As an long-time fan of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the last decade or so of comics have been rough.  Every authority figure has been revealed as corrupt, every agency rotten to the core, and worse still, they’ve been retconned as having always been so.  Charles Xavier is no longer a weird old dude trying to change the world for the better, he’s an amoral chessmaster willing to sacrifice children in a never-ending war.  S.H.I.E.L.D. has now retroactively been created for evil purposes, usually Hydra-related, and even Superman himself has been shown to have dark and evil secrets at the core of his heroism.  I understand a desire for more mature themes and deeper examination of the tropes, but I’m incredibly tired of every single story having the same themes of “Trust no one, everything is corrupt,” leading to today’s exhausted and exhaustive query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t even mind the evil spy agency stories, but wonders why it is too much to ask for just ONE that isn’t terrible, asking: What trope or recurring them are you most tired of seeing over and over in your pop culture?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. September 23, 2016 at 2:55 pm — Reply

    Hero going evil, alternate reality or not. Waaaaaaaayyy overused, way tired, way creatively bankrupt.

  2. Frank
    September 23, 2016 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    A scar over the eye means you are evil. No matter how nice they are, soon or later, they turn bad.

  3. Daniel Langsdale
    September 23, 2016 at 5:01 pm — Reply

    Government/Church/Secret Cabal conspiracy stories. Just… so… draining….

    And by corollary, the uber-genius mastermind that foresees everything & is always one step ahead.

    Basically, the idea that someone, let alone a group of someones, can be so unified, organized, and in control that the randomness of humanity and the universe can’t bring them down (But the ingenuity of the protagonist can!)

  4. Lucas W.
    September 23, 2016 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    Director: I want to make a movie out of Existing Property X.
    Studio: Well, sure, people are familiar enough with that for it to be viable. But what story do you want to tell?
    D: *ponders*
    S: *ponders*
    D&S (in unison): ORIGIN STORY!!!!!!!!

    Why can’t we ever have anything new? Even Spiderman, the property that arguably started the modern super hero film explosion, managed to tell a complete trilogy arc, and what do they do for the next movie? REBOOT AND START AGAIN.

  5. Frank
    September 24, 2016 at 8:42 am — Reply

    During a show’s season, the villain can’t be stopped. He/she wins every encounter. Only at the very end of the season does the hero and his friend triumph against the villain.
    Arrow and Legends really abused this trope.

    • September 24, 2016 at 9:40 pm — Reply

      Some Japanese heroes overuse the trope as well. It isn’t quite so bad if there is at least a good secondary antagonist and some good storylines, but when it is the MAIN storyline… It wears thin quickly.

  6. September 28, 2016 at 5:37 pm — Reply

    I am tired of the government being evil and corrupt. I have my problems with the government and disagree with many things. Then I look to the alternative and think of how lucky I am to be born where I was and be an American.
    Even Captain America can’t escape it while Superman gave up on the American way.
    I am proud to be an American despite it’s faults.Our country was born a bastard and continues to stumble as it improves. Let the perfect nation please step foreward and show us the way. Until then God Bless America!

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