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Anime and Manga
- Even though there are many cool Dragon Ball, special mention goes to Goku Black form Dragon Ball Super. From his calm and cool demeanor, his faux-polite mannerisms, his unique and cool powers and the way he is smug about it, and his speech about how he is going to eradicate humanity for justice or how superior he is to all the mortals. As much of a colossal bastard as he is, the way he acts easily makes him one of the coolest villains in the entire Dragon Ball franchise. Sadly his manga incarnation isn't really as received as his anime counterpart.
- In a similar vein to above, Kira Yoshikage from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable. He is cool and collected, but incredibly twisted in the brilliantly written way that Horihiko Araki writes his villains. He manages to turn down the stakes of the series while keeping the back half of the show tense, fun, and enjoyable. And while he isn't nearly as hammy as DIO, he has plenty of both Crowning Moment of Funny and Crowning Moment of Awesome. Not mentioning the amazing final fight against him, beginning with him on top of the world and ending in him getting done the dirtiest of all of the main Jojo villains, even more so than Kars. You'll never look at the Mona Lisa the same way again.
- The Rogues (longtime Flash adversaries) are some of the coolest antagonists in comics. When written at their best, they are complex, even sympathetic bad guys. These days, they're encroaching on Anti-Villain territory, especially with the recent Rogues' Rebellion miniseries.
- Lex Luthor not only puts up with someone biologically superior to his race in every way, but has in many cases guided the rest of villains, has an awesome suit, and an unbreakable will. He's probably one of the most powerful earth level villains there is.
- Darkseid is another great one. A God hellbent on destroying all free will, with Omega Beams and pretty much all Kryptonian powers. He's also got a planet of people who fear and worship him.
- The Joker. Is there any more that really needs to be said here?
- Thanos is my favorite Marvel villain. A god-like alien from the planet Titan who is madly in love with Death and would do anything to impress her. He can outwit nearly anyone save for Reed Richards or Doctor Doom and can easily go toe to toe with any of Earth's mightiest heroes. He is consistently a threat to the Marvel Universe and nearly destroyed it multiple times. He's just an awesome villain.
Film - Animated
- Miles Axlerod from Cars 2. He's such a cleverly-written plot-twist villain that serves as an antithesis to Mater!
- Gush about Disney Villains here:
- Chernabog from the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence of Fantasia, for this troper at least, is the perfect personification of evil in the animated medium. He never utters a single line, yet has instilled fear into many tropers and is considered one of Disney's greatest villains. Torturing his own minions for his amusement, summoning the spirits of the dead to dance for him, and being driven back only by the ringing of holy bells and the approaching dawn (And even then, only temporarily), Chernabog was evil itself in its most frightening form.
- Prince Hans from Frozen. His plan was diabolical, his actions were frightening, but the best part was that he not just fooled Anna, but all of us into thinking he was nice and charming. He puts on such a good charade and appeared so caring and sympathetic to the others that it comes off as a total shock to us the moment he outs himself, even upon repeat viewings. That was good villainy.
- Although most people gush over Maleficent, in this troper's opinion, the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, is and always will be the best Disney Villain of all time. She always manages to terrify the audience, whether in her dark, Coldly Hammy form as the Queen, or in her Ax-Crazy, Laughing Mad form as the Witch. She pretty much set the standards for every Disney villain (including Maleficent), and possibly villains in general, to follow. Her movie was released all the way back in 1937 and she still leaves a huge impact on anyone who watches the movie. That, my friends, is evil done right.
- Hello? The Horned King anyone? He's so demonic and may very well be spawn from Hell itself, trying to destroy all of mankind!
- Kung Fu Panda 2: Lord Shen. He has a sympathetic, tragic backstory that could've been avoided if he had not acted in haste. In the present day, he's cold and depraved.
