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Evil Versus Evil / Comic Books

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No matter who wins, we lose.

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  • The quintessential comic book example: Wanted, the story of the son of one of the world's most skilled supervillains in a world where a much, much more grotesque, inhuman villain is waging war with — yes — other supervillains, for control of the world, which has fallen under the control of — hey, you guessed it! — supervillainy.
  • Pictured to the right is a Star Wars case (more on the film folder) with a battle between two Dark Lords of Sith, Darth Vader and Darth Maul.
  • The DCU has the Suicide Squad, a US government black ops unit made up primarily with jailed supervillains who agree to undertake dangerous missions against other supervillains with promised clemency if they survive.
  • The Larry Hama-written G.I. Joe comics by Marvel had the Cobra Civil War storyline, where Serpentor and the Crimson Guardsman masquerading as Cobra Commander fought over control of Cobra. Destro and his Iron Grenadiers represented a third villain faction in the conflict. The Joes didn't have much to do but bear witness to events though Serpentor's faction had bought their support from corrupt elements within the Pentagon.
    • The revival comic also had a storyline or three about Cobra factions gunning for each other, including one named... Cobra Civil War.
  • Even though it was called Super-Villain Team Up, Marvel's comic series featured Namor and Doctor Doom (Namor being an Anti-Hero of sort during those days. And yes, nowadays again as well.) fighting mostly each other and other supervillains. Only the occasional hero would show up and get involved.
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  • The DC crossover event Reign in Hell pitted the half-demon children of Shazam, Blaze and Satanus, against Neron (who was retconned into being the ruler of Hell instead of being just another demon lord) in a bid to control all of Hell. A few of the magic-using DC heroes got involved in the conflict because the fallout of the infernal struggle was screwing up magic in general. It ultimately ended with Satanus defeating Neron by transforming all the demons of Hell into humans (which had the side effect of stripping Neron of most of his power that was absorbed from other demons over the millenia), Neron's head on a pike, and Blaze betraying Satanus in a moment of weakness making her the new Queen of Hell.
  • Geoff Johns' Rogue War, which pitted two teams of The Flash's rogues (one led by Captain Cold, the other by the original Trickster) going up against each other, (over the body of Captain Boomerang, among other things) soon joined by a third group (brought together by the Top). This leads up to a CMOA where Captain Cold, almost the epitome of Even Evil Has Standards, freezes then kills the Top, the whole time berating him why this shouldn't have happened.
    Captain Cold: Forgot one of the rules, Top. Rogues shouldn't fight each other. 'Cause when they do... *shatters the frozen Top* bad things happen.
  • In the Marvel UK Transformers Generation 1 story "Target: 2006", Galvatron travels back in time and kicks everybody's arses, trapping Megatron and Soundwave under a pile of rocks. With the Autobots badly beaten, Ironhide decides to free Megatron in a desperate bid to defeat Galvatron. Oh, and while that's going on, Starscream is acting against them both.
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    • Happens a lot in the comics, actually. Shockwave frequently faced off against Megatron; Starscream manipulates Scorponok and Ratbat into sending their respective armies into combat in the Underbase Saga; Jhaixus kicks Megatron's arse in Transformers: Generation 2 to solidify his position as the real Big Bad of the storyline; etc.
    • In the IDW continuity, the Great War started as this. In the red corner, a security force for the corrupt, tyrannical Senate. In the blue, or rather purple, corner, a rag-tag rebel movement that opposed the Senate and the manipulative Functionist Council, but also endorsed fascist ideals and sought the genocide of all non-Cybertronian life. These two sides were known as the Autobots and the Decepticons, and it took Optimus Prime to make the Autobots more of a positive force.
  • Deadpool is recurrently made of this trope. Marvel Comics in general frequently invokes this trope.
  • In UDON's Street Fighter comic series, Bison meets his end at the hands of Akuma after a sound thrashing and "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • The Secret Six. Balancing them fighting bad guys with occasional suggestions of just how brutal they really are is a large part of the series.
  • A surprisingly common occurrence in Spider-Man. Spidey's Rogues Gallery tend to not get along very well with each other:
    • One issue featured Electro getting the security blueprints of the banks he planned to rob from a crooked sales representative. Unfortunately, the representative was selling Electro out to the Shocker, who would get to the banks before Electro did and empty the vault. When Electro realizes that he's being double-crossed, he goes back to the crooked sales rep with the intention of frying him, only for the Shocker to interrupt and save the sales rep. Electro and the Shocker then fight for all the loot they both intended to steal. Electro wins but Shocker manages to escape with his life thanks to Spider-Man.
