Created By: Primo Victoria on December 25, 2009
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The Shield

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Courage, Honor, Loyalty, Sacrifice.

Captain America is not here to lead the country. I'm here to serve it. If I'm a captain, then I'm a soldier. Not of any military branch, but of the American people. Years ago, in simpler times, this suit and this shield were created as a symbol to help make America the land it's supposed to be... to help it realize its destiny. Ricocheting from super-villain duel to super-villain duel doesn't always serve that purpose. There's a difference between fighting against evil and fighting for the common good. I'm not always able to choose my battles... but effective immediately, I'm going to make an effort to choose the battles that matter. Battles against injustice, against cynicism, against intolerance. I will still serve with the Avengers. I will continue to defend this nation from any and all threats it may face. But as of today, I am not a "super hero." Now and forevermore, I am a man of the people. Together, you and I will identify and confront America's problems. Together, we will figure out what we are and what we can be. Together, we will define the American Dream and make it an American reality.

Alternate title - The Flag

Somewhere between The Crown & The Flame and The Cape lies The Shield. This Super Hero has one motivation - he loves his country. He loves everything wich it symbolizes, stands for all it's values and is damn proud of it's history. He's a symbol of everything a patriots thinks, when they think of their country. He's really heroic, maybye even as The Cape, almost always follows Thou Shalt Not Kill route, exept if it's a war - then you can expect him to be in first line, taking as much Those Wacky Nazis and Dirty Communists he can. When is time to deliver a Rousing Speech or give somebody Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! moment, except he will do it. If he becomes Older and Wiser will almost always end as somebody's mentor.

No matter how much on cynical side of Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cinicsm the mayor premise is, he will be always helluva idealistic. In Five-Man Band he's always The Hero, in Super Team or any other kind of The Squad he will almost always be The Captain. He can be very harsh and strict - The Cowl may not get along with him, every single Anti-Hero should not expect to see him among his fans and if you are '90s Anti-Hero stay away from him if you don't want to get your butt kicked big time.

Hoever, all General Rippers,Obstructive Bureaucrats and Evil Presidents have to remember, that he's not loyal to goverment, law or army - he may serve them, but his true loyalities lies in his country's spirit and it's ideals. Try to do something against his values or limit people's freedom with law, even if you think it's the right thing to do, and he will be very first person to kick you in the face.

Proving him that his country has fallen and become corruped and broken to the core is the best way to make him doing Heroic B.S.O.D.. For a while. Because you can be damn sure he will stand again to fight for return his fatherland to it's former glory. In a case he is forced to give up his costume and secret idientity, you can be sure he will join some kind of force like army or police. There are many way to serve you country and he knows it.

Often is Captain Geographic, but keep in mind, he dosn't have to - Captain Geographic may look like The Shield or even think he is one, but justi because you are Wearing a Flag on Your Head it dosn't mean you have what it takes. Daredevil's enemy Nuke, for example, despite beign Captain Geographic, is just crazy psycho who only belives he is The Shield.

This archeotype was most popular in Golden Age and almost vanished during Dark Age. Compare The Cape and The Crown & The Flame wich he can often overlap, sometimes beign both at the same time.

Note: Many of Golden Age superheroes mentioned here, wich have become a Public Domain later, have been repackaged in Tom Strong and Project Superpowers comics.

Examples:

  • Captain America - the most faumous, and greatest embodient of this trope ever.
    • Ultimate Comics Cap seemd to be an subversion of this in The Ultimates, beign more a Jerk Ass than anythign else, but Warren Ellis managed to give him few The Shield trials, as we can see here:
      Ultimate Captain America to Commie Super-Soldier: Yeah, I'm gonna fight you. You know why? Because I fought besides Russians during World War 2. They were good and decent men, and they made they made terrible painful sacrifices to save their country. And to their country then turn around and put monsters in prisons with nuclear landmines... to see people like you, proudly complicit in this nightmare... Yeah, I'll fight you. You've waited forty years for me in this hellhole, I feel it'd be impolite not to kick your head in. ''
    • Marvel has few other examples like Miss America, Citizen V, Josiah X or Patriot from Young Avengers. Iron Patriot is supposed to look like one. In MC 2 this role is occupied by American Dream.
    • Another Marvel example is Captain Britain, who stands for all values of England, and even all his alternate counterparts does the same - the only versions Evil Twin he has are from world when England is evil empire.
    • And we cannot forget about Falcon - the biggest Shield who is not dressed in the flag
  • Trope Namer - Archie Comics character The Shield, created two months before Captain America, currently brought back by DC Comics.
  • Nedor Comics has few of those, like Liberator and American Eagle but their best example was Fighting Yank, powered by American Spirit itself and with ghost of World War I hero as The Mentor.
  • Fighting American, who quickly turned into parody, when Joe Simon and Jack Kirby realized he was not so popular as they excepted. Even when Rob Liefeld bought rights to this character in order to turn him into cheap Captain America rip-off, Fighting American didn't lost all shield triats.
  • DC Comics take it to extreme, having their equivalent of Captain America beign Uncle Sam - Anthromorphic Personification of American Spirit - himself.
    • other DC characters wich embodies this trope are Major Victory, Lady Liberty and first Star-Spangeled Kid
  • Image Comcis has Super Patriot, who seems to be their equivalent of Captain America. Or at last the closes thing they ever had to it. He's kids, coming with superhero conednames Liberty & Justice can also qualify.
  • Comediant from Watchmen is either a Deconstruction or total inversion of this trope.
  • The Flag from Ace Publications, who has been even informed about beign America's Chosen One by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln themselves.
  • Man of War
  • Statesman from City of Heroes
  • Minuteman from Freedom Force
  • In Rising Stars comics corporate superhero Flagg (who later changes his name on Patriot) is working on his reputation as one. Hoever, real The Shield in this universe is officer Matthew Bright, who wanted to serve America and it's people so much he joined police force, despite that he has to hide his powers, because Specials cannot be members associated with any kind of force.
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • December 23, 2009
    random surfer
    DC Comics also has The Unknown Soldier; and Dyanmite has Soldier Unknown based on a different "Unknown Soldier" character.

    American Maid/Captain Liberty from The Tick.
  • December 23, 2009
    Primo Victoria
    Thanks. I completly forgot about American Maid XD.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    This is Captain Geographic. (Nice article though).

    If you wanna launch it The Flag is much better. They are of course an All American Face Wearing A Flag On Their Head.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    • Rising Stars had the character "Flagg". When he was caught up in a legal debate over the ownership of the name, he changed it to "Patriot".
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
    BTW, I prefer Captain Geographic to The Shield as a title for this trope anyway.
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    It'd have been a shame for those points to have been lost so its fine.
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
    The description for this was great, and way better than the decription for Captain Geographic, but I honestly don't like The Shield as a title. I already had a long explaination for why I didn't like it, but by the time I sent it you already posted that We Have This One, so I deleted it. I can type it again if you want. The simplest reason would be that The Shield is already taken: just click on the link; it's a pothole for the TV Show called The Shield. I think the best compromise would be to move the description from the YKTTW over to the trope page for Captain Geographic.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    You needn't have deleted it. >_> I am just one man with an opinion. If the consensus is that this should be made regardless because it's not that similar after all it'll be ignored anyway. I thought your points about forcing Crown/Cape/Cowl into becoming a quartett have been valid.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    By the way, I think The Crown was a mistake too. We have The Cape the original idealist superhero, we have The Cowl the dark modern hero and I guess someone just thought "hey Batman/Superman had Wonder Woman, let's have a trope for her too". It's not that prominent a trope at all. (Plus the crown has very little to do with it.)

    In that sense THIS trope is more valid in that during the world war years patriotic heroes or ones that represented the friendship between nations were actually prominent.
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
    Hmm. It's interesting, because this trope not only covers the whole "Fights for their country" thing, which is what Captain Geographic is about, but it also describes a Hero Archetype that's very similar to The Cape. What's interesting about it is just how many heroes meet both of these criterion. I still would prefer combining this trope with Captain Geographic, but I'm not quite sure how.
  • December 23, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Captain Geographic is strictly about the country being obvious. This is a character archetype.

    EDIT: Actually, I forgot Patriotic Fervor was involved.
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
    I personally am fine with The Crown, as a pragmatic combination of aspects The Cape & The Cowl, and I think that there are plenty of heroes that fit there. The page as it stands right now could deffinitely need some fine-tuning, because, like you said, the way it is now is a lot more specific to Wonder Woman than it should be or it needs to be. The thing is that most of the heroes on this list fit squarely into The Cape archetype, although there is enough variation and characteristics that are very specific to being a hero representing a nation that it warrents it's own trope, or at least some kind of combination between this YKTTW and Captain Geographic.
  • December 23, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    I really did mean CG to be a nation counterpart to Captain Ethnic, rather than a characterization, so I support this being a separate trope.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    Technically, superhero comics - and patriotic ones - are a very American phenomenon. Just look at the examples.

    I think this should be a trope representing that age of comics when these were used to promote patriotism. Captain Geographic would be a supertrope covering all nation and those without the propagandic intent behind this one.
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
    @ Dragon Quest Z: I agree that this is an archetype, but it's not only is it an archetype very similar to The Cape (which by the way, Captain America is one of the biggest examples of), it's an archetype that is pretty specific to heroes that represent a country. Thus, for fear of too many redundant examples, as well as a previously stated concern for the current title of this YKTTW, I think combining this YKTTW and Captain Geographic would be better than making them separate tropes.
  • December 23, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Looking at it, this seems to be a Sub Trope of The Cape, when it comes to the hero's country.
  • December 23, 2009
    macroscopic
    I'm with batfan on this one, not alot I can add to that.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    I'm not against The Crown because you couldn't squeeze some examples under it (although they could just as well go undet Lady Of War and Warrior Prince IMO), I am against it because in my view The Cape and The Cowl represent two of The Ages Of Super Hero Comics. In that sense, I can justify this The Shield trope for myself too. For The Crown however no such justification exists.
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
    I think Dragon Quest Z's suggestion of making this a sub-trope of The Cape is a very good one. What we would need to do now is talk about the title and what to do about Captain Geographic.
  • December 23, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ Again, CG is just about the nationality being obvious in various ways. It merely overlaps with this a lot.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    We should at least let the trope creator have a say in this. xD

    I did make my suggestion - I think Captain Ethnic and Captain Geographic are used to represent other countries, while this one your own. That makes it a very prominent subtype of Captain Geographic too.
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    • other countries and minorities that is
  • December 23, 2009
    batfan
    OK, I'm fine with that, as long as someone edits Captain Geographis to make that distinction. That just leaves the title. At this point, my only concerns with The Shield are that a) it's already taken, although that's fixable by making the TV Show Series.The Shield, or something like that, and that b) I wich we could come up with something more specific to America or being allied to a country, because the first thing I think about about when I think of The Shield is obviously Captain America (although not everyone might make that connection), but the first think I honestly thing about when I think of Cap is his status as The Cape, not his connection with this trope, although that might just be me. The Flag, the other suggested title, doesn't work because it doesn't bring to mind types of superheroes--just different flags.
  • December 23, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    The CG page doesn't really make it look like this trope. It needs a better description, but there is nothing that discusses the attitude or personality. What part of it do you think needs editing?
  • December 23, 2009
    Vree
    CG is fine as it is.
  • December 24, 2009
    Primo Victoria
    Not every Captain Geographic is The Shield - Mayor Glory is more like parody of The Cape than The Shield, and in Rising Stars The Flagg/Patriot is Captain Geographic, but their Shield is Matthew Bright, who joined police force because he wanted to serve his country and it's people. Falcon form Marvel Comics seems to be a Shield too. It's not always so obvious like with Captain Geographic. Especially that CG has examples like Wonder Woman, or Nuke who dosn't have anything to do with this trope. I choosen the name, because it's both after first example in comics and because it's associated with Cap. As somebody said, the fact it is alredy taken by TV Show can be easily repaired. If somebody has better name, I would like to hear it.
  • December 24, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    PS 238 had several examples. They have a Captain America clone hanging around, but he's not immortal, and nears retirement-age... and resultingly, both the Republicans and the Democrats are grooming their own 'Replacement' flag-waver: US Patriot Act and American Eagle. Not only are their constant attempts at out-americanning each other quite obnoxious, their constant quarreling prevents them from accomplishing much of anything, and instead they just tend to cause trouble for anyone hanging around.

    Political commentary? Where? I don't see any... :p
  • December 24, 2009
    DracMonster
  • December 24, 2009
    Primo Victoria
    Maybye Captain Patiot?
  • December 24, 2009
    arimareiji
    Parodied in Twisted Toyfare Theatre - Captain America is a jingoistic Ugly American, sometimes even indulging in Rape As Comedy.
  • December 25, 2009
    Primo Victoria
    Okay, I changed description a little in order to state up why not every Captain Geographic is this trope.
  • December 25, 2009
    melloncollie
    In Watchmen, the government tries to portray The Comedian as one of these, but he's very obviously not a hero of this type.
  • December 26, 2009
    JAF1970
    Superman got to wield Captain America's shield in JLA/The Avengers. He was unsurprisingly pleased with it.
  • December 27, 2009
    PrimoVictoria
    Okay - if I want to launch it as The Shield, who I have to ask to change that TV Show's name to Live Action TV/ The Shield?
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