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While you might expect cartoons based on comic books to dilute the evil of their villains, there are at least some who manage to be truly despicable nonetheless.
- The Joker. This is what happens when you really take a look at him:
- One of the things which makes the Joker extra horrifying is how random his crimes are. Most of the time, his victims are just innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time. For instance, he once psychologically tortured a man for years, threatened to kill his family, and finally tried to blow him up, all for yelling at him when the Joker cut him off in traffic -- and the guy didn't know he was the Joker until afterward! Another time, he disguised himself as a birthday clown for Mayor Hill's birthday party so he could put a dynamite stick onto the birthday cake as revenge for Hill's attempt at comparing the Joker with Batman, which, had his laugh not tipped off Bruce Wayne, would have most likely resulted in a lot of children's deaths. As Bruce Wayne says in regards to Terry's question as to whether Joker was the worst of his Rogues Gallery; "It wasn't a popularity contest. He was a psychopath. A monster."
- He finally and indisputably crosses the line in Return of the Joker, in a Flash Back sequence that combines Nightmare Fuel, a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, the Joker pounding on every Berserk Button Batman has, and a Karmic Death. Two, if you count how Terry defeated him, which destroyed the Joker once and for all. By the time the Joker goes down, a good chunk of Gotham has been obliterated, most likely killing hundreds, if not thousands in the process. Even the version from The Dark Knight, who was just as capable of causing such destruction, doesn't have a body count as high as that.
- While Return of the Joker was where the character went beyond the point of no return, he was always a monster even in the more optimistic earlier episodes of the show and his actions would have had horrible consequences had Batman not stopped him (Return of the Joker was, among other things, an exercise in showing what would happen if Batman FAILED to do so). In addition to the aforementioned tormenting of Charlie Collins, his first appearance in Christmas with the Joker has him unleashing a reign of terror on Gotham in the form of a festively decorated tank rampaging through the city streets, derailing a train with the mother of one of his hostages on it ("Your mother? Well, that's different then! Yeah, it'll be more exciting when it crashes! Ha ha ha!") and letting a giant cannon fire randomly into the city, doing untold damage. And all this was to get Batman's attention so the Joker could pull a harmless practical joke on him. Joker's second appearance, if anything, upped the ante, with him unleashing laughing gas across all of Gotham which would eventually render everyone exposed to it permanently insane, and the Joker did this all so he could go on a crime spree and conduct relatively minor robberies with impunity. While Batman stopped all of this (except the tank), realistically, someone had to have been killed in those ordeals, and the idea of a maniac dealing out death and destruction with the goals behind them being so minor and petty in comparison is disturbing, to say the least, and ultimately becomes horrifying when Batman ends up being too late to stop him in Return of the Joker.
- Joker's treatment of his girlfriend, Harley Quinn, needs mentioning. Mad Love showcases his worst treatment of her, especially his reaction to her in-motion plan to kill Batman. He screams at her, hits her so hard she flies halfway across the room, and almost kills her by throwing her out of a several-stories high window. Why? Because HE wants to be the one who kills Batman! All of which would be bad, but then he sends her a rose and a note of apology while she's recovering in Arkham. Even the Bat feels sorry for Harley in this episode and taunts the Joker with the knowledge that she came closer to succeeding at killing him than the Joker ever has. (The Joker/Harley relationship is pretty messed up to begin with, but it never got any worse than it did in Mad Love.) It's no wonder she disapproved of her grandchildren's path.
- There's also his fine work in Mask of the Phantasm, including the murder of his former boss, Sal Valestra, and after he came to him for help. Bad move, Sallie. There's also attacking Arthur Reeves in his office, giving him a heavy dose of Joker Toxin, which is shown to nearly kill him during his hospitalization. His pre-bleach self was no saint, killing Carl Beaumont, thus ruining his daughter Andrea's life, Bruce Wayne's happiness, and setting the whole movie, and Batman's career, into motion.
- Ferris Boyle, the Corrupt Corporate Executive who caused Dr. Victor Fries', aka Mr. Freeze's, accident, almost killing his Ill Girl wife Nora and rendering him unable to live outside of sub-zero conditions, was definitely this. So much that even BATMAN was astonished and disturbed at the aforementioned discovery. And he does such terrible behind-the-scene things that ruin the lives of others while publicly claiming to be a humanitarian. Seeing him brought to justice was one of the few happy parts of that episode.
- Oh, it gets better out-of-universe speaking. Boyle's voice actor? It's none other than Mark Hamill, the same guy who voices fellow Batman Complete Monster, the Joker. In fact, Mark Hamill's performance as Boyle was the reason why he even got the part of the Joker, who was originally slated to be voiced by Tim Curry due to his work as Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It, but he was unavailable at that time for the part.
- There was also the Sewer King - who kidnapped children to use as slave labor and steal things from him. He trained them to be severely photophobic and afraid of adults. He also scares them with his trained crocodiles and makes it forbidden for the children to make a sound, punishing them by shoving them into a tiny little room with bright lights without food or water for hours - and sometimes, he does it on a whim, even to a kid who managed not to utter a peep despite the extreme scare tactics. In the Animated Series, the Sewer King was one of the few villains Batman had seriously considered killing on the spot, and that's saying quite a lot.
- Along the same lines is Boss Biggis in "The Forgotten", an extremely repulsive and greedy slug of a man who kidnapped random poor people off the streets and forced them into working in the mines, not caring whether they got killed or not, all to satisfy his greed for gold. He also punishes people by locking them in a metal box out in the hot sun. He locks one guy in the box just for blowing a raspberry at him behind his back, and when another worker protests that the man will likely die, his response is "That's the idea!". Ultimately, though, he's not treated as seriously in-universe, as Batman doesn't hesitate to save him from being blown up, so he might not meet the trope's qualifications the whole way.
- In the episode "Showdown", which was mostly an extended flashback to Arizona, 1883, we meet Arkady Duvall, Ra's Al Ghul's then-lieutenant and also his son, voiced by none other than Malcolm McDowell. When we begin, Jonah Hex has tracked him across twelve states "on account of what [he had] done to [a] girl back east", and a barmaid at the beginning of the story tells Hex "He hurt one of my girls real bad." They don't go into detail, but he at the very least violently assaulted them. When we first meet the man in person, he's whipping one of Ra's workman for slacking, when all the poor guy was doing was trying to pick up something he'd dropped. He comes across as insufferably smug and arrogant, with a huge sense of entitlement, and it's clear that Ra's does not approve of his actions and is only putting up with him because he's his son and so he can keep an eye on him. When Hex is caught spying on them, Duvall orders the workers to lower him head first into a vat of molten lead, but Ra's intervenes. By the end of the flashback, Hex has captured Duvall and turned him into the authorities and Ra's has washed his hands of him and left him to his fate. When the man who thinks killing 90% of the world's population in order to restore ecological balance is a good idea wants nothing more to do with you, you must be on this list.
- Darkseid. He is perhaps the absolute worst monster in the whole DCAU, which is obviously saying something since they have their own page. To put things in perspective, Darkseid is the only villain (Brainiac excluded, but he's a machine) that Superman is prepared to kill; indeed, he is the only one he wants to kill, such is his loathing. He's a walking Berserk Button for him. When Superman wants you dead, you must be truly, truly evil. And by God, Darkseid is. Just look at all the evil tropes he covers:
- Abusive Parents: Has two sons, Kalibak and Orion. Kalibak is loyal, but Darkseid treats him like dirt, and he is as batshit scared of his dad as everyone else. Orion was adopted by New Genesis as part of a peace accord; he loathes his father, who in turn respects him more than Kalibak because he is glad "New Genesis hasn't made you soft", but he doesn't seem to have any problem fighting him, manipulating him, or setting in motion plans that will likely result in his death.
- Man Behind the Man: He supplies Intergang with space-age weaponry seemingly just to make trouble for Superman. This is before they even met and he just calcuated that Supes was the only viable threat to him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The end result of this arrangement. Darkseid leaves Mannheim, Intergang's leader, on an island with a nuclear reactor that Mannheim was ordered to make explode.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Sends his general on a mission that, as his adviser Desaad predicted, incurs the wrath of New Genesis. When the general tells him they are outmatched and is cleary waiting for permission to retreat, Darkseid merely sighs that his plan didn't work and tells the general to "take as many of them with you as you can". When Desaad later remarks that it was a foolish move, he has an Oh Crap moment when he realizes how stupid that was before Darkseid executes him with his Omega Beams because "no-one questions me". Though not stated in the show, the general Darkseid sent to his doom wasn't just a random general; it was his own uncle.
- Mind Control: In an act of extreme pettiness and spite, he brainwashes Supes into becoming his Dragon and uses him to conquer worlds in his name, before unleashing him on Earth, where he takes on former allies and his own cousin, Supergirl. He did this because Superman had previously refused to be his henchman willingly and stood up to him, even though his actual invasion of Earth was stopped by New Genesis more than anything Supes did.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Doesn't understand why the people of Metropolis and, in the finale, Batman, continue to defy him when they must see that their situation is hopeless. When Superman explains that humans just don't give into tyranny, Darkseid promises him that he will teach them how to.
- Kick the Dog: Murders Liutenant Dan Turpin before leaving Earth defeated as an example to Earth in general, and Superman in particular, of what happens to those who defy him, Turpin being the loudest voice in the crowd that opposed him.
- But for Me It Was Tuesday: He didn't actually know Turpin's name, which pisses Superman off even more. When Darkseid realises this, he says:
Darkseid: Had I known one human's death would pain you so, I would have killed more (beats Superman down). And kill more I shall; take that agony with you to oblivion, Superman!
- Galactic Conqueror/Dystopia Justifies the Means: Darkseid's ultimate goal is to take over the entire universe and turn it into Hell. The only meaning in life that people will have will be to worship him.
- Story-Boarding the Apocalypse: Darkseid is very, very fond of this, and he is more than happy to give the viewer an idea of just how evil he is:
Apokolips...Now!: People of Earth, I am Darkseid, lord of Apokolips. Here is your savior, down and broken. I have crushed him as easily as I have crushed all who dared to oppose me throughout the cosmos. I am power unlike any you have ever known: absolute, infinite, and unrelenting. You have no choice but to prepare for a long dark future as my subjects and my slaves.
Twilight (part 2): You of all people should know the universe is filled with chaos, confusion, and uncertainty. I will tear it down to nothing, and then rebuild it, bringing order and discipline at last. Think of it, Superman. A new universe created in my image.
Alive: Only the slimmest of chances has allowed me to overcome my death at the hands of Superman. But let the universe howl in despair for I have returned!
Alive: As ever, to search for the Anti-Life Equation, that I might bring order to this aimless universe. But first, Superman must suffer for killing me. His adopted world will die screaming. Only then will I seek the ultimate end.
Destroyer: I hope you appreciate, Kal-El, that everything that happens from this point is on your head. The skies will rain fire, the oceans will boil, the streets will run red with the blood of billions. Only then, after your last pitiful hope is extinguished, will I end your life. Let's go.
- God of Evil/God Is Evil: Darkseid is an actual physical god whose mission is to spread his evil to all of creation. On Apokolips, he has ruled for millenia as a cruel, merciless master who treats his subjects horribly, most of whom are slaves who do little more than toil to build bigger and bigger statues of Darkseid. But when Superman finally defeats him and throws him at the mercy of the oppressed masses, they gather round to help him and pick him up to take him back to his fortress. They have been trained, probably from birth, to devote their lives to a superhuman psychopath that treats them like dirt, and they do. Superman is horrified.
Darkseid: I am many things Kal-El. But here I am god.
- Manipulative Bastard: See his manipulation of Intergang and brainwashing of Superman above. Also, he sets up the Justice League to help fight off Brainiac, only to reveal they have done a Villain Team-Up to trap Superman. He then betrays Brainiac and reveals that, in truth, the whole thing was a set up to get close to his Hive Mind to override his systems and turn him into his minion.
- This, by the way, is consistent with his portrayal in the comics. If anything, the DCAU toned down his evil.
- Brainiac, even for a robot, is pure and utter evil. He knew Krypton was going to explode, but would not tell anybody, as just moments before, he leaves the plane to save himself and the Kryptonian knowledge he'd gathered, leaving trillions to die, other than Kal-El of course. He later suggests that Krypton is not the only dead planet that he'd been involved with: he roams from world-to-world, assembling all of a planet's information and then destroying the original in order to increase the value of his stolen memories, with his objective being to repeat the process across the universe until he has "destroyed all of creation". He also murders the crew of a spaceship that was investigating his presence, tries to steal Superman's body for himself, and eventually, after fusing with Lex Luthor, tries to wipe out the entire universe in one fell swoop, aiming to rebuild it in his own image. Void of remorse, and possessing a bodycount in the billions, Brainiac doesn't act on artificial intelligence: he acts upon selfishness and greed for knowledge and power.
- Also for Brainiac, you better answer him. No, really, DO. If you don't, he will kill you. Even worse, if you do not give him the right answer, he will kill you.
- Batman Beyond has one in Blight, AKA Derek Powers, a Corrupt Corporate Executive and the Arch Enemy of Terry. In order to test his latest chemical weapon, Powers purposefully infected Harry Tully, a member of his staff, with it. When Tully leaks the information to Terry’s father, Warren, Powers had Warren murdered to cover it up. Later, Powers sold the weapon to a Kaznian diplomat who wanted to wipe out resistance on his border. To promote his product, Powers showed the diplomat pictures of Tully’s gradual death at the hands of the chemical. Other crimes include committing industrial sabotage, exiling his son Paxton and causing Paxton to be corrupt and treacherous like him, and polluting the ocean by dumping radioactive waste into it. He played a part in Mr. Freeze's tragic demise as well; he used Freeze as a guinea pig to cure his own condition and when Freeze wanted revenge, Blight brutally crippled Freeze with his radiation. He’s also responsible for the creation of the super villain, Shriek, who he hired to assassinate Bruce Wayne for getting in the way of his plans to bulldoze Gotham's historical district for profit. There's also his response to Terry's use of You Killed My Father as a hint to Batman's real identity:
- If the fact that he killed the protagonist's father to keep anyone from finding out he was using the original Batman's family's company to make some flipping effective biological weaponry didn't already seal his status by the end of the first episode, there's also the way Blight says that line. He says it so casually, it makes you think about some of the other heinous stuff he's done that we HAVEN'T seen. He'd also just demanded to know who Batman is and why he keeps hounding him and sounds frustrated at being given such a useless piece of information.
- And then there's his first act upon becoming Blight. Not only does he effectively destroy any chance for Mr Freeze to live a normal life, he casually tricks him into believing his new girlfriend (who genuinely loved him and wanted to help him) had been using him, resulting in her death.
- Justice League has a few Complete Monsters, including John Dee, AKA Dr. Destiny, who was the first confirmed murderer in the series. He started off as a minor convict who only fantasized of killing the Justice League to make a name for himself among super villains, but after an experimental machine gives him ESP, Dee quickly decides to make his fantasy a reality. Becoming Dr. Destiny, his first action is to take revenge on the wife who'd left him while he was in prison. As she’s sleeping, Destiny goes into her dream and begins to torture her for hours, (giving her a nightmare with strong rape overtones that's so traumatizing that she dies of cardiac arrest). Destiny then invades the dreams of each member of the Justice League, trying to use their worst fears to kill them one-by-one. These nightmares include making Superman think he killed his friends with out-of-control super powers, and burying Hawkgirl alive. He took joy in creating many of these nightmares seemingly just because he could.
- The galactic warlord Mongul. Not many people can claim to have pulled off a Mind Rape on Superman and Batman in the same episode, but Mongul did. As the Evil Overlord of War World, he'd forced warriors to fight to the death in gladiatorial matches with the intention of distracting people from the poverty and oppression of the populace's day to day lives, and he always expected the victors to execute their opponents. When Superman managed to defeat Draaga, the current, undefeated champion, and yet refused to kill him, he felt threatened about his position of power in regards to Superman's public support, so he threatened to destroy Draaga’s planet if Superman wouldn’t let Draaga kill him in their next matc, and he only chose his planet because Krypton, Superman's home planet, was unavailable. When Draaga learned of this, he was angered, even willing to agree with Superman in regards to fighting against Mongul, even when he was feeling quite sore against Superman's allowing him to live after being defeated. Seeking revenge against Superman for ousting him from power, Mongul came to Earth and used a plant called the Black Mercy to trap Superman in a perfect dream world. With Superman out of the picture, Mongul planned to ravage the earth and turn it into a second War World where he could lord over the human race that he'd enslave. Superman was eventually able to free himself from the Black Mercy, but suffered from emotional pain so severe it was enough to make him actually want to kill Mongul before returning to his senses. The dialogue in the scene where Superman tears into Mongul, sums it up:
Superman: Do you have any idea what you did to me?!
Mongul: I fashioned a prison you couldn't leave without sacrificing your heart's desire. It must have been like tearing off your own arm.
- And then there's Lord Orm/The Ocean Master. Oh god, Orm. He tried to kill his brother, Aquaman, and Aquaman's infant son through a very cruel Death Trap that no parent should ever have to go through (which Aquaman can only undo by mutilating himself}, and when attacked by Papa Wolf and now Handicapped Badass Aquaman, he showed absolutely no remorse. Killing a child is bad enough, but trying to kill an infant hurls you well beyond the Moral Event Horizon. Orm was also behind the incident that made Aquaman all pissed at humans, by making a nuclear submarine crash into Atlantis. And the whole Sadistic Choice deal came when Aquaman confronted him on that. He was beyond the Moral Event Horizon already when the choice was given.
- Trigon the Terrible was the Satanic Big Bad of the fourth season of Teen Titans and the father of Raven. In the past he'd conceived Raven solely to serve as a Human Sacrifice to become his portal into the realm of mortals so that he could destroy the Earth and all life on it, just as he did to Raven's homeworld of Azarath, and Raven has been repressing her powers and emotions in order to avoid letting this come to pass. After Slade died in Season 2, Trigon rescued him from Purgatory and offered him his life back were he to serve him in bringing Raven to her destiny. Trigon later came to Raven in a vision, emotionally abusing her and cruelly attempts to break her will so that she submits to his demands of her. When Slade asks for his promised payment, Trigon calls the deal off because, thanks to Trigon's own manipulation, Raven had come to him willingly rather than Slade delivering her to him and he attempts to incinerate Slade on the spot. Trigon then destroys the world immediately as he arrives, turning all mortal life to stone (don't worry, they get better!) and creating a Hell on Earth for him to rule. He then plots to expand this destruction to all worlds in the dimension so that he could conquer the universe and make all who still live worship him as their deity, and when the Titans fight back, he not only brings out their own dark sides to torment them for his amusement, but he tries to murder his daughter, whom he openly deems to be worthless to him. And he's the incarnation of all evil, so it's natural that he's as evil as it gets.
- Arch Enemy Slade borders on this trope as well. A cold, manipulative criminal mastermind and the show's earliest Big Bad, his main goal in the first two seasons was to find himself a young apprentice whom he could mold into being just as cruel and ruthless as he was. First targeting Robin, Slade came up with various schemes to test the Boy Wonder's mettle before finally infecting Robin's friends with nanobots that would destroy them from the inside out should Robin not follow Slade's every command, with Slade even promising that he would make Robin watch as he killed his friends. When his plans for Robin were thwarted, Slade next turned his attention to Terra. Taking advantage of her status as an outsider who would never be accepted because of her destructive powers, Slade manipulated her into joining and befriending the Titans, betraying them and finally trying to kill them, after which he had Terra and an army of his machines Take Over the City by force, with there being heavily implied casualties. After Terra finds herself in over her head while fighting the Titans and retreats, Slade physically abuses her for defying his orders. When Terra then tries to quit her apprenticeship, Slade reveals that the suit he gave her to enhance her powers also gave him complete control over her body and powers, and vowed that he would never let her go. Though Slade dies when Terra rebels against him, he is eventually resurrected by the demonic Omnicidal Maniac Trigon, to act as The Dragon. Ever The Sociopath, Slade took a vicious pleasure in his work towards the ensuring the apocalypse, torturing Raven and mind raping her with visions of her destiny as The Antichrist who'd sell out all of humanity to Trigon, all in exchange for Trigon giving him back his flesh, blood and soul. Even when Slade rebels against Trigon and assists the Titans against him, it isn't out of altruism, but because Trigon refused to honor their bargain. What truly makes Slade so heinous is that he is the embodiment of a child predator, and he plays it completely straight.
- The Joker. Once a man who wanted to make people laugh, he fell into a vat of chemicals and became an insane, murderous Monster Clown and Batman's Arch Enemy. Devoid of any empathy, Joker commits crimes he views as "jokes" at the expense of Gotham. Terrible things he's done include poisoning people with his deadly laughing gas; putting people in various death traps; torturing Detective Ethan Bennett for hours and causing Bennett's mutation into Clayface; impersonating Batman and gassing people for minor crimes; using Bane's venom to go on a rampage; attempting to drop a teenage boy into a vat of chemicals; frequently mistreating his henchmen and his girlfriend Harley Quinn, as well as abandoning them to be arrested or even to die; and filling the abandoned tunnels and mine shafts beneath Gotham with miles of dynamite to collapse the city. That he manages to qualify despite being toned down to all get-out is a testament to how twisted a character Joker is.
- Professor Hugo Strange is an amoral psychiatrist who slowly graduates to one of the most wicked villains Batman ever faced. His stint as a psychiatrist ending after he toyed with his patients' well-being just out of curiosity, notably curing Arnold Wesker of his split personality Scarface only to break his mind again and drive him to nearly killing himself, Strange became a full-fledged supervillain when he created D.A.V.E (Digitally Enhanced Villain Emulator), a machine that ran on data of all of Gotham's worst villains and acted out to become Gotham's "ultimate criminal mastermind", putting the city and many human lives in jeopardy, which Strange intended so that he could observe how Batman responded and possibly figure out his true identity. Strange later infected Batman with a hallucinogen that made him attempt to transform the entire population of Gotham into zombies under Strange's control. In his grandest moment of depravity, Strange, having gone pure Mad Scientist, allied himself with the alien race known as the Joining, selling out humanity to be destroyed by the Joining and assisting the aliens in incapacitating the Justice League in order to steal their powers, all for nothing more than the promise of ultimate knowledge of the universe. As corrupt as they come, Hugo Strange repeatedly showed himself to be among the very worst of Gotham City's criminals.
- Black Mask is a thoroughly nasty crime boss who claims to control several crime syndicates in Gotham City, meaning that he's had influence in who-knows-how-many acts of crime and villainy that have gone on in the show. He also Would Hurt a Child, as he demonstrates with Robin and Batgirl. When he passes the You Have Failed Me sentence to his Number 1 henchman, he shoots him dead and demonstrates a We Have Reserves mentality by telling another member of his gang "You're my new Number 1!"
- Tony Zucco in this show is portrayed as one of the most cold-blooded and heartless individuals in Gotham City. He not only arranged for Robin's parents to be killed because they couldn't pay him the amount of money he wanted, but when he has Batman at his mercy, he ties him to a wall and starts throwing knives at that wall for fun. During this, Zucco admits to having killed his own father with chilling causality - according to him, he and his father used to always practice knife-throwing together, and when asked by Batman about what became of his father, he sums it up with "Well one day...I missed." Oh, and to top it off, he's voiced by Mark Hamill.
- Dr. Mar Londo. Not only is he abusive towards his son, Timber Wolf (being responsible for his current state as a 'Wolf Man', brainwashing him in an elaborate scheme to get him to work for him again and emotionally manipulative towards him), but he has a lab full of subjects he's willing to run the same tests on. He has no remorse for his crimes, which included kidnapping innocent civilians and mutating them into beasts. He willfully uses gaslighting (the aforementioned brainwashing scheme where he manages to turn most of the Legion against Timber Wolf and having his terrified son question whether or not he was the real culprit) and other forms of manipulation to isolate his son from his friends who genuinely love and care for him, showing he does not care for his son's happiness and emotional wellbeing. He's basically a sociopath with a massive ego, as he said that he's a creator of life and that his work is a gift. He shows callous disregard towards how his son feels about his current state even to the point of mocking him for running away before the procedure was complete and how he should be thanking him for the procedure conducted on him, then proceeding to disown Timber Wolf as his son after it was shown that he was too difficult to control through the nanites he had implanted in his son's brain. Londo views morality and laws in society as childish and has manipulated the Legion into doing his dirty work. It was shown in a photo that had at least tried to be a decent parent, but that certainly didn't last. By the time the doctor frames his own son for a crime spree, there's clearly no love between them anymore.
- The Controller wasn't one to let morality get in the way of his plans for universal conquest. Abandoning his highly advanced race, The Controller decided to use his superweapon, the Sun-Eater to obliterate every inhabited system in the Milky Way, starting with Earth's sun, Sol. When Ferro Lad's Heroic Sacrifice destroyed the Sun-Eater, The Controller attempted to brainwash the Legion into becoming his new army, then sought to murder them all when that plan too failed. Convinced of his own innate superiority, and willing to wipe out an inhabited galaxy just to send a message, The Controller would let nothing stand in his path of becoming the universe's Dimension Lord.
- Brainiac is no slouch in this department either. This incarnation of him manipulated his descendant, Brainiac 5, and took control of his body in his plan to digitize the entire universe (travelling to Colu and overriding the Hive-like planet forcing them to do his bidding) and replace it with a mechanical utopia free from the chaos of life. He openly mocked Brainiac 5 in his mind to Superman and Superman X over how weak he was and tried to have him eliminated after Brainiac 5 regained control over his body.
- Starro's faceless henchman, Chun Yull, is definitely the most wicked character in the series. Originally from the Saturnian moon Klaramar, Chun Yull was an outcast among his people for being a violent hunter, and in retaliation, he made a deal with the planet-devouring being Starro to destroy his homeworld in exchange for being Starro's herald. Spending the following years mind controlling the populations of entire planets then offering them up for Starro to devour, the hunter arrives on Earth to continue his work, however he is forced to flee when the heroes of the Earth destroy Starro. Kidnapping the hero B'Wana Beast, the hunter painfully forces him to use his powers to create a monstrous creature the Hunter plans to use to destroy the Earth, before moving on to the rest of the universe. Though the hunter is beaten, B'Wana Beast is forced to sacrifice himself to save the Earth from his machinations. Cruel and homicidal for no reason, Chun Yull stood out as a particularly dark villain for this fairly lighthearted series.
- Psycho Pirate is a sadistic supervillain who increases his own strength by feeding off the negative emotions of others, which leads to their minds being destroyed. Kidnapping 3 young superheroes, the Outsiders, for this very purpose, Psycho Pirate uses a dream machine to Mind Rape them with their worst fears and angers. Attacking Katana's mind first, Psycho Pirate forces her to relive her master's death, then tries to manipulate her into striking down her master's killer in her rage, and later tries to trick Black Lightning into showing the same hate and prejudice toward others that people have often shown him. When Batman saves the two kids, Psycho Pirate invades Metamorpho's mind, convinces him his friends have turned against him, then has him try to kill them. After Batman seemingly saves the Outsiders, Psycho Pirate tries one last time to torture Batman by assaulting his mind with the dream that the Outsiders were painfully killed by Pirate, attempting to force Batman to give into his hatred for the villain. Though only appearing in one episode, Psycho Pirate's sadism, victim choice, and powers made him one of the few people Batman shows nothing but disgust and contempt for.
- Don't forget General Zahl, the sadistic Nazi who murders the Doom Patrol by imprisoning them on an island that's set to explode in hopes of breaking the spirits of the Amercian masses who supported them, and also murdered an innocent girl in a flashback while deliberately putting the Doom Patrol in a position that forced them to be unable to save her life purely out of sadism and spite for the heroes.
- Finally, it must be noted that in this show, for once, The Joker does NOT qualify as one, being based primarily on his "wacky trickster" Silver Age incarnation.
- The aptly-named Atrocitus from Green Lantern: The Animated Series. He is the leader of the Red Lanterns and the reason that Razer's wife is dead. He is dedicated to the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps, having many of them murdered by his Red Lantern followers. First showing his ruthlessness in ordering a colony world full of innocent civilians destroyed, Atrocitus later revealed he had destroyed worlds to fill survivors with rage and recruit them as Red Lanterns. Unlike his comics counterpart, a Tragic Villain at worst and an Anti-Hero at best, Atrocitus in the show delighted over the pain he caused innocents and took sadistic pleasure in his actions. Even though he himself had once lost a homeworld, he gloated over inflicting the same agony on others like Razer.
- The Anti-Monitor, the next Big Bad after Atrocitus, is an Omnicidal Maniac obsessed with nothing less than the obliteration of everything in the universe that isn't himself. Built to be a knowledge-gathering robot, the Anti-Monitor quickly realized his superiority to all life in the cosmos, and was banished to another dimension soon after his proclamation to destroy everything in his path. The Anti-Monitor proceeded to turn trillions of planets in this alternate dimension into antimatter which he then consumed to make himself stronger, and, though making a deal with the last remaining planet's population to not consume them should they build him a portal back to his own dimension, the Anti-Monitor drained their sun of nearly all its life before he left, ensuring that the planet would still die soon after he was gone. Once back in his home dimension, the Anti-Monitor reactivates the Manhunter robots across the universe and orders them to kill everything they see, and, when confronted by Hal Jordan, the Anti-Monitor tries to force him to watch as first his friends, then entire worlds, are consumed before him. Even when beaten, the Anti-Monitor desperately tries to strike a deal with Aya to assist her in her plans to destroy reality itself to save his own hide. A megalomaniac who couldn't stand anything living except himself, the Anti-Monitor's narcissism was only matched by his petty sadism.
Beware The Batman Edit
- Anarky is Batman's Arch Enemy and the most recurring villain in the series. An utter madman who views himself and Batman as two kings on a chess board, one representing order and peace, the other chaos and destruction, Anarky commits all of his crimes out of a pathological love for attention and a sheer enjoyment for being evil. In his first appearance, Anarky grants two petty crooks high-tech weaponry before sending them on a rampage through Gotham, after which he rigs two gondolas filled with people to explode unless Batman can stop them in time. Later, Anarky pits Batman and the League of Assassins against each other as part of a plan to unleash a lethal plague onto all of Gotham, and attempts to bomb a populated park filled with police officers while trying to frame Batman. In the end of the series, Anarky makes corrupting District Attorney Harvey Dent into evil his personal pet project, and successfully drives Dent to institute martial law in Gotham while threatening the lives of all those who stand in his way. In the sequel tie-in comic, Anarky unlocks every door in Gotham City for a single night, then tries to spur all of the citizens into a panic-induced riot that he hopes will tear Gotham apart in the ultimate display of chaos. Though soft spoken and eerily polite, Anarky is the most wicked foe Batman faced in the series, having no empathy, no mercy, and no motive at all except his basic whims.
DC Showcase Edit
- The DC Showcase shorts present a version of Black Adam thoroughly distilled of his more redeemable traits. Once chosen as the Earth's savior, Adam's power consumed him to the point where he considered himself nothing less as a god, forcing Shazam to cast him out in a far point in space. Upon coming to Earth, the very first thing Adam does is redirect his impact path into an inhabited parking lot, before seeking out and intending to kill Shazam's next candidate Billy Barston. Throughout his appearance in Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam , Adam revels in exercising his own power over living beings, attempting to flood all of Fawcett City as a distraction and taking a hostage to force Billy to depower himself (later trying to kill the hostage anyways) while relating his supremacist philosophies to Billy. Once he's beaten, Adam contents himself with smugly goading Billy into a Not So Different position. Adam would willingly hurt anyone and anything so long as the result would be to his benefit.
- Madame Lorraine in DC Showcase: Jonah Hex is a seductress who makes a practice of enticing men and luring them into her clutches. Once she has them, Lorraine coldly shoots them dead, takes their money, and has her flunkies dump their bodies in a mine shaft. Lorraine comes into conflict with Jonah Hex after she kills one of his bounties and attempts to repeat the process on him. Once Hex forces Lorraine to show him where his bounty's body is, Lorraine shows him into the mine shaft, where the decaying bodies of the dozens of men Lorraine has killed are seen.
DC Animated DTV Edit
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns shows that age has not dulled The Joker's Ax Crazy tendencies. Joker was catatonic for a decade until Batman returned, which snapped him out of it and resulted in Joker going on a massive killing spree. Joker kills his therapist with a broken coffee mug and then kills a studio audience at a talk show with poisonous gas. He then tries to sell poisoned cotton candy to kids at an amusement park. After Batman foils that scheme, Joker takes a gun and begins to shoot random civilians at the amusement park. After Batman defeats Joker in combat, Joker commits suicide and attempts to frame Batman for his death.
- The Joker from Batman: Under the Red Hood is once again presented as an Ax Crazy Psychopath. He beats Batman's young sidekick Jason Todd with a crowbar, leaves him broken and battered in a warehouse and then proceeds to blow up the warehouse. Later in the film, Joker kills four of fellow Complete Monster Black Mask's mooks for no reason, after Black Mask (very reluctantly) freed Joker from Arkham. Joker then attempts to kill both the Red Hood's and Black Mask's gangs by covering them with gasoline and using a lighter to try to set them on fire. And throughout the movie, Joker never stops taunting Batman about Jason Todd's death.
- In Batman: Bad Blood, Talia al Ghul, the new leader of the League of Assassins, is a Control Freak of the highest order. Her ultimate plan is is to use Bruce Wayne's technology to brainwash the world leaders attending his tech summit, in order to expand the League of Assassins' influence over the planet, which would result in much bloodshed. Talia assembles a team of villains under the command of The Heretic, the adult clone of her and Bruce's Child by Rape Damian Wayne, and orders them to capture Bruce so his mind could be broken with Mad Hatter's machine; Mad Hatter has been forced to cooperate by means on an Explosive Leash. Later, Talia sends Heretic to attack Wayne Enterprises in order to steal technology necessary for her plan, near-fatally wounding Lucius Fox in the assault. When Heretic breaks down and begs for Talia to love him as a mother, and wishing to have Damian's memories, she shoots him in the head for disobeying her orders regarding Damian. As the brainwashing is taking place, she orders a mind-controlled Bruce to shoot Dick Grayson and their son Damian dead, coldly proclaiming that she and Bruce could always "make more".
- While he doesn't appear that often, Superman: Doomsday's interpretation of the Toyman makes good use of the little screentime he has to establish himself as a total sicko. The creepy manchild is introduced robbing a bank and taking a bus full of children hostage with a giant robot spider, threatening to drop the bus and kill all the children inside if the cops don't back off. When Lois Lane is able to get most of the children to safety, Toyman complains about his "playthings" escaping and throws the bus with Lois and the last child still on it to what would have likely been their doom had Superman (actually his clone) not been there to save the day. After being defeated and arrested, Toyman slips away from police custody and attacks a daycare, successfully murdering a little girl before getting away. This causes the clone of Superman to snap and settle for killing the guy out of disgust, and serves as the catalyst to him turning into a full-on Knight Templar.
- Brainiac from Superman Unbound is a Control Freak and genocidal psychopath on a galactic scale. Brainiac seeks knowledge and feels the best to do that is to shrink and then steal a major city from a planet and then destroy the planet. He stole Kandor from Krypton (he didn't bother blowing up Krypton because he knew that Krypton would soon be destroyed by natural causes). Then he attacks another planet, again shrinking and stealing a city and then uses a device that causes the planet's Sun to go Nova, thus killing the remaining inhabitants on the planet. Brainiac also sends his drones to the planets he is attacking and the drones proceed to kill random inhabitants of the planet. He later steals Metropolis and tries to destroy Earth in a similar manner. He also tortures Superman for information and tries to experiment on Supergirl.
- In All-Star Superman, Solaris the Tyrant Sun is a gigantic computer that wanders the cosmos, consuming stars for fuel and leaving the inhabited planets to die in The Night That Never Ends. Contacted by Lex Luthor to assist him in his master plan to defeat a dying Superman, Solatis turns the Sun red in an attempt to depower the Man of Steel. Supes counteracts this and leads an army of sapient robots to battle Solaris, but he destroys the army in one blast before announcing his plan to betray Luthor, consume the Sun and force the Earthlings to worship him as a deity or freeze to death in eternal darkness. Superman then tries to feed the Tyrant Sun to a Sun-Eater, but Solaris destroys it. Before Superman destroys the mad machine, Solaris turns the Sun blue to spite Superman by destroying his people.
- Owlman from Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths was already a criminal and founding member of the Crime Syndicate of America. Upon discovering the existence of the multiverse, Owlman became enraged by the fact that, with every choice a person makes, they create another world in which they made the opposite choice. Determined that his choices had to affect not only his world, but all existence, Owlman journeyed to Earth-Prime, the Earth that supported the existence of all other Earths, planning to destroy all reality in a fit of existential angst. About as selfish as they come, Owlman was reviled even by his compatriots in the CSA.
- Vandal Savage from Justice League Doom is a conqueror with genocidal plans for the planet. He manages to steal the protocols that Batman designed to defeat the Justice League in case one or more members of the Justice League turn evil. Savage makes these protocols more lethal and sadistic and then uses them to take out the Justice League. After his Legion of Doom seemingly triumphs over the Justice League, Vandal Savage informs them he plans to conquer the world by using a missile that will cause a solar flare that will kill half the world's population. This event will also render the rest of the world's population so weak and helpless that they'll naturally accept his leadership.
- Eobard Thawne (AKA Professor Zoom) from Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is the Reverse-Flash and opposes everything Barry Allen stands for. At the film's start, Thawne hires various members of Flash's Rogues Gallery to break into the Flash museum. Thawne straps bombs to the villains he hired after they defeat Flash, planning to blow up the Flash museum and several surrounding blocks, just so the Flash will be tormented knowing that several innocent people will die with him. After his initial defeat, Thawne mocks Flash over the fact his mother died. After Flash uses his speed to travel back in time and save his mother, the world is sent to its twisted alternate state where the world is devastated between a war between Atlantis and the Amazons. Thawne delights in Barry's agony at the new world and enjoys the carnage as it makes his nemesis suffer. When Barry tries to fix the realities, Thawne tries to stop him, meaning he is willing to cause and allow the deaths of countless innocents solely to satisfy his hatred.
- From the same movie is Flashpoint Wonder Woman. A far cry from her benevolent regular counterpart, Flashpoint Wonder Woman is a cruel despot who kickstarts the war between Atlantis and her Amazons by murdering Flashpoint Aquaman's wife Mera and sending her head to him as a "gift" after having an affair with him. During the war, she and her amazons conquered the parts of Europe that weren't flooded by Aquaman and slaughtered over thirty million people, all for not being amazons. Other noteworthy atrocities are her murdering Steve Trevor (Ironically, he's her boyfriend in mainstream continuity) who had attempted to help stop the madness she was causing and her killing a helpless Billy Batson, who is a young child. And to top it all off, Wonder Woman is an enormous hypocrite to boot: she views men as the root of all evil while she took part in all the aforementioned atrocities, and is easily worse than her enemy Aquaman. While one could argue she loved Aquaman, it's pretty clear that this incarnation of Wonder Woman was fueled by pure lust and pride as opposed to true unconditional love.
- Black Manta from Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is The Dragon to the main villain Orm/Ocean Master, but proves to be even worse than his superior. He's fully complicit in Orm's plot to start a war between Atlantis and the rest of the world by undergoing a false-flag operation where he uses a disguised submarine to murder innocent Atlanteans, but what truly makes him worse than his master is that he reveals at the end of the movie that he's the true mastermind behind the genocidal war against the surface world, as he's been manipulating Orm into going along with his plan and intends to betray and murder him in order to seize power for himself before his untimely end at the teeth of a great white shark mid-rant.
- In Justice League: Gods And Monsters Chronicles: Harley Quinn, as she appears in the "Twisted" short, stands in stark contrast to her mainstream portrayal. A vile, psychopathic Serial Killer known in this reality as simply The Harlequin, Harley abducts civilians before mutilating and killing them, making "toys" out of their mangled corpses. When Batman rescues a teenage girl Harley kidnapped, Harley attempts to kill them both. During their fight, Batman comes across a makeshift "family" of the people Harley has murdered, including a young boy.
- Destiny of Justice League Dark is a malevolent sorcerer with a god complex. A former man of science, Destiny became consumed by a lust for power and, using a combination of black magic and his own soul, created a magical artifact called the Dreamstone, which had the ability to force its victims to live their worst nightmares, often driving them into a murderous rage. Destiny used the Dreamstone to spread fear and chaos across the land until he was defeated by the demon Etrigan and Merlin, but not before he mortally wounded the knight Jason Blood, resulting in him merging with Etrigan to save his life. His physical form destroyed, Destiny's spirit resided in a fragment of the Dreamstone for centuries until it was uncovered by Ritchie Simpson, who was dying of a magical illness. Playing on the man's desperation for immortality, Destiny manipulates Ritchie into spreading the Dreamstone's dark magic across the world, resulting in casualties on a global scale, while Destiny fed off of the negative energy of the stone's victims. Upon returning to physical form upon the Dreamstone being united, Destiny possesses Ritchie's body and sets off to continue his worldwide conquest. Affecting a nearby city with the Dreamstone's magic to gain power, Destiny causes mass chaos and destruction, and even kills Swamp Thing when he attempts to intervene. Even when defeated, Destiny mortally wounds Jason Blood, resulting in his death
- In Justice League Vs Teen Titans, Trigon is both Raven's father and among the most powerful of demon lords. Trigon met Raven's mother after she joined a cult that worshiped Trigon, with the cult managing to summon him. Trigon took the form of a handsome man and Raven's mom was taken with him. They retire to the bed chamber for sex, where Trigon reveals his true form and rapes her. Raven's mom escapes the cult and seeks protect in the peaceful dimension of Azarath. Raven is born here, but is treated as an outcast due to her demonic heritage. As a teen, Raven becomes curious about her origins and accidentally summons Trigon. Trigon then proceeds to destroy Azarath, killing countless people in the process. Raven manages to seal Trigon in a crystal, but Trigon uses his demon minions to enact a plan to free. He uses his demons to possess the Justice League and threatens to murder all of Raven's friends, forcing Raven to free him. After being freed, Trigon plans to destroy Earth, just as he did Azarath.
- Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke the Terminator, was already horrible enough in Son of Batman, in which he served as the film's Big Bad. There he'd shown promise to be Ras al Ghul's successor as leader of the League of Assassins before Ras chose Bruce Wayne as his heir instead, making Slade turn on Ras due to this dejection and slaughter many of the group's assassins in his hostile takeover, and he spent the rest of the movie manipulating and abusing Bruce's son Damian Wayne in order to keep him in line, conducting Lazarus Pit experiments to create flying Man-Bat assassins that he'd planned on selling off as slave mercenaries, torturing Damian's mother (Talia al Ghul, no saint herself as Batman: Bad Blood revealed) and making Damian watch, and attempting to kill the Bat-Family, Damian included. But Teen Titans: The Judas Contract seals his place on this trope. In the film he's been saved from death by Brother Blood and serves as his Dragon as part of a contract to take out the Teen Titans and deliver them to Blood's cult in order to have the young teens' drained of their life force, granting Blood their powers. To carry this out, Slade sends Terra Markov, a teenage girl he's raised and groomed to follow in his footsteps, to infiltrate the Titans as The Mole and ultimately betray them over to his side. Damian Wayne gets betrayed and captured ahead of schedule, so Slade wastes no opportunity to beat the crap out of him and attempt to break him as vengeance for costing him the League of Assassins. We're shown that he's made Terra so dependent on him that she's developed a romantic attraction to him, a much older man, and Slade uses this by promising her they can be together once the job is completed. But when he's seemingly killed Nightwing and is told by Brother Blood that he needs one more Titan in Nightwing's place to complete the contract and be paid at full price, Slade has zero problem turning Terra over to have her life and power drained, coldly telling her "Sorry kid, but a contract is a contract." Though he ultimately accepts his Karmic Death at Terra's hands, it's done with scorn and due to his failure to put up a good enough resistance. Willing to harm and kill a bunch of teenagers out of greed and spite, even betraying the mentally troubled girl who trusted him most without remorse, Slade proved to be a vile, cold-blooded, and irredeemable adversary.
- Brother Blood, despite being the film's Big Bad, is less actively involved in the plot than Deathstroke, but he's an exceptionally monstrous individual as well. An insane cult leader who secretly leads the terrorist organization known as H.I.V.E, Blood has lived with Immortality for years but is seeking to enhance his power in order to better expand his influence and subjugate the entire world into following his twisted Religion of Evil. A reporter who interviews him questions the legitimacy of his religion and calls his following a cult - Blood has him killed in a gruesome manner that drains him all of his blood so that Blood can then bathe in it, which we see him doing. His master plan involves a machine the H.I.V.E has constructed that drains superpowered youths of their energy and lifeblood, transferring their powers to whoever uses it. Brother Blood wants to kill the Teen Titans and take their powers for himself, and for this he hires Deathstroke to enact his plan. It's shown that he encourages the killing of any of his followers who can no longer serve a useful purpose to him within his cult, and it's he who proposes Terra be traded in for the supposedly dead Nightwing on his machine, which Deathstroke cruelly agrees to. In the film's climax, Brother Blood has absorbed just enough energy from the Titans' to gain their powers and in his efforts to kill the team he shows no concern for his own followers that are fleeing for their lives from the gradually collapsing base, all while raving about his ascension to godhood.
- In Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, Jack the Ripper, true identity Commissioner James Gordon is a psychotic Knight Templar and Serial Killer who believes in ridding Gotham of the 'filth' of the streets; especially women. Kicking off a murder spree where he hunts down and slaughters numerous innocent women on the streets, the Ripper later tracks down and kills the kindhearted nun Sister Leslie. When he learns Dr. Hugo Strange has discovered his identity, the Ripper ambushes Strange and throws him to his own asylum's patients who tear Strange apart. The Ripper then murders an old woman to frame Bruce Wayne for his crimes and when Selina Kyle tries to prove his innocence, targets her as well. Not even the Ripper's family is safe from him, as he regularly tortures his wife by burning her to 'burn the sin away,' until she has utterly lost her mind. Utterly consumed by misogynistic fervor and a fanatic devotion to bloodshed, the Ripper showcases the true evil on Gotham's streets hides within a human being.