[[quoteright:300:[[Comicbook/{{Knightfall}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_azrael-b_3286.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[-"I'm the goddamn Batman! Admit it or I'll kill you in the name of God!"-] ]]

Over the course of a long-running series, something happens to the main character. He [[DePower loses his powers]], makes a HeroicSacrifice, or gets OlderAndWiser and decides to retire. Sometimes they DroppedABridgeOnHim, or [[PutOnABus Put Him On A Bus]]. In a word, he's gone. But the story still goes on! [[LegacyCharacter His role is taken by a]] SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute, but one with a [[DarkerAndEdgier very different characterization]]. He's how the original hero would be if he were a {{Jerkass}}, AntiHero or (most commonly) NinetiesAntiHero.

Depending on how he's portrayed, he may be a ReplacementScrappy (especially if the original character were good on his/her own and the fans already like him/her) or a refreshing change (often happens if the fans are tired of having to look at the same hero over and over again). Sometimes the substitute may even be liked more than the original.

When the substitute is bad enough, there'll be often a storyline where [[HesBack the original hero is back]] and will have to fight the substitute for the position and wins. The substitute is then reduced to a villain (either minor or major) or just a minor hero. Alternatively, said substitute may be RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap by giving them a CharacterDevelopment and/or (when said substitute took the original's name) a name change.

This happened a '''lot''' during the DarkAge of Comics (TheNineties). Back then, it was common to presumptuously expect readers to like the new character, but writers have gotten savvier since then. Now, the DarkerAndEdgier version of the hero is commonly portrayed as a villain or a psychopath (or, sometimes, be redeemed), as the NinetiesAntiHero archetype has grown less popular over time.

See also: CounterpartComparison, which often happens to this character. Subtrope of SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute. May overlap with CostumeCopycat. Could be an ElCidPloy gone bad. Contrast with the RedeemingReplacement.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Happened to ''Manga/AstroBoy'' of all people in a one-shot gag manga OsamuTezuka did as a nostalgia piece for Bungei Shunju, a popular men's magazine of the day. After Astro's apparent death in the final episode of the first TV series the ministry of science was ordered to create a replacement, but since they tried to make him [[HumansAreFlawed more humanlike than the original he turned out to be a selfish, greedy, shiftless sex maniac]].
* When ''MazingerZ'' ended and ''GreatMazinger'' started, HotBlooded, happy go lucky, self-styled ally of justice Kouji Kabuto lost his main character spot to the ever frowning, warrior-first-hero-second (but still HotBlooded, we are talking giant robots here) Tetsuya Tsurugi. Needless to say there was a lot more angst this time around.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This happens to Franchise/{{Batman}} a lot:
** During the ''Comicbook/{{Knightfall}}'' story arc, Batman was temporarily paralyzed by Bane and gave his cowl to Azrael, who quickly became a KnightTemplar. This forced Batman to undergo TrainingFromHell to fight [[FanNickname AzBats]] and reclaim his old identity. [=AzBats=] turned out to be a deliberate TakeThat at the fans who wanted Batman to be closer to ThePunisher than, well, Batman. ("You wanted Needlessly Violent Batman? There you go!") As it turns out, the only people that were all that thrilled with him were the makers and players of ''VideoGame/BatmanDoom'', a high-quality ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' mod. Well, maybe a few others, since after being bounced from the Batman position his solo series lasted over a hundred issues.
** Cheerful and lovable circus brat Dick Grayson was replaced by cheerful and lovable circus brat Jason Todd in the early 80s. Then, post-Crisis, in a rare case of a character being replaced by an AntiHero version ''of himself,'' Jason Todd was retcon'd into an abrasive former street thug. He also spent a bit of time as a psychopathic version of Nightwing. Also, during the ''Battle for the Cowl'' event, Jason would also take up the mantle of Batman after [[spoiler: his apparent death]] and became a gun-wielding psychopath. He was played as the villain of the story, however.
** During the aforementioned ''Battle for the Cowl'', Two-Face also attempted to become the next Batman and Hush impersonated Bruce Wayne with the help of MagicPlasticSurgery.
** During the ''Batman and Son'' storyline, fake Batmen began showing up in Gotham City and committing crimes, and Bruce was forced to fight them. The eventual source of these was revealed to be psychological experiments conducted by the Gotham Police Department to create replacement Batmen should anything ever happen to the real one. This didn't turn out so well.
** Current Robin Damian Wayne is more of an AntiHero than his predecessor, but new Batman Dick Grayson has made it his goal to craft him into a true superhero and not an AntiHero.
