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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.]]"]]

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

The superhero as an ideally good person. Generally associated with [[GoodOldWays older protagonists]] and often invokes elements of the MessianicArchetype. Has now become nigh-synonymous with the "classic" SuperHero. This trope is used to evoke admiration amongst other good guys in certain ways.

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 [[TheParagon act as champions of Good]]). Though this is not absolutely necessary; it's the mindset (or self-preception) that's critical.

Capes are contrasted with the UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks which saw the emergence of vigilantes and {{Anti Hero}}es who have become 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 Capes and Anti Heroes coexist, the former usually consider 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 [[ComicBook/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, ThePaladin.

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 & Manga]]
* 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.
** Oddly, in ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', Goku's heroic traits were exaggerated in the anime, especially in the {{Non Serial Movie}}s, though he was a more ambiguous hero in the manga who fought to get stronger for the sake of winning fights because [[BloodKnight that was his favorite pass time]]. In ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', which had direct input from Goku's creator Creator/AkiraToriyama, shows a Goku that can be jarringly different from the one people are used to from the ''Z'' dub.
** In ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', we are introced to Jiren, the strongest fighter of Universe 11. Jiren's personality (in the [[Manga/DragonBallSuper Manga]] at least) is closer to that of a classic superhero. He's more concerned with saving civilians than learning about Goku, and initially refused to the enter the tournament of power because it would mean the death of 7 other universes.
* Fate Testarossa of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' spends one or two seasons as a DarkMagicalGirl. Flash forward 10 years in ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers 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/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers StrikerS]]'', where she gets the honor of punching out and arresting the BigBad.
* All Might of ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' is an AffectionateParody of this trope while also managing to play it straight. He is a typical [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] SuperHero who also happens to be the world's most powerful hero as well as being considered the "symbol of peace" and the main source of inspiration not only for the main character, but also several other ones. Also somewhat of a DeconstructedCharacterArchetype since a critical wound has left him unable to maintain his powers or appearance for more than a short time, which is a secret to the general populace so he has to limit his power usage for the sake of keeping up his image. Adding to the {{Deconstruction}} is the fact that InUniverse he's set the bar for being a hero so outrageously high that numerous characters develop inferiority complexes from not being able to measure up. And then [[spoiler: he retires, prompting all sort of villains who were previously too afraid to act to come out of the woodwork.]]
* Saitama in ''Webcomic/OnePunchMan'' is an odd example. Initially he comes off as an aversion since he just wants fame, fortune, and [[BloodKnight a good fight]] to alleviate the soul-crushing ennui that's affected him since he became the WorldsStrongestMan. However, as the story progresses, we get glimpses of a more idealistic side of his character, tying into the fact that unlike many heroes who really are just in it for money or acclaim, he's wanted to be a hero since he was a kid and thus has a good idea of what a hero ''should'' be like. Thus, he starts making himself into a SilentScapegoat, willingly painting himself as a scam artist who mooches off of other heroes' hard work, in order to maintain the public's trust in other heroes -- not just the noble ones, but the selfish {{Jerkass}}es too. Over time this hurts his image with the public, but he accrues a small circle of TrueCompanions who know him for the good person he really is, and this seems to make him happy. Probably reaches its peak in the climax of the Hero Hunter arc, where Saitama [[spoiler:talks Garou down by correctly surmising that rather than hating heroes, he loved them and simply got disillusioned by the dark side that came from making heroics a profession.]]
** One can't talk about ''OPM'' without giving a nod to Mumen Rider. He might just be an ordinary man on a bicycle, but he's noble, kind-hearted, and above all else brave. When a giant monster who had defeated a dozen other heroes threatened innocent civilians, Mumen fought him despite knowing that he stood no chance, all while delivering an epic WorldOfCardboardSpeech. There's a ''reason'' he's one of the most beloved heroes, both in-universe and out; if his body were as strong as his heart, Mumen would give Superman a run for his money.
* ''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]].
* Lazenby, from ''Manga/RaveMaster'' was made as a parody of this.
* Mr. Legend and Sky High from ''Anime/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 out to be a {{Subversion}} of this trope]], and while well-intentioned, Sky High is a bit of a ditz.
* Atem from ''Manga/YuGiOh'' zigzags this trope. While far more of an anti-hero than other examples, he nevertheless has a strict honour code and is initially very black and white in his views about justice and punishment. He plays the rest of the trope straight as he is incredibly selfless and [[ThinkNothingOfIt downplays his own heroism]] to the extent of [[RetGone writing himself out of history]] to save his people. He plays the example straight the most in his life as Pharaoh Atem (revisited in the last season of the manga) when he literally wears a cape and has to be the upholder of Ma'at i.e. law and justice.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'':
** Superman is usually considered the most famous modern example of a Cape. He could just about be considered the TropeCodifier; 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'', Franchise/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.
** In ''Comicbook/SupermanBrainiac'', Jonathan Kent explains that his son's real and greatest power is not being mightier than a locomotive or faster than a speeding bullet.
--->'''Jonathan:''' Your greatest power isn't being able to fly or see through walls. It's knowing what the right thing to do is.
* ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' is traditionally very much a Cape.
** During the Silver Age in particular she was one of the most caring and humble superheroes, perhaps more so than her cousin himself since for her first few years she had to do her heroism in secret.
** Kara died a hero in the ''Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths''. When the Anti-Monitor attempted to destroy TheMultiverse, she sacrificed her own life so that her cousin might live. In so doing, however, she severely set back the Anti-Monitor's plans, making victory possible for the heroes of the surviving Earths. The greatest tragedy of all, however, was that with the destruction of the Multiverse and changes to the timestream, Kara was erased from history, and no one at all remembered her heroic life and death. And still she accepted this, though, because she accomplished her goal: save them all.
** Post-Crisis Supergirl acted like a selfish emo teen for a while when she showed up on Earth because she suffered from Kryptonite poisoning and it was messing her head up and altering her behavior. For all her problems, though, Kara was headed strongly in this direction by the time of the New 52 reboot. She'd put the past behind her, adopted Superman's attitude towards dealing with issues, built strong friendships with other heroes, and was well on her way to being the same sort of paragon as her cousin.
** New 52 Supergirl didn't want to hurt anyone and was willing to help people, but her obsession with bringing Krypton back and her anger and loneliness issues were holding her back. During the ''Comicbook/RedDaughterOfKrypton'' arc she finally faced her inner demons and outgrew her angst and anger. When ''Comicbook/SupergirlRebirth'' starts out, she has become the kind of hero who will punch criminals and monsters but also try to reach them out.
** In ''ComicBook/ElseworldsFinestSupergirlAndBatgirl'', Kara is nice, good-natured, sefless and trusting. And she always tries to make the right thing. Unfortunately, Lex Luthor used her innocence against her, earning her trust so he could manipulate her.
** Argued in ''ComicBook/DemonSpawn'': Kara is a real hero, not because she is perfect -- she is not -- but because of her powers allowed her to do anything, and she chose to be a good person.
--->"And part of her goodness is being torn away with it... for it was her heritage, her superiority over ordinary mortals, that forged her to make the ultimate decision to use her powers for good rather than for evil..."
* Oddly enough, the classic Cape on ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' isn't Franchise/{{Superman}}, but golden-age boy scout [[ComicBook/{{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. For that matter, one assumes this is exactly why the wizard Shazam picked Billy for the job.
** [[Franchise/GreenLantern Kyle Rayner]] once observed that [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] is essentially 10-year old Billy Batson's concept of the perfect adult, made real.
* Franchise/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 came back in ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis''.
* 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 [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman was dead]], ComicBook/{{Steel}} took up the role of TheCape and fought "to keep the spirit of Superman alive."
* The ComicBook/MartianManhunter is an example of this trope, as (in his 90s ongoing) he is the most well-loved superhero in the entire southern hemisphere of Earth, and he is (DependingOnTheWriter, of course), more powerful than Supes.
* ComicBook/{{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. Ironic, because he hates wearing capes.
* [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Batgirl II Cassandra Cain]] 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 ''Comicbook/{{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 ComicBook/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 [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]], ComicBook/IronMan, ComicBook/WonderMan, ComicBook/MsMarvel, 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.
* Franchise/SpiderMan 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, but while on an excursion to a museum he was bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him super-powers. After he discovers the responsibility that comes with the power he now possesses, he protects his city and loved ones from whatever may threaten them. Like Cap, Spidey is one of the 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.
* Justice of the ''ComicBook/NewWarriors''.
* Samaritan in ''ComicBook/AstroCity''.
* Hyperion of the ''ComicBook/SquadronSupreme''.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'', the Plutonian was seen as one of these until his FaceHeelTurn. The comic book series is essentially exploring what would happen both if 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 ''WebComic/DarkBroodingMentallyDisturbedMan''. 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 volume 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 wouldn't call himself a cape, due primarily to his reputation for brutality and his unwillingness to compromise. The Utopian, especially later in the series, is a cape, and his father Elect is the archetypal cape (in-setting, he was the first caped superhero). However, the series deconstructs the idea slightly with Elect, who has been shown to possess absolutely terrible judgment and political blindness. Yes, he's a tremendously successful superhero and a loving husband, but he's also unable to adapt to the times or pick the right horse with political policy. He's seen cavalierly endorsing pointlessly discriminatory party platforms and disrespecting his gay son, among other slights.
* The title of Thom Zahler's independent comic-book sitcom ''WebComic/LoveAndCapes'' says it all. Issue 10 reveals some practical reasons for superheroes to wear capes.
* Thundermind of DC's ''ComicBook/GreatTen'' 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'' seems to be a mild deconstruction. His chronic heroism destroys his marriage since he's never there for his wife, and he ultimately abandons Earth and his depowered son in order to take control of his homeworld in order to try and fix it. Julie 84 is a much straighter example.
* ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} in ''ComicBook/XMen'', 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".
* ComicBook/TheMightyThor is another Creator/MarvelComics Cape.
* Another Marvel one is ComicBook/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.
* 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.
* Comicbook/{{X 23}} is increasingly showing aspects of this, as opposed to her [[Comicbook/{{Wolverine}} genetic father's]] [[TheCowl cowl]]. This has become especially noticeable in the aftermath of ''The Death of Wolverine'', first in her issue of self-reflection of ''The Logan Legacy'', and particularly during ''Comicbook/{{Wolverines}}''; Laura rescues Fantomelle from Siphon because it's the ''right'' thing to do, not just because the group needs her. [[spoiler: And when she later realizes that Siphon is as much a victim as the rest of the Paradise experiments, she manages to talk both Comicbook/{{Blade}} ''and'' Comicbook/{{Daken}} from killing him in order to try and ''help'' him, even though she would be fully justified putting him down due to the immense threat he presents.]] Notably, when Laura [[Comicbook/AllNewXMen visits the Ultimate Universe]] and learns the origin of mutants in that reality, she actually starts to ''break down'' in frustration that no matter where she goes she can't find something ''noble'' to aspire to.
* ''Jerom'' from ''ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske'' has pretty much all of the attributes described here, even with his eventual flaws such as badly speaking Dutch and being very impulsive. Willy Vandersteen eventually noticed this and created the ''Jerom'' franchise, in which he is a hero fighting crime.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* 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.
-->'''Stupendous Man:''' I was just about to use my stupendous powers to liberate some cookies being held hostage on the top shelf of the pantry! Now if you'll excuse me, duty calls!

