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Subpages cleanup: Complete Monster get usage counts

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

again, I just gave to characters from two different works that I'd like to discuss.

 302 Shaoken, Sun, 13th Nov '11 7:24:59 PM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Okay, son Brony wants to add Discord from My Little Ponies list. Since that's Western Animation, obviously it has to go through here anyway.

So, does Discord meet the following three Criteria:

• The character is truly heinous by the standards of the story, which makes no attempt to present them in a positive light. • The character's terribleness is played seriously at all times, evoking fear, revulsion and/or hatred from the other characters in the story. • They are completely devoid of altruistic qualities. They show no regret for their crimes.

In other news, should we just nuke the music section? They aren't stories by the same standard as the rest of the subpages, so it's a bit unusal having them there since the songs have no standards for evil.

Anyway, I decided to get a head start and work on the Tabletop games section. Mostly good, but I made a few removals:

  • The Vashar aren't Complete Monsters because they're created without redeeming qualities, so really they're not chosing to be evil. They legitmately can't understand morality. At least, that's how the article is written, so that's how I'm interpreting it.

  • The Jerren I cut because of a lack of detail, although they probably should be back on the page with more detail.

  • I'm not sold on the Black Spiral Dancers from Werewolf: The Apocalypse as a whole, as the vast majority of them were indoctrinated from birth into them or were driven mad from being thrown into the Spiral and have lost the ability to tell right from wrong. Some of them count, but they were evil bastards independently of the Wyrm. That said, I'll leave it be and see if anyone else agrees or disagrees.

Besides that, the page looks good, but if I could get a second opinion on that i would be much appreciated.

 303 Troacctid, Sun, 13th Nov '11 7:54:49 PM from California
Discord definitely fails the second criterion. He's a villain, but he's not treated with revulsion by the other characters. Look at how Twilight Sparkle reacts to him here, for example. She's annoyed and frustrated, but she's clearly not treating him like she'd treat a Complete Monster.

Pretty sure he fails the first criterion too—he's a trickster and an elemental force of chaos, so while he's a Villain Antagonist, the stuff he does is more weird and crazy and random than heinous, and I'd probably classify him as Neutral rather than Evil. And he never crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Yes, but a rename would cause a lot of redlinks
That's the point. It makes all crosswicked examples broken links, and forces removal.

and coming up with an appropriate rename is going to take a long time.
This is why I suggest now as a good time to start thinking about it. I'm not saying the rename itself is that urgent.

As for Discord, the show seems to take his villainy a bit too lightly for it to qualify as "truly heinous" let alone as "played seriously."

I think people are inclined to consider him a CM because there's a bit of shock value to having a villain of his level in such an otherwise lighthearted show, * but that's more along the lines of Vile Villain, Saccharine Show, and maybe Darker and Edgier, than of CM. Discord's still nothing particularly extreme as far as villains in general go.

edited 14th Nov '11 1:00:57 PM by HiddenFacedMatt

"I even like the idea of a nice man who sees me when I'm sleeping and knows when I'm awake. And that man is Barack Obama." - Bill Maher
 305 Shaoken, Tue, 15th Nov '11 1:22:16 PM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
So, there is a an effort on the video game section to get Penguin from Batman: Arkham City added. I'm oppossed, two people on the discussion page are in favour. Can I get some other opinions for this?

 306 32 Footsteps, Tue, 15th Nov '11 1:50:57 PM from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
The 11th Grover
I'd say no. He's set up that, in the future, he could become a legitimate example. However, he's not as heinous as some other examples in the game (particularly The Joker, who definitely is one in-game). And while I certainly wouldn't anticipate that he would go for redemption, I think, at least based on having finished the game and all of the crime-based subquests, he could be redeemed.

