Smug Snake: Comic Books

  • The 4th Hobgoblin was a B-rate villain who stole the costume and gear of one of the more formidable foes in Spider-Man history, and eventually the original Hobgoblin came out of retirement to kill the guy with the 7 page losing streak for his wannabe aspirations.
  • Jack Kirby's Fourth World mythos: Desaad, Darkseid's majordomo/torturer, and Glorious Godfrey, Darkseid's PR man, who tends to show up as a very-punchable televangelist or political news commentator.
  • Kanjar Ro, a Silver Age foe of the Justice League of America and "intergalactic entrepreneur", fits this trope.
    • He has quite the Distaff Counterpart (only you know, good looking) in Marvel Comics with fellow space pirate Nebula, self proclaimed granddaughter of certified Magnificent Bastard Thanos, who has taken great pleasure by making her his personal punching bag... More than once.
  • The Wizard from Fantastic Four thinks very highly of himself, but really he is just a 4th rate Dr. Doom wannabe with lamer motives, lamer tech and way fewer accomplishments. He is dumb enough attack the Fantastic Four, a group that defeats Dr. Doom and Galactus on a regular basis, by forming a group called the Frightful Four and having the Trapster, a loser villain with a glue gun who used to be called "Paste Pot Pete", as a member.
    • One of his later appearances involves him breaking into the Baxter Building with a new Frightful Four during a period where the Fantastic Four are suffering a downturn in their public fortunes and aren't expecting him, giving them a beat-down, and then broadcasting it all over the world to gloat about it. Yes, that's correct — his 'greatest triumph' is essentially a case of kicking someone when they're already down. And then Reed essentially lets him do it so that he'll leave without threatening Reed's children, and so that the Four can deal with him later.
  • Straddling the line between Comics and Literature, Ysanne Isard of the X-Wing Series. She's not quite as good as a Magnificent Bastard, she's quite manipulative, she's the head of Imperial Intelligence and aware of the various things being planned, and many of her plans seem to hinge on letting the New Republic win an Imperial planet. Brentaal IV, she put a hopelessly incompetent admiral in charge so that opinion would turn against Sate Pestage and she could have him assassinated; in the process the planet was lost and the best Imperial pilot since Vader switched sides. Coruscant, she infected with a nasty virus and left to the New Republic. The New Republic found a cure. Then, well, here's a passage where another of her people defects.
    "Madam Director Ysanne Isard, I regret not being able to bring you this message personally, but not that much. In the time I have been associated with you I have found you to be sociopathically self-centered, prone to irrational and impulsive reactions to situations, and prey to a preference for appearance over substance. I have no doubt these affectations were seen as skills by the late Emperor, and indeed may have enhanced your ability to comply with his orders, but by no means are these traits that make for great, or even adequate leadership."
    • The cure was the whole idea. She planned for that, hoping to bleed the New Republic for the cure, and conquered the planet with the cure! She just failed to anticipate the New Republic beating her out, and the plan to bleed them out.. being a Gambit Roulette in itself.
  • Gladstone Gander, as created by Carl Barks. Though not actively evil, he is the biggest douchebag in the Disney comics and openly embraces the opinion that his improbably high luck makes him better than anyone else in the world. He especially loves deriding his cousin Donald Duck, taunting him into contests that Donald can't win and often stealing Daisy away by making him look look bad in the process. It's only a very rare, deliberate attempt to use his luck to help others that save him from being a total rat's ass, and we can tell he's doing it largely so those others will admire him.
  • Morlish Veed of Star Wars: Legacy is a brilliant military leader, but his political skills leave a lot to be desired (largely due to overconfidence brought on from aforesaid military victories). Lucky for him that his girlfriend is a genuine Magnificent Bastard - or maybe not, if she ever decides she doesn't need him anymore.
    • Actually, they turned on each other. Later, as Morrigan Corde, she stunned him, told him that Nyna Calixte sends her regards, and fired a killing shot point-blank in his head. What a major relief that was.
  • The Controllers of the DC Universe become these in the prelude of Blackest Night. Their egos rival those of the Guardians' but where the Guardians succeeded in upholding order in the universe (not so much recently but you get the idea) the Controllers' every attempt has failed miserably. During their expedition to retrieve the orange light of greed they make boasts about being as powerful as the Guardians themselves. Then Larfleeze eats them.
  • Grayven, the 3rd son of Darkseid, who is as treacherous as Desaad, as prideful as Darkseid himself...and less competent than Kalibak. Nearly every scheme he masterminds fails miserably yet he still truly believes it is his destiny to overthrow Darkseid. Let's put it this way: Darkseid holds Kalibak in higher regard than Grayven.
