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Heroism is a high-risk job. When TheHero is [[OnlyICanKillHim the only one who can defeat]] the BigBad, the BigBad and their EvilMinions are going to be coming after this ChosenOne everywhere they go. You may be the only one who can protect the city, or the kingdom, or the MagicalLand, or the universe, but while you're working on that, who's going to protect ''you''?

You need the ''Hero Secret Service: HeroesRUs for TheHero''! Twenty-four hour protection from any and all accidental or intentional premature causes of death that may hinder you on TheHerosJourney. They'll [[SecretKeeper keep]] your SecretIdentity secret, guard you while moving between [[HomeBase headquarters]], provide [[WeNeedADistraction distractions]], take out the {{Mooks}} so you can save your strength, and if necessary, make [[HeroicSacrifice Heroic Sacrifices]] [[MoreHeroThanThou for you]], thereby providing substantial HeroicResolve to get you through the culminating grand battle.

Working for the Hero Secret Service is also hazardous. ContractualImmortality is [[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality significantly decreased]], and [[ItsPersonal it's not personal]] as far as the BigBad is concerned, so the EvilMinions for once [[LeaveHimToMe have full permission to kill]]. On the other hand, while the BigBad is SurroundedByIdiots, the Hero Secret Service does not hire any [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy crazy guards]]... unless they're a [[UnwantedHarem volunteer]] AmazonBrigade assigned to protect TheOneGuy. In that case, LoveMakesYouCrazy is in effect.

Taking advantage of the Hero Secret Service is not optional, so [[MoreHeroThanThou save your breath]] about [[MartyrWithoutACause not wanting to put anyone else in danger]] for your sake, or how they [[HeroHarassesHelpers can't hope to ever help]].

This job position is also cynically referred to as being a "Meat Shield" because it can mean no more than bodily standing between the hero and harm.

It sometimes run by LaResistance. If the hero is royalty, this may be PraetorianGuard. They are always [[MoreExpendableThanYou More Expendable Than The Hero]]. See also PoisonousFriend, who sees himself as protecting the hero but has a [[WellIntentionedExtremist worse code of ethics]] than the hero when it comes to [[PayEvilUntoEvil harming the hero's enemies]].

Contrast OneManArmy, who fights on his own without anyone protecting him.

[[TropeNamer Named after]] the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Secret_Service Secret Service]] [[WeAllLiveInAmerica of the United States]] whose primary duty in modern times is to protect [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent The President of the United States]][[note]]As well as the Vice President, any plausible candidates for Pres/VP, foreign dignitaries, ''plus'' the immediate families of all of same.[[/note]] ''and'' the country's financial system.[[note]]As in fighting against fraudulent transactions; so if you try to forge some plates, you can expect a visit from those same [[TheMenInBlack Men in Black]] who could conceivably have to take down a squad of assassins.[[/note]]

%%Do not remove the folders, they are the standard.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''[[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'': The SOS Brigade members (minus Haruhi herself) towards Kyon. All of them mention Kyon being a very important person towards Haruhi, and have either aided him, or in some cases protected him against threats, such as Nagato breaking into Asakura's closed space to save him.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': Misato rallies NERV to protect the EVA pilots in ''End of Evangelion''.
** Also, in the series, NERV employs Section 2, plainclothes security guards who keep the pilots under watch when away from HQ.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'': If Sailor Moon is the only one who can break spells, destroy monsters, defeat the enemy, and prevent TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, what are the [[WeAreTeamCannonFodder Inner Senshi]] there for? To protect Sailor Moon!
* The ''Roleplay/RecordOfLodossWar'' finale has the heroes descending on a rescue mission down into the BigBad's fortress. One by one, Parn's companions break off to fight monsters that are [[PlotTailoredToTheParty suspiciously tailored for their talents]], leaving Parn to face the BigBad and the Dragon alone. This was all part of his destiny, since his sword and the Dragon's sword were the only items that could restore the BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil.
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'': [[spoiler:Rika THOUGHT she had this going for her]]
* ''Manga/{{Pretear}}'' explicitly states that the Leafe Knights can't defeat evil without the eponymous MagicalGirl -- once they find her, they need to protect ''her'', so that ''she'' can protect the world. They also provide her with ElementalPowers, but this takes only one Knight per battle, and the rest of them is here to [[WeNeedADistraction distract monsters]] so she can safely kill them. Additionally, in the anime version they literally transform into the Pretear's [[DeflectorShields energy shield]] upon [[FusionDance merging with her]], receiving injuries instead of her -- and then claim it's OK, because ''[[MoreExpendableThanYou it's their job]]''. (This, however, also means that at least one of them should survive, otherwise the Pretear will be rendered useless. Or so they thought.)
* In ''Manga/MagiLabyrinthOfMagic'', the King Candidates are all [[TheHero The Heroes]] of their own stories, with each one trying to become a King or some equivalent position of power and influence. Most King Candidates collect Households along their journeys, which are effectively their HeroSecretService, whose most important role is to protect their King Candidates.
* On a smaller level, Shannon and Raquel protecting Pacifica in ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess''.
** In fact, there is quite a lot of people willing to protect Pacifica [[spoiler: ,that were made this way through super-genetics by ancient BigGood]].
* In ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'', the Suzaku warriors serve this function for Miaka. But the trope is subverted in that [[spoiler:Tamahome, the LoveInterest and main hero, actually ''dies'' while secondary characters Tasuki and Chichiri are the only ones who survive to the end of the series.]]
* This concept is referenced in ''[[VideoGame/HarukanaruTokiNoNakaDe Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou]]''. [[CastFullOfPrettyBoys The Hachiyou]] are "those who protect the {{Miko}}". On one occasion said Miko, Akane, is [[BrownNote put into a coma by the sound of a cursed kin]], with the apparent way of waking her up is to have one of her protectors exorcise said instrument, killing himself in the process. [[UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}} Yasuaki]], who calls himself "Miko's tool", sums it up by saying that, if there's no Miko, there's no point in the Hachiyou's existence[[note]]although, to be fair, he has [[ArtificialHuman some issues]][[/note]]. Thankfully, EverybodyLives, since the second story arc subverts the concept by making it clear that the Hachiyou are ''not'' [[MoreExpendableThanYou expendable]], being the key to recovering TheFourGods.
* While [[Manga/DeathNote Light Yagami]] is [[VillainProtagonist not much of a hero]], he has several supporters willing to kill or die for him, and they regularly do both. By the second season, many Kira supporters openly proclaim their affiliation (as Matt discovered to his sorrow when he learned that Takeda's guards didn't take prisoners).
* Roy Mustang's men are like this for him in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. His hand-selected five closest subordinates are aware of his ambitions and will do what it takes to protect him and anyone else he tells them to protect (most notably each other) while he works to fulfill his goals.
* This trope actually cause a large amount of conflict between Oz (the protector) and {{Manga/Arago}} (the hero protectee). Arago thinks Oz should be protecting other people who can't take care of themselves, while Oz's number one priority is protecting Arago and no one else.
* The Fourth Shinobi World War of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' features this as a major point. The main objective of the protagonists is to ensure [[spoiler:Tobi]] does not capture Naruto or B. They also effectively place Naruto under house arrest and assign what amounts to a small army to keeping him hidden, though the changing situation forces them to reconsider and either change the strategy to let let him fight, but make sure he has back up asap wherever possible or risk the war being lost.
** [[spoiler: Neji does this quite spectacularly, throwing himself in front of a fatal attack heading for Hinata and Naruto, not only to protect his friends, but also to make sure Naruto, the key to the Alliance's then-current strategy,survives.]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' anime episodes 292-293, 296-297, 300-301. Only Ichigo has never seen Aizen's shikai and is therefore immune to its MindControl effect. Realizing this, several Soul Reaper captains and Vizards appoint themselves Ichigo's bodyguards. Their duty is to attack Aizen and keep him busy so he can't show Ichigo his shikai and render him easy to defeat, thus giving Ichigo a chance to defeat him. Later on Kisuke Urahara, Yoruichi and Ichigo's father Isshin join in.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The SOS Brigade, the Organization and Tsuruya's {{Yakuza}} work as one for Kyon in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero''.
* The yaoren of ''{{Fanfic/Embers}}'' are intended to be this for the Avatar, [[spoiler: but most of them are dead, except Zuko and a couple guys.]]
* In ''Fanfic/{{Marionettes}}'', it's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:[[TheMenInBlack Stallions in Black]] were originally created by Celestia to serve this role, ''especially'' in the event she fell to evil like her sister, for Equestria's heroes. Unfortunately, they eventually became a corrupt KnightTemplar organization to the point they're the ones the heroes are fighting now.]]

* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': The Order of the Phoenix and Snape fulfill this role, on top of opposing Voldemort themselves. As the years pass, [[ChronicHeroSyndrome Harry]] is not pleased.
* The Fellowship of the Ring essentially served this purpose in ''The LordOfTheRings'', until it split up after the Ringbearer, Frodo, realized that the only thing they couldn't protect him from was [[TheCorruption themselves]]. They instead recruit a large invasion force [[SupportingLeader to distract the enemy from Frodo's presence.]]
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry Dresden has a troop of faeries, led by Toot-Toot, who occasionally drop him some information. In ''Literature/SummerKnight'', they evolve into tiny little badasses, fighting on the side of "the Pizza Lord" in the war between the Winter and Summer Courts. In ''Small Favor,'' Harry learns his faeries have been watching his back in ways of which he was unaware.
** Invoked by Harry when discussing Michael's troop of actual guardian angels defending his home.
* [[PraetorianGuard Armsmen]] in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' universe seem to function like this. Especially with the main character.
** Indeed, when the chips are down, Honor's junior officers are known to willingly function as such, especially during their escape from the PNS ''[[MeaningfulName Tepes]]''.
* Literature/SwordofTruth: The entire D'Haran Army consider themselves this for the current Lord Rahl, although the Mord-sith (and especially Cara) might be a better example.
* The League of Literature/TheScarletPimpernel. Interesting example, as the hazards encountered is part of the appeal of sport or adventure to its members, and the main act of heroic sacrifice is to unquestioningly adhere to the chief's orders, in order to avoid to any possibility of red shirts.
* [[TheHero Wil Ohmsford]] is this to [[RebelliousPrincess Amberle Elessedil]] in ''Literature/ElfstonesOfShannara''; [[MauveShirt Crispin]] and his Elven Hunters are this to both of them. In ''Literature/TheWishsongOfShannara'', [[ActionSurvivor Jair's]] party does the same for him, guarding him on his trek to Heaven's Well.
* This is one of Creator/DavidEddings' recurring tropes.
** ''Literature/TheBelgariad'': [[TheHero Garion]], on his quests to single-handedly save the world, is obligated by ancient prophecy to be perpetually surrounded by a FiveManBand (at least five, anyway), which is made up primarily of highly capable warriors.
** ''Literature/TheElenium'': Sparhawk is surrounded by a loyal band of his brother knights, who accept that he has a massive job to do and are determined to protect him along the way.
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', the Nac Mac Feegle take it upon themselves to be this for Tiffany Aching, occasionally without her knowledge and/or permission.
* [[Literature/TheHungerGames Catching Fire]]: During the Quarter Quell the [[spoiler:previous victors who are a part of the resistance are this for Katniss and Peeta, though the latter two have no idea what's going on]].
* The Maidens of the Spear serve this purpose for Rand Al'Thor in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''
* The [[{{Ranger}} Antarian Rangers]] from the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse served as a paramilitary organization designed around assisting the Jedi Order, consisting primarily of failed Jedi trainees and supporters of the Jedi. Following the initiation of [[FinalSolution Order 66]] the Antarian Rangers worked to protect the few remaining Jedi survivors and were themselves hunted down by the Galactic Empire.
* ''{{LightNovel/Campione}}'': The assorted magical associations often play this role for the titular God Slayers in making certain that when the time comes, the Campione they are allied with only has to worry about dealing with the heretic god. Godou's harem (or at least Erica, Lilliana and Ena) play it the straightest, accompanying him in battle and dealing with any summoned monsters or Divine Beasts that might be around so that Godou can concentrate on the main threat, while the wider organizations work to evacuate civilians and clean up the [[DestructiveSavior inevitable mess]].
* In the original pulp novels, TheShadow has a network of agents who provide him with information, expertise, and muscle, including Harry Vincent, Shrevvy the Taxi Driver, Burbank the radio man, and later Margo Lane.
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': Trickster gods in general play this role to Tasio's "bestest friend", Eric Watley. In ''Literature/LoomingShadow'', Tasio reveals that he and his siblings kept the worst dangers from even reaching him in the previous book. This is after one of said siblings, Poi, randomly appeared on a ship that Eric was traveling on, engaged in a cyrptic conversation with Eric's mentor about how important the boy was to their plans, and then saved him from [[DemonicPossession enforcer possessed]] monsters.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Even ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' has an example in the Silver Guardians, where the two leaders are the Red Time Force Ranger and the Quantum Ranger and the Guardians take care of the dirty work, before they get in and morph.
* ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' has this dynamic within its team. Takeru/[=ShinkenRed=] is so greatly important that the other four are basically his bodyguards. They don't even refer to themselves as Shinkengers, instead saying they're "the same" as their leader. Not all of the team is thrilled with this development, but all of them have to do it. The Shinkengers are also assisted by kuroko, an army of "stagehands" who help announce the Shinkengers' arrival on the battlefield, do crowd control, and other tasks.
** Taken even further in the later episodes, when it's revealed that [[spoiler:Takeru]] has been a ''kagemusha'' (a variant of BodyDouble) all along. The [[spoiler:real [=ShinkenRed=], a young girl,]] has been training in secret to develop the special technique needed to defeat the BigBad. Eventually, in recognition of [[spoiler:Takeru]]'s valor and skill, [[spoiler:she "adopts" Takeru]] and he becomes the rightful holder of [[spoiler:the [=ShinkenRed=] position]] in all respects.
** Its counterpart ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' doesn't go as far, eliminating the formal authority that the Red Ranger has over the team and the kuroko; but the Samurai Rangers do have a small support network of allies that are entrusted to protect ancient artifacts and the like.
* This trope describes Series/{{Chuck}} Bartowski's "handlers"/partners to a T. Of course, it's a partial subversion in that they are also the ones who keep him in danger.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''. President Roslin has her own civilian security team that takes part in a gunpoint face-off when Commander Adama attempts to terminate Roslin's presidency by force in "Kobol's Last Gleaming" -- we never see them again. In later episodes Roslin and the Quorum of Twelve are guarded by Colonial Marines, perhaps signifying the increased trust between Roslin and the military -- however this backfires on all concerned during TheMutiny.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has several of these, depending on which character the storyline is following and where the action takes place. On B5, [[RedShirt Station Security]] can often be counted on to provide protection for the main characters, while the Anla'Shok (AKA The Rangers) eventually take on this mission towards Delenn and Sheridan, and Londo will on occasion make use of the Centauri Republic's soldiers, such as the time he had them [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu gun down a pair of Shadows.]]
* Snow White's "Royal Guard" in ''Series/OnceUponATime''. Basically, its the Seven Dwarves.
* In ''Film/TheBigHeat'', after the hero's wife is killed, a number of his ex-army friends guard his daughter.
* It's easier to list the entries in the ''Franchise/UltraSeries'' that ''don't'' have this trope. More or less every Ultra has a military group backing them up and likely wouldn't get through many of their battles without them. Many series even have instances were the Ultra is nearly killed (or ACTUALLY killed) and it's up to their backup to revive them. One of the indicators that [[Series/UltramanLeo Commander Black]] is smart is that his first act upon arriving is to [[spoiler:preemptively ambush Leo's and wipe them out before they even know he exists.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', once a call from a contract holder is confirmed, most [=DocWagon=] franchises guarantee the arrival of an armed trauma team within ten minutes, or else the immediate medical care is free. They do charge customers for injury or death compensation for their employees, though. Higher levels of contracts even offer better services: the basic level only has the team revive you on the spot, while the platinum level includes extraction, extended care, and [[WhatMeasureIsAMook does not charge you for injuries or deaths sustained by the trauma team]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': Cult of the Illuminated believes that the Solars are returned righteous god-kings and will do anything to protect fledgling Solars. Various Yozi cults will also do the same for Infernals. Abyssals have the death cults.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' plays this trope straight for some classes or at least for some roles within the group: the Barbarian and the Fighter get hit so the Wizard, the Rogue and sometimes the Cleric or Bard don't have to. Then there is the Knight, a Wizard's best friend in that its class abilities ''focus'' on actively drawing aggro towards it.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'': The Order of Mata Nui was stated by WordOfGod as being the CIA of the Matoran Universe. They are exactly the secret service, and they do not hesitate to kill or do other dirty jobs, while [[ThouShaltNotKill Toa don't kill]]. [[FridgeLogic On the other hand]], since Toa are the MU equivalent of cops by this analogy, then this is actually pretty stupid. But, {{LEGO}} being LEGO...

