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• 1/6/2019

Pure Evil Removal Proposal: Steppenwolf (Justice League 2017)

I don't care what TV Tropes says, Steppenwolf from Justice League 2017 is NOT Pure Evil, he's a Generic Doomsday Villain and it's an insult to the Pure Evil category to include him here. People were up in arms when Broly was suggested for PE, but somehow Steppenwolf gets it with little fuss; at least Broly was motivated by his own sadism and desire to fight, Steppenwolf just does bad things because he's evil.


Really, the main reason why I oppose Steppenwolf being considered Pure Evil is that he's really not a character at all, he's a walking plot device. He does bad things, but there's no personality behind him that compels him to commit these actions beyond the fact that he's the antagonist. If we look at Pure Evil villains like Palpatine, the Joker, Frieza, Frollo etc, we can see that both these villains have a personality that guides their actions. Their thought process may be utterly inhuman and twisted to most moral people, but they're established well enough to make their actions believable in the story even if they are driven by things as simple as sadism, hunger for power, inflated egotism etc. Steppenwolf has none of these, instead he acts as the villain because that's his role and nothing else.


Steppenwolf, sure he may have a backstory, he conquered planets for Darkseid until he failed to conquer Earth and was banished, causing him to want to conquer Earth to redeem himself. But why did he conquer all those other planets? Because he was enslaved by Darkseid to do so? Well that makes him sympathetic and tragic, which are also disqualifiers for Pure Evil. Still I can't blame people for not recalling his backstory, I honestly forgot about it until I read his character page given how little it actually factors into the plot and his character.


In conclusion, Steppenwolf is a Generic Doomsday Villain who does bad things because he's bad. While he has a backstory, it actually makes him a sympathetic (albeit terribly done) villain and only further mitigates his status. I haven't read the comics so I don't know if the comic book version of the character was a well done Pure Evil villain, but this CGI monstrosity certainly isn't one and its an affront on the category to call him that.

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Red Chevalier
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• 1/7/2019

I can't really see planetary genocide as standard villain fare.

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• 1/7/2019

@MenInBlak When I said "standard villain fare" I was referring to his personality. It's not that much different from a mustache-twirling Snidely Whiplash who does bad things because he can.

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• 1/7/2019

I'm...super undecided. While the removal of Steppenwolf from the PE category seems like an effective step in shying away from TV Tropes's standards, and the character seems to be a Generic Doomsday Villain according to the removal proposal, all arguments here claim that Steppenwolf has an established character.

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• 1/7/2019

@Looperreallyreallysucks He has a character, but it's only that he's evil and conquers stuff. He's about as deep as the shallow end of the pool.

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• 1/7/2019

Hell no. He has a personality, and his destruction of several planets is not only seen, but he had done it enough to establish a pattern.

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• 1/7/2019

That, and having a simple personality is not a requirement for being PE. Not every villain needs to be immensely complex.

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• 1/8/2019

Keep. conquered those worlds out of sadism and believing in Darkseids "Death to the weak" philosophy. If he was enslaved or brainwashed then he would be a parademon, he isn't, he's just a willing follower. His backstory dosent make him sympathetic, he was a sadistic warlord who wants to reclaim his position. I myself find him boring but that dosent mean he's a generic doomsday villain, he has personality it just means I don't find him interesting.

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• 1/8/2019

From what I read here, "keep".


Verdict:

Cut-1

Keep-8

Undecided-2

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• 1/9/2019

Yeah I'll concede, but only if because Steppenwolf's existence itself in the movie is Pure Evil.