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Cape Busters

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Emil Hamilton: Power brokers, politicians, criminals and black ops mercenaries, with one thing in common besides: They're humanity's last hope against your kind.
Superman: What are you talking about? Humanity doesn't need protection from us!
Hamilton: I used to believe that. I thought you were a guardian angel, come to answer our prayers. But Lucifer was an angel too, wasn't he?

Is a kid who can teleport at will going into your bank vaults and taking all your stuff? Is a crazy man in mismatched clothing eating citizens and causing general havoc in large cities? Is yet another telekinetic serial killer running around stealing people's brains? Who You Gonna Call?

The Cape Busters are normal humans whose job it is to battle against superhumans. Their effectiveness and morality ranges considerably from setting to setting. They can be anything from upstanding law enforcement types, to amoral covert government Black Ops ruthlessly enforcing the Super Registration Act, to genocidal Knights Templar attempting to exterminate all Supers. Likewise, they can be Badass Normals who manage to hold their own against Supers with effective technology and superior tactics, or they can be a laughably ineffective Redshirt Army that end up dying in droves. Though even the second one can be effective and terrifying in its own right.

The Cape Busters can be the main characters of a story, or (if the main characters are Supers themselves) anything from a relatively ineffective secondary supporting organization, to the primary antagonists.

Unlike the Mutant Draft Board, the Cape Busters are primarily composed of mundane, non-powered humans, rather than being an organization of government Supers attempting to assimilate all other Supers. The Cape Busters may or may not employ one or two super-powered individuals themselves, but the vast majority of the organization's forces lacks any superpowers (other than assault rifles and-or supertech of some nature).

See also Mage Killer, for the anti-magic (rather than anti-superpower) version. They are a very common feature in Capepunk stories. This is a legally supported branch of Muggle Power, and often falls under Fantastic Racism (for the "militant anti-super racists/muggle supremacists" versions).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bubblegum Crisis had the AD Police (a special police branch focused on robot and cyborg-related crime), who fell squarely into the "Redshirt Army cannon fodder" role, even in their own spin-off series.
  • A Certain Magical Index has Anti-Skill, a group of people dedicated to keeping order in a town full of espers. Said people have no powers, just modern armor, plastic shields and automatic weapons. They are considered superior to Judgement, a group composed primarily of espers. Probably because these espers are children, and adults try to avoid putting them in too much danger.
  • The Public Security Bureau from Darker than Black, especially the Foreign Affairs Section 4 that Kirihara leads, whose job it is to deal with Contractor-related crime. Since the Contractors themselves are a public secret, so is this role of the PBS. The UN itself is another example of this trope, head of a vast conspiracy of several Cape Busters and Mutant Draft Board across the globe.
  • The anti-Kira Taskforces in Death Note, if only because they're built to target a specific person/power.
  • The Anti-Demon Corps from the final arc of Devilman: ordinary grunts in Powered Armor who hunt down both the genuinely evil demons as well as the heroic Devilmen, for the sake of keeping humanity on top of the food chain by any means necessary.
  • The Hellsing Organization of the eponymous series clearly fits into this category. Despite deploying more exotic means of combating the Undead (such as two vampires of their own), good ol' military men with bulletproof vests and automatic rifles make up the bulk of the organization. The normal members of the organization are wiped out nearly to a man when the Valentine Brothers come calling, so Hellsing has to draft a band of mercenaries called the Wild Geese, whose unconventional tactics do a good job at keeping Millennium's vampires at bay when they besiege the Hellsing building, until Zorin Blitz busts out her illusion powers to overcome their defenses and they are nearly wiped out as well.
  • Tsumugu Kinagase in Kill la Kill, a Badass Normal who goes after Ryuko because of her Kamui. By extension, the whole Nudist Beach organization can be considered as this. Although, their problem is not specifically the superpowers Life Fibers clothes grant, but more the fact that said clothes are actually hostile aliens. Their effectiveness at it varies; Tsumugu is able to take Ryuko down fairly easily early on, but later the power levels start escalating far out of their league, and by the end, compared to everyone else he (and Nudist Beach as a whole) is little more than comic relief.
  • If having a giant robot counts as a super power, then Ben Barberry and his anti-MS squad from Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO count. They fight Zakus with little more than bazookas and guided missiles and they actually end up destroying several mobile suits, though they eventually lose. Barberry had a surprisingly high MS Kill count before the Gundam had even been built.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 had the Union setting up the Overflags and equipping them with customized Flag mobile suits to take down Gundams. They even managed to capture one during a cooperative operation with the other superpowers... for a few minutes, anyway.
      • For that matter, the Human Reform League built the Tieren Taozi for the same purpose. And it was mostly effective until the inception of the GN-X which is kinda conflicting in this regard: it was made to combat Gundams but the reason it could do that is because it used an inferior version of the very same GN Drive technology that made Gundams nigh-invincible to conventional mobile suits so far. By the second season, every single Mook has this tech, and the A-LAWS like to pass themselves off as this trope. In reality, the Gundams usually mow them down by the truckload; the real Cape Busters of the second season are the Innovators and they don't miss a single chance to lord it over everyone. That is, whenever the good guys don't happen to have the 0-Raiser nearby.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, the Boosted Men can be considered to be this. They are the Cosmic Era's answer to Cyber-Newtypes, being ordinary humans pumped full of drugs and questionable implants to put them on a piloting level where they could go head-to-head with Coordinators. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny would expand on this concept with the "Extended", successors to the Boosted Men who were more stable than their predecessors but required regular re-conditioning sessions and questionably useful "trigger words" which would completely immobilize them. Notably, not a single character from either category either gets a happy ending or survives the war at all.
  • The Japan branch of the witch-hunting organization of Witch Hunter Robin. All the agents are supposed to have some sort of witch power, however only Robin's pyrokinesis is explicitly shown.

    Comic Books 
  • E.A.G.L.E. troops in Astro City are normally called in for support and cleanup after super-hero incidents. During the "Confession" story arc, however, they become Cape Busters when directed by the mayor to enforce the Super Registration Act. It turns out to be all part of a plot by shape-shifting aliens to neutralize the supers ahead of a planetary invasion.
  • Post-New 52, from the pages of Batman Incorporated, The DCU now has Spyral. At least one of their ploys was to create the Femme Fatale Batwoman, hoping she'd get close enough to Bats to uncover his identity (instead she pulled a Heel–Face Turn). They know full well how unpopular this agenda would make them, so they prefer to recruit rebels, rogues and washouts over genuine patriots, and operate heavily in secrecy.
  • Also from The DCU, the Department of Extranormal Operations is supposed to be safeguard the world and employs various metahumans. However, a short story in a "Secret Files" special has a whistleblower relating how the DEO spends billions to find measures to take down any metahuman. This includes a team who will swallow pills to make them faster than The Flash for one minute before their bodies burn out, weapons that can melt robots like the Metal Men and more. The man thinks this is wrong and so decides to hand the only disc with the information to one person he thinks can be trusted: Lex Luthor.
  • The F1rst Hero: In the comic's world, people who gain superpowers tend to go insane when they do so. Hence, an organization called the Extrahuman Task Force was created. Their job is to stop rampaging extrahumans (the term for people who gain super powers) who go on rampages.
  • The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense from Hellboy and of course B.P.R.D. are a government organization founded to combat supernatural threats to national security. However, although most of the organization is made up of mundane human Red Shirts, most stories focus on the BPRD's handful of occult-magic-wielding or downright non-human members, including the titular demon "Hellboy". The Red Shirts later take a level in badass, killing whole armies of Frogs (the same ones that Hellboy had a hard time with in volume 1) with ease: sadly, it's not enough when the Frogs now have mechs from the first age of Man.
  • The Marvel Universe has a lot of groups like this. Some are mostly focused on a single, extremely powerful super (e.g. the Hulkbusters), some are essentially government-sanctioned hate groups/extermination squads (e.g. Zero Tolerance), and some are general homeland security organizations who (due to how common powers seem to be in the Marvel universe) simply end up spending most of their time dealing with Super-related crime (e.g. S.H.I.E.L.D.).
    • Most notably, during the Civil War (2006) arc, when S.H.I.E.L.D.'s primary mission was to hunt down heroes who refused to comply with the Superhuman Registration Act. S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were then given the derogatory nickname "Cape Killers" at first, but it has since been adopted (especially under Norman Osborn's HAMMER organization) as their official designation. They operate as a SWAT-esque subdivision of regular agents, backing up any government-backed metahuman operatives (the Thunderbolts, now the Dark Avengers) when confronting non-registered metahumans or metahuman criminals (which S.H.I.E.L.D./HAMMER never seemed to make any distinction between).
    • The Sentinels are artificially-intelligent Humongous Mecha equipped with gene-scanning equipment created to track down and fight mutants. They vary between being intended as "police", being programmed to track and capture mutants so they can be imprisoned for life in internment camps, or just being anti-mutant soldiers for a foreseen war, but they have a bad tendency to go rogue and attempt to wipe out all humans as well. Eventually, the US government go smart and the latest generation of Sentinels became more conventional Humongous Mecha with ordinary human pilots. Ironically, at this point the piloted Sentinels became allies of the mutant superhero team the X-Men.
