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14 Comic Book Villains With Dumb Motivations For Being Evil

March 23, 2020 2.0k votes 390 voters 48.1k views14 items

List RulesVote up the villains with subpar reasons for breaking bad.

When indulging in popular media, most consumers spend their time fixating on the actions of protagonists and give less mental energy to whatever motivations the antagonists have to spur the inevitable clashing of heads. But that doesn't mean certain bone-headed motivations don't make us stop and ponder just why these bad guys are doing what they're doing. It isn't that we feel bad for these characters; rather, we end up questioning their reason for villainy in the first place.

Whether it is a 10-year-old attempting to slay his parents in order to take control of their vast fortune, the need to eliminate superheroes to juice television ratings, or even just an overwhelming sense of boredom, these supervillains just have innately dumb reasons for being antagonists at all. But heroes need bad guys to punch and outsmart, so continue on with their dastardly ways they will.

  • 1


    Photo: DC Comics

    In a classic bit of good, old comic book one-and-done madness, the penile villain known as Codpiece was introduced in 1993's Doom Patrol #70 and has never been seen again. After years and years of dealing with an inferiority complex stemming from, well, his smaller-than-average phallus, Codpiece engineers a supersuit of sorts centered around a large, metal... jockstrap. 

    Indeed, a man seemingly belittled for his minute member is so undone by this, he creates a phallic suit to help him hold up banks and get back at a society that shunned him. By the end of the issue, the Doom Patrol has melted his metal manhood, and he has never been heard from since. Let the record show: Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can break your psyche.

    Dumb motivation?
  • 2

    Turner D. Century

    Minor Marvel Comics villain Clifford Michaels, AKA Turner D. Century, really is just one humdinger of a doozy. Isolated from the outside world during his childhood by his adoptive father, Michaels shuns society's current beliefs in favor of the cultural norms of the early 20th century... hence, Turner D. Century.

    He becomes so obsessed with the idea of old-timey values, he even attempts to knock off everyone in New York City under the age of 65 in the pages of 1982's Marvel Team-Up #120. In typical villainous fashion, Michaels brags about his plan by claiming that, after he takes out all the non-elderly folks in NYC, "only the pure ones - the old ones - will be left alive! And this city of sin and debauchery will become a veritable Heaven-on-Earth!" Spider-Man and Dominic Fortune band together to stop him, but Turner D. Century tends to show up every now and then to remind readers just how weird of a character he really is.

    Dumb motivation?
  • 3

    Bodega Bandit

    The Bodega Bandit is the self-described "nemesis" of Earth-65's Gwen Stacy (AKA Ghost-Spider), and he's a little bit of an eccentric. According to his bio in the pages of 2018's Spider-Gwen #33, no one knows anything about him - not his name, not his place of birth, not even how he appears to keep getting out of jail after being hauled in so many times.

    One thing about the Bodega Bandit is very clear, though: He loves robbing bodegas for their corn dogs. Even Ghost-Spider herself doesn't take him seriously, even forming a bond with him over time. The hero even gifts the Bandit a guinea pig named Pine Cone after his beloved dog Bandito is eaten by the Lizard. There isn't much else to say about this running joke of a character except for his love of relieving local food stops of their junk food.

    Dumb motivation?
  • 4

    The Matador

    Manuel Eloganto, AKA the Matador, was introduced in 1964's Daredevil #5, which happens to have one of the funniest comic book covers of all time. Without the knowledge that a costume party is taking place, readers see Daredevil - in his original black-and-yellow costume, no less - seemingly bested by the Matador with people of various historical dress circled around them. It's a peculiar image that could only realistically exist in a comic book.

    As for Eloganto, he becomes a villain after the crowd jeers at him during one of his bullfighting exhibitions, distracting the performer from the bull rushing his way. Eloganto is hit by the bull and rushed to the hospital, where emergency surgery saves his life. At that point, he blames his injuries on "his fellow man" and vows "revenge upon all mankind!" Seems like a real stable guy with a good head on his shoulders.

    Dumb motivation?