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    DC Comics 
  • The Joker himself has run into problems thanks to this trope. Whenever a new Society of Super Villains comes together, The Joker is often excluded. Whilst any decent team-up of bad guys can tolerate a certain amount of back-stabbing and greed (it comes with the territory, after all), the Joker is so absolutely wildly unpredictable that even though he has no powers, most other villains are just flat fucking terrified of him. Summed up best by this quote from Underworld Unleashed:
    The Trickster: Good going, Neron. Pick a guy no one wants to be in the room with. When villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories.
    • He's the Joker. He invited himself.
    • On the other hand, Lex Luthor generally makes it a point to invite the Joker to his super-villain team-ups. Granted, he does this for the pragmatic reason that as uncontrollable as the Joker is, it's still better to have him going hog-wild on the heroes than on your super-villain team-up because he thinks you snubbed him. The wrap-up of Infinite Crisis makes this a plot point.
    • The Joker himself demonstrated this during the Emperor Joker storyline in the Superman series. Given ultimate power, Joker kills Batman in horrific ways after resurrecting him every night, kills everyone associated closely with Batman (Robin, Nightwing, Huntress), eats all the billion-plus people in China, plans on destroying the entire universe... but when a twisted Jimmy Olsen offers to help the boss by killing Superman (at the time turned into a regular dog), Joker is not pleased.
    Joker: Sorry, kid. Try as I might, I just can't find anything funny in killing a dumb animal... *Jimmy gets beaten to death by brightly-colored robots wielding giant rubber chickens*
    • In the Last Laugh storyline, The Joker is in prison and he is invited to join the Aryan gang. He declines, stating "I may be evil, but you guys are just plain mean."
    • There was a story line in which the Joker was kicked out of Hell for this reason.
    • In Death of the Family, this is invoked by The Joker of all people about Captain Boomerang, although mostly as a means of taunting Harley.
    • The Joker's murder of Sarah Essen-Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's wife, in Batman: No Man's Land is this by the Joker's own standards. After he shoots her, he walks away from the scene frowning, without a single word. If the Joker himself doesn't think something is funny, it's seriously wrong. This is why seeing the Joker stop laughing in his cell at Arkham was one of the creepiest harbingers of the ascendancy of Anton Arcane and his fellow escapees from Hell in Swamp Thing.
    • As of Dark Nights Metal, even The Joker found someone so horrifying, he had to team up with Batman to stop him - The Batman Who Laughs. The Joker even directly states that as horrible and painful as the things he planned on doing were in his treachery toward the Legion of Doom...none of it is even half as bad as the utter hell The Batman Who Laughs wants to do. To use Joker's own words; He is...wrong.
    • Interestingly, in The Dark Knight Returns, the Joker had no qualms having a Neo-Nazi woman who wore swastika pasties on her boobs and butt work for him. Then again, said story was written before most of the examples where he was shown to hate nazis were.
  • As far as treason is concerned, in a Justice League of America story, Two-Face found out he was potentially involved with the Qwardians for what would have been a plan to take over Earth. When his famous coin "came up clean" (whole/pure side up) he went to the Justice League: since Batman was out of Gotham, he talked to Green Lantern first. It was a shocker to The Flash when he found Two-Face on the Satellite, and it took one of Hal's energy bubbles around Barry to get the Speedster to listen.
  • Lobo. For all of the Omnicidal Maniac that he may be (just remember what he did to his homeworld), he will ALWAYS stick to his word. ALWAYS. However, Lobo often only keeps the letter of his word, not the spirit, doing exactly what he promised and nothing more... and God help you if you harm his beloved space dolphins. He was kicked out of Hell and granted immortality so he wouldn't come back. For obvious reasons, Heaven didn't want him either. In fact, he's been rejected by every afterlife there is, including the Nordic afterlife, in which the einherjar fight all day, every day, then feast and party all night, every night, because he's too violent for them to tolerate.
  • In the last chapter of The Monster Society of Evil, as Mister Mind is being tried, his lawyer, who he knows to be a slick Amoral Attorney, hears of Mister Mind's crimes and tells Mister Mind he hopes he gets the electric chair.
  • Arkham Asylum: Living Hell has the Joker talking down to a scam-artist corporate executive who got himself judged "Not guilty by reason of insanity." Granted, he's usually crazily giggling and "playing" with cultural values, and bashing executives sounds right up his alley... except he and the plot are completely serious about this. As far as can be told, the issue here is that Warren White is just that big of an asshole. More specifically he says "I've killed people, but I didn't steal their kid's college funds." Hilariously, the Joker isn't the only one who does this in the story. Everyone the scam artist meets in Arkham calls him the "worst man I've ever met." The asylum director (understandable in his case, as Warren robbed him of his pension), Humpty Dumpty, the Joker, and demons from hell—and Humpty is Warren's friend. Oddly enough, White doesn't suffer from this after he truly goes insane and ends up looking like a sharkman after getting locked in Mr. Freeze's cell. The other villains love him and are happy to take advantage of the services he offers unaware that he made a Deal with the Devil that will let him torture them in Hell after they all eventually die.
  • Batman villain Firefly, a professional arsonist, was working side-by-side with Killer Moth for a short while before Moth realized that his partner was dangerously insane (believing that he could see visions in flames, among other things) and promptly cut all ties with him. Mind, Moth's been on both sides of this trope: when partnered with some other lesser Batman villains in a plan to kidnap Mayor Krol, Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne, he fully intended to let all three die. This caused a rapid breakdown with his "colleagues", who saw it as a first-class ticket to the chair.
  • In an issue of Gotham City Sirens, Poison Ivy tied up and gagged a nosy coworker who had threatened to reveal her secret identity to the police. Ivy initially planned to kill the woman in order to silence her permanently, but instead released her upon learning that she had a young daughter.
  • Joker's sidekick Harley Quinn is generally far less violent than Mistah J when left on her own, and never killed "innocent" people in her solo series or the Harley & Ivy stories. She stopped Ivy from executing the C-list heroine Thorn after she attacked them, instead convincing Ivy to leave her hanging Bound and Gagged from a statue. Then again, this had an added Cruel Mercy aspect since Thorn was left thoroughly humiliated after being discovered by the local citizens.
    • There's also a story from Batman: Black and White where Harley and Ivy rescued a little girl who was being pursued by a sexual predator. They promptly kicked the guy's ass before Batman even had a chance to show up, and the girl was left completely unaware that the women who rescued her were homicidal supervillains.
    • In the first issue of her New 52 title, Harley drags a man behind her motorcycle after she catches him abusing a dog.
  • In Geoff Johns's mid-2000's run of The Flash, Captain Cold violently beats his fellow Rogue Mirror Master for using cocaine. Justified in that he wants to run an efficient ship, and drugged-up partners aren't very conducive to that.
    • Captain Cold has a record of this: during Identity Crisis, he was noted to have sent flowers to the funeral of the murdered wife of superhero Elongated Man. He's generally been portrayed as viciously mercenary, but strictly professional. It's never—well, rarely—personal.
      • He and the Rogues also stop cold during the middle of a robbery when they find out about it. This is partly because they knew that superheroes would be on the rampage after Sue's death, but it was also out of respect for one of their foes.
    • Cold also mentions breaking Axel (Trickster II's) ribs and docking his take after he caught the kid tying bombs to dogs and homeless people to make snuff films. Axel's a bit of a psychopath, Len tries to keep him... straight... ish.
    • Mirror Master himself, despite being a merc/assassin (and apparently an on-again off-again cokehead), will not kill children.
    • Most of the Rogues have some line they won't cross; Gorilla Grodd, Kadabra and the Reverse-Flashes are the exceptions. It's mentioned several times that the other rogues do not consider these homicidal maniacs part of the team.
    Trickster: The Rogues never let Kadabra play our little reindeer games. We told each other he was so pompous and throwing his education in our faces. Truth was, he scared the hell out of us. We were a little crazy but jeez, Kadabra was just insane.