** [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]] as ComicBook/{{Batgirl}} has both the outfit and the angsty backstory, but it's subverted in that she's also very much TheCape.
*** Cassandra's Batgirl outfit was previously worn by the Huntress during ''Comicbook/BatmanNoMansLand'', who played it straight.
** During the "Titans Tomorrow" arc, a potential future version of Tim Drake becomes a gun-wielding Batman.
** While Terry [=McGinnis=] of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' has most of the heroic qualities of the original, the series premise of a hot-headed SnarkKnight and former juvenile delinquent stepping into Bruce's place after the latter's retirement is very much in line with this trope.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} was killed, and replaced by four guys: [[BadassNormal Man]] [[PoweredArmor of Steel]], [[CloningBlues Superboy]], [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul Cyborg]] [[EvilCounterpart Superman]], and [[NinetiesAntiHero Last Son]] [[LegacyCharacter of Krypton]] (Eradicator). Of these, Cyborg turned out to be EvilAllAlong, and Eradicator was basically a DarkerAndEdgier version of the genuine article.
** Superboy isn't a great example of this, as he simply claimed to be a clone of Superman (he was essentially telling the truth) and was more of a [[AntiHero Disney Anti-Hero]] at worst, with wisecracks, flirtations, and only the occasional blowup (usually when someone called him "Superboy"). It wasn't until later incarnations, such as the animated ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' and the New 52, where he became an AngryYoungMan, yet the Reign of the Supermen angle was abandoned anyway.
** And {{Steel}} was a complete ''inversion'' of this; if anything, he was [[UpToEleven even more heroic than the original]]. Also, unlike the other three, Steel admitted from the start he wasn't really Superman, but that he was trying to represent the spirit of what Superman stood for.
** While neither passed themselves off as Superman, both [[ComicBook/KingdomCome Magog]] and [[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Proteus]] tried to usurp his position as the DCU's foremost superhero by being more ruthless, aggressive and proactive. Both were deliberately set up to fail; Magog went too far and Proteus was evil from the start.
** Also, in the ''JusticeLeague'' mini-arc 'Hereafter', after Superman vanishes from the face of the planet after Toyman manages to pull of a successful attack on him, '''''{{Lobo}}''''', of all people, tries to step in as his replacement.
* WonderWoman was forced to give up her name and costume because her mother had a vision of her death. Her place was taken by Artemis, but in the end it was she who was killed, not Diana.
* Played straight in current SpiderGirl adventures. [[spoiler:It looks like May we all know and love was beaten hard, or even killed by, Tombstone; and her crazy clone, April, has taken her place]].
* [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk Hulk]] has both subverted and played this trope straight at the same time. After ''WorldWarHulk'', with the Hulk [[spoiler:imprisoned by the army]], his series was taken over by Hercules and a new series was launched with a mysterious RedHulk as the central character. TheIncredibleHercules subverted the trope quickly, proving he's anything ''but'' an [[AntiHero Anti-Hero]], while Red Hulk played it straight, acting like a ''total dick'' and [[spoiler: making Hulk lose his powers]].
** Earlier on in the 80s this trope popped up, with the normal destructive but rarely malicious green Hulk being replaced by an amoral jerkass grey Hulk named Joe Fixit. Green Hulk is an anti-hero to begin with but the trope still stands as Joe Fixit is several notches down the scale. The twist is Joe Fixit is just another of Bruce Banner's repressed personalities.
* In an inverse of this trope, Comicbook/GreenLantern Hal Jordan inexplicably [[FaceHeelTurn turned evil]] during the ''Emerald Twilight'' arc and the role of "original hero" as described by the intro was played by his replacement Kyle Rayner.
** Played straight, however, was Guy Gardner replacing Hal Jordan in 1985. (To clarify: Guy Gardner is not some crazy killing machine or anything (unless you count the Warrior storylines where he's a living weapon); he just has more of a fly-off-half-cocked, kick-butt-take-names, punch-first-ask-questions-later personality than Hal.) He's the gym teacher everyone despised in high school.
* In TheEighties, Steve Rogers, the original CaptainAmerica, was replaced by John Walker, a NinetiesAntiHero version of himself. To his credit, Walker did eventually make an honest effort to emulate Rogers' ethics until the RedSkull completed his manipulation of him. When Rogers regained the mantle, Walker continued operating as the U.S. Agent.
** Like ''Knightfall'' this was apparently a deliberate in your face. And the same thing happened with BuckyBarnes as Captain America. That said, Steve went on record in ''Heroic Age: Superheroes'' that there's not a man out there more fit to wear those colors than James Buchanan Barnes.
