open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Read or Die: The I-Jin are all made up of famous figures from the past, most notably Ludwig van Beethoven. They're cloned.
- Fate/stay night and its prequel is pretty much the mythological version of this, although some (like Gilles de Rais and Alexander the Great) were historical people.
- With some exceptions, the heroes summoned were all real people at some point. Their appearance and personality may change based on perceptions, however.
- Samurai Deeper Kyo's concept.
- Drifters has this on both sides at a crapsack fantasy world - the good guys summoned there at the verge of death while the bad guys were those who historically died tragically.
- Nobunagun has the E-Genes, the essence of famous figures ranging from Jack the Ripper to Oda Nobunaga to Mahatma Ghandi extracted at the point of death. Certain people in the present day have inherited these E-Genes and are able to draw out powers based on them (guns for Nobunaga, an axe for Geronimo, gravity control for Isaac Newton, etc.), while also communing with their spirit from time to time.
- The Seven Soldiers of Victory once fought a villain with a time machine who brought forward Alexander the Great, Nero, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Napoleon Bonaparte to serve as commanders in his army of conquest.
- He deserves credit for effort, though Nero is perhaps not the most obvious of choices.
- Kid Eternity had could summon heroes from history as his superpower, along with invisibility. There was also his evil counterpart, Master Man, who could summon villains from history.
- In a crossover with Captain Marvel, Dr. Sivana revived several villains to oppose them. It didn't work out—Benedict Arnold betrayed him, as not even the British liked him for his treachery.
- A Justice Society of America comic has the JSA fighting what appears to be a band of villains out of history: Nero, Goliath, Captain Kidd, Cesare Borgia, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun. It turns out to be one guy (a guard at a wax museum) masquerading as all these figures. However he succeeds in killing the entire male membership of the Society in that issue. They get better.
- In Knight and Squire #3, Richard III is resurrected and he proceeds to resurrect England's other 'bad' kings: William II, John, Edward I, and Charles I. The monarchs are granted genetically enhanced superpowers and each leads a criminal army to take over a different part of the UK.
- In All-Select Comics #7, the sorcerer Terdu summons a group of villains from the past, whom he dubs the 'Men of Evil', to battle Captain America and Bucky. The Men of Evil were Captain Kidd, Jack the Ripper, Frank and Jesse James, Bluebeard, Gyp-the-Blood, and three gangsters (names unrevealed) who had died in the electric chair decades earlier.
- Requiem Vampire Knight:
- Dracula keeps the heads of Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, Gaius Julius Caesar, Saladin and a future Martian conqueror to plan his strategies.
- The elite vampires (people who committed great atrocities in life) include Elizabeth Bathory (Dracula's wife), Nero, Attila the Hun, and Maximilien Robespierre. If you're wondering why Adolf Hitler isn't there, he's a kind of superweapon: when killed, all his victims Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.
- Ghouls did evil while persuading themselves they did good. Their ranks include Edgar J. Hoover and Oppenheimer.
- The Archeologists did evil For Science!, it's implied one of them was Josef Mengele.
- One iteration of the Lethal Legion villain team, enemies of The Avengers, was composed of history's greatest murderers, given superpowers by hell. They were Lucrezia Borgia, Lizzie Borden, Josef Stalin, and Heinrich Himmler. Lucrezia was codenamed "Cyana", granted blue skin, Absurdly Sharp Claws coated with poison, and a literal Kiss of Death. Lizzie was codenamed "Axe of Violence", granted light red skin, her right hand was replaced by a double-headed axe, and she carried two other double-headed axes used as throwing weapons. Josef was codenamed "Coldsteel", becoming a Chrome Champion with a body made of living steel, granting him Super Strength and Super Toughness. Heinrich was codenamed "Zyklon", granted a Powered Armor which allowed him to fly. He released Deadly Gas from his mask and gauntlets.
- In Mother, May I (Take Over The World) (MSTing here), a hilariously bad Fan Fic, the world's most evil people — among them Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Pikachu, and an increasingly bemused Martin Luther King, Jr. — take over the world.
- XCOM Resurrection has the XCOM Project bringing back historical warriors in order to fight aliens. The first squad consists of Joan of Arc, Simo Häyhä, Genghis Khan, and Ragnar Lothbrok. They also get Nikola Tesla to head up the science department.
Films — Live-Action
- The Night's Dawn Trilogy features an invasion from The Legions of Hell in a Space Opera setting... A disproportionatly large portion of whom hail from the 20th century, potentially leading to massive Narm on the reader's part. There were enough people from other eras (past and future) so that (apart from the multiple Elvises) it could plausibly just be a statistical blip. And one of them's Al freakin' Capone.
- In TimeRiders, the team are joined by the likes of Abraham Lincoln and the apparent Robin Hood. However, they can't stay permanently.
- In the Diogenes Club story "Sorcerer, Conjurer, Wizard, Witch", the villain magically animates waxworks from Madame Tussauds' Chamber of Horrors, including Burke and Hare, Dr Crippen, Charlie Peace, George Joseph Smith (the "Brides in the Bath" killer) and — this being the Diogenes universe — Rodger Baskerville and Varney the Vampire.
- Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Savage Curtain". The Hero team is Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Abraham Lincoln and Surak of Vulcan. The Villain team is Genghis Khan, the Klingon Kahless, Colonel Green and the Mad Scientist Zora. Everyone except Kirk and Spock are actually alien rock creatures masquerading as humanoids.
- Red Dwarf: The episode "Meltdown" features a war between the greatest and the worst people in history (technically, robot duplicates thereof, from a now-abandoned theme park).
- One episode of Lois and Clark involved clones of Al Capone, as well as Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger. They were cloned by a scientist who wanted to prove evil wasn't genetic, and apparently turned out to be wrong.
- If you stretch it a bit, this is basically the concept of the Warriors Orochi series — bringing together legendary warriors from China's Three Kingdoms Period, others from Japan's Warring States Era, and a few guys from mythology for good measure — just so Orochi can have a decent challenge. Certainly, a teamup of Masamune Date, Lu Bu and Sun Wukong invokes the same sort of feeling...
- The Fallout 3 expansion "Mothership Zeta" has you team up with several cryogenically-preserved warriors on the alien spaceship: a military doctor from Operation Anchorage, a contemporary slaver, a wild west cowboy, and a samurai.
- In The Legend of Zelda spin-off game Hyrule Warriors, Time Travel lets an incarnation of Link and Zelda battle alongside heroes (and villains) from the Era of the Hero of Time, the Era of Twilight, and the Era of the Sky. The developers have said it's basically Zelda's version of The Avengers.
- Toukiden has Mitama, the spirits of heroes devoured by oni across the ages that have been freed by Slayers. Slayers can commune with these spirits to gain special powers and the Player Character has the uniquenote power of communing with a very large number of them.
- The Simpsons:
- Parodied in a Treehouse of Horror short, where Billy The Kid leads a gang of historical villains, including the most evil German in history — Kaiser Wilhelm!
- Another Simpsons example, though this one's just a brief throwaway: when Homer and Mr. Burns are stuck in a cabin together, Homer says he has "power... political power!" and we see a ghostly team of historical figures (including the Actual Pacifist Mahatma Gandhi) brandishing weapons.
- Played with in Futurama when the Holo-shed malfunctions and Attila the Hun, Jack the Ripper, Professor Moriarty, and Evil Lincoln become real and attack Kif and Amy.
- Xiaolin Showdown had these as Jack Spicer's army in a time travel episode: Attila the Hun, Blackbeard, most likely Billy The Kid or some other famous western villain, and Jack Spicer's first-grade teacher. (Don't be fooled, she's the worst of the bunch.)
- An episode of Spider-Man (1967) has a bad guy bring wax figures of Jesse James, Blackbeard, and an old-timey executioner to life to fight Spider-Man.
- The Venture Bros. episode "Escape to the House of Mummies Part II" has the Venture crew inexplicably team up with Caligula, Sigmund Freud, and Edgar Allan Poe (and a time-duplicated Brock Samson). It's never quite explained how the team-up happened, as it is the second part of an episode for which the first part was never made.
- There's an episode of The Tick titled "Leonardo da Vinci and His Fightin' Genius Time Commandos!", featuring a team of famous inventors, including da Vinci, Thomas Alva Edison, Johann Gutenberg, George Washington Carver, and the cavewoman who invented the wheel.
- This is the idea behind Clone High: The Omniscient Council of Vagueness has cloned many of history's greatest leaders to rule the world somehow.
- In one episode of The Super Globetrotters, the Time Lord assembled "the greatest criminals in history" into a gang.
- Johnny Test had an episode where Johnny brought back several historical figures, including Attila the Hun and a caveman, to create the most powerful hockey team.