived the destruction of their planet, but are doomed to die anyway sooner or later because the new planet they colonized has no sun, she ends up sacrificing herself to become a sun.
  • The Atom (the original Golden Age one with an "atomic punch," not the shrinking Silver Age one) was once used by a time-traveling villain who plotted to turn him into a human atom bomb, destroying Washington, killing President Truman and ensuring that superheroes would be hated and feared forever. (He failed.)
    • More recently, the Atom's son, Damage, almost destroyed Atlanta when he built up all his explosive power in a rage to take out a villain who had disfigured him. (They stopped him.)
    • Damage actually does have one of those at the end of Zero Hour when he's fighting Parallax. Just as well, since they were the only creatures in the DCU by then; Damage created a Big Bang that recreated the DCU as something mostly resembling pre-Zero Hour continuity.
  • In The Authority story, The Authority:Revolution, during a fight on the White House lawn, a superhuman with radioactive powers ends up losing control of his abilities, and the resulting explosion levels the city.
  • The original appearance of Wildfire in the Legion of Super-Heroes had him do a meltdown as a Heroic Sacrifice (He was an Energy Being in a containment suit, who released his whole self as an attack that was exponentially more powerful than his 'normal' energy blasts.) He got better a few issues later.
    • Wildfire set up a special chamber in the basement of Legion HQ with a series of spare containment suits, in case he ever had to use his not-as-permanent-as-you'd-think Heroic Sacrifice stunt.
  • In the original Squadron Supreme limited series, Nuke has a meltdown which ends up killing him, as he burns up all the oxygen inside the force field that's keeping him from incinerating the countryside.
  • In the Marvel Universe, some powers have had serious meltdowns. Captain Mar-Vell was given the Nega-bands, but it should be noted that they were turned into an apocalyptic Nuclear Option in Operation: Galactic Storm and used to blow up the Kree Galaxy and effectively mutate what little life made it through. (It was just as rough of the life in the Negative Zone, as it turns out). Also, such matters as Nova Flares from Johnny Storm (one destroyed the NYU campus, I believe) have long been staple in Marvel.
    • The Nega-bomb is ironic in that it hangs a lampshade on the best-played example of Superpower Meltdown ever, and the least over-the-top, one ironically also caused by Nitro. Captain Mar-Vell actually died of cancer caused by Nitro blasting a toxic storage and leaving Mar-Vell to suffer catastrophic radiation poisoning, but by the time his own powers let it be detected, they were all that was keeping him alive, AND prevented anyone trying to operate or magic-spell out the carcinoma. That death remains the best Permanent Exit in comics history.
    • Another Marvel Universe example: this was the means by which the Legacy Virus (usually) killed mutant victims. The degree of damage produced depended on exactly what the powers of the mutant in question did.
  • The original (?) Quasar got his Power Bands because the previous two users incinerated themselves by trying too hard to control them, while Wendell Vaughn's more laid back go-with-the-flow attitude allowed him to "calm them down", so to speak.
  • Examined in the Image comic-miniseries titled Meltdown (fittingly enough). The protagonist, Caliente (aka. "The Flare"), is slowly being overcome by his fire-based powers. Many tears are jerked as he lives his last days.
  • Hellboy: Liz Sherman already suffers from some Power Incontinence, but when she was eleven, she lost control of her pyrokinetic powers, and destroyed an entire block, with thirty-two casualties (among them her parents and brother).
  • Things work differently in the Negation universe (as opposed to our "bright" universe), so superpowered individuals from the "bright" universe tend to go meltdown. Atlanteans turn out to be immune to this, and other empowered individuals can eventually acclimate themselves.

Fan Works

  • A major plot point in the Justice League/Naruto crossover "Connecting the Dots". Ino, having : accidentally gained telepathic powers from J'onn J'onnz slowly begins to go insane as she struggles to control her new abilities. : She almost drives everyone else insane too.


