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Five-Bad Band

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The original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, clockwise from top-left: Magneto, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Mastermind, and Toad.

Heroes aren't the only ones who enjoy bonding in groups of five. Villains do it, too, making this trope the Evil Counterpart of the Five-Man Band. This isn't necessarily done to mirror the heroes or provide any sort of advantage; in fact, many Five-Bad Bands are in place even before the Five-Man Band is. Note also that Five-Bad Bands are more fluid than Five Person Bands, open to more roster changes. However, if there are not five of them, it's not a Five-Bad Band, it is a Standard Evil Organization Squad.

The roles in a Five-Bad Band are:

  1. The Big Bad—Counterpart to The Leader or The Hero, or if present sometimes the Big Good. Likely with an inner circle of mooks to do their bidding and often also an Evil Army as well. Often will be more difficult to identify early on because of the very nature of a Big Bad.
  2. The Dragon—Counterpart to The Lancer, or on occasion The Hero if the Big Bad v Big Good thing is going on. Usually more physical than their boss, and commonly the most trusted member of the bunch. Good for leading Mooks. If the Big Bad is a Barbaric Psychopath, then the Dragon will likely be the most "classy", and Vice Versa. Much like The Lancer, in the absence of a Sixth Ranger Traitor, The Dragon is the most likely to betray the team (especially if they're The Starscream), and may bear their share of resentment towards the Big Badnote . More likely to be The Hero's Evil Counterpart or Worthy Opponent within the context of the story than the Big Bad is.
  3. The Evil Genius—Counterpart to The Smart Guy. Operates the weapons or acts as Mission Control for the others. Often essential to the evil scheme; their screwing up could mean the entire thing falls apart. Most likely of this group to be Bad Boss'd for this very reason. Ironically, being less manically evil doesn't make them a better candidate for a Heel–Face Turn, as they are often just completely amoral. More prone to insanity or other quirks than others. Very likely to be a Mad Scientist (or an Evil Sorcerer in fantasy-oriented works), and also has a high chance of being The Starscream.
  4. The Brute—Counterpart to The Big Guy. If the Dragon doesn't lead the Mooks, they will. While likely not better in a fight than The Dragon, is often the most physically powerful and often the most sadistic. Likes to fight and get his hands dirty, and is usually second best to the Dragon at doing so. Oh, and they are big, and sometimes (but not always) pretty dim.
  5. The Dark ChickAlways Female counterpart to The Chick. She's more likely to toy with emotions, or outright ignores them, rather than tending to her team. Tends to have a seductive presence and flirts even with the heroes. If she has personal motivations instead of just being in it For the Evulz she becomes most likely candidate for Co-Dragons. If in an optimistic setting, she will be the one most likely to be redeemed and not die horrifically (and probably hook up with The Hero or The Lancer). If she doesn't get Character Development, she's just there for a Designated Girl Fight because The Hero isn't allowed to hit girls. Some lineups forego this role, or just combine it with, Bunny-Ears Lawyer and the Wacky Guy.

Also frequent is for the group to get a Sixth Ranger of its own - possibly a Sixth Ranger Traitor. Sometimes there'll be a more classical Lancer. Just like with the Five-Man Band, the former can either be a Face–Heel Turn or just simply a third entity that eventually joins them and the latter is a member that undergoes a Heel–Face Turn (although the member doesn't necessarily have to join the heroes opposing the organization). It's extraordinarily rare for a Five-Bad Band to get a Team Pet, though. However, when they do, it will be out on the field of battle trying to ream redshirts of the team to death or is seen consuming mooks like treats.

In general this team is the ultimate enemy to defeat, being equal and opposite their enemies. However, if they are a group sent out by the Big Bad and have a leadership structure but are nothing more than a dangerous group to cause trouble then it is a Quirky Miniboss Squad. A Five Bad Team can double as The Psycho Rangers, the collective Evil Twin of a Five-Man Band.


When adding entries to this list, please follow the order as listed above. Also remember, the individual character tropes are very specific character types. It is tempting to match one or two possible characters and then shove other characters in a Quirky Miniboss Squad to fit this trope. Like the Five-Man Band, they have a team dynamic, not just vague personality quirks. Also note that like Five-Man Band, there must be five characters who each fit each trope individually, so do not list any extra members or put one character under multiple tropes.

Compare and contrast with a Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy.