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[[quoteright:350:[[{{Franchise/Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Cape_8122.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"[[HumansAreSpecial They can be a great people]], Kal-El, if they wish to be. [[TheParagon They only lack the light to show the way.]] For this reason above all, [[RousseauWasRight their capacity for good]], [[MessianicArchetype I have sent them you... my only son.]]"]]

->"[[{{Franchise/Superman}} Clark]], I... I think you're so amazing. You save peoples' lives and [[ThinkNothingOfIt take zero credit]]. To me, you're more than just a hero -- you're a {{superhero}}... [[HumansAreFlawed If more humans were like you]], [[TheParagon the world would be a better place]]."
-->--'''[[TheSmartGirl Chloe]] [[PlatonicLifePartners Sullivan]]''', ''{{Series/Smallville}}'', "[[WhamEpisode Arrival]]"

The superhero as an ideally good person. Generally associated with [[GoodOldWays older protagonists]], before whenever the latest round of {{deconstruction}} happened, and often invokes elements of the MessianicArchetype. Has now become nigh-synonymous with the "classic" SuperHero.

Capes don't need to actually ''wear'' capes, although a distinct outfit and some kind of special ability is part of the image. The most important feature is these heroes [[TheFettered adhere]] to [[IncorruptiblePurePureness a strict code of honor]] and [[LawfulGood sense of authority]]; capes can be [[KnightTemplar notoriously inflexible and perceive things in black and white]], and even be painfully straightforward and [[SamaritanSyndrome selfless]]. They often [[ThinkNothingOfIt downplay their own heroism]] and will [[WhatYouAreInTheDark act heroically even when no one will know]]. They almost universally subscribe to ThouShaltNotKill. Capes usually have [[SecretIdentity secret identities]], but make public appearances in costume and actively try to keep a good public image.

One major reason for this is it serves as self-imposed safety to keep them from abusing their powers. Most Capes have {{Evil Counterpart}}s who do whatever they want and [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope eventually devolve into villains]]. A second is to set an example for others to follow, as in the page quote and image quote.

Capes are usually born with their powers, or get them in a [[FreakLabAccident unique fashion]] (or are given them to [[TheChosenOne act as champions of Good]]). Though this is not absolutely necessary; its the mindset (or self-preception) that's critical.

Capes are contrasted with the [[TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks past two decades]]' emergence of vigilantes and {{Anti Hero}}es who have become [[DarkerAndEdgier more extreme]] (sometimes to ludicrous effect), mainly as a response to the perception of comic books as "kid stuff." Nearly all SuperHero series eventually address the idea that Capes and {{Badass Normal}}s have unspoken issues: Capes can impose their morality because they have the power to back them up. In a setting where these two types of heroes coexist, The Cape usually considers the latter to be unstable, amoral {{Smug Super}}s. In more [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical]] universes, the SmugSuper might consider himself to be a Cape, but very much isn't.

If they do have powers, expect a FlyingBrick.

This trope is named, appropriately enough, for [[GreenArrow Oliver Queen]]'s term for certain superheroes, as opposed to {{Badass Normal}}s who live otherwise relatively mundane lives.

See SuperheroesWearCapes for the actual wearing of capes.

SubTrope to IdealHero.

Compare the KnightInShiningArmor (the medieval version of this character), CaptainPatriotic, TheParagon.

Contrast NinetiesAntiHero.

Compare and contrast with TheCowl.

If you're looking for Creator/{{NBC}}'s cancelled series of the same name, go [[Series/TheCape here]].



[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Lazenby, from ''RaveMaster'' was made as a parody of this.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': Sayaka Miki declares herself an ally of justice who will keep the city 'super safe'. She is one of the few magical girls who fights familiars in addition to witches to reduce the number of {{muggles}} that are killed by them, and of the five main characters her MagicalGirl outfit [[InvokedTrope is the only one]] [[SuperheroesWearCapes with an actual cape]]. [[spoiler: Homura explains why these magical girls are always the first to die or corrupt. Because they fight familiars (who don't drop grief seeds) they engage many more battles which means more chances to die in battle. Also, it taxes their magic supply which accelerates the rate at which their soul gem darkens. Because they run on lofty ideals like selflessness and heroism and justice, they are more vulnerable to despair, which turns them into witches]] .
* Mr. Legend and Sky High from ''TigerAndBunny''. [[TheHero Kotetsu]] wants to be this but [[DestructiveSavior his destructive approach]] to justice usually gets in the way.
** In an interesting turn of events [[spoiler: Mr. Legend turns up to be a {{Subversion}} of this trope]], and while well-intentioned, Sky High is a bit of a ditz.
* Fate Testarossa of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' spends one or two seasons as a DarkMagicalGirl. Flash forward 10 years in ''[[Anime/StrikerS StrikerS]]'' and she's a LawfulGood law enforcer donning a white cape instead of her old completely black attire. Out of the main trio, she is the most classically heroic and focused on enforcing justice and has neither Hayate's trickster attitude nor Nanoha's BloodKnight characteristic. This is also evident in the climax of [[Anime/StrikerS StrikerS]], where she gets the honor of punching out and arresting the BigBad.
* Son Goku of ''Manga/DragonBall'', especially in later stories. He flies on a cloud that only supports the pure of heart; he is a firm believer that RousseauWasRight, always sparing his enemies and often [[DefeatMeansFriendship turning them into friends]]. He respects the pride of an individual, yet draws the line when that pride would hurt others; he always keeps his promise, no matter how little he understood when making it; and, above all, he never demands recognition or fame, instead preferring to live quietly and discreetly with his wife and sons, and then emerge from nothingness when the world - or even the universe - needs saving once more.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Superman is usually considered the most famous modern example of a Cape. He could just about be considered the TropeNamer; the fact that he wears a cape is one of the main reasons why capes are associated with costumed superheroes.
** In the {{Novelization}} of ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', WonderWoman probes his reasons for being so visible. He easily could have done all of his superhero work anonymously instead of "showing off like Apollo". Superman replied that he felt that "an ounce of prevention" would do more good preventing crime. She counters that that was the source of all of the other metahumans' desire to do good - through ''his'' example.
** Oddly enough, the classic Cape on ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' isn't Comicbook/{{Superman}}, but golden-age boy scout [[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]. The series also frequently has subplots involving Superman's motivations and temptations despite being TheCape everyone looks up to.
*** To some extent it depends on the writer exactly how different The Big Red Cheese and Billy Batson actually are (they talk about each other in the third person, but there's substantial overlap). Given that Billy, even if he's not ''literally'' a Boy Scout, certainly tries to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent, it makes a certain amount of sense that his super-powered alter ego is usually shown to be pretty much pegged at one edge of the sliding scale from idealism to cynicism.
*** [[GreenLantern Kyle Rayner]] once observed that [[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] is essentially 10-year old Billy Batson's concept of the perfect adult, made real.
