Follow TV Tropes

Following

Magnificent Bastard / DC Animation

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ras_mind_controlling_kara.png
"Every good Shadow Puppet will do what I say"
"Listen to me, you drug-peddling scumbags. I will be running the drug trade from now on. You eight are the most prosperous street dealers in Gotham. I'm offering you morons a deal. You go about your business as usual, but kick up 40 percent to me. A much sweeter deal than the scraps Black Mask is leaving you. In return, you will have total protection from both Black Mask and Batman. But you stay away from kids and school yards. No dealing to children, got it? If you do, you're dead...Those are the heads of all of your lieutenants. That took me two hours. You wanna see what I can get done in a whole evening? Make no mistake, I'm not asking you to kick in with me. I'm telling you."
Advertisement:

The animated works covering DC Comics show many of their well-known Magnificent Bastards getting to shine onscreen as well as they do on page.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!


    open/close all folders 

DCAU

    Examples 
Batman: The Animated Series
  • Ra's al Ghul is an urbane, sophisticated rival of Bruce Wayne. aka Batman, and acknowledged by the latter as his greatest and most deadly adversary. Forming the worldwide, powerful League of Shadows, Ra's secretly tests Batman with a series of clever plots to determine if he is worthy to be his heir in the League and inherit Ra's own wish to save the planet. When Batman refuses, Ra's decides to enact a plan to wipe out most of humanity for the betterment of the world, and each time returns to drive Batman to his limits. Even after his seeming death, Ra's survives by ordering his daughter Talia, Bruce's onetime lover, to allow him to possess her body, so he may rejuvenate and possess Bruce himself in the future. Time and again, Ra's shows exactly why Batman himself calls him his greatest enemy.
  • Temple Fugate, the Clock King, starts out as an overly-punctual, high-strung businessman, but after a recommended schedule change by Hamilton Hill, Fugate's business crashed and burned, driving the man into a planned revenge scheme on Hill. Spending years concocting his plans, Fugate began a smear campaign against Mayor Hill, making his running of the city seem incompetent and useless before trying to kill Hill. When confronted by Batman, Fugate displays his exceptional fighting skills, going toe-to-toe with the Dark Knight and escaping him several times with ease. Later manipulating and assisting a scientist in the creation of a time-altering device, Fugate uses it to trap Batman and Robin in a time vortex for days, nearly succeeding in another attempt on Hill by seconds' time. In arguably his finest outing in The Batman Adventures, Fugate disguises himself so well that even Batman is fooled and rigs the Gotham mayoral elections to force Hill's expulsion from the mayoral office, getting away scot-free with it for months until only the combined ingenuity of Batman and Riddler discovers the truth.
  • Kyodai Ken, "the Ninja," is a former rival of Bruce Wayne's who now seeks payback against Wayne for exposing him as a thief to his martial arts clan years ago. Pulling off a string of highly successful sabotages against Wayne Enterprises, Kyodai bests Batman and Robin combat with the help of dirty tricks, and escapes at the end of his premiere episode with zero retribution for his crimes. Returning soon after, Kyodai kidnaps the star pupil of his former sensei to learn the location of a treasured scroll, pulling off the hostage exchange flawlessly even when Batman interferes. In his final confrontation with Batman, Kyodai reveals he has deduced his identity to be Bruce Wayne, and kidnaps Alfred to spur Batman into a hand-to-hand duel. Kyodai accepts his eventual defeat at the hands of the Dark Knight with honor even as he refuses the hero's help in surviving an exploding volcano, simply giving a humble bow to his rival as he is caught up in the volcano.
  • "Joker's Millions": "King" Edward Barlowe was a ruthless Gotham kingpin in his heyday who unexpectedly leaves an inheritance of $250 million dollars to his hated rival the Joker after he passes away, even passing over his bodyguard of ten years to do so. The Joker promptly goes on a spending spree, buying his way out of justice and spending millions until the IRS comes knocking at his door—all of which Barlowe anticipated ahead of time, leaving the Joker just $10 million in real money with the rest of the inheritance being completely fake. Plunging the Joker into debt with his Thanatos Gambit, King Barlowe is one of the perishingly few people to have ever gotten the last laugh on the Clown Prince of Crime.
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: The titular "Phantasm", Andrea Beaumont, is driven by both a passionate hatred for crime, and a desire for revenge for the death of her father. Arriving in Gotham in her Phantasm guise, Andrea begins picking off the mob bosses responsible for her father's death, scheduling a plane ride to bring her in later on publicly to divert suspicion from herself as the Phantasm. Using her old relationship with Bruce to deduce his identity as Batman, keep him from the truth and put him on a wild goose chase, Andrea targets the Joker as her next victim, sparing the madman only on Batman's request. Becoming a professional mercenary in The Batman Adventures, Andrea saves Batman several times from assassins and ingrains herself in criminal organizations just to take down the masterminds from within. In her final appearance in the DCAU, Andrea talks Amanda Waller herself out of carrying out a ruthless assassination, imploring her to respect the memory of Batman and be a more honorable person.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • Curare is a member of the Society of Assassins, and considered their deadliest member. Armed with excellent martial arts skills and a deadly scimitar, Curare is tasked with assassinating district attorney Sam Young, and is only narrowly foiled by Batman and Barbara Gordon's intervention. Targeted by the rest of the Society for her failure, Curare goes rogue, hunting down every member and erasing their minds, single-handedly destroying the Society before being defeated by Batman.
    • "Armory": Jim Tate is a weapons engineer and former Special Forces operative who was laid off by Wayne-Powers. Wanting to maintain his family's lavish lifestyle and desperate for work, Tate is hired by Istivan Hegedesh to steal technology and plans from Wayne-Powers in order to build a weapon for him. Under the guise of Armory, Tate pulls off two successful heists, using his hi-tech weaponry to fight off and evade both Batman and the police. When his employer finds Batman spying on them and nearly kills him, Tate intervenes, saving his life and distracting Hegedesh long enough for Batman to take him out. Getting arrested afterwards, Tate willingly cooperates with authorities, leading him to get a reduced sentence.

