History Main / NonActionBigBad

18th Mar '17 10:39:56 AM DesertDragon
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** Councilwoman Mariah Dillard from ''Series/LukeCage2016''. Rather than getting her own hands dirty, she prefers to act through hired thugs, powerful connections, and plausible deniability (and a bit of luck), while using her position to provide a legit front for it all. After she kills Cottonmouth, she becomes a lot more ruthless.

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** Councilwoman Mariah Dillard from ''Series/LukeCage2016''. Rather than getting her own hands dirty, Out of the first season's rather crowded BigBadEnsemble, she is the only one with no fighting ability whatsoever. Instead, she prefers to act through hired thugs, powerful connections, and plausible deniability (and a bit of luck), while using her position to provide a legit front for it all. After [[spoiler: she kills Cottonmouth, Cottonmouth]], she becomes a lot more ruthless.ruthless but is still no physical match for Luke himself. Note that this is a far cry from her comic book counterpart, Black Mariah, who is a definite BrawnHilda.
18th Mar '17 10:33:16 AM DesertDragon
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This villain has zero fighting skills or fight well enough ''for a human'' but they're against a superpowered hero. In any case, what they lack in physical prowess they make up for in resources, cunning, and/or [[VillainWithGoodPublicity good PR]], and will rely on a [[TheDragon second-in-command]] or QuirkyMinibossSquad to do all of the dirty work that needs to get done. In the event they do encounter the hero, they usually try to trick them into not attacking, just run for it, or they somehow have the fight stacked in their favor.

to:

This villain has zero fighting skills skills, or they fight well enough ''for a human'' but they're against a superpowered hero. In any case, what they lack in physical prowess they make up for in resources, cunning, and/or [[VillainWithGoodPublicity good PR]], and will rely on a [[TheDragon second-in-command]] or QuirkyMinibossSquad to do all of the dirty work that needs to get done. In the event they do encounter the hero, they usually try to trick them into not attacking, just run for it, or they somehow have the fight stacked in their favor.
7th Mar '17 12:32:21 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* ''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'': Alan Rikkin is an administrator and a speech giver; not a fighter. When [[spoiler: the Assassins start a prison riot]] he immediately leaves.

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* ''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'': ''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'':
**
Alan Rikkin is an administrator and a speech giver; not a fighter. When [[spoiler: the Assassins start a prison riot]] he immediately leaves.
**Tomás de Torquemada has no fighting skills. [[TheDragon Ojeda is his sole rampart]] when Aguilar and Maria ambush him inside the Alhambra chamber where Muhammad XII kept the Apple of Eden.



** President Coriolanus Snow, being a politician who has lots of underlings to do things for him. He also veers into DarkLordOnLifeSupport as well, since he is a 80-year-old man [[spoiler: diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness]], compared to our healthy 16-year-old female protagonist.
** [[spoiler: President Alma Coin]] from the third book, ''Mockingjay''. In fact, the series as a whole subverts the AuthorityEqualsAsskicking rule; none of the physical characters in the series can be counted as true villains, as they mostly do their dirty work because higher, non-action but charismatic, powers force them. [[TruthInTelevision Which is how politics work in real-life, as well]].

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** President Coriolanus Snow, being a politician who has lots of underlings to do things for him. He also veers into DarkLordOnLifeSupport as well, since he is a 80-year-old man [[spoiler: diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness]], compared to our healthy 16-year-old female protagonist.
heroine.
** [[spoiler: President Alma Coin]] from the third book, ''Mockingjay''. In fact, the series as a whole subverts averts the AuthorityEqualsAsskicking rule; none of the physical characters in the series can be counted as true villains, as they mostly do their dirty work because higher, non-action but charismatic, powers force them. [[TruthInTelevision Which is how politics work in real-life, as well]].
2nd Mar '17 5:27:13 AM Gorank
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* The alien brain in ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense does absolutely nothing but sit in its underground base, waiting for someone to shoot it. The Great Dreamer (''VideoGame/XComTerroFromTheDeep'') is no better.

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* The alien brain in ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'' does absolutely nothing but sit in its underground base, waiting for someone to shoot it. The Great Dreamer (''VideoGame/XComTerroFromTheDeep'') is no better.
22nd Feb '17 3:52:54 PM TheAmazingBlachman
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* In ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', Gendo and the SEELE members are manipulative bastards and schemers but no one of them can fight the heroes or the alien monsters directly. So SEELE resorted to send one of their minions to crush NERV.