  • X-Men: The Last Stand features this in the form of Phoenix. Sure, she had total control of her powers, but she was still going completely batshit. At least until she asked Wolverine to kill her and end it.
  • Godzilla is going through one of these in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, causing him to glow red and be perpetually angry. Also, there's a fear that his literal meltdown will probably blow up the atmosphere. Luckily, all this radiation is absorbed by Godzilla Junior, mutating him into the next Godzilla, so that's okay.


  • Flinx, of Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, is a powerful Empath with a slight control problem. One of the more notable symptoms is his tendency to emit blasts of near-absolute telekinetic destruction when stressed to extreme levels. When this first happens, it's a complete surprise to him, but later in the series, Flinx learns to (more or less) intentionally trigger it.
  • Pyrogenes do this all the time in the Evil Genius Trilogy, usually before they even learn how to properly harness their pyrokinetic powers. However, Cadel never witnesses these events himself, though he often ends up soaked by the sprinklers that activate whenever a pyrogene self-combusts.
  • In Dave Duncan's series "A Man of His Word" and its sequel series "A Handful of Men", learning "words of power" gives you magical abilities. The more words you know, the more power you have; knowing four words makes you a sorcerer with full-blown Reality Warper powers. Learning a fifth word, however, gives you so much power that it will quickly cause you to burst into flames and die.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Wings of Fire, one of the AL-52 Dragons is mounted with a new laser that uses a contained plasma field as a power source. This generates immense heat and radiation that damages the components maintaining the containment, and when the plasma field gets free it will vaporise stuff in a large area.
  • An unnerving example in If on a winter's night a traveler, where the (nameless) character doesn't even realize he's having a superpower meltdown (superpower being erasing things temporarily from existence) until he's erased everything in his city (and maybe even the world), and realizes he can't bring them back.

Live Action TV

  • One of the crises of the first season of Heroes was the fear that Ted would use his literal nuclear powers to level New York. In the end, it wasn't Ted they had to worry about.
    • Ted did have a Superpower Meltdown earlier in the series. It just wasn't as big as they thought. Instead of blowing up New York City, he burned down a house in Odessa, Texas. Still caused quite a bit of damage, and made quite a crispy Claire. It probably would have been as big as they thought, but fortunately Claire was on hand with a tranquilizer gun.
    • In Season 3, Future Sylar loses control and vaporizes Costa Verde after his son is killed.
    • ( Also Elle went all electric explosiony when Sylar starts to skullcap her, shorting out the circuits of Level 5 releasing it's inmates. )
    • In the volume 3 finale, Meredith, the pyrokinetic, is injected with a syringe full of adrenaline by Sylar. She goes into Superpower Meltdown mode, which sadly ends quite tragically for her and anyone else who might not have escaped the Company building
  • In H20: Just Add Water, the girls who are mermaids lose complete control of their powers every time it's a full moon, and in one such instance, Cleo became a siren.
  • Tess in Roswell does this, deliberately, to take out a military base and protect her baby and the other alien teenagers. She doesn't survive.
  • Willow arguably had one at the end of Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • And Illyria came within moments of having one (did have one, until it caused time to cycle back) in Season 5 of Angel. It would've taken out, at minimum, all of Los Angeles. Possibly the whole state.
  • Untrained telepaths in Babylon 5 tend to have these frequently, one of the primary reasons behind the Psi Corps.
  • The Tenth Doctor's regeneration was a mild case of this; previous regenerations weren't nearly as explosive. This may be due to him absorbing all the nuclear radiation he did. Plus suppressing the incoming regeneration so he could say goodbye didn't help either.
  • Gabriel Ashcroft (AKA Patiant Zero) in Mutant X. The first person to be experimented on by Adam Kane and the first known new mutant. Unlike all other new mutants, which are separated into categories (elementals, ferals, moleculars, and psionics), Ashcroft has powers from all four categories (although not all possible powers). He's also a murderous psychopath. However, so many powers cause his cells to slowly destabilize. When his plan to summon an ancient goddess to cure him was thwarted by the titular team, his body exploded, taking out his entire base.
  • The 1980's revival of "The Twilight Zone" had a story about a traumatized Vietnam War veteran with the power to make his thoughts come to life. It worked best when he was dreaming, but all his dreams were about horrific battles. It got messy.

