Terry: I know about all your other major enemies, but you never mentioned him. He was the worst, wasn't he?
Bruce: It wasn't a popularity contest. He was a psychopath. A monster.Similar to the comics, DC animated works feature some Complete Monsters.
- 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: Besides The Joker from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (mentioned above), the series itself has one in Blight, AKA Derek Powers, a Corrupt Corporate Executive and the Arch-Enemy of Terry. In order to test his latest chemical weapon, Powers purposefully infected Harry Tully, a member of his staff, with it. When Tully leaks the information to Terry’s father, Warren, Powers had Warren murdered to cover it up. Later, Powers sold the weapon to a Kaznian diplomat who wanted to wipe out resistance on his border. To promote his product, Powers showed the diplomat pictures of Tully’s gradual death at the hands of the chemical. Other crimes include committing industrial sabotage, exiling his son Paxton and causing Paxton to be corrupt and treacherous like him, and polluting the ocean by dumping radioactive waste into it. He played a part in Mr. Freeze's tragic demise as well; he used Freeze as a guinea pig to cure his own condition and when Freeze wanted revenge, Blight brutally crippled Freeze with his radiation. He’s also responsible for the creation of the super villain, Shriek, who he hired to assassinate Bruce Wayne for getting in the way of his plans to bulldoze Gotham's historical district for profit. There's also his response to Terry's use of You Killed My Father as a hint to Batman's real identity:
"Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?"
- Justice League:
- John Dee 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 super powers, and burying Hawkgirl alive.
- Lord Orm attempted to kill his brother, Aquaman, steal his brother’s throne, and use an Atlantean super weapon to kill every surface-dweller on the planet. His worst act is the attempted murder of his infant nephew. Not only did he try to throw both his brother and nephew into a volcano, he purposefully arranged it so that Aquaman would be Forced to Watch as his son died.
- Mongul, the Evil Overlord of War World, forced warriors to fight to the death in gladiatorial matches in order to take his people’s minds off his oppressing them. When Superman refuses to kill the former reigning champion, Draaga, Mongul threatens to destroy Draaga’s planet if Superman doesn’t allow Draaga to kill him in their 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 to turn earth into a second War World. Superman was eventually able to free himself from the dream world, but the emotional pain of doing so was enough to make Superman actually try to kill Mongul before returning to his senses.
- 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 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."
- Batman Bad Blood: Talia al Ghul, the new leader of the League of Assassins, is a Control Freak of the highest order. Her ultimate plan is is to use Bruce Wayne's technology to brainwash the world leaders attending his tech summit, in order to expand the League of Assassins' influence over the planet. Talia assembles a team of villains under the command of The Heretic, the adult clone of her and Bruce's Child by Rape Damian Wayne, and orders them to capture Bruce so his mind could be broken with Mad Hatter's machine; Mad Hatter has been forced to cooperate by means on an Explosive Leash. Later, Talia sends Heretic to attack Wayne Enterprises in order to steal technology necessary for her plan, near-fatally wounding Lucius Fox in the assault. When Heretic breaks down and begs for Talia to love him as a mother, and wishing to have Damian's memories, she shoots him in the head for disobeying her orders regarding Damian. As the brainwashing is taking place, she orders a mind-controlled Bruce to shoot Dick Grayson and their son Damian dead, coldly proclaiming that she and Bruce could always "make more".
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Age has not dulled The Joker's Ax-Crazy tendencies. Joker was catatonic for a decade until Batman returned, which snapped him out of it and resulted in Joker going on a massive killing spree. Joker kills his therapist with a broken coffee mug and then kills a studio audience at a talk show with poisonous gas. He then tries to sell poisoned cotton candy to kids at an amusement park. After Batman foils that scheme, Joker takes a gun and begins to shoot random civilians at the amusement park. After Batman defeats Joker in combat, Joker commits suicide and attempts to frame Batman for his death.
- Batman: Under the Red Hood: The Joker is once again presented as an Ax-Crazy Psychopath. He beats Batman's young sidekick Jason Todd with a crowbar, leaves him broken and battered in a warehouse and then proceeds to blow up the warehouse. Later in the film, Joker kills four of Black Mask's mooks for no reason, after Black Mask (very reluctantly) freed Joker from Arkham. Joker then attempts to kill both the Red Hood's and Black Mask's gangs by covering them with gasoline and using a lighter to try to set them on fire. Also throughout the movie, Joker taunts Batman about Jason Todd's death.