Also, I don't think that he's presented as being all that monstrous even by others in the story. They take him seriously, yes, but that's different than being viewed as a monster.
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
 307 nrjxll, Tue, 15th Nov '11 2:14:47 PM Relationship Status: Not war
In other news, should we just nuke the music section? They aren't stories by the same standard as the rest of the subpages, so it's a bit unusal having them there since the songs have no standards for evil.

I'm going to have to take a look at it for myself (incidentally, we ought to be providing courtesy links to all the subpages we discuss), but my gut feeling is that you're right - music is not a medium that really supports the existence of a Complete Monster.

[up][up]Do the games share any continuity with Batman: The Animated Series? Because there's an episode where the Penguin tries to go straight, and it might have worked if other characters had trusted him more and his Love Interest hadn't been playing him.

 309 32 Footsteps, Tue, 15th Nov '11 4:18:23 PM from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
The 11th Grover
[up]I remember that ep... pretty good one.

The games are their own continuity, although Batman: The Animated Series is a clear inspiration (and several veterans of it worked on the games). Batman: Arkham City Penguin (he was mentioned in the first game but doesn't appear) is a Jerkass that acts like a cruel gang leader, but he's not so monstrous that he couldn't be redeemed. It's worth noting that his worst behavior in the game is all directed towards killing The Joker (he holds Mr. Freeze captive at one point, but that's only because Freeze was working on curing whatever ails Joker), and that he really just acts like a common thug with means beyond that. And I don't think that trying to kill an unquestioned Complete Monster (even if it's for petty reasons) is enough to get one qualified for CM status oneself.

Now, as mentioned, Joker is one, and there's a pretty good argument for The Riddler (though given how hard he fails, Smug Snake is by far the best trope for him), Hugo Strange, Scarecrow, and maybe Killer Croc, but Penguin just isn't that evil. And worth noting, the game itself doesn't treat him as that evil.
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
 310 Shaoken, Wed, 16th Nov '11 1:35:31 AM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
I think we can make a strong case for that universe's Joker. Any objections? If no I'll write up a new entry over the weekend.

Cleaning up The Imagelinks for Complete Monster, focusing on images that are Just a Face and a Caption. As per the initial bit, they have to be in the middle of doing something, preferably something really evil, but really any sort of malicious action would do. Even holding a weapon is better than most of these.

 311 32 Footsteps, Wed, 16th Nov '11 5:46:20 AM from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
The 11th Grover
Let's see... video game-verse Joker kills multiple people, sets Bane up to be tortured, freely talks about being physically abusive to Harley Quinn, offers to let his men rape Harley, covers all the usual Bad Boss bases, tries to turn Jim Gordon into a 'roided-up monstrosity, kidnaps Nora Fries to force Mr. Freeze into helping him, blackmails Batman into helping by sending his poisoned blood to hospitals in the Gotham area... I think I'm leaving a few things out, but that list of actions certainly qualifies. He fits the other qualifiers as well.
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
Did some more cleaning up of Image Links. I have my reasoning. Bad Girl: Not actually in the act of evil, just happens to hold a bloody bat. Dick Hardly: Just a Face and a Caption Hiro-Kala: Is just posing. John Doe: Bloody coat does not signify Complete Monsterdom. Kazuya: Posing. Lord Blackwood: Needs incredible context to show that this is a completely monstrous act. Michio Yuki: Like Blackwood - how is anyone unfamiliar with the series supposed to know this is a completely monstrous act? Night Owl: Posing. Nurse Claiborne: This looks almost comical, which rather ruins the point for being a Complete Monster.

I also had my doubts about Mark Collins - I couldn't tell if he was holding a weapon or not.

edited 18th Nov '11 5:40:00 PM by ThatOneTroper

 
 313 Shaoken, Fri, 18th Nov '11 9:13:31 PM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Ah, nice to see someone else helped with that.

I was undecided about Bad Girl, and left her in because of the bat.

I disagree with John Doe though; his hands are also covered in gore.

The problem is context, it's very difficult to bring in a good picture of them doing evil that doesn't require context for it.

I'm gonna have a say in this.

I don't think a Complete Monster should be 100% hated. He can be popular because of Evil Is Cool or Draco in Leather Pants, and of course a CM generally invokes feelings of Love to Hate among the audience—-the audience wants them to die horribly but still enjoys watching them, how they're written for the audience to "hate" them and what they bring to the plot. Plus it has been shown that a lot of villains qualify for all the points in the trope and still garener a large fanbase, either through Evil Is Cool and Love to Hate.

While here, I'm also gonna debate the inclusion of Clu from Tron Legacy as well. He was created as the creator of a virtual utopia and viewed the IS Os as "holes" and "defects" not because he wanted to, but because of a flaw in his original programming. He did order the genocide of the ISO programs, but he doesn't understand human morality, what is to us, "right and wrong" so he did it because arguably of his programming and lack of flexibility, not because he wanted to be evil. Thus Blue and Orange Morality can come into play here.

edited 19th Nov '11 2:39:14 PM by xie323

 
[up][up][up][up][up][up] I have to respectfully disagree about Penguin. If he was just a murderous thug I could get not adding him to the list, but Penguin is a murderous thug who GLEEFULLY engages in Cold-Blooded Torture, something that really sets him apart as a monster for me. I mean, essentially every Arkham City story, interview tape and Enemy Chatter involving the Penguin details how he either horribly murdered or tortured some poor schmuck to death for usually arbitrary reasons. If I recall correctly some of the tortures he's inflicted include sticking a man in an oven for hours, blinding one man and leaving him in rush hour traffic, and keeping a man alive for days while feeding him to rats. Penguin's lair is littered with the bodies of people he's killed and put on display as trophies, complete with recordings of him happily describing how and why he's killed each person. I mean, other than the Joker, most villains are content with just killing people, they don't usually come up with "new and exciting ways" to draw out their victims' pain as much as possible for funsies.

In the game itself, however, Penguin not only tortures Freeze by locking him in that oven but he also tortures the cops he's captured just to screw with Batman's head. He murders one in front of Batman in cold-blood, and he uses Freeze's gun to torture the others. Heck, at one point, over the intercom, Penguin uses the gun to freeze a cop's hand before shattering it with a hammer (which he then laughs about). On top of that, he's a Bad Boss who allows his men to die after they've outlived their usefulness (he mocks one of his loyal troops as he leaves him for dead), tortures them when they fail him, and forces new recruits to murder each other for the opportunity to join him.

Penguin has no Freudian Excuse for his actions. There was no freak accident or genetic mutation that made the Penguin the way he was, no great tragedy which forever scarred him, no good qualities that were erroded with time. He receives no other characterization other than being a cruel, greedy, sadistic monster with entitlement issues. I mean, even the Joker, who absolutely counts as a Complete Monster, gets a Cryforthe Devil moment, but the Penguin is just pure evil.

edited 19th Nov '11 3:25:46 PM by OccasionalExister

 316 nrjxll, Sat, 19th Nov '11 4:23:29 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I don't think a Complete Monster should be 100% hated. He can be popular because of Evil Is Cool or Draco in Leather Pants, and of course a CM generally invokes feelings of Love to Hate among the audience—-the audience wants them to die horribly but still enjoys watching them, how they're written for the audience to "hate" them and what they bring to the plot. Plus it has been shown that a lot of villains qualify for all the points in the trope and still garener a large fanbase, either through Evil Is Cool and Love to Hate.

You're misunderstanding what a Complete Monster is, then. Draco in Leather Pants is pure audience stupidity reaction and is irrelevant to the trope, but everything else you describe is part of what makes a Complete Monster different from an ordinary villain. They aren't cool. You don't Love to Hate them, you just hate them. Widening the trope to allow that sort of villain would pretty much destroy it beyond repair (that is, even more so then it already has been).