** [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ComicBook/TheFlash Barry Allen. A CSI with SuperSpeed powers, a trained police officer, and founding member of the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica, he sacrificed himself to save the multiverse in a last ditch attempt to defeat the Anti-Monitor, this was one of the longest lasting comicbook hero deaths until "he got better" in Final Crisis.
** Franchise/{{Batman}} holds himself to enough standards that he is often closer to this than an AntiHero, just more on the pragmatic side. But regardless, there's a reason his comics are the TropeNamer for JokerImmunity.
** When Superman [[TheDeathOfSuperman was dead]], {{Steel}} took up the role of TheCape and fought "to keep the spirit of Superman alive." Many readers thought he was an even better Cape than the Man himself.
** The MartianManhunter is arguably also a better cape than the codifier, as he is the most well-loved superhero in the entire southern hemisphere of Earth, and he is (DependingOnTheWriter, of course), more powerful than Supes.
** {{Nightwing}} is considered one of the greatest capes in the entire DC universe (right up there with Superman himself) as he's one of the most experienced superheroes who ''ever'' operated (having started around age twelve). Even Superman and Batman are willing to defer to him on occasion.
** [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]][[labelnote:*]]HERO OF THE IMPER- oh wait[[/labelnote]] is a very surprising example of a Cape. If you only read her ''very'' troubled backstory, you'd think she'd be an AntiHeroSubstitute for Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. But her experiences shaped her into being a very idealistic character instead of an anti-hero.
** A number of the early DC heroes from the JusticeSocietyOfAmerica era were and often still are this trope, most notably Green Lantern/Sentinel and the original Flash.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica is probably Marvel's best capeless Cape. As a youth, he tried out for World War II, but was rejected on physical grounds, so he ''volunteered to be a guinea pig in a military experiment''. He did not know there had already been successful trials, and the risk was much less than is commonly advertised; the experiment turned him into a soldier with physical and mental capabilities very slightly above peak human. In the modern era (how [[HumanPopsicle he survived]] is another story), he is such a tactical and moral exemplar that while powerless and wielding nothing more than an [[UnbreakableWeapons indestructible shield that doesn't obey the laws of physics]], he leads a team consisting of powerhouses like {{Thor}}, IronMan, Wonder Man, Ms. Marvel, and the rest of "Earth's Mightiest Heroes".
** Further punctuating his status as TheCape, Cap makes it clear on numerous occasions that he doesn't stand for America as a nation specifically, but for "the Dream", to the point where he's willing to fight [[spoiler:and die]] for his beliefs against his own government.
** And on a different note, as a young artist he liked to sketch a muscular costumed man called "American Eagle". Later, once it turned out that he would be the only Super Soldier, his remaining experimenters stole the sketches and made a costume based on them. It did not include a cape, unlike the sketch, despite Steve writing "Has to be a cape. So ''boss!''". Much later in the Seventies, when Steve despairs at the corruption of his country, he takes a new identity and sews a new costume, this one caped. Promptly he tripped on that cape, tore it off, and it was never seen again.
* {{Spider-Man}} is Marvel's second greatest Capeless Cape after Captain America, he radiates the ideals of responsibility and hope for others. He once was originally a young man whose goal was just to get into university and study science, while on an excursion to a museum he was bitten by a venomous spider, having no life taking effects but instead turning him into a man who now possesses spidery features. Then once having control over the power he now possesses he must arise at every moment where his city and loved ones may run into danger. Like Cap, Spidey is Marvel's most trusted and beloved heroes in the franchise, and one of the friendliest and selfless of the entire heroic roster. Many heroes including Cap, enjoy his presence along with his heroism, determination and light heartedness due to the fact he is [[TheHeart the heart]] of the Marvel Universe.
* Todd [=McFarlane=]'s ''{{Spawn}}'' subverts the cape image with minor characters repeatedly pointing out how "faggy" Spawn's superhero outfit looks. Also, he's ''very'' much a NinetiesAntiHero.
* Justice of the ''NewWarriors''.
