* Franchise/{{Superman}} is the {{Trope Maker|s}} for the genre of modern superhero comic books. While there were super-powered characters before him, none of them included all of what are now seen as the "classic" ComicBookTropes the way Franchise/{{Superman}} did. Every superhero ever written since follows in his footsteps.
** TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks also had a secondary trend of vigilantes with ill-defined omnipotent powers, who'd fight street crime without much regard for ethics. See Dr. Fate, Green Lantern, the Spectre, Black Widow, and so on.
* {{Robin}} might as well be the TropeNamer for the KidSidekick, and his popularity in the GoldenAge lead to a [[FountainOfExpies string of similar kid partners]]. CaptainAmerica and [[BuckyBarnes Bucky]], GreenArrow and Speedy, BlueBeetle and Sparky, Black Terror and Kid Terror, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky, [[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] and Captain Marvel Jr.... the list goes on an on.
** Then during the SilverAge came {{Aquaman}} and Aqualad, Superman and {{Supergirl}}, and WonderWoman and WonderGirl.
** Speedy in particular was a very blatant rip-off of Robin. This has lead to several [[MythologyGag Mythology Gags]] in shows like ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' and ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''.
* In {{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}}, all comics followed trends, to the point where it was an in-joke among comic writers and fans, for example an EC story about hiring Jack Kamen includes the line, "Jack, you old son! I haven't seen you for two trends!" EC followed trends religiously for a while, then started their own, Horror Comics! This in turn led in part to UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode (boo! hiss!).
* Marvel's ''Comicbook/FantasticFour'' series was created in direct response to the massive success of DC's ''JusticeLeagueOfAmerica''. Specifically, editor Martin Goodman told StanLee to come up team book to cash in on the trend DC had started.
* Creator/MarvelComics' success, particularly with ''ComicBook/{{Spider-Man}}'', the first teen superhero, had many publishers trying for a more teenager-friendly product; sadly, these often faded into TotallyRadical.
** On the subject of Spider-Man, his comics were also one of the first to illustrate the "normal" side of the hero, along with ''ComicBook/FantasticFour''. Rather than filling the issue with one action sequence after another, part of the issue would illustrate Peter taking on everyday tasks such as getting to work on time, experiencing relationships, dealing with school bullies, and so on. Even nowadays, polls and streets interviews indicate that the main reason people like Spidey so much is because "he's a regular guy like the rest of us." It has since become standard for comics to portray the everyday side of the superhero, with the character, like Peter, being portrayed as someone the target audience can relate to. Unfortunately, under worse authors, this often results in myriad forms of ThisLoserIsYou.
* Social issues were rarely dealt with before ''Franchise/GreenLantern / GreenArrow''. Now it seems like a staple in many comics to feature issues that are a VerySpecialEpisode.
* After ''CaptainAmerica'' was retitled ''Captain America and TheFalcon'', there began a trend of giving superheroes a BlackBestFriend or partner. Among the most notable ones would be [[Comicbook/WarMachine James "Rhodey" Rhodes]] and [[Comicbook/GreenLantern John Stewart]].
** Rhodey also arguably popularized the AffirmativeActionLegacy trend, especially with his burst of popularity in the 90's. Afterwards we saw an explosion of minority replacement characters like {{Steel}}, [[Comicbook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]], and [[GreenArrow Connor Hawke]].
* Before ''All-New, All-Different Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', most superheroes were [=WASPs=]. ''X-Men'' pioneered the concept of diversity (at least [[TokenMinority the token kind]]) in superhero comics.
** And it's even OlderThanTheyThink; the first international multiracial hero team was ''{{Cyborg 009}}'', though it didn't achieve the success in the West that the X-Men did.
** The X-Men, along with the ''New Comicbook/TeenTitans'', set the gold standard for angst and melodrama in superhero comics, as well as telling more personal, character-driven stories. The widely-reviled [[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League Detroit]] was DC's attempt at [[ReTool ReTooling]] the JLA into an X-Men clone.
* Marvel's ''MarvelMangaverse'' imprint was a rather blatant attempt to cash in on the success American networks had found with shows like ''Anime/SailorMoon'', ''DragonBallZ'', ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', and ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''.
* Nobody who's written Franchise/{{Batman}} in the past 20 years has been able to escape the influence of ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns''. This case is particularly hilarious because the single greatest influence on Batman's character wasn't even canon. Even Batman's entry in the All-Star series, which was supposed to throw out all the complicated backstory and let the DC heroes have more Silver-Age-style adventures, was written by The Goddamn FrankMiller himself, and Batman was even more cranky and psychotic than ever.
** One especially influential aspect of ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' is the [[DiagnosisFromDrBadass blow-by-blow First Person narration]]. Apparently inspired by ''Film/TaxiDriver'' it was distinctive when Miller first did it. Then all Batman comics had it. Then all of DC. Marvel soon followed suit. Now it's universal in mainstream comics, whether it suits the book's tone or not.
