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Crazy Prepared / Comic Books

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Examples of Crazy-Preparedness from Comic Books. Batman, who is pretty much the patron saint of this trope, has his own subpage.

  • Adjectiveless X-Men: Nyoirin Henecha, a crimelord working for the Hand, had written a fake diary so Kwannon could give the wrong backstory about her origin.
  • In All Fall Down, IQ Squared programs AIQ Squared, an AI version of himself in the event that he ever lost his super-level genius.
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  • In a Swedish comic book series for children called Bamse, one of the main characters is a turtle called Skalman (which translates to "Shellman"). He carries literally everything "except trains, spaceships and Atlantic steamers" around inside his shell. Think "Deus ex Machina armory".
  • Black Panther had Galactus protocols under Priest's pen. Hudlin showed he also had Skrull Invasion protocols which... Oh shit, forgot about that.
  • Blake and Mortimer: The Atlanteans. Not only they frequently send infiltrators to the surface world to destroy or steal anything that could lead humanity to Atlantis, they also found an inhabitable planet and built an entire fleet of rockets to take all of their population there in case Atlantis would fall.
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  • In the Season Eight Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, Andrew is very knowledgable about what to do if his giant-sized team mate is in combat with a mechanized version of herself.
  • Arsenal in Convergence: Titans. Since being trapped in Gotham, he didn't just use the Wayne Foundation money to create Lian's Place and create his own surveillance hub, he also installed weaponry and defence systems throughout Gotham in case of an emergency.
  • Remember how Darkseid used the Omega Sanction on Batman? Well, just in case his plan in Final Crisis failed, he would get his final revenge on Earth by sending Batman to the Stone Age and letting him get reincarnated over and over again, building up Omega energy in his body with each cycle. When he finally reaches the present... Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Fortunately, the heroes figured it out and saved the day.
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  • Darkwing Duck had a couple of one shot villains appearing in The Series, among them Camille Chameleon, a villainess who could mimic other people except she suffers from Sssssnake Talk. After fighting her once he wrote a superhero instruction manual, and gave it to next time het met her. She was disguised as Launchpad at the time, and he immediately susses her out.
  • In a reversal, in Batman: Cacophony Deadshot is hired to kill The Joker, when another, new character shows up, and shoots him in the head at point blank range with a Desert Eagle. Once Batman is on the scene, The Commissioner informs him that the only casualty seems to be Deadshot. He mentions that Deadshot's suit has some kind of sealing mechanism they need to figure out how to get off. Cut to the ambulance, where Deadshot is unzipping his bodybag from the inside. Batman then goes to explain how he is extremely impressed with Deadshot's new suit, double plated helmet with blood squibs in case of a head shot, and bite-trigger-activated self sealing mechanism to mask vital signs, all just so he can "play possum" if ever incapacitated.
  • The title character of Diabolik could give Batman a run for his money. In one particular occasion we found out he keeps a version of the formula of his perfect plastic masks altered in such a way a mask realized with it will shrink and suffocate the wearer when exposed to intense sunlight, in case he was being forced to give up the formula to someone who lived in a poorly lighted environment, and has a specific code to stealthily tell Eva it's time to take out that formula. We found out because it happened. Then there's all the traps he put around and near Clerville in case one day he passes there while being chased by other criminals or the police...
    • He also decided to hypnotize Ginko so he'd let him go in the situation Ginko was alone and holding Diabolik at gunpoint with Eva Kant impossibilitated to help him. This happened too, much earlier than Diabolik anticipated it (Diabolik admitted such).
  • In the Disney Mouse and Duck Comics a few characters are prepared for rather inane situations:
    • Professors Marlin and Zapotek, who possess a Time Machine, keep it in a secret underground cellar of the archeological museum that is next to impossible to access if you don't know about it. They also have a memory-erasing potion in case someone unauthorized stumbles into it, plenty of alternative hideouts in case the museum is to go under renovations, and a battery-powered device to register any use to catch unauthorized ones in spite of them, Mickey and Goofy being the only ones who know how to operate it (the latter backfired on them when Goofy took the batteries to put them in his radio and circumstances led the others to think one of them had used the time machine to cheat at a lottery).
    • One of the reasons the Phantom Blot is almost impossible to keep incarcerated is the many precautions he takes to break out, possibly without being exposed. One typical example was in the third part of the Darkenblot saga, where he was arrested-and the driver of the police truck was actually his number two. Then there was the time he invented a device to perform Save Scumming in real life...
    • Goofy can become Super Goof by eating special peanuts that grow from a bush in his garden all the year round, and, knowing he has a time limit and at times he may lose his powers early if he has to use too much power, keeps a supply in his hat. Just in case he also keeps at least two different stashes in jars in his house - one of which is filled exclusively with peanuts from the other plant, the one that gives only a peanut per year but whose effects are much stronger and continue for 24 hours no matter how much he has to use his powers in the meantime. This is while knowing he's far more powerful than anything on Earth.
    • Paperinik, Donald's superhero alter ego, has a rather large number of hideouts in and near Duckburg, the most notable being the base under his home, the mountain cottage known as Ermine's House, the seaside Villa Lalla, the faux-medieval castle at Dismal Valley, and Three Towers' Castle (there's actually three faux-medieval castles around Duckburg, all built by duke Richard Quackett in the period he lived around the future Duckburg).
      • Befitting the man whose journal would inspire Donald in becoming Paperinik, Fantomius had his own number of secondary hideouts - all of which were later taken over by Paperinik. Known ones are Villa Rosa (his main residence, destroyed during Paperinik's first story), Ermine's House (once known as Woodchuck House), Villa Lalla and the castle at Dismal Valley.
    • Whenever someone asks Gyro for some new device, chance is that he already invented, tested, revised and refined it a while ago. Why? Because he had the idea and the time to spare, and someone could actually commission him something like that.
    • In her third appearance, Magica had obtained a wand able to command the elements and even summon a meteor strike. The Money Bin turned out to be well armored and have everything it needed to counter everything else, because Scrooge knew Magica was a sorceress and it wouldn't do to not be armed to counter her.
    • In Paperinik New Adventures, Everett Ducklair invented a large number of hi-tech weapons almost by reflex, to the point he went to a monastery in Tibet just to learn how to control his impulse... But not before giving said weapons a decent production run and hiding away weapons and the manufacturing equipment, so if there was a threat that actually required their use he could start mass production and distribute the initial run to the US Army or selected agents, something Paperinik took advantage of when he befriended Ducklair's guardian AI. Then it came out he's actually an alien weapon scientist who used to work for a defeated Galactic Conqueror, and one realizes he knew there were those threats around and that's why he kept his new weapons once old habits made him develop them...
      • The Evronians in the same series notably avert Stupid Evil by making sure they always have a way of controling the Super Soldiers they come up with. For the mechanically advanced cyborg Klangor, they simply used an off-switch. For the biological Rangor soldiers, they use mind-control devices in their helmets. With Trauma, who's both biological and too willfull for mind control, they use specialized attack robots that are immune to his fear inducing powers. Notably, the only time we see a super soldier without a leash (a shapeshifter), he ended up assassinating the Emperor, plunging the empire into civil war. It's a damn good reason they are so careful.
  • Doctor Doom has increasingly become this through a series of retcons. Hence being the Trope Namer for Actually a Doombot. To emphasise this beyond identical-doppelgangers, Doctor Doom's armour contains splinters of the cross that Jesus Christ was crucified on just in case one day he would have to deal with Count Dracula.
    • Thanos as well. Writer Jim Starlin introduced the concept of the Thanosi, Expendable Clones that Thanos has just in case of emergencies. These have mostly been used to Retcon away embarrassing defeats or Out of Character moments by saying "Oh, that wasn't the real Thanos who got his ass kicked by D-Man." This practice was later mocked by writer Dan Slott, by having Squirrel Girl show up and kick Thanos's butt in one story while Uatu The Watcher informs the reader it's the real Thanos and not a robot, clone, or stand-in. Thanos showed up again in a later issue to inform the reader that no, it's just a clone so accurate it even fooled the Watcher (which leads to the Fridge Logic of questioning if it's such a good clone, does it even matter if it was real or a fake?).
  • Flaming Carrot always wears flippers, in case he has to swim.
  • In Gold Digger by Fred Perry, archmage Theodore Diggers faces off against his father, who has become an evil undead abomination. He dodges one of his father's spells by teleporting behind him, where he's most vulnerable. Unfortunately he runs into the invisible time-delayed exploding fireball his father had put there just in case. Then again, if you look carefully, you can see him casting it a few panels before he teleports... Lich King is just smart. And knows how Theodore thinks.
