V-Formation Team Shot
aka: Justice League Shot
Not to be confused with the B or the Q.
In almost every show featuring a Five-Man Band
or a team of heroes, at some point in the opening or promotional materials the main characters will be displayed in a certain formation. The leader stands in the middle of the shot, with the rest of the team standing to each side of him in order of importance, each slightly behind each other, forming a "V" shape.
Quite apart from looking really cool
, this shot also has practical advantages. For one thing, it makes all the characters neatly visible, but more importantly, the viewer can and will make inferences about the group's power dynamic based on the arrangement of the characters. The characters flanking the central figure on either side will be assumed to be the two second most important team members, with others descending in importance as they move further toward the tips of the V and thus further back into the shot. (To be clear, it's not a hard and fast rule that every V formation shot will
adhere to this formula, but the viewer's expectation is definitely there. The designer of the shot will have taken that expectation into account, even if they're intending to subvert it.) Also, though this is less of a given, information might be conveyed by whether a character is standing to the central figure's left or right side. The left and right sides may represent different subgroups of the team, or indeed two separate (but probably not worse than rivaling
) factions altogether.
They put it on DVD boxes, magazine covers, book covers, game covers and album covers too. However, in movie covers there is a risk that the center lead will be replaced by the most famous name, whether they are the leader or not.
The moving version of this is Power Walk
. Compare Team Shot
. Subtrope of Opening Credits Cast Party
, where the cast poses for the cameras during the credits and the Establishing Team Shot
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Many team books have this on the covers. From the Avengers to the Justice League.
- Used many times on BIONICLE covers or title pages. Most notably the first and last issues have Tahu in the front in the same pose, except in the latter image, one side of the "V" is made up of villains.
Film — Animated
Film — Live Action
- Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs Dai-Shocker has a 27-man Justice League shot featuring almost every Kamen Rider protagonist to date.
- The end of the first act of Final Chapter has the Heisei Riders (all in their Super Modes), plus Diend and Kivala, in this pose, before the Neo-Organism sics a Mammoth mecha on them.
- Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown also has this, with 5 of the eponymous Rider's basic forms (assumed by the Taros and Sieg), Zeronos Zero Form and finally Ryotaro in Liner Form, as they prepare to fight the revived Imagin army.
- Let's Go Kamen Rider: since there were 28 Riders present, they couldn't do a traditional V-formation (since the formation requires an odd number), so they pulled off two layers: the movie's five central Riders Den-O, New Den-O, OOO, and V1 and V2, with the 23 cameo Riders behind them.
- Behind the closing credits in Angels Revenge.
- The theatrical poster for the movie Valkyrie (though Col. Stauffenberg appears to be attempting a solo Power Walk).
- The final moments of The Specials.
- The poster for Star Trek: First Contact features this with the Borg. Lead characters get Floating Head Syndrome.
Live Action TV
- Leverage does this, while striding out of the smoke and in slow motion. And it is awesome.
- It's also common for the various teams of Power Rangers to be seen like this, too.
- The cast of Glee gets one in "Theatricality" when they come to aid Kurt as he's being accosted by two jocks. They do this in full KISS and Lady Gaga outfits.
- Torchwood has them.
- A rather hilarious accidental one occurs for a brief moment on the miniseries John Adams of all places, as Mr. Adams and some of the other delegates enter the room to begin Framing the Constitution.
- Downton Abbey features it on their DVD covers, with Lord Grantham standing at the front.
- A lot of movie posters and promotional photographs. As one example, in the WWE Survivor Series pay-per-views, the teams of wrestlers will be shown in this formation with the "captain" front and center.
- Almost every piece of BIONICLE promotional art showing all six members of a given set wave did this within the first six years, occasionally with some variation such as one character flying above the pose. Come 2008, when set waves became more diverse in who was in them, this became considerably less frequent; after all, having heroes and villains posing together as a team wouldn't make all that much sense.
- The opening CG of Dissidia: Final Fantasy has the ten villains walking out of a wall of lava in a villainous V Formation Team Shot.
- With a bonus Mythology Gag in Sephiroth assuming the same pose as when he burned down Nibelheim in his original game.
- The cover of Monaco: What's Yours is Mine invokes this trope
- In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (and Platinum), when you beat the Elite Four, you go into the backroom and record your team into the hall of fame. After going through a montage showing each of your team members, it shows a V Formation Team Shot, with your trainer sprite in the center, and three Pokémon flanking you on either side. Their order depends on what order you had them in your party.
- Heart Gold and Soul Silver (remake for Pokémon Gold and Silver) also feature this with the photographers around the game map, who'll take a picture of you and your team of six Pokémon in such a shot.
- Subverted hilariously in Metal Gear Solid 4, after Snake meets Akiba and disarms him. Meryl introduces her team as Rat Patrol 01, with her in point and Jonathan and Ed behind her, then Johnny rushes in and completely screws it up◊ with the silliest pose.
- Capcom, Pandering to the Base (It's a Milestone Celebration), decided to do one for all the main heroes in the Mega Man (all 7 of them) series, (with Grey and Ashe (from ZX Advent), but not Lan (from Mega Man Battle Network), Behold◊.
- The Final Fantasy Tactics A2 promotional poster/wallpaper◊ has this, with Luso in the center.
- Done in Super Smash Bros. Brawl by Mario, Yoshi, Pit, Link and Kirby, as demonstrated here.
- In Super Mario RPG, the Axem Rangers group around the Breaker Beam like this; Axem Red, of course, takes the front position.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown has this on its game cover. Additionally, on the selection screen for the next mission, your soldiers stand in a V formation, with the most experienced fighter taking point.
- Warriors Orochi does this with the entire combined cast of Dynasty Warriors & Samurai Warriors.
- The trope was originally named after Justice League, whose main characters are seen silhouetted in this manner in the opening.
- They also throw in a Power Walk.
- The Justice League Unlimited series takes the shot and the silhouettes to an extreme level — from the Magnificent Seven to the Magnificent Thirty-Seven.
- Seen in the opening sequence of Teen Titans.
- The opening sequence for Metalocalypse, and the cover of the Fake Band Dethklok's album.
- Team Go from Kim Possible does this. Even before ass kicking.
- The Kids Next Door get one in their TV movie Operation: Z.E.R.O., when they exit their escape pods at the museum.
- The Club of Heroes do this at the end of the teaser for the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Powerless!".
- Geese flying in formation.
- A promotional poster for the 1992 Cricket World Cup showed the participating nations' captains (minus South Africa, who were a late addition) like this.
- The elaborate choreography employed by *NSYNC usually opened or finished with them in the formation.◊
- Most music acts in general use this in order to fit everyone into frame.