Created By: Eddy1215 on April 24, 2013 Last Edited By: Eddy1215 on August 4, 2014

There's A New Hero In Town

The Hero is temporarily replaced by a new guy who seems to get the job done faster and easier

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Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This, Description Needs Help

Usually once in The Hero's career, a new guy comes into town with intent to take his place as Home Town Hero. Often, the new hero will prove to be more efficient in fighting bad guys, thus the town will cheer for the new guy while the Hero becomes yesterday's news, resulting in the hero taking a 10-Minute Retirement. However, it won't last long. Whether it's a catastrophe the new hero can't handle or the new hero turning out to be a villain who wanted to drive the hero away, something will happen that will result in the hero snapping out of his funk, pulling his cape off the hanger, and returning to save the day.

Sometimes, the new hero accomplishes his daring feats through Engineered Heroics and is a Fake Ultimate Hero. Compare/Contrast Always Some One Better. Related to Make Way for the New Villains.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • Deadshot's first appearance in Batman comics was this. He appeared as a super-efficient new vigilante who was wiping out crime in Gotham City. He was actually removing all his competition so he could take over.
  • In 52, Booster Gold tries to become Superman's replacement after the latter's temporary retirement, but is soon overshadowed by the mysterious Supernova, who is much better at superheroing and has a cleaner record.
  • Deconstructed with the Nineties Anti-Hero and The Dark Age of Comic Books in Kingdom Come. Although the new generation of heroes has been willing to kill (Something their predecessors would never do) and have effectively ended crime, they bring about a problem much worse than supervillains: their own reckless civil wars, equally capable of devastating entire cities.
    • Most blatant of these is Magog, who publicly called Superman outdated by adhering to his no-killing code. However, this doesn't help when the people who supported these heroes who kill died in the Kansas explosion.

Animated Films
  • Sheriff Woody finds himself displaced as Andy's favorite toy by Buzz Lightyear in Pixar's Toy Story. They end up best buds.

Live Action Tv
  • In one episode of Power Rangers Light Speed Rescue, a new general takes over Lightspeed and brings with him cyborg rangers, forcing the human rangers to turn in their morphers. However, during a battle with a lightning monster, the cyborgs' circuitry ends up getting fried and they start attacking innocent people. Thus, the rangers are given back their morphers to take down the cyborgs and the monster. Afterwards, the general apologizes for his interference, saying he underestimated the rangers.
  • In an episode of Smallville, Booster Gold arrives and starts hamming it up as the new hero in town, but Clark ultimately shows him the error of his ways.
  • When Gaius Baltar is elected President of the Colonial Fleet (unseating Laura Roslin) in Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), he gives the people what they want (and elected him for) and settles the fleet on New Caprica. A year later with the Cylon occupation of that planet and Baltar's collaboration with them, most of the Colonials view his Presidency as a disaster. In a deal with Baltar's VP Tom Zarek (who had resigned that office rather than cooperate with the Cylon occupation), Laura Roslin reassumes the Presidency upon exodus from New Caprica.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith", Ruby White appears to be Sarah Jane, only younger and more efficient, and even has her own version of Mr Smith. She turns out to be a monster feeding off Sarah Jane's life force.

