When a foe with immensely powerful offensive abilities is treated as unstoppable when he still is mortal and easily killable
Bob can throw fireballs from his hands, shoot lasers from his eyes, can do a Foe-Tossing Charge, knows dangerous techniques that man should not know, and can telepathically control chihuahuas. He is so immensely powerful he can level towns, and this power is so legendary that his enemies are too terrified to confront him. Villain's plan to avoid him for fear of confronting him, he's just too invincible to deal with directly. Except that Bob is still mortal. Despite all the power he possesses, or how much overkill he can bring to a battle he's a mortal man that dies just as easily as the next person. One well aimed bullet, wisely used poison, properly timed explosion, or knife cut while he is sleeping is all it takes to remove the threat of Bob permanently. A preemptive assassination, before Bob knows what's happening so he can't use any of his immense powers, is the clear, pragmatic solution to prevent having to face a legend in a fair fight. And yet no one in the story every thinks to do this, or if the idea is suggested they will never follow through with it. This trope is often a Necessary Weasel. The author wants to keep Bob vulnerable because a character that is never in danger is boring to watch. However, a story in which your main hero, or villain, is killed in the first episode by someone wise enough to assassinate him with poison wouldn't be very interesting either. So the author keeps Bob mortal and hopes no one thinks about it on the way to their fridge. This trope only refers to preemptive killing of individuals who are themselves a powerful threat. It does not include assassination of heads of states or others who rule over large/dangerous forces but are not themselves physically (or magically) threatening. This is a subset of Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?. However, while Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? refers to any situation where a villain refuses to kill an opponent directly this trope specifically refers to situations where preemptive assassination attempt is the the logical (or only) method of dealing with a foe due to the power level of the foe being so great that any direct fight is considered too dangerous.
Examples[[foldercontrol]] [[folder: Comic Book]]