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Legacy Characters in comic books.


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    DC Comics 
  • The Flash from DC Comics.
    • The original Flash was Jay Garrick, created in The Golden Age of Comic Books. He fell into obscurity and the Super Speed superhero concept was revamped into a new character, Barry Allen, in The Silver Age of Comic Books. Jay existed as a comic book character in this version, and Barry took the name from him. Later, Barry met a Jay who existed for real on another Earth in a story that established the DC Multiverse. Barry's nephew Wally West also became Barry's similarly powered sidekick Kid Flash. After Barry died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot, Wally took up his mantle. The Cosmic Retcon event also established Jay was a real person who still had inspired Barry. Wally served as the Flash for many years until the mantle passed to Barry's grandson Bart Allen. Then it passed to Wally again after Bart was killed. Then Barry came back from the dead and he and Wally shared it. Then the universe was rebooted again, and Barry became the only Flash on the mainstream Earth. And with DC Rebirth, the original Wally has returned from the Speed Force as the Flash, once again sharing the name with Barry. And a while after that, Avery Ho would become China's Flash, although she was initially only tangentially associated with the main Flash family. Jay Garrick would eventually make an appearance as well, having be retconned out of existence.
      • In Futures End, the New 52 version of Wally West (later retconned into being the cousin of the original Wally) became the second Flash in that timeline.
    • The Kid Flash identity. The original is Wally West, who retired from superheroing after a fashion but briefly returned to it during Crisis on Infinite Earths. That same story saw him take up the Flash identity. Decades down the line, his cousin and Barry Allen's grandson Bart Allen, then going by Impulse, took up the Kid Flash identity. Then the New 52 happened, and Bart was established as the first Kid Flash, having never been Impulse. He wasn't well-received and went off into Comic Book Limbo, and by that time, a new version of Wally West was introduced. In DC Rebirth, this Wally West officially became the new Kid Flash... the third one, because by that point, the original Wally West returned, and was established as having been the first Kid Flash.
      • In Kingdom Come, Iris West II, the daughter of Wally, is the second Kid Flash, having taken up her father's mantle.
    • Impulse was the name used by Bart Allen as a way of side-stepping being the new Kid Flash. He eventually did become Kid Flash, and years later, Wally West's daughter, Iris "Irey" West II gained super speed and picked up the Impulse codename.
    • Much of the Wally West The Flash's Rogues Gallery consisted of successors to the original — in one case a son, but usually just another criminal who somehow got hold of the original's gear, such as the second Mirror Master, Evan McCulloch. who succeeded Sam Scudder. McCulloch was an assassin who was eventually hired by the FBI and given Scudder's technology so he could take out high-value targets while pretending to be a supervillain. He eventually got sick of the work, killed his superiors, and went freelance, eventually winding up in the Rogues and earned their acceptance.
    • Similarly, the the second Trickster, Axel Walker, is a teenager who stole the technology of Jesse James, the first Trickster. James had retired by this point, becoming an FBI agent, and was actively planning to shut down the Rogues. He despised Axel and after same mind control stuff, took back the mantle of the Trickster. However, after the Rogues got Bart Allen killed, James would end up in some trouble and eventually was killed. Axel still used the Trickster identity in this time, and the Rogues let him tag along, and grew to like him.
    • This was taken to the point of parody with Chillblaine, an identity taken by a succession of dumb but good-looking crooks with Captain Cold's gear, all "recruited" by Cold's sister, Golden Glider. Eventually she made the mistake of choosing someone who was actually dangerous and he killed her. Cold came out of retirement to avenge her, and ended up back in the role of the Rogues' leader.
    • This was actually inverted in one case, with the Reverse-Flash. The first (second if you count Jay Garrick's own Evil Counterpart, The Rival) Reverse-Flash to be shown in the comics is Eobard Thawne, a time-traveling criminal from the 25th century. However, the next Reverse-Flash to be shown, Hunter Zolomon, was born in the present day and took on the identity of Zoom after being inspired by a discussion he previously had with Wally West about Thawne. When Thawne himself eventually shows up again via his usual Time Travel antics to team-up with Zolomon, he's quite amused.
    Thawne: I've created a legacy five centuries before I'll even be born. It's backwards. It's in reverse.
  • James Robinson's Starman:
    • May have been the book responsible for the revival of the Legacy Character concept in The Modern Age of Comic Books. It introduced Jack Knight, the son of the Golden Age Starman and reluctant holder of the mantle, as well as grouping together all the unrelated characters who had used the name "Starman" over the years — apparently simply due to the coolness of the name — in a Myth Arc filled with atmosphere and scintillating characterization. One version even appears to have been inspired by the Ziggy Stardust song of the same name (complete with a Lampshade Hanging saying it was the other way around), which the original character preceded by about thirty years.
    • After the series ended, Jack Knight handed off his Cosmic Rod to Courtney Whitmore, AKA the second Star-Spangled Kid / Stargirl, who was a product of a different legacy — her stepfather was Stripesy, the adult sidekick of the Golden Age Star-Spangled Kid. (Though the Star-Spangled Kid had used a variant of Starman's rod, a Cosmic Belt, during the '80s in Infinity, Inc.. The JSA's legacy connections are complicated.)
    • When the JSA was rebooted following Infinite Crisis, a new Starman joined the team. It was eventually revealed to be the Legionnaire Star Boy AKA Thom Kallor, who had previously spent time on Earth-22. While all he shares with the other Starmen is the name and the ability to fly, Thom has the power of density manipulation and schizophrenia... and his suit is a map of The Multiverse and can function as a portable Cosmic Treadmill to allow easy multiversal travel.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, turned out to have unconsciously taken the name of the universe-spanning special forces group known as the Green Lantern Corps. His powers are even (indirectly) connected to theirs, revealed as the excess magic removed from the universe by the Corps' bosses, the Guardians. The Silver Age Green Lantern, who begat the Corps, was the revival style of legacy, notable for not quite being a legacy in-character.
      • On Earth 2 of the New 52, Alan is the only GL, with no sign of the Corps.
    • The Corps also makes legacies the standard practice, as when a Lantern dies his/her ring seeks out a suitable replacement. Two notable legacies within the Corps include the Korugarian Lanterns, where Katma Tui and later Soranik Natu have had to live down the reputation of their predecessor Thaal Sinestro; and the Rrab family, as Arisia Rrab is the fourth member of her family in a row to become a Lantern.
  • Phantom Lady was originally Sandra Knight in World War II. Then because time passes, she gave the mantle to her niece Dee in the 80s. Because time still passes on, Dee died passing it on to Sandra's grandaughter Stormy Knight in 2006. In 2012, the New 52 introduced the latest Phantom Lady, Jennifer Knight.
  • After decades as Aquaman's sidekick and a member of the Teen Titans, Garth, the first Aqualad, graduated to the Tempest identity and was ultimately killed off. Following his death, a new Aqualad named Kaldur'ahm (human name Jackson Hyde) appeared and became Aquaman's new sidekick. This Aqualad was initially created for the Young Justice animated series before being brought over into the comics.
  • Aquaman also had a replacement when he became the Dweller in the Depths. This proved to only be temporary, and the replacement Aquaman underwent Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. There have also been two Aquagirls (not counting a pair of one-shot characters that took the name for a single issue). The first Aquagirl, Tula, was revived in the New 52, but does not use the name Aquagirl, nor is she a superheroine (she's Bash Sisters with Mera).
  • Supergirl:
    • In an imaginary story (Superman vol. 1 #149: "The Death of Superman!"), Kara Zor-El takes up the role of Supergirl to fight crime and protect Earth after her cousin Superman gets murdered by Lex Luthor.
      Supergirl: You can stop wasting bullets! I have all of Superman's astonishing powers! — Gangdom may have succeeded in treacherously killing Superman, but I'm going to carry on his great work!
    • After the death of the original Supergirl, two characters took up the mantle of Supergirl (Matrix and Linda Danvers) before Kara Zor-El returned to the main universe.
    • In The Final Days of Superman, Superman tells his cousin that he is dying and asks her to carry on in his name. In Supergirl (Rebirth), she joins the DEO - Department of Extra-normal Operations - to help her restore her powers and carry on her cousin's work.
  • Wonder Woman
    • There have been two Wonder Girls not counting Diana herself: Donna Troy and Cassandra Sandsmark. The former became Wonder Woman briefly following Diana's retirement after Infinite Crisis.
    • There have been three Cheetahs: Priscilla Rich, Deborah "Debbie" Domaine, Sebastian Ballesteros, and Barbara Minerva.
    • Doctor Poison is another legacy villain, with the original's granddaughter taking up the code name and amoral scientific practices of her grandmother.
  • Alan Moore referenced this in Watchmen, creating Legacy Characters in the context of a contained story. The "original" Silk Spectre retired early in this world's history and started training and stage-mothering her daughter to succeed her, while Nite Owl I handed over his mantle to an admirer.
  • During The Death of Superman arc, there were four vigilantes that took up the mantle, two claiming to be the original revived with one turning out to be the actual villain and a third identifying as a clone of the original. The last, John Henry Irons, openly admitted that he wasn't Superman from the start and that he wore the shield and cape in honor of the man who once saved him.
  • Following the death of the New 52 Superman in The Final Days of Superman, his legacy is taken up by the pre-Flashpoint Superman, the New 52 Supergirl, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, and Lana Lang, and New Super-Man Kenan Kong, DC deliberately homaging The Death of Superman.
  • Speaking of Kenan Kong, his series features the Chinese government creating a Justice League of China, with Chinese versions of Justice League members, including Kenan as Super-Man, Baixi Wang as Bat-Man, Deilan Peng as Wonder-Woman, and Chinese-American Avery Ho as the Flash.
  • Played with in Neil Gaiman's rendition of The Sandman, where his version of the character, instead of being the latest in the line, is presented as the original of which the earlier characters are merely imitations. Used straight as well: the original Dream dies at the end, passing on his powers to a successor.
    • In Gaiman's version, the Sandman is Morpheus, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Dream, and a being who is more powerful than most gods. In 1988, as Gaiman's series began, he escaped from a seven-decade-long imprisonment, which not coincidentally put him out of the way during the years in which the earlier Sandman characters had been operating.
    • The original Sandman was Wesley Dodds, a 1930s fedora-and-gasmask-wearing hero with a "gas gun" that knocked out criminals, leaving them for the police to pick up the next morning. In Gaiman's Re Vision, it was explained that this Sandman was (without being consciously aware of it) symbolically filling a gap left in the world by Morpheus' imprisonment. A later series with him, Sandman Mystery Theatre, revealed that he was originally driven by Dreaming of Things to Come, caused by said imprisonment.
    • DC also published, in the 1970s, a superhero called the Sandman who lived in a dream dome and patrolled people's dreams with his wife. In Gaiman's Re Vision, the dream world he patrolled was only a small part of the total Dreaming, staked out by a pair of rogue nightmares during Morpheus' imprisonment; the nightmares posed as his comic-relief sidekicks while manipulating this Sandman's actions to their own ends.
      • This version of the Sandman hit the legacy character jackpot. He's Hector Hall, the son of the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl. He joined the legacy team Infinity, Inc. as the Silver Scarab, then became the faux-Sandman after his death. Prior to that he married Lyta Trevor, who was the daughter of the Golden Age Wonder Woman. After Morpheus returned him to the realm of the dead, Hector was reincarnated and took on another legacy mantle as Doctor Fate, until he died yet again, only to be reunited with his and Lyta's son, who was now the new Dream (as well as arguably the old Dream).
    • The Sandman's former sidekick, Sandy Hawkins, drew from both Sandmen when he joined the JSA; he took on the gas mask and sleep gas of Wesley Dodds, and the prophetic dreams that connected him to Dream. He was also briefly ensnared by the aforementioned rogue nightmares and forced to play out the adventures of the '70s Sandman.
  • Wildcat in Justice Society of America, upon discovering a hitherto-unknown son with conveniently catlike powers, says the son should use the same code name, with a bit of Lampshade Hanging regarding all the other legacies out there. Unusually, this leads to both the original and the legacy being active on the same team with the same code name.
  • A similar problem resulted when Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, came back from the dead... thereby putting him in conflict with his illegitimate son, Connor Hawke, the current Green Arrow. The two shared the title for a few years, but then, probably for ease of use, Connor Hawke was shot and declared brain-dead.
  • Ronnie Raymond, the original Firestorm, was killed off in the controversial Identity Crisis storyline and had his powers passed on to teenager Jason Rusch. Several years later during the events of Blackest Night, Ronnie was resurrected and merged with Jason. In the wake of the DC relaunch, a new Firestorm series was launched that retconned Ronnie and Jason into being teenage contemporaries who both became Firestorm together after being caught up in the same nuclear accident.
  • Firestorm's Arch-Enemy Killer Frost is also a legacy. The original Killer Frost was Crystal Frost, who died and was replaced by her protege, Louise Lincoln. A third Killer Frost named Caitlin Snow was introduced in the DC relaunch.
  • The first Atom was Al Pratt back during the 1940's, but the title was made most famous by the second bearer, Ray Palmer, in the 1960's. Palmer briefly passed on the identity to teenager Adam Cray during the 1980's, but became the Atom once again after Cray's murder. In 2006, Palmer was succeeded by Ryan Choi, but was again forced out of retirement after Choi was killed just a few years later during the Brightest Day event; the controversy over the racial implications of Choi's death saw the death itself getting fixed in Convergence, and in a younger version of Choi becoming the Atom alongside Palmer in DC Rebirth. (Adam Cray was also brought back in Rebirth, but not as the Atom.)
  • The Hawkman and Hawkgirl/woman Continuity Snarl began as a well-intentioned attempt to turn the Silver Age Hawks into in-story as well as revival Legacy Characters of the Golden Age ones. Since the originals were humans with a mystical origin and the second set were alien Space Police, and since several contradicting origin stories had been given for both pairs by writers who couldn't be bothered to give a rat's ass about continuity, this eventually snowballed into a tangled mess which resulted in all the various characters with "Hawk" in front of their names being merged into a giant crazy hawk-god thing and Put on a Bus for several years.
  • The original Amazing-Man was Will Everett, a member of the All-Star Squadron. Decades later, the identity was taken up by his nephew, Will Everett III, who was a member of the Justice League and Extreme Justice. After his death, the identity was taken over by his cousin, Markus Clay, who was a member of the Justice Society of America. In the wake of the New 52 relaunch, a new Amazing-Man named Rocker Bonn has been introduced as a former agent of Checkmate.
  • 52:
    • Infinity, Inc. gives this a passing mention, denigrating then-Titans Zachary Zatara and Little Barda as "blood brats," heroes who never actually earned their powers. The term "legacy powers" is also used, making this trope's title more or less canon, in a slang sort of way.
    • The Infinity Inc. seen in 52 also played this trope straight. They had new versions of Nuklon, Skyman, Jade, and Fury, all of which were mantles that belonged to members of the original team.
  • This is the backstory to DC's Inferior Five: Each of the titular five half-rate superheroes was the son or daughter of one or more competent, and somehow familiar-looking heroes.
  • Arn Munro of Young All-Stars is a weirdly recursive example; he was loosely intended as a replacement for the Golden Age Superman, who was retconned out of existence when Arn was created, but in-story he is the son of Hugo Danner, the protagonist of Gladiator, a 1930 novel that was an influence on Superman's creation.
  • Grant Morrison played with this when he created a new version of the Shining Knight. Apparently the entire King Arthur story repeats itself every so often. The original Shining Knight, Sir Justin, came from the anachronistic 5th century of La Morte D'Arthur, and ended up in World War II. The third Knight, Sir Ystina, is the same character's counterpart from a much earlier Camelot which has more of a "Celtic twilight" feel, who ended up in the 21st century. This is parodied in the Demon Knights series, when Jason Blood and Xanadu, both refugees from the anachronistic Camelot, are accosted by Ystin, who insists that they're lying about being survivors of Camelot. But because her accusations are in Welsh, none of them understand her. Jason shrugs and advises his companions to smile and nod.
  • Several other characters created by Morrison for Seven Soldiers qualify as well. As well as the Spin-Offspring Gimmix, I, Spider and the Whip III, there were:
    • Boy Blue, successor to Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys.
    • Dyno-Mite Dan, successor to T.N.T and Dan the Dyna-Mite (he bought a knock-off of his predecessors' rings on E-bay).
    • The Manhattan Guardian, successor to the Guardian (the paper he works for bought the rights to the name and image when the secret government project the Guardian worked for went under).
    • Bulleteer, successor to Bulletman and Bulletgirl and descendant of Aurakles, the first superhero.
  • There have been three Blue Beetles. Unlike most other examples, all three are significantly different: Dan Garrett was a world adventurer who could use some of the Blue Beetle scarab's powers. Ted Kord, a wealthy industrialist, was a kind of lighthearted version of Batman, and the scarab never worked for him. Jaime Reyes is an Ordinary High-School Student who's fully bonded with the scarab, giving him a Power Suit which acts as a sort of Do-Anything Robot.
    • The concept also gets sent up in the pre-Flashpoint Jaime Reyes run of the comic, where it's revealed that aspiring supervillains actually have brawls—"title fights"—to earn the right to take on a deceased/retired villain's nom de guerre. The story arc goes on to unveil a second Doctor Polaris.
    • In the New 52 run, Jaime inherits the legacy of the scarab but not the Blue Beetle name, as the scarab's previous holder didn't take it.
    • In the DC Rebirth run, meanwhile, Ted and Jaime share the Blue Beetle name. Ted saw the scarab one time, and was inspired to take his superhero name from it, but eventually had to retire due to health issues. Jaime came along looking for someone to get the scarab off him, and Ted decided to come out of retirement and help Jaime be a superhero.
  • In a unique villain-to-hero example, Rose Canton, the Golden Age villainess Thorn, was eventually replaced by Rhosyn "Rose" Forrest, a feminist vigilante. Like her predecessor, Rhosyn suffers from a split-personality disorder, but possesses none of the superpowers held by the original. Though not an outright villain like her predecessor, the modern Thorn frequently uses lethal force and has found herself as both an ally and enemy of the Birds of Prey.
  • The original Swamp Thing was Alex Olsen, who appeared in one House Of Secrets story, before the more famous Alec Holland incarnation was created. The Swamp Thing mythology created by Alan Moore and his successors would make both incarnations part of a lineage of Erl-Kings that dated to before humanity.
  • Unknown to Fastback of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, his uncle Merton McSnurtle is actually the long-retired Golden Age superhero the Terrific Whatzit, who like his nephew also possessed super-speed powers (plus several other abilities Fastback lacked).
  • Immortal Man in Darkness of The DCU's Great Ten is not actually immortal; the technology that gives him his powers will eventually kill him, and they simply keep replacing him. The "Immortal" name is a publicity thing. When one dies, there's a whole set of guys waiting in the wings to replace him. "You are immortal now!" And yes, pilots line up for the privilege to fly the Dragonwing even after being informed that it will be the death of them; the latest describes the first time he saw the craft as "love at first sight".
  • Also from the Great Ten is the Accomplished Perfect Physician, who is the seventeenth to bear the title and wield the powers of the greatest medical mind on the planet. Played with in that he's not the guy who was supposed to succeed the title; he was a soldier sent to beat back Tibetan dissidents and inadvertently killed the actual successor before being strongarmed into taking his place.
  • DC's Spirit of Vengeance, The Spectre, got retconned into a legacy with the John Ostrander series. The Spectre itself has existed almost since creation began, but has been compelled to take mortal hosts following the Crucifixion.
  • Black Canary is an interesting case, having become her own legacy character. Originally there was only one Black Canary; however, as she was tied to WWII it eventually got to the point where she was clearly decades older than she had ever looked (and considerably older than her lover Green Arrow). This was "fixed" with the retcon that she was actually inhabiting the braindead body of her previously unmentioned daughter. Crisis simplified this creepy idea by simply establishing that there were two Canaries, assigning the Golden Age stories to the mother and the Silver Age ones to the daughter.
  • Vandal Savage from DC Comics eventually figured out this trope and decided to go wipe out a few 'hero lines'. He got a couple but failed some as well. A steel-based villain was sent to kill Commander Steel's family. He was stabbed in the mouth, bleeding ensued and that gave steel powers to the man's grandson. Way to go, Savage.