* Captain Metropolis in the backstory of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' is the closest to emulating the mold... but of course, this is ''[[{{Deconstruction}} Watchmen]]''. He's noted to have been racist, and [[spoiler: was in a homosexual relationship with Hooded Justice]]. Among the main characters, Ozymandias is a deconstruction of the Cape.
** The Comedian is a very brutal deconstruction of the Cape,
** Both Nite Owls would also qualify. The first Nite Owl is actually closest to being a conventional superhero out of the whole group.
** Based on the first Nite Owl's description of him in "Under The Hood", Dollar Bill seems pretty close to being one too. And he actually wears a cape... [[CapeSnag unfortunately for him]].
* Samaritan in ''ComicBook/AstroCity''.
* Hyperion of the ''SquadronSupreme''.
* In ''{{Irredeemable}}'', the Plutonian was seen as one of these until his FaceHeelTurn. The comic book series is essentially exploring what would happen both is Comicbook/{{Superman}} went bad and, by extension, what would happen if someone who ultimately didn't have the moral fibre to be TheCape was given this role.
* Bright, Cheery, Mentally-Sound Man from ''Dark, Brooding, Mentally-Disturbed Man''. An "evil" counterpart to DBMD Man (even though they're both vaguely good-ish), BCMS Man is trusting and gentle to a fault. In that he believes violence is not the answer when dealing with armed lunatics and gives mad scientists a stern talking to before escorting them back to their hidden volcano bases to think about what they've done.
* The eponymous ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' might well qualify. For all her faults and frailties, she knows what's right, and will go to tremendous lengths to do just that. [[spoiler:In the last story in issue 5, she's willing to very probably die to save Mindf*** , and she only slightly knows the other woman. Mindf*** had to resort to using ''mind control'' to force Empowered to save herself instead.]]
** She later literally went with Sista Spooky to Hell in an attempt to rescue [[spoiler: Mindf***]]. Spooky simply cannot understand why the woman she's belittled, embarrassed and humiliated time and again would do that. Emp did it because it was the right thing to do.
* In [[http://johnnysaturn.com Johnny Saturn]]Johnny Saturn I is a ''cape,'' due primarily to his reputation for integrity and his unwillingness to compromise. The Utopian, especially later in the series, is a ''cape,'' and his father Elect is the archetypical ''cape.''
* The title of Thom Zahler's independent comic-book sitcom ''LoveAndCapes'' says it all. Issue 10 reveal some practical reasons for superheroes to wear capes.
* Thundermind of DC's ''Great Ten'' fulfills this archetype despite lacking a cape. As a result, he's the only member of the Great Ten deemed capable of being a media darling.
* Atlas in ''ComicBook/PS238''.
* ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} in ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'', though DependingOnTheWriter. Some play up his 'boy scout' image, others play up his 'emotionally conflicted and badass leader' image, so he varies on either a cape in charge of the group, or a somewhat [[AntiHero reckless]], CrazyPrepared FourStarBadAss that often makes him look like a JerkAss. In general, the most consistent thing about Cyclops is that he is a skilled field leader that lacks the natural charisma of a true "Cape".
* TheMightyThor is another MarvelComics Cape.
* Another Marvel one is TheSentry. When he's sane. In theory.
** He wants to be one, and his Sentry persona is essentially the expression of his desire to be Marvel's answer to Superman. Unfortunately, his SuperpoweredEvilSide is having none of it.
* ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'' has the superhero veteran, Paradigm. Of all the victims of the Fall, he handles it best.
* {{Supergirl}}, is traditionally very much a Cape. During the SilverAge in particular she was one of the most caring and humble superheroes, perhaps more so than her [[{{Superman}} cousin]] himself since for her first few years she had to do her heroism in secret.
* Deconstructed in ''ComicBook/PowerAndGlory'': while A-Pex may appear to be an all-American blonde, blue-eyed, virtuous superhero, in reality he's nothing of the sort -- the guy is actually a government-created nationalist fantasy whose fear of germs leaves him incapable of fighting anyone, and it's his handler who has to take care of things from behind the scenes.

