Follow TV Tropes

Following

Super Mob Boss

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kingpinkick.jpg
In this corner, an Animal-Themed Superbeing with Super Strength, Super Reflexes, Spider-Sense, and a Healing Factor. In the other corner, a Muggle businessman with questionable means of income.
Advertisement:

In the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, crime leaders and mob bosses are usually the domain of cop shows, and for super heroes a Starter Villain before true Super Villains start showing up.

Then you have these people.

Maybe they have super powers themselves, maybe they have super powered goons under their command, maybe they employ super technology, maybe they are Badass Normals that can stand up to the heroes, or maybe they're such a Magnificent Bastard that the heroes can do nothing to stop or even touch them. For whatever reason they are a major threat.

These characters are often used in more mature and darker superhero stories, since tropes related to The Mafia usually fall into this, but even kids' shows sometimes have these characters.

To make this trope more flexible, works that don't involve superheroes can be examples, but still must be from stories that are similar to those, with the heroes having superpowers and supernatural abilities, or more conventional villains being also part of the cast.

Advertisement:


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Capone Bege from One Piece. He started as a mob leader, but when he dominated the whole crime underworld of the West Blue, he got bored and decided to leave and become a pirate, but kept his mannerisms and mafia attire, and kept the same methods of going after leaders and then watch their organizations crumble without them. He also has superpowers; he ate the Castle-Castle Fruit, which turns his body into a fortress, he can shrink his henchmen and store an army inside himself, and place weapons inside him like cannons, whose cannonballs will revert into normal size after being fired. As his superpowers primarily involve transporting his henchmen and resources around and he uses guns in a world where most people are badass enough to not need them, he still retains the muggle spirit of this trope.
  • My Hero Academia has Overhaul, the boss of the Shie Hassaikai Yakuza clan, whose ultimate goal is to revitalize organized crime after it's power was crushed due to the rise of superheroes. Overhaul himself is a powerful quirk-user with the power to deconstruct and reconstruct matter solely by touch and has a personal retinue of fanatically loyal henchmen with deadly quirks of their own.
  • The Don of Passione is this in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, being the Big Bad on top of that. Like many Post-Part 3 antagonists, he has a Stand that let's him delete a section of time while allowing him to move through the erased segment giving him an advantage that he used to kill Bucciarati. The protagonists Giorno Giovanni and his teammates were originally planning to work up the ranks and take him down so they can end Passione's drug trade. However, they went into direct opposition after finding out the Boss is willing to kill his own daughter to maintain his anonymity, who had never even met him anyway..
    • By the end of Part 5, the Boss, Diavolo, has been trapped in a Fate Worse than Death, while Giorno is now the head of Passione with his Stand Gold Experience Requiem.
  • Tokyo Tribe has Buppa. This evil crime lord is so strong that he broke a young man's back and killed him by simply raping him too hard.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • While the sheer amount of corruption and organized crime in Gotham City is part of why Bruce Wayne became Batman, most of the mob families fall aside as Batman takes down their rings and more dangerous supervillains take their place. One exception is Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. the Penguin, who with nothing more than connections, goons and some fancy umbrellas stands as one of Batman's major villains. the Joker himself may count depending on the adaptation. Black Mask is a modern and more brutal variation.
    • In Superman, Intergang is a mafia-like element in Metropolis which is a constant thorn in Superman's side. In the comics and the animated series it turns out they're supplied by Darkseid, but in Lois & Clark (where there is no Darkseid), it's played more straightly.
  • In Kick-Ass the Big Bad is the head of the local mob: John Genovese in the comic, Frank D'Amico in the film. His son, Red Mist, goes on to be the world's first supervillain.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Kingpin is the most well known example of this trope. Nemesis to both Spider-Man and Daredevil, Kingpin is the king of the Marvel Universe's criminal underworld and has given grief to beings several time more powerful than himself. Officially he is just a normal human, but he is inhumanly strong thanks to training, and while stories show him using super-technology like his cane with a deadly disintegrator beam, he relied less on them over the years... and then he became one of the leaders of the Hand, which means that he has an army of literal zombie ninjas at his beck and call that he occasionally uses for such things as racketeering.
    • There is also Tombstone, Hammerhead, Silvermane, and Count Nefaria. Most of those villains have fought the likes of Daredevil and Spider-Man, but Neferia was a bona-fide Diabolical Mastermind powerful enough to take on The Avengers.
    • The Hood was an Unlucky Everydude who got magical cape and shoes from certain demon that granted supernatural powers, and with that in hand he fights to became a mob boss, becoming a real menace for groups as the New Avengers. But even without his magical clothes, he's also a Badass Normal who can fight with his guns and fists.
    • Joe Fixit, the original Grey Hulk alternate persona, worked as a bodyguard for the mob in Las Vegas.
    • Once, a handsome mobster by the name of Billy Russo attempted to assassinate everyone connected to The Punisher and got thrown through a glass window by him, reducing his face to a scarred mess. Going crazy after that, he adopted the nickname of Jigsaw and became a formidable enemy of the Punisher; he's also tangled with Spider-Man and Nightcrawler.
  • Invincible: Machine Head was one of the most powerful crime lords in the world, and has lots of superpowered goons, one of his former goons, Titan would betray him and take over Machine Head's criminal organization.
  • Powers:
    • Johnny Royale leads a gang with various super powered members. Johnny himself also has powers, specifically with teleportation, which doesn't seem very impressive for the leader of a superpowered gang, but comes in handy when it comes to pulling heists or establishing an alibi.
    • Another case explored and deconstructed what happens when a non-powered mob boss has an underling with super powers; said underling soon becomes the Dragon-in-Chief and leaves the "boss" as an Authority in Name Only.
  • The Savage Dragon: Overlord (real name Antonio Seghetti) is the leader of Chicago's Mafia and not only hires superpowers muscle for his rackets but he runs around in a very Nineties-styled Doctor Doom rip-off Powered Armor, capable of taking on (and taking out) the Dragon in a one-on-one fight. The men who took his mantle after he was killed were no different.
  • The main antagonist of Shi is a Yakuza crime lord who killed her father and brother when she was a child. Being trained by a decade for her grandfather, Shi goes for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against him, but he's also a lethal martial artist who killed a lot of people apart of Shi's family and having a tough Final Battle where she almost died, but finally could defeat him, barely.
  • In Stormwatch PHD, one of the team's first opponents is the Walking Ghost, an intangible Russian mob boss who also happens to be Gorgeous' ex.

