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Even Evil Has Loved Ones / Comic Books

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Examples of Even Evil Has Loved Ones in comic books.


  • The Hood is a textbook example of this trope, using some of the proceeds from his criminal activities to pay for his mother's care while also supporting his pregnant girlfriend Sara. The main villain the Hood "fights" during his first mini also counts; he loves his family greatly and was trying to find a mutant to be part of his supervillain squad because his daughter was one and asked him to hire some more.
  • In Frank Miller's To Hell and Back, the corrupt precinct captain Liebowitz lets the local crime lords run their businesses without interference, but when they worry he might be wavering, they threaten his family and break his son's arm. His response is to splatter his contact's brains across an interrogation room.
    Liebowitz: You shouldn't have threatened my family. You shouldn't have beat up my boy.
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    • Senator Roark does love his pedophile son Roark Junior and goes to great lengths (and a lot of money) to restore his son after Hartigan blows off his hand and nuts off.
  • Pre-Crisis Lex Luthor is as big a bastard as they come, but he loves his family deeply. In the Supergirl strips he goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent his sister Lena and her son from discovering their blood relationship. Supergirl herself states he only looks like a decent human being around his family. In Adventure Comics (Vol. 1) issue #388:
    Supergirl: But it was a white lie! Luthor doesn't want Val to live with the stigma of having a master criminal for an uncle! This was his one decent act in a lifetime of crime!
  • Superboy-Prime: Despite the atrocities Superboy-Prime commits, he still very much loves his parents Jerry and Naomi Kent and his girlfriend and childhood friend Laurie Lemmon. This ends up a deconstruction however, as the love he has for them becomes dark and twisted. When he finally comes home to Earth Prime and reunites with his loved ones, he is shocked to discover they have read Infinite Crisis, Sinestro Corps War, Countdown to Final Crisis, and Final Crisis - Legion of 3 Worlds, and are now terrified of him. It is implied that he killed Laurie Lemmon and his parents let him live with them out of fear. Despite becoming more possessive and controlling of his parents, he still wishes they loved him like they did before and he regrets killing Laurie.
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  • Doctor Doom's adoration of his deceased mother, Cynthia, is possibly his only unambiguously good trait. Not only that, but he simply adores Valeria Richards, and swore on the moment of her birth (which he aided in), that he would defend her with his life, and that anyone who sought to do her harm would have to deal with his wrath. In this case, Valeria cares for him as well. The girl's first word as a baby was "Doom."
  • The Fantastic Four villain the Puppet Master is a vile and evil man, but his one good trait is that he genuinely loves his stepdaughter Alicia. He initially planned to crash Alicia's wedding to Johnny Storm by killing the groom, but couldn't go through with it after seeing how happy she wasnote .
  • While this is dependent on era and writer, Ra's Al-Ghul usually truly loves his daughter Talia.
  • Sabretooth loved his mother, one of his enemies even referring to him as a mama's boy given the extent of Creed's doting on her in the nursing home when he visits. The only others Creed really bonded to were love interests, Mystique, Holly, and Bonnie. He thought about settling down with Holly, and going away with Bonnie. Sadly both died not long after they got together. He & Mystique were off-and-on since 2010, and were shown to be very affectionate when they were together.
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    • Weapon X (2017) reveals that Creed genuinely loves his normal human son Graydon (whom he had with Mystique) and despite Graydon despising him, Sabretooth saves his son from Hell after his mother Mystique killed him.
  • Speaking of Mystique, the one person she loves more than anyone is definitely her girlfriend Destiny, who's the one person Mystique has never once betrayed. When Destiny died, Mystique went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and went on to care for her biological son Nightcrawler and adoptive daughter Rogue greatly, even performing a Heroic Sacrifice once for them. But with even with all that said, she has no qualms about hurting and betraying them.
  • During DC's One Year Later event, several minor Batman villains were killed off, one of them a mutated biologist named Orca. During the storyline, it's revealed that Orca was married to a normal human, who's interviewed by the police regarding the circumstances around her death. While a little humor is taken from the relationship (the man remarking that he had a thing for big women) the pain of loss is treated seriously.
  • In the original Mirage run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Oroku Saki became bitter and resentful after his older brother, Oroku Nagi, died at Yoshi's hand. He grew up to become the feared Shredder and killed Yoshi to avenge his brother. Shredder himself had an adopted daughter, Karai. In the original Mirage comics she made peace with the Turtles after they killed her father, but in other adaptations she is still loyal to her father's cause.
