Monster / DC Animation

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"He was the worst, wasn't he?"..."He was a psychopath. A monster."

The Flash: It's me you want Thawne, you don't have kill thousands of innocent people to bring me down.
Eobard Thawne/Professor Zoom/Reverse Flash: No, no I don't. But I choose to, knowing it will make your last moments pure agony.

Similar to the comics, DC animated works feature some Complete Monsters.

DCAU

Batman
  • Batman: The Animated Series: The Joker is the only supervillain of Batman's rogues gallery who possesses no sympathetic or redeeming qualities whatsoever. Before becoming a supervillain, the Joker was a mobster and hit man who murdered Carl Beaumont, the father of Andrea, over money owed to his employers. He committed this murder even after the debt was repaid. This set in motion Andrea becoming the supervillain Phantasm and took away Batman’s one chance of a normal, happy life. Following his transformation into the Axe-Crazy Joker, he now commits crimes more often For the Evulz than he does for any profit. Samples of his crimes include repeatedly abusing his girlfriend Harley Quinn, trying to bomb a child’s birthday party, setting up Catwoman to go through a grinder, psychologically tormenting Charlie Collins for two years, murdering countless people with Joker venom, attempting to drive 70 million people insane by having Ace Mind Rape them, attempting to nuke Gotham City, and going on a rampage with a Kill Sat. His most widely recognized crossing of the Moral Event Horizon was from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker when he tortured Tim Drake into insanity and implanted a microchip in the child so the Joker could take over Tim's body and perform a Post-Mortem Comeback.
  • Batman Beyond: Derek Powers, also known as Blight, is a Corrupt Corporate Executive and the Arch-Enemy of Terry. Seizing control of Wayne Enterprises and using it for illegal operations, he developed a chemical weapon for terrorists that an employee named Harry Tully leaked to Terry’s father, Warren. Powers purposefully infected Harry Tully, later showing the Kaznian diplomat who bought the shipment Tully’s gradual death at the hands of said chemical. Powers had his right-hand man murder Warren and frame The Jokerz. Infected by the chemical, he was saved but mutated by the radiation used, driving him insane in the process. Other crimes include committing industrial sabotage; hiring supervillain Shriek to murder Bruce Wayne then try to drive him insane; exiling his own son; polluting the ocean by dumping radioactive waste into it; and experimenting, then later killing, Mr. Freeze. When his illegal dealings and mutations are publicly exposed, he goes into hiding, later attempting to murder his treacherous son and Batman before seemingly getting himself killed. A sociopath motivated by greed, power and wealth, Derek Powers was such a monster before becoming Blight that when Batman used You Killed My Father as a hint to his identity, he snarls at how "little" that narrows it down.
    "Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?"

Justice League
  • Lord Orm, from "The Enemy Below", is the treacherous and power-hungry half-brother of Aquaman. Resenting his brother for having never wiped out the surface-dwellers, whom Orm despises, Orm seeks to usurp the throne from his brother and wage a war against the surface-dwellers to eradicate them. To achieve this end, Orm hires Deadshot to assassinate Aquaman, blaming the attack on the surface-dwellers and using this as a means to justify war, forcing Aquaman's wife Mera to cooperate by threatening her infant son. When Aquaman returns, Orm reveals his treachery by abducting him and chaining him to a cliff near a volcano. To ensure his place as ruler over Atlantis, Orm attempts to plunge both Aquaman and his son into the volcano, forcing Aquaman to severe his own hand to save his son. Orm then arms an Atlantean thermal reactor to melt the polar ice caps, thus submerging the entire planet underwater and sentencing all surface-dwellers to death.
  • Mongul, cruel dictator of War World, forced warriors to fight to the death in Gladiator Games in order to take his people's minds off his oppressing them. When Superman refuses to kill the former reigning champion, Draaga, after succeeding to defeat him, Mongul threatens to destroy Draaga's planet if Superman doesn't allow Mongul to defeat him in his next match. After his efforts were foiled, Mongul returned for revenge against Superman, using a plant called the Black Mercy to trap Superman in a perfect dream world. With Superman out of the picture, Mongul planned on turning Earth into a second War World. Superman was eventually able to free himself from the dream world-but not before Mongul delivered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Wonder Woman—but the emotional pain of doing so was enough to make Superman actually try to kill Mongul before returning to his senses.
  • John Dee, from "Only a Dream", as well as several cameos as a member of the Legion of Doom, started as a minor convict who only fantasized of killing the Justice League to make a name for himself among super villains, but after an experimental machine gives him ESP, Dee quickly decides to make his fantasy a reality. Becoming Doctor Destiny, his first action is to take revenge on the wife who left him while he was in prison. As she’s sleeping, Destiny goes into her dream and begins to torture her for hours. Eventually, the nightmare causes her to have a cardiac arrest and die of terror. Destiny then invades the dreams of each member of the Justice League, trying to use their worst fears to kill them one-by-one. These nightmares include making Superman think he killed his friends with out-of-control superpowers, and burying Hawkgirl alive.

