->''"Captain Cold... Captain Boomerang... they probably would have gone for it if I was a captain."''
-->-- '''[[Franchise/TheFlash Trickster]]''', ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]''

There is a definite prejudice in {{Superhero}} comics towards using force rather than reason to sort things out. As a result, a fighting man with a military-sounding background gets more respect than a thinking man with a [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate doctorate or a medical qualification]]. This is probably an inheritance from the early days of comics, where the patriotic UsefulNotes/WorldWarII setting made military good guys obvious. The rank of "Captain" probably became common as, in the Army, it is low-ranking enough to be approachable and avoid the [[WeHaveReserves inevitable moral ambiguity]] of the most senior ranks, but high enough to deserve some respect.

The upshot of this is that [[CaptainSuperhero characters whose names begin with "Captain"]] are almost always good, unless explicitly subverting this or a Nazi. (In the case of a Nazi, or in the case of German officers from many other periods, the correct title ''Hauptmann'' could occur.[[note]] Until 1945 cavalry and some artillery captains were properly called ''Rittmeister''. From the 17th to early 19th century infantry and foot artillery captains could also be called ''Kapitän'' in many German armies. Also, ''Hauptmann'' was specifically a ''Heer/Luftwaffe'' rank. A captain in the SS was called a ''Haupsturmführer''[[/note]] If the Nazi Captain is referred to as Kapitän we might have a research mistake, since Kapitän exclusively refers to the navy (Kriegsmarine) and merchant marine. Another trap for the unwary is referring to an SS officer of this rank as ''Hauptmann'' when he would in fact be a ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauptsturmf%C3%BChrer Hauptsturmführer]]''.)

"[[CommandingCoolness Commander]]" carries similar connotations to "Captain." As a naval rank, it's a likely designation for commanding officers in [[SpaceNavy Space Navies]].