    • Code: B.L.U.E.; they're just a bunch of NYPD cops, each with their own quirks and flaws, who just happen to fight gods and monsters. And win.
    • In a more humorous vein, in 1989, the female members of the Uncanny X-Men faced off against the "M-Squad" (Expies for the Ghostbusters), a group of purported mutant hunters who ended up being catastrophically inept at their mission (which was actually just to catch Jubilee because she had pissed off a mall guard).
    • The five original X-Men masqueraded as a Cape Busters squad that rounded up mutants under the name X-Factor for a few years (Beast wasn't furry at the time, and Angel wore a large metal backpack over his wings). The idea was that anti-mutant bigots would call them in rather than taking matters into their own hands when they discovered their neighbor was a mutant, and X-Factor would whisk the mutants away to give them a safe place where they could learn to use their powers, while claiming to have killed or imprisoned the mutant. And then making the anti-mutant bigots pay them an exorbitant fee for their "services". They gave it up when they realized they were doing more harm than good (the whole thing was the idea of a "friend" of Angel's who secretly hated mutants).
    • Also in the X-Men stories, there was Genosha, the high-tech nation which dealt with its "mutant problem" by "conscripting the mutants into government service" — a fancy way of saying "enslaved them and used them as expendable, brutally treated workers". They had an unusually high mutant population (hundreds/thousands for a population of a few million) and were deadly afraid they'd go rampant and take over the country (which also actually happened later on, when international opinion forced them to liberalize and mutant villain Fabian Cortez came along to exploit the bad blood during the Blood Ties (Marvel Comics) event), so they employed a specially trained and equipped militarized police force to keep them in check. Enter the Magistrates, a heavily armed gendarmerie in cool, "evil" uniforms who fought the X-Men on various occasions when they tried to incite rebellion among the Genoshan mutants.
  • In the Elseworlds comic Nightwing: The New Order, Nightwing leads a government task force that ruthlessly tracks down and depowers meta-humans, and those their devices can't yet depower are put into stasis. It's eventually revealed that the technology that powers the devices in question is from Apokolips and was originally designed to depower meta-humans in order to weaken the planet's defenses against an invasion by Darkseid and his forces.
  • The OMACs in the Infinite Crisis DCU continuum. While Batman had programmed a spy satellite to keep tabs over the metahuman community, an unfortunate combination of external tampering, hostile takeover and inherent programming flaws led the satellite to rechristen itself Brother Eye and turn millions of individuals, pre-infected with a special nanovirus, into an army of Cape Busters, devoid of free will but physically enhanced with armor and stock superpowers, remotely controlled by Brother Eye itself to wage its battle against metahumans.
  • One of Garth Ennis' first jobs for Marvel was the "What If?" comic The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe. Instead of mobsters, Frank Castle's family is killed in the crossfire of a brawl between superheroes and supervillains, and he reacts violently. A Secret Circle of Secrets of similar survivors and casualties of superpowered violence use their immense wealth and influence to keep Castle out of jail and killing all the supers he can. He kills them all, then kills himself.
    • Later still, Frank is killing off Marvel superheroes again... except they're all zombies now.
  • The main protagonists of Ennis' The Boys are a group of CIA-affiliated Cape Busters. Unlike other groups however, they actually have superpowers (albeit mainly super strength, to be able to fight on par with the resident "Superheroes").
  • In Rat-Man (1989), this is essentially Janus Walker's government job: murder any superhero the government finds inconvenient. He's tremendously effective at his job thanks to his immense combat pragmatism, utter lack of fear or respect for superheroes (he once mentioned he divides superheroes in two categories, the ones who think they can stop bullets with their hands and the ones who thinks he won't shoot. He then showed off his collection of bullet-pierced superhero gloves and masks), and being generally very good at killing anything and anyone. In fact the only creature who ever survived getting on his wrong side without him being recalled was Rat-Man, and that's because, in a rare moment of cunning, he stole his gun before he decided to kill him. On the other hand, in the Grand Finale he kills the Shadow incarnated as Topin by stomping on his head while he was weak, neatly solving the problem that Rat-Man would never kill anyone.
  • Superman has the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit, a heroic version of this trope (Redshirt Army variation). Gotham's Police Department has also had to deal with a few rogue capes in its day, but most of Batman's Rogues Gallery is relatively Badass Normal in their power conceptions.
    • Metropolis SCU has since been replaced by the Science Police (who directly fight supervillains and monsters) and Metropolis Metacrimes Division (who clean up after the Science Police).