Superman: The Animated Series
  • Darkseid, who later appeared in Justice League and was the top threat of the entire DCAU, is the Evil Overlord of the wasteland planet Apokolips, and ultimately desired total dominion over all life in the universe. To achieve this end, he forever seeks the cosmic power of the Anti-Life Equation to use as the ultimate weapon. Incapable of love or empathy, he abused his loyal son Kalibak, handed over his adopted son Scott Free to be tortured and brainwashed by Granny Goodness, and attempted to murder his other son, Orion, for opposing him. His servants are likewise subjected to torture or death should they fail him, or even question him. Setting his sights on conquering Earth, Darkseid launched a full-scale invasion on the planet, only relenting when the planet was declared off-limits by Apokolips's sister planet, New Genesis. To compensate, Darkseid murdered Dan Turpin solely to spite Superman. He would make numerous more attempts to conquer or annihilate the planet, including attempting to destroy it with an asteroid and brainwashing Superman into leading an attack on his adopted world, turning the Man of Steel into a pariah for years. He later attempted to use Brainiac's programming to collect the Anti-Life Equation and bend the universe to his will, leading to his death in a battle with Superman. Upon his resurrection, Darkseid immediately launched another invasion on Earth, not out of a desire for power, but solely to make Superman suffer. Ruthless and tyrannical, Darkseid is Superman's greatest enemy, and one of the few villains he has outright tried to kill.
  • Brainiac, who also appeared in Justice League as a threat surpassed only by Darkseid, is a robotic psychopath and collector of data who views himself as superior to all organic life. Once the supercomputer responsible for running Krypton's day-to-day affairs, Brainiac lied to the Council of Elders about the planet's impending doom, prioritising saving himself over preserving the lives of his creators. Escaping into space, Brainiac roams from world-to-world, assembling all of a planet's information, and then destroying the original in order to increase the value of his stolen memories; his objective is to repeat the process across the universe until he has "destroyed all of creation". Along the way he murders the crew of a spaceship that was investigating his presence, tries to steal Superman's body for himself, and eventually, after fusing with Lex Luthor, tries to wipe out the entire universe in one fell swoop, aiming to rebuild it in his own image. Void of remorse, and possessed of a bodycount in the billions, Brainiac cared for nothing but his own survival, and his mission of bringing about "the end of all things."

DC Universe Animated Original Movies

Justice League of America continuity
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths: Owlman was already a criminal and founding member of the Crime Syndicate of America. Upon discovering the existence of the multiverse, Owlman became enraged by the fact that, with every choice a person makes, they create another world in which they made the opposite choice. Determined that his choices had to affect not only his world, but all existence, Owlman journeyed to Earth-Prime, the Earth that supported the existence of all other Earths, planning to destroy all reality in a fit of existential angst. About as selfish as they come, Owlman was reviled even by his compatriots in the CSA.
  • Justice League: Doom: Vandal Savage is a conqueror with genocidal plans for the planet. He manages to steal the protocols that Batman designed to defeat the Justice League in case one or more members of the Justice League turn evil. Savage makes these protocols more lethal and sadistic and then uses them to take out the Justice League. After his Legion of Doom seemingly triumphs over the Justice League, Vandal Savage informs them he plans to conquer the world by using a missile that will cause a solar flare that will kill half the world's population. This event will also render the rest of the world's population so weak and helpless that they will naturally accept his leadership.