- It's a shame that Penguins of Madagascar didn't do so well in the box office, because Dave is easily one of Dreamworks' best villains. He's just so funny and hammy, it's impossible not to like him. Despite his insanity, he manages to be an extremely clever villain who spectacularly subverts Paper-Thin Disguise. It certainly helps his case that he has an extremely tragic backstory. And besides, octopuses are just plain awesome!
- Toy Story 3: Lotso. He's so dastardly, and cruel. Once sympathetic, but now cold and hard as steel.
Film - Live Action
- Any villain from the Star Wars movies. They are epic, ruthless, cruel, and yet so effective. And let's not forget the fact that they have both Christopher Lee and James Earl Jones.
- Freddy Krueger is most DEFINETLY one of the best horror villains out there! His monstorous, amusing, smart and Deadpan Snarker personality REALLY works well! I also like his glove! It's too bad he had to go through Villain Decay though...
- THE CREEPER!!! Omigosh, where do I START with this guy?! He has an awesome truck, awesome humor, awesome wings, awesome attitude... he practically OOZES awesomeness!!!
- Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th is also rather awesome, namely for his sympathetic backstory.
- The Shredder!!! A classic example of Love Makes You Evil. And he utterly dominates our heroes in the final fight. His on-screen presence is very threatening, helped very much by his theme song - Shredder's Suite.
- Loki from Thor. There's a good reason everyone says he has more fangirls than the hero, and not only that, but he is one of the best manipulative villains of all time, and his twist ending in the second Thor movie left everyone waiting, wondering, and soon to be theorizing more than the Reichenbach Fall.
- Dark Helmet from Spaceballs. He's prone to Breaking the Fourth Wall and being the Butt-Monkey, and is played by Rick Moranis. How can you get better than that?
- Theon Greyjoy from A Song of Ice and Fire. Betrays his oldest friend, murders two innocent kids when said friend's brothers escape... But to be fair, he grew up in a gilded cage, being disrespected by everyone around him and just wanted his dad to like him. Then he meets Ramsay Bolton and all is forgiven.
- Lord Foul the Despiser from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. A Chessmaster par excellence, this guy was a direct rival to God in the world he inhabits, and because he is imprisoned within the Arch of Time, he literally cannot be killed without destroying all of creation. In the first trilogy, he had already destroyed The Land once by forcing its greatest mage into a Despair Event Horizon and convincing him to cast a Fantastic Nuke spell on the entire continent. And that was all just in the background story. Throughout the series proper he manipulates everyone into doing exactly what he wants, even when they are aware that he's doing it. His machinations are so subtle that avoiding any of his obvious traps means you'll only step into a worse, less obvious trap. He is flawed, though, and those flaws are the only reason he gets brought down every time. And he has style. Lord Foul is truly a Worthy Opponent for heroes anywhere.
- Sol of Warrior Cats is an amazing villain. He's always cool and composed, and is very snarky. He also has delightfully satisfying plans, and is mysterious enough to merit any number of crazy guesses. He's one of the most unique, and interesting antagonists in the series, and that's saying something.
- Every single major villain of Worm is an absolute gem, but the best one is, without a doubt, the Villain Protagonist, Skitter... always doing the wrong things for the right reasons. She goes from being a bullied schoolgirl to a minor villain to a complete nightmare, being mentioned in the same breath as the most prominent heroes and villains in the world.
- Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development! Evil Matriarch, Rich Bitch and Chessmaster extraordinaire. She's a criminal mastermind who single-handedly decides and controls the fate of her entire family, as well as running the family business solely through manipulation, embezzlement and fraud. And she pulls it all off without even her children noticing for years, all while being piss-ass drunk.
Michael: And what do you need with one of Momís furs?
Lindsay: Iím... cold.
Lucille: So am I. No.
- Doctor Who:
- Missy, the female incarnation of the Master, has got to be the best incarnation of him to date! Cruel, silly, evil, funny, manipulative, charming and INCREDIBLY well-acted by Michelle Gomez, this "Queen of Evil" has it all!
