"From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment."
Darkness is associated with evil, ugliness, scary monsters, and super creeps. This is the reason for the naming of The Dark Side
and why Evil Counterpart
characters and certain Underground Monkeys
often have 'dark' in front of their names. Like all Colour-Coded for Your Convenience
/Good Colors, Evil Colors
examples, this is common, but not universal, and will vary from culture to culture.
The logic behind the trope is as follows: most humans fear the dark
, at least to some degree; our sight is the sense we depend on the most, and we cannot see well in darkness, therefore a lack of light makes us feel very vulnerable to danger.note
Furthermore, the fact that it's so hard to see in darkness (well, for humans, anyways) has caused some of us to associate darkness with deception. Evil is associated with deception as well, so, from Star Wars to cowboy movies, a lot of bad guys wear black hats. If you want to be even more obvious about it, give the bad guy a name
that has something to do with darkness.
If a character has darkness-based powers, see Casting a Shadow
Stories where Dark Is Evil and Light Is Not Good
are commonplace to show that the light can be just as foul as darkness.
Why Evil Is Not Well Lit
, and why having the sun vanish is a bad sign
. See also Light Is Good
, Bad Powers, Bad People
, and Obviously Evil
A Super Trope
to Evil Wears Black
. Black is the favorite color of the Card-Carrying Villain
, as it is associated with the color of death in the western world. Vampires, witches and necromancers are also traditionally seen in black garb.
Dark Is Not Evil
is the inversion and the good counterpart of this trope. Another one is The Sacred Darkness
, where Dark may or may not be evil, but is just as important as Light.
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Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball Z
- Most of Frieza's abilities either have references to darkness or are dark colored.
- Turles, Goku's Evil Counterpart, is a straight example. He wears all black and has much darker skin than Goku to match the armor.
- Evil Buu. Its color is dark gray, and has soulless white eyes within black sclera which originated the Black Eyes of Crazy trope.
- The Godhand from Berserk are the Big Bads of the series. All of them are Black Angels (or Demons).
- Subverted with Femto, as his human self, Griffith, has various connections with the light.
- The Beast, the entity that constantly pressures Guts towards acts of inhuman butchery, is a monstrous hound made out of darkness.
- The homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist all wear black and have dark hair.
- G Gundam's Devil Gundam was renamed "Dark Gundam" in an edited English dub.
- In Hellsing Alucard the vampire has darkness powers. He's also COUNT DRACULA himself.
- Koichi Shido wears black, complete with Scary Shiny Glasses and pale white skin.
- Sebastian isn't called the kuro shitsujinote for nothing!
- Howl's night-black bird-monster form from Howl's Moving Castle is said to be wrecking his soul, even when he does have a good reason to fight.
- From Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, while the Book of Darkness herself is a textbook case of Dark Is Not Evil, the Darkness of the Book of Darkness is an Omnicidal Maniac Eldritch Abomination.
- Ditto with the Ruler of Darkness, Hayate's completely Evil Twin that was formed from the remnants of the Darkness of the Book of Darkness during the climax of the Battle of Aces video game.
- Mai-Otome: the main antagonists use dark-themed GEMs. Nina Wang has an Ultimate Black Diamond, which is said to be representative of her "extreme and mostly selfish" bonds with Sergay and Arika, which is the opposite of the selfless bond between Master and Otome exemplified by the original Pure White Diamond. Tomoe and the rest of the Valkyries use Cursed Obsidians of the Darkness, and Schwartz, named after the German word for black, is evil.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00's Johan Trinity pilots The Dark Based Eins Gundam.
- Onegai My Melody: the Big Bad is simply called "The Spirit of Dark Power", and anyone possessed by it will say the word "dark" as a Verbal Tic.
- One Piece: both men who have Dark-related Devil's Fruit powers, Blackbeard (Darkness ala Black Hole) and Gecko Moria (Shadows) are, indeed, not pleasant people.
- One should note that in Pokémon, none of the main protagonists own Dark-type Pokemon. Finally subverted as Ash's egg hatches into a Scraggy (Dark/Fighting) in episode 17 of Best Wishes!.
- The Dark Kingdom and the Black Moon Clan in Sailor Moon.
- Saint Seiya has The Black Saints.
- Unlike Villain Protagonist Light Yagami, Misa Amane from Death Note fits this trope. So do most of the Shinigami, especially Ryuk.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Darkness/Nightshroud twists these tropes for all they're worth. Since dark in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe is stated to be a form of raw potential that is moulded by human hearts, Darkness/Nightshroud is implied to be created from The Sacred Darkness specifically because humanity thinks that Dark Is Evil.
- A cursebite that Orochimaru leaves on Sasuke during the Chunin exams is black, and the expanded marks when he wakes up are also black.
- The Akatsuki members, for that matter, wear black garbs.
- Black Zetsu is a pitch-black shadow thing responsible for all of the suffering throughout ninja history.
- Big Bad Yhwach in Bleach wears a black cloak, and is the emperor of the final arc's villains, the Wandenreich. Strange because one of the series' motifs is black=good and white=bad, plus Yhwach is otherwise an example of Light Is Not Good.
- Magic: The Gathering: Black follows traditional "evil" aspects, like death, necromancy, demons, poison, plague, etc. However, the staff puts a lot of effort stating that Black itself isn't evil. It's just that 90% of the things associated with it are.
- Darkseid (pronouned "dark side") in The DCU.
- In the Strontium Dog "Max Bubba" story, Bubba's Vikings all wear black armor. The (somewhat) more good Vikings that side with Johnny have rather paler armor and weapons.
- Among the various differently colored forces in Green Lantern, there are several who tend to favor evil methods, such the Sinestro Corps, the Red Lantern Corps, and Agent Orange. However, the worst by far is the Black Lantern Corps, an army of Zombie Mooks who can all regenerate From a Single Cell. Their ultimate goal is The End of the World as We Know It, with "the world" in this case being every living thing in the entire universe. They are so evil that every other color, good and bad, teamed-up to stop them.
- Marvel has Dormammu and Umar, rulers of the Dark Dimension. It's been implied that the Dark Dimension is something of a Fisher Kingdom, however, and millennia of Dormammu's rule has made it into the nasty place it is today.
- Amatsu-Mikaboshi's true form is a mass of infinite darkness, specifically the Primordial Chaos kind that preceeded all of reality, and is an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Black Mamba.
- Blackheart, the "son" of Marvel devil-figure Mephisto. He's a monstrous jet-black abomination spawned from the collected evil of a Wretched Hive.
- Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges are undead lawmen from an Alternate Dimension who are obsessed with destroying all life. When they took over Mega City One during the "Necropolis" arc, their allies the Sisters of Death notably blacked out all sunlight in the city to make it as cold and dark as their black hearts.
Films — Animated
- Some Disney Animated Canon villains have this:
- Fantasia: Pictured above is Chernabog. Appropriately enough, his name means "Black God".
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Queen Grimhilde initially has only a black cape, then she wears a black cloak in her old hag disguise. One of her potion's ingredient is also the black of night.
- Sleeping Beauty: Maleficent, who wears a black wardrobe and turns into a black dragon for her One-Winged Angel.
- The bear from The Fox and the Hound has black fur.
- The Horned King from The Black Cauldron.
- The Great Mouse Detective: Professor Ratigan has a black suit, which contrasts with Basil's brighter outfit.
- Aladdin: Jafar is dressed in black and red, the latter of which is another typically evil color.
- Scar from The Lion King. He has black Mane, and dark fur.
- Hades from Hercules.
- The Hunch Back Of Notre Dame: Frollo is an odd case, wearing all black, but otherwise representing Light Is Not Good.
- Mother Gothel of Tangled dark hair, dark grey eyes, deep red dress and a black cloak (which is even more noticeable in contrast to Rapunzel, with her blonde locks, bright green eyes and bright purple dress). She's even shown blocking out the tower's natural light sources and snuffing out candles Rapunzel had lit during her Villain Song.
- Likewise, some of Don Bluth's villains (at least those that don't go extravagant): Jenner is the only ostensibly black furred rat and wears purple clothes (though strangely other characters embody Dark Is Not Evil to a T), Sharptooth is of a very dark green/bluish hue and spends most of the movie in poorly lit conditions, the owls from Rock-A-Doodle want to snuff out the Sun, Gnorga wears black and purple and has evil purple magic, Rasputin blatantly claims to use dark magic, et cetera. Even the Drej, beings made of pure light, have a very dark blue colour.
- The Boggans in Epic.
- Xibalba from The Book of Life, who represents the negative side of the afterlife. Plus, he's the Big Bad.
- Played with in the (very Mind Screw) movie adaptation of Under The Skin. The aliens (who kidnap humans and remove their insides, leaving only the skins) are throughly associated with darkness: the room to which the men are lured is black, the liquid that traps and processes them is a black oil, most of their illumination comes from red lights, and their real forms are black skinned humanoids with yellow eyes. However, it's also subverted, as not only does the protagonist seem to develop a conscience, but she also only reveals her real form at the very end, well past her ostensible Heel-Face Turn.
- The Dark Side in Star Wars. Darth Vader wears a dark costume in the original trilogy and Darth Sideous wears a cloak so his face is in shadow. Word of God is that Luke wears a light costume and it gets progressively darker as he goes from innocence to accepting the dark side as something that exists and overcoming it as opposed to avoiding or destroying it. In the prequels, Anakin favors darker clothing than the rest of the Jedi Order, even before his turn to the Dark Side.
- Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West. He always wearing dark and black clothes, and that is perfectly adjusted to his extreme evilness.
- Nosferatu has a pale villain, but he wears a dark coat and needs darkness to survive. It's from this film that all modern legends of vampires and daylight not going together stem. In the original novel, Dracula was able to walk around in human form in the daylight.
- The Cowboy Western genre tradition of having the bad guys wear the black hat was not as common as later writers would think. However, some certainly held to it, such as Once Upon a Time in the West and Shane, and you'd probably never imagine Lee Van Cleef without one.
- In Erik the Viking, Halfdan the Black got his nickname from being evil.
- Deconstructed sharply in Spike Lee's biopic of Malcolm X. In the prison library scene, Charles Dutton's character gives a monologue about the implicit association of darkness with evil and lightness with good in the English language, which has a profound effect on the man who would later name himself X.
- Also deconstructed in Unbreakable. Elijah Price (played by Samuel L. Jackson) lectures a buyer in his comic art gallery on the appearance of a supervillain as opposed to a superhero, including the Dark Is Evil trope. After The Reveal where Elijah turns out to be a mass murderer, the implication is that Elijah convinced himself he was a supervillain because of how he resembled this and other Villain Tropes.
- The Dark Knight Saga: Surely, a group called the League of Shadows will do nothing but good deeds, right? Right...?
- Judge Doom, the Big Bad from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, is totally dressed in black: black cape, black suit, black hat, and black cane.
- Darkness, a US-Spanish coproduction from 2002, plays this trope straight, if you couldn't guess from the title straight away.
- From Legend, the demonic villain Darkness is a personification of the concept and wants to extinguish all life so he can subsist in the dead icebound world.
- In "How to Murder your Wife", Jack Lemmon's Italian bride stays up late watching American movies on TV and keeps asking "Which are the good guys, the white hats or the black hats?" I think that whatever she knows or doesn't know about America, that's one concept she would certainly have learned in Italy.
- In Rise of the Guardians, Pitch Black is the main villain (he's also known as the Boogeyman and the Nightmare King. He is basically the living essence of fear, and has dark grey skin, black hair, and black nightmare sand.
- Star Trek Into Darkness:
- The bad guys' starship, the Vengeance, has a jet black hull.
- The villainous Harrison dresses in black clothing.
- In Man of Steel, all of Zod's technology is a metallic black.
- The Up Top Transworld employees in Upside Down tend to wear darker colors. Subverted by Bob Boruchowitz.
- The eponymous character of Maleficent initially plays the trope straight, but simultaneously fluctuates between it and Dark Is Not Evil. She ultimately pulls a Heel-Face Turn and goes with the latter.
- In The Quest of the Unaligned, Darkness is one of the two "supra-elements", surrounding and infusing the four elemental magics. The dark aspect of each mage's power tempts him or her to abuse it, and must be mastered with training and meditation. On top of that, it is possible to become a hoshek, a mage aligned with Darkness itself. This grants access to all four elements, but With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
- Umbra Domini (Latin for "The Shadow of the Lord"), a right-wing reactionary Catholic group whose members are the main antagonists in The Genesis Code
- Glee, obviously, makes use of this, although with an interesting variation; every single male character who is an asshole wears black. The only exceptions are the jock bullies, who wear typical jock attire, and the occasional Anti-Hero. The (usually) unambiguously heroic Kurt Hummel does wear dark purple, but he does so less and less, so the Dark Is Not Evil factor probably decreased.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the outfits of many vamps take on this trope. Also, The Bringers, servants of the First Evil, all wear black robes.
- On Lexx, His Divine Shadow might as well wear a placard around his (black-clad) neck announcing that he is an Evil Overlord. Between the title, the black robe, and the decor of his planet-sized Evil Tower of Ominousness, it's pretty obvious.
- LOST: an extremely blatant example—Jacob wears white and the Man in Black/smoke monster wears black.
- In a TV movie on the making of the Vietnam Memorial in DC, people kept objecting to it because it's black and therefore bad and makes their sacrifice seem bad. A black army officer stands up and reminds him of his years of service and that if anyone makes another comment on how "black is bad" they are going to take it outside.
- In Babylon 5, the Psi Cops wear all-black uniforms, the Nightwatch wear black armbands, and the Shadows' ships are blacker than the darkest night. Londo's costume also subtly darkens as he becomes more involved with the forces of chaos.
- Morgana Pendragon in Merlin started dressing like Bellatrix Lestrange in season four. In season five she strays from the Bellatrix look, but continues to wear black from head to toe.
- Agravaine wears black.
- Uther Pendragon is usually dressed in dark clothing as well.
- In Wizards of Waverly Place, this is played straight.
- In Zoroastrianism, the demon Ahriman is often associated with darkness.
- The Bible
- Hell is described as the "outer darkness" in Matthew 8:12. However, this is largely both a mixture of mistranslations and Sadly Mythtaken. The words used for "hell" in the NT, "Gehenna" and "Sheol" ("Hades" in greek) refer to a neutral, non evil underworld where all souls will wait until the end of all things foretold in the apocalypses of Daniel and John, in the case of sheol. Gehenna is just a dump where garbage and dead bodies are burned. The closest description to a wicked punishing "hell" the Bible gives is a river of fire and sulfur which hades/sheol will be thrown into, along with all those judged unworthy to leave it and live in the world to come.
- Inverted, of all things, with Satan/Lucifer, aka the Morning Star. As well as by (the false idol?) Moloch, which is appropriately identified as a solar deity.
- One study found that National Hockey League teams that wore black were more likely to be penalised for aggressive fouls. The same likely applies to other sports.
- The drow ("dark elves") in Dungeons & Dragons, except Drizzt.
- Dark Elves and Dark Eldar from Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 respectively.
- The Black Legion of traitor Space Marines belonged to the Primarch Horus, and was the first to follow him in his fall.
- The Ebon Dragon in Exalted. A fifty-mile-long dragon made of the shadows of everything, he's also the inventor and embodiment of the concept of being a treacherous, sadistic, needlessly cruel scheming asshole. In his case, Dark is so evil that it even predates the codified concept of Evil (which in Exalted is best described as 'acting like the Ebon Dragon'). Before becoming the Ebon Dragon, he existed as an entity referred to as the Dragon's Shadow.
- Inverted in the beliefs of the Zykhee from VOR The Maelstrom - being evolved from a nocturnal species, their culture believes that Dark Is Good and Light Is Evil.
- Vampire: The Masquerade gives us the Lasombra, the clan that leads the Sabbat and has the unique Discipline of Obtenebration. Not only is the darkness most often wielded by wicked people, but it's implied to be wicked itself - the clan's founder, a right bastard himself, is said to have merged with the Abyss that powers Obtenebration, and things can occasionally be called out of it that serve as twisted mirrors of a vampire's sense of morality.
- BIONICLE plays this straight, but also subverts it: every character in the Matoran Universe has an inner balance of light and shadow. Those characters that tap into their dark side or are drained of their inner light turn evil as a result, gaining shadow-based powers and becoming darker in their coloration. At the same time, thanks to Color-Coded Elements, some element-based good guys also sport dark colors and a handful are almost completely black.
- Nintendo loves this trope.
- A few examples from the Super Mario Bros. series: dark enemies in Paper Mario are more evil and powerful, Bowser's Super Mario Bros. 3 castle is located in Dark Land, Super Mario Sunshine's Shadow Mario is evil, etc., etc..
- Kirby Final Bosses Dark Matter, Dark Mind, and Dark Nebula. They're not related to each other.
- Well, Dark Mind seems to be the Mirror World's version of Dark Matter.
- Metroid Prime 2 and Dark Samus. The universe where Dark Samus came from is crawling with evil, nasty races, as well.
- A subversion. Dark Samus actually has nothing to do with the dark world or darkness, and didn't come from Dark Aether. The reality may be worse, however.
- Dark Link is an evil counterpart of Link in The Legend of Zelda.
- In the Japanese version of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, the first Big Bad is known as Darkness Dialga. The US version instead translated it as Primal Dialga. The Bad Future is also distinctly associated with darkness.
- Darkrai. Freaking Darkrai. Did I mention he tells you to go kill yourself?
- Also, "Dark", the English name of one of the 18 elements common to all Pokémon, was localized directly from "Evil", as the type is known in Japanese. This explains why many moves of the Dark-type involve doing immoral things like stealing or lying or having "bad thoughts". Though the type had relation to darkness even in the original games, such as Eevee evolving into Umbreon at night.
- It's frequently subverted, though, as every species of Dark type Pokemon is shown to be capable of being good natured, contrary to what their Pokedex entries may imply. They do, however, often require more effort to max out their happiness then some other species of Pokemon.
- Kid Icarus generally follows this trope, perhaps Anviliciously.
- While it can be that Dark Is Not Evil in later games, the Dark Magic in Fire Emblem Jugdral and the people who use it, the Lopt Sect, are very evil, although in Thracia 776, you can recruit an ex-clergyman.
- The Dark Elves are the evil guys in ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal, though there is an additional distinction between Darkness and Chaos and The Man Behind the Man is of the Light Is Not Good variety.
- Opoona follows this quite heavily, to the point that most people can't even enter true darkness without serious damage to their mind and body. Justified in that it's actually The Corruption, created by the ultimate Big Bad of the setting, though not the game itself.
- All of the Prime Evils and Lesser Evils of Diablo are this. They are all full of evil and that is just a topping.
- In the Jak and Daxter series, the titular character is an Anti-Hero with a Superpowered Evil Side, but that's the extent of any Dark Is Not Evil overtones. The world's magical Psycho Serum is black and purple DARK Eco, Precursors corrupted by it become DARK Makers, Metal Heads literally live off of it, and the first game's Big Bads turned into Omnicidal Maniacs after being exposed to it for too long. Out of the five people who underwent the Dark Warrior Program, only Jak got out alive... because he's special. Not to mention the fact that both Jak and Daxter's dark alter-egos are Ax-Crazy.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- The The Heartless are the manifestations of the darkness in capured hearts.
- Even after Riku reverses his Face-Heel Turn and uses darkness in heroics, his darkness is, thematically, the "Way to the Dawn".
- Alan Wake. Deary me, Alan Wake.
- The Fatal Frame series of games almost always involve some failed ritual releasing an evil, corrupting presence known simply as the "Malice" or the "Dark".
- While Ragna from BlazBlue follows the opposite of this trope, the Black Beast responsible for the Crapsack World and the source of Ragna's power embodies it. In Jubei's own words, it was "evil, the likes of which the world has never seen".
- In the sequel, it is revealed that Hazama / Terumi Yuuki is this as well by virtue of his nice, black suit. Mu-12, who calls people by expository titles, refer to Hazama as "The True Evil", indicating that he is even worse than the Black Beast itself. (Those who have played the story up until that point probably gloss over this as a Late-Arrival Spoiler, though, because they've already seen what Hazama is capable of first hand.)
- In Minecraft, enemies spawn in any dark areas (whereas non-enemy animals spawn on grass in the light).
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Shadow the Hedgehog. Subverted in that he's more of an Anti-Hero (most of the time).
- In Warriors of Might and Magic, you can't learn Dark spells, and the few swords imbued with the dark element aren't really strong. Furthermore, Skeletons, Ghouls, Undeads, Wraiths, and Demons have the Dark Element with them.
- The RPG series notes that Dark magic isn't evil as such - it is how you use it that is important - but it includes spells whose casting can be called evil no matter the circumstances (sacrificing a hireling for a temporary advantage!) and is associated with the Path of Dark, a religion/philosophy that nigh-universally seems to attract cruel people that want to do bad deeds.
- The Half-Life 2 mod Black Snow takes things to extremes: light, warm areas keep out the thing that's chasing you around the research center. It turns out that the thing is a predatory strain of fungus that can thrive in any environment but well-lit ones.
- The first Fable has this in spades, with dark clothing giving you evil points and bright clothing giving you good points and evil characters morphing to have darker features. The sequels ease up on it, but it's still present.
- The Darkspawn of Dragon Age. The Taint that created them originated from the corrupted Golden City in the Fade, now known as the Black City. Subverted slightly in Awakening with the appearance of intelligent Darkspawn, but even then, the more antagonistic faction of the awakened Darkspawn wear black armor.
- The Final Fantasy series uses this along with its sister trope.
- Final Fantasy II has the Emperor of Hell, though the emperor of Heaven isn't any better.
- Final Fantasy III gives us the Cloud of Darkness, but it's actually a subversion. Part of the game's backstory is how there was a flood of overwhelming light 1,000 years ago, requiring four Warriors of the Dark to save it.
- Golbez is a Black Knight who serves as the main antagonist in IV. Not really. He's Brainwashed and Crazy and under the control of the true Big Bad, who plays this trope straight.
- This deserves further clarification—the original IV equates dark-elemental abilities with The Dark Side, even having the dark-elemental protagonist's "Spirit" score drop as he levels up and becomes more hardened. As part of the plotline, he's eventually required to give up his powers and Level Drain with light-elemental abilities. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years goes a more balanced route—having been unable to completely purge his dark side, the hero is ultimately forced to accept and control it. Dissidia: Final Fantasy takes this all the way to Dark Is Not Evil.
- Exdeath has The Power of the Void.
- In Final Fantasy VI, God!Kefka qualifies. Though depicted as an angel, he has purple skin, and underneath the angel wings are a pair of demonic wings.
- Sephiroth. He wears black and has a black wing.
- League of Legends: Morgana is a fallen angel, in contrast with her sister, Kayle.
- Zig-Zagged in Dark Souls. The Darkwraiths of Kaathe act as the polar opposite of the helpful Warriors of Sunlight, but the Darkmoon Covenant opposes the wraiths as well. Likewise, the looming apocalypse to be prevented is the Age Of Dark though if Kaathe is believed, it will actually be a Golden Age for human kind, and is being postponed by the dying (former) Lord Of Sunlight. The Abyss and it's connection to humanity/Humanity is generally unclear, though typically inconceivably horrific. The "Artorias of the Abyss" Downloadable Content reveals just how bad things get if humans lose control of their inner darkness aka humanity. As in, Humans Are Cthulhu bad.
- Dark Souls II doesn't make things any less ambiguous. While the Children of the Dark spawned from the fragments of Manus' soul are horrific abominations that are anathema to all life, players can now wield the power of darkness themselves in the form of Hexes. The Gravewarden Fenito Agadyne claims that humans once lived in peace in the dark, until the gods forced them to live in the light.
- The Hel element in Boktai is always evil. Period. While it can be used for good, it's implied to be much weaker (since it is the power of hatred), and there is the constant chance that it will corrupt it's user for good which only gets higher each and every time it's used.
The dark gives me power... but it hurts me... eats away at my soul...
- Fallout 3
- The Enclave. Unlike the Brotherhood of Steel, who are in grey powerarmor, most of theirs are black.
- Zigzagged with the Brotherhood outcasts. While they left the Brotherhood of Steel to form their own group, and painted their armor black and red, they are more on the gray scale.
- The Talon Mercs that hunt down the player should he/she have good karma as well, they have black clothing.
- The Beast Legion: the villain Dragos and his Shadow Nexus embody darkness.
- Bird Boy: the villain stole all the light in the world.
- The Imprint Chronicles main villain dresses in an all-black tuxedo. The scene gets considerably darker when he appears, and even his name is Mr. Black.
- In Impure Blood, the Mooks wear black armor. (And are killing people and have already destroyed one town.)
- It's still up in the air where Sinfest falls in regards to this—devils aren't always evil, but the capital-D devil definitely is, and his influence is highly corruptive. (Then again, Light Is Not Good is in effect as well—the most moral characters are the ones who seek some form of balance.)
- In The Adventures of Shan Shan, the monster, except for its Glowing Eyes of Doom, is pitch black.
- In Soul Symphony, the villain Tom Mustaine is always seen wearing a black shirt, black wristbands, and sunglasses. But that may just be because he's a Metalhead.
- In The Red Star, Marcus's instincts cry out the something is wrong with the Psychopomp who appears to him. What we see is that he is dark and the being who appears to appears to dispute for his soul is bright.
- The main villain from Samurai Jack, Aku, is essentially a giant shadow demon, and things under his control are often artistically depicted as being wrangled by black veins. There's another element to his darkness as well, with robot enemies having black thick oil instead of blood, and his effect on the corrupting effect on the world is a pollution of it in some cases.
- Aku takes it to the logical extreme in that he is essentially dark and evil itself incarnate. This actually serves as a weakness for him: He's completely incapable of doing anything remotely good, to the point that it makes him predictable and even bites him in the behind when doing good would have benefited him more yet he couldn't help but be evil.
- Both subverted and played straight with Raven from Teen Titans. She's not evil, but she is part demon, and that's the side of the family her powers come from. This means she has to maintain incredibly strict self-control, especially while using said powers, lest she lose control of them or, worse, unleash her Superpowered Evil Side.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is the first clue Jet (synonym for "black") is not such a good guy.
- In Allegro Non Troppo 1, all the animals are brightly colored and cartoony, except for those jerk-face apes with red eyes and black sclera who wreck the planet as they become human but remain vicious animals on the inside. Averted in the beginning with the black proto-blob, unless evolving out of human trash counts as evil.
- Nightmare Moon from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic played this very straight, being a jet black Mad God who usurped Princess Celestia and plunged the world into eternal night. While her true self, Princess Luna, isn't evil, Word of God confirms that the rest of Equestria is still afraid of her partly because of her actions as Nightmare Moon and partly because they still believe in this trope. King Sombra takes this trope even further. He is described as having a "heart as black as night" and was able to subjugate an entire empire on his own with dark magic.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show episode featuring Chthon (a grey, wrinkled, vaguely demonic man with claws, pointy teeth, and glowing eyes)...
Iron Man: So, what's your prognosis, Doctor?
[Doctor Strange sizes up Chthon, who is cackling and rubbing his hands]
- In Thundercats 2011, Big Bad Sorcerous Overlord Mumm-Ra is usually a grey, red-eyed, withered little Humanoid Abomination in Shapeshifter Default Form, but his personal tank and the weaponry and armor he possesses in One-Winged Angel form are deep black and chased with Tron Lines.
- Ben 10 has Kevin Levin, who wears dark colored clothing, however after his Heel-Face Turn as a teenager in black, this trope is more like Dark Is Not Evil.
- In Winx Club, practically every major villain is a dark magic practitioner.
- The Trix have darker color schemes and use dark magic frequently. It's even Darcy's specialty. They wish to take over the Magic Dimension by using the powerful Dragon Flame.
- Lord Darkar's body is pure black, and he's encased in dark red armor. He wants to take over the Magic Dimension with the power of the Realix, and is willing to hurt anyone is his way.
- The Wizards of the Black Circle, in addition to having black in their group name, all wear black or dark grey clothes. They wish to take over Earth and imprison all the Earth fairies.