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Deconstruction Crossover

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Basically, when you throw many characters belonging to a specific genre (or sometimes a distinct division of this genre — e.g., the works of a certain author) into a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, for the purpose of exploring and deconstructing — and sometimes reconstructing — said genre from a modern viewpoint (which may or may not be Darker and Edgier). It could use the actual characters and settings from said works, or it could limit itself to using Expies if said work isn't quite in the public domain (less common online, because copyrights matter somewhat less when no money changes hands).


Note that the Massive Multiplayer Crossover itself here is just the means, while the goal is the aforementioned genre exploration/deconstruction. Also note that it's only one of the possible uses for a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, which may be implemented for numerous other purposes (e.g., fun, awesomeness, sex appeal, etc.).

A subtrope of Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Deconstruction and sometimes Reconstruction. Fan Fic versions should also be placed under the Deconstruction Fic trope.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Violence Jack has dark, twisted versions of many a Go Nagai character. Considering what most of Go Nagai's characters are like to begin with...
  • Re:CREATORS throws together expies of typical protagonists of popular 2010s anime, manga, and games, then watches them clash due to their respective worlds' differences. And that's not even getting to the main villain, who is a fan character that lived through her own author's Existence Failure...

    Comic Books 
  • Alan Moore loves this trope.
    • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vols. 1 & 2 did this with Victorian literature, Black Dossier did this with mostly 1950s British literature, and Vol . 3 did this with early 20th century, 1960s and 1990s-2000s fiction. It's very likely that it was this graphic novel that influenced this trope's popularity in the last decade (especially in comics), so it's probably the Trope Codifier. Note that in the movie version a similar Massive Multiplayer Crossover is made mostly for Rule of Funny and Rule of Cool, rather than Deconstruction. Thus, it's not an example of Deconstruction Crossover.
    • Albion (created with Alan Moore's assistance) did this with 1950s-'70s British comics published by IPC.
    • In The Twilight of the Superheroes, a script submitted by Alan Moore to DC, he wanted to do the same with the DC Universe.
    • The original script for Watchmen was this: a crossover of several Charlton Comics characters intended for deconstructing the superhero genre from a modern viewpoint. The final work uses Captain Ersatzes of the Charlton characters instead.
    • Lost Girls, with art by Melinda Gebbie, crosses the stories of Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The deconstructive part comes where instead of fantasy tales, they're all converted into similar stories of sexual awakening, often taking place when the girls are quite young and sometimes with family members.
    • The Youngblood: Judgment Day crossover Moore wrote for Awesome Comics was this in spades, creating an enormous history for the Awesome universe apparently populated entirely by the Captain Ersatz novelty assortment. Among other things, it deconstructed Image Comics' early 90s period, showing it to be a product of a troubled teenager's ideal of what superheroes should be like.
  • The Sandman does this with every comics, mythological or historical figure Neil Gaiman could work into the story.
  • Kingdom Come: It starts with the idea "everything ever produced for DC Comics was canon". All of it, Watchmen, Vertigo Comics, the experimental comics of The '70s, one shot characters from anthology comics, the Super Friends Cartoon, all of it. Then, it took all the contemporary trends in comics, morally questionable storylines, badass Nineties Anti Heroes, heroes and villains being replaced with Darker and Edgier Legacy Characters, and extrapolated them to their logical extremes. Then it took the Silver Age generation of superheroes, and brought their powers to logical extremes, added biblical themes, and gave it to us in a photo-realistic "painted" style to make it more realistic, and disturbing. It certainly counts.
  • Planetary did this with various fiction characters and genres. Most of the characters there are pastiches or Captain Ersatzs, and most genres are deconstructed in self-containing stories, regardless of the series' Massive Multiplayer Crossover premise.
  • J.Michael Straszynski's series The Twelve did this with twelve various WWII-era Timely Comics superheroes, exploring the differences between modern and 1940s culture — and the darker aspects of the later.
  • Fables does this with fairy-tales and nursery rhymes.
  • Twilight, by Howard Chaykin, did this with DC Comics' Silver Age science fiction characters. No relation to Twilight of the Superheroes. Or that book with sparkling vampires.
  • The JLA/Avengers miniseries. The plot of the series was all about the differences between the Marvel Universe and The DCU. Compared to the DCU, Marvel is a Crapsack World, and compared to Marvel, DC heroes are just one bad day away from Beware the Superman.

    Fan Fic 
  • Hybrid Theory by Blade and Epsilon does this for the classic anime Mega Crossover and Self-Insert Fic.
  • A Dark Knight over Sin City explores the similarities and differences between the two comic franchises.
  • Child of the Storm emerges as this, deconstructing the popular conceits of Harry having different parents and the clichés of Super!Harry, Lord!Harry and Sex God!Harry, in which Harry mysteriously becomes hypercompetent at everything and usually changes his personality for the worse, leading to a classic Gary Stu. Instead, as the story demonstrates, he's very leery of more fame, cautiously happy about new/rediscovered family, and while he does develop new abilities, they tend to be rather difficult to get under control and cause more problems than they solve. In other words, he's still Harry Potter, albeit one who has to grow up rather quickly, though he does learn to assert himself more. He has massive potential, but for now the main issue is staying alive long enough for that potential to be realised. As for the sex god thing, as Word of God frequently points out, while Harry is a thirteen year old boy (the story starts in third year) who is quite cute once he loses the malnourished look and on course to be very good looking, very sweet in an Adorkable sort of way and has a functioning sex drive that he's just beginning to become aware of, he is still thirteen years old. On top of that, the new family, allies and powers is all very well, but it also leads to lots and lots of new enemies and him being thrust into situations where he is very much out of his depth.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness can be considered a deconstruction of the Fandom-Specific Plot of Yukari sending an outsider to Gensokyonote . When the said outsider is Coop with his giant robot car in tow, Reimu and the others can't wait for him to leave.
  • Sleeping with the Girls brutally deconstructs the Self-Insert Fic by demonstrating just what would happen if a person from the real world got sent to various anime worlds, but the rules of the real world applied to that person. It also demonstrates why having a Genre Savvy person from the real world in an anime world may not be the best thing for said anime world.
  • Between My Brother And Me: The characters aren't getting along, and are not opening up to each other (Yugi and the others don't tell about Battle City, May and Max can't tell about Atem and his past), Pokemon are being subjected to monsters and power far worse than Team Rocket can do to them, and the characters are dealing with a world that will literally kill them without guilt.
  • Zulu Squad No Tsukaima is a deconstruction of The Familiar of Zero crossovers in that the OC does not become Louise's familiar. Appropriate since the OC is an elite mook from Spec Ops: The Line, which is a deconstruction of the military first person shooter.
  • Children of Time. The first season deals alternately subtly and heavily with the blood on the Doctor's hands, and the Big Bad deconstructs him thoroughly every chance he gets. Sherlock Holmes as a Companion starts out well... and then his own caring, protective nature is turned against him, his need for control is played like his violin, and what he turns into shows just how far wrong a Companion can go. The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship are played against the heroes in some truly terrifying ways... And then it all gets healed if not quite Reconstructed in the end.
  • Kings of Revolution breaks down the idealistic world of Lyrical Nanoha by mixing it with Code Geass. Which then proceeds to take what Nanoha lost to rebuild its world.
  • No Chance For Fate is a serious deconstruction of not only the Fuku Fic but also of the source material Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon. The standard plots for this kind of crossover are either outright averted or subverted, often mixed with lampshade hanging or snarky mocking. The absurd plot points of the source material are dissolved in Reality Ensues and of course add more snarking. Yet, all this manages to show the true strength of the heroes, who still fight for the right cause.
  • The Code Mars Trilogy is this for Sailor Moon in the world of Code Geass. The former is usually stuck with Black and White Morality and are screwed up when choosing between the oppressive Brittanians and the Black Knights. Adding to this is how the Black Knights are an exception to the Dark Is Evil and Light Is Good tropes. Moreover, they're in a world of Humongous Mecha instead of normal supernatural monsters. Unless the shots are well-placed, Knightmare Frames No-Sell the Scouts attacks.
    • In the course of the story, the Scouts get over this. They start in episodes 19 and 20 by showing their true selves and joining the Black Knights, accepting the Dark Is Not Evil trope. This is supported with incidents like the SAZ Massacre and when an actual Sailor Moon-like villain comes in to side with Britannia. Bonus points when they get their Ace Custom Knightmares, and encounter phantom-like Mooks, allowing them to fight enemies on the ground and against the Mook Mobiles.
  • Abigail and the Rats of NIMH brings together characters from The Secret of NIMH, Once Upon a Forest, The Rescuers and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and deconstructs the Mouse World trope, exploring what would really happen if the oblivious humans in these kinds of stories actually started to notice the civilized rodents living among them. Naturally, NIMH becomes very interested.
  • The Wedding Crashers is a crossover between Supernatural and Twilight that introduces the Winchesters and Castiel into the Twilght universe as friends of Leah just in time to attend Jacob and Renesmee's wedding, showing how the more-normal Sam and Dean react to a lot of things in the Twilight universe (imprinting, sparkling, the attitudes of the Cullens and their allies, the Cullens' spending habits, how little most characters in the series care about humanity) and finally blows up in the best possible way.
  • Miraculous Ladybug vs. the Forces of Evil is a crossover between Star vs. the Forces of Evil and Miraculous Ladybug. While also something of a Fix Fic, it's also a deconstruction of both franchises in different ways. It's overarching view is a Monster of the Week plot of Ladybug, but contextualizes it using Star's more arc based plotting. Compared to the akumas Marinette and Adrian fight regularly, Ludo and his monsters lack gimmicks and just use straight forward brutality tactics to overwhelm foes who aren't Star and Marco. It shows that even if Jackie and Marco had broken up in a different context that wouldn't mean Star and Marco would automatically get together. It laughs at Hawkmoth's egotism and how that's a direct contradiction to his supposedly noble intentions. And of course it's big deconstruction is on what would happen the day Ladybug and Cat Noir lost? Answer? Feelings of betrayal, secrets revealed, and the end of them being secret heroes.
  • Practicing Medicine is this for Medic/Mercy shipping and crossovers between Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch in general, showing just how badly it would turn out if the two universes ever actually did meet. Mercy gets captured from her own time by the Medic, who becomes enamored by her. Unfortunately, being the Medic, his way of showing his "love" for Mercy is medical experimentation on her without anesthesia Meet the Medic style and repeatedly regrowing and harvesting her organs, because he and the rest of the RED Team are too comically violent and/or insane to care.
  • Bleach at Youkai Academy and its sequel, Karakura Adventures, shows what would happen if an Experienced Protagonist like Ichigo was given an Unwanted Harem, which is what Rosario + Vampire revolves around. Unlike Tsukunenote , Ichigo is not shallow enough to fall for the first pretty girl he seesnote , Inner Moka's arrogance rubs him the wrong way, and Moka's habit of feeding on his blood serves as a turn-off. Ultimately, he falls for Kurumu, whom—being a succubus—better understands the concept of love than Moka, whose Inner side is in denial that she has feelings for Ichigo and keeps getting more self-entitled and mean-spirited as the story goes on, until Moka finally gets fed up and joins Fairy Tale after Miyabi claims he can give her the power she needs to force Ichigo to marry her.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton, while showing Danny Fenton going on many dates, showcases many of the flaws of several of the characters Danny interacts with, based on how a (relatively) normal person would react to them.
    • Some chapters often deconstruct the flaws several characters have through their interactions with Danny. Vicky and Cree show how someone would react to a child-hating villain.
    • Tucker's Casanova Wannabe behavior also gets dragged through the mud, since it leads to dates that are almost always terrible.
    • Katie Kaboom's transformations, which were meant to be comedic, are treated as horrifying to someone not from Animaniacs.
  • Remnant Inferis: DOOM, which crosses over the visceral and bloody DOOM 2016 with the much tamer and softer RWBY, has many aspects of both sides looked at and dissected.
    • Battle Aura is the Soul enveloping the body to protect it from harm. As the Slayer points out, a body should be protecting the soul, not the other way around. So, what happens when Aura comes into contact with anything that can cause the soul immense pain like Demonic Possession or Argent Energy? It hurts like Hell.
    • The Soulless characteristic of the Creatures of Grimm effectively makes them free real estate for the demons, as with a soul, a being can resist possession, however weakly. Since Grimm lack this, they just end up being power ups for demons.
    • Bloodless Carnage gets put through the ringer by having this trope completely averted to Hell and back for battles against the Slaves Of Doom. The RWBY characters, especially at the Volume 1 mark, have never been in such grueling circumstances due to Grimm simply disappearing and never bleeding, coupled with the students having never seen blood in such disturbing ways before. So, when the blood spills in such ways that even Mortal Kombat would cringe at, cue the many instances of Break the Cutie.
    • Ruby's attitude as a Wide-Eyed Idealist makes her incredible naive and unprepared for such a situation as fighting the literal forces of Hell. When the demons start their invasion and the corpses start piling up, she does everything she can to maintain a positive attitude, but it becomes clear that it's all a front to hide how horrified she is by the bloodshed. Worse still, all of this leads to her beginning to develop sadistic rage and blood-lust toward the Slaves of Doom.
    • The Slayer himself is a ruthless, aggressive, wrathful, foul-mouthed One-Man Army. All of these traits just make everyone afraid of him at best and hateful of him at worst.
  • Five Years Later takes a swing at The Earth-Prime Theory by having Eon, a resident of a timeline that isn't the Prime Ben 10 timeline, declare that such a way of thinking basically assumes that all other timelines don't really matter.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The novel Silverlock contains characters and settings from Beowulf, Don Quixote, and countless others.
  • Jonathan Swift wrote the satirical tract A Tale of a Tub in 1694. It does this with Anthropomorphic Personifications of different sects of Christianity, deconstructing what Swift saw as the "flaws" in each.
  • The Neil Gaiman novel American Gods does this, along with a healthy dose of All Myths Are True.
  • This trope, combined with the Literary Agent Hypothesis, is the main premise of many works taking place in Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton Universe.
  • The Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman is a massive hodgepodge of characters vampire and non-vampire, fictional and non-fictional, Victorian and modern, running around in a world where Dracula killed Van Helsing and took over Britain.
  • As previously stated, Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary Wolf.
  • Nursery Crime by Jasper Fforde does this with nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters, to the point of postulating an entire murder mystery story around the age-old question of, "Why are the Three Bears' bowls of porridge different temperatures if clearly they were poured at the same time?"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Once Upon a Time, for fairy tales in general and the Disneyfied versions in particular, all while mashing up different stories together, such as Prince Charming was really the pauper to the prince. Many of the episodes are from the POV of the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." It actually does the term "modern take" literally, as the Dark Curse caused almost everyone to lose their memories of who they were and have memories that would closely match real life.
  • The first crossover between Arrow and The Flash (2014) is full of both teams poking holes in the way the other operates. Oliver Queen isn't impressed with how the Flash team treats their crusade like a game and don't take the job seriously. Meanwhile, the Flash characters are shocked by the brutal methods the Arrow uses to stop criminals. By the end of the crossover, members of both casts admit the other has a point.

  • Into the Woods, containing characters from multiple fairy tales and weaving their stories together. The whole thing is deconstructed in the second act.

    Video Games 
  • There are some surprisingly convincing Epileptic Trees that interpret Super Smash Bros. Brawl as this. One theory states that Master Hand represents the forces of video game order (the rules by which video games function), Crazy Hand represents the forces of video game chaos (the unpredictability that makes video games fun), and Tabuu represents the forces of Serious Business and "Stop Having Fun" Guys, what with his efforts to imprison Master Hand and destroy the world of video games.
  • Super Robot Wars games can turn into this to some degree, by showing how characters from one anime would react when facing plot and characters from others - friendships (Kamina and Ryoma in Z2) and rivalries (Domon and Kazuya in MX) are formed, some characters turns different that in their source material (Shinji and Shinn, very often), some events are averted, villains fight one another (Zonderians vs Radam vs Evolouders vs Eleven Lords Of Sol in W) or form alliances (Doctor Hell, Gauron and Hakkeshu in J), not to mention characters making comments about events from other series.
    Char Aznable: Your way will never bring true peace.
    • Super Robot Wars Z goes one step further by actually having some characters show in multiple versions of their animated continuities, in order to contrast the differences between them. For example, Classic Ryoma witnesses Armageddon Ryoma and is horrified by his much more violent nature.

    Web Comics 
  • Breakfast of the Gods does this with breakfast cereal mascots.
  • Most of Bleedman's Webcomics (e.g., Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, Grim Tales from Down Below) do this with various Western Animation cartoons (at the same time changing their drawing styles to an Animesque one).
    • And then FusionFall used that concept as well, retaining the Massive Multiplayer Crossover and the change to an Animesque style, but dropping any hints to Deconstruction.
  • Kid Radd seems to do this, but featuring Captain Ersatzes and pastiches rather than actual trandemarked Video Game characters.
    • It has its own in universe versions of games like Super Mario Bros., EarthBound, Final Fantasy, and even Deadly Towers and cheesy flash games. It really does well at showing what a character from one genre of games would look like if he was forced into a completely different genre but his character still followed the rules of his original game. For example, how would a platformer character for whom everything does equal damage, and only has four slots in his health bar deal with being put in an RPG where every character has thousands of HP? How would a fighting game character, who needs to take advantage of a character being temporarily stunned after being hit in order to perform combos deal with a platformer character who becomes temporarily invincible after being hit?
  • Captain SNES: The Game Masta fits into this category fairly well. Not only are many of the villains aware that they are merely video game characters (which is, in at least one case, why they became villains to begin with), but characters who travel from one video game world to another are not always prepared for the different rules. (The comic where Magus writes of his experiences learning from Mario seems a good illustration of this.)
  • Sire is a comic about the descendants of literary characters reliving their "Sire"s story and having to take cues and morals from the original work so as not to earn a tragic ending. Rare as the characters are aware of the trope and use the deconstruction as a means to survive.

    Web Original 
  • There Will Be Brawl straddles the line of this and a a Darker and Edgier Parody of Nintendo games. It uses a pre-existing Massive Multiplayer Crossover established by the Super Smash Bros. franchise, and then constructs a world based around the end result of innocent and not-so-innocent characters fighting a purposeless war against each other for years.
  • The Final Fighting Fantasy series does a good job at this. For the various Final Fantasy characters, it starts off as what looks like a simple poorly written fan fic, but quickly grows the beard and becomes quite epic.
    It turns out that the legendary weapons of the games where created by the ancients as a way of manipulating the game's protagonists into defeating the forces of evil, and thus restoring balance, however, after evil was defeated, the good guys can't stay around any longer, because they would tip the balance to far towards the light, so, the weapons transport them to another world, where they all meet each other, and (because of the influence the weapons have on their mind) convince them that the characters from the other games are evil, and thus they're forced into a fight to the death. The different characters named "Cid" that appear in every game is actually the same guy, manipulating things from behind the scenes. Unfortunately, Final Fighting Fantasy has been left unfinished
  • Cheshire Crossing. Three girls believed to be insane are all sent to a new place. A 'boarding school'. But the three girls are Alice Liddell, Wendy Darling, and Dorothy Gale. And the 'teacher' is Mary Poppins. Has to be read, because it's definitely better than it sounds.
  • Marvel DC After Hours, a Spin-Off of I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC does this. Season 1 questions the validity of Superman, Season 2 deals with what the heroes would be like if they all went through what Batman did, and Season 3 revolves around the concept of the Continuity Reboot, and what it would be like to go through one. By the end, it is always Re Constructed.
  • Death Battle can dwell into this, often showing how certain characters would fare against opponents operating by rules of a work different in tone or even completely different genre altogether. Certain tactics, abilities or even personality traits can work to their disadvantage or be exploited by their oponnents.
  • Winnie The Pooh meets The Toxic Avenger is a deconstruction of the Pooh's Adventures series, showcasing the difficulties of featuring so many characters in a world not suited for them.

    Western Animation 


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