    • When Lex Luthor was president, one of the only good things he did was form the Human Defense Corps. Sadly, they only were in a miniseries where in the last issue, they fought the invading forces of Hell and won.
    • In Supergirl storyline The Hunt for Reactron, the HDC are made part of General Lane's Project 7734, along with the K-Squad, a Cape Busters squad specifically aimed at ending "the Kryptonian threat" (i.e., killing Superman and all his people).
    • The K-Squad appeared previously in a rather more reasonable context. Superman was mind-controlled and they showed up to contain him while the Justice League of America tried to stop the person who had control of him. Their leader mentioned that deploying them cost millions of dollars for every minute they were active due to the incredible expense of weapons capable of stopping Superman.
    • The Superman/Batman arc "K" features "Last Line", a team made by Amanda Waller equipped with Kryptonite weapons by Lex Luthor. She makes the questionable decision to fill it with people who had psychological problems and a personal grudge against Superman. They also have a Kryptonite Doomsday as the ultimate anti-Superman weapon.
  • Marshal Law has the titular protagonist, who is also a super being himself. He was initially conceptualized as a parody of Judge Dredd, before to becoming a "hero hunter". This concept would later on be Vindicated by History. Worth noting that despite predating most examples including the aforementioned Stormwatch: Team Achilles and The Boys it manages to work as a deconstruction of the concept, acknowledging that Law isn't fundamentally different from the capes he's hunting and is ultimately part of the problem.
    I'm a Hero Hunter. I hunt heroes. Haven't found any yet.
  • The Ten-Seconders: The Ten-Seconders are the last humans who can fight the Gods. They get the name from how long they're expected to last in a straight-up fight with these superbeings.
  • The WildStorm universe had two versions of Stormwatch along these lines: Team Achilles and the PHD (Post-Human Division), although each had a few superhuman members. The former were an entirely military unit and occasionally used high-tech equipment, while the latter were street-level operatives with a wide range of specialties.
    • Members of Team Achilles actually comment when the ratio of superhumans to normal humans in the team gets too skewed.
  • A major event in the background of Empowered, the San Antonio disaster, involved an uprising by a gang calling themselves the Capekillers, who keyed their equipment and training around killing superheroes and supervillains alike and were distinguished by Dungeons & Dragons-based codenames and shirts. Though they did manage to take down a handful of heroes, they were ultimately hunted down and wiped out almost in their entirety, with the lone survivor being Thugboy. He's been laying relatively low since then, and maintains a dislike of any superheroes apart from his girlfriend.

    Film — Animated 
  • Syndrome from The Incredibles is a villainous version. The Omnidroid may be just be an all-purpose killing machine with anti-superhero capabilities, but the zero field is clearly designed against supers.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Glass (2019) has the unnamed organization that appears in the final act. Denoted by a three-leaf clover insignia, they have been suppressing the knowledge of the existence of superhumans, both good and evil, for over 10,000 years. Though their methods have been typically fatal, the film features an experiment by one of their operatives, Dr. Ellie Staple, to gaslight three superhumans into believing they had imagined their powers as the result of mental illness. The experiment is technically a success, though footage of a superpowered battle in the film's climax is uploaded to the internet, effectively destroying millennia of progress.
  • Jumper presents us with the Paladins, a group of individuals with training and equipment to hunt down and kill any Jumper. Their reasoning for this is because they believe only God has the right to be capable of going anywhere and thus view the Jumpers as an abhorrence. This is deconstructed to a frightening degree as they do not care about civilian casualties and while some Jumpers have committed crimes, this does not justify the actions done. In fact, the Paladins' actions have led to some Jumpers becoming criminals out of necessity to survive. The protagonist himself falls under this by proxy; we learn the reason why his mother left him and his father. She was part of the Paladins and upon discovering her child's ability, left rather than be forced into a confrontation. However, this left her husband a broken man and a very lousy parent. This would prompt the main character to turn to theft to escape his poor home life in the first place.
  • In Suicide Squad (2016), the titular group was partially created as a response to Superman, more specifically his recent death, with Amanda Waller gathering a group of dangerous criminals to form a black ops unit for the purpose of dealing with supernatural threat. The team itself consisted of people with unusual abilities and outright metahumans as a test to see how well they could be controlled, which actually proved to be motivation for Enchantress to go rogue, summoning a demon army and creating a threat the project was designed to stop in the first place.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • The military in X-Men: The Last Stand is eventually equipped with "cure weapons", firearms and indirect fire weapons that contain a serum which disables mutant powers on contact. Or does it? They even manufacture plastic and glass versions of the weapons to fight Magneto. As appropriate for the themes of the movie, the serum permanently disables mutant powers and its use as a weapon is highly controversial.