Tabletop Games

  • Extremely common in psykers in Warhammer 40,000, and one reason why psykers are feared by normal humans (another is the omnipresent risk of daemonic possession).
    • In the spin-off game Necromunda, rogue psykers known as Wyrds are prone to this, usually of the Your Head Asplode or spontaneously combust.
    • The Orks have (or at least had) psykers of their own, called Weirdboyz. Being an extremely psychic race to begin with, Ork Psykers tended to cause other nearby Orks heads to explode. It got worse when Weirdboyz got near each other. Of course Orks think this is funny as hell
    • The Eversor Assassin, whose body is so laden with strength and reflex-enhancing combat drugs that upon death they react violently and cause his corpse to explode.
  • Mega-Juicers in Rifts start to become consumed by their power when they near the end of their lives. First their eyes start to glow, then their whole bodies, and eventually they just burst into flame. If/when they die at any point during this period, they explode.
  • Cthulhu Tech gives parapsychics a non-zero chance of going into "Burn" every time they use their powers.
  • Mage: The Awakening has the phenomenon known as The False Awakening, wherein a Sleepwalker who's studied under a mage believes that not only have they Awakened, they've discovered a magical path that no one else has before. In reality, they've become infected with a strange form of magical energy that pretty much allows them to go from initiate to godhood in the space of a week... before they pretty much explode from all the power and take out a city block.
  • Stars Without Number/Other Dust had The Scream, an event that shattered humanity as a Terminally Dependent Society (jump gates and manufacture of many exotic materials required trained psychics, and simply training new ones was not readily possible) and struck down even those not directly affected.

When the Scream washed over Terra’s psychics in 2665 unnumbered thousands died in torment. Their brains baked within their skulls as impossible surges of metadimensional energy poured through flesh that could not hope to endure. Nine out of every ten psychics were dispatched within seconds as vital autonomic processes were scorched into cerebral ash. Hearts stopped, thoughts stopped, and life stopped with them.
Of the remaining tenth, the Scream cut away sanity but not life. Filled with terrifying delusions and whipped on by uncontrollable passions, these Crazed wrought terrible havoc on their home before they finally guttered out in spasms of incoherent suffering. The greater part of them were too weak or too crippled in reason to survive more than a few weeks of the wasteland that their madness had made of Old Terra.



  • Bionicle: the Bohrok-Kal were defeated simply by the Toa Nuva overloading them with power, causing each one to be destroyed by their own powers.
    • Gorast's mask, the Mask of Disruption, has a similar effect. And is complete Nightmare Fuel. Brrr, Icarax and Krika...

