Sealed Badass In A Can


(permanent link) added: 2009-07-31 22:44:23 sponsor: Tacitus (last reply: 2009-07-31 22:44:23)

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A Badass who, as the trope's title suggests, is locked away until such time as his or her abilities are needed. This can happen for a variety of reasons: maybe the Badass's society is peaceful and doesn't around a killing machine around all the time. Perhaps the imprisonment was voluntary, with the character choosing to get sealed away with a terrible evil just in case the seal doesn't hold. Sometimes the Badass doesn't have any choice in the matter, and is stuffed away until his or her handlers decide it's time for violence. Or maybe the Badass is a little too boisterous a bruiser between missions.

In any case, when the time is right, this character adds whole new meaning to the phrase "opening up a can of whoopass."

A neutral variant of Sealed Evil in a Can and Sealed Good in a Can. Occasionally involves a Human Popsicle.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • AKIRA
  • How Arcueid Brunestad was treated by the True Ancestors, and then by herself in Tsukihime. She'd wake up, destroy a target, then erase most of her memories and go back to sleep. Despite being born a thousand years ago, she only has about 1 year of living experience.
  • Alucard from Hellsing's anime, locked away by the Hellsing family before he is released by Integra.
  • In Macross II, we are given a glimpse of the cargo bay of an alien ship, where an army of Proud Warrior Race giant slave-soldiers are preserved waiting to be revived and sent into space.

Film
  • In Demolition Man criminals are locked in cryo-storage, and the world gradually gets more clean, neat and pacifistic. Then Wesley Snipes breaks out of cryostorage and starts killing people, and nobody knows how to stop him! Fortunately, they cryo-preserved Sylvester 'The Itallian Stallion' Stallone too, so they thaw him out to counter Snipes...
  • One of the Metal Gear Solid side-games reveals that Frank Jager, AKA Grey Fox, started his 'career' in black-ops as a project codenamed 'NULL'. He was kept in a sensory deprivation tank, without memories or any sense of self, and only pulled woken up when the government needed someone killed.
  • The Beast in Kung Fu Hustle willingly checked him into an insane asylum due to a lack of challenging opponents to fight.

Literature
  • There is a Christopher Anvil short story depicting a peaceful, pacifistic planetary society. An evil, violent armada of aliens think the planet is ripe for harvest, but soon learn otherwise. It turns out that if any of the people develop violent tendencies, they are put through intense, thorough training in various types of warfare and strategy, and then are put into suspended animation until needed.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's story ''With Friends Like These..." the Badass who is sealed in a can is the human race.
  • Wheel of Time

Live-Action TV
  • There was a Star Trek: TNG episode where some Klingons who had been in deep sleep since before the Klingons and Federation made peace were about to wake up in their battle cruiser. They were supposed to attack the first Federation ship they encountered.

Myth And Legend
  • This tends to pop up a lot in mythology or religion. Jesus Christ will show up on Judgment Day with an impact that will split a mountain before he starts slaughtering the unbelievers. King Arthur is slumbering somewhere until England needs him most, Charlemagne will someday return to help France, and Denmark has Holger Danske in reserve somewhere.

Tabletop Games
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium's Eversor assassins are kept in stasis pods when not on a mission, as their bodies are pumped full of stimulants that turn them Ax-Crazy and significantly shorten their lifespan (not to mention cause them to literally explode upon death).
    • The Eldar use a weird variant of this trope by sealing the badass inside their own head. The Eldar travel different "Paths" of life at a time, focusing on one skill to the exclusion of all others, mastering it, and moving on. So an Eldar who trains to become a specialized Aspect Warrior on the battlefield will set aside those skills and even the whole warrior persona when they're finished, until the time for war is nigh. They effectively cultivate multiple personality disorder to help control the bloodlust the Eldar race lives in constant denial of.
  • The Traveller classic adventure Twilight's Peak. The Ancient base has a number of warriors still held in stasis from the War 300,000 years earlier. They were automatically released when any violence occurred inside the base.

Video Games
  • In StarCraft, this is what happens to the Terran Marines between missions: cryogenic storage. Not surprising, since they're mostly a bunch of "rehabilitated" criminals.
  • Between Half-Life 1 and 2, Gordon Freeman is put away in stasis somewhere for two decades, until the right man is needed in the wrong place.
  • Happens at the end of Halo 3.
  • Mega Man X spent decades undergoing ethics testing in a sealed capsule, to ensure that the world's most powerful android didn't turn evil.
  • Tangentially, in inFamous, a friendly NSA agent you get into contact to warns you that the CIA will do this to you if you give 'em half a chance - lock you away somewhere in an insulated room, and only release you when they want some shit blown up.

Web Original
  • SCP-076 is the very embodiment of this trope.

Other
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