** The ever-hilarious Website/YouTube series ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHXeg7GhVbc&feature=channel Marvel/DC Happy Hour]]'' parodied this by having the second season's StoryArc involve the Joker using nanotechnology in an android named Lance to brainwash heroes like Franchise/{{Superman}}, Franchise/WonderWoman, ComicBook/IronMan, Comicbook/IncredibleHulk, and {{Wolverine}} into thinking that their loved ones died horribly right in front of them so that they would be more dark and brooding, like Franchise/{{Batman}}, except that they would break [[ThouShaltNotKill his one rule]] in pursuit of Justice. The only heroes he couldn't brainwash were Comicbook/GhostRider, Comicbook/ThePunisher (because he was already a dark, brooding, homicidal vigilante), and Franchise/SpiderMan (because the events of ''Comicbook/OneMoreDay'' had already altered his perception of reality, and he ''has'' lost everything but never loses his optimism).
* In the early 80's, mainstream American comic books lagged behind some of their British counterparts which featured more sophisticated and literary dialogue and story concepts. Then, after Creator/AlanMoore reinvigorated DC's poorly selling ''Comicbook/SwampThing'', DC editors quickly signed up other emerging British writers such as Jamie Delano (''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}''), Creator/NeilGaiman (''Comicbook/TheSandman'') and Creator/GrantMorrison (''Comicbook/AnimalMan''). This proved so successful that the "British invasion" of DC continues to this day.
** This was parodied in the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Sky Pirates'', which reveals Franchise/BerniceSummerfield to be the author of a bizarre Creator/{{Vertigo|Comics}}-style comic called ''The 45 Second Piglet''; said comic having been commissioned simply because she was in a big building in New York with a British accent.
*** Bernice was created by Creator/PaulCornell, a British writer. Guess who he writes comics for now?
* Creator/IsaacBaranoff's ''ComicBook/{{Horndog}}'' inspired a number of knock-offs. Baranoff even got in on the act himself by introducing ''HereWolf'', which was not substantially different from ''Horndog'', except for having human characters (it since differentiated itself though).
* The old ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' comic book parodied this in the form of having the Rangers encounter a few other rescue groups made up of small animals (one of whom was revealed to be [[TheMole working for Fat Cat]]).
* A large portion of TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks was in some ways an extended attempt at following the leader by creating comics in the vein of ''The Dark Knight Returns'' and its contemporary, ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', in an attempt to reflect the complexity and depth of these works. However, many critics -- including, amongst others, Creator/AlanMoore, writer of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' -- accused them of only copying the superficial details, mainly represented by the NinetiesAntiHero, rather than the storytelling complexity and experiments with medium that these works pioneered, with the result that most comics of this period were no more deep or original than the earlier works they were moving away from -- they were just nastier.
** For a bizarre blend of {{aver|tedTrope}}sion and {{subver|tedTrope}}sion in a package made of {{Reconstruction}}, see Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/TomStrong'', a reaction- one is tempted to call it an apology- to the darkness that followed the Watchmen comics.
* ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'' was the {{UR Example}} of origin stories in the more recent eras. Now both Marvel and DC produce Year One stories, with varying degrees of success, although none of them could match Batman's.
* [[http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/03/22/how-kurt-busiek-unwittingly-ruined-marvel-and-dc-superhero-comics/ This]] article suggests that most of the nostalgic turn of recent superhero comic books can be tied to the popularity of Creator/KurtBusiek's ''{{Marvels}}''.
* The design of Comicbook/DeathsHead II is clearly "inspired" by the works of Creator/RobLiefeld.
* At the height of the popularity of ''Comicbook/{{Spawn}}'', Marvel tried to cash-in rather shamelessly with ''[[http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/12/123677/2351180-616645_nightwatch1_large.jpg Nightwatch]]''.
** DC did the exact same thing with their post-''Comicbook/ZeroHour'' relaunch of ''[[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080910053748/marvel_dc/images/b/b0/Manhunter_Vol_2_0.jpg Manhunter]]''.
* ''Comicbook/AvengersArena'' has not been shy about the fact it is inspired by other death match/grim series with [[KidHero child protagonists]] such ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies'', and ''Film/BattleRoyale''.
* ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'': Especially in Europe and in the BelgianComics and FrancoBelgianComics industry his style has been copied immensely to the point that it received a distinctive name: "The Clear Line".
* The success of ''ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' in the 1980s spawned [[http://www.squidoo.com/boon-to-bust-bw-comics-1980-1990 a massive boom]] of independently-published, black-and-white comics. And just like TMNT, many of them also featured martial artists, {{Funny Animal}}s, or [[TeenageMutantSamuraiWombats both]].
* After the success of ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'', Italian comic books were invaded by series [[VillainProtagonist starring an obviously evil murderous thief]], gifted with great intelligence and whose name included the letter 'K'. While most of them have disappeared, ''Diabolik'' is still going on, and so two of the followers: ''ComicBook/{{Cattivik}}'' (a very funny and [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs nonsensical]] ShallowParody, with a protagonist that is not intelligent but TooDumbTooLive) and, from ''{{Disney}}'', Paperinik (an alter ego of DonaldDuck who started out as avenger of himself, later turned to UnscrupolousHero and then to full hero, [[AntiHero if a bit sadistic]]. Best known internationally for ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'').