When it comes to comic-book story-telling, there are a number of repeated themes and familiar plot-points that seem to recur and recur. The old “Misunderstand, Fight, Team-Up” chestnut gets a pretty regular workout, but close on its metaphorical heels is the moment where a new character shows how strong/clever/awesome he or she is by taking out the established bad@$$. This trope is sometimes referred to as ‘The Worf Effect’, after the security chief of the Starship Enterprise, whose primary duties seemed to consist entirely of this. When used effectively, this kind of moment can be a breathtaking shock-and-awe intro, but abuse of it gives us the sad trombone of a character that is Alpha. (I generally appreciate the Dan Slott spider-verse, but no matter how many times Peter Parker informs me that Alpha had massive potential, he’ll still be bland, derivative and dull.)
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) finds it fascinating that creators like Rob Liefeld, Vince McMahon and Sylvester Stallone have carved careers/empires out of this trope, asking: What’s the most ridiculous “New Guy Shows Up And Beats Old Toughest Guy” (Worf Effect) moment in pop-culture history?