  • Marvel Comics villains Absorbing Man and Titania are both mean, violent thugs, but are married and genuinely love one another. Averted in terms of Absorbing Man's ex, who is Stonewall's mother. Stonewall is the result of Creel raping Jerry's mother, and Creel doesn't care for Stonewall either.
  • Zig-zagged with Thanos and his adoptive daughter Gamora. He treats her far, far better than his other children but he still has no qualms about putting her through Training from Hell and almost killed her when she betrayed him for Adam Warlock. Regardless, Thanos’s few Pet the Dog and Papa Wolf moments are concerning Gamora, meaning she’s likely one of the few things he cares about (after Death of course).
  • Another villain couple from Marvel Comics, Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight are the married members of the Black Order who have been shown to be in a genuinely loving and affectionate relationship despite being sadistic genocidal monsters to everyone else. They prefer fighting as a Battle Couple and coordinate their attacks while referring to each other by pet names such as 'my love' and 'dear midnight'; something that they continue to do in the latest Avengers: No Surrender event. Proxima has displayed great despair or anger whenever Corvus has fallen in battle (even though she knows that her husband is effectively immortal and will regenerate given some time); while Corvus has shown to admire and indulge his wife's Blood Knight tendencies with gifts of 'first blood' whenever she wants.
  • Mr. Freeze's goal is to protect and revive his wife. This is controversially averted in the New 52, where it is retconned that Mr. Freeze never had a wife, and the frozen person he obsesses after who was frozen before he was even born, rendering him into just another generic lunatic psychopath with no redeeming traits.
  • For all his flaws and failings, Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke does genuinely love his children and his butler Billy Wintergreen. Especially in Deathstroke (Rebirth).
  • Despite General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross/Red Hulk being a type III Anti-Villain, it is clear that he loves his daughter Betty. From what we've seen in flashbacks, he loved Betty's mother Karen too; her death from cancer left him emotionally devastated.
  • The Sandman apparently had a mother he loved too much to let her know he lived a life of crime, so he changed his name to Flint Marko. When he was bitten and seemingly killed by Venom, he asked Spider-Man to tell his mother he was sorry for not being a good-guy. He also has a daughter named Keemia (or at least he believes himself to be her father) whom he is deeply protective of (although he may have killed her mother and then blotted out the memory). She was later taken away from him by Child Protective Services due to his kidnapping her. Since Spider-Man was involved, this has made the feud between the two more personal and bitter than it ever was before.
  • Norman Osborn genuinely loved his deceased wife. Whether he loves his son or not depends on the writer.
  • Spider-Man villain and mobster Tombstone is pretty ruthless in the business but, as shown in The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, he still deeply loves and cares about his daughter. In a rare instance of the loved ones also being villainous, said daughter is Janice Lincoln, the supervillain known as Beetle; she also is shown to love her father. In another twist on this trope, Janice was well-aware of her father's lifestyle and business (in fact it was partly what inspired her to become a supervillain, much to Tombstone's consternation) but still had a fairly normal childhood.
  • In the Spider-Man comic "The Coming of Chaos", Spider-Man discovers that Loki has a mortal daughter named Tess Black (among hundreds of others). Tess gets possessed by a powerful agent known as Morwen - who is a threat to Loki's power. If he didn't care about Tess, he would have killed her in order to stop Morwen. But apparently, he does not neglect his children, and at first demands Tess's release. When that fails, he asks for Spider-Man's help to save her, they go through a difficult process in order to get Tess back alive which causes more problems, and at the end of it Loki admits that he owes Spider-Man a debt for helping him save her. Yep, the God of Mischief and resident Magnificent Bastard is a Papa Wolf. Who knew?
    • Loki makes a point of not having loved ones close who would provide easy targets for his many enemies (he wipes Tess' memory for one), so to what extent he would go to save them is rarely shown... then his innocent and good-ish child version told his only friend (possibly more) that he would rather see the nine worlds burn than to lose her again. And he meant it too - he actually postponed the world-saving to save her.
  • In Trinity (2008), Enigma (the antimatter universe Riddler) is a smug, manipulative bastard who sets in motion a plan to steal cosmic power that throws the whole universe off balance so that he can save his daughter's life.
  • Deadshot, the world's greatest marksman, an unrepentant assassin, sends the money from his hits to his daughter. Secret Six basically has a team of villains forming their own kind-of family.
  • Kang the Conqueror and his love for Princess Ravonna. He even sought out the Fantastic Four, his archenemies, in order to save her from a traitor.
