Created By: SeptimusHeap on November 17, 2012 Last Edited By: SeptimusHeap on March 16, 2013
Troped

Covert Group

Group that acts under cover

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Secrets and things done secretely are interesting. Thus, many fictional groups - both heroes and villains - act as covert groups - groups that act undercover and aren't known to many outsiders.

Often, a Covert Group is engaged in controversial or outright illegal activity, as otherwise there would not be any reason for secrecy. In a Government Procedural, they also act in sensitive matters such as national security.

Part of many a Conspiracy Theory, The Conspiracy and Government Conspiracy. Often employs Men in Black, No Such Agency, Unusually Uninteresting Name, Resignations Not Accepted, The Masquerade or the Covert Group with Mundane Front to keep itself undercover.

Related to Government Agency of Fiction.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comics]]
  • The Livewires are a covert group of Badass Automatons.
  • In X-Force, its team was portrayed as a covert group under the leadership of his character Pete Wisdom starting in 2000.
  • Justice League of America: A covert ops group with technology-based powers working for the U.S. government tries to eliminate the world's superhumans.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • A secretive United States government agency known as "Division" has for years been recruiting young adult convicts by faking their deaths and forcing them to train as spies and assassins is a main plot point of Nikita.
  • La Femme Nikita: Section One, where the main character works with.
  • The Impossible Mission Force from MissionImpossible routinely takes on covert operations while shielding Washington from culpability. "Should you or any of your I.M. Force be captured or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."
  • The Avengers: Soviet spymaster Ivanov planted many undercover agents in Great Britain, where they wormed close to tactically important persons, ready to assassinate them on cue. This covert network was called "the House of Cards," because select playing cards would activate the moles. British Avengers John Steed, Emma Peele and Mike Gambit thwarted Ivanov and neutralized his moles.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In Isaac Asimov's classic collection, I, Robot, there is a covert group who sees the control given to the AIs as creating a Vichy Earth where humans are enslaved to machines. The machines should be able to predict and compensate for the discrepancies these small acts of sabotage produce, but they aren't.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]] [[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • November 17, 2012
    Koveras
  • November 23, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Added. Can someone suggest some examples, please?
  • December 18, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Bumping again for examples/comments/hats.
  • December 18, 2012
    Koveras
    I think this is too general to come up with good examples. Every one I can think of falls under one of the subtropes already...

    No Such Agency would be another subtrope.
  • December 18, 2012
    StarSword
    ^I agree. This would do better as a high-level supertrope or index; I think the subtropes cover any examples pretty well.
  • December 19, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Um, I'll actually search in the subtropes for examples - some of these have misuse issues with mere covert groups.
  • January 6, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Got some examples. More ideas/examples/comments/hats?
  • January 12, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Asking for more hats and examples.

  • January 12, 2013
    CompletelyDifferent
    The Team in Young Justice is meant to act as a Covert Ops group, so they can handle stealth based missions that some of the more well known, iconic heroes (such as the Justice League)couldn't do.
  • January 12, 2013
    StarSword
    Fixed formatting and namespaces.
  • January 26, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Bumping for more hats/examples/comments.
  • January 26, 2013
    Koveras
    You have my hat...
  • March 2, 2013
    Nocturna
    I think maybe one thing the description is lacking is an actual explanation of what a covert group is. (I.e. something along the lines of "covert groups are groups which are formed in secret and kept out of public knowledge", although better written and more fleshed out.) You have why they often show up/are used and what they do, but never actually say what they are.
  • March 2, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Not sure which subtrope gets this one, but here goes:

    Film Live Action
    • Early James Bond nemesis S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is an international band of subversives, usually bent on triggering nuclear warfare for fun and profit.
  • March 3, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Added a bit of description.
  • March 3, 2013
    Koveras
    I am pretty sure this is good to go.
  • March 14, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    OK, setting the launch clock on this - Saturday at the earliest.
  • March 14, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Live Action TV
    • The Impossible Mission Force from {{Mission: Impossible}} routinely takes on covert operations while shielding Washington from culpability. "Should you or any of your I.M. Force be captured or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."

    • Soviet spymaster Ivanov planted many undercover agents in Great Britain, where they wormed close to tactically important persons, ready to assassinate them on cue. This covert network was called "the House of Cards," because select playing cards would activate the moles. British Avengers John Steed, Emma Peele and Mike Gambit thwarted Ivanov and neutralized his moles.
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