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[[quoteright:330:[[ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/irredeemable1.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:"His truth. His justice. His way. And there's nothing anyone can do about it."]]

->''"[I]n any event, I never said 'The superman exists and he's American.' What I said was [='=]'''God''' exists and he's American.[='=] If that statement starts to chill you after a couple of moments' consideration, then don't be alarmed. A feeling of intense and crushing religious terror at the concept indicates only that you are still sane."''
-->-- '''Prof. Milton Glass''', "Dr. Manhattan: Super-Powers and the Superpowers," ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}''

{{Superhero}} settings, like any other setting, end up somewhere on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. On the more idealistic end, you have settings like mainstream comic books, where there's a sense of wonder and basic decency about the superhuman. While there are villains, they will usually get caught or their plans will be thwarted, and while [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks the setting may take dark turns]], it will inevitably right itself. Somewhere in the middle, you have settings that look at superpowers a bit more realistically. While the government may have supers, so will despotic regimes, organized crimes, and terrorist groups. The good guys may win, but [[EarnYourHappyEnding victories will be hard fought and likely to have their share of losses.]]

And then you have these settings. The world's not better for having superhumans. [[CrapsackWorld It's worse]]. The government has no safety net to deal with rogue supers, and it seems like there ain't nothing but rogue supers [[GoodPowersBadPeople terrorizing]] {{Muggles}} or [[PsychoForHire freaks on leashes]]. And that's just the so-called heroes, who are usually [[NominalHero anything but]], being all-too-aware of their [[MugglePower superiority over the rest of the human race]] and [[TheSocialDarwinist a little too keen]] on [[SmugSuper arrogantly flaunting it]]. Maybe the crisis hasn't happened yet, but the way supers seem to be developing, it's only a matter of time until one of them [[ComicBook/TheNewUniverse blows up Pittsburgh]] and the rest go absolutely nuts. Not that they're exactly [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity mentally-stable to begin with]]; many will gleefully [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers screw the rules with their powers]], but it's almost guaranteed that at least one of them will become a full fledged SuperSupremacist and develop a [[AGodAmI God-complex]] as a result of their powers, and that they're only one bad day away from trying to [[TakeOverTheWorld enslave]] or [[KillAllHumans wipe out]] all of humanity (which they could [[PersonOfMassDestruction easily do within an afternoon]]).

These are often DarkerAndEdgier versions of more traditional SuperHero fare, and often use {{Take That}}s against popular characters like Franchise/{{Superman}} or Franchise/SpiderMan (or [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation that particular writer's]] [[ShallowParody perception of them]]).

Any hope for a HopeSpot in such a dire scenario may involve calling the CapeBusters.

Stories or articles involving TheSingularity sometimes put forth the idea that in RealLife, [[{{Transhuman}} enhanced humans]] may cause this situation.

A milder version is SmugSuper, in which the superpowered being in question isn't exactly malevolent or evil, but is still something of a jerk. If both Beware the Superman and FantasticRacism toward metahumans are prevalent in a 'verse, expect things to get ''very'' ugly.

Trope title is a spin on the famous Nietzsche quote, "Behold the superman"[[note]]Which itself is a takeoff on "Ecce Homo" ("Behold the man"), [[OlderThanTheyThink which is what]] [[Literature/TheBible Pilate said to the crowds after Jesus]] was scourged[[/note]] (as in "Behold the {{Ubermensch}}"). SuperDickery is a milder version of this trope. See also WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity, CrapsackWorld, TheMagocracy, MugglePower, TranshumanTreachery. Contrast with TallPoppySyndrome, as the two are more-or-less ideological opposites. This is a common feature of stories following the CapePunk model of storytelling.


[[folder: {{Anime}} / {{Manga}}]]
* Paptimus Scirocco from ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' is a Newtype supremacist who wishes to eliminate all mundanes.
* In ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX'' several belligerents use Newtypes to enhance their weapons and one side even uses Newtypes' existence to justify a racial/cultural supremacy ideology. Most of the existing Newtypes are reasonably nice people, but their existence has made the world a more warlike place. It is also implied people are less likely to look for solutions to the problems of war and conflict [[HoldingOutForAHero because they expect Newtypes to resolve them.]]
* Geass users in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' might qualify if not for the fact that regular, non-geass-possessing individuals are still responsible for most of the world's woes anyway; it's just that pretty much everyone with a Geass tends to add even more misery on top of that.
* ''Manga/BakiTheGrappler'' has a [[WorldOfBadass setting]] where [[CharlesAtlasSuperPower with enough training]] a martial artist can rival [[OneManArmy armies]] in strength. Three notable examples are: Biscuit Oliva, a man so strong he takes down entire drug cartels by himself for the U.S government and uses a super max prison as a penthouse. Che Guevara (yes ''[[CaptainErsatz the Che Guevara]]'') the ruler of an island nation who is, and has [[SuperpoweredMooks soldiers]], strong enough to casually assassinate world leaders if he ever felt his nation was threatened. Last is Yujiro Hanma, explicitly the WorldsStrongestMan and the main villain of the series. To get a good grasp of how powerful he is [[http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/0/7823/511644-yujiro_hanma_and_g.bosh.jpg he uses George W. Bush as his personal driver.]]
* In ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' part of the package deal that makes you into a [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual Contractor]] is a loss of emotions and conscience: All Contractors are, per definition, sociopaths. But they're also ''[[TheSpock rational]]'' sociopaths and can thus see the inherent futility in trying to use their powers to TakeOverTheWorld. That said, the world is most definitively worse off for their appearance, especially what with all the wars that are being fought with Contractors as human weapons.
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'' has brave, selfless martial artists like Goku. It also has Frieza and his evil family, supremely powerful mutants who use their power to run an interstellar crime syndicate and slaughter billions of innocent people, and the gene-optimized murderer Cell that doesn't even bother trying to empathize with those he consumes to become stronger or, later, tortures and kills for no reason other than his amusement.
** ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' provides a perfect example with Goku Black, Goku's EvilTwin and the BigBad of the Future Trunks Saga. With all of Goku's power and limitless growth at his fingertips and none of his conscience, Black is living proof of just how terrifying and unstoppable Goku would be as a villain. [[spoiler:And this is before the revelation that Goku Black is actually an alternate timeline version of the Supreme Kai-in-training Zamasu in that timeline's Goku's body.]]
** ''Anime/DragonBallZBrolyTheLegendarySuperSaiyan'': Broly was born with an overwhelming {{Power Level|s}} of 10,000, and King Vegeta, fearing the threat the newborn might pose to his empire, ordered his execution. As Broly gets older, he gleefully destroys entire planets and punches out his father's left eye when he tried to stop him, forcing Paragus to slap a PowerLimiter on him.
* Most of the Huckebein from ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'' are "just" {{Smug Super}}s proud of their seemingly flawless AntiMagic, but their more vicious members like Cypha go straight into this.
* ''Manga/SorcererHunters'' has a magical version where the 'supermen' in question come in the form of Sorcerers who for most part, make life very miserable for the [[{{Muggles}} Parsoners]] who live on Spooner. It's even stated that the Sorcerers are treated as nobility as a way to keep them under control (with the eponymous Sorcerer Hunters as a stick to go along with the carrot).
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}''. Tetsuo fits the trope, with a healthy amount of WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' has about 10% of the population able to work magic but so far we have not seen on screen magically powerful despots. The closest the setting has is probably Zeref or [[spoiler: Acnologia. One of the humans empowered by dragons with Dragon Slayer magic, he eventually turned on his benefactors and became a dragon himself by bathing in the blood of a hundred dragons; a rather literal use of this trope]]. Another example is Grimoire Heart's "ultimate magic world plan" where people without magic would be killed and only those strong in magic would survive.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'' gives us {{Light|IsNotGood}} [[TheCorruptible Yagami]], a [[IntelligenceEqualsIsolation brilliant]] and beautiful teenage boy granted a godlike magical power. Unfortunately, that power happens to be the titular ArtifactOfDeath, and WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer... no matter how well you intend to use your power, you go [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope flying off the slippery slope]] faster than you can say "justice". The same happens to his girlfriend [[MadLove Misa]].
-->'''L''': If [this person] is an ordinary human being who somehow gained the power, he is a very unfortunate being.
** Not to mention the fact that the only people who can stand against them are cutthroat, coldblooded investigators who are, when push comes to shove, NotSoDifferent at all. The rest of the world just gets caught in the crossfire.
* In ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', while there are a large amount of Nen-enabled fighters who genuinely want to do good for the world, there are just as many, if not more, who gain these superpowers and use them purely for personal gain. Most of the ''really'' powerful ones see themselves as above anyone who cannot give them a good fight and casually cause mass murders of {{Muggles}} and less powerful combatants for trivial reasons like chasing after people, stealing valuables, or simply out of being in a bad mood. These mass deaths are so common that everyone, even the muggles, see them as no big deal, the survivors simply moving on as soon as the danger has passed.
* The first users of Psychokinesis in ''Manga/ShinsekaiYori'', who [[spoiler: brought about the end of the modern age]] when they abused their near-limitless power for indiscriminate violence and [[spoiler:governments tried and failed to contain them with military force, then with nuclear weapons]].
* Downplayed in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''. Pokémon have been used by villain teams and villains of the week alike, but not only are Pokémon a part of everyday life in the ''Pokémon'' world to the point that no one tries to ban Pokémon training, but much of an individual creature's power comes from [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower training]], which humans can undergo as well. [[OlympusMons Legendary Pokémon]] are the exception, however, and are portrayed as far more powerful than they are in the games or manga series.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Manga/LoveHina'': The ''Shinmei-ryū'' style of kendo was created specifically for protection and DemonSlaying. Motoko Aoyama, the heir to the school, is a borderline AxCrazy girl with a HairTriggerTemper who uses these skills to assault anyone who even ''slightly'' irritates her, dealing a lot of AmusingInjuries.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}}:
** Though the trope's name instantly makes you think of him, Franchise/{{Superman}} thankfully [[AvertedTrope averts this trope]].
** Unless it's an ''{{Elseworld}}s'' story which has this trope as its point, Superman is ([[SuperDickery almost]]) always as responsible as he can be with his powers and always lets people know that he's here to serve them, not the other way around. But again, as mentioned, ''Elseworlds'' stories LOVE to play with Superman this way. One example of this is Alternate!Superman in ''ComicBook/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'', who's a totalitarian ruler after the death of Alternate!Lois Lane.
** An interesting play on this trope would be the popular story "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" from ''ComicBook/ActionComics'' #775 and animated as ''WesternAnimation/SupermanVsTheElite'' as the Man of Steel deals with a team known as "The Elite", who gleefully put people in harm's way with their methods of stopping threats and their flippant attitude to that. When Superman decided to start buying what they're selling, his cruel and systematic methods of taking them out freak the team badly. [[spoiler:When the last remaining member, Manchester Black, calls out Superman on this, Supes tells him that never killed them or anyone else caught in the fight at all.]] GoodIsNotSoft, indeed.
** At least ''Comicbook/AllStarSuperman'' has inverted this by suggesting that ''anyone'' who gained Superman's powers would gain such a heightened sense of what it means to be alive and how living beings think, work and feel that it would be almost impossible ''not'' to become an altruist like Superman.
