Standard Superhero Setting
What Standard Fantasy Setting
and Standard Sci-Fi Setting
are for Fantasy and Science Fiction
, this is for Super Hero
genre: a setting of the sort in which most (though not all) superhero comic books and other narratives take place. Through the genre dates to the 1940s, the clear and definite rules for generic superhero settings weren't really solidified
until The Sixties
, when Marvel Comics
and DC Comics
started making a full use of their Universes. See also Superhero Prevalence Stages
The following may be removed if the setting falls in certain values of Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, or due to other Implementation Details:
- Big Applesauce: Incredible amount of super hero stories are set in either New York City or a fictional metropolis strongly resembling it. If not, there will in all likelihood still be a City of Adventure out there.
- Comic Book Time: Expect characters to last for decades without aging at all.
- Status Quo Is God: Prevalent, with heroes preserving status quo and all changes being mostly cosmetic or temporary.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Most times, a generic Super Hero world has everything from gods to angels and demons to Eldritch Abominations, from wizards and vampires to mad scientists and aliens to Zeppelins from Another World. Every mythical creature may appear at some point.
- Secret Identity
- Shared Universe: Most times, the setting is built around many comics sharing the same world or acting like there are others.
- The Cape: There is usually one of those, who inspires others and is seen as an example to follow. Nine cases out of 10, a Captain Ersatz of Superman, through sometimes may be replaced by Captain Patriotic.
- The Cowl: Street-level vigilante, most times based on Batman, not the nicest of superheroes, usually serving as Foil for The Cape.
- Super Team: Expect one main and biggest, working on global scale, and several smaller and local to appear here and there.
- The Golden Age of Comic Books: If there will be definite time period when superheroes appeared for the first time, it will usually be in the 1940s, through the very first superhero may have shown up in 1938, the year the first Superman comic was published.
- The Silver Age of Comic Books: Most of times The Sixties will be noted as the time of the biggest superhero boom in the history.
- The Dark Age of Comic Books: One the similar note, if you're looking for decade that will be noted to be most darker and filled with Anti-Heroes, it will probably the The Nineties, through, while not so common, The Eighties may be also a good guess.
- Super Power Lottery: People are probably getting all kinds of superpowers everywhere.
- I Love Nuclear Power, Lightning Can Do Anything, Touched by Vorlons, The Chosen Many: Classic origin stories.
- Let's You and Him Fight: It's hard to tell a situation where two superheroes meet and don't start beating each other.
- Super Heroes Wear Capes
Anime & Manga
- Marvel Comics:
- DC Comics:
- DC Universe, being one of two Trope Makers.
- Wildstorm Universe (now incorporated into the DC Universe)
- Image Comics Universe which is a mix of several smaller, that may or may not be in one continuity, depending on whatever the writer feels like. Most of them (Spawn is a little debatable), fit this trope.
- Valiant Comics Universe
- Irredeemable, though usual Status Quo has been thrown out of the window at the very beginning.
- The Boys, through it plays with expectations.