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Webcomic: True Villains
The Best of the Worst
Priestess: Sebastian is six foot three, and could kill a dragon with his bare hands! He carries a magical sword that can cut through anything, his companions support him with powerful magic and unmatched strength, he can look into your eyes and destroy the sin in your soul with nothing more than a thought!
Sebastian: ... That's very flattering.

True Villains is a fantasy, villain-focused web comic written by Josh Kurtz and Madison Hughes, and drawn by Max Karpsten, with colors by Darren Urmey.

True Villains takes what you know about fantasy: how the good guys always win, the villains are definitely evil, mostly irredeemable, and always lose and flips it on its ear.

The comic follows the story of Sebastian Jalek, an alchemist/adventurer. After a run in with the famed villain Xaneth Antaris, he turns over to the side of villainy. Sebastian then makes fast friends with Elia the necromancer and takes in the orphaned Mia.

As the story expands, there are werewolves, elves, raging paladins, white-robed freaks, adventurers, crusaders, and much, much more.

The long-needed remasters are over, and True Villains is currently updating four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Can be found here.


  • Above Good and Evil- Sebastian since the end of Saga Five
  • Adorkable- Sebastian is pretty dang cute but also a nerd, what with his dumb backpack and him being rather ignorant of the very world he lives in.
  • Aerith and Bob- We have Xaneth Antaris, Sebastian Jalek, Mia Jalek, Elia Redscallon, Bayn, and Tom.
    • Don't forget about Dexter Pheonix and Gray.
  • Affably Evil- Elia and Xaneth mostly, but, various psychoses aside, the entire main cast fits this to some degree, even Bayn can be quite charming when the situation calls for it.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black- As bad as Xaneth is, The Man In White makes him look positively heroic.
  • Animesque- The original art style of the strip, but later and revised strips have a more realistic look
  • Anti-Hero- Pre- Heel-Face Turn, Sebastian was a Type I, with some shades of Type III. Although he did do good, he seems to have been doing it more for thrills or material rewards than out of a desire to help people, and when he learns that Xaneth's dungeon requires a life be sacrificed to open the door, he unhesitantly snaps a guy's neck (although that was technically self defence).
  • Anti-Magic- While hopped up on divine power, the Paladin can remove the enchantments from Mia's magic armor simply by saying "Release".
  • Aristocrats Are Evil- Lord Attera seems to be in charge of Xaneth and very evil.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking - The Paladin nearly kills Sebastian and company, condones the torture of small children, namely Mia, and judging from his castle, has a horrible, awful taste in carpets.
  • Art Evolution- Look at the first comic, then look at anything from the newer series. Heck, even when the series wasn't changing artists every few minutes Maddie's art got steadily better over the course of Saga 1.
    • Even Max's art has grown ridiculously over his time as illustrator.
  • Art Imitates Life- Subverted, then invoked. The characters for the first production of the musical look similar to their comic counterparts. Then, after the second production and a few artists swaps, the characters took on similar appearances to their Real Life counterparts.
  • Art Shift- from normal remastered style straight to shoujo-style manga in this remastered page.
  • Asshole Victim-
    • No one in this comic is really on the moral high ground, but there's just something insufferable about Alistor. He probably deserved getting blown up.
    • The woman whose face Elia melts during her first appearance gleans no sympathy from the reader, as she'd just spent the last few pages threatening another young woman and Sebastian.
  • Ax-Crazy- According to Word of God, before she met Xaneth, Elia was this. She has a lot more self control now, but is still prepared to go on a bloody slaughter simply to rescue one person
  • Badass Bookworm- Sebastian, following his leveling up, and to a lesser extent, Elia
  • Badass Mustache- Bayn had one in his early adventuring years, but then it was burned off in a fight with a fire priest.
  • Better Living Through Evil- Sebastian joins Xaneth and, in exchange, Xaneth doesn't kill him. Win-win!
  • Big Bad- Possibly Xaneth; he shows signs of complex planning and reasoning in some comics. Perhaps a Big Bad in training?
    • Bigger Bad: Lord Attera seems to be the Big Bad on a much larger scale than Xaneth
  • Big Damn Heroes - Mia jumped right in and saved Elia and Cecile from Gray.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall- All over the place. However, most prominent is the fourth wall-shattering character Dexter Pheonix
  • Brought Down to Normal- After being de-aged, Bayn remembers everything he learned over his life, but can only perform the basic magic that he could do when he was ten.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield- Xaneth uses an innocent bystander in his fight against the Necromancer.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower- Sebastian; he suffers a crippling injury to his aura that drains his life force constantly, and forces him to train hard for three hours a day just to stay alive. After Bayn fixes the damage, that training catches up to him...