** In ''Comicbook/KryptoniteNevermore'' several characters argue the issue at several points:
*** Morgan Edge is not happy about Superman being immune to Kryptonite because he thinks absolute power corrupts absolutely.
---->'''Lois:''' What've you got against Superman, sir?\\
'''Morgan:''' The same thing I'd have against anyone supremely powerful... I don't trust anyone who can't be stopped! A wise man once said that "power corrupts... and absolute power corrupts absolutely!" How do we know Superman will be an exception?
*** Later Superman thinks he doesn't buy his reasoning:
---->'''Superman:''' Morgan Edge was wrong! Power isn't corrupting... It's freeing me -- to do unlimited good!
*** Later Superman recovers his powers thanks to Wonder Woman's mentor I-Ching... but he hasn't recovered from a brain injury, and he becomes cocky, arrogant, impulsive and short-tempered. Ching fears that Superman goes berserker unless they help him.
*** Finally, after having a horrible vision in which he accidentally destroys the planet, Superman does not want to get his full powers back.
---->'''Ching:''' Perhaps I can transfer the powers you took from Superman back to him!\\
'''Superman:''' No! I've seen the dangers having too much power... I am human -- I can make mistakes!
** Ironically inverted in ''ComicBook/TheNail''. In an alternate universe, Clark Kent never becomes Superman. This means that there's no moral lighthouse to make the world realize that metahumans and superheroes aren't inherently dangerous, with the result that metahumans are viciously discriminated against and the Justice League are despised and distrusted. Funny how things work out, huh?
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' story ''ComicBook/SupergirlCosmicAdventuresInThe8thGrade'' Lena hates super-powered beings. Linda -alias Supergirl- tries to convince her that a person can have powers and not being a jerk. Unfortunately, their schoolmates are determined to prove Linda ''wrong''.
-->'''Linda:''' Come on... It's not like everyone with super powers is a complete jerk... [...] Okay... See... He's not everybody. Some people are jerks no matter what. But that doesn't mean that we're suddenly going to be treated differently just because we don't have super powers.
* Ultraman and ComicBook/BlackAdam are the {{Evil Counterpart}}s to Franchise/{{Superman}} and [[Comicbook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]], for starters.
* The original version of Creator/RobLiefeld's ComicBook/{{Supreme}} was essentially an incredibly arrogant, ruthless version of early [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] activist Superman. He killed terrorists, villains, and (in one particularly notorious case) government-sanctioned teams with impunity and gore.
** When this version was brought back at the beginning of Erik Larsen's run, he kills an invading army of villains in cold blood, depowers all the surviving Supremes from Alan Moore's run and embarks on a rampage of revenge against all the heroes (for not rescuing him)
* ''ComicBook/MarshalLaw'' believes ALL superheroes are exactly like that. Including ''him''. As his CatchPhrase says:
-->'''Marshal Law:''' I'm a hero hunter. I hunt heroes. Haven't found any yet.
* The original ''ComicBook/SquadronSupreme'''s limited series has this as the central theme, with the superheroes taking over their world's United States after it's trashed an alien mind-control menace, [[KnightTemplar for the "greater good", of course.]] They do in fact succeed in eliminating poverty, war, and, though a (mostly) voluntary brain-modification unit, reforming most of the world's criminals. However, their own personal failings, rising team death count, and totalitarian underpinnings leave their attempt a failure, case in point being how their not-ComicBook/GreenArrow {{brainwashed}} their not-ComicBook/BlackCanary to make sure she is always in love with him. He quickly regrets this but has to live with the consequences until he is discovered and expelled from the team.
* Twenty years later, the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}} (of whom the Squadron were {{exp|y}}ies) would likewise have a major storyline, ''ComicBook/IdentityCrisis'' involving using ComicBook/{{Zatanna}}'s magical brainwashing on super-powered criminals, following Doctor Light's rape of Sue Dibny. Not surprisingly, the main holdout on each team who rejected the plan in horror (playing the role of team conscience) was essentially the same character (Franchise/{{Batman}} and his CaptainErsatz, Nighthawk).
* Creator/JMichaelStraczynski's ''ComicBook/SupremePower'' (and later ''Squadron Supreme'') redid the Marvel classic ''ComicBook/SquadronSupreme'' to show a world where most supers are at least a bit more unhinged. Hyperion, while well-meaning, has been raised since birth to be the [[EagleLand ultimate American patriot]], and goes through a HeroicBSOD when he finds out. Zarda's a [[ImmortalityImmorality vampiric alien]] with little regard for human life and a [[StalkerWithACrush stalker-like crush]] on Hyperion. Doctor Spectrum's being yanked around by an alien superweapon that occasionally takes over his mind. Nighthawk's a black vigilante with a strong antipathy for whites and a violent hatred for racists. Blur is (at first) a sellout who uses his powers for advertising. Arcanna [[IJustWantToBeNormal wants to get rid of her powers]]. The Shape is a [[DumbMuscle severely retarded superstrong juggernaut]]. Nuke is so dangerously radioactive that he must be sealed inside a lead suit. Master Menace is... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin well, a master of menace.]] Collateral damage is a major theme of the series, and there's been one mini where Hyperion goes insane and takes over the world.
** Hyperion's actually still a really nice guy with some ideas about the world that you'd naturally get growing up the way he did. He went a little crazy ''once'', but still. Serial killer Michael Redstone is Hyperion without the flight or the morality, and represents the opposite side of Hyperion's coin.
*** Well, he ''was'' a nice guy... at the end of the later series... not so much anymore. Apparently he was always supposed to be the spearhead of an alien invasion... and he seems to ''accept'' that now.
** A truly evil version of Hyperion shows up in ''Exiles'' as a reoccurring villain. In his own universe, Earth was completely destroyed in an attempt to fight him off. His only interest in traveling between dimensions is to find one that he can rule without too much effort.
** JMS also plays with such a theme in ''ComicBook/RisingStars''; the Specials mostly mean well, but after AllOfTheOtherReindeer turn against them, we start seeing some of the real damage they can do, especially after Critical Maas takes over Chicago. After the Surge, even the less aggressive ones tend to take what they want and ignore laws, just because they can.
* ''Comicbook/{{Miracleman}}'' portrays all its supers as at least a bit flawed, from the well-meaning but ultimately authoritarian Miracleman to the sociopathic Kid Miracleman, who destroys all of London ForTheEvulz.
* Whether or not ''Comicbook/TheAuthority'' are Earth's last line of defense against serious threats and a force for change, or a bunch of authoritarian despots who can't get outside their own heads, varies somewhat [[DependingOnTheWriter depending on who's writing which Wildstorm book this week]]. Much of the rest of the Wildstorm Universe is the same way.
** In their original portrayal by Warren Ellis ''Comicbook/TheAuthority'' at least twice casually killed tons of civilian bystanders, who were guilty of nothing more than living under the rule of an EvilOverlord. Of course the analogue to American military involvement is brought up, to grey the issue more.
* ''Comicbook/{{Planetary}}'' plays fast and loose with the trope, however: A cabal of superheroes ''does'' secretly rule the world and quite a lot of bad stuff is supernatural in origin. Still, many of the Earth's mysteries are neutral or even benign and the Century Babies (who are all immortal and superpowered) are implied to be the Earth's natural immune system against superpowered foes that would threaten humanity. [[spoiler:By the end, Elijah Snow has managed to use the knowledge collected by The Four to avert ReedRichardsIsUseless and eliminated global poverty, war and innumerable diseases.]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' has only two superheroes with actual superpowers, but the very existence and the enormous extent of Dr. Manhattan's powers almost leads to a nuclear war. Although benevolent enough by himself, he is very weak-willed and kills uncounted Vietcong in the Vietnam War and a solid number of American criminals (petty and otherwise) basically only because somebody told him to. Throughout all of this, he becomes progressively [[LackOfEmpathy detached from humanity]], at one point watching a pregnant woman being murdered without even attempting to interfere. The others, though baseline humans, aren't much better, being well-meaning-though-flawed everymen at best and fanatical nutbag mass murderers at worst, ultimately leading to their actions being outlawed unless specifically condoned by the US government. It is telling that it is the seemingly most benevolent of the superheroes, [[spoiler: Ozymandias]], who commits the largest atrocities, all in the name of [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans saving the world from itself]].
* In the Creator/DCComics [[TheMultiverse Multiverse]] Earth-3 and Anti-Earth are ruled by supervillain expies of Superheroes from Earth 1 or 2, and the only people capable of standing up to them are the superhero expies of the super''villains'' of Earth 1 or 2. Earth-8 is a CaptainErsatz of the current Comicbook/UltimateMarvel universe in which the "heroes" are ruthless control freaks, and the CaptainErsatz Marvel villains (the Extremists), while hardly heroic, are the closest thing they have to good guys.
* For that matter, some of the Comicbook/UltimateMarvel heroes, especially ''Comicbook/TheUltimates'', border on the edge of this trope themselves sometimes, except Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan, who is still [[JustAKid an idealistic teenager]].
* The basic premise of ''ComicBook/MarvelZombies'' is this borne of a ZombieApocalypse. Almost all of the planet's heroes are now super-powered, flesh-eating monsters who hunt down and devour all life.
* ''Comicbook/{{Powers}}'' touches on this frequently, depicting most supers with feet of clay. A story involving the [[CaptainErsatz Superman analogue]] named Supershock is a particularly good example--he develops a god complex, [[spoiler:destroys the Vatican and the Gaza Strip after going off the rails, and it's revealed that his power level has been underplayed to avoid worldwide panic]].
* ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'':
** This story is set in a future of Franchise/TheDCU wherein the next generation of superhumans took their cue from the {{Nineties Anti Hero}}es rather than [[GoodIsOldFashioned 'outdated' heroes]] like Franchise/{{Superman}} (who retired in disillusionment [[spoiler: after one of them got off scot-free after murdering the Joker]]), with the result that the 'heroes' and 'villains' are more interested in recklessly kicking the tar out of each other than protecting the innocent. When {{The Cape}}s ''do'' make a reappearance, their [[WellIntentionedExtremist determination to rein in their more reckless brethren]] sees them quickly turn into {{Knight Templar}}s. Unlike many of these universes, it's suggested that this one is at least partially the public's fault, as they overwhelmingly rejected the ideals of the old-fashioned heroes and placed their trust in the more 'modern' ones, only to learn too late what this meant.
--->'''Magog:''' They chose the one who'd kill over the one who wouldn't. And now they're all dead.
** Never mind that the final act of the story features ''[[spoiler: Superman]]'' going into a blind rage at the governing powers. Just ''imagine'' that guy deciding to go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against ''society''. Fortunately, he gets talked down by someone who appeals to his older ways, but it's a close thing there.
* ''Comicbook/{{Flashpoint}}'' has this as a scenario. The Atlanteans and Amazons are at war [[spoiler:due to a convoluted, long-term plot by their leaders' {{Treacherous Advisor}}s]]. Wonder Woman has taken over the UK, and Aquaman has '''sunken most of the European mainland''' in retaliation [[spoiler:for Diana killing Mera]]. America is caught up in the paranoia that either of the parties may invade them some day (as Booster Gold can attest). Oh, and [[BrokenAesop in a completely unrelated note]], Grodd has dominated Africa through continent-wide genocide.