Western Animation
  • In the TaleSpin episode "From Here To Machinery", a Jerk Ass professor invents a robotic pilot called the Auto Aviator. Despite his best efforts, Baloo loses a race to the machine and Sher Khan signs a contract with the professor to build 1,000 of the robots, causing his old pilots to lose their jobs and all businesses to fail. However, the pirates decide to take advantage of the Auto Aviator's style of flying in a straight line and attack Sher Khan's plane. When the professor finds that his machine refuses to deviate from the path and get them out of danger, Sher Khan radios for help, to which Baloo answers. Not only does Baloo save Sher Khan from the pirates, but Sher Khan 'convinces' the professor to give back his money in exchange for the robots, thus giving all pilots their jobs back.
  • In the Grand Finale of Danny Phantom, Vlad creates a new team of ghost fighters called Masters' Blasters. The new team proves better at catching ghosts and humiliate Danny at every turn, to the point where he decides to give up his powers. However, when a humongous asteroid that was released due to the first battle of the episode threatens Earth, no one can stop it and Vlad deliberately makes the Blasters (and Jack) fail at trying to destroy it so that he can save the day and become ruler of the earth. When that fails, Danny comes up with a plan to turn the entire planet intangible. In the process of gaining every ghost's help, Danny regains his powers and saves the planet.
  • Happens in The Powerpuff Girls with a classical Flying Brick named Major Man. However, it eventually proves that he's running a scam, as all of the threats that he defused were set up. Doing some Engineered Heroics of their own with a monster Major can't handle, the Girls are able to save the day and regain the town's favor.
  • "Inspector Gadget's Last Case", where the 'new hero in town' is really Doctor Claw using a special disguising serum to pretend to be an Ace-like crime-fighter who forces Gadget to retire.
  • The very first episode of The Real Ghostbusters had a trio of ghosts disguising themselves as human exterminators calling themselves "Ghosts 'R' Us", to eventually drive the Ghostbusters out of business by answering all ghost calls first. It helps that they were the ones who staged each attack they answered.
  • The original penultimate episode of Kim Possible featured Team Impossible ordering Kim and her team to stop fighting supervillains as it was cutting into their profit margin. To ensure that Kim wouldn't get in the way anymore, they bribed away all the people who gives her lifts. However, Kim, with the aid of a ticked off Wade, convinced Team Impossible to go nonprofit.
  • In Loonatics Unleashed, Drake Sypher steals all the powers of the Loonatics to become Acmetropolis's new superhero. Turns out, all his heroics were done to publicly undo his secret villainy.
  • The second episode involving Venom in Ultimate Spider-Man is this trope. A black-suited Spider-Man appears which is more physically powerful than Spidey and people like more (even Jonah Jameson likes him), and this leaves Spidey more than a little distraught... especially because the 'black suit' is the Symbiote, and sure enough it possesses its host Harry Osborn by the third act of the episode, forcing Spidey to fight him.
    • Another example appears on The Spectacular Spider-Man, with J. Jonah Jameson's son John getting superpowers. Nice enough guy, very competent, wants to help Spidey... driven insane by his powers on the third act, Spidey fights him, and ends the episode becoming a powerless, catatonic patient on some hospital as a side-effect of his forceful depowering.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", the titular hero appears just as Rainbow Dash has become a local hero and has been letting the attention get to her head. The Mare Do Well is eventually revealed to be Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy assuming a Collective Identity to deflate Rainbow's ego a bit.

Community Feedback Replies: 58
  • April 24, 2013
    Generality
    Happens in The Powerpuff Girls with a classical Flying Brick named Major Man. However, it eventually proves that he's running a scam, as all of the threats that he defused were set up. Thus, when a real disaster occurs, the Girls are able to save the day and regain the town's favour.
  • April 24, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    I Can think of a pair of Direct To Video movies that have something along the lines of this plot:

    "Inspector Gadget's Last Case", where the 'new hero in town' is really Doctor Claw using a special disguising serum to pretend to be an Ace-like crime-fighter who forces Gadget to retire.

    Superman Vs The Elite and the "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?" story that it was based on are about a team of superheroes that arrive and demonstrate being more 'hip' and 'capable of making the hard choices', which make Superman just dislike how things are turning up. Of course, the Elite go and jump off the slippery slope real fast and real hard, making Superman's choice to kick their rears simple.
  • April 24, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    The very first episode of The Real Ghostbusters had a trio of ghosts disguising themselves as human exterminators calling themselves "Ghosts 'R' Us", to eventually drive the Ghostbusters out of business by answering all ghost calls first.

    The finale episode of Danny Phantom had Vlad invoke this trope by introducing the Master's Blasters team as an alternative to Danny. Danny gets so upset about being topped and replaced so easily that he decides to give up being a ghost altogether.
  • April 24, 2013
    foxley
    Deadshot's first appearance in Batman comics was this. He appeared as super-efficient new vigilante who was wiping out crime in Gotham City. He was actually removing all his competition so he could take over.
  • April 24, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film Animated
    • Sheriff Woody finds himself displaced as Andy's favorite toy by Buzz Lightyear in Pixar's Toy Story. They end up best buds.