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* 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''.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': [[spoiler:''[[Franchise/{{Superman}} Jor-El]]'' sends the rocket to Earth hoping helping them and guiding them this way.]] As he grows up Shinji aspires to be a good person and help people as much as he can. This mindset helps him to overcome some of his childhood traumas and become Superman. When someone says he can not fight fate, he replies "You watch me".
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': The real point of this story is Asuka donning the ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' identity and growing out of being an inmature kid and into this trope and as well as an IdealHero.
* In ''Fanfic/TheSecretReturnOfAlexMack'', the titular character is this. Being the first superhero to go public, she is also the most well-known and is always at the forefront in every disaster. Serving as an inspiration for later heroes. Half of the team she gathers only becomes heroes due to her influence.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** 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/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' where Cap gives Tony Stark a lecture about his selfishness and lone wolf behavior. 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]].
** The Vision in ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''. He has a great respect for humanity and even has some sympathy for [[BigBad Ultron]]. Notably, [[spoiler:he's the only Avenger besides Thor who is [[OnlyTheChosenMayWield worthy enough to wield Mjölnir]].]]
* ''Film/SupermanTheMovie'': As should be expected, Creator/ChristopherReeve as Superman plays this straight as well.
* While Creator/HenryCavill's [[Characters/DCExtendedUniverse Superman]] is not quite there yet in ''Film/ManOfSteel'', due to being a version of the Man of Steel going through a DeconReconSwitch, he shows shades of this, HumbleHero, and TheParagon, and has come to fit the three roles much better two years later (in universe) in ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''.
* The titular hero Tenório Cavalcanti, from the ''Film/OHomemDaCapaPreta'' presented himself this way for promoting his image. The titular cape also served the purpose of concealing his MG-34 at indoor environments, like in the famous I just shoot at men scene.

[[folder:Film - Animation]]
* While it is possible that all of the superheroes displayed in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' can qualify as this, Mr. Incredible and Syndrome's dynamic can qualify as a deconstruction of this trope. Mr. Incredible is shown to be a popular and inspiring hero, having many flattering articles of his super heroics, a fan club and even a key to the city of Metroville given to him by the mayor. This leads to him inspiring his "number one fan" Buddy to want to become a superhero just like him and trying to be his sidekick "Incrediboy." Because Mr. Incredible only wants to work alone, he inadvertently crushes the boy's dreams in an attempt to keep him safe, leading to him to becoming a sociopathic super''villain'' who's plot is to become a superhero in the eyes of the public involves killing off various veteran heroes, unleashing a giant robot into populated areas and then "stopping it", become a bastardization of The Cape.