* Cassandra Cain, the lead of Fanfic/AngelOfTheBat was already the cape during her time as Batgirl, but becomes even more hopeful and and strong after her religious conversion to Catholicism and changing her title to ''Angel of the Bat''.

* The titular character in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''. The movie is able to play this trope straight, and beautifully so, by giving him a deep need to prove himself and making him {{adorkable}}.
** The trope is also played straight in ''Film/TheAvengers'' where Cap gives Tony Stark a lecture about his selfishness and lonewolf behaviour.
*** Which gets turned around at the end, when Tony is actively working with the other Avengers while battling all over New York and ends up [[spoiler:nearly performing a HeroicSacrifice, only being saved at the last moment by the Hulk]].
* ''{{MegaMind}}''. Metro Man is the quintessential Cape with a strong dash of SmugSuper. [[spoiler: Turns out it was a facade, and he was a completely burned out StepfordSmiler, and needed a change.]]
* As should be expected, ChristopherReeve as ''Film/{{Superman}}'' played this straight as well.

* Captain Carrot of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, from Terry Pratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series. He has no overtly superhuman abilities, but he combines a strong sense of justice with a fountain of charisma -- he assumes that everyone else is basically a decent person, and somehow, they can't help but live up to his expectations.
** Of course Carrot is only defined as not overtly superhuman by local in-universe standards; he still has a punch that trolls respect and his sword, while "quite the most unmagical sword" most people have ever seen, can stab several inches into a stone pillar. Through someone else. He was raised by dwarfs, who are tougher than humans and stronger pound for pound, and [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower had to get stronger to keep up]].
* Sarah the titular character in ''Literature/TalesOfAnMazingGirl''. But that's just the character she plays. On the inside shes a snarky, and egotistcally Self Satisfed . But she hides it as the BigGood . Or maybe thats who she really is.
* [[XWingSeries Tycho Celchu]]. He's a [[AcePilot brilliant pilot]] but not superhuman. What makes him a Cape - well, there's an exchange in ''Wedge's Gamble'' that illustrates it.
-->'''Horn''': "So, you don't even know, really, if you are an [[ManchurianAgent Imperial agent]] waiting to happen or not?"
-->'''Celchu''': "I know I'm not. Being able to prove it is something else again."
-->'''Horn''': "But being constantly under suspicion, that's got to wear on you. Why put up with it? How can you put up with it?"
-->'''Celchu''': "I put up with it because I must. Enduring it is the only way I can be allowed to fight back against the Empire. If I were to walk away from the Rebellion, if I were to sit the war out, I would have surrendered to the fear of what Ysanne Isard might, might, have done to me. Without firing a shot she would have made me as dead as Alderaan, and I won't allow that. There's nothing in what I have to live with on a daily basis that isn't a thousand times easier than what I survived at the hands of the Empire. Until the Empire is dead, I can never truly be free because I'll always be under suspicion. Living with minor restrictions now means someday no one has to fear me."
** Wedge, his CO, probably qualifies too. One example: during [[NewJediOrder the Borleias evacuation]], the shuttle he's supposed to ride out is destroyed, so he grabs a damaged X-Wing from the vehicle bay. A freighter warns him of nearby Vong ground troops, so he goes and destroys them. Then, while escorting the transport up, they're jumped by a squadron (12, for those of you keeping score at home) of Vong fighters. Wedge proceeds to pull them off the freighter and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome annihilate the squad]], losing his shields in the process. ''Another'' squadron catches up to the freighter in this time, and Wedge pulls ''them'' away too, despite knowing that [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat there's no possible way he can win]].[[spoiler: ..except [[BigDamnHeroes the Rogues]] showing up.]]
-->'''Gavin Darklighter''': "Blackmoon Eleven, what did you think you were doing going after an entire squadron?"
-->'''Wedge''': "My job."
* Subverted viciously in Minister Faust's ''Journal of Dr. Brain''. Omnipotent Man is a semi literate idiot, The Flying Squirrel is a racist, Iron Maiden is a self-loathing depressive etc.
* Played straight in the {{Nightside}} novels with Julian Advent, who could've been another Dr. Jekyll, but chose to drink a formula that brought his ''Good'' side to the fore instead.
* In Creator/AaronAllston's ''Literature/GalateaIn2D'', Captain Steele, a full blown superhero. Roger drew him in order to have a really powerful ally but discovered it took too much to get him out of the painting. Uses him in the end, though [[spoiler:whereupon Kevin kills him with an EvilWeapon. Roger reveals that he didn't bring him out, he brought Kevin into his painting.]]
* Gently subverted in ''WearingTheCape''. The more powerful and photogenic superheroes are major media celebrities, who often publicly play to the Golden Age Hero stereotype and have whole marketing campaigns and PR departments to back them up.
** Of course, Atlas did start out as, and remained, pretty much the closest thing they had to TheCape. This was even lampshaded when Astra comments you could have put a [[{{Superman}} big S on his chest]] and dared someone to claim it wasn't appropriate.
* Literature/TrappedOnDraconica: Daniar is a FlyingBrick who enforces her father the king's justice. More than simple fighting she tries to set a moral example with [[ThouShallNotKill her insistence of showing mercy to her enemies instead of killing them.]]
* Michael Carpenter from ''TheDresdenFiles'', although he'd never trivialize his work as a Knight of the Cross by comparing it to comic-book superheroism, fits this trope.
** Knights have all the virtues, including humility. When Harry has repeatedly compared him to everything from Superman to Dudley Do-Right, Michael has usually seemed to actually find it moderately funny, somewhat complimentary, and not in the least embarrassing. Which pretty much doubles down on the trope.
* Stannis Baratheon of ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is what would happen if a non-superhero Cape existed in real life. He stands for truth and justice, but comes off a [[TheResenter vengeful]] JerkAss. He always does his duty [[BeingGoodSucks but has little to show for it]] which fuels his [[AmbitionIsEvil quest for the throne]]. He wants to bring peace to the realm and the people in it, but has no problem [[TheNeedsOfTheMany sacrificing a few to save all]].
* American Eagle, of ''LegacyTheTaleOfTheAmericanEagle''. His idealism and code of "No One Dies", (even when running through Vietnamese jungle after a drug cartel and getting repeadtedly ambushed), annoys the team of mercenaries accompanying him to no end.
* ''Literature/{{Archvillain}}: Mighty Mike, a FlyingBrick who spends his time saving kittens from trees and stopping forest fires.


