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Hate Sink / Comic Books

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  • Drago Wolf from Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, big time. There's not one shred of likability to him whatsoever; among other things, he was an abusive boyfriend to Hershey, manipulated her into trying to assassinate Sally and frame Sonic, and betrayed his fellow members of the Wolf Pack and the Freedom Fighters to Robotnik all for power. Even the writers themselves hate Drago's guts, and every time they write him in, they ensure he gets at least a punch in the face; Ian Flynn in particular has openly and gleefully admitted that he only brings Drago in when he wants someone to get beaten up.
  • Apex from Avengers Arena. As with the Hunger Games example in "Literature" below (a very likely inspiration), when you're in a story about people being forced to fight and kill each other, who better to root against than the only one going along willingly? She's also a completely new character, and thus one without a fan base, to ensure nobody will like her.
    • However, Word of God claims she is not a villain, the book is trying to give her some nonexistent depth to gain people's sympathy at few points, she is ridden with Unfortunate Implications (only real-life minority out of Braddock's Academy kids and only one who is willingly killing others, strong transphobic and lesbophobic subtext), her plans are stupid and outright self-defeating when the book tries to show her as a Chessmaster and she varies between being pretentious and whiny. And Marvel once tried to claim fans Love to Hate her, which, quite frankly never works. All of which is making her more of The Scrappy than this trope.
  • Batman: There have been many incarnations of the bizarre rogue Clayface throughout the franchise, but most of them are sympathetic in some way. After all, they didn't ''ask'' to be disfigured, unstable clay monsters. The same cannot be said for Basil Karlo, a monstrously sadistic,self-absorbed actor turned Serial Killer with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and ironically the very first Clayface. Once a normal criminal, Karlo infused himself with the essence of his successors to become a literal clay monster before he was defeated and absent from comics for nine years. Upon his return during the No Man's Land arc, Karlo reached new depths of depravity,capturing and brutalizing Poison Ivy while enslaving the children she gave sanctuary in Gotham's Parks, starting a suicide cult of kids who idolized him,and blowing up the Daily Planet for the villain Libra. Though he never dies, it's incredibly satisfying for the time being when Ivy grinds him to mulch. Unsurprisingly the DC rebirth Clayface, despite sharing Karlo's name, has more in common with his original animated series counterpart, is nowhere near as vile, and eventually redeems himself.
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  • Batman: Birth of the Demon: The nameless King and Prince are responsible for kickstarting Ra's Al Ghul's descent into evil. The Prince was an insensitive, lecherous man who was constantly protected by his father, allowing him to get off scott free for forcefully kissing Ra's' wife, and recklessly trampling an old woman to death during a horse race. After Ra's uses the Lazarus Pit to save the Prince from illness, the Prince murders Ra's' wife in a blind frenzy, the King using his power to pin the blame on Ra's. The Prince decides to mock Ra's when deciding his punishment, ordering him to be buried alive in the desert alongside the company of his dead wife, saying they can be together again. The King then has the nerve to beg Ra's to save the Prince when he falls ill again, even killing one of his own guards in an attempt to appease Ra's. These two royals proved to be embodiments of everything Ra's viewed wrong with the world.
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  • In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Byron Brassballs only shows up in a couple of sequences, but he establishes himself as an arrogant, bigoted, near-sociopathic asshole almost immediately and never stops. His hypocrisy and self-justifying of his actions only make it worse. In a story featuring psychotic criminals like Two-Face and the Joker, his petty bastardry sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • Blake and Mortimer:
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Moe, the lumbering, violent, six year old bully who pummels Calvin for kicks, and one of the few characters with no good qualities at all. Worse, he never gets punished for this. The closest he ever gets is when Hobbes "scares" him into backing off one time.
  • Homelander the Smug Super leader of the Seven from The Boys who can barely keep his true abrasive and volatile nature from boiling over a thin unconvincing All-Loving Hero surface.His Establishing Character Moment is using Sexual Extortion against Naïve Newcomer Starlight in exchange for securing her spot on the team. Even when we find out he didn’t rape Butcher’s wife Becky or do any of the horrid things that Black Noir framed him for, we’re still left with a racist, sexist, abusive, hypocritical, childish, tantrum prone asshole with no redeeming or likable qualities whatsoever. To drive it home when he’s led to believe he’s done those things by Black Noir, instead of having a Heel Realization, he simply doubles down on his already horrible behavior.
  • The Angelic Host in Crimson aren't necessarily villains, but they are written to be as despicable as possible being obnoxious, obstructive and self-righteous zealots who attempt to execute The Hero because he is a vampire, yet refuse to do anything about the Big Bad, directly or not.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Gladstone Gander, the unbelievably smug, obnoxious and infuriatingly lucky cousin of Donald Duck. In any story he appears as a rival to Donald, you're guaranteed to root against him, even if Donald himself is being a Jerkass.
    • Although in an episode of DuckTales (1987) Gladstone had his lucky streak stolen and he briefly experiences a serving of misery and humble pie, especially when he realizes he relied solely on his luck to get through life. Tellingly, in the comics, after suffering the same loss and regain... he appears to learn absolutely nothing and is as smug as ever. His DuckTales incarnation is noticeably more sympathetic than his comics counterpart by comparison.
    • He isn't a bad duck by any means as well. His most admirable trait is he is a strong Heroic Bystander. If someone needs to be saved, either through luck or skill, he will save them. Best seen when he dove to save Donald, swimming upstream and keeping him stable until help arrived.
  • The Flash: Wally West faces plenty of sociopathic villains and super-powerful threats, but none manage to be as loathsome and detestable as his own father, Rudy. Aside from just being an abusive parent, Rudy sold the earth out to an invasion of genocidal robots, tried to murder his ex-wife in order to manipulate Wally into joining him, sold fake Durlan (a race of shapeshifting alien invaders) detectors which probably would have gotten people killed, and ran a child slave labor camp in the guise of a reform school. Most frustratingly, he has a tendency to fake his death in order to escape the consequences of his actions.
    • The Thawne family has two of these in Barry’s archenemy Eobard a.k.a the Reverse Flash and Thaddeus Thawne a.k.a Impulse.
  • Mongul II in Green Lantern. Son of the already unpleasant Superman foe, Mongul II exists as a foil to Sinestro; while both are repressive dictators, Sinestro is the type that at least establishes order at the cost of freedom, while Mongul cares only for himself and merrily runs the planets he conquers straight into the ground. In essence, the character exists so the audience feels comfortable rooting for Sinestro.
  • Marvel Graphic Novel #18: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Roger Dooley is placed in charge of bringing in Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk for an examination to make sure she doesn't become a hostile menace like her cousin. The first instance of Dooley's jackbooted thuggery is when he sends a team of agents in Mandroid Armor to arrest She-Hulk while she's on a date with her boyfriend Wyatt Wingfoot. When She-Hulk resists, citing their lack of a warrant as a reason, Dooley resorts to holding Wyatt hostage to make Jen comply. Dooley then orders Jen to be publicly strip searched by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents much to the disgust and anger of Dum Dum Dugannote . When Dugan is sent back to Washington after filing a complaint against Dooley, Dooley continues to abuse his authority by subjecting Jen to a series of painful and invasive examinations which he records with the implication of doing so for sexual perversion. He also makes a few racially insensitive comments to Wyatt who is Native American. Dooley may have been a one-shot antagonist but he proved to be an utterly depraved human being.
  • Nemesis the Warlock: Tomas De Torquemada, the main antagonist of the series, was deliberately made to be hated by readers as Nemesis himself was basically just an amoral alien fighting a man much worse than he is. Torquemada is the human dictator of Termight who is a religious zealot with an insatiable obsession with killing aliens, even aliens who are peaceful and want nothing to do with humanity. Torquemada is also not above killing members of his own species to further his own selfish plans and is also a huge Hypocrite who would keep aliens alive either to use them for his schemes or try to stop his wife Candida from divorcing him. Torquemada fully cements himself into a hate sink during book 6 when he crosses the Moral Event Horizon by brutally and mercilessly murdering Nemesis' 10-year-old son, Thoth.
  • Eric Wallace's loathed run on Titans had every other villain Deathstroke's bastard Titans go up against be this trope, including:
    • A drug syndicate that manufactures a narcotic literally made from human children.
    • A child molester with the power to hypnotize people with his voice.
    • The leader of an underground fight ring that has slaves put through horrific mutilation before the fights.
    • Wallace clearly intended that none of these characters have any true redeeming qualities to make the "Titans," who weren't really that heroic, seem better by comparison. Unfortunately, just because the Titans fought a bunch of Hate Sink characters didn't make them any more likable.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is, oddly enough, one of these in-universe, having been more or less randomly selected by some unnamed power to be a receptacle for everyone else's negative emotions. This has made him somewhat... wacky.
  • Red Skull. A surviving member of the Nazi Party and Captain America's most personal enemy, he is without a doubt Cap's most despicable, immoral, pure evil enemy. Possessed of all the worst traits of Marvel's sundry villainous characters and none of their redeeming features, he is reviled even by other villains, especially Magneto and Doctor Doom; even The Joker (in Batman & Captain America) hates his guts. By any measure, that's a whole other level of bad. Consequently, few things are as cathartic as seeing Captain America beat the ever-loving snot out of him. Notably, this is his role in Secret Empire; HYDRA's Steve Rogers and his associates (such as Baron Zemo) have shades of Well Intentioned Extremism or are at least somewhat entertaining to read about, which they have to be because the reader is stuck with them for most of the event, but Skull is only there to set the event in motion by setting up a Cosmic Retcon that makes Captain America retroactively become Evil All Along and a member of HYDRA, only for HYDRA-Cap to enact an Eviler Than Thou, pull his organization out from under his feet and give him a Karmic Death.
  • Preacher: The culmination of the author's distaste for religion, God is portrayed as a brash, intolerant, narcissist who kicks off the whole plot by hiding from responsibility after creating an entity strong enough to threaten countless lives and after a history of bloodshed in wars fought so he could feel loved. Running at the first sign of danger, God never displays so much as an ounce of nobility when it doesn't stroke his ego.
  • The Punisher: Most of Frank Castle's enemies are horrifically loathsome, making their ultimate demise all the more satisfying:
    • Colonel De Sade, the sadistic former interrogator for "the company" during The Vietnam War.
    • While the other members of V.I.G.I.L. were Sympathetic Inspector Antagonists, Lieutenant Taylor Blackwell was an insufferable Smug Snake who freely engaged in Police Brutality. After he suffered several humiliating defeats at the hands of the Punisher, Blackwell finally snapped in Suicide Run; after the Punisher is falsely reported deceased, Blackwell vents his anger over this by torturing the Punisher's captured allies, Lynn and Payback, at one point laughingly stating, "What do I care?!" when Lynn started screaming that he might kill Payback. When his partner tried to stop him, Blackwell shot him in the head before pinning the murder on Lynn and Payback. When a newscast mentioned that the Punisher was spotted alive in Laastekist, Blackwell cut the town's power and telephone lines, leaving it to the mercy of both himself and the veritable army of criminals that had descended upon it in search of the Punisher. Blackwell takes the local sheriff's mentally handicapped daughter, Amy, hostage to get the sheriff to hand over the Punisher, orders that the sheriff be shot even if he cooperates, and later uses Amy as a Human Shield while mockingly calling the Punisher weak for being unwilling to shoot through Amy. In his final confrontation with the Punisher, Blackwell starts ranting about how he will track down and murder everyone that has ever helped the Punisher, starting with Amy, while bragging about how being "the law" makes him untouchable and gives him the right to do whatever he wants; the Punisher eventually just blows Blackwell's head off, having become so sick of him that he no longer even cared about the consequences of publicly executing a Villain with Good Publicity.
    • Nicky Cavella is so sadistic that even other mobsters despise him. It doesn't help the fact that he is a Smug Snake and a Dirty Coward hiding under a tough guy exterior.
    • William Rawlins is a monstrous CIA operative who made his living as a leech in war zones. He doesn't even have a Freudian Excuse for his actions. All we see of Rawlins is a greedy, cowardly, backstabbing asshole. And for bonus, he's also a racist.
    • The Slavers, but Tiberiu Bulat stands out in particular. In fact, their occupations as Human Traffickers are the main reason why Castle went above and beyond in making them pay. After all, Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil.
    • Vincent Rosa is the son of a Mafioso and a sexual predator who rapes little girls including Frank Castle's childhood friend Lauren Buvoli.
    • Jigsaw's MAX counterpart, The Heavy, is perhaps his most despicable version. He's rude, foul-mouthed, unpleasant, a terrible boss, and a racist, misogynistic monster who enslaves innocent women and children in inhumane conditions.
    • The one-shot "Naked Kill" features a trio of sadistic psychopaths who kidnap women to satiate their twisted perversions. Fortunately, these scumbags get a very satisfying fate.
  • Scott Pilgrim:
    • The Final Boss of the series, Gideon Gordon Graves, is definitely a powerful villain and a threat in his own right, but he also happens to be a vain, selfish, petty, misogynistic young-money douchebag whom even the narratorial voice calls a huge dick. Of particular note is that his formal introduction in the series occurs shortly after we learn that Scott himself is hardly the hero he's been presenting himself as and has numerous acts of dickishness of his own to his name - but after Gideon steps into the story in full, Scott himself and the other characters become more willing to forgive his past transgressions, as Scott realizes that Gideon is what he could become and resolves to not let that happen. In The Movie, Scott's roommate Wallace sums Gideon up as "What a perfect asshole."
    • Before Gideon steps in to the stage, Todd Ingram takes the role of being the worst of the Evil Exes for half of the story. The other Exes besides him and Gideon are mostly just hammy and over-the-top without doing anything too relatably bad, and Lucas isn't even really "evil" in the first place. (In the comics at least.) Todd does have impressive telekinesis, but he's too much of an asshole to fall under Evil Is Cool. He's an arrogant, lying cheater who attacks his own girlfriend once she finds out he cheated on her, and he claims that he can get away with all of it because he's a rockstar. He didn't even earn his powers, as they're brought on by being a vegan, and he cheats with that too.
  • Superman has two examples:
    • Superboy Prime, a very powerful yet whiny counterpart of Superman responsible for the death of several heroes, as well as numerous civilians. It's always fun to watch him get beaten up.
    • New Krypton introduces Commander Fer-Gor of the Kryptonian army. At least General Zod has the excuse of wanting to protect his people from human hostilities, but Gor is a smug, sadistic bully who enjoys hurting people weaker than him, be they human or Kryptonian. Readers can only cheer when Lex Luthor kills him.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye
    • Subtly set up and then set off with Getaway. Originally introduced as another wacky Sixth Ranger Lancer for the core cast, they slowly set up his more unsettling tendencies over the course of several issues, giving him a discomforting Wife Husbandry subtext with Tailgate before pushing into the distressing reveal that he's a sociopathic Knight Templar, dedicated to making Decepticons pay for their crimes...including a reformed Megatron, who's now co-captain of the Lost Light. He doesn't hesitate to play on Tailgate's needs for affection and validation as a catspaw to try and make Megatron lash out, not caring if the Minibot were to be killed in the process (and actually hoping for it, to justify Megatron's subsequent execution). He later abandons the core cast on a planet at the mercy of Decepticon Justice Division all to get Megatron killed in some form or fashion as punishment for his not-inconsiderable crimes—again, without worrying if the other Autobots survive because, well, they supported Megatron, they must deserve it. Quite a few fans actually Love to Hate him because he is one of the most ruthlessly competent and morally gray (if not outright evil) Autobots we've actually ever seen in the franchise—other openly evil Autobots are usually complete nutters like Flame or Mirror Universe equivalents of our heroes.
    • While he's not the only terrible figure from the pre-war era, Senator Proteus is far and away the least sympathetic. The Functionist Council and Sentinel Prime are cruel and tyrannical in service of maintaining the Fantastic Caste System, but it's made clear that Proteus is only acting in his own self-interest. Deceitful, petty, and arrogant, nobody shed any tears when Starscream executed him.
    • Fangry is established as a petty Blood Knight who starts fights just to show his dominance, and tries to beat up Tailgate and Cyclonus just for this purpose in his first scene. That alone makes it hard to feel sorry for him when Tailgate trashes him for Misplaced Retribution, but what Fangry does in response makes him even more loathsome; Fangry becomes Kaput's assistant and murders him in cold blood during his treatment on Tailgate so that he can leave Tailgate down in a radioactive chamber meant for a six month period for six million years where he will almost certainly die, and then buries the top of the chamber so no one will find it. It's really hard to feel sorry for Fangry when Fortress Maximus smashes him upon arriving at Necroworld.
  • Subverted with Negan of The Walking Dead. Taking it back to 2012, you'd think that the author was deliberately trying to get readers to hate the then-new villain Negan when he makes his grand entrance by brutally beating fan-favorite Nice Guy Glenn to death with a baseball bat — and with heaps of insulting disrespect and jokes at Glenn's expense on top of it. But then, Negan went on to become one of the most popular characters in the comics thanks to his uniquely charming and hilarious brand of sociopathy. He's also given a few traits to make him at least somewhat less evil than he could be ( such as his dislike of sexual violence). It also probably helps that, unlike the Governor, he only really killed one fan-favorite during his time as the main antagonist.
    • And speaking of The Governor — the comic's first Big Bad — he was a straight example who was written to be utterly despicable and unlikable. In contrast to Negan, he has literally no redeeming qualities and all of his screen-time is spent Kicking The Dog. Repeatedly. To make a short list, he kills over 50 (mostly) innocent people (3 of them being fan-favorites Tyreese, Hershel, and Axel), rapes and tortures Action Girl Michonne for days, french kisses his zombified daughter, cuts off The Hero Rick's hand for no reason, and orchestrates the murder of a baby. And unlike Negan, he does it all without the least bit of irony or witty self-awareness of the over-the-top scale of his villainy.
  • As well, we have Henry Peter Gyrich, the Obstructive Bureaucrat, who committed many atrocities (directly and indirectly) because of Fantastic Racism (he was one of the people behind the Sentinel Program, at least on The '90s X-Men TV show), because of thinking he could do better (restructuring The Avengers by pretty much tossing most of the membership out on the street), and for the sake of saving face (cloning MVP when he was killed in a training accident). This last one, mixed with saying exactly the wrong thing to Iron Man, finally got him fired. Alas, it wasn't enough to keep him away forever, and Gyrich eventually returned, just as smug, self-righteous and annoying as ever.
  • In that vein, the X-Men have a lot of foes fans love to hate which were likely thought up with this in mind. The Friends of Humanity are often viewed by fans the same way most folks do The Klan, while the government of Genosha was even worse. In fact, many such anti-mutant hate groups have appeared throughout the comic's history, often to give Magneto and his Brotherhood someone to clash with while being the sympathetic parties.
    • Among the mutant heroes and villains, however, no character qualifies for this trope better than Fabian Cortez. The Deceptive Disciple who pretty much single-handedly put Magneto back on the villain track, Cortez is a smug, self-absorbed excuse for a man who shamelessly sucks up to Magneto and later Exodus only to try and stick the knife in their backs every chance he gets. He suckers dozens of mutants into believing an ideology he builds around the assumed-dead Magneto (who he assumed he had killed himself) and freely admits he sees all his followers as nothing more than sheep to make his own life easier. He spouts loyalty to his species while secretly murdering fellow mutants for points in an arbitrary competition, boasts of the "mutant harem" he plans to build when he has triumphed, and casually abandons his own sister to die in the very first story he appears in. It's hard to be more loathsome than the likes of Sabretooth or Mr. Sinister, but Cortez pulls it off with revolting aplomb.
    • In Ultimate X-Men, the roles of Magneto and humanity are shifted. Magneto is the leader of an openly terrorist organization, aiming to destroy the whole human race by any means necessary, from plain terrorism to massive death and destruction (in his first arc he laid waste to the White House and almost killed the president of the US on live television, and in the last, Ultimatum, he caused natural disasters on a worldwide level). The reactions of human organizations seem like a light and justified self-defense in comparison. And, just in case, he is also a Politically Incorrect Villain, likes to kick dogs, and complement his massive evil actions with Evil Is Petty moments.


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