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Magnificent Bastard cleanup thread

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  • 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, while this, like any other trope can be played with, we only want examples that explain it being 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:
    • Being 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Edited by 43110 on Jul 21st 2019 at 9:45:52 AM

May 7th 2018 at 10:35:36 PM

So, thought I'd give the effort post format a whirl and propose a character who I mentioned last page, and who sits somewhere between Antihero and outright Villain Protagonist. Ladies and gentlemen, Kaz Brekker. Spoilers ahoy for Six of Crows; you have been warned.

Who is Kaz Brekker? What has Kaz done?

Kaz is a one-time farm boy turned 17 year old lieutenant in the Dregs, a local Ketterdam gang nominally run by aging conartist Per Haskell. Kaz is the real authority in the gang though, and everyone knows it. Bringing in outside investors, Kaz built the Crow Club, one of the town's most prestigious gambling parlours, and then used the mortgage on that to dredge the once the abandoned Fifth Harbour, which is now under Dregs' control and steers tourists and sailors alike towards the Crow Club and other establishments owned by Kaz. Of course, in addition to all this legal business, Kaz is also a drug-runner, blackmailer, conman, bank robber, and when necessary, a murderer.

The story revolves around Kaz being hired by merchant Jan Van Eck to rescue an alchemist from Fjerda's Ice Court prison. Kaz puts together a crew comprising himself, his Love Interest Inej (aka The Wraith), his favourite gun thug, Jesper, sorceress Nina, Van Eck's own son, Wylan, and former Fjerdan soldier Matthias. The latter requires Kaz, Jesper, Inej, and Nina to break into the prison where Matthias is being held and, after starting a riot by releasing the animals used in gladiator games, bust him out. After making it to Fjerda, they rescue the alchemist's son (the alchemist himself having died) and escape back to Ketterdam, leaving the Fjerdan government reeling from the breakout.

When Van Eck doublecrosses Kaz and kidnaps Inej, Kaz responds by kidnapping Van Eck's wife and arranging an exchange. He then sets in motion a long con that eventually brings down not only Van Eck, but Van Eck's partner (and Kaz's personal nemesis) Pekka Rollins, and which pulls in multiple refugee sorcerers and the King of Ravka as partners in the scheme. Van Eck winds up in prison on charges of fraud, kidnapping, assault, and insider trading, the alchemist's son goes free to Ravka, Van Eck's hated son Wylan gets all of his property, and Kaz and each of his confederates walk away with four million kruge. As of the end of the series, Inej and Kaz are contemplating going into the anti-slavery business, with Inej operating as a pirate and Kaz as her local gang connection.

What's his competition like? How does he perform against them?

Pekka Rollins and Jan Van Eck are both capable schemers. Pekka's the King of the Barrel, the neighbourhood that Kaz and company live in, and has all the other gangs living in fear of himself and his Dime Lion mob. Van Eck's a member of the ruling Merchant Council, with the resources of a multimillionaire, as well as the entire social order of the city behind him. Both are highly successful men with years of dominance in their respective businesses behind them. Together they present a united front that should enable them to control Ketterdam, no questions asked.

By the time Kaz is done with them Van Eck's in jail and Rollins is on the run in fear of what Kaz and Inej might do to him. While both get the drop on him at one point or another, in the end, Kaz replaces Pekka as the reigning King of the Barrel, having outplanned and outconned them both.

Is the character a Chessmaster? Is he a Manipulative Bastard? Is he capable of thinking on his feet?

Kaz has blackmail material on many of the city's leading men, and uses this information to his advantage. In the opening scene of the book he upends a rival gang's scheme by revealing that while they may have paid one of the city guard to assassinate Kaz, Kaz has hired that man away from them by agreeing not to reveal the fact that he's a sexual deviant. Inej, in her role as The Wraith, acts as Kaz's thief of secrets, scampering about the city rooftops overhearing scandals and admissions and bringing them to Kaz, who then uses this material to gain leverage over his victims. His schemes are usually set well in advance, and make use of players who will do anything to stop Kaz from outing them to the world; as Kaz gloats several times, greed and shame are his levers.

When forced to think on his feet though, Kaz can do it. Twice in the series he bluffs his way out of being held at gunpoint by claiming that his death will result in the death of someone his would-be murderer cares about. The first time is when Black Tips' lieutenant Geels tries to kill him and Kaz claims he has men ready to burn Geels' girlfriend's house down, the second is when he tells Pekka Rollins that he has kidnapped and buried Pekka's son alive and will only tell him where he's buried the kid if Pekka lets him go. Both stories are complete BS, but Kaz lies so convincingly he walks out of both confrontations the winner—and in the latter case, causes Pekka to have a nervous breakdown that drives him out of town.

Kaz's crowning moment of improvisation may come just before that last confrontation with Rollins, when Rollins puts out a price on Kaz's head, and causes Per Haskell to turn on Kaz out of fear and greed. Kaz proceeds to walk into the Crow Club and fights the members of Haskell's old guard first one, then two and three at a time, until he's bested most of Haskell's best bruisers, and the younger members of the Dregs turn on Haskell. What makes this even more impressive is that Kaz is lame and walks with a cane, yet still puts down a small army of able bodied men, on the fly, in order to win the hearts and minds of the Dregs and launch his coup.

How much of a Bastard is he? Does he have redeeming features? Is he capable of being charming?

Kaz's reputation is based on his ruthlessness, and he'll freely admit upfront that he's a monster. When Black Tips' member Oomen hospitalizes Inej, Kaz decides the appropriate response is to cut out one of Oomen's eyes, threaten to take the other if Oomen doesn't talk and then, when he does talk, puts him over the side and drowns him anyway. When Inej is kidnapped by Van Eck, Kaz, as previously mentioned, takes Van Eck's pregnant wife hostage and tells him that anything that happens to Inej happens to Alys and the unborn child. When a mark's young daughter spots him breaking into her house, Kaz frightens her into silence by claiming to be the monster under her bed and saying he'll kill her, her dogs, and her family if she tells on him. The list of things he did to the men involved in the scam that left he and his brother penniless is long and gruesome and he refuses to take any action that won't bring him a profit or advantage in some way; he refuses to rescue Matthias from prison until he needs him for a con, and later has to be strongarmed by the rest of the gang into rescuing refugees from slavers.

On the personal level, Kaz is what they had in mind when they coined the term "cold-blooded." He doesn't socialize, he doesn't give compliments, he doesn't make friends. Some of this is by choice, some of it is not; Kaz has serious psychological issues stemming from an incident where he was buried alive under a mountain of rotting corpses (including his brother's) and any physical contact with another human being can send him into a PTSD breakdown. That said, Kaz actually spins this to his advantage. By holding himself remote from the rest of his gang, Kaz builds up the mystery around himself, and makes his legend grow. He essentially plays Aloof Big Brother to the rest of the Dregs, knowing they'll do anything to earn his approval, and withholding that approval in order to cement their loyalty. Despite his lack of personal charm, Kaz accordingly exerts a near hypnotic level of magnetic control over the other Dregs and the other main characters, who all believe that he's an invincible genius and will do near anything for him.

While he'll never admit it out loud though (and often accuses Inej of trying to find redeeming features in him that just aren't there), Kaz has lines he won't cross. He doesn't run prostitutes, and he stays out of the slave trade. At one point, in fact, the interrogation of a clerk turns murderous when Kaz discovers the man has been blackmailing a prostitute into having sex with him for free and, accordingly, decides the world might be a cheerier place without this man in it. He keeps up his end of the bargain if his partners keep up their ends, and at the end of the book, he and Inej are about to have a go at eradicating slavery in Ketterdam (and eliminating most of Kaz's competition in the process). He also really, really cares about Inej, even if his psychological problems leave him totally incapable of expressing it in any meaningful way; it's not until the very end of the second book that Kaz is able to even start to admit out loud that he wants her to stick around.

Final verdict?

Kaz Brekker's a criminal prodigy and almost as ruthlessly amoral as he claims to be. His entire career is built on the exploitation of others secrets, and like any good conman, he usually gets the ball rolling well in advance. He takes reversals in a stride, always has a plan b up his sleeve, and has deliberately stoked his own legend to keep younger kids in thrall. If he's not a perfect example of this trope done as antihero, he's about as close as you can get.

