• 0 Jun 29th, 2017 at 5:05PM
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    What's the trope for when a character known for no particular ability is able to hold their own in a fight using some unexpectd trick (as a one-off)? Thinking especially of when the audience is waiting for the real fighters to come save the day. Reply
  • 0 Feb 4th, 2017 at 4:04PM
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    So, I was reading some Marvel comics, and some of the space heroes tend to have their planet relocated by Galactus (Silver Surfer and Rom). What would this trope be? Reply
  • 2 Jan 14th, 2017 at 5:05PM
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    Lastest Reply: 16th Jan, 2017 05:19:55 PM
    It's Popular, Now It Sucks, except the people complaining are the creators and the material they created is an art movement or genre than a work, series, or franchise. The genre or art movement dies out because people eventually learn to like it, which ruins the shock factor. Reply
  • 1 Dec 2nd, 2016 at 1:01AM
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    Lastest Reply: 2nd Dec, 2016 02:11:52 AM
    On Second Avengers Team, there's a redlink to Accidental Confession. What trope should that be linked to? Reply
  • 2 Aug 11th, 2016 at 12:12AM
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    Lastest Reply: 14th Aug, 2016 01:52:18 AM
    Okay, I posted about this in the discussion page for Deuteragonist (which I really hope I have spelled correctly) but I don't know how commonly that page is visited and for all I know it's not quite that trope - it's hard for me to discern, it could be a case of Tropes Are Flexible or that I just don't know there's a page for something closer to what I'm looking at - so I'm posting it here in the hopes of getting some clarification?

    Basically, I am confused as to whether the trope I just referenced applies to the Green Lanterns series, and if it does, who the heck would be the actual Deuteragonist?

    For context, to summarize what makes me question both whether it might be, and whether it's not quite exactly this trope:

    Green Lanterns is an ongoing comic book series centered on two title protagonists (hence the pluralized title): the impulsive Jerk with a Heart of Gold Simon Baz, and the more cautious, anxious Jessica Cruz. Each of them is an Ensign Newbie archetype of some kind, though Baz was established for slightly longer than Cruz's character, or a lot longer if we're considering them only as Green Lanterns; Baz has had roles in multiple Green Lantern books as one, while before this book, Cruz had a recurring role in the New 52 continuity's Justice League book, which is where she was introduced back in late 2014 - but there, she was the host of an entity (Power Ring) that tried to take her over and she had to learn to wrest control from it, and then (from what I hear) worked with the Justice League for a while using the superpowers that gave her, only getting recruited to the ranks of the Green Lanterns very, very recently - so much so that in the Rebirth book that kicked off the series, she and Simon had literally not even heard of each other yet and were each very surprised and confused about the other's being a Green Lantern.

    They immediately mess up on the supposed emergency they're responding to (it was just a test, a very sneaky exploitation of What You Are in the Dark), with both of them basically proving they're rookies who don't know what they're doing - and proving that they have no idea how to work together, either. So, Hal Jordan fuses their Power Batteries together - the Power Battery is a Green Lantern's charging station for their (literal) Green Lantern Ring, so apparently this means they have to charge their Rings in the same time and place as each other, together - so they'll be forced to learn to get along with each other. So, so far we have a "these two very different characters have to learn to work together" set up, right? This automatically seems to give them equal narrative weight, especially when you consider each of the characters in that issue (which acted as a prologue of sorts for both Green Lanterns and the rebooted Justice League comics) each get some time where we peek into their lives and minds to see what they're going through in their private lives before they get yanked off to a supposed emergency. There's also an implication that Jessica is being The Millstone because she's insecure and inexperienced while Simon is The Millstone because of his impulsivity and arrogance - each of them obviously set up to complement each others' personalities (her caution should ideally temper his impulsivity, while he could hypothetically inspire her to be more proactive, for example)... assuming they could learn to work it out and strike the right balance instead of annoying each other. This set up actually reminds me of Buddy Cop movies btw though I wasn't originally able to find the relevant tropes for that one (please let me know what those are named as btw, particularly if there's a dramatic and not just comedic version, as the situation is played for both laughs and drama over the course of the story).

