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Light Is Not Good / Comic Books

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  • In W.I.T.C.H. (the original comics from which the animated series were based on), Arkaam the White Queen turns out to be a despotic bitch. Her magical artifacts are also definitely light or fire based. An earlier villain, Tridart, a servant of Nerissa, was angel themed and white, but his powers were ice based.
    • Kandrakar keeps a prison, the Tower of Mists, whose inmates are complete monsters. Their cells are tailor-made to mind rape them into submission with Irony (the magic stealer Phobos was closed in a magic-absorbing cell, Cedric, the in-universe Prince of Lies, had been imprisoned in a cell made of lies, et cetera). Apparently it's so bad that Phobos preferred a Fate Worse than Death to return in there...
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  • Nemesis who is a villain in a pure white costume.
  • In The Children's Crusade, Doctor Doom becomes a white-robed man with holy magic after absorbing the Earth's life energy from the Scarlet Witch.
    • While currently heroic, Northstar has had a history of face heel turns, most notably during his time under HYDRA.
  • The White Martians are an Always Chaotic Evil race with pure white skin
  • The Angelus from the The Darkness/Witchblade universe. Unquestionably a force of light and law. It just so happens that the Angelus is a completely sociopathic entity that believes the world should be run by her light and her laws.
  • In an old issue of Superman, the Man of Steel confronted seeming angels, standing guard before the gates of Hell. After he worked out the truth and threw off their illusions, he asked the Space Policeman who took them away why they hadn't changed. The cop calmly told him that they really did look like that.
  • While Karolina Dean of Runaways is heroic; her parents, who shared her light powers, were supervillains.
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  • The comic book version of Dr. Light, a Supervillain with light control, warrants his own entry, given that on top of his villainy, the Identity Crisis miniseries also retroactively made him a serial rapist. This is the male Dr. Light (who appears in Teen Titans). DC actually has two. The female Dr. Light (who appears in Justice League Unlimited) is at worst a case of Good Is Not Nice. As with Light Yagami, this is also literally as the male Doctor Light's real name is Arthur Light. His New 52 version averts this, however, being a nice family guy who joins the Justice League.
  • The DCU also has Solaris, the evil AI sun from the future.
  • From the X-Men books:
    • Vulcan aka Gabriel Summers, an Omega-level energy manipulator whose powers frequently manifest as light and flames. It's played to the hilt in his confrontation with Black Bolt at the climax of War of Kings.
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    • The Dawn of the White Hand, a brief lived foe organisation based on Japan, where the colour white is still associated with death.
    • The first mutant is called En Sabah Nur, Arabic for "The First Light". The fact he's best known as Apocalypse should be an indicator on how evil he is.
  • The Marvel Universe has Lightmaster, a recurring foe of Spider-Man. The Living Laser is another light-themed villain.
  • And several comic companies, including the Big Two, have used stories of Angels turned overzealous.
  • B.P.R.D. story arc The Dead: the villain used a salvaged version of The Spear of Destiny to open a gateway to Heaven and released one of the Six-Winged Seraphim. Whilst it does match every qualifier of the Seraphim, it's not going to be in the murals at your local Church.
  • Air Walker, the angel themed herald/former herald of Galactus. He wasn't that good in a lot of his showings.
    • Overlaps with Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: most of the times Air Walker appears, he's a robotic rebuild of the original, who was a member of the Nova Corps and a decent person before he signed on as Galactus's herald.
    • Stardust, a being of pure (and bright blue/white) energy and Galactus's latest herald, is also quite Ax-Crazy, insisting on slaughtering the entire population of any world Galactus consumes, even though Galactus himself has no interest in killing the people (though he has no particular interest in not killing them either).
  • Inverted and then played straight in Cerebus. Prior to his religious conversion, Sim depicted a creation myth in which the female Light was essentially raped by the male Void in which it resided, causing the Light to completely shatter and form the physical universe. After his conversion, the male void became God and the female Light became YHWH, God's Adversary. Cerebus is physically dragged into the Light after his death in the last issue, screaming for God to save him.
  • Green Lantern plays with this a little. Certain "colors" in the "Emotional Spectrum" are more evil than others. Red (rage), orange (greed), and yellow (fear) are mostly evil, but green (willpower), blue (hope), indigo (compassion), and violet (love) are mostly good. However, black is so evil it makes all lights look good by comparison, even the evil ones.