[up]Even in the "old" definition we got examples that had a decent fanbase leaking in such as Kefka, Johan, Frieza and Frollo to name a few, and that lead to flame wars, the vagueness of the term "Complete Monster" dosen't help, it simply means "Pure Evil". If you wanted the old definition, the name "Complete Monster" just dosen't work as some popular examples were in before the new definition.

And oh IMO, this trope requires MASSIVE SURGERY to be fixed, and MASSIVE SURGERY might not work well. I did a poll on whether we should hate CM characters(http://www.scrollsoflore.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16443) and we got a tie between "No" and "depends" with few saying an absolute yes.

Fact is no character will be universally hated. And that a character that is written to be hated can at least get a "love to hate" reaction from the audience. And a lot of villains are popular simply because they stand out as C Ms. Gul'Dan from Warcraft is one such example, as is Kefka from FFVI, both fit most of the criteria, and are loved by the fanbase for it. And what about WH 40 K examples, they all have Evil Is Cool in them and a bunch of fans. Thus IMO the Complete Monster must garner total hatred and revulsion from his enemies, but not the viewers. The viewers have to "hate" the character as a person but appreciate how he is written for the viewer to hate and how memorable the character is.

tl;dr: Complete Monster is the most controversial trope on TV Tropes, needs "massive surgery" and possible split into several sub-tropes.

edited 19th Nov '11 5:22:44 PM by xie323

 
 318 nrjxll, Sat, 19th Nov '11 5:43:35 PM Relationship Status: Not war
[up]Well, frankly that's one of the many ways the trope is broken. That doesn't mean we should expand the definition to make the misuse correct.

I'm honestly losing interest in trying to do anything here, though - it's not quite there yet, but for me this trope is very close to the Getting Crap Past the Radar level of brokenness - a page that's beyond saving and is simply being ignored until someone finally decides to just cut the thing.

edited 19th Nov '11 5:43:55 PM by nrjxll

What is this I don't even

At least 2/3s of these are wrong.

1. The first villain fails the comedy criteria as he is a parody of the Evil Chancellor archtype and is constantly Played for Laughs.

2. The second villain fails the no Offstage Villainy criteria. Since the series is comical in tone, most of the "evil" the victims of his curse do consist of Poke the Poodle. He's pretty much a regular cartoon supervillain.

3. I don't know about villain number three so I'd like some input before I send this off to the Cut List. I don't expect it to be any different.

edited 20th Nov '11 12:08:05 AM by SpellBlade

 
 320 32 Footsteps, Sun, 20th Nov '11 8:13:24 AM from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
The 11th Grover
@315 You're more giving the folks that want to completely cut this trope ammunition on why it should be cut. To be perfectly frank, your argument is very weak.

Cold-Blooded Torture is certainly something that a Complete Monster does, but it's worth noting that it alone does not make someone a Complete Monster. He doesn't just do it for the hell of it; he's trying to lure Batman into a trap. Wanton torture is more the province of a Complete Monster.

It's worth noting that almost all of the examples you give in the first paragraph are all relayed second-hand - that's Offscreen Villainy. And one consistent rule that we've had for this trope is that Offscreen Villainy does not count in any way, shape, or form for this trope. In order to be a Complete Monster, it has to be shown in some fashion.

For everything in the second paragraph, that's all really petty material. If you were arguing that the Penguin qualifies for Evil Is Petty, congratulations, you've done that. But going through the list - Freeze wasn't in an oven - it's established that it was cold (Batman can see his breath in that chamber), and Freeze would have died if he was stuck in a warm area without his armor for that long, so his only torture beyond simple confinement was that his wife was kidnapped by Joker, which is a mark against him, not the Penguin. The freezing of the cop's hand (the only actual act of torture he undertakes) was specifically done to lure Batman into a trap - and it's worth noting, if you look at the models of all the rescued cops, they all still have their hands - he didn't actually destroy anyone's hand. As for being a Bad Boss, while Penguin shows no amounts of mercy or concern for those that Batman has beaten, he also isn't all too ready to kill his own men for laughs (unlike the Joker). He's nobody's idea of a good boss, but he doesn't qualify for Bad Boss, either.

