Neutral Evil

"It can't be bargained with. It doesn't feel pity, remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop until you are dead"

-Kyle Reese on the Terminator

The second of the evil alignments, Neutral Evil characters are those who are out for their own personal gain and will cross any moral line to get it. Said personal gain tends to be along the lines of wealth/greed, or possibly revenge in some instances. Neutral Evil characters don't care if they happen to break the rules in the process of doing what they do, and also work within the bounds of the law and authority only for as long as it is convenient and/or beneficial to them. However by the same token they will not commit random violence and cruelty if they see no direct benefit to it and therefore do not just do evil for evil's sake, although notably some people's definitions of Neutral Evil disagree with me on that front. But either way for a Neutral Evil character, their personal goals come first, and while they again, won't usually do evil deeds out of pure sadism or pointless pleasure, they also don't have too many qualms about crossing moral lines and stabbing people in the back to get what they want. Long story short they look out only for number one.

List items

  • Subject of the page quote. Most would argue that the Terminator is Chaotic Evil, but I personally disagree, at least concerning the original T-800, and here's why: the original T-800 had a clear mission in mind: kill Sarah Connor. And while it did cause a lot of destruction in the process of trying to achieve it's goal, to me it was more a case of "crush any who get in the way" then "be as destructive as possible", and also it seemed to not so much go out of it's way to break the law so much as it didn't care if it happened to break the law in the process. Basically I see it as leaning more towards Neutral Evil because of how single-minded in it's specific goal it was, if that makes any sense. Still, I can sympathize with the people arguing in favor of it's being Chaotic Evil. I suppose you could say it's in-between the two.

  • Considering the dude's a pragmatic mercenary who is well-known for doing most anything anyone can think to ask of him so long as he gets paid, I'd say that's a yes. He is driven by coin and occasionally his own private agenda. Too bad nothing good ever comes of either one.

  • As kind of a Marvel equivalent to Deathstroke, this makes sense. Indeed, Taskmaster prides himself on being the most coldly professional of all of Marvel's main mercenaries, as opposed to others who are too emotional and prone to good (Silver Sable and Domino), TOO immoral and evil (Bullseye), or just too bloody crazy (Deadpool). So long story short, he's a selfish guy who will do bad things for money, but he's not entirely without restraint or a sense of pragmatism.

  • Official D&D books list him as an example of Lawful Evil, but I would say that's only with earlier EU depictions of him where he took jobs for the Empire and respected their authority because he had a twisted idea of order. More modern EU depictions however portray him as a more self-centered mercenary and bounty hunter who cares more about keeping his options open and making money than anything else. Not going around committing random, pointless cruelty, but no longer obsessed with order like he was in older EU stories. That's Neutral Evil. I'm pretty sure he's also shown that he's willing to turn on people if he gets a better offer, though that may not be consistent and instead vary depending on the writer. Either way, he did eventually grow out of this after becoming the new Mandalore.

  • "Like father like son" as the saying goes. In fact he fits this more consistently than his son does.

  • I could frankly make an argument for his being Chaotic Evil, but for now I'll list him as this. Either way though, he's much more evil than Jango Fett ever was, and that's saying something.

  • One of the ultimate crime lords and a slug both in appearance and nature.

  • In contrast to most Sith, who are Lawful Evil, Darth Maul I feel is more Neutral Evil, despite definitely still having some Lawful tendencies. And here's why: following his return he is most concerned with getting revenge on Obi-Wan and killing the Jedi, and outside of these goals that he will cross any moral line to achieve, he actually generally doesn't go out of his way to commit random violence and cruelty. No generally when Maul does something he has a reason for doing it. May not be a good reason, but he's nevertheless still a man with a clear-set goal in mind, one that he doesn't care if he happens to cross moral or legal boundaries to achieve. And that to me is Neutral Evil.

  • Essentially a coalition of various sleazy corporations and enterprises from across the Star Wars Galaxy who banded together against the Republic and started a galaxy-wide war with them basically because the Republic was costing them money. Yeah. And to think people actually sympathize with these guys, in-universe and out.

  • Though initially more Chaotic Neutral, as of Attack of the Clones she's shifted to this, being willing to assassinate innocent senators for money, also not being all that concerned about the other people she wound up killing in the process.

  • Text-book example of this, especially considering that he outright said "I'll take on any job...for the right price". As an amoral money-obsessed bounty hunter he's Neutral Evil at it's finest.

  • Following her fall to the Dark Side, where she becomes an Anti-Jedi and Republic terrorist who strikes out against them out of a (rather ridiculously) misinformed idea that the Jedi are the real villains and have fallen to the Dark Side. That said, she still doesn't perform evil outside of her main goals, which I feel makes her more Neutral Evil than Chaotic Evil.

  • Well he IS a crime lord after all. And while one who did attain most of that success by working within the system that was the Empire (and also being a serious kiss-up to Palpatine at the same time) he was also still a chiefly self-interested crook, so ultimately I'd put him in-between this alignment and Lawful Evil.

  • Cold-blooded and merciless bounty hunter and assassin droid. Considering that the IG-88s aspired to trigger a droid rebellion and take over the Galaxy (true story!) I could make the argument that they were more Lawful Evil, but that's also more them as a collective. When out bounty hunting as individuals, I'd say they were more this.

  • Easily one of Commander Shepard's darkest and most ethically lacking crew members, Zaeed shows just how self-centered he really is during his Loyalty Mission, where he proves to be quite agreeable to letting innocent people burn to death just to get some revenge. Paragon Shepard rightly calls him out on this.

  • As the brainwashed Winter Soldier, being a ruthless and cold-blooded assassin whose only real purpose was to complete the missions given to him.

  • During her days as a merciless, cold-blooded assassin. Also the more consistently villainous Ultimate Marvel universe version.

  • Official D&D books consider her an example of this and frankly looking at the evidence yeah, she fits this one rather nicely.

  • While Wolverine is normally a good guy (barring his ever-present dark side of course), in the Ultimate Marvel Universe he started out as this, by virtue of being a spy for the Brotherhood who on a trip to the Savage Land left Cyclops to die just because he was jealous of his relationship with Jean Grey. Fortunately, Logan eventually moved past this to become just a bit more like the Wolverine we all know and love.

  • I feel I should note here that Spider-Man has a LOT of villains that are this alignment. And I mean A LOT. And what better way to begin that list within a list then with the very first villain Spider-Man ever went up against?

  • Given that he's usually depicted as a kind of mercenary-like figure, I think this is a good fit.

  • Along with many, many, many of Spider-Man's other enemies, Vulture here is motivated chiefly by self-interest, usually in the form of profit and also revenge (both on Spider-Man and his treacherous ex-partner).

  • Like Chameleon above, Tinkerer is a sort of pseudo-mercenary, hiring his technical services to anyone with the cash to pay. While he has at times given some nice new toys to good guys (such as Prowler and Black Cat) he has also regularly supplied supervillains with dangerous new technology.

  • Determined to show the world how "great" he is and also crush that pesky Spider-Man, no matter how far he has to go to achieve these ends.

  • And here's ANOTHER Spider-Man villain who fits this (and we're not even close to the end yet). He has at times inched more into Chaotic Evil territory though, depending on the writer.

  • Though at times Sandman has tried to make a go for things on the side of right, he usually still ends up backsliding to his criminal ways. And whenever he IS a criminal, he's pretty comfortably this, being someone who is interested solely in profit and actually would probably leave Spider-Man alone if he didn't keep trying to stop him.

  • One of my personal favorite Spider-Man villains, and one motivated by basically egomania and a desire to be noticed. Hence his theatrics. His other motivations (greed and revenge on Spidey) further cement his status as a representative of this alignment.

  • While his alter-ego is text-book Chaotic Evil, Norman Osborn himself is Neutral Evil. Yes he enforces the Registration Act and uses it as an excuse to mercilessly hunt down real superheroes, and as such might seem more Lawful Evil. But the thing is, Norman only works within the confines of the system for as long as it's actually convenient, and that is Neutral Evil, not Lawful Evil. Ultimately Norman is just a complete sociopath who is out for his own and would happily step over anybody else just to keep going. Not even his own son (whom he hates anyway) is exempt from this.

  • And onwards we go. In this case the goal Kraven obsessively pursues (and to an extent even moreso than many of the others here I might add) is hunting Spider-Man, who he sees as the only worth prey. Outside of that though Kraven actually fancies himself a man of honor and to his credit doesn't really perform any real evil outside of his neverending hunt for the web-head.

  • Considering that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS are this alignment it probably shouldn't come as any kind of surprise that the Sinister Six also ends up being this. As with the villains individually, one of their main goals is revenge on Spider-Man. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Pretty much given that they're essentially just a B-list version of the Sinister Six.

  • Well he IS an assassin for hire...which means he kills people for money. Sounds pretty Neutral Evil to me.

  • Even moreso than a lot of other Marvel villains and even Spider-Man villains specifically, Shocker is a dude who is chiefly self-interested and out for personal gain, and that outside of this he really doesn't have any other malevolent agenda in mind. That said, he is also a very resourceful and flexible villain, who has tried all manner of schemes in the hope of coming out on top. He never does.

  • Yet another Spider-Man villain who's primary motive is selfish revenge against the web-head, one he pursued in the absolute most convoluted way possible (*Cough, cough* THE CLONE SAGA *cough, cough*)

  • Particularly in my Marvel Universe, where he's much more sociopathic, sadistic, and ultimately more like his father.

  • As opposed to the blatantly homicidal and destruction-happy sadist that was the Green Goblin, the original Hobgoblin was always to me just a bit more Machiavellian, being interested chiefly in advancing his career (which quickly turned deeply criminal) by any means necessary and also making sure to always look out for number 1. As such I feel he's more Neutral Evil than Chaotic Evil.

  • Much like the man whose identity he later stole, Jason Macendale is a pretty self-interested individual, especially considering that he's as much a mercenary as he is a supervillain.

  • ...and as it stands, Jason Macendale wasn't the only person to use the Jack O'Lantern alias either. The others who used it were all pretty much Neutral Evil too though.

  • Different name, same deal

  • At least prior to snapping and deciding to kill every version of Spider-Man in the multiverse, Morlun was more a "Street-Level" Galactus in that he was most concerned with sating his hunger at any cost, even if it meant feeding on totemistic beings every so often...beings such as Spider-Man.

  • The Venom symbiote tends to be depicted as a malevolent and corrupting entity, one who's motives are wholly selfish but also not interested in order OR gratuitous violence. Thus, it fits this alignment.

  • Whenever turned into a straight up villain, Eddie tends to be this alignment.

  • Though in mainstream continuity she's an anti-hero, most alternate versions of the character recast her as a more cold-blooded and amoral individual who is basically like any other mercenary: will do bad stuff so long as she gets paid.

  • Thanks to bad writing and a, shall we say, misunderstanding between her and Spidey, Felicia's fallen to the Dark Side pretty dang hard, and in fact now is way more villainous then she has ever been previously, even back when the character was first introduced. Working with Electro, not caring about whether or not innocent people are hurt, stuff like that. Shame too. I always preferred Black Cat as a hero/neutral than as a villain...

  • Pretty much your classic femme fatale, and also it seems kind of the Talia to Iron Man's Batman. It also runs in the family...

  • And on that note here's daddy. As he is kind of a Mafia Supervillain, it makes sense that he'd be this alignment. He is also by the way, a character I have never, ever liked. It doesn't help that he's really powerful and thus is supposed to be taken really seriously. But for that to happen with me he needs a much better fashion sense.

  • Like many of the other characters on this list, his motivations (especially in the movie) are greed and revenge against the hero, although in this case there's also the "upstage the hero" goal thrown in as well.

  • With this one I'm thinking more the comic version (who is MUCh more evil than the movie version incidentally) who long ago came to the conclusion that life was a game to be won no matter the cost. He ends up taking this goal to rather ridiculous lengths, and in doing so becomes arguably the single most evil villain in (Comic) Iron Man's rogues gallery. Among other things he threatened to crush a baby's skull just to get Tony to stand down. Yeah.

  • The Ultimate Marvel Universe version, whose turned into a much more selfish egotist who also nearly kills his girlfriend during a particularly violent domestic dispute, one he pretty much started. After this (understandably) gets him thrown out of the Ultimates, he decides to throw his lot in with superpowered terrorists and help them invade the country. And when things are clearly turning against them, he turns on them too. Simply put, Ultimate Hank Pym is a slimeball.

  • While the movie version is mostly Lawful Evil the comic book version, though he does sometimes still aspire to be king of Asgard, is ultimately I feel still more this alignment. The reason for that being that Loki in the comics does not work exclusively within the confines of Asgard's system of order and quite the contrary regularly works OUTSIDE of it. His goals are also not solely about acquiring power. A lot of the time in fact his goals are just a bit more petty, usually involving beating and ideally humiliating a certain Thunder God and his buddies...

  • Another major Thor villain who fits this, and funny enough like Loki the reasons why have to do with Thor himself. But where Loki is generally interested in beating and one-upping his hated brother, Enchantress wants him for all herself...no matter what.

  • Someone who is so thoroughly consumed with getting what she wants when she wants it that she was even willing to smash apart her own mother's grave just to get back her lost power, rather than take the opportunity to make amends for her past mistakes.

  • More the 616 version, who seems to be the kind of guy whose always willing to do some messed up stuff if it means he can still benefit from it in some way. The movie version was more a very twisted Lawful Evil.

  • Sebastian Shaw's main associates, who by and large seem to think and act much the same way Shaw himself does.

  • Typically most concerned with winning the affection's of Death's physical embodiment, though he will occasionally pursue his own separate goals as well. Either way though, Thanos is quite agreeable to doing whatever it takes to achieve his goals, no matter how evil he's got to be.

  • This one's a controversial call, I admit. Most would argue that Galactus isn't evil because he's just doing what is necessary to survive. But there are some problems with this argument, namely that Galactus could choose to only devour planets that don't have any intelligent life on them. This way he would keep himself sustained without committing genocide in the process. But Galactus doesn't do that because he finds it inconvenient and also makes it very clear that he doesn't usually care about anyone or anything but himself, and that to me makes him more this alignment.

  • Like Galactus, Brainiac has scoured the cosmos looking for new worlds that he invariably ends up destroying in the pursuit of a selfish agenda. But Brainiac is even worse than Galactus because he doesn't do it to sustain himself, rather he does it to acquire the planet's knowledge, which he holds in a higher regard than he does the planet's inhabitants. You can't even say he's just following his programming and doesn't know any better because Brainiac's been depicted as either just as sentient as any human or even more sentient and therefore knows full well what he's doing. And he doesn't care.

  • As the champion of the orange light of avarice, Larfleeze is perpetually greedy and always wanting more and more. And he's willing to cross any and all moral lines to satisfy that all-consuming greed.

  • One of several ruthless and sleazy crime bosses Batman has dealt with over the years.

  • And here's another one.

  • And another one.

  • Though a little bit more "high-profile" then the last three, Penguin is nevertheless still a ruthless and self-interested crime boss in the same vein as many of Gotham's other crooks. Don't tell him that though.

  • Another Batman villain motivated by greed, as well as a seriously bad ego and also desire for attention. In short, a classic narcissist.

  • While in the comics he's more Chaotic Evil, I would say that Two-Face as he appeared in The Dark Knight was more Neutral Evil, in that he was most interested in revenge over random slaughter or anarchy, and had also come to the rather nihilistic conclusion that chance was the only kind of true morality in the world he lived in, and that he also viewed it as a sort of twisted fairness.

  • Yet another Batman villain driven solely by greed and personal gain. Batman even said in the (albeit non-canon) story Justice that he has never been anything but a common criminal.

  • Bane is a man who craves power, but not so much authority over others. Though he has occasionally gotten that too, by and large Bane is a man ruled by self-interest who will crush any and all who try to oppose him but outside of that actually doesn't really set out to do evil and in fact even has some measure of scruples in spite of his villainy.

  • Like Bane Catman is driven by greed and also a desire to prove himself worthy of fear and respect. He is also under Gail Simone a fairly ruthless and amoral individual. On that note...

  • Well he IS a guy who kills people for money after all. Assassin-for-hire and all that.

  • Given that they're a group of mercenaries who emphasize an MO of doing bad things so long as they're paid, this makes sense. While they have some measure of standards in the sense that they don't go out of their way to be cruel or hurt others, you flash a nice paycheck in front of them and they're generally cool with playing the part of the bad guys. And really, their bodycount speaks for itself.

  • A remorseless, cold-blooded assassin who barring one brief stint as Black Canary (weird I know) is pretty consistently villainous. She cares little for the gratuitous violence of say, the Joker, but she's still not good any stretch.

  • Determined to exact vengeance on Bruce Wayne and then seize his fortune no matter the cost, scheming against his foe with surgical precision and a complete disregard for the well-being of others. He is also by the way, my favorite Batman villain besides the Joker himself.

  • With this one I'm thinking of the DCAU version seen in Batman Beyond, who is very much a greed-motivated supervillain and even outright says that he's "taking what he's earned". By stealing it. He's also not above some petty revenge either, as shown in his last known appearance where he frames Batman Beyond for murder.

  • Once again, I'm mostly thinking of the DCAU version here, being a self-interested but pragmatic crook.

  • Well, the DCAU version anyway, who are only working for Luthor because he's paying them (or promising to pay them as it were).

  • Yes, he's CEO of his own company. Yes, he was president of the USA. Yes, he's sometimes led supervillain teams. But unlike DCAU Lex Luthor, who seems to be most comfortable working from such positions of power, comic Lex to me only does so for as long as it's actually convenient and beneficial to him. The second it ceases to be he casts such positions aside much more casually then his DCAU version would and goes right back to doing what he's always done best: looking out only for himself and his own interests. That and his ongoing feud with Superman of course.

  • Especially since the DCAU version started out as a mercenary before becoming a greed/revenge motivated supervillain.

  • Another Superman villain to fit this, with this one being motivated more by hunger than traditional monetary greed.

  • And here's ANOTHER Superman villain that fits this. And for the usual greed/revenge reasons too.

  • Metropolis' resident crime boss. He's no Kingpin but he gets around. And definitely ruthless as well.

  • An unrepentant crook who goes out of his way to act like a cold-blooded professional. Gratuitous violence is a big no-no for him, but cutting down someone who gets in the way of his score? He's not losing a wink of sleep over that.

  • A team of supervillains who under Captain Cold's leadership do things exactly the way he does.

  • In addition to being a prominent member of the Rogues he's also pretty much a hitman, so...

  • Though he did try to walk the path of a hero, Owens ultimately became this alignment anyway during Blackest Night when he proved to be willing to murder dozens of innocent people so his Black Lantern father could come back from the dead in full. The other Flash Rogues, so disgusted by this crossing of the Moral Event Horizon, deliberately left him to die.

  • One of the many members of the Rogues, and also one of the Flash's very first foes.

  • Same as the first one.

  • Took over as the Trickster after deciding that his reformed predecessor was no longer worthy of it.

  • Another member of the Rogues.

  • Yet another Flash Rogue.

  • DC's interpretation of this character definitely fits this I'd say, at least in the DCAU where she constantly seeks power for both herself and her sadistic little brat of a son Mordred.

  • A dude so hungry for power and knowledge both that he sold his own soul just to get more of it.

  • While I tend to associate megalomania more with Lawful Evil, Jafar still ultimately leans more towards this one due to not really being interested in ruling so much as just raw power, as opposed to say, Doctor Doom and Palpatine, who also do covet power but at the same time enforce their own twisted idea of order on others. Jafar never does that, and as such I feel I can list him as this.

  • Scar is an interesting case in that he initially seems more Lawful Evil. After all, he aspired to be king, a Lawful position, and eventually overthrew the old regime and replaced it with his own iron-fisted one. But as time passes it becomes clear that Scar has no real interest in order whatsoever and really just a selfish person who is thoroughly self-interested and will do and say anything just to keep himself going. Ironically, this winds up condemning him when he tries to sell the Hyenas out and they turn on him and kill him. So basically starts Lawful Evil and then becomes more this alignment.

  • This isn't TOO surprising given that he's been engineered to have the same Machiavellian world-view as David Xanatos. Difference is that Thailog's a much more extreme case of it and definitely fits the "Evil" part much more than Xanatos ever did.

  • Again, Machiavellian world-view. Xanatos is obsessed with getting immortality for himself and later also his family. In pursuit of this goal he was initially willing to cross quite a few moral lines, but as time wore on he eventually softened and became more True Neutral. That is to say still self-interested but nowhere near as villainous about it.

  • Well in fairness he is a machine made by the above character and also outfitted with his creator's face and voice. That said, their selfish motives differ: Xanatos seeks immortality and profit, Coyote vengeance.

  • And yet another character related to Xanatos who shares his alignment, in this case his wife. But much like Xanatos himself, the initially amoral and somewhat conniving Fox only starts out villainous and eventually makes the shift to True Neutral.

  • Pretty much your classic bully, one who's extorting of Labyrinth citizens shows that greed is at least one of his motivations. But really the obnoxious, treacherous, and mean-spirited Fang is just kind of a jerk period.

  • An egomaniacal hunter who's willing to illegally poach a whole herd of gorillas for money, as well as kill anyone who tries to get in his way.

  • Considering this is a guy who was driven purely by greed and in fact was so driven by greed he was willing to commit genocide for some cash, that's a definite yes.

  • An amoral pirate captain who tends to also be quite the back-stabber, and pretty casually crosses both lines and lives in the pursuit of his invariably selfish goals.