    • The Sentinels in X-Men: Days of Future Past are giant robots built specifically to hunt and kill mutants. Their original models from 1973 are quite tough, but can be overcome through the combined efforts of several mutants. By 2023, however, they have advanced to the point that they are not only virtually indestructible, but also able to mimic and counter any mutant power, and the only way to defeat them is to travel back in time to prevent their creation in the first place.

  • Yoi helps one in a chapter of Magical Girl Hunters. It turns out they're even harder to kill than magical girls.
  • The hazekillers in Mistborn are ordinary soldiers trained specifically to fight Allomancers.
  • The Reckoners Trilogy: Superhuman powers always and without fail turn their wielders evil, so the mundanes have been reduced to little more then pawns and serfs under the tyrannical rule of the psychopathic Epics. The only ones who still try to hold the Epics accountable are the shadowy order known as the Reckoners. When, slowly, good Epics do start appearing, it takes a bit for the organization to catch up.
    David: We don't kill Epics.
    Mizzy: But—
    David: We kill criminals, Mizzy.
  • Laura Anne Gilman's Retriever novels have the Silence; a secret society out to protect the normal people from the Cosa Nostra.
  • In Shadow Ops, the US military's Supernatural Operations Corps (SOC) has containment of "Latents" as one of their primary jobs. Any Latent who manifests powers and doesn't cooperate is deemed a "Selfer" who is targeted for death or imprisonment, using an almost fascist justification that supernatural abilities demands great responsibility, with the caveat that it also means that Latents don't have the same rights as normal humans. Needless to say, the SOC's actions are controversial in-universe, and were apparently established by a President who felt that the brutal policies of the SOC were the only way to safely contain Latents.
  • Those Who Walk In Darkness by John Ridley has the "villainous" type of cape busters used as Villain Protagonists. This overlaps to a surprising degree with Noble Bigot with a Badge, and to a more predictable degree with He Who Fights Monsters.
  • All police officers in the world of Vicious have some trained to deal with EOs, while officers Stell and Dane specialize in cases involving EOs.
  • In Wearing the Cape, the Department of Superhuman Affairs is the federal agency tasked with assessing superhuman threats to national security and assisting local authorities who can't deal with their superhuman problems. The DSA, with ties to the Secret Service, FBI, and US Marshals Service, and run by former US President Kayle — the man who created it — has a shadowy reputation and is every conspiracy theorist's Holy Grail.
  • Wild Cards
    • In the first book of Wild Cards, when the Four Aces are testifying before the HUAC, soldiers are waiting outside with poison gas to prevent any superheroic antics.
    • To a lesser extent, the Senate/Special Committee on Ace Resources and Endeavors (SCARE) serves as this. Any number of aces work for SCARE, and are often assigned to deal with threats from Aces and/or Jokers.
  • Worm has the Parahuman Response Teams, or PRT: an organization of non-powered humans equipped and trained to fight supervillains, either alone or alongside the superheroes. Squads are commonly equipped with reverse engineered tinkertech made by Tinker capes. Their armory comes from associated heroes, purchases, or recovered materials from villains.

    Live-Action TV 
  • NTAC in The 4400 was tasked with dealing with the assorted problems caused by the sudden integration of 4400 super-empowered individuals into normal society.
  • Volume 4 of Heroes has a special Black Ops unit of the Department of Homeland Security and led by an evil Knight Templar type called Emile Danko, as the main threat to the Heroes. The fact that Danko and several of his men were willing to False Flag a suicide bombing in D.C. and blame it on Supers to create a credible justification for their actions firmly shows which side of the moral line they're on.
  • In Highlander: The Series, the Hunters are a group of rogue Watchers who, instead of observing the immortals, stalk them and kill them, up to and including ignoring the rules of engagement followed by all immortals (most notably Hunters will kill on holy ground).
  • In Mutant X, the main enemy in Season 1 is the GSA (Genetic Security Agency), a biotech firm's Private Military Contractor tasked with recapturing all of the firm's escaped Mutant refugees. Their ranks are mostly comprised of non-powered stormtroopers, although they semi-regularly field one or two Superpowered Mooks (who are typically flash-frozen at the end of each episode by Bad Boss Mason Eckhart for failing him for the last time).