    • When he discovered a female cop he had a one-night stand with had produced a child, Weather Wizard tried to kidnap the infant, intending to sacrifice him and absorb his power. At the last minute, gazing into the baby's eyes, Wizard realized he couldn't bring himself to kill a baby, let alone his own son.
    • It's one reason the Rogues keep to themselves. When Libra was recruiting other supervillains to join his team, the Rogues turned him down. They just steal stuff—mass murdering of superheroes and civilians isn't their game. (Though this may have to do with Pragmatic Villainy.)
    • In Blackest Night, when the Rogues discover that Captain Boomerang Jr. has been "feeding" people to his Black Lantern dad--including, apparently, women and children--in a desperate attempt to restore him to life, the Rogues kill him (by tossing him to the tender mercies of his own father) after Captain Cold directly declares "The Rogues don't kill women or children."
    • In one Silver Age story the Trickster breaks into a hobby store and weaponizes three of the toys in stock to use in robberies, but goes to the trouble of going in the next day and buying them (instead of just walking off with them while he was there) because he's "not a mean man." Subverted in the same story, combined with Hypocritical Humor, when he comments that, not being a mean man, he wouldn't normally endanger civilians — but it's worth it to distract the Flash, who will save them all anyway.
    • In another Silver Age story, Captain Cold is offended that Heat Wave served his sentence and was released on parole instead of breaking out — "If there's one thing I hate more than a straight man, it's a crook that pretends to go straight!" To take revenge, he plans to trick him into killing Barry Allen, because Heat Wave will be demoralized and easy to capture once he realizes he murdered an innocent.
    • In Forever Evil, Cold and the other Rogues raise up a rebellion against the Crime Syndicate after they order the destruction of Central City. The Rogues may have no qualms with conquering the world, but they sure as hell aren't about to kill a bunch of innocent women and children to make it happen.
      • In the same event, Captain Cold ends up in an Enemy Mine situation where he has to team up with Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Black Adam, and Black Manta. He is visibly disturbed when Black Manta implies that he wants to make sure the members of the Crime Syndicate suffer as much as possible before they die.
    Black Manta: Your gun will make them numb. I don't want them to be numb.
    Captain Cold: You have issues.
    • Some iterations of The Rogues outright ban members from killing any of the speedsters. Captain Cold loses it when Axel Walker kills Wally West.
    Captain Cold: Rule one of The Rogues: Never kill a speedster.
    • Black Adam gets this treatment as well. He may be a murderous Anti-Villain, but he does not take kindly to tyrants and dictators.
    Black Adam: You and your foolish allies have come here to rule our world. But I've spent my life ripping apart those that would.
  • The Teen Titans foe Cheshire, in her earliest appearances, did have standards. One issue had her hired by a white racist to murder a black civil rights leader who was pushing to end Apartheid in South Africa, with the added insult of then framing her victim as a Soviet sympathizer. This would effectively tarnish his reputation and lead to other black activists being discredited and killed, thus bringing the civil rights movement to a halt. However, upon killing the activist, Cheshire instead planted the evidence on her own employer, leading to his arrest and execution for treason, as well as the murdered activist becoming a martyr. It was earlier implied that Cheshire's own racial heritage (being half-Vietnamese) led to her obvious discomfort over being hired by white supremacists.
    • Time went on, however, and Cheshire apparently decided that to get what she wants, maybe she shouldn't have standards. Amongst her later career, she literally detonated a nuke in a Middle Eastern country, manipulated Catman into getting her pregnant, and announced she didn't care that her daughter could be killed for her employer due to said pregnancy as she would still have a child afterwards.
      • The latter incident however seems to have been Retconned to an extent, since she was absolutely devastated and vengeful when her daughter did actually die. Either that or she was bluffing when she said she didn't care about her in the first place. In all honesty, Cheshire's characterization has not been consistent since the Qurac incident. She's either portrayed as having at least some shred of decency left inside her or she's portrayed as incapable of any genuine emotional capability.
    • An Action Comics story had her assuring a Bound and Gagged hostage that she had zero intention of harming him since he had nothing to do with the actual assassination she was hired to commit. So at least at first, she tried to steer clear of harming innocents during her murders.
    • She wound up on the wrong end of this with Deathstroke after she sold out her own team to him and was shot in the gut for her troubles, with Wilson making a point of noting just how much traitors disgusted him.
  • Set up to be Lampshaded, when Luthor decides on members for his new Injustice Gang. Cheetah objects to recruiting Doctor Light because he was a rapist, but Luthor dismisses this reasoning, stating that "if we want to limit our membership to people of good character...". Later, Cheetah has Dr. Light at her mercy, and evokes this trope... sorta:
    Cheetah: Did you think I would work with a rapist without there being consequences?!?
    Dr. Light: But... you're... you're a murderer...
    Cheetah [raising her claws to eviscerate him]: Do as I say, not as I do.
  • In the late Bronze Age story "The Einstein Connection" by Elliot S! Maggin (a writer who had a definite soft spot for the original Mad Scientist Lex Luthor), we learn that one of the few people the brilliant Luthor unabashedly considers a personal hero is Albert Einstein. While fleeing Superman at one point, he passes a body of water and sees somebody drowning. Though grumbling about it, he dives in and rescues the person, even though it costs him his escape, because he just can't bring himself to act like an S.O.B. on Einstein's birthday.
    • This became a subplot in Final Crisis with Luthor and Dr. Sivana. Originally in league with Libra, both quickly started covertly planning against Libra when they realized the true extent of Darkseid and Libra's plans. Lex decided he rather liked life (as opposed to anti-life) and Sivana said watching his own daughter submit to the Anti-Life Equation was the last straw. Libra's statement that leading the rearguard would grant Lex first place in line in what was implied to be a rape train on Supergirl probably helped to push Lex to find his moral fortitude as well.
    • In Grant Morrison's JLA, Luthor physically struck the Joker after the villain openly mocked a group of innocent children who had accidentally been killed during the Injustice Gang's attack on the Justice League. At the end of the story, Lex used the Rock of Ages to resurrect the dead children, with the justification that he could no longer be charged for any crimes if his victims were restored to life. Superman didn't buy this for a second, and told Lex that he knew he did it because he felt bad over the children's deaths, proving that deep down, there is some good in him.
    • In Forever Evil, Luthor is genuinely distraught after Bizarro is killed, crossing into Tearjerker territory.
    Captain Cold: Forget that thing. It was just a monster anyway.
    Lex Luthor: But he was MY monster!
  • In the final Ms. Tree stories, when the title character is heavily pregnant, there are multiple attempts to kill her. The current head of the Muerta crime family, who now considers the detective family because of her stepson's strong relationship with his niece, confronts the man who commissioned the attempts and tells him that had he known that Tree was the target he would never have agreed to it. However, what really sets him off is Tree's current state; he roars, "You tried to kill a pregnant woman, have you no shame?!" and immediately orders his goons to kill him.
    • The attempts were because the baby was not the son of Ms. Tree's deceased husband, but of a rebound lover, and therefore eligible for a chunk of inheritance that the would-be murderer wanted all for himself.
  • Secret Six, a comic about a team of supervillain mercenaries, gets quite a lot of play out of the fact that, while they're all evil, the main characters all have different standards. In one issue Deadshot shoots an escaping slave in the back.
    Deadshot: She ran, I shot. I don't know what you want from me.
    Bane: Murdering slaves? Have you no scruples at all, mercenary?
    • But Deadshot then gets really pissed off when he finds out the "slave" he shot had actually been set free by her jailer, and the guy who told her she was escaping knew this.
  • In Watchmen, The Comedian, known for beating and attempting to rape the first Silk Spectre and shooting a pregnant woman who was carrying his child (in the stomach), is horrified when he discovers Ozymandias' plans. Since Comedian was at best a sociopath who, by his own words, saw life as one big Nihilistic joke, another interpretation is that what terrified and upset Comedian was less the lives lost, but more the possibility that Ozymandias' plan would succeed and create a world that he would have no place in.
    • He is also appalled when Sally insinuates that he would want to commit incest with his daughter.