    • The mercenary Alistor, who can perform outright supperhuman feats of strength and speed with ease
  • Cheerful Child- Little Mia, with her constant smiles and sweet nature, is an obvious example.
  • Chekhov's Gun- Xaneth's shoes.
  • The Chessmaster- Xaneth
  • Child Prodigy- Bayn as a ten year old with the mind of an experienced ninety year old wizard is basically one by default, although it's implied he was very smart the first time he was a kid
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome- Sebastian is trying to get over this.
    • As of the end of Saga Five, he has.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Sebastian. Demonstrated in Saga Five, where he starts off the confrontation with his former companions by blowing up Alistor with an alchemical trigger he's dosed him with during their previous meeting.
  • Conveniently an Orphan- Mia, who is adopted by Sebastian after he blows up her hometown.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle- Sebastaian and Xaneth's fights with The Paladin and The Man in White respectively are shown side-by-side, at first the two of them are getting stomped, then they turn it around.
  • Curse-
    • The reason Xaneth's shoes are yellow? Dexter cursed him so that any pair of shoes he wore would turn yellow. This extends to him going barefoot- his feet turn yellow after a while. It's such a mundane curse, but it makes Xaneth FURIOUS.
    • Bayn also fell victim; Dexter's curse forces him to refer to him as "dad", and makes him unable to become intoxicated. He hates it.
  • Cuteness Overload - Elia cannot resist Mia's charms ... Xaneth? Not so much.
  • Daddy's Little Villain- Mia, in the sense that Sebby is not actually her father.
  • Dance Battler- Cecile. She calls her self-taught swordfighting style "Swing Dancing."
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy- Xaneth. For example, he warns the townspeople that he's planning to destroy them... and tells them that he's going to do it a week after the time he actually plans to destroy them.
  • Dungeon Crawling- Sebastian used to do this until he was contracted by Xaneth
  • Enfant Terrible- Ten year old Bayn
    • Mia isn't one of these, but Gray and Xaneth's other enemies consider her one.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees- The chests in Xaneth's dungeon are filled with bees, even when they are at the end of a complete and utter death trap.
  • Evil Costume Switch / Important Haircut- Sebastian cuts his hair and changes his clothes as a sign that he's completely gone over to evil.
  • Evil Versus Evil- Xaneth vs The Man in White.
  • Evil Sorceror- Xaneth, Elia, Bayn.
  • Expecting Someone Taller- Literally. The Priestess thinks Sebastian is six foot three.
    • Sebastian says to Xaneth that he thought he'd be taller. Xaneth takes it in stride.
  • Exposition Diagram- Xaneth pulls out the Blackboard of Mystery to explain Mia's abilities to Sebastian.
  • Face-Heel Turn- Sebastian commits one and is seemingly firm in his decision. He did, after all, blow up a town.
  • Facepalm- Facewing actually
  • Flash Step- Lord Attera
  • Fingerpoke Of Doom- When empowered by "Divine Favor" from his God, the Paladin can shatter swords and dispel wisps just by speaking
  • Five-Bad Band-
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Elia removes her clothes and skin to use as a decoy against an undead warrior.
  • Good Is Not Nice- The Paladin, Gray
    • Also Alyssa, while she is deginitely a force for good, she isn't the kind of person you want to spend time with
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings- Xaneth has traditional "angelic" feathered wings, but they're also solid black, so he occupies something of a middle ground in this trope, despite being squarely on the side of evil.
  • Gory Discretion Shot- You don't SEE Xeke biting a guy's head off; only the shadow of it, along with Aya's frightened reaction.
    • Mostly averted however, the strip hasn't shied away from showing a lot of blood in fights
  • Hannibal Lecture- Bayn, masterfully, see it here.
  • Hero Antagonist- The Paladin, of course.
  • Important Haircut- Sebastian gives himself one in Saga 5, when he accepts his villainhood.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun- Bael, what with all his golem jokes.
    Bael: Oh, sorry, my eyesight is a little... rusty.
    Xaneth: Yes. Rusty. Because your eye is made of metal. I get it. It's just not funny.
  • Informed Judaism- Xaneth, presumably to avoid the obvious Unfortunate Implications.
  • Knight Templar- The Paladin takes his holy work very seriously, and goes to any lengths to defeat evil. Even torturing little children.
  • Little Miss Badass- Mia, with her ability to build this.
  • Love Goddess- Ara is described as the God of Love, though not technically a goddess since the gods are genderless.
  • Made of Explodium - What even makes a Fallen Angel Potion explode, though, right?
  • Major Injury Underreaction- Sebastian when his aura is damaged. It's even mentioned in the Artist's Blog.
    Elia: ...and if it goes on unchecked, you will wither away and die.
    Sebastian: ...Well. Crap.
  • May-December Romance- Mia's crush on Bayn, somewhat averted in that though chronologically Bayn is nearly ninety, physically he is about ten.
  • Meaningful Name- Bayn's family have a natural resistance to fire, their name is Pheonix
  • Memetic Badass- Pre-Heel-Face Turn, Seabastian was one in-universe
  • Misery Builds Character- Sebastian cites this trope after pushing Bayn out of a moving cart.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink- The entire extended cast has only a couple of pure good or pure evil individuals, with everyone else occupying varying shades of grey.
  • Mr. Exposition- Sebastian's Constantly Curious Captain Obvious tendencies force Xaneth (occasionally Elia and once Bayn) into the role.
  • My Nayme Is- Dexter Pheonix. He even addresses the 'eo' spelling in-comic.
  • Na´ve Newcomer- In Saga 6, Bayn takes some time while traveling to fill Sebastian in on his past with Xaneth, as well as why Xaneth's shoes are yellow.
  • Noodle Incident- Whatever Sebastian did to expose the Amberscar conspiracy, he had to lay low for a year to avoid fallout.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging- Sebastian's first task as Xaneth's apprentice is to blow up a small town called Dorn. Of course, the first passerby he meets there immediately mentions that she recently recovered from an illness... that everyone thought would be fatal... and now her whole family has moved in to celebrate. Understandably, Sebastian's already shaky resolve is jolted considerably.
  • Obliviously Evil- Mia, maybe.
  • Older than They Look- And how! On the cast page Elia's age is listed as 87.
    • Bayn can also count now. After all, he was magically transformed into a little kid.
    • Xaneth is at least as old as Bayn but looks about thirty at most
    • Gray, apparently
    • So much of the cast is this that Sebastian comments on it—
      Sebastian: Man, nobody ages normally anymore. Gotta get in on the immortality game.
  • Our Demons Are Different- Word of God says that Xaneth is a demon, he looks like this.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different- Xeke. Also his sister Cecile is apparently a human born to werewolves.
  • Pet the Dog- Sebastian, Elia and even Xaneth think that Mia is too cute to kill.
    • Plus Elia freeing an elven slave girl from her human masters, although, she does use an army of zombies to slaughter an entire mansion full of people, so...
  • Power Trio- All signs point to Sebastian, Brawn and Olivia being one of these.
  • Pragmatic Villainy- Xaneth operates on a fairly local level and avoids doing things For the Evulz, this means he has a pretty strong reputation and a reasonable level of power, but his actions are too small for the more powerful heroes to bother with him, even The Paladin is more focused on Sebastian than him.
  • Protected by a Child- One of the reasons Gray does not just kill Sebastian when they first meet.
  • Puppy Love- Mia has a one-sided infatuation with de-aged Bayn.
  • Revision- Now updating with the redrawn early sagas. The events are the same, but some things are added or tweaked a little, for better storytelling.
  • Schmuck Bait- Xaneth's entire dungeon, for instance, you need a special key to unlock Xaneth's chamber at the end. He keeps said key in his chamber.
  • Serial Killer- Elia, but Xaneth keeps her under control most of the time
  • Sibling Rivalry- Sebastian's sister, Alyssa, kidnapped him and tried to lay siege to Xaneth's dungeon.
  • Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains- Basically assured to happen, what with the Villain Protagonist and all. Some of their companions like Cecile and Xeke seem like downright good people, just friends with some very bad people. Sebastian fits in with Type I quite nicely as well.
  • Standard Female Grab Area- Gray to Cee in "Fearless". Though slightly overshadowed by the broadsword to the head shortly thereafter.
  • Street Urchin- Mia, when she lived in Dorn, according to the musical. It holds true in the comic.
  • Super Strength- Sebastian, Xeke, Tom
  • Talking Appliance Sidekick- Augustus, the amazing talking, dueling, pocket-watch.
  • The Pollyanna- Mia, her life has been endless misery and anguish, so much so that she's now immune to all negative emotions. It's actually a little creepy when she wanders into a torture chamber or loots a corpse with a smile on her face
  • The Team Normal- Sebastian is the only cast member who doesn't possess some kind of mystical or sorcerous ability, even his strength is just the result of hard (albeit magically assisted) training
  • The Unfettered- After spending five sagas agonising over his moral choices, Sebastian decides to rise Above Good and Evil, devoting himself totally to the thrill of adventure, and his own personal freedom. In his own words, all he cares about is what he can do, not what he should do
  • Took a Level in Badass- Sebastian, he can punch through swords now.
  • The Musical- Has its own page here
  • Unsound Effect- SHOVE and GRAB
  • Villainous Valor: Sebastian still has it, much to Xaneth's annoyance
  • Villain Protagonist- With a title like True Villains, what can you expect?
  • Wicked Cultured- In Saga Three Sebastian and Elia infiltrate a formal party, when Sebastian tells her he can't dance she replies, "You're a villain now, learn to dance"
  • Wings Do Nothing- We have not seen Xaneth fly or use his wings for anything besides looking damn awesome. Until now.
  • Worthy Opponent- The Paladin seems to view Sebastian as this.
  • Yaoi Fangirl- Elia, as this remastered page reveals.
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alternative title(s): True Villains
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