    • In technicality, all colours are neutral, and "good corps" had their own morally inconvenient moments. The Star Sapphires, for example, have a history of Love Makes You Crazy and the Guardians have caused many problems. Blue Lanterns are all good, but their light is very limited in terms of power, so they are often incapable of doing much, while the Indigo Tribe has mercy killed many people, and it is composed of sociopaths brainwashed by the Indigo light anyway.
    • We can safely add the White Light entity to the list now, thanks to the amount of morally ambiguous acts it has made, such as killing a couple because they love each other and would not obey to its command and separate.
    • Blue Lanterns will show you visions of hope, but its really just anything that will make you feel hope whether it has any truth to it or not (though presumably plausible visions are more effective than implausible ones).
    • Even the Black Lanterns of all people play this up. Their outfits have a lot of white in them, and their powers are basically white/silver light.
  • In the first issue of The Mice Templar, (nocturnal) mouse children are told scary stories about the "world of day".
  • One recurring villain in Richie Rich's comic books was Dr. NRG, a criminal scientist with a light bulb in place of his head whose crimes revolved around the creation and manipulation of light. And he was not only evil, he was more so than most villains in the comic, in one story, plotting to set every Christmas tree in America on fire (along with the houses they were in) by controlling their Christmas lights.
  • Snowflame, a one-shot villain from The New Guardians, is perhaps the strangest example of this trope. By smoking cocaine (really) he uses what appears to be light manipulation/white flames, and has a white motif, notably his hair. He is also an Ensemble Dark Horse, by the way, thanks to the sheer strangeness of using a drug as fuel for his powers.
  • Wolverine & Sabretooth are good contrasts. The former is a brunette anti-hero, who tries to be a better person. The latter is considered one of the more evil characters in the Marvel Universe, but is the blonde. Contrasting most cases where Blondes are portrayed as pure / good and the brunettes are more sinister. To contraste further, Wolverine tends to have dark eyes, and Sabretooth is cometimes depicted with blue eyes.
  • The sun like creatures known as "thristies" in Marvel's Kool Aid comic.
  • In one of Alan Moore's issues of Swamp Thing, John Constantine wonders why everyone thinks of angels as comforting, confessing to the reader that they scare the shit out of him. They do indeed seem to be not so much unalloyed good as merely preferable to the demons.
  • Rainbow Raider from The Flash's Rogues Gallery. He's kind of dead now, though.
  • In contrast to Batman, The Joker. He dresses in bright colours, his skin is bleach white and has a sunny disposition. He's also the Trope Codifier for Monster Clown, and the most iconic supervillain there is.
    • Batman also dealt with a villain who dressed as an angel- complete with feather wings and a glowing costume -so he could murder the innocent relatives of Batman's Rogues Gallery.
  • Batman Black and White: "Legend" is set in the far future, in "a stainless steel city of light" that's deliberately contrasted with the rain-shrouded darkness Batman stories are usually set in. Then, on the final page, there's a wider view of the city which reveals it to be a dictatorship with tanks and soldiers on every street, and no dark corners to hide in. (But wait — there is one shadow... a familiar pointy-eared silhouette...)
  • Taken to its literal extreme in the comic book "The Light," where looking at any light connected to an external power source (lamps, TVs, your computer...) causes you to, quite painfully, incinerate from the inside out.
  • Some of the women filling the role of "White Queen" in both Marvel (Emma Frost) and DC (Amanda Waller) while having been with the good guys at times, have also been people who have at times gravitated towards committing immoral acts for their own goals.
    • Emma Frost was more than someone who gravitated towards immoral acts - in her early days she was a straight up Super Villain and quite sadistic. The Dark Phoenix Saga only happened because Frost along with Wyngarde were messing with Jean's head; they just didn't realize they were out of their league. When she resurfaced she spent a good while as a recurring foe of the X-Men and the Big Bad of the New Mutants and Xavier's Evil Counterpart - she recruited newly discovered mutants to train in the use of their powers to become the Hellfire Club's army. During that era - before we'd met Apocalypse and when Magneto was on the 'face' side of the Heel–Face Revolving Door - Frost was the X-Men franchise's foremost villain.
    • In the case of DC, the "Black" and "White" designations in the Checkmate organization are not intentionally related to good or evil; the entire organization is (supposed to be) good. Instead, the divisions relate to whether they're more concerned with "intel" (White) or "operations" (Black).
  • Dark Is Not Evil Marvel hero The Shroud, who traded his sight for scary shadowy superpowers, once faced an evil preacher with light powers.
  • In Fables the manifestation of Hope is depicted as a beautiful woman with a shiny aura. She does admit though that both good and evil have hope. Indeed, one of Hope's paladins speculate that darker impulses like revenge are more likely to get motivation from that emotion.
  • Dynamite's 2012 The Shadow series has both this and Dark Is Not Evil with The Shadow fighting a Knight Templar woman wearing white nicknamed The Light who glowed bright white.
  • Just like DC's White Martians, the Therns in Warlord of Mars are a evil Martian race, but human-like with fair-skin, blonde hair and blue eyes that fancied themselves as divine beings behind a Path of Inspiration to lure other races into their domain to serve as slaves and nourishment and looked down on them as inferior beings. More often than not, White Martians antagonized the titular warlord, John Carter. The white apes also qualified, being gigantic and multi-armed gorilla monsters that are extremely pale and one of the greatest predators on Mars, with their viciousness highlighted in a miniseries where the female protagonist and her friends are trapped inside an ancient ruin filled with these monsters.
  • Superior Iron Man wears pure white armour, in contrast with his usual red and yellow colour scheme (or occasionally, including immediately before the inversion, black and yellow), and is Tony Stark utterly bereft of conscience. The white armour seems to symbolise his god complex.
  • Princess Anjulie in Excalibur at first glance, was a beautiful and voluptuous woman wearing white whose introduction had her being threatened by a group of blue-skinned pirates, but in reality, she was a vicious tyrant in this world who had seduced and dethroned the previous king and the pirates were lead by the rightful princess Kymri. Nightcrawler was swayed by her superficial grace and charm, and assumed she was a Distressed Damsel, not a cornered tyrant and ended up saving her from her enemies. He realized how evil she was when she brutally disfigured a servant for spilling a bit of wine in her hand and was secretly worshiping an Eldritch Abomination that nearly devoured his companions.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Wolverine: A politician salutes a girl he finds, who was actually a Mothervine subject. She starts attacking with solid light.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: The "Silver wings" (based on Silver Surfer) look like angels and their bodies shine on their own. They are here to help Gah Lak Tus to destroy the planet.
    • The Ultimates: Gregory Stark, a blonde teetotaler man wearing white, the man is Tony's physical opposite. Taken Up to Eleven with the reveal that he has powers of his own that turn his white suit into a pure blinding light.
    • Ultimate X-Men: Nick Fury found something at the temple that gave a huge bright light. The satellite lost visual, Fury asked for reinforcements, and then was captured.
  • Robin: Tim was nearly killed by the villainous Monsoon, a beautiful pale green woman wearing a long white dress whose powers make her slightly glow when in use.
  • One Mickey Mouse Comic Universe story has him come back from vacation only to find his friends acting weird and the whole town illuminated by bright lights. Turns out a group of spirits that were Barred from the Afterlife are controlling them and they can take over their bodies permanently if they stay close to a bright light for a long enough period of time.
  • The light is the main religion in the Franco-Belgian 'The forests of Opal' comic book series. It is also The Empire, controlling most or all of the world. The local priests make sure everything is according to The Light. While some of it members are truely good, most have been corrupted by the power they wield. Evil things are done in the name of The Light, under the excuse that it is the will of the Light and for the greater good and all that. For example their healers heal by transferring the sickness to someone else. They can use animals as the receiver, but prefer humans. And this exchange: 'Have the intruders been caught yet?' 'No my lord, we have to check all the religious pilgrims, it takes time.' 'Dont bother with that, just kill everyone that isnt a disciple of the light.' This is the in universe equivalent of the pope ordering all pilgrims visiting the Vatican executed.
  • Magneto usually averts the trope, but briefly wore a rather heroic-looking white and blue costume at one point back when he was still a regular villain.


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