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Poor heroes. Sure, the idea is that you want to go out and save everybody, but what's the sense in doing it all alone? You're only one guy, and how much change can a single person affect in this crazy world of ours?
What the hero needs if he really wants to get ambitious is a group of like-minded heroes that can help avenge the downtrodden, smite evil, solve puzzles together, all that good stuff. So if he is firmly resolved in his belief as to The Power of Friendship, he makes a blatant effort to go out and find these other heroes, thus assembling the best team of warriors ever.
The result of his search usually depends on where the work as a whole falls on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. If it's the former, he finds friends and saves the day. In the latter, everyone is either too much of a jerk or too evil themselves to be of much use.
- The Light Warriors of 8-Bit Theater (Webcomic) certainly fall into the more cynical side of this trope. They even had an early arc about deciding which of the applicants would be allowed to take the job.
- Karol from Tales of Vesperia (he keeps joining a bunch of guilds, hoping to fit in)
- Captain Metropolis from Watchmen kept trying to form a league of superheroes, but never ended up getting anywhere. The more positive-thinking costumed heroes who would likely have joined were inevitably turned off by the Darker and Edgier heroes being obnoxious pricks about the whole enterprise. This didn't stop them working loosely together to cover areas during the police strike however.
- The lead samurai in Samurai 7 was hired to get a group of samurai together to defend villagers who hired him. He even specifies "seven" samurai as the number needed, but settles for three in the interest of time constraints. he lets two that have been with them from the beginning call themselves "samurai" as time goes on, and they meet another two on the way to the village.
- Luffy from One Piece wants to become a pirate, so he travels the world to assemble a crew.
- Keychain of Creation opens up with Misho and Marena trying to get other heroes to join them on their quest.
- The Webcomic Looking for Group, while not a strong example, definitely deserves mention for title-appropriateness. Cale would be that hero.
- RPG World has this as the early joke, as Hero was looking for new party members for...no apparent reason, it seems.
- Celes pretty much starts off like this in Final Fantasy VI in the second half of the game, though most groupmembers are already known.
- Fia really needed some friends to get her storyline going, especially after Cierra--one of the more involved characters--was Put on a Bus by her player. Advertisements were made. There was much rejoicing when Meria decided to fill the open slot.
- In Stephen King's Dark Tower series Roland spends an entire book doing this, via magical doors into our modern time. It's called The Drawing of the Three.