DC Animated Movie Universe, by release date

Other Continuities
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: The Joker, after having gone into unresponsive catatonia for a decade, returns to his old habits after the return of Batman to Gotham. Joker begins his rampage by cutting the throat of his therapist and proceeding to fatally gas the entirety of a talk show audience with his Joker toxins, causing them to die a slow death as they laugh themselves to death. To goad Batman into coming after him, Joker continues his rampage into an amusement park, commanding one of his robotic dolls to blow itself up in the tracks of a rollercoaster as a distraction, attempting to use a young child as a Human Shield, murdering a cop for his gun, and eventually devolving to randomly shooting innocents in his way while cackling. After Batman snaps his neck and paralyzes him, the Joker tries to pressure Batman into killing him, and when that fails, the Joker defiantly snaps his own neck the rest of the way anyways and dies with a wide smile on his face, intending to frame Batman for his own death, proclaiming he'll meet Batman in Hell. Even in old age, the Joker is still a master of murderous acts meant primarily to amuse himself, and is motivated by his twisted obsession with his eternal arch-rival, dying with pride that he drove Batman off the edge.
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood: The Joker once again defines himself as a sadistic lunatic. Joker opens up the film by brutally beating the young Jason Todd, the second Robin, to a bloody pulp with a crowbar, before leaving him to die in an explosion he sets off. After Joker is released by a reluctant Black Mask from Arkham Asylum to kill Red Hood, Joker demonstrates his random violence by slitting the throat of one of his guards and shooting the other four dead, and soon after backstabs Black Mask by gagging him and the members of both his and Red Hood's gang, intending to burn them all alive for the purpose of getting Red Hood's attention. Once it's revealed Red Hood is in fact a resurrected Jason Todd and Batman turns the tides against Red Hood in the final confrontation, Joker tries to pin Batman down for the purpose of dying with both his arch-rival and Red Hood in an exploding building, absolutely ecstatic that he gets to die getting everything he wants. Even the hardened kingpin Black Mask is wary of the Joker, and Batman himself reveals he contemplates killing the Joker every day of his life for the clown's atrocities, only relenting to prevent himself from becoming just like those he opposes. As true to his darker interpretations, the Joker was a psychopath motivated by random whims at best, and a desire to hurt Batman at worst.
  • Justice League: Gods And Monsters Chronicles: Harley Quinn, as she appears in the "Twisted" short, stands in stark contrast to her mainstream portrayal. A psychopathic Serial Killer, Harley Quinn abducts civilians before mutilating and killing them, making "toys" out of their mangled corpses. When Batman rescues a teenage girl Harley kidnapped, she tries to kill them both. During their fight, Batman comes across a makeshift "family" of the people Harley has murdered, including a young boy.
  • Superman: Doomsday: In this Animated Adaptation of The Death of Superman, Toyman, a psychopath with an unhealthy obsession with children, is the most repulsive villain in the film, despite being a secondary villain. After Superman seemingly dies, a crime wave hits Metropolis and Toyman uses a giant robot spider to rob banks, then uses the robot to take a school bus full of children hostage and threatens to drop the bus off a building if the cops don't let him keep the money he stole. Lois Lane manages to save most of the kids, but a robot toy on the bus prevents her and one of the children from leaving. Seeing that most of the children he kidnapped have escaped, Toyman attacks Lois and the child. Toyman's robot throws the bus off the building with Lois and the child on board. Lois and the child are saved by a seemingly returned Superman—really a Superman clone—who easily defeats and captures Toyman. Toyman quickly escapes from the police and attacks a day care center. The police manage to subdue him, but not before Toyman kills a 4-year-old girl. Upon hearing this, the Superman clone becomes enraged and confronts the recently recaptured Toyman. Toyman complains that Superman is violating his rights and the Superman clone responds by dropping Toyman to his death. Toyman was such a vile excuse for a human being, that after dealing with him, the Superman clone snapped and went from a decent hero to a Knight Templar.
  • Superman Unbound: Brainiac, a Control Freak and genocidal psychopath on a galactic scale, seeks knowledge and feels the best to do that is to shrink and then steal a major city from a planet and then destroy the planet. He stole Kandor from Krypton, not bothering to blow up Krypton because he knew that Krypton would soon be destroyed by natural causes. Then he attacks another planet, again shrinking and stealing a city and then uses a device that causes the planet's Sun to go Nova, thus killing the remaining inhabitants on the planet. Brainiac also sends his drones to the planets he is attacking and the drones proceed to kill random inhabitants of the planet. He later steals Metropolis and tries to destroy Earth in a similar manner. He also tortures Superman for information and tries to experiment on Supergirl.

DC Showcase shorts
  • DC Showcase: Jonah Hex: Madame Lorraine is a seductress who makes a practice of enticing men and luring them into her clutches. Once she has them, Lorraine coldly shoots them dead, takes their money, and has her flunkies dump their bodies in a mine shaft. Lorraine comes into conflict with Jonah Hex after she kills one of his bounties and attempts to repeat the process on him. Once Hex forces Lorraine to show him where his bounty's body is, Lorraine shows him into the mine shaft, where the decaying bodies of all the men—at least 15 victims—Lorraine has killed are seen.
  • Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam: Black Adam is presented here without any of his more redeemable traits. Once chosen as the Earth's savior, Adam's power consumed him to the point where he considered himself nothing less than a god, forcing Shazam to cast him out in a far point in space. Upon coming to Earth, the very first thing Adam does is redirect his impact path into an inhabited parking lot, before seeking out and intending to kill Shazam's next candidate Billy Batson. Throughout his appearance, Adam shows glorification in exercising his own power over living beings, attempting to flood all of Fawcett City as a distraction and taking a hostage to force Billy to depower himself—later trying to kill the hostage anyways—while relating his supremacist philosophies to Billy. Once he's beaten, Adam contents himself with smugly goading Billy into a Not So Different position. Adam would willingly hurt anyone and anything so long as the result would be to his benefit.

