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"Sometimes it is easier to see the light when you stand in the darkness."
—Monday's Dusk, Mister Monday
So, you have a race of people who all have black, leathery wings. They're born with the ability to shoot black, shadowy globs out of their hands. Also, they prefer the night, and let's not get started on their wardrobes. Surely, they're evil!
Well...no one actually mentioned them doing bad things; in fact, they may actually be pretty good guys. It's not like they keep pet dogs exclusively for kicking. Despite any images that may have been burned into our minds, creepy appearances and killing people actually don't have much to do with each other. It's not My Species Doth Protest Too Much, because the species, for the most part, isn't protesting the do-gooders. Unfortunately, however, people can still judge them based on their looks. Expect some Van Helsing Hate Crimes.
This trope can be a subversion or aversion of several other tropes depending on how it's played, including Beauty Equals Goodness, Exclusively Evil, and Color-Coded for Your Convenience. A common use for it is for the "Don't judge a book by its cover" Aesop. It can also be used to promote Evil Is Cool and Evil Is Sexy, and sometimes Even Evil Has Standards, except without the, uh... evil. Even though with the subtle (or not so) undertone of Humans Are the Real Monsters that this trope implies, using this does not automatically enforce Light Is Not Good; in fact, stories where Light Is Good and Dark Is Not Evil are quite common.
The extreme form of this is The Sacred Darkness, where Dark is not just not Evil, but is in fact equally as holy and Good as Light is typically perceived to be. In situations where The Sacred Darkness exists, however, Dark Is Not Evil is not an absolute certainty, and the usual caveats about Light Is Not Good still apply.
For the inverse, see Light Is Not Good, Good Powers, Bad People, and (for a different kind of inverse) Dark Is Evil. A natural implication of the Yin-Yang Bomb. See also Good All Along, Bad Powers, Good People, Creepy Good, Face of a Thug, Perky Goth, Our Monsters Are Different, Anti-Anti-Christ, Reluctant Monster, Good Is Not Nice, and Halloweentown. When vampires are involved, this trope generally puts them on the friendly end of the Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness, often resulting in a Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire. Gods of the underworld and death in particular can be this, since Everybody Hates Hades.
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