  • The organization in Painkiller Jane is dedicated to finding and "chipping" (basically power-castrating) all Neuros (humans with superpowers derived from evolved brains), even non-hostile civilian Neuros who've never used their powers in a harmful manner. The main character, Jane, also has a superpower (a Healing Factor), but she's not technically a Neuro (she lacks the gene), which is the only reason she's tolerated. Near the end of the series, it's revealed that the company investigated in the pilot has been experimenting with enhancing human abilities. The Neuros are actually failed experiments. Jane is a successful one, as is the Chameleon. They cannot be "chipped", but can be killed with sufficient explosives.
  • Smallville has Luthorcorp's "Level 3/ Project 33.1", an ongoing effort to produce Super Soldiers to defend humanity from Meteor Freaks and aliens (and incidentally to help Lex secure his power base).
    • Season 9 introduces Checkmate, who want all the metahumans either dead or under the control of the US government. Season 10 introduces the Smallville version of Deathstroke the Terminator, an army colonel who wants to use the Vigilante Registration Act as a justification to capture and experiment on metahumans.
  • The Sci-Fi Channel program Warehouse 13 is basically SCP Foundation (see below) the TV series, set in that huge-ass warehouse from Indiana Jones'. The only operatives are a pair of tough but bewildered government agents and their eccentric supervisor.
  • Like the original comic books, The Boys (2019) is focused on a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits tired of Supes and their bullshit and seeking to destroy them. Unlike the comics, most of The Boys are Badass Normals, with only The Female having Super-Strength and a Healing Factor due to being injected with Compound V. Also unlike the comics, The Boys are not affiliated with any government entity, with Butcher only having limited contact with the Deputy Director of the CIA. They used to be affiliated, but the murder of Mallory's grandkids by the Lamplighter put an end to that. At least two of The Boys have a personal score to settle with The Seven, the most famous Super Team in the world. A-Train accidentally killed Hughie's girlfriend by running through her at Super-Speed, turning her into bloody paste, while The Homelander raped Butcher's wife, after which she went missing and is presumed dead.
    • Season 3 brings things more in line with the comics as the Boys are now operating under the CIA and manage to get their hands on a temporary variant of Compound V making them Empowered Badass Normals when the need arises.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    Zemo: The desire to become superhuman cannot be separated from supremacist ideals.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues features the Post-Human Division, shown in Finn's glimpses of the future to be an FBI-created organization dedicated to capturing and detaining all of the kids who obtained superpowers. In the present, this role is performed by Sarah Travers, a mysterious government agent who is not only physically capable, but in possession of technology that can nullify the powers.
  • No Gods, No Capes, No Masters are a political organization that wants to outright ban superhero activity in DC Nation. Other activist organizations and civil libertarians are also shown in Nationverse to be uneasy about "capes." Nationverse's talk radio stations are usually VERY savagely critical of the "capes," and at least one celebrity doctor has made a small fortune doing armchair psychoanalysis of active heroes & villains, making utterly no distinction between them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • There are several organizations like this in the Champions Universe. UNTIL, the United Nations Tribunal on International Law, has taken this role since the game's first edition. PRIMUS and SAT (Special American Tactics) were added in other editions as American-only anti-supervillain organizations. The Millennium City sourcebook added MARS teams to the Millennium City police department; these are basically SWAT teams that specialize in supervillain crime.
  • Heroes Unlimited has S.C.R.E.T., the Superbeing Control, Registration, and Elimination Team. Each nation tends to organize their own.
  • In the dark magical girl setting Magical World, magical girl hunters are those humans who have taken it upon themselves to take down magical girls, who often cause serious collateral damage in their battles against the youma and other bad guys of the world. Some hunters see this as a righteous cause (as not all magical girls in this setting are good and righteous), but just as many are sadistic cutekillers who despise and want to destroy anything cute (and many magical girls fit this description).
  • The default Mutants & Masterminds setting, Freedom City, has the non-powered S.T.A.R.S police division, who deal with rogue metahumans.
    • Along with their federal sister-agency (and professional rival) AEGIS (Expy of Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D.), and the international counterpart, UNISON.
    • While the above agencies are presented in a generally positive light, Freedom City's Iron Age had the brutish POF (Price of Freedom)-SWAT, courtesy of the oppressive policies of the mob-affiliated Mayor Moore.
  • The Old World of Darkness has the Society of Leopold, the modern incarnation of the Spanish Inquisition who are fanatically devoted to wiping out all vampires. Due to the vast power difference between vampires and Muggles (both in terms of social influence and individual strength), they're more of an annoyance than a credible threat, although that's small comfort if you're a low-powered vampire being chased through the sewers by a bunch of Society hunters.
  • Several organizations in the Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40,000 fill this role. Of particular note is the Inquisition, that consists of 3 major branches: Alienhunters/Ordo Xenos, Daemonhunters/Ordo Malleus, and Witchhunters/Ordo Hereticus. It's important to note that it is absolutely necessary to keep psykers controlled, as doing otherwise results in Chaos cults and their heads exploding into daemonic portals.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: Expatriette started her career on the American mainland as a hired gun specialising in killing superhumans — an understandable specialization given that her Super Supremacist abusive mother burned out her eye when she was twelve. She drifts away from it after Character Development leads to her realizing that superhumans aren't inherently evil, eventually developing a very close relationship with extremely strong and durable superhero Setback.

    Video Games 
  • The Tyger Mercs in Batman: Arkham City were trained specifically to take down Batman (and keeping all the supervillains within the prison). Doesn't stop him from easily kicking their butts.
    • The Arkham Knight's militia are a massive army brought into Gotham City and specially trained for the sole purpose of killing Batman. But not even thousands of heavily armed soldiers, elite thugs, armed drones, snipers, armored jeeps, tanks, helicopters, and sentries can defeat Batman.
  • Given that City of Heroes is an MMORPG centered around superheroes, there are quite a few such organizations.
    • The Malta Group is a villainous organization of Badass Normals employing SWAT tactics with some advanced technology in order to oppress all meta-humans the world over. They were formed by people who were angry when their "Might for Right" act was ruled unconstitutional.
    • Longbow, the enforcement arm of the United Nations-sponsored organization Freedom Corps, has teams of specially-trained and equipped anti-superpowered teams called "Nullifiers". This is not a perfect example, however: though Longbow's rank-and-file are made up of humans with guns and body armor, they are usually led by mutants, psychics, and other super-powered soldiers.
    • Even Arachnos, the Big Bad's organization, uses their Crab and Bane Spider units to defend their villainous projects from meddling heroes and ambitious villains looking for a piece of the action.
  • The Brotherhood in The Darkness II are an ancient organization zealously devoted to the titular Darkness; more specifically, they intend to steal it from the current host. To counter the tremendous powers of The Darkness, they deploy giant flashlights which nullify your powers, whip-wielding soldiers who can steal your guns, and even Darkness-enchanted soldiers who can move with super speed.
  • The titular organization in First Encounter Assault Recon is a small group of U.S. soldiers dedicated to combating paranormal threats to national security. However, the F.E.A.R. organization actually plays very little role in the game, as they prove ineffective against both Fettel's army of clone soldiers and the apocalyptically-powerful psychic ghost Alma. The game's main focus is the player character, the super-powered Point Man (who has Super-Reflexes and turns out to be not so much a member of F.E.A.R. and more like a personality-less engineered weapon that was loaned to them just a few days ago).
  • In inFAMOUS 2, gives us the Militia, a bunch of Trigger-Happy Mooks that wish to keep their city clean of any Conduits.


    Web Original 
  • Dangerous Lunatics, a furry original story by Alex Reynard, features such an agency with a really insidious approach: Convince the world that the supers are crazy, get the supers while they're still young, and put them in institutions to warehouse the supers out of sight until they can be quietly disposed of. The approach works because the supers in the story often have other problems — i.e. an immortal with a Healing Factor discovers the ability through repeated suicide attempts, another constantly wakes up from nightmares, one with extreme durability uses his power by constantly getting into fights, et cetera. Cursed with Awesome and Blessed with Suck apply here.
  • In Enter the Farside, Containment Squads of the National Farside Unit are unpowered humans who fight and capture Eldritch, sometimes with the assistance of Fargraced Agents.
  • Fine Structure:
    • The government decides that Powers are too dangerous and start working on killing them when they're alone. The first one is killed by bolting him to a ceiling in a room with light fixtures on the floor. When he wakes up he thinks he's upside-down, and tries to break out by flying through the ceiling. This plunges him straight into the Earth's superheated core.
    • After a few years of this, the government discovers how to artificially create Powers. This is necessary because of the Powers' accelerated reaction speeds, but the artificial Powers still can't quite keep up with the faster ones. Trusted soldiers are given the upgrade and assigned to the Cape Busters squads. The first chapter that describes a Power-versus-Government fight is appropriately called "Capekiller". The soldiers use sniper rifles with supersonic armor-piercing rounds, diamond-tipped hypodermic needles, and sticky bombs.
  • The eponymous organization of Gemini Division exists to take down SiMS.
  • Legion of Nothing has Syndicate L, a shadowy organization opposed to supers which appear more and more often, with cooler and cooler anti-hero weaponry.
