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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Watkins View Post
    I did some thinking on the subject. As fans, we tend to focus on how much enjoyment the character seems to be having while doing something "bad." The more sadistic the more evil. But what if they are just unintentionally evil and simply don't express guilt? Before becoming an LMD, Eric O'Grady routinely ruined the lives of others by simply focusing on his own needs and ignoring his own conscience. He abandoned someone he impregnated after exploiting her grief to get laid. He taunted Cassie Lang after smearing her recently deceased father. He played a prank on Speedball's parents simply to bully his alternate reality counterpart. He would have looked the other way if the Thunderbolts had killed Natasha. Same with Luke Cage. If you're hurting people because it's your job or because you're bored, is that less evil than what Bullseye is up to?
    In his defense (minor defense), Erik is at least aware that he's a complete scumbag.

    Depending on how one looks at sin shades how evil we see characters, IMO. Adam and Eve were cast our of Eden because, once they gained knowledge of good and evil, they had to choose between them. Ignorance is sinless.

    In that regard, I'd say the Red Skull is the most evil. He knows what he does is wrong, he goes to great length to be extra sadistic and his genius (operating a crime syndicate isn't for dummies) could easily enable him to live a better life, if he so chose. But all he does is go around kicking puppies into orbit.

    Compared to him, Sabretooth and Bullseye are just kids with impulse control problems

  2. #77
    Astonishing Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Watkins View Post
    I did some thinking on the subject. As fans, we tend to focus on how much enjoyment the character seems to be having while doing something "bad." The more sadistic the more evil. But what if they are just unintentionally evil and simply don't express guilt? Before becoming an LMD, Eric O'Grady routinely ruined the lives of others by simply focusing on his own needs and ignoring his own conscience. He abandoned someone he impregnated after exploiting her grief to get laid. He taunted Cassie Lang after smearing her recently deceased father. He played a prank on Speedball's parents simply to bully his alternate reality counterpart. He would have looked the other way if the Thunderbolts had killed Natasha. Same with Luke Cage. If you're hurting people because it's your job or because you're bored, is that less evil than what Bullseye is up to?
    I think we label those types somewhere between sociopaths and psychopaths. We tend to think of the latter as lacking deep emotional attachments and a conscience. There's simply nothing there to ignore. All psychopaths are sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are psychopaths. And neither are necessarily violent, although they can be physically aggressive. But the distinction there is that a sociopath would kill you knowing that it was wrong. A psychopath would kill you out of sheer, unthinking impulse or other personal whim. You were just there, unknowingly standing between him and his caramel latte that the barista just set on the counter; and now you're not.

    Yes, some would argue that wanting to willfully hurt anyone for any reason is in itself an act of evil. And it need not be physical pain. There are forms of mental torture that are far worse than physical trauma and far more enduring. But Nature teaches us that pain is a very pervasive and effective teacher. Pain indicates that something is not right, and effective action or inaction must be taken in order to restore harmony to the individual. Even creatures without pain receptors have some sense of harmony with their being and their environment. Fear drives the point home for all living creatures.

  3. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by JudicatorPrime View Post
    I think we label those types somewhere between sociopaths and psychopaths. We tend to think of the latter as lacking deep emotional attachments and a conscience. There's simply nothing there to ignore. All psychopaths are sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are psychopaths. And neither are necessarily violent, although they can be physically aggressive. But the distinction there is that a sociopath would kill you knowing that it was wrong. A psychopath would kill you out of sheer, unthinking impulse or other personal whim. You were just there, unknowingly standing between him and his caramel latte that the barista just set on the counter; and now you're not.

    Yes, some would argue that wanting to willfully hurt anyone for any reason is in itself an act of evil. And it need not be physical pain. There are forms of mental torture that are far worse than physical trauma and far more enduring. But Nature teaches us that pain is a very pervasive and effective teacher. Pain indicates that something is not right, and effective action or inaction must be taken in order to restore harmony to the individual. Even creatures without pain receptors have some sense of harmony with their being and their environment. Fear drives the point home for all living creatures.
    I guess what I'm asking is which is worse? Red Skull is at the top of the list because a lot of what he does is motivated by hate and/or a sense of superiority. Hate crimes seem to have more weight to them. Skull puts a lot of thought into committing atrocities. But are those acts inherently more evil than Bullseye killing a child from a long distance to prove how skilled he is at killing? Bullseye doesn't value life. And is that more evil than ruining your best/only friend's reputation while desecrating his grave? The motivations vary in pettiness definitely. But lives were unapologetically ruined all the way around. Eh, I'm no closer to coming up with a scale to judge these characters by. It's the top 10 genius thread all over again.
    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    I thought I couldn't love Steve Rogers any more than I already do, but here he is, eating pizza with a fork, just like I do (the only correct way to eat pizza

  4. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    In his defense (minor defense), Erik is at least aware that he's a complete scumbag.

    Depending on how one looks at sin shades how evil we see characters, IMO. Adam and Eve were cast our of Eden because, once they gained knowledge of good and evil, they had to choose between them. Ignorance is sinless.
    That might count against him in this case. If he were simply a clueless jerk, he could be educated. Eric was malicious. And the only time he expressed contrition was when fleeing wasn't an option or when he wanted to appear sympathetic. He generally depended on people seeing him as harmless and not a bad guy. His friend Chris, the mother of his child, Mitch Carson all had their moment of shock when they discovered who he really was. that is what happens when someone is a bad person but not resourceful enough that they don't need to hide it. Bullseye can kill from a ridiculous distance. He doesn't need to pretend (but he did as a child). Sabretooth is too freakish in appearance to pretend. I argue that Eric is as bad as the other two but motivated by fear & sexual desire instead of sadism. He realizes his own vulnerability and that he can't operate the same way as a Bullseye. But look at how he used his powers. He broke into the home of a woman who he knew to be uninterested in him to watch her bathe. That was after exploiting her gratitude to get a free meal. He violated her in every way but one (and he didn't rate her very high physically). And it's all because he didn't fear being caught.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    In that regard, I'd say the Red Skull is the most evil. He knows what he does is wrong, he goes to great length to be extra sadistic and his genius (operating a crime syndicate isn't for dummies) could easily enable him to live a better life, if he so chose. But all he does is go around kicking puppies into orbit.