    Fan Works 
  • Vigilantes' Dawn: Commented on by one of the epigraphs of the sequel, a YouTube video created in 2078. Apparently, normal organized crime such as The Mafia doesn't survive the rise of superheroes. While organized crime does still exist, it's been taken over entirely by supervillains and their "rotating casts of minions".
Advertisement:

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Crow, the head of the mob, Top Dollar, has a sister/lover who is a mystic and who realizes how to weaken Eric by attacking the Crow that brought him back to the mortal world, then schemes to steal the Crow's power for herself.

    Literature 
  • Black Blade: Victor Draconi is the head of the Draconi family household and the Big Bad of the trilogy. Victor lives in the magical and mob-controlled city of Cloudburst Falls and has abilities and powers of his own which he steals by torturing and killing his enemies. His ultimate plan being a purge of the other crime families in control of the city to allow him to take control.
  • In The Dresden Files, Chicago mob boss Gentleman Johnny Marcone is actually badass enough to gain standing as a freeholding lord recognized by the Unseelie Accords. While a completely ordinary human himself, he is fully aware of the supernatural community and regularly deals with major players like Queen Mab and Donnar Vadderung.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Luke Cage (2016): Bushmaster in season 2. The head of the Brooklyn-based Stylers, he gains super-strength from Hollywood Voodoo and is a whole other ballgame from terrorizing normal human street gangs and local crime syndicates.
  • The Defenders (2017): The Hand are depicted as a syndicate of three men (Bakuto, Murakami and Sowande) and two women (Alexandra and Madame Gao) who have stayed alive for centuries thanks to a resurrection substance.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Even though he's of more normal proportions than he is in the comics, Wilson Fisk still fits this trope. He's even able to break Dex's back while Dex is in the very Daredevil costume Fisk procured for him.
    • Nobu in seasons 1 and 2 is introduced as an associate partner of Wilson Fisk's, but turns out to be part of the Hand and has been using the same resurrection substance as the leaders, allowing him to survive Matt setting him on fire.
  • Uncle Six from Wu Assassins is a Triad boss with martial arts skills and supernatural power over fire.

    Tabletop Game 
  • The Chairman from Sentinels of the Multiverse is this, being an expy of the likes of Kingpin and Ras. His villain deck is actually one of the harder ones to beat, even with a full hero team. The fluff even points out he has access to a Lazarus pool that keeps him in his physical prime despite being well over 100 years old.
  • The Xanathar of the Forgotten Realms is a Beholder mob boss, with all the powers that entails. "Xanathar" is actually a Legacy Character, as whatever beholder kills the previous leader of the Xanathar guild or shows up after they're dead tends to take over the guild and the name.
  • Mutants & Masterminds: Has several examples of mob bosses that can pose a serious threat to superheroes.
    • Two of Emerald City's major villains are leaders of major criminal syndicates that also have superpowers: Takazumi Kaneda is the leader of the local Yakuza branch in his public identity, but with his ability to change his skin into liquid steel, he can face superheroes head-on as the Steel Shogun. Koschei the Deathless is a russian mobster with powerful psychic abilities that allow him to manipulate events from the shadows.

    Video Games 
  • Inverted in Champions Online with the Gemini Gang. Their leader, Mr. Gemini, is a supervillain with Self-Duplication who figured out how use his powers to make clones of other people (though the clones get progressively weaker the less they resemble him) and decided that it would put him at a disadvantage if people found out he could do that, so he pretends he's a leader of a Gang of Hats with the theme of "the more you look like the boss, the higher your position in the gang" to hide it.
  • The Elder Scrolls: In Skyrim, the main villain of the Thieves' Guild questline is the medieval fantasy version of this. The Player Character is, for all intents and purposes, a Physical God who, when properly leveled, takes down armies, dragons, and daedra with terrifying ease. Mercer Frey is the leader of the Thieves' Guild and at first seems to be just an unusually skilled locksmith and fighter. But it turns out he's got powers granted by the Daedric Prince Nocturnal, as well as her artifact, a magical key that can unlock anything (including human potential). Later, the Dragonborn can also be similarly blessed by Noctunal (though they can't use the Skeleton Key in the same way).
  • Geese Howard from Fatal Fury series is a crime boss who has the control of the city of Southtown since The '70s during the events of Art of Fighting. But also, he was trained in the martial art of Aikido so he can beat up enemies who challenge him without help.
  • In Freedom Force, one of the most annoying foes is Pinstripe, the mob boss that has the ability to control his own density, as you don't have the characters to handle him when he shows up, and his attacks are surprisingly powerful. While not immensely powerful, he is responsible for the origins of three different characters, the appearance of another, gets two separate arcs to his name, and comes directly after the threat of World War III with the Soviets.
  • A Hat in Time
    • The Mafia of Cooks are the villains from the first level, and the first major threat for the heroine Hat Kid; while all the mafia goons are very dumb, incompetent, have terrible grammar and are terrible cooks despite their name, they can easily provide a decent challenge to Hat Kid, and their leader is much smarter and is even more capable in a battle than the rest of them.
    • The Nyakuza Metro DLC has the Empress, a talking sphinx cat who leads the Nyakuza that forces Hat Kid to do her bidding after stealing her Plot Coupons. She can't even be fought as not only does attacking her simply have her insta-kill Hat Kid, but the inevitable confrontation with her simply consists of trying to escape her and her gang while she blasts you with a rocket launcher.
  • Junya Kaneshiro from Persona 5 counts in a unique way. Despite being the third major boss fight and the whole reason Makoto joins the team, as well as having multiple other students under his wraps, he would certainly qualify... except you don't fight him but his Superpowered Evil Side in the cognitive world.
  • In an example more obvious in retrospect, Giovanni and Team Rocket from Pokémon, especially in the anime where they're still active. Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon Gold and Silver, and their remakes have them operate a lot like a Yakuza, among other things using the Viridian City Pokemon Gym as a front. Later foes included Eco Terrorists, a madman bent on destroying and rebuilding the universe, Team Plasma who planned to use the legendary dragon to make people give up their Pokemon (then later try to freeze the world to death), a cult bent on a holocaust, and an abusive mother who wants to open dimensional rifts despite the dangers. Notably Team Rocket never summoned a legendary Pokemon to do their bidding. By the time of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon he's somehow gained the ability to travel across dimensions and uses this to form a Legion of Doom consisting of alternate versions of previous series villains.
  • The Boss in Saints Row started as a One-Man Army to galactic emperor with Power Armor. The series also has mystically or inexplicably empowered mob bosses or enforcers like Sunshine or Hector for the antagonistic roles.
  • Mr. X in the Streets of Rage series definitely has elements of one, especially in Streets of Rage 3 where he's revealed to have become a Brain in a Jar piloting a robot body.
  • Goro Majima and Kazuma Kiryu from Yakuza count in Project X Zone 2. Being high ranking Yakuza able to stand toe-to-toe with the likes of M Bison from Street Fighter and Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles among others.
    • Even within the actual series the Yakuza works on the rules of Authority Equals Asskicking, where anyone with a notable position of power can range from being simply tougher than the average goon to being capable of insane physical feats. For example, Kiryu has won a fistfight against two fully grown tigers, and Majima managed to dodge a bullet from a gun that was pressed to the back of his head and fired. Twice.

    Web Animation 
  • Sir Pentious from Hazbin Hotel fits by technicality, he may be a snake demon Mad Scientist but the show takes place in hell so by local standards he's just a "Notable Criminal Kingpin" as Tom Trench calls him.

    Webcomics 
  • Mobster Kingpin, the Big Bad of Problem Sleuth. He's a mob leader with access to powers and video game-like techniques just like the main three heroes. Exaggerated when his imaginary self descends in to demonhood and becomes Demonhead Mobster Kingpin, a being capable of ripping the universe in half.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Rupert Thorne is a non-costumed, non-powered mob boss who, purely through his cunning and ruthlessness, manages to remain a major power in the Gotham underworld even among all the costumed villains. He has appeared in some other continuities, but is never as dominant as he is in the B:TAS one.

Top