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They murdered my mother when I was but an infant! And now they have slain my father! They'll pay for this! All of mankind shall pay!
~ Victor Von Doom swearing vengeance on the world for the deaths of his parents.

Seekers of Vengeance (or "Vengeful Villains") are villains who commit their crimes under the premise of vengeance (also called retribution or revenge), whether it be for a wrong committed against them or their people/race, something done to hurt their friends/families, a heroic action that caused them great loss, a personal reason, etc.

They are similar to a Nemesis, but with a few slight differences. First of all, a Seeker of Vengeance is a specific type of Nemesis, being concerned only with revenge, while a Nemesis encompasses all types of motivations.

Also, a Nemesis is an enemy who is created through the hero's own actions, but a Seeker of Vengeance might already be an enemy to the hero and is seeking revenge for a perceived wrong dealt to them by the hero (i.e. Opal Koboi from Artemis Fowl). Seekers of Vengeance may also be pursuing revenge against neutral characters or even other villains in Evil Vs. Evil scenarios (for example, Ransik or Jean Descole).

There are several types of Seekers of Vengeance:

  • Villains who want revenge on the hero for defeating a previous antagonist who was in some way close to them (for example, Simon Gruber is obsessed with avenging the death of his brother Hans on John McClane, Prometheus wanted to avenge the death of his father at the hands of the Arrow, etc.).
  • Villains who are embittered into vengeance by an unfortunate but inevitable act by the hero (For example, the Hood's actions in the Thunderbirds film are after the Thunderbirds left him to die in a mining accident, because they could find no way to save him, Rumpelstiltskin wanted vengeance on Shrek for saving Princess Fiona before he could make a deal with the King and Queen, etc)
  • Villains who want revenge for the murder of their families by a government or country, or a certain tragedy that happened before they were born (Alec Trevelyan seeks vengeance for the British betrayal of the Lienz Cossacks that led to his parents' suicides, Emperor Tachyon desired to destroy the Lombaxes after he learned about how they destroyed his people, etc.).
  • Villains who have clashed with the hero repeatedly in the past, and want revenge for previous defeats by said hero (Doctor Claw spends the entire Inspector Gadget franchise seeking to get his own back on Inspector Gadget, who repeatedly defeats him out of pure coincidence or accident, Impostor Dan wanted revenge on the real Dan for having him sent to prison for six months for the latter's crimes, etc.).
  • Villains who were traumatized as children by a hero, a relative, a friend of the hero, or even another villain (Magneto spent the bulk of his youth and early adulthood hunting down Sebastian Shaw for murdering his mother, Dick Grayson wanted to kill all superheroes after suffering from years of Batman's abuse, etc.).
  • Villains who want retribution for the hero deliberately or inadvertently humiliating or rejecting them, especially if they used to be long-term friends or even relatives (Syndrome was rejected by Mr. Incredible, his childhood idol, for refusing to partner with him, and consequently is obsessed with destroying his former hero, Kai wanted to destroy Oogway's legacy after he "betrayed" him and banished him to the spirit realm, etc.).
  • Villains who have stayed in the shadow of the hero their whole lives, and want to outshine the hero as a result (Prime examples include Horrid Henry, Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scar and Happy Chapman)

Even ​by ​simply mentioning the name of the person/group who they felt have wronged them can, at times, send them into an uncontrollable and violent rage.

Their opposite are Forgivers.

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