    Compared to him, Sabretooth and Bullseye are just kids with impulse control problems
    I tend to agree but Red Skull was indoctrinated by the national socialist movement. It was a rougher environment in general. He lacked any kind of good influence. And bad behavior was what allowed him to better his situation. In that sense, he's a hateful product of his environment. The facial disfigurement kind of preserves his monstrous self image. I can't say the same for Bullseye. His environment seemingly had less influence than his existing emotional issues. He doesn't value life. And this wasn't a conditioned response. I don't know enough about Creed's mutancy to make a judgement. Should someone nature designed to be an alpha predator be held to a different standard? If I were to judge a housecat by human standards, it would be deserving of lifelong incarceration.
    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    I thought I couldn't love Steve Rogers any more than I already do, but here he is, eating pizza with a fork, just like I do (the only correct way to eat pizza

  5. #80
    Astonishing Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Watkins View Post
    I guess what I'm asking is which is worse? Red Skull is at the top of the list because a lot of what he does is motivated by hate and/or a sense of superiority. Hate crimes seem to have more weight to them. Skull puts a lot of thought into committing atrocities. But are those acts inherently more evil than Bullseye killing a child from a long distance to prove how skilled he is at killing? Bullseye doesn't value life. And is that more evil than ruining your best/only friend's reputation while desecrating his grave? The motivations vary in pettiness definitely. But lives were unapologetically ruined all the way around. Eh, I'm no closer to coming up with a scale to judge these characters by. It's the top 10 genius thread all over again.
    Mens rea matters, but outside of levying punishment I don't think it's necessary to draw gradation or distinction between the examples. No need to rationalize or find one act more palatable than the other. They are equally repugnant. In both we have individuals who intended harm to the point of death to an innocent. What they get out of the vile act, their satisfaction, is irrelevant to me. These situations are the reason why some religions have multiple versions of Hell. But as a layman, and one above ground where matters of the spirit take a back seat to corporeal concerns, both men are heinously and irredeemably wicked. If the choice is mine, I want both men fitted for "Old Sparky" and sent posthaste to whichever Hell will have their damned souls.

  6. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by JudicatorPrime View Post
    Mens rea matters, but outside of levying punishment I don't think it's necessary to draw gradation or distinction between the examples. No need to rationalize or find one act more palatable than the other. They are equally repugnant. In both we have individuals who intended harm to the point of death to an innocent. What they get out of the vile act, their satisfaction, is irrelevant to me. These situations are the reason why some religions have multiple versions of Hell. But as a layman, and one above ground where matters of the spirit take a back seat to corporeal concerns, both men are heinously and irredeemably wicked. If the choice is mine, I want both men fitted for "Old Sparky" and sent posthaste to whichever Hell will have their damned souls.
    I don't disagree. But, as a non-religious individual, I am curious where everyone drew the line. The depiction of Hell and how you wind up there is a bit inconsistent in the comics. All of these characters have witnessed resurrection. The worst of them appear to routinely cheat death and justice. And Satan has a lot more competition.
    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    I thought I couldn't love Steve Rogers any more than I already do, but here he is, eating pizza with a fork, just like I do (the only correct way to eat pizza

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Watkins View Post
    I tend to agree but Red Skull was indoctrinated by the national socialist movement. It was a rougher environment in general. He lacked any kind of good influence. And bad behavior was what allowed him to better his situation. In that sense, he's a hateful product of his environment. The facial disfigurement kind of preserves his monstrous self image. I can't say the same for Bullseye. His environment seemingly had less influence than his existing emotional issues. He doesn't value life. And this wasn't a conditioned response. I don't know enough about Creed's mutancy to make a judgement. Should someone nature designed to be an alpha predator be held to a different standard? If I were to judge a housecat by human standards, it would be deserving of lifelong incarceration.
    Actually, Red Skull wasn't indoctrinated by the Nazis. He was just a lucky bellhop who walked in on a pissed off Hitler, who thought he could make Skully better than his lieutenants

  8. #83
    Incredible Member GrandEleven's Avatar
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    For me there's often a gap between evil that comes from analyzing the feats, and evil amplified by how its written.

    So for example, the Purple Man always felt uncomfortably evil, way more so the Mr. Sinister even though his plot lines are more twisted in concept. So Id rank him near or possibly at the top of my list simply because of his execution.

  9. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Actually, Red Skull wasn't indoctrinated by the Nazis. He was just a lucky bellhop who walked in on a pissed off Hitler, who thought he could make Skully better than his lieutenants
    did you read the Red Skull Incarnate series?
    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    I thought I couldn't love Steve Rogers any more than I already do, but here he is, eating pizza with a fork, just like I do (the only correct way to eat pizza

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Watkins View Post
    did you read the Red Skull Incarnate series?
    I prefer original canon

    Ya know, the one that doesn't bother to give a sympathetic origin to a guy who's always been pure evil.

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