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Broken Pedestal / Comic Books

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  • The Chief (Niles Caulder) of the Doom Patrol. Turns out that, believing that greatness comes from overcoming tragedy, he engineered the accidents that gave the original Doom Patrol their powers. He eventually tried to take his plan global before he was finally stopped. He's supposedly reformed since then, but let's hope the Patrol is smart enough to keep an eye on him. Half of them are just as nuts as he is, at least one fell in with a better crew, and all of them follow the Manipulative Bastard even though they know full well he's a Manipulative Bastard. At least other, non-Doom Patrol superheroes are always visibly put out of sorts when Caulder's around.
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  • In The DCU, Deadshot who takes a contract to kill his mentor David Cain from Lex Luthor, and is disgusted by how much Cain, his former idol, has fallen apart.
  • Space Usagi: Usagi's mentor, who happens to be his slain lord's brother and the current lord's uncle, is actually the one who hired the ninjas that killed his lord in the first place. He's also kidnapped his nephew to mind probe the location of the royal treasury. In a separate story, the person who killed Usagi's own father was someone that both of them respected and admired. Both stories lead to an inevitable showdown.
  • Subverted in Preacher: Jesse Custer's father figure (past the age of 5) who taught him how to fight, shoot, and grow up was Jody, the Corrupt Hick who ruined his life and killed his father. But he knew this the entire time, and eventually paid him back for it by choking him to death with his bare hands instead of using the "Word of God". His last words to Jessie before his murder at Jesse's hands "Proud o' you boy".
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  • Sinestro was once considered to be the greatest Green Lantern to have ever existed and was a mentor to Hal Jordan. But eventually, it came out that Sinestro was a tyrant on his homeworld and was exiled, becoming an enemy to the Corps (especially Hal). This trope is invoked a lot when they go head to head.
  • The Thunderbolts were originally the Masters of Evil disguised as heroes to gain public trust. Needless to say, the public was quite rocked when their true identities were revealed. Teenage member Jolt (who hadn't known about the scam) is especially jarred to find the folks she'd called friends were nothing but super-villains.
  • Antos Wyrick is probably going to become this for Jarael in Knights of the Old Republic. While Jarael believed in him as a great man, he's actually a murderous psychopath who views his students only as ways to advance his own agenda.
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  • Xavier is Cyclops' broken pedestal in X-Men. Since learning of Xavier's various misuses of his telepathic powers to rewrite Scott's memories and cover up old shame, Cyclops has had great difficulty dealing with Xavier's betrayal. It eventually culminated with Cyclops financially seizing control of the Xavier Institute and kicking Professor Xavier out of his own home.
  • In Ms. Tree, Dan Green worshipped his older brother Victor who went MIA during The Vietnam War. Dan ultimately undertook a mission to Vietnam attempting to locate his brother's body, only to discover that Victor was still alive and living as a crimelord.
  • Lex Luthor, especially in modern continuity, has gone through two major cycles of this: first as a Corrupt Corporate Executive and second as President Evil. In the former case, Lex was a hero to the city who employed half of Metropolis. He kept his criminal activities hidden until clone degeneration affected his second body, triggering a rampage. The second time, Lex rose to even greater heights as the rebuilder of Metropolis and Gotham (in the public's eyes), who won the presidency as the darkhorse third party candidate and helped save the world from Imperiex, only to go crazy from Kryptonite injections as he prepared to use all his resources and goodwill to take down Superman once and for all.
  • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Supergirl befriended Lex Luthor shortly after arriving on Earth. She regarded him as a good friend and a surrogate father and mentor, and she thought that he was a very, very good man who loved helping people. Then she discovered that he was a bigoted, selfish, egomaniac, uncaring, murderous, manipulative bastard.
  • Eddie Bloomberg aka Kid Devil idolized Blue Devil and wanted to be a hero just like him. When he made the Deal with the Devil that turned him into the superpowered Kid Devil, said Devil Neron stated that Eddie's soul would belong to him if his trust in Blue Devil was ever broken. After the deal was made, Neron told Eddie that Blue Devil had made a deal with Neron for movie stardom that accidentally (on Blue Devil's part) claimed the life of Eddie's aunt Marla. When Eddie confronted Blue Devil about it and Blue Devil confirmed it, Eddie resigned himself to becoming Neron's slave because he would never trust Blue Devil again.