[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': The Groosalugg. Angel grumps about how he's better at being one than Angel himself.
* Benton Fraser of ''Series/DueSouth'', a Mountie who came to Chicago on the trail of the killers of his father, exemplifies this trope, being genuinely polite, noble, selfless and heroic to everyone he meets. In something of a subversion, [[CrapsackWorld everyone consequently assumes he's unhinged]].
* For bonus points, a new genre television show: ''Series/TheCape''. Ironically the title character is actually TheCowl.
* [[HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys Hercules]], as portrayed by Kevin Sorbo. He doesn't have a cape or secret identity, but in all other aspects he pretty much fits the bill.
-->[[OpeningNarration But wherever there was evil, whenever an innocent would suffer, there would be Hercules!]]
* Harmon Rabb of ''Series/{{JAG}}'' is an all-around heroic selfless nice guy.
* The LoneRanger, full stop.
* Raymond from ''Series/TheThinBlueLine'', or at least Raymond's self-image.
* Barry Allen, the main character of "Series/TheFlash'. Many critics and fans have pointed out that Barry is a sort of anti-anti hero. It also gets pointed out in the series itself, since he's sharply contrasted with the Series/{{Arrow}}, who is very much TheCowl.
-->'''Ollie''': You come from Central City, where it's always sunny and you give your enemies cutesy codenames.

* The CrashTestDummies song "Superman's Song" is actually a fairly interesting, in that it contrasts Superman with Tarzan, to explore the concept of TheCape, as sort of a Reconstruction of the concept before Deconstruction of it became popular.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Parodied in ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' with Stupendous Man, whose powers (not counting his costume) exist only in Mild-Mannered Calvin's imagination, and whose actual motives are purely selfish.

* Captain Courageous from ''Pinball/JohnnyMnemonic''.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{WWE}} wrestler The Hurricane is, essentially, Franchise/{{Superman}} meets the GreenLantern by way of [[Series/{{Batman}} Adam West]].
* More recently, Wrestling/JohnCena doesn't actually have a SuperHero gimmick, but nonetheless has earned the FanNickname "Super Cena" both from his resemblance to this trope and his tendency to never lose cleanly.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''FreedomCity'' setting for ''MutantsAndMasterminds'' TheCape was originally Centurion, the Superman Expy. Following his death TheCape is Captain Thunder.
** Divinos in the ''HaltEvilDoer!'' M&M setting.

* Optimus Prime, from ''any'' incarnation of the ''{{Transformers}}'' franchise, is a non-superhero example, somewhat like Carrot above but played a great deal straighter. To be fair, Optimus and the rest of his race do fall under the SuperRobot category, so to us PunyEarthlings, he seems pretty strong... But his respect for sentient life, his [[PatrickStewartSpeech inspiring oratory]], his dedication to justice, his courage in the face of impossible odds, as well as being one of the finest warriors and most well-constructed Transformers in history... He's a shining example of this trope, and a beacon of light in a war without end.
** A much less publicized character called Countdown is, if possible, even more so. He's no more powerful than Optimus (though his recent Ultra-class figure gives ridiculous statistics for him), but in attitude, morality, determination, intelligence, and so on, he's sort of a cross between [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Captain Picard]], {{Superman}}, Thor (from ''Series/StargateSG1''), and Carl Sagan.


