OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: You're Level 100
April 11, 2018 5:46 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

K.O. loves collecting Pow Cards, which are trading cards for heroes and villains alike that list their level. And K.O. has now gotten his own... and it says he's level 100, gaining everyone's respect! But is K.O. really so powerful?

Ya know, there are episodes that are a joy to write up every detail of, and there are episodes where it's kind of a chore. This one was the later category. It's just an okay episode, pretty predictable, although it has a couple of important worldbuilding elements. Well, let's get started.

Pow Cards are one of those little world building touches that make this show. Their dispensed by a machine much like one that would sell lottery tickets. The machine has two buttons, one for SELF and one for RANDOM, and a retina scanner to make sure no one cheats with the SELF button. It's an oddly well-thought-out system; a hero could obtain as many cards of themself as they want, but if you don't want to go around meeting everyone for their Pow Cards you could also buy Randoms to have a chance of filling out your collection. The details and makers of Pow Cards are covered further some episodes down the line, in No More Pow Cards.

Power Levels are just one of those things about K.O.s world. Everyone has a number that designates their raw power. But, as Enid and Rad say later, power levels aren't everything.

Ordinary people (Drupe, the strawberry girl, is an example) are level 0. Classic D&D called such people "commoners" or (because it was the 70s) "normal men." K.O.s level at the end of this episode is revealed to be 0.1, the only example of a fractional level we've seen in the show. (A later episode shows K.O.s Pow Card with an experience progress bar.) Rad is Level 2 and Enid is Level 3. Mr. Gar is the highest level we've seen (excepting a couple of special cases), at Level 11.

Villains have power levels too, but theirs are negative. Darrells, Shannons and Raymonds all have power levels of -4, but are usually easily trounced by Enid, Rad and K.O., so maybe negative levels are worth less, in terms of power, than positive ones.... but then, the robots usually attack separately, and the heroes' combined level would be 5.1. Ernestos have a power level of -5, but rarely fight. Jethros' levels are -1, of course, and Mikaylas' are is unknown. The "lowest" villain level we've seen so far is that of Lord Boxman, at -10. This is curious beause Boxman doesn't seem to have any fighting ability himself, he's just a builder of robots who do his dirty work for him. There might be some aspect to the power system we're not aware of yet.

Notably, K.O.'s teacher in school, Miss Quantum, has a negative power level, at -1.

The Big Darrell robot seen in this episode has a power level of -100. One wonders why Boxman doesn't make more robots this powerful instead of just sending his much weaker flunkies over and over and getting angry when they inevitably fail.

K.O. pays for his card with what appears to be a 25-Techno coin. That seems to indicate that a "Techno" is about the same as one U.S. cent, or around one Japanese Yen.

Although the card is printed by a machine, it seems the image on the card is still variable. The card is later revealed to have "glitched" and corrects itself to level 0. That implies that each card has some small amount of processing power in it? Or maybe it's just a convenient storytelling way to reveal K.O.'s real power? Or maybe it's just a cartoon show and I shouldn't overthink things? NAAAH.

Later on the show takes a deeper look at the Pow Card infrastructure, and we visit the company that makes them. There will be more to say on that matter when we get there.


Everyone in the show puts such a large amount of importance on power levels. K.O's being supposedly level 100 even makes it on Action News 52, which is the local T.V. news show in K.O.'s area. It shows up again several times later, and gets its own focus episode late in the first season. That makes this also the first appearance of presenter/reporter Dynamite Watkins, "coming at you live from the heart of the neutral zone!" As she walks in front of the crowd, we see many characters we've seen before, and also several side characters for the first time. I don't know all their names, but the one in the apron is Beardo, who runs the local food truck (he's Level 5). There's also Football Baby, a motorcycle rider with a spiked helmet, a viking kind of guy with a horned helmet and large beard himself, and a fish lady wearing a diver's helmet that I don't think shows up again. In a crowd scene later there's also what appears to be some of Carol's students at the Fitness Dojo. A few other miscellaneous extras show up for brief moments, including one disturbing guy with multiple pupils all over his eyes! Argh!

In power watch news, we find out that Brandon and ARMS ("A Real Magic Skeleton," not the Nintendo game) are both Level 2, as well, and Red Action is Level 4. At least some of that information we've not heard before. When Mr. Logic adds up everyone's levels, we get power levels for lots of characters. Punchy Judy is 3, Beardo is 5, Spiked Helmet Motorcycle Guy is 3, Colewort (Broccoli character) is 0 (contrary to his claim to be level 1), Football Baby is 1, Viking Guy is 3, Joff is 4 and Army Nick is 2.

Enid: "Not to brag, but me and K.O. go way back to the beginning of the week! N.B.D." This is the 6th episode, and the first one in which K.O. was actually a bodega employee was the 3rd. So very little time has passed since the show's beginning.

We should take a moment to appreciate Big Darrell. He's not Mega Darrell, like Mega-Jethro. He's actually a big Darrell robot with a normal Darrell at controls instead of a brain inside the glass dome at the top of his head. I dunno, maybe a brain the side of a car would be too expensive to build?

Of course K.O. forgets all about his recent solo defeat against regular-size Darrell and gets beat by Big Darrell. But he manages to save the day by getting everyone else in the plaza to combine into a big fist-like conglomeration that adds up to level 100. Which-- should it work that way? I dunno. It's fun, and just a cartoon. It's fun when it's fun! When they get together into a giant fist, a few more characters can be spotted within, including some one-offs like a surly rabbit, a guy with a big white mustache, a mime, and, most notably, Dendy, an important character who doesn't get officially introduced for two more episodes.

Take note: after K.O. gets back up after getting beat down the first time, his lower eyelids are dark in color, a subtle call-forward to an important episode....

While Big Darrell is winning, Lord Boxman gives him some rarely-heard praise. Why doesn't he just build ALL his robots in giant-sized level 100 forms?

At the end, K.O.'s card recorrects itself to 0.1, which puts us at status-quo for the rest of the season.
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