  • The original Ray, Langford Terrill, had his identity taken up by his son, Ray Terrill, who in turn had the identity briefly taken over by a man named Stan Silver before returning to the mantle once Silver was revealed as a traitor. In the wake of the New 52 reboot, a new Ray named Lucien Gates was introduced. He acknowledges that he took his name from an existing hero, and DC Rebirth shows that at least one of the other Rays, Ray Terrill, is around in the new continuity.
    • Langford himself became a legacy character pre-New 52, taking up the mantle of obscure hero Neon the Unknown to become Neon.
  • In V for Vendetta, after V dies, Evey figures out that V had been preparing her to become V herself. Which she then does.
  • This is the basis of The Just #1. Besides already established legacy characters Damian Wayne, Chris Kent, Offspring, Steel (Natasha Irons), Jakeem Thunder, Impulse, Flash (Wally West), Aquaman (Garth), Artemis, Kyle Rayner, and the Joker's Daughter, Earth-16 features Alexis Luthor (Lex Luthor's daughter), Sister Miracle (Mister Miracle II's daughter), Megamorpho (Metamorpho's daughter), Menta (Mento of the Doom Patrol's daughter), and a new version of Arrowette who is Connor Hawke's daughter.
  • Doctor Fate is a hard one to keep track of, even without the Continuity Snarl. The title passed from archaeologist Kent Nelson to mother-and-son duo Linda and Eric Strauss, then to Kent's wife Inza. Following Zero Hour!, treasure hunter Jared Stevens took up the mantle as simply "Fate", then was replaced by Hector Hall, who returned to being Doctor Fate. Hall in turn was succeeded by psychoanalyst Kent V. Nelson, the original Kent Nelson's grand-nephew. The legacy effectively got a fresh start after the New 52 reboot, with medical student Khalid Nassour taking up the mantle; his series eventually revealed that Kent Nelson had been Doctor Fate before him.
  • The original, pre-Crisis Superboy was Clark Kent himself during his teen years in Smallville. Post-Crisis, it was established that Clark was never Superboy, and the first Superboy was a clone of Superman named Kon-El, later Conner Kent. Then Infinite Crisis happened and established that Clark had briefly been Superboy, making Conner the second.
    • Then the New 52 happened, and established that Clark had never been Superboy again, and Conner Kent was again the first Superboy, again a clone. He was replaced by his Evil Counterpart and the source of his DNA, Jon Lane Kent, the future son of Superman and Lois Lane, though the public didn't know Superboy was switched out. Both entered Comic Book Limbo, just in time for the Pre-Flashpoint Superman to return, with Lois and his son, Jonathan Samuel Kent. Jonathan helps his dad for a bit before becoming the second, but really the third, Superboy... before DC fused the Pre-Flashpoint and New 52 Supermen's histories together, and it's unclear if Clark was ever Superboy anymore.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    • The original Invisible Man gets raped and killed by Hyde in retaliation to assaulting Mina in Volume II. Black Dossier later reveals that in the 1940's, a League formed after the disbanding of the original League had a scientist named Peter Bradey (from the 1958 Invisible Man ITV series) become a new Invisible Man after recreating the invisibility formula from Griffin's notes. Unfortunately, he wasn't as effective because he had a cough from smoking that frequently gave him away.
    • Captain Nemo's daughter initially didn't want to continue her father's legacy until she was forced to do so in order to get even with several men who raped her. At the end of the Nemo spin-off trilogy, her grandson Jack takes up the mantle of Captain Nemo after her death.
  • Legends of the Dead Earth: This is a major recurring theme throughout many of the stories.
    • In Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #5, Kaleb, the last survivor of the Krypton-like planet Hydros, is recruited by the rebellion to become the new Superman and fight the Empire.
    • In Superman Annual #8, the League of Supermen continue the legacy of Superman by protecting their planet from natural and man-made disasters.
    • In Adventures of Superman Annual #8, the Curatti Willigig comes to believe that he is Superman after he receives a considerable volume of information about Krypton from a message that Jor-El recorded for Superman 500,000 years earlier.
    • In Superboy Annual #3, successive metas have been chosen to protect and rule Aztlan by becoming Superman for 500 years. Each Superman chooses a young man to be Superboy, who eventually succeeds him.
    • In the Supergirl Annual #1 story "The Surrogate", Cryssia becomes the new Supergirl after her consciousness is transferred into a robot body which she can reshape at will.
    • In Impulse Annual #1, Trace Wyndham is recruited into the Invisible Resistance by the speedster Kinnock. After demonstrating to Trace that he can access the Speed Force, Kinnock gives him the name Impulse as it suits his impulsive personality.
    • In Flash Annual #9, Bryan Mallory receives the Holy Shroud, namely Wally West's Flash costume, from the Martian Manhunter and becomes the Flash so that he can defeat his twin brother Tristan.
    • In The Power of Shazam! Annual #1, CeCe Beck is accidentally transported to the Rock of Eternity by a magic weapon wielded by the Aberrant Dash Noir. Once there, she meets the elderly Captain Marvel, who has been asleep for so long that he does not know that Earth was destroyed. He gives Beck his powers so that she can protect herself when the Rock of Eternity is overrun by Aberrants and the security forces pursuing them. As such, Beck becomes the new Captain Marvel.
    • In Wonder Woman Annual #5, a female Ratbat receives memories of Wonder Woman's adventures on Old Earth from a memory transfer device. This experience inspires her to fashion a costume resembling Wonder Woman's and fight the Unremembered who are invading her territory.
    • In Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #4, Starman was the hero of Finger City before it fell to the Lizard-Men.
  • The Shazam legacy is quite an odd one. The first champion for the wizard was Teth-Adam, who became Black Adam. Black Adam didn't work out and, centuries later, the wizard chose Billy Batson, who'd become Captain Marvel/Shazam. The wizard would die in Infinite Crisis and Billy would replace the wizard while his adopted brother Freddy Freeman would take over as "Shazam". Then, the New 52 happened, the wizard was revived and this time Billy and his adopted siblings became his champions.
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    Batman 
  • The Batman identity itself is one. In DC's main universe, there have been four Batmen. Obviously, the original is Bruce Wayne. However, after an injury, Bruce leaves the mantle to Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley). Azbats eventually lost his shit, and Bruce offered the mantle to Dick Grayson. Dick Grayson took up the mantle on what both knew was a temporary basis. However, after Bruce’s “death” in Final Crisis, a big deal is made out of who will succeed Bruce. Dick says he won’t do it, which leads Jason Todd and Tim Drake to fight over which one of them will do it. Eventually, Dick comes around and became the new Batman. Once Bruce returns, both acted as Batman before Dick went back to being Nightwing. Bruce then died again, and Jim Gordon became the new Batman, although this was without Bat-family involvement (Dick agreed to take up the mantle again in the same story, but he got busy with his own stuff).
    • DC One Million has a grieving man take up the Batman identity in the 853rd century, after the death of his family. He's the warden of the prison planet of Pluto.
    • The Trope is deconstructed with Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, in which it's revealed all of the various Batman incarnations are real.
    • In at least one alternate future, Tim Drake himself will become Batman. He's a murderous version, however, and when the main Tim Drake meets him, he resolves to never become this version of himself. A later story did some Arc Welding to tie this story in with the rest of the Robins, establishing that Tim becomes Batman after Dick retires as Batman and Damian fails to save Gotham (with the implication that Tim killed Damian).
    • In another Bad Future, Damian Wayne will become Batman after Bruce retires and Dick is killed.
    • Canon Immigrant Terry McGinnis actually takes up the Batman identity after Damian in that same story, Damian acting as his mentor. The story establishes that the Batman legacy will be carried on for centuries.
    • In yet another Bad Future, Terry inherited the title from Bruce, and got sent back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, ending up five years into the future of the main DCU. He died in the attempt, and the Tim Drake of that future took up the mantle, travelling to the present of the main DCU to complete Terry's mission, then getting thrown to a now-changed future, where Terry was missing and Tim temporarily took his place until he was found. Ow.
    • Elseworld story Dark Knight Dynasty reinvented Batman as a Legacy Character, creating both an ancestor of Bruce's called Sir Joshua of Wainwright who wore bat-motif armour, and a descendant named Brenna Wayne who became a 25th century Batwoman. All three of them faced Vandal Savage.
    • In Earth 2, Bruce-as-Batman dies in the first issue; much later, another Batman emerges, who turns out to be Bruce's father Thomas Wayne, who secretly survived the mob hit that killed his wife. He in turn is replaced by Earth-2's Dick Grayson, who, after an incident that keeps him from being Batman, is replaced by a woman, Helena Wayne, the first Robin of this universe and Huntress. She just wears a heavy coat and pretends to be a man.
    • In the Silver Age, it was established that Bruce himself had taken up a Batman legacy begun by Thomas Wayne, and that Bruce was the original Robin during his years of training to become Batman. Both of these were quietly discarded post-Crisis.
  • The Robin Hood inspired identity of Robin is a somewhat special case, each having been the sidekick to the same character (though, as noted above, he's also a legacy character, and two of them served under other Batmans in addition to Bruce). Each eventually took on a different identity after their time as Robin.
    • Dick Grayson, who went on to become Nightwing, left the job to Jason Todd. Dick Grayson also served as Batman (see above).
    • Nightwing is also a legacy character:
      • Pre-Crisis, the first Nightwing was actually none other than Superman himself, Kal-El/Clark Kent, who needed to become a Batman-like vigilante when he was in the Bottle City of Kandor. He later allowed his cousin Van-Zee (who had an Uncanny Family Resemblance to the Man of Steel) to use the identity to fight crime in the bottle city after Superman left. The best known Nightwing, former Robin Dick Grayson, then decided to adopt the name after he left Batman as a homage to both him and Superman.
      • Post-Crisis, Nightwing was the name of a Kryptonian vigilante that Supeman told Dick about, and Dick, being inspired by the story, took up the Nightwing identity. After One Year Later another former Robin, Jason Todd, became a more sociopathic version to mock Grayson, and a woman named Cheyenne Freemont became a heroic version to help Dick. When Power Girl went to Kandor she also adopted the Nightwing persona. The mantle was briefly passed to Chris Kent, the adopted son of Superman. Sometime after, poor Chris was trapped (seemingly forever) in the Phantom Zone. Dick Grayson retook the Nightwing identity following his lengthy tenure as Batman, although Chris had been RetGone'd by that point.