Justice League & Unlimited

  • Lex Luthor, after being pardoned by the US president for his aid of stopping the Justice Lords, finally becomes a Diabolical Mastermind like his comic book counterpart. He secretly finances Project Cadmus to be a constant thorn in the Justice League's side while also running a fake presidential campaign to personally rile up Superman, culminating into open warfare between the two factions. Luthor uses that conflict as a cover for his real plan: steal Cadmus technology and upload his mind in an immortal android body. When Brainiac took over his body as its new vessel, Luthor convinces the Kryptonian AI to share control and become a god together. After being defeated and exposed as a criminal, Luthor joins the Secret Society as Gorilla Grodd's subordinate, only for him to quickly usurp leadership after Grodd's plan to turn mankind into apes fails. To solidify his authority, Luthor creates secret contingency plans for each Legion member. In the series finale, when his plans accidentally revive Darkseid, Luthor and his followers team up with the Justice League to stop the New God's conquest of Earth. At the climax of battle, Luthor is able to convince Metron to lead him to the forbidden Source Wall. Despite the dangers, Luthor survives the ordeal and returns to Earth with a prize in his hand: The Anti-Life Equation. Knowing that Darkseid could not refuse the offer, Luthor is able to take the Lord of Apokolips with him into the Source Wall, thus putting an end to Darkseid's reign forever and saving the universe in the process.
  • Amanda Waller, just as ruthlessly efficient as her comics counterpart, is one of the few to stare Batman down without being remotely intimidated. Waller repeatedly acts to keep the League and other superpowered beings under control, creating multiple countermeasures and plans against them, even designing disposable superheroes with short lifespans as Project Cadmus's own personal attack force. Even in old age, Waller manipulates the implantation of Bruce Wayne's DNA into a man to father a child who will be Bruce's son, while planning to have the parents murdered to recreate Batman for the future.
  • Vandal Savage is an immortal conqueror who seeks total dominion over the earth, all while keeping up a composed, respectable demeanor. Granted immortality as a caveman, Savage has spent millennia educating and bettering himself in countless aspects of human culture, and finally makes his move for domination as he uses a time machine to grant a version of himself during World War II knowledge of future events and weapons. Taking over the Nazi regime, dubbing Adolf Hitler a "raving lunatic" as he overthrows him, Savage slowly but surely turns the tide of the war in his favor, reformatting the Nazis into his own army before being stopped solely by the arrival of a time-travelling Justice League. In the present, Savage maneuvers himself into marrying into Kaznian royalty, poisoning the current king to grant himself the throne before trying to use a rail gun to wipe out Paris and cow the world into submission. In his final appearance, Savage, in a future timeline where Superman was seemingly killed, easily murdered the entire Justice League and conquered the planet, only for his technology to go out of control and wipe out humankind except himself. Spending tens of thousands of years in isolation, Savage rebuilds cities, amasses libraries, and builds massive gardens to try to make amends for his crimes, and sacrifices himself to bring Superman back to his own time and stop his younger self from killing the League, thus saving humanity, with his final words thanking Superman for fulfilling his wish.
  • The Ultra-Humanite is an ape blessed with genius-level intellect and a great appreciation for art and human culture. Having dedicated himself to the destruction of all things tasteless and the enhancement of everything cultured, Humanite at one point halts his plan to blow up a modern art museum to help the Flash repair a popular toy meant for an orphanage and alters the originally crude toy into telling the children the story of "The Nutcracker," the event gaining the respect of the Flash. Humanite is regarded as a model prisoner every time he is captured, and he uses one of his incarcerations to team up with his Lex Luthor to create the Injustice League so as to defeat the Justice League, only to then manipulate the entire Injustice League to his own agenda and take down Luthor in exchange for Batman paying him double what Luthor was offering; Humanite uses the cash gained from this outing as a grant to his favorite TV station, the Culture Channel.
  • "A Better World": The Bruce Wayne of the Justice Lords is one of the most instrumental members if the Lords' rise to power. Discovering the Justice League's world and desiring to "save" it from itself, this version of Batman participates in luring the League into a trap, engaging his own counterpart once he escapes and managing to defeat him with the knowledge of their shared experiences coupled with the Justice Lords' Batman's desire to create a world where no child will ever lose his parents to "some punk with a gun." When his League counterpart convinces him of the immorality of the Lords' world, Justice Lord Batman ends up helping him lure the Lords into a trap to overthrow them and give his world a new chance.
  • "This Little Piggy": Circe is a devilishly charming sorceress let out on early parole from the depths of Tartarus on the condition she leave her Arch-Enemy Hippolyta be without harm. Finding a loophole to this agreement, Circe disguises herself as a common thief to lure in Hippolyta's daughter, Wonder Woman, who Circe promptly defeats and transforms into a pig as Revenge by Proxy. Circe then goes on to headline at the Greece Amphitheater, knocking a musical performance out of the park before fighting off Zatanna and Batman with ease. Striking a deal with Batman, Circe forces the stoic, mysterious hero to sing a somber tune for her and a live audience in exchange for restoring Wonder Woman to human form, a bargain that Circe follows through on happily after being moved by Batman's song.

