Follow TV Tropes

Following

Cleanup thread: Magnificent Bastard

Go To

    MB Administrivia 

  • Why do a cleanup?: This trope definitely exists and has has a well documented history of use. That being said, it frequently gets misused to a character who meets one of the components, namely that they are smart, charming while not necessarily even being a villain, or create good plans. While these are components, there is also a certain personality required, not to mention that all of the above are required to be present for a character to be a true Magnificent Bastard. As the trope attracts interest, it unfortunately brings in a lot of misuse and I thought the best way to rectify this would be a Perpetual Cleanup Thread, as is being done and has seen success with Complete Monster.

  • What makes a Magnificent Bastard: Below are a list of the individual components to make this character. Note that they must all be present, not just some, which has lead to frequent misuse:
    • Must be intelligent: Goes without saying, to be a Magnificent Bastard, the character has to be smart in the first place and use their brain to work towards whatever their end goal may be;
    • Must be a Bastard: While going overboard in how vile the character is can be detrimental, a key aspect is the Bastard part of the trope, whether the character is an out-and-out antagonist in the work, some manner of Villain Protagonist, or something in between, they at least have some unscrupulous qualities to qualify for this trope;
    • Must not be too detestable: Again, there is a ceiling on how bad the character can be before they just become too nefarious, blocking out the Magnificent part of the trope. A genocidal racist or child-raping Sadist aren't going to make the cut;
    • Think on their feet: In addition to being a Chessmaster, a Magnificent Bastard, if the character deals with situations in which their initial plan is ruined, has to be able to pull a Xanatos Speed Chess and at least come up with a competent strategy to make up for lost time, otherwise they fail for being unable to think in tough spots;
    • Have charm: Even if they don't necessarily make every character they meet fall in love with them and can even be detested by others, the audience has to find an amicable social relation to the character, or they are failing to make the impact required for this trope.

  • What to do if a character is listed on a page but has not been approved?: They need to be removed, all candidates need to come through the cleanup thread first. The character could well count but they need to be analyzed properly and voted on first.

  • Do we list Playing With this trope?: No; as a YMMV trope, this cannot be Played With, so we only want examples that are Played Straight.

  • What do I do if I want a character to be listed as a Magnificent Bastard?: The greatest success Complete Monster saw for its cleanup effort was from the invention of the effort post format, so, borrowing from that, a troper wishing to propose a Magnificent Bastard will create such a post in the following format:
    • Begin by describing The work, this will help establish the setting the character is in and for the reader to understand what kind of a scenario they are in;
    • Summarize The character's actions, this will provide a listing for readers to understand what they do and how it applies to this trope because charm and lack of smugness are so crucial, this is a good time to be incorporating exactly the flavour of how they operate to explain this;
    • List circumstances in which the character must Think on their feet, these are times where a wrench might be thrown in their initial plan and they have to adapt on the spot or even come up with a new scheme all together, this is also a good time to explain how the villain reacts to defeat when they have to face it, a true Magnificent Bastard won't break down into tears at the thought of death, they should have known such a possibility could occur and be able to handle it with more dignity;
    • The competition, similar to the Heinous Standard dealt with for a Complete Monster, this section is to deal with how successful the character is in carrying out their plans compared to other characters. While, as a villain, they probably are going to lose in the end, it is good to explain how other characters handle the same situation. There is no exceptionalism case to be made for this trope but explaining the variety helps the reader have a better understanding of the proposal.

  • How do you know when the character's arc is done so they can be proposed? When their tenure as a villain or antagonist finishes. This could happen in a single Story Arc in an entire work, a single work of a franchise, or the whole series in general. We'll show lenience to Long-Runners with constantly recurring candidates or series with outstanding continuities (ex. comic books), and it's entirely possible to count in a work or two but not in general for a reason like Depending on the Writer.

  • What about candidates evil because of external sources? Those Made of Evil can qualify if they show enough individuality and tactical acumen — in other words, they have the personality to fulfill the magnificence requirement. Conversely, those brainwashed, especially if they're a better person without it, may fail the individuality aspect and cannot count.

