[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SAGA_ONE_RESIZE_5571.jpg]][[caption-width-right:250:The Best of the Worst]]
->'''Priestess:''' Sebastian is six foot three, and could kill a dragon with his bare hands! He carries a magical sword that can cut through anything, his companions support him with powerful magic and unmatched strength, he can look into your eyes and destroy the sin in your soul with nothing more than a thought!
->'''Sebastian:''' ... That's very flattering.
-->-- '''[[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2007-08-30~N-Word%20on%20the%20Street-jpg.htm Word on the Street]]'''

''True Villains'' is a fantasy, villain-focused web comic written by Josh Kurtz and Madison Hughes, and drawn by Max Karpsten, with colors by Darren Urmey.

''True Villains'' takes what you know about fantasy: how the good guys always win, the villains are definitely evil, mostly irredeemable, and always lose and flips it on its ear.

The comic follows the story of Sebastian Jalek, an alchemist/adventurer. After a run in with the famed villain Xaneth Antaris, he turns over to the side of villainy. Sebastian then makes fast friends with Elia the necromancer and takes in the orphaned Mia.

As the story expands, there are werewolves, elves, raging paladins, white-robed freaks, adventurers, crusaders, and much, much more.

The long-needed remasters are over, and True Villains is currently updating three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Can be found [[http://www.truevillains.com/ here]].

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* AboveGoodAndEvil:
** [[spoiler: Sebastian]] adopts this philosophy at the end of Saga Five. Xaneth claims to work for morally neutral goals; he just personally enjoys evil means of pursuing them.
** The Gods represent concepts like progress, vision, and love, and are completely morally neutral: they will provide power to champions of good and genocidal maniacs alike if that will further their individual causes.
* AerithAndBob- We have Xaneth Antaris, Sebastian Jalek, Mia Jalek, Elia Redscallon, Bayn, Tom, Dexter Pheonix, and Gray.
* AffablyEvil- Elia and Xaneth mostly, but, various psychoses aside, the entire main cast fits this to some degree, even Bayn can be quite charming when the situation calls for it.
* ALighterShadeOfBlack- As bad as Xaneth is, Dove makes him look positively heroic.
* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents- Dexter, to [[spoiler:Bayn]].
* AnimatedArmor- Amber.
* {{Animesque}}- The original art style of the strip, but later and revised strips have a more realistic look.
* AntiMagic- While hopped up on divine power, the Paladin can remove the enchantments from Mia's magic armor simply by saying "Release". Alistor is simply immune to dark magic.
* AristocratsAreEvil- Lord Attera seems to be in charge of Xaneth and very evil. Elia is a CardCarryingVillain from a noble family that only disowned her when her homicidal streak ran too wide to cover up.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking - The Paladin nearly kills Sebastian and company, condones the [[spoiler:torture of small children, namely Mia]], and judging from his castle, [[spoiler: has a horrible, awful taste in carpets.]]
* ArtEvolution- Look at the first comic, then look at anything from the newer series. Heck, even when the series wasn't changing artists every few minutes Maddie's art got steadily better over the course of Saga 1.
** Even Max's art has grown ridiculously over his time as illustrator.
* ArtImitatesLife- Subverted, then invoked. The characters for the first production of [[TheMusical the musical]] look similar to their comic counterparts. Then, after the second production and a few artists swaps, the characters took on similar appearances to their Real Life counterparts.
* ArtShift- From normal remastered style straight to [[spoiler:shoujo-style manga]] in [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic.php?P=2009-04-31~N-Doki%20Villains.jpg this]] remastered page.
* AssholeVictim-
** The knight who Sebastian kills to open Xaneth's dungeon, who was planning to kill him for the same reason.
** No one in this comic is really on the moral high ground, but there's just something insufferable about [[spoiler: Alistor. He probably deserved getting blown up.]]
** The woman whose face Elia [[EstablishingCharacterMoment melts during her first appearance]] gleans no sympathy from the reader, as she'd just spent the last few pages threatening another young woman and Sebastian.
* AxCrazy- According to WordOfGod, before she met Xaneth, Elia was this. She has a lot more self control now, but is still prepared to go on a bloody slaughter simply to rescue one person.
* BadassBookworm- Sebastian, following his [[TookALevelInBadass leveling up]], and to a lesser extent, Elia.
* BenevolentBoss- As far as villains go, Xaneth is actually a fairly decent guy to work for. He enjoys manipulating his followers and doesn't treat them with a huge amount of respect, but at the same time he doesn't needlessly throw their lives away or kill them as punishment for failure. He's even saved their lives on occasion and is remarkably forgiving of their various quirks that inhibit his plans.
* BarrierWarrior- After getting a wand of defensive spells from his God, Bayn is now this.
* BeeAfraid- The chests in Xaneth's dungeon are filled with bees, even when they are at the end of a complete and utter death trap.
* BetterLivingThroughEvil- Sebastian joins Xaneth and, in exchange, Xaneth doesn't kill him. Win-win! As a bonus, Sebastian gets a lot stronger under Xaneth.
* BigBad- Possibly Xaneth; he shows signs of complex planning and reasoning in some comics. Perhaps a Big Bad in training?
* BigDamnHeroes - Mia teleports in to save Elia and Cecile from [[spoiler:Gray]].
* BreakingTheFourthWall- All over the place. However, most prominent is the fourth wall-shattering character [[spoiler:Dexter Pheonix]]
* BreakTheCutie- With the death of [[spoiler:Tom the golem]], Mia is devastated to the point of temporarily losing her powers.
* BulletproofHumanShield- Xaneth uses an innocent bystander he calls "Carl" in his fight against the Necromancer.
* CainAndAbel- Alyssa and Sebastian. Interestingly, in this case it's the good sibling, Alyssa, who wants the evil sibling, Sebastian, dead. Sebastian would rather Alyssa just ran away because he doesn't want to kill her.
* CameBackStrong:
** Xaneth tries to use Dove's soul as a bomb against Alyssa, but ends up bringing him back as a powerful demon.
** Also "Carl" is just a no-name peasant whom Xaneth uses as a human shield against Dove, but is brought back by the priests of Nox as an enforcer with magical powers strong enough to hold Sebastian and Elia off.
** [[spoiler:Bayn is restored to his full power after fighting the vampirized Grey to the death, alone and with limited magic, satisfies his God's test of faith.]]
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: the most common ability of the non-magical.
** Sebastian suffers a crippling injury to his aura that drains his life force constantly, and forces him to train hard for three hours a day just to stay alive. [[spoiler:After Bayn fixes the damage, that training [[http://truevillains.com/comic-2011-10-04~N-Mightier%20than%20the%20Sword-jpg.htm catches up to him...]] ]]
** The mercenary Alistor, who can perform outright superhuman feats of strength and speed with ease.
** As a dancer, Cecile is used to swinging a partner around, which makes an incredibly heavy broadsword easy by comparison.
** The adventurer Brawn is strong enough to flip Tom one handed.
* ChosenOne- [[spoiler:There is a chosen one of Nox, the god of fear, a warrior woman called Ritania]] whom Xaneth believes is destined to rise up and fight him. Xaneth being Xaneth, he's taking steps to prevent that.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome- Sebastian is trying to get over this, [[spoiler: succeeding in Saga Five]].
* CurbStompBattle- Sebastaian and Xaneth's fights with The Paladin and The Man in White respectively are shown side-by-side, at first the two of them are getting stomped, [[spoiler: then they turn it around.]]
* {{Curse}}- Dexter Pheonix thinks they're hilarious. [[spoiler:He cursed Xaneth so any pair of shoes he wears -- or his feet, if barefoot -- turns yellow, and cursed Bayn to have to call him "Dad" and be unable to get drunk.]]
* CutenessOverload - [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2008-06-27~N-Persuasion-jpg.htm Elia cannot resist Mia's charms]] ... [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2008-07-04~N-Inefficiency-jpg.htm Xaneth? Not so much]].
* DanceBattler- Cecile calls her self-taught sword fighting style "Swing Dancing."
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy- Xaneth warns the townspeople that he's planning to destroy them... and tells them that he's going to do it a week ''after'' the time he ''actually'' plans to destroy them.
* DarkSkinnedRedhead- Ritania
* DeliberatelyMonochrome- Used in a certain scene. The comic went full B&W when [[spoiler:Mia sees Tom's lifeless body, tries to fix him, and fails.]]
* DisabilitySuperpower- Lurian's Shield is a spell which makes the caster completely impossible to scry, but it has a 95% chance of turning the caster blind, so almost no-one ever uses it. Since Zach is already blind, he can cast it as much as he likes.
* DungeonCrawling- Sebastian used to do this until he was contracted by Xaneth.
* DysfunctionalFamily- The Phoenix family, for all it seems to only have three members.
* EvilCostumeSwitch[=/=]ImportantHaircut- Sebastian [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2012-12-12-Suit%20Up-jpg.htm cuts his hair]] and [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2012-12-19-Truly%20a%20Villain-jpg.htm changes his clothes]] as a sign that he's completely gone over to evil.
* EvilVersusEvil- Xaneth vs Dove (The Man in White), and Elia vs Malice.
* EvilSorcerer- Xaneth, Elia, Bayn.
* EvilTowerOfOminousness- Xaneth's dungeon is a hexagonal tower with no visible windows or doors.
* EvilVirtues- All of them are evident in one cast member or another.
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller- Literally. The Priestess thinks Sebastian is six foot three.
** Sebastian says to Xaneth that he thought he'd be taller. Xaneth takes it in stride.
* ExpositionDiagram- Xaneth pulls out the Blackboard of Mystery to explain Mia's abilities to Sebastian.
* FaceHeelTurn- Sebastian commits one and is seemingly firm in his decision. He did, after all, [[spoiler:blow up a town.]]
* {{Facepalm}}- [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2013-07-03-Moving%20Out-jpg.htm Facewing]].
* FantasticNuke- The Fallen Angel Potion fits in a perfume vial and can level a town.
* {{Fembot}}- Amber, a golem with a female name who is referred to as "she".
* FingerPokeOfDoom- When empowered by "Divine Favor" from his God, the Paladin can shatter swords and dispel wisps with a gesture and a word.
* FiveManBand- Alyssa and her team
** TheLeader- Alyssa
** TheLancer[=/=]TheChick- Olivia
** TheSmartGuy- Zach
** TheBigGuy- Brawn
** TokenEvilTeammate- Alistor
* FiveBadBand
** BigBad- Xaneth
** TheDragon- Sebastian
** TheEvilGenius- Elia
** TheBrute- Tom, Amber [[spoiler:after Tom's death]]
** TheDarkChick- Mia
** TheSixthRanger- Bayn, Augustus
** TeamPet- Squib
* FlashStep- [[spoiler: Lord Attera]]
* FullFrontalAssault- Elia [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2014-02-17-Skin%20Deep-jpg.htm removes her clothes]] ''[[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2014-02-19-Dead%20Falling-jpg.htm and skin]]'' to use as a decoy against an undead warrior.
* GeniusBruiser- Brawn
* GodsNeedPrayerBadly- There are infinite gods in the TV world, but only five have significant power because of how many people worship them.
* EvilCounterpart- Each member of Alyssa's team is a good counterpart to one of Xaneth's minions: Alyssa to Sebastian, Olivia to Elia, Brawn to Tom and Zach to Bayn. Xaneth being as GenreSavvy as he is, matches them up that way when they attack Alyssa's camp.
* GoodIsNotNice-
** The Paladin, [[spoiler: Gray]], is a literal KnightTemplar with a mild case of BlackAndWhiteInsanity.
** Also [[spoiler: Alyssa]], while she is deginitely a force for good, she isn't the kind of person you want to spend time with.
* GoodWingsEvilWings- Xaneth has traditional "angelic" feathered wings, but they're also solid black, so he occupies something of a middle ground in this trope, despite being squarely on the side of evil.
* GoryDiscretionShot- Averted in most fights, although Xeke biting a guy's head off gets a ShadowDiscretionShot.
* HannibalLecture- Bayn, masterfully, [[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2009-12-12~N-The%20Actual%20Worst%20Person-jpg.htm see it here]].
* HeroAntagonist- The Paladin, of course; later, Alyssa and her team.
* HeroesPreferSwords- Alyssa, Ritania and the Paladin all wield swords in contrast to the protagonists' magic, automata, knives and brute force.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard-
** The Paladin challenges Sebastian to a one-one-one fight in their first meeting, and casts a ward on himself to keep Tom and Mia away so they can't interfere. Tom simply steps forward and stands next to Sebastian, and the Paladin's own ward knocks him back- if you're going to put a magic forcefield around yourself to block a specific person, make sure they aren't significantly stronger than you.
** When Dove attacks Xaneth, [[spoiler:Xaneth feeds his magic bomb to a bystander and shoots it straight back at him.]]
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope- Alyssa believes this is what happened to Sebastian. It's a bit more complicated that that, but she's not entirely wrong.
* JustAMachine- Subverted. Though Mia makes golems like Tom to fight for Xaneth, she says she doesn't design them so much as get to know them. They contain spirits of a sort, and [[spoiler:Tom's death is mourned by the team]].
* KnightTemplar- The Paladin takes his holy work very seriously, and goes to any lengths to defeat evil. Even [[spoiler:torturing little children.]]
* LethalHarmlessPowers- The only spells Bayn can still cast at his old power level are the purely defensive "Shield" and "Grounding". He uses them to [[spoiler:subdue a demonic Dove in three [[http://truevillains.com/comic-2014-10-17-Two%20Spells-jpg.htm moves]]]], and can do a mean ShieldBash.
* LightIsNotGood- Dove the necromancer is so evil that even Xaneth looks good next to him, but he wears pure white at all times
* LoveGoddess- Ara is described as the God of Love, though not technically a goddess since the gods are genderless.
* LoveableRogue- Alistor is a subversion, he assumes the persona of a charming vagabond, but his casual murders and total lack of remorse make it clear that he's a sociopath who shouldn't be liked or admired.
* {{Magitek}}- Mia's golems are basically magic robots.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction- Sebastian when [[spoiler:his aura is damaged]]. It's even mentioned in the Artist's Blog.
---> '''Elia:''' ...and if it goes on unchecked, you will wither away and die.
---> '''Sebastian:''' ...Well. Crap.
* MasterOfIllusion- The [[spoiler:prophet of Nox]], basically everything in her temple isn't really there. In fact, since illusions are a SecretArt, she may be the only one in the world.
* MayDecemberRomance- Sebastian and Elia are moving in this direction.
* MeaningfulName- Bayn's family have a natural resistance to fire, their name is Pheonix
* MiseryBuildsCharacter- Sebastian cites this trope after pushing Bayn out of a moving cart.
* MoralityKitchenSink- The entire extended cast has only a couple of pure good or pure evil individuals, with everyone else occupying varying shades of grey.
* MrExposition- Sebastian's ConstantlyCurious CaptainObvious tendencies force Xaneth (occasionally Elia and once Bayn) into the role.
* MyNaymeIs- Dexter Pheonix, as he's happy to {{Lampshade|Hanging}}.
* NoodleIncident- Whatever Sebastian did to expose the Amberscar conspiracy, he had to lay low for a year to avoid fallout.
* ObliviousGuiltSlinging- Sebastian's first task as Xaneth's apprentice is to blow up a small town called Dorn. Of course, the first passerby he meets there immediately mentions that she recently recovered from an illness... [[FromBadToWorse that everyone thought would be fatal...]] [[UpToEleven and now her whole family has moved in to celebrate]]. Understandably, Sebastian's already shaky resolve is jolted considerably.
* OlderThanTheyLook- Enough of the cast is that Sebastian comments on how nobody ages normally anymore.
** 87-year-old Elia keeps fresh with BlackMagic and stolen skins.
** Bayn is in his 90s but is magically trapped in a child's body.
** Xaneth is at least as old as Bayn but looks about thirty at most, probably thanks to being a demon.
** [[spoiler: The Paladin Gray]], apparently, for reasons unknown.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent- Xaneth is one, and others have been mentioned.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent- [[spoiler:Gray]] is abducted by a group of vampiric beings who are apparently religious zealots (who ironically follow the same god as him)
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent- Xeke. Also his sister Cecile is apparently a human born to werewolves.
* OutsideContextVillain- Lord Attera seems to operate on a much larger scale than Xaneth. [[spoiler:His idea of doing Xaneth a favour was to cast a spell on everyone in the region to make them underestimate him.]]
* PetTheDog- Sebastian, Elia and even Xaneth think that Mia is too cute to kill.
** Plus Elia freeing an elven slave girl from her human masters, although she does use an army of zombies to slaughter an entire mansion full of people to do it, so...
* PowerTrio- All signs point to [[spoiler:Sebastian, Brawn and Olivia]] having been one of these.
* PragmaticHero- Gray and Alyssa have no problem crossing the line if they have to. Their followers tend to be a bit more HonorBeforeReason though.
* PragmaticVillainy- Xaneth operates on a fairly local level and avoids doing things ForTheEvulz, this means he has a pretty strong reputation and a reasonable level of power, but his actions are too small for the more powerful heroes to bother with him, even The Paladin is more focused on Sebastian than him.
* PrecociousCrush- Mia towards Bayn, though it's downplayed in that he's a ninety-year-old stuck in a ten-year-old body.
* ProtectedByAChild- One of the reasons Gray does not just kill Sebastian when they first meet.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad- The protagonists.
* RequiredSecondaryPowers- When escaping from Alyssa, Sebastian punches through a wall and learns that, while he is super strong and [[SuperToughness correspondingly tough]], he is not immune to pain and punching brick still hurts.
* {{Revision}}- Now updating with the redrawn early sagas. The events are the same, but some things are added or tweaked a little, for better storytelling.
* ScaledUp- The [[spoiler:fake Chosen One]] transforms into a giant snake to fight Sebastian.
* SchmuckBait-
** Xaneth's entire dungeon, for instance, you need a special key to unlock Xaneth's chamber at the end. He keeps said key in his chamber.
** [[spoiler:The ChosenOne of Nox]] is an inversion, designed to trap smart people instead of dumb ones. [[spoiler:There's a public Chosen One, and a "secret" one guarded in a hidden dungeon. The idea is that people like Xaneth would look too deep and go after the "secret" Chosen One (who is actually an illusion) and miss out the real one]].
* SecretArt- Many magical techniques, e.g. illusions, have been forgotten and all knowledge of them have been lost. The only people who know them are the prophets of the Gods.
* SerialKiller- Elia, but Xaneth keeps her under control most of the time.
* SiblingRivalry- [[spoiler:Sebastian's sister, Alyssa, kidnaps him and tries assault Xaneth's dungeon.]]
* SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains- Basically assured to happen, what with the VillainProtagonist and all. Some of their companions like Cecile and Xeke seem like downright good people, just friends with some very bad people. Sebastian fits in with Type I quite nicely as well.
* SmallAnnoyingCreature- Squib, from Xaneth's perspective anyway: useless to his plans, loves him unconditionally and totally invincible. To Xaneth, that's the most irritating thing in the world.
* StableTimeLoop- [[spoiler:Dove enters the story through a rift in the time-space continuum with no backstory and an unexplained hatred of Xaneth in Saga 2, finally in Saga 7 we learn that this is due to Bayn and Xaneth pushing him through a portal into the past after stripping him of his new demonic powers.]]
* StandardFemaleGrabArea- Gray to Cee in "Fearless". Though slightly overshadowed by the broadsword to the head shortly thereafter.
* SuperStrength- Sebastian, Xeke, Tom, Brawn, Allistor, Gray
* TalkingApplianceSidekick- Augustus, the amazing talking, dueling, pocket-watch.
* TheArchmage- Prophets of the various gods can use magics which been lost and all knowledge of them forgotten, making them extraordinarily powerful. Dexter is one, and the [[spoiler:prophet of Nox]] is another.
* TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody- Bayn is starting to act more like a child the longer he spends in his new body.
* TheMusical- Has its own page [[http://www.truevillainsmusical.com/index.htm here]]
* TheSouthpaw- Ritania [[spoiler:(the Chosen One of Nox)]] wields her longsword left-handed.
* TookALevelInBadass- Sebastian, he can punch through swords now.
* UndyingLoyalty- The main group are actually fairly close knit and loyal to each other, so much so that Sebastian's loyalty to Xaneth outweighs [[spoiler:his loyalty to his oldest friends]]. This is probably because Xaneth is pretty good at providing something his followers want or need: he gives Sebastian a purpose in life, he gives Bayn protection in his weakened child form, he gives Mia a home and something resembling a family and Elia a way to indulge her psychotic urges without getting chased down by an angry mob.
* UnsoundEffect- '''[[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2007-10-20~N-Teamwork-jpg.htm SHOVE]]''' and '''[[http://www.truevillains.com/comic-2007-12-01~N-Sometimes%20Give%20Up-jpg.htm GRAB]]'''
* VillainousFriendship- Xaneth and Malice
* VillainousValor- Xaneth's crew look out for each other more than one would expect of evil people. For all Xaneth says he'll pull a YouHaveFailedMe on Sebastian, he still comes to his defense when necessary.
* VillainProtagonist- With a title like ''True Villains'', what can you expect?
* WickedCultured- In Saga Three Sebastian and Elia infiltrate a formal party, when Sebastian tells her he can't dance she replies, "You're a villain now, learn to dance".
* WorthyOpponent- The Paladin seems to view Sebastian as this.
* WoundedGazelleGambit- Mia manages to [[spoiler:kill Ritania]] by pretending to be an innocent victim of a monster attack (actually Amber).
* YourMindMakesItReal- Persistent illusions (like [[spoiler:the fake Chosen One]]) are illusions that have existed for so long that the world acknowledges them as real, meaning if the illusion kills you, you die.