Advertisement:

DC Universe Animated Original Movies

    Examples 
  • Superman: Doomsday: The Superman clone was created by Lex Luthor to assist him in his takeover of Metropolis. Inheriting the fallen Man of Steel's powers, the clone uses them to trick the populace into thinking Superman has resurrected, while instilling his own brand of vigilante justice by way of furiously dropping Toyman in front of the police station after he killed a child during his escape from custody. Believing that Might Makes Right, while instilling fear in the populace in a genuine attempt to bring peace to Metropolis, the clone, wanting to break free of Luthor's control over him, secretly takes out a kryptonite pellet Luthor had implanted in his brain as a failsafe, destroys his room of Superman clones, and incapacitates Luthor by pulling out the entire safe room he's hiding in and chucking it into the street. Getting into a power struggle with the revived Superman, the clone puts up a good fight, ultimately dying after telling Superman to protect his fellow townsfolk.
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Batman himself, while more ruthless than usual, remains just as cunning as ever. After managing to subdue Supergirl herself with Kryptonite, Batman goes behind Clark's back to bring Wonder Woman into the fold, encouraging Kara to train on Paradise Island instead. When Darkseid attacks, Batman realizes only a moment too late that the attack was a diversion, realizing that Darkseid wants Kara for his own army. When the trio make their way to Apokolips to bring her back, Batman confronts Darkseid himself head-on, revealing that he has armed the hellspores in his armory and that he will detonate all of them, destroying Apokolips in the process, if he doesn't promise to never attack Supergirl again. Shocked at his pragmatism, Darkseid agrees, and the trio return to Earth successful.
  • Justice League: Doom: Vandal Savage, the Big Bad, steals all of Batman's plans aimed at incapacitating the Justice League should they ever turn to darkness or prove too dangerous, taking them and making them far more lethal and dangerous. Recruiting his very own Legion of Doom, Vandal has them lure the League into traps before putting the countermeasures into placing, nearly killing every single member of the League in a single night. Vandal reveals his true plans to cause a solar flare to strike earth so he may cause the conflict that he feels is necessary for human advancement and cause the world to submit to his rule, offering to share the rulership with his new Legion. A charming, sophisticated villain, Vandal shows he has surpassed the savagery he has born into, nearly completely erasing the League in one fell stroke with the world falling perilously close to Vandal's utter victory.
  • Green Lantern: First Flight: Thaal Sinestro is introduced as a trusted and celebrated, but harsh and draconian Green Lantern. Having grown embittered with what he sees as the Guardians' weakness and inability to combat chaos and disorder, Sinestro plots to overthrow them, turning fellow Lantern Boodika to his cause. Allying himself with the warlord Kanjar Ro to steal the powerful yellow element, Sinestro hides his involvement by simultaneously running the investigation into the theft. Taking new recruit Hal Jordan under his wing, Sinestro shows a willingness to torture and kill in pursuit of his goals while also having Boodika court Jordan as a possible ally. When Kanjar Ro becomes a liability, Sinestro kills him, frames Jordan, and successfully claims the weapon built from the yellow element. Laying siege to Oa, Sinestro overwhelms all resistance before forcing the Guardians to surrender, and even when his plans are thwarted by Jordan, he refuses to give up without a fight. A cold and brutal man who is nevertheless devoted to his cause, Sinestro proves himself as both the Corps' greatest paragon and its greatest threat.
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood: The titular "Red Hood" is in truth the resurrected second Robin, Jason Todd, revived from his brutal death at the hands of The Joker and seeking both revenge and to continue his war on crime. Deciding that crime can't be stopped, merely managed, Red Hood is introduced taking control of a massive chunk of Gotham's crime bosses, showing them the heads of their lieutenants and threatening to do worse to them should they refuse his rule, Red Hood prohibits the sale of drugs to children and creates a far more organized crime syndicate while taking on the last established boss, Black Mask. Red Hood routinely outsmarts and humiliates Black Mask while simultaneously evading capture from his former mentor Batman, and soon enough, Red Hood's master plan to drive Black Mask into releasing the Joker comes to fruition. Capturing his killer, Red Hood brutalizes Joker and then confronts Batman over his no-killing rule, calling him out on not avenging Jason Todd when Joker killed him before trying to coax Batman into finishing the Joker off once and for all. Giving Batman one of the harshest moral, physical, and intellectual battles of his life, Red Hood very nearly succeeds in his schemes, and serves as a testament that Batman's more lenient methods may not be the best way to handle Gotham's crime.