  • What if they are under orders from a higher-up? Depends. If the boss created the plans down to the letter and the candidate is just following them, sounds like we should discuss the boss instead. However, if the candidate takes creative liberties with the orders, adds their own charm and flair to them, fills in holes in the orders, and/or actively deals with obstacles their boss did not talk about, the candidate shows enough individual thinking to qualify.

  • What about Character Development? An MB is something a character can develop into... a nice person who plots well might become more morally grey as the work goes on and hits the "Bastard" criteria, thus making them viable. Likewise, a Smug Snake might shed their ego, become more understanding of the threat others pose and gain the personality or "Magnificent" criteria, likewise making them viable. Conversely, a character who looks like this trope might suffer from a Sanity Slippage or just get outed as not being as smart as they thought they were and become incompatible with MB.

  • Can an MB be a good guy? Not in the conventional sense... it is required they have at least some dubious traits lest they fail the "Bastard" criteria. That being said, a character who pulls a Heel–Face Turn or eventually stops taking villainous actions is still fair game: as there was a point in time where they were both "Magnificent" and a "Bastard" at the same time and they've merely adapted as time goes on. Now... if such a character begins showing other issues (i.e.: becomes prone to freak outs or starts getting outwitted) then they're compromising their Magnificence and will probably be deemed a cut. What's important is stylishly operating while at least for some time being willing to take at best underhanded methods to see a job done. A Heel–Face Turn in itself isn't a disqualifier but they do have to have been "Magnificent" and a "Bastard" at the same time and afterwards can't start slipping on the former front.

  • Is there a timeframe rule like with Complete Monster?: Yes, please wait two weeks until after the work has concluded before proposing a character (again, usually using the North American airdate). As is the case with CM, we want to give a reasonable time frame so that everyone interested in seeing the work has done so and can participate in the discussion without having anything spoiled.

  • What about groups like with Complete Monster?: This is a point of divergence between the two tropes. While CM does not allow for a single entry encompassing more than three characters lest their heinousness for crimes becomes too watered down, with MB as long as they are treated as one "unit" it is acceptable to lump all characters provided they share acts of charm and intelligence.

  • Can I propose my own work's character as a Magnificent Bastard?: No, this is a YMMV subject and the creator of a content is way too biased to be able to evaluate the criteria we're looking for without a second opinion taking over. That being said, you are more than welcome to encourage someone to consume your creation and if they feel a character counts, are more than welcome to suggest them.

Thread rules

When voting a troper must specify the effort post they're voting on and cannot merely vote on "Everything I missed" as in the past it has indicated the poster didn't read the effort post and is guessing instead of analyzing.

Resolved items

In general, a character listed on this trope is considered "settled". This means they should not be challenged unless information used to list them was incorrect or information was missed in the initial discussion.

However, when re-litigating a candidate, the same rules apply for when they were originally proposed. If they do not have five or more upvotes than downvotes for approval upon a re-litigation, including votes from the initial discussion if they do not change, then they are a cut.

This especially applies to the characters listed below, whom have been discussed excessively and repeated attempts to get them listed/cut may result in punitive action for bogging down the thread.

Definitely an MB

Definitely not an MB

  • South Park: The show's frequent use of vulgar comedy and mean-spirited humour leaves any potential candidates devoid of the dignity or charm to qualify.

Edited by 43110 on Sep 12th 2021 at 2:09:20 PM

Dec 5th 2021 at 1:38:22 AM

I think a case could be made for Pacho Herrera. Of the four Cali godfathers, he's definitely the most stylish. @j, do you want to EP him, or should I? He has several more appearances in Narcos: Mexico that add depth to his character.

We're pretty good at making things up and pretending. But eventually, reality IS reality.
G-Editor Victor Chaos from WTF? Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Victor Chaos
Dec 5th 2021 at 1:41:50 AM

I definitely love to read an EP on Pacho whomever is going to to it

The NFT Salesman
jjjj2 A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
Dec 5th 2021 at 6:09:33 AM

[up]x3 I think you should, I've only really seen season 3 in depth. I've flitted around the rest of the series (Yes I know I have strange show watching habits).

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
43110 And you will shed tears of scarlet. from Mars Relationship Status: I only want you gone
And you will shed tears of scarlet.
Dec 5th 2021 at 7:19:37 AM

It's okay j, I know you love watching specific scenes and endings to works, I won't take that from you tongue

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Riley1sCool from The Adrestian Empire
Dec 5th 2021 at 7:44:26 AM

Yes to the Wish Granter.

Just wanna make sure nobody misses this.

Trust is not in my nature. Good night.
43110 And you will shed tears of scarlet. from Mars Relationship Status: I only want you gone
And you will shed tears of scarlet.
Dec 5th 2021 at 7:54:33 AM

I think Ordeaux's mostly been our video lad but I'm down!

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Dec 5th 2021 at 8:32:35 AM

[tup] to Lucifer, James Wesley, Jack Cayman, Alexander Anderson, XIII, Prince Weiss, Nix, Bonsai Master, Grant Ward, Jimmy Kosinski, Damien Darhk, Loki, Bryce Fowler, Anatoly Knyazev, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Matoba, Ulysses, Merlyn, Silco, Sylvia, Silva, Kobb, Kira, Ana, Whitney, Pip, Nebula, Amado Carillo Fuentes and the Granter of Wishes.

EmeraldEmperor You heard the man
You heard the man
Dec 5th 2021 at 8:57:37 AM

[tup] Granter.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is the first in what appears to be a new DC animated movie universe (after the last one basically committed suicide), detailing Clark Kent coming out to the world as Superman. Along the way he comes across new friends and foes alike, such as the Martian Manhunter, Parasite, Lobo, and, of course:

Lex Luthor

Bear with me on this, because his introduction is absolutely awful.

Lex Luthor is, as usual, a billionaire, making his first appearance at a press conference for his about-to-launch rocket. The only reporter he'll take questions from is Lois Lane — the recipient of his "Luthor Journalism Scholarship," because of course he has something like that.

...Unfortunately for him, he's underestimated her morals. She reveals a recording of a conversation the two had previously, where she got Lex to boast about the fraud and negligence that went into the rocket's construction, remarking that "anyone stupid enough to live near a launch site deserves to be hit by fiery debris." Sure enough, the rocket explodes behind him and, while Superman stops it before anyone is killed, Lex is arrested.

Like I said, horrible start.

Anyway, the rest of the plot! Lobo comes to kill Superman for a bounty, and their fight accidentally creates the Parasite. It seemingly kills the Martian Manhunter and Clark has his powers drained, but he realizes he should get help from "someone smarter" than himself.

Enter Lex, who has only been sentenced to 15 years in prison. Because of course that's all. Superman visits him and asks for help getting to the sun, Lex immediately putting together that the sun is his power source and that he's been drained. He agrees to assist, asking for nothing in return as "it will only look good to the parole board." Clark is naturally a bit hesitant about letting him leave jail, but Lex just says he can get a "day pass."

The two go to Lex's private lab. Despite Clark insisting Lex put him into orbit, Lex refuses, pointing out that with his lack of necessary training and current condition as a "filthy mortal" space flight will probably kill him. Besides, his powers will probably come back on their own anyway, why waste time on that? Using recordings to figure out how the Parasite was created, Lex realizes he absorbs everything from his victims, including weaknesses. He asks Lobo — who he's since hired, because of course he has — about Superman's weaknesses, and is handed the Kryptonian ring he used to beat the shit out of Clark earlier.

The three go to wait for Parasite at the city's nuclear power plant, where he's most likely to show up eventually. Long story short, Clark lets it absorb some more of his powers so Lex can shoot it with a Kryptonite gun. Unfortunately...

Lex: See, here's my problem. The Parasite is very powerful, but the Superman is also very powerful. Right now, the man with the ring is the most powerful of all. So which is the bigger threat? The simple janitor transformed into a monster? Or the superpowered alien, lying to humanity, masquerading as one of us? Oh, hell, I'll just make you both my slaves!

The gun knocks the Parasite out, and Lex shoots Clark... only for the Martian Manhunter, having faked his death while he recovered from his previous fight, to take the gun and capture him.

Mitigating Factors

The introduction is naturally pretty bad, but the effect is lessened when we see that his arrest is more of a mild annoyance than anything else. He's perfectly able to continue his work from behind bars, and since he's rich it's basically a Cardboard Prison anyway.

Otherwise? His scenes with Superman exude nothing but charm and intelligence, with only a few hints at his true intentions. Lex is ultimately only foiled by the intervention of a guy he thought was dead, and even then he takes his defeat in stride, trying to turn off the damaged reactor before it can blow up instead of just escaping.

I swear, I picked the name before I thought of the avatar.
papyru30 Painting by Diane Shilkitus from Colorado Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Painting by Diane Shilkitus
Dec 5th 2021 at 9:19:16 AM

Hey so due to a bunch of schedule conflicts, as well as there not being any convenient showtimes nearby I can't watch Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City until at least 2 days after the discussion date (and even that timeframe is tentative).

Magnificent Bastard Incarnations
Melinda Relationship Status: Puppy love
Dec 5th 2021 at 9:37:16 AM

[tdown] to Luthor. He doesn't quite sound exceptional enough.

Also, out of curiosity, can anyone remember if anyone has ever proposed a character from The Hardy Boys Casefiles?

jjjj2 A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
Dec 5th 2021 at 9:40:02 AM

[tup]Luthor. Seems to recover well enough.

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
miraculous We'll show them. We'll show them all. from South Africa
We'll show them. We'll show them all.
Dec 5th 2021 at 10:07:42 AM

[tup]Lex

Real power doesn't come to those who were born strongest, or fastest, or smartest. No. It comes to those who will do anything to achieve it.
43110 And you will shed tears of scarlet. from Mars Relationship Status: I only want you gone
And you will shed tears of scarlet.
Dec 5th 2021 at 10:21:53 AM

I'm cool with Luthor there and I don't think so Melinda.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
jjjj2 A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
Dec 5th 2021 at 10:53:10 AM

Zurg was never put on YMMV.Toy Story 2? I'm free to put him up, yes?

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
43110 And you will shed tears of scarlet. from Mars Relationship Status: I only want you gone
And you will shed tears of scarlet.
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:03:27 AM

Yup, must have missed that one! I'll do this week's later today.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
jjjj2 A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:18:32 AM

Yup just put it up.

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
G-Editor Victor Chaos from WTF? Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Victor Chaos
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:27:23 AM

[tup] to Lex luthor

The NFT Salesman
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:32:19 AM

What is the work?

Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, the 35th Super Sentai series and anniversary celebration for the franchise.

The Earth is attacked by the Zangyack Empire, the biggest evil empire in the galaxy, leading the 34 Super Sentai teams to unite to fight it. The Super Sentai are able to repel the Zangyack invasion, but at the cost of sacrificing their powers, sending them out into space where they take form as the Ranger Keys.

Some time later, a new Sentai team comes to Earth - the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, a group of Space Pirates who've gathered all the Ranger Keys, and have now come to Earth seeking the "Greatest Treasure in the Universe", which they can only obtain by collecting the "Greater Power" of each Sentai team. At the same time, the Zangyack Empire sends a second invasion force - commanded by The Emperor's son - to attack Earth, leading the Gokaigers to come into conflict with it.

Who is the potential MB?

Captain Marvelous, The Leader of the Gokaigers. Marvelous was once a member of the Red Pirate Gang, a group which opposed the Zangyack and was responsible for collecting all the scattered Ranger Keys. After the group split up following the betrayal of one of their members however, Marv took the Ranger Keys and assembled a new team to go with him to Earth to hunt for the Greatest Treasure in the Universe there.

How does he operate?