    • One story arc had a man named Luke Carlyle stealing an experimental copy of Doctor Octopus's tentacle-harness, using them to commit crimes. When Doc found out, he was pissed at the fact someone had dared to steal his gimmick/identity and went hunting for Carlyle. By the end of the arc, Otto and Spidey are forced to team up in order to defeat Carlyle after he takes May Parker hostage.
    • Similarly, one issue had Rhino battling a man who was trying to steal his gimmick. And yet another had Hobgoblin having to deal with the insane Phil Urich/Goblin Knight, who was trying to kill Hobby so he could steal the Hobgoblin title as his own.
    • Green Goblin makes a real habit out of this:
      • Half the time that he appears, he's gunning for not just Spider-Man but also fellow supervillain Hobgoblin; Norman hates Hobby for stealing prototypical gear of his and "ripping off" his gimmick. He hasn't yet succeeded in killing Hobgoblin, but has come dangerously close on a few occasions.
      • One well-remembered story arc had the Crime Master accidentally incur Goblin's wrath, an experience that nearly cost him his life.
    • Venom is almost as bad as Goblin in this regard. Since he views himself as a "lethal protector" of the innocent, is severely mentally unstable, and is obsessed with being the one who kills Spider-Man, he tends to lash out at any fellow bad guy that gets on his nerves. Doc Ock and the rest of the Sinister Six no longer invite him to team-ups after one particularly disastrous incident; the Six nearly had Spider-Man beat when Sandman made a small insult directed at Venom, at which point Venom lost his shit and bit Sandman, poisoning and nearly killing him.
  • Countdown to Final Crisis has Darkseid, Monarch, Superboy-Prime, and The Monitor all gunning for each other for various convoluted reasons, mostly having to do with their superhero enemies and said heroes' bizarre, fragmented, mixed-up parallel plotlines running throughout the series.
  • The presidential election in Transmetropolitan. The incumbent, the Beast, is a Richard Nixon Expy who firmly believes that he has done his job if, at the end of the day, a majority of his constituents are still alive, and whose major accomplishments in office consist of abusing his powers to punish demographics that support his opponents and getting the Supreme Court to rule that campaign contributions are personal gifts. Over in the Opposition, meanwhile, the race for the nomination has come down to two men: Bob Heller, who would be A Nazi by Any Other Name if the characters didn't keep openly referring to him as a Nazi, and Gary Callahan, who confides to the protagonist that he wants to be President For the Evulz. In the end, Callahan cuts a backroom deal with Heller to win the nomination, goes on to defeat the Beast, and becomes a poster boy for President Evil.
  • Boom Studio's French import 7 Psychopaths chronicled a group of army-sanctioned crazies who are trained and parachuted into Germany to kill Adolf Hitler. The group included a sociopathic mimic, a bloodthirsty maniac who shrugged off pain, a man who believed Hitler to be an actual demon, and a mother with impeccable sniper skills.
  • Happens all the time in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics, due to the sheer number of villainous factions in the series.
  • Death of the Family: The story pits The Joker against Catwoman, Penguin, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. All four of them try to flee Gotham City to get away from the Joker... but their attempts fail.
  • The Preacher sidestory The Good Old Boys has Those Two Bad Guys Jody and T.C. take on a bunch of goons and their leader, a No Celebrities Were Harmed rendition of Saddam Hussein.
  • In Forever Evil, it's Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom against the Crime Syndicate. This is also present in the side stories — Rogues Rebellion features the Flash's enemies the Rogues fighting against the Crime Syndicate's forces, while Arkham War features the inmates of Arkham Asylum (led by Scarecrow) fighting the prisoners of Blackgate (led by Bane) fighting for control of Gotham.
  • During the events of Last Son, General Zod and his army manage to take over most of Metropolis. Superman recruits Luthor and the Superman Revenge Squad (composed of Bizarro, Metallo, and Parasite) to take Zod on. It works, largely because Zod and his men don't know Superman's enemies, and therefore have no idea that they shouldn't get close to Parasite, that the pretty green rock in Metallo's chest is lethal to them, or that Luthor is far smarter than any of them.
  • The Black Ring is entirely based around this premise, and features Lex Luthor going up against Mister Mind, Gorilla Grodd, Vandal Savage, Larfleeze, and Brainiac.
  • The indie comic Johnny the Homicidal Maniac has the titular homicidal maniac pitted against some kind of possessive demon controlling his house. Of course, this may or may not be Through the Eyes of Madness, so the conflict might not exist at all.
  • Requiem Vampire Knight thrives on this. There is a huge struggle for control between various factions of the damned, of which most are just various flavors of evil. Even the protagonist is not particularly good. The only "good" faction in Resurrection is the Lemures (incorrectly translated to Lamias in English) and ghosts, who have not committed any crimes and are just stuck there because they were killed by someone evil. Even then, they make use of evil creatures (centaurs, who are reincarnated rapists, and werewolves, who are reincarnated religious fanatics) simply because they would stand no chance against the other factions otherwise.
  • The finale of Batman: No Man's Land has a variation when The Joker goes against Billy Pettit. Oracle calls it "madness vs madness", which means it's inevitably a Curb-Stomp Battle in the Joker's favour.
  • In The Fox Hunt, thanks to Mr. Smile's million dollar bounty for The Fox's head, the villains he's brought in for the "contest" inevitably attack each other as seriously as they attack The Fox. As a matter of fact, this is the only reason he and The Ghost Fox get out of their first scrape with them alive.
  • The Superior Foes of Spider-Man the main characters don't fight Spider Man, because of his power. They attack other Supervillains, like the Owl.
  • Eclipso had this, as the Comics Code meant that Eclipso could never succeed in his villainous plans. To keep him from seeming too easy to defeat, some stories would have him go up against another villain and defeat their plans before being sealed away again.
  • The French comic Raptors chronicles the fight between The Masquerade of vampires who have decided to give up their days of slaughter so they could replace humanity in the long run but found their powers diminishing through the ages, and a renegade vampire brother and sister who retained their powers and pledged to hunt down all the others while being unapologetic monsters themselves.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse vs Dracula; in one side we have a social darwinist megalomaniac with godlike powers that has plagued mankind since the time of the Pharaohs and would like nothing more to see the weak culled so that the strong may prosper and against him, we have the deadliest vampire to ever walk the Earth and sees mankind as nothing more than prey for him and his undead ilk. Neither side is better than each other in this conflict: Dracula seeks revenge against Nur for his past defeat ages ago by turning his descendants into vampires, and Apocalypse executes his own descendant responsible for awakening him to settle this problem, since they were too weak to handle it on their own.
  • Nikolai Dante has a long-running feud, later exploding into full-on civil war, between the Makarovs and Romanovs. Tsar Vladimir Makarov is more powerful; Lord Dmitri Romanov is more evil.
  • Clean Room shows the conflict between Astrid Mueller (who uses bribery, blackmail, coercion, and force to wage war with frequent collateral civilian damage and attrition within her own ranks) and literal demons. The horror of the series hinges on how it's a tossup which is worse.
  • In Hellboy limited miniseries B.P.R.D. 1947, lone vampire nobleman Baron Konig vows revenge against the Nazis and spends the aftermath of World War II being a Nazi Hunter, butchering anyone he can find. He doesn't do it out of goodness or any sense of justice on his heart, but for revenge due to the Nazis backstabbing a fellow vampire lord and experimenting on his family which Konig found abominable. He makes it clear that he wants mankind to pay for the Nazis' crimes, he is only getting started with them.
  • In Red Robin Tim gets stuck in the middle of an ongoing fight between the League of Assassins and the Council of Spiders, two organizations of remorseless murderers who make money through assassination.
  • The multiverse of Black Science offers many opportunities for evil entities to face off:
    • The zirites are a gaseous lifeform that enslaves every species they encounter as hosts. The draln are telepathic millipedes dedicated to the annihilation of all life. Either is an existential threat to life in the multiverse, but they eventually clash.
    • Mr Block and his alternate dimension selves are out for economic control of the multiverse. Their headquarters is attacked by Har'Logh the Defiler, a monster out for physical subjugation of the multiverse.
  • The Red Skull is involved in this pretty regularly, mostly due to 1) him being a Nazi and 2) most comic-book villains at the very least having enough humanity remaining to hate Nazis; even The Joker opened fire on him when he found out that the Skull was not wearing those swastikas to be Edgy(TM) and actually meant them. The best example, though, has to be the Villain Team-Up Crisis Crossover Acts of Vengeance, in which he came up against Magneto. For the uninitiated, Magneto is, when his time in the Heel–Face Revolving Door deposits him on the "heel" side, a Super Supremacist whose hatred of non-mutant humans was born when he was a terrified Jewish kid in a Nazi concentration camp. That he would prioritise beating the shit out of the Skull and ultimately burying him alive over facing off against any of the actual heroes was only a surprise to Loki, who apparently neglected to do a background check.
  • All-New Ultimates: Taskmaster got the Ultimates for a bounty, and had to fight with a rival bounty hunter for them.

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