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* In ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', Gendo and the SEELE members are manipulative bastards and schemers but no one of them can fight the heroes or the alien monsters directly. So SEELE resorted to send one of The latter instead relies on their minions [[TheDragon Dragon]], the shadowy official, Musashi Kluge, to crush NERV.do the heavy lifting.
14th Feb '17 11:53:28 AM ChaoticNovelist
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The BigBad, as everybody knows, is the source of conflict in a work of fiction, with their defeat being the main goal of TheHero which brings an end to that StoryArc. But, what exactly makes them such a threatening villain? Is it because they're [[TheChessmaster cunning]]? [[EvilerThanThou Eviler than anybody else]]? Or maybe because [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking they're powerful?]] In practically every work of fiction centered around action, the latter is the case. Well, not always.

Enter the Non-Action Big Bad, the EvilCounterpart of the NonActionGuy. This villain has zero fighting skills. Or, they fight well enough ''for a human'' but they're against a superpowered hero. In any case, what they lack in physical prowess they make up for in resources, cunning, and/or [[VillainWithGoodPublicity good PR]], and will rely on a [[TheDragon second-in-command]] or QuirkyMinibossSquad to do all of the dirty work that needs to get done. In the event they do encounter the hero, they usually try to trick them into not attacking, just run for it, or they somehow have the fight stacked in their favor.

If encountered in a video game, this character will either act as a deliberate AntiClimaxBoss or an outright ZeroEffortBoss, or even be TheUnfought.

Often overlaps with EvilCripple, where the villain doesn't fight because he physically can't. Also compare TheManBehindTheCurtain and DragonInChief; in both cases, Big Bad is only nominally in charge while someone else is calling the shots. If The Dragon knows he's the one truly in charge and decides to do something about it, he may become TheStarscream. And for Big Bads who ''have'' power but act like this until the climax, see OrcusOnHisThrone, where the Big Bad doesn't carry out any plans beyond sitting around being generally evil. This trope may result in ItsPersonalWithTheDragon, as The Dragon doing all the heavy lifting may become the hero's personal ArchEnemy.

to:

The BigBad, as everybody knows, is the source of conflict in a work of fiction, with their defeat being the main goal of TheHero which brings an end to that StoryArc. But, what exactly makes them such a threatening villain? Is it because they're [[TheChessmaster cunning]]? [[EvilerThanThou Eviler than anybody else]]? Or maybe because [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking they're powerful?]] In practically every work many works of fiction centered around action, the latter is the case. Well, case but not always.

all of them. Enter the Non-Action Big Bad, the EvilCounterpart of the NonActionGuy. Bad.

This villain has zero fighting skills. Or, they skills or fight well enough ''for a human'' but they're against a superpowered hero. In any case, what they lack in physical prowess they make up for in resources, cunning, and/or [[VillainWithGoodPublicity good PR]], and will rely on a [[TheDragon second-in-command]] or QuirkyMinibossSquad to do all of the dirty work that needs to get done. In the event they do encounter the hero, they usually try to trick them into not attacking, just run for it, or they somehow have the fight stacked in their favor.

If encountered in a video game, this character will either act as a deliberate AntiClimaxBoss or AntiClimaxBoss, an outright ZeroEffortBoss, or even be TheUnfought.

Often overlaps with EvilCripple, where the villain doesn't fight because he physically can't. Also compare TheManBehindTheCurtain and DragonInChief; in both cases, Big Bad is only nominally in charge while someone else is calling the shots. If The Dragon knows he's the one truly in charge and decides to do something about it, he may become TheStarscream. And for For Big Bads who ''have'' power but act like this until the climax, see OrcusOnHisThrone, where the Big Bad doesn't carry out any plans beyond sitting around being generally evil. This trope may result in ItsPersonalWithTheDragon, as The Dragon doing all the heavy lifting may become the hero's personal ArchEnemy.



* Played with by [[LightningBruiser Aizen]] of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. While a legitimately powerful threat who could wipe out most of main cast by himself if he wanted to, after TheReveal he just spends most of his time sitting on his ass. He still has his usual machinations, but he leaves the heavy lifting to the Espada. But even though that could be seen as OrcusOnHisThrone, after he leaves Hueco Mundo and makes it to Fake Karakura to kick-start the final battle, Yamamoto envelops him in a fire prison. Although he likely couldn't do much regardless, his dialogue makes it fairly clear he had no intention of doing anything anyway. It's only when most of his soldiers are dead or defeated does he finally decide to get involved personally...and even then only got truly serious once his MacGuffin started giving him [[PowerUp Power-Ups]].


Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'': Alan Rikkin is an administrator and a speech giver; not a fighter. When [[spoiler: the Assassins start a prison riot]] he immediately leaves.
19th Jan '17 4:28:25 PM dmcreif
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* ''Series/BreakingBad'''s VillainProtagonist, Walt, becomes this toward the end of the series after he assumes the role of Big Bad. Being an older man with no combat or shooting experience dying of lung cancer means he's useless in a fight and can be taken out by his own protege, the short, string-beaned Jesse Pinkman. Walt uses this in his favor at points as more dangerous drug lords consistently underestimate him through the series; his intelligence, chemical knowledge, and cunning make him far more dangerous than you'd think.

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* ''Series/BreakingBad'''s VillainProtagonist, Walt, ''Series/BreakingBad'': Walter White becomes this toward the end of the series after he assumes the role of Big Bad. Being an older man with no combat or shooting experience dying of lung cancer means he's useless in a fight and can be taken out by his own protege, the short, string-beaned Jesse Pinkman. Walt uses this in his favor at points as more dangerous drug lords consistently underestimate him through the series; his intelligence, chemical knowledge, and cunning make him far more dangerous than you'd think.



** Madame Gao from ''Series/{{Daredevil}}''. It turns out she ''can'' kick ass but chooses not to. Rather, she lets people think she's just a frail old woman when such underestimation suits her.

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** Madame Gao from ''Series/{{Daredevil}}''.**''Series/Daredevil2015'':
***For the most part, Wilson Fisk. Most of his schemes involve manipulating those around him while he rarely has to get his hands bloody himself.
***Madame Gao.
It turns out she ''can'' kick ass but chooses not to. Rather, she lets people think she's just a frail old woman when such underestimation suits her.



** Killgrave from ''Series/JessicaJones''. Physically average in every way, it's his CommandingVoice that makes him truly horrifying.
** Councilwoman Mariah Dillard from ''Series/LukeCage''. Rather than getting her own hands dirty, she prefers to act through hired thugs, powerful connections, and plausible deniability (and a bit of luck), while using her position to provide a legit front for it all.

to:

** Killgrave Kilgrave from ''Series/JessicaJones''. Physically average in every way, it's his CommandingVoice that makes him truly horrifying.
** Councilwoman Mariah Dillard from ''Series/LukeCage''.''Series/LukeCage2016''. Rather than getting her own hands dirty, she prefers to act through hired thugs, powerful connections, and plausible deniability (and a bit of luck), while using her position to provide a legit front for it all. After she kills Cottonmouth, she becomes a lot more ruthless.
19th Jan '17 3:31:17 PM margdean56
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* In the pages of ''Comicbook/IronMan'' and ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'', we have seen guys like the Roxxon Oil heads, Justin Hammer, and the leaders of the Maggia who were corrupt business men or mafia bosses who could not go up against the heroes one-on-one and often employed super villains. Obidiah Stane and Count Neferia also started off this way but both men either gained powers later or eventually wore a suit if PoweredArmor.
* Darth Vader, of all people ended up this way in the ''Comicbook/MarvelStarWars'' comics. The reasoning behind this was that Lucas Arts did not want to have Vader and Luke fighting too often, lest it conflicted with the movies, which the comics were supposed to coincide with.

to:

* In the pages of ''Comicbook/IronMan'' and ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'', we have seen guys like the Roxxon Oil heads, Justin Hammer, and the leaders of the Maggia who were corrupt business men or mafia bosses who could not go up against the heroes one-on-one and often employed super villains. Obidiah Obadiah Stane and Count Neferia Nefaria also started off this way but both men either gained powers later or eventually wore a suit if of PoweredArmor.
* Darth Vader, of all people people, ended up this way in the ''Comicbook/MarvelStarWars'' comics. The reasoning behind this was that Lucas Arts did not want to have Vader and Luke fighting too often, lest it conflicted conflict with the movies, which the comics were supposed to coincide with.



** Bolivar Trask, the man who (may) be responsible for the deaths of the Parkers, as well as the Brocks, and the main villain of the Symbiote Wars arc. Justified because he's a middle-aged businessman, without any superpowers whatsoever.

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** Bolivar Trask, the man who (may) may be responsible for the deaths of the Parkers, as well as the Brocks, and the main villain of the Symbiote Wars arc. Justified because he's a middle-aged businessman, without any superpowers whatsoever.
13th Jan '17 8:57:17 AM Morgenthaler
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* President Coriolanus Snow in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', being a politician who has lots of underlings to do things for him. He also veers into DarkLordOnLifeSupport as well, since he is a 80-year-old man [[spoiler: diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness]], compared to our healthy 16-year-old female protagonist.
** Also [[spoiler: President Alma Coin]] from the third book, ''Mockingjay''. In fact, the series as a whole subverts the AuthorityEqualsAsskicking rule; none of the physical characters in the series can be counted as true villains, as they mostly do their dirty work because higher, non-action but charismatic, powers force them. [[TruthInTelevision Which is how politics work in real-life, as well]].
* ''Literature/{{Divergent}}'' features Jeanine Matthews, who never, in her entire appearance, puts up a physical fight against anyone, especially not to TheProtagonist, Tris. What she is identified the most is that she has the highest IQ among her colleagues, which is why she is elected as leader of her faction. And when someone manages to totally corner her, [[spoiler: she dies.]]
** [[spoiler: David]] from the third book, ''Allegiant'', counts as well. Sure, [[spoiler: he is the one who kills Tris]], but it's done by a pistol, which everyone can pick up, plus [[spoiler: Tris]] isn't in the best of [[spoiler: her]] condition, having been [[spoiler: incapacitated by the death serum]]. Like Jeanine, [[spoiler: David]] is also outclassed physically, being a [[spoiler: handicapped middle-aged man against a combat-ready teenage girl.]]

to:

* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'':
**
President Coriolanus Snow in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Snow, being a politician who has lots of underlings to do things for him. He also veers into DarkLordOnLifeSupport as well, since he is a 80-year-old man [[spoiler: diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness]], compared to our healthy 16-year-old female protagonist.
** Also [[spoiler: President Alma Coin]] from the third book, ''Mockingjay''. In fact, the series as a whole subverts the AuthorityEqualsAsskicking rule; none of the physical characters in the series can be counted as true villains, as they mostly do their dirty work because higher, non-action but charismatic, powers force them. [[TruthInTelevision Which is how politics work in real-life, as well]].
* ''Literature/{{Divergent}}'' ''Literature/{{Divergent}}'':
** The series
features Jeanine Matthews, who never, in her entire appearance, puts up a physical fight against anyone, especially not to TheProtagonist, Tris. What she is identified the most is that she has the highest IQ among her colleagues, which is why she is elected as leader of her faction. And when someone manages to totally corner her, [[spoiler: she dies.]]
** [[spoiler: David]] from the third book, ''Allegiant'', counts as well.''Allegiant''. Sure, [[spoiler: he is the one who kills Tris]], but it's done by a pistol, which everyone can pick up, plus [[spoiler: Tris]] isn't in the best of [[spoiler: her]] condition, having been [[spoiler: incapacitated by the death serum]]. Like Jeanine, [[spoiler: David]] is also outclassed physically, being a [[spoiler: handicapped middle-aged man against a combat-ready teenage girl.]]
13th Jan '17 8:55:15 AM Morgenthaler
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* Lord Straff Venture in the second ''{{Mistborn}}'' book- he's a thoroughly evil man, but is middle-aged, out of shape, and a Tineye (meaning that he has magical abilities, but they involve SuperSenses rather than anything physical). As such, he prefers to work through his army and his AxCrazy [[TheDragon Dragon]] [[spoiler: and illegitimate son]] Zane.

to:

* Lord Straff Venture in the second ''{{Mistborn}}'' ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' book- he's a thoroughly evil man, but is middle-aged, out of shape, and a Tineye (meaning that he has magical abilities, but they involve SuperSenses rather than anything physical). As such, he prefers to work through his army and his AxCrazy [[TheDragon Dragon]] [[spoiler: and illegitimate son]] Zane.
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