** In addition, this world has Subject Zero, a former U.S. Army soldier who became the first test subject of Project Superman, and had his powers augmented to the point of NighInvulnerability. Due to him becoming increasingly unstable, he was locked down in the facility for twenty years and, when he broke out, he went on a rampage to prove himself as a hero. He is only stopped by Subject One - a.k.a. [[spoiler:[[Franchise/{{Superman}} Kal-El]] ]].
* ''ComicBook/TheEndLeague''. 12 years ago, a [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone screw-up]] by Astonishman, the resident [[CaptainErsatz Superman analogue]], left the environment screwed up, 3 billion people dead, and 1 in 10,000 survivors with superpowers. In the present day, the Earth is dying, the starving masses are completely dependent on the supervillains who rule the world, and the surviving 10 heroes spend most of their time hiding in a bunker and scavenging for food.
* The motivation behind much of Franchise/{{Batman}}'s [[ProperlyParanoid distrust of many superpowered heroes]], including among the groups he belongs to, in modern interpretations of the character. There's also [[Comicbook/{{Azrael}} Jean-Paul Valley]], the first long-term temp Batman - an unhinged former KnightTemplar SuperSoldier who went so far down the Slippery Slope that Bruce had to take the mantle back by force.
** Ironically a story of ComicBook/SupermanBatman comic has Bruce get Superman's power and became exactly this. He use his new powers to bring complete fear and order to Gotham's criminal underworld and eventually sets his sight to the world, but he became increasingly aggressive and nearly kills Bane and Catwoman. Superman and Zatanna restore him to normality.
* ''ComicBook/EarthX'' starts out with the premise that ''every human being'' in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse has mutated into supers. Most of them are, at best, apathetic everymen, and a substantial number are jerkasses. The original heroes have either succumbed to apathy or are fighting a doomed war against human self-destructiveness. And then it turns out that all of this is [[TouchedByVorlons part of the Celestial Plan]].
* In ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'', the Plutonian (pictured above) went from Earth's mightiest and most beloved superhero to a mass murdering psychopath, pushed to the edge by a horrible combination of several factors (his pathological and desperate desire for everyone's unconditional love and approval, a '''very''' deeply messed up childhood, and just being BlessedWithSuck). This comic was written by [[Creator/MarkWaid the same man]] who wrote ''ComicBook/KingdomCome''.
** Before the Plutonian went full psycho, the only person capable of going toe-to-toe with him in a fight, Max Damage, was himself an embodiment of the trope. Max has his own excuse for it: he's incredibly strong and incredibly tough ... but as a result his skin is insensitive and he can no longer feel anything. Sleeping resets his powers to baseline momentarily, but he's got to shave or ... whatever else he wants to do and be able to feel it[[note]]Sex. We're talking about sex.[[/note]] ... as soon as he wakes up, because in less than an hour he's back to being invulnerable.
* Creator/AvatarPress:
** Three mini-series Creator/WarrenEllis wrote for them fit this trope. ''ComicBook/BlackSummer'' begins with one of the super"heroes" murdering the president of the United States, ''ComicBook/NoHero'' which revolves around the worlds premiere superhero team in reality controlling world politics from behind the scenes, and ''ComicBook/{{Supergod}}'' takes the position that superhumans (all artificially created, like biological nukes) are exactly that, inhuman, alien beings who have moved beyond human concepts of morality and even basic mindset, and range from WellIntentionedExtremist Krishna (who enacts a ''holocaust'' in India with the intent of reducing the population to a level where everyone can enjoy a high-technological lifestyle) to OmnicidalManiac Daijal who destroys most of the planet because he thinks utopia is too boring.
** And now there's Kieron Gillen's ''ComicBook/{{Uber}}'', where UsefulNotes/NaziGermany manages to create {{super soldier}}s in the dying days of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Things go downhill from there '''[[FromBadToWorse fast]]'''.
* ''ComicBook/SupermanRedSon'' plays with this trope, having Superman take a much more authoritative role in his world. He actually creates a paradise, as long as you don't have a problem with your every move being watched, your day optimally calculated for you, and your criminals brainwashed into Superman-loving servants of the state. This Trope eventually plays into his desire to quit as it made him reluctant to assume the role of world leader in the first place.
* ''[[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman Reign of the Supermen]]'' featured The Eradicator, who was Superman with fewer moral constraints. For example. upon foiling a bank robber, he crushes the man's hands so that he'll never be able to crack a safe again.
* ComicBook/LexLuthor invokes this thinking in ''Comicbook/LexLuthorManOfSteel'', encouraging people to question Superman's supposed OmniscientMoralityLicense when he, for instance, saves [[PsychopathicManchild The Toyman]] from an angry mob, after the latter had seemingly [[MoralEventHorizon blown up a daycare centre]] killing about a hundred people, about 70 of whom were ''children''. Though Luthor's real reason (or so he tells himself) for hating the hero is that Superman, whether he means to or not, by dint of his mere existence make all human progress irrelevant and thus serves as a crutch that we need to overcome, which is a soft variation of this trope. Of course, given that every single evil thing that happens in this comic- including the daycare centre bombing (which Toyman insisted he was innocent of)-, were probably [[TheChessmaster orchestrated by Luthor himself]], Lex is less TheCassandra he thinks he is and more the deluded egotistical [[TheSociopath sociopath]] he always is; coupled with his ImprobablyHighIQ and his [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney billion dollar corporate empire]], this means that the only Superman humanity should be worried about is ComicBook/LexLuthor himself.
* Creator/FrankMiller partially got in on the act in ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightStrikesAgain'': by the end of the series, variously due to needling from Batman and a series of BreakTheCutie moments, Superman goes from a limp-wristed tool of the powers that be into the sort of personality who can say:
--> '''Superman''': Father. Mother. You were '''wrong.''' I will always treasure your memory, but you were wrong. I am subject to '''no man's''' laws. I am '''Superman.'''
-->'''Superman''': What shall we '''do''' with our planet, Lara?
** Miller might just believe that this is an ''improvement'' for Supes, mind you...
* Marvel's ComicBook/TheSentry eventually developed into this. The big problem is that Sentry is a Superman-level person who also happens to be an agoraphobic schizophrenic. This is not a good combination. In fact this is so bad that [[spoiler: his latent telepathic powers actually ''created'' his archenemy the Void, meaning that Sentry manages to be a double case of this trope through his sheer existence]].
* ''ComicBook/TheMighty'' features Alpha One, a superhero with abilities like Superman. At first, he seems like a really good man who's been using his powers to the fullest ability to protect and benefit mankind. Then his latest second-in-command finds out... [[spoiler:he's been engineering catastrophes to take the "tragic victims" off for his [[MadScientist genetic experiments]]. Turns out he's a sociopathic alien who was exiled for blithely suggesting you can kill 1 in 10 people if it will make life better for everyone else]].
* Omniman of ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' was a protector of his planet until it turned out that he was a mole for a race of evil super powered beings who wanted to conquer Earth. However, this is eventually subverted when it turns out both Omni-Man and the majority of his species are actually the result of a poorly-conceived social engineering experiment to make the race "stronger", and many of them are torn between the quasi-nazi ideology they've been brainwashed with, and their repressed desire for emotion and social and family bonding, which are all strictly forbidden by their society. Only a few are actually evil, and the rest quickly revert to forming normal emotional bonds when no longer under constant pressure to conform to social purity. Omni-Man himself basically had a nervous breakdown when torn between his obsession with his duty and the love for his human family.
* Titan from Creator/DarkHorseComics' ''Comics Greatest World'' imprint tried to act like a classic Superman, but the abuse he suffered during childhood, the trauma he suffered when he lost control of his powers during adolescence and the fact that most of the people he trusted and cared about manipulated him eventually caused him to suffer a mental breakdown, first against his former benefactors, then against the United States in general.
* ''ComicBook/AGodSomewhere'' (drawn by the same artist as ''ComicBook/TheMighty'') tells the story of how suddenly becoming the first and only person with superpowers, and the mass media attention that comes along with this, sets an ordinary, sane man of arguably above-average character on a path that ends with a large body count and his loved ones traumatized for life. Because the reader is never given a direct glimpse of what this man is thinking, the motives behind his unnecessarily horrific actions remain as mysterious to us as to the characters in the story. After a [[MoralEventHorizon certain point]], he seems to have lost touch with any recognizably human sort of morality.
* A recurring problem in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse. [[BigApplesauce New York City]] in particular has been the epicenter for superhuman events from ComicBook/{{Galactus}} trying to devour the planet (on more than one occasion), [[ComicBook/{{Inferno}} demonic invasions]] and seemingly endless battles between superheroes and villains (or sometimes just between superheroes and other superheroes), aliens, the occasional giant monster of undefined origin and one instance where a Herald of the above-mentioned Galactus levitated Manhattan Island into orbit. ComicBook/{{Magneto}} once blasted the entire planet with an EMP, has raised volcanoes on a whim and moved his giant space station around to anywhere he wants it. [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk The Hulk]] has left trails of destruction across America countless times. A prominent head of state goes by the name ''Doctor Doom''. The U.S. government has scary giant, purple robots flying around to "protect" the public from mutants. That any sane person does not live in a state of abject terror over all of this requires incredible powers of denial, a fact which has been lampshaded on many occasions.
** Amusingly lampshaded during the [[ComicBook/JLAAvengers Avengers/JLA crossover]] when some of the Marvel heroes arrive on the DC Earth and, after thwarting some criminals, are so stunned by people ''admiring'' and ''respecting'' superheroes that they're sure the JLA must have the entire population under some sort of dictatorial control.
** Groups like the Friends of Humanity in the ''ComicBook/XMen'' books believe this trope. While they're normal, they thrive on fear of mutants. Ironically, to even the playing field, they tend to rely on various high-tech weapons, many of which makes them MORE monstrous than the mutants they hate. Several prominent anti-mutant villains are heavily modified cyborgs that are barely human anymore.
** Speaking of Magneto, he has an idealistic view of a world that is just like this. You ''should'' Beware The Superman because the human race is ready to die out. Mutants deserve to live as the supreme beings, towering over regular humans, operating on a "might makes right" principle (if humans do not have powers to defy mutantkind, then it is mutants who should inherit the Earth). ''ComicBook/HouseOfM'' is the realization of this reality (unpowered humans have scattered while Magneto leads a world where mutantkind is the dominant species).
* ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures plays with it by making it true for the ''main villains'', the Evronians:
## [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Trauma]], an Evronian general that was changed into a SuperSoldier and was later imprisoned in the prison world known as The Well (because you can't get out, but the Evronians will draw you out if they need you) for various insubordinations and outright mutiny justified by his superiority;
## Raghor, a SuperSoldier of a different breed (created in lab from Evronian DNA hybridized with that of the 'beasts of Ranghar'), who, like Trauma, commits various insubordinations and outright mutiny. But where Trauma was implied doing what he believed best for Evron, Rahor plans the genocide of the baseline Evrons and their replacement with the supposedly superior hybrids. Most of the hybrids are subdued when their imprisoned handlers break out from prison and activate a device that enforce their obedience (they had installed it after the initial mutiny, and failed to use it before being imprisoned only because caught by surprise), while Raghor escapes execution only because a pissed [[PhysicalGoddess Xadhoom]] gets him first;
## ''Another'' super soldier, this time a cyborg, who committed unspecified crimes. Showing that the Evronians were smart enough to expect this, they immediately subdued him by ''activating his off switch'' and shipping him to The Well;
## Xadhoom, an alien scientist who became a {{Physical God}}dess whose vendetta against Evron and the fact she's pretty much invincible made her the primary cause for Evronian horribly painful deaths, to the point that in her final appearance in body (in the same issue the Evronian Empire was broken by the loss of a good chunk of its population and pretty much all its rulers), three Evronian battlefleets barely slowed her down while she was PLAYING with them;
## Zoster, an Evronian survivor. After Xadhoom [[ItMakesSenseInContext became a star to save the survivors of her people]], he managed to steal a recording of her mind and was told how to get her Power (with capital P in the original), and, as soon as he successfully did it, he threatened ''the whole universe'' of destruction if they didn't submit. Thankfully, [[TheChessmaster Xadhoom created the recording exactly for this occasion]], and the recording not only didn't tell him that [[PhlebotinumOverload the Power contains the seed of its own destruction]], but was ''gloating'' as he dissolved into nothingness.
