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Manipulative Bastard / Webcomics

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  • Tower of God:
    • Khun Aguero Agnes. Despite being a mere Regular, he is a guy that makes experienced Rankers of the Tower despise him so much that they would even help his enemies. Just that these enemies are actually his friends.
    • An even better example would be Yu Hansung, who was able to manipulate the entire series of important events that played on the Second Floor without anyone realising what was going on.
  • Yang Jeonghak from Gosu orchestrated Gang Ryong's rampage against the Baekma Valley under the orders of Jin Garyeong's mother, the former Lady of the Valley.
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  • Jordan from Skins is a rare female example. She knows what makes her team mates tick and uses her werewolf companion's need to protect his substitute pack to manipulate him into joining her on a dangerous mission.
  • MAG-ISALove is an easy emotion to manipulate... how sad.
  • Dominic from Dominic Deegan. Hell, just look at the image on the comic's main page!
  • Adam from Loserz seems like The Casanova at the first glimpse, but in this strip he displays what a master of manipulation he is.
  • The eponymous girls at M9 Girls! are the unwilling subjects of Professor T.X.'s experiments. It can be argued that he has manipulated them into agreeing to the experiments.
  • Tohya Miho from MegaTokyo does this with varying levels of success. Miho is an interesting (and arguably realistic) example, because while the impact of her schemes has been truly dramatic she is forced to admit that she actually ended up achieving the opposite of her true objectives. Her Manipulative Bastard actions in the Endgames prequel similarly end in failure, when Piro plays her own game back at her.
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  • While some view Maytag of Flipside as a Purity Sue both inside and outside the comic, others view her as a frighteningly powerful Manipulative Bastard.
  • College Roomies from Hell!!!:
    • Mike is a good example. Physically, he's about evenly matched with roommates Dave and Roger — but mentally, he's always two steps ahead of them. Mike can accomplish almost anything by manipulating others' actions, and he seldom betrays any affection for people other than his sister Blue and girlfriend Marsha. He can even see through the devil's mind games while being tortured in Hell.
    • Later on, April — once the nicest character in the strip — lets her doomed love for Mike drive her into becoming a Manipulative Bitch. In a way, she's his opposite: while Mike only falters on the rare occasions when he loses his cool, April is at her scheming best when she's most bitter and desperate. After one series of lies so brazen that it killed her conscience, there was no turning back.
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  • Ctrl+Alt+Del: Christian and Rory, a rich jerkass and a Jerk Jock Aloof Older Brother, respectively.
  • Keychain of Creation gives us Sonorous Aria, starting here.
  • Fructose Riboflavin in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. (Poor lovestruck Galatea!) He seems rather flummoxed in his first appearance when Bob turns out to be Too Dumb to Fool.
  • Priti of Snowflakes has all the makings of a brilliant political strategist, or so she would have you believe. She's very good at manipulating any given situation to her advantage, but she only sticks around for as long as she's getting results, meaning that she never stays friends with anybody for very long. And recently, the other children have started to employ the same methods right back....
  • Homestuck:
    • Most of the trolls are this to some degree (it's practically required in their society), but Terezi is the freaking master of it, especially considering her ability to play mind games without the aid of any Psychic Powers. She's just that good at pushing the right buttons.
    • Vriska really, really wants to be one, but tends to piss everyone else off so much that she always gets frustrated and uses Mind Control Psychic Powers when she wants to manipulate someone. This tends to backfire regularly. Her ancestor, Mindfang, meanwhile, was far more adept at it than Vriska was.
    • There's also Diamonds Droog from as early as the Intermission, who used some spectacular Mind Screwy weird time shit to take out Trace along with Doze. Unfortunately for him he didn't consider the full effects of whacking Clover with a newspaper . . .
    • Doc Scratch takes the cake, though. Despite making it very plain that he intends to summon an immortal demon to destroy the universe, he is still able to manipulate nearly every single character in the comic into furthering his plans. He is even able to do this without lying (except by omission, which he claims doesn't count) and being very upfront about the fact that he's manipulating everyone. This is why it's unwise to challenge The Omniscient to mindgames.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Xykon definitely displays shades of a Manipulative Bastard at the end of Start of Darkness. He uses Redcloak's guilt and unwillingness to admit his mistakes against him to effectively turn the goblin cleric from a semi-loyal follower to a willing slave. Xykon notes with no small amount of satisfaction that Redcloak will continue to operate in his interests even when the lich can't supervise him personally because doing otherwise will force Redcloak to admit he killed his baby brother for nothing.
    • Xykon's manipulation is turned on its head with the reveal that Redcloak's been lying to Xykon all along about the true purpose of the Ritual, playing the spineless servant and suffering every indignation, all in order to manipulate Xykon into helping carry out a plan that doesn't help him out at all.
    • Tarquin has made a career out of this trope, playing off entire empires against each other for personal gain. He manipulates almost every character he comes into contact with - especially Nale, who obviously considers himself a Manipulative Bastard in his own right.
  • The Head Alien from the Walkyverse. He has the advantage of knowing the protagonists inside and out, being responsible for their powers and knowing them since birth because of it, and therefore has the advantage of having a reasonable idea what it takes to shock them or make them angry. (Granted, he does play favorites, making secondary characters difficult for him to deal with.)
  • Sluggy Freelance
    • Bestseid, a parodic cross between Darkseid and a PR guy. He's a master of making you believe and feel what he wants.
    • Apparently a feature of the Strakoistrat vampires introduced in "The Circle". When the Vrykolakas vampire Urja goes to kill the Strakoi Dr. Vistuvius for betraying the Vrykolakas by helping the Lysinda Circle (yet another group of vampires), Vistuvius manages to use his last words before being destroyed to say something that forces Urja to spare him — and she remarks this was only to be expected because he's a Strakoi. Also, when he gets the chance to explain himself, he plausibly claims that he was in fact betraying the Lysinda Circle to the Vrykolakas when he appeared to be helping them, and the Vrykolakas were being stupid in not realising what opportunity he was deliberately offering them.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Nanase's mother, as shown in this comic.
    • Pandora would also qualify.
    • Tom, as described here.
      Ashley: It's like, you could have a sandwich? And he'll want to eat the sandwich, but he won't ask you for it. Instead he'll say or do something sneaky that makes you want to give him the sandwich, all while thinking it was your idea. And then? He eats your sandwich.
  • Brian from Multiplex is a perfect example of this. He pretends to be an idiot so he can steal money from the theater.
  • Felicia from Life worries briefly that she may be one — which, to be fair, is because she was being manipulative.
  • Sul from "Cheese in the Trap" initially believes that Jung is one. It's still not clear whether she was right or not.
  • Susan from Sire has played Anna and all of her peers like a fiddle her whole life. Unforunately for her, nobody at Lineage Haven falls for her tricks.
  • Count Drusus Beausoleil of Girl Genius:
    • He manipulates a bunch of his students into fighting one another in order to create a diversion in order to abscond with Agatha in the confusion.
    • He worms his way into Du Quay's trust, manipulates him into accepting Agatha as a prisoner by pointing out that she makes a good hostage against Gil, and looses her to rip apart Du Quay's attempt at overthrowing the Master.
    • In order to motivate Agatha, he refuses to give Agatha the info she wants until she completes a task for the master. When she does so, he admits that they don't actually have what she wants.
    • He manages to betray and sabotage the Master himself right under his nose, forcing the Master to fall on his last resort, and he still successfully murders the Master.
  • The titular Dr. Frost in Dr. Frost is most definitely one of these. As a psychologist, many of his plans to help clients are well intentioned and work out in the end, they usually do have shades of this as well. Often, they’re both ingenious and manipulative at the same time.
    • Seonghyun Moon is a darker example. He's able to talk several people into committing suicide, including some unnamed homeless people, and Jeonghyun Kim. He is also able to manipulate people in general into thinking of him as normal, and is very well liked.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Chase. While questioning a woman about her missing son, he pretends to be a father who had lost his own wife and child in order to gain her trust. He also takes Scarlet to an amusement park to lower her guard so he could give her a cell phone that had a tracking device on it. But seeing her told back tears after being given it made him feel guilty enough to not activate the app.
    • Even in his backstory, he was able to trick a man into giving away enough information on where he was keeping his daughters hostage so he could be pardoned for the murder of his wife by accusing him of making up the daughters being held hostage and insulting his pride. Unfortunately for the man, this was enough to trigger Chase into shooting him.
  • Debugging Destiny has both Baleyg and Ignacia. Baleyg plays this fairly straight, exploiting people's needs and using social engineering to get what he wants. Ignacia is a little more direct, using her Hypnotic Eyes to get her way.
  • Wake Of The Clash: Though his main powers are mind-control based, it seems that is not the full extent of Sabre’s manipulative abilities. Sabre explains to Hourglass in Chapter 2 that he is patient and respectful to his scientists as that behavior serves as a powerful motivator to those who faced a history of rejection. He also seems to use fear and stern words to keep Hourglass’ more flighty tendencies in check.

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