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Batman himself, having long retired from crimefighting, returns to put Gotham back in its place. He defeats the mutant leader terrorizing the city by fighting the leader in a mud pit, the mud slows the leader, removing his physical advantage, and Batman overpowers him. When The Joker comes back due to his return he intends to kill him and nearly does, only being stopped when the Joker kills himself first. He single handily brings order to Gotham by reuniting all the gangs to the point the government brings Superman to stop him since "he's making the government look bad." He brutally beats up Superman during their fight even though Superman didn't want to fight him and even uses that fact to his full advantage, even using their battle to fake his own death and continue fighting crime more secretly.
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot, is a highly efficient assassin and master marksman whose primary desire is to be reunited with his daughter. Employed by Amanda Waller as the leader of Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad, Deadshot organizes an infiltration of Arkham Asylum to acquire stolen information from the Riddler. Throughout the mission, Deadshot displays his cunning and tactical genius as he repeatedly improvises when faced with numerous setbacks by his more reckless and untrustworthy allies, Batman and the Joker, and even fearlessly stares down the latter at gunpoint and bluffs him into wasting his only bullet. Managing to escape via helicopter in the midst of a prison riot while his allies are either killed or detained, Deadshot then single-handedly defeats the Joker in combat, withstanding multiple near-fatal injuries in the process. In the end, Deadshot achieves his goal of reuniting with his daughter, and spends the last few moments of the film scoping Amanda Waller a distance away with a sniper rifle, intent on making her pay for using him.
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters:
    • Superman and Batman are a pair of morally questionable superheroes intent on bringing their own brand of justice onto the world. Both having taken down entire criminal organizations on their own, Superman recruits Batman and their partner Wonder Woman to form the Justice League and take on international threats. With Superman's ambition and Flying Brick abilities combined with Batman's genius mind and vampiric physiology, the duo work with Wonder Woman to slaughter entire terrorist cells and take down even intergalactic enemies. Even when the rogue Dr. Will Magnus tries to frame the Justice League, Superman and Batman deduce the ploy and get ahead of the curve, eventually outing Magnus, destroying his Metal Men with cunning and force, then shutting down his plans for world domination, cementing the two heroes as the best—yet most ruthless—protectors Earth could ever have.
    • This version of Highfather is presented as a more villainous take on the leader of the New Genesis. Deciding to end his war with Apokolips once and for all, Highfather contacted Darkseid, proposing to marry his granddaughter Bekka with Darkseid's son Orion to unite both worlds in peace. Convincing Darkseid, Highfather then sneaks his forces into Apokolips and attacks Darkseid and his soldiers, catching them off guard and killing them all with ease. Killing Orion for interfering and thus angering Bekka, who attacked one of his own soldiers, Highfather offered her to rejoin his side again and allowed her to teleport away from him.
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies: Though sillier than usual, Slade proves a competent adversary to the Teen Titans. Disguising himself as a film director, Slade plays on superheroes' ego and films a fake movie of them while he moves undetected to steal pieces to a Doomsday Device, even having the unwitting heroes help him build it. Constantly improvising his strategy to deal with the Titans, Slade plays off Robin's desire for his own movie and other underhanded tactics to break the team apart. Tricking Robin into letting him into the Titans' vault, Slade uses his device to mind control the entire world. Coming within a hair's breadth of victory, Slade even remains a Graceful Loser as he is beaten, proclaiming the Titans' song to be "monumentally dope".

Others

    Examples 

  • The Batman:
    • Catwoman, real name Selina Kyle, is a cat burglar who steals because of the adrenaline rush she receives from the act. With skills rivaling Batman himself, Catwoman frequently evades his grasp, and at one point even manages to steal his utility belt, using it to aid in her thefts. Not limiting herself solely to crime, Catwoman has occasionally allied herself with the Dark Knight, aiding him in taking down worse criminals and even saving his life at times.
    • Professor Hugo Strange is perhaps the most cunning villain in Batman's Rogues Gallery. Fascinated by Batman's crusade against crime, Hugo Strange studies on the minds of criminals apprehended by Batman as a means to understand the Dark Knight himself. Using his criminal studies as his foundation, Strange launches various schemes to psychologically destroy Batman such as creating the hyper-intelligent criminal AI known as D.A.V.E., manipulating Batman to spread a fear toxin across Gotham, and capturing members of the Justice League for the Joining. He has come close to victory many times if not for the last-minute gambits on Batman's part; and he takes his losses in stride, biding his time for the next opportunity to arrive. Armed with nothing more than his brilliant intellect and morbid curiosity in a world of combat-prone villains, Hugo Strange certainly earns the title of "Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind."
    • The Batman vs. Dracula: Dracula himself is a dastardly charming creature of the night who seeks to conquer Gotham and resurrect the love of his life, Camilla Karnstein. Immediately turning several people to his zombie slaves upon being accidentally revived, Dracula secretly spreads his army by luring various people into traps that allow him to increase his vampiric zombie numbers. Turning Penguin into a guide and servant, infiltrating an upper class party under the guise of "Dr. Alucard," and decimating an entire squad of police, Dracula bests even Batman in combat near-effortlessly, outdoing the Dark Knight's anti-vampire tactics with ease. After using Joker as a distraction so he can kidnap Vicki Vale as a sacrifice to resurrect Camilla, Dracula hopes once more be united with his lover and together rule over Gotham as a dark king and queen.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
    • The Joker is the self-proclaimed Clown Prince of Crime, depicted here as a far more affable, respectable nemesis to Batman than often portrayed. An energetic Wild Card who will happily team up with Batman to take down a greater threat—even saving the life of a small child in the process—Joker nonetheless considers himself a villain through-and-through, and pulls off a bevy of crimes with flourish and style. Joker's goofy exterior often throws off his opponents, allowing him to take down even the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman herself with ease, and his tactical intelligence flourishes in such instances as recommending a switch in enemies to his failing villain colleagues, or actually managing to fake his own death for decades then kill Batman in one possible Bad Future. With genuine respect to many of his fellow villains and even ready to sacrifice his own life to give one a morale boost, Joker stands out among Batman's Rogues Gallery with his hilarious, oddly personable attitude towards enemies and teammates alike.
    • Gorilla Grodd is a hyper-intelligent from Gorilla City who wishes to assert gorillas as the dominant species. He first creates an evolution ray that would transform all humans into apes, successfully using Batman as a test-subject, but is foiled by Batman who reverses the ray's effects turning the gorillas into humans, leading to Grodd getting incarcerated, however he escapes and restores his gorilla form. Transporting himself to the future of Animal-Men, Grodd takes charge of the Gorilla-Men and supplies them with technology, where they overwhelm the Tiger-Men and other nations, before Batman destroy's Grodd's sonic cannons to remove Grodd's advantage and allow him to be defeated. Back in the present, Grodd teams up with Monsieur Mallah and Gorilla Boss to form G.A.S.P., abducting gorillas worldwide to form an army. Grodd successfully lures Batman away from Gotham and puts him into a death trap, and then in his absence takes over Gotham by locking all humans in zoo cages. Even with the superheroes freed, Grodd's army holds the advantage, with Grodd mere seconds from crushing Batman and is only saved by B'Wana Beast turning Batman into a griffin.
    • Catwoman, real name Selina Kyle, is a master thief who burgles artifacts as a passion. She however maintains a love/hate relationship with Batman with both wishing they were on the same side of the law. Allying with Batman and the Birds of Prey to get the Cloak of Neferteri from Two-Face, an amnesiac Batman believes himself to be a mobster named Matches Malone who takes the Cloak for himself. Catwoman helps the Birds of Prey infiltrate Matches hideout using a musical number on stage, as well as exploits the Cloak's resurrection powers to kill off Matches and revive Batman, before slipping away with the Cloak for herself. Even when thwarted, Catwoman takes her defeats in stride and always evades capture at the last second. Cunning, charming, and respected by Batman, Catwoman stands out as one of Batman's most likable enemies.
    • Equinox was an orphan chosen by the Lords of Order and Chaos to maintain the peace between them, but went mad from the stress, so goes rogue and enforces his own twisted sense of balance. Equinox attempts to sacrifice both a hero and villain as a balance act. He then tries to trigger a nuclear meltdown by manipulating OMAC and Shrapnel into fighting and damaging a power plant, where Batman sacrifices himself to stop the disaster but Equinox, having a fascination for Batman, heals his injuries. Luring Batman into killing him, Equinox shed his mortal form and absorbs the powers of his former masters to become a Physical God. Intending to destroy the universe and replace it with a balanced one, where the invincible Equinox is only being defeated by a Logic Bomb. Surviving but with his psyche split up, Equinox's Hate masterminds erasing Batman from existence by assassinating his ancestors. Charming, intelligent, and pragmatic, Equinox is one of the most dangerous villains to appear.
    • Owlman is the Evil Counterpart of Batman from an alternate universe and his equal in every way. While initially captured in his foray to Batman's universe, Owlman, over the course of only a few weeks, manages to successfully masquerade as the Caped Crusader. Matching Batman and outplaying him at every turn, Owlman takes advantage of the weaknesses Batman has set up for his fellow heroes, forcing Batman to ally with the Joker, managing to flawlessly take them down, place them in death traps, and recruit Batman's other rogues. Even confronting Batman and Joker, Owlman manages to sway Joker to his side with a death trap for the Caped Crusader, only barely losing in the end.
    • The Music Meister is the self-proclaimed "maestro of villainy", a stylish and glamorous villain able to control minds by singing. Making his introduction during a heated conflict, the Music Meister is able to distract Batman long enough to steal a communications satellite. Upon being chased down to his lair, the Music Meister is pursued by Batman, singing and making elaborate costume changes all the while, hypnotizing all of Gotham except for Batman and Black Canary. Successfully bringing down the two and placing them in a death trap, the Music Meister uses the satellite to broadcast his voice across not only Gotham but the entire world. By the time Batman defeats the Music Meister, he is the only human left not under his control, stopping him mere seconds from certain victory.
    • The Spectre, personification of vengeance, makes a wager in his first appearance with The Phantom Stranger, stating that if Batman should kill the man who killed his parents, Joe Chill, Batman will fall under his sway and become an agent of vengeance. To this end, the Spectre asks Batman what he will do when Batman finds Chill, and sways him closer toward vengeance when he has no easy answer. The Spectre helps Batman find Chill, and urges him toward vengeance. Even when refused, the Spectre manages to end Chill's life using the environment. In his next appearance, the Spectre aids Batman in tracking down the evil scientist Dr. Milo. He once more debates Batman to urge him toward killing, and once refused again, doubles back and turns Milo to cheese, then lets loose his mind-controlled rats, who eat Milo alive.
    • Eobard Thawne, aka "Professor Zoom", is the Arch-Enemy of Barry Allen. Luring his nemesis into the Light Speed Dimension, which he used to teleport Barry to the 25th century, Zoom traps Barry in a generator to run endlessly, siphoning off Barry's speed for himself and his army, allowing him to conquer his time period and made it his kingdom. Once the other Flashes and Batman arrive to investigate, Zoom wastes no time to capture the speedsters and add them to the generator, giving him the speed to conquer any time period. Upon being challenged by Batman gaining Super Speed himself, Zoom has no trouble defeating the hero, stealing his speed bracelets, and is mere seconds from killing him before being stopped.
    • The Riddler, real name Edward Nygma, is a brilliant puzzlemaster with an affinity for puns and outwitting his opponents. When one of Riddler's heists is thwarted by the arrogant Batwoman, Riddler baits and unmasks the hero due to her smug personality, and, when Batwoman tries to get revenge on Riddler years later, he outwits her yet again, nearly killing her and taking down Batman in the same move before being stopped. Returning in Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Riddler masterminds a diabolical scheme to create a deadly teleportation device. Kidnapping the Question and disguising himself as the hero to gain intel on the investigation into his crimes, Riddler fools even Batman himself with the disguise, all while using Clayface to pull off a variety of successful heists while giving him information on Batman's past that throws the hero off his game. Riddler ultimately finishes up the teleporter and escapes capture when exposed, nearly pulling off his criminal scheme in its entirety with ease.
    • "The Super Batman of Planet X!": Xel Rohtul, the alternate version of Lex Luthor himself, is a maniacal Evil Genius who seeks to destroy the Zur En Arrh Batman and take over Gothtropolis. Laying siege to Gothtropolis with his robot army, Rohtul is only beaten when the Batman from Earth arrives and gain superpowers. Allowing himself to be captured for time to devise a new plan, Rohtul uses a tooth-embedded device to activate his backup robot army that frees him from prison. Rohtul then reveals he deduced the source of Batman's powers and his weaknesses as well, utilising Quartz in all of his robots to weaken and nearly destroy both the Batman from Earth and Zur En Arrh in one fell swoop.
  • Beware the Batman:
    • Deathstroke, real name Slade Wilson, was once a CIA agent who was booted after his excessive cruelty in the name of protecting his country. Becoming a mercenary for hire soon after, Deathstroke pulled off flawless operations before eventually using his amassed resources to target his former mentor, and the man who got him fired from the CIA, MI-6 agent Alfred Pennyworth. Framing Batman as a villain and seemingly murdering Bruce Wayne, all while masquerading as Dane Lisslow, Deathstroke handily tricks the Dark Knight into lowering his guard in a duel by faking his motivations, and later breaks into the otherwise impenetrable Batcave, captures both Batman and Alfred, and prepares to force the latter to watch as he murders Batman before him as a final vengeance against his former mentor for ruining his life.