Others

  • The Batman: The Joker was once a man who wanted to make people laugh, but after he fell into a vat of chemicals, he became an insane, murderous Monster Clown and Batman's Arch-Enemy. Devoid of any empathy, Joker commits crimes he views as "jokes" at the expense of Gotham. Terrible things he's done include poisoning people with his deadly laughing gas; putting people in various death traps; torturing Detective Ethan Bennett for hours and causing Bennett's mutation into Clayface; impersonating Batman and gassing people for minor crimes; using Bane's venom to go on a rampage; attempting to drop a teenage boy into a vat of chemicals; frequently mistreating his henchmen and his girlfriend Harley Quinn, as well as abandoning them to be arrested or even to die; and filling the abandoned tunnels and mine shafts beneath Gotham with miles of dynamite to collapse the city to oblivion. That he manages to qualify despite being toned down to all get-out is a testament to how twisted a character Joker is.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
    • Psycho Pirate from season 1's "Inside the Outsiders!" is a sadistic supervillain who increases his own strength by feeding off the negative emotions of others, which leads to their minds being destroyed. Kidnapping three teenage superheroes, the Outsiders, for this very purpose, Psycho Pirate uses a dream machine to invade their minds and mentally torture them with their worst fears and angers. Attacking Katana's mind first, Psycho Pirate forces her to relive her master's death, then tries to manipulate her into striking down her master's killer in her rage, and later tries to trick Black Lightning into showing the same hate and prejudice toward others that people have often shown him. When Batman saves the two kids, Psycho Pirate invades Metamorpho's mind, convinces him his friends have turned against him, then has him try to kill them. After Batman seemingly saves the Outsiders, Psycho Pirate tries one last time to torture Batman by assaulting his mind with the dream that the Outsiders were painfully killed by Pirate, attempting to force Batman to give into his hatred for the villain. Though only appearing in one episode, Psycho Pirate's sadism, victim choice, and powers themselves made him stick out as one of the truly monstrous characters in the series, being such a vile being that he is one of the few people Batman shows nothing but disgust and contempt for.
    • Chun Yull, known exclusively as the Faceless Hunter, is the The Heavy of season 2's Starro Invasion Arc. Originally from the Saturnian moon Klaramar, the Hunter was an outcast among his people for being a violent hunter, and in retaliation, the Hunter made a deal with the planet-devouring being Starro to destroy his homeworld in exchange for being Starro's herald. Spending the following years mind controlling the populations of entire planets then offering them up for Starro to devour, the Hunter arrives on Earth to continue his work; however, he is forced to flee when the heroes of the Earth destroy Starro. Kidnapping the hero B'Wana Beast, the Hunter painfully forces him to use his powers to create a monstrous creature the Hunter plans to use to destroy the Earth, before moving on to the rest of the universe. Though the Hunter is beaten, B'Wana Beast is forced to sacrifice himself to save the Earth from the Hunter's machinations. Cruel and homicidal for no defined reason, the Faceless Hunter stood out as a surprisingly dark villain for this fairly lighthearted series.
  • Beware the Batman: Anarky is Batman's Arch-Enemy, the most recurring villain in the series, and a far cry from his comic version. An utter madman who views himself and Batman as two kings on a chess board, one representing order and peace, the other chaos and destruction, Anarky commits all of his crimes out of a pathological love for attention and a sheer enjoyment for being evil. In his first appearance, Anarky grants two petty crooks high-tech weaponry before sending them on a rampage through Gotham, after which he rigs two gondolas filled with people to explode unless Batman can stop them in time. Later, Anarky pits Batman and the League of Assassins against each other as part of a plan to unleash a lethal plague onto all of Gotham, and attempts to bomb a populated park filled with police officers while trying to frame Batman. At the end of the series, Anarky makes corrupting District Attorney Harvey Dent into evil his personal pet project, and successfully drives Dent to institute martial law in Gotham while threatening the lives of all those who stand in his way. In the sequel tie-in comic, Anarky unlocks every door in Gotham City for a single night, then tries to spur all of the citizens into a panic-induced riot that he hopes will tear Gotham apart in the ultimate display of chaos. Though soft-spoken and eerily polite, Anarky is the most wicked foe Batman faced in the series, having no empathy, no mercy, and no motive at all except his basic whims.
  • Gen¹³: The Movie: Ivana Baiul is the headmaster of an academy that invites what it considers the best and brightest into its ranks. However Baiul knocks out the students and performs dangerous experiments on them every night, hoping to give them super powers and create an army of super soldiers, that she will use to overthrow the US government. When one of them, Caitlin Fairchild, develops super powers, Baiul wants her taken, either dead or alive, so she can run more experiments to create more superpowered beings. Baiul captures Fairchild's friends and has them tortured. When military aircraft arrive to investigate her base, Baiul orders them to be shot down. After the military forces get through her defenses, Baiul orders one of her troops to blow up the base. When he refuses, noting it would kill several of their own men in the process, Baiul kills him and activates the bombs after she escapes. Baiul's main henchman, Matthew Callaghan, believes the government killed his parents, but at the end of the film it is revealed that Baiul herself experimented on and killed his parents.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series:
    • Atrocitus, the Big Bad of the first arc, is the leader of the Red Lantern Corps and lacks any of his comic book self's more redeeming qualities. While he lost his homeworld to the Manhunters, his obsession with destroying the Guardians of the Universe destroyed any noble intentions he may have had. Starting the Red Lantern Corps, Atrocitus caused many worlds to be caught in war, resulting in millions of lives needlessly lost, in order to find new recruits. Seeing Razer's potential being blocked by the love for his wife, Illana, Atrocitus murders her, a fact he eventually reveals this with sadistic glee. Under his orders, the Red Lanterns lure several Frontier Lanterns into traps where they are murdered. When Hal Jordan and Kilowog escape with Frontier Lantern Shyir Rev to his homeworld, Atrocitus proclaims to the inhabitants they are "under the Red Lanterns' protection", which involves handing the Green Lanterns over or he will set off a bomb that will destroy the planet. When they fight back, he allows the detonation to occur, though the people are saved, Shyir Rev sacrifices himself. Attempting to reach Oa to kill the Guardians, he hires Drusa to take control of Aya and board the Intercerptor, he critically injures Salaak and brutalizes Hal before being overpowered and defeated. He makes his return in "Love Is a Battlefield", where he's given a chance at freedom if he can defeat and kill Carol Ferris, agreeing when he learns she's the woman Hal loves. Hal intervenes, though Atrocitus indirectly murders the Star Sapphire Ghia'ta, promising Hal that Carol will be next. Referred to by Aya as the "champion of hate", Atrocitus demonstrates how rage and obsession makes one worse than those they fight.
    • The Anti-Monitor, the next Big Bad, is an omnicidal machine obsessed with nothing less than the obliteration of everything in the universe that isn't himself. Built to be a knowledge-gathering robot, the Anti-Monitor quickly realized his superiority to all life in the cosmos, and was banished to another dimension soon after his proclamation to destroy everything in his path. The Anti-Monitor proceeded to turn trillions of planets in this alternate dimension into antimatter which he then consumed to make himself stronger, and, though making a deal with the last remaining planet's population to not consume them should they build him a portal back to his own dimension, the Anti-Monitor drained their sun of nearly all its life before he left, ensuring that the planet would still die soon after he was gone. Once back in his home dimension, the Anti-Monitor reactivates the Manhunter robots across the universe and orders them to kill everything they see, and, when confronted by Hal Jordan, the Anti-Monitor tries to force him to watch as first his friends, then entire worlds, are consumed before him. Even when beaten, the Anti-Monitor desperately tries to strike a deal with Aya to assist her in her plans to destroy reality itself to save his own hide. A megalomaniac who couldn't stand anything living except himself, the Anti-Monitor's narcissism was only matched by his petty sadism.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Brainiac 1.0 was a menace from the past who quickly became one of the most dangerous foes the Legion has ever faced. Brainiac 1.0 was introduced in a flashback, where he shrinks and steals the city of Kandor from Krypton. Within Kandor was a power source that was stabilizing Krypton, but with this power source gone Krypton was soon destroyed. Brainiac 1.0 himself was destroyed long ago, but his programming resided within Brainiac 5, cut off from the other systems, waiting for a chance to be released. This chance came when Brainiac 5 accessed Brainiac 1.0's programming to gain knowledge to defeat Imperiex. Though Brainiac 1.0's knowledge was useful in defeating Imperiex, every time he used it Brainiac 1.0 was able to gain more control. Brainiac 1.0 slowly corrupted Brainiac 5, until eventually he took control of Brainiac 5's body. Then Brainiac quickly betrays Imperiex—who had helped Brainiac 1.0 take over Brainiac 5's bodykilling him because he was no longer useful to him. Brainiac then proceeds with his plan to bring the entire universe under his control, by transforming all living beings in the universe into streams of data. After digitizing some planets, Brainiac returns to his home planet Colu and reprograms all the inhabitants there to serve as his army and aid in his quest to digitize the universe.
  • Teen Titans: While Lighter and Softer than the comic, whenever these two show up, the tone darkens significantly.
  • Vixen: Benatu Eshu is a ruthless Zambesi warlord and season 2's Big Bad. Desiring the Totems of Zambesi, Eshu led a raid on Mari's village when she was an infant, massacring scores of innocents, upon learning that the village possessed the Anansi Amulet; among those killed was Mari's father, who Eshu callously executed when he attempted to stand against the madman. In the present, Eshu arrives in Detroit under the guise of an ambassador and continues his quests to find the totems. To achieve his goals, Eshu bribes a thief into stealing the Fire Totem for him, then promptly kills the man once he's no longer of any use. With the Fire Totem in his possession, Eshu attempts to kill Mari to steal the Anansi Amulet. Failing in this, Eshu goes on a city-wide rampage in a fit of homicidal rage, burning down a massive portion of Detroit in an effort to draw Mari out. When Mari and her allies attempt to stop him, Eshu incinerates Mari's sister Kuasa right before her eyes before trying to kill Mari herself. Even when he is stripped of the power of the Fire Totem, Eshu continues his attempt to murder Mari in order to steal her amulet and harness its powers for his own purposes.

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