Not necessarily TheCaptain; in fact, The Good Captain is rarely seen leading anyone, despite his rank.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' gives us [[TheAce Captain]] [[TheStoic Levi]], though while he's undeniably on the 'good' side, Levi is a surefire case of GoodIsNotNice and GoodIsNotSoft - and though he has plenty of [[WorldsStrongestMan brawn]] he also seems to have shades of TheStrategist to back it up.
* ''Manga/BusouRenkin'': Captain Bravo-- Good.
* In ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', Captain Bright Noah of the ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam White Base]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Argama]]'', ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Nahel Argama]]'', and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Ra Calium]]'': Good, TeamDad, [[FanNickname nicknamed]] "The Eternal Captain" (obviously for a good reason).
** Also from the Universal Century: [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory Captain Eiphar Synapse]], good. [[Anime/The08thMSTeam Captain Norris Packard, good for a Zeke. Captain Ethan Ryer, General Ripper of a Feddie]].
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'''s Henken Bekkener of the ''Argama'' and the ''Radish''. Good. TeamDad and OnlySaneMan.
*** Captain Bask Om. [[StateSec Titans]] [[TheDragon field leader]]. [[InsaneAdmiral Bad]].
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'''s Captain Murrue Ramius of the ''Archangel'': Good, TeamMom
*** Captain Natarle Badgiruel of the ''Dominion'': A SergeantRock, but still Good
*** Captain Andrew Waltfeld of the ''Lesseps'' and ''Eternal'': AntiVillain, HeelFaceTurn to the heroes' side.
*** Captain William Sutherland of the Earth Forces General Staff and later, the ''Doolittle'': GeneralRipper, [[FantasticRacism fantastic racist]], ObstructiveBureaucrat, and TheDragon to Muruta Azrael. Bad. ''[[FinalSolution Very]]'' [[WeHaveReserves bad]], and TheStrategist to boot.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'''s Captain Talia Gladys of the ''Minerva'': Good, but loyal to a WellIntentionedExtremist leader.
*** Captain Neo Roanoke of the ''Girty Lue''. ManipulativeBastard, CriminalAmnesiac, and all around bastard. Bad, TeamDad. Later [[spoiler:pulls a HeelFaceTurn after regaining his memory]].
* The Captain from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'': Evil because he's a Nazi, but shows occasional helpfulness to the goodies.
** On the other hand, Captain Pip Bernadotte stays on the good side to the end... and even after that.
* ''Anime/IrresponsibleCaptainTylor'': The titular Justi Ueki Tylor -- Good for the most part. Now, whether this is through sheer [[AchievementsInIgnorance dumb]] [[BornLucky luck]] or [[MagnificentBastard the most brilliant]] [[ObfuscatingStupidity tactical mind]] or [[TakeAThirdOption some combination of the two]] [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation is up to debate]].
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'': Captain Nanoha "[[RedBaron Ace of Aces]]" Takamachi - Good. Likes to [[DefeatMeansFriendship befriend]] people.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Captain Viral -- Became captain of the Chouginga Dai Gurren after his HeelFaceTurn.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'': Good. Was briefly "Nomad" and later "The Captain" before Nextwave's version, but went back to America. Still good. Was actually a Captain in the US Army before getting frozen and being listed as MIA.
* ''ComicBook/CaptainAtom'': Good, but occasionally falls into KnightTemplar; led to the accidental destruction of Kansas in ''ComicBook/KingdomCome''. Note that he originally actually had the rank of Captain in the Air Force, but was later promoted to Major.
* ''ComicBook/CaptainBritain'': Good.
* Captain Canuck: Satirical but good.
* ''Comicbook/CaptainCarrotAndHisAmazingZooCrew'' -- Captain Carrot: Also good.
* Captain Comet: Good.
* ''[[ComicBook/CaptainMarVell Captain Marvel]]'' (MarvelUniverse. Multiple Incarnations): Good, although the Genis-Vell incarnation was a KnightTemplar and completely off his rocker.
** Currently [[ComicBook/MsMarvel Carol Danvers]]: Good. Was actually a Major in the US Air Force, meaning she outranks Captain America.
* Captain Nazi: A hero of his nation, but as his nation was [[VillainByDefault Nazi Germany, evil]].
** In ''ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'', the current Captain Nazi leads a squad of other Nazi villains, many of whom are also Captains. This gets {{lampshaded}}.
* ''[[http://www.heromachine.com/2008/07/23/captain-rectitude/ Captain Rectitude]]'' was not actually a made-up example. Bad. Also badly dressed.
* ''ComicBook/{{Dynamo5}}'': The titular Captain Dynamo -- Good.
* ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'': [[GratuitousSpanish Capitan]] Rivet: Good, and one of the few Superhomies who at least tries to avoid openly laughing at Empowered.
* Enemies of ''ComicBook/TheFlash'':
** Captain Cold: Evil.
** Captain Boomerang: Evil.
** The above two led to a LampshadeHanging in the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' episode "Flash and Substance," where they teamed up, and the Trickster laments that they never bought into his ideas, saying, "Maybe if I were a ''captain'' they'd listen to me."
* ''ComicBook/JackStaff'': Kapitan Krieg is a Third Reich SuperSoldier, but more of a German patriot than a Nazi and hence a NobleDemon / WorthyOpponent.
* ''[[ComicBook/TheTick New England Comics]]'': Captain Liberty -- Employed as a hero by the US government. Purposely given a name that would make people assume she's a man.
* The Captain of ''ComicBook/{{Nextwave}}'': Grand mockery of this trope.
* Hauptmann Deutschland, Marvel Comics' German equivalent to Captain America. Good. Despite this name directly translating to "Captain Germany," when issues featuring him were licensed and translated in Germany, they changed his name to Freiheitskämpfer ("freedom fighter") to avoid any implications of Nazism. Later on he was renamed Vormund ("legal guardian") in America.
* Captain Jan Haring from ''ComicBook/{{Jommeke}}'': Good.
* Captain Oliepul from ''ComicStrip/{{Nero}}'': Good.
* Captain Skæg from ''ComicStrip/RasmusKlump'': Kindhearted.
* ''ComicBook/{{Shazam}}'': Captain Marvel (Franchise/TheDCU. Currently known as ComicBook/{{Shazam}}): Good.
* Captain Haddock from ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'': Good.
* Captain Wal Rus from ''ComicBook/TomPoes'': Good, but grouchy.
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'': Captain Metropolis -- Good... but bigoted.
** There's also [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Captain Carnage]], who is not so much ''evil'' as a totally fucked up CombatSadomasochist.
** And a Captain Axis, who the first Nite Owl once beat up.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' fanfic ''FanFic/{{Insontis}}'', Uhura invents a superhero persona for the de-aged Kirk called "Captain Sunshine."