What say we all?

edited 7th May '18 10:50:24 PM by AmbarSonofDeshar

43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
May 8th 2018 at 6:06:04 AM

Yes on that one and I thank you for bringing us our first formal EP, Ambar

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
ReynTime250 Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
May 8th 2018 at 6:21:15 AM

Cut Griffith

[tup] Kaz Brekker

  • Kefka of Final Fantasy VI qualifies as this. Despite his numerous atrocities (poisoning an entire kingdom, enslaving a main character, blowing up the world, etc) you can't help but being amused by him. Whenever he is on screen, you know you'll be entertained. Plus, being the only Final Fantasy villain to suceed with his evil plot gives him props, especialy considering he did the whole thing for fun.

Too much of a sadistic Omnicidal Maniac to count so I'm saying cut. Also typos.

miraculous I am so tired of this gothic crap from South Africa
I am so tired of this gothic crap
May 8th 2018 at 6:34:36 AM

[tup]Kaz . Thanks for breaking the ice Ambar.

Also heres' my thoughts on the James Bond examples since Im a fan.

  • James Bond:
    "Well, Tosca's not for everyone."
    • Dominic Greene fools the entire world by posing as friendly environmentalist, tricks Americans into helping Quantum couping Bolivian government for supposed "oil" rights, and, finally and the most terrifyingly, totally rips Medrano off when the General disagrees with a water contract. Should the General back off, he'd wake up with his balls on his mouth, and his willing replacement stands over him. Medrano is just dumbfounded.
    • Raoul Silva from Skyfall is arguably the most magnificent of the Bond villains. He's essentially The Joker of the Bond franchise when it comes to how he sets up and executes plans, as Bond and the rest of MI-6 is just barely able to prevent Silva's plans from being completely successful, let alone try catching up to him. Silva's most elaborate plan in the film involved him escaping from MI-6's prison, shooting up Parliament where M is being held on trial, and trying to kill/slow down Bond with a subway train he derailed-all of this happening within a single hour.
    • Spectre: Oberhauser/Blofeld is definitely this. To put it simply, he's the true Big Bad of the rebooted chronology and every single major event in the past three Craig Bond films is his doing. And he successfully causes more long-term damage to Bond and MI-6 than his predecessors by putting them out of business with their asset running MI-6 and coming seconds away from making off with the collective intel possessed by the major intelligence agencies.

  • White I could see counting fine, hes not particularity arrogant or anything. Greene has a hideous Villainous Breakdown and Oberhausser is the definition of a Smug Snake so should be removed. Not sure on Silivia (maybe). I could also see despite them not being here Alec Trevelyan from GoldenEye and Original Blofeld's Telly Savalas and Donald Pleasance incarnations counting. (Since different actors put there own spin on the character, I feel like just seeing whether any individual incarnation counts on there own is fine).

edited 8th May '18 6:37:03 AM by miraculous

Just once, I want to meet the villain in a cheerful, brightly lit room. Possibly one with kittens
PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
May 8th 2018 at 6:35:55 AM

Well, this thread is interesting.

I would agree with cutting Kefka. He doesn't plan all that much and his big ascension is a bit too much of a fluke that he desperately grabbed hold of. That being said, if, say, the game actually showed him usurping Gestahl or his plans to do so, than maybe.

[tup] Kaz.

As for Silva... hm. He is magnificent as all hell, but his death is very pitiful... yet... For now, I'd like to keep him. He's very clever despite his terrible and tragic madness and I think the pity his death elicits makes him more sympathetic than pathetic. At least, that's my feel for now.

edited 8th May '18 6:38:10 AM by PolarPhantom

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
May 8th 2018 at 6:51:51 AM

Thanks for swinging by Polar, hopefully it goes places. I've purged Griffith and I'd say Kefka needs to be blown out of the sky and cut all the Bond villains except maybe Silva. He's one I'd like to see a post on.

Now here's an easy cut:

Literally the only thing this long-winded entry communicates is that she can play Xanatos Speed Chess and does not address the issue that Seryu is a sadistic Knight Templar way too zealous about "smiting evil" to really build up the charismatic personality or hell, the mental stability to be called a Magnificent Bitch. The closest anyone comes is Esdeath and she's still a mile off, her strategic brilliance is turned into something of an Informed Attribute and from what we're shown, she's basically a threat because of how strong her teigu is. Imo Akame Ga Kill should have no keepers. Thoughts?

[down] Please do, EPs fill my heart with joy.

edited 8th May '18 6:57:52 AM by 43110

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
miraculous I am so tired of this gothic crap from South Africa
I am so tired of this gothic crap
May 8th 2018 at 6:55:57 AM

[up]Alright. Also would you be cool with me effort-posting guys like OG blofeld's separate incarnations and Alec Trevelyan.

Also yeah cut Kefka.

[up]Burn all of those Akame ga kiru entries with holy fire.

edited 8th May '18 7:00:56 AM by miraculous

Just once, I want to meet the villain in a cheerful, brightly lit room. Possibly one with kittens
miraculous I am so tired of this gothic crap from South Africa
I am so tired of this gothic crap
May 8th 2018 at 7:11:24 AM

You know waht. Heres all the main examples for Final Fantasy well were at it.

  • The Emperor of Final Fantasy II was the series' first Magnificent Bastard. Capturing the princess was just a ploy to assassinate Firion, and the tournament to decide who gets the real princess is just a trap for him when that fails. He manages to take over both Heaven AND Hell. He even has a trap in his castle that leads to the basement, presumably so no one can sneak up on him and assassinate him.
  • Kefka of Final Fantasy VI qualifies as this. Despite his numerous atrocities (poisoning an entire kingdom, enslaving a main character, blowing up the world, etc) you can't help but being amused by him. Whenever he is on screen, you know you'll be entertained. Plus, being the only Final Fantasy villain to suceed with his evil plot gives him props, especialy considering he did the whole thing for fun.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • Sephiroth. In the past, he was chucked into the Lifestream. It's implied that he planned to do that anyway, but he's still mad about it, so he conspires to get revenge on the person who did it by using polymorphed clones of himself to set up an elaborate sequence of events that ultimately gives him a nervous breakdown and renders him comatose. He gets better. Done with the protagonists, he hides himself so that the very Weapons meant to stop him do his dirty work. Destroying the barrier protecting him gets rid of the weapons. Defeating him just forces him to rely on TWO backup plans to come back to life, one of which simultaneously corrupts the Lifestream to his ends. Xehanort borrowed a lot from him.
    • Rufus also has some tendencies towards this, but it's taken Up to Eleven in Advent Children, where he outwits the Remnants — and Sephiroth by extension — for most of the movie, and gets away with it after he's discovered.
  • Final Fantasy IX had both Kuja and Garland, who together orcheastrate most of the events behind the game and are usually always one or two steps ahead of the heroes.
  • Final Fantasy XII brings us Venat due to the simple fact that everything the heroes do is just a part of hir plan. EVERYTHING THEY DO. As in from start to finish, Venat was always on top and won. The heroes are just lucky Venat was actually after a better world where the Occuria didn't control Ivalice and mankind was free from them. Lucky indeed.
    • Vayne Solidor: Cool, calm, smooth, collected, brilliant, devious... Vayne is the very definition of Magnificent Bastard. If Kefka is the video game industry's equivalent of The Joker, Vayne is their Lionel Luther.
  • Final Fantasy XV's contribution to this trope set a new standard with Ardyn Izunia. How big of a magnificent bastard is he? Well, he dethroned Kefka as the only Final Fantasy villain to have succeeded with his evil plot, (and reigned over the resulting Villain World for ten times longer than Kefka,) just for starters... Heck, even if you still do kill him in the end, he still ultimately wins anyway by virtue of achieving every single one of his goals. And he does it all without having to resort to violence more than once, instead relying on being one damn competent Manipulative Bastard and Xanatos Gambler. So competent is he, in fact, that it's not far from the truth to say that by the time you first take control of your characters, Ardyn has already practically won.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
    • Delita Hyral. In a game full of competing Chessmasters and Magnificent Bastards, he finishes the story standing on top of the Gambit Pileup, out-manoeuvring everyone else to become a king by marrying the Damsel in Distress and using the protagonist — his lifelong friend — to do most of the hard work. And Delita became King through marriage to a princess who was not actually a princess. In a world where blood trumps everything, a pair of commoners became the absolute rulers of the realm, through divine right.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, there's Duke Snakeheart, a somewhat loony Nu Mou Arcanist in Duelhorn that does not care if innocent people get hurt during Duelhorn's attacks as long as the job gets done, wants to do things his way, and even hires your clan at one point to protect him from punishment from his clan members, to which he says "...Heh, that went well." after he does avoid it. If that wasn't enough, he reveals himself to be the traitor of Duelhorn, admitting to leaking their plans and turning the girl that Maquis saved into a zombie just for kicks.
    • Also from Final Fantasy Tactics, there's Dycedarg Beovule, the protagonists' oldest brother. Dyce murders his father, manipulates much of the events from afar (traitor sellsword Gaffgarion was Dyce's man for a time), and murders his commander Duke Larg to become leader of the Order of the Southern Sky. It doesn't work as well for Dyce than it does for Delita, though, and once his lies are uncovered, he becomes a Unwitting Pawn to the true manipulators of the war, the Lucavi.
    • Formav/Vormav is the mastermind behind just about everything the Lucavi do, second-in-command to Ultima, and even succeeds in bringing her back to life — by sacrificing himself at the last minute!. Magnificent.

  • Does Mateus even have enough personalty to not be a flat character. Kefka should be gone. Id be cool with keeping sephie and Rufus. Venat and Vayne are fine as well. Ardyn maybe. Delita and Formav(Hashmalum), Id be cool with but Dycebarg is a Dirty Coward so is a cut. Not sure on Duke Snakeheart.

edited 8th May '18 7:16:33 AM by miraculous

Just once, I want to meet the villain in a cheerful, brightly lit room. Possibly one with kittens
May 8th 2018 at 7:13:51 AM

Akame Ga Kill is not the kind of series that produces one of these. It's villains are all comedically evil edgelord types, with the emphasis on the terrible things they do, not how smart they are.

I'd say cut all the new Bond villains and I'd concur that of the original ones, only Blofeld and Trevylan really have a shot.

And man oh man is that Final Fantasy list bad. Pretty sure the Emperor is listed as a CM, we've already agreed Kefka's a "no" (and is listed as CM), and Sephiroth should not be there—he's a threat because of his power, not his brains. You could maybe make a case for Rufus, although his best moment is probably fooling Kadaj in Advent's Children and Kadaj is...not terribly bright or mature.

edited 8th May '18 7:15:23 AM by AmbarSonofDeshar

PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
May 8th 2018 at 7:15:33 AM

Rufus doesn't count, since by the time he's clever enough he's a full on good guy.

Ardyn should probably be kept. Of course, an EP is helpful.

An EP for Sephy would also be nice, since Ambar has a point about his power. While he is clever, we never see him plan very much, even though he seems to have thought out a lot.

Speaking of SE baddies, I think we should put Xehanort on the backburner until KHIII comes out. Then we can judge him in his entirety. Though his base breaking nature and arguments he's a villain sue will be issues, hence why I want to wait and see how III plays him.

edited 8th May '18 7:19:49 AM by PolarPhantom

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.
miraculous I am so tired of this gothic crap from South Africa
I am so tired of this gothic crap
May 8th 2018 at 7:17:45 AM

[up][up]I think delita and Vayne and Venant could fit though.

edited 8th May '18 7:18:48 AM by miraculous

Just once, I want to meet the villain in a cheerful, brightly lit room. Possibly one with kittens
PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
May 8th 2018 at 7:21:42 AM

Vayne is more visibly a good fit, but I'm not sure on Venat. Vayne is the one doing stuff, so I'm probably being biased.

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.
KazuyaProta Porky from A Industrial Farm Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Porky
May 8th 2018 at 7:31:03 AM

Agree with all the choices here, including that Six of Crows guy.

This trope is YMMV, right? I am a bit iffy about judging them formally but I accept that.

I guess that this trope rarely can mix with Complete Monster because the Magnificent Bastard should still be a bit likeable and not only in the Love to Hate sense.

Lets see...

[down][tdown] Cut it

edited 8th May '18 7:34:27 AM by KazuyaProta

Watch me destroying my country
ReynTime250 Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
May 8th 2018 at 7:31:03 AM

  • Magnificent Bastard: Mephiles. He repeatedly screws over the protagonists by manipulating them against each other, knows his limits (as seen when he repeatedly flees from Shadow and Omega), and has backup plans for when his original plan to have Silver kill Sonic fails. All while being an entertaining Large Ham with arguably the only voice actor who seems to be putting effort into his performance.

He's a CM and is way too sadistic plus one of the criteria is not being a Dirty Coward, so I'm gonna give a no. We can go back and EP him (Anyone whose played that awful Sonic game can) because he does fill out a couple of sections (Namely him being a good example of The Chessmaster, and never losing his cool)

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
May 8th 2018 at 7:37:01 AM

Genuinely heroic characters should not be listed. Hiruma, is not genuinely heroic. Kaz, who I just mentioned, is definitely not genuinely heroic. They are bastards, a word which is in the trope name for a reason.
Is the trope you're trying to use Ideal Hero? Because being a bastard doesn't remove you from the Heroes category. Hiruma is heroic, although he is not an Ideal Hero. He does not become a Villainous character just by being a bastard. These are objective tropes.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
miraculous I am so tired of this gothic crap from South Africa
I am so tired of this gothic crap
May 8th 2018 at 7:38:28 AM

[up][up][tdown] away.

Also heres the examples from comics. Ill do them in batches of 8, so we dont get overwhelmed :