[[folder:Video Games]]
* The central figure of the "mythology" behind ''CityOfHeroes'', Statesman, is a classic Cape. Strict moral code, no-kills rule, monochrome vision, enforces his code upon others and backs it up with literally demigod-like powers. Naturally, he comes complete with an EvilCounterpart, Lord Recluse.
** He is also canonically over 100 years old and has been in the superhero business since the 1920s. So being a little [[JadeColoredGlasses jaded]] and tired of it all is somewhat understandable.
*** He tends to come off when well written as something of a JerkWithAHeartOfGold. Though he is basically an {{Expy}} fusion of {{Superman}} and CaptainAmerica (backstory by the way of Captain Marvel) after all.
* Ky Kiske from the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' series exemplifies this, minus the actual cape. Always standing up for peace and justice, his flaw is his primarily black-and-white view that leads him to be at odds with the [[AntiHero lawless-yet-positive]] Sol Badguy.
* In many [=RPG=]s the player can become The Cape, examples include the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series, ''Franchise/MassEffect'' and ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''.
* [[{{Daitarn3}} Haran Banjo]] and [[MachineRobo Rom Stol]] get turned into these in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars''. When all seems lost, Haran Banjo will arrive on the scene (sometimes with a distinct yell of "DAIITAAAARN...COME HERE!!!") and will deliver his BadAssCreed and [[BadassBoast Boast]] of how Daitarn 3 is here to smash evil ambitions (along with fixing whatever the problem was). Rom Stol ''one ups'' this by always interrupting the villain with a yell of "MATE!" (HALT!) before going into a speech about justice, love, punishment et al., sometimes in improbable places (like on top of the stage boss' cockpit). Inevitably, he will be asked who he is, whereupon he declares that they "do not deserve to know [his] name."
* [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI The Warrior of Light]] was made out to be a MASSIVE cape in ''DissidiaFinalFantasy''. He's unwaveringly loyal to [[BigGood Cosmos]], [[ShutUpHannibal flatly shoots down]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Ultimecia's]] HannibalLecture, and even vows to save his EvilCounterpart Garland from his fate. [[spoiler:No wonder Cosmos' BatmanGambit worked so well.]]
* [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]]. He may be something of a FlatCharacter, but his defining quality is his unrelenting altruism. He is an incorruptible do-gooder. He even gets a cape in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld''.
* While the "No kill" rule is obviously not in effect, even before the final battle [[spoiler: and possible HeroicSacrifice to save all the advanced species in the entire galaxy, now and in the future]] of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', a completely (or close to it) paragon Commander Shepard is damn near worshiped as a deity by multiple species and civilizations across the galaxy for his/her altruism, courage, and decency.
** And in the Extended Cut DLC, [[spoiler: The Control Ending shows that Shepard's personality can live on as an actual cybernetic deity that is dedicated to protecting and helping all life, real and synthetic, in the galaxy]].
** Like Superman, Paragon Shepard's best friend is the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' universe's equivalent of [[TheCowl Batman]], Garrus Vakarian. It's lampshaded in the third game that when they work together they make an [[BashBrothers unstoppable team]].


