The Other Side: 25 Classic Kids Cartoon Characters Reimagined As Powerful Villains

It is good to be bad! Well, when it comes to these beloved cartoon characters, that was not an option until today!

Studios like Disney and Nickelodeon are slightly obliged to present decent role models for their viewers. Even though it might be a joy to watch anti-heroes and darker protagonists cause havoc, they are a rarity in children shows. In general, cartoon protagonists are as slick and clean as possible. While their motives might not always be altruistic, they nearly never venture down an outright villainous path unless they are being controlled by one of their antagonists.

Even if the studios have to pull back from showing their cartoon heroes completely joining the dark side, artists are free from any such restraints! Always dreamed of seeing Scooby Doo's Velma or Daria in a terrifying new light? The internet has your back! Villains tend to be the most interesting characters, but their allure is further magnified if they once fought for the right team. Villains turn heroic all of the time, but the other way round is a rarity. In those instances when it does happen, the "hero" reveals that they were always an antagonist.

We are definitely not in Kansas anymore. Here 25 kids cartoons reimagined as villains!

25 Aurora Awakens

Via fernl.deviantart.com

Okay, FERNL's Aurora is impressive, but it would take something truly special to usurp Maleficent as Sleeping Beauty's villain. We are not trying to reign on the princess' parade, as she clearly put in a lot of effort into crafting a cool new image, but Aurora is not ready to play with the big dogs. Recently, Disney seems to be prioritizing protagonists over villains, but that was hardly the case with their earlier productions. That is not a slight against Snow White or Cinderella, but they lack the pizzazz of their antagonists.

From a storytelling perspective, it makes sense that the protagonists are rather bland, as this allows the viewer to place themselves in their shoes. On the flip side, the villains are free to cut loose and have a good time. Nobody needs to empathize with their blight, so they can be as outlandish and scene-chewing as feasibly possible. Aurora's new clothes are a nice touch but she needs a lot more than just that to stand alongside Disney's classic villains.

However, this is a solid first step. The new color scheme compliments Aurora's angelic appearance and those pumpkins enhance the ambiance. If nothing else, she might be better than Angelina Jolie's Maleficent.

24 Shego Meets Her Match

Via turbolover175.deviantart.com

Disney Channel's Kim Possible centered around a near perfect high school student who saves the world during her side job. Sharing similarities to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle crafted a thoroughly engaging action-comedy packed with loveable characters. Bolstered by snappy dialogue and a consistent desire to subvert stereotypes, Disney's series introduced one of the best protagonist and antagonist in the game.

Hailing from a superhero family, Shego is genuinely a former hero who joined the dark side.

Sadly, we only get snippets of her past as a warrior for justice, but Shego's background adds a layer of depth to the character. Suddenly, she was more than just a foil for the young crime fighter. Turbolover175 twists things around by turning everyone's favorite ginger high schooler into a pawn for evil! Set in an alternate reality, a manipulative gas was released that influenced Kim's psyche and changed the noble protagonist into her own worst nightmare. Younger and a lot more focused than her arch-rival, an evil Kim is one that cannot be defeated! In this universe, would Shego act as the hero? Or, are they both working for the same team? In that case, Ron has his work cut out for him.

23 Blossom's New Clothes

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Produced by Cartoon Network, Samurai Jack and The Powerpuff Girls reside among the top-tier of Western cartoons. Ignoring the latter's recent reboot, the classic series lasted for seven seasons and regularly delivered the goods. Admittedly, Craig McCracken's superhero cartoon lost a bit of steam towards the end, but the earlier episodes offered more than enough action and humor to satisfy viewers of all ages.

For a children's show, Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack is incredibly ambitious. The fight scenes are a sight to behold and the cartoon's sparse dialogue greatly enhances the atmosphere. Aku, the Master of Darkness, serves as the main antagonist and the eponymous samurai's reason for being. Throughout the five seasons, Jack is driven by a desperate need to free Earth from the villain's sinister rule. Unlike The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack's recent update eclipsed the high quality set by its original run.

