Affably Evil

"Please, sit down before you fall down. We can at least behave like civilized people"

-Rene Belloq to Indiana Jones

"Affably Evil" pertains to villains or antagonists who, in spite of their villainous/antagonistic nature are legitimately nice, friendly, and polite when interacting with most other people, even the heroes oftentimes. Now, to be Affably Evil, the following must be considered:

  • Affably Evil villains are NOT just villains who pretend to be nice and it's all just an act. Affably Evil villains really are that nice.
  • There is a difference between Affably Evil and what is called Faux-Affably Evil. The latter pertains to characters who for all their sounding polite would clearly throw you in front of a bus without a second thought and don't actually value life or people's well-being anymore than any other villain does. Thus, their sounding polite but not acting it just makes their villainy stand out more rather than less. Conversely, Affably Evil characters are perfectly nice, amiable people to most everyone else, except for people who actively get in the way of their malevolent goals and try to oppose them, and even there they may retain a civil nature. So for characters to be genuine Affably Evil they must actually care about other's well-being to some extent and only be willing to hurt/kill those who are directly in their way and opposing them.

List items

  • In Captain America the Winter Soldier. Most would argue he's Faux Affably Evil there, but he did express some regret at having to murder his maid, noting that he'd "wished she would have knocked" and also maintains a cordial tone for almost the entire film. So I'd argue he's in-between this and Faux Affably Evil.

  • When a villain

  • When a villain

  • When a villain (Notice a pattern?)

  • Especially in Secret Six

  • In Injustice Gods Among Us

  • In Injustice Gods Among Us where he is by far the nicest and most innocent member of the Regime.

  • When a villain, at least before Dan Slott made her MORE villainous than she's ever been previously, at which point I'd say she's more Faux Affably Evil. Thanks a lot Dan Slott.

  • In my Marvel Universe

  • When a villain/antagonist. I'm also going to point out that just about every member of the Griffin Family can qualify as this due to their all being guilty of at least a few misdeeds. They all also have pages on the Villains Wiki too, which should tell you something.

  • In the Amazing Spider-Man movie, as he gives Peter Parker the milk he was trying to buy earlier after committing a theft and also seemed shocked when he accidentally shot Uncle Ben.

  • In my Marvel Universe

  • More Faux Affably Evil in Batman Returns and the campy Adam West show, but she tends to default to this otherwise.

  • Some might argue he's more Faux Affably Evil, but I feel he fits genuine Affably Evil on at least some occasions.

  • In "Teen Titans Go!" where he's not as bad as Robin and Beast Boy but like them still occasionally indulges in decidedly unheroic behavior.

  • One of the best examples of this from anything, ever.

  • I'd argue in his early years he was Faux Affably Evil, which he also is in the Ultimate Marvel Universe and Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. 616 Deadpool though I would say is currently this.

  • In Supernatural and Family Guy, among other interpretations.

  • One of several villains who's kind of in-between this and Faux Affably Evil.

  • Also in-between the two.

  • As Diaval in the Maleficent movie. Honestly it's pretty hard to call him any kind of villain at all.

  • At least in his earlier years, where at one point he shared a room with Aunt May and was shown to be a perfectly reasonable and amiable tenant.

  • In the original Bram Stoker novel and also Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • In his early days as Venom, where outside of his vendetta with Spider-Man he was an Anti-Hero and self-appointed protector of the innocent.

  • In my Marvel Universe

  • Normally, she's VERY Faux Affably Evil, just like her "puddin", but in the DCAU I'd argue she's more genuine Affably Evil, since she does admit to having enjoyed some of her run-ins with Batman and also had good relationships with both Poison Ivy and the hyenas she and the Joker kept as pets.

  • When a villain

  • The Justice Lord version.

  • As his page on the Villains Wiki makes pretty clear, Homer has dome more than enough bad things over the years to qualify as an at least semi-villain/antagonist, but of course he also does mean well most of the time and is not without his good moments, so...

  • Although then again I think there is one Mass Effect book that makes clear his affable nature is a facade, but I could also argue that's not consistent with how he maintains a civil tone at almost all times, only losing it when Shepard screws him over at the end of the second game. Of course, I suppose most would just say that proves that it's a facade. But regardless, I think I'll still list him as this for now.

  • Well after all, he's not always a bad guy, and even when he is serving as an antagonist it's all in good fun. He rarely if ever seems to mean any harm.

  • When a villain he still remains charismatic, friendly, and (sort of) well-intentioned.

  • Initially in the 2012 cartoon before shifting to Faux Affably Evil and then after that redeeming herself after learning the truth about her parentage.

  • Either this or Faux Affably Evil depending on the specific version.

  • To the point that he's honestly not evil at all. Seriously, the guy's in running for nicest henchman ever.

  • For similar reasons to Homer. He's not a consistently or intrinsically malevolent individual, but he is still guilty of quite a few crimes and misdeeds throughout the show's run.

  • In the Arkhamverse and my takes on the character.

  • In Young Justice, where he's more akin to David Xanatos.

  • Sort of in the Amazing Spider-Man movie.

  • In "Thor: The Dark World". Outside of that he tends to be text-book Faux Affably Evil.

  • In Treasure Planet where morality-wise he turns like a weather-vane.

  • Initially before becoming less of a villain.

  • Frequently. This also extends to the movie version and my Marvel Universe's version.

  • The Angelina Jolie version

  • Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3

  • As a villain.

  • Whenever he's depicted as a villain

  • In my Marvel Universe.

  • Most would argue she's Faux Affably Evil, but she did make Rapunzel her favorite food on her birthday and also maintains her civil tone most of the time. Remember: Affably Evil characters ARE willing to hurt or kill people who get in the way of their goals, and Flynn and Rapunzel both fit that, so...

  • Depending on the episode he's either this or Faux Affably Evil.

  • In Arrow, where she sincerely loves Sarah Lance, admits to not wanting to hurt her mother (but will if she feels she has to), and is polite and cordial when speaking to most people, though she's noticeably a lot colder when speaking to Arrow. Of course he DID try to strangle her...

  • In the Iron Man movie.

  • "You killed Comedian!"

    "May he rest in peace."

  • Usually he's text-book Faux Affably Evil, but the DCAU version does become genuine Affably Evil from time to time. He's also Affably Evil in my DC Universe.

  • In Beware the Batman, where in addition to being a Well-Intentioned Extremist he also seems to care about Mr. Toad and comes off as very polite and well-mannered in spite of his villainy. He even insists that Mr. Toad "respect his enemies".

  • Starkiller's best friend, and also always trying to kill him because of his programming, never realizing that success would end their friendship forever.

  • Serves as an antagonist every so often, but he's more Chaotic Neutral than straight-up evil I'd say. He's also not without a sense of humor or his good moments.

  • Even as a villain, he's still a gentleman.

  • Sometimes in the comics. Also fits this to a T in Batman Begins and could be said to fit it in the DCAU, though there I might place him in-between this and Faux Affably Evil. Finally, he fits this in my DC Universe as well.

  • Among other things notes that he has his name on the wheel of robot names as a "show of good faith" to the other robots.

  • When a villain

  • He works for Organization XIII and rises through their ranks, but he's honestly not even a bit evil and in fact is the single nicest member of Organization XIII.

  • In Kingdom of Heaven where he technically functions as an antagonist but honestly, it's pretty hard to call him any kind of villain for a whole slew of reasons, not the least of which being his being willing to let the Christians go if they surrender the Holy Land. And when they do, he makes good on his promise.

  • In Spider-Man 3. He also starts to transition to this in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon where in his last appearance he expresses moral standards (not wanting innocent people to be hurt), and also shows a little girl kindness.

  • Tries to hold onto her morality and conscience in spite of being a villain with mixed results. She also sincerely loves two different women and seems to care about her teammates to at least some degree. Finally, she also has some level of moral standards despite her villainy and again always tries to hold onto what little morality she retains.

  • Somewhere in-between this and Faux Affably Evil.

  • In Mortal Kombat Legacy, where he comes off as a much more pleasant individual who effortlessly comes off as just a normal guy at a diner when he politely turns down a waitress's offer to get him anything.

  • At least the Disney version anyway.

  • Like Mr. Burns, he's either this or Faux Affably Evil depending on the specific episode.

  • In my Marvel Universe. He's really quite the gentleman, and also a man of honor, but he kind of has this rather violent vendetta with Wolverine...

  • In "Teen Titans Go!" While she remains the most innocent and naive of all the Titans, she still on occasion indulges in unheroic and at times downright cruel behavior. Again, not as often as the other Titans do in that show, but even so, she still counts for this. Really none of the Teen Titans in that show adhere to their hero roles all that well.

  • In the older DC comics where she was a much more sympathetic character she fit this pretty solidly, honestly being not all that malevolent period. Subsequent portrayals of the character though (chiefly Grant Morrison's) make her a good bit more screwed up and sinister. She's also genuine Affably Evil in the DCAU (where her portrayal is more in line with her older comic portrayal), and the Arkhamverse.

  • Yet another villain who's in-between this and Faux Affably Evil. I could also maybe argue he bounces back and forth between the two.

  • In the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, largely owing to how in that show he's a stand-in for the Kingpin, who couldn't be used due to (bogus) licensing issues.

  • Rather amusingly becomes this in "Teen Titans Go!"

  • When a villain

  • Was this during his general days, considering that the flashbacks in "Zuko Alone" show him laying siege to Ba Sing Sae and joking about burning it to the ground. Was still a nice guy though. Thus, Affably Evil.