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Hate Sink / Comic Books

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  • The Punisher MAX: Most of Frank Castle's enemies are horrifically loathsome. In fact, most of them are among the most horrid, vile, depraved and despicable villains ever written in Marvel, making their ultimate demise all the more satisfying:
    • Nicky Cavella is so sadistic that even other mobsters despise him for his repugnant personality. 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.
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    • 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.
    • Barracuda is an odd example. While he is more bombastic and over-the-top than you would expect from your average monster, he has been involved in truly horrific crimes. Over the course of his career, he has: massacred innocent civilians in Nicaragua For the Evulz, executed members of the government by chainsaw after trying to psychologically torture them, kidnapped Frank's infant daughter to torture her to death in front of Frank, among many other things. Not even his goofy personality can disguise what a savage he truly is.
    • 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.
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    • 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.
  • Red Skull. A surviving member of the original Nazi party and Captain America's Arch-Enemy, he is without a doubt Cap's most despicable, amoral, 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:

  • 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.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: Drago Wolf is despised by even the writers, who always ensure that every time he shows up, he will get at least a punch in the face.
  • 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.
  • 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 Magnificent Bastard 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.
  • 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.
    Spent a second listening to that beggar pray like an idiot [...] yes, I am religious, but I've got the decency to keep it in church.
    Oh right, the cop. Listen, I've never broken the law— not in any way that counts— and it wasn't me who told him to help that Jap bitch out of her Volkswagen. (said cop apparently dies when the car blows up in his face)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 niece, 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.
  • Subtly set up and then set off with Getaway in Transformers: More than Meets the Eye. 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 The Dreaded 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • While The Joker is usually a villain who is too funny, laughable and over-the-top to be hated — sometimes the quintessential example of Evil Is Cool, the same cannot be said of his counterpart in the graphic novel of the same name: Joker (2008). In fact, the author made it clear that this Joker was designed specifically to reverse the most idealized features of the character. For everyone who treated Heath Ledger's Joker as a Draco in Leather Pants, this book stands as a harsh rebuke, reminding everyone that despite how "fun" or "cool" the Joker's chaos is, he's still a monster.
  • 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.
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