    Western Animation
    • Drake Sypher steals all the powers of the Loonatics to become Acmetropolis's new superhero. Turns out, all his heroics were done to publicly undo his secret villainy.
  • April 24, 2013
    MonaNaito
    What distinguishes this from Always Someone Better?
  • April 24, 2013
    Eddy1215
    ^Uh, the fact that the old hero can go further than the new hero?
  • April 24, 2013
    Desertopa
    Not to mention the new hero's "betterness" is often illusory and based on some sort of deception.
  • April 24, 2013
    MonaNaito
    Always Someone Better covers instances where the old guy snaps out of it and bests the new guy. I'm just trying to clarify the relationship between the tropes, as there's bound to be overlap. Would this be a subtrope? It should certainly be mentioned as a compare/contrast. Similarly, if the new guy's a con artist who was never that great at all in the first place, he's a Fake Ultimate Hero.
  • April 24, 2013
    Koveras
    • In Fifty Two, Booster Gold tries to become Superman's replacement after the latter's temporary retirement, but is soon overshadowed by the mysterious Supernova, who is much better at superheroing and has a cleaner record.
  • April 25, 2013
    Mauri
    Well while not exactly forcing the retirement but a real bitter part due to jealously: Western Animation:
    • Darkwing Duck: A moment of Awesome. Namely under the episode Up up and Awry. Darkwing enters a partial Heroic BSOD after originally asserting that "Super powers do not a hero make!" He eventually proves his point when Gizmo Duck gets incapacitated by a giant magnet while Darkwing effortlessly defeats Megavolt with his wit, speed, and agility. Leading to this little jewel:
    Gizmo Duck: Without this suit, I'm nothing!

    Darkwing Duck: You may be nothing, but I'M NOT!

    However considering that even in the episode Jail Bird it deepens how Darkwing Duck is poorly viewed by the citizens the factor of bad press (if any) can be a factor on this one.

    Edit: some of the finer tunes of the viewing part is to be done by someone that gets it done properly as it seems that I may need to check the FA Qs again.
  • April 25, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I agree with Mona Naito. This is totally covered by Always Someone Better and Fake Ultimate Hero.

    The only need to split this off is if people think Always Someone Better is getting too bloated (which really might be reasonable, it's a large page), but it's definitely already covered.
  • April 25, 2013
    WackyMeetsPractical
    I also don't see how this differs from Always Someone Better. It's basically describing the same situation. There's no contrasting about it, it's the same trope.
  • April 25, 2013
    Eddy1215
    Sometimes, the new guy is either a fake or a Villain With Good Publicity.
  • April 25, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    And this plot (as far as I can see from the examples alone) has been used by many villains to force the hero to do a Ten Minute Retirement. Some examples are Always Someone Better (the Darkwing Duck example mentioned above would be one), but understandably it's got to be Always Someone Better to the point of making the hero distraught, else he would just shrug and accept what strengths and weaknesses he has and just keep on trucking (which is the typical Always Someone Better Aesop).

    A Theres A New Hero In Town plot I think could also be about the 'hot new stuff' hero arriving and either annoying the more veteran hero to high heaven (after which Hilarity Ensues) or the 'hot new stuff' hero arriving and simply labeling the more veteran hero as 'obsolete', which leads to him disregarding the hero's warnings, which leads to much hilarity ensuing.
  • April 25, 2013
    DunDun
  • April 25, 2013
    Eddy1215
    @macroasalazam, that plot sounds more like New Meat.
  • April 25, 2013
    GilvaLepista
    What makes There's a New Hero in Town distinct from Always Someone Better is that the new guy is encroaching on the protagonist's home turf. It is reasonably distinct from Always Someone Better because:

    (a) the "always better" can sometimes win in the end, forcing the hero to learn Aesophumility, whereas the "new hero" exists to reinforce the audience's (and the characters's) faith in the old one (the protagonist);

    (b) the "always better" is either defeated or remains a distant authority for the protagonist, whereas the "new hero" is often a way to introduce a new comrade, who will join the 5-man band once the protagonist has shown him/her what's what;

    (c) the "always better" plot often has the protagonist seek out the challenge in order to prove him/herself, whereas the "new hero" is always the one causing trouble.

