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Batman Gambit / Webcomics

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Batman Gambits in webcomics.

  • Ephemural orchestrates one of these in TwoKinds. He/she/it erased Trace Legacy's memories in order to prevent him from killing a young Keidran girl named Flora, and then incited a number of incidents where Trace's Superpowered Evil Side emerged, generating mistrust between them, in order to eventually force Flora to return to her people and complete an arranged marriage with the prince of the Wolf Clan, thus uniting the Tiger and Wolf Clans into a force strong enough to resist the expansionistic human empire. The only thing that saved him/her/it from crossing over into Gambit Roulette territory, is the fact that he/she/it has displayed literally divine powers, and could thus conceivably have arranged every apparently coincidental incident. Unfortunately for him/her/it, somebody else had a stake in the plan as well...
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  • In Looking for Group, it has been suggested that Cale's trials from his time in Kethenecia of the past to his return to the now-abandoned city with a group of followers is apparently a Gambit executed by the Archmage in order to create a new age for the city and prepare Cale to be a proper king. Technically speaking, it was supposed to be a solid plan, but a few things went wrong.
  • Hand Command has the second chapter which is titled "even the hand command has Gambits"... jawad knows how his opponent plays Rock–Paper–Scissors and uses the knowledge to his advantage.
  • In Freefall, Sam's Gambit is NOT having a Gambit, knowing that the people he's scamming will think he DOES have one, ergo thinking one up for him, in which he'll just have to show up to reap the rewards of.
  • In Chapter 3 of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, most of the... somewhat unlikely events early on are orchestrated by Fox News, in order to get some interesting stories. However, their plans are thwarted by another Batman Gambit, carried out by a Fox News weatherman that doesn't want raptor-riding banditos and whatnot distracting people from the fantastic weather they're going to have this coming weekend. The title main character is not pleased.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • The comic's Big Bad Xykon does this to get the location of the MacGuffin. Poor, deluded Miko never even realizes she's been had.
    • More recently, the three fiends played V's hunger for power, revenge, and personal glory quite magnificently against V.
    • A one page joke serves as an excellent example of the trope: This page shows Hayley dividing the loot. She has given herself nothing but five completely valueless rocks. The others suspect her of trying to cheat them out of valuable artifacts. They make her redivide the loot so she gets more gold, and loses out entirely on the rocks. The rocks actually are valueless — she wanted more gold.
    • Xykon pulls one of these in the climax of Start of Darkness. Redcloak's brother Right-Eye is obsessed with destroying him, and has bought a magic knife that can deliver a sneak attack to an undead creature. Xykon knew about this, and protected himself accordingly. However, he still lets Right-Eye attack, knowing full well that Redcloak will kill his own brother rather than jeopardize The Plan. And now Xykon has proof that Redcloak will not betray him, will protect his phylactery, and will sink to any depths to see The Plan come to fruition; otherwise the sacrifice he made would be meaningless.
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    • Durkon pulls a masterful one — against himself, namely his vampirized self. Being a vampire in the Order of the Stick universe means that whoever is vampirized gets locked up inside their own mind while an evil spirit takes over their body and slowly assimilates the original's memories. However, due to being on a time limit, the spirit possessing Durkon tries to speed things up by skimming through his memories in order to find whatever he needs. Durkon takes advantage of this by tricking the spirit into viewing several key memories, which all provide context to the most important memory in his life: the day he learned that his mother sacrificed a fortune in order to resurrect five complete strangers, strangers who then then go on to become Durkon's much cherished honorary family. Unable to understand the complex feelings that came with that memory, the spirit agrees to let Durkon show him "the memories that let him understand", which Durkon uses to flood the spirit with the memories of his entire life (since that's what it took for Durkon himself to understand that moment). Unable to assimilate everything at once, the spirit turns into essentially a second copy of Durkon.
  • The commanding members of Starscream's Brigade do this a lot in the Insecticomics. Starscream pulled his biggest Batman when Thrust, unbeknownst to himself still under the virus-induced influence of Sideways, had the Constructicons build a Hydra Cannon to power up the Fallen. Starscream knew all about this and let it happen. However, at the last minute he swapped the Mini-Cons used to power the cannon with the knockoff Mexicons, which rather than amplifying the Fallen's power completely drained it. This left the servants of Unicron helpless to avoid having their afts kicked by the Brigade.
  • Schlock Mercenary features this often, as a common tactic of the near-omniscient AI "Petey". He once withdrew from an interstellar war against an entire species to deal with a bigger problem, because he knew exactly how his opponents would react.
    Enemy officer: Suuuure, the quadrant looks abandoned. It always does, up until the screaming starts.
    • Xinchub also pulled it off once, as part of a plan to leave a particular planet; while being held captive on a ship he convinced Ennesby to, essentially, perform an internet search, letting other people watching for that type of search know that he was still alive... and, indirectly, where he was.
  • Hawk from City of Reality managed to outwit an enemy capable of Mental Time Travel, and could deduce which iteration of his plan was going on from the baddie's initial reaction.
  • Buck Godot manages a most excellent one at the end of the PSmith storyline.
  • One of the main characters of Blur the Lines (also a very NSFW comic), Rick (who is a chubby chaser), is very good at luring overweight straight men into sexual encounters without making them realize he is doing so, such as when he convinced a straight man to give him oral sex to get back at his girlfriend [1], or when he bet a man at PAX that he couldn't roll four evens out of ten. (For losing that bet, Rick had to give oral sex to every fat man in the room.)