    Okay so there's our set up, right? The story then skips ahead to a series of disconcerting incidents that eventually reveal the Earth is being invaded by a group that want to make it into one giant Powered by a Forsaken Child situation, which Simon and Jessica now have to deal with, sans Hal Jordan who is off in space (PS: is there a version of Put On Abus where the character is Put On a Bus precisely because they have their own separate spinoff story? Because that's exactly what DC is doing with these two titles: Green Lanterns after the prologue bit features only Simon and Jessica and the characters relevant to their stories, while Hal is off investigating the disappearance of a bunch of their fellow Green Lantern Corpsmen in his own book. But anyway, I digress!).

    DURING that plot, there seems to be fairly even focus between the characters and their families...? We get flashbacks to Jessica flying with the Ring for the first time and struggling to make her first constructs, we see interaction with her sister until the invasion starts kicking into high gear, etc., but we also see a lot from Simon's perspective - particularly since Jessica is increasingly freaked out (and he's reacting to that); Simon is also picking up all sorts of weird new abilities, which given it makes the story at times focus on that (I mean, it obviously would or it would be crap writing) makes me think maybe Jessica is technically the Deuteragonist - with her story connecting with his in the way of needing to teach him to open up more, and to go easier on her, etc.. But.

    The series features Multiple Narrative Modes so it's not like Jessica has no voice; often scenes featuring both of them will bounce back and forth between the internal narration so we see what both are thinking. Plus, as of "Issue #3" and #4 I'm pretty sure the reason the last couple of chapters were more Simon-centric is because they wanted to make the moment where she's infected with the Rage energy more of a surprise/Wham Moment, and then Issue #4 is almost entirely about him trying to snap her out of it/worrying he might have to kill her/worrying about his decreasing power levels in his Ring, so it's probably only natural, for narrative tension reasons, that we get more of his perspective in that chapter and the end of the previous one. And even counting the so-called "one-shot" that kicked it off, there's only been literally five issues (basically a prologue and four chapters) in the story, with its first major arc/plotline not even resolved yet - so far all I know, Jessica's perspective gets more dominant in the latter portions, which just happen to not be published yet?

    IDK, does this at least have hints of Deuteragonist? Would I want to wait until the first major arc is resolved, perhaps, to figure out a.) if it truly applies and b.) who's the "second" most prominent protagonist? Or is there a different trope which would cover this better? I checked out Two Lines, No Waiting and can confirm it is NOT that trope, as both of the characters' current stories are completely intertwined plot-wise (they are dealing with exactly the same alien invasion at exactly the same time and in the same places), and much of both of their character development/character arcs are about how badly they've mismanaged their partnership and them getting to understand each other and work better together.

    I think - THINK - that so far I would label Jessica as the Deuteragonist, especially as it seems like her arc is about growing her self-confidence whereas more of Simon's arc is about learning to not be a jerk to her and owning up to his own insecurities and figuring out how to accept her as his new partner. BUT.

    I dunno if it is me, or the trope page being worded a little confusingly, or it being a different slightly-overlapping trope...or just Tropes Are Flexible at work; but it's just hard for me to feel secure in the knowledge I have pegged it correctly - and again, I'm wondering if maybe part of the problem is that it might be better to see how the full arc plays out rather than go off an incomplete story?

    What do you guys think? Reply

      ...centered on two title protagonists...
      Yep. Deuteragonist.
      ...equal narrative weight...
      ...these two very different characters have to learn to work together...
      ... and Adventure Duo of the Wunza Plot variety.

      See also the Duo Tropes to find others that play into their dynamic, like the previously mentioned Red Oni, Blue Oni.

      who's the "second" most prominent protagonist?
      For duos, they generally take turns being The Hero and The Lancer, depending on the story. In the long run, the Red Oni, Blue Oni thing can also cause one to fall naturally into a "proactive hero" role with the lancer being the one dragged along for the ride.

      Other tropes:
      • -They immediately mess up on the supposed emergency they're responding to (it was just a test, a very sneaky exploitation of What You Are in the Dark)
      • a version of Put On Abus where the character is Put On a Bus precisely because they have their own separate spinoff story

      Sweet! Thanks, Scorpion!