Aesthetically, the cartoons experience quite a bit of overlap. The Powerpuff Girls' roster of villains would not be out of place on an episode of Samurai Jack. Crazydemonkitty imagines what would happen if the leader of the superhero team where to meet Aku. If this picture is any indication, it might be best to leave them as far away from each other as possible. Earth's future depends on it!

22 Raven Is Her Father's Daughter

Via cerberuslives.deviantart.com

Teen Titans' awesomeness cannot be denied and Raven played a substantial part in the cartoon's success. Putting aside Cartoon Network's adaptation, DC's superheroine has been around since 1980. The daughter of a demon named Trigon, Raven is undoubtedly the most powerful member of the group. Capable of manipulating matter with her mind, the hero's abilities are driven by her emotional state and they can be rather unstable. In order to maintain control, Raven employs meditative techniques to always remain calm.

Due to her heritage, the gothic superheroine is stuck in a constant struggle. 

Trigon is always trying to manipulate his daughter, so Raven has to remain at the top of her game or risk losing herself to the darkness. New Titans #121 showed the consequences of such a personal defeat.

As the beloved teenager is always teetering at the brink, CerberusLives' Dark Raven feels absurdly real. During the cartoon's Slade arc, Teen Titans teased turning the Azarathian into a temporary villain but held back from going the distance. As the most popular member of the team, the internet is littered with fanart dedicated to the Titan, so a Dark Raven is only a click away!

21 A Jinkies Apocalypse

Via dccomics.com

In 2016, DC Comics surprised their fanbase by announcing Scooby Apocalypse, a dark retelling of Hanna-Barbera's classic franchise about a semi-anthropomorphic Great Dane and a couple of meddling teenagers. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! launched at the end of the '60s and spawned more than ten sequels. With Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island and Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost, the '90s ranks among the best decades for the franchise! Apparently, whenever "zombie" is included in the title, Scooby-Doo tends to knock it out of the park.

Scooby Apocalypse flings the popular gang into a disastrous situation that is well beyond their pay grade. In this series, the monsters are real and the Scooby team is in a struggle for survival. As always, Velma is the cornerstone of the gang but certain decisions made by the scientist result in dire consequences. Issue 10 of the comic series finds the iconic detective taking on the role of antagonist, as she launches her reign as the "Warrior Queen of Monsterworld!"

Scooby Apocalypse is an insanely dark reimagining of the beloved series, one that is not designed for the purest or children. Anyone yearning for a fun depiction of Velma should definitely give this a whirl!

20 The Snow Queen

Via yamino.deviantart.com

Frozen is a timeless tale. Technically, Disney's animated blockbuster hit the scene in 2013, but the studio had been trying to adapt Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen since the late 1930s. Unfortunately, Walt Disney struggled to update the title character for a target audience. In the original short story, the Snow Queen was rather ambiguous but strayed closer to villainy than heroics. When it comes to over-the-top antagonists, Disney rarely hesitates, but the Snow Queen was far from your standard baddie. Importantly, she played no part in the story's conclusion.

Elsa is the end result of nearly a century of pre-production. As the decades rolled by and the social landscape morphed, the Snow Queen's appearance shapeshifted to compliment the time period. For the longest time, Disney planned for Elsa to be Frozen's villain. In due time, history proved that to not be the case, but a handful of concept art pieces remain of original Snow Queen.

Frozen is a pretty great flick, but we kind of wish Disney stuck to their original plan!

At least, that seems to be what was going through Yamino's mind when the artist created this chilling portrait. Based on Brittney Lee's concept art, Elsa is being drawn to the dark side by her alter ego.

19 Maybe, We Should Stick To The Old World...

Via ceruleanraven.deviantart.com

Technically, Disney's Pocahontas set the title character's age at around 18-years-old, a decision that made her relationship with John Smith a lot more palatable. Even though the studio tried to establish Pocahontas as a mature woman, her historical counterpart was only a child. Historians do not seem to believe Smith and Pocahontas' interactions were driven by any romantic feelings, with the girl never marrying the former. Disney just could not help themselves!