* 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, a solid punch and 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.
* Sarah, the titular character in ''Literature/TalesOfAnMazingGirl''. But that's just the character she plays. On the inside she's snarky, and egotistically self-satisfed. But she hides it as the BigGood. Or maybe that's who she really is.
* ''Literature/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 [[Literature/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.
* Luke Skywalker is almost always shown as this, especially in works such as ''Literature/LukeSkywalkerAndTheShadowsOfMindor.'' He's a perfect example of BewareTheNiceOnes-yes, he is a LivingLegend and BigGood, but he's also kind, gentle, compassionate, and willing to give a second chance to everyone, unless they're absolutely steeped in the Dark Side-and even then, he'll still defeat them as quickly and painlessly as possible. It's telling that even when there's anti-Jedi sentiment, it's almost never directed at him personally. Even after going through enough to make anyone into a {{Woobie}}, he always remains a good guy.
* 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 Literature/{{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 ''Literature/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 [[Franchise/{{Superman}} big S on his chest]] and dared someone to claim it wasn't appropriate. However, it's subtly deconstructed by implying that Atlas feels a great amount of pressure to live up to people's expectations of the Cape and would have become rather burnt-out if not for [[MoralityPet Astra]].
* 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 ''Literature/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 ''Literature/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.
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', Lone Star.
* In ''Literature/TheRulesOfSupervillainy'', Ultragod is this to the entirety of the superhero world. His daughter Gabrielle is viewed as this but is actually more of a PragmaticHero.

[[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, genre television show ''Series/TheCape''. Ironically the title character is actually TheCowl.
* ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'': Hercules, as portrayed by Kevin Sorbo. He doesn't have a literal 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!
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'' often has protagonists like these for the Heisei lineup, and with some shows this is done to contrast from the rest of the morally ambiguous cast. While having just motives, the older Showa Riders often fought Shocker out of revenge.
** Yuusuke Godai from Series/KamenRiderKuuga, Shinji Kido from Series/KamenRiderRyuki, Kazuma Kenzaki from Series/KamenRiderBlade and Eiji Hino from Series/KamenRiderOOO are the straightest examples, using their powers to protect the people due to feeling that they have a duty to do so, and simply because they believe that it's the right thing to do.
** In crossover movies, the Showa Riders' (especially #1) ForGreatJustice schtick tend to be flanderized into this.
%% ZCE * Franchise/TheLoneRanger, full stop.
* Raymond from ''Series/TheThinBlueLine'', or at least Raymond's self-image.
* Barry Allen, the main character of ''Series/TheFlash2014''. 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.
-->'''Oliver Queen:''' You come from Central City, where it's always sunny and you give your enemies cutesy codenames.
* ''Series/{{Supergirl|2015}}''. In the television series, Supergirl straddles between being The Cape and TheHeart.
* A ''Series/DoctorWho'' Christmas special introduces one to the show. The Ghost is clearly a ComicBook/{{Superman}} {{Expy}} (justified, since Grant was a huge fan of Superman as a kid), protecting New York, while also working as a babysitter for his crush (who, as befits a Lois Lane {{Expy}}, has no idea that her babysitter and the Ghost are one and the same).
--> '''The Ghost:''' (''to the MonsterOfTheWeek'') Please understand it is against my personal code to cause lasting harm to any individual. (''Throws him against a wall'') However, light to moderate injury is fine.
* Many ''Franchise/UltraSeries'' heroes and their human hosts fall under this category, especially during the Showa era. Heisei era Ultras and humans tended to be more fallible, but still remain equally admirable characters.

* The Music/CrashTestDummies song "Superman's Song" is actually 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.

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

[[folder:Pro 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 ''TabletopGame/FreedomCity'' setting for ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'', the Cape was originally Centurion, the Superman Expy. Following his death the Cape is Captain Thunder.
* Divinos in the ''TabletopGame/HaltEvilDoer!'' M&M setting.

* Optimus Prime, from ''any'' incarnation of the ''Franchise/{{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]], Franchise/{{Superman}}, Thor (from ''Series/StargateSG1''), and Carl Sagan.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The central figure of the "mythology" behind ''VideoGame/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 ComicBook/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''.
* [[Anime/{{Daitarn3}} Haran Banjo]] and [[Toys/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 ''VideoGame/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]]
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge''. George, [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/050103c though, sometimes has to be reminded]]
* In ''Webcomic/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 ''Webcomic/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 [[UsefulNotes/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 ''Roleplay/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 ''WebVideo/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.
* The titular villainess of ''Literature/InterviewingLeather'' has nothing but respect for the "old-school" superheroes.
* [[ComicBook/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 ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', there are plenty.
** The Headmistress of Whateley Academy is a retired Superhero and very much fits the The Cape 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 Franchise/MarvelUniverse counterpart, the Sentry of ''Roleplay/MarvelsRPG'' is TheC ape. Other heroes might also qualify, but he stands out.
* Web reviewer WebVideo/TheCartoonHero uses a heroic persona and a typical cape outfit.