Created By: nitrokitty on September 25, 2011 Last Edited By: nitrokitty on October 3, 2011
Troped

Corporate Sponsored Superhero

A superhero who finances their heroism through corporate sponsorship.

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Page Type:
Trope
Mighty Whitey toothpaste! Captain Amazing approved!
Needs More Examples

In many superhero works, the problem comes up of Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?? Superheros have to pay the bills, after all, and super heroics isn't really that lucrative. So what's a superhero to do? Well, if you weren't lucky enough to inherit a large fortune and head a major corporation, you can either find a day job, or seek out sponsorship for your heroics! While some might turn to the government, others might want to head to the private sector for financing.

Enter the Corporate-Sponsored Superhero! Captain Brand X is here to save the day, and tell you about all the great deals you can get on insurance to cover the damages incurred by your rescue!

Note that this only applies to heroes with explicit ties to their corporate sponsor. Characters who use funds from their corporation to secretly finance their heroism (Batman for example) do not count. Expect to see corporate logos printed on tights, advertising appearances, and rampant toy marketing.

Related to Law Enforcement, Inc. and Heroes "R" Us.

Examples:

Anime and Manga:
  • This is the premise of Tiger & Bunny. All superheroes are sponsored by corporations, who seem to serve more of an entertainment and advertising function than actual heroics. Some of the characters, like the titular characters, try to be genuinely heroic, however.
  • Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman features a corporate sentai team, complete with business-themed weapons like business card launchers and tie clip bombs.

Comic Books:
  • Watchmen: One of the side notes in the comic mentions a corporate sponsored hero named Dollar Bill, who ends up getting shot during a heist.
  • Booster Gold has been this at different stages in his career.
  • In DC's Seven Soldiers, The Guardian was sponsored by a newspaper.
  • A character named "Captain Copyright" was created by Canada's Access Copyright agency to "educate" children about copyright law. The campaign was wildly denounced as corporate propaganda, and was cancelled soon after.
  • Iron Man when Tony Stark isn't filling the role. Jim Rhodes wore the armor for a while under the employ of Stark and a few of his other employees have worn variations of the armor briefly. It should also be noted that part of Iron Man's Secret Identity was that he was sponsored by Stark Enterprises as Tony's bodyguard.
    • Speaking of which, The Avengers, in many incarnations, were sponsored by Tony Stark himself.
  • The WildCATS from WildStorm were sponsored by different companies and entrepreneurs in the past.

Film:
  • Captain Amazing from Mystery Men (see page image) wears a costume emblazoned with sponsor's logos.
  • Used partially on Hancock. Ray was a marketing executive, and in one of Hancock's visits to his house saw a logo Ray made as part of a charity campaign he was doing (with little success). At the end of the movie he makes a replica of it ON THE MOON, so everybody could see it.

Live-Action TV
  • Commander Cash from the Robocop TV show.

Web Original:

Western Animation:

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • September 25, 2011
    foxley
    • Booster Gold has been this at different stages in his career.
    • Captain Amazing from Mystery Men wears a costume emblazoned with sponsor's logos.
  • September 25, 2011
    TBTabby
    In DC's Seven Soldiers, The Guardian was sponsored by a newspaper.
  • September 26, 2011
    MorganWick
    The third paragraph made me think of GEICO ads, which led me to: "Okay, so I just destroyed your car, but there is good news. You could have saved a bunch of money on your car insurance by Switching To GEICO!"
  • September 26, 2011
    nitrokitty
    @Morgan Wick Can you recall any specific commercials where that happened? That would be a good example if so.

    Also, what do people think of this as a page image?
  • September 26, 2011
    Fanra
    The image you linked is nice, but doesn't really illustrate the trope, it is more like Captain America goes to work at the corporate office.

    If we could get a screenshot of Captain Amazing from Mystery Men in his costume emblazoned with sponsor's logos, I think that would be better.
  • September 26, 2011
    nitrokitty
    How about this one?
  • September 26, 2011
    JonnyB
  • September 26, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^^^ How's this one? (URL fixed) That just about says it all.
  • September 26, 2011
    Damr1990
    used partially on Hancock, Ray was a Marketing executive, and in one of hancock's visit to his house he he saw a logo ray made as part of a charity campaign he was doing(with little success), at the end of the movie he makes a replica of it ON THE MOON, so everybody can see it
  • September 27, 2011
    AP
    • Iron Man when Tony Stark isn't filling the role. Jim Rhodes wore the armor for a while under the employ of Stark and a few of his other employees have worn variations of the armor briefly. It should also be noted that part of Iron Man's Secret Identity was that he was sponsored by Stark Enterprises as Tony's bodyguard.
      • Speaking of which, The Avengers, in many incarnations, were sponsored by Tony Stark himself.
    • The WildCATS from Wildstorm were sponsored by different companies and entrapaneurs in the past.
  • September 28, 2011
    Fanra
    The Captain Amazing image is great, but this one: [1] really hits you over the head with the trope. (From this article.)
  • September 28, 2011
    nitrokitty
    I like that image, but I'm inclined to keep the Captain Amazing image because the one from Cracked has actual company logos on it, which makes me a little uncomfortable. Still, that's just my personal opinion, if people want to jump in on the subject, feel free.
  • September 28, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Also, I really feel like this is getting close to being launch ready, but there's only one hat so far. If anyone agrees with me, add some hats, please!
  • September 28, 2011
    Fanra
    Captain Amazing might be better because he truly illustrates the trope, even if you can't see the corporate logos very well in the image.
  • September 29, 2011
    Vyctorian
    The Flash did this in an episode of Justice League, only to be chewed out by Batman upon hearing about it.
  • September 29, 2011
    AP
    I like the Superman/Cracked image.
  • September 29, 2011
    arromdee
    I think Commander Cash from the Robocop TV show counts.
  • September 29, 2011
    MorganWick
    I was just making a joke. My mind is weird.
  • September 29, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Would the Captain Copyright example fall under Comics, or Real Life? I can't decide.
  • September 30, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Launching Soon. If anyone has any further suggestions/objections, speak now or forever hold your peace.
  • October 3, 2011
    UglyShirts
    Would Superman in The Dark Knight Returns be this since he's been reduced to the level of a government toady?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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