    Right now people are probably putting what should be "New Hero in Town" examples in the "Always Someone Better" page, but they ought to be separate tropes.
  • April 25, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^ I legitimately don't know if your points are supposed to be describing this trope or the Always Someone Better trope. Which... isn't a good sign.
  • April 25, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Smallville Booster Gold arrives and starts hamming it up as the new hero in town, but Clark ultimately shows him the error of his ways.
  • April 26, 2013
    IsThereCrackers?
    In spider man three (and the start of the chronicle with the symbiont) Spider man gains the black costume and becomes superior to the old spider man, the costume is then used against him. (I'm not sure if this realy is an example.)
  • April 26, 2013
    Eddy1215
    This trope is about somebody new coming into to replace the hero, so I'm afraid that your example doesn't fit.
  • April 26, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    ^The second episode of the Ultimate Spider Man TV series involving Venom is this trope. A black-suited Spider-Man appears which is more physically powerful than Spidey and people like more (even Jonah Jameson likes him), and this leaves Spidey more than a little distraught... especially because the 'black suit' is the Symbiote, and sure enough it possesses its host Harry Osborn by the third act of the episode, forcing Spidey to fight him.

    Another example appears on Spectacular Spider Man, with J. Jonah Jameson's son John getting superpowers. Nice enough guy, very competent, wants to help Spidey... driven insane by his powers on the third act, Spidey fights him, and ends the episode becoming a powerless, catatonic patient on some hospital as a side-effect of his forceful depowering.

    Poor Pete just doesn't sees to catcha break.
  • April 27, 2013
    sgamer82
  • April 28, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    When Gaius Baltar is elected President of the Colonial Fleet (unseating Laura Roslin) in Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, he gives the people what they want (and elected him for) and settles the fleet on New Caprica. A year later with the Cylon occupation of that planet and Baltar's collaboration with them, most of the Colonials view his Presidency as a disaster. In a deal with Baltar's VP Tom Zarek (who had resigned that office rather than cooperate with the Cylon occupation), Laura Roslin reassumes the Presidency upon exodus from New Caprica.
  • April 28, 2013
    MrInitialMan
    There is a comic issue of a hero trying to supplant Superman. While he is just as good as Superman (though he has different powers), he is deluded by his own homeworld being destroyed. Lois Lane impersonates his wife, and the man snaps out of it, knowing his wife is dead. It ends with him leaving Metropolis to Superman, and seeking out a different world to protect.
  • April 28, 2013
    surgoshan
    • This is pretty much the pilot of Eureka. US Marshall Jack Carter shows up and does the Sheriff's job so well (the Sheriff is sidelined by the loss of his legs) that the Sheriff doesn't mind retiring and handing him the reins.
  • May 8, 2013
    Eddy1215
    ^Uh, I'm afraid that example won't work as this thread is about new heroes forcing the old ones into a TEMPORARY retirement.
  • May 8, 2013
    MrRuano
    • Deconstructed with the Nineties Anti Hero and The Dark Age Of Comic Books in Kingdom Come. Although the new generation of heroes has been willing to kill (Something their predecessors would never do) and have effectively ended crime, they bring about a problem much worse than supervillains: their own reckless civil wars, equally capable of devastating entire cities.
      • Most blatant of these is Magog, who publicly called Superman outdated by adhering to his no-killing code. However, this doesn't help when the people who supported these heroes who kill died in the Kansas explosion.
  • May 11, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    OK, since Ask The Tropers sent me here, I note that this seems to be identical to one of the types of Always Someone Better. I would be fine with it as a subtrope.
  • May 11, 2013
    MrInitialMan
    But this isn't identical. Always Someone Better is simply someone who's the best at what he does coming across someone better. THIS is about someone established being replaced by someone new--not necessarily someone better, and perhaps even not as good.

    This can be expanded beyond superheroes, into other media--an old act being replaced by a newer one.
  • May 11, 2013
    DunDun
    ^He just said it "seems" identical to "one of the types" and that he's fine with this as a subtrope. He didn't say it was actually identical and should be discarded.
  • May 11, 2013
    DaibhidC
    • In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith", Ruby White appears to be Sarah Jane, only younger and more efficient, and even has her own version of Mr Smith. She turns out to be a monster feeding off Sarah Jane's life force.
  • May 12, 2013
    StarSword
    My two cents: I think Always Someone Better is a different trope. I think it's a "see also" situation.
  • July 20, 2013
    DAN004
    Always Someone Better is a Characterization trope while Theres A New Hero In Town is a plot trope.