In some ways, Pocahontas served as a precursor for Moana. Following up The Lion King and Aladdin, Disney's 1995 release struggled to meet the lofty standards set by its predecessors and launched a rather lackluster period for Mickey Mouse. The film had good intentions but struggled to find the right balance between fantasy and reality, an issue only made worse in 1996's Hunchback of Notre Dame. Those gargoyles STILL haunt us!

If Disney's Pocahontas looked anything like CeruleanRaven' picture, we would have been in for a completely different movie! Part of the artist's "Elementals" series, the young Native Powhatan woman's affinity with nature makes her the perfect candidate to control the element of Earth. As for the other elements; Mulan is fire, Ariel is water, and Jasmine is wind. Captain Planet is only one heart away from a reboot.

18 Poison Ivy (With A Gothic Touch)

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Danny Fenton might wear the superhero pants, but Sam Manson is Danny Phantom's true superstar. Introduced as a potential love interest for the protagonist, the self-proclaimed goth transcended any limitations set by her secondary role. A lesser series would have relegated Manson to a plot device for Danny to rescue, but this teenager is not your typical Lois Lane.

While she does identify as a goth, Sam's fashion sense is more of a declaration of her independence than anything else. Removing Manson's sense of freedom is easily the worst thing someone can put her through. As long as the teenager actively decided to turn evil, then she should be good to go.

PurfectPrincessGirl's thorny creation is based on a Danny Phantom's Season 3 episode called Urban Jungle. A villainous planet takes over Amity Park and turns Sam against Danny. Plant Queen Sam looked pretty cool, but PurfectPrincessGirl added her own personal touch to take it up a couple of notches. In this version, Sam's attire seems heavily inspired by DC's Poison Ivy, a similarity too risky for a latter-day Nickelodeon.

17 Blackhole

Via iorx.deviantart.com

Introduced in 1980, DC combined a fair few existing characters to create Starfire. Outlined in the book Modern Masters, Volume 2: George Pérez, the artist envisioned Starfire as Red Sonja in space, just with a touch of Mighty Mouse added for good measure. An alien princess from Tamaran, Starfire's innocence complimented Raven's pessimism and Robin's rigidness. Physically, the teenager would not look out of place on a high school campus, but there are a couple of tiny touches that harbor back to her roots.

Focusing squarely on Teen Titans, Starfire's optimism is rather contagious.

In terms of potential, Raven is the strongest member of the group, but Starfire tends to be the most useful. Unlike her gothic counterpart, the Tamaranean's abilities are not dictated by emotions, so she controls them a lot more freely. While we would restrain from describing the superheroine as naive, she nearly always tries to see the best in people.

If someone gets on Starfire's naughty list, they are greeted with some "righteous fury." When it comes to iorX's painting, whoever angered the Titan should prepare themselves for a world of hurt! Created using Photoshop CS3, iorX's dramatic take on DC's popular teenager could easily slip into a page of their comics.

16 Red And The Wolf

Via alanamccarthyart.deviantart.com

Tracing back to the 10th century, Little Red Riding Hood is one of those fairy tales that never ages. At this point, it is so well known that children are practically born with the story upload into their memories. Seriously, try to remember a time when you did not know Little Red Riding Hood and see if it possible.

In 1934, Walt Disney adapted the fairy tale into an animated short called The Big Bad Wolf, but that is merely a single example of more than a dozen versions. A decade later, Looney Tunes' Little Red Riding Rabbit infused a smidge of that Warner Bros wacky charm into the classic folktale and the end results were glorious!

After all these years and adaptations, discovering a truly original Little Red Riding Hood is near impossible. We have seen authentic, comedic, and horror versions; frankly, Little Red Riding Hood has overstayed its welcome. Painted using acrylic and altered digitally, AlanaMcCarthyArt's "Red Riding Hood" matures the girl a couple of years and it works out for the best. Whether intentional or not, this rendition altered the power struggle between the wolf and Red. We would think twice before eating that apple.

