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Off My Mind: Should Superheroes Keep Trophy Rooms?

It's cool to keep villains' memorabilia but how safe is it?

As comic book readers, most of us have a tendency to want to collect things. Whether it's a true trophy or just a memento to remind us of something cool that happened, it's human nature to keep certain things around. Superheroes are no different. There are several heroes and teams that have dedicated rooms to commemorate their successful victories when battling the supervillains.

The supervillains almost make it easy. If they don't have actual superpowers, they most likely have some crazy or high tech weapons and gadgets. Upon their defeat (or even escape), items are discarded or appropriated. Villains can't be allowed to keep possession of dangerous items regardless if it is actually their private property. It seems committing a super-villainous act takes away some of their legal rights.

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These items are much too dangerous to sit in the police department evidence room and some most likely can't be easily destroyed, so it falls to the trustworthy heroes to take possession of them. The common place for these items is a room dedicated to storing and displaying the prizes from a battle.

Is this really a good idea? How safe is it for these items to sit out on display and how safely locked up are they really?

== TEASER ==
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You would think that a superhero team's headquarters is the safest place to keep trophies from villains. Sometimes their bases are even kept in hidden locations. They're rarely opened to the public so there shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong.

We've often seen even secret headquarters infiltrated by crafty villains. Batman keeps several trophies in the Batcave and the Justice League has a trophy room as well. Because Batman is the World's Greatest Detective, that implies he's a pretty smart dude. He would make sure only the best security system is being used. Any base that he is involved in should be impenetrable to outsiders.

Yet, how many times have people casually wandered into the Batcave? This is Batman's ultimate private space. Villains have strolled in and could have access to any of his toys or trophies. The Hall Of Justice even has public tours. Sure, tourists aren't given full access but would it really be that difficult for a cunning villain to enter a restricted area?

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The current X-Force team decided to have a secret base since the other X-Men don't know of their existence. Cavern-X is their place to gather as well as keep any spoils they feel looks really cool on display. Things got bad the last time the X-Men discovered there was a secret X-team of killers so you would think Wolverine, Angel, Psylocke and the others would go to great lengths to keep their activities and base of operations a secret. Yet, Magneto easily uncovered their secret, strolled in and made himself at home. Well, he is Magneto so that says something, right? Magneto is the same person that has been defeated by superpowered teenagers time and time again. There are other smarter villains out there that could easily discover the location of the X-Cave.

Going back to public headquarters like the Justice League or Teen Titans use, who maintains the facilities? I have never seen any member sweeping up the floors or dusting the trophy cases. They must have some sort of janitorial team. How heavily are they screened before getting hired? Even if they have the highest clearance and are scrutinized by Batman, they could easily be influenced or used by villains. What happens when a villain kidnaps their loved ones and forces them to get them access?

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The heroes usually win their battles at the end of the day but happens if the team doesn't survive? What if they get transported to another world like in Secret Wars or Heroes Reborn. The heroes base would be left unattended and eventually someone would be able to crack their security system.

The trophy rooms we've seen do have some pretty cool stuff. If anyone has a secure place, it might be Superman with his Fortress of Solitude. But even that place isn't completely secure. If the heroes are looking to keep dangerous items away from villains, it makes sense for them to take possession. If they're just taking them to display in a boasting manner, their motives should be reassessed. Keeping so many dangerous items in one place is asking for trouble and eventually, it's going to result in the loss of innocent lives.

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Avatar image for jorgevy
Edited By Jorgevy

Kid Flash: SOUVENIR!!!!!

funny because his souvenirs saved the team's butt twice

Avatar image for thebatfoe

@GraveSp: True, BATMAN all ways plans ahead. He'd have some sorta' oh 5,000 back up plans. ;)

Avatar image for sigersonltd
Posted By SigersonLTD

Not sure how I missed this the first time, however, I don't get here that much ;)

I think it's the heroes' responsibility to take into his possession any gadget that a supervillain employs, and in the case of Batman, he's smart enough to disable them.

Thought I had more about this, but I guess not.... ;)

Avatar image for jrbirkhead
Posted By JRBirkhead

Really shocked no one mentioned the collector from the New Avengers that Bendis wrote in his early run. I thought it was interesting that a wealthy civilian wanted supervillain memorabilia and displayed it like trophies.

Avatar image for djotaku
Posted By djotaku

Nice deconstruction.  I'm curious if it's ever caused trouble within any of the comics.

Avatar image for dominic_del_toro
Posted By Dominic_Del_Toro

Its dumb I wouldnt do it.

Avatar image for mrmisanthrope
Posted By mrmisanthrope

Rule of cool most definitely applies.
They also serve both as great background, and plot devices. The heroes can use the villains weapons against them at a later date. Or maybe some teenage hoodlum finds their way in and sneaks off with something powerful.
It's only really risky if they haven't checked to make sure the item doesn't contain a bomb, tracking device, or hidden camera.

Avatar image for paracelsus
Posted By Paracelsus

My view is that artifacts taken from villains in previous battles are arguably too DANGEROUS to be kept in conventional places so the heroes may as well keep them in secured locations!

Avatar image for dking_cicada
Posted By DKing_CiCADA

I would have trophies if I was a hero, even if it was as small as Ben Tennyson's shoe box. Superman has robots to guard his place, and in an episode of batman brave and the bold bat used the weapons like penguins umbrella, and joker's playing car.

Avatar image for arrowfan237
Posted By arrowfan237

I am sure that Batman has some huge robot or security device that comes into play when people break in. Other heroes probably have that too.
Avatar image for nerx
Posted By Nerx

Why is it that these trophy rooms are never booby trapped?

Avatar image for eyz
Posted By Eyz

Athletes keep trophies, movies start do as well, I don't see why Superheroes shouldn't! XD

Avatar image for dewboy01
Posted By dewboy01
somewhere inside superheroe's home base, lies trophies from their adventures
Avatar image for newport1991
Posted By Newport1991

Serious trophy envy didnt win a trophy when i was little gonna make me trophy or maybe they are like i won its mine now

Avatar image for sa5m
Posted By sa5m

Some of these trophies sound the dangerous

Avatar image for warlord
Posted By Warlord

trophy rooms are a bad idea.



1.  the new movie THOR Odin keeps the power sources of all the conquered planets in Asgard and the yodenheim power source was almost succesfully taken by the frost giants.  plus Loki just waltzed in and took it later on in the movie.


2. did anyone watch that "Batman the Brave and the Bold" episode where professor Zee walks right into the JSA HQ and frees Degaton even though Batman was right there with the entire JSA and Zee just walked into the room with enough artifacts to take over the world with.


Point proved.

Avatar image for goldenkey
Posted By goldenkey

Promethius took his helmet back from the JLA but it backfired.  Batman rigged it so he can change the programming when he wanted to and he did.  He gave Prometheus (I can't spell it) the motor skills of Prof. Hawking.  I actually thought it was kind of a brilliant move on Batmans part, and Batman being Batman, a somewhat of a smart guy, I would guess all the equipment is rigged in some sort of way like that.
Avatar image for emperor_gonzo_noir
Posted By Emperor Gonzo Noir

I love trophy rooms. They're one of my favorite things about superhero comics.

Avatar image for nefarious
Posted By Nefarious

Batman is known for that.

Avatar image for fenixrevolution
Posted By fenixREVOLUTION

I think trophy rooms are fine, as long as the hero can keep them guarded. You rarely see them get broken into.

Avatar image for mesosteros
Posted By mesosteros

You seem to have forgotten that Batman has Alfred as the cleaner... (Seriously how does he put up with Bruce's crap?) 

Second, there is a very specific reason they make superheroes have trophie rooms: to make us hungry nerds have a similar mentality, to buy every collectible as possible. Subliminal messaging at its finest. (or that's the excuse I make ;D )
Avatar image for johnslamby
Posted By Johnslamby

I remember in a batman episode he used his trophy rooms items to try and defeat an enemy

Avatar image for evpraksiya
Posted By Evpraksiya

In a way this is a way for those people to remember and show their achievements. As you say it's human to keep things in order to stock memories we've had with. WW does have something like that in her WonderDome. But it's less creepy.

Avatar image for xaviersx
Posted By Xaviersx

I see the trophy room or the secret lair as something that will be invaded at least once in a superheroes possession of one, either through some fault or failing of their own (telling or taking the love interest to it), or the continual tracings of an enemy or fan.  Unless properly deactivated and/or secured/booby trapped, a hero should not consider keeping deadly trophies around.  Unless, . . using as a snare for a current or future lure . . . but no, one should probably disassemble an unused ultimate nullifyer, an antimatter gun,  or the portal to hell.

Avatar image for herx
Posted By Herx

I'm all for the trophy rooms. They not only act as a "keep safe" for the dangerous armeries of supervillains but also as a reminder of the good times and bad times that heroes have had, plus im sure that the heroes would put on more security with some items than others depending on how dangerous they are.
Not to mention that the trophy rooms seem like a healthy expression of the heroes mentality. I mean just compair the Batcaves trophies with the batcave shown in flashpoint. (only 1 trophy, and all barren).

lack of trophies
lack of trophies

As far as maintaning the trophies are concerend i'm going to have to go with the 2nd legions explanation on how it's maintained. The cleaning crew use nantie tech and blackmail to keep the rooms clean. Now wheres Aquaman? I want to go on that Handy-Dandy, super-spectaculat, totaly portable trophy room tour of his.
 how they keep the displays clean
 how they keep the displays clean
Avatar image for theshame
Posted By TheShame

Yes to the trophy room; could easily double as an armoury if you were able to repair all the objects.  Could be easily secured with a padlock (just joking)

Avatar image for they_killed_cap_
Posted By They Killed Cap!

I'm all for a trophy room...I got one lol
Avatar image for jonesdeini
Edited By JonesDeini
LOL X-Force is an embarrassment 

I'd like to see Somebody break into Hank Pym's base...
Avatar image for mockingbird
Posted By Mockingbird

Yeah, it's a totally dumb idea. Has anyone seen the move Sky High? (Yes, it's kid's movie, but seriously, it's really funny.) The superheros in that movie keep a trophy room, and it comes back to bite them.

Avatar image for jean_luc_lebeau
Posted By Jean_Luc_LeBeau
Superman thinks Batman is a hoarder
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Avatar image for pikminmania
Posted By PikminMania

I am really disappointed you guys didn't mention this infamous Spongebob episode....

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Avatar image for dracade102
Posted By Dracade102

I think all of the non-dangerous / unnecessary artifacts should belong to a museum, I've always felt that makes much more sense than a trophy room....

Avatar image for avenging_x_bolt
Posted By Avenging-X-Bolt

i really dont see the problem with it. its not like im gonna go broadcasting that i have a storage of supervillain/superhero artifacts nor am i going to broadcast the fact that i have a secret base.


some people just like to remember the epic battles they've or the struggles they've overcome. a great deal of the stuff in various trophy rooms are either deactivated, broken or replicas. superheroes put their lives on the line every day, cant they just have a little something to remind themselves of the good they do?






Avatar image for gravesp
Posted By GraveSp
@MrCipher said:
@GraveSp said:

If Batman does it then it must be okay

If Batman jumped off of a bridge, would you do it too? (Even though you don't have a grappling hook like he does?)  :)
Yes because he would catch me and save my life.  
Avatar image for ahmed_sherif
Posted By Ahmed Sherif

I wonder if the X-Men have a trophy case, or the FF.
Avatar image for blackpookie
Posted By BlackPookie

depends on the trophies... i think batman should have burned scarface but its ok to maintain the robin clothes of jason and etc...

of course it depends on what you have in the room...

Avatar image for silkcuts
Posted By Silkcuts

Since Batman is the detective and Superman is the Alien, I think its okay for those two.  Everyone else is just creepy.

Avatar image for glcorps2814
Posted By GLCorps2814

As the series 52 suggested, it was relatively easy for Supernova/Booster Gold enter both the batcave and the Fortress of Solitude, and although Batman and Superman were not there, the concept that there wasn't some kind of security against that type of thing is just irresponsible on their parts. What would have happened if someone with similar powers to Supernova had gotten in there, there is some seriously dangerous stuff in both hero-hideouts, its easy picking for someone like Per Degaton or Despero to go right in and take whatever they want. There is hardly any security on those places, but if a trophy room has an effective system of security, its perfectly fine to keep an evidence room, there is something about calling it a trophy room, unless its literally stuff like trophies, that just doesn't work for the idea that they are selfless heroes. The Flash Museum and JSA museums make sense, it doesn't belong to anyone directly, and its all just public access stuff on display in secured buildings for the most part.

What do the rest of you think on that, do the JSA and Flash museums act as big public trophy rooms or something to honestly display items of historical importance to those people

Avatar image for gmanfromheck
Posted By gmanfromheck
Avatar image for neuron
Posted By Neuron

I'd have a trophy room, but just keep each individual thing locked up.  It would be more like an evidence room than a museum.

Avatar image for blood1991
Posted By Blood1991

Well I think it is cool if they keep it on the down low XD but wants it's all out there like Batman's it becomes more a hazard to the owner than anything else.
Avatar image for kairan1979
Posted By Kairan1979
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Avatar image for innervenom123
Posted By InnerVenom123

No. It's not safe.

No Caption Provided
Because anyone could waltz in and take it.
Avatar image for moonleming
Posted By Moonleming

This happened in that movie "Sky High" a few years back the villain made a giant robot attack the city and Kurt Russel's Superman type character brought it's eye back as a trophy, but it was a surveillance camera.
Avatar image for moonleming
Posted By Moonleming

It would be okay if it was shells only, like disarm what needs disarming.  If it can't be disarmed then throw it into a sun or something.

Avatar image for iridium
Posted By Iridium

Nice topic!

My biggest 'Trophy room' gripe ... Iron Man's "armories".  I think, at last count, he has destroyed his armory, to keep it from getting in the wrong hands, 17,485 times.

Heck, I think Fraction had Stark destroy his armory, then a few issues later ( after his hateful liquid-metal-stored in his bones-I am Colossus who can fly-current suit ) he somehow had enough parts left over to make Pepper her own suit.  Ugh.

I digress.

So comes down to the writer and artist.   A trophy room is can be a great place to pay homage to heroes / villains of days past.  Sneaking in a piece of equipment from some near forgotten super hero.

Avatar image for xyberius13
Posted By Xyberius13

I also see trophy rooms as an arsenal not just a memento from a previous battle.

yes many times their secret HQ is breached, but how many times has a "trophy" saved the lives of our favorite heroes?

There have been numerous examples across all the comic book universes.

Avatar image for thecheesestabber
Posted By TheCheeseStabber

We need Trophy Rooms ;O 

Where Else are We gonna Keep a Giant Penny 
Where Else are We gonna Keep a Giant Penny 
Avatar image for ult_gbandit
Posted By Ult_GBandit

I find it to be foolish to do so.

Easy to put a tracking device in an item and go kill the idiot who took it in its own Batcave.. Oops, I said too much ;P

Avatar image for doctor_____
Posted By Doctor!!!!!

OOOOOH! Souvenir!

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