- Her dragon, Seb, was also a lot of fun. Even though he only appeared for three episodes, he was funny and charming in his own way. He had plenty of funny moments, including his death, and I enjoyed how snarky he was.
- Once Upon a Time main villains/antagonists are awesome:
- From Season 1:
- Regina may be a frequent dog-kicker, but there's something so touching in her unwavering faith in Daniel and her other father's memory, and in her love for them. She is also a loving, responsible mother, one of the funniest Deadpan Snarker on the show, and her determined but illogical frantic assaults against all obstacles are very inspiring. She also has an awesome theme: . She's the evil queen, so she definitely counts as a villain. And she simply revels in being such!
- Then there is Mr Gold, the charmingly funny Affably Evil Magnificent Bastard who plays everyone like he would a fiddle. His name is actually Rumplestiltskin, and he does everything he does to find his son, but is also unwilling to compromise his power, the lust for which led him to abandon his son to begin with. And for all his self-loathing, he can't ever quite kick his nasty habits that lead to conflict between him and his loved ones.
- From Season 2:
- Captain Hook is the ultimate deconstruction of handsome devil. He is charming, polite, and does everything he does to get revenge after a horrible crime. He is lecherous, disrespectful, suffers from Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, and he subverts Would Not Hit a Girl twice in one episode. And yet through all this there is a definite tragic Death Seeker vibe to him, as though even he's miserable at how far he's fallen.
- Cora is a nice, beautiful, motherly woman who appears to be in her late fifties, early sixties. She's also a Stage Mom of hell who kills anyone if it can better her social standing, including children, is Really 700 Years Old, and is awfully cynical, but she is fairly sympathetic because she still loves her daughter in some way.
- From Season 3:
- From Season 1:
- T-bag from Prison Break. He's a nasty piece of work: a sociopathic sexual predator and a paedophile. But when you find out his back story, you can't help but feel sorry for that poor little boy. Which makes you hate him more, because you feel sorry for him! Great acting on the part of Robert Knepper.
- While many a show can claim to have an intelligent antagonist, few work as well as Farscape's Scorpius. No matter what the situation, he either has a plan or is able to come up with one on the fly. He's so good, he managed to convince the protagonists for nearly half a season that he was dead, and all the while he had gotten what he'd been after the previous season anyways. Not to mention the fact that he's a master manipulator, able to convince just about everyone but the Moya crew that he's on their side. He is one of the definitive Magnificent Bastards, and one of the most interesting antagonists ever filmed.
- The Governor from The Walking Dead enjoys holding gladiator style death fights, keeps a host of walker heads in a display case, manipulates those around him, has his own torture chamber, stabs his best friend, mercilessly decapitates a defenceless old man, coldly shoots his deceased surrogate daughter in the head, and completely destroys everything Rick worked so hard to accomplish, simply out of spite. Yet he's also an intelligent, charming and attractive badass, with a cool Eyepatch of Power.
- 39th Slayer. He hunts you down relentlessly through the entire game (of JtRH, the second game in the DROD franchise). He's indestructible (and even when the designers slipped and left in a way to kill him, he's right back in the next room!) His weapon of choice is a hook, and he's so deadly with it that even Beethro, One-Man Army smitemaster, runs rather than fight him. And that voice... for anyone who's ever played JtRH, it becomes the voice that haunts their nightmares... "Keep running, delver!"
- I've got two words right here; Master Xehanort. Good Lord, Master Xehanort! He's been everything from (Presumably) The Ace to (Definitely) a Badass Grandpa. His actions have shaped the entire fate of the World(Read; universe) for over the last ten years, permenately reshaping it. His existence has split into several others, each one just as threatening and formidable as the last. The greatest bit of it all? Every event, every action taken by himself or his Heartless and/or Nobody is interconnected. It's all one giant plot, and it's working. Xehanort and Xanatos should be tied for the Tropes they live.
