The Silver Surfer met his latest and greatest enemy this year: A tyrant named Tyrant. And wasn't it only last year that X-Factor was fighting nasty boys called the Nasty Boys? Next year, Marvel heroes will battle all-new characters named Villain, The Bad Guys, The Antagonist, The Opponent, The Legion of Enemies, Mister Naughty, and The Incredible Do-Badder.
— Marvel Year in Review 1993
- In Rick Veitch's early-2000s run on Aquaman, the titular hero confronts his archnemesis (and murderer of his son), Black Manta, and, after defeating him, uses his new magic powers to re-wire his brain and cure him of his autism; the painful and incompetent treatment he received as a child was part of why he'd become such an insane monster. He appears to turn himself around, but the apparent Freudian Excuse and Heel–Face Turn are subverted when, at a critical moment, Manta stabs Aquaman in the back and explains: "Y'see, deep down, in my most secret heart of hearts, I'm still a totally depraved sonuvabitch whose main goal in life is to watch you die. Slowly and painfully. Just like your kid."
- The very first appearance of Captain America's archenemy, the Red Skull, had him exit stage left saying "I'll be back - with more murder!" Subverted, however, in that as early as the Silver Age, he became increasingly more of an ideologically sincere Nazi true believer, as opposed to a merely power-hungry or randomly evil villain. His modern characterization fluctuates between card-carrying villainy and outright self-righteous Knight Templar behavior, Depending on the Writer.
- Bullseye's childhood ambition was "to be the bad guy". In contrast, Deadpool's was to make a suit out of meat and fight somebody in it.
- During Dark Reign, Marvel Comics introduced Zodiac, a guy who killed every single member of an old supervillain team with the same name so he wouldn't be confused with them. Zodiac plots about the fall of Norman Osborn. Why? Because he finds Osborn's new position an insult to all who just wants to commit evil for its own sake, like himself.
- Darkseid openly admits to being an evil god and that he desires to crush all happiness and free will in the Universe.
- Set, apparent leader of The Order in Invincible spinoff Guarding The Globe. In an issue released the same week as the issue in which Contagion makes the speech in his entry, Set begins a meeting of The Order with this:
I've heard it said, everyone is the hero of their own story. The thought is that even the most vile villain believes his actions to be right and thinks of himself as "good". I am here to tell you, right now, that I am evil. I am greedy, selfish, I do not care for the plight of others.
- The Joker once identified himself to Black Canary as "genuine, card-carrying, lock-me-up-throw-away-the-key lunatic!" It sparked a letter column debate (remember those?) about whether or not insane people could recognize themselves as being insane.
- The Joker has been shown several times to be fully aware of being crazy. The plot of Alan Moore's classic The Killing Joke hangs on that very fact.
- 2000 AD:
- In Judge Dredd:
- Pa Angel is openly trying to raise his sons to be the "meanest, orneriest, baddiest bunch a' men that ever lived." The boys are only too happy to learn from him.
- Chief Judge Cal, an examplar Tyrant Takes the Helm Caligula, proudly calls himself "a tyrant's tyrant".
- Subverted by the Dark Judges. Their name and appearance might be a dead give-away, but they are even more of a Knight Templar than Judge Dredd.
- Zombo: Shadow President Jason van Satan, who makes no light of the fact that he's the most evil man on Earth.
- In Judge Dredd:
- Jurassic Strike Force 5 has Master Zalex, a large, threatening villain who wears all black, has red eyes, and spends all of his time trying to cause as much destruction as possible in his conquest to rule the universe.
- The Justice League of America villain Prometheus. As a Shadow Archetype of Batman (his parents were criminals killed by the police), his stated goal is to "annihilate the forces of justice."
- Played for Laughs in one New 52 Justice League issue:
Captain Marvel: One of you actually carved "Secret Society of Super-Villains" into your table?
- Kid Miracleman/Marvelman displays this trope when he goes over the edge. Moments after starting his slaughter-spree, he spares the life of a nurse who had been kind to him. He returns a moment later, saying "They'd only say I was going soft...", and pulverises the top of her skull with a blast of his eye-beams.
- Dirk Anger, Director of H.A.T.E in Nextwave.
I'm older'n you. I'm ninety years old. You want to know how I look so pretty? I take drugs. Special H.A.T.E. drugs. Life-extending drugs. H.A.T.E. has the best drugs because H.A.T.E. loves me. And I love H.A.T.E. Every day of my horrible drug-extended terrorist-fighting life. Every day I smoke two hundred cigarettes and one hundred cigars and drink a bottle of whiskey and three bottles of wine with dinner. And dinner is meat. Raw meat. The cook serves me an entire animal and I fight it bare-handed and tear off what I want and eat it and have the rest buried. In New Jersey! For H.A.T.E.!
- Herr Starr of Preacher starts out as a Knight Templar, but, in the end, admits, however unrepentantly, that he's become a "monster" obsessed with hatred and revenge.
- Queen of the Universe: Dober-Man.
- Requiem Vampire Knight takes place in a Hell-like dimension where anybody who is somebody in this place embraces evil wholeheartedly. For example, the most depraved and evil people in history reincarnate as vampires and they form the top hierarchy of society, having completely embraced their twisted nature. The Dystopians are lizard-people who committed terrible crimes in name of colonialism and greed, the mummies were scientists who created disastrous experiments and so forth. The ghouls are exception to this, since they were people that committed crimes in name of the greater good and as such, feel like they don't deserve being in Hell for it, and are looked down by the vampires as inferior beings because they are unrepentant about their crimes.
- Ava Lord from the Sin City story "A Dame to Kill For" identifies herself as evil in her Evil Gloating speech to Dwight McCarthy, who she has just manipulated into murdering her husband Damien so that she can inherit his money:
Ava: Insane? Ha! That's so easy, so convenient — and so wrong. Crazy people push shopping carts down the streets and talk nonsense. Crazy people sit in padded cells and soil their pants. A madwoman couldn't have pulled this off. No. There's a word for what I am, but nobody uses it anymore. Nobody wants to see the simple truth. If they did, they'd kill people like me as soon as we revealed ourselves. But they don't. They close their eyes and blather about psychology and say that nobody is truly evil. That's why I've won. That's why I always win.
- In the very first issue of Sonic the Hedgehog, there is a sign on Robotnik's desk which reads "Dr. Robotnik: Supreme Dictator, Industrial Polluter, Megalomaniac, Corrupt Politician, Underhanded Reprobate, Rain Forest Ravager, Puppy Kicker, Oil Spill Coordinator, Holiday Hater, Insurance Salesman. Rights violated while U wait!"
- Supreme's arch-enemy Darius Dax delights in being evil for the sake of being evil.
- In Transformers: Generation 2, Starscream ends up begging Optimus Prime to take the Matrix back, as he doesn't want to be good!.
- Doctor Wyspa, Wilq's arch-nemesis.
- Contagion, the villain of the first arc of Wolverine: The Best There Is.
I am not the hero in my own story. I am the bad guy. I have no end in mind that justifies my means. There are no skeletons in my closet, no abusive childhood or inciting misery that might expiate my vile behavior. Nor am I insane. I know the difference between good and evil. And I am fully capable of empathizing with the pain, emotional or physical, of others. No sociopath, I. Rather, I simply prefer bad over good. Wrong over right. Dirty over clean. Sick over healthy. Untrue over true.
- In X-Men, Sabretooth thinks himself a violent, animalistic savage who lives only to hunt and kill, and is very proud of this fact. He does a very good job at living up to this.
- Most supervillain teams have names which identify them as evil; The Masters of Evil, the Injustice League, the Secret Society of Super-Villains, etc. Occasionally, as with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, it's explained later that the characters don't see themselves as evil, but are aware others do and feel they can use this to their advantage.
- The film version of X-Men avoids this by having Magneto simply call his group "The Brotherhood of Mutants".
- Similarly, recent issues of Savage Dragon have subverted this a bit with the new Overlord referring to his team (the Vicious Circle) simply as The Circle. Since there are a number of similarities between Magneto's Brotherhood and Overlord's Circle, it's arguable that one is in response to the other.
- In the comics, one version of the Brotherhood working for the US Government and led by Mystique takes a smart idea and calls itself by the innocuous moniker "Freedom Force".
- Purple Man◊, arch-enemy of Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
- In Violine, Muller boasts about how much of a bad guy he is, even claiming this is what makes him survive his apparent death. The corrupt board executives of the company exploiting Africans in Zongo also know they do bad things, but don't care and delight in it.
- Magneto's early characterization was sufficiently borderline autistic to make him this. Most (in)famously in his guest appearance in the 1978 Fantastic Four animated series, but really, that is only slightly more over-the-top than he was in the comics. When the Toad or the Scarlet Witch would profess their loyalty to him, he would usually sneer something to the effect that he did not want followers motivated by fickle love and devotion, but rather fear and blind obedience.
Magneto: Loyalty! Bah! I rule by fear alone!
- Subverted by Doctor Doom. The name he uses and manner in which he dresses at first glance gives the impression that he's making no bones about the fact that he's a supervillain, but he's so egotistical that he actually thinks of himself as a fair and wise ruler.