Video Games

  • Manbot in Freedom Force had this as his Fatal Flaw: his power made him prone to causing violent explosions, one of which killed his brother after making him a containment suit.
  • Ultima, the Big Bad of Final Fantasy Tactics, tries to once again go One-Winged Angel on Ramza's team after having its prior seraphim and skeleton-angel forms trashed. Too bad large explosions aren't exactly Energy Beings.
  • A mild version happens to Iris in the original Sakura Taisen videogame, although she only blows the roof off a movie theater.
  • In the MMORPG City of Heroes, a sector of Paragon City, known as Siren's Call, was sealed off for several years due to a hero with radioactive powers supposedly going 'boom' there, conveniently allowing the villainous Evil Overlord Lord Recluse to establish a beachhead there.
    • The trope itself is averted, however, in that the real reason for the explosion is either an android replica of the hero specifically made to explode by the Evil Overlord, or (according to the canonically-dubious Strategy Guide) a major villain disguising himself as a small-time crook to lure the hero into the area, before detonating a specially-made bomb and using the hero as a scapegoat.
    • Of course, with the recently added Cyborg Booster Pack, players can now have access to a Self Destruct power, causing them to explode violently after a ten second countdown, doing immense damage to anything unlucky enough to be in range. It will usually wipe out anything below boss level. The down side? You just died. And it takes an hour to recharge.
    • In the game's backstory, Overbrook (now called "Faultline") was supposedly leveled by the earthquake machines of an archvillain known as Faultine. In truth, though, Faultline was a mutant hero who wouldn't have needed them; a villain named Psy Curse used a gadget known as the Psycho Chrono Metron to rewrite Faultline into a villain. Unfortunately, feedback from the Psycho Chrono Metron caused Faultline to lose control of his powers, resulting in the earthquake that leveled Overbrook. .
    • A game signature hero and Author Avatar of the current head of design, Positron, like Man-Bot wears a power suit to keep his powers from doing this. Eventually he was cured, and can now finally remove his helmet.
  • In the Soul Calibur III start-up trailer, Nightmare seems to have one of these because he consumed the souls of a whole army, all at once. It didn't seem to hurt him though.
  • Xenogears opens with Fei as a peaceful painter in a quiet village helping his best friend to get ready for a wedding. Unfortunately, after Grahf repeatedly Hits the Berserk Button, he goes on a frenzy of Unstoppable Rage in his newly-acquired Gear and destroys his home village.
    • This happens several times throughout the game, due to the fact that Fei has a super-powered hidden personality called Id with a penchant for wanton destruction.
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ends with the Nazi scientist being tricked into getting into a god-making machine and putting far too much fuel in it, transforming him into a glowing, horned Energy Being. Then he explodes.
  • Rion Steiner in Galerians if he uses the drugs that fuel his power too much can suffer from shorting which is instant death to all nonbosses within the radius but does damage to him overtime. It can be stopped by using a specific drug. Notably there's another drug which can trigger this instantly.
  • Inverted in Mega Man Zero 4. The Big Bad Dr. Weil tries to crash his Kill Sat into Earth, destroying the only naturally habitable place left on the planet. When Zero tries to stop him, he merges with the Kill Sat's computer core for the final boss fight. This trope forms the premise of the last stage of the fight (the boss's second form); if Zero destroys him, the resulting Superpower Meltdown will destroy the Kill Sat, averting the crisis. The fact that Zero would (and does) also get blown to smithereens in the process is a mere trifling technicality.
  • At the end of Heavens Feel route in Fate/stay night Sakura loses the ability to control the Grail's energy, resulting in a potentially world destroying... thingy... requiring first the use of Rule Breaker to separate Sakura from the Grail and then either Shirou or Ilya's Heroic Sacrifice to keep from getting worse.
  • A plot point in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. After getting infected with Phazon, Samus has the ability to go into Hyper Mode and use Phazon powered attacks, which is powerful, but causes the Corruption to spread, and if the PED Suit malfunctions, the process can be irreversible, leading to devastating consequences to those around them, as seen with other hunters like Ghor, whose own corruption devastated Elysia.


Western Animation

  • Lightning Lad in Legion of Super-Heroes- the episode 'Lightning Storm' where his powers leaked out of the hole previously occupied by one of his arms.
  • Terra in Teen Titans.
    • The hero Red Star from the same series also tended to do this, complete with Heroic Sacrifice at the end of his first appearance. ( He got better.)
  • In Batman Beyond, Blight, described as a walking meltdown, meets his end when his son's betrayal throws him into rage. He was heavily implied to have survived, but didn't have appearances for the rest of the series.
  • Firefly in The Batman gained super fire powers that went beyond his control to the point that if he kept on going, he will become a living embodiment of a meltdown and melt down to the Earth's core and destroy Gotham City in the process.
  • In Ben 10, the Omnitrix has been involved in a few of these.
  • In an episode of ReBoot, Bob removes Hexadecimal's mask in an effort to get her to stop. As it turns out, doing that causes an explosion of energy from the hole in her face, which threatens to overload and destroy everything. Oops.
  • An episode of Transformers Animated sees Wasp talked into using a transwarp generator by Blackarachnia to gain incredible power, turning him into the technorganic Waspinator. His transwarp mutation goes critical soon after.
    • Blackarachnia cocoons herself and Waspinator in webbing before he goes off. Both of them survive, albeit heavily damaged. Waspinator was pulling himself together because he still has plans.
  1. More generally, with great power comes great dEnergy/dt