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'': Commander Lyle Rourke is a subversion of this, and a good one too. There are a couple hints in his dialogue that he's not what he seems, but overall he does a good job faking the audience out and setting up the reveal.
* ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'''s Captain Phoebus -- the one from the Disney adaptation. The original was kind of a jerk.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheCannonballRun'':
** Captain Chaos: Good but goofy in the film; evil but goofy in the Scottish Amicable adverts.
** And Captain USA at the very end of the movie. Creator/DomDeLuise's blooped "ComicBook/CaptainAmerica" as can be seen in the end credits.
* ''Film/CaptainZoom'': Initially reluctant, but heroic in the end.
* ''Film/CKDezerterzy'': Captain Wagner, AFatherToHisMen. His book counterpart, Captain Zivancic, is also stated to be a ProfessionalSlacker with pretty much no interest in the war.
* In ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'', Captain Gordon: Good, and a incredibly huge badass. The man defeated Godzilla by burying him in ice, successfully lead a resistance against the massively powerful alien force with just his crew and Godzilla and killed aliens with a katana and his bare hands, and even at the end of the movie when Godzilla brought down he still is prepared to fight him with just a sword.
* ''Film/HornetsNest'': Has the [[AntiHero morally gray]], [[BadassMustache mustached]] American Army Captain Turner, and the [[CulturedWarrior refined, no-nonsense]] [[AntiVillain but not entirely unreasonable]] Captain Friedrich von Hecht, as well as [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Captain Kreuger]].
* In ''Film/{{MASH}}'', Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce, "Duke" Forrest, and "Trapper" John [=McIntyre=] are all Captains. They're not quite as good as their [[Series/{{Mash}} television counterparts]], but they're much better than their counterparts in the [[Literature/{{Mash}} novel]].
* ''Film/MysteryMen'''s Captain Amazing: Strictly commercial. Vanquishes baddies, but also occasionally gets them released from prison for selfish, publicity-seeking reasons.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'':
** ''[[TheyCallMeMisterTibbs Captain]]'' Jack Sparrow: Good (?), though often drunk/crazy. [[ObfuscatingStupidity Or is he?]] Occasionally sells out his friends as part of a BatmanGambit. It's okay, they frequently return the favor, and unlike them, Jack usually has a Plan B to get them ''out'' of it...
** Captain Hector Barbossa: AffablyEvil.
* ''Film/TheReturnOfCaptainInvincible'' Captain Invincible: Disillusioned, [[HowDoIShotWeb out of practice]], [[DrowningMySorrows alcoholic]]...unambiguously good [[HesBack once he gets out of his funk]].
* ''Franchise/StarWars'''s Captain Han Solo: Good.

* ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'': Captain Raven Tern. Good.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'''s Captain Carrot: Good.
* ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'''s Captain Nemo: It varies, depending on the interpretation used in the film/story in question.
* ''Literature/TreasureIsland'''s Captain Smollett: Somewhat reprehensible (except when played by [[Film/MuppetTreasureIsland Kermit the Frog]]), but basically good. Captain Silver: Ostensibly the villain, but far more [[AffablyEvil affable]].
* ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'': Captain Jack Aubrey - Good Dude, Badass.
* Captain Literature/HoratioHornblower - Good. Hornblower's sidekick eventually becomes Captain William Bush - also good. In fact even the 'evil' Captain Sawyer was really a figure of pity due to his increasing insanity, and had been good until he [[ShellshockedVeteran cracked from]] the [[WarIsHell stress of war]].
* ''Literature/MobyDick'''s Captain Ahab - {{Antihero}} or Villain.
* Literature/CaptainUnderpants: Good, but [[GoodIsDumb dumb]].
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'''s Captain Widdershins: good.
* ''Literature/IslandInTheSeaOfTime'''s Captain Marian Alston: [[BadassGay Badass lesbian]] samurai. Obviously good.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Series/{{Blackadder}}'':
** Captain Blackadder: {{Jerkass}}.
** Captain Darling: PaperTiger.
* ''Series/CaptainPowerAndTheSoldiersOfTheFuture'' -- Captain Power: Good.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'':
** Captain Jack Harkness -- starts out [[LovableRogue a bit dodgy]], but turns good once he meets the Doctor. [[note]]Though he's not technically a captain until ''Torchwood''.[[/note]]
** Captain John Hart -- Captain Jack's EvilCounterpart.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'''s Captain Malcolm Reynolds: Tries to be a {{Jerkass}}. [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold But underneath]] [[HonorBeforeReason it all...]].
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'''s Captain James T. Kirk of the USS ''Enterprise''. Good.
** [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Captain Jean-Luc Picard]] of the USS ''Enterprise''-D and E. Good.
** [[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Captain Johnathan Archer]] of the ''Enterprise''. Good.
*** Captain Jonathan Archer of the [[MirrorUniverse ISS Enterprise]]. {{Evil|Twin}}.
** [[SubvertedTrope Commander]] Benjamin Sisko of ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]''. Good.
*** ''Captain'' Benjamin Sisko of ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' and the USS ''Defiant''. Better.
** [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Captain Kathryn Janeway]] of the USS ''Voyager''. Good. [[Franchise/StarTrek Noticing a pattern yet?]]
** The Klingons are the only other power in the galaxy that actually use the rank Captain, and they're also much more frequently allies to the heroes than the Romulans, Cardassians, Dominion, etc.

* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Captain Sheridan -- Good, though with a ''wicked'' destiny complex.
** In Season 5, Captain Lochley -- Good, but much more ambiguous due to her being an unknown to the rest of the crew and obviously keeping [[MysteriousPast secrets about her past]]. It is revealed that [[spoiler: she is Captain Sheridan's ex-wife]].
** ''{{Series/Crusade}}'' Captain Gideon -- Good, but definitely keeping secrets from his crew.
* Series/CaptainKangaroo: Good.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'''s Captain Gault: Good, after some uncertainty. He opposes Keamy's plans and helps Sayid.
* Lampshaded in ''Series/TopGearUK'' by James "Captain Slow" May (Good, compared to his cohorts).
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'''s "Captain Awesome" Devon Woodcomb - Awesome.
* ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'''s Captain Marvelous - Good by means of being Goukai Red.
* Classic ''Battlestar Galactica'''s Captain Apollo
* Discussed in the ''Series/BigBangTheory''. Sheldon assigns the rank to himself when taking Paintball too seriously as it's a high a rank as one could have but still be in the field rather than doing paperwork back at base. Of course [[InsufferableGenius he doesn't match the approachablity part of the trope]].

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* ''Series/SesameStreet'''s Captain Vegetable -- Good ''for'' you.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' setting one of the alternate titles of Valkur, the ChaoticGood god of naval warfare, is Captain of the Waves.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AceCombat 5'''s Captain Bartlett, "[[PlayerCharacter The]] [[{{AFGNCAAP}} Captain]]", [[TheLancer Captain Nagase]], [[TheBigGuy Captain Davenport]] ([[spoiler:post-humously promoted to Lieutenant Colonel]]), [[EnsignNewbie Captain Grimm]], and [[SixthRanger Captain Snow]]. All good.
* ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'''s Captain Brenner/O'Brian: An AllLovingHero. In an AfterTheEnd setting. Good.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'':
** Captain Price: Good, if a bit too eager to resort to brutality in his ''[=CoD4=]'' incarnation.
** SAS. They are brutal. But patriotic and rather too good at lateral thinking for regular squaddies.
** Captain "Soap" [=MacTavish=]: Good, and he's taken more than [[TookALevelInBadass a few levels in badass]] since the last time we saw him.
* ''VideoGame/CaptainComic'': Good.
* ''VideoGame/CaptainCommando'': Good. Equal opportunity employer, as evidenced by partners being ninja, mummy and infant.
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea|HourOfDarkness}}''[='=]s '''Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth!''': Good, but kinda [[TheDitz dumb]]...and [[LargeHam hammy]].
* ''VideoGame/CaptainNovolin'' -- Real, Good, but bad concept...
* ''VideoGame/CityOfVillains'''s Cap'n Mako -- AxCrazy.
* ''VideoGame/ComicJumper'''s Captain Smiley: Self-absorbed idiotic Jerkass.
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'': Captains Gabriel Angelos, Davian Thule and Inrick Boreale - Good, for Imperium commanders, although the last one is an exemplar of ThePeterPrinciple.
** In ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar II'': Captain Apollo Diomedes - Good, [[FatalFlaw but too proud for his own good]].
** From ''Retribution'', there's Kaptin Bluddflagg - CrazyAwesome SpacePirate BloodKnight, but hired to do something Good.
** From ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000Spacemarine'', there's Captain Titus. Good.
* ''VideoGame/FZero'''s Captain Falcon: Good. Will [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Knee]] you in the face if you say anything about his outfit.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'''s Captain David Anderson: Good. Mentor to [[PlayerCharacter Cmdr. Shepard]], who is [[SlidingScaleofIdealismVersusCynicism varying degrees of good]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'''s Captain Olimar: Good, teamed up with Captain Falcon in the [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Subspace Emissary]].
* ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'''s Captain Qwark - Initially a VillainWithGoodPublicity and FakeUltimateHero, though eventually becomes more a LovableCoward and AntiHero with a small bit of TheAtoner.
** Also Captain Sasha, GirlOfTheWeek from ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal''. Good. Her biggest flaw is probably that she was hyped as a "female [[Franchise/StarWars Han Solo]]" but turned out to be more of a FauxActionGirl in practice.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'''s Captain Eleanor Varrot -- Good. Boss of the young leader of TheSquad.
* ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'''s Captain Blue! [[HenshinHero Henshin a go-go, baby!]] [[spoiler:Evil, until his HeelFaceTurn at the end of the first game]]. [[note]]Was previously good, then was warped by [[TrappedInTVLand his entrapment in Movieland]]; shows some signs of his former moral fiber when playing SpiritAdvisor to Joe, but how genuine that was is up for debate.[[/note]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'''s Captain Butch Flowers: Good, and disturbingly nice towards his men- until it turns out he was actually EvilAllAlong and his kindness was an act. (No word on whether his captaincy was faked too.)