      • Nightwing’s sidekick Flamebird was originally none other than Mr. Action himself, Jimmy Olsen. After he left the bottle city the former Elastic Lad gave the title to the new Nightwing's son-in-law Ak-Var. Post-Crisis the original Bat-Girl Bette Kane took the name to impress Nightwing and is probably the best known Flamebird. Supergirl took the identity when she went to Kandor. Even though the first two were male the name is now associated with female characters so much that when Superman retook the Nightwing identity, Lois Lane and not Olsen was his sidekick, and the sixth Flamebird Thara Var is the wife of the second Flamebird (who apparently no longer exists). Thara was eventually killed, and in a completely unrelated storyline, Bette decided to take up the Flamebird identity again in order to fight crime with the new Batwoman, her cousin Kate. She would eventually leave the identity to become Hawkfire.
    • Jason Todd was killed by The Joker. Jason Todd stole the Red Hood identity from The Joker (making him a Legacy Villain) and also wore the costume of Red Robin, but returned to his Red Hood identity.
      • The Killing Joke depicts the Red Hood identity as a sort of extra-disposable legacy character shared by the members of a criminal gang, who foisted the hood on whichever accomplice they'd recruited for a specific job and didn't want to risk being seen with. Whether that's right or not depends on which Multiple-Choice Past you prefer for The Joker.
      • In the New 52, the Red Hoods were a street gang all wearing the same mask, and the Joker was their leader, going by “Red Hood One”. He himself usurped the role from the previous leader. Batman speculates that it’s unlikely ’’that’’ one was even the first.
    • Tim Drake figured out Dick and Bruce's identities, and when he went to persuade Dick to become Robin again he found himself stepping into the position. Later on, after Damian Wayne usurped the role, he would become Red Robin. In the New 52, it’s said that he was never Robin, and was always Red Robin, however his original origin was restored in DC Rebirth.
      • The Red Robin identity is also a legacy character. Essentially, an Elseworlds Dick Grayson wore it and passed it on to the mainstream Jason Todd. Jason wore it for a while but ditched it, and Tim Drake picked it up after being replaced by Damian Wayne.
    • At one point, Tim had a 10-Minute Retirement from being Robin, leaving the space open for Stephanie Brown, formerly a solo heroine known as the Spoiler. She then died in a Story Arc that shook up Gotham City and readers pretty badly and caused Tim to return to the job. She would go on to become the third official Batgirl (more on that below).
    • The fifth Robin is Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne's son. In this case however, he started off as Robin to Dick Grayson while he was Batman, before becoming Bruce's new sidekick once Dick went back to being Nightwing after Flashpoint.
    • Extra-Canonical Bad Future Robin Carrie Kelley appeared in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. She was inspired to become Robin by Batman's return from retirement and met up with Bruce by chance. In this universe, Dick Grayson was the first Robin and Jason was the second. She is now a Canon Immigrant, but only briefly wore the Robin costume for a Halloween party.
    • After Damian's resurrection and Bruce's death, Damian would leave Gotham to go on his own adventures. In his absence, various youths took the Robin symbol as their own, and they all function as a group with the Robin name. None of them work with Batman or even the rest of the Bat-family though, nor has any one member of the group referred to him or herself as Robin.
    • Bruce Wayne himself also spent some time as Robin, thanks to some Silver Age silliness in Detective Comics #266 (which is also referenced in the classic The Untold Legend of the Batman). Essentially, Bruce learned all he needed to learn to become the World's Greatest Detective from a detective named Harvey Harris. Harris himself decided on the name of Robin for the disguised Bruce, as the costume reminded him of a red-breasted Robin. The reason for the disguise is that Bruce didn't want Harris to try and dissuade him from fighting crime. You'd think that Bruce would have realized this wouldn't really stop him, all things considered... but then again, Silver Age. As you might guess, this last one was removed from continuity with the "Crisis on Infinite Earths", and certainly no longer exists after Flashpoint.
    • In Earth 2, the first Robin was Helena Wayne, the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. She disappeared from Earth 2 the day her father died, and ended up on the mainstream DCU and called herself Huntress. She eventually takes up the identity of Batman back on Earth 2, and her Robin is Dick Grayson's son.
  • Batman's other sidekick, Batgirl, is also a legacy character. Betty Kane was the original Bat-Girl introduced in the 1950's, but she was retconned out of the DCU history and then brought back again as a minor heroine called Flamebird. Barbara Gordon became Batgirl, the "first" Batgirl in current continuity since Betty Kane never existed, and held the role until The Killing Joke, when The Joker shot and crippled her. The first actual legacy transfer occurred when the Batgirl mantle was picked up years later by Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress, when she realized the crooks were more afraid of Batman than they were of her. This only lasted a short while however, since Batman never gave her his consent or blessing. Eventually the costume passed to Cassandra Cain, an "official" Batgirl with the consent and partnership of Batman. Cassandra unceremoniously gave up the identity in the Batgirl (2009) series and took on the new moniker of Blackbat. The cowl was picked up by Stephanie Brown, previously the Spoiler and the fourth Robin (See also Robin entry above), who starred in an acclaimed but short-lived solo series before having the Batgirl mantle returned to Barbara Gordon via Cosmic Retcon.
    • In the New 52/Rebirth continuity, Cassandra Cain is the second Orphan, taking over the identity from her father. She's never been Batgirl or Blackbat in this timeline.
  • Batman and Robin's British counterparts aren't exempt, either. The original Knight and Squire were the Earl of Wordenshire and his son Cyril. The Earl was killed by one of his archenemies, and Cyril sank into depression, ending up in the gutter, where he was found by Beryl Hutchinson. Cyril took up his father's code name, becoming the new Knight, and Beryl became the new Squire. After Cyril’s death, Beryl became the new Knight.
  • Clayface, one of the Batman villains, has had no fewer than eight entirely different people take the name and powers. (Most of them have shapeshifting powers, and most have an additional power which is different for each individual.) In an odd divergence, the original Clayface didn't actually have any powers — until he arranged to duplicate those of his three "heirs".
  • This trope is played with in the beginning of Gotham Central, dealing with the actions of Firebug, an arsonist villain who has just returned to Gotham after a long absence. The Gotham City Police Department eventually managed to track down Joseph Rigger and arrest him after him tried to escape, only for him to reveal that he sold his costume two years ago after it almost killed him. The real culprit is deduced and arrested, and it turns out to be an upper-class twit who bought the suit and runs around burning down banks for the adrenaline rush.
  • There have been several Two-Faces in the Batman comics including the first Two-Face Harvey Dent, his butler Wilkins, Paul Sloane, an actor, George Blake, a petty criminal and Harvey Apollo, another actor. An averted case with the New 52 Two-Face. There's only ever been one, Harvey Dent. But a story arc called "The Big Burn" was seemingly intended as the definitive ending for Harvey, with him committing suicide at the end of it. However, during the story, the person who made him Two-Face, Erin McKillen, gets scratches on one side of her face and becomes leader of the Blackgate inmates, which sets her up as the new Two-Face. However, Scott Snyder would bring back Harvey for his first arc of All-Star Batman, and Erin entered Comic Book Limbo.
  • The Azrael identity is this, a line of assassin-enforcers for "The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas". It initially belonged to Jean-Paul Valley (who'd inherited it from his father), but he discarded it after becoming Batman. Years down the line it was picked up by Michael Lane, a cop conditioned so that he would replace Batman should the need ever arise. At the beginning of the New 52 reboot, Lane was still Azrael, but years down the line, Jean-Paul Valley was reintroduced (seemingly never having been Batman), and is apparently the first Azrael.
  • Batwing was an identity first used by David Zavimbe, a former child soldier and the Batman of Africa under the Batman Incorporated initiative set up by Bruce Wayne. He eventually quit, and the Batwing identity was taken up by Luke Fox, the son of Bruce's associate Lucius Fox. Since the change, Batwing gradually became a full fledged member of the Batfamily.
  • The Batwoman identity is sort of one. The first Bat-Woman was Kathy Kane, a billionaire heiress. The character never caught on and seemingly never existed post-Crisis. But then Infinite Crisis happened, and in the pages of 52, Kate Kane takes up the identity of Batwoman, and is seemingly the first... then Grant Morrison's Batman reincorproated several parts of pre-Crisis canon, including Kathy Kane having been Bat-Woman, meaning Kate is the second. There is no relation between the two characters, despite them having the exact same name, and the New 52 would change Kathy's name to Katrina Netz, with Kathy Kane being an alias.
  • Darkseid War and DC Rebirth revealed that The Joker himself is this. The original Joker is not the same one who'd torment the Gordons, and the Joker responsible for Death of the Family and Batman: Endgame is himself a third person.
  • Probably the craziest example in The DCU is The Joker's Daughter. Appearing in the mid-70s Batman titles, she claimed to be the daughter of a different Bat-villain each time, with a costume to match. She was eventually revealed as Two-Face's daughter, who rejected her and her mother because he wanted twins. She then joined the cast of Teen Titans as "Harlequin" until that title's cancellation not long after. Afterwards, she mostly disappeared, cameoing Post-Crisis as a mental patient and staying that way until the run-up to Infinite Crisis, which had her gleefully claiming to be the daughter of everyone from Doomsday to Punch and Jewelee, until she was killed for shock value and retroactively revealed as the daughter of the Mirror Universe heroic version of The Joker, the Jokester.
  • In Death of the Family, it turns out Harleen Quinzel isn't the first Harley Quinn. She is, however, the first one to escape with her life.
  • Legends of the Dead Earth:
    • In Batman Annual #20, a Batman cyborg fights the City Controllers who rule New Gotham through oppression and mind control.
    • In Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #4, the City Hero, the Batman, is the guardian of Nu-Gotham who fights crime in the city and protects it from external threats such as the Lizard-Men. The people of Nu-Gotham believe that the Batman is their ruler King Bruce the 23rd but it is in fact his retainer Richard Grayson as the King was too frightened.
    • In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #6, successive generations of the Kane family, calling themselves either Batman or Batwoman, have been the executioners of the city of Gotham since their ship, the Plight of Gotham, crashlanded 500 years earlier.