* In ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'', [[spoiler:Siphon]] is arrested for involuntary manslaughter, and held in suspicion by a portion of the public throughout her career.
* In ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'' Creator/GrantMorrison did a potshot at the 80s with Overman, a Superman from an alternate Earth where all heroes were created by the government. Overman contracted an STD and went insane, murdering just about every hero who tried to stop him before deciding to commit suicide and destroy the world at the same time with a nuke. Psycho Pirate provides commentary on what a completely stupid idea Overman's world was and wondered who could've come up with it in the first place, or rather, ''why''.
* ''ComicBook/RedHoodAndTheOutlaws'': Jason has a respect for Franchise/{{Superman}} as much as a surfer has for sharks. After having worked beside him after all those years ago has more or less taught him to be ProperlyParanoid the second that the Kyptonian gets involved.
** Ironically the latest incident turned out to be a complete screw-up as Superman was trying to ''warn'' him and his friends about [[ComicBook/HelOnEarth H'el]], complete with his then girlfriend calling everyone involved an [[WhatAnIdiot idiot]] for attacking without bothering to hear Superman out first.
* The DC ComicBook/{{New 52}} reboot has most governments mistrustful of superheroes by default, Superman included. The ComicBook/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica2013 was spun out for this explicit reason - they wanted a team under their direct control.
** Pretty much all of America is afraid of Aquaman and Atlanteans after ''ComicBook/ThroneOfAtlantis''. What was "lol talking to fish is stupid", just got turned into "These guys could sink us all!"
* ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'' kind of invokes this; most superheroes are media-attention-craving {{jerkass}}es and most supervillains seem to be [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] in their antics. However, there is a strong [[MugglePower anti-superhuman]] sentiment because of the attitudes of the "Capes", good and evil, and this is a very ''dangerous'' attitude to hold. The heroes won't normally try anything against an anti-Capeist, but if pushed, they ''will'' push back. One oft-talked about background incident is San Antonio, where an anti-Cape conspiracy actually [[BullyingADragon went on a Cape-killing spree]]. Capes from ''both'' sides of the ethical divide promptly retaliated; we don't know all the details, but we do know that even heroes didn't hesitate to kill the conspiracy members, and somehow it ended with the capes destroying the whole city by '''breaking the Earth's crust with an alien superweapon''', an event officially explained away as a mysterious erupting volcano. We know of exactly one surviving anti-Cape from that day: Empowered's boyfriend, [=ThugBoy=].
* In Franchise/StarWars, especially the ExpandedUniverse this is the reason why falling to TheDarkSide is so terrible. Even a single one of the weakest of Dark Jedi and Sith are powerful enough to kill small armies singlehandedly, while some of the most powerful can [[ApocalypseHow KILL ENTIRE PLANETS,]] as well as raise armies out of similar minded individuals. Just one Force User going Dark Side is enough to cause galaxy-wide chaos. And to make things worse, the Dark Side is addictive. Even if a Jedi slips into it by accident, it takes incredible willpower to turn back and avoid becoming a monster.
** Even Jedi who haven't turned to the Dark Side can often get this treatment from [[DependingOnTheWriter certain writers.]]
** This was one of the central arguments Creator/DavidBrin had against the world of Star Wars, arguing George Lucas's universe was based on a depraved MightMakesRight morality where {{Muggles}} had no role aside from spear carriers for a small, genetically elect elite.
* This is the motivation behind the Headmaster of Praetorian Academy in ''ComicBook/{{PS238}}''. He doesn't trust metahumanity ([[spoiler:not unreasonably given one of his major political opponents was a telepath who manipulated his way into the US Presidency]]) and thinks the world is on track for a GooGooGodlike scenario - and what happens when the first true RealityWarper child has a temper tantrum? There's also an element of this in the United States government keeping a supply of argonite, the kryptonite analogue that can stop Atlas, the local CaptainErsatz of Superman. [[spoiler:Except it turns out the government manufactured the argonite as an all-purpose FlyingBrick disabler, and his homeworld of Argos was never destroyed. But Argos is ruled by a repressive FantasticCasteSystem where those with superpowers treat those without like garbage.]]
* ''ComicBook/TheTenSeconders'': A group of aliens crash-landed on Earth to escape a greater threat and [[NoSuchThingAsSpaceJesus posed as godlike superheroes]] to rule over humanity. These "Gods" then decided that humans were beneath them and proceed to wipe out their civilization.
* In ''ComicBook/TheSupergirlSaga'', the only Kryptonians left in the Pocket Universe after Superboy's departure from that world and subsequent death are the Phantom Zone criminals. Its Lex Luthor accidentally let loose three of them, which proceeded to terrorize that universe's Earth and its inhabitants, going so far as to eradicate all life on that world, leaving Lex Luthor and his resistance team in Smallville as the only survivors. And even they proved to be no match against the three criminals who have Superboy's power. Thus its Lex Luthor brought Superman from the mainstream DC Universe to deal with the rogue Kryptonians once and for all.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/ContractLabor'': In chapter 17, Tsuruko bemoans the fact that the skills of the ''Shinmei-ryū'' school, which have been passed down for generations in order to protect others, have been abused by an "angry petulant little girl" like Motoko.
* In ''Fanfic/AForceOfFour'' Franchise/{{Superman}} was the Earth's protector for forty-seven years and ComicBook/PowerGirl is his heiress. The two of them are decent people. Badra, Mala, Kizo and U-Ban… are not. They’re confident that their powers allow them to get away with anything: Killing, raping, destroying…
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' story ''Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy'', [[EvilCounterpart Satan Girl]] shows how dangerous and terrifying it'd be a Pre-Crisis Kryptonian with nonexistent morals. She’ll head-butt a planetoid out of orbit only for amusement.
-->Kryptonians could survive in space without a suit. Was that not a pleasure? It certainly was. She could live her life between the stars, and never once need to breathe.\\
She could devastate planets, wipe them clean of life. Rebuild them at her whim.\\
She could tyrannize worlds, whole systems of planets, make them bow to her mighty hand, instantly execute anyone who dared protest--or just anybody she wanted to kill.\\
She could explore pleasures of the body that Kara never would have dared to, satisfy lusts that the blonde beast never even knew she had. She could force herself upon any suitor, male or female or whatever, and destroy them after their job was done. Or perhaps just maim them, so that they could never again do such a job for anyone else. Satan Girl smiled. Now that was being imaginative...\\
She could have children from those couplings, or kill them in the womb.\\
She could become a goddess to an unsophisticated planet's people. Drinking in their worship, demanding sacrifice.\\
All of this she could do, she would do, and more.\\
For Kryptonians and Daxamites were gods, off their homeworlds. They really were. What a pity their morality forced them not to realize that fact.\\
She clasped her bent knees to her chest and thought. The problem was, in this time, she was hardly unique. Billions of Kryptonians existed on Rokyn. Billions more Daxamites, with the same power, existed on Daxam. Luckily, there was only one prisoner still left in the Phantom Zone, that old poop Gazor, so there wasn't much competition there.\\
But, somehow, she'd have to do something about both planets. Daxam would be easy. A shower of leaden hail across its surface, and the dead would litter the ground in heaps beyond Hitler's and Stalin's dreams.\\
That world would stink of corpses for eons to come.\\
She laughed soundlessly.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''/''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' crossover ''Fanfic/TheVampireOfSteel'', [[BigBad Zol-Am]] was an evil asshole long before being turned. Now he's an evil asshole of a vampire with powers greater than a regular Kryptonian. And he's hungry.
* Reconstructed in Teen titans fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6263444/1/Transition Transition]] out of four metahumans effected by the SwirlyEnergyThingy only Beastboy plays it straight when his attempts to find Raven result in SlowlySlippingIntoEvil. By contrast Terra starts blaming herself for Ravens dissapearance and becomes suicidal, but ultimately stays good while Raven and Jinx develop EnlightenmentSuperpowers (which was what the SwirlyEnergyThingy was supposed to do) but peoples paranoia that they'l play it straight (mostly the police and Batman) inadvertedly make them wreak havoc before the situation is cleared up and they can fix everything.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'': Titan is probably the poster boy for this Trope. The contrast between him and Metro Man is stark.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirlsMovie'' had the eponymous characters treated as outcasts, after their game of tag destroyed most of the city.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanVsTheElite'', which is based on one of the definitive Superman stories, 'What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and The American Way'. At the end [[spoiler:Superman seemingly takes on the Elite's brutal style of heroics during their fight. The results terrify even the Elites, who'd been espousing their style for the entire movie, and proves WHY Superman holds himself to such a high standard]].
-->'''UN Official:''' Is that... Superman?\\
'''UN Official:''' ''Not anymore.''

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Hancock}}'' plays with this trope. Hancock is [[AntiHero mostly a good guy]] but is also a [[TheAlcoholic drunk]], extremely [[AGodAmI arrogant]], ends up causing millions of dollars worth of collateral damage [[WhatTheHellHero when he doesn't need to]], and is [[JerkAss just plain rude]]. At the start of the movie, it is quickly pointed out that the [[UntrustingCommunity public doesn't really want him around]] and that he's actually wanted by the police for all of [[DestructiveSaviour the damage]] he's done whilst "saving" people. Obviously, [[CardboardPrison no one can arrest him unless he wants to be]]. He does get [[TheAtoner nicer by the end]], though.
* ''Film/MySuperExGirlfriend'' plays this trope [[DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale for laughs]] when an average Joe breaks up with his girlfriend who just happens to be a superhero... and [[WomanScorned abusive, too]].
* There is a sub-plot in ''Film/SupermanIII'' where he becomes temporarily evil due to AppliedPhlebotinum. In one scene, he starts flicking bar nuts through a wall while drunk.
* In ''Film/SpiderMan3'', we get elements of this when Spidey is influenced by the symbiotic suit, turning him evil. The public perception of him throughout the series sometimes reflects this as well. Specifically, J. J. Jameson plays up this perception to sell newspapers, much to Peter Parker's dismay. Jameson only does this because Spider-Man won't do an exclusive for his paper.
-->'''J.J. Jameson:''' He doesn't want to be famous? Then I'll make him infamous.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** The series plays with this trope, although it's more along the lines of '''Beware the Supermen'''. Generally, this attitude of not trusting superpowered mutants is seen in a negative light, but considering the villains that pop up, [[StrawmanHasAPoint some audience members might understand why non-mutants are so afraid.]]
** ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' appears to end in a manner which puts the world into such a setting. Up until the Cuban Missile Crisis, mutantkind was an unnoticed breed, but then the whole thing is blown wide open due to Magneto's actions against the fleets of ships at the climax. However, ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' reveals that the US government had kept the mutants' involvement a secret from the public, with one member even pointing out to Trask that, Magneto's actions aside, mutants have obviously been living peacefully (and silently) alongside humans for decades.
** ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'': Dr. Bolivar Trask's goal in building the Sentinels is to prevent the extinction of ''Homo sapiens'' by ''Homo superior''.
* The trope was fundamental for the ''Franchise/DCExtendedUniverse'''s beginnings:
** Jonathan Kent believes he is preventing this reaction in ''Film/ManOfSteel'' by trying to keep Clark's talents under wraps through his childhood. He even [[spoiler:willingly gives his life just to maintain his position]]. However, Clark can't resist his [[ComesGreatResponsibility instinct to prevent unnecessary tragedies when he can do something about it]] and eventually he is forcibly outed by Zod's invasion. Zod's invasion does indeed provoke this response from humanity (and rightfully so; [[KillAllHumans Zod's scheme]] likely [[InferredHolocaust left a six-digit death toll]] in its wake), though they also learn to believe Superman is their ally through the same experience, though the military is still wary at the end of the movie, with Clark disabling one of their drones, telling them to trust him.
** ''In Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'', the massive destruction wrought by Zod and Clark's fight leads to widespread distrust of Superman from a significant portion of the world, including Bruce Wayne, who was present in Metropolis as he saw many of his employees die. This is also Lex Luthor's reason for opposing Superman, alongside what seems to be a [[RageAgainstTheHeavens hatred of Godlike figures]].
** And in ''Film/{{Suicide Squad|2016}}'', this fear of what a Superman-like entity could do if he decided to act against the world (or at least the interests of the U.S Government) is the driving force behind the creation of the eponymous squad of [[BoxedCrook supervillains pressed into government service.]]
* In ''Film/PerfectCreature'', vampires are seen as benevolent, semi-divine creatures blessed with superhuman strength, speed and vitality, whose purpose is to teach and protect mankind, as they don't drink blood directly from the body, but rather what is willingly donated from humans. This trope comes into play, when a rogue vampire named Edgar goes on a killing spree, seeing humans as nothing more than blood-bags to feast upon.
* Played on multiple levels in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse.
** There's regular Joes and politicians who think that the "supermen" like the Avengers should not be allowed to act on their own (one important reason being their collateral damage). These viewpoints get explored in ''Film/IronMan2'' and are the main driving factor behind the Accords in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''.
** On a grander scale, mankind finding out that gods exist in ''Film/{{Thor}}'' causes a few scares for mankind. ''Film/TheAvengers2012'' shows the effect a few times (mainly SHIELD's reaction), and by the end of that film actual aliens have caused massive damage in Manhattan, providing additional arguments for this trope in future movies.

* In most of the stories and novels based on the popular ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' card game, the characters that you play the game as (powerful wizards and demigods who {{summon|Magic}} assorted [[{{Mon}} fantasy creatures]] to fight for them in epic battles) are actively despised by the general populace. This is because they have the annoying tendency to summon people who are just sitting at home, minding their own business with their friends and family, into huge magical battles where they could easily be killed or crippled. Several stories detail the suffering the family members of summoned creatures have to endure when their loved ones are returned dead or crippled.
** A particular quote that sums it up after [[spoiler:Freyalise has broken the Ice Age without concern for what the sudden climatic shift would do to the world at large]]:
--> '''Archmage Jodah:''' [Sharing the world with planeswalkers] is like sharing your bed with a mammoth. Sure, it may be a ''nice'' mammoth, but when it rolls over, you'd still better get out of its way ''fast''.
* A major theme in Frank Herbert's Franchise/{{Dune}} novels, many of the protagonists are powerful {{God Emperor}}s who act like genocidal tyrants for the good of mankind.
* This is explored with a science-fiction twist in Nancy Kress's ''Literature/BeggarsInSpain'' trilogy.
* This is how most non-powered individuals think of "freaks" in ''[[Literature/SoledadORoarke Those Who Walk in Darkness]]''--whenever superpowered vigilantes appear, superpowered criminals try to earn prestige by killing them, and every couple weeks a few more innocent people get killed in the crossfire. So after one villain blew up San Francisco, the USA forcibly expelled all known supers, regardless of whether or not they were actually vigilantes, and any new ones that are discovered are either slaughtered or experimented on. Beware the muggles too!
* Ironically, Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, the men who would go on to create Franchise/{{Superman}} himself, originally wrote and illustrated a short story called ''The Reign of the Super-Man'' about an impoverished worker who gained super powers and tried to take over the world, only to find that the powers were temporary. They wrote the story for a science fiction magazine and later retooled the character as a superhero.
* In [[Literature/TheGrimnoirChronicles Hard Magic]], Part of the Imperium's plan for taking over the world is to sow distrust of Actives in the United States, by framing them for a [[SuperFunHappyThingOfDoom Peace Ray]] attack.
* Averted in most of Creator/JRRTolkien's [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings legendarium]] precisely because the good guys (the Valar, the loyalist Maiar, those Elves and Men who pay attention to them) recognize the fundamental truth that no matter how much power they might possess in their relative scale, ''they are not God''. Thus Gandalf and his fellow Wizards, angelic messengers sent by the Valar to contest with Sauron, are specifically ordered to use persuasion and example, not force, to rally Elves and Men against the demonic Sauron. They use their vast powers only in extreme situations, where nothing else will do. Likewise, the Valar tend to leave Elves and Men to their own devices most of the time, since swaying them by force or fear does more harm than whatever harm they set out to prevent.
* In the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series, Earth's devastating Final War was fought by {{Super Soldier}}s with intelligence boosts that all too frequently had the side-effect of increased aggression and sociopathic tendencies. This is the main reason for Luddism and prejudice against genetic engineering. The Harrington family's Meyerdahl Beta line is one of the few successful lines to boost intelligence without creating amoral monsters, but even Honor is aware that her own killer instinct may be linked to it. It's worth noting also that the Winton family line are geniuses who probably have intelligence boosts, and Elizabeth is infamous for a volcanic and implacable temper.
** And it's continuing now with the Mesan Alignment, who believe in the superiority of those who have been genetically engineered over normals, and are trying to [[TakeOverTheWorld take over the galaxy]]. [[spoiler:Oh, and the Harrington Line was originally one of theirs.]]
* In the original novel of ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'', it's implied that this is likely to happen in the future after the "Black Prom" made people aware of the existence of PsychicPowers. Government agents would be forced to round up and execute children the moment they display a hint of psychic ability, so as to eliminate the off chance that they may [[BerserkButton snap]] and use their powers to kill people and destroy towns like Carrie did. The possibility is also raised that some parents would resist having their children taken away, which, combined with the last page's discussion of little Annie Jenks, means that [[HereWeGoAgain another disaster is still in the cards]]...
* Revealed to be the actual purpose of the White Council of Wizards in Literature/TheDresdenFiles. Sure, they occasionally stomp some mean mudder-hubbers from outside reality, but their main purpose is to prevent wizards from gathering too much power and going postal.
* Creator/PhilipKDick wrote his story ''The Golden Man'' as a reaction to stories such as ''{{Literature/Slan}}'' that starred superpowered and benevolent "mutants" that were often persecuted by the rest of humanity. [[http://www.philipkdickfans.com/mirror/websites/pkdweb/short_stories/The%20Golden%20Man.htm In his own words]]:
--> In the early Fifties much American science fiction dealt with human mutants and their glorious super-powers and super-faculties by which they would presently lead mankind to a higher state of existence, a sort of promised land. [[Creator/JohnWCampbell John W. Campbell. Jr.]], editor at Magazine/{{Analog}}, demanded that the stories he bought dealt with such wonderful mutants, and he also insisted that the mutants always be shown as (1) good; and (2) firmly in charge. When I wrote "The Golden Man" I intended to show that (1) the mutant might not be good, at least good for the rest of mankind, for us ordinaries; and (2) not in charge but sniping at us as a bandit would, a feral mutant who potentially would do us more harm than good. This was specifically the view of psionic mutants that Campbell loathed, and the theme in fiction that he refused to publish… so my story appeared in If.
* Steelheart, an Expy of Superman, takes over Chicago in ''Literature/TheReckonersTrilogy'', turning it into a totalitarian dictatorship where [[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual Epics]] rule and unpowered people live in constant fear. That said, Steelheart provides an area of relative stability with conveniences such as food and electricity compared to the rest of the United States, which has been torn apart by the constant fighting between Epics.
** Note that the use of superpowers, for any reason, turns the wielder into an evil psychopath, no matter how moral they might have been before.
* Invoked in ''Literature/{{Murderess}}'': the man in Lu’s dreams quotes a prophecy saying that his and his wife’s daughter will either save the world or destroy it. [[spoiler:The daughter is actually Lu.]]
* This is what everyone thinks of the Lost Radiants in ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''. They were super-powered knights dedicated to protecting the world from demons who one day turned on humanity as a whole. The actual story is a little more complicated: [[spoiler:They learned a dark secret and...left. Just dropped their weapons and armor and left]]. A religious dictatorship called the Hierarchy heavily altered most records of the time to fit with their version of history, which means most people have difficulty thinking of anyone with powers as anything but a danger.
** [[spoiler: Though we discover in the second book that it's a little more complicated than just "dropped their weapons and armor and left." Breaking their Oaths like that partially killed their BondCreatures, leaving those creatures stuck in endless agony so severe that even a few seconds exposure to the pain is enough to drive men crazy. Entire ''species'' were wiped out this way.]]
* The genetically engineered superhumans in ''Literature/StarTrekTheEugenicsWars'' are all ambitious, taking over territory and causing nothing but trouble. They're all willing to trade away innocent lives for whatever their goal is.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Simone from the comics, as a ''vampire'' slayer. In Slaypire, her goal was to turn Slayers into vampires.
** Faith believed she was better than other people because she's a Slayer.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** In [[Recap/StarTrekS1E22SpaceSeed "Space Seed"]] and ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', [[AGoodNameForARockBand Khan and the Augments]] were genetically engineered superhumans created by a cabal of scientists; their enhanced abilities [[DrunkWithPower resulted in enhanced ambition]], leading to them betraying their creators and launching a worldwide conflict in which rival warlords fought one another while treating normal humans like slaves. Their defeat led to [[NoTranshumanismAllowed laws restricting the genetically enhanced]] in Federation society, which nearly ends the career of [[spoiler: Dr. Bashir (whose parents had him illegally enhanced)]] on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''.
*** ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' eventually shows that the real problem with the Augments is the process was defective: The changes made to their brains that gave them greater intelligence also made them emotionally unstable and poorly equipped to deal with the consequences of physical and intellectual superiority to other people. The results were...unfortunate.
** A number of other examples show up in the series, going back to Gary Mitchell in [[Recap/StarTrekS1E3WhereNoManHasGoneBefore the second pilot]]:
--->'''Kirk:''' You were a psychiatrist once. You know the ugly, savage things we all keep buried, that none of us dare expose. But ''he'll'' dare. Who's to stop him?
