The Evil Genius is a standard character in The Evil Army. They're usually rather high-ranked, commonly below The Dragon but above the Quirky Miniboss Squad. They are almost exclusively male except in fiction that either has an unusually high female ratio or a female motif for its villains. The Evil Genius is obviously intelligent, and is the one in charge of the Wave Motion Gun or shipping the nukes into the country or resurrecting the Lost Superweapon or what have you. This character is usually the one that will demonstrate to the Big Bad how to use a particular MacGuffin. They're usually a Mad Scientist, a military tactician, a specialist in a particular field (such as computers or electronics), or has ties to The Government (or a combination), so they're in the best position to deliver the goodies to the Evil Overlord. In medieval fantasy settings, this role is often played by an evil strategist, rogue/spymaster, or a dark wizard (provided they aren't also the Big Bad).
The Evil Genius is part of the Five-Bad Band dynamic, the Evil Counterpart to The Smart Guy. An Evil Genius who is also the Big Bad will frequently be The Chessmaster and maybe even a Magnificent Bastard. They can also show up as members of Quirky Miniboss Squads, but then are usually made significantly less effective by virtue of their quirkiness.
- One Piece makes occasional mention of the World Government's top scientist, Dr. Vegapunk. He is one of the most speculated-upon characters in the manga. Apparently, he's an Omnidisciplinary Scientist, having created a cyborg with Devil fruit powers (Kuma), multiple copies of said cyborg armed with laser weaponry (the Pacifista), catalogued all known devil fruits, revolutionized the power of the sea as uses of Seastone, and figured out a way for inanimate objects to "eat" Devil fruits. For all this, events around the Time Skip have alluded to Vegapunk being morally ambiguous, and truly any statement of him being "evil" before then was an assumption. During the Time Skip, Franky, having burned off all of his skin, rebuilds his body using Vegapunk's technology
- To a lesser extent, Gecko Moria's right hand man Dr Hogback, a surgeon of legendary skill who assisted Moria in creating a zombie army.
- Vegapunk's rival, Ceasar Clown, is stated by all parties except his underlings as being evil, and was arrested by the world government for sabotaging the science team's human experimentation.
- Uno of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, who is known as the second brain of Jail Scaglietti and acts as Mission Control for the Numbers. Jail himself easily qualifies as Big Bad variation.
- John Smith (no, that's not an alias) from Mai-Otome, with a dash of Mad Scientist thrown in.
- Princess Kycilia Zabi, the Lady of War from Mobile Suit Gundam who also was the Zabi family member in charge of Newtype research.
- Shader in Chrono Crusade serves as the Sinner's main techie. Aion, the Big Bad, has elements as this as well, considering he's a bit of a chessmaster.
- Herr Doktor in Hellsing is the evil genius for Millennium.
- Hakase in Mahou Sensei Negima probably would have played this part in Chao's evil army if not for the fact that Chao was also an Evil Genius of an even higher degree. Still, this was essentially her role in that she was the one overseeing the ritual to remove the world's Weirdness Censor, not actually taking part in the battle.
- Professor Nanba (or is it Kimba?) is the Evil Genius who gives Butch and Cassidy orders in Pokémon.
- Kururu from Keroro Gunsou lives and breathes Evil Genius, though he's technically with the good guys.
- Sosuke Aizen from Bleach combines this with Big Bad (as well as Manipulative Bastard, Magnificent Bastard, The Chessmaster, etc).
- Also in Bleach, R&D Head and 12th Company Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi is the Evil Genius for the entire Soul Society along with being the Mad Scientist. His Arrancar counterpart, Smug Snake 8th Espada Sayzel Apporro Granz is more or less the same, but with the addition of Squicky sexual imagery and Sissy Villain to the list. And then there's the Anti-Villain 1st Espada Coyote Stark, who's a Brilliant but Lazy Awesomeness By Analysis type.
- Koshiro Kokujo of Duel Masters was this, or so he said.
Kokujo: I know everything!
Shobu: How's that?
Kokujo: Because I'm an evil genius!
- The Doctor from Black Cat is an Evilutionary Biologist and total psychopath who serves as Creed's go to guy for technology and weapons, while doing double duty as a villainous example of The Medic.
- Hoji from Rurouni Kenshin is Shishio's Strategist, logistician, and all around Psycho Supporter.
- Cassius from Kimba the White Lion tends to make the Evil Plans for his boss Claw.
- In Gundam Seed, Nicol, The Dark Chick, also took on this role to the Antivillainous Le Creuset team, relying on stealth, caution and an Invisibility Cloak. It only made him more of an outcast on a team of guys who wouldn't know subtle if it bit them in the ass. One could argue that Big Bad Rau Le Creuset also plays this role.
