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Basic Trope: A villainous character who has a traditionally heroic job.

  • Straight:
  • Justified:
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    • Terror Hero was a former supervillain and his current stint as a superhero is either him attempting to go legit or a form of community service. Old habits die hard, after all.
    • Terror Hero is possessed and/or corrupted by Pure Evil!
    • Louis Cypher's parents are incredibly high in the justice system with money to burn, not to mention American Police tend to look after each other whenever they get in trouble regardless of context.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted
    • Terror Hero is a Hero with Bad Publicity and his "evil deeds" were taken out of context. All murders were either accidental or were killed by someone else,
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    • Louis Cypher is a Noble Bigot with a Badge and the media is using him as a scapegoat by the media to milk the public's increasing opposition to Law Enforcement.
  • Double Subverted
    • Because Terror Hero is the Token Evil Teammate, no one on Super Team trusts him, but they don't suspect him to be bad enough to actually work with any of their enemies. Unfortunately for them, Terror Hero is secretly The Mole for the Legion of Doom.
    • When a man frantically tries to report a crime, Louis Cypher — who had threatened the man a few days ago in an abuse of power — apologizes and tries getting him to cooperate, the perpetrators a group fo criminal Louis has been trying to nab for years. It is not until he gets the man alone away from the other cops is it revealed that Louis was in-league with the criminals and he intends on eliminating the snitch.
  • Parodied:
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    • Terror Hero was a student at Hero Academy and a member of House Anti-Hero, a House made-up dark and morally questionable hero, with a high percentage of their student body eventually turning to straight-up villainy.
    • Terror Hero attended Hero Academy as a foreign exchange student from the Academy of Evil.
    • The Police Academy has "Bribery", "Asset Seizure Economics" and "Racial Profiling" in their curriculum.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Terror Hero is a killer and thief and a generally unlikable person, so why would anyone else even call him a hero? He was kicked off the Super Team, the people he "protects" either run away in fear from him or throw trash at him as he flies by, the cop's first instinct is to pull their guns on him and it won't be long before Terror Hero cuts his losses and drops any pretense of heroism.
    • Louis Cypher's laundry list of offenses and general assholishness will cause him to either get fired, suspended or transferred. His entitlement will exhaust the patience of his fellow officers if his racist and sexist behavior didn't do it first and the constant bad attention he brings to the Department will wear itself thin as well.
  • Reconstructed:
    • When Terror Hero realizes that his selfish and apathetic behavior does nothing but make him (and those around him) miserable, he goes on a spiritual quest and comes back realizing that he actually acted like a hero and makes a change. He seeks counseling, he learns impulse control, he avoids lethal tactics and might even make a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Louis Cypher is kicked off of the force due to his repeat offenses, leaving him a bitter drunk unable to admit that he ruined his own life. One day, he goes to restock on beer at home, only to accidentally stop a convenience store robbery using his police training and is given his job back.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Terror Hero acts like Cruelty Is the Only Option, but the situations usually leaves him with no other choice. That said, he has no reservations against killing innocent people and/or expecting to be rewarded for his heroics. He does oddjobs for The Don and tends to Kick the Dog when the opportunity presents itself, but he'll Pet the Dog too when the mood strikes.
    • Louis Cypher will accept bribes, make threats and will pull his gun at a moment's notice, but doesn't do it for something as petty as personal prejudices.
  • Averted:
    • Terror Hero never kills, never steals, takes his job as a hero seriously and is fairly liked by those he protects.
    • Louis Cypher is a cop, but he is noble, fair and avoids escalating tense situations.
  • Enforced:
    • It's The '90s and Anti-Heroes are in, so the publishers want their heroes to be "edgy". Whether it is out of spite or ignorance, the writers will make their heroes look and act like straight-up villains and they're treated as Designated Heroes.
    • Either the creators and/or intended audience are racial minorities, and since people of color and disproportionately targeted by the police, the police in the work are portrayed as corrupt and villainous.
  • Implied:
    • In a panning shot of a hero's Rogues Gallery, one of the villains has a design looks traditionally heroic but with a secondary color scheme.
    • A police car driving by is accompanied by an ominous music sting.
  • Logical Extreme:
    • Since superheroes by their nature don't answer to law enforcement, all superheroes are only a few lapses in judgement away from becoming supervillains.
    • The Justice System is rampant with corruption; police academies encourage violent methods, precincts have arrest quotas, white-collar criminals have bribed every police chief and the ideologically toxic (like Neo-Nazis) are encouraged to join and proselytize.
  • Played for Laughs:
    • Terror Hero is an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist that does heroic things for selfish reason, but his unscrupulous methods only make things worse. When he tries using his powers to do something evil, that backfires too.
    • Louis Cypher is a Monty Python-style bobby who's attempts at being a Dirty Cop fall flat because he's an idiot. He says or does something racist to a black guy, only for the black guy's many friends to surround him and beat him within an inch of his life. He tries planting drugs on an innocent person to arrest them, only to find out that he accidentally left the drugs at home and planted his wife's lunch instead.
  • Played for Drama:
    • Terror Hero is an Ax-Crazy maniac that murders indiscriminately in his pursuit of "justice", but this was only after his attempts at genuine heroism were met with scorn and profiling, leading him to snap.
    • Louis Cypher is secretly torn by his activities as a Dirty Cop, having been forced to kill his own partner to uphold his corrupt activities.
  • Played for Horror:
    • Terror Hero starts of as a legit superhero, only for the power to go to his head. He murders the mayor, has the city annexed from the United States where he turns it into his own lawless cesspit where the people under his "protection" are left to his sick and twisted whims.
    • Louis Cypher lets himself into an innocent family's home and basically claims it as his own, forcing them to be his indentured servants. When the family tries to report him, it turns out he is a Villain with Good Publicity and no one will believe them. Louis abuses the family, rapes their teen daughter, drives the wife to suicide and by the end the father snaps and kills him, the father arrested for the murder of his wife and a hero cop.
  • Exaggerated:
    • All Superheroes are megalomaniacs that kill the bad guys, vent their angst and foibles onto an unsuspecting public and will help themselves to anything they want.
    • The Police are a heavily armed street gang that performs drive-buys, perform protection rackets and push drugs onto the intercity kids. And That's Terrible.
  • Downplayed:
  • Lampshaded:
  • Invoked:
    • The Super Team will ask every new supervillain they meet if they want to join them before they fight.
    • There is at least one Police Recruitment both at every Criminal Convention.
  • Defied:
    • "We do an extreme vetting process before we invite people onto the Super Team. Appeal to Force, criminal behavior or sexual harassment will not be tolerated from any of its members!"
    • "Louis Cypher, you are under arrest for conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with evidence and willingly consorting with criminal elements."
  • Exploited:
    • The Super Team brought Terror Hero into their ranks so that they could blame him and have him banned in-case any of their boughts of heroism goes horribly wrong.
    • The precinct hired Louis because no one else has the stomach to use force on a witness unwilling to snitch.
  • Discussed:
    • "Look, I get that you don't trust vigilantes on the best of days, but some make others look like Ghandi."
    • "The police get away with a lot of stuff, but not all of them are racist pills."
  • Conversed:
    • "Why does everyone put up with Terror Hero? He literally does nothing that warrants being called a 'hero' and the rest of the Super Team keep him around anyway!"
    • "Oh look, a cop in a movie. Is he corrupt and one-dimensionally horrible? Check and check."
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