    • In Robin Annual #5, a former proctor on the Generation Ship Gotham who had grown disillusioned with his society was inspired by the legends of Old Earth to become the new Batman. A rebel named Tris Plover becomes his Robin.

    Marvel 
  • In the 1960s and 1970s, Marvel Comics had a character called "Captain Marvel" (not to be confused with the one who shouts "Shazam!"); he died from cancer in one of the first large-format graphic novels. In the 1980s, a Coast Guard officer from New Orleans named Monica Rambeau gained energy powers and took the name "Captain Marvel". Eventually, she traded hero sobriquets with the genetically engineered son of the late original Captain, who then operated under the name "Captain Marvel". He was killed, and succeeded as "Captain Marvel" by his younger sister (this third one came back, but took a different name, Photon — that Monica Rambeau had also used.) The original came Back from the Dead as a Shapeshifter Mode Lock Skrull. In 2012, Carol Danvers (formerly Ms. Marvel) took on the Captain Marvel name herself. As of 2014, Monica Rambeau goes by "Spectrum" while a girl named Kamala Khan is the new Ms. Marvel.
    • The "Ms. Marvel" moniker has also been passed around a few times. After Carol Danvers' depowering at the hands of Rogue, the next person to take it up was Sharon Ventura, a wrestler who became romantically involved with the Thing. During the Dark Reign era, the supervillainess Moonstone took the identity for her own as part of Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. After Carol's ascension to Captain Marvel, Kamala Khan took up the identity of Ms. Marvel.
  • The ultimate legacy character is Marvel Comics' size-changing hero Doctor Henry Pym; Pym has used five different superhero identities over the years (Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and the Wasp), and no fewer than six people have adopted his discarded identities at various times.
    • Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady have both used the Ant-Man identity (Lang is currently using it).
    • Rita DeMara: the Yellowjacket one.
    • Bill Foster: both the Giant-Man and Goliath names.
    • Clint Barton and Erik Josten: the Goliath name (the latter being an interesting case, as he first used the name as a villain, before eventually doing a Heel–Face Turn and thereafter going by Atlas.)
      • Uniquely, Pym often ends up returning to his previous identities. For instance, during Pym's period as Goliath in the late 90s-early 00s, Clint Barton had long abandoned the Goliath name and powers to be Hawkeye again, and Bill Foster was retired from heroics.
    • At one point Pym even took the identity of the Wasp, a name originally held by his ex-wife Janet van Dyne. After being mocked by foes such as Absorbing Man and realizing he needed to move on, Pym discarded the Wasp identity in favor of retaking the Giant-Man identity. Subsequently, Pym's daughter Nadia became the new Wasp.
    • What's more, Foster's nephew Tom currently uses his Goliath identity, thus bringing the total number of Pym legacy characters to eight. Tom wanted to be Black Goliath, a name Foster had used previously, but people kept getting the name wrong.
    • Most recently, the Wasp identity has been taken on by Nadia Van Dyne, Hank Pym's previously unknown daughter by his first wife, who took Janet's surname after adopting her as a mother-figure.
    • It gets weirder. Pym also created the robot Ultron, who rebelled and created two more robots (The Vision and Victor Mancha) who both rebelled from him and joined The Avengers and the Runaways, respectively. The Vision was programmed using brainwave patterns from Wonder Man. Vision married Scarlet Witch, and had two children with her who were killed but their souls (and thus powers) were placed in the bodies of Wiccan and Speed (members of the Young Avengers; we'll get to them in a minute). Vision was then destroyed in the "Avengers Disassembled" storyline. In the aftermath, a young Kang the Conqueror uses his own shapeshifting power armor and data copied from the Vision's remains to become Iron Lad, another Young Avenger. Kang eventually goes back to his own time, but leaves the Iron Lad armor behind, which has now gained sentience thanks to the Vision program and has become a legacy character to Vision I. Whew!
  • The Wasp identity is also a legacy mantle in the Ultimate Marvel universe. Following Jan's death during the critically panned Ultimatum crossover, former villainess Petra Laskov was given a similar costume and abilities by S.H.I.E.L.D., and joined the Avengers under the name Red Wasp.
  • Russian heroes who work for the Russian government in the Marvel Universe tend to be replaced a lot. (Many are little more than Badass Normals who the Kremlin can replace by passing the equipment to someone else if the current owner dies or is in jail.) The current Crimson Dynamo is the thirteenth one. The current Red Guardian (aka Vanguard) is the seventh, and the leader of the Winter Guard. The Titanium Man is an odd case; Boris Bullski was the first man to wear the armor and Kondrati Topolov (aka the Gremlin) was the second, but, since Toplov's death, several others wearing the armor have appeared, with their identities unrevealed. (At least some of them might actually have been Bullski, but this has not been verified.)
  • There have thus far been four individuals to take up the identity and mission of the Foolkiller: Ross G. Everbest, Greg Salinger, Kurt Gerhardt, and Mike Trace. While all have the goal of killing "fools", each has a different definition of the term (Everbest was a Knight Templar who killed people he perceived as sinners, Gerhardt and Trace were vigilantes with methods much like The Punisher - but more of a sociopath - who hunted criminals, and Salinger was simply a lunatic who claimed a fool was someone who "lacked a poetic nature". To emphasize how insane he was, when Spider-Man engaged him in a battle, an onlooker remarked that anyone who would fight Spider-Man would have to be a fool; Salinger agreed, and tried to shoot himself).
  • Wiccan, Speed, Iron Lad, Vision II, Hawkeye II, and Patriot have all been members of the Young Avengers, which is composed entirely of Legacy Characters. But there's the twist that some members' apparent legacies differ from their actual ones: Hulkling is actually Captain Marvel's kid; and while Wiccan looks like he takes after Thor (he started out as "Asgardian"), his powers actually come from the Scarlet Witch. Iron Lad modeled himself after Iron Man, but he's actually a teenage Kang.
  • Downplayed with America Chavez, who was also in the Young Avengers team for a time. Out of universe she's marketed as the modern version of Marvel's Golden Age character Miss America, but in-universe "America" is genuinely her first name, and according to Kieron Gillen, she probably doesn't even know that the previous character existed.
  • Marvel's MC2 alternate future has a slew of these, the most famous being Spider-Girl, Spider-Man's daughter. There's also a new Green Goblin, the original's grandson Normie, though he eventually hands the role back to former heroic Goblin Phil Urich. Many other Marvel heroes have MC2 counterparts, as well as teams, such as the Fantastic Five, the X-People, and Avengers Next, the last of which includes American Dream, a Distaff Counterpart to Captain America.
  • The Human Torch was originally a Golden Age character from Timely Comics, who was on the cover of the first issue of their flagship title ("Marvel Comics"). He was a Frankensteinian android who could catch fire and fly. When Timely became Marvel in the 60's and Stan and Jack created the Fantastic Four, they reused the Torch's design, this time making him a young human. Eventually, Marvel started bringing back their Golden Age characters, which inevitably led to the two Torches involved in a Let's You and Him Fight situation.
  • Young Avengers' Vision isn't the second, but the third. The first is an alien cop called Aarkus. He can fly, create illusions of himself, generate cold, and teleport (but the destination must have smoke! Why? Because he's from a dimension called Smokeworld, duh.) Visually, the android Vision looks like an update of him, but they're quite different characters beyond that.
  • Spider-Man's Electro is the third. The first was a robot hero without electrical powers, and the second was an electrical supervillain with the Dirty Commies and fought Captain America.
  • Jubilee is the second to have the name and the power set. She seems to be a "we wish we could use that character but can't, so let's make a new one" case: the first Jubilee was part of the Bratpack, a group of kids brainwashed, empowered, and turned into adults by Mojo. They haven't been seen since pulling the plug on the plan reverted them to normal kids and the de-aged Captain Britain (and some others) to his true adult self. Some time later, the X-Men encounter an unrelated girl in a mall with the same powers and code name, and she even introduces herself similarly. The original one, while using her 'fireworks' to attack, said her name was Jubilee, whose every move is a celebration. The more familiar one, while using her 'fireworks' to show off, said her name was Jubilee because with her, every day is a celebration.
    • The code name for the more familiar one is also justified in that her full name is Jubilation Lee, and Jubilee happens to be her nickname.
  • Thor and Loki guest-starred in Venus' solo comic. It's a bizarre case of being the same folks and yet not being them. All were depicted as actually being the mythical characters just like the current ones, so they're the same... but the portrayal was completely incompatible with the current ones, so they can't be. The Norse and Greek gods apparently coexisted in Olympus, and Loki had been exiled. Both looked completely different from the way they do now as well. In Venus' case, there is also a modern version portrayed very differently in the pages of Hercules' comic, but we know what happened there: The Golden Age Venus is a siren (but a good one) who took on the identity and is not the goddess herself as previously thought. The actual goddess is the one from Hercules and insists on being called by her Greek name, Aphrodite, while the one from Venus remains Venus. That she knew a Thor and a Loki who were nothing like the current ones hasn't been addressed.
  • Ka-Zar as he is known today is not the first; the Golden Age character is another Tarzan wannabe accompanied by a lion (not a saber-toothed tiger.) He was last seen in The '40s, alongside the first Human Torch. The current Ka-Zar does not seem to have a connection to him.
  • In a rare inversion of the Affirmative Action Legacy trope, the Chinese villain Radioactive Man (no, not THAT Radioactive Man) was replaced by a Russian named Igor Stancheck after making a Heel–Face Turn. The new guy didn't last long.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Miguel O'Hara, better known as Spider-Man 2099.
    • Ben Reilly, Peter's clone, who took over as Spidey for a short time in the 90's.
    • What's more, there was an Initiative trio known as the Scarlet Spiders, named for Ben's alter ego, and using suits based on the "Iron Spider" suit Tony Stark created for Peter during Civil War; only one is still alive, but he's still active as the Scarlet Spider.
    • But wait, there's more! During Identity Crisis, Spidey was wanted for murder, so Peter adopted not one but FOUR alternate identities, each of which he passed on to another hero after returning to the webs. There's Ricochet (Johnny Gallo), Dusk (Cassie St. Commons), Hornet (Scotty McDowell, who preceded Peter, and Eddie McDonough), and Prodigy (Ritchie Gilmore, who has used the identity ever since).
    • In Superior Spider-Man, the Spider-Mantle was held by Doctor Octopus, who became Spider-Man by pulling a Grand Theft Me on Peter Parker, who died in Otto Octavius' body. Doc Ock agreed to be a hero after seeing the memories of the original Spider-Man. He also agreed to live Peter Parker's life as well and prove to be superior in both identities. Peter returned at the end of the story.
    • After the death of the Ultimate Universe version of Peter Parker, the Ultimate Spider-Man mantle passed to a young boy named Miles Morales. The All-New, All-Different Marvel continuation after Secret Wars (2015) has Miles share the Spider-Man mantle with Peter after arriving in the mainstream universe.
  • Peter Parker's daughter May "Mayday" Parker takes up the role of Spider-Girl to fight crime. Later she's aided by a new Scarlet Spider (The Black Cat's daughter) and her own clone (who becomes a toss-up between a traditional Spider-Girl crusader and a homicidal Venom-like avenger).
  • Ben Reilly himself inspired a legacy. Before he became the second Spider-Man, Ben went by the name of Scarlet Spider. Years after his death, the Scarlet Spider identity was adopted by Kaine, another clone of Peter Parker.
  • There have been at least three different women to use the Spider-Woman mantle; Jessica Drew, Julia Carpenter, and Mattie Franklin. Drew currently has the title again, and operates as a member of The Avengers.
  • Julia Carpenter took up the new identity of Arachne after Jessica began calling herself Spider-Woman again. She now goes by the name Madame Web, a mantle she inherited after the death of the original.
  • The original and best known Vulture is Adrian Toomes, who was briefly succeeded by Blackie Drago and Clifton Shallot. There was also another Vulture named Jimmy Natale, who briefly replaced Toomes before being killed by The Punisher.
  • When Marvel's Squadron Supreme returned to their own universe, they found another Nighthawk operating, the original being dead. The new one was the biological child of the original's worst enemy, and became the original's adopted son after the original Nighthawk had killed his father.
  • The various Great Lakes Avengers/X-Men/Defenders comics have been parodying this with the Grasshopper. The first joined the GLA and died less than seven seconds later. Three other Grasshoppers have appeared in the team's comics, and none of them have had the same longevity as the first.
  • The Iron Man villain Blizzard is another villain example. The first one was a guy named Gregor Shapanka, but after he died, his suit and name were passed to a guy named Donnie Gill.
  • The Vulture is a Spider-Man villain who has had, to date, five identities. The first - and current - is Adrian Toomes. Blackie Drago and the Vulturions were crooks who stole and utilized Toomes' equipment, while Clifton Shallot gained the appearance and powers similar to Toomes via a lab experiment. The fifth one, Jimmy Natale, was a mutant cannibal who had little resemblance to Toomes. Regardless, Adrian hates imposters, and often seeks revenge on anyone assuming his title. Seeing as he's currently the only Vulture, this will likely continue.
  • Green Goblin/Hobgoblin: One interesting twist Marvel has also used is for someone to steal the villain's identity and technology and use it for themselves. Norman Osborn was one of the most common victims as the Green Goblin, as his weapons and goblin motifs were repeatedly stolen.
    • They were discovered by his son Harry Osborn first.
    • Then by Harry's psychiatrist, Dr. Barton "Bart" Hamilton.
    • Then by Roderick Kingsley who became the first Hobgoblin.
    • Roderick Kingsley then brainwashed Arnold "Lefty" Donovan into becoming the second Hobgoblin.
    • Roderick Kingsley also brainwashed Ned Leeds into becoming the third Hobgoblin.
    • Then by Jason Philip Macendale (previously Jack O' Lantern, soon to be another Legacy Character) who became the fourth Hobgoblin (who stole them from the first Hobgoblin).
    • Then by a unknown criminal during Secret War who became the fifth Hobgoblin.
    • Then by Daniel Kingsley, brother of the first Hobgoblin, who became the sixth Hobgoblin.
    • And then yet again by Phil Urich, who had a short-lived career as a superhero in the Green Goblin guise, who later took on the Hobgoblin name becoming the seventh Hobgoblin, then he became the Goblin Knight.
    • Norman also had a henchman act as his stand-in after he returned in The Clone Saga; the identity of this Goblin was never revealed.
    • Roderick Kingsley sent his butler Claude to distract the Goblin Underground as the Hobgoblin, becoming the eighth Hobgoblin, but he was killed by the Goblin Knight.
    • The pattern seems to be repeated in the current Spider-Man comics with the new villain Menace.
    • It got so bad that the first Hobgoblin had to come out of retirement to personally kill off the fourth Hobgoblin for being such a pathetic villain it made the original feel bad. This led to a conflict between him and Osborn (who still held a grudge against Kingsley for stealing his equipment and identity) and Kingsley deciding to retire for good.
  • Many symbiotes from Spider-Man have had multiple people bond with them and use their codename.
    • Venom is this, as five hosts have now bonded with the same symbiote and taken the Venom name. Eddie Brock is the first Venom host to use the name Venom, and is a villain/anti-hero depending on his mood. Angelo Fortunato was the second Venom and also villainous, but his tenure was short-lived and he's usually forgotten about. Mac Gargan (Scorpion) was the third Venom and also villainous, also taking on the Spider-Man name while posing as the wallcrawler on Norman Osborn's Avengers. Flash Thompson was the fourth Venom and the first straight-up heroic one; usually he's called Agent Venom to distinguish him from the traditionally villainous role of Venom. Lee Price is the most recent new Venom, and returned to the title's villainous origins before losing the symbiote to Eddie Brock.
    • Carnage has had two non-temporary hosts. The first and most well-known is Cletus Cassady, a serial killer who created the name. The second is Karl Malus, a Mad Scientist, though the symbiote eventually returned to Cletus.
    • Toxin has had two hosts. The first was Pat Mulligan, an NYPD officer who tried to use it in a heroic way. He was killed off-panel and the Toxin symbiote was bonded to Eddie Brock, who used it in villainous ways.
    • Anti-Venom, while not a traditional symbiote, has had two people use it as an identity. The first was Eddie Brock, when Mr. Negative created the Anti-Venom symbiote by accident — Eddie used it in mostly heroic ways before it was destroyed. Later on, a second, synthetic Anti-Venom was created and was accidentally bonded to Flash Thompson, who became the second Anti-Venom — again, usually prefaced with an 'Agent' — and acted in a heroic capacity.
    • The Scream symbiote is the one instance where one of the Life Foundation symbiotes has done this. The other four very rarely use their names and have had a large variety of hosts. In contrast, Scream has only had two hosts, both of whom have used the name. Donna Diego is the original Scream and was active for about a decade-and-a-half before being killed along with the Scream symbiote. The symbiote was resurrected by Knull and bonded with Patricia Robertson, who immediately took up the Scream name.
  • In addition to those mentioned above, a lot of Spider-Man rogues have had Legacy Characters:
    • Doctor Octopus was believed dead for a time, so Carolyn Trainer became the new Doc Ock until Otto Octavius was revived.
    • The original Mysterio, Quentin Beck, faked his death so his acquaintance, out-of-work stuntman Danny Berkhart, could adopt the role for a time.
    • After the original Kraven the Hunter died, his son Vladimir became the Grim Hunter. Then his other son Alyosha became the new Kraven the Hunter. Since then, even more of Kraven's family has shown up...
    • Mac Gargan gave up being the Scorpion for a time, during which Elaine Coll became Scorpia, a female version of the villain (who has continued the role even when Gargan returned). Then during the time Gargan was Venom, another woman came to call herself Scorpion. However, this new Scorpion (Camilla Black) is a hero with different powers.
    • The Rhino, Aleksei Sytsevich, attempted to quit the super-villain biz, only for a new Rhino to emerge, challenge him, and tragically kill Sytsevich's fiancée, prompting Aleksei to return to the role of Rhino and kill the upstart.
    • The Beetle, Abner Jenkins, became MACH-1 of the Thunderbolts, and has genuinely reformed. A new Beetle, Janice Lincoln, has since emerged.
    • Jason Macendale created the villainous identity of Jack O'Lantern, a role he abandoned when he became the Hobgoblin. A few Jacks O'Lantern have appeared since, including a mercenary who worked for the Red Skull, Danny Berkhart and Maguire Beck (Mysterio's cousin) collaborating as "Mad Jack", and even a few other unidentified individuals.
    • The Rose, a masked crime boss and lieutenant-cum-rival to the Kingpin. The first was Richard Fisk, Kingpin's own son. The role was then taken by Detective Sargent Blume of the NYPD, then by news reporter Jacob Conover, then by scientist Philip Hayes.
    • Even a new Kangaroo (Brian Hibbs) showed up years after the demise of the original (Frank Oliver)!
    • Minor Spidey-villain Cyclone was killed by Scourge. A new Cyclone showed up in Thunderbolts, having procured the equipment designed by the original.
    • The Big Man and the Crime-Master were both killed. Their identities were usurped by Big Man's daughter and Crime-Master's son respectively. Later, another Crime-Master appeared to challenge the Flash Thompson Venom.
  • Captain America:
    • His return in The Avengers came with the backstory that he became a Human Popsicle near the end of World War II, and his sidekick Bucky wasn't so lucky. But since Cap and Bucky kept appearing well after WW2, how'd that happen? To the Retconmobile! Turns out 50s "Commie Smasher" Cap was another guy named William Burnside (later the villain known as the Grand Director) and his Bucky was not Bucky Barnes (the real one's dead!) but Jack Monroe (later Nomad).
    • It is later established that, before Burnside's debut in the 50s, there were two previous Captains America who tried to succeed Steve after he was declared MIA near the end of WW2. William Naslund (formerly the Spirit of '76) held the title for a brief time before his death, after which the Cap identity was passed to Jeffrey Mace (formerly the superhero known as Patriot).
      • It was later established that there was another Cap, Isaiah Bradley, who had an experimental version of the serum they used on Steve tested on him in order to recreate it. He became the first Black Captain America.
    • After Cap was defrosted, he had two incidents where he took a different name, and others took the costume and name of Captain America. None of them lasted very long. With Cap dead, the name and shield passed to his Back from the Dead ex-sidekick; when Cap finally came Back from the Dead himself, he decided to let Bucky keep the title and adopt a different name again.