    • Anarky is Batman's Arch-Enemy, and a chaos-loving mastermind intent on enabling people to "free" themselves from the binds of morality and order. Introducing himself to Gotham by becoming a "patron" to two thugs and turning them into supervillains, Anarky later steals the comatose body of Ra's al Ghul to coerce the League of Assassins into stealing a chemical compound for him, only to reveal he's tricked them into unleashing a plague onto Gotham. Allying with and corrupting District Attorney Harvey Dent while consistently masking his true schemes even to Batman, Anarky succeeds in driving Dent into evil and happily accepts his eventual defeat by Batman, simply proclaiming he's ready to "play again" before enacting his next plans to unlock every door in Gotham and enable the citizens a night of debauchery and anarchy.
    • Ra's al Ghul is the leader of the League of Assassins. An immortal warrior who has toppled civilizations over the centuries, Ra's currently uses the mercenary Cypher to mind control scientists into creating the Ion Cortex, tricking the Wayne Foundation into funding the project. Using the Cortex, Ra's knocks out power in Gotham, murders anyone who stands in his way, and plans to strong-arm the leaders of the city into allowing the League to set up shop in Gotham as their new base of operations. Controlling the League through sheer charisma and intimidation, Ra's handily defeats any opponents in combat, notices the most minor errors in his plans and orders them immediately corrected, and nearly took over Gotham City in the matter of a few days, all to enable his growing plan to wipe out what he deemed to be irredeemable crime and filth in the world.
    • Humphrey Dumpler, "Humpty Dumpty", was once a meek criminal accountant with a love for numbers, but after growing horrified at the world of crime then being treated with neglect by Gotham's police department when he became a witness, Dumpler becomes a tragic, brilliant mastermind determined to pay back the crooks and cops of Gotham alike. Dumpler kidnaps and puts a variety of criminals and corrupt lawyers into bomb suits to draw out crime lord Tobias Whale and Lieutenant James Gordon, both of whom Dumpler kidnaps while distracting Batman across the city. Even when Batman rescues Gordon and Whale, Dumpler fakes his death to throw Batman off and gracefully accepts his temporary defeat before returning later to trap Batman and other popular people of Gotham in a murder mystery house filled with booby traps. As Batman barely is able to solve Dumpler's puzzles to save everyone's lives, Dumpler reveals he's punishing them all for their hand in sending an innocent man to prison, showing his taste for justice and vengeance as surpassing all other villains in the show.
  • Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons: The Jackal is an old enemy of "Deathstroke" aka Slade Wilson with whom he shares a past and the head of HIVE. After his daughter was killed by Deathstroke, The Jackal stays behind the scenes, believed to be dead, and plotting revenge against Deathstroke. Taking Rose, Slade's bastard daughter, under his wing, he manipulates her into becoming The HIVE Queen and her kidnap Joseph Wilson, Slade's telepathic son. Using Rose's connection with him, he exploits Joseph's telepathy tenfold, making him a "human nuclear bomb." With Joseph and Rose under his command, he orchestrates three simultaneous terrorist attacks on US soil, so he can lure out the President of the United States and kidnap him. By kidnaping Slade's children and training them into becoming assassins, Deathstroke would die by their hands.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series: "Prisoner of Sinestro": Thaal Sinestro is a celebrated, but maverick Green Lantern known for his Nerves of Steel and willingness to bend the rules to suit his purposes, as well as being a friend and mentor to Hal Jordan. Tasked with recovering the dangerous assassin Neuroxis, Sinestro is imprisoned by his fellow Green Lanterns when he falls victim to Neuroxis's mind-jumping powers. Escaping with ease and deducing the criminal's abilities and weakness, Sinestro forms a plan to force Neuroxis to abandon its host in favor of returning to its own body, voiding the atmosphere on the Interceptor except for Neuroxis's prison cell, forcing the criminal to return to its own body or suffocate, stoically keeping to the plan even as Razer nearly suffocates. When the plan works, Sinestro reveals that he had depressurized the cell, coldly taunting Neuroxis as the creature painfully suffocates, covering up his actions and presenting the death as an accident, considering Neuroxis's death to be justice served.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Madame Rouge, from Season 5, is a dreaded member of the Brotherhood of Evil's inner circle. With a fearsome reputation to match her suave voice and lofty ego, Rouge is tasked by the Brain to retrieve a Titans Communicator so they can predict their every move. Impersonating the likeness of Robin to confuse and shake Hot Spot's trust in the Teen Titans, Madame Rouge masterfully plays the immediate situation to her advantage, successfully fooling both the real Robin and Hot Spot to gain a communicator. When offered Kid Flash by the Hive Five, Madame Rouge quickly overpowers the then untouchable speedster with clever use of her versatile shapeshifting. Despite her prior condescending attitude towards the High Five, Jinx standing up for herself impresses Madame Rouge. In the season's climax, Rouge, ever confident in her own abilities, goes down fighting multiple members of the Teen Titans despite being frozen like her villainous peers.
    • "X": Red X is a self-proclaimed thief who steals Robin's selfsame suit, then tracks down a Xenothium scanner even with the Titans hot on his trail. Cornered, X uses his knowledge of his surroundings and mastery of gadgetry, taking on the team one-by-one while he makes his way too the Xenothium Ore vault to recharge his suit and uses Robin as a decoy to slip by the security drone. Teaming up with Robin to stop the treacherous Professor Chang, X not only saves Robin but also gracefully accepts defeat when Robin reveals he stole X's utility belt. In "Revved Up", X races against Robin and many of his enemies, demonstrating his skill on a motorbike and when saved by Robin from an explosion repays the debt by dismantling all of the villainous racers in under a minute. Stylish and roguish yet noble, Red X cements himself as a memorable character that's neither a villain nor hero—just as he'd like.
    • Trouble in Tokyo: Commander Uehara Daizo is a Tokyo police detective who arrested the mysterious Brushogan and sealed him away in an abandoned comic book factory. Forcing Brushogan to bring life to hoards of criminals for him to capture, Daizo founded the Tokyo Troopers, rose in the echelons of the police department, and obtained great public favor through his machinations. When the Teen Titans arrived in Tokyo to follow a lead, Daizo remains beneath notice and sets up the circumstances in which Robin is framed for the "murder" of Saeko-Tech, using that as reason to have the other Titans arrested or booted out of Tokyo. When the Titans uncover his deceit, the calm and confident Daizo simply aims to have them eliminated using the full extent of Brushogan's black magic.
  • DC Super Friends: "The Joker's Playhouse": The Joker himself takes over the Hall of Justice and reprograms Super Friends' holographic training program for his own ends. Imprisoning Superman and Batman in the stimulation, where they are forced to endlessly battle Solomon Grundy and blob monsters, the Joker also uses Gorilla Grodd and Mister Freeze, as well as his own traps, to capture or nearly kill the rest of Super Friends. When the team managed to free themselves through a teamwork, Joker uses his giant mecha suit to battle them and even briefly overwhelm them, before they figured out a way to defeat him.
  • Young Justice:
    • Vandal Savage is the leader and founder of the Light. Intending on creating a secret group to counter the Justice League, Savage directs most of its greatest moves, such as forming alliances with various villain factions, continuously using fronts and proxies so when the League defeats them, the Light remains undetected. Making alliances with alien groups like the Reach and Apokolips, Vandal engineers the near downfall of the world and at one point completely enslaving the Justice League and sending them off-world to fulfill the Light's purposes, framing them as criminals on another planet. Bent on creating a world of conflict where humans will be forced to evolve and adapt, Vandal constantly shows why he is worthy of being the head of the Light.
    • Lex Luthor is as charming and intelligent as ever. Forming Project Cadmus to create Superboy with his own DNA, Lex constantly stays a step of the heroes, even filling Superboy himself with doubt over his true place. Organizing a peace treaty between the countries of North and South Rhelasia, Lex manipulates events so both will unite under the Light's guidance and constantly proves invaluable in assisting Vandal with the best of the Light's schemes. Upon realizing the danger of the Reach, he and Vandal help to form counter measures against them, ending the second season by escaping completely free of their own crimes and proving why Lex is always a match for any adversary.
    • Jade Nguyen is the supervillain Cheshire, the daughter of Sportsmaster and the older sister of Artemis. Serving as an assassin for the League of Shadows, Cheshire frequently encounters her sister on contracts for the Light, always managing to evade capture but taking the time to save Artemis when her life is in danger. Later marrying Will Harper, Cheshire discovers the location of the real Roy Harper and assists Will in rescuing him. Professional enough to work with her hated father in order to avenge Artemis' death, the two storm Black Manta's base and come within seconds of killing Aqualad, before learning of Artemis' survival and easily staging an escape to keep her cover intact.
  • DC Super Hero Girls (2019):
    • Catwoman manages to be even more intelligent than her comic counterpart. After studying the Super Hero Girls and how to exploit their weakness, she robs a store banking on the fact that Supergirl would show up and prepares Kryptonite to use against her. Though stopped, she gets away and comes up with an idea to form a team to take the girls down: forming her team acting as the Only Sane Woman to the group, leading them in a crime spree before being stopped by the girls. Although the Super Hero Girls blackmail her into helping them steal the Book of Infinity from Lex Luthor, it turns out to have all been a trap, with Catwoman working with Luthor the entire time. However, once Catwoman learns of Luthor's plan to have a meteor hit the Earth so he can rule over whatever is left, she turns on him. After freeing the girls and tearing a page out from the book so Lex can't see it coming, she steals all of his stuff as one last slap to him.
    • "#LeagueOfShadows": Ra's Al-Ghul is once again as intelligent and charming as ever. Starting a band called the League of Shadows in a place called the Lazarus Pit, Ra's plans to purify the world for them to rule over. He discovers one of his biggest fans Kara Danvers is the superheroine Supergirl as well that her weakness is Kryptonite, so he gets his hands on some Red Kryptonite. Using this knowledge, when Kara comes to his latest concert, Ra's brings her into his room and uses his charisma to manipulate her and gives her a choker that contains the Red Kryptonite. The Red Kryptonite starts to take over Kara, and Ra's uses a mind control song to brainwash her, making her completely under his control. He has her steal two tickets to a boy band concert Up Past Eight for his first act to purify the world by eliminating bad music.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report