7 Times The Bad Guy Won In Pop Culture

7 Times The Bad Guy Won In Pop Culture

As franchises drag on and on, creators sometimes wonder what would happen if the bad guy actually got what they wanted? What if he took over the world and killed his enemies and whatnot? Of course, all villains are defeated eventually, but before they are, our heroes can be in for a weird ride. Here are seven examples of the bad guy winning in genre work.


Lex Luthor’s presidency


Lex Luthor’s extended presidency in the DC Universe during the early aughts was one of the best examples of a villain winning and gaining power. The “President Luthor” arc’s best story was also its last — in Jeph Loeb’s and Ed McGuinness’s Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Luthor, like all egotists, is taken down by his own hubris.


Mojo Jojo (The Powerpuff Girls)

The Powerpuff Girls ended by doing something could only do in the final episode — their archnemesis Mojo Jojo won. When Mojo Jojo gets the key to the city in a bizarre accident, he ends up ruling Townsville for… the better?? Townsville is healed, although Mojo can’t bottle up his destructive habits, and the show ended with the Powerpuff Girls beating Mojo for one final time.


Venom (Spider-Man: Reign)

Spider-Man: Reign isn’t the most beloved story in comic book circles, what with its bizarre Dark Knight Returns vibe and the fact that Spider-Man had, uh, poisoned sperm. But one of the cooler things it does is give Venom a position of power, rising up the ladder to infect the world with his symbiote. The sight of Venom as a grinning demon surrounded by stupefied yes man remains powerful still.


Norman Osborn (Dark Reign)

In Dark Reign, a story with roots in the Bush era of mass surveillance and paranoia, Norman Osborn become the head of both SHIELD and the Avengers, eventually taking over for Iron Man. His superhero persona, the Iron Patriot, was a gauche combination of the two Avengers founders. Osborn used his place in government to get petty revenge.


The Red Skull (Old Man Logan)

In Old Man Logan, the Mark Millar/Steve McNiven comic that is the basis for the upcoming Logan movie, we see Wolverine as one of the last surviving heroes in a post-apocalyptic landscape where the bad guys won, including the Red Skull becoming president. Wolverine makes short work of him, though, and returns home to destroy the most repulsive version of the Hulk that Marvel has ever put to paper.


The King of Ooo (Adventure Time)

The King of Ooo, in the second most upsetting election victory of the past few years, beat Princess Bubblegum in an Ooo election, and promptly dropped the ball when it came to comets and vampires. The King of Ooo was a goon and was ultimately defeated during the Stakes miniseries (in a manner that was undignified for a princess).


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