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The Sociopath / Comic Books

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  • The DCU has Kid Karnevil, an adolescent Torture Technician first introduced in Shadowpact. He claims to emulate the Joker and ultimately wants to kill him. Old Greenhair is unimpressed.
    • To wit though, it's rumored that the Kid actually died at some point and was sent to Hell. However, he was kicked out some time later, apparently because he was scaring the employees.
  • Max in Sam & Max: Freelance Police is described repeatedly in story as a sociopath, but Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Retcons him into having a conscience (who is highly repressed and suicidal).
    • Even before that, his behavior doesn't quite fit; he's more like a violent psychotic with psychopathic tendencies.
  • Scott Pilgrim gives us the seventh evil ex in Gideon Gordon Graves. He is a textbook case of a high-functioning sociopath. While charismatic and charming, underneath it all, he sees his desires and ambitions first and foremost, viewing Ramona as a muse and not being an attentive partner. Hell, it turns out that he wanted to capture her and add her to his collection of ex-girlfriends (Ramona being number 7 appropriately enough) so they may all fawn over him. He manipulates everyone around him and relies on mental manipulation and psychological warfare through The Glow (a literal case given how it traps people inside their heads with their vices and made millions with the military).
    • Somewhat lampshaded as when Scott attempts to infect him with the Glow, it fails since in Gideon's words, he was trapped inside his head since he was born. As such, he knows that he does not connect to people, but does not seem to understand how much it has screwed him up. Scott seems to be able to anyway, at least enough to gain a new weapon in The Power of Understanding.
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  • Alfie O'Meagan from Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja is a textbook example: he tortures small animals, shamelessly lies and shifts the blame to others, has sudden outbursts of anger and arrogance, and lacks any sympathy or empathy for others. Problem is, he's also a Reality Warper and the most powerful being on Earth.
  • Sin City has Senator Roark and his Serial Killer son as probably the best examples of sociopaths. There are plenty of crazy people but they show at least some remorse or have emotional attachments here or there.
  • The Transmetropolitan Myth Arc features the protagonist squaring off against a sociopath who got himself elected President of the United States just so he could exercise his every sadistic whim unimpeded.
  • Lucifer, to no-one's surprise, would be considered a sociopath by human standards. He isn't one (human that is), and neither are many of the comic's other sociopathic characters.
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  • There is Sabretooth, who wants nothing more than to torment Wolverine and kill as many people along the way with glee. But he has had a select very few people he cared for. It's been stated he loved his mother, and financially took care of her after he killed his father. He also visited her every two weeks, and put her in the best nursing home in the country when she got ill. Another example would be Bonnie, a human woman he had a brief relationship with after saving her. They spent the night together afterward, and Sabretooth promised to keep her safe with him. He ends up having to kill her— the only woman he cared for who felt the same way about him— which shattered him.
  • Lex Luthor is often described as being a sociopath, and he has done many heinous things without remorse— including killing his father for startup capital (granted he was a textbook abusive father, too), curing his sister's disease then giving it back to her just because he could, strangling a black belt martial artist just because she had the gall to beat him in training, and (implied) letting a biochemist-turned-superhero die to give Superman a Heroic BSoD. Also, his (Post-Crisis) motivation for hating Superman? Because he exists, and Luthor doesn't want someone more powerful than himself around.
  • Depending on the Writer, Magneto. While his intentions are far more noble than most characters on this list (at least post-Chris Claremont Character Development) he is also consistently written to Charles Xavier's Foil, and while Charles is (ironically) a Magnetic Hero who makes his X-Men a Family of Choice, Magneto is more often than not a Bad Boss who, in spite of his lofty goals, treats the actual people supporting him as little more than expendable pawns on his chessboard. A special mention should be made for his characterization under Grant Morrison, who chose to write Magneto as an obvious sociopath, so much so that he crossed the line into blatantly Stupid Evil. This characterization proved to be too much for fans to swallow, and a quick Retcon established the Morrison Magneto as an impostor.
    • The Ultimate version of Magneto takes it even further. He literally views baseline humans as animals to be exploited and killed.
  • As we find out from Watchmen, The Comedian. Although, interestingly enough, the Comedian is ultimately capable of realizing that what he did was wrong - he admits to doing "bad things" during his Villainous Breakdown to Moloch. Rorschach on the other hand is a Sociopathic Hero.
  • Marvels Daredevil villain Bullseye, who lives solely to kill people.
    • Purple Man, also from Daredevil, has mind control phermones, which he uses to rape and kill for fun. He tortured Jessica Jones by raping women in front of her, and using his powers to make her watch him. He also once made an entire restaurant stop breathing.
  • Carnage is a nihilistic chaos-worshipping serial killer who feels absolutely no empathy for anyone or anything except his symbiote and maybe Shriek. And to top it off he's an extremely insane diagnosed psychopath who takes delight in murder. The 2011 "Carnage", 2012 "Carnage USA", and 2013 "Superior Carnage" story arcs revealed that the symbiote he's bonded with is even worse, but appears to have a soft spot for its host as it kept Kasady alive after the Sentry ripped him in half and left him in space, and goes to extreme lengths to get him back when they're separated.
  • Terra (the first one from the 1980s) from Teen Titans fits this trope to a T. She absolutely hated the Teen Titans, and gladly betrayed them in a story-arc which is still famous today, known as the "Judas Contract."
  • Vandal Savage has no value for human life and lives primarily for any cause or deed that can stimulate him.
  • The Joker is often considered as the best Batman villain. He's also the most monstrous and dangerous of the lot. Aside from committing almost every villainous act that a human can pull off either to prove a sadistic point or For the Evulz, The Joker is also known for having no redeemable qualities whatsoever. He once severely beat Jason Todd's Robin with a crowbar even though he didn't need to, and permanently disabled Barbara Gordon just to make the Commissioner crack. He tried to kill Harley Quinn once because he was starting to remember what it was like to care and didn't like it, he only failed because Poison Ivy found her and nursed her back to health.
    • But that's not all, The Joker is so egocentric and uncaring that when he finds out that Harley Quinn (the only woman who genuinely loves and cares for him) has captured and is about to kill Batman, he beats her, keeps towering over her until she next to a window where he then slaps her with a swordfish, knocking her out of the window, doesn't go down there to see if she's ok, and then proceeds to release Batman from Harley's trap. And all of that happened simply because his ego was too big to let anyone else (even his own lover) kill Bats.
    • This is one of the defining traits of Hush. Unlike Bruce, Thomas had a poor relationship with his parents, to the point that he murdered them both. He thinks Bruce is lucky that someone else killed his parents, and doesn't understand why someone might prefer having parents to having a lot of money. In addition, he knows that Bruce is Batman, and thinks that he does it for fun.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Noriko is a sadist who relishes in brutally humilaiting and torturing her opponents.
  • Red Skull, Captain America's Arch-Enemy, fits the bill of a textbook sociopath to a T - Lack of Empathy, The Unfettered, a charismatic manipulator, Evil Cannot Comprehend Good and unable to form meaningful relationships. It's even lampshaded here by Captain America himself.
    Captain America: His eyes, unfathomably empty, devoid of all compassion... all humanity... No one has eyes like that... no one!
  • Dr. Zander Rice, the surgical head and lead scientist on the Facility's attempt to recreate Weapon X. He tortures and abuses the preteen X-23 with beatings, treating her as if she were just a thing or animal, exposure to lethal doses of radiation to jump-start her healing factor, by performing the surgery to bond her claws with adamantium a few weeks later by refusing her anasthesia, subjecting her to brutal Training from Hell, and using electric shock and waterboarding to condition her to the trigger scent. Rice is shown to be sleeping with his boss's, Martin Suuter's, wife, even though Sutter practically raised him after Wolverine killed his father, and eventually fathered a child with her. He tests the trigger scent on X-23's martial arts instructor, one of the only people who treated her like an actual human being, precisely for that reason. After a botched attempt to have X-23 killed, he manipulates Sutter to gain control of the program for himself, and then has him and have his inconvenient mistress killed when she threatens to confess to their affair, by sending X-23 to kill Sutter, his wife, and their son (even though he knows the boy is his own child). And then he arranges to have X-23's creator and mother killed by tainting her with the trigger scent to wrap up the last loose end on the project. And throughout the entire project, Rice has Sutter wrapped so tightly around his finger by playing the loving foster son that Sutter is completely blinded to what Rice really is. He kicks one dog after another, to the point even Wolverine killing his father isn't enough to make him sympathetic.
  • Wolverine's son Daken; he hates his father and cares for no-one but himself, and compared to X-23 he believes in using his powers to get what he wants, and kill off anyone who gets in his way.
  • The IDW continuity of Transformers (The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye) has three notable examples:
    • First up, Overlord. Inspired by the Gladiators of the growing Decepticon movement, he joined up and had his body upgraded to near invincibility (his first act was to crush the head of the scientist in charge of the procedure) and went on to become one of the most feared Decepticons. He had two main goals in life: kill things (get some genocide done) and to defeat Megatron. He started up a death camp at an Autobot prison, and when the heroes came to rescue them, he had all of the captured Autobots executed. He has a great need for stimulation, and when he learned of Megatron's (seeming) demise, he gave up immediately, wanting someone to kill him as he saw no purpose in his life anymore and was taken into custody. The minute he learned that Megatron is alive, he decided to go on a killing spree onboard an unsuspecting ship, and casually stomped to death a bot who accidentally bumped into him.
    • Next, there's Skyfall, an Autobot and a remarkably realistic depiction of a high-functioning sociopath, to the point that his very nature as one is a major spoiler. He puts on a very convincing facade of friendliness when in public and became friends with fellow engineer Ironfist, but actually cares nothing for those around him, attempting to frame Ironfist for a horrible crime and later orchestrating his death, not for any sort of personal grudge but simply to get Ironfist's workshop and prestige. In the end, he commits suicide upon having his crimes exposed, not out of guilt but out of a selfish fear that he would be attacked in Garrus-9 prison because of his abusive treatment of prisoners when he was a guard there. Ironfist notes that he considered not telling anyone and leaving Skyfall with a lifetime of remorse in a sort of Cruel Mercy, only to realize that Skyfall didn't feel guilt (possibly not even comprehending it) and wouldn't have cared in the slightest.
    • Finally, there's Getaway. He ticks all the boxes: superficial charm (which he generally oozes but ramps up especially for Tailgate's benefit), an inherently manipulative nature (which is subtly present in his interactions with the rest of the Lost Light), a need for stimulation (hence his constant Escape Artist antics), and a truly stunning Lack of Empathy or shame (which is codified in pretending to fall in love with Tailgate and plot his indirect murder while shitting on any such feelings people around him actually experience throughout).
  • Empowered gives us Mind████'s brother, although somewhat arguable as he "cared" enough about his sister to want to "help" her develop her psychic powers (by cutting out her eyes and tongue so she would have to rely on her powers more). Mind████ herself considers herself to have been one before psychically forcing herself into being good, although merely having the impulse to have done that might disqualify her from being a real sociopath (titular character Empowered certainly doesn't believe it).
  • The Punisher once got into the super-secure apartment tower of a prostitution ring with the help of one of the mooks, who claimed his socipathic tendencies were actually what got him the job. And indeed, he does nothing but enjoy the show floor after floor, smirking as his colleagues are offed in ever-more inventive ways (Frank posed as a janitor to get in). He doesn't enjoy it for long though- Frank offs him before he gets to the final floors.
  • In Back to Brooklyn, there are Churchill and Penny, who mocks Bob for his morals as well as willing to have her own son raped and killed by Bob's paedophile brother For the Evulz, no less.
  • Will Eisner's Wonder Man: General Attilla, a ruthless tinpot dictator whose response to his people starving is to take more food and massacre anybody who protests, including Red Cross personnel. When Wonder Man helps the people topple him, he simply decides that he's gonna start another war to take power again.
  • Wonder Woman vol 1: Queen Atomia is a remorseless, manipulative, power hungry tyrant who demands to be ruler of everything no matter how big or small and whose "subjects" are people she's forcibly transformed into mindless slaves. Not so much in her Wonder Woman (Rebirth) incarnation who was reimagined with a heavy dose of Adaptational Heroism.
  • K-Bar Kate: "Handsome" Hinson, a ranch hand who sexually harasses his boss's daughter and then decides to ruin the ranch when he's fired for his won actions.
  • The Invisible Terror: De Pix is an international criminal who explicitly states that he'll do anything for enough money, tries to murder a child for insulting them, and leaves his goons to die when the Terror attacks.
  • Pat Patriot: America's Joan of Arc: Fritz Haubner, a Nazi spy willing to blow up twenty children to stop a film from being made. He doesn't even really care about his country, only doing it for the glory.
  • Gunsmoke: To fulfill his cattle rustling ambitions, Jim Carr manipulates a town into a giant range war and kills his own father in law, whose daughter he married entirely to better ingratiate himself into the community.
  • Yellowjacket: R. Krause tortures people to death so he can figure out how to regenerate limbs and make a lot of money.
  • The Wraith: Joe Carroll decides to fake a ghost who scares his father to death so he can get his inheritance. He also has anybody who helped him annihilated so they can't talk, and laughs when he successfully kills his father.
  • The Steel Fist: Heydrich pretends to be a kindly clock repairman. He's actually a Nazi spy who decided the best way to blow up factories is to make the workers do it themselves by rigging their time card machines.
  • The Eye Sees: Ganza, a mercenary who's hired to make a civil war worse for money, and poisons his own men so he doesn't have to share.
  • Master Mystic: Rango of Slovania tried to take over the world in the backstory, and decides that the proper retribution is to make himself into a giant monster and massacre all the countries that opposed him.
  • The Lone Warrior: Wilhelm, a Nazi spy who pretends to run a laundromat so he can treat military uniforms to burn their wearers alive.
  • Ace Powers: "Heat" Devron, a gangster who robs a bank, impersonates an officer and orders the police to kill the rest of his gang so he can keep the loot.
  • Buckskin: America's Defender of Liberty: Mr. Brockman, a spy who poses as a schoolteacher to indoctrinate kids into Nazism, and then kidnaps them to make their fathers sabotage defense factories. He, of course, intends to kill the kids anyways to keep them quiet.
  • Stardust the Super Wizard:
    • Rip-the-Blood, a Diabolical Mastermind who's perfectly willing to start a world war to make money.
    • The Mad Giant, who believes that the destruction of all of civilization is a just response to the abolition of slavery.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Despite his Laughably Evil qualities, Dr. Eggman is a ruthless egomaniac who sees everyone and everything around him, humans and Mobians alike, as tools to benefit him at best and things to conquer and/or destroy at worst, and has no problems committing mass murder or even genocide to either reach his goals or simply to be a sadistic asshole, often with his trademark Evil Laugh and a Slasher Smile. No better is this displayed than with his Egg Grape Chambers; Eggman killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people by trapping them in the chambers and sucking their life force dry to power his machines and city, openly admitting he could easily find other power sources but finds this more fun. To drive the point home, Sonic and his friends have stated at least once that Eggman is an even more evil, cruel, and nasty villain than the original Dr. Robotnik ever was, and considering the list of atrocities Robotnik Prime managed to wrack up before he was taken downnote , that's saying a lot.
      • The original Dr. Robotnik isn't much better. He only cares about himself and his empire; everything else is just something for him to use or destroy. Case in point: he was perfectly willing and able to use human test subjects for the Ultimate Annihilator, a weapon capable of erasing objects from existence. While Eggman is often stated to be even more evil and nasty than him on multiple occasions, even he still ended up having genuine Pet the Dog moments, whereas Robotnik never did.
      • Breezie the Hedgehog has shades of this. In the past, when Sonic points out how Tails' life and the whole world are at stake because of her working with Eggman, she brushes him off, stating that her own life and well-being are more important. When the whole world is at the brink of falling apart, she is more concerned with making profit out of the whole situation. And when Honey calls her out, she smugly dismisses her. Needless to say, Honey attempts to maintain a calm appearance but once she leaves the office, she is visibly horrified at how uncaring and manipulative Breezie is. The fact she realized this only after she signed Deal with the Devil didn't help at all.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • Taking after his SatAM incarnation, Robotnik only cares about himself and his empire, forcing his laws upon the people of Mobius and feeling none of the pain he causes others. He's intelligent and manipulative, easily using Knuckles to do his bidding and find Sonic's base, and eventually gets bored with just being a tyrant, trying to seize power through the Chaos Emeralds and become a god. Several of his plans are also devoted to simply making people suffer rather than any specific purpose, and near the end of the series, he tries to destroy Mobius and everything on it, including himself, out of spite.
      • Dr. Zachary possesses several traits of a high-functioning sociopath. He feigns politeness and reason to manipulate Knuckles into taking him to the Master Emerald, which he promptly destroys to gain its power, revealing himself as a madman with a severe Lack of Empathy who openly calls himself evil and enjoys the prospect of killing and wreaking carnage on a global scale. He freely admits he plans to "warm up" by destroying everyone on Mobius and was fully willing and able to let the Floating Island crash into the planet's surface as a "monument" to his genius.
      • Super Sonic, here depicted as Sonic's Superpowered Evil Side/Enemy Within, possesses all the traits of a low-functioning sociopath. He is completely incapable of experiencing empathy, incredibly sadistic, destroys and kills everything in his path, commits acts of evil out of boredom, and possesses almost nonexistent impulse control.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): Dr. Eggman, like his previous Archie incarnation, has shades of this. He cares for nothing and no one but himself and his own vanity, and despite his greater goals and ambitions, delights in causing pain and suffering just because he can, committing such acts as attacking Windmill Village, who took him in and cared for him while he was amnesiac, while mocking their kindness and specifically targeting Cream's hometown just to spite and hurt Sonic because he knows he often passes through the village and some of his friends live there, and shows no remorse or empathy for any pain he witnesses or causes, as seen when he dismisses Silver's laments over failing to save his future as being melodramatic. He also has a grandiose sense of self-worth and a massive ego, constantly assuming any of his Evil Plans will succeed and never reflecting on or learning from his mistakes, and a lack of impulse control, with his numerous failures being brought about because whenever Sonic shows up, he tends to devolve into blind rage and forego any further strategy. He also has no sense of honor or loyalty, tricking Rough and Tumble into infecting themselves with the Metal Virus despite the skunk brothers being "perfect minion fodder" for him and that he owned them a deal for helping him back to his senses while he was an amnesiac, and firing and disposing of Dr. Starline, who went out of his way to locate him and restore his memory, without hesitation the very instant Starline refuses to go along with his plans or what he wants.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Longshot seems to be one of these, judging by the way he manipulates the X-Men (and Colossus in particular) during his time with them.


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