The Generic doomsday villain, also known as the "I'm going to destroy the world because I'm evil!" villain is an overpowering antagonist with no clear charisma, motive, or plan behind their actions.
They do not fancy themselves to be doing the right thing, they're not driven by envy, they have no personal vendetta against any of their victims or enemies, they're not being compelled in any way, they are not in it for the money or power, they're not seeking revenge for any real or imagined wrong done to them, they're not trying to satiate their excessive pride, they're not even a sadist who enjoys hurting people for the fun of it. They may have an objective, but they never explain nor have a coherent reason behind it. Essentially, the villain is a flat character, solely defined by the threat they pose and nothing more.
Important Note: Complete Monsters are required to have a personality and established motivations for being cruel and relentlessly evil, therefore they can never be GDVs no matter how boring or poorly written they are, so don't add any CMs here.
Why This Trope Can't Destroy the World Just Because It's Evil
- Nearly every time this is used, the character is basically a walking plot device who only exist to cause conflict to their world.
- They never have any properly explained motivations for their actions, or even any defining personality traits or entertainment factors to make up for it, which makes the villain very dull to watch.
- With the villain in this position, the audience can't really have a proper reaction towards them.
- Very often, these characters will be portrayed as an absolute threat or extremely dark and menacing, even though they barely do anything warranting that title.
- Having a clear-cut villain with obviously evil motives and no redeeming qualities can be preferable to the modern trend of villains who try to be somehow sympathetic but fail completely at this and/or are being used as a way for the writers to lecture the viewers about their political beliefs.
- Some of them can rather be entertaining:
- like Skeletor from the He-Man franchise, even with the motivations of his being very simple, he's an interesting foil to the protagonist.
- or Steppenwolf from the DCEU and Thanos from MCU have improved with better motivations. However, unlike Steppenwolf Thanos actually nearly succeeds and would have if Iron Man didn't step in.