  • JLA (1997) introduced Prometheus, a deliberately designed anti-Batman who decided to destroy "the forces of justice" after watching a cop gun down his bank-robber parents. In addition to possessing a helmet that allows him to hardwire his brain to duplicate everything another person knows, including how they move and speak, allowing him to defeat Batman in hand-to-hand combat, he also has plans worked out to disable every single member of the JLA, including the ones who just joined in the previous issue. He is only vanquished when he fails to predict that Catwoman would have snuck onboard the Watchtower to rob the trophy room. Since he didn't plan for her, she takes him out with a surprise whip crack to the soft bits. He has since undergone varying levels of Badass Decay in later appearances.
  • While not at the same level of crazy as Batman, Green Arrow definitely counts. The guy's got a trick arrow for any situation: boxing glove arrows, fire extinguisher arrows, net arrows, geiger counter arrows...
  • Hellblazer:
    • John Constantine. Sometimes all you need is a bottle of stout, box of ciggies, and a stinky goat to defeat a powerful demon.
    • Mr E, one of the Trenchcoat Brigade from The Books of Magic, as John Constantine discovers during the following conversation. Emphasis on the crazy.
      Constantine: I heard a joke about you once, E.
      Mr E: A joke?
      Constantine: I think it was a joke. Bloke I met in a bar in Kathmandu. Said you always carried a pocket full of stakes, in case you meet a vampire; and a gun loaded with silver bullets, in case you ever met a werewolf.
      (E pulls a stake out of his Badass Longcoat)
      Constantine: Blimey.
  • In one issue of Impulse, the title character attempted to become Crazy-Prepared by obsessively writing up plans for every conceivable scenario. Despite carrying around reams of paper and Max trying to tell him that he can't possibly plan for every contingency, the plans do wind up saving him when he's attacked by a helicopter — by clogging up its intakes while he furiously searched for his plan on defending himself from a helicopter. This is incredibly funny when you realize that not only did Impulse almost never plan ahead... neither did the writers of the book. Their method of writing the Impulse comic was "we'll make it up as we go along"... and it worked. And is probably the only sane way to write Impulse.
  • In The Incredible Hulk #375, Rick Jones is caught on an exploding Skrull spaceship. He manages to escape because he has on a parachute, which — as he explains to a boggled Bruce Banner — he carries around just in case he's ever on an exploding Skrull spaceship. It could have been a Shout-Out to Golden Age Captain America, who happened to have a parachute every time it was convenient, with little or no explanation.
  • Iron Man himself. One of the major Oh, Crap! moments in the first issue of AXIS is when he realizes that the Red Skull has stolen all the files Iron Man made about his fellow heroes during Civil War.
  • In JLA: Year One, Martian Manhunter had files on every superhero he knew of, including weaknesses and secret identities. They were again swiped and used by the bad guys.
  • In JLA/Avengers, Hawkeye effortlessly takes out human hydrogen bomb Captain Atom with... well, just listen:
    Iron Man: Well, that was easy. I didn't even know you still had your lead foil containment arrow.
    Hawkeye: Never know when you're gonna run into Radioactive Man, Shellhead.
    • He also has proven to be, in a way, the Batman of the Avengers, since he claims to have an arrow custom made to defeat every single one of his Avengers teammates. During his time with the Thunderbolts (in the arc when Moonstone goes nuts as her power increases), after taking out The Vision with a specialized arrow:
      Clint: "You know I got an arrow for every single one of you. Don't think for one second that I didn't come here prepared to take down both teams if I have to!"
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: The Junior Woodchucks have a medal ready for "Speed reading, ancient languages division, subsection Lydian" to award immediately after completing the feat. When asked, they comment that they are ALWAYS prepared.
  • My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3: Packing away a huge supply of creativity products despite it being a vacation for her pays off for Rarity and her new friends in the end.
  • Nick Fury has used S.H.I.E.L.D. resources to build a number of hidden bases and safe houses around the world that only he knows about. He keeps files on every super-powered individual on the planet and to combat Secret Invasion used both to find recruits to combat the Skrull invasion. Brought to new heights by the end of Secret Warriors.
    • This extends to the movies as well. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he manages to evade an assassination attempt by injecting himself with a drug that induces a Faux Death state, and then heads off for a secret safe house that only his closest associates know about.
    • He programmed the S.H.I.E.L.D. computer to accept his blind eye's retinal scan just in case his enemies deleted his normal eye retinal scan from the database.
    • It's even revealed that the impressive collection of liquor bottles in his office are actually hiding places for a huge number of devices and secrets. One of them contains a vial of Pym Particles. He's left instructions that if he's ever killed or incapacitated, his entire office is to be sealed, especially the liquor cabinet, and no one is to touch anything until they review his notes on exactly what's in his office.