    • This gets a little complicated at this point, but stay with us. One of the guys who replaced Cap after he disappeared was the Patriot, a name that would later be used by the grandson of the real original Captain America, Isaiah Bradley. After Eli retired, the Patriot mantle would be taken up by a teen named Rayshaun Lucas during Secret Empire. Meanwhile, one of Cap's alternate identities, Nomad, the Man Without a Country, was adopted by Jack Monroe (formerly the fake Bucky of the 50s), and later by Rikki Barnes, the female Bucky from Heroes Reborn's Counter-Earth. John Walker wore Cap's "The Captain" costume to become USAgent, and during his tenure as Captain America was partnered with Lemar Hoskins as Bucky.
    • Later on, Steve was temporarily aged into an old man, resulting in Sam Wilson, The Falcon, becoming Captain America; Steve's rejuvenation resulted in both Steve and Sam sharing the name. During the period where Sam was Captain America, a Mexican teenager named Joaquin Torres became the new Falcon.
  • Thor
    • During the 90s, he was briefly succeeded by a man named Eric Masterson, who soon took on the identity of Thunderstrike after the Thor mantle was returned to the original. Thunderstrike was later killed and now his son Kevin operates as the new Thunderstrike and a member of the Avengers Academy.
    • After the "Fear Itself" crossover (where Bucky "died", only to become a secret agent), Thor was also briefly replaced by Tanarus, who took over as the new God of Thunder. Subverted when it turned out that Tanarus was actually Thor's enemy Ulik the Troll in disguise as part of a scheme by Karnilla.
    • As part of the Marvel NOW! Initiative, the mantle of Thor is passed onto a woman revealed to be a terminally ill Jane Foster, who proves herself worthy of Mjolnir. Then, during the events of War of the Realms, Jane becomes the Valkyrie after Brunnhilde is killed by Malekith the Accursed.
  • During his battle with alcoholism, Tony Stark was briefly replaced by his buddy James "Rhodey" Rhodes, who became popular enough that he developed the heroic identity of War Machine after returning the Iron Man mantle to Tony.
    • Following Civil War II, the Iron Man legacy is temporarily taken up by Riri Williams and Doctor Doom. However, Riri calls herself Ironheart instead of Iron Man.
  • X-Men
    • Wolverine's nemesis Silver Samurai is one example. The original was a guy named Kenuichiro Harada, who was replaced by his son Shin after his death.
    • Spoofed in Wolverines: Following Wolverine's death, Deadpool decided that the world needed a Wolverine in it, so took it upon himself to become the new Wolverine. It...didn't work out so well, with Wade not only just getting his ass kicked by She-Hulk for his trouble, but receiving a colossal fourth wall-straining lampshade hung on just how difficult it is for legacy characters to work by Dogtagger.
    • Ultimately played straight. When the normal Marvel Universe resumed following Secret Wars, X-23 took up the Wolverine name and costume in Logan's honor.
    • Rachel Summers, of the X-Men, is the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from an alternate future. She has taken on both of her "mother"'s identities, as Phoenix and currently as Marvel Girl.
    • Starting from Dawn of X, Betsy Braddock became the new Captain Britain. At the same time, her discarded Psylocke identity is taken up by Kwannon, formerly known as Revanche. This is fitting, as Betsy regained her old Caucasian body following the body swap with Kwannon, and Kwannon's body is what most people think of when they think "Psylocke".
  • A rarer villainous example is Lady Bullseye (Maki Matsumoto), a Distaff Counterpart to the Daredevil villain Bullseye. In a parody/inversion of the idea of heroic inspiration, Bullseye by complete accident "rescues" her from her Yakuza captors by slaughtering them all on an unrelated errand. Already pretty far gone psychologically at that point, she was inspired to become an assassin by his example.
  • Marvel Comics' Immortal Iron Fist was Ret Conned to being a legacy character, with a lineage stretching back hundreds of years. This is why Iron Fist is immortal: the position will never die, only its occupants. This is also true of the other immortal weapons; there will always be a Dog Brother #1, always a Cobra Warrior, etc.
  • Power Man is a complicated example. The first Power Man was a villain named Erik Josten before the name passed to its most famous holder, Luke Cage. Luke currently goes by his civilian name and no longer wears a costume, so the identity has since fallen to Victor Alvarez, an Afro-Latino teenager who fancies himself a "hero for hire."
  • Black Knight is another odd duck. The original was an actual Arthurian knight named Sir Percy who had his mantle taken up hundreds of years later by his descendant Nathan Garrett, who became a villain. The mantle then passed to Nathan's nephew Dane, who famously became a hero and a member of The Avengers. A new short-lived replacement named Augustine du Lac was later introduced, and he has now been succeeded by an unnamed female teenage incarnation, who like Nathan is a villain.
  • Marvel's Imperial Guard has several legacy characters in its ranks.
    • This is played with in the War of Kings crossover — on his way to the throne of the Shi'ar Imperium, Vulcan kills the Guardsman Smasher. Later, as Emperor, he's reviewing the Guard, and comes to Smasher. His reaction is: "Didn't I kill you?" Smasher explains that he's a new guy in the same uniform. Then he gets killed a short time later. Yet another Smasher then appears, and spends half an issue thanking Imperial Guard commander Gladiator for choosing him to fill the uniform. Then Gladiator kills him. A new, female Smasher is part of the Marvel NOW Avengers relaunch. Here's hoping she has better luck than her predecessors.
    • Over the Shi'ar Imperium's long history, this has apparently added up to a LOT of Guardsmen. When Neutron is killed (and replaced), we see the vault where he's buried - and it seems to be filled with thousands of caskets.
  • Originally, Johnny Blaze seemed to be the first and only Ghost Rider. This was later shown not to be the case. Wherever injustice reigns, a Spirit of Vengeance will rise to punish the wicked...
    • The mantle's also been taken up independently of the Spirits of Vengeance by Robbie Reyes, the All-New Ghost Rider.
  • Trick Shot, Hawkeye's mentor, fits this. After he died, the Trickshot identity was taken up by Barney Barton, Hawkeye's older brother and a member of the Dark Avengers.
  • Black Panther is a title granted to the ruler of the fictional nation of Wakanda. The most iconic bearer of the mantle, T'Challa, became the Black Panther after the murder of his father T'Chaka. T'Challa briefly passed the mantle to his younger sister Shuri before reclaiming it. The title was also briefly inherited by Kasper Cole before he abandoned it in favor of taking on the White Tiger identity (see below).
  • The White Tiger is a somewhat confusing case. The first White Tiger was Hector Ayala, who was replaced by an unrelated female White Tiger – who was in reality an actual Bengal Tiger who was given human form. The third White Tiger was Kasper Cole, a mixed-race police officer. After Cole faded into obscurity, another new White Tiger was introduced in the form of Angela Del Toro, a Latina cop and Hector's niece. She eventually died and was resurrected as a villain before being freed and apparently stripped of the mantle. The title now rests with Ava Ayala, Hector's previously unmentioned teenage sister, who currently attends the Avengers Academy.
  • Iron Man:
    • The Crimson Dynamo was an Iron Man villain initially, but since the original died there have been no less then TWELVE wearers of the Crimson Dynamo armor. As of World War Hulk, Crimson Dynamo suits are apparently available for purchase on the black market to criminal and terrorist organizations around the world; the Gamma Corps takes on a few of them(rather easily) in their first offical mission.
    • Boris Bullski was the first Titanium Man, another Russian villain for Iron Man with a legacy. The Gremlin was the second Titanium Man who operated while Titanium Man I was still alive, and was killed during the Armor Wars. After Boris Bullski (Titanium Man I) got killed, a third Titanium Man cropped up during Civil War, though it's unclear whether it was indeed another man using the armor or if it was a somehow revived Boris Bullski.
  • The original Nova was Richard Rider, who was depowered after the cancellation of his series. The title passed to the unrelated Frankie Raye, who ran with the identity until her apparent death (years later she was revealed to be alive in the Heralds mini-series). Rider regained his abilities and the Nova identity until his death during the Thanos Imperative storyline, and has now been replaced by Sam Alexander, a new teen Nova.
  • X-Men villain Apocalypse was eventually revealed to be a legacy character, with the gray-skinned Egyptian En Sabah Nur in fact being the eighth Apocalypse charged by the Celestials with advancing evolution on Earth. When Uncanny X-Force killed En Sabah Nur, the mantle was passed on to the Horseman Death - who also happened to be their teammate Archangel. Cue Archangel becoming the new Apocalypse.
  • The only one of Marvel's original characters to begin as a legacy character was Doctor Strange, who is merely the current Sorcerer Supreme. His legacy stretches back thousands of years (some say back to Agamotto himself).
  • Amadeus Cho became the new Hulk for a time after absorbing the gamma radiation from Bruce Banner's body.
  • Clint Barton, better known as Hawkeye, has taken on three identities in his lifetime:
    • His first was, of course, Hawkeye, and he was the first; the identity later was taken up by Kate Bishop at a time when he was believed dead (she chose not to take up the costume as well, out of respect), then got used by Bullseye during his time in the Dark Avengers. Currently, Clint is back to using it and, unusually, Kate is still using it without any "Hawkeye Jr." or "Lady Hawkeye" modification.
    • The second was Goliath, which, as explained above, he gained from Hank Pym.
    • The third one, Ronin, was gained from Maya Lopez, better known as Echo, who gave him her blessing after rescuing her from Japan. It has since been taken up by two others, Alexei Shostakov (Red Guardian), and Blade.
  • Marvel 100th Anniversary Special:
    • Gamora has taken on the title of Starlord after Peter Quill's (apparent) death.
    • Also, the Human Torch is now an Asian boy named Lee Minh Cam.
  • During the 50 States Initiative in Marvel Comics, the Liberteens were the heroes of Pennsylvania whose gimmick was that they were all legacy characters to the Liberty Legion: Revolutionary (Patriot), Blue Eagle (Red Raven), Hope (the Blue Diamond), Whiz Kid (the Whizzer), Iceberg (Jack Frost), 2D (Flatman) and Ms America (Miss America). (Revolutionary turned out to be a Skrull, though.)
    • Eventually, four of the Liberteens (Hope, Iceberg, 2D, and Ms. America) formed a new team called the Fantastix (complete with Ms. America changing her name to Ms. Fantastix), making those characters sort of legacies of the Fantastic Four.