  • Roque Ja/Rock Jaw from Bone. He hates rat creatures, dragons, and the valley people, and insists on knowing what side of the war the Bones are on, saying everyone must be on one side, even though he appears not to be on a side himself. When asked about this, he just tells them, "You are hardly in a position to be asking questions..." and in his first appearance, appears to be a villain since he is taking the Bones to Kingdok and the Hooded One just because he expects a reward. But, then, Kingdok humiliates him for no reason, prompting Rock Jaw to attack him to the point where everyone thinks he's dead. Then, he acts like a villain again, but this time it's only because he has made a deal with the Hooded One that benefits him. In his final appearance, he is one of Thorn, Fone, and Bartelby's obstacles on their way to The Crown of Horns. However, he ultimately lets them go by uninterrupted this time, probably because he might actually want them to end the war and stop the Lord of the Locusts. This, and the fact that the Hooded One has already freed the Locust herself, meaning there would be no reward and therefore no reason for turning them in. So, yeah, he hates everyone and only acts for his own interests.
  • Rawlins from The Punisher MAX.
    • To some extent, Nicky Cavella as well.
  • Norman Osborn, particularly in Dark Reign. He's a successful Chessmaster and Manipulative Bastard, yet cannot roll with the unexpected, and is—thanks to his Green Goblin persona—his own worst enemy. He may have successfully capitalised on his Villain with Good Publicity status, but that doesn't change the fact that he's still irrational, hugely arrogant, misogynistic, and prone to Villainous Breakdowns at the worst possible moments. He's able to effectively displace the real Avengers and replace them with his own team, but simply cannot hold it together for long. He fails to control Dr. Doom, is used by Loki for his own ends, relies increasingly on brute force to keep his team intact, and is ultimately humiliatingly defeated by Captain America and Iron Man.
  • Incredible Hulk villain The Leader is a textbook Insufferable Genius with an ego the size of a planet. Unlike many of the villains on this list he is capable of learning from his mistakes, and has been the Big Bad of multiple arcs, but his arrogance and obsession with the Hulk continue to undermine his plans, no matter how hard he tries to rectify that.
  • AIQ Squared in All Fall Down is this to absolutely everyone.
  • Mongul from Superman was inspired by Thanos from Marvel Comics who in turn was inspired by Darkseid though Mongul comes off as a vaguely pathetic shadow of Darkseid. While he is as strong as Superman and very intelligent, he is too petty and shortsighted for grandscale galactic conquests. His constant sneering, combined with his repeated, humiliating defeats at Superman's hands result in a thoroughly un-magnificent bastard.
    • Nevertheless, Alan Moore manages to evolve Mongul into a Magnificent Bastard in The Man Who Has Everything.
  • Watchmen has Ozymandias, a rather competent example.
  • Zipi y Zape: Peloto, a particularly repulsive one.
  • Dr. Anthony Rune from The Maze Agency. Convinced he is everyone's intellectual superior, his downfall when Gabe and Jen unravel his plot to murder his wife is particularly satisfying.
  • During their brief visit to 1907, the Runaways encountered The Swell, a self-aggrandizing slumlord with a "lucky" walking stick and a small group of rogues called the Street Arabs. His reign came to an abrupt end when he plotted to sell the Runaways to local supervillain group The Sinners. Unfortunately for him, the Sinners were actually run by the Yorkes, the parents of late Runaway Gertrude Yorkes. A fight ensued, and the Sinners decided to punish The Swell by laying waste to his Street Arabs and then blasting off the head of his walking stick, which presumably stripped him of whatever power he actually had.
  • Doctor Doom always reminds everyone that his superior intellect surpasses Reed's.
    • It should be pointed out that Doom has actually proven his abilities surpass Reed's in at least two regards: he once saved the life of the X-Man Kitty Pryde when Reed himself was unable to, and unlike Reed often uses his technological innovations to better the lives of people. Granted, only people under his rule, but still, the trope is named Reed Richards Is Useless for a reason.
      • Another point where Doom surpasses Reed is the fact that Doom can in fact be incredibly charming and charismatic when he wants to be, even charming Storm of the X-Men on at least one occasion. Reed, on the other hand, is often portrayed is being aloof or dismissive even to his closest friends at times. Doom will snub you on purpose. Reed doesn't even notice he's doing it.
  • Infinite Crisis Big Bad Alex Luthor is of the type that is possible to mistake for a Magnificent Bastard at first glance. An Alternate Universe counterpart of Lex Luthor with Reality Warper abilities and a serious bone to pick with how The DCU works, the man gets four whole miniseries leading up to the Crisis Crossover proper detailing his massive scheme, with pawns ranging from a frail old woman all the way up to The Spectre himself. In the name of remodeling the universe into a "perfect" one of his own design, he rallies almost every supervillain that ever lived behind him, wipes out all Earthly magic, and even has planets moved from their very axes. Yet in the end, his scheme gets too bloated even for him to control, and he ends up making a lot of classic villain mistakes: he doesn't count on how much DC's heroes will resist his "perfect world" pitch, he lets outside forces break through to his patsies (and they listen), he doesn't keep his Dragon on a short enough leash, and in general sorely underestimates the power of Heroic Resolve. His ultimate fate? Gunned down like a street punk in the slums of Metropolis by his main-universe counterpart and The Joker, who knew he would fail the whole time and were just waiting to strike until he did.