  • A collection of GI JOE comics detailing backstories of characters shows that part of Major Bludd's motivation to continue working for COBRA is the affluent lifestyle he is able to provide for his family by doing so.
  • During the Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters miniseries, Lester Colt grew disillusioned with working under the Administration after being sent to kill an Intergang drug runner at his five-year-old grandson's birthday party.
  • Daredevil and Spider-Man foe Kingpin is a ruthless Manipulative Bastard mob boss who rules the New York underworld with an iron fist. However he deeply loves his wife and son, even after both tried to murder him. They both died, which has done nothing but make him more cold and bitter. He later fell in love with a woman named Marta and tried to leave the business to be with her. When Lady Bullseye and the Hand killed Marta, Fisk came back to New York with a vengeance.
    • This aspect of Kingpin's character is a plot point in Ultimate Spider-Man; it's revealed that the Ultimate version of Wilson's wife fell into a mysterious coma before the start of the story. Kingpin uses his resources to care for her and strictly refuses to allow any discussion of criminal activity in front of her ("She's an ill woman. She doesn't need her head filled with our ugliness."). After a particularly difficult storyline, Daredevil decides that the only thing a man like him would understand is the murder of his wife, and Spider-Man has to try and convince him that enacting this plan would make them as bad as each other.
    • It's also subverted: Kingpin's beloved niece, Samantha, is kidnapped by a rival gangster named Fade that is attempting to muscle in on Fisk's territory. Fade intends to use the poor girl as leverage against her uncle, and an enraged Fisk pays a healthy ransom to ensure her safe return. Fade also agrees to give Samantha a letter from her mother to help comfort her before her release. Unfortunately for Fade, the letter was doctored with the trigger scent, and "Samantha" is actually X-23...
  • Another Daredevil foe Bullet, a professional assassin, has an autistic son named Lance. Lance is the one thing in the world Bullet cares for and he'll do anything to protect him.
  • Yet another Daredevil example is Purple Man, who has six children (all are from different mothers, all have inherited a weaker variant of his powers, and one has actually become a supervillain herself). He genuinely loves each and every one of them and has made multiple attempts to forge a bond with them. In a rather disturbing twist on this trope, finding out about his first daughter actually made him an even worse person; before he was happy to retire from supervillainy and just used his powers to live a life of comfort and hedonism. After he learned of her, he decided to come out of retirement and started pulling far bigger crimes than he ever committed before, as he believes he can win her affection and respect by doing so.
    • He also used to have a wife, whom he really did love. However when she learned about his powers and that he had used them to pressure her into marrying him quicker, she understandably flipped out and left him, which simply made him even more bitter and amoral. Given Purple Man's usual tendencies, it says a lot that he actually let her leave and didn't pursue or harm her.
    • On the other hand, he had no compunction using his powers on the five Purple Children, despite his claim that the reason he sought them out and basically kidnapped them was to be loved without using his powers (and also because with all their powers together, they could rule entire countries). Their response to this was to use their combined powers to make him walk in front of a train.
  • In another example from Spider-Man's rogues gallery, Adrian Toomes, the Vulture, has a little grandson whom he adores. When the kid developed a brain tumor, Toomes went on a crime spree to try and make enough money to pay for treatment, but was thwarted by Spider-Man. He was so enraged that he put Spidey in the hospital over it.
  • A story in the early 90's comic book series Mickey Mouse Adventures revealed that Mickey's archnemesis The Phantom Blot had a very young daughter. Mickey is kind enough to let the Blot tell his daughter his own version of what happened and the villain's last words to his daughter before being sent to jail is for her to dream of happy endings.
  • Magneto (though "evil" may be stretching it with him) famously has his children Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Polaris his three grandchildren, all of whom he deeply loves even when they're aiding the Avengers and X-Men against his schemes. His also genuinely loved his deceased wife and became a villain expressly because of losing his family in the Holocaust (in fact being separated from his mother is what caused his powers to activate).
  • In Convergence: Green Lantern - Parallax #2, Hal/Parallax is very pissed when Electropolis' princess and her army attack Kyle.
  • Colonel Ackerson of Halo acted like an arrogant, vengeful Jerkass throughout most of the series, going so far as to order airstrikes during "training exercises" on people he hated and authorizing a program that turns orphans in supersoldiers. But when captured by the Covenant in Halo: Uprising, he shows a bit of compassion for once in his life and fools the Covenant into sparing the city of Cleveland, possibly in the hopes of letting his brother there escape.
