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Grey And Gray Morality / Comic Books

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  • Marvel's Civil War. Both the sides are portrayed as having flaws and having a point.
  • Watchmen. Dr. Manhattan is the larval form of an Eldritch Abomination, both Rorschach and the Comedian are sociopathic heroes , and Ozymandias is an Anti-Villain Well-Intentioned Extremist. None of the main characters is unambiguously villainous, but even Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are antiheroes. To quote Zack Snyder, director of the movie adaptation, "Superman doesn't care about humanity, Batman can't get it up, and the bad guy wants world peace."
  • IDW's Megatron: Origin miniseries shows the series's iconic Evil Overlord's rise to power from a laid-off energon miner through underground gladiator to the leader of a rebellion against a corrupt Cybertronian senate, with the Autobot Security Services presented as an incompetent and in some cases fascistic police force under the control of the aforementioned senate.
    • Before this the Dreamwave comic series revealed that the Autobot ruling council were servants of the Quintessons, the Transformers' entire history was a lie told to keep the Autobots in line and Megatron, having found all this out, forced the Decepticons to try and free his people and to bring order to the universe, albeit through very Knight Templar behavior.
  • World War Hulk: Warbound vs The Illuminati. The Illuminati weren't guilty of the crime that Hulk was avenging, but they were the reason he was on Sakaar in the first place.
  • Scalped. Dash is an Anti-Hero at best, and Red Crow has many shades of being an Anti-Villain. He definitely faces enough vile bastards that it's hard to pin him as the worst thing that could happen to the Rez.
  • Superman: Red Son: Superman is a totalitarian dictator who brainwashes any domestic political threat including Batman, but values human life enough to never kill anybody and - to himself, at least - has humanity's best interests at heart, while Lex Luthor is totally obsessed with bringing Superman down rather than liberating humanity from Superman's yoke but does so by attempting to prove that he is the better leader. In other words, in this story, Superman's intentions are good but his means are evil, whereas Luthor's is the other way around.
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  • Alien vs. Predator, in both comics and video games, as the Alien is not much sapient, the Predator borders on Blue and Orange Morality, and the humans are most times just doing their jobs. Whoever it's the villain depends on the viewpoint character.
  • In The Movement, the titular group seeks to help the downtrodden, but engages in some questionable methods and counts a brutal Knight Templar among their numbers. The police run the gamut from honest cops doing the best they can in the situation to corrupt sleazebags.
  • Judge Dredd: While the comic is largely Black and Gray Morality, some stories (America being the best example) play with this by making Judge Dredd himself the antagonist who enforces the totalitarian police state because he believes it is necessary. The regular citizens in those stories are far from shining heroes themselves however, being driven to extreme acts to defend their human rights against the Judges.
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  • In the DC miniseries from the eighties Conqueror of the Barren Earth, there really are no good guys. The protagonist, Jinal Ne'Comarr, wants to conquer the world by force of arms and unite it under her leadership, and conquers and sacks any number of towns and cities in the process. She is the closest the series has to a good guy. The closest the series has to a bad guy is Zhengla, a rival warlord who wants to do exactly what Jinal is trying to do. After one battle, he captures her and makes her his slave. They end up becoming lovers and joining forces to conquer the world together. So the morality of the series is pretty grey.
  • Charley's War from Battle had both the Germans and English during First World War as Not So Different, which the characters had both a fair share of generally good people being forced into war and Sociopathic Soldier. In contrast, the commanders from both sides are generally made up of General Ripper with exceptions like Lieutenant Thomas.
  • This is a major theme of Beast Wars: Uprising, with none of the factions involved in the Grand Uprising being entirely good or evil. To break it down:
    • The Resistance is an army of brave freedom fighters revolting against a tyrannical government to bring freedom to Cybertron. They spend much of their time liberating slaves and dismantling the broken system that failed them. They also happen to be ruthless terrorists with a disturbing With Us or Against Us mentality. They eventually begin to commit so many atrocities in the name of “freedom” that their own founder starts to regret the entire rebellion, fearing he’s done nothing but give a bunch of psychos the excuse they wanted to lash out at the world.
    • The Builders are Abusive Precursors who forced the Maximals and Predacons to fight a pointless proxy war for their own entertainment... except that only really applies to the corrupt leadership. Quite a few Builders are shown to be good people who truly care about their creations, and some of them (like Hot Rod) are working hard to reform the system from the inside. But those reform attempts keep getting derailed when violent rebellions like the Resistance break out...
    • The Maximal Command Security Force are the heroic successors to the Autobots, dedicated to upholding law and order on Cybertron. But their ranks are riddled with crooked officers who only joined because it made them exempt from the Games, and while they protect the innocent and fight crime, they’re also technically enforcers for the fascistic rule of the Builders.
    • The Predacon Secret Police are the ruthless successors to the Decepticons, willing to do anything in the name of their duties. But they aren’t pointlessly cruel and are ultimately just doing what they believe they have to in order to protect their society. Further, they’re being actively manipulated by their leaders, the Tripredacus Council, who appropriated the writings of their true founder to justify their selfish ambitions and fool the public into aiding them.
    • And finally, the Human Confederacy are nigh-utopian society that helped create the Maximals and Predacons and actively prevent the Builders from spreading their madness off-world... but they’re also a bunch of elitist jerks who caused the whole situation on Cybertron by trapping the Transformers there and setting up the criminally inept Assembly as rulers. They did that to punish the entire race for the actions of the Decepticons, and did so even after the Autobots had saved them hundreds of times.


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