    Difference! :D
  • July 21, 2013
    DAN004
    Oh yeah, and related to Make Way For The New Villains.
  • July 31, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    Bump!
  • July 31, 2014
    DAN004
    I believe this needs to be restarted.
  • July 31, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    This used to happen to Superman all the time.

    I've noted that whenever one character takes the hero's spot (not just as a hero, but as a friend or anything else) he tends to prove himself incompetent or inferior morally.
  • July 31, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ because Status Quo Is God?
  • July 31, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ Yup. The inferiority is the Watsonian / In Universe reason for that.
  • July 31, 2014
    DAN004
    So who's going to develop this? (If it's me, I'll make a new ykttw)
  • August 1, 2014
    BKelly95
    • In one of the Captain Caveman segments from The Flintstone Kids, the Captain finds out that a new superhero named Perfect Man has been cleaning up crime and doing it better than him. Upset, he packs up and leaves. In his absence, Perfect Man starts using his powers to bully everybody and take over. Caveman returns to fight him, but doesn't do a good job. Then he asks "If you're so perfect, how come no one like you?". This reduces Perfect Man to a sobbing mess.
  • August 1, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^^ What would that YKTTW have that this doesn't?

    Define "hero", because the Tale Spin example is like a lot of Job Stealing Robot ones. I want to know if they qualify.
  • August 1, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ my ykttw would have less angry tags. :P

    Seriously, cuz the tags (and the lots of comments) may put ppl off. I'd like fleshing the description but I'd need a new ykttw.
  • August 1, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • One Tom And Jerry cartoon by MGM Studios is "Push Button Kitty," in which the homeowner buys a robot cat to dispose of the pesky mouse, Jerry. Within seconds of being activated, Mechano catches Jerry and ejects him from the house. Poor Tom can only grab a Bindle Stick and depart morosely. By the end of the cartoon, however, the homeowner is crying for Tom to return, because Jerry Mouse has found the kryptonite of a robot cat: mechanical mice.
  • August 1, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^^^ Could someone answer my second question?
  • August 1, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    ^ Well, I'm no expert, but a robot character that fits the Always Someone Better mechanism, and is known and lauded by the public (or at least most of the ensemble characters) sounds like a robot that meets the criteria for this proposed trope. I presume this need not be a hero per se, but at least someone recognized and admired in-universe. The new character then appears, and eclipses the old character.
  • August 2, 2014
    jormis29
  • August 2, 2014
    NESBoy
    • One issue of Superman Adventures (the comic based on the DCAU show) features Superior-Man, a superhero with kryptonite vision who upstages Superman, virtually eliminates crime from Metropolis, and plans to collaborate with Lex Luthor to bring a new golden age. When Superman refuses to be exiled, the two heroes battle, ending with Superman using his heat vision to expose Superior-Man as Metallo, who had gone insane from his memory being tampered by Luthor.
  • August 2, 2014
    DAN004
  • August 2, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ I might say Never Trust A Replacement, but that's broader than just heroing.

    This is the plot of the Fantastic Four Worlds Greatest Heroes episode "Frightful". A new superhero team appears in town and begins stealing the Four's spotlight — not to mention insulting them at every turn. The Four become hated after being framed for "attacking" them. However, Reed exposes them as villains via an Engineered Public Confession and everything returns to normal.
  • August 3, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    A lot of these incidents which I remember didn't end in the replacement becoming a member of the supporting cast, as you suggest. Maybe you just know more than I do, but in a lot of cases, once the replacement is revealed as not being able to take the old hero's place, he tends to disappear rapidly.
  • August 3, 2014
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Hometown Hero means the protagonist of a work is from the same country or, in a extreme cases, hometown, of the intended author or intended audience. It doesn't mean loved by the hero's local population (that's A Hero To His Hometown)

    Don't blame me, I didn't launch the pages.
  • August 4, 2014
    KarjamP
    Guys, please stop adding more and more "Motion to discard" tags. They're not meant to be used to vote like that in the first place.

    Heck, it's technically a bug that it's possible to add duplicate tags.
  • August 4, 2014
    DAN004
    I think this needs to be restarted.
  • August 4, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Are you going to take up that challenge?
  • August 4, 2014
    KyleJacobs
    I'll take it.
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