* Creator/JMichaelStraczynski likes this trope. His ''Series/BabylonFive'' series has the [[MutantDraftBoard Psi-Corps]], the result of a SuperRegistrationAct that only served to unite telepaths in a monstrous organization with the creed that [[MugglePower "mundanes" are expendable]].
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' the fear of this trope coming into effect is partly the motivation of the Company. They fear that if allowed to go unchecked, superpowered people will cause destruction and chaos. This fear is later revealed to have been brought about by a case of this trope; [[spoiler: Linderman and a bunch of other people with powers decided to work together as a team to help the world, only for several members of the group to betray the others and use their powers for evil. The Company arose to prevent such an incident from happening again]].
* The whole plot of {{Series/Misfits}} is based around a group of super-powered teenagers that are forced to contend with other super-powered people who are bound to abuse their powers. This is stated from the very first episode and becomes a point of conflict when Kelly scorns Seth for selling powers due to the chaos that would ensue.
* The Nietzscheans of ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' brought about the fall of the multiple galaxy-spanning Commonwealth. Their precise motivations aren't so clear.
** In a twist, it becomes clear fairly early on that Neitzscheans aren't so superior physical or mentally to the average human, in part because ''most of humanity'' is genetically modified in some way or the other. One should beware the superman, but more because [[IAmAGod he thinks he is a superman than because he is one]].
** According to the background material, the Nietzscheans had legitimate concerns, especially after the Magog invasion and the resultant treaty, which gave the Magog a number of border worlds, most of which were settled by Nietzscheans. To these übermenschen, this was not only a betrayal of them by the Commonwealth but appeasement (see UsefulNotes/WorldWarII for how well that worked historically). Their goal was to replace the "weak" government with a powerful Nietzschean Empire with the Drago-Kazov pride as the imperial dynasty. Thanks to Dylan, that was not meant to be, although it's implied that the empire would've quickly collapsed on itself through infighting.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** The Earth-2 Metropolis is terrorized by Clark Luthor (Ultraman), an acknowledged vigilante and murderer.
** The Superhero Registration Act story arc was caused by certain people convincing the government that superheroes would all become this trope if left unchecked.
** This also happened in season 9, in the BadFuture where Clark had failed to stop Major Zod from turning the sun red and giving his troops artificial superpowers from the stolen sunlight.
* On ''Series/{{Supergirl 2015}}'', exposure to Red Kryptonite makes Kara into a berserk PersonOfMassDestruction, attacking people and destroying everything in her way. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone She's overcome with remorse as the people of National City now fear her.]]
* Series/ArrowVerse crossover ''Series/CrisisOnEarthX'' features an alternate reality where the Nazis took over the world and heroes like [[Series/{{Arrow}} Green Arrow]], Supergirl and the Flash are Nazis as well. The Dark Arrow in particular serves as the current Fuhrer during the start of the event.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', it's revealed in "The Name of the Doctor" that the title of "The Doctor" is his self-imposed promise ''never'' to succumb to this type of behavior, but rather to be "Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up. Never give in." (As he puts it in the next story, "The Day of the Doctor".) In several stories, he does temporarily break that promise, and ''always'' when he has no companion serving as a MoralityPet. He always comes back to his best self, but usually at a cost.
** The Tenth Doctor's turn as the "[[AGodAmI Time Lord Victorious]]" in "The Waters of Mars" has him attempt to change a fixed moment in time -- one that's crucial to the history of humanity in the larger universe -- to save doomed lives, justifying it on the basis of being the LastOfHisKind. The problem is that changing a fixed moment threatens the universe with a RealityBreakingParadox, and in the end that's only prevented via [[spoiler: a woman's suicide]]. The resultant changes his actions manage to make are all for the worse, and he doesn't fully redeem himself until the next story, "The End of Time"...which is also his last not counting "The Day of the Doctor", which is set earlier in his timeline.
** [[spoiler: The [[UnPerson War Doctor]]]] of "The Name of the Doctor" and the 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" was an extended example of this happening to him. Happily, the ending of the latter reveals that [[spoiler: he and his other lives later managed to save Gallifrey rather than destroy it]].
** Over the course of Series 9, the Twelfth Doctor becomes increasingly frustrated with his nigh-immortality meaning he ultimately loses everyone he comes to care for and others besides. He becomes increasingly desperate to protect his companion Clara Oswald and to save others no matter how risky the means are, resulting in him [[spoiler: immortalizing a human girl, Ashildr]] -- which causes him trouble down the line. This sets up the Series 9 finale "Hell Bent", in which he becomes TheUnfettered WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds in the wake of captivity, torture, and [[spoiler: the death of Clara]]. Said spoilered event is another fixed moment in time that he attempts to undo, arguing DudeWheresMyReward with regard to all he's done for others at one point. Perhaps because he follows the "Never give up. Never give in" part of his credo a little '''too''' well this time, in the climax he revises it to "Never be cruel and never be cowardly. And if you ever are, always make amends" as he returns to his best self with a little help from [[spoiler: Mind Rape]].
* In ''Series/{{Powers}}'' the original purpose of Kaotic Chic was to raise awareness of how reckless Powers could be. Unfortunately they [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope ended up proving]] to be [[KnightTemplar just as, if not more, dangerous.]]

* Music/{{KMFDM}}'s 'Son of a Gun' is, at least on the surface, a song about a [[JerkAss jerk-ass]] superman with a dollar sign on his chest.
-->''Forged from steel, iron will\\
Shit for brains, born to kill\\
All are equal, no discrimination \\
Son of a Gun, a simple equation\\
Son of a gun, master of fate\\
Bows to no god, kingdom or state\\
Watch out!\\
Son of a Gun, superhero number one!''
* Spiritus Mortis' 'The Man of Steel'
-->''Ultimate in body and soul\\
Every cell hard as diamond\\
Every thought crystal clear\\
March with the man of steel\\
Rejoice with the man of steel\\
Die for the man of steel\\
Obey every command given by the man of steel''
* GWAR is made of this trope, but less focused on taking over the world and more focused on drugs and violence.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The superhero RPG ''TabletopGame/{{Aberrant}}'' details the sudden emergence of superpowered humans in 1998; however, ''Aberrant'' came as a prequel to the futuristic sci-fi RPG ''TabletopGame/{{Trinity}}'', which reveals that many of the superhumans (named "aberrants" in the far future) became tainted by their powers, went mad, declared war on Earth, and caused all manners of destruction before taking off for the vast reaches of space. There are some sane "aberrants," but most of them went crazy nuts. Part of the drama of ''Aberrant'' comes from either trying to escape [[BadFuture the fate of the future aberrants]], or [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong making sure it never comes to pass]].
** A curious little detail of the ''Aberrant'' setting is that its most powerful "hero", Caestus Pax, is a publicity-obsessed jerk, while its most powerful "villain", Divis Mal, is a nice guy, even to the baselines he believes are lesser beings. (He's a megalomaniac, but he won't hurt you unless you're dumb enough to attack him.)
** In practice, this trope gets zigzagged, since it turns out what ultimately provokes the novas into starting the Aberrant War is the reveal that [[MutantDraftBoard Project Utopia]], the ostensible BigGood for baseline/nova peace, was secretly [[MugglePower sterilizing all of its nova recruits to ensure their numbers would stay manageable]]. This is especially a case of NiceJobBreakingItHero when you learn that Project Utopia was started by a timetraveller for the purpose of ''[[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong preventing the Aberrant War in the first place]]''. So, the Aberrant War is more a case of [[BullyingADragon Don't Deliberately Manipulate & Betray The Superman]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has the Great Curse, an infliction launched by the Primordials after being defeated by the Exalted that drives Solars and Lunars to [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity states of ever-mounting insanity]] once they start to defy their core virtues. The books make clear that, for all the shiny transhuman fantasy of the First Age, it could also be a ''very'' scary time to live in if you were a mere mortal.
** To put this in perspective: In ''Dreams of the First Age'', it is revealed that there was a political movement in the Solar Deliberative to literally ''dismantle the universe and reshape it to their specifications''. What's more, they had more than enough power to pull this off. Imagine three hundred beings with all that power and confidence, in absolute control of the world...and slowly but surely going completely crazy.
** Another specific example in the second edition is in the description of the Charm "Lawgiver's Parable Defense," which allows a Solar to pre-emptively find signs of a crime to be committed against their loved ones. "... a growing number of Solars have stopped using this Charm, suspecting some defect in its design—surely Lawgiver’s Parable Defense must be in error when it points to the Solars themselves as the threats that menace the things they love."
** On the other hand, ''Exalted'' also features [[{{Cyborg}} the Alchemical Exalted]], who were created after the Great Curse was cast and thus aren't subject to the same bouts of insanity as the other Exalted. The Alchemicals are often explicitly compared to traditional modern superheroes in contrast to the Solars and others who bear more resemblance to the heroes and god-kings of mythology.
* In case you didn't notice the theme in White Wolf's other works, the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' often hints at these matters. The werewolves might be necessary to keep the universe's fundamental aspects of law, chaos, and corruption in order, the mages might be the last chance humanity has for real inspiration and survival AfterTheEnd, but there's a reason Hunters want to take them down. At best, creatures of the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' are a slow, unavoidable slide down the slippery slope toward the complete destruction of their virtues into complete insanity, and not particularly disposed to think of people as people until then. At worst...
** In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', the Garou are dealing with the far-reaching consequences of their ancestors' cruelty and arrogance. The Garou of ancient times declared themselves masters over humans, then decided to cull the human population through the Impergium. The Impergium afflicted humanity with the Delirium and made it dangerous for Garou to reveal themselves to non-kinfolk humans, driving them underground. Unfortunately, if the tribebooks are anything to go by, many Garou ''still'' haven't learned from the mistakes of their predecessors.
** In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', Caine and the other ancient vampires ruled over humans in the First City, which wasn't exactly an urban paradise for their human subjects. Several Gehenna scenarios place humanity at the mercy of powerful antedeluvian vampires.
** Then we get the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness. Here things are more or less as before, but without the same drive to TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Half of any given race is on the high road, and the other half give the race a bad name.
* ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'', especially the adepts. The bibliomancer ''will'' sell your soul for a good book. The dipsomancer is drunk, and it might not be best to be within a few hundred miles should he get his hands on a major charge. The most powerful supernatural beings on the planet are a self-mutilating hermaphrodite, and a man that's best described as simultaneously being the greatest saint and worst monster humanity has ever approached. There are 'good' guys, but they're the magic-users throwing {{Mana}} into hamburger patties and seeing what happens.
* Horus from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' was said to be afraid and resent The Emperor creating the High Lords of Terra because he thought it would mean he and the other Primarchs were to be subordinated to a body composed of normal humans. Horus wanted to guide and protect mankind but he refused to be beholden and accountable to them. Ironically, most loyalist Marines agree.
** What's worse is that it's heavily implied that the Emperor planned to destroy Primarchs and Space Marines, after they would outlive their usefulness.
* Even though there are no actual super powers in the ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' universe, at their worst, [=MechWarriors=] can exhibit much the same drunkenness off the power that comes with driving a 12-meter-tall war machine with enough firepower to potentially level a city block in one salvo. Apart from pirates or too-big-for-their-britches mercenaries, noble-born [=MechWarriors=] have also been known to grossly abuse their powers. Perhaps the most egregious example were the various "[=MechWarrior=] Brotherhoods" that sprang up where nobles began extorting or worse the residents of planets they were stationed on. Since said residents were not piloting 12-meter-tall war machines with enough firepower to potentially level a city block in one salvo, they really didn't have much choice but to acquiesce, at least until other groups of [=MechWarriors=] got fed up with their shenanigans and began opposing them.

* In ''Theatre/ThrillMe'', Richard and (to a lesser extent) Nathan both want to be seen this way. They're heavily influenced by Nietzsche, and their murder motive can basically be explained as, "We're superior to all of you, so why should your rules apply to us?"

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/BioShock'' series, genetic engineering allows people to gain fancy superpowers. But most of them eventually become [[BodyHorror hideously deformed]] [[AxCrazy homicidal maniacs]].
** And in ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'', the same principle is taken up even further. The Luteces are [[spoiler:bordering on reality warpers, able to teleport early in the game and are eventually revealed to be suspended outside of time after their deaths]]. Though they choose to their powers mostly for messing with Booker, the full limits of these powers are revealed when [[spoiler:Elizabeth destroys the siphon in Monument Island. After this she is able to easily take out Songbird and teleport all three of them to an alternate Rapture. And even before this, she can summon murderous automatons and a tornado through the "cracks".]]
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has a few examples of playing with this trope. First off is an enemy group called the Malta Group, who are zealously dedicated to making sure this DOES NOT HAPPEN in a world with literally millions of meta-beings. Trouble is, their methods routinely cross the MoralEventHorizon - but what do you expect from a conspiracy of members of various western intelligence agencies, who were unhappy that they could no longer simply draft metas to do their dirty work? Then there's a small-scale example with the Rogue Isles, setting of the expansion "City of Villains", where a country of islands is ruled by super-villains. The only thing that prevents them from taking over the world is endless in-fighting and StatusQuoIsGod. And finally, the most triumphant in-game example is the alternate universe Praetoria, which was fleshed out in the "Going Rogue" expansion. There, alternate versions of the game's signature heroes rose to power by saving their doomed world and now rule what little is left with an iron fist.
* Pretty much why half the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' baddies go bad.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': Kefka is noted to be an extremely powerful mage from an experimental procedure, who goes insane and destroys the world.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Sephiroth AND Genesis both go mad when they discover their true pasts and becoming evil supersoldiers of unrivalled power bent on killing many, many people.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': Ultimecia knows she's doomed to die because [[YouCantFightFate her entire life is part of history]], so she tries to [[ItsAllAboutMe screw over all existence]] [[ScrewDestiny to prevent it]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': When Kuja learns he hasn't got long to live, he destroys a planet and then attempts to destroy all of creation. Inverted, in that he was already evil.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'': Ardyn was a legendary exorcist traveling the world and exorcising demons. Then the king of Ardyn's country got jealous because he was worried that the masses would replace him with that travelling miracle-worker, and had Ardyn arrested, mind-raped, and demonically possessed. And since that made him into an unkillable half-demon banned from the afterlife, he's fixated on ending the world [[NothingLeftToDoButDie because there's nothing else left to do]].
* Happens in ''VideoGame/FreedomForce''. Time Master rebels against his mortality by trying to destroy time.
* The story line of ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'' revolves around an alternative-universe Superman installing himself as the ruler of Earth after [[spoiler: ComicBook/TheJoker tricks Superman into killing ComicBook/LoisLane and their unborn child, as well as setting off a nuke that destroys Metropolis]]. Driving this home, the resistance is headed by the BadassNormal Batman and most of the heroes with Superpowers are with Superman.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the Extended Cut version of the Control Ending has shades of this, particularly with Renegade Shepard. [[spoiler: While the Reapers are no longer harvesting worlds, they've being controlled by an AI with the same morals and ethics as Shepard. While Paragon Shepard vows to serve as a benevolent guardian and guide into the future, spreading hope and peace, Renegade Shepard vows to rule over the weak with strength, seek out and correct the mistakes of the past... and destroy ''anyone'' who threatens the peace.]]
* In ''Franchise/DragonAge'', this is the [[{{Magocracy}} Tevinter Imperium]] to the rest of Thedas. Due to their [[AlwaysChaoticEvil destructive]] actions supposedly leading to The Maker [[HaveYouSeenMyGod shunning mankind]] and the creation of the Darkspawn, the rest of the Mages in Thedas are forced to enter the Circle, due to the overwhelming fear of what they would do if they were free and left to their own devices.
* ''Videogame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' runs a lot with this trope. The galaxy is in ruins after what's been called "The Jedi Civil War," with trillions of casualties across hundreds of planets. Many of the {{N|onPlayerCharacter}}PCs the Exile encounters neither know nor care about the difference between Jedi and Sith. (As one party member puts it, "Just men and women fighting about religion while the galaxy burns") Kreia points out that the Republic and the Empire themselves are little more than proxies for the Force Users' never-ending religious warfare, and the Exile is her means to try and stop it all [[spoiler: by destroying the Force itself]].
* ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' doesn't go as far as that second game, but the Force Users are still at their religious war, and doing horrible things to one another and the galaxy with trillions killed in the crossfire. The Sith Emperor takes the cake. As the most powerful known Force User of that era, both immortal and immoral, he has orchestrated ''centuries'' of warfare, including the current conflict [[spoiler: and even the protagonists of those last two games]], to further his goal of being the [[OmnicidalManiac only living thing in the galaxy]]!
** Driven home in the expansions. Force-wielders ''can'' be kind, respectful, responsible, wise, and generous, or they can be conquerors, killers, and hypocrites. It is an MMO, after all. Just like in the movies, though, some Force-wielders are depicted as an unambiguous good, such as the disguised one [[spoiler: that Republic players meet and secretly work for on Tattooine]].
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'': As a Keyblade Master, [[BigBad Xehanort]] is supposed to be a hero who protects the worlds. Instead, he's become DrunkOnTheDarkSide and uses his power as a Master to spread darkness and chaos wherever he goes.
* Throughout the Pokemon series, the player is able to strike up a bond with incredibly powerful Legendary Pokemon thanks to their kind heart and skill as a Trainer, thus giving them a massive advantage over other Trainers should they choose to use the legends on their team. ''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Black and White]]'' show what happens when a villain manages to win the loyalty of a Legendary through their pure heart. [[spoiler:He defeats the Champion and nearly separates Pokemon from humans entirely. Anthea and Concordia tell the player that the villain in question is dangerous because of his innocence and kindness, which makes him able to bring out the full power of pretty much any Pokemon but ''doesn't'' guarantee that he's in the right.]]
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'' turns [[spoiler: Gwyn]] into a case of this; the Ringed City DLC reveals that [[spoiler: Gwyn was the absolute worst possible Lord of Light, expressing a severe and completely unwarranted hate of the dark to the point he placed a seal of fire, aka the Darksign, on the Pygmies, which was passed down to their descendants, creating the Undead Curse. He also set in motion the Firelinking cycle, eventually ending the world, and through the soul of cinder acts as the TrueFinalBoss of the entire franchise. He also took extreme measures against anyone who disobeyed him or wasn’t exactly what he wanted them to be(annexing the Nameless King from history for betraying him and forcing Gwyndolin to present as a woman for being born with talent at Moonlight sorceries), and based on how long it took for the information to be uncovered, was very good at hiding it. LightIsNotGood taken to its logical extreme; the only reason the abyss ever caused any trouble at all was because Gwyn tried to restrain it when it was never a threat to begin with]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[Webcomic/BouletCorp The Bouletcorp]] gives us a graphic [[http://english.bouletcorp.com/2010/02/26/superday/ depiction]] of life as a normal human in a world with superheroes and villains. In the [[AltText alt-text]] he says that it would be pretty much the same for a normal human in a movie like ''Film/ManOfSteel''.
* On close inspection, ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' probably fits this. While [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder Sparks]] are not explicitly superheroes, they are certainly more physically imposing than your average human, and high-level ones can go toe-to-toe with any gadgeteer. The negative impact on the world is much less arguable; Baron Klaus Wulfenbach is forced to maintain a despotic empire just to keep society from collapsing whenever some Spark decides to get uppity. The Other has come close to achieving TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt at least once, and Othar's quest to wipe out all the world's Sparks is painted as hopeless and misguided.
* In ''Webcomic/ErrantStory'', the elves decided [[HalfHumanHybrid breeding with the humans]] was a good idea because of the birthrate being much higher than elf-elf matings, and also to "uplift" humanity. Only half-elves tend to be a lot stronger magically than humans, and many also have either birth defects or a predisposition towards madness. After a lengthy civil war, only one elven city and one quarter of the population remained.
* The protagonists of ''Webcomic/KeychainOfCreation'' are certainly Good, but as Exalted (see above), [[http://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0092.html are very aware of their superiority]], and the bad guys are even worse.
* In ''Project Auberdem'', US government brainwashes a Nazi superhuman with Superman-esque abilities into becoming Premium, America's greatest hero. This worked well enough until a time-traveling villain restored his memories and all the world's heroes realized just how lucky they were to have him in their side.
* ''Webcomic/MountainTime's'' Surf Rat, though a powerful force against evil, is strongly implied to amass lots of collateral damage. [[http://mountaincomics.com/2011/01/03/mountain-time-23five/ For example...]]
* In ''Webcomic/ToPreventWorldPeace'', Chronos predicts that at some point--if they are not stopped--the {{Magical Girl}}s will kill all the villains and decide to conquer the world, for its own good, of course. It’s thankfully averted when Chronos shows Kendra her visions, thus ridding this revolution of its future leader. This trope has already happened on a much smaller scale in Brazil, where magical girls led the creation of a separate country, Terra de Liberdade e Mágic, built around their magical system. WordOfGod claims that the world revolution is bound to happen sooner or later, because magical girls become more aware of their power and less content with the social pressure to let things go once they reach adulthood. It’s up to the heroes whether these changes will be peaceful or bloody.
* In the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' webcomic ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', there doesn't seem to be that many high levelled people living on Manjulias. Those who are powerful end up in leadership positions, good or evil. [[BigBadDuumvirate Brian and Angelo]] are [[TheArchmage high levelled spellcasters]], and though those who serve them regard them as a boon to their race, others are terrified of them and all their followers.
* In ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'', one RunningGag is Superman abusing his powers. This can range from setting fire to brothels so he can save the sex workers, to threatening to smash the moon into the Earth if he isn't granted access to Earth's Women, to demanding the key to the city because "I just stopped Superman from killing everyone", to [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2009-07-25 running for president and then threatening to kill everyone with lasers if forced to abide by term limits]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse, Pakistan, Chile, Cuba, Bermuda, and Viet Nam were all taken over by dictatorial super-villains (or in Chile's case, a team of dictatorial supervillains). This is slightly inverted in the case of Bermuda, where (despite being ruled by a crazed madman) the standard of living actually improved since the takeover.
* In ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'', Doctor Horrible's nemesis Captain Hammer is an anti-intellectual ass who shoves the people he rescues into garbage and whose only use for women is sex. A prequel comic has Dr. Horrible get a sample of Hammer's DNA to create a SuperSerum to give himself Hammer's SuperStrength, claiming that his superior intellect will give him an edge. Unfortunately, a side effect of the serum is that Horrible's intellect drops to Hammer's level, turning the fight into a slugfest without a clear winner.
