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Captain Ethnic

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Reducto: Isn't it true that the reason you left the Super Friends is because you were fired? Fired. Fire! Why?
Black Vulcan: They said it was some sort of budget thing, but I think it's because I complained that they were always pairing me up with a white Super Friend. Like I was gonna start super-lootin' the minute they weren't watching! And you think I named myself "Black Vulcan"? Hell, no! I used to go by "Supervolt". Black Vulcan was Aquaman's idea. And I said "Maybe we should just call you 'Whitefish'!"

Essentially, a Captain Ethnic is a minority Super Hero of a different ethnicity or nationality whose powers and heroic identity are tied in an incredibly unsubtle, and often stereotypical, manner to their ethnicity or country of origin. They're usually created as a Token Minority to fend off criticism, though sometimes they're the product of creators who really want to say something about the issue at hand, and are handicapped only by the fact that they're entirely clueless about it.

Of course, many superheroes traditionally come with a theme that they're obsessed withBatman naming all his stuff "bat-whatever" for no apparent reason, for example. It's when this is coupled with an ethnic stereotype that the character becomes a Captain Ethnic.

A Captain Ethnic doesn't need to be a stereotype in terms of how they act and speak, as some accurate national identities are actually unsubtle. It's just these characters frequently are stereotypes anyway — and thus, they wind up acting less like people from another country, and more like the Theme Park Version. Often, these characters are matched up with a Gratuitous Foreign Language.

This started largely around the middle of The Silver Age of Comic Books, following the American Civil Rights Movement, people started realizing that maybe, just maybe, having a universe where the only Super Heroes were white Americans wasn't such a good idea. The better writers, thus, added fleshed-out characters of other races and nationalities to their rosters. Of course, when the writers who weren't so good got into the act, things went a little differently.

Sometimes, a bunch are introduced at once, forming a super-powered Five-Token Band.

A related trope is when a black superhero's Code Name is "Black Something". Usually, their powers and identity are otherwise unrelated to being black, except for actual Africans.

Captain Ethnic can seem gauche nowadays - but you have to admit, he beats the hell out of the Ethnic Scrappy. Captain Ethnic can be a character portrayed in a plausible and interesting way — usually by doing the research on local culture and creating a character that's likeable and cool in their own right. This is sadly rare. When a Captain Ethnic with real depth and interest is created, he might end up with fans in the ethnic group that he comes from. Keep in mind that many members of the ethnic group involved loved the character when it first came out, even if it has aged badly.

Compare Captain Patriotic and Captain Geographic (when the name, patriotism, and/or costume are unsubtle).


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In School Rumble, Lara Gonzalez, the Mexican exchange student, is extremely strong and has wrestling skills of a Lucha professional.
  • Pretty much every Gundam Fighter in Mobile Fighter G Gundam was this.
    • And they are all certain degrees of awesome. That's not even mentioning how this trope only adds to the over-the-topness of the show.
    • There are a few notable exceptions, the biggest being Schwartz Bruder (a German McNinja,) and Allenby Beardsly (whose Gundam looks like a Magical Girl despite representing Neo Sweden).
    • The trope also applies to their Gundams; China's Dragon Gundam has a bladed ponytail, France's Gundam Rose is a Musketeer with rose-shaped Attack Drones and a Napoleon hat sculpted into its head... probably the most over-the-top is America's Gundam Maxter, which combines boxing, American football, cowboys, surfing, AND the Red White and Blue. And again, it's awesome.
  • Shaman King does this a lot. Silva is the most obvious example to American viewers, but there's also Horohoro, Faust VIII, and Ren. As they come to America, it gets more obvious, with things like a pair of Jewish twins who control a golem, a trio of witches who go on and on about "The Burning Times" (an explanation about the "Burning Times" is required: Witch hunts obviously never killed any actual witches, just people accused of being witches so their accusers could get their stuff, and in Salem, witches were hanged), and an English dowser who dresses like Sherlock Holmes. Oh, and a Mexican who puts his comrades in little trinkets that are sold on the Day of the Dead.
    • It's arguable that this example is, at least in principle, justified — many shaman learn their art according to the ancient customs of their people, and so will, to some degree, appear as a representative of that culture. It's just that it so often ends up being played in such a stereotypical, over-the-top manner that you cross from a legitimately multicultural cast into Captain Ethnic territory.
  • In Tetragrammaton Labyrinth, the Japanese have also managed to stereotype themselves pretty well with Hisame, a Japanese girl amongst a cast of Caucasian European characters. Her powers stem from being a miko and she also fights with a katana.
  • Pretty much all the non-Japanese wrestlers in Kinnikuman are this (at least the human ones, anyway). The United States is represented by Terryman, a Texas cowboy, Specialman, a wrestling football player, and Geronimo, a native American who wields tomahawks; Britain is home to Robin Mask, who wrestles in a knight's suit of armour; from Germany come Brockenman, a wrestling Nazi commandant, and his son, who isn't a Nazi but still wears an SS uniform; and India brings us Curry Cook, the wrestling...well, guess. With the addition of Wolfman, a sumo wrestler, even Japan isn't off-limits. Sometimes they at least shake it up, as in the case with Mr. Khamen, an Egyptian wrestler who dresses like a pharaoh and whose Finishing Move involves mummifying his opponent... and who is also a vampire who kills his victims by sucking out the moisture from their bodies until they're just a husk. Even the minor characters fall victim to this, including Woolman, a sheep-themed wrestler from New Zealandnote  and the one-shot Danish wrestler Vikingman.
  • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!'s internationally-based Precures shown are: An American (specifically, Texan) team including a Cowgirl and one wearing Native American-style feathers in her hear, a French precure who is an painter and wields a giant paintbrush, and a pair of Indian Bollywood Nerds whose attack involves calculators.

     Films — Animated 
  • From the same studio that brought us Las Leyendas, comes La Liga De Los 5, an animated superhero fantasy film that features a team of superheroes which is a parade of classic Mexican stereotypes: La Catrina, based on the famous zinc etching character created by José Guadalupe Posada during The Edwardian Era, with telekinetic powers to manipulate bones; La Tuna, a typical short and fat Masked Luchador, with the power to take out stings from his body; Tetlapanquetzal, a warrior with Pre-Columbian Civilizations indumentary, who also squawks (quetzal is a Mesoamerican bird); Dolores, a girl possessed by an ancient Pre-Columbian spirit and Chema, a kid who obtains fire-like powers after eating hot chile. After the release of the first trailer, viewers are still debating if it's some kind of homage or some level of parody to Mexico's culture.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. is actually a white New York cop named Harry Griswold.
  • Chasing Amy parodies it. Hooper X invented a "positive black role model" superhero named "White Hatin' Coon." Yes, that happened. He claims that it is NOT an example of this trope.
  • In Kick-Ass 2 the Motherfucker has a tendency to name the members of his gang based on their ethnicities. He names a black MMA fighter "Black Death", a triad member "Genghis Carnage" and a former member of the KGB "Mother Russia". His assistant notes how incredibly racist this is, to which Chris insists that they're "archetypes" rather than stereotypes.

    Live Action TV 
  • A sketch on In Living Color! parodied the lack of minority superheroes. It's best remembered as the first appearance of Handi-Man, the first physically-challenged superhero. Also Tiny Avenger, a super-powered female little person.
  • Nickelodeon's All That featured the black and lactose-intolerant Super Dude, whose main enemy was the evil Milk Man, who was forever squirting milk at him. The sketch makes more sense with the fact that many African-Americans do have trouble digesting dairy products.
  • Key & Peele lampshaded this trope with Power Falcons, a Sentai/Power Rangers parody. Green Falcon, the token black of the group, is repeatedly called "Black Falcon" by all the other heroes, and eventually starts calling his Asian and Native-American teammates "Yellow Falcon" and "Red Falcon" as payback.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The original Black and Yellow Rangers were an African-American guy named Zack and an Asian-American girl named Trininote . Ironically, their respective replacements, Adam and Aisha averted this by being the inverse of Zack and Trini; Adam was Asian while Aisha was black.
    • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive: Will the Black Ranger is played by a black actor, the first time a black actor had played a Black Ranger in 13 years. Will is also a thief, and like with Zack, the casting and writing was also criticized for Unfortunate Implications.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg: The black Prince Ivar, the sole foreign member of the team, is the Knight of Water, so naturally his armour is blue. However, the cast are implicitly speaking Irish, where both his armour and his skin would be considered shades of gorm. Given that the series is a Sentai with only a very loose relationship with Celtic Mythology, it's unclear whether this was a sneaky nod to Power Rangers or completely unintentional.
  • Invoked and discussed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where a kid on the street calls Sam "Black Falcon". Sam gets the boy back by asking him if people call him "Black Kid". He gets the point.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This trope has been part of wrestling for decades. Almost always, they're not even from the country they claim to be. We've had Mbo like N'boa the Snakeman (Bob Elandon — who at least was from the Congo), Russians like Nikita Koloff (Steve Simpson — Born in Minnesota), and Germans like Baron Von Raschke (James Raschke — Born in Nebraska)
  • Vincent J McMahon (second owner of the CWC/WWWF/WWF/WWE and father of Vince McMahon loved these, believing that you needed one to appeal to every ethnic group in New York. Several of his top stars were examples like the Italian Bruno Sammartino, Russian Ivan Koloff, and Puerto Rican Pedro Morales, all of whom would become champions. Interestingly the senior Vince originally wanted Hulk Hogan to be an Irish Captain Ethnic (hence why he was originally in a stable dominated by evil foreigners). However, the Italian-Hispanic superstar objected to it because he would have had to dye his hair which he felt would escalate his hair falling out, and McMahon agreed to allow him to only use the Irish name.
  • Unfortunately, Captain Ethnic types are almost always heels (Kofi Kingston being a notable exception), and they are cooked up simply to stoke the xenophobic rage of the fans, and are usually historically timely. So there were "evil" Germans for an entire generation after World War II, "evil" Japanese almost up until the present day, "evil" Russians during the entire Cold War, and "evil" Middle Easterners off and on throughout the years. A particular Kick the Dog moment came in early 2003, when Canadian wrestlers Rene Dupree and Sylvan Grenier were forced to portray "evil" Frenchmen all because of the "Iraqi weapons of mass destruction" controversy. A parade of French stereotypes followed: Weird facial hair? Check. A lion-clipped poodle named Fifi? Check. Major Jerkass tendencies? Check and double-check. What made this really sad was that Dupree and Grenier came from respected French-Canadian wrestling dynasties whose members had not been stereotyped in the past. This may be why these "evil Frenchmen" were so popular in Canada.
  • In fairness, professional wrestling in other countries has not been above it — Rikidozan's JWA opponents (especially American), as well as "Los Gringos Locos" in AAA coming to mind. However, at least in Japan, it's changed so that the most recent "big time" wrestler to fill a stereotype may have been Stan Hansen... who was using a similar gimmick to his American self— and made it work.
  • Finlay may be one of the worst just because of the mish-mash of stereotypes that goes into him; he's a tough Irish brawler who clubs people with a shillelagh and hangs out with a leprechaun. The Leprechaun was an intentional Scrappy that backfired. Finlay (as a heel) was more popular than most faces, so he was given "The Little Bastard" to hang around with, hoping it would derail his popularity. It failed.
  • The Full-Blooded Italians in ECW and later WWE, were Italian-American Captains Ethnic. In the ECW incarnation, they originated as a comedy stable, where the joke was that most of them were clearly not of Italian descent (like the African-American JT Smith, or Tennessee Good Ol' Boy Tracy Smothers). Even so, they would allude to mob ties, make offensive Italian hand gestures, and praise Italian-American figures like Frank Sinatra.
  • After the FBI lost about half of its members and became a more serious threat in ECW (even with Smothers still there), WCW debuted their own version - Big Vito and Johnny the Bull, the Mamalukes, both of whom were indeed Italian-Americans. They preferred to call themselves "the Paisans", as "mamaluke" is a pejorative term in Italian parlance. Johnny would later be a member of the WWE incarnation of the FBI as Johnny Stamboli.
  • As Dramatic Dream Team is a parody of American wrestling, several popular American wrestlers, tag teams and stables have had sends up, though sometimes they can be odd, such as The Italian Four Horsemen or the Hawaii World order.
  • The main gimmick of Muhammad Hassan, (real name Mark Copani), who is Italian-American but was portrayed as an Arab-American, was complaining about anti-Arab prejudice while his manager translated his speech to Farsi. While his run did include entertaining (and racist-baiting) matches against Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan, he had the unfortunate pleasure of choking out The Undertaker and having him carried out of the ring by masked men dressed in black wearing balaclavas... taped only two days before, and airing the same day as the London Underground bombings. His next appearance had him accusing everyone who inevitably complained about the angle as racists. Didn't get him many boos until he compared them to the audience, but UPN demanded that he be removed from Smackdown. Sadly, Hassan (who, rumor has it, had been booked to win the World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam, and was the most effective new Heel WWE had produced in years) left the wrestling business altogether soon afterward.
    • Said manager, Shawn Daivari, went on to become a successful mid-carder in TNA. He became known as Sheik Abdul Bashir. He explained that he had been a patriotic American all his life, who was quickly turned on after 9/11. His rationale was, if people are going to treat him like some sort of mad Arab, then that's what he was going to give them.
  • The Japanese promotion Dragon Gate arguably parodied this with the Florida Brothers — bleach-blond Japanese guys decked out in the stars and stripes who had "The Star-Spangled Banner" played every time they won.
  • After anti-French sentiment died down, La Resistance very quietly became French-Canadian (well, Sylvain did. Rene was drafted to Smackdown and continued to be billed from Paris; in his stead, Sylvain was partnered with American turncoat Rob Conway) Remarkably little of the gimmick was changed — they mostly just ditched Fifi and carried a different flag.
  • Crossed with Self-Deprecation in the World Tryout matches for the Japanese version of SMASH. Most of the participants were Canadians with a wide variety of gimmicks that didn't make their nationality, or ethnicity for that matter, obvious. The first Japanese tryout, Isami Kodaka, had a samurai gimmick. The Canadian SMASH isn't much different, as they usually try to make team USA very diverse, to the point of putting their most obviously Canadian wrestlers on it.
  • Parodied in All Japan Pro Wrestling with Los Mexico Amigos, a bunch of wrestlers who found themselves low on the card and, after reminiscing about their greater success in Mexico, decided to take on Spanish names and wear the Mexican flag on their ring gear.
  • Inverted with current WWE Cruiserweight division performer Mustafa Ali, a wrestler of middle-eastern descent, who was at first clearly being pushed in a similar vein to Muhammad Hassan above, (as an Arab-American bitter about racism he receives), but he was cheered pretty decently by the audience and that angry ethnic heel schtick was quickly dropped in favour of him cheering up and expressing gratitude for the fans embracing him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Old World of Darkness had problems with this, especially in the first editions of Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Let's see, we've got the Ravnos (Romani vampires with illusion powers and a bend towards crime and trickery), the Giovanni (a clan of Italian necromancers with Mafia ties), the Assamites (an Arabic vampire clan made up mostly of assassins), the Fianna (Irish Warrior Poet werewolves), the Get of Fenris (Nordic warrior werewolves with some uncomfortable ties to the Nazis), and the Wendigo (a Native American werewolf tribe that still wasn't fully over colonization). Later editions cleaned it up by either breaking away from the ethnic stereotypes or, in the case of the Ravnos, killing most of them in a single apocalyptic act.
    • In some cases, like the revised Uktena tribebook, the stereotypes are even worse than before.
    • The New World of Darkness was more careful to avert this, doing a little more research and avoiding stereotypes a little better while retaining a local flavour for exotic legends.
  • Averted in GURPS International Super Teams, where (except for those with explicitly political motives), non-US supers have names like La Fusionnne (a heroine with fusion powers) and Argurous Astraph ("Silver Lightning", chrome body and lightning powers); non-stereotypical, just translated into their native language.
    • Though not averted in the original GURPS Supers. What about the Japanese super-sumo wrestler who calls himself "Mount Fuji"? And is an Anti-Villain because he follows a samurai code? And has origami and kite flying as stated hobbies?
  • Oh, so very very used in the Freedom City setting for Mutants & Masterminds, especially the Golden Age sourcebook (because it was appropriate for the Golden Age). The Japanese villain team included the first Crimson Katana, a mentalist named Geisha, and a wind-controller named Kamikaze, which is Japanese for "the Divine Wind". (The German ones were more along the lines of generic villains who simply happened to be Nazis, with the possible exception of Madame Blitz and the poison-gas-themed Sleepbringer.)
  • European Enemies, widely regarded as the worst sourcebook ever released for Champions, has this kind of thing generally listed among the book's problems. Some of the more demonstrative characters included are the Swiss Clockmaker, the Spanish Inquisition, the Italian Godfather and Gladiator (his real name is even Spartacus), Swedish Midnight Sun, a German strongman based on the Berlin Wall, a French Napoleon impersonator, and a British punk band as well as a druid.

    Video Games 
  • Freedom Force and its sequel Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich parody this trope to the extreme, particularly with the villains. Most ridiculously is Fortissimmo: An Italian opera singer with sound-wave powers as part of a supervillain team of World War 2 axis powers.
    • In case you're wondering, the other members of the Axis team are Red Sun, a sword-wielding Japanese hive mind with an honour obsession, and Teutonic warlord Blitzkrieg, with his slicked-down hair and mustache and powers based on hypnotising people with his ranting speeches.
      • The twist: Blitzkrieg is actually Charles Wilson, American and deputy director of the CIA! His origin is never explained though.
      • Red Sun is also an interesting example of Hypocritical Humor: He apparently can't decide if he is a knightly samurai or a sneaky ninja stereotype, so he constantly shifts between these two opposites. One moment he declares sneak attacks to be dishonorable, the next he summons explosive fire elementals to aid him in a duel.
    • There's also silly Soviet stereotype Nuclear Winter, who has cold and ice powers.
      • Not to mention Red October. Although admittedly her powers (basically being a witch) has nothing to do with the USSR.
    • On the heroic side, we have El Diablo, who is Mexican and has the name El Diablo and a fiery personality... and Tricolour, who is a French fencer who wears the tricolour on her costume... and Quetzaloquatl, a Latin-American version of Captain Marvel... The Green Genie is middle-eastern and, you guessed it, has genie magic and a flying carpet.... Let's just say that Freedom Force has a *lot* of these on both sides and it's played about as seriously as the rest of the cast, which is to say not at all.
  • Essentially every opponent in Punch-Out!! is this to one degree or another. The only notable exceptions are Disco Kid, Mr. Sandman, the Bruiser brothers, Piston Hurricane, and Mike Tyson. At least no one is spared. Little Mac, the only fully sympathetic character, may be American, but so is Super Macho Man, who is a perfectly compact embodiment of the negative stereotype of the average Americans the rest of the world holds — brash, arrogant, overconfident, vainglorious, obnoxious, self-centered and self-absorbed, concerned only with the upkeep of his picture-perfect appearance, and of course from Hollywood.
  • Metal Gear has verged into this occasionally, some times less offensively than other times:
    • Mostly subverted with FOXHOUND, who deliberately had powers that contradicted their ethnicities (the most obvious example being a cowboy-type gunplay expert who was apparently a Russian nationalist), but Vulcan Raven was an Athapaskan Native American shaman whose powers included the ability to endure cold and the ability to have prophetic visions, and his weapon of choice was a minigun. His incredible size and strength was honed by participating in and training for the Eskimo Indian Olympics. The re-localisation of the script in The Twin Snakes took out Snake's blatantly sarcastic and insulting dialogue towards him ("You must be a real threat at the muktuk eating contest"... which Raven, in all seriousness confirms), which both fit Snake's character better as someone who respects his enemies and made Raven look more positive.
    • Justification/Lampshade Hanging in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel. Slasher Hawk is an Aborigine who fights alongside a hawk he had raised from an egg, which he calls his totem. He fights shirtless and attacks Snake with two giant boomerangs, as well as taunting Snake when he calls them 'boomerangs' ("That's an overused, white man's name"). Upon defeating Hawk, he gives a Final Speech about how he isn't an Aborigine at all, but a white orphan adopted by an Aboriginal family. In order to prove he was worthy of their culture, he adopted all of their cultural expectations and observed their traditions as vehemently as he could, but was still regarded with suspicion. He claims he joined the terrorist group because they were the only people who accepted him.
  • Mortal Kombat played it straight with Nightwolf. The animated series made him a computer hacker, though.
  • Mega Man 6 bosses. You have Flame Man (with a turban, in a level covered in oil) from Saudi Arabia, Centaur Man from Greece, Knight Man from England, Yamato Man from Japan, Tomahawk Man from the central United States, Wind Man (who looks like a chime) from China, Plant Man from Brazil, and Blizzard Man from Canada. The game's from Japan, so Yamato Man more fits the "we're no exception" attitude than Tomahawk Man who is a Native American stereotype.
  • Many of of the Overwatch cast would fall under this trope: McCree is a gun-slinging cowboy from the American Southwest, Soldier: 76 is a gruff American soldier (who is intentionally designed to be a parody/homage to more traditional shooter games like Call of Duty), Genji is a Japanese ninja, D.Va is a Korean pro StarCraft II player, Reinhardt is a German knight, Zennyatta is a faux-Buddhist monk from Nepal, and Symmetra has been described by fans as "an uptight Indian tech-support worker".
    • Unlockable voice lines for the characters further this trope: there's Tracer's "Keep Calm and Tracer On!" (a reference to the famous piece of British WWII Propaganda "Keep Calm and Carry On"), Zarya's numerous references to "the bear" and "the motherland", and Hanzo's references to sake and Pokemon.
    • The Event skins for the Summer Games event play with this trope as well: Genji, Mercy, D.Va, McCree, Tracer, Zarya, Lucio, Torbjorn, and Widowmaker got skins that feature or are inspired by the Japanese, Swiss, Korean, American, British, Russian, Brazilian, Swedish, and French flags, respectively. However, given that these skins are meant to evoke an Olympic athlete's uniform, this makes sense.
    • Also, the horrendously cheesy Mariachi/El Blanco skins for Reaper (whose real name is Gabriel Reyes and was born in Los Angeles) and Daredevil: 76 skin for Soldier: 76.
  • Played straight with most of the games in the Street Fighter series (especially the original and Street Fighter II), in which a character's design would often reflect their nationality:
  • City of Heroes has a little of this. The Big Good Statesman (Captain America plus Superman) is a bit of an example, and then there's Back Alley Brawler, but for the failed Korean version they introduced a bunch of Asian heroes, led by a Korean going by Foreshadow. Perhaps subverted as they're actually quite popular with the Western playerbase, especially Foreshadow with the girls. And then there's Hero 1, whose entire costume is based on the Union Jack. Plenty of players have made characters fitting to the trope for their own nationality/ethnicity with good helpings of irony.
  • Ratonhnhaké:ton / Connor Kenway in Assassin's Creed III is a Revolutionary War version of this trope mixed with Captain Patriotic. He's a half-British/half-Mohawk Native American tribesman who fights with the Patriots to secure American independence and liberate the Thirteen Colonies from British dominance. His first costume is very much your typical Braids, Beads and Buckskins native attire while his Assassin robe incorporates the national colors of the United States and a bald eagle motif on his hood, though later in the game he does get the typical Mohawk haircut and red facepaint. Additionally, his weapons are a tomahawk and a bow with arrows which are distinctly rooted in his culture alongside the typical musket used by the Patriots.
  • Many of the non-main Wonderful Ones in The Wonderful 101. For instance, the Congolese Wonder-Jungle is a Tarzan-like Nature Hero, the Spanish Wonder-Matador is exactly what he sounds like, and the German Wonder-Beer is a fat man with a helmet shaped like a frothing beer mug.
    • The narrower "city-based stereotype" version is also present, with heroes like Hollywood director Wonder-Movie, or Wonder-Gambler from Las Vegas.
    • Also present are a number of stereotypes from Japanese culture, including Wonder-Samurai, Wonder-Socho (based on Japanese Delinquents), Wonder-Kabuki, and Wonder-Schoolgirl.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Captain Canada! of the Whateley Universe, who can't even officially use the name Captain Canada until he graduates from Superhero School Whateley Academy. His battle cry is "For the Great White North!". The other Canadians kids at the school think he makes all Canadians look bad.
    • Discussed in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl": on meeting an Asian prisoner calling himself 'Black Tiger', Tennyo gets concerned for the potential Enemy Mine situation they were innote , musing that someone with 'black' as part of their Code Name who wasn't either dark-skinned or had Casting a Shadow as part of their powers, were almost certainly the sort of Card-Carrying Villain who would try to use the other prisoners as hostages once they'd gotten out of their current predicament.
  • Discussed in the Red Panda Adventures in regards to rookie superhero the Black Eagle. The Red Panda notes that every other superhero he knows with "black" in their name actually is black, while the Eagle is not. He picked his name by combining two childhood nicknames, the Black Cap and "Eagle-Eyes" Kelly.

    Western Animation 
  • Superfriends provides the trope image for a reason. The minority members of the titular team are based on specific aspects of their cultures and superpowers attached to their ethnic idenities: Apache Chief is ostensibly an Apache Native American who can grow big, Black Vulcan is an African-American who can unleash lightning making him a Captain Ersatz of Black Lightning, Samurai is obviously Japanese and he can manipulate wind by uttering Gratuitous Japanese and El Dorado is a (Mestizo) Hispanic who uses telepathy, telekinesis and teleportation in addition to his name alluding to a lost city in Colombia despite being Mexican. Justice League and Young Justice have also featured their own versions of these characters albeit far less stereotypical and having a lot more character development than their original Superfriends counterparts.
  • Being all about a superhero team made up of stereotypes, Minoriteam parodies this with characters like Nonstop, an Indian decked out in a turban and the like with a flying carpet and total invulnerability to small arms fire, El Jefe, a heavyset non-English speaking Mexican gardener who wields the Cosmic Leafblower, and Fasto, a black guy with Super Speed and an insatiable lust for white women. However, it's also subverted by their civilian identities, where Nonstop is a slacking former pro skater, El Jefe is an American-born oil billionaire, and Fasto is a nerdy professor of Women's Studies. That said, there's also Jewcano, a Jewish man with a long beard whose super strength and volcanic fire powers come from his severe irritability and whose weakness is money, and Dr. Wang, an extremely gifted Asian scientist who runs a laundromat. Jewcano does have a secret identity as a meek milquetoast named Neil, but Dr. Wang is Dr. Wang 24/7.
    • Their enemies in the White Shadow are composed primarily of white Captains Ethnic. Foul tempered drunken Irish leprechaun Seamus McFisticuffs, white rapper White Rapper, slow-witted Ivy League alumnus and yuppie Racist Frankenstein, French chicken-themed chef the Black Coq, sniveling corporate climber the Corporate Ladder, Dirty Cop, and "the captain of evil industry", the White Shadow himself.
  • Hadji from Jonny Quest, as his main contributions to the team were snake-charming, rope-tricking, and other stereotypically Indian activities. The 1990s update gave him advanced computer skills, which in present day can be seen as unintentionally stereotypical. What's especially odd is he's described as a Hindu Indian, he wears a turban like a Sikh and "Hadji" is a Muslim title for someone who has made the pilgrimage (haj) to Mecca. The 1990s tried to also explain this away in A Day in the Limelight episode as an Orphan's Plot Trinket.
  • Marvel's The Super Hero Squad Show wasted no time in parodying their own trends in one episode, where Wolverine ends up joining a team called the All Captains Squad. Captain America and Captain Britain appear, along with original creations Captain Australia, Captain Brazil, and Captain Liechtenstein. Yes, Captain Liechtenstein. (He's tiny, but economically prosperous!) However, the truly hilarious part is when Wolverine joins the team and is forced to take up the moniker of Captain Canada, complete with a costume homage to Guardian, one of two Canadian Captain Ethnics from Alpha Flight.
  • Spoofed in the superhero movie episode of Total Drama Action, when Harold used the superhero identity Captain Alberta. Chris MacLean himself seemed to appreciate this patriotic statement.
  • Hanuman Man, Baljeet's Author Avatar in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Out of Toon", could be considered this since Baljeet is Indian and Hanuman is a hero from the ancient Indian epic the Ramayana.
  • The Association of World Super Men in The Powerpuff Girls (1998) includes Big Ben, a monocle wearing superhero who speaks with stock British phrases, Mucho Muchacho, who has the appearance of a Dashing Hispanic, and Down Under Mate, whose name indicates where he comes from. Led by Major Glory.
  • Mocked in Dan Vs. when the titular character buys a comic book starring "Sergeant Saskatchewan": a character with no dark past, no inner rage, no enemies, "politeness" for a superpower, and "so many maple leaves". They gave him an American sergeant emblem, though.