Using a robot bird named Navi who spouts out different clues, Marvelous and his crew look for different Sentai teams to obtain Greater Powers from. While they are pirates, Marvelous and the Gokaigers don't ever try to forcibly take the powers from the Sentai teams, instead they'll usually do a task for the team to prove themselves worthy or convince them that they're worthy by battling the Zangyack.

Is he magnificent?

He's a charismatic leader who's good at pulling the Indy Ploy and coming up with plans on the fly, often by trusting in the capabilities of his team. He is a tad bit impulsive, but not in a way that overshadows his critical thinking skills, and usually he just uses his impulse to mask when he wants to do something good or generous (Because he doesn't like admitting to being a hero).

He's also shown to be good at recognizing people's talents or their potential to be useful. All of his teammates are people he encountered on his adventures and saw something in. His first mate Joe he found being chased by Zangyack and rescued after taking an witnessing his swordplay, his helmswoman Luka he recruited after they both broke into a Zangyack storage safe at the same time, Don was a mechanic he had hired to fix his ship's computer whom he allowed to join after witnessing his technological (and cooking and cleaning) expertise, and Ahim was a princess who sought out to join the Gokaigers to avenge her planet after it was destroyed by Zangyack, who Marvelous refused at first but later relented. While on Earth, Marv picks up a sixth member, Gai Ikari, after witnessing his vast knowledge of Sentai and tenacity.

Is he a bastard? Too much?

Make no mistake about it, at the beginning of the series Marvelous and his crew are motivated by little else other than greed. They come to Earth out of their self-interest for the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. The only reason they fight the Zangyack at all is because they happen to attack at the same time Marvelous is having lunch. When a group of schoolchildren call the Gokaigers "heroes" for destroying a Zangyack Action Commander, Marvelous rebukes them and states he only did so because the Zangyack disturbed his curry eating. This worldview later brings the Gokaigers to blows with the Goseigers in their crossover movie, though the two teams reconcile by the end.

Effectively, the whole arc of the Gokaigers is them starting as self-interested Anti Heroes who are only out for treasure, but through their encounters with the various Sentai they become full-fledged heroes by the end (even if they'll never admit it). When they finally do obtain the Greatest Treasure in the Universe, a reality-warping artifact that will cost the 34 Super Sentai teams and their powers if used, the Gokaigers opt to instead destroy it so the Super Sentai can stay protecting Earth. They're still out for treasure, but they aren't going to trample on the heroes of the universe to obtain it.

Final Verdict

[tup] He's called "Marvelous" for a reason, after all.

Edited by ReddishGuy1 on Dec 5th 2021 at 11:32:46 AM

Just imagine something here.
43110 And you will shed tears of scarlet. from Mars Relationship Status: I only want you gone
And you will shed tears of scarlet.
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:35:35 AM

Yes to Marvelous.

I've got some new pages I'm gonna be working on this week. From Dusk Till Dawn is just about ready, I'll wait for Lore on Warcraft but is anyone able to get rid of the glare on the Cowboy Bebop one? Figured I may as well ask.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
miraculous We'll show them. We'll show them all. from South Africa
We'll show them. We'll show them all.
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:41:54 AM

[tup]Captain Marvelous (of course)

Do you want to try the Lupinrangers from Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger? Their the only other rangers I think could count. Except maybe Abaranger but I consider him a straight bad guy rather then a protagonist like this

Real power doesn't come to those who were born strongest, or fastest, or smartest. No. It comes to those who will do anything to achieve it.
Ordeaux26 The King of the Penguins from Minecraft Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
The King of the Penguins
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:44:23 AM

[tup] Captain Marvelous (what an awesome name).

CM Numbers Per Page, MB Numbers Per Page
jjjj2 A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
A man who inflicts suffering can't rest.
Dec 5th 2021 at 11:56:16 AM

[tup]Marvelous.

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
G-Editor Victor Chaos from WTF? Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Victor Chaos
Dec 5th 2021 at 12:16:39 PM

[tup] to Captain Marvelous

The NFT Salesman
PurpleEyedGuma Exists from a soundchip from 1986 Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1

Total posts: 67,109
Top