- As the Only Sane Man among a group of Axe Crazy Tykebombs, Sting Oakley fullfills this role for Gundam Seed Destiny's Extended, since he's the only one with any common sense. He leads the group in Neo's absence, does his best to keep Auel and Stella out of trouble, and is the one who usually has to call retreat. The ZAFT team lacked a specific Evil Genius; fortunately, Big Bad Gilbert Durandal was able to handle both positions.
- In Gundam Wing, Chief Engineer Tsubarov was this to the Romefeller Foundation. A brilliant technician, he invented the remote-controlled Mobile Dolls whose useage consumes much of the subsequent plot; he's also one of the few men at the OZ base who realises that using the captive Gundam pilots as test subjects might be a bad idea. Curiously, he had a personality that one would more typically associate with The Brute being a thuggish Jerkass and Smug Snake who loathed pacifism, had No Indoor Voice, dealt with problems by applying as much brute force as possible, and went out in the midst of a truly epic Villainous Breakdown, ranting about how he was invincible.
- Alister/Amalda was this to Dartz's group of henchmen in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Nesbitt plays this role to the Big 5, being their tech guy and weapons expert; oddly enough, he's perhaps their poorest duelist.
- Eyeshield 21: Jerk Jock Clifford D. Louis is The Strategist and Evil Genius of the American Pentagram, in addition to being a member of the Big Bad Duumvirate alongside Mr. Don. Youichi Hiruma and Reiji Marco could also be considered evil geniuses, with the former being an Antiheroic Guile Hero and the latter his Evil Counterpart and the Big Bad of the Kantou Regionals Arc.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- The Cyborg Superman builds all of the technology used by the Sinestro Corps, including the Manhunter robots who recharge yellow rings and the space station they used as a base.
- Darth Maladi from Star Wars Legacy is both a Sith alchemist and the head of Sith Intelligence. She's generally portrayed as one of the most cunning Sith characters in the comic, but seems to enjoy her schemes and experiments more for their own sake than from the hope of doing anything constructive with them.
- Also Vul Isen as he is believed to be a scientist. He never accepts anything without a proof.
- In All Fall Down, IQ is VERY bitter about not being one of these anymore.
- A very frequent minion type in the James Bond series.
- Dr. No: Dent to Dr. No. Dr. No himself is this to Blofeld.
- From Russia with Love: Kronsteen to Klebb
- Goldfinger: Ling to Goldfinger
- Thunderball: Kutze to Largo
- Osato (You Only Live Twice) and later Metz (Diamonds Are Forever) to Blofeld
- The Man with the Golden Gun: Hai Fat to Scaramanga
- A View to a Kill: Mortner to Zorin
- Licence to Kill: Lodge to Sanchez
- GoldenEye: Boris to Trevelyan
- Tomorrow Never Dies: Gupta to Carver
- The World Is Not Enough: Arkov to Renard
- Die Another Day: Popov to Graves
- There are occasional subversions: Whitaker, Khan, Kananga, Drax, Kristatos, and Le Chiffre were all the "main brains" in their operations as well as the leaders, and Sanchez had what is nearly a parody of one named Milton Krest. Stromberg has two, both of whom he kills early in the film to cover his tracks.
- Theo and Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard.
- Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars could count, as he has the Death Star, and is a strategist with his own doctrine.
- And in the prequel trilogy era, Nute Gunray and the Seperatist Council fit the role as they the brain of everything, and later when they are no longer needed, they are killed by their boss.
- James McCullen and The Doctor in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. At the end of the film, the Doctor becomes the Big Bad, Cobra Commander, and turns McCullen into Destro.
- Mystery Men's Casanova Frankenstein is an evil Disco genius. Even his archnemesis asks him for help with his quips. He wears a set of golden finger cuffs that carry sonic rays and hyper-lasers, and a pair of slippers that emit poison gas. And that's just what his enemy knows he's wearing while he just sits around in his dressing gown.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, has Quartermaster, a zombie who can always predict a future, and he is the one who guides Blackbeard to the Fountain of Youth.
- In A Fistful of Dollars, Ramon Rojo is a non-stereotypical example. In a family of archetypal Mexican banditos, Ramon is The Strategist, concocting the plan to steal the gold from under the Mexican army's nose, and orchestrating the eventual massacre of the rival Baxter family. He's also the only one to see through Joe, and keeps a wary eye on him throughout the film, eventually deducing that he is the traitor in their ranks.
- Soundwave plays the Evil Genius role in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon as an intelligence specialist as well as overseeing a decades-long scheme in the latter movie.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. Though he does carry the Villain Ball occasionally.
- Barty Crouch Jr. is a better example.
- In The Elenium, by David Eddings, Krager is this to Annias and Martel. Annias himself is this to Azash.
- In The Witcher, we have Vilgefortz. He is easily the most smart and powerful wizard in the North, and he let it get into his head.
- Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire, an educated, smart, and calculating dwarf sort of qualifies. However, he wasn't really an ally of House Lannister and he was enemies with Tywin. He embodies this trope in his own organization, in which he is also the Big Bad. He isn't really that evil though.
- The Artemis Fowl series is full of these, which makes sense, since the protagonist himself is a Teen Genius, and that requires antagonists to match. We have Artemis himself in book 1 (in his status as Villain Protagonist), Opal Koboi in book 2, Jon Spiro in book 3, Opal Koboi again in book 4, Minerva in book 5, Opal Koboi AGAIN in book 6. Turnball Root in book 7.
- Transformers: TransTech Shockwave, master of Playing with Syringes, is a self-proclaimed "morally ambiguous" genius.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us Bevel Lemelisk, chief designer of the Death Star, although the actual designers were superintelligent alien children whose planet was being held hostage.
- Most incarnations of Power Rangers and Super Sentai have one of these among the villains, with responsibilities commonly including mass-producing Mooks and the Monster of the Week, making monsters grow, and generally being the one who knows the most about the finer points of the magic/technology of the season. In Power Rangers, the first and probably the most iconic among fans was Finister, the series' first monster maker.
- Smallville had plenty of Evil Geniuses, with Lionel Luthor, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and Winslow "The Toyman" Schott running around. One interesting example was Tess Mercer, who started out as a villain, but eventually pulled a Heel Face Turn. She became one of two Smart Guys on the heroic side, but still in traditionally evil areas, being The Chessmaster, a Manipulative Bastard, and The Cracker to Emil Hamilton's Medic and Gadgeteer Genius.
- Giller from Legend of the Seeker is both Mad Scientist and Evil Sorcerer; the two most typical archtypes that fall under this trope.
- Elizabeth from Wicked Science becomes a genius and she uses her new intelligence as a way to try to get money, fame and Toby's affections. The evil part is that she has little morals when it comes to use her inventions, including using a teleporter to sneak in Toby's laboratory so her goon can destroy/steal/sabotage whatever Toby is creating in the episode, or trapping him in a Groundhog Day Loop so he accepts the new universe in which he's trapped, where they are a couple and his friends hate him.
- Depending on whether you see them as Antiheroes or Antivillains, Hardison of Leverage Consulting & Associates is either The Smart Guy or The Evil Genius. His Evil Counterpart, Colin "Chaos" Mason is a non-ambiguous example being an Insufferable Genius and Jerkass extraordinaire who seems to view committing crimes as a way to stroke his own ego, and constantly betrays his own allies.
- In Magic: The Gathering, it could be argued that Yawgmoth is this, but in New Phyrexia, with its five-color theme, Jin-Gitaxis, the blue praetor, takes this role.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Professor Hojo in Final Fantasy VII is this to President Shinra. After Shinra is killed, Hojo either remains the Evil Genius or gets promoted to Big Bad, depending on which side of the multi-faceted "who's responsible for Sephiroth's actions" debate you're on.
- Wild ARMs 1 had the Mad Scientist demon Alhazad. Wild ARMs 4 had part scientist, part strategist Augst.
- Albert Silverberg of Suikoden III.
- Izuka in Fire Emblem 10 (Radiant Dawn).
- In Advance Wars Black Hole Rising and Dual Strike, Perky Goth Lash provides the bad guys with all of their advanced technology.
- Caulder/Dr Stolos in Days of Ruin, who eventually becomes the Big Bad.
- Hazama/Terumi Yuuki from BlazBlue. The most dangerous thing about his genius, however, isn't his trancendental knowledge of alchemy, which allowed him to create the titular Blaz Blue, the Black Beast, Arakune and some other unpleasant things, but rather his tactical genius, which, so far, has allowed him to outmaneuver an omniscient supercomputer with three minds (although he got help from the guy below). Then again, Hazama himself would qualify in any positions given in the Five-Bad Band.
- If this is what Hazama entails, then there must also be a mention of Relius Clover, a brilliant researcher who sought only perfection and has performed horrendous experiments and plans (as shown during his EX Story where he practically played Sector Seven and Kokonoe for chumps to create his Ignis). He just got less time to shine than Hazama though his inclusion as a playable character and a story mode for him in elevated him a bit.