  • SCP Foundation:
  • WarpZone Project: Episode 7 introduces a man known to be a super-hero and super-villain serial killer.
  • The Whateley Universe had the Dragonslayers, a group which shot to fame when they put down a mutant rager who had killed dozens of people and done a whole lot of damage to the city of Darwin. The Dragonslayers had pretty much retired until they mixed it up with the Lamplighter when said super-"hero" decided to pick on a bunch of teenagers.
    • They seem to have been replaced by the Knights of Purity, a bunch of baselines in Powered Armor who fight mutants. We have seen from various points of view that some seem to help mutants (one protected Chaka and offered medical assistance), while others seem to hate mutants (Knight Commander Vernon Swive not only hates mutants but has made it his personal mission to kill all the Loose Cannons before anyone can find out that he shot one of them in the back).
    • Making sure that mutants don't become a menace to baseline humanity is precisely what the much-maligned Mutant Commission Office is technically all about. In practice, they tend to fall into the 'covert black ops' category while doing their best to keep looking officially legitimate because they're an international organization that needs government permission in order to be able to legally operate in a given country at all. Thus far, they do have that permission in a lot of countries (with a couple of small nations ruled by supervillains as the main exceptions), and their presence in the US in particular is certainly felt.

    Western Animation 
  • Gotham City's orange-uniformed SWAT officers in Batman: The Animated Series. Their effectiveness varies.
  • In Ben 10, the Forever Knights are a secret society/paramilitary dedicated to keeping Earth devoid of alien lifeforms. Given most aliens in The 'Verse have superpowers, they certainly qualify.
  • Danny Phantom has the Guys in White, a laughably ill-informed and ineffective pair of government-sponsored paranormal investigators whose main role is to get beaten up by the ghost of the week so Danny and/or his ghostbusting family can come in later to save the day. That is, until they Took a Level in Badass and become a serious threat to Danny.
  • Disney's Gargoyles add a group of these in its last season. The thinly-veiled KKK knockoff known as the Quarrymen have the sole purpose of eliminating all gargoyles at any cost.
  • Providence from Generator Rex counts, as the sole reason for its formation was to combat the threat of Evos and related problems stemming from the series' ongoing Mass Super-Empowering Event.
    • There's also a group of self-appointed "Hunters" who believe Providence isn't doing enough and, even worse, is keeping an Evo (Rex) on staff. These Hunters don't try to restrain or restore any Evos they met, stage battles to build their own reputation, and when they get the chance, try to destroy Rex through character assassination in the media and then literal assassination.
  • The U.S. government's anti-superhuman organization, Cadmus, become the primary enemies for a decent-sized portion of Justice League's run, but they're really a Deconstruction of the whole concept. Despite their noble stated goals, they cause as many problems as they solve to the point where they're indistiguishable from the supervillains the League usually fights. Considering they're really being controlled by Lex Luthor and Braniac, this isn't an accident.
  • This is the goal of the Equalists in The Legend of Korra, though they are fighting against benders rather than supers. Though, considering that benders are born with said ability, it makes them closer to this than Mage Killers.
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series has Tim the Witch Smeller, a Muggle Born of Mages with a ridiculous motive who hunts witches due to being bullied by them for not having any powers. Unfortunately for the witches, the guy is actually a very serious threat as he can track witches anywhere thanks to his pet aardvark's scent tracking and tends to attack when they're in crowds because he knows they won't use their powers out of fear of breaking The Masquerade.
  • The ARC Troopers in Star Wars: Clone Wars are a borderline case of this. They're genetically engineered super-soldiers who, using squad tactics (and heavy supporting firepower and air support), are able to at least hold their own against General Grevious to rescue a group of wounded Jedi knights. Although they are Super Soldiers, against Force-users like the Jedi Knights or the Sith, even their genetic augments wouldn't be enough to qualify them as supers in their own rights.
  • The SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron are, when you ultimately boil it down, two mechanics in a Super Prototype jet who hold down a second job dogfighting the assorted homicidal mutant freaks that regularly attack their city.
  • MECH from Transformers: Prime arguably functions as a villainous version of this trope. Although they started out as simply a terrorist syndicate with a lust for advanced technology, as soon as they encountered Cybertronians for the first time, they immediately began tailoring their tactics toward specifically combating the robots. They make use of EMP-like weapons to instantly incapacitate Transformers, giving them a chance to slice them open and gain knowledge of how they work. This culminated in the creation of their very own Transformer, Nemesis Prime, whom they promptly put to work fighting the Autobots.
  • The main foes in Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) are a government-sanctioned, anti-mutant military force known as the Mutant Response Division (MRD, aka 'the Mardies').