      Sally: Are there no depths you won't sink to?
      Comedian: Christ, we were just talking! Can't a man talk to his, y'know, his old friend's daughter? I mean, what do you think I am?
  • In Legion of Super-Heroes: Legion of Three Worlds, when Superboy Prime frees all of the villains held captive on the prison planet, a temporary truce is called and all internal politics are abolished until the Legion is dealt with. However, the vast majority of the inmates make it very clear that once this is all over, they're coming for fellow prisoner Earth-Man and his Justice League of Earth, a gang of Terran supremacists who are essentially the 31st century version of the Aryan Nation.
  • Wonder Woman foe Dr. T.O. Morrow eventually turns against his own creation Genocide and works to help the Amazons defeat it, because he's of Polish ancestry and doesn't want anything to do with a creature who is the personification of genocide.
  • In Batman Incorporated, one member of the blue-collar crime gang Joe Average and the Average Joes gets very annoyed when it's suggested they have a connection to the similar French group Les Stereotypes, who run a child-slavery ring.
  • Darkseid seems to fall under this. Despite being one of the most evil beings in existence, he does keep his word, such as letting Batman and Supergirl go during the Supergirl arc of Superman/Batman when Bats threatened to destroy his planet. That said, it didn't stop him from coming down to Earth to royally fuck up Superman, who was not part of the deal. There's also the whole deal with trading sons as a peace treaty. He'll find a loophole, but he usually doesn't betray his deals or promises. Then there was the fact that he threw the villain Sleez, who would later go on to try and make a porn movie with an unwilling Big Barda and Superman, out of Apokolips for being such a creep. (Note that he kicked Sleez out of Apokolips while he was still called Prince Uxas, before he truly ruled the place. If he had, it's doubtful he would have let the creep live.)
    • In an old Justice League International issue, he allowed the League to leave Apokalips unharmed after he gave his word that they wouldn't be killed. He may be a monster, but at least he honors his promises!
  • Another Batman example: The Broker narrates an issue to himself in Streets of Gotham. He's a businessman who buys abandoned properties and sells them to super villains for evil lairs (He also has the woman who provides the image for Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain fix the lairs up), he treats his employees well, and works on the standards of privacy and discretion, he also says you need to give to get in Gotham. He also says, that he just sells the things, he doesn't need to know what goes on in them. He mentions how Catwoman, Joker, and Mad Hatter are easy to deal with, but then there's Mr. Zsasz. He's the only man who makes the Broker want to reconsider his job. When he sells Zsasz a meat cutting facility, he sees children in cages begging for him to help them. He takes his money and leaves to go home and try to forget the experience. When Batman demands to know Zsasz's whereabouts, The Broker displays a different set of standards, and how he would never willingly divulge a customers business, no matter how he feels about them. After he's beaten up and Batman takes his records, it's implied that he wanted that to happen, as you have to give in order to get in Gotham; he thought the beating was payment for the information, and he would lose business if people found out he gave out the information without a fight.
  • In Infinite Crisis, Vandal Savage quits the Society when they attempt to have his daughter Scandal killed for refusing to join up with them, though given that Savage was perfectly okay with arranging for her to be raped to impregnate her with an heir for him, this was probably less about morals and more about pragmatism.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws: Arsenal's most cherished memory? Hitting Rock Bottom and trying to fight Killer Croc in order to "suicide by Croc", only to have Croc realize this and tell him to get his act together. A scaled-up beast told Arsenal he was embarrassing, meaning there was nowhere to go but up.
    • Later Waylon Jones, a.k.a. Killer Croc, becomes his sponsor in his Alcoholics Anonymous Program.
    • Another Killer Croc moment in the New 52 is in his Villains Month comic, where he savagely hunts down and kills a few crooked cops for the murder of a cop who was nice to him when he was a child. Croc may not hold much love for police, but he knows who his friends are.
  • One Annual of The Batman Adventures had a story where Scarecrow, under a new identity, has started teaching at a local college and looked to be redeeming himself. Then he found out one of his prized students was and still is a victim of abuse, possibly rape, by her Jerk Jock boyfriend. That was enough to bring back Scarecrow and to show the boyfriend that even someone who's obsessed with other people's fear has limits.
  • In one Batman storynote , Catwoman is mind-wiped by The Joker and "convinced" to attack a rich family whose members included a bitty Ill Girl. When Joker tried to attack the girl and harm her in front of her father and older brother, Catwoman broke free of the mind control and attacked him, yelling that she was a thief, not a murderer.
  • Played for Laughs in Thunderworld #1, which is set in a Lighter and Softer version of the DC universe where the main heroes are the Marvel family. The plot involves Dr. Sivana bringing together an infinite amount of Alternate Universe versions of himself to create a day in which he can defeat Captain Marvel once and for all. One of these versions, it turns out, is a Darker and Edgier Jigsaw-like character who went back in time to horrifically butcher Billy Batson before he became Captain Marvel, and wants other versions to kill. The other Sivanas, who are basically Card Carrying Villains, are clearly pretty weirded out.
    Jigsaw - Dr. Sivana: Bring them to me! The pretty little heroine, the bright boy! I can't wait to mess them up bad.
    Regular - Dr. Sivana: Er... quite.
  • Convergence:
    • In Convergence: Batman and Robin, Poison Ivy of the pre-Flashpoint Gotham has been making sure the city doesn't starve by growing crops for the population. And she's disgusted that the Penguin would try to make a profit off the food she's been making given the situation Gotham's in.
    • Telos of all people pulls one on the pre-Flashpoint Joker. After snapping the neck of the clown, Telos proceeds to call him a "vile creature", and a "plague in every timeline".
    • The Pre-Crisis Crime Syndicate see themselves as this. It's clarified that, while they're lawbreakers, they've never intended to actually hurt anyone and were not killers. This actually plays upon their deaths in Crisis on Infinite Earths where they tried to save Earth-Three, and in Animal Man when Ultraman finds himself utterly disgusted by his alternate world counterpart Overman and tries to stop his rampage.
  • In Transmetropolitan, "the Beast" is a hopelessly corrupt President Evil, but even he hates "the Smiler" is worried about him becoming president. The Beast, for example, believes he'll be a good president if over 50% of the population is happy. The Smiler only believes he should be president.

    Marvel Comics 
  • This trope explains it all, and made life difficult for the Marvel Universe Nazi villain Red Skull, as the other villains he has teamed with, notably Magneto, have ultimately attempted to kill him. At one point he even left him Buried Alive. Of course, being a Holocaust survivor who lost family to the camps, Magneto has a significant personal score to settle. This also goes for Doctor Doom, being of Roma descent, though they've managed some very occasional Teeth-Clenched Teamwork when Doom thinks there's something big in it for him. The Kingpin also refuses to do business with Red Skull, because like most old-school Mob bosses he's a patriot at heart, not to mention a devoted capitalist.
    • The Red Skull is a monster even by Nazi standards, and that's the whole point of him (according to the backstory account of Hitler more or less taking him on as a protege on what amounts to a bet that he could make him into the ultimate Nazi.) How monstrous the Skull became is illustrated by what he ultimately did to his mentor: Imprisoned in an inescapable, formless, empty void. By pure trickery. (The fact Hitler wasn't nearly as good a strategist as he thought he was, in real life or comics, probably helped.)
    • The relatively minor villain Flag Smasher (who attempted to destroy all governments on principle and was a particular foe of Captain America) went directly to Captain America for help when he learned he was being bankrolled by the Red Skull.
    • Probably the only exception to this is Norman Osborn, who not only tried to help Skull with his plan to gain control of Captain America's body, but bankrolled this endeavor and hoped to team up with the Skull as his own personal Captain America for the Dark Avengers. It makes sense, in retrospect, given this was Norman during his Dark Reign days, where he was very much an expy of Lex Luthor, along with the fact that Norman is a psychotic bigot himself.