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/BreakfastOfTheGods'''s Cap'n Crunch: [[{{Crunchtastic}} Good-licious]]!
* ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES'': Good, a JerkAss.
* Captain Heroic in ''Webcomic/EvilInc'': Usually good.
* ''Webcomic/{{Girly}}'''s Captain Fist: Dumb as a box of hammers, but he means well.
* Captain Tagon from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''. In his own words, "[Yes, we kill people], but they're almost always bad guys, and we only do it for the money."

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Wiki/TVTropes -- CaptainObvious: Administrivia/SelfExplanatory. Also explains the perfectly obvious a lot.
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'''s Captain Hammer: Subverts and Lampshades this trope. Despite being a superhero and beloved by the whole city, he's also a tremendous jerk and far less sympathetic than villainous Dr. Horrible.
* In the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', Capitao Batalha ("Captain Battle") is the premiere hero of Brazil. There's also Captain Australia, Captain Speedy, Captain California, and Captain Hammer. In the 50s and 60s, there was Captain Amazing, but he's dead now.
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'''s The ''other'' Captain Bravo: good. [[IdiotHero Well, he thinks he's good, but he's a pinhead]]. And he's not allowed to use the "captain" part of his codename until he graduates from [[SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy]] and earns the title in the military. Titles from the military, nobility are academic titles must be earned the hard way before they can be used in a codename.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainCavemanAndTheTeenAngels'''s Captain CAVEMAAAAAAAN! -- good. In the ''WesternAnimation/LaffALympics'' comic book story "The Search for the Purple Pig," Snooper uses the term "The good Captain" after the Yogis and Scoobys discover the Purple Pig figurine in Cavey's club.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster''. Also Good.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'':
** Captain Planet]]: Good.
** [[EvilKnockoff Captain Pollution: Evil]].
* ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'':
** Captain Hero: [[IdiotHero Dumb as a box of hammers]], doesn't mean so well.
** But there's also Captain Hero from ''VideoGame/SimCity'': Definitely Good -- if he decides to show up.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheOctonauts'': Captain Barnacles Bear - Good.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s Captain Hindsight: Good, but doesn't do anything other than point out what could have been done.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'''s Captain Rex: Good... Which very likely changes with Order 66. [[spoiler: Preserved, actually. As of Rebels, it is confirmed that Rex had nothing to do with Order 66, as he'd had his inhibitor chip removed beforehand. He's now working with the Rebellion]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WordGirl'''s Captain Huggy Face: The NonHumanSidekick , because EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys.