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Complete Monster Cleanup Thread

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions and Common Requests List before suggesting any new entries for this trope.

edited 15th Jan '13 1:45:24 PM by Fighteer

 1 Paireon, Sun, 24th Oct '10 9:32:49 PM from Wherever I go there I am Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Complete Monster Cleanup Thread

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions and Common Requests List before suggesting any new entries for this trope.

edited 15th Jan '13 1:45:24 PM by Fighteer

Complete Monster Cleanup Thread: Frequently Asked Questions

note 

This thread is dedicated to cleaning up a perennial problem trope on the wiki: Complete Monster. While we are universally in agreement that the trope exists, the criteria for qualifying are subjective enough that we are continually fighting a battle to keep it clean of bad examples. The following FAQs should help clarify matters. They are the result of many months of establishing a consensus among the tropers who contribute to the thread.


  • What is a Complete Monster?: A Complete Monster is the most heinous villain by the standard of the story, with no positive traits (including redemption or motives) whatsoever.

  • Why is this trope No Real Life Examples, Please!?: Because as the strongest Evil Trope, it's also the most controversial. Calling a real person evil is just asking for trouble, and there is no such thing as a 100% evil person or thing in real life. Not even Hitler.

  • Is the capacity for making moral choices required for Complete Monster?: Yes. Someone who is controlled by someone else, programmed, or an animal is not a candidate. Similarly, an elemental force of evil cannot be said to be exercising moral choices; it does what its nature demands of it.

  • What tropes do not go in Complete Monster?: You Monster! is a statement of an individual character's standards, not the story's. Nightmare Fuel and The Scrappy are about "scary" and "disliked", not "heinous".

  • But what if Word of God declares the character a Complete Monster?: That is insufficient. While the author may have intended the character to qualify, this does not mean that they presented the character as a Complete Monster successfully.

  • Then what good are statements in-canon or by the creator about their Complete Monster status?: Statements such as these are suggestions that we may have a Complete Monster candidate on our hands, but they cannot be offered as proof. We essentially take them as nominations, but we let their deeds speak for themselves.

  • Does Offscreen Villainy count?: Never. It needs to be shown or else it's not intended as a CM. "Evil actions" cannot be an Informed Attribute. Gory Discretion Shot can still count, though. Show, Don't Tell applies here.

  • Do they have to succeed at what they try to do in order to count?: No, success is not a component of Complete Monster. After all, heroes succeed in fiction more often than not. What they consciously attempt to do is what matters.

  • What if they do something that they didn't intend?: Generally, this doesn't count. What was done by accident is not enough. However, if the character finds out what they did by accident and is shown to be pleased at what happened, they may still qualify for that action.

  • Can a group be listed under Complete Monster?: No. Groups lack moral capacity - only individuals have that. It is theoretically possible for each individual member of a group to qualify, but they most be shown and described as such individually.

  • So just what does "heinous by the standards of the story" mean, anyway?: There are two parts to this. One - regardless of whether the character would seek it out, is it possible for the character to seek forgiveness for what they've done (in other words, is it truly heinous)? Two - are this character's deeds not eclipsed by anyone else (in other words, is it heinous by the standards of the story)?

  • Can there be more than one Complete Monster per work?: Yes. However, each candidate must stand out in terms of kind or degree of villainy. A CM is always remarkable in some way, and second place doesn't count if both characters are in the same race.

  • Okay, so the thread voted to keep a particular example off of the Complete Monster pages. Can it still go on the work pages?: No. This is against wiki policy for any trope - it either belongs on all appropriate pages, or it belongs on none of them.

  • Sheesh, the policy is kind of draconian. What if the example is put up with an acknowledgement that it's only arguably an example?: No. Examples Are Not Arguable is also wiki policy on every page, not just this one.

  • Alright, point made. What about an Alternate Character Interpretation that isn't explicitly refuted in the work itself?: No. The arguments for inclusion do not involve possibilities. We are only judging based on what's in-canon.

  • In-canon? So what about a version of the character in an Alternate Continuity?: If the character qualifies in one particular continuity, then they will be included, but the write-up will specify which continuity or continuities that they qualify in. Similarly, they only get listed for Complete Monster on the trope page for the continuity in which they act as one.

  • In that case, how do you handle Depending on the Writer?: We cite under which writers the character is a Complete Monster, similar to the above - and we make sure to note when Retcon rears its ugly head in such cases (or not, in a couple rare cases like The Joker).

  • Alright, one last one - what about when the movie version is more evil than the book version of the same character?: We treat the movie-verse as a very-close-but-subtly-different Alternate Universe. As such, if a character only qualifies for one particular adaptation, they will be listed on the appropriate page only for said adaptation.

  • So, just who decides which characters are put on the page?: Well, any troper that participates in the cleanup effort. Feel free to join, if it interests you.

  • How does the process work?: Well, someone brings up a possible candidate and the work in which they appear. The character is then discussed in terms of their merits and flaws and how they relate to the trope. After review, the various participants give their vote. A clear majority will cause a particular action to take place. Roughly tied votes will generally result in no action taken until a majority develops.

  • So, how do I suggest an example, either to be removed or to be added?: Just post the candidate and where they are from, along with your arguments for or against their inclusion. If few people have responded, bring it up again politely after a couple of days. We're busy folks; we sometimes miss things.

  • Dude, we gotta add this example from last night's episode of...: Okay, we will automatically table all discussion on a character from an ongoing series. For one, it's very easy to get caught up in the excitement of something that was just enjoyed. For another, we don't know what the writers are going to do until everything is over. We don't want to put up an example just to have to take it down when the example turns out to be much less monstrous than it first appeared.

  • I don't want to be redundant - how can I tell if my example was already discussed? This is a cleanup thread that's over a hundred pages long.: Search for your example's name with "complete monster" in the "Google Site Search" field. If the example was already discussed, it'll be in the first page or two.

  • Would you follow this link to see what I'm talking about?: No. For one, Weblinks Are Not Examples, which is for the third time against wiki policy. For another, the point of this thread is to craft the best entries possible for the trope pages. This means writing a concise and insightful entry that fully describes the character in question. Relying on links to others does not provide insight - it just passes the buck.

  • Why even bother with all of this? Why not just Cut List the trope?: We get this way more often than we like. Several reasons.

    1. This is one of the wiki's top attractions outside of the site. We do like keeping all those inbound links.
    2. It's a legitimate trope, and one of the oldest ones out there to boot.
    3. There are plenty of people who like working on projects like this.
    4. This is doing much better than it used to be. Seriously.

It might be taking time, but it is getting better. We appreciate all the help anyone can give on the effort.


Resolved Items

Please do not bring up characters that have already been discussed. It wastes our time. Any discussion that has been concluded is permanently shelved unless:

  • A new work in the same continuity is released featuring said character (alternate continuities don't count as they are treated as separate characters. This also means that if the discussion on Character from Universe A is closed, it doesn't apply to the same character in universe B, C or D).
  • The person bringing up the discussion again proves that there was evidence that was not brought up in the discussion before. If people don't use the Search Function to see if it was brought up they get a warning to start with, repeated offenses result in suspension.

Absolutely Concluded And Will Never Be Discussed Again

Below are some perennial favorites that keep coming up. This list will be edited as needed. If you bring these up or try to add them to the respective work page (or remove them, for validated CMs), at best we'll Face Palm at you and at worst we'll outright ban you.

Note that this list may include characters judged to be a CM or not to be a CM.

Special Cases

Definitely a CM

  • Infinite Crisis
    • Superboy-Prime: As it stands now, he has been definitively shown as a CM.
  • Harry Potter
    • Bellatrix: Her relationship with Voldemort isn't love, thus not disqualified. She doesn't love Voldemort himself, she views him as the embodiment of her own Fantastic Racism.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
    • Volgin: His "love" for Raikov is nothing but possessive desire, and does not disqualify him.
  • Toy Story 3
    • Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear: Lotso is proven to be a Manipulative Bastard and his Freudian Excuse does not justify his crimes during the movie. Also, Woody states that his former owner didn't abandon Lotso so much as Lotso abandoning her.

Definitely not a CM

Anime

Disney

You'd better have a really good reason for bringing up any Disney villain, period. Kids' shows have a very difficult time meeting the standard of heinousness required for this trope.

  • A Bug's Life
    • Hopper: Disqualified for redeeming feature (making a promise to his mother on her death bed and actually keeping it).
  • The Incredibles
    • Syndrome: Disqualified for having a sympathetic backstory and failing the heinous standard.
  • Wreck-It Ralph
    • Turbo: Insufficiently heinous

Film - Live Action

Literature

Video Games

Western Animation

edited 9th Jul '14 7:58:45 PM by Willbyr

... and now I did so myself. For each subpage, as well as the main one. HOPEFULLY people should get the message now. o.o

41314
It seems to me that some of the requirements apply to the vast majority of fictional villains, or at least ones I've read about or watched, so I'm not sure how it's not true that almost EVERY villain is a Complete Monster with villains who aren't this trope being rare.

'The character must personally engage in a series of truly horrendous acts, and the story makes no attempt to gloss these over or present them in a positive light. Acts concealed behind a Villainy Discretion Shot or by a distant Mook don't count. The Complete Monster usually starts at the Moral Event Horizon and keeps on running, though nothing excludes them becoming one through Character Development.'

What qualifies as "truly horrendous"? If murder is truly horrendous regardless of weather or not it's an especially painful murder, then almost every villain fits this since almost every villain wants to murder the good guys and that's the primary thing that makes them a villain.

'The character's terribleness must be played seriously at all times, evoking fear, revulsion and/or hatred from the other characters in the story. If there are other villains around who aren't this trope, they are afraid of/dislike this person, too — Even Evil Has Standards, after all (and in particularly disturbing stories with particularly evil villains, even lesser Complete Monsters may fear such a character). If they're Played For Laughs, the character is just Evilly Affable, at best, but can still be one if done right. If the character is not taken seriously at all, they fail to qualify.

(emphasis mine) "If they're Played For Laughs, the character is just Evilly Affable, at best, but can still be one if done right" seems to contradict "The character's terribleness must be played seriously at all times", and the "If they're Played For Laughs, the character is just Evilly Affable" contradicts "but can still be one if done right". And it's not clear what "at best" means. Also, this seems like another one that just about any non-comedic villain could fit. If you're one of the good guys and the villain is trying to kill you, then of course you're going to be afraid of them. Anyone would be afraid of someone who wanted to kill them.

'There is no adequate justification or Freudian Excuse to balance out the misdeeds.'

There are stories about characters who tragically become evil like Doctor Horribles Sing A Long Blog and perhaps Othelo, but in most stories, we don't learn the villain's excuse other then wanting money or power.

'The character must show no regret or remorse for their actions, however terrible. It's better if they obviously enjoy it, but complete lack of emotion or caring will suffice.'

Yet another one that's true of most villains.

'Most importantly, the character must have no chance of redemption without being considered a Karma Houdini. The only way the story could come to anything resembling a happy ending is if they die or are otherwise removed. A Heel Face Turn is out of the question, and nobody would believe it if it happened. There can be no Redemption Equals Death for this character, and no Fate Worse Than Death is too extreme.'

The "no chance of redemption" part is also true of most villains, though not so much the "no fate worse than death is too extreme" part.
the world is so complicated
 5 Madrugada, Mon, 25th Oct '10 12:27:18 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Yes, almost any villain fits some of the requirements. A Complete Monster has to meet all of them.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 6 Fighteer, Mon, 25th Oct '10 12:32:20 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
"What qualifies as truly horrendous?" This has to be taken in context with the work in question. For shows where Anyone Can Die, murder isn't a big deal. The Joker killing people is nothing extraordinary considering how lethal Gotham City is. Nerve gassing orphans, that's horrendous, unless it's Played for Laughs as a Dead Baby Comedy. Similarly, someone committing murder on The Care Bears would be a big deal in context.

In short, the villain has to go above and beyond the standards of villainy for his/her particular series. If everyone in a show is raping dogs and throwing babies in fires, it's hardly remarkable enough to let anyone stand out. If someone's Mind Controlling the entire city to become baby eating psychopaths, then that person could be a Complete Monster.

The "played seriously" part has apparently been flanderized by people who keep thinking that Evilly Affable is not mutually exclusive with Complete Monster, when the tropes were intentionally designed that way. I'm all for cutting that part of the description back out. Anyway, the point is that the guy has to be hated and reviled by everyone, even other villains. If the Big Bad looks at this dude in disgust, he's in the running. If he is the Big Bad, getting into his clutches must be a Fate Worse than Death.

"in most stories, we don't learn the villain's excuse other then wanting money or power." "Wanting money" or "wanting power" are justifications in and of themselves. We don't have to see the villain's tragic childhood, but we do need to know if they have some motivation other than being as evil as possible. Greed is a valid motivation that usually throws someone out of Complete Monster unless it's just the cover for eating babies.

"No regret or remorse" — "Yet another one that's true of most villains." Maybe so but it needs to be taken in combination. Many villains will have a Villainous BSOD, Heel Realization, or even go all the way to Heel-Face Turn, and if they do so, they can't be this.

"The "no chance of redemption" part is also true of most villains" Not at all. Stories are rife with villains who switch sides or otherwise seek redemption of some sort, which again automatically puts them out of this trope. Tarkin is a Complete Monster. Vader isn't.

Or, as Madrugada said, they have to fit all the criteria, not just some.

edited 25th Oct '10 12:33:51 PM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
41314
Well, I've seen very few stories where villains reform, but perhaps I'm just not watching or reading the right ones. However, if a villain must meet ALL the criteria to qualify, then why does the page say "To qualify, most - preferably all - of the following MUST apply"? Why does it say "most" and "preferably all" instead of just "all"? And just to clarify, if it's required that a villain must have some motivation other then being as evil as possible, does that mean all complete monsters are in it For the Evulz? Should complete monster be considered a subtrope of "for the evulz"?
the world is so complicated
 8 Madrugada, Mon, 25th Oct '10 1:06:04 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
They don't have to reform in the work. But reform can't be completely impossible to imagine.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 9 Fighteer, Mon, 25th Oct '10 1:11:01 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
The concept of "reform" here depends greatly on an understanding of the Karma Houdini trope. A Complete Monster who executes any form of Heel-Face Turn, even if it's Redemption Equals Death, cannot put it past the audience (or, ideally, the other characters) believably.

To cite a simple example most people are familiar with, it would be like Grand Moff Tarkin trying to defect to the Rebel Alliance after ordering the destruction of Alderaan. To cite a more controversial example, it's what many people thought retroactively about Anakin after Episode III revealed that he slaughtered the Jedi children. Of course, that crosses into several other tropes besides this one, so let's please exercise caution.
Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 10 carla, Mon, 25th Oct '10 2:05:58 PM from panama city, panama
these evil tropes are going to be the death of me, i swear. evil grin

"The "played seriously" part has apparently been flanderized by people who keep thinking that Evilly Affable is not mutually exclusive with Complete Monster, when the tropes were intentionally designed that way. I'm all for cutting that part of the description back out."

-plays with her very own "flanderizer" tag-

honestly i just think all comparisons of Complete Monster with other "evil" tropes should be taken with a grain of salt atm. there's much discussion going on about the definitions of Evilly Affable and other such tropes, so those comparisons may change in the near future.

also, that "played seriously at all times" bit, i always assumed that was in-universe. as in, a Complete Monster can have funny moments, but the rest of the characters can't ever think him any less horrible or any less threatening because of those moments.

"If you're one of the good guys and the villain is trying to kill you, then of course you're going to be afraid of them. Anyone would be afraid of someone who wanted to kill them."

that has to be as a whole, though. sure, a normally non-threatening villain can up his game and scare the living shit out of The Hero once in a while, but you can't be a Complete Monster this once and then never again. either you are a Complete Monster in general, or you aren't.

as far as the motivation goes, they can have some motivation (even For the Evulz), but the key word there is "adequate." a serial killer who goes out and kills hundreds of women because his mother didn't love him, that's hardly adequate, considering there are many, many people out there who aren't loved by their mothers but don't just decide to go on killing sprees. so in that case, the Freudian Excuse is not adequate justification and (probably pending an insanity diagnosis) this would make this dude a Complete Monster, even if he does have a reason other than For the Evulz.

all of this said, i think that "most - preferrably all - of the following must apply" bit has to go, pronto.

 11 Madrugada, Mon, 25th Oct '10 2:16:23 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
We don't want to make Complete Monster more inclusive. It is not a common character type. It is intended to exclude most villains.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 12 carla, Mon, 25th Oct '10 2:18:38 PM from panama city, panama
^ was that about my last line? what i was saying was that it should be changed to "all of the following must apply, " instead.

This page has been nothing but trouble since its implementation, we should just have it as a badguy who is pure evil and never has any Pet the Dog moments.

Almost every villain will be liked by someone or have some cool or funny moments.

41314
"They don't have to reform in the work. But reform can't be completely impossible to imagine."

But what makes us qualified to judge weather or not it's plausible for a character to reform? I haven't done any studies on how evil a person can become before they're still mentally capable of changing, have you? Anyway, the question I wrote that your comment is below was "why does the page say most but preferably all must apply instead of just saying all must apply if the latter is the correct definition? Or, conversely, why do you insist that a complete monster must meet all of the criteria when the trope page itself says otherwise? And does a villain's motive have to be For the Evulz in order to qualify as a complete monster?

And in response to an earlier post of yours, my point was not that "almost any villain fits some of the requirements", but rather that it seemed to me tnat almost any villain meets all of them, at least if the requirements are interpreted in certain ways (which gets at my other point that many of them seem vague or subjective). Granted, I realize now that characters who fit the fifth requirement aren't as common as I thought, but almost every villain I'm familiar with fits 2, 3 and 4 (again, how a character that wants to kill them not invoke fear from the heroes, how many stories give the villain a freudian excuse, and almost no villain shows regret for their actions), and if murder counts as "truly horrendous", then almost every villain fits the first requirement as well. Unless I'm seriously misunderstanding something here (which you'll probably tell me I am, but please explain what it is), we might as well make this trope solely about fitting the final requirement and make a trope for those who don't fit the first four, noting how rare it is for a villain to not fit the first four.

edited 25th Oct '10 2:55:07 PM by 411314

the world is so complicated
 15 carla, Mon, 25th Oct '10 3:11:25 PM from panama city, panama
^ maybe it would be easier if you give us an example of one of those villains you're familiar with, and we could go on a case-by-case basis?

41314
Here are 12 examples each linked to where they're from (in the case of characters that have been portrayed in different ways, the link leads to the story with the version I'm reffering too):

edited 25th Oct '10 7:16:45 PM by 411314

the world is so complicated
My analysis:

Tarkin:
  • There are a lot of nasty villains in Star Wars, but Tarkin is the only canon movie character who ever ordered an entire inhabited planet destroyed only to make a point.
  • Not every imperial feared or felt disgusted by Tarkin, but as Wookieepedia puts it, "Tarkin was not remembered entirely positively within the Empire; among those Imperials unsettled by the destruction of Alderaan and the existence of the Death Star, some scapegoated Tarkin as a rogue agent whose use of the Death Star did not represent the Empire as a whole."
  • The only real justification for his use of the Death Star was the Tarkin doctrine, and even then, it was completely unnecessary.
  • No regret: check.
  • Redemption: Tarkin never sought redemption, or thought he needed it, and it's pretty hard to imagine that happening.
Verdict: any Expanded Universe material to the contrary aside, probably can be considered a Complete Monster.

Vader:
  • The guy literally murdered a bunch of kids in cold blood at one point.
  • Even Tarkin was not 100% comfortable around him, with good reason.
  • Anakin had a pretty angsty past, but still...
  • No regret: Vader may well fail this one. In the prequils, Anikin certainly knew regret.
  • Redemption: Seeing as he's the trope image for Redemption Equals Death, Vader fails this test.
Verdict: by definition, not a Complete Monster, though at times, he does come frightfully close to the Moral Event Horizon.

Vicky:
  • There are a lot of villains in The Fairly Oddparents, but Vicky's misdeeds are the driving force behind the main plotline. She abuses and picks on an eight year old For the Evulz, making him so miserable, he's selected as one of the most miserable children in the world. At some points, she's just a cruel, angry teen; later, she seems to move towards attempted murder.
  • Your Milage May Vary as to her fear factor. Adults had little reason to fear her, but pretty much every character younger than Chip Skylark literally shakes with fear at the mere mention of her name, and in this show if you're not a magical being, rock star, superhero, etc., Adults Are Useless.
  • Vicky's past varied Depending on the Writer, so again, it's not 100% clear. In some cases, Vicky's excuse is rather pathetic. However, in some versions of the story, Vicky actually has a medical condition that makes her evil against her will.
  • No regret: in Snow Bound and The Switch Glitch Vicky seems to "get it" that child abuse is wrong, and essentially reveals to Timmy that had things gone differently they might have been friends. Post - flanderization, she is much, much less sympathetic.
  • Redemption: Vicky is semi - redeemed briefly in some episodes, but these always end in Face-Heel Turn via Status Quo Is God.
Verdict: Your Milage May Vary Depending on the Writer.

Syphile:
  • Syphile locks a child in her room for an entire week and kills a cat by bashing it against a wall in front of said child. She also tries to kill The Protagonist in a fight and assasinate her adopted mother. In her defense, in both murder attempts she challenged her victim to a duel rather than kill in an unfair fight, and the setting is a Crap Sack World.
  • Syphile is absolutely hated by The Protagonist, but ~80% of the other characters in the story consider her pathetic.
  • Syphile's past is a victim of a Retcon, so it's a bit fuzzy. In one non-canon story, she was raped by two older adopted sisters. It's clear she was forced to care for Ariel against her will in all continuities. And her family refused to help resolve her problems at school that led her to become The Unfavorite.
  • No regret: Ironically, Syphile comes to regret nearly everything other than the major misdeeds listed above.
  • Redemption: Syphile ends up rescuing another child imprisoned wrongfully, and heroically stands up to Quain, but fails miserably to redeem herself in full.
Verdict: I would argue being seen as pathetic by every other villain disqualifies her.

Jenner
  • The only character in the series who proposes a murder.
  • His henchman, Sullivan, is clearly intimidated and occasionally shocked by his schemes. Even Nicodemus takes him seriously, though Jenner is a deluded fool in his eyes.
  • Jenner does it for political reasons, but he also tells Sullivan that if his plan fails, bad things will happen to their people. So at least he has an argument that makes some sense on a non - completely amoral level.
  • No regret: check. Not so for Sullivan.
  • Redemption: nope.
Verdict: If you believe he sincerely believes migrating will end in disaster, he may get a pass. Otherwise, it's hard to say he isn't one.

Gaston
  • Trying to force Belle to marry him, trying to kill the beast, and being an all around Jerk Ass. He does stand out as the nastiest villain, because it's a G - rated musical.
  • Dispite being a Bad Boss, the other villagers don't fear or become disgusted by him. He's a hero in the eyes of everyone but the inhabitants of the castle and Belle's family.
  • His Fantastic Racism toward Beast is pretty understandable - Beast is The Boo Radley. On the other hand, his excuse for his mistreatment of Belle's family is basically that he's the best she could hope for, so why the complaining? He sees himself as helping her family.
  • No regret: check.
  • Redemption: nope. Disney Villain Death. Later revived on House of Mouse as the resident Large Ham and Cosmic Plaything.
Verdict: to me he's a particularly awful Jerk Ass (<Gaston voice> "Zapp Brannigan and Gilderoy Lockheart are amateurs compared to Gaston!" </Gaston voice>), not a Complete Monster.

Poison Ivy
  • Amung Batman's foes, Ivy doesn't stand out enormously to me, since other villains in the series gleefully launch plans that would kill thousands or more. But she does at least seriously consider wiping out mankind altogether, so maybe that counts as "above and beyond" Evil with a capitol E.
  • Though Baman takes her wiles very seriously, Freeze doesn't seem to fear or be disgusted by her (maybe he would if he knew everything...). The Dynamic duo seem to find her at least marginally sympathetic.
  • She was mistreated, but Catwoman was treated just as badly by her Bad Boss, and her evil plan was rather less genocidal. However, Ivy's mind may have been affected by the accident, and she's arguably a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • No regret: check, but only because she was betrayed multiple times. She regretted her enemies actions led her to genocidal action.
  • Redemption: no. It's not clear if she would have been willing to consider seeking it.
Verdict: possibly the most evil Well-Intentioned Extremist Batman ever faced, but not a Complete Monster.

Khan
  • Mudering or attempting to murder or mind - control two starship crews, just to see the pain in one man's eyes. Hardly the only genocidal villain on Star Trek, but his singleminded hatred makes him stand out.
  • Feared by other villains: gets the "We have won, you can stop now!" speech from his own son. Check.
  • Khan has good reason to want revenge, but seriously? This is Revenge Before Reason Turned Up to Eleven.
  • No regret: he does deeply regret the loss of his son, but not the deaths of innocent deck hands.
  • Redemption: nope. "For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"
Verdict: the trouble is, Khan is a psycopath, but I have to admit, I find him sympathetic.

Krudge
  • Killed a freighter crew for target practice and to keep a secret, and killed Kirk's son to prove his seriousness.
  • Feared by other villains: big check. However, he's so Obviously Evil it's Played for Laughs.
  • His excuse is basically that he's a Klingon. Keep in mind though, that in his view Kirk is a dangerous war criminal who may intend to destroy his people.
  • No regret: check.
  • No Redemption: check.
Verdict: I'm undecided. I have trouble giving a villain I can honestly laugh at or with Complete Monster status.

Lex Luthor
  • Tried to kill over a million people just to conduct a real estate scam. Of course, supes' other enemies aren't exactly angels either.
  • Miss Tessmocker and Otis certainly are fearful of him. Superman takes him seriously. However he's Affably Evil, and it's Played for Laughs.
  • His excuse seems to be that he's the greatest evil genious in history and has to live up to his potential.
  • No regret: check.
  • No redemption: check. The closest he comes is that he does suffer humiliation.
Verdict: Your Milage May Vary. Is Lex too Affably Evil to be a Complete Monster, or not?

Nuclear Man
  • Tries to kill Superman, and it isn' clear what his motivation is.
  • Superman takes him seriously. To Lex he's just a particularly Bad Ass Mook though.
  • Excuses: unclear. Arguably Nuclear Man was created to kill Superman and may have been effectively brainwashed.
  • No Regret: as far as anyone can tell. He's not very talkative.
  • No Redemption: check. However, Nuclear Man was defeated in part because of The Power of Love.
Verdict: It's not clear he fully understands why what he's doing is wrong, so <Soup Nazi voice> "no Complete Monster for you" </Soup Nazi voice>

edited 25th Oct '10 10:25:48 PM by FrodoGoofballCoTV

 18 Madrugada, Mon, 25th Oct '10 11:04:07 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Khan is the only one I know well enough to weigh in on. In my mind the question there is "Is his reason for what he does sufficient?" Let's see:

  • He was created to be a superhuman super-soldier, then exiled for deciding to be something more than an order-taker. Basically, he's exiled the first time for being what he was made.
  • After he's picked up by the Enterprize, he's re-exiled to a planet Kirk has deliberately chosen for being "barely habitable".
  • Kirk's choice of a planet that will strain the abilities of the superhumans results in the death of Khan's human-normal wife.

I'd say he's got a fair claim to "legitimately irrational" in his desire for revenge on Kirk.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 19 carla, Tue, 26th Oct '10 8:23:28 AM from panama city, panama
oh shoot, i don't have my Artemis Fowl books with me atm so i can get some actual data, but i'll try my hand at briar cudgeon from memory:

  • he does set a troll on fowl manor expecting it to kill everybody inside, but IMO that's not so much "truly horrendous" as it is a more extreme version of the What Measure Is A Non Fairy feeling most of the fairies have, and he was intending to save holly (so he could become a "hero, " granted, but he wasn't actively planning for her to die). then, he started a goblin rebellion against the LEPrecon, but his intention was not to Kill 'em All, but to frame his enemies and rise as a "hero, " again, so he could get awarded the commander position. personally, i don't think there's anything "truly horrendous" in his repertoire, just standard villainy.
  • after his first plan fails, he ends up disfigured and gets demoted to a recycler (a fairly demeaning job). he's largely taken as a joke by the other characters for most of the second book, until his involvement in the rebellion is revealed— and even then, one could argue foaly was never actually horrified by him; scared for his life, yes, but mainly scared to be framed as a criminal, and actively trying to play on cudgeon to distract him enough to find a way to reveal the plot to the rest of the characters. and to be quite honest, his death was kind of hilarious. i mean, what are the chances?
  • he wanted power (to become commander of LEPrecon), and in the second book, he wanted power + revenge. standard villainous motivation. perhaps the fact that people made fun of him because he got disfigured would count, but as it was basically his fault he got disfigured, it's hardly a justification.
  • i don't think he showed any regret at any point. i might be wrong, though.
  • no possibility of redemption. he dies when his evil plan is found out, basically hoisted by his own petard.

conclusion: three out of five in my opinion, definitely would not count him as a Complete Monster.

edited 26th Oct '10 8:26:35 AM by carla

... as for Gaston, he isn't even aware that the beast used to be human. To Gaston, the Beast is just another animal, and it would be like killing a rabid dog... probably not "horrendous" enough to even meet the 1st criteria for Complete Monster status.

 21 Fighteer, Tue, 26th Oct '10 9:33:34 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Let's play with my two favorites.


John Dread, from Otherland:
  • Actions: Serial rapist and sociopathic murderer, schemes to take over Otherland from his boss and when he succeeds, goes on a virtual apocalypse involving the most depraved torture and excess imaginable. Plans to inflict horrible disasters on humanity using his control of the 'Net.
  • Relationships: Dread's boss, Jongleur, thinks of him as a useful tool, like a rabid attack dog, but barely recognizes him as a human. Everyone else who meets him is terrified and disgusted by him and considers him the worst thing ever. Even the psychologist who evaluated him as a child thinks he's Evil incarnate.
  • Justification: He has one hell of a Freudian Excuse: his mom intentionally tortured and abused him, intending to create a sociopathic monster to unleash on the society that she hated.
  • No regret: Are you kidding?
  • Redemption: He gets a Fate Worse than Death in the end, and the mere knowledge that he technically doesn't die makes the cops prosecuting his case feel as if a grave injustice was done.
Verdict: Even his Freudian Excuse only serves to reinforce how monstrous he is, and it's clear that everything he does is of his own will. Complete Monster through and through.


Pryrates from Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn:
  • Actions: Weasels his way into his king's confidence and manipulates his love for his deceased wife into making a Deal with the Devil that ultimately results in him being possessed by the Big Bad in eternal torment. Delves into the blackest of Black Magic, engineers wars and betrayals, and delights in the terror he inspires in people.
  • Relationships: He is, bar none, the most despicable character in the story; everyone but him gets at the very least an Alas, Poor Villain treatment. Even the villainous humans, except his pawn King Elias, are terrified of him. The Big Bad, however, regards him as a mere mortal tool to be discarded once You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
  • Justification: His backstory is not discussed at all. The most he offers on his own behalf is that, "I am what a man who accepts no limits can become."
  • No regret: He delights in evil, laughing at his enemies' fear and torment.
  • Redemption: He dies horribly when he tries to turn the tables on the Big Bad for his own power.
Verdict: It's as if Tad Williams went down our checklist, making sure to address each point.

edited 26th Oct '10 9:42:28 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
"Yes, almost any villain fits some of the requirements. A Complete Monster has to meet all of them." - Madrugada

Actually, no, the description itself states that most OR preferably all of them must apply. This has been interpreted to mean at least 3, or at least 4, or maybe just 3 if the others are almost met, etc...

Just look at recent discussion in the discussion page of the Disney section.

 23 Fighteer, Tue, 26th Oct '10 6:32:48 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
When I aided with the revamp ages ago, I intended for all of them to apply. I don't see how any of them could not apply and still be this trope.

edited 26th Oct '10 6:33:08 PM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 24 Madrugada, Tue, 26th Oct '10 7:55:38 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
I was invovled in that discussion too, and I recall it being intended "all must apply". Somewhere along the way it appears to have been watered down, probably so that someone could put their favorite villain in.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
... but the "revulsion from other characters" criteria could be contradicted by a Villain with Good Publicity or a "lesser CM" (as the article makes reference to) being respected by other, worse villains, and the "remorseless" criteria could be contradicted by a villain who expresses very brief remorse before going back to their evil ways. Not all of the criteria should have to be COMPLETELY met.

Though at the very least I'd say exceptions should be carved out VERY carefully, with a good reason why 1 of the criteria aren't met.

edited 26th Oct '10 8:08:27 PM by neoYTPism

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