- In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Vexen, a sterotypical Mad Scientist fits for this role. Then, in Kingdom Hearts II we have Luxord, a strategic gambler.
- In the original game, Jafar definately owned this role.
- Galak Fyyar from Jedi Outcast.
- In Epic Mickey, The Mad Doctor appears to be The Dragon for the Shadow Blot. Later however, it is revealed that the Shadow Blot himself is The Dragon for the real Shadow Blot (the other Blot revealed to be just a disconnected part). This moves our Complete Monster Mad Scientist, to the position of this trope.
- Agnus fills this position for Sanctus in Devil May Cry 4.
- Although one could equally argue that he's the Dragon, as he appears to be the only member of the Order beyond Sanctus who truly understands what's going on, killing him is the last thing that needs to be done before the final confrontation, and the nominal Dragon is a Honor Before Reason Hero Antagonist.
- The player character in Evil Genius, of course.
- Murzhor in Hero's Realm. He's got a bit of Master of Illusion to boot.
- Dr. Elvin Atombender from the Impossible Mission games is a genius computer programmer and former university professor. Although he has been unstable his whole life, he officially became criminally insane when a power failure caused the deletion of an artificial intelligence program that he had nearly finished. The player must stop him from hacking into the defense networks of the world's superpowers and starting a nuclear holocaust.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Folly and Innovation uses this trope here speculating Facebook's origins
- Girl Genius is crawling with them. Even some protagonists, on a few occasions.
- Dr. Nonami has Dr. Mechano, an eccentric yet dangerous evil mastermind.
- Redcloak, who also happens to play Team Evil's Dragon with an Agenda.
- Also, General Tarquin.
"If I win, I get to be a king. If I lose, I get to be a legend."
- Please that's just Genre Savvy. His real genius shines in is his military and political capabilities. He was able to conquer eleven nations in 8 months before he was forced out by a coalition of twenty-six other countries. Then after that he crafted a plan that would get him and his adventuring group into ruling the whole continent by controlling multiple nations through figureheads in a scheme that eventually would absorb the whole continent while still making it look like there are three different empires remaining.
- Wayward Sons: Doctor Chu, who very much enjoys performing torturous experiments on live subjects.
- Elia of True Villains takes over most Evil Genius duties. Just replace technology with magic.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Führer Katrina Seran from v2 of Open Blue was a strategist, Chessmaster, and ship captain who became ruler of her country at the age of 20, possibly due to her own machinations.
- Belial in The Salvation War is one of these, and is the one Baldrick who actually inflicts serious damage on the humans.
- Doctor Steel. Naturally.
- The Global Guardians PBEM Universe has several. Doctor Simian, the Evil Mastermind, Brainchild, and Baron Malthus are the most notable examples.
- In the Whateley Universe, there are lots of Mad Scientist types. The ones who work for other supervillains tend to be characters like Chessmaster or Nimbus. The two of them nearly destroyed Whateley Academy on Halloween.
- Tarantulas of Beast Wars is this all over the place.
- Exo Squad has an entire race of Evil Geniuses called Neo Megas.
- Wraith in The Mighty Ducks, distinguished for mainly using magic when the Big Bad prefers technology.
- Doctor Octopus goes the extra mile by having "Evil Genius" printed on the side of his coffee mug in The Spectacular Spider Man. Although he is subordinate to no one.
- Two examples from Teen Titans- Gizmo is the resident Gadgeteer Genius of the HIVE Five, though his utter lack of people skills keeps him from rising any higher, while the Brain pulls double duty as Evil Genius and Big Bad of the Brotherhood of Evil.
- Heloise on Jimmy Two Shoes, whenever it suits her to work for Lucius.
- Mandark from Dexters Laboratory.
- Darkwing Duck gives as Bushroot, a member of the Fearsome Five group, which makes perfect example of Five-Bad Band.
- Jumba Jookiba from Liloand Stitch likes to call himself this, although both the "evil" and "genius" parts are debatable to a certain extent.
- He actually is a genius; when Spike made him 99% stupid, the remaining 1% was still enough to cook up all sorts of weird gizmos.
- And he was even smarter as an "evil genius child prodigy!"
- Not to mention adorable.
- And he was even smarter as an "evil genius child prodigy!"
- He actually is a genius; when Spike made him 99% stupid, the remaining 1% was still enough to cook up all sorts of weird gizmos.
Baby!Jumba: "Haha! Ewil! Ewil!"