* In Roleplay/DestineEnormity, the superpowered villains rule [[VillainWorld Arcadia]] with an iron fist and force the [[MugglePower Normals]] to live in the Slums.
* Shades of this occur in {{Literature/Worm}}. In a setting where superpowers emerge after a [[TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening Trigger Event]], it's been stated that there are more [[SuperVillain Super Villains]] than heroes, and [[LightIsNotGood even the heroes]] [[BlackAndGrayMorality aren't always what they claim to be]].
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'':
** The Dark Phoenix series of simulations, which pit one supposedly insane teammate against the others, is intended to drive home this point to would-be heroes. Unfortunately, even this is a watered-down version of the potential threats, especially from Tennyo.
** When Stygian, intent on SuicideByCop, confronts Tennyo with the (literal) ghosts of the Star Stalker's past, she is horrified to learn the being she's bound to has destroyed entire star systems as casually as one might swat a fly - over her eight billion year existence, whole ''galaxies'' have fallen to the Destroyer, and the only emotion she seems to have experienced was a mild frustration. Rather than driving her into a murderous rage, Billie goes [[HeroicBSOD catatonic]]. She still doesn't know the full truth, however: that the Star Stalker's primary purpose was to [[ApocalypseHow destroy the entire multiverse]] in case the [[EldritchAbomination Great Old Ones]] couldn't be stopped [[TakingYouWithMe by any other means]].
* ''Podcast/RedPandaAdventures'' supervillain the Crimson Death was given ComboPlatterPowers in a project that experimented on low level supervillains to pass their powers to him. While his creation is stated to be intended as a check against lone wolves like the Red Panda who answer to no one, the Crimson Death himself states his creators really just wanted a superhero ''they'' controlled. This backfires as the Crimson Death's debut episode features him killing everyone who knew his identity.
* Done jokingly on ''WebSite/{{Superdickery}}'', which takes out-of-context images (mostly from UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}}) and uses them to paint genuine heroes and heroines like Superman as complete and utter dicks.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' dealt with this trope in the episode "A Better World", presenting the WellIntentionedExtremist version of the league: The Justice Lords, who run an authoritarian earth free of crime, but likewise also empty of free speech or self government.
** Creator/BruceTimm states in the commentary that the episode was originally supposed to be a straight up "Crime Syndicate" story, which involved characters that are almost-{{Evil Twin}}s-[[CaptainErsatz but]]-[[{{Expy}} not-exactly]], but fell in love with the idea of using actual alternate versions of the regular characters. He comments during the Batman vs Batman fight in the Bat Cave that the scene was specifically animated to not make it clear from visual clues who was talking, so either character could be saying either side of the argument. Ultimately, Justice League Batman is unable to respond when Justice Lord Batman points out that in this new world [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yxu4z9L31U "no 8 year old boy will ever lose his parents because of some punk with a gun."]] This scene arose from conversations among the writers, who were trying to find a way for Batman to successfully respond when they realized that there ''was'' no verbal response; they had meant for League Batman to win the argument, but the fact of the matter was that, because of who the characters were, the Lord Batman won instead. Justice League Batman does get his response later. After showing the zeal of the PoliceState his counterpart helped create, he sarcastically mentions to Lord Batman: "They'd love it here. Mom and Dad. They'd be ''so'' proud of you." Justice Lord Batman is not pleased at this [[HeelRealization realization]], prompting his HeelFaceTurn (or at least, willingness to rid his own universe of superpowered heroes). Perhaps the proper verbal response would be "I'm glad they're dead so they didn't have to live in this world", but there's no way Batman would be able to say those words.
** The regular Justice League in the ''Unlimited'' incarnation, seeing the horrors the Lords have done, work to avert this trope by recruiting ComicBook/GreenArrow, a politically astute and strident BadassNormal to be the team's political conscience. Sure enough, he essentially saves the team's soul during the Cadmus affair, which revolved around this trope as it involved a secret government agency being set up to rival the League in the event it turned evil.
--->'''Green Arrow:''' Hey, I'm the only guy in the room who doesn't have superpowers, and let me tell you: you guys scare me. What if you do decide to go down there, taking care of whoever you think is guilty? Who could stop you? Me?
** The aforementioned "Crime Syndicate" story was the later basis for ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueCrisisOnTwoEarths'', where as planned the League is recruited by an alternate universe GoodCounterpart of ComicBook/LexLuthor to deal with the evil Syndicate which here are so powerful they are the ''de facto'' rulers of the world, bullying the President (Deathstroke!) and working on a bomb that can destroy the planet to hold the world hostage indefinitely (or as Owl Man chooses, to [[OmnicidalManiac blow up every universe in existence]]). Animation and voice actors aside, its written in a way that it can easily fit into regular DCAU continuity, and implicitly serves as a bridge between the regular ''Justice League'' and ''Justice League Unlimited'' series, so the League had ''that'' hanging over their heads as well.
** The Cadmus arc of ''Unlimited'' invoked this trope further, with Cadmus being reimagined as a covert government agency that exists to counter the League in the event they ever go rogue (which is what prompts Arrow's "you guys scare me" speech). That they are backed by ComicBook/LexLuthor (and actually recruit supervillains to work for them) is neither surprising nor does their cause any favours, nor does all the disasters they inadvertently cause as a result of this crusade (such as creating, then accidently unleashing, Doomsday, as well as the AxCrazy Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} clone Galatea; or even, indirectly helping EvilSorceror Felix Faust take over ''the Underworld)'', basically showing that its not the power, but who wields it that matters.
*** The conversation between Amanda Waller and Batman during this arc brings to a head the series' attitude towards this trope. After a number of run-ins with Cadmus, Batman does some digging and then confronts Waller after bypassing her house's heavy security to catch her in the shower.
--->'''Batman''': Whatever you think you're doing, if you present a threat to the world, the Justice League will take you down.
--->'''Amanda Waller''': If WE present a threat? You've got a space station floating above our heads with a laser weapon pointing DOWN. In another dimension, 7 of you overthrew the government and assassinated the President! We're the good guys, protecting our country from a very real threat: YOU.
*** Lex, for that matter, is running for President during this arc, and he milks this trope for all its worth, most notably by tricking Superman and Captain Marvel into a very public and very destructive fight in order to make Superman look bad, and later hijacking the laser the League attached to their Watchtower and using it on a city in order to frame them. The whole Justice Lord fiasco started when their-President Luthor murdered the Flash and seemed ready to start WorldWarIII (if that big red button on his desk was any indication) and regular-Luthor only ran for President just to make Superman and the League paranoid and ticked off- his ''true'' plan being to get superpowers for himself, though he later changes that to merging with Brainiac, destroying the world and remaking the universe. Once again showing that Luthor himself is a bigger threat to humanity than the entire League combined.
* Another example is the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode "The Call" - although not exclusively this, it is basically centered around the premise that [[spoiler: Superman has lost it and is taking out Justice League members one by one]]. Although he doesn't give the theory any more credence than any of previous brainwashing or mind-game SuperDickery Superman has gone through, Bruce Wayne does acknowledge the real possibility of the world's strongest man snapping from the strain of his responsibilities.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' had an episode where Lois Lane went into an alternate future where, due to her death, Superman had become a benevolent dictator over the years. He and Lex Luthor ruled the world side by side.
** The 2-part finale "Legacy" deals with this in some detail; Superman is {{Brainwashed}} into becoming a minion of {{ComicBook/Darkseid}}, partly out of petty vengeance for his earlier defiance of him, and becomes TheDragon, his ultimate soldier who leads his armies to conquer the universe. He is eventually unleashed on Earth where, with the help of ComicBook/LexLuthor, he is captured and defeated, and his brainwashing removed; he is also rather annoyed to find out that they are ''also'' holding Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} prisoner, after he had beat her up while under mind control. Its ''this'' show of rage that actually leads to Emil Hamilton joining Cadmus in ''Justice League Unlimited'', as it was the first time he was actually afraid of Superman ([[WhatAnIdiot there's nothing like seeing someone pissed off that their family has been hurt to convince you that person can never be trusted again]]). The episode ends with a number of characters being asked if they can ever trust Superman again.
** [[WhatCouldHaveBeen An unproduced]] final season would have been entirely Beware The Superman. Superman, coming off his perceived betrayal of humanity, would have had to deal with people's mistrust and skepticism of his actions at the end of "Legacy".
* The BadFuture shown in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' has been driven to ruin by Dan Phantom, a FusionDance between Danny Phantom and Vlad Plasmius. He has all of Vlad's evil as well as Danny's powers, allowing him to dominate humans and ghosts alike without fear of consequence.
* The reason ''WesternAnimation/ThundarrTheBarbarian'''s AfterTheEnd world has not had any resurgence of civilization in 2000 years is primarily because the wizards like having their petty little kingdoms, and knock down any attempt by the {{Muggles}} to organize or build.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', Gosalyn accidentally traveled to a BadFuture where DW, not realizing she was in the time machine, suffered a breakdown over her disappearance which resulted in him becoming Dark''warrior'' Duck, a dictator who punished people harshly for the smallest of "offenses" such as eating too much junk food. Even though he didn't have super powers, he was still pretty [[BadassNormal scary]], even being more savvy than he was before his dark transformation. Also, he had a [[TankGoodness tank]] and an [[MechaMooks army of robots]], which helped.
* {{Discussed|Trope}} in the ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' episode "Grill", with regards to Optimus Prime. Eventually ''{{defied|Trope}}'': if Optimus Prime ''were'' capable of going down this road, he'd be fundamentally incapable of ''being'' Optimus Prime.
* The ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' episode "Hyperion", featuring Marvel's notoriously despotic Superman expy, naturally explores this concept, as Hyperion attempts to take over Earth in order to "save" it.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' brings this up with [[GodEmperor Princess Celestia]] and her hypothetical [[SuperPoweredEvilSide counterpart]] [[EvilIsBurningHot Daybreaker]], who would be what Celestia would become if she decided that, as the most powerful pony in Equestria, she stopped caring [[AfraidOfTheirOwnStrength about the dangers of their own power]] and the wellbeing of others and decided to whatever she wanted with ''nopony'' capable of stopping her. Thankfully {{averted|Trope}} since the real Celestia is far too idealistic to fall down that path.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Debates over {{transhuman}}ism and genetic modification occasionally bring this up, the concern being that, someday, the rich would be able to buy their way into becoming physically and intellectually superior to the masses (on top of the social and economic advantages they already have), leading to a society that is even more stratified than our own.
* Surprisingly, [[http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/superman/2013/05/superman_if_human_enhancement_gives_us_superpowers_will_we_use_them_for.html some experiments and studies]] indicate that this trope would actually be either averted in RealLife or depend heavily on what ''[[BadPowersBadPeople kind]]'' of powers the person gets. People who simulated being a FlyingBrick in the vein of Superman were found to act more benevolent and polite to the researchers, as if the very thought of being like Superman caused them to feel the need to be altruistic. Ironically when offered powers on the opposite end of the spectrum like invisibility or mind reading, most refused the idea out of explicit fear that this trope would come into effect; one man, when offered flight or invisibility, chose invisibility only to then change his answer after some thinking. He expressed the fear that being invisible would [[InvisibleJerkass tempt him to indulge in morally dodgy behavior]].