15 When Pessimism Turns Into Nihilism

Via akiyodjun.deviantart.com

Daria lasted for five seasons and remains one of MTV Animation's best releases. Harboring back to Scooby-Doo's Velma, Daria Morgendorffer promoted personality traits that are rarely prioritized in fictional teenagers. Caring little about the social ladder or popular trends, the cartoon's title character subverted stereotypes and challenged the status quo. Intelligent but cynical, Daria's pessimism kept her sane in a town packed with madness.

Generally, the protagonist appears alongside her best friend Jane and her immediate family. Set during her high school years, Daria's realistic outlook on the world does not mesh well with typical suburban life and values. Even though the eponymous character might not be the most positive person out there, she never completely disconnects from the rest of society.

Entitled "Dark Daria," AkiyoDjun pushed the teenager's pessimism beyond its limit. Honestly, she kind of seems at peace, like there is simply no point in worry anymore. If she cannot change the world for the better, why bothering stressing about anything? Now, the only question that remains pertains to that skull; how did Daria get her hands on one? It might simply be a decoration, but she does not seem like the type of person who would take shortcuts...

14 A Twisted Hook

Via jeftoon01.deviantart.com

Peter Pan's debut occurred in J.M. Barrie's The Little White Bird, an adult novel released in 1902. At that point in his career, the iconic boy was nothing more than a seven-year-old baby and shared only a handful of similarities with the icon he was destined to become. A couple of years later, Barrie penned a play entitled Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and the character's popularity skyrocketed to new heights.

Is there any other novel that better encapsulates Disney's dedication to child-like wonder than Peter Pan? Hailed as one of the greatest escapist stories of all time, Barrie's novel has been adapted into multiple films over the years. In 1991, Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, and Dustin Hoffman joined forces to tackle the next chapter in Peter's battle with Captain Hook. Thrashed by critics but adored by many, Hook was a mixed bag to say the least. Still, Wendy deserved better than a glorified cameo!

Jeftoon01's "Twisted Princess" series presents fans with a glimpse through the looking glass. The author even goes as far as to include a small explanation as to why Wendy accepted the pirate life. After a brief encounter with Hook, the girl ends up tied to an anchor and on a one-way ticket towards the bottom of the sea. With Pan unable to mount a rescue, something else ends up pulling Wendy out of the water.

13 Wait! There Is An "Evil" Version Of Mandy?!?

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Remember that part in the introduction about kids cartoons requiring positive role models? When it comes to The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, this rule can be thrown out of the window! There is no such thing as a hero in the city of Endsville. When the Grim Reaper is the most sympathetic character on the show, then you know you are in for something special.

Juxtaposed with Billy's cheerful stupidity, Mandy is bitter, ruthless, and intelligent.

Barely able to smile, this 9-year-old girl's icy stare can freeze the most active volcanoes. Even if there are moments that depict Many as a villain, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy generally provides a justifiable reason for her actions. With Billy as a best friend, at one point or another, everyone sees red.

NeoSlashott's Mandy has taken over as the new Reaper. To be perfectly honest, this version hardly seems scarier than the original, but her power-up is worth fearing. If a normal Mandy is practically unstoppable, we cannot imagine what this one can do! The planet will never be the same again and the afterlife just got a whole lot more interesting.

12 Next To Sasuke, Evil Naruto Is STILL A Better Hokage Candidate


For a while, things were touch and go for Naruto Uzumaki. Sure, the shinobi might not have a mean bone in his body, but the Nine-Tailed Beast residing within the teenager had other plans. Right out of the gate, Naruto saved the Hidden Leaf Village by sealing away the destructive Kurama. Shunned by the ungrateful villagers, Naruto dreamed of one day becoming Hokage and, more importantly, earning his place alongside Sasuke and Sakura. It was a long road but the loud hero proved up to the challenge.

Ignoring how the story progressed, the fact that Naruto managed to avoid slipping down the wrong path is beyond incredible. Just think about it; this was a shunned kid who unwittingly served as a vessel for a powerful beast. With no father or mother, Naruto lived a life of solitude and yearned for a slither of companionship. Naruto firmly stacked the deck against its protagonist, which made his character development that much more rewarding.