  • Lampshaded in Goblins. When Thaco challenges Dellyn to a duel, both of them know that Thaco has some sort of trap planned. Nonetheless, Dellyn accepts when Thaco points out that Dellyn's only two options are accept the duel, or refuse the duel, order his men to kill Thaco instead and live with the reputation of not being able to kill a single old, frail goblin, and Dellyn's ego won't let him pick the second option.
  • Doc Scratch on Homestuck is a Manipulative Bastard whose chosen MO involves "nudging" characters down paths they most likely would've taken anyways. For example, he exploits Vriska's spiteful nature and suggests that she kill Aradia in revenge for summoning the spirits of Vriska's victims to haunt her. He also deserves special mention for pulling a Batman Gambit on an entire species.
    • Terezi gives Batman himself a run for his money. Not only does she always know what everyone will do, but she also managed to manipulate Doc Scratch himself, not to mention Out Gambitting someone who can manipulate probability. It comes with the job: she's the Seer Of Mind, which means she can read people's minds and predict the future based on their actions.
    • The sock ruse was a... DISTACTION
  • Collar 6. This wasn't intentionally set-up, but Trina knows that Michelle would never let Butterfly take Laura alone, and will sign herself over to protect her.
  • The Think Tank pull one off in a board game in this Sequential Art strip.
  • In Darken, Baal targets the loved ones of Gort and Mink by taking possession of Gort's brother Tyr and murdering Mink's mother solely to make them angry. Then he "allows" a spy to be captured and has it leak false information implying that Baal's daughter is in Falloakes. Said girl is actually the daughter of Asmodeus, the most powerful Archdevil of them all. If Jill hadn't been there to reveal the truth to Gort and Mink, they would have unwittingly ruined whatever plans Asmodeus had for the surface and sparked a war between Gort's patron Mephistopheles and Asmodeus. Leaving Baal relatively squeaky clean and in a position to expand his own power base while his archrivals duked it out.
  • Invoked after-the-fact in this installment of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella...
    Wonderita: "Did you MEAN for this to happen?"
    Wonderella: "If anyone asks, I'm gonna say I did."
  • In Max Overacts this is how Janet convinces her mother to let her get her ears pierced. She convinces her brother to give his unrequited crush, Andi, a pair of fancy diamond earrings, knowing that Andi won't really want them and that Max will go to his sister for present advice. So Janet picks out the earrings for Jacob who gives them to Andi, who gives them to Max who gives them to Janet, who's mother agrees to ear piercing because it would be a shame to leave them in the box.
  • Practically any plan enacted by Dominic Deegan.
  • Underling has Lilitu trying to stop the apocalypse and sticking it to Satan.
  • But I'm a Cat Person features Congressman Bennett trying to pull one of these on Ann Walker, introducing a bill that will put limits on her with the assumption she will attempt to buy him off to get special treatment. She easily turns it around on him, playing on his one-note conservative rhetoric to trap him into inadvertently promising her some benefits.
  • In Larp Trek, Quark and Kira stage a fight knowing that it would lead the Cardassian customers to take their winnings back to their ship in a duffel bag that is secretly Odo.
  • Precocious: "See?" A battle plan that depended on what the enemy was likely to do.
  • Misfile: Ash and Emily lure out the cherub by making like they're going to rebuild the mountain road that he collapsed during Ash's race.
  • The Dip the Sheep storyline in Kevin & Kell. Rhoda is "expected" to eat Dip, the "sheepskin" she got her diploma on, but he's actually spying on Kell's company for Herd Thinners, so RL - who usually has real trouble seeing other animals' point of view, especially carnivores who show restraint - was counting on the fact that not only would Rhoda not eat him, but Kell would feel a responsibility to give him a job.
  • When the Big Bad of We Are The Wyrecats isn't outright using force to get the Wyre Cat team to do his bidding, he's pitting them against each other and manipulating their sensibilities to get what he wants.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Arthur's goal is to get Magic itself to "knock over the board" and change the rules of magic which would make his job to cover it up easier. His plan relies on letting magic revealing incidents that would happen anyway take their course and not cover them up. He knows that this way the Will of Magic, which does not like this, will more quickly come to the decision that enough is enough and act to restore the Masquerade.
    • When Ellen Magus is trying to talk Sirleck (a Puppeteer Parasite whom Magus knows is looking for a new host) into helping Ellen regain his body, he makes a point of emphasizing how nobody in that universe knows he exists or would miss him, and points out that once he's restored to his body his formidable magical powers would work again. Sure enough, Sirleck attempts to possess Ellen the instant he gets his body back, and Ellen reveals that he'd seen it coming the whole time and promptly kills Sirleck.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Here's a weird one: Most of the main cast has been on the run from the evil mini-lop rabbit Bun-bun because their alien friend Aylee accidentally wiped out his complete collection of Baywatch VHS tapes with an uncontrolled biological EMP. They finally figure out how not to get killed: First, they find him a new complete set of tapes online. (This itself would only be enough to earn a painless death.) Then, they remove all the labels from them. Then when they present the tapes to Bun-bun, they pretend that Aylee is going to release another EMP soon, prompting Bun-bun to hurry out of range with the tapes. And since the tapes are unlabelled, he has to watch through all of them to label them again, which is enough to mellow even him out so he doesn't want to murder his friends any more.
  • Aisopos: After Aesop is crossed due to false assumptions over some people's death, Bri decides that it's finally time to act and wipe out Yadmon once and for all. She accomplishes this by using her mystic powers as a Pythia. This results to switch Aesop's body with sir Rike's, Rike's body to his dad's, Yadmon, and Yadmon's body to Aesop's. It is followed by killing herself as a payback for this.


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