Penguin isn't motivated by a Freudian Excuse, but he is generally actually rather pragmatic. In short, while he's completely unsympathetic, he has his limits. You need more than "unrepentant villain" in order to become a Complete Monster. Beyond arguing fairly effectively that the Penguin qualifies as a Card-Carrying Villain (seriously, read that trope and consider its applicability here), you've done nothing to convince that he deserves to be listed as a Complete Monster.

edited 20th Nov '11 8:14:12 AM by 32_Footsteps

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
[up] "Freeze wasn't in an oven - it's established that it was cold (Batman can see his breath in that chamber), and Freeze would have died if he was stuck in a warm area without his armor for that long, so his only torture beyond simple confinement was that his wife was kidnapped by Joker, which is a mark against him, not the Penguin."

He was locked under a heatlamp. He didn't die in there because he had a device plugged into his chest which was keeping him alive despite his suit being gone.

"The freezing of the cop's hand (the only actual act of torture he undertakes) was specifically done to lure Batman into a trap - and it's worth noting, if you look at the models of all the rescued cops, they all still have their hands - he didn't actually destroy anyone's hand."

I assumed that was just an oversight on the part of the programmers, or laziness. Not that I blame them, why spend time making a unique model of an incredibly mangled hand that wouldn't be seen unless players were specifically looking for it? In any case, I doubt the Penguin turned to a mook and asked him to scream into a microphone just to punk Batman. Though, side note, best episode of Punked ever.

"He doesn't just do it for the hell of it; he's trying to lure Batman into a trap. Wanton torture is more the province of a Complete Monster."

Actually, Penguin does engage in wanton torture. It's probably why he has a room in his lair labeled Torture Chamber. Besides, the Arkham City stories confirm it. Even if you don't want to use them as evidence that the Penguin is a CM, you can't deny that these events never happened. They're part of the universe's canon.

"As for being a Bad Boss, while Penguin shows no amounts of mercy or concern for those that Batman has beaten, he also isn't all too ready to kill his own men for laughs (unlike the Joker). He's nobody's idea of a good boss, but he doesn't qualify for Bad Boss, either."

Here are direct quotes from Penguin in-game:

Penguin: "See I'd told you it would work. Blow the bridges and cut off the clown's forces. Easy." Mook: "But Mr. Cobblepot, we're stuck too." Penguin: "So?" Mook: "We can't get back." Penguin: "And your point is?" Mook: "Well, it's just that... You've left us over here with the Joker's crew." Penguin: "Try to take some of them down before you die, son. (Evil Laugh)"

"I give you one simple task: stick up a couple of freaking machines. And what? You couldn't even get that right? I hope Batman broke every bone in your stupid bodies. I hope you are lying there, desperately trying to breathe through fractured ribs and punctured lungs. And if you're not, you'd better summon up whatever strength you've got left and run, 'cause after I'm done with the Bat, you're all next!"

How does he not count as a Bad Boss?

I know that Arkham City IS a dark game, but not every villain is a baby-eating psychopath. Even the more evil baddies like Killer Croc, Riddler, Scarecrow and Hush haven't done enough yet to qualify as C Ms (though they're all on their way). The only villains who have done enough horrible things onscreen, act purely out of self-interest or sadism, and have no good-qualities or remorse are Joker, Penguin, and Strange. As such, they seem to be the only ones (IMO) that count as Complete Monsters.

 322 32 Footsteps, Sun, 20th Nov '11 6:54:22 PM from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
The 11th Grover
First off, they never say that it's a heat lamp. And again, you can see Batman's breath in that area - it's cold enough to see one's breath, thus it's not going to kill Mr. Freeze quickly (he probably would have died without his cryonic fluid, since it wasn't sub-zero temperatures, but even with said fluid, they make it clear in-game that a legitimately warm area would be lethal).

For the freezing hand - look, when you have to argue "programmer's oversight, " you're starting to grasp at straws. And they would make a unique model for a particular cop - they already did (the cop that the Penguin does kill has his own model).

Yes, Penguin does have a torture chamber, but wanton cruelty is not the only reason one would have a torture chamber. Moreover, you're simply working with the "torture automatically equals Complete Monster" mindset, when that isn't always the case - if we were talking, say, Strawberry Shortcake, yes, that would be enough for this status. But the depravity bar is pretty damn low in Batman: Arkham City, and torture alone isn't going to cut it.

For the Bad Boss point... seriously, read the Bad Boss trope. You need more than insulting your own troops and a "We Have Reserves" attitude, which is what the Penguin is guilty of. Just within the series itself, you have an actual example of a Bad Boss with, again, The Joker - he's willing to set off death traps that catch his own men, experiments on his own followers, the standard You Have Failed Me and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness - honestly, the Penguin is one of the better bosses in Arkham City (yes, Two-Face is probably the best, but overall, the Penguin has a pretty solid setup).

Because Arkham City is such a dark game, you do have to go pretty down far the ladder to get to this trope. I'd honestly give The Mad Hatter or The Riddler (both of whom don't quite qualify) that status before the Penguin. The Joker, Hugo Strange, and Zsasz are the only legitimate Complete Monsters in Arkham City (Zsasz technically only shows it should you fail his sequences, but he will gleefully kill innocent people should you do so), with Tetch and Nygma the closest to ascending to that level. The Penguin is well behind several other luminaries on the list, which include Hush and Killer Croc. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if Black Mask actually beat out Penguin in the likely third game of the series.

Let's just put it this way - imagine that you were near a dark alley when you turn around and suddenly saw one of the villains from Arkham City - which ones would make you a likely target of death or worse just because they felt like it? Penguin really isn't on that list.
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
 323 Shaoken, Sun, 20th Nov '11 10:55:24 PM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
323, nrjxll. You're both spectactularly missing the point here.

Complete Monsters don't need to be univserally hated by the audience. That is not and has never been a criteria for this trope. The criteria as written makes no reference to the audience hating them. We went over this in the repair shop discussion. A Complete Monster can still hae a fanbase, they can still be liked, people can respect them, etc. etc.

The trope repair shop rejected efforts to cut or permanmently delete examples; that's the cards we've been dealt. We even have three criteria which we can use to keep it strict and prevent trope decay. Arguing about things that aren't even in the trope discription will get us nowhere.

If you really have an issue with this, take it up with Fast Eddie; he dictated the current criteria, he's the only one who can get them changed.

 324 nrjxll, Sun, 20th Nov '11 11:04:20 PM Relationship Status: Not war
You're right, that's not actually a requirement and never has been - it's why Laughably Evil villains can still qualify. I personally have thought that it might be a good mindset to have about the trope, so that we would stop getting bad examples from people who feel that this is some kind of "badge of honor" for their favorite villains, but it's never been a part of the description proper.

I do think that Eddie's decisions have basically finished this off as a valid trope, but he has never been known to reverse any of these arbitrary decisions no matter how many people were against it, so there wouldn't be much point in protesting.

 325 Shaoken, Mon, 21st Nov '11 1:43:50 AM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
If it's that bad, we just open up a new page and make a new crowner about it.

And the remaining three aren't that bad. We're already keeping to the 2nd requirement of the old lot, and being Irredeamable goes with the territory anyway.

Hence, my idea is to clean up the examples page by page and lock them as soon as we're done, so no one else can add an entry without taking it here first.

That said, someone should really bing it up with Eddie that we need a fucking-HUGE notice that this trope is not a Badge of Honour and anyone trying to treat it as such will be killed (or given a warning, one of the two).

edited 21st Nov '11 1:45:34 AM by Shaoken

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