  • Deconstructed in The Punisher MAX with Jenny Cesare. She is a traumatized, abused ex-Mafia-wife who helps Frank fight back against the widows of some Mafia guys he killed when they try to take revenge, and when he is incapacitated by gunshot wounds towards the end of the arc she wears his costume and does most of the killing in his name. Then, when her revenge fails to make her feel any happier, she screws Frank in a final effort to reawaken her emotions, and shoots herself when it doesn't. The general message is that anybody who wants to be Frank is a deeply disturbed and misguided individual. This comes close to upsetting Frank, and he decides to kill even more bad guys to reduce the number of people who get traumatized in the world.
  • Thunderstrike: Years after his father sacrificed himself to stop the Bloodaxe, Kevin Masterson is presented a reforged Thunderstrike, and takes up his father's mantle.

    Other 
  • Black Owl, a Golden Age superhero from Prize Comics, was the oldest comic example of this trope. During World War II, the original Black Owl joined the army, passing his costume to Walt Walters, father of Yank and Doodle, the superhero twins (and fellow Prize Comics characters) he once teamed up with.
  • Archie Comics had published a superhero comic dubbed "the Mighty Crusaders" (Long story!) Well, currently, their teenage children have taken their place to become the New Crusaders.
  • Malcolm Dragon is this to his father, The Savage Dragon.
  • In Alan Moore's Tomorrow Stories, the Cobweb and her sidekick Clarice are descended from a line of heroines and villainesses dating back to the 16th century, when their ancestors discovered the secret of parthenogenesis.
  • Though Hunter Rose was the first and the most well-known to take on the persona of Grendel, after him there was Christine Spar, Brian Li Sung, Eppy Thatcher, Orion Assante and eventually Jupiter Assante. Unusual in that it wasn't entirely by choice that this particular identity was passed on; most successors to the Grendel role had never even met their predecessors, and are separated in time by decades if not centuries.
  • Star Wars: Legacy:
    • Averted; except for his weirdness with his half-sister and Force powers, including some time on The Dark Side (Cade's still there, and he can raise the dead), Cade Skywalker is nothing like his ancestor.
    • Played straight with Darth Wyyrlok. Darth Krayt's dragon and advisor is always named Darth Wyyrlok; as of the time of the series he's on Wyyrlok III, son of the previous Wyyrlok and grandson of the original, with Wyyrlok IV (the current one's daughter) in training.
  • Top Cow has the bearers of the Thirteen Artifacts, The Angelus entity passes on to a new host when the previous host dies, the current wielder being Finch; The Darkness entity is passed from father to son, the current wielder being Aram, The Witch King; the holy power of The Magdalena and The Spear of Destiny is passed from mother to daughter, the current wielder being Patience who was last bearer of The Glacier Stone, and The Witchblade is passed from owner to owner, the current wielders are Sara Pezzini and Katarina Godliffe. There is also the Aphrodite series of androids: Aphrodite IV who appears in Witchblade and is also the currect bearer of The Coin of Solomon, Aphrodite V who appears in Cyberforce, Aphrodite IX who has her own comic book and Aphrodite XV who has appeared in Aphrodite IX's comic. Tom Judge is the bearer of The Rapture, former Angelus warrior Sabine is the beaer of The Wheel of Shadows, Rachel Harrison is the bearer of The Heart Stone, Ian Nottingham is the current bearer of The Blood Sword, Glorianna Silver wields The Ember Stone, Alina Enstrom possesses Pandora's Box and the Thirteenth Artifact bearer is monk Ji Xi.
  • The original Paperinik has Donald Duck accidentally inheriting the legacy of Gentleman Thief Fantomius, a spoof of violent anti-heroes like Diabolik. While Paperinik is treated more as a Batman spoof these days, the origin is kept, and becomes a plot point in some modern Italian stories involving part of his legacy and modern Danish stories where Donald has to deal with old allies of Fantomius who assume he is a Robin Hood-style criminal as well. Including a woman who was in love with the old chap, and thinks Donald is him in a new mask...
    • Also attempted by a crook who stumbled on Fantomius' refuge and some of his spare gadgets and went on a robbing spree as a new Fantomius. Paperinik quickly found and defeated him, confiscated the gadgets except for the costume, wiped his memory of Fantomius' secrets and left him to the police.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • The Echidna demigod Enerjak. First, there was Dimitri, who accidentally absorbed the power of multiple Chaos Emeralds and was driven power-mad by it. He was eventually Brought Down to Normal by Mammoth Mogul, but a few years later his descendant Knuckles was tricked into absorbing the Master Emerald's power and taking up the mantle, before the spell placed on him was broken and he was returned to normal. There was also an Alternate Universe version of Knuckles who willingly became Enerjak and proceeded to devastate the world. He was eventually Brought Down to Normal (in the same manner as Dimitri) by his daughter, who became the new Enerjak and broke tradition by using her powers for good (undoing the damage her father had wrought). Oh, and on top of all of this, Dr. Finitevus implied to Knuckles during their last encounter that Enerjak's legacy actually predates Dimitri (though considering who we're talking about, that statement is questionable at best). In a case of All There in the Manual, The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia confirms two previous Enerjaks, both scientists, prior to Dimitri.
    • Dr. Robotnik himself, as the original version of him was defeated and then replaced by a Robotnik from another universe.
  • Jeff Terrell was the original Shaft from Rob Liefeld's Youngblood, but ended up being replaced by a government-appointed successor immediately after quitting the team. Jeff's former teammates take great pleasure in referring to the newbie as "Not-Shaft" in order to get under his skin.
  • In the comic version of W.I.T.C.H., it's shown that there's always been Guardians - five in a team, wielding a certain element and all of them female. Even when Nerissa Face Heel Turned, they insisted on keeping it that way. The cartoon also implies this.
  • A new pony takes on the mantle of Nightmare Moon in the second Story Arc of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW). It's none other than Rarity after being convinced by the Nightmare Forces to become their queen.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye has Ultra Magnus, who in reality is just a succession of 'bots wearing Powered Armor designed to look like the original, deceased Ultra Magnus to function as an "eternal lawman" subservient to Chief Justice Tyrest and enforce his laws. The current, and possibly final, holder of the title is a small, unassuming robot named Minimus Ambus, who's been Ultra Magnus since the start of the IDW comics (with the original Magnus showing up in the early-war Autocracy and Monstrosity stories.
    • There's also the Decepticon Justice Division, 5 of the most devout cons who hunt down and kill traitors, cowards and deserters. Each has taken on a name from the first five cities that the Decepticons conquered. The holders of these titles rotate, and a few Autobots mention the original Vos who was replaced with the current one.
  • And a rare case of a legacy character moving the other way up a family tree. During a Darkwing Duck comic arc involving Darkwings from many alternate universes, one alternate Darkwing is dressed as the Quiverwing Quack, which Gosalyn previously used as a superhero identity in the TV show. A flashback scene shows that this Darkwing was much less strict with his daughter than the one we're used to, and allowed Gosalyn to fight crime with him as Quiverwing. On one mission, she pulled a Heroic Sacrifice and died (which must make our Darkwing feel quite vindicated about his strictness), so Darkwing took up the Quiverwing Quack identity to honor her memory. Somewhat fittingly, he ends up fighting Darkwarrior Duck, also from the TV show, who is what happens when Darkwing loses Gosalyn and takes it very badly (and he didn't even think his Gosalyn was dead, he just thought she ran away from home). It's a Curb-Stomp Battle with Quiverwing as the victor.
  • The Fox Hunt's titular crimefighter known as The Fox, a.k.a. Paul Patton Jr., took up the costume and name from his father, Paul Patton Sr. Paul's son Shinji also adopts the moniker "Ghost Fox" during the course of the story.
    • Outside this particular Fox's universe, "The Fox" has actually gone through 5 differing incarnations at varying points in time since its inception as a part of Archie Comics' superhero line back in the 1940's.
  • Early Dark Horse Comics series The American uses this as part of their deconstruction of the Captain Patriotic archetype. The titular hero is revealed over the course of the story to be an entire squad of near-identical soldiers with powers courtesy of a covert demolitions team who get sent on high-profile, high-risk missions. Former propaganda sidekick Kid America maintains a shrine to everyone who's died in the line of duty. The program is shut down when the truth is revealed, but the current American is allowed to keep the costume.
  • In Amulet, every ruler of the Elves takes on the visage of the Erlking, their first king.
  • In The Pro, the League of Honor member the Lime mentions at one point that he's not the first Lime, but he's interrupted before he can explain what happened to his predecessor.
  • Action Girl: Erica adopts the identity of the former superheroine, Action Girl.
  • In PS238, the original Atlas was a pretty obvious Captain Ersatz Superman. After he leaves to rule his not-so-destroyed home planet the government replaces him with Forak, an Extreme Doormat of his species who was now stranded on Earth. Forak is less powerful and less "heroic" in personality, though.
  • The titular Plutona tells her daughter that one day she will inherit the Plutona identity and powers herself.
  • Lucas Barrett of The Pitiful Human Lizard is actually the second person to don the identity. The first one was his father, Hugh, who came up with it as a gimmick to test out his company's new glue formula.
  • There have been several incarnations of The Shield. The main three are the original 1940s Joe Higgins, 1950s Lancelot Strong, and 2010s Victoria Adams.
  • As a series with Lots And Lots Of Characters spanning decades, Astro City has many of these — Cleopatra, Jack-in-the-Box, The Blue Knights, Quarrel, the Silver Centurions, the Confessor.
    • A villain-to-hero example is Goldenglove; the first one was a small-time crook with a pair of alien gauntlets, while his daughter planned to use them to become a classy burglar, but ended up becoming a street-level hero.
    • It's suggested that the Assemblyman might be one, as there is both an earlier villain and a modern hero with the same name.
    • Jack-in-the-Box is a unique case. The original Jack was active in the 1960s before dying in 1983. His son discovered his father's actions and took up the costume in 1989. In 1997, when his wife became pregnant, this Jack decided to train a successor of a former gang member so he could be a father. Finally, in 2016, the grandson of the original Jack has suffered a leg injury so he won't be taking on the role but still aids his father and "uncle". The public, meanwhile, seems unaware there has been more than one Jack.


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