- In The Zombie Knight Saga, one of the most renowned bad guys is Gohvis, aka The Monster of the East, aka The Black Scourge. One of the feats he is known for is punching a volcano and making it erupt.
- Played With: When he hears about this, the protagonist of the story remarks about how awesome it is, to which his companion responds:Garovel: ...You did hear the part about genocide and him being a member of Abolish, right?
Hector: Oh, yeah... F—k, man, why couldnt he be a good guy?
- However, as of writing this, it is still somewhat in question as to whether Gohvis truly is evil or not.
- Played With: When he hears about this, the protagonist of the story remarks about how awesome it is, to which his companion responds:
- This has notoriously been the biggest problem with John Milton's Paradise Lost. Satan is, in fact, so much more interesting to read about than God or Christ (except when the latter gets into His chariot) that William Blake thought Milton was "of the Devil's party without knowing it." The immense Misaimed Fandom hasn't helped. Even though what looked like it was going to be an awesome battle scene over Earth turned into Satan running away after realizing that he's not cool anymore, which the sneering angels already knew, and the rest of the story after that shows him being humiliated worse until he wins with Eve. From there the narrative loses interest in him, for the most part. He's still falling the whole time. But who gets past the first couple of books, anyway?
- Claudius the God is the story of Emperor Claudius, portrayed as a decent and honorable man thrust unwillingly into a position of ultimate power. I, Claudius chronicles the reigns of Augustus (and his wife Livia), Tiberius, and Caligula. Guess which one is the most fun read? In case you need a hint: one chapter of Claudius the God is devoted to the protagonist's visit to the doctor.
- Nightfall (Series): Myra struggles with this when she arrives in the Palace. All vampires she meets are undeniably evil, but for the first time she has access to theater, opera, balls, and huge libraries.
- Averted in Protector of the Small, quite deliberately. Kel is disappointed that Blayce is not some grand wizard, and instead, just a short and ugly wimp. His muscle isn't too impressive either.
- Subverted in The Screwtape Letters. Devils are bureaucratic, cranky, selfish killjoys who actively try and reduce the pleasure sinning gives people.
- C. S. Lewis appears to have been very well aware of what happened to Milton and to have deliberately gone out of his way to avoid it; in much of his fiction, the good guys are far cooler than the evil ones, who are almost universally shallow and petty. In Perelandra, for example, Satan is depicted as being perfectly willing to sit around saying Ransom's name over and over again until he finally asks what Satan wants, and then saying "Nothing." For days on end.
- Haroun and the Sea of Stories averts and references this. The villains are the enemies of all stories - therefore, they despise anything that looks interesting or impressive. The Big Bad, Katham-Shud, even turns into a dramatic Eldritch Abomination One-Winged Angel form for all of a second just to contrast this trope to his weaselly, unimpressive self.
- Stephen King reportedly hates this idea, and his later works try to send the message that "evil is pathetic". This is probably why the villains from his The Dark Tower series suffered severe Villain Decay in the last book.
- The (extremely fangirled) white haired Pollution in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's book Good Omens is VERY MUCH Evil Is Cool. And hot.
- And Crowley
- All of the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse fall under this trope, as the parts featuring one or all of them are easily the coolest and most awesome parts of the book.
- Dracula: Although you wouldn't know it from reading the actual book, where he is hideous, disgusting, and creepy, Dracula is essentially responsible for the entire western world's vampire obsession.
- Harry Potter: Lord Voldemort is one of the most powerful and cunning characters in the series and has a kickass army of Dark wizards and various sinister creatures at his disposal.
- Dante's The Divine Comedy is split up into three poems, detailing the narrator's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Guess which one is the best known. Similarly, while everyone knows about the Seven Deadly Sins, not too many people are familiar with the Seven Cardinal Virtues (Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Meekness, Temperance, Brotherly Love, and Diligence).
- In the Inheritance Cycle, Murtagh does a FaceHeel Turn and get his strength boosted to many times his original level by being taught "secret magic" by Galbatorix. He is considered an Ensemble Dark Horse by many, especially in comparison to Eragon.
- Among the Redwall fandom, the Always Chaotic Evil vermin tend to be more well-liked than the Always Lawful Good woodlanders.
- Although determining who is "evil" in A Song of Ice and Fire can get quite difficult, there are some characters who simply exude cool. Tywin Lannister, especially when he puts on his golden lion battle armour, his son Jaime, the Faceless Men, the White Walkers, both Cleganes, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, Varys "the Spider", Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, Olenna "Queen of Thorns" Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Roose Bolton, and Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy.
- Gerold "Darkstar" Dayne on the other hand tries very hard to invoke this, but is not regarded as cool at all by the majority of the fans, to Memetic Loser levels.
- Tolkien's Legendarium:
- Discworld has some examples, including Lady Lilith, Mr. Teatime, and the entire Assassins' Guild. Subverted in that the coolest characters are generally considered to be Vimes, Granny Weatherwax and Lord Vetinari. The first two are Good Is Not Nice and the last is at worst an Anti-Villain.
- The First Dwarf King: Say what you will about the demons and the Bloody Talons...there is no denying that they are awesome.
- The Osthan are some of the most obvious examples in the book. They're 8'2" musclebound men dressed in black, wield gigantic claymores and assault rifles, and are Immune to Bullets.
- Trang Barok is made of this. He's a fat Magnificent Bastard who can match wits with the best of them; he teaches his armies to avoid Hollywood Tactics, and his Nerves of Steel, coupled with his usefulness enable him to mock demons to their faces.
- Pathruushkè is pretty cool. He's an emaciated black-skinned demon who wears a purple robe and wields a Magic Staff that has voices coming from it.
- One of the most memorable characters in military science fiction Victoria is the honorable Nazi officer Captain Halsing, who is well-groomed, handsome, polite and generally Affably Evil, as well as a sort of existentialist amateur philosopher in a way that both defies Nazi stereotypes and plays them straight. He is also an elite light infantry operator, probably the story's single most competent and determined fighter, and further the only villain who gets to argue somewhat effectively against the main characters' libertarian beliefs and (sort of) get away with it. He fights for a totalitarian fascist regime, and is totally unapologetic about it, but the guy himself is way cool.
- A lot of the villains in Warrior Cats have large followings due to their cool looks and villainous personalities. Mapleshade, Tigerstar, and Scourge are the main examples.
Evil Is Cool / Literature