      Thanks for bringing up The Lancer btw - I always forget how flexible that is, since the more obvious "lancers" to me are characters like Zoe on Firefly, but I think you're right that she so far might qualify; I'll have to reread to be sure but that's a good lead!

      "Other tropes: -They immediately mess up on the supposed emergency they're responding to (it was just a test, a very sneaky exploitation of What You Are in the Dark) False Crucible of the Secret Test of Character variety, possibly also an Unwinnable Training Simulation or A Lesson In Defeat if they were meant to fail (which it would be depends on whether they were aware they were being tested)."

      They had no idea they were being tested until Hal showed up to basically give a speech about how they were both screwing up (in different ways); as a situation it was literally presented to them and the reader as "there's an unauthorized ship that crashed in Arizona, respond immediately", as if it were a real emergency - to see how they responded to a real emergency. Of course, the enemy that came out of it to attack them was a "manhunter training robot", which means it was quite deadly and potentially an epic fight even for a more seasoned Green Lantern (let alone someone like either of them, who didn't know what it was to begin with and didn't think to have their Rings scan it to identify it), had it not been deactivated by Hal. I will read up on those tropes, some of them sound promising, especially since Simon started immediately bragging that he'd "handle it himself" because Jessica seemed so nervous and was obvious an even newer "rookie" than him...only to have his posterior completely handed to him. Secret Test of Character indeed.

      "a version of Put On Abus where the character is Put On a Bus precisely because they have their own separate spinoff story Hero of Another Story, due to this being a Spin-Off to the main Green Lantern."

      Thanks! I had a feeling there was something that would hit on it, since it's very common it feels (e.g. any stealth pilots or whatever they're called, where characters are introduced and then it's like well you'll never see this character in this series again, but check out this other one with them! It's basically the same concept, just for comic books in this case). So basically Hero of Another Story for "Hal's in the prologue bit, orders them to play nice, and then runs off to space to do stuff", right?

      Oh! Also, I think I know the answer to this at least halfway but: Naturally, the fact that Simon and Jessica's Power Battery was fused in that chapter comes to cause complications a few chapters later (when one of them's Ring is about to run out of charge but the other one is, uh, let's just say "not available" to charge with them - since the batteries being fused REQUIRES them to charge their Rings at the same time). This is Chekov's something for sure...is this just straightforward Chekov's Gun or something more specific, do you think?

  • 5 Jul 31st, 2016 at 4:04PM
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    Lastest Reply: 5th Aug, 2016 10:06:59 PM
    In Doctor Who Magazine's comic strip, the Doctor has a new companion, a black girl named Jess. He had met her in a previous story several months ago. Since that initial appearance, a new companion has been cast for the Doctor Who TV show, Bill, played by Pearl Mackie. Problem is, Jess looks like Pearl. Complete coincidence. I've labelled it as You Look Familiar on Doctor Who Magazine, but I'm not sure that's the right trope because it's in comic books and not film or television, and was accidental. Reply

      Comic-Book Fantasy Casting? (if it is deliberate)

      It was accidental. Pearl was only known for theatre before she was cast as Bill, so they couldn't have based Jess on her - she became famous overnight, after Jess's debut, when the trailer announcing her casting as Bill was aired on TV.

      Pearl was only known for theatre before she was cast as Bill, so they couldn't have based Jess on her

      I don't follow the logic here. The Venn Diagram of "people who make Doctor Who" and "people who are aware theater actors exist" is bound to have at least some overlap.

      Also keep in mind that just because they released the trailer recently, doesn't mean they haven't had her slated as the new companion for long enough to have a character appear in the comics as a sort of one-off Early-Bird Cameo.

      I think it's just Hilarious in Hindsight.

