|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
A step above Galactic Conqueror but below Guardian of the Multiverse and Multiversal Conqueror, this villain rules an entire universe with an iron fist. Sometimes several universes. He's ready to add ours to the list, just as soon as those pesky heroes from Earth are out of the way.
Dimension Lords are usually demons or cosmically powerful mages, or have access to such a high level of Applied Phlebotinum that their technology might as well be magic. They may be gods or Eldritch Abominations. Their universes may be seriously large, or may be pocket dimensions not much larger than, say, Earth. (Don't mistake someone who only rules a single planet—say, a parallel Earth—for a Dimension Lord just because that planet's in another dimension; the true Dimension Lord rules his entire universe, regardless of its size.) It's still fairly impressive. Despite their nigh-infinite real estate, minions, and personal power, though, Dimension Lords seldom have any more success with their evil plans than do lesser villains.
If the Dimension Lord gets too ambitious, he often becomes the Multiversal Conqueror.
Trope name by Dean Shomshak, author of the Champions super-hero RPG sourcebook "The Ultimate Supermage."
Anime and Manga
- The Anti-Spiral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, who did so to prevent the destruction of the universe.
- Queen Metaria (working through Queen Beryl) from Sailor Moon, and behind Metaria is an even higher entity named Chaos.
- Emperor Muge Zorbados from Dancougar.
- Marvel Comics has Dormammu, the immortal and unstoppable monotheistic god-tyrant of the mystical "Dark Dimension", worshipped as a deity in thousands of other universes, something worse than a demon, older and far more powerful than any elder god, possessor of sufficient might to have defeated cosmic entities such as the Phoenix Force or Eternity in personal combat, able to rewrite entire universes, and creator of kings of hell of the highest order, with the ultimate goal of slaughtering any rival higher powers, assume control of all life and afterlife, and turn both into an inescapable neverending torture camp from birth to death and anything beyond. Arch-enemy, and most dangerous foe of Doctor Strange, and the first classic Dimension Lord. Arguably the most genuinely terrifying absolutely evil recurring villain in the Marvel roster. Think Darkseid taken to a much higher scaled ultimate extreme. Some of his plots stretching billions of years before coming to fruition, but luckily he's usually extremely arrogant and not a particularly inventive schemer. Then again he doesn't need to be, as he is one of the most powerful known Eldritch Abominations in existence.
- His twin sister Umar also fills this role. She is the more dangerous of the two, despite being less powerful, because she is intelligent and very patient—fortunately, she doesn't care about destroying our world as much as her brother does.
- Mephisto, lord of one of several Hells in the Marvel Universe.
- Trigon the Terrible, demonic overlord of The DCU and father of Teen Titans character Raven.
- The Anti-Monitor, ruler of the Antimatter Universe prior to and during DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- The Time Trapper from Legion of Super-Heroes was a borderline case—the End of Time isn't exactly a separate dimension, since it's the main DC Universe during its last years. But given that time travel for the Legion functioned a lot like space travel (Superboy commuted from the 20th century to the 30th, the Time Trapper erected an Iron Curtain of Time that he could attack back through but the Legion couldn't get past) the effect was much the same: he ruled an entire universe, just one separated by time rather than vibrational barriers, and engaged in various plots to extend his rule back to the Legion's present and beyond.
- He doesn't have much to rule, however, since his homeworld is suffering from heat death.
- Darkseid, even though he only rules one planet.
- Yes, but that planet is in The Fourth World, which technically in some sense, is outside our dimension. He actually reached a straight example in Final Crisis when he successfully destroyed New Genesis and killed the New Gods.
- And he is also the Anthropomorphic Personification of evil, anti-life, and tyranny, and has conquered worlds upon worlds, destroying those who don't submit. In some of his better incarnations, he completely punks the Justice League, and in others, the fact that he is alive has caused existence itself to begin collapsing! Oh, and his ultimate goal? To completely steal free will of all in existence, leaving them to do nothing but worship him for all eternity. Everything that once was, will in the end be Darkseid.
- Fantastic Four villain Hyperstorm is Mister Fantastic's future grandson from an alternate universe, a psychic mutant with a level of power so absurdly off the scale that he was able to conquer his entire universe without much serious effort.
- The titular Villain Protagonist of Teknophage, by Neil Gaiman, from the mostly forgotten mid-90s publisher Tekno Comix. He was a corporate dimensional conqueror purely for the purpose of satisfying his own gluttonous urgings to eat the most predatory (and thus savory) souls by making worlds so horrible that they produced assassination attempts against him. He was also a powerful telepath and especially immortal.
- He was also a dinosaur.
- Mojo from X-Men rules a dimension where anyone who has the highest television ratings becomes the leader.
- The titular protagonist of The Sandman is the rare non-villain example. Interestingly Satan is technically not one due to then-recent events in the DCU mandating a triumvirate. Neil Gaiman plays this as an indulgence on Lucifer's part, and later subverts it: When Lucifer quits and actually shuts Hell down throwing everyone out and leaving Dream the key. He goes on to lord over a nice bar.
- Shuma Gorath, also from Doctor Strange, is another one of these, as well as a Multiversal Conqueror. He's even more powerful than Dormammu!
- The Thanos Imperative reveals that Shuma Gorath is just one member of an entire pantheon of dimension conquering abominations called the Many-Angled Ones.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us Emperor Palpatine, once he gets better. When not enough power is enough, he wanted to become a god, so that he could live off the Force of his followers, and then he would conquer the universe! With Luke as his high priest, of course.
- Older Than Steam: At least in the standard Paradise Lost-influenced portrayal, Satan is the near-absolute ruler of the dimension called Hell.
- After his failed rebellion in another dimension called Heaven, which is still ruled by another Dimension Lord.
- In Jack Vance's "Guyal of Sfere", the demon Blikdak is evidently foundational for the very existence of his home dimension, Jeldred - when Blikdak is destroyed, Jeldred ceases to exist. He is refered to as its "Ruler-Divinity".
- Yahweh, who enforces the role with angels and omnipotence. Satan is probably a wannabe version of this.
Live Action TV
- Dark Specter from Power Rangers in Space is the overlord of the Universal Alliance of Evil, which has already conquered most of the universe (excluding Earth).
- Omega, from Doctor Who, is the absolute, godlike ruler of an entire universe made of anti-matter. Subverted by the fact that he's the only guy there. And he wants out.
- Time, being a dimension, makes every Time Lord one of these. Or, as of 2010, the Doctor himself, since he's the only Time Lord left.
- It's probably best that he doesn't start thinking about this too much, or show what he could really do with this status, as "The Waters of Mars" showed. It almost made the Doctor finally go off the deep end and he started referring to himself as "Time Lord Victorious". The one thing what caused him to return to normal is Adelaide (the famous person he saved, who wasn't meant to be alive) killing herself to save the world, and specifically herself, from the Doctor's hubris.
- Time, being a dimension, makes every Time Lord one of these. Or, as of 2010, the Doctor himself, since he's the only Time Lord left.
- In Sliders, the Kromaggs rule multiple dimensions.
- The Prophets in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are the masters of their own dimension, though it is unclear how large the inside of the wormhole actually is. However, they seem to display almost absolute power inside it and in the past occasionally helped the natives of the nearby planet Bajor, who in return worship them as gods.
- Glorificus from Buffy the Vampire Slayer used to be one, until she got banished to earth and forced to timeshare Ben's body. Her entire arc is about her attempt to get back to her own dimension.
- Skarn the Shaper and Tyrannon the Conqueror from the Champions Universe, created by Dean Shomshak as examples of this trope.
- Not to mention Istvatha V'han, who doesn't call herself "Empress of a Billion Dimensions" for nothing.
- As is Omega, Lord of the Terminus from the Mutants and Masterminds default setting of Freedom City.
- The Demon Lords and Arch Devils of the Great Wheel cosmology in Dungeons & Dragons (used in most campaign settings of the 2nd Edition and the setting of Planescape) each rule over an entire layer of the Abyss and the Nine Hells. Except for Asmodeus, who has granted the other eight hells as fiefs to the other archdevils, and Graz'zt, whose realm of Azzagrat consists not only of one, but three layers, which elevates him to the same level of power as the much more stronger Demogorgon and Orcus.
- A splatbook for the Palladium Game Nightbane included detailed rules on how to create your own Astral Realm (on the Astral Plane, natch) as a player character, and thus begin play as a (small-scale) Dimension Lord.
- Speaking of Nightbane, the Nightlords could also count, ruling over a Dark World and seek to conquer its counterpart: Earth.
- In the original editions of Mage: The Ascension, some of those who ascend actually became their own extradimensional realms, where they were absolute, being both Dimension Lord and Dimension at the same time.
- In Magic: The Gathering, this is you. And Yawgmoth was this to Phyrexia.
- In The Primal Order—a series system-neutral RPG supplements published by Wizards of the Coast well before they bought Dungeons & Dragons from TSR—there are rules for divinities setting up their own planes or dimensions, including the ability to lock all other gods out of them.
- Lord Dominion in Freedom Force, a loose pastiche of Galactus and Darkseid. A tad unusual in that the dimension he's lord over is the "normal" universe—Earth is the only planet he hasn't conquered yet (he peppered the world with the superpower-causing agent to watch the humans destroy themselves for his amusement).
- Rularuu the Ravager from City of Heroes, a Galactus clone turned into a Dormammu clone when he was exiled to the Shadow Shard.
- DJ Zero, also from City of Heroes, is a rare non-evil Dimension Lord who has turned his own private pocket dimension (possibly a sealed-off section of the Shadow Shard) into a dance club for superhumans.
- Tyrant has to qualify as well, what with ruling the entire Mirror Universe with an iron fist and having already conquered several other dimensions, and setting his eyes on ours...
- Tyrant's arguably more of a classic Evil Overlord. If Tyrant qualifies, then Nemesis does as well. Strictly speaking, "Emperor" Cole, AKA "Tyrant", ruled nothing more than a small city wherein lived the last surviving humans in a world completely overrun by the Devouring Earth. He certainly didn't rule his entire universe. (If anything, he's nothing more than the leader of a refugee camp.)
- By the same token, Lord of War Hro'Dohtz of the Rikti a good chunk of the plot in the RWZ is trying to destabilize his control of the Rikti Homeworld.
- The various Overlords of the various Netherworlds from Nippon Ichi's strategy games. In particular, Laharl from Disgaea and Zetta from Makai Kingdom, who're main characters of their respective games. Interestingly, the title of Overlord is inheritable -- you only get to keep it until someone stronger beats the crap out of you for it.
- The main villain of Soul Nomad and The World Eaters is a literal Dimension Lord as well.
- The sixteen Daedra princes in The Elder Scrolls games each rule over their own plane of Oblivion; the eponymous game in the series allows the player to explore Mehrunes Dagon's and Sheogorath's planes.
- Tabuu in Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, he rules over subspace
- The Guardian from the later Ultima games. Arguably Lord British from Ultima IV on.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Zant rules the Twilight Realm (though he usurped the position from Midna); he then sets his sights on the World of Light. Unsurprisingly, Ganondorf is behind it.
- Ganondorf is, of course, ruler of the Dark World/Sacred Land in The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past.
- Dimentio in Super Paper Mario tries to take this position by destroying all the dimensions and rebuilding them in his own image.
- The Forgotten God rules over the abyss. Later the protagonist. the titular Overlord can take over the god's role, ascending from an Evil Overlord to this position.
- Chzo, from the games of the Chzo Mythos, is a pain elemental that rules the World of Magick as its King.
- Shao Kahn rules as Emperor of the evil, mutant-infested dimension known as Outworld. He is constantly scheming to conquer Earth.
- As of Episode 6 of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, we have the new Territory Lord of Beatrice's Fragment, the Endless Sorcerer BATTLER.
- This was Illua's goal in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 -- she made a pact with the Neukhia in order to gain more power, and planned to harness the Zellea Rift to achieve total domination over time and space.
- In Final Fantasy XI, Diabolos is the overlord of the Dynamis Dimension.
- El Goonish Shive brings us Lord Tedd. Or, rather, did; with the New First Comics, he appears to have vanished from the series entirely.
- Lord Tedd was recently mentioned (and Lampshaded) when Elliot was talking to Tedd's father on the phone after being attack by the Bloodgrem.
- In Sluggy Freelance, the Dimension of Pain is ruled by an entity known only as the Demon King. The Demon King gets relatively little face time, however, and the more visible ruler of the Do P is his immediate subordinate, Lord Horribus. Or, after the "That Which Redeems" arc, Lord Psykosis.
- Mynd of Bob and George claims this when he first meets Bob, but the author admits in his notes that he's probably lying, or that his dimension is tiny.