  • The General, a Robin villain, cares for his brother and sister even if he doesn't really get along with them. When he accidentally kills them he blames Robin for their deaths and becomes considerably more dangerous, almost dipping all of Gotham back into a violent gang war and killing anyone who matches his profile for Robin's secret identity.
  • The Flash:
    • The Rogues are a close-knit group of criminals who act as a family, albeit a dysfunctional one. They originally got together just out of practicality, and a few of the guys couldn't stand the others. But over time, they realized that they're all the family any of them has. This trope is actually the reason Captain Cold, who had been retired at that point, reformed the Rogues after they disbanded; his only family, his sister Lisa, had just been killed. While he ends up expanding the Rogues to include the newer groups also calling themselves the Rogues, he still only considered the core group (himself, Heatwave, Weather Wizard, and the legacy versions of the Trickster, Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang) as the real Rogues and his family. Among all the Rogues, they will repeatedly state that their group is just a working group and they have no attachment to each other, but they have repeatedly shown that is not the case.
    • The second Reverse-Flash, Hunter Zolomon, is noticeable for this. While he believe that heroes who've suffered tragedy will come out stronger, and that loved ones are a distraction, he himself still sees the third Flash (Wally West) as a friend, despite the fact that Hunter caused Wally's wife to miscarry. Speaking of which, the quickest way to incur Hunter's wrath is to threaten his ex-wife as the Rogues learned.
  • Warlord of Mars:
    • Senneth Dor was a cruel tyrant ever since the death of his favorite concubine and turned abusive towards their son Valian, but only tolerated him around because of his mother's memory. Despite this, he actually did care for his daughter Tasha Lia, going as far as rebuilding her as a Machine Woman after her death.
    • First-Born pirate Phondari also cares a great deal about her little brother, specially after he was mutilated by their master, and wants to steal a treasure so that they could both retire peacefully.
    • White Martian princess Phaidor genuinely falls in love with the hero John Carter, and after failing to kill his wife Dejah in a fit of jealousy, comes to regret it and cares for her too, going as far as trying to protect her from Phaidor's father Matai Shang. Even then, when he is killed by his backstabbing allies, she is completely mortified by his death.
  • Teen Titans: In her original appearances, Tara "Terra" Markov was eventually revealed to be a cruel, cold-hearted girl with no redeeming qualities. Despite this, she seems to have a genuine sweet spot for her older brother Brion.
  • In Tomahawk, Lady Shilling, the sister of Tomahawk's Archenemy Lord Shilling, adopts the identity of the Hood to seek revenge on Tomahawk after he causes her brother's death.
  • Interestingly, Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) presents this as an aspect of Eggman's relationship with Metal Sonic. Flashbacks show that Metal is clearly Eggman's favorite creation, even to the point of acting like a doting parent. And ultimately, it's being reunited with Metal that undoes Eggman's Identity Amnesia.
  • Dynamo5: Female mother and daughter supervillain team Chrysalis and Synergy appear to be close to each other, and Chrysalis claims to have been in love with Captain Dynamo, the father of her daughter Synergy.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Ares loves his children, even if they're not always on the same page as him and don't always appreciate the things he does to look out for them. Harmonia has outright worked against him at points but even during this period he gladly gave her a protected place to live. The exception seems to be Hippolyta and her sisters, and not all writers stick to the canon of Ares being their father.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Circe, who hates humanity as a whole, loves her daughter Lyta, so when Lyta ends up in the care of the Amazons and beyond Circe's reach her hatred of the Amazons is greatly multiplied.
  • In The Death of Superman, as word spreads about Superman's death, someone in prison initially rejoices, but he's quickly shut up by other inmates who remembered Superman saving some of their relatives.
  • New Gods: Despite being a God of Evil, Darkseid did truly love his first wife Suli, which is why his mother had Desaad poison her-to ensure she couldn't pull off a Love Redeems and Darkseid would become a tyrant. It worked alright, as Darkseid had Desaad poison her. This love he had for Suli is the main reason why he always brings back Kalibak despite his contempt for his incompetence.
  • Birthright: Even though God-King Lore is a brutal and relentless despot, he is revealed to genuinely care for his daughter Mastema albeit in a very twisted manner; he seeks to mold her into his heir by securing her training with magical teachers and tried to provide her with children of her age for companionship. Unfortunately for him, she hates him for being an Evil Overlord and ends up rebelling against him, which frustrated Lore to no end.
  • Poison Ivy mostly thinks humans are worthless scum deserving of death, but really does love Harley Quinn.


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