- Can anyone say "Sovereign?" It's one of the largest ships in the entire galaxy, and it has firepower to match; of course it just settles for ramming straight into enemy fleets, WHICH WORKS. Even when it is defeated, it takes an ENTIRE FLEET and Commander Shepard's crew to put it down. And even then, it brings down multiple Alliance Ships with it. It even has ominous music to go with it.
- Wild Dog, from Time Crisis. He's probably one of the most indestructible villains of all time. He has his battle against the VSSE in every game, and whenever he's defeated, he blows himself up. But that's also a hint that he'll be back right away. He also has a very awesome Leitmotif.
- Albedo! From the video game Xenosaga, this guy is insane... FREAKING insane!!! The fact that he can regenerate his limbs, that slithery voice of his note , his cool E.S named Simeon... Everything about this guy is just COOL!!!
- Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 provided about 30% of the awesomeness of the game. He's got a number of traits to him. For one, because of the game's brilliant ECHO system which allows the player to talk to NPCs anytime without disrupting the gameplay, Jack will randomly phone you up to have a conversation about how much you suck, and because of how much of a colossal fucking asshole he is it's impossible to sit through his rambling without laughing your ass off while being disgusted at the same time. He also a ridiculously competent villain who has a tendency to change the atmosphere, but despite those conflicting qualities they're both written and timed in a way where they're used appropriately at all times without either ultimately overshadowing the other. He's a truly complete villain and a prime example of Love to Hate.
- There's one video game villain that caught my interest from the get-go and only went up from there. I'm talking about Bedman from the Guilty Gear series. His character design is unique; he's a a young, sleeping teenager strapped to a giant, demonic, and mechanical bed capable of dragging people into a nightmarish dream world and obliterating them from there. The damn bed itself is pretty much indestructible. Most of the characters in Xrd -Sign- are flat-out curbstomped by this dude, showing that he's as powerful as he is a creative character. Oh, and he's quite the Motor Mouth who says the most condescending but amusing things. That's quite the villain the people over at Arc System Works have brought to life.
- Marx from Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra. Clowns are scary. Bats are scary. So put them together, and you have a living reservoir of Nightmare Fuel! (And as if that wasn't enough, he also becomes a zombie. He has great battle music, a cool design (just look at those fantastic crystalline wings!), and a creepy Evil Laugh.
- Drawcia is easily the best thing about Kirby: Canvas Curse. A living painting of a ghost witch with a cloak that looks like a pair of bat wings, a terrifyingly psychotic Evil Laugh, an epic battle theme, and we're just scratching the surface. Drawcia rules!
- Kirby's Epic Yarn gives us another great villain in the form of Yin-Yarn! Not only does he have a Badass Cape like Drawcia, HE ALSO HAS A MUSTACHE!!! No, but seriously, Yin-Yarn is a hilarious, Affably Evil villain who actually wins, if only for a little while, but that's more than some of the more serious villains can say. He gets bonus points for turning into a TANK!
- The Stranger from The Walking Dead. I'm so sorry about stealing your food, Stranger! He wasn't the monster I thought he was going to be, and he really could have been a good parent to Clementine if he wasn't out of his mind.
- GLaDOS from Portal. She may have pulled a stint as a hero for a while, but you can't help but love her hilarious dialogue. Even her evil moments are so despicably evil you can't help but be intrigued.
- Hades of Kid Icarus: Uprising! What other villain can rip the credits up just when you think the day is saved? Oh, and he can hold witty banter with the protagonist...while the protagonist is running around in his internal organs.
- To a lesser Extent, Pyhron and Viridi. The Former is the hammy sun god who is ultimately consumed by the power of the Aurum Brain; while the latter starts out wanting to destroy humanity due to how much we have destroyed the earth. She ultimately does do a heel face turn though.
- Fawful from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Who else can spawn such quotable lines, like "The Mustard of your doom" or the infamous "I have fury" while still keeping an aura of evilness to him?
- Ghirahim from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. He still stays creepy and evil while still being crazy and funny.
- How about E.V.O.: Search for Eden?
- Bird-King. Although he turned me off for the first time when I saw that he was incredibly racist, I realized that made sense of him to call other creatures vulgar - they are incredibly stupid, unlike him and his race. And what's better is that he's not actually very evil! He seeks to have the Birdmen rule the world... using intelligence, something human race ultimately proved to be powerful. Aside from that, he seeks to go with his race on a Journey to the Universe, as he puts it. The very thought of an avian race going to space made me giggle.note Also, I like his design◊.
- The Yeti Avenger. Man, if E.V.O. Search for Eden was popular, he would become an Ensemble Darkhorse, and for good reason. Although he is a Yeti, he is quite the opposite of his predecessors, the Sir Yeti, who would kill any mammal that tries to challenge him, and Yeti Mother, who is a Violently Protective Girlfriend. He is the least evil out of the colorful array of villains you face. He lives and protects the Yeti sacred ground and attacks you because you humiliated the Yetis (by killing their leaders, that is). And how! As has been said in the character page, he is the Yeti version of Little Mac. He packs a powerful punch and is perfectly capable of uppercutting you. You might even feel sad when fighting him, considering his sad history. He easily combines the sadness of his backstory and the coolness of his fighting, although he might become a That One Boss. He is vengeful, after all.
- Cro-Maine. Yes, he's an annoying and grating boss. Yes, he is a cheating bastard. But he is even less evil than Bird-King. He is a cavemannote who was bullied and abused by the Monkey-Human tribe, who, as we've seen, are rock-throwing jerks. He is a Punch-Clock Villain who works for the Big Bad. Except he wasn't forced into becoming The Dragon by the Big Bad. As he mentions himself, the Big Bad cared for him when he was alone. Wow. Opens up another side to the gargantuan, delusional amoeba we love to hate, doesn't it?
- And, of course, Bolbox himself. He is a giant, mutated single-celled organism that came to be this way because he ate the Crystals. What makes him different from the other bosses is that he is also out for Gaia. He seems to be the only competitor out there. Unlike the omnicidal Sir Yeti or the gluttonous Bee Monarchs, he isn't very heinous. And he doesn't seem to have been an amoeba, either - he has some friends (the Tyrasaur clan, the Bee Queen and Cro-Maine, the latter being from a Monkey-Human clan, who, as you might remember, live in South America), which means he was a normal animal before coming to Eden. He is not really a villain. He is a rival. He is just like you. However, unlike you, he doesn't kill and eat everything he sees.
- Another possible reason why you and Bolbox are the only competitors actually trying to find Eden is because the other ones died at the path. You are being helped (read: constantly revived) by Gaia's divine intervention. Bolbox, who constantly used the Crystals, couldn't have been helped by Gaia and therefore revived. In other words, Bolbox went through the hell of evolution you went through AND DIDN'T DIE. He was just that badass.
- Hibachi in all the DonPachi series. It's a giant mechanical bee you fight at the end of each game and can only appear if certain conditions are met, such as beating the game without continues, finding all the bees, or using no bombs. It also has two forms, with the second form being a Pintsized Powerhouse that fires bullets and other projectiles all over the place. Also, in the latest installment, SaiDaiOuJou, Hina takes the Hibachi mantle, and she's just as tough, especially when you fight her as Inbachi.
- Holy Crap, Tarquin from The Order of the Stick. He's a ruthless villain manipulating both his guests and his kids, Elan and Nale in order to try and make Elan become what he believes to be a true hero. He stabs Elan to attempt to kill Roy. He then proceeds to kill Nale, his son and a character who had been in the comic for Nine Years.
- Let's take a minute and talk about some Courage the Cowardly Dog villains, shall we?
- First of all, there's Katz. A badass, intimidating villain with a great Leitmotif. Easily one of the scariest characters in the show, and in a much more subtle way than, say, the Blue Thing.
- He may be far sillier than most of the other characters, but Cajun Fox still manages to be awesome. Not only is he completely hilarious, he too is scary in subtle ways. He also has an awesome voice, courtesy of John Dilworth himself. He also has one heck of an Ear Worm for a Leitmotif and some pretty Cool Shades.
- Another epic villain: The Great Fusilli! First of all, he's voiced by Jim Cummings, who is no stranger to voicing scary villains. Also, he has some really awesome Creepy Circus Music as his Leitmotif. His design is really cool, from his reptilian eyes to his Badass Cape, complete with High Collar of Doom. And he technically wins, which not even Katz can say. Speaking of Katz, Fusilli is every bit as sadistic as him, if not more so.
- The Stitch Sisters are one of the creepiest, most underrated characters in the show. Everything about them is scary. Their bulging eyes, their raspy voices, their Leitmotif, which makes excellent use of an organ, their Evil Laugh, and the fact that they stitch people's souls into a magic quilt, where their victims are trapped FOR ETERNITY. Fun fact: They're voiced by Fran Brill, who also does voices on Sesame Street of all shows!
- Bushroot from Darkwing Duck. An amazing villian with amazing powers and an amazing woobie backstory. And he's cool.
- Nobody knows Evil Is Sexy better than Cousin Mel. Her Fiery Redhead status combined with all her recycled villainous tropes, beauty mark, and seductive voice would make the men fall for her even if she didn't have an impossible not-to-lust after body.
- World from the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends movie Destination Imagination. Sure he wasn't really evil. But he was an all-around awesome antagonist. He was also cute with a backstory that will break your heart. Earn Your Happy Ending indeed!
- Bedlam from Get Ed. He acts so gentleman-ly, but can kick our heroes' asses and is very savvy!
- Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls is an intriguingly amoral and genuinely alien bastard. And I love him.
- The Boogeyman and Jack o-Lantern from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. The first was hilarious yet totally despicable and the second was one of the funniest yet frightening characters with a personality that makes his episode one of the most exiting to watch.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. He's "evil" (so he says), but not as good at it as he is comical.
- Both villains from Wakfu.
- Nox in Season 1. He can slow down time and teleport, he made robots that can suck out the life force out of pretty much anything, and damn he is a jerk to the Universe. His actions are pretty much justified: he collects wakfu so that he may travel back in time to save his family from dying. Not only he'd save them, but all his deeds would be undone. Unfortunately, he only managed to travel back 20 minutes in time, instead of the intended 200 years. Cue the breakdown, and what looks suspiciously like a suicide.
- Qilby in Season 2. He has an arm and a scythe made out of wakfu, he has a spaceship, he has portals, and he captures two dragons.note Not to mention he perfectly faked a wise man before, and he betrayed the people he's supposed to be leading. Now tell me he isn't awesome.
- Peridot from Steven Universe! Despite the fact that she's shown no redeeming qualities thus far, the fandom idolizes her as an adorkable computer nerd—and for good reason. She's got some great one-liners and a super unique design.
- The Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels is one of the most memorable and charismatic characters on the show. His Early Bird Cameos give us quick tastes of the power he wields, and provide us a sense that he is someone to be feared. Then he makes his first appearance in Rise of the Old Masters — and it is awesome. In the span of a few seconds, the heroes go from dominating the battlefield to running for their lives. For the rest of the season, they engage in quick skirmishes with him, until finally, in the Season One finale, they make a final stand against him, and defeat him. Really, the only complaint about the character is that he's underutilized, in much the same way as Darth Maul before him.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Toffee. The villain has been in very few episodes, but he has made such a great impact on the series, is cold and calculating, and incredibly intimidating.
- Zaheer from The Legend of Korra. Not only is he the best villain of the series and the rest of the Avatar-verse, but he is seriously a contender for best villain of the 21st Century. That's how good he is! He's intelligent, philosophical, and calm for most of the time he appears in the series. He genuinely cares about his subordinates and believes that what he is doing is right. Finally, he serves as the perfect antithesis to the air nation, the White Lotus, and the avatar.