- 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.
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox: Eobward Thawne (AKA Professor Zoom) is the Reverse-Flash and opposes everything Barry Allen stands for. Thawne hires various members of Flash's Rogues Gallery to break into the Flash museum. Thawne straps bombs to the villains he hired after they defeat Flash, planning to blow up the Flash museum and several surrounding blocks, just so the Flash will be tormented knowing that several innocent people will die with him. After his initial defeat, Thawne mocks Flash over the fact his mother died. After Flash uses his speed to travel back in time and save his mother, the world is sent to a twisted alternate state, in which a war between Atlantis and the Amazons has caused massive devastation. Thawne delights in Barry's agony at the new world and enjoys the carnage as it makes his nemesis suffer. When Barry tries to fix the realities, Thawne tries to stop him, meaning he is willing to cause and allow the deaths of countless innocents, as well as himself, solely to satisfy his hatred of Barry.
- 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 SerialKiller, 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.
- Justice League: Throne of Atlantis: Black Manta is the main assistant to Orm. Black Manta readily assists Orm with his plan to start a war between Atlantis and the rest of the world, by slaughtering Atlantean civilians in sea craft that is disguised to look like a US military sub. Near the end of the film, Black Manta revealed he has been manipulating Orm into starting a genocidal war with the surface world, claiming that the war was his idea. Black Manta ultimately plans to kill Orm and take the riches of Atlantis for himself.
- Justice League Vs Teen Titans: Trigon is both Raven's father and a powerful demon lord. Trigon met Raven's mother after she joined a cult that worshiped Trigon, with the cult managing to summon him. Trigon took the form of a handsome man and Raven's mom was taken with him. They retire to the bed chamber for sex, where Trigon reveals his true form and rapes her. Raven's mom escapes the cult and seeks protection in the peaceful dimension of Azarath. Raven is born here, but is treated as an outcast due to her demonic heritage. As a teen, Raven becomes curious about her origins and accidentally summons Trigon. Trigon then proceeds to destroy Azarath, killing countless people in the process. Raven manages to seal Trigon in a crystal, but Trigon uses his demon minions to enact a plan to free himself. He uses his demons to possess the Justice League and threatens to murder all of Raven's friends, forcing Raven to free him. After being freed, Trigon plans to destroy Earth, just as he did with Azarath.
- 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 is a Control Freak and genocidal psychopath on a galactic scale. Brainiac 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 (he didn't bother blowing 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.
- 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.
- 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 half, is dedicated to the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps, having many of them murdered by his Red Lantern followers. First showing his ruthlessness in ordering a colony world full of innocent civilians destroyed, Atrocitus later revealed he had destroyed worlds to fill survivors with rage and recruit them as Red Lanterns. Unlike his comics counterpart, a Tragic Villain at worst and an Anti-Hero at best, Atrocitus in the show delighted over the pain he caused innocents and took sadistic pleasure in his actions. Even though he himself had once lost a homeworld, he gloated over inflicting the same agony on others like Razer.
- 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, 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 body),killing 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, so they serve as his army and aid in his quest to digitize the universe.
- Teen Titans: Slade, one of the Big Bads, was a cold, manipulative criminal mastermind. Slade's main goal throughout the series was to find himself an apprentice whom he could mold into being just as cruel and ruthless as he was. First targeting Robin, Slade came up with various schemes to test the Boy Wonder's mettle before finally infecting Robin's friends with nanobots that would destroy them from the inside out should Robin not follow Slade's every command. When his plans for Robin were thwarted, Slade next turned his attention to Terra. Taking advantage of her status as an outsider who would never be accepted because of her destructive powers, Slade manipulated her into joining and befriending the Titans, betraying them and finally trying to kill them. After Terra finds herself in over her head while fighting the Titans and retreats, Slade physically abuses her for defying his orders. When Terra tries to quit her apprenticeship, Slade reveals that the suit he gave her to enhance her powers also gave him complete control over her body and vowed that he would never let her go. Though Slade dies when Terra rebels against him, he is eventually resurrected by the demonic Omnicidal Maniac, Trigon, to act as the demon's dragon. Slade took a vicious pleasure in his work towards the ensuring the apocalypse, mind raping Raven with visions of her destiny as the Anti Christ and selling out all of humanity to Trigon in exchange for Trigon giving him back his soul. Even when Slade rebels against Trigon, it isn't out of altruism, but because Trigon refused to honor their bargain.