  • Bat Man. Arguably the biggest contender among DC's heroes. Known as "The World's Greatest Detective", Batman is reputed to have contingencies locked up for almost every situation, which includes plans to take down the Justice League among several others. He has been dubbed by Superman as "the most dangerous man on Earth". When there's an entire gambit named after him, which has been used by several other Magnificent Bastards, it's pretty obvious that this page would be incomplete without The Dark Knight.
    • The Joker. He has pulled every Gambit in the book in his 70 year long career.
    • Ra's Al-Ghul, who, out of all the Batman villains, poses the biggest threat globally. He too, like The Joker, has pulled almost every single plan and gambit one could think of for his final goal of wiping out ninety percent of the world's population. Add his polite exterior and cunning mind, and you have one Batman villain who is not to be trifled with.
    • As of the New 52, the The Riddler qualifies. Zero Year portraits him as the mind behind Wayne Industries, serving as Philip Kane's consultant. In order to secure Philip's position after Bruce's return, he hires the Red Hood Gang to dispose of the latter, knowing well that the former is a member of the gang and has to comply. When Philip threatens to kill him, he nonchalantly reveals he is aware of the metal piece inside Philip's head and uses a giant magnet to incapacitate him. Then, he causes a massive black-out just before a hurricane hits the city counting on the GCPD to unwittingly give him complete access to every computer system in Gotham by bringing the light back. To be sure Batman doesn't interfere with his plan he also manipulates the desperate Doctor Death by funding his ethically dubious research in order to provide a distraction for the Caped Crusader. And the best part is that he succeeds, and hundreds of people drown in the hurricane as a result. What truly makes him worthy of this trope this time is the fact that, at least for now, he has never shown signs of being a Smug Snake, or losing his temper even when things didn't go as he predicted.
    • Hush. He debuted as a brilliant strategist who carefully planned the downfall of Batman by manipulating his entire rogues gallery against him. Word of God has it that during their childhood days he taught Bruce Wayne how to pick his enemies out.
  • Black Panther is quite likely the biggest in Marvel (sometimes). Every storyline during his longest run (under Christopher Priest) boiled down to "a bunch of really smart guys have a bunch of really smart, well-thought out, creative plans... that Panther anticipated and is manipulating to his own ends." It's doubly impressive because almost all of Panther's adversary are Magnificent Bastards themselves.
  • Lex Luthor, of The DCU. Since the eighties, he's been well entrenched in Magnificent Bastardry. He's run the gamut from crime boss to respected billionaire, to President of the United States, and despite every set back, has always managed to have the charges dropped and kept on rolling. Perhaps the best demonstration of this comes in The Black Ring, wherein he outthinks, outplans, and outfights every major contender for the title of DC's greatest villain, briefly obtaining the power of God.
  • Loki, Marvel's expert free-form, improv manipulator. Not only does this guy play the big boys in the Marvel Universe, this is a guy who regularly improvises the end of freaking nine worlds armed primarily with mischief and his lying tongue. And he's brought about Ragnarok multiple times. How many baddies have the chops to pull that off? He also lies regularly so well that no one can tell his lies from truth. Loki almost always gets what he wants. He's one of the few beings to have made a deal with Mephisto and come out on top.
  • Vril Dox II from L.E.G.I.O.N. (a modern-day "prequel" series to the Legion of Super-Heroes), a slick Insufferable Genius, orchestrates the total disruption of two planetary governments in pursuit of justice in just the first six issues. He's one of the few people that his genetic "father" Brainiac fears for a reason.
  • Doctor Doom is a perfect example in the Marvel Universe. Through a lethal combination of magic, technological prowess, and manipulative brilliance he's been their definitive supervillain, and the Big Bad of more crisis crossovers than can conveniently be counted. When a Norse God and the Devil both consider you a Worthy Opponent you qualify in a major way.
  • Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk. No matter what the various heroes of the Marvel Universe throw at him, Fisk will always find a way to reclaim his empire, and make anyone who challenges him very sorry in the process. We've seen him rise and fall and rise again, all without ever losing the gravitas that made him The Kingpin of Crime in the first place.
  • Namor, the Marvel king of Atlantis and on again off again super villain can pull this off on occasion. Like when he joined the heroic "Illuminati" of Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic, and the villainous Illuminati of Doom and Norman Osborn immediately after.
  • Cyclops has become this over the years. One great achievement was bringing back Dracula to let him kill his own son and afterwards bluff him so good that Dracula acknowledged him as an equal and retreated. But his biggest plan that worked out in the end was bringing back the mutants via the Phoenix Force. It created the nowadays infamous Cyclops was right!

.. Sigh. Where do we begin. Batman should definitely go (too heroic).

edited 8th May '18 7:48:56 AM by miraculous

Just once, I want to meet the villain in a cheerful, brightly lit room. Possibly one with kittens
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
May 8th 2018 at 7:38:43 AM

Reyn, cut him and Kazuya, similarly to CM, it's YMMV but has a list of criteria required to make the cut so doing so makes sense

Edit: @ Mir, I'm going to echo Ambar here but for guys like Luthor, if these are covering different incarnations, I think we should actually be looking at the specific storylines and addressing if they count, kinda like how the Joker has a lot of CM incarnations but they're listed individually.

edited 8th May '18 8:17:44 AM by 43110

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
May 8th 2018 at 7:44:55 AM

I could maybe see keeping Vril Dox, but Black Panther, Batman, Cyclops, and all the other heroic characters should be cut. They're all good examples of Guile Hero.

Among the villains, Luthor, Doctor Doom, and Kingpin are the obvious keeps. A case could be made for the comic version of Loki, though he's usually more of a Trickster Archetype.

Is the trope you're trying to use Ideal Hero? Because being a bastard doesn't remove you from the Heroes category. Hiruma is heroic, although he is not an Ideal Hero. He does not become a Villainous character just by being a bastard. These are objective tropes.

Hiruma is not under any circumstances heroic. He blackmails, bullies, and terrorizes people just to get his football team off the ground. That's objectively bad behaviour, and that's the whole point of the character—he's a deliberate subversion of the "save our team" type of hero.

He's an antihero at best, a villain protagonist at worst.

edited 8th May '18 7:45:24 AM by AmbarSonofDeshar

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
May 8th 2018 at 7:49:07 AM

Never cheats on the field, pushes his team to improve themselves, creates Training from Hell tailored for each of their skills/needs and encourages them to realize their dreams.

The Anti-Hero is a Sub-Trope of Heroes, but not to Ideal Hero.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
May 8th 2018 at 7:52:22 AM

Never cheats on the field, pushes his team to improve themselves, creates Training from Hell tailored for each of their skills/needs and encourages them to realize their dreams.

Congratulations, you've recognized that he has standards, the second key point when it comes to this trope. Seriously, this isn't hard. The character cannot be Pure Evil, because then there's nothing to admire, but they also cannot be an actual good person or genuine hero because then they would not be enough of a Bastard.

Characters who qualify will run the gamut from out and out villain to the grimmer end of the antiheroic spectrum (which is where Hiruma would sit were everything in his series not played for laughs).

edited 8th May '18 7:56:19 AM by AmbarSonofDeshar

PolarPhantom Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
May 8th 2018 at 8:02:17 AM

  • Harry Potter:

    • Though a true Smug Snake at his core, Lord Voldemort took this to almost Villain Sue proportions before his Villain Decay. He displays mastery of the plan in books one, two and four and even manages to infiltrate the Ministry in book five. By Deathly Hallows he's even able to take over the Ministry and rule the Wizarding World as the power behind the throne but things just go downhill from there. It's possible that the destruction of his horcruxes is having a shrinking effect on his sanity, causing him to act more impulsively and irrationally than before or alternatively that when he was a powerless spirit, he had to rely more on his intelligence but once his body and power are restored, he retains his former cockiness and starts making the same mistakes as before. He still nearly manages to kill Harry and destroy Hogwarts though. Voldemort would have won if it weren't for his mammoth ego, marriage to the Villain Ball and of course, The Power of Love and his lack of comprehension thereof.

    • The title for THE Magnificent Bastard of the Harry Potter series however doesn't go to Voldemort, it belongs to none other than Albus Dumbledore himself. Jo once called him a Machiavellian figure - a Huge Understatement. Directly and indirectly, intentionally or otherwise, this one man, in some way or the other has been responsible for everything, everything, that has driven his time and beyond in the history of the Potter Universe.

Cut.

Cut.

Cut.

Not only does Voldy's entry admit he isn't one, one of the key points of Voldy's character is he's so obsessed with the Dark Arts that he can't understand magic he considers "lesser", like House Elves circumventing his anti Disapparation magic.. It's always been an aspect of his character, all the way back to TPS. He's clever, but he can never be "wise". Also, that entry does not meet our standards and seems to complain a lot about his progression as a character.

And Dumbledore... Listen, we can argue his ethics all day long, but he is clearly a good guy at the end of the day so he fails the "bastard" part of the trope.

EDIT: Oh, definitely cut Mephiles. The plot is so stupid even he comes off as an idiot despite being maybe the coolest part of the game.

edited 8th May '18 8:04:59 AM by PolarPhantom

Darkness rises and Light to meet it.
miraculous I am so tired of this gothic crap from South Africa
I am so tired of this gothic crap
May 8th 2018 at 8:03:48 AM

Go ahead man and cut both. Voldy's feaking entry mentions deep down he's a Smug Snake.

EDIT: Oh right yeah cut Mephilies

edited 8th May '18 8:06:33 AM by miraculous

Just once, I want to meet the villain in a cheerful, brightly lit room. Possibly one with kittens
KazuyaProta Porky from A Industrial Farm Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
May 8th 2018 at 8:08:03 AM

Characters who qualify will run the gamut from out and out villain to the grimmer end of the antiheroic spectrum
Yes? That's been my point all along. Anti-Hero characters should be considered for this trope because they can fulfill the bastard requirement despite being a category of Heroes rather than Villains.

Not that I have a problem if you want to exclude the Anti-Hero characters, but it should be a community descision. For all I know, there was a TRS thread that already excluded Anti-Hero characters.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
43110 36 styles of danger from the Brooklyn zoo Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
36 styles of danger
May 8th 2018 at 8:08:11 AM

Voldemort is a hilariously bad example—ironically acknowledged by the example itself—purge with hellfire!

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