In the wake of the Battle of Manhattan, S.H.I.E.L.D. detects signs of dimensional portals in Arcadia, California. Fearing that Loki has somehow returned, they dispatch the Avengers to investigate. But it is not Loki behind those portals, and this investigation will bring a hidden war and a hidden world to light.
Warning! Unmarked Spoilers!
Tropes To Be Found In This Story:
- Armor-Piercing Response: When Angor asks Jim why he would be accepted, given that his reputation is terrible and he's viewed as a monster by his fellow trolls, Jim replies that Jim himself, a sixteen-year-old human, was accepted, which clearly throws Angor off his game.
- Berserk Button: While none of the Avengers are happy about the Trollhunters putting themselves in danger while still children, Tony takes it far worse than the rest. Nick Fury notes that the S.H.I.E.L.D. Psychologists put this down to his experiences in Afghanistan.
- Continuity Nod: The chamber that Walter is teleported to is the same one that was used to hold Loki in The Avengers, since it was designed to hold The Hulk.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: As mentioned in Superman Stays Out of Gotham, the primary purpose of this story was to write a story where this wasn't the case- when the Avengers show up and have to throw down with the main cast of the Trollhunters, it's clear that they're going to win, but it's not hopelessly one-sided.
- Played ruthlessly straight when Bruce Banner decides to, as Tony puts it, "Puts on his suit" to fight a few Trolls under Gunmer's command. The trolls who attempt to fight Hulk... well... "The Trolls hit The Hulk in much the same way that a vase hits the ground."
- Department of Child Disservices: In the second arc, General Ross threatens Claire with having CPS take away her baby brother on trumped-up charges if the Trollhunters don't "voluntarily" join the military and put themselves under his control.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: In the second arc, the Trollhunters are forced to surrender the Skathe-Hruin, Toby's warhammer, and the Eclipse Amulet as a result of General Ross's manipulations, and thus have to face the museum robbers with only their trained skills and whatever they can improvise.
- The third arc has most of the Avengers on the run, and Toby, Jim, and the others unable to interfere without either putting themselves at risk for imprisonment under the Sokovia Accords, threatening the lawsuits designed to get the Sokovia Accords taken down, or risking the Trolls.
- The Dreaded: The trolls last encountered Thor many centuries ago, when he was still Odin's sword arm and led the Asgardians to war against the Gumm-gumms. Unsurprisingly, the trolls are terrified of Thor to this day, more than they are even of Angor Rot or Gunmar.
- Angor knows he's this to the majority of Trollkind, and despairs at his chances of ever getting accepted among them.
- Angor visibly startles and almost pulls out a weapon when he meets Bruce Banner for the first time, despite not knowing what Bruce can do. Blinky notes that even other humans give him a wide berth.
- Emancipated Child: Unusually for this trope, it's the parents' idea to have the Trollhunters do this and the purpose is to defend them against third-party interference. The parents themselves had already (reluctantly) accepted their children's status as Trollhunters by the time this came up. Jim is actually very upset at the idea, being devoted to his mother, but she points out that it's not like he was planning on disappearing when he turned 18 anyway.
- Fate Worse than Death: How Thor describes not having a soul, AKA what was done to Angor. Jim doesn't excuse what Angor did, but after learning what it does to you, he at least understands the level of desperation and madness Angor had.
- For Want of a Nail: Due to the intervention of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., pretty much all of Trollhunters canon from the end of Season 1 onwards is thrown out the window: Angor doesn't attack Trollmarket and get killed, instead having a HeelFace Turn after getting his soul back; Gunmar is killed before his army ever leaves the Darklands; Usurna's treachery is exposed and she's killed much sooner; and Morgana is still sealed.
- Foregone Conclusion: Since the first arc ended with a flash-forward to a Post-Blip world (AKA after Avengers: Endgame), the characters who showed up there obviously survive the rest of the story.
- General Failure: General Ross, whose first reaction upon the Trollhunters' identities being revealed is to use a patsy to take away their tools and try and press-gang them into military service with a combination of obviously trumped-up charges and threatening Enrique.
- Good Is Not Nice: As Jim notes, Angor post-HeelFace Turn is still a scary troll.
- Hidden Depths: By the time of the third arc (taking place at the time of Homecoming) Angor is revealed to be remarkably tech-savvy. While he claims it's a way to keep up with "Methods of hunting," Jim notes that he has more contacts on Social Media than Jim does.
- Let's You and Him Fight: The Avengers are only in Arcadia because they picked up the energy from Claire's shadow portals and mistook it for some sort of backup plan of Loki's. Therefore, they're already on edge and quick to confront Jim and his friends when they realize the group is hiding something; the teens, already paranoid about potential Changeling infiltration, just as quickly lash out when confronted, leading to a fight that results in Claire getting hurt before anyone can calm things down.
- The Man Behind the Man: The one who nudged General Ross into doing his actions in the second arc was Pierce and HYDRA, who wanted to make the world seem unstable as a way to push forward the new Helicarrier program seen in Winter Soldier.
- Superman Stays Out of Gotham/Story-Breaker Team-Up: Specifically Averted. The author has mentioned that one of his goals in this story was to write a crossover in which the two sets of protagonists have wildly differing power levels, without artificially equalizing their powers or letting one group get sidelined by the other.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Tony's on the receiving end of a few of these in the arc "Spiders, Sorceresses, and Hunters," for his part in creating Ultron and the Sokovia Accords.