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Make Way For The New Villains

Nute Gunray: The war is over! Lord Sidious promised us peace! We only wanted-

A subtrope of Evil Versus Evil, this is for when a previous villain, whether a significant or minor one, is made significantly less of a threat (or in some cases outright killed) with the help of the next villain. The previous villain is put aside, to make way for the new villains.

This often implies that the new villain is more competent, more evil, or for whatever other reason more threatening, but not necessarily. Cases where the new villain is less threatening instead can qualify as this trope, too. May be the result of Big Damn Villains.

Compare Always a Bigger Fish, which sometimes overlaps with this but not always and Sorting Algorithm of Evil, and Bait-and-Switch Boss. Also The Worf Effect, depending on how they take them out. In video games, this is often the True Final Boss.

Contrast Hijacked by Ganon.

Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 

     Comic Books  
  • After Keith Giffen took over the second series of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, he did a storyline where Carnelian is killed off to make way for the return of the first series' Big Bad Dark Opal. This lasts for one page in that issue and two pages in the following issue before Dark Opal himself is dispatched to make way for the new villains, The Child and Flaw.
  • In the buildup to the Great Darkness Saga in the Legion of Super-Heroes (which Keith Giffen also worked on — he seems to love this trope), previous Big Bads Mordru and the Time Trapper are found beaten and helpless to show how bad the villain behind the Great Darkness Saga (who turns out to be Darkseid) is.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man the first thing Mysterio did when he showed up was shoot the Kingpin out of a window.
  • In Fantastic Four when the Marquis of Death appeared he set Doctor Doom on fire and tossed him into prehistory. Unsurprisingly, he came back.
  • One of Onslaught's first actions was to beat The Juggernaut to a pulp and hurl him all the way to New Jersey. Mostly to get back as Juggernaut from the crap he did to Professor Xavier all their lives as Onslaught turned out to be Xavier's dark side run amok.
  • When trying to establish Kaine as a credible threat during The Clone Saga, the writers had him kill off longtime Spider-Man foe Doctor Octopus. It didn't take.
  • Les Légendaires did this in the Anathos Cycle by having both Darkhell and the Guardian being obliterated by Anathos to show how bad the new villain was (though this had already been established by having him effortlessly delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the good guys).
  • Toyed with in Captain America, where Red Skull was assassinated by the Winter Soldier during Ed Brubaker's first issue, leading many readers to think the writer was playing this trope straight. Instead, it was revealed that Red Skull had survived inside the body of the Winter Soldier's employer, setting up one of the series' longest running Plot Threads.

     Film  

     Literature  
  • Calvin killing William Henry Harrison in The Tales of Alvin Maker.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Volrath, the Big Bad (actually The Dragon, but for all intents and purposes) of the Weatherlight saga is missing and presumed dead after a climactic showdown near the end of the first half of the story. When he reappears midway through the second half, in sufficiently badass and grandiose fashion, it's only to be killed in a one on one duel to the death by Crovax, who becomes the new Ascendent Evincar.
  • Happens in the Warrior Cats novel The Darkest Hour, the final book of the original series. Tigerstar, the main villain of the series, obtains the assistance of an insane cat called Scourge, and his followers "BloodClan", in the prologue. Scourge isn't mentioned again until the supposed Final Battle, where Tigerstar calls him for aid. However, after the protagonist Firestar tells Scourge about Tigerstar's treachery, Scourge realizes that Tigerstar is a terrible boss to have. Stating "Nothing will control me", Scourge rips Tigerstar apart, killing him many times in one blow. Scourge goes on to become the villain of the book.

     Live Action TV  
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, Species 8472 is introduced by destroying an armada of Borg Cubes.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Anointed One (a little kid vampire who was held over from season one) is shoved into a cage and hoisted into sunlight early in season two by Spike.
    • Spike gets similar treatment in this a quarter into season four where he returns ready to cause trouble for Buffy, only to be tasered and captured by members of the Initiative. He escapes from them in the next episode, but has a chip planted in his head to make sure he can't harm the heroes again, which wound up sending him directly into a certain other trope.
    • Twilight killed the Master and Ethan Rayne by proxy.
  • Power Rangers Zeo has the Machine Empire booting out Lord Zedd and Rita. Before that Zedd booted out Rita. She came back of course.
  • This is done to Captain Crais by Scorpius at the end of the first season of Farscape. In fact, it's done in three different ways: first, he manages to convince Crais's own bodyguards into obeying his orders and putting their boss in the Aurora Chair; secondly, he takes over Crais's command carrier and has him stripped of rank and office; finally, just to drive home the fact that Scorpius is well and truly in control, Crais tries to kill him and ends up having his ass kicked for his troubles.
  • In Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pearl suffocating a baby-fied Forrester to death, and turning out to be more dangerous.
  • In Doctor Who, the old Daleks allow themselves to be killed by the new ones, agreeing that they're impure and should be destroyed.
    • The Daleks were also subject to this in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, as they end brutally killed by Krotons. Yes, those Krotons. Make way for the sixties monsters only remembered as a joke...
    • And for the trifecta, at one point it was thought that rights issues would have prevented the Daleks being used in the 2005 series — in which case, it would have been revealed that they'd been wiped out by the Toclafane.
  • Happens in Stargate SG-1 when the Replicators start picking off the Goa'uld, who, up until that point, had been formidable enemies.
  • Heroes loved to do this. Arthur announced his prescence by killing Adam, and shortly afterward killing Maury. Arthur in turn was killed off by Sylar, who had previously disposed of Bob. Then Danko was killed by Edgar on behalf of Samuel. And that's not even counting all the minor villains killed by Sylar.
  • Nukus in Big Bad Beetle Borgs was careful to get rid of Vexor and his minions before taking over as the main antagonist.
  • Mutant X - in the final episode of season 1, new Big Bad Gabriel Ashlocke imprisions original Big Bad Mason Eckhart and takes over his mutant-hunting facility for his own ends.

     Video Games  

     Web Video  

     Western Animation  
  • In Family Guy, the "evil monkey" getting a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Dylan [Brian's son] is a clear case of this. While the monkey later turns out to be a nice guy, up until that point he had been a villain, albeit minor. And, in that episode, the point was to show that Dylan was going to be harder to deal with than the monkey.
  • In the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender , Princess Azula's first episode has her telling Zuko and Iroh of their fugitive status and almost managing to capture them.
  • Young Justice begins its second season with a species called the Kroloteans secretly infiltrating Earth, before they're finished off by an unknown "Competitor" after three episodes. Played With because these new foes are actually allies of the Light, the previously-established Big Bad of the series.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien played straight and inverted this trope at the same time in its finale: when Diagon arrives on Earth, he ends up, after a brief fight with Ben, killing previous villain Sir George... and is almost immediatly then killed and absorbed by Vilgax, Ben's long date Arch-Enemy, who assumes the role of True Final Boss for the remaining of this finale.
  • Subverted in season 4 of Teen Titans, where season 1 and 2 Big Bad Slade, after being Demoted to Dragon for the whole season following a Deal with the Devil, is apparently double-crossed and disposed of by his boss Trigon. Turns out Slade saw it coming and made sure he would be able to escape, allowing him to make an Enemy Mine with the heroes and to get what he wanted from all of this. By the end of the season, Slade is alive and free to scheme again, while Trigon has been obliterated by his daughter.
  • Danny Phantom's The Ultimate Enemy played with this trope. Upon being separated from Danny Fenton, the ghost Danny turned malevolent and stripped Vlad of his ghost half, followed by merging with it to become Dark Danny.


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