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Playing With / The Cape

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Basic Trope: The classical superhero archetype.

  • Straight: Bob Byrant, a noble, heroic individual, gains superpowers which he uses to battle crime and evil as the superhero Stupendousness Man, whilst wearing a distinctive costume to maintain a Secret Identity.
  • Exaggerated: Bob is an All-Loving Hero, the powers he gains make him essentially a God, the enemies he fights are pure evil and his costume is amazingly garish.
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  • Downplayed: Bob is a good person who gains superpowers and uses them to help others as a costumed hero while trying to follow a Lawful Good code of conduct, but he's not flawless. He sometimes loses his temper, remaining nonviolent but making some rather hurtful remarks. And once or twice he's gotten fed up with being a hero and tried to quit. Plus, his costume is fairly muted and he's powerless in the presence of mice.
  • Justified:
    • "Bob was an avid comic book reader when he was a kid, so when he got superpowers he knew instantly that he was going to use them to become a superhero like the ones he used to read about."
    • "The world needs a hero, and I have the power to be one. If not me, then who?"
    • Bob realizes that Even Evil Has Loved Ones and some of them are decent people & doesn't think he should cause them pain by having them lose a loved one just because that person harmed others. After all, won't that make him as just as bad?
  • Inverted:
    • Bob gains superpowers, but decides to use them for his own personal advantage (or even to become a villain).
    • The '90s Anti-Hero.
    • The Cowl.
  • Subverted: On the outside Bob appears to be a noble and heroic superhero, but he's actually corrupt, cowardly and hypocritical.
  • Double Subverted:
    • On the outside Bob appears to be a noble and heroic superhero, but he's actually corrupt, cowardly and hypocritical — but he eventually has a change of heart and begins to genuinely use his powers for noble and heroic purposes.
    • Bob uses his powers, gadgets or training to make himself a symbol of fear and chaos: a Super-Villain. But it turns out that the only reason Bob became a super-villain was to force society to improve.note 
  • Parodied:
    • Bob tries to use his superpowers to help people and do the right thing, but he's hopelessly incompetent and ends up doing more harm than good.
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    • Bob would have been a perfect superhero in the 1950s, but his values are completely out of date and no one takes him seriously.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Bob might have superpowers, but he chooses not to use them.
  • Enforced:
    • Bob's the Cape because the producers are consciously attempting to attract an audience only vaguely familiar with classic superhero conventions.
    • The writing team makes Bob a noble figure bringing hope to a dark world as a backlash against the '90s Anti-Hero.
    • The writers/producers/etc. believe in the moral code of the Cape.
  • Lampshaded: "This guy acts like he just stepped out of a comic book!"
  • Invoked:
    • "I shall use these powers for good, to help and protect the innocent! I shall become a superhero!"
    • Bob is given powers in an attempt to make him a better person, and it works.
    • Bob has no powers, nor any major resources, but when his family become the victims of crime, he takes on a colourful costume and a cheesy moniker to go walking the streets and confronting muggers and thieves.
  • Exploited: Knowing of Bob's moral code, Dr. Scumm uses a Human Shield or another dirty trick when fighting him.
  • Defied: "Just because I have these powers doesn't mean I'm a superhero! I can't be expected to deal with all of this!"
  • Discussed: "Cape, why can't you stop being such a friggin' boy scout all the time?" "And deal with the Laser-Guided Karma your crap brings, Cowl?"
  • Conversed: "I wish I was a superhero..."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob's ideals and values are overly idealistic and out of place in the real world he finds himself in. He often find himself struggling.
    • To Be Lawful or Good is a daily challenge for Bob because some criminals are skilled at doing evil without breaking laws.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob's ideals and values are overly idealistic and out of place in the real world he finds himself in, and his powers cannot solve every problem he encounters. However, he nevertheless manages to overcome these problems to make the world a better place.
    • There are some problems Bob can't fix. He accepts that and concentrates on helping out in the ways he can. Just because he can't stop government corruption and religious turmoil is no reason not to foil bank robberies and defend the world from alien armadas.
    • "You don't get it. My values are unrealistic, lofty and dated, yes. But they hold me to a standard. A standard you could never meet, Darkguy."
    • Bob realizes that some problems don't have perfect solutions so he looks for the best of the imperfect whether it be to kill a life in order to save another or nothing at all.
  • Played For Drama: Bob is forced to kill a whole group of strangers to save the life of his family, friends, and Love Interest, but he can't bring himself to do it and ends up blaming himself for their deaths and/or impulsively kills the villain in an Unstoppable Rage for having him make such a decision. Bob can't escape the guilt he feels and can't stop wondering what he should have done.

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