"Lady, you have no idea how hard it is for guys like Kratos to reintegrate into everyday society."
— Commander Badass
Created as an entry for a webcomic contest in 2010 for The Escapist, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things (MGDMT) is a comic about a temp agency to help "ludicrously macho guys" find work in the real world when they no longer have work as popular fiction characters. How well they actually integrate has... mixed results.Sadly, the comic lost out the contest, but was by far a favorite among those paying attention to the contest, making it popular enough for its creator, Coelasquid, to keep it going. It can now be beheld here in all its manly glory.
Manly Guys Doing Manly Things makes manly use of the following Tropes:
Abnormal Ammo: An action figure's gun accessory that shoots smaller guns. Which possibly shoot little deep-fried beer cans.
Jared:Where are they coming from?
Achievements in Ignorance: Only someone as clueless about Pokémon Training as Jared would start with Magikarp but only someone who doesn't even understand simple battle mechanics could make it work. See Shamu Fu.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: the Commander complains about Canadian Guy since he comes to work drunk, cranks up the AC, field dresses deer in the lunchroom, breaks various office equipment, and beats all of the Commander's Robot Unicorn Attack high scores.
Artistic License - Animal Care: In-Universe: Jared becomes a Pokémon Professor for his shocking new discoveries that a) animals like it when you pet them, groom them, and feed them treats, and b) Gyarados is carnivorous and should not be raised on a sweets-only diet.
Jared:[to Lysandre] Who gave you your science license?!
The idea that real manliness is being a good man on the inside, and that "manly man" and "loud obnoxious jackass" are not the same thing.
Coelasquid also hates both the bishification of characters and the flipside of the tropenote This was inspired by three things: One was the fact that Nier Replicant starred a teenage protagonist instead of a middle aged one to appeal to the bishounen-loving demographic, which she thought was insulting and made the story weaker. The second was going through a collection of fan art portraying bishified characters being out-of-character. The third was how she thought the North American cover art for Breath of Fire was terrible by making its teenage protagonist into a musclebound steroid abuser.
There's a very short list of things they can have around Kratos, and half of the things on it have been scratched off. This includes, but is not limited to: Roombas, LOLCats, frozen yogurt, and in one memorable instance, bubble tea.
Bigger Bad: Commander Badass' own superiors from the future. They ordered Gackt to inflict Bishonen Nomura Syndrome on Badass and his friends because hulking musclemen like Badass are obsolete in the future.
Big Creepy-Crawlies: Commander Badass spent "two tours 'a duty on th' Millipede Planet in millipede season". Where being surrounded and often covered by literally thousands of millipedes a day left him with a phobia of millipedes.
Nier spread Nomura Syndrome that turned everyone into a bishōnen. In the case of Volt he's been living with it his entire life, but when told that he'd never be able to bench-press his own weight he took it as a challenge. And then there's Gackt, who secretly is every single Square Enix protagonist.
Commander Badass's original off-the-cuff joke that he and his fellow generic-space-future soldiers are "cloned from American soil and steak" turns out to make light of a rather grim future in which artificially created soldiers are custom-built to sell "War Is Glorious" propaganda and fight pointless wars against enemies whose only offense is to look evil. It's all a way to keep generic-space-future recruitment high and prevent generic-space-future military budgets from being slashed.
The "explosion picture" becomes a bit less funny once you realize that they may have done that for just such reasons.
Commander: That's a straight-up end credits song, gotta hang ont' it for th' victory lap. Do something like "Wheel in th' Sky."
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jared. He's irresponsible, overly childish, and has an incredibly short attention span. He is, however, an incredibly competent trainer, taking excellent care of Mr. Fish and able to capture hundreds of Magnemites and Magnetrons without any pokeballs, and has earned the respect of the Manly Men around him by being an incredibly competent PA in spite of his lack of manliness.
Double Standard: Duke Nukem (of all people) has a problem with it when he's not allowed to play "Capture The Babe" (here). He points out he's allowed to hit Marcus Fenix without a problem but people get angry when women get slapped. The Commander shows that there isn't really a double standard when dressing Fenix up as the Babe would cause people to complain as well (namely, Fenix himself).
Duke: Yeah, I can see people complaining about this. Fenix: I'M complaining about this.
Jared may not be the best pokemon trainer, but when he meets Lysandre, Mr. Fish is MUCH larger than Lysandre's Gyarados, to the point Mr. Fish could swallow Lysandre's Gyarados WHOLE. Because Jared feeds him a somewhat more balanced diet (pretty much everything Jared deems to be food). Lysandre feeds his Pokepuffs, which are basically desserts. note Coelasquid mentions this is because she drew Lysandre's Gyarados at the size stated in the pokedex, while she drew Mr. Fish at the size shown in the anime, which is much larger.
Easily Forgiven: Now granted, given the circumstances behind it it was technically a Mercy Kill, but still, Simon Belmont brushed off Jonesy putting an arrow through his neck with the reasoning that it wasn't the first time it happened and Romania has good healthcare.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The main character is generally just known as "Commander". Justified because his name actually is "Commander Badass." Yes, his name was legally changed, no, it was not his idea.
Extreme Omnisexual: Coelasquid's Warden "had sexually harassed his entire team by the end of the game" and is first seen in a half-naked pile of various genders and species after stealing Sten's clothes.
Heroes Want Redheads: Commander Badass' ex wife had red hair, and his new girlfriend Sarah has auburn hair.
Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Commander Badass is actually a member of the Navy TIALS (TIme Air Land Sea), an elite group of time travelers founded in the future to hop through time righting wrongs, some of which aren't righted, for whatever reason. While they haven't done anything to Hitler (besides punching him in the face), Commander Badass was once sent to Vietnam twice. Once to try and win it for America, and a second time to stop himself from succeeding, because a world without the Rambo movies is just too bizarre to contemplate.
Fem!Hawke: Well, one day I had to wake up and realize Fenris was probably the closest I would ever get to scoring with a Qunari [...] It's kind of like promising yourself a triple chocolate cake and settling for a funsize Snickers. Fenris: Come on, I'm right here. Fem!Hawke: You heard me.
Inelegant Blubbering: The commander does this as a very realistic response to being told by his commanding officer that all his siblings were dead, and requests a therapist to help him cope. The commanding officer berates him for not bottling his emotions up and becoming a brooding anti-hero like Batman.
The author has said in the commentary for this page that she considers characters who show and deal's with their emotions are more badass than those that bottle them up and try to look cool.
I Regret Nothing: Jared, after The Commander regrets trusting him with a power washer.
Just Eat Him: Jared's approach to Pokémon battling after Mr. Fish evolved. This got him kicked out of Pokémon League.
Kavorka Man: The trope is discussed between Jonesy, Marv, the Commander, and Kratos. Marv is convinced the trope is bullshit. Jonesy tries to convince him that it's not, and he could be one if he had better self-esteem. The Commander's only argument is "Kratos gets girls."
Kratos: Stop using me as an example. Commander: Stop being an example.
Coelasquid: Jared has a new t-shirt every day, he may be a teenage boy, but at least he changes his shirt.
Jonesy's Limited Wardrobe is explained by her buying shirts and such in bulk then donating them to charity, and jeans are meant to last forever anyway. She explains that she hates doing laundry cause she doesn't own her own washer and dryer and it's a pain to find quarters for it.
Most Writers Are Male: A meta-example, as most users on the site debate back and forth as to Coelasquid's gender. The response is, "Why does it matter?"note For those who will die of a spontaneous heart attack if they can't know for sure, the answer is "female, now get on with your life, for crying out loud."
MS T3k Mantra: An in-universe example. The less you think about the impossibilities of time travel the more effective it is. As they say, a watched cheetah never bevels. Whereas when you start specifically trying to work out its causality when you're in mid-transit... things go badly.
Commander: Dammit Jones I told you not to think about time travel! Jonesy: What did I do oh my God what happens when you think about time travel?! Commander:This does!
Mundane Solution: Commander Badass went on an epic quest to beat the hell out of Gackt to cure his Nomura Syndrome. In the meantime, Canadian Guy went to the doctor.
No Ontological Inertia: Subverted, the Commander thinks that defeating Gackt will cure Nomura Syndrome. It's pointed out by World-Renowned Pop Star Jung Ji-Hoon that punching someone in the face to make yourself healthy isn't very likely.
Noodle Incident: Roombas, lolcats, and frozen yogurt can't be kept around Kratos.
Nose Art: The Commander's ex-wife is a pinup girl on his old ship. When asked if they should change it, he refused, saying that just cause they divorced doesn't mean she isn't hot, and besides, she'd be flattered by it. Word of God confirms that yes, she is...especially since the art outlasted his command of the ship.
Also Lobo, The Heavy, and Sten join Duke and The Commander for a game ofDungeons & Dragons. However, since all of them insist on being fighters and barbarians despite the Commander voicing that he has reservations about how will work out that work, it can be assumed the Commander is the only one who really gets the game.
Heavy: ROGUE IS COWARD. Sten: Where I come from, we cut the tongues out of sorcerers.
Mr. Fish is never seen with anything other than a massive frown. Of course, it's a Gyarados. Can ANY of those things smile? It's also Coelasquid's attempt at drawing a Gyarados with its mouth closed, which almost never happens◊. The one time it did, it looked like this◊, so Coelasquid was right on the money.
And, of course, Commander Badass most of the time.
Poe's Law: The very first question on the comic's About page is about which game Commander Badass is from. Despite being a blatant parody of this style of character, it's still easy to mistake him for the genuine article, noting particular similarities to characters like Jack and Simon Belmont.
Stable Time Loop: The Commander is attacked by himself while he's having coffee. His future self steals his coffee, then disappears. The Commander then proceeds to travel back in time to beat himself up and get his coffee back... Which means he beat himself up for no reason. Although since the comic is titled "We all peacock in our own way," it's pretty obvious why he did it: he was trying to impress Jonesy. That and keeping himself on his toes ("Watch your back and maybe this won't happen, candy-ass!").
Against bishounen boys, and the fans that keep suggesting they appear. Best. Spite comic. Ever. In the commentary, the author notes that the entire comic is also one to overly manly characters that their creators think are badass, but aren't, and that fans who insisted on the bishonen are missing the point.
It got to the point where it turned into an entire story arc about a bishonen virus turning men into wimps.
Look, anyone who watches as much Doctor Who as you do gotta know that technology more 're less runs on bullshit.
The Precious, Precious Car: Subverted. Commander Badass owns a lovingly restored '58 Chevy. He at one point lends it to Jared, who dents it. Jared freaks out, but the Commander is completely cool with it. He then explains that having a "fixing up" car is no fun if there's nothing on it to fix up.
Throw the Dog a Bone: Marv is the only one enthusiastic about being a bishonen. But then again, he had the luck to turn into a more muscular Marlon Brando whereas everyone else turned into overly feminine pretty-boys.
Commander Badass is much more concerned with Jared's well-being, and tolerant of his Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies, than Jared's own parents appear to have been.
Troll: Ganondorf's method of fulfilling his narrative and magical requirement to make life difficult for Link, with minimum effort, while leading an otherwise normal and healthy life.
Watch the Paint Job: When Jared parked the Commander's car after using it to pick up his kids, he accidentally backs into a wall and dents it. The Commander's okay with it though, noting it's an easy fix and the fun's kind of gone if you finish a project car, so you might as well lend it to a teenager once in a while to create a bit more work.
We Can Rebuild Him: The Navy in Commander Badass's time apparently likes doing this to their Genmod soldiers in order to come out with new toylines. Part of the reason he's in the present day most of the time is that he takes issue with their habit of putting stuff in every time they needed surgery he was apparently stuffed full of armor plating this one time his guts had to be re-inserted.