  • The Mad Thinker, an enemy of the Fantastic Four, showed that there was a line he would not cross in a storyline where he formed a partnership with the Wizard (another enemy of the Fantastic Four) in a scheme that involved kidnapping Reed and Sue Storm's young son Franklin. When the Wizard revealed that the plan would more than likely result in Franklin's death, the Mad Thinker objected to it. Because the Wizard refused to abort the plan, the Thinker dissolved the partnership and contacted the Thing, Franklin's godfather, who aided him in defeating the Wizard.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • In All New Ultimates, villainous gang leader Diamondback doses teen hero Bombshell with a drug to make her helpless and compliant, and then specifically tells her mooks not to try anything on her. One of them suggests having some 'fun' with her anyway and she beats him unconscious.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: The Enforcers betrayed their Boss, Mr. Big, and sided with Kingpin when Mr. Big defied him. Kingpin killed him while the Enforcers held him. Ox would eventually regret his choice, and started drowning his sorrows.
  • In West Coast Avengers, this leads to the defeat of the Lethal Legion. The villains are more than happy to engage in things like murder and kidnapping, but end up turning on their boss Grim Reaper after it's revealed that he's a racist.
  • In the Age of Apocalypse timeline:
    • Wolverine's nemesis Sabretooth pulls an epic Heel–Face Turn and becomes a well-respected superhero. He still started off as a pretty bad guy, but realized he'd had enough upon learning that Apocalypse planned to kill off the entire human race. (It should be noted that in this reality Sabertooth was less animalistic and frenzied than his standard counterpart.)
    • While not going so far, Mister Sinister is also disgusted in this continuity by Apocalypse, who he considers unnecessarily barbaric, and by Dark Beast, who he disdainfully regards as a petty sadist.
  • While not a villain, Deadpool generally has very little regard for human life and might as well be the Trope Namer for Comedic Sociopathy. Despite this, he flips out after Fantomex kills a child who could've potentially become a villain, and makes sure to give him a What the Hell, Hero? speech after the mission is over. He even goes on to form a close bond with a clone of the murdered child, leading to a few Pet the Dog scenes.
    • Even back when he was a completely amoral mercenary who would switch sides in the middle of a fight if he was offered more money, Deadpool had standards. Once, he was part of a team of mercenaries that had been hired to capture Wolverine, and they tailed Logan to a bar. The rest of the mercs were eager to get started so they could collect their paychecks, and got ready to leave the room from where they were watching Logan and enter the bar.
    Mercenary: Well, we may as well get started-
    Deadpool: Sit down.
    Mercenary: What?
    Deadpool: The man just bought a drink. We let him finish it. Now sit down.
    • He also kills a psychiatrist who took advantage of a troubled teenaged client, which resulted in her committing suicide. He did the job for free, and was completely serious throughout pretty much the entire story and grew quite pissed when he began talking about it. The moral? If Deadpool's inner voices ain't around and he's being completely calm and serious, someone has done something even he wouldn't do. And he's not gonna kill them, he's gonna murder them.
    • In the Deadpool vs Carnage arc after he finds the bodies of a couple and their children whom Carnage had taken hostage and murdered, he mentions that while he and Carnage are both crazy he would never do something like that.
      • Basically, hurting kids is one of the very few lines that Deadpool won't cross, and is one of the quickest ways to legitimately anger him.
    • Deadpool also hates racism. When out with Spider-Man, he uses an image inducer to change his appearance for the club. Spider-Man notes that he's black now, which Deadpool says is awesome because being black is cool. Unless you're racist. Spider-Man says he's not racist but- Deadpool cuts him off, noting that's good because he can't stand racists. One of his dearest friends, Emily Preston, is black and his daughter is usually depicted as a Chocolate Baby - though it varies on occasion, Depending on the Artist.
    • During the time when Deadpool was working for the Butler, he was sent to go and kill a married couple, and was accompanied by Sabertooth. Once all was said and done, Deadpool would have his memory erased of the event. Deadpool pretty much blew up the house. Turns out, that couple were Wade's parents. Wade pretty much blew up his childhood home, and doesn't know because his memory was erased afterwards. It is very obvious Sabertooth thought this was awful, and clearly felt bad for Deadpool.
  • Played for laughs in an issue of Spider-Man where Carnage (who had just committed yet another massacre, and left one person alive to sow panic) attacks a Jerkass businessman who had illegally parked in a handicapped spot.
    Carnage: Hey, mister! In case you didn't notice, that spot's reserved for the handicapped.
    Businessman: Mind your own business, shorty, I'm in a hurry.
    Carnage: Shorty... moi? Aw, gee... and here I was, trying to save you from getting a ticket. Heyyy! I just got an even better idea. If you really want that space—I'll cripple you so that you're entitled to it! I never could stomach a pompous fool like you! You think you're better than other people just because you have a fancy job and a fat wallet!
  • Mighty Avengers introduces a group of German extremists called W.E.S.P.E., who apparently hate HYDRA. When someone mentions HYDRA, one of the W.E.S.P.E. members remarks that he and his teammates may be nihilists, but at least they're not Nazis.
  • Speaking of which, in Secret Empire, Black Ant and Taskmaster are initially wary of working with HYDRA. Black Ant even says while he and Taskmaster may be amoral criminals and killers, they aren't racists or Nazis. They end up being persuaded to join after Madame Hydra claims that the rumors of HYDRA being Nazis are merely lies spread by their enemies.
  • In Incredible Hercules, Hera, currently running the Olympus Corp, has a plan. A big plan. As of the writing of this entry, we don't entirely know what it is. What we do know, though, is that Norman "Green Goblin" Osborn, one of the ultimate dog kickers in Marvel as a whole, is downright aghast when he finds out what it is! If the man who is turning the world into his own personal oyster, and taking numerous baddies along for the ride, sees something as going too far, then that should be ringing a multitude of alarms.
    • Turns out it was the destruction of this universe in favour of one of Hera's own creation. No wonder even Norman couldn't stomach that.
  • Before Parker Robbins become The Hood, he was a thief, liar and supervillain fan who seduced and knocked up a gorgeous girl, and was cheating on her with a Russian prostitute. His cousin, John King, is an alcoholic who never worked a single legal job in his life. But when an agent of terrorist organization HYDRA offered them a job, they told him about how much they hate terrorists, beat him and stole his shoes.
    • Would have stolen the suit but John pissed on him.
  • In War of Kings, Vulcan is a Galactic Conqueror, but even he found Black Bolt's Assimilation Plot a terrible thing.
  • In X-Force (the team that later became X-Statix), while the team isn't evil they're certainly amoral. However, when they see the patently insane and violent (even by their standards) Corkscrew making his way through team tryouts like a pro, it's decided that the only option is to have Doop take him out back and murder him with a logging axe.
  • In the twelfth ever issue of Daredevil, Matt Murdock happens to be on the very cruise ship boarded by fearsome pirate the Plunderer. After changing into his Daredevil costume and pounding the Plunderer's goons, he makes a break for the man himself. But the Plunderer's taken hostages and threatens to toss them overboard into the shark-infested waters unless Daredevil surrenders. Not willing to risk their lives, DD relents, and one of the Plunderer's crewmen suggests tossing him overboard instead. The Plunderer is positively outraged at the very suggestion: "Silence, you scurvy toad! I have given my word!" For his part, Daredevil is impressed.
    • One Daredevil graphic novel has a mob boss refusing to let the Mafia make money from rackets such as drug-dealing and child prostitution; the mob may be criminals, but they aren't animals. Unfortunately for him, his consigliere is Wilson Fisk, better known as the Kingpin, who snaps his neck and takes over. It's implied that Fisk was actually privately encouraging the guy to take a stand on this issue, just so he could have an excuse for his murderous coup.
    • Kingpin has been the subject of flip-flops of epic proportions: either he thinks drug dealing is rock bottom, or he's single-handedly keeping about half the world's drug barons in business.
  • In an early issue of Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man, Ezekiel Stane murders a bunch of tobacco executives after explaining to them that, even if he makes weapons for terrorists and psychos, he is disgusted by how they make their money.
    Ezekiel: I might deal with murderers, but you guys — you guys are addicting kids and murdering them yourselves.
  • In the Fantastic Four Unlimited from July 1995, the villian Maelstrom is willing to destroy the universe... but not his own son.
    Maelstrom: But— I'll NOT slay my own offspring!
    Ant-Man: I can't believe this! Maelstrom— going paternal on us!?
  • Parodied in Runaways with Chase's mom, who reacts with horror at the suggestion that she get an abortion, saying it would make her a monster... while standing in front of the human sacrifice she is about to make in order to bring about the end of the world.
  • In an issue of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, the Grey Gargoyle is commissioned by a wealthy client to steal the Venus De Milo. Once he returns with the stolen statue, the client has one more job for him; to petrify a kidnapped super model so he can chop off her arms and put them on the statue. The Gargoyle responds by apologizing to the young lady for what she's been put through then petrifying his former client before he leaves.
  • Doctor Doom once hired Typhoid Mary to steal the Power Pack's alien technology, but called it off when she decided the best way to do it was by assassinating their father. After the way he tragically lost his parents, he couldn't stand the thought of the Pack being orphaned the way he was. Which makes it odd that he's willing to do it to Franklin and Valeria. But then, that's RICHAAAARRRRRDSSSSS!
    • Given that Doom has frequently shown outright paternal feeling for the Richards kids (particularly Valeria) himself, he probably figures he could raise them better himself.
    • Doom also has no tolerance for racism. In the graphic novel Emperor Doom, when he finally succeeds in taking over the world, one of the first things he does is end apartheid in South Africa. Which makes sense given that his mother was Romani, an ethnic group that is still routinely persecuted in many parts of Europe.
    • In the Lee-Kirby "village of the damned" Fantastic Four story, Doctor Doom has the Fantastic Four trapped in his own private museum in Latveria, and is about to kill Reed, Ben and Johnny in the presence of Sue and Crystal (who don't know what he is doing - that for an extra point of cruelty). However, a minion takes it on himself to try and murder the male FF with a flamethrower, even though Reed yells at him that that would burn untold amounts of great art. As it turns out, Doom agrees, and he turns his sonic weapon on the minion, killing him instantly, and showing his hand to Reed. But, as Doom says as he is killing the minion, what are a few lives in front of immortal art? A feeling we might even agree with, were it not that he means, what does it matter if I don't get to murder people just this once?
    • In Doom's short-lived feature in Astonishing Tales, he once tortured a prisoner for details about Vibranium. As soon as the prisoner gave up the information, Doom released him unharmed. When one of Doom's henchmen suggested that they simply kill the prisoner instead, Doom backhanded him across the room and threatened to have him take the prisoner's place on the torture rack if he ever suggested something so dishonorable again.
  • Jonathan Caesar was a Yandere obsessed with Spider-Man's wife Mary Jane, who was willing to commit murder to have her and ruin her life to break her spirit. However, he was disgusted by a mercenary he hired who killed animals for fun, calling him a "barbarian".
  • Marvel MAX Bullseye is one of the few people you wouldn't expect to have standards, seeing as he's done many horrifying things over the course of his self-titled arc in The Punisher MAX, even the deaths of four different families in just a week, consisting of a wife, a son and daughter, slaughtered to reenact the death of Frank Castle's family, so he could feel how Frank feels. But he, of all people, is not a fan of smoking.
  • Superior Spider-Man establishes that Doctor Octopus, despite all his faults, has one particular Berserk Button: harming children. He savagely beats (and nearly kills) the Vulture after seeing him strike a child, and goes out of his way to save the life of a young girl he had earlier injured during one of his schemes.
  • In an issue of Spider-Man, Jason Macendale (aka the Hobgoblin) tries to sell his soul to the demonic N'Astirh in exchange for increased power. N'Astith responds by laughing in Macendale's face, telling him that his soul is so warped and disgusting that not even a demon would want to buy it.
  • Black Tom Cassidy is a longtime X-Men villain who has committed some truly despicable acts, but he cares for his niece and former partner in crime Theresa. When Tom saw that Theresa had been paralyzed by one of Spider-Woman's venom blasts and mistakenly thought she'd been hurt (or worse), he was genuinely distraught. After realizing that it was his life of crime that had endangered Theresa in the first place, Tom lied to the police and told them that she had nothing to do with his heists, and asked Storm to look after her.
  • In the Wolverine story The Adamantium Men, Wolverine and his rival combatant (part of a twelve-man mercenary team, employed by Blackguard and made to emulate Wolverine with laser claws and nanite healing factors) are busy fighting in the streets of San Francisco. The two have by this point fought all the way to street level and are about to deliver what might be the deathblow, when they see a schoolbus full of young children. To spare them from harm (and the trauma of their very violent combat) they retract their claws and let the bus pass, then choose to move in case another one passes. The rival was dishonourably discharged for unknown reasons.
    • It gets a bit confusing when you remember that at the very start of the issue the team were shown killing three children. Admittedly the rival may not have actually been there.
  • Using The Wasp as a living bomb was apparently too much for even Norman Osborn and Bullseye. When the whole force of Marvel's heroes charged the Skrulls in vengeful rage, they joined in, looking just as pissed for what just happened as the good guys.
  • In a one shot issue of The Amazing Spider-Man illustrating the aftermath of the September 11th WTC terror attacks, Doctor Doom, Kingpin and Magneto turn up to help with the rescue effort at the World Trade Centre along with all the heroes, and superheroes. This drew criticism, because some of the villains featured have been shown to do worse or as bad as that. One of them was Juggernaut, who's actually attacked the WTC himself in the past.
  • In Peter David's "Countdown" story arc in The Incredible Hulk, the villainous Leader, who once gamma-bombed a town of 5,000 people just to see how many would survive and gain gamma powers (answer: five), states that he can't bring himself to kill his own brother.
  • For a very long time, Spider-Man villain the Lizard was unable to harm Billy Connors, the son of his human alter ego. This is no longer the case, and the Lizard devoured Billy later.
  • In The Mighty Thor, even though Loki wants to take his father's crown and rule Asgard, he does not take kindly to anyone trying to destroy it. Asgard is still his home, after all. This is taken to its extreme during the Ragnarok arc, where Loki commits mass murder on a grand scale and even causes the death of his own mother. He's appalled when he learns that Asgard is going to be destroyed, as all his murderous actions prior to that had been so that he could rule it. In his mind, at least the horrible atrocities he committed had a point to them.
    • As of late he is also strictly against child murder... for his own surprise.
    • Another issue has a group of armored men trying to rob the federal reserve, believing they're paying back the government for ignoring their needs after their service in the armed forces. Beta Ray Bill battles their leader who turns out to be the Titanium Man, who's using the men in a plot to bring down the American economy.
      Armored figure: Sarge, I didn't spend three years in 'Nam just to help some commie shaft my own country!
      Sarge: You're right. We may be crooks, thieves and criminals...but by God, we're AMERICAN crooks, thieves and criminals!
      • They help Bill stop the Titanium Man and in gratitude, Bill lets them go before shutting off their armor.
  • Way back in Rom Spaceknight, the Skrulls turn out to have limits, too. They pull a Big Damn Villains and save a town from the Dire Wraiths because they hate Dire Wraiths more than anything else in the universe (yes, even the Kree.)
  • During a prison break in Thunderbolts, The Juggernaut is offered a chance to kill a guard who has been captured by two of the inmates. Juggy states that murdering a scared, unarmed man with no powers is beneath him, especially since there'd be no sport in it. He convinces the inmates to spare the guard, and then leads them into a trap.
  • In an issue of Avengers Academy, the kids end up in a fight with Spider-Man's enemies the Sinister Six. Mysterio orders Rhino to kill the students, to which the thug responds by saying even if they're superheroes, he's not about to murder children just to soothe his employer's damaged ego.
  • Speaking of which, the X-Men villain Arcade would later use his Murder World park to orchestrate the deaths of several teen superheroes, including a few students from the aforementioned Avengers Academy, during Avengers Arena. In the follow-up, Avengers Undercover, it was revealed that Arcade attempted to use this "feat" as leverage to get Baron Zemo to let him join the Masters of Evil. A disgusted Zemo proceeded to inform Arcade that there was nothing impressive about slaughtering a bunch of children, and that the only thing of value Arcade could bring to the table would be the advanced technology behind Murder World. Rather than allow him to join the Masters of Evil, Zemo simply recruited Miss Coriander (the one who actually built Murder World) and had Arcade imprisoned. During the final battle, Zemo even stopped to thank his opponent after he saw her blast Arcade into a wall.
  • In one Hulk story from the Nineties, the Hulk has been brainwashed by the Red Skull to believe that the Juggernaut (who is working for the Skull as hired muscle) is his father, thus turning the Hulk into his servant. The Hulk causes some serious damage in the subsequent battle against the Avengers, until the Juggernaut blows his cover by being too nice. All Juggernaut did was praise the Hulk for his fighting ability, but it was more kindness than Bruce Banner's father had ever shown.
  • Titania, a villain of She-Hulk and Deadpool, among others, might be murderous and violent, but she will tip workers properly. Not tipping would be rude.
    • This makes some sense when you consider that prior to being turned into a supervillain, Titania was a scrawny blue-collar girl who was constantly picked on and slaved away in menial jobs. She knows how hard life in the service industry can be.
    • She shows another side, along with other villains, at the end of Illuminati, when the Hood suggests that they kill the Avengers' families. This, along with finding out that he also enforced a Heel–Face Door-Slam to get her to join him and his group, is enough to get everyone to quit and, for good measure, has Titania destroy the Hood's hood, rendering him powerless once more.
  • In the Marvel Knights: X-Men miniseries, the corrupt Sheriff Jasper happily covers The Cook's drug trade and even helps him deal, but has a Freak Out! upon The Cook telling him exactly what the drugs are made of and gets his brains blown out for his trouble.
  • Venom (Eddie Brock) is notable for the fairly large amount of standards he has. Like the Rogues mentioned above, he refuses to ever harm innocents and resists the symbiote's more violent urges, though he unwittingly tends to cause loads of collateral damage in his fights with Spider-Man. He's also disgusted by his psychotic "son" Carnage; when Carnage first appeared, Venom was willing to set aside his feud with Spider-Man to work together and stop Carnage from hurting anyone else. This is all because in Brock's delusional mind, he's the "lethal protector" of New York and Spider-Man is the monster threatening the city.
    • Indeed, Venom's disgust with Carnage is nearly universal across every continuity and medium they both appear in, and although Venom has vacillated between Anti-Hero and villain of the worst sort, regardless of his position on the moral spectrum at the moment he's always willing to drop everything and team up with everyone from Spider-Man to Captain America to take Carnage down.
    • During Beyond!, the Mac Gargan version of Venom was one of the many characters saved by Gravity's Heroic Sacrifice. At the boy's funeral, Venom showed up in disguise to pay his respects.
    Alyosha Kravinoff: You're a piece of crap, Gargan.
    Venom: I'm a grieving piece of crap.
  • Kick-Ass:
    • Averted in Volume 2, Issue 4, when Red Mist guns down a group of children. Then proceeds to kill the main character's love interest's mother and father and gang rape her with 2 of his henchmen. Though one could argue that the way the first volume ended she wasn't an entirely sympathetic character at that point. On the other hand, the book doesn't make any effort to justify her rape. Well, one of his Mooks asked whether if it was really necessary. The others were outright disgusted with Motherfucker and with themselves, but they did as told. They outright declare that the rape was going too far, but again they don't do anything about it.
    • In the following issue, Vic Gigante tells Red Mist that his gang aren't getting any special treatment anymore, and that the police force & the various mafia families are gunning for them now.
  • While Doctor Doom attempted to use it to his advantage and Apocalypse's solution to the crisis involved him attempting to murder Reed and Sue Richards' son, Franklin both were horrified by Onslaught's actions and wanton destruction (and in fact, in addition to ridding himself of a potential rival, Apocalypse's attempt to kill Franklin was also done to try to end the conflict).
  • Played for laughs in an early Howard the Duck story. Howard and Bev are in a mansion in the Poconos, when an enraged group from a nearby town start attacking the mansion because they've got a beef with the owner. The owner releases the hounds, prompting this exchange:
    Townsperson #1: "Aw, fudge! It's them dratted, dad-blamed dogs again. Somebody tell Arnie to get his butt up here with that flamethrower."
    Townsperson #2: "He won't burn dogs. Only people. He likes dogs."
  • Taskmaster may be willing to work for an awful lot of people as long as the money's good, but he has nothing but sympathy for the terrible wages of security guards and tries to spare them where possible.
  • In the Wolverine story arc "Get Mystique", at the end, after their climactic fight to the death, Wolverine confronts a dying Mystique:
    "We're nothing alike, Raven, I want you to die knowing that. Lord knows I've made mistakes, and most of them involved someone dying who shouldn't have, but I'm paying for my mistakes by trying to put things right, but you just go on over and over making the same damn ones..." *Then he drops a gun holding a single bullet and says* "...and I think you know what that's for". *walks away, as Mystique screams and curses after him*
  • In the Dark Avengers: Ares three-part mini-serial, after Ares' malevolent godly son Kyknos impales one of Ares' men and makes a truly awful pun about becoming "a fisher of men", a disgusted Ares declares that whilst he is the god of war, slaughter and even murder, he's not the god of sadism as he attacks Kyknos.

  • The Hutts in Legacy undergo this after Vul Isen callously slaughters refugees fleeing the genocide of Dac (which incidentally, he carried out). The Hutts might be corrupt, but killing innocent refugees/potential customers is apparently the line they cannot tolerate. Given that the nephew of a high ranking Hutt died for sheltering them, revenge is partially responsible.
  • Subverted by Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Johnny is a mass murderer who repeatedly kills scores of people for 'offenses' such as chewing in an annoying manner or using the word "wacky", and has a several floors deep Torture Cellar. Upon learning that his own antics has inspired an Ascended Fanboy serial killer who also turns out to be a rapist he becomes becomes extremely disgusted, as it is the one line Johnny himself will not cross. However, Johnny states outright that this limitation gives him no absolution: He regularly does things to his victims just as bad as rape, and his aversion to rape isn't so much a standard as it is a natural result of his hatred of physical contact and giving in to bodily desires.
    • Johnny does have a standard that isn't used in that scene, however: He never harms children (intentionally). He also seems to be protective of his neighbor Squee, in his own warped way, especially when he rips apart the pedophile who's taken Squee out behind the mall.
      "You flaw. At least I'm under the delusion of doing something productive."
  • Hunter Rose, protagonist of the early Grendel stories by Matt Wagner, was a sadistic, sociopathic crime-lord/hired assassin, who made a point of suppressing all underage prostitution within New York. In his first ever appearance he cheerfully guts the head of the largest child prostitution ring in the city, commenting "I no like dat."
    • Also, he will not kill in front of a child, even if it leaves witnesses to one of his crimes. Not intentionally, anyway.
  • Modesty Blaise, during her criminal career (the series starts when her retirement becomes too boring) was always very strict about rejecting drug-dealing and prostitution, and no violence against innocents was allowed. In fact she often did pro-bono attacks on procurers. And when she was set up to traffic drugs in return for the life of a friend, she chose NOT to traffic drugs. She was also against killing, unless it was absolutely necessary, preferring to knock out people who got in her way. Also, she gave her henchmen pension funds, when she retired her operations. It's hard to consider her a villain at all.
  • In the retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" featured in Castle Waiting, Satan himself proves to have standards. Disgusted with the evil witch being willing to curse an innocent baby then subvert the attempts to get around her curse, he disguises himself as the Opinicus (a griffin-like creature) and carries her off to Hell personally. The demon Leeds complains that he loses more friends that way.
  • Street Fighter:
  • In many cases, there are Decepticons in Transformers who are despicable even by Decepticon standards and roundly viewed with abhorrence by their comrades.
    • Like the cannibal Skullcruncher, who devours downed enemies solely for symbolism (as he can't get nutrients from eating other Cybertronians and doesn't care for the taste, though he's occasionally been said to be able to regenerate faster doing it).
    • Or the especially cruel and bullying Motormaster.
    • There's at least one Autobot who goes above and beyond Decepticon standards. Repugnus is... special like that... Repugnant.
    • Sunstreaker, who was actually diagnosed as a sociopath in one profile. Or Blaze Master who laughs as he burns Decepticons alive. Or Arcee who in the IDW books is a mass murdering torturer who likes to slowly kill her enemies. As the series has evolved Grey and Grey Morality has definitely emerged.
    • In the final issue of IDW's The Transformers: All Hail Megatron limited series, Thundercracker spoils Megatron's plan to nuke New York City because he felt that the Curb-Stomp Battle of the Decepticons against the humans was beneath the Decepticons' standards.
    • IDW's Transformers series, at least initially. The Autobots and Decepticons are out to destroy each other. But they both adhere to the Code of Interplanetary Conflict, which lists rules that the war must follow.
    • At another point, North Korea attempts to bribe the Decepticons into destroying South Korea and manage to acquire the services of the Combaticons. The Autobots intervene to save South Korea, and the whole thing nearly ends with Russia nuking the entire Korean peninsula. Thundercracker, while not exactly the most pleasant individual and a fairly dangerous (former) Decepticon himself, proves that he has had just enough of North Korea's hijinks and the Decepticons in general, and responds by blowing up the North Korean energon facility so they wouldn't pull that kind of stunt again, presumably because they would blame the Decepticons for what they perceived as treachery.
    • Megatron could arguably be at his most evil (and most good, for that matter) in the IDW comics, but when Thunderwing showed him his method of creating Pretender shells, which consisted of using living Transformer tissue, it was so horrific that even he rejected it and called Thunderwing mad. (He also fought alongside Optimus Prime against Thunderwing, when the scientist's self-experimentation resulted in him becoming a completely insane engine of destruction.) In addition, Razorclaw was ordered by Megatron to destroy Cybertron to stop Thunderwing; Razorclaw disliked the idea enough to put in a killswitch on the device that would disarm it if they could stop Thunderwing within a certain amount of time.
    • Aside from Swoop and Sludge, the Dinobots are also often portrayed as being Jerkasses (Snarl), bullies (Grimlock), or out-and-out sadists (Slag), and the shy Swoop and amiably dim Sludge cross into these areas at times... but while some treatments have them considering it, they haven't ever actually joined the Decepticons, and Slag even changes his name to Slug because Arcee found it offensive (which it is; slag—leftovers from smelting—is the Transformers' S-word).
    • In The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, Snare eventually rebels against Overlord's insane reign over Garrus-9 after being forced to recycle a dead Autobot and watch the execution of Rotorstorm. Snare was part of Stalker's torture team only a short while before.
    • The Transformers: Windblade: Nobody likes Starscream, even the Decepticons who served with him. Octane, who once almost nuked New York, feels he's a disloyal Dirty Coward, and Swindle, famous for double-dealing, manipulating, and generally swindling, thinks that Starscream's treachery is too much.
    • There's also Sixshot, a one-robot army and a Phase Sixer—Decepticon shorthand for "world killer". He's The Dreaded to Autobots and Decepticons alike, and is both heavily inclined to violence and extremely intelligent. However, as it turns out, Sixshot doesn't like the idea of turning against his allies, which is rather amusing considering Decepticons tend to experience considerable treachery within the ranks. Notably, he is the only Phase Sixer to never desert the cause or oppose Megatron. (His Transformers Headmasters incarnation was known for a different major moral standard — he Wouldn't Hurt a Child.)
    • Subverted with Tarn of the Decepticon Justice Division. While he closes his eyes behind his mask when his comrades get sadistic and refuses to trade the lives of his handful of teammates for 500 or so former Decepticon soldiers serving under Deathsaurus, his ostensible standards don't actually lead him to modify his behaviour in any way - they just make him come up with justifications, most of which involve the words "Decepticon Cause" in some context, for whatever brutality is next on the agenda. His response to the torture doesn't lead to him actually trying to stop it, nor did it stop him from smelting down still-living Autobots in Grindcore Prison while gloating about it to Skids, and his loyalty to his underlings doesn't prevent him from ripping off Kaon's head for caring too much for the Team Pet - ultimately, whatever standards Tarn tells himself he has, they end up not meaning anything.
  • While not quite evil, Sistah Spooky pushed aside her severe dislike of Empowered to warn her of an upcoming Humiliation Conga. Even she didn't like seeing what had happened before happen again, even to Empowered.
  • In a Dragon Nodwick strip parodying Dungeons & Dragons's "Slave Pits of the Undercity" module, evil slave lords Blackthorn and Markessa are shocked, appalled, and disgusted when Artax pretends to be a merchant seeking slaves to staff his chain of convenience stores.
    Piffany: I told you: even they have standards!
  • Saga: The Will, an unrepentant Professional Killer, reacts to being offered the services of a child sex slave by rescuing her and killing her owner. One of the late sex trafficker's associates Lampshades it by wondering why a man whose business might involve killing children is showing such moral outrage.
  • Dilbert example: Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light and former ruler of Heck, looks for a job.
    Phil: I would probably be good at any job involving sin.
    Dogbert: Marketing?
    Phil: I have a soul... it's just a small one.
  • In Witch Girls Tales, Card-Carrying Villain Princess Lucinda tends to make statements along the lines of this trope when justifying her Noble Demon tendencies. Well, either that, or turn the person who dares to doubt her evil into a frog.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • If you're a Grandmaster of the Dark Legion, expect to face off against this trope eventually; former Omnicidal Maniac Dimitri has a lot of these, ever since his depowerment, most notably his balking at reviving his previous Superpowered Evil Side Enerjak, even though it would've restored him to health (even going so far as to warn his enemy Knuckles of Enerjak's return); and his usurper and current Grandmaster Lien-Da, who has no problems with performing Klingon Promotions and Mind Controlling the Legion as a way of gaining status, or torturing a former ally to death with a smile on her face, turns on her ally Shadow in the Mobius: X Years Later storyline, after it's revealed he's going to destroy the world with an Eldritch Abomination.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, Dr. Wily is shown to be bothered when he finds out that the Roboticized Masters, which Dr. Eggman helped to create using an altered roboticization process on Sonic's friends, have no real personality (which Eggman, having a history with betrayal by his more intelligent creations, considers a feature rather than a bug). Wily's willing to let this slide for the sake of their partnership, though the final straw for him is Eggman's attempt to kill Dr. Light; Wily had only ever wanted to best and humiliate Light, not kill him. The revelation that the Super Genesis Wave could potentially destroy both their worlds doesn't sit well with Wily either, while Eggman assures him that they could rebuild their worlds however they wanted, making any damage irrelevant.
    • Upon his Face–Heel Turn, Geoffrey St. John admits in issue 235 that while he isn't always trustworthy, he does respect his adversaries. He even admits that what happened to Sally and Antoine isn't what he wanted and sympathizes with Sonic over what happened with Sally. He's horrified to learn in Universe 43 that Naugus plans Mass Hypnosis over the Acorn Council, an equivalent of roboticization. He believes that some lines need to be crossed to make things change, but Naugus' plan just goes too far.
  • In Garfield: His 9 Lives the Incredibly Huge Galactic War Fleet claims to have no hearts. However, they do "appreciate a tidy ship," and so give Garfield two extra minutes to get his spaceship cleaned up before they atomize him.
  • In the original Aliens vs. Predator comic miniseries that kicked the crossover off, the clan leader kills one of the younger hunters when he sees a child's skull in the other's trophy bag. That is part of the Predators' code — only those who can defend themselves, otherwise it's not sporting.
  • In one issue of Simpsons Comics, Mr. Burns tricks Homer into starring in a deadly gameshow. While Homer struggles to get through a maze full of traps, Burns sits in a control room pondering what to throw at him. We're shown some very dangerous and downright cruel things... but he draws the line at making Homer listen to James Cameron's infamous Oscar acceptance speech on a continuous loop, as he's "still a human being".
  • In Darkwing Duck, Steelbeak isn't pulling a Heel–Face Turn, but unleashing Duckthulu? Even he has his limits. Only not really.
  • In the Italian Disney stories about Paperinik the Devilish Avenger (Donald Duck's vigilante secret identity), Paperinik has committed his fair share of crimes (his first story sees him stealing Scrooge's mattress while he's sleeping on it, and he's beaten up and humiliated other characters and the police many times, even throwing Gladstone down the wall of a castle before the whole population of Duckburg), but he always drew the line at gratuitous crimes and actually profiting from them (at worst he forces people who stole from him as Donald to pay him back more money than they stole from him), resulting in him capturing and handing to the police about half of Duckburg's criminal population.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table Illustrated : Knuckles captured a member of the cult that tortured Thorina. Knowing that Knuckles intended to kill him, and knowing also the Untouchable Trio's notorious reputation for greed and selfishness, the cultist tried to persuade Knuckles to join his cult instead, offering lavish rewards. Knuckles mentally pictured himself torturing Thorina, and then promptly killed the cultist, saying, "Sorry, bud, but even I've got standards."
  • In American Flagg!, Titania Weis, a devoted fascist and member of an explicitly Nazi-inspired political party, objects to plans by the even worse American Survivalist Labor Committee to kill the entire population of Chicago with poison gas.
  • The Powerpuff Girls #57 (Feb. 2005): In "Presents Of Mine," Him persuades Buttercup to use her share of the girls' allowance (with which they planned on buying something for the Professor) into buying something for herself. But when the Gangreen Gang starts stealing toys from a charity bin, it cheeses Him off ("Even I wouldn't stoop to something that rotten!") and he helps the girls lay an unholy smackdown on the Gang. (And this is a villain that is supposed to be either the Devil himself or something very close. Go figure.)
  • The Big Bad of Trolls de Troy, when he learns what Waha's biological mother has in mind for her daughter (she's a prostitute turned madam and wants Waha to follow in her footsteps), decides to throw her off his dragon's back to her death far, far below.
  • In Sonic the Comic Robotnik's right hand man Grimer thinks Robotnik is going too far by trying to destroy Mobius. The second time Robotnik tries to destroy Mobius Grimer quits working for him.
  • 2000 AD:
    • In one of the later stories of Nemesis the Warlock, Big Bad Torquemada is sent time-travelling, where he eventually encounters his namesake (and past incarnation), often considered the face of the Spanish Inquisition. The historical Torquemada takes his namesake prisoner and starts torturing him, but the future Torquemada is impervious and instead happily regales his past self with stories of the things he has done in the future, using lessons building upon those of many of his past incarnations, but especially his namesake's and Adolf Hitler's. The historical Torquemada is horrified by the things he hears, and the fact of how he will be remembered in the future as a vehemently racist bigoted psychopathic monster, rather than the humble follower of God's creed that he has always seen himself as, leads him to a prominent Heel Realisation.
    • Button Man: Harry is a brutal and efficient killer in the Killing Game, but when he was called in to take out Adele's father along with three other guys to punish the man for trying to get out of the Game, he refused on the basis that he's not some cheap thug for hire.
  • Über: Sieglinde and Siegmund are disgusted by the level of sadisic glee that their fellow Über, Siegfried, takes in his atrocities. After Siegfried single-handedly massacres hundreds of thousands of Soviet POWS on Hitler's orders, Sieglinde notes that if it had been her, she'd have refused.
  • In the Zombie Apocalypse comic Feast, a group of escaped convicts (all particulary dangerous and violent ones) are trapped in the upper floor of a shop surrounded by the hungry dead. When they realize that there's one guy there who they don't know what he's in for, they press him for it until another inmate pipes up that he recognizes him, and he's in for raping and murdering children. Upon this revelation, the lead convict immediately grabs the guy and throws him out the window to the zombies. One of the cons is also a serial rapist, and when they need some bait to distract the zombies and a con asks who, the one good con says "Who do you think?" Cut to the rapist in handcuffs running from the zombies while screaming "FUCK YOU GUYS!"
  • One story in the horror comic Flinch had a necrophiliac dig up a new wife from the graveyard, a victim of a local serial killer. Dragging her across the road, he's struck by a car, which turns out to be driven by said serial killer, who recognizes his victim...and reacts to the dead necrophiliac with disgust; "Torture and murder is one thing...But messing with a corpse? You got to be sick for that kind of thing."
  • In Athena Voltaire and the Brotherhood of Shambalha, Desmond Forsyth says that Ethan Storm studied under Aleister Crowley (who, in real life, got dubbed "the wickedest man in the world"), but that Crowley "found Storm to be too intent on exploring the dark side... which is saying a lot".
  • The Misfits in Jem and the Holograms are Jerk Asses but murderers they are not. They refuse to talk about or even acknowledge Clash's attempted murder of their rival Jem.
  • Iznogoud: Iznogoud might be a cruel, petty, greedy and ambitious Evil Chancellor, but he is disgusted when he catches his executioner trying to get himself paid for mercy, and delivers a speech saying mercy should never be bought.
  • Despite being an Ax-Crazy Psychopathic Manchild operating on Blue and Orange Morality, Negan from The Walking Dead has a surprising number of standards. First, he wholeheartedly believes in Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, to the point that he has been willing to execute his own men out of disgust at seeing them commit rape, and been willing to fight to save strangers who were about to be raped. Second, he despises cowards and betrayers, and on several occasions he killed or otherwise refused to work with people who wanted to sell out their own side to him. (By contrast, he shows much more respect to opponents who stand up to him.) Lastly, he loathes the Social Darwinist outlook, particularly their attitude towards weaker people, and at one point he gives another character a "The Reason You Suck" Speech over it that would be a Kirk Summation if it was coming from someone more heroic.
    Negan: Maybe you fucking nutcases need me. Because if that's how you do things, you're so fucked in the head you might as well be dead bodies pretending you're still fucking alive. That shit is vile, Alpha. You should be ashamed of yourself. (...) Protecting the weak is the whole fucking basis for civilization. If you're not protecting the weak, you're not civilized. You're fucking animals.
  • In W.I.T.C.H. Nerissa, an insane villain whose endgame included an act that could have destroyed the entire universe, identifies the Tower of Mists as Kandrakar's prison and admits that even she is terrified of the inmates. Considering that her crime against Kandrakar back when she was one of the Guardians was murdering her best friend and fellow Guardian and threatening Kandrakar with absolute destruction and was not imprisoned in the Tower, that speaks a lot of the inmates besides Phobos.
  • Baron Konig in Hellboy miniseries B.P.R.D.: 1947 is a cruel Vampire Monarch that regards humans as cattle, yet he completely loathes Those Wacky Nazis for betraying another vampire lord that tried to form an alliance with Hitler, who was so creeped out by him that he ordered his execution. Granted, Konig didn't like his kinsman very much and agreed he got what was coming for even considering making a deal with his "inferiors", but what truly appalled him was the Nazis performing experiments on said vampire's brides to create a weapon for themselves.
  • John D. Rockerduck from the Disney Ducks Comic Universe. His standards are Depending on the Writer, but unlike Flintheart Glomgold, he is usually Affably Evil and is never portrayed as willing to stoop to murder.
  • Djinn: Sultan Murati is an manipulative and ruthless monarch who has no problem ordering the death of any woman in his seraglio once he grows bored with them. Having said that, he is disturbed when he discovers that his previous favorite's little daughter was murdered alongside her mother. When a British lady becomes one of his harem girls, he assures the outraged diplomats that he is not an brute that forced her into it, that she went along of her own free will and she is free to leave whenever she wants to. When he steps down from power (partly because he doesn't have much to live), he frees the women in his harem.


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