Forsakenlight77's take on evil Naruto is jaw-dropping and this version could easily have come to pass. Thankfully, Uzumaki's stomach is only matched by his kindness and optimism.

11 Rise Of The Dark Danny

Via chillydragon.deviantart.com

Okay - this is a pretty awesome crossover! Frankly, we are slightly annoyed that we did not think of it ourselves. Pushing past their different animation styles, Jack Frost and Danny Fenton could easily pass for superpowered twins. Blending action, comedy, and romance; Butch Hartman's Danny Phantom lasted for three seasons on Nickelodeon, which is around ten to short. The premise is pretty straightforward: Danny enters the Ghost Zone and transforms into a superhero.

Directed by Peter Ramsey and distributed by Paramount Pictures, Rise of the Guardians brought together a slew of mystical beings to form a superhero team akin to The Avengers. As the young teen with a chip on his shoulders, Jack Frost is the group's resident troublemaker and the cartoon's reluctant hero.

Chillydragon breaks through the boundaries separating these two franchises to accommodate this dream match. Rather than going for a hero vs hero fight, the author preferred to put Danny through a heel turn, leaving Frost to clean up the mess. Due to past encounters with villains like the Kemper, Jack's ice powers are hardly going to surprise Fenton!

10 Broken Glass

Via daekazu.deviantart.com

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs started Disney's story. Produced in 1937, Walt Disney adapted the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale into a full-length cel animated feature film. While the studio had a couple of animated shorts underneath their belt, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs established Disney as a brand. At the 11th Academy Awards, Walt received an Honorary Oscar and the film's musical score earned a nomination.

Whether Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ranks among your favorite Disney films or not is beside the point, as the film's importance cannot be questioned. Due to its hand-drawn animation, this 81-year-old classic refuses to age. Digital techniques have their uses, but nothing compares to traditional Disney.

Admittedly, Daekazu comes insanely close to eclipsing the studio's classic animation style. "Art" is completely subjective, but we feel confident in describing this rendition of Snow White as beautiful. The internet is a better place with Daekazu's work in it and anyone yearning to browse through more of the author's portfolio should visit his profile page. As a character, Snow White is pretty unassuming, so this is a welcome departure from the classic version.

9 Goddess Of The Underworld

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Distributed in 1997, Hercules owns a rather odd spot in Disney's filmography. Unlike Pocahontas or Hunchback of Notre Dame, the studio's sugary rendition on Greek mythology seems to be mostly forgotten. Both critics and audiences enjoyed the film, but Hercules is hardly going to feature heavily in a discussion of everyone's favorite Disney releases. Frankly, we blame the protagonist! Hercules is so forgettable and bland, he might as well be starring in a Transformers sequel. Anyone familiar with God of War or ancient history knows that Greek mythology is far from PG, so Disney circumvented the juicier sections of Hercules' personality and lore.

In spite of an underwhelming hero, Hercules boasts a fantastic villain and female lead. 

James Woods' Hades carries the film on his fiery shoulders, but Susan Egan's Meg deserves quite a bit of praise. Independent, likable, and experienced; Disney threw out the rulebook while writing Meg's character. A woman and NOT a teenager, Meg has more charm in her finger than Hercules has in his entire body!

If Hades and Meg are awesome, then combining the two should lead to impeccable results! TheNamelessDoll's Meg trades her humanity for a bit of fire and brimstone; clearly, the decision paid off.

8 Mickey Mouse Rules The World

Via chico-110.deviantart.com

Enlisting the help of Marvel and Star Wars, Disney's place as the king of the mountain is cemented. Among the most powerful studios on the planet, Walt Disney's company has come a long way since Mickey Mouse first appeared in 1928's Steamboat Willie. Every brand needs a mascot and Mickey represents Disney. Instantly recognizable and the perfect cartoon character for children, the mouse's image is engrained into the public's consciousness.

The '90s proved a turning point for the beloved mascot, as they marked a return to active duty. With the exception of Mickey's Christmas Carol, Disney's beloved icon was placed in semi-retirement since the early '50s. Unlike 1983's retelling of Charles Dickens' novel, 1995's Runaway Brain short actually revolved around Mickey Mouse. The rodent's performance served as the short's driving force and was not a glorified cameo. In 1999, Disney released Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas that also included a short led by the brand's icon.

"Dark Mickey" images are far from rare. Nowadays, a picture of an angry Mickey is practically a meme, but chico-110's art resides on a whole other level. Based on Disney's Haunted Mansion ride, Mickey Mouse punishes anyone who steps out of line!

7 Lisa's Prototype

Via corsairsedge.deviantart.com

The Simpsons were the '90s. While Fox's cartoon has outstayed its welcome by around a decade, the first couple of seasons delivered on a weekly basis. Matt Groening's animated sitcom centers around a "typical" American family residing in the fictional town of Springfield. During the show's golden era, The Simpsons remained partially grounded in reality. Even though it was a cartoon, Homer and company possessed traits that made them feel human. Bart's pranks often went too far, but we could understand the kid's thought process.

Alongside Marge, Lisa regularly acted as the voice of reason. Intelligent and mature, the family's middle-child regularly discusses social and political topics, while still behaving like a young girl. After nearly three decades, The Simpsons has started to run out of ideas. Nowadays, celebrities cameos and references to other shows are quite common, so we would not put it past Fox to greenlight a crossover with Prototype.

Technically, Alex Mercer is the villain in Prototype 2, therefore CorsairsEdge's Lisa qualifies for this list. Armed with powerful abilities due to Blacklight's virus, Bart should think twice before messing with his new and improved sister!

6 Sasuke's Done It Again...

via i-azu.deviantart.com

What? Sasuke's turned evil again? Well, who could have possibly seen that coming! As the only remaining member of the Uchiha clan, Sasuke's childhood was far from whimsical or delightful. The brother of a hated criminal, the young shinobi's existence is fueled by vengeance and sadness. Depending on the day of the week, Sasuke is either Naruto's closest ally or worst enemy. In due time, the kid learns to trust his friends and realizes there is more to life than seeking revenge. Once he manages to release himself from that burden, Sasuke slowly starts to improve as a person.

By the end of Naruto's run, Sasuke matures into a respectable shinobi, but that hardly excuses the dude's terrible rap sheet. Naruto and Sakura successfully reformed their former Team 7 companion and Sasuke escapes with only a slap on the wrist. Luckily for him, the Fourth Shinobi World War broke out and established a couple of worse monsters than Itachi's brother.

Whether Sasuke earned a second chance is up to debate, but the shinobi's past will never be forgotten. I-azu's fan art acts as a visual reminder of this fact.

5 Creepy Alice Is The Best Alice

Via sasaluc.deviantart.com

Originally penned by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland inspired countless adaptations across multiple mediums. Just before 1950, there were already twelve cinema or TV versions of Alice in Wonderland, and most had the exact same name!

Tim Burton's recent version might hold a special place in the hearts of certain viewers.

But Disney's 1951 adaptation is considered the best of the bunch. As gamers, American McGee's Alice is the first one that pops in our mind when reminiscing about Alice in Wonderland. Alongside its 2011 sequel, Rogue Entertainment crafted an incredibly dark reimagining of Carroll's classic novel, but McGee successfully captured the illogical spirit of the source material.

Sasaluc's task is a difficult one. How does someone outcreep American McGee's Alice? The original was packed with enough nightmarish imagery to unsettle Jack Skellington. Alice: Madness Returns prioritized the action gameplay more than its predecessor's psychological horror elements, but the environments were still a sight to behold! The artist's sparse landscape really instills a feeling of dread and sorrow and Alice's fear is apparent for the world to see. For those unfamiliar with the game, American McGee's Alice's envisions Wonderland as a fabrication of Alice's mind and the young girl is one troubled soul.

4 The Dark Sailor

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Dragon Ball Z and Fist of the North Star cannot take all of the credit for popularizing anime in the west. In the '90s, Sailor Moon was just as important of a series. If nothing else, it showed that anime catered to more than just the "teenage boy" demographic. Assuming most are familiar with the English version rather than the original, Sailor Moon hardly survived the transition unscathed. Even though the dubbing process was a lot more forgiving than One Piece, Toei Animation's classic series had its rougher edges softened up for a Western audience.

Usagi Tsukino is Sailor Moon. As the anime's protagonist and leader of the Sailor Soldiers, Usagi represents love and justice. She is also an immature 14-year-old girl who only wants to be normal. Luckily, Usagi undergoes quite a bit of development across the series and slowly but surely becomes a worthwhile hero.

GorgeousPixie's name says it all! Black suits Sailor Moon and brings out her inner troublemaker. The redesigned outfit is easily the picture's highlight, although Usagi's new weapon arrives at a pretty close second. If the good version is the Sailor of Love and Justice, this one must represent hate and hopelessness.

3 My Villain Academia

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We have to confess, My Hero Academia hardly qualifies as a '90s cartoon. The popular manga started to be serialized in 2014 and the anime has only been around for a couple of years. Kōhei Horikoshi's crossover hit quickly garnered a massive audience outside of its home country. Superhero anime are not particularly common, but the recent One Punch Man and My Hero Academia proved they can work. For anyone tired of waiting for the former's next season, Tiger & Bunny hits most of the same notes and deserves a watch.

My Hero Academia has the spirit of a '90s anime

My Hero Academia feels like a classic series. Both the manga and anime harbor back to influential franchises like Dragon Ball Z and One Piece, just with a fresh coat of paint to satisfy a modern audience.

As the tame but inspirational protagonist, Izuku Midoriya is far from the greatest character in My Hero Academia. The dude spends the majority of the opening episodes on the verge of tears; although, as the story progresses, he has shown signs of improvement. Regardless of Midoriya's development, an evil version looks pretty darn awesome!

2 Where Is Mario When You Need Him?

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Unless someone actually grew up during the Nintendo vs Sega rivalry, it might be hard to accurately imagine Sonic's cultural impact. For a short period, Sega's blue hedgehog was EVERYWHERE. Games were coming out by the bucket load and a couple of cartoons hit the airwaves. Each lasting for a single season, Sonic the Hedgehog and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog were a staple of Saturday morning cartoons during the decade of grunge. In terms of quality, both are best described as uneven, but they presented children and gamers with a perfect opportunity to experience a different side of their favorite mascot.

2008's Sonic Unleashed might be the closest Sega is willing to get to turning their valuable protagonist into a villain. In this particular game, Sonic ends up turning into a were-hedgehog, but his personality remains largely intact. It was more of an aesthetic change than anything else and the critics were not particularly kind.

E09ETM's tribute is intriguing. Sonic's design sticks close to the source material, but the artist expertly alters the image's tone by manipulating the hero's shadow. Based on Sonic X, the anime's 67th episode featured an appearance by Dark Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog seems to be a lot more interesting outside of the games!

1 Haunted

Via dracogueure.deviantart.com

For a children's show, Danny Phantom was DARK! On the surface, Nickelodeon's cartoon seems like a straightforward superhero series with a Ghostbusters edge, but the basic premise is unsettling. Due to a bit of peer pressure, Danny ends up visiting the "Ghost Zone" and, while he survives the ordeal, half his soul is lost in the process. Fenton might possess a few neat powers, but he paid a hefty price for them. At all times, Danny Phantom's superhero is knocking on heaven's door.

Butch Hartman loves to play with the audience's expectations and occasionally turned Danny to the dark side. The franchise's second TV movie, The Ultimate Enemy, is probably the most notable instance; Danny and his friends travel to the near future were Amity Park's resident supervillain is none other than the hero's future self. While an alternative timeline, Dark Danny was not brainwashed and this bad outcome felt like a legitimate possibility.

Dracogueure's tribute is based on the episode Control Freaks and Danny's first bout of evilness. In this case, a circus' ringmaster instigates the change by using a staff capable of controlling ghosts. The Ultimate Enemy felt a lot more epic, but Control Freaks has Danny dressed as the grim reaper!

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