      Scorpion, it's not the same character, so Early-Bird Cameo is definitely not it.
  • 1 Aug 5th, 2016 at 1:01AM
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    Lastest Reply: 5th Aug, 2016 09:48:14 PM
    I was told it might be wise to head over here and double check that we don't have this one and should have this one; I feel we should, since it's a.) incredibly common practice, at least in Western comic book publishing b.) a distinct and specific (and specifically definable) practice that has nothing to do with "basic" publishing elements - not so broad or basic/obvious as to be People Sit In Chairs c.) has variations that could be delineated which might be useful and d.) there are a LOT of references to the term on this wiki and elsewhere. I just want to make sure there's no existing version? (Though it's possible this would be best as a Useful Notes page rather than a normal Trope page?)

    ahem. lemme start:

    Variant Cover. This is a gimmick used by a print publisher, particularly in the Western comic book market, to increase sales. The idea is to appeal to collectors by giving them incentive to buy more than one copy of a book upon release, achieved by making more than one alternate "variant" of the book to buy. This isn't a matter of "it's a different edition, therefore a different cover", mind you - the whole point is this is exactly the same edition, released at the same time and with identical inside contents, with only the cover being different.

    Variant covers began hitting popularity with major Western comics publishers like DC Comics and Marvel in the 1990s, though it is still extremely common practice today, with the Big Two being particularly persistent in producing them (DC, for example, does a Variant Cover for every single one of their current monthly and biweekly magazine-style comic releases), though other companies, notably Dark Horse Comics, have engaged in this as well, particularly for popular titles such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. The "Variant Cover" (contrasted to the main cover) is sometimes, though not always, printed in smaller numbers than the book's standard cover, or distributed to only certain venues, so as to increase the rarity or even provide incentive to buy from those locations. A common sub-type being a limited-run Variant Cover that is only available from a specific convention, or from dedicated Comic Book Shops, or even specific comic book shops, if they have enough pull.

    Common Styles of Variant Cover include:

    • Normal full-color cover. Exactly the same kind of cover you'd normally find on the book, except it's just a different (often wildly different) picture. Often done by a different artist than the "main" or "regular" cover. Most common type, and the one DC currently utilizes the most.

    • Sketch-style or black and white: The picture is a reproduction of the original pencils or inks rather than the final full-color version of an image. May or may not be the same basic image (color excepted) as the "main" cover.

    • Parody or novelty covers - a less-serious Variant Cover than normal, this is more about the humor value or novelty value than about an alternate-but-serious artwork. Marvel did a whole slew of these featuring their resident absurdist comedy character Deadpool, and I believe there was also a Spider-Man issue featuring Steven Colbert on the cover that was a Variant Cover example. There was also a Harmony-centric issue of "Buffy Season 8" that had a Variant Cover that was a humorous mockup of a magazine cover, lampshading and parodying Harmony's then-recent in-universe celebrity status.

    • Special effects Variant Covers - something extra unusual and "special" has been added instead of just making it a different picture. Includes holographic and lenticular effects (an issue of New 52's Harley Quinn did this for instance, allowing it to switch between to images to comedic effect), metallic foil to make shiny bits, that sort of thing.

    • Mostly-blank covers - feature only the bare-bones logos and information (price, issue number, etc.), with a large white space. These are intended to be brought to artists at conventions and signings so that they can sketch you an original picture for the cover. Rarely seen outside of actual comic shops, since these in particular are for hardcore collectors and fans who would actually go out of their way to meet the artist, but they're more common than you'd think, at least at shops that do a lot of events with comic artists.

    Again, this is a VERY common industry practice but it's not like, you know, Printers Print On Paper level commonality or banality.. It's a super common GIMMICK, and it's very specific to the print medium and the collector-centric market (and aftermarket) for these products. It's also again, very much distinct from a book that has a second printing or new edition that changes the cover, since these are both otherwise identical, and released simultaneously with the original run (because they are part of the original run). And it's not a fad that's gone away, it's been here since the 1990s, and is now an established facet of Western comic book publishing and sales, at least among the bigger companies like DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. It's also the case that, quite handily, for the most part, the industry and fans have settled on the term Variant Cover - making an obvious title for the page.

    I also feel like even though at least one "Useful Notes" article mentions Variant Covers, it's only really in passing and doesn't provide a detailed explanation of the concept, since its focus is not on this one aspect, but the larger context of the "crash" of the comics market in the mid 1990s - so it doesn't really provide "coverage" of the concept, and what little it does do on that front is both limited to the timescale it covers (which is about 20 years ago!), and and very vague. Not to mention nobody is going to look to "the Great Comic Crash of 1996" to learn that a Variant Cover is, so it's a matter of "how would people know to look there?"

