The 8 Best Evil Robots From Cartoons
With the release of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, we’ve once again been reminded that we should never build robots. And if mankind is to survive the inevitable robot uprising, we need our kids to be wary of malevolent A.I. We owe a great deal to these cartoon robots, who are doing the down-and-dirty work of training kids that robots are evil. Here are the most evil robots from cartoons!
Bender of Futurama was lovable, and a true friend to Fry, but he was also a genuinely evil robot. Always up to no good, Bender lived off of alcohol and had no regard for other people’s lives. Sure, Bender would have moments where he seemed like a nice guy, but he also had moments where he kicked his own child into a volcano.
While human Santa Claus is a nice guy (what with the whole giving presents to the entire world thing), Robot Santa is a nightmare. Also on Futurama, Robot Santa was built to serve as a real life Santa Claus, but was programmed so strictly he labeled everyone “naughty”. Then, instead of giving those on the wrong side of his list coal, Robot Santa would murder them. People would barricade themselves in their homes and huddle in fear on Christmas night, hoping that Santa would not show up. This was a great spin on the character and he became one of the show’s recurring villains, because only Futurama could pull off having Santa Claus as a villain.
The Robot made many a deal with the Futurama characters, and in true devil form, those deals ended up hurting more than they helped. The Robot Devil was also a skilled musician, which is of course a power he uses for pure evil. However, he is shown to be fair and honors agreements even when they don’t work out in his favor, unlike the real devil, who has a crack team of lawyers ready to get him out of any pact he doesn’t feel like honoring.
In Superman: The Animated Series, Brainiac was the A.I. of Krypton’s computer systems, and worked to discredit Superman’s father, who knew the planet was doomed. Braniac would later come to Earth and find Superman, who was understandably a little peeved that Brainiac essentially destroyed Krypton. Brainiac had no regard for human life, and would later one of the major villains throughout the Justice League Unlimited series. Brainiac was actually able to trick Lex Luthor into doing its bidding, which is a big accomplishment.
Appearing in Batman: The Animated Series, H.A.R.D.A.C. was a sentient computer that created android duplicates of prominent city officials in an attempt to take control of Gotham. Batman eventually defeated the A.I., but only after fighting off robotic versions of his closest friends. While replacing humanity with robots is pretty evil, the A.I.’s next appearance was truly disturbing. A Batman robot survived the initial defeat, but was damaged in the process. When it was accidentally activated, it wasn’t aware that it wasn’t the real Batman. This led to one of the series’ more heartbreaking episodes, where the robot had to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t real. It eventually tries to take over the world, but then ends up sacrificing itself because it was programmed to act like Batman, and Batman is a hero.
The DC animated universe loved robots with half their human skin hanging off. John Corbett was a mercenary easily defeated by Superman who was later tricked by Lex Luthor into placing his consciousness into a robot body. The thing that made Corbett a threat was that he was powered by Kryptonite, Superman’s only weakness. Corbett would eventually go crazy when he realized that his robot body couldn’t actually feel anymore, and on top of that nightmare, he’d always end trapped at the bottom of the ocean or encased in lava, unable to move but still completely aware.
When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came to TV, the producers changes their enemies, the Foot Clan, from human ninjas into robots. That way, Leonardo could slice through as many robots as he wants to with his swords and no one would care. The Foot Clan was silent and uncaring, and while they weren’t all that intelligent (none of the villains on this show were), they were still intimidating. I always wondered what they looked like under the masks, but I’m glad I never found out. I feel like the answer would be horrifying.
Like the Foot Soldiers, Mousers were great villains for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show because, being robots, the turtles could fight them without having to deal with any gore. The Mousers were designed to catch rats and mice, which of course made Splinter pretty uncomfortable, and were eventually reprogrammed to go after the Turtles as well. The Mousers never actually succeeded in eating anyone alive, because that’s literally the worst way to die. If they had ever succeeded, though, the result would have been like the end of any old zombie movie, which is completely inappropriate for a kid’s show.
Which cartoon robot was the worst? Let me know on Twitter or leave a comment below!