I'd prefer to leave your Squad out of my issues, but my actions aren't all related to my issues. What does that even mean? It means that if I got my way, I'd have gotten my revenge on Hali for what she did to me and none of you guys would have been involved whatsoever. Conversely, if the Big Bad actually has some admirable or honorable traits, then the Dragon in this case will be the more sadistic one, more likely to pursue actually killing the heroes rather than simply dispatching them.
Most commonly, he and the Big Bad have a mutually profitable alliance, and the Big Bad just happens to be the more powerful of the two. Dragon-in-Chief is when The Dragon is actually the more dangerous of the pair, by a significant margin. It is not unknown for him to have taken on service for his own purposes and fooled the Big Bad into thinking he's subordinate — in this case, if ever his own objectives clash with his master's, things will get interesting.
If the Dragon's goal involves overthrowing his boss and taking his job , he's The Starscream. The tropes can overlap somewhat, as many Dragons with Agendas intend to do away with the competition at some point down the road or are at least aware that they might have to ; a true Starscream intends to do so at the first available opportunity.
Rather than a straight evil character, he tends to be an Anti-Villain or an Enigmatic Minion. Unlike The Starscream , they are usually at least nominally loyal, and their main agenda doesn't outright conflict with that of their boss. If they outlive the original Big Bad , this type of Dragon may go on to pursue their own motivations and become a Dragon Ascendant. The equivalent among the hero's allies is Who Needs Enemies?
Theoretically, he allied himself with Big Bad Dr. Hell to help him to destroy Mazinger-Z. But his real goal was watching over Hell and betraying him at the right time to get him killed in the Gosaku Ota manga he backstabbed him and Mazinger-Z destroyed. He succeeded on all fronts. The reason it took so long for Gin to become a captain is because Aizen fought to hold on to Gin as his lieutenant for as long as he could. When Aizen betrays Soul Society, he states that even after Gin became a captain, he still viewed Gin as his "lieutenant".
However, Aizen's villainy centres around a vendetta against the Soul King, the reason for which isn't explained. Even Gin's oldest friend, Rangiku, cannot fathom why Gin serves Aizen so faithfully. Aizen stole a piece of Rangiku's soul when she was a child and Gin swore to avenge her; by becoming Aizen's right hand, he eventually learned Aizen's weakness.
Unfortunately for Gin, Aizen knew Gin's motives all along and factored them into his plans. Pain in Naruto is the most direct example. Kabuto, because after Orochimaru was defeated by Sasuke, he ingrained some of his master's remains into his own body, and decided to help Tobi in the 4th Ninja War. Pain may be this to Tobi, but Tobi himself is this to Madara.
Both Tobi and Madara are rather annoyed with how those agendas have messed with their plans. Carrossea Doon from Madlax is only with Enfant to find and protect female lead Margaret Burton, who's been targeted by the group, rather than for Monday's insane plans. Wei to Amber in Darker Than Black. Wei serves Amber so that he can have a chance to fight Hei again.
In the anime adaptation of Kirby , Meta Knight is this. Nico Robin in One Piece starts out as a Dragon, but is later on revealed to have her own plans. After Crocodile's defeat, she joins Luffy's crew. It turns out that Saten was another survivor of the Adam Project who wanted Arclight dead so he could take over, but neither he nor his bosses counted on a revived Arclight coming back and absorbing him.
Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! Once the path is open, he will immediately take things off the rails for his own reunification scenario. Interestingly, the leaders of both NERV and SEELE both know from the very beginning that before the end, one will betray the other once they don't need the other groups help anymore.
Dark Zero from Kurohime. Rather than follow the Big Bad Yashahime's plan and rule the universe, he just wants to exterminate humanity. Demon of Digimon V-Tamer 01 basically wants to wreck the world as he knows it. His dragon, Etemonkey, just wants to get to the human world and plans to come in peace.
His other dragon, Neo Saiba, has his own plan of taking Digital World from Demon and recreating it in his own image. However, Demon knows this from the start and deliberately lets Neo to usurp him, by being assimilated by Neo's Arkadimon, so that he can assimilate it back when it gains enough power and Neo loses control of it.
In the original Mobile Suit Gundam , Char Aznable split his time between earnestly supporting Zeon's cause and trying to murder his boss's entire family in revenge for his father. Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. It appears that she'd been planning to dispose of Hattori all along, and was just waiting for him to outlive his usefulness.
It's clear from fairly early on that Patrick Zala's right-hand man, Rau Le Creuset, has his own agenda, though just what it is isn't made clear.
Than The Reveal comes along: In Saint Beast , Lucifer is initially this, clearly having his own motives other than just serving Zeus, but eventually he rebels and tries to take everyone he can with him , leading to a The Good, the Bad, and the Evil situation.
While the two of them share the goal of recreating the glory of Zeon, Haman intends to do it herself.
Glemmy, on the other hand, seeks to reinstate the Zabi dictatorship, as represented by himself. Jamitov wants to rule the world. Bask, conversely, just wants to kill every colonial he can get his hands on. Since Bask's aims are rather less grandiose than Jamitov's, this doesn't really cause them too many problems. Scirocco fills the role a bit better than Bask, and the two are basically competing versions of this.
Thorfinn in Vinland Saga is this to Askeladd. He wants to kill Askeladd for murdering his father. Ultear, to Lyon and Jellal. And later to Master Hades. In Brave10 , Tokugawa Ieyasu has two dragons: Hattori Hanzo and Date Masamune. Hanzo has his own plans for capturing Isanami, and couldn't care less about the upcoming Tokugawa vs Toyotomi clash, after all his team would be the one ruling from the shadows Masamune also completely lacks respect for Ieyasu and his intentions.
He's just in it for WAR! However, that doesn't stop her from doing things that she knows he wouldn't like behind his back, if she thinks it's for his greater good. Most importantly, secretly assembling a strike team to hunt down and kill any other Supreme Beings in the New World, despite Ainz wanting to reunite with his old friends. She does this because she doesn't want to serve anyone other than Ainz, and out of revenge for all the other Supreme Beings abandoning Nazarick and Ainz.
Comic Books In the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War story arc, every major baddie had a different agenda. The Anti-Monitor's goal is simple - to wipe out every single thing in the matter multiverse. Nice when a villain has such a clear focus on what they want, isn't it?
Sinestro was aiming to bring order to the multiverse by taking it over and ruling as the head of the Sinestro Corps in much the same way as he did his home planet of Korugar In reality, his goal was not to win the war but to do so much damage that the Guardians of the Universe would allow the Green Lantern Corps to kill. In doing so, he believes he set in motion the events that would lead to the Green Lanterns being feared.
Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman, is much cleaner, as all he has ever wanted was to die and be reunited with his dead wife. He was destroyed during the story but, in The Stinger , was located by the Manhunters and resurrected.
Superboy-Prime, meanwhile, only ever wanted to kill the Anti-Monitor as retribution for Earth-Prime being destroyed. Lex Luthor was apparently there to brainwash the heroes, but he had a secret plan to restart The Multiverse.
And he would have gotten away with it too, if not for those meddling kids. Talia al Ghul was there so that when the villains took over the world , she could betray her allies, kill the surviving villains, and create an ecologically sustainable utopia. Black Adam signed up to get villain help protecting his country. Calculator and Deathstroke were in it for the money, fellows.
Mystique practically defines this trope. Her betraying the boss in charge is almost expected at this point, such as when she killed Mr. Sinister in a Batman Gambit to save Rogue's life.
During Dark Reign , Norman Osborn put together a cabal of the best villains to help him hold onto power. Unfