If you only knew the POWER of the dark glove!
When the Big Bad
wants to visually flex his power, he shoves his hands into big (usually black) gloves with an upward thrusting motion, then makes an evil fist (although a clawed semi-fist, as if clutching something unseen, is sometimes also done
). Putting on the gloves while doing this can be optional (in an upward move similar to a Glove Snap
). Actually wearing gloves while making the gesture can be optional, but the gloves seem to add gravitas
to the move. For extra points, we get a scrunchy-leathery-rubbery sound effect as the fist is clenched.
Pretty much a Mad Scientist
staple, but the fisted glove is also a trope of megalomaniacs in general, showing off their power.
Could also be an Evil Hand
, and include a Fist of Rage
. When it's a Mad Doctor
performing it, it might also include
a Glove Snap
. When the heroes do it, it's a Bicep-Polishing Gesture
. Compare Milking the Giant Cow
. Not related to a Victory Fist Pump
, though it may be related to the anime Fist Pump
. Not to be confused with Giant Hands of Doom
. Also not to be confused with the Power Fist
. Or the Black Power Fist
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Anime & Manga
- When Colonel Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist prepares to fake the killing of Maria Ross, there is a scene of him putting on his trademark "ignition gloves" in the classic evil fashion, complete with a closeup of the flame transmutation circle. Subverted in that he only pretends to kill her to create cover for her escape, using a pile of meat transmuted into a fake carcass as a decoy Ross, and thus does not do anything evil. Not that Ed knew that at the time.
- Sakura Haruno of Naruto inverts the trope, usually with a nice Glove Snap to go with it. She's one of the good guys, but if she uses this gesture then beware.
- This is practically a prerequisite for anyone who puts on the Infinity Gauntlet, both villain AND hero alike.
- The aptly-named Doctor Doom does this a lot, both closed- and open-fisted.
- The prototypical Mad Scientist, Rotwang, does this◊ in Metropolis (though he never does quite close his fist; his hand was said to have been prosthetic). Possibly the Ur Example and Trope Maker.
- Star Wars's Darth Vader does this so often he comes close to being the Trope Codifier. "If you only knew the power◊ of the Dark Side..." "Luke, join me..."
- For bonus Gloved Fist of Doom, there was a kids' EU novel titled "The Glove of Darth Vader" and it was about the eponymous glove as a Memento MacGuffin. Presumably the bad guy made this gesture some more after he found it.
- Actually, it really was an Gloved fist of Doom. It burned and eventually drove whoever wore it insane. Naturally the bad guys wanted it anyway.
- In what has to be an Actor Allusion, Thulsa Doom (played by James Earl Jones) does a non-gloved variant in Conan the Barbarian (1982) when lecturing Conan about the uselessness of steel compared to the hand that wields it.
- Street Fighter. General M. Bison (Raul Julia) clenches a gloved (red) fist◊ in an upward motion as he exclaims, "Pax Bisonica!"
- He also does a double-fisted one when he shouts, "Game Over!◊". He was almost as fond of this move as Darth Vader.
- The Lord of the Rings
- Boromir does this at least once while contemplating the power of the One Ring.
- As does the Witch-King during the lead-up to his dramatic reveal in Return of the King.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit. While in the Acme factory, Judge Doom pulls on a large rubber glove before putting a Toon shoe in the Dip. (Watch it here, 4:00-5:20. He doesn't make the fist, but he does put it on menacingly.
- Of course, it is perfectly reasonable for the judge to don menacing gloves since it is revealed later that he is a toon himself and the glove is for his protection...
- Given the chemicals stated to be present in Dip, a normal human would get nasty chemical burns putting their hand in it as well, so this isn't exactly telling on Doom's part. Heck, even standing in the presence of the stuff would likely cause severe tissue damage to the linings of the lungs.
- Parodied (sans glove)◊ by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator.
- In Death Race 2000 the Flag of the United Provinces featured a gloved fist with a lightning bolt running up the side. This symbol appears all over the place in the movie.
- The Flying Glove from Yellow Submarine is this personified and magnified.
Live Action TV
- Gwendolyn Post, the evil Watcher, does this after putting on the magical power glove in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Revelations".
- Cobra Commander often does this.
- Dr. Drakken does this in Kim Possible, often two-fisted.
- Despicable Me: Though he never dons gloves, Gru does this when he announces his plans to steal the moon.
- Syndrome does it in The Incredibles, with a semi-closed fist◊ (reversing the trope with white gloves).
- Jaffar in Aladdin makes the move - sans gloves - when he turns into a genie. "ULTIMATE COSMIC POWER!"
- Recent studies have shown that clenching one's fist in this manner does indeed increase one's sense of power and increase willpower. Especially if you're thinking evil thoughts while doing so. (see: Schubert, T.W., & Koole, S.L. (2009). The embodied self: Making a fist enhances menís power-related self-conceptions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 828Ė834.)
- Benito Mussolini loved to do this gesture during speeches, though not always wearing gloves◊.