    • The Nick Fury from the Ultimate Marvel universe is no pushover, either. As he states, he's got a black belt in thinking ahead. It's why he has Wasp on the team, because you never know when you'll need a mutant on-team. He makes it a point to get as much dirt on anyone as he can as leverage that he can use whenever he wishes. He also has "cameras in places you wouldn't believe", including several in Hawkeye's house he never told anyone else about.
  • Norman Osborn of Spider-Man. According to Mac Gargan he has rooms filled with plans and counterplans. Interestingly enough, Peter Parker himself mentions in one installment that he's pre-planned any fight with any superhero, just in case they go rogue, and also claims that they all do it. Apparently, it didn't work too well when fighting Captain America. That's because Captain America's specialties lie... elsewhere.
  • The Punisher demonstrates this all the time, for several reasons. One, he's a ex-Marine combat veteran who knows the importance of always being ready and having a back-up plan. Second, he's knows he's pretty much always going to be outnumbered and outgunned, so he plans out each mission well in advance, and actively hates other so-called vigilantes who don't plan properly, thereby endangering innocents. In one story, he walked into a birthday party for a mob boss and gunned the man down, leaving immediately thereafter. As he exits the building, he's mentally counting down how long it will take for the shock to wear off, tempers to flare, and for guns to be drawn. At the exact moment he thinks "here they come", a whole pack of mooks bursts through the door after him - to find themselves in the kill zone for the M-60 he was emptying into them, having pre-positioned it earlier.
    • In another storyline, a group of Special Operations soldiers who'd been sent after him by some corrupt Generals expressed open admiration for his tactics and methodical planning. Frank let the soldiers live but killed all the Generals.
  • Quantum and Woody: Quantum is an Expy of Batman complete with all-purpose Utility Belt. As but one example, he can pull an electronics-disrupting bolo, a portable forensics kit, a grappling hook gun, and a pocket Tibetan dictionary out of his costume without hesitation.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws: He's one of the Sons of Batman, so obviously Red Hood is going to be this. A confrontation with gangsters in China shows he hides guns in the potted plants just in case he gets held up without weapons.
    • Arsenal has a detonation device in his quiver, in case it's ever taken from him.
  • Scott Pilgrim:
    "Yes! I had a sword built into Envy's dress in case of emergency! THAT'S JUST THE KIND OF GUY I AM!"
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker once explained to his wife Mary-Jane that one of the things in the super-hero community that no-one talks about is the fact that everyone is observing each other in case they find themselves having to take down another hero. He said that he could for example stop the Hulk, but it would mean killing him.
  • Superman:
    • Superman tends to do this, too. In some stories, Superman's New Powers as the Plot Demands plot device is Hand Waved by the statement that he constantly theorizes or practices new ideas for his powers. For example, in one issue of Justice League, a magical enemy removes all gravity from the Earth. How the heck does Superman save the planet? By grabbing a tiny sun he keeps laying around in his Fortress of Solitude, flying it to the Earth's core, and then alternating Heat Vision and Freeze Breath on it until the star collapses and produces enough gravity to hold everything on Earth in place long enough for Superman to go kick the Big Bad's ass. Superman knew he could do this, despite this situation being so ludicrously unlikely to happen.
    • Superman: Secret Origin gives us this:
      Soldier: I thought we confiscated his camera!
      Jimmy Olsen: A good reporter is always prepared! I have a dozen spares! (blinds the soldiers with the camera's flash and escapes)
    • On the villainy side of things, Lex Luthor does plenty of work to keep himself safe from Superman, but these tend to come back and bite him. He at one point carried a kryptonite ring around on his person at all times just in case Superman would attack, but the radiation from the ring wound up giving him cancer. Another protection he had set up was lining all his buildings in lead to keep Superman from looking into any with his X-Ray vision. When one of the buildings collapsed while he was trapped inside, Superman couldn't find him to bring medical aid.
    • Invoked in Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl when Batgirl tells Supergirl that Luthor must be prepared for anything and everything, no matter how unlikely.
      Supergirl: Another door? Who did Lex think would try to break into this building — ME?
      Batgirl: If you were Luthor, wouldn't you prepare for any possibility?
    • In Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, Luthor keeps an escape kit under an artificial layer of false epidermis covering his forearm.
    • The Supergirl from Krypton (2004): Darkseid brainwashes Supergirl and commands her to fight Superman. It turns out that Superman's belt buckle has a lead-lined compartment in which he keeps a kryptonite ring that he uses to knock his cousin out.
    • In Supergirl (2005), Zor-El fitted his daughter's escape pod with solar panels in case that Kara needed to be invulnerable before landing on Earth.
    • In The Krypton Chronicles, Black Flame's scheme to delay Superman and Supergirl until they miss their window of time to leave Kandor fails because Zor-El fitted his daughter's belt with a clocking device which allows Kara to know the time in Earth's New York and Rokyn's Kandor simultaneously. Why Zor-El thought his daughter would need a device to measure time in two different planets is anyone's guess, but he was clearly right.
    • In The Killers of Krypton, Kara finds an intergalactic bar whose facilities include charging stations for suits powered by different energy sources, including solar energy. Kara right away proceeds to recharge her suit via the inbuilt hose coupling which she attached to her sleeve in the event that she came upon one such station.
    • The Girl with the X-Ray Mind: Although there is no reason to think Mon-El knows about or can stop her plans, villainess Lesla-Lar builds a lead-spraying gun just in case that he tries to stop her when she breaks the Phantom Zoners free. And, indeed, Mon-El spots the Zoners floating out of the portal and tries to interfere.
    • Invoked in Escape from the Phantom Zone crossover when Batgirlexplains she needs to be ready to anything because she is not invulnerable before revealing she hides lock picks in the lining of her cape.
      "The first thing is ditching this cell. And when you're not a Girl of Steel, you come prepared..."
    • An evil version of Superman in Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe has taken over the world and developed contingency plans for every single superhuman on Earth that tries to invade his headquarters in Metropolis where he rules with an iron fist. To give you a clue how deep this goes, Superman employed the Rot (eldritch abominations that represent death and decay) to counter Swamp Thing. This trope is the reason why Batman searches for He-Man to fight against Superman, since he would be an Outside-Context Problem. Except that Superman did know who He-Man was from scanning the Multiverse.
  • Thieves & Kings: Immortal wizard Quinton Zempfester takes this over the top. As in "I planted this tree 100 years ago because I knew I'd probably need it right about now."
  • In The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Megatron has been stockpiling super-weapons, power upgrades, and the like, just in case he needs them; as discovered when he unleashes them all on the Decepticon Justice Department.
    Ravage: He's always ten steps ahead - in every direction. He knows what he wants today - but tomorrow he might want something different. Every eventuality is prepared for, every possibility entertained. His whole life has been a cat's cradle of contingency plans.
  • Transmetropolitan: A major plot point is that Royce keeps a private back-up of all of Spider's evidence concerning the Smiler, disconnected from the main archives, just in case something knocks the archives out.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • The Ultimates: Herr Kleiser is a shapeshifter, but Hulk eated him. End of story, right? Nick Fury will not take chances: he secured all his remains, and all the poop that Bruce Banner made after the incident.
    • Spider-Men II: Taskmaster has his suit rigged for people like the Spider-Men. And if that fails, even his getaway car is prepared to explode.
  • In Watchmen, Nite Owl has at least three different suits including an underwater owl suit, a radioactive suit, and a snow suit. He also had a couple of spare identities just in case something happens to him for several years.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): When Julianna Sazia decides that her husband's mob position is going to her rather than the men who killed him she starts a gang war and prepares for all sorts of contingencies, though her shining moments were the reveal she'd turned her house into a near impenetrable death trap manned by androids and her planting a bomb in her own car, which she was eventually able to use to kill her rival.
  • X-Men:
    • Professor X has at one point plans to be put into play in the event that any given X-Man executed a Face–Heel Turn. For example, the plan for dealing with Wolverine — immolating his body, severing his head with a laser and sealing it in an adamantium safe.
    • A word of caution before using this procedure: it will just make him angry.
    • He's even smart enough to know that he isn't immune to being used by villains whose Mind Fu Is Stronger — the first entry in the "Xavier Protocols" is how to take him down. His smartness also extended to include specific people be required to activate each protocol, so that no one person could access it. Unfortunately, he wasn't quite smart enough, since the computer itself went evil...
    • Grant Morrison has suggested that as part of that protocol Xavier is armed at all times with a high caliber handgun just so he can shoot himself in the head should he ever lose control of his mind.
    • As revealed in Wolverine, Cyclops apparently has his own set of such protocols. Apparently he has multiple plans for each member, although the only one shown so far are the ones for Wolverine.
    • Cyclops himself once told someone who suggested he go to Plan B that he didn't use that system, because it would imply he only had 26 plans.
    • Cyclops also expects other leaders to have a lot of contingency plans. For example, when "plan B" was "we're all gonna die", he asked for plan C.