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Historical Domain Superperson

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Historical Domain Characters tend to get thrown around in fiction, even if it's not a Period Piece. This may have something to do with the fact their stories (or at least the basics) are interesting and thus would lead to them either having a role (of any relevance) in the story or just as a one-off gag.

However, they tend to be subject to getting a Historical Hero Upgrade or Historical Villain Upgrade in general, usually from a form of Artistic License – History. Sometimes you throw in a Historical Badass Upgrade to that one king who was best known for diplomacy and make him lead his armies to battle or make Abraham Lincoln a vampire hunter.

But what if that's not enough for the Rule of Cool? Then give them superpowers. Essentially, this trope is about historical figures (or those heavily based on them) but with supernatural abilities that can be anything (or maybe loosely based on what they're best known for or stereotypes around their nationality). These superpowered historical figures don't even need to be part of a Historical Fantasy to qualify, they can even exist in the modern-day!

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A Sub-Trope of Historical Badass Upgrade and Beethoven Was an Alien Spy. A Super-Trope to Demon King Nobunaga and Julius Beethoven da Vinci. Could also lead to Weird Historical War and Archived Army (where historical figures team up to fight).


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
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    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • In The Gods of Manhattan, the "spirit city" of Mannahatta has allowed various historical figures from Manhattan, like Babe Ruth and Walt Whitman, to be elevated to godhood after their deaths. Some of them even have additional powers related to whatever they're the god of; Peter Stuyvesant, for example, is the God of Things Were Better in the Old Days, and can make those around him feel hopeless and pessimistic about the future.
  • An immortal Nicholas Flamel appears in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as a supporting character.
  • The Russian Conspiracy Thriller novel Look Into the Eyes of Monsters is set in an Alternate History where Earth is secretly ruled by powerful cabals of immortal magi sustained by a substance called "xerion". Its protagonist is the Russian poet Nikolay Gumilyov who was shot by the Bolsheviks in 1921 in real life but is saved by the Fifth Rome cabal in the book and eventually becomes a full member in it, gaining eternal youth, a Healing Factor, and a number of other xerion-powered superhuman traits.
  • In The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, all of the immortal humans are Historical Domain Characters such as the titular Nicholas Flamel and his wife, the Count of St. Germain, John Dee, and Billy the Kid. All of them can use magic.
  • In an Older Than Steam example, The Song of Roland ascribed superhuman abilities to the titular Roland, portraying him as so strong and durable that the only reason he died was that he had burst his temples blowing his olifant-horn to summon aid for his mortal troops and bled out. The poem also portrays an elderly Charlemagne as still having strength enough to kill the villain Baligant single-handedly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sanctuary: Nikola Tesla became the first modern vampire. He loses the vampirism and gains electromagnetic powers, and then later regains his vampirism.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In the episode "Requiem for Methuselah" the Enterprise crew meets an old human named Flint who is both immortal and possessed of superhuman strength. Flint was originally born around 3800 BC and lived as many notable historical figures during his long lifetime including King Solomon, Alexander the Great, Johannes Brahms, Leonardo da Vinci, and Lazarus. He kept his immortality secret by letting each persona eventually "die" and establishing a new identity elsewhere.
  • What We Do in the Shadows: Laszlo, with his vampire gifts of flying, glamoring, and turning into a bat, reveals to Nadja and Nandor as they think they're dying that he was Jack the Ripper.

    Music 

    Theatre 
  • Michael Jackson ONE presents a very magical version of the titular musician and the misfit protagonists are searching for his clothes, which are also magical. Enforced due to Michael Jackson's estate serving as a co-producer of the show.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • The premise of Super Science Friends is that historical scientists form their own team of Science Heroes led by Winston Churchill, do time travel and fight Nazis. The members consist of:
    • Sigmund Freud: The team's telepath who has the ability to control people's sexual thoughts.
    • Nikola Tesla (pictured above fighting Thomas Edison): Fittingly has electrical powers.
    • Marie Curie: Her ring gives her various radiation powers such as shields, disintegration, and x-ray vision.
    • Tapputi (The world's first chemist): Her tonics and perfumes create seductive illusions to fool men.
    • Albert Einstein: A teenage clone of the original who has Super Speed as a result of understanding that time is relative.
    • Charles Darwin: Has the ability to shapeshift into any living (or extinct) animal.

    Webcomics 
  • In Spinnerette Benjamin Franklin was accidentally transported to the present day by a time traveler attempting to kill Hitler, where he discovered that since one of his later inventions will make time travel possible the universe won't let him be seriously harmed, he takes advantage of it to fight crime.

    Western Animation 


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