[[folder:Web Comics]]
* BobAndGeorge. George, [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/050103c though, sometimes has to be reminded]]
* In "TheAdventuresOfGynoStar" Gyno-Star embodies a feminist version of the trope, attempting to abide by a strict feminist code (although often failing).
* Several characters in the JohnnySaturn series could qualify, but the most blatant is The Utopian, the local Superman {{Expy}}, he's one of the series' most moral characters, and his powers are actually fueled by his idealism, the one time he (completely accidentally) breaks the ThouShaltNotKill rule, he is BroughtDownToNormal instantly. He claims he's powered by his "Devotion to the Utopian ideal", but it's never made clear if he lost his powers for breaking the code, or if [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone his guilt and horror over doing so]] caused him to somehow shut his powers off since genuinely believed he didn't deserve them.
** For reference, the guy he killed was a supervillain, who had killed dozens of people and was responsible for multiple atrocities, and the killing itself was a complete accident. No-one would blame him or deny it was justified, but Utopian still views it as MyGreatestFailure,and, for a while, his MoralEventHorizon.
** Plus he wears a [[LightIsGood white and gold costume]], and defeats a FaceHeelTurn-ed friend of his by forgiving him and flying away, since he believed the guy would do the right thing, he is not only one hundred percent sincere, he's also completely right!
* The unashamedly corny and [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver-Agey]] Lady Spectra of ''Webcomic/LadySpectraAndSparky''.
* Elliot of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' is brave, kind, chivalrous, and is the most [[LawfulGood straight up-and-down]] member of the eight TrueCompanions. He hates injustice and bullying more than anything else, and his greatest fear is that he might begin to do bad things.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* From the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', there's Ultra-Man, The Golden Marvel, Centennial, Empyrion, Thunder, Champion, Dharma, Kismet, Shaktimaan, Scanner, Protonik, Paladin, and El Grifo Rojo, just to name a few. Somewhat subverted by The Aryan (a white supremacist NPC ''crimefighter'' who most of the players hated to deal with).
* {{Subverted}} in ''DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' with Captain Hammer, who is treated like a cape by most characters, even though he is really a JerkJock.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', anyone who dons a costume is referred to as a 'Cape' though few indeed fit the actual trope. However there are several clear examples, Legend is a crystal clear case. Chevalier and several other heroes may well be examples and a couple of the Brockton Bay Wards fit as well. Most unusually though, the main [[VillainProtagonist character]] herself is very close to fitting, avoiding it mostly through disliking authority and simple answers.
* The titular villainess of ''InterviewingLeather'' has nothing but respect for the "old school" superheroes.
* [[LessThanThreeComics The <3-Verse]] has Mr Perfect of the Brat Pack as a Cape-in-Training, as well as Thunderbolt and Uncle Sam as full-fledged Capes.
* In the WhateleyUniverse, there are plenty. The Headmistress of Whateley Academy is a retired Superhero and very much fits the TheCape trope, even if her current superheroine garb is a body suit without cape. Since she's been fighting villains since 1943, she has a 1940's sensibility about superheroing... along with over sixty years of experience. She still looks [[OlderThanTheyLook early- to mid-thirties]].
** And don't forget the 'Future Superheroes of America', better known around the school as... The Cape Squad.
* Unlike his MarvelUniverse counterpart, the Sentry of MarvelsRPG is TheCape. Other heroes might also qualify, but he stands out.
* Web reviewer WebVideo/TheCartoonHero uses a heroic persona and a typical cape outfit.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Any Creator/HannaBarbera '60s superhero.
** SpaceGhost
** WesternAnimation/{{Birdman}}
** The Mighty Mightor
* TheTick regards himself as a Cape, and no one questions his sincerity. Nevertheless, the citizens often say "StopHelpingMe!"
* FunnyAnimal example: Gizmoduck, from ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' and ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman derives his super powers]] from a specially crafted PlotTechnology set of PoweredArmor, and does not have an EvilCounterpart, but he is TheCape in every other sense of the trope. Charisma, sterling reputation, unwavering principles, black and white outlook on morality, motivated by his sense of civic duty, and flat out the single most personally powerful character in his setting. He also exhibits instances of ByThePowerOfGreyskull (or as he puts it, "Blathering blatherskite!") and even in-show LampshadeHanging of TheMerch, cheerfully appearing at public events not only to hobnob with his fans and reinforce his reputation as a friend of the public, but also to provide an official market supply for his ever-full fanclub's desire for Gizmo-tchotchkes. In ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'', this is not as strong, as the show gave more screentime to his SecretIdentity, but in ''Darkwing'', he's almost never out of costume.
* [[ShowWithinAShow The Crimson Chin]] on ''TheFairlyOddparents'' is usually this. [[Creator/AdamWest Catman]] tries to be this, but he's too much of a CloudCuckoolander to pull it off.
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' with a group of alien superheroes led by a rules-spouting Superman {{expy}}. When they 'port in, the current MonsterOfTheWeek is less than happy to see them:
-->'''Vulkanus: '''Rrrgh! Capes! ''I hate capes!''
* Hego from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' is a parody of this archetype.
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}''. Metroman is a classic Superman Expy Cape (right down to his backstory originating on a doomed homeworld) who [[spoiler:grows tired of having to live up to his responsibilities and fakes his death to retire]]. Megamind is his evil counterpart, who fell into supervillainy after his childhood attempts at doing good went wrong (ironically, at times because of Metroman's competition). After [[spoiler:Metroman fakes his death, Megamind then tries to create his ''own'' Cape to fight in the form of Titan, which goes horribly wrong (forcing Megamind to finally become the Cape ''himself'' to stop him and save Metro City)]].
* Wile E. Coyote puts on a superhero outfit in the [[LooneyTunes cartoon]] ''Fast And Furry-ous'' for no other reason than to attempt to fly so he can chase the Road Runner. His failure is spectacular.
* ''ThePowerpuffGirls'' went through trial and error in their movie origin story in order to gain the trust and love of the Townsville people.