  • Infinite Crisis: Superboy-Prime gave up his home, family and friends to save the Multiverse during the Crisis. He then was imprisoned in a pocket dimension to make sure he survived the reconstruction of creation. How is he repaid? He has to watch his heroes get corrupted for years. How does he react? Not well.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Around the time Spider-Man finally officially joined The Avengers, Tony Stark became something of a mentor to Peter. The two gravitated to each other, being the only members of the team at the time who were scientifically minded, and after the infamous The Other storyline, Tony even designed Peter a new Spider-Man armor much like his own. This "mentorship" culminated during Civil War when Tony essentially made Peter his Number Two on the Pro Registration side. Eventually, their friendship completely dissolved when Peter learned the extremes Tony was resorting to during the event.
    • Speaking of Spidey, the entire run of Superior Spider-Man is this, watching various heroes and villains just being utterly gobsmacked by this much more vicious Spidey, not knowing that Dr. Octopus had taken over Peter's body and has no idea how Spidey truly operates.
    • During Spider-Geddon, the Spider-Man from the 2018 Playstation 4 game starts looking up to the Superior Spider-Man because he felt that he was what his world's Otto Octavius could have been had he not fallen. However, when he asks Miles Morales more about him, that all changes, especially after Otto willingly gave the Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider to the Inheritors.
  • In the crossover Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds, we learn that Carnage is a massive fanboy towards The Joker. However, that all goes down the pot when Carnage grows tired of Joker's theatrics and the Joker just absolutely hates Carnage's idea of randomly murdering people without any form of comedy.
  • Despite utterly loathing the Black Panther, Erik Killmonger actually idolized The Avengers as a young man. During the brief period where he became the new Black Panther after defeating T'Challa, he petitioned to gain membership in the group, and even teamed up with them during a battle involving Deadpool. The battle in question caused him to lose his respect for the Avengers, as he felt the fact that they abide by rules imposed on them by the government made them a pack of spineless cowards.
  • Batman:
    • In Death of the Family, the Batfamily is unhappy with Batman for keeping at least one secret from them. In fact, Joker could be counting on this trope to sabotage his enemies. That was his motive, to figuratively cause the death of the Bat-family by breaking their trust in each other.
    • This is how Batman finally defeats Deacon Blackfire in Batman: The Cult - he realizes Blackfire wants to die at Batman's hands so he can become a martyr, thus Batman attacks him to show his followers that he isn't immortal, but just a man. His drugged and broken followers are so enraged by the weakness that they finish the job.
    • Before becoming Robin himself Tim Drake was in awe of Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Bruce. The one who should have had the hardest time failing to live up to Tim's expectations was the deceased Jason who instead came back from the dead and turned on the Batfamily, became a serial killer, and repeatedly attacked Tim because he felt the lesson of his death wasn't learned by the superhero community and because he was furious at being "replaced".
    • Bruce preventing Stephanie from visiting Tim while she was Robin, hiring Steph and then unceremoniously firing her in an attempt to manipulate Tim back into the role, and preventing anyone from even telling Tim that she was missing while she was being tortured to death permanently altered the lens through which Tim views Bruce in a way little else could.
    "During my visit it took every bit of discipline I could conjure to keep from asking Bruce that one terrible question I'm stone cold certain our relationship can't survive. 'What happened in those last moments between you and Stephanie, and why did you keep me from being there?'"
  • In Star Wars Legacy, Imperial Knight Antares Draco looked up to his master Eshkar Niin as a wise teacher and still values the lessons he taught, but his faith in his master was shattered when Niin deserted the Order and murdered the Empress for seemingly no reason, forcing Draco to kill his renegade master in a duel to the death. Draco is understandably shaken when he later learns that Niin not only survived their duel, but has since become a Sith Inquisitor under the name Darth Havok.
  • Subverted in The Return of Barry Allen. Wally West is sent into a Heroic BSoD when his mentor and hero Barry leaves him to die out of jealousy, but he then discovers that "Barry" is actually an amnesiac Reverse-Flash who simply believes he's Barry.
  • Sunspot from New Mutants used to idolise his father, and was so close to him that they were practically best friends. Then he learnt that his father had thrown his lot in with the villainous Hellfire Club, with one of his first actions being to send out a hit on Sunspot's mother. He subsequently disowns his father, and his concern that he'll grow up to be like him becomes an ongoing issue.
  • All-New Ultimates: O'Reilly used to be grateful of Scourge trying to help the police on his own. He was detained and interrogated, and it turns out that he was a racist maniac.

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