    I could believe this would be better as a Useful Notes article than a Trope page per se, depends on how other people feel on that front, but either way, I feel like it should be covered in its own right?

    Discuss? Reply
  • 2 Jun 27th, 2016 at 3:03PM
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    Lastest Reply: 28th Jun, 2016 04:42:38 PM
    Okay since I haven't been able to get any responses on the Is This An Example? Thread and have been advised to try here instead, But could someone take a look at the following examples and see whether they are being used correctly:

    Future Quest:
    • Art Shift: Characters not designed by Alex Toth were redesigned to unify the comic's art style.
    • Shared Universe: The action heroes are part of a multiverse, though it is shown that Jonny Quest, Birdman and Mightor exist in the same Earth.

    Wacky Raceland:
    • Action Survivor: Their flashback tale makes it clear Luke and Blubber were this pre-racing. They survived the apocalypse as children and spent years fighting and surviving until well into their twenties in spite of being trapped in a world filled with monsters and cannibals and being dead drunk at least 90% of the time.
    • All Germans Are Nazis: The Red Baron sings the praises of the Announcer by calling her an Aryan Goddess who is giving him a chance to create a new "Master Race".
    • Always Save the Girl : Peter perfect as ever...this goes even worse for him than in the original since by the time he's trying to rescue Penny she's already gotten herself out of trouble...and to her exasperation she ends up having to save him instead. In a mythology gag the Ant Hill Mob offer to help when Penelope faces down a licentious mutant in the bar, although once she politely says she doesn't need any help they happily get on with their own fight.
    • All Men Are Perverts: A mutant with three heads and Dick Dastardly both act lecherous towards Penelope.
    • Ambiguously Evil: The Announcer. She's apparently omnipotent and is putting what may be the last of humanity through a road of death traps.
    • Badass Long Coat: Dick Dastardly still wears one, now made of leather.
    • Butt-Monkey: Peter Perfect is lucky to still be alive given how disastrous his attempts to help Penelope Pitstop go.
    • Darker and Edgier: A post-apocalyptic version of a cartoon that was amazingly predictable.
    • Ms. Fanservice: Penelope Pitstop now dresses in a latex catsuit and gimp hood. Since she's first seen in normal clothes just before recruitment and this outfit was given to her by the announcer this may have been an intended trope in universe as well.
    • Mythology Gag: A few most notably Penelope and the Ant Hill Mob are clearly friendly and they rush to her aid during the bar brawl...not that she needs their help but she's still happy to see them.
    • Nice Guy: Peter Perfect tries to be helpful and polite.
    • Sentient Vehicle: The Announcer has given the cars awareness, intelligence, memory, and even the ability to talk. Mean Machine is quite vocally disdainful of Dick and Muttley.
    • Transsexual: Private Meekly is a trans woman, in a departure likely meant to avert The Smurfette Principle. When Red Baron makes gross remarks at Meekly, she angrily tells him that she was never a man but a "damn fabulous woman".
    • Xenafication: While never exactly helpless (especially in her own show) the new Penelope is a badass who drives around in a fetish catsuit, kicks ass all on her own and when her car breaks down rides an eldritch abomination to win the race.
    • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dick Dastardly has Multicolored Hair that's dark purple and red.

    Reply

      Bump.

      Mostly looks okay, but Darker and Edgier (how is it darker; just being set post-acocalpse doesn't necessarily make it darker in tone), Mythology Gag (what incident in the original is it referring to?), and You Gotta Have Blue Hair (clarify if his hair is naturally those colors, as it doesn't count if he dyes it) need more context.
  • 1 Jun 12th, 2016 at 10:10PM
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    Lastest Reply: 12th Jun, 2016 10:31:41 PM
    Civil War II came out in comics right after the Civil War movie. I think the Apocalypse stuff happening in X-Men comics right now is probably because of the new movie. Is there a trope describing when comic book plots reflect their recent movies? Reply
  • 2 Jun 6th, 2016 at 12:12AM
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    Lastest Reply: 6th Jun, 2016 11:18:04 AM
    Is there a trope where a superhero (or other secret-identitied character) is stated to be the latest in a long line of previous bearers of the mantle, but none of the previous incarnations ever actually appear as characters (usually because the mantle only gets passed on when the previous bearer dies)? There often seems to be some sort of secret society involved with perpetuating the tradition, but I see no reason that should be mandatory. The Phantom is a good example, and the Dread Pirate Roberts would be a non-superhero example. Weirdly, the two dress very similar. What if the original Phantom and the original Dread Pirate Roberts were the same guy...

    As I understand it, you only get to be listed as an example on the Legacy Character page if more than one of them actually shows up in person for at least one story. Reply

      That would still be Legacy Character. If it is established that the protagonist has taken up a previously used super-identity, that is part of a Legacy, whether or not the previous incarnations are ever shown.

      Huh... then the example section on that page is seriously underpopulated
  • 1 May 22nd, 2016 at 11:11PM
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    Lastest Reply: 23rd May, 2016 03:50:09 PM
    an example Alice tells Bob that she can resurrect his wife Edith but he has to kill jack and then she would resurrect Edith Reply
  • 1 May 7th, 2016 at 10:10AM
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    Lastest Reply: 7th May, 2016 01:24:58 PM
    Do we have a trope for when a character starts using a word he has just found in a dictionary far too often, usually trying to seem sophisticated? Author Vocabulary Calendar seems to cover real cases, should it be given an in-universe section?

    I'm thinking of the one-time antagonist of Lucky Luke who ran a newspaper and used "inique" several times in each sentence. (Don't know how this was translated.) Reply
  • 1 Mar 30th, 2016 at 9:09AM
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    Lastest Reply: 30th Mar, 2016 04:11:54 PM
    Is there a trope for the thing mentioned on Atop the Fourth Wall recently, used a lot in older superhero comics, where a hero does something to announce his presence to the villains before coming on the scene himself? The video mentioned things like Spider-Man having a flashlight that projected a spider symbol on the wall. Reply
  • 3 Mar 25th, 2016 at 2:02PM
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    Lastest Reply: 26th Mar, 2016 08:07:28 AM
    Do We Have This One? The Beano recently added a new character. Her name is Hayley Comet, a pun on Halley's Comet, and she's a little girl who crashed her spaceship and enrolled at Bash Street School to learn about human behaviour. She has blue skin, but being a child definitely wouldn't count as a Green-Skinned Space Babe. So what trope is she? Her other defining features are a pair of rocket boots (which allow her to fly) and a pair of orange braids. Reply
  • 2 Mar 22nd, 2016 at 7:07PM
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    Lastest Reply: 23rd Mar, 2016 04:03:45 AM
    This is a pretty common trope in comics, but can apply to anything with superheroes. It's basically what happens when you gather several superheroes together and the only other way to tell them apart aside from their superpowers was their personalities, so a certain aspect of them gets exaggerated when they're in a group.

    Compare the shows Superfriends to Justice League. Superfriends was pretty bad about this since all the members had the same personality with different tights, but when you look later in Justice League you'll notice that there's a lot of different personalities that contrast well with each other. Flash tends to be a lot cockier and reckless with the League than when he's solo. Batman tends to seem gloomier and darker when compared to the League, etc. Reply
  • 1 Mar 13th, 2016 at 12:12AM
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    Lastest Reply: 13th Mar, 2016 01:18:57 AM
    So we know Black Sabbath wrote Iron Man completely independent from Marvel Comics and originally had nothing to do with him, but in time it eventually became Tony Stark's de facto theme. Odds are when people think of Iron Man's theme, they'll be thinking of those riffs. Does it count as a Bootstrapped Theme if a song that was originally written independently of a franchise/work/character/etc. practically becomes its theme by pure accident or is this a completely different trope? Reply
  • 1 Mar 3rd, 2016 at 2:02PM
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    Lastest Reply: 4th Mar, 2016 01:32:50 AM
    And they do it for so long that their walking eventually starts carving a circle into the ground/floor/whatever they're walking on. I've seen it countless times in Donald Duck comics. Reply
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