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Spoony: And why is everyone so eager to buy into the stereotype of the greedy evil monolithic corporation just because this is a Cyberpunk action movie set in a dystopian future? It's not as if their CEO is clearly a suspicious shifty-eyed weasly money-grubbing douchebag.
Welcome to Evil Inc. We have many departments, including manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, genetically modifying orphan children to create super villains, and producing herbal soups made of weed. Chances are, you've heard of us, considering we are a publicly traded company with thousands of branches across the globe, as well as a few secret labs cleverly disguised as bakeries. Oh, and don't try to stop us, because chances are that you work for us. Have a nice day!
Evil Inc. is the standard Lex Luthor back-up plan: Create a front that, in case anything goes wrong, gives you the perfect alibi as well as the resources to start again. They will be one of three types:
- Unassuming ("Milwaukee Bakery, The" actually being the front for a international terrorist group)
- Suspicious but not too strange (PMCs, weapon developers, pharmaceutical companies, etc.)
- Cartoonishly evil (look up Big Evil Corp.)
Often this is considered Camp, a Dead Horse Trope, or both in movies (excluding environmental ones). In video games, it's still running strong and considered a decent plot twist. And in (mainstream) comic books, LexCorp, and OsCorp have been running without interruption for decades, and are therefore still the medium's prime examples. Often this can be seen coming from a mile away, but the test for whether or not the hero is working for Evil Inc. is to ask whether his mission is some level of top secret or whether he ever saw the CEO's face. If the answer to the first question is yes and the second one no, congratulations! You're one of the bad guys!
Evil Inc. is likely to be ruled over by a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
When Evil, Inc. would make more money without being used as an evil front, it's an example of Cut Lex Luthor a Check. When Evil, Inc. is a legion of super heroes gone awry, it's a subversion of Heroes-R-Us. When it's actually succeeded, more or less, in taking over the world, it's turned into Mega Corp.
Also the name of a webcomic by Brad Guigar.
- The corporation that Lex Luthor uses to forward his evil schemes. Almost every time after one of his plans fails, he'll say something to the extent of "Arrest ME? But I'm just the head of a perfectly legitimate Mega corp! Why arrest me?"
- Vought-American, from The Boys. Responsible for both a WW2 fighter plane that almost cost the US its advance in the Pacific and an assault rifle so crappy the Vietcong didn't even steal it from the soldier's corpses, who only survived thanks to their extensive bribing network. Now they're the only ones producing superheroes, kept in check by the rest of the military industry and The Boys.
- The High School AU fanfiction More Than Human has an evil corporation called John Smith (JS) Inc. The Rowdyruff Boys work for them in the Special Cases unit, which deals in weaponry, espionage, assassinations and other evil.
- Virtucon from Austin Powers is a example of a fully functional Evil Inc. that was screwed over when Dr. Evil came back and insisted that they start working on doing nefarious deeds again.
- PANTAC from "Dottor Jekyll e Gentile Signora" is a company which deliberately destroys economy of underdeveloped countries to gain cheap labour, and which produces poisonous food in prospect of selling cures for the maladies it induces.
- The Goliath Corporation in the Thursday Next books.
- The Sombra Corporation in The Dark Tower series.
- The law firm Wolfram & Hart from Angel is a front for the Wolf, Ram, and Hart, a cabal of powerful demons commonly called the "Senior Partners". The firm's goals are to represent the evil and unnatural in mortal courts, further the aims of the Senior Partners to bring about the final Apocalypse, to keep man's inhumanity to man running smoothly, and grow their yearly profit margin.
- Reiden Global screams in the Zoo (TV series). Before they were just an unethical company that caused an entire town to develop cancer and got away Scot free due to their lawyers. However their evil runs deeper when its revealed that the company discovered a molecule that they use in all their products, which eventually spreads into the animal populace and starts mutating them into bloodthirsty and intelligent animals hell-bent on human extinction. First they assemble a team under the pretense to keep this quiet, but eventually the team find out who they work for and try to go public. But thanks to a corrupt FBI agent on Reiden's payroll the team ends up on the most wanted list. When shit hits the storm, meaning the entire animals are rebelling and they can't keep it secret, the government finds out. However after a potential cure was lost the government gives Reiden Corp. amnesty given if they find a solution. And their solution: kill all the animals with poison and then recreate them. Barring how unethical and inhumane that method is, they also omit the fact that the plan would kill over 2 million humans. Next after the poison actually sterilizes humanity, by a eco-fanatical organization, Reiden tries to develop a cure which involves taking all the remaining children to make a cure for profit.
- Pentex from Werewolf: The Apocalypse is the multinational cabal behind a series of seemingly disparate corporations, an entity that most legal officials aren't sure exists. It's also made up of executives who are in thrall to the Wyrm, and who use the many arms of the corporation to spread Banes amongst the populace, corrupting them in moments of weakness and turning them into further soldiers for the Wyrm.
- Data Dyne in Perfect Dark counts as this. They try to help an evil alien race retrieve a very powerful weapon. They try to kidnap the US president so they can use the government's submarine to reach said weapon. Prior to this, no one suspects them of any wrongdoing except the protagonist's organization.
- Umbrella Corporation in the Resident Evil series. Never one to miss a chance to accidentally unleash a Zombie Apocalypse, Umbrella can always be counted to pick the most dickish of dick moves over anything else.
- While not the oldest example, Shinra from Final Fantasy VII is the earliest example in Video Games. This is the company that drains the life of the planet (literally) to make a profit and they have a private army that they enjoy sending to quell anyone who opposes them.
- Sluggy Freelance has Hereti-Corp, a both very straight and parodic example. They're among the most major antagonists in the Myth Arc of the comic and have dabbled in various "taking over the world" schemes, from trying to gain control of the gymnastic assassin Oasis for reasons as mysterious as her origin to wanting to clone the resident alien Aylee as a living superweapon. At one point, they almost went under after being exposed, but they resurfaced as "House of Cheese", selling pizza made entirely of cheese, and under new leadership eventually regained the name Hereti-Corp and are now involved in a potential end-of-the-world scenario.
- Phineas and Ferb has "Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated".