%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1358838479007000100
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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/MysteryMen http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MysteryMenCaptainAmazingSponsorShot_5718.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Captain Amazing just got a bid for his [[IncrediblyLamePun ab-space]].]]

->''"My nemesis is Captain Hammer. 'Captain Hammer: corporate TOOL!'"''
-->-- '''Doctor Horrible''', ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog''

In many superhero works, the problem comes up of WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys Superheroes have to pay the bills, after all, and [[HeroismWontPayTheBills superheroics isn't really that lucrative]]. So what's a superhero to do? Well, if you weren't lucky enough to [[Franchise/{{Batman}} inherit a large fortune and head a major corporation]], you can either [[StockSuperheroDayJobs find a day job]] or seek out sponsorship for your heroics! While some might turn to the government, others might want to head to the private sector for financing.

Enter the CorporateSponsoredSuperhero! Captain BlandNameProduct is here to save the day, and tell you about all the great deals you can get [[HeroInsurance on insurance to cover the damage incurred by your rescue]]!

Note that this applies only to heroes with explicit ties to their corporate sponsor. Characters who use funds from their corporation to secretly finance their heroism (Franchise/{{Batman}}, for example) do not count. Expect to see [[ProductPlacement corporate logos printed on tights]], [[CelebrityEndorsement advertising appearances]], and [[MerchandiseDriven rampant toy marketing]]. Also expect the heroes to develop serious qualms about the shilling they have to do, especially if they discover their sponsor in engaging in [[CorruptCorporateExecutive unethical or criminal activities]].

Related to LawEnforcementInc and HeroesRUs. May overlap with PunchClockHero if they view heroics as nothing more than a 9 to 5 job to pay the bills.



* The product Mr Muscle has a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TWAMQRBSNw bulging superhero as a mascot]] that combats stains and unsightly limescale in the bathroom. Mr Muscle's [[IronicNickname previous incarnation]] was that of a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epVlo7ci2Fo nerdy looking character]] who needed the product's strength to do the work for him; effective but presumably hard to use him outside of TV adverts.

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* This is the premise of ''Anime/TigerAndBunny''. All superheroes are sponsored by corporations, who seem to serve more of an entertainment and advertising function than actual fighting crime. All of the heroes featured on [=HeroTV=] are genuinely heroic, however, and are in the business at least in part because they want to help people. As such, it's a more idealistic take on the concept than one might expect. Worth noting is that in this case the products aren't {{Bland Name Product}}s but real ProductPlacement from the actual anime's sponsors like Pepsi, and Bandai.
** Revelations later on in the show suggest that the entertainment aspect was part of a plot to reduce anti-NEXT (superpowered individuals) bigotry, which worked admirably. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, the guy masterminding it all jumped off the slippery slope, murdering people for technology and building up his own villain teams for the heroes to fight.]]
* ''Manga/SpecialDutyCombatUnitShinesman'' features a corporate ''sentai team'', complete with business-themed weapons like business card launchers and tie clip bombs.
* In ''Manga/{{Ratman}}'', pretty much every member of the Hero Society. As that's the only way the heroes can often afford the treatments for their abilities.
* ''WebComic/OnePunchMan'' generally averts this trope, since the heroes are part of a government organization and therefore get a salary. However, there are still a few "heroes" who are only in it for the money, and will gladly try to tear down other heroes in order to raise their own standings (and paychecks). The closest to this trope is the number one A-Class hero Amai Mask, who spends much more time acting and producing pop music than he does actually fighting evil. [[spoiler:He's also a colossal scumbag who has a twisted BeautyEqualsGoodness worldview and values image much more than actual heroics.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Season'' 8 of ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', the slayers are being supported by donors, and the occasional bank robbery.
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'': Possibly deconstructed; one of the side notes in the comic mentions one of the earlier heroes was a bank-sponsored hero named Dollar Bill, who had to wear a garish costume as one of the conditions of his sponsorship. Perhaps not so ironically, the cape was caught in a revolving door, tripping him up long enough for a crook to shoot him dead as he tried to stop a bank heist.
* ''ComicBook/BoosterGold'' has been this at different stages in his career. His stint as leader of the Conglomerate is probably most emblematic; every member of that team wore a jacket emblazoned with dozens of corporate logos and were featured in magazine and television ads for various companies.
* In DC's ''ComicBook/SevenSoldiers'', The Manhattan Guardian was sponsored by a newspaper. A notable case in that the heroism was the primary reason why he was hired, rather than for advertising or public relations purposes.
* A character named "Captain Copyright" was created by Canada's Access Copyright agency to "educate" children about copyright law. The campaign was wildly denounced as corporate propaganda, and was cancelled soon after.
* ''ComicBook/IronMan'', when Tony Stark isn't filling the role. [[Comicbook/WarMachine Jim Rhodes]] wore the armor for a while under the employ of Stark and a few of Stark's other employees have worn variations of the armor briefly. Part of Iron Man's SecretIdentity was that he was sponsored by Stark Enterprises as Tony's bodyguard.
** Speaking of which, ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'', in many incarnations, were sponsored by Tony Stark himself.
* The ''ComicBook/WildCATS'' from ''Creator/{{Wildstorm}}'' were sponsored by different companies and entrepreneurs in the past.
* In ''ComicBook/GreatLakesAvengers'', at least one of the ill-fated men to bear the superhero moniker of Grasshopper was sponsored by [[BlandNameProduct Roxxon Oil]].
* The Blur in ''ComicBook/SupremePower'' actually started as a corporate spokesman, seen in ads for everything from mp3 players to soda. After Nighthawk got him to start being heroic, he switched to a single sponsor -- Kyle Richmond/Nighthawk's own company.
* One of the major hooks behind ''ComicBook/XStatix'' was the fact that the team of mutant media darlings were also inveterate corporate shills.
* Creator/GrantMorrison's ''ComicBook/DoomPatrol'' run had Sunburst, a Japanese superhero with his own reality show and tie-in {{manga}}.
* Capes, Inc., a group of B-list heroes, from ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}.''
* One of the hopefuls in ''ComicBook/{{Wildguard}}: Casting Call'' was Running Girl, a speedster who had her own shoe deal even before she debuted as a superhero. Currently, the deal's pending -- she didn't make Wildguard and the contract stipulates she be on a team. Human Shield mentioned being contacted by home security and plastic bag companies to act as a spokesman, but didn't say whether he was actually going for it.
* Creator/DCComics also had Aztek, who was sponsored by [[ComicBook/LexLuthor LexCorp]] so that they could have their own member on the [[ComicBook/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]].
** [=LexCorp=] also sponsored one iteration of ''ComicBook/InfinityInc''.
* The entire team from ''All-New ComicBook/XFactor'' is sponsored by Serval Industries. It's implied they recruited former [[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avenger]] ComicBook/{{Quicksilver}} to add a sense of legitimacy to the group.
* A-Pex in ''ComicBook/PowerAndGlory'', whose appearance of an all-American virtuous superhero is all manufactured by his government handlers.
* {{Invoked}} and PlayedForLaughs in ''[[Franchise/SpiderMan Amazing Spider-Man]]'' #550. When the Blue Shield attempts to apprehend Spider-Man for the Initiative, Spidey's first quip is to ask how he can get a better deal on his health insurance premiums.
** Played straight during the titles ''ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentMarvel'' relaunch, which takes a cue from Iron Man and makes Spider-Man the "mascot" of Parker Industries.
* In ''ComicBook/AstroCity,'' some of Honor Guard's members technically count, as the team has a stipend available (via N.R.Gistics) for those who need financial support to offset their time being heroes.
** Also, Roscoe James (Jack-In-The-Box III) qualifies as this -- his predecessor pays him to take over the role so Roscoe can make his way through college without requiring a handout.
* The post-''Comicbook/{{Secret Wars|2015}}'' relaunch of ''Comicbook/{{New Avengers|2015}}'' revolves around the A.I.M. corporation assembling and sponsoring their own team of Avengers.
* The Marvel Universe's version of the Greek gods have a front company called the Olympus Group that bails them out when they have problems with mortal authorities, which would thus technically make ComicBook/{{Hercules}} and ComicBook/{{Ares}} corporate-sponsored heroes.
* In ''ComicBook/TheRedTen'', the titular ten are a corporate-backed {{expy}} of the Justice League.
* Both [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] and [[ReconstructedTrope Reconstructed]] in Creator/GeorgePerez's run on ''ComicBook/WonderWoman'' - one of Diana's most... ''distinctive'' supporting characters was Myndi Mayer, a brassy, loud-mouthed publicist who turned Wonder Woman into a celebrity and merchandising juggernaut shortly after her debut in Man's World. Diana was rarely ''directly'' involved in said merchandising or its proceeds, but she did (reluctantly) give Myndi's company exclusive rights to her superhero name and emblem. While her image took a blow, the money also went to support plenty of worthy causes, especially feminist ones, meaning that Diana was achieving alot more than she could've sans her help [[TearJerker Unfortunately, Myndi would end up dying from what was to believed to be gunshots, only for it to be revealed that she overdosed because of her cocaine addiction. The entire thing was a painful wake-up call to Diana, who was still pretty naive to the world.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Various stories of the ''Fanfic/CoreLine'' SharedUniverse focus on a superhero team called "The Champions", which are funded and geared by a MegaCorp called "Stingray Industries" (with The Champions being (on the books) a sub-division of its security teams focused on dealing with super humans). The short story "''Fanfic/CorelineATaleOfTwoMaris''" has the Commander of the Champions' Indianapolis Division discuss that two other superhero groups of the setting (the Avengers Infinity and the Justice League Unlimited) are also arguably "corporate-sponsored", being mostly funded and geared by fellow Mega-Corporations [[ComicBook/IronMan Stark Industries]] and [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Wayne Enterprises]] and having a history of dealing with issues with said sponsors (Avengers teams having done missions that (unknown to them at the time) were in the interest of Stark Industries and Justice League members having had to deal with Alternates of Bruce Wayne/Batman that went too far with their paranoia)... which, frankly, makes their looking down at The Champions because of their corporate roots a bit hypocritical, to say the least.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Captain Amazing from ''Film/MysteryMen'' (see page image) wears a costume emblazoned with sponsors' logos.
** The film's plot is kicked off when Captain Amazing is informed that, without a good arch-nemesis, he's no longer as popular as he was in his heyday, and many of his sponsors are considering backing out. This is why he decides to get Casanova Frankenstein paroled. [[GoneHorriblyWrong It doesn't go exactly as he planned]].
* ''Franchise/RoboCop'' is a subversion on the superhero genre (much like ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'' was) in that the hero defends the existing power structure, though he finally defies it in [[Film/RoboCop1987 the original film's]] finale. [=RoboCop=] is actually a press stunt by Omni Consumer Products; the company, which already owns everything in Detroit, proposes a new law enforcement robot in order to [[LawEnforcementInc get a foothold in law enforcement as well]].
* Used partly on ''Film/{{Hancock}}''. Ray was a marketing executive, and in one of Hancock's visits to his house saw a logo Ray made as part of a charity campaign he was doing (with little success). [[spoiler:At the end of the movie, he makes a replica of it ON THE MOON, so everybody could see it.]] It was a good deed between friends rather than actual business but you know Ray would get a lot of business after that.
* ''Film/BigManJapan'' has ads and logos tattooed all over him. At one point he's forced to let a monster free from his chokehold because the watching advertisers complaining he was covering up their ad!
* In ''Film/IronMan3'', Comicbook/WarMachine is given a patriotic paint job and rechristened as "Iron Patriot", which is said to have tested better in focus groups. WordOfGod is that the government specifically created Iron Patriot to cash-in on the goodwill superheroes were receiving after the events of ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''.

* A variation in ''Literature/{{Corpies}}'', where the titular term is a derogatory name for PEERS (Privately Employed Emergency Response Supers) used by actual licensed Heroes. Unlike Heroes, PEERS are employed by corporations and typically feature logos of their sponsors on their uniforms. They are also not allowed to engage supervillains (except in self-defense) and are limited to rescue and disaster recovery work. Some PEERS teams work with cops, while others employ Hero liaisons. A liaison's job is to use his or her experience to determine if an emergency is caused by a Super or a [[PowerIncontinence Powered]] and to either keep the team away or confront the Super/Powered, while the team focused on rescue work.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In keeping with the more adult themes of late-season ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', its spinoff ''{{Series/Angel}}'' was primarily concerned with how demon hunters cope with no parents or outside support structure (like the Watchers) to help them. As it turns out, not so much: the gang opened their own for-profit agency (with Angel dragging his heels on the whole 'invoice' thing), gradually upgrading their pokey office, and finally were co-opted by a vast, morally neutral corporation. A number of old acquaintances -- [[BrokenPedestal Cordelia]], [[JerkassHasAPoint Spike]], [[VillainHasAPoint Lindsey]] and even ''[[DumbassHasAPoint Andrew]]'' -- pop up to deliver stinging rebukes about how Angel and co. are just glorified paper pushers.
* Commander Cash from ''Series/RoboCopTheSeries''.
* ''{{Series/Dinosaurs}}'': Earl Sinclair once gained superpowers and named his alter ego "Captain Impressive". Once his boss found out, he invoked a clause in the work contract requiring him to use his powers in service of Wesayso Corporation. Earl became spokesperson for the company.
* The Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive were brought together and equipped by Andrew Hartford, head of Hartford Industries. Though the Rangers have little to do with his business ventures - Andrew's an AdventurerArchaeologist on the side and needs Rangers to help deal with a mess of trouble he stirred up on one of his treasure hunts.
* The aborted ''[[Series/WonderWoman2011Pilot Wonder Woman]]'' 2011 reimagined the heroine as a sort of Superman/Batman hybrid; juggling her duties as CEO of Themyscira Industries with a lonely single life. The company funds its crime-fighting activities by shilling [[TheMerch merch]], including a busty Wonder Woman figurine (which Diana objects to).

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/HcSvntDracones'' Pulse, the media, sports, and BioAugmentation MegaCorp; funds agents known as Beacons who have some sort of show or sport or other spectator event, and then spend their downtime fighting crime or something. They're supposed to inspire the populace (and encourage future Pulse athletes) and make the corporation look good. Though it's also possible Pulse funds villains to give them someone to fight.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Most of the heroes in the ''Webcomic/{{Zodiac}}'' universe are this. The eponymous team is sponsored by the New Dawn corporation.
* Explored in ''Webcomic/EvilPlan'' where the US government runs on a "hero economy" that sells merchandise and licensing of the heroes. In Chapter 17 after Amazingman is paralyzed he is taken in and given a cybernetic spine which he is charged crippling debt levels to repay and told that he must work off his debt within The Company by promoting his brand and selling his hero status for the profit of The Company.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' has "Captain Hammer, corporate TOOL!"

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Duffman, the corporate mascot for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'''' Duff beer. His utility belt holds six cans of beer.
* Powdered Toast Man from ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpy''.
* Franchise/TheFlash did this in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', but Green Lantern scolded him upon hearing about it. After that episode it was made an official part of the Justice League charter that members do not do this.
** So they got the intern to do it.
--> Morbo says new job at Justice League is tireless job for tired old worker. Try [Insert Product Name Here] [Insert Slogan Here].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As we see here on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_hero_%28Japan%29 the other Wiki]], this is fairly common with Japanese "Local Heroes". Many of them are actually the mascot of a corporation.
* Corporate superhero mascots exist in many countries, but are usually limited to comics, if not just billboards.