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is the entire plot of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV''. "TheHero" is the title given to the HalfHumanHybrid ChosenOne (born from an angel and a human) prophesied to save the world against the king of demons. The first four chapters of the game introduce you to the hero's party members before you meet the Hero [[PurelyAestheticGender Him/Herself]]. Many of them are actively looking for the Hero in order to protect him/her.
* In ''VideoGame/ShiningForceIII'' Scenario 3, the Force's goal is to protect Gracia, so he can ascend into an innovator and defeat Bulzome.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': The Guardians who travel with and protect the summoner Yuna on her journey to defeat Sin.
** Guardianship is actually a job with a significant number of openings. Three members of the party have served as Guardians for previous summoners (Auron, for Yuna's father Braska, Lulu and Wakka for a summoner who gave up at the Calmlands and became a priest instead and Lulu alone for a summoner who failed and died), and as you encounter other summoners you meet their Guardians (including one who was inspired by Auron).
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'': The group who travels with and protects the Chosen of Mana, Colette, on her journey to the Tower of Salvation.
** During [[spoiler:the attack on the roots of the Tower of Salvation the rest of the party do this towards Lloyd. [[HeroicSacrifice At All Costs.]] [[DisneyDeath Though they don't pay much.]]]]
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', pretty much every game. Matthew in ''Rekka no Ken'' is a literal example: Hector is preparing to sneak out the back of Castle Ostia, but Matthew senses something's amiss and sniffs out a small army of assassins before they can harm Hector.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', the human resistance. No matter how many squadmates you get horribly killed, some will always show up. They 'followed you' or one empty room turns out to have some prisoners. The agonizing screams of the dead heard just minutes ago don't matter. Then again, there's no reason to think they're not dying like flies in your absence, too. They might expect following Gordon to ''improve'' their [miserable] life expectancies. Which actually can work out for the Episode 1 evacuees.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TheSuffering'', an XBOX game. The ending literally depends on being the Secret Service for ''other'' characters. Don't let that JerkAss [[VideoGameCrueltyPunishment prison guard die!]]
* Link finally gets a little help of this sort in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', when the members of the Resistance Group come to his aid while he's fighting his way into Hyrule Castle. He's still pretty much on his own the rest of the time, though.
** Tetra and her crew arguably count to some extent in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''. Two [[BirdPeople Rito]] characters and Valoo the dragon also save Link and Tetra from Ganondorf at one point.
* The Hero in ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'' gets a little help near the end of the game, in the form of old minor characters, guards, and guild members, all teleporting into battle. Could also coincide with a CrowningMomentofAwesome on the part of the previously-useless soldiers.
* The Mysterious Stranger in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'', Donald and Goofy are dispatched to escort the Keyblade Wielder.
* In ''VideoGame/ScarfaceTheWorldIsYours'', a variety of mooks can be used to help you on your way. All are replaceable no matter how many die.
* Ziro from ''VideoGame/SuperCosplayWarUltra'' is always accompanied by a squad of henchman, and outside of one or two normal attacks, ''absolutely every one'' of Ziro's attacks is done by one of them (he even uses one as a meat shield when he blocks.)

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Jagers in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''.
* ''Webcomic/TheContinentals'': Continental Operative Jeffrey Tiffen Smythe and his gender bending partner the adventuress Lady Fiona Fiziwigg work for a division of British Military Intelligence known as The A.T.S.T.K.

[[folder:Western Animation]]

* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'': The Lyoko Warriors' only job is to protect Aelita so she can deactivate the towers XANA uses to attack. The biggest reason for this is that DeathIsNotPermanent for them while on Lyoko, but it ''is'' for her, at least until Season 3.
** Starting with Season 3, Aelita no longer has to worry about ceasing to exist if she dies on Lyoko, and can fight on her own, after developing her Energy Field powers. Still, the others would never consider letting her go it alone.
* Much of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''[='s=] secondary cast, most notably the invasion force and The Order of the White Lotus.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', the White Lotus has taken on the job of watching over the new Avatar in an official capacity, [[DitchTheBodyguards though they don't seem to be very good at keeping her out of trouble]]. This premise is pretty much abandoned entirely after a few episodes, instead switching the White Lotus to generic guards for Air Temple Island.
* Played for laughs in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' with Pascal, Rapunzel's pet chameleon, who often acts as her protector and defender ... which gets tricky seeing how he's a very small creature.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' there were the Guardians, an organization of high-tech Ninja who filled this role for the Utroms. Splinter's deceased master Hamato Yoshi was one of them, and regarded as one of the best and one of the most loyal. He was trusted with their greatest secrets, which is why he was targeted by the Shredder. It turned out to be pointless for the villain, as Yoshi was willing to die before he talked, and was DefiantToTheEnd, insulting the honorless villain with his last words.
* The 'Greenshirts' in ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero''.
* Jorgen von Strangle spends much of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Wishology}}'' trilogy doing everything he can to protect Timmy, whom he [[spoiler:(correctly, it's later revealed)]] believes is the Chosen One. He saves Timmy from the first Eliminators who find him, disguises himself as Timmy so the Eliminators can take him while the real Timmy escapes, breaks himself and the rest of Timmy's allies out of prison and gets them everything they need to find and help Timmy, and rescues Timmy after he sacrifices himself to the Darkness to save everyone.
* [=DePatie=]-Freleng's first made-for-TV venture, ''WesternAnimation/TheSuper6,'' details "half a dozen super strong men" who work for a hero agency. Super Bwoing, a klutz on a flying guitar, is the regular weekly feature. The closing feature (the third of three shorts) rotates among the other heroes (Granite Man, Elevator Man, Super Scuba, Magnet Man, Captain Zammo).