*** It should be noted that during Bucky's tenure as Cap, that while he did use his gun and his costume did invoke a DarkerAndEdgier angle[[note]]the costume had far more black than the red, white, and blue.[[/note]], the main conflict for Bucky was whether or not he could do right by Steve Rogers as Captain America. As such, Bucky would act as best of a hero as he possibly could during that amount of time as Cap.
* In an inversion TheMightyThor was replaced by Thunderstrike in TheNineties, except Thunderstrike was less likely to kill a dangerous opponent and he came across as a dork when he tried to sound like an anti-hero. Thunderstrike did however, look the part. Complicating the whole thing was that Thunderstrike had previously ''been'' Thor himself.
* Most of NormanOsborn's Dark Avengers were villains that had their costumes redesigned to look like familiar heroes. He went a bit overboard on this front, creating the Dark (now Shadow) X-Men, making the HAMMER organization to replace ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}, and forming The Cabal, essentially a copy of the already morally ambiguous Illuminati, as well as his own Initiative with TheHood and his gang.
** Comparably, ComicBook/{{Venom}} could count as a rare villain-to-villain example of this. Eddie Brock, the original Venom was certainly a homicidal maniac, but he eventually was tailored into a NinetiesAntiHero of sorts. The third Venom, Mack Gargan (the Scorpion) is more evil than Brock and thus since he pretends to be a hero as part of the Dark Avengers, he's both an AntiHeroSubstitute for Franchise/SpiderMan (who he impersonates) ''and'' Venom. The second Venom (Angelo Fortunato) didn't last long enough to be considered a substitute. Now that Flash Thompson is Venom, you could argue for it being an odd reverse villain-hero example; Flash more heroic than Eddie at his very best.
* Happened, of all people, to ComicBook/TheAuthority once, when they were defeated by G8's agent and replaced with bunch of {{NinetiesAntiHero}}s. For many people Authority are a buch of [[JerkAss Jerk Asses]] at best and {{Villain Protagonist}}s at worst, but comparing to replacements they looks like frickng saints.
** [[spoiler:Of course, the second the real Authority comes back, they start their revenge by killing in cold blood the]] [[spoiler:''only'']] [[spoiler: redeemable character among the new team: Rush, the Canadian replacement for Swift, who didn't kill anybody they wouldn't have and hated all her teammates. They catch hell for this later.]]
* In [[http://johnnysaturn.com Johnny Saturn]], Johnny Saturn I (John Underhall) retires, and he is soon replaced by Johnny Saturn II (Greg Buchanan). Many of the characters in Johnny Saturn are {{legacy character}}s.
* After Horatio Hellpop gave up the mantle of {{Nexus}} it was taken by Stan Korivitsky. Sadly, the mission of killing worst murderers was too much for him, and he quickly snapped and turned worse than those he was supposed to kill. That forced Horatio to take back Nexus powers and kill him.
* Comicbook/GhostRider has an odd example. He is already an AntiHero but in the nineties, a character named ''Vengeance'' showed up who was supposed to be a DarkerAndEdgier version of a character that was already the epitome of DarkerAndEdgier. A new Vengeance has since appeared -- as a villain. And the de-powered original Vengeance seems to be a pretty nice guy these days.
* Intentionally done again in the '90s, when the ComicBook/FantasticFour were [[ComicBookDeath presumed dead]], and SpiderMan, {{Wolverine}}, [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk The Hulk]], and Comicbook/GhostRider took their places, swearing to avenge the heroes' deaths. Only three of the four were really {{Anti Hero}}es, but the extremely ill-suited-for-eachother group fought amongst themselves so much and were so bad at emulating the FF's legendary teamwork that Spidey was pretty much ineffectual in getting them to shape up and the whole team made the Fantastic Four's dysfunctional family dynamics look incredibly well-adjusted by comparison.
** Marvel played homage to that story a few years ago with even ''more'' antiheroic versions of those four - the abovementioned Red Hulk and Ghost Rider's DistaffCounterpart Alejandra, {{X-23}} and Flash Thompson's Comicbook/{{Venom}} (RedeemingReplacement to previous Venoms, but much more antiheroic than Spider-Man).
* Happened to TheFlash with [[FanNickname Dark Flash]] a mysterious characted that turned out to be an alternate universe version of Wally that didn't allow himself to cross the speed threshhold necessary to save Linda Park in a previous story. He wore a darker outfit and was a little more brutal.
* The [[TheAdjectivalSuperhero Irredeemable]] ComicBook/AntMan, Eric O'Grady, was this to the original ComicBook/AntMan, Hank Pym [[note]] not without his own problems- see NeverLiveItDown[[/note]]. O'Grady got his costume from stealing one of Pym's, and is an often lecherous, cowardly, and amoral man who nonetheless had some positive traits and often wished he was a better person. (Not to be confused with Scott Lang, who if anything was ''more'' heroic than Pym; yes, he also stole the Ant-Man suit, but he was ''really sorry'' about it, and only did it to save his daughter.)
** O'Grady eventually [[DroppedABridgeOnHim got killed off]] (albeit in a HeroicSacrifice to save a child) right around the time Marvel decided to bring Lang back.
* ComicBook/IronMan did this to himself, in a way. When his suit was damaged, he built the Comicbook/WarMachine armor. Not only did it have the appropriate DarkerAndEdgier name but it was loaded with BFG's and was colored black and gray. Stark wore the armor in a few issues, invoking this trope even though it was the same guy in the armor. After that arc, he gave it to Jim Rhodes who is actually a bit nicer than Stark who can be a JerkAss from time-to-time.
** It should also be noted that Rhodes replaced Tony as Iron Man for a couple of years due to Stark's alcoholism so in a way, it was the inversion of this trope.
* Inverted for SpiderMan in ComicBook/TheCloneSaga. While Peter Parker went through a DarkerAndEdgier character arc, [[ComicBook/ScarletSpider Ben Reilly]] was introduced as a LighterAndSofter Spider-Man with the goal of putting Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and [[SpiderGirl their daughter]] [[PutOnABus on a bus.]]
** The entire premise of ''Comicbook/SuperiorSpiderMan'', which sees Otto Octavius becoming a DarkerAndEdgier Spider-Man after performing a FreakyFridayFlip with Peter Parker and then leaving him to die in Ock's frail body.
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[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': When one Slayer dies another girl is called forward to take her place. Well Buffy did die and despite being revived is replaced by Kendra, a KnightTemplar whose sole focus is on hunting and killing vampires regardless of who they are. When she died she was replaced by Faith, very much an AntiHero before, during and after her FaceHeelTurn. Not a typical example, since Buffy was only dead for a few minutes at most; so she continued being the main character and maintained the role as the main slayer. With Faith as the "active" slayer, if she died, a new slayer would have taken her place, but Buffy's later [[BackFromTheDeath (temporary)]] death did not have any effect.
* Keppler, the TemporarySubstitute for ''Series/{{CSI}}'''s Gil Grissom.
* At the beginning of season five of ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'', Nucky Thomson has replaced his bodyguard Eddie Kessler, [[spoiler:who committed suicide when being blackmailed by the FBI.]] Kessler was affable, decent, but determined and capable in a fight -- by no means a hero, but [[ALighterShadeOfGrey one of the nicest characters in the setting]], and fast becoming a MoralityPet for Nucky. The replacement is silent, menacing, and viciously brutal in a fight -- even slicing the ear off a dead attacker and keeping it in his suit pocket. The implication is that Nucky [[spoiler:hates that he got personally attached to Kessler only to lose him, and has hired a bloodthirsty stoic he won't mistake for a friend.]]
-->'''Senator:''' Doesn't say much, does he?\\
'''Nucky:''' [[BeingPersonalIsntProfessional That's what I like about him.]]
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' has a [[spoiler: Villainous example. Beatrice gave her title to Eva's hidden personality. When Eva-Beatrice was acting like a monster all-time, Beato get a few PetTheDog moments, and got to make a HeroicSacrifice, after realizing her mistakes. Then it's revealed it was all a clever BatmanGambit she put in order to make Battler admit she's a witch.]]
** EP 5 replaces [[spoiler:Battler himself]] for [[spoiler:Furudo Erika]]. It's played with irony considering the second is more or less an aspect of the BigBad and Battler is not incapacitated and actively fighting the against change.
** Considering the replacement's personality? Definitely, at least, invoked. [[spoiler: And now she's dead. In fact, she may have never been alive...]]
* The introduction of K' in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters '99'', blatant attempt at DarkerAndEdgier, had a very mixed reception. Unlike most examples however, he received enough CharacterDevelopment to [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap save him]] from [[ReplacementScrappy the heap]], and is now a [[EnsembleDarkhorse fan favourite]]. Then SNK went even ''further'' down the line with VillainProtagonist Ash Crimson in the next arc. The reception was even ''[[CreatorsPet more]]'' [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff mixed]].
* VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon has [[FriendToAllLivingThings Shana]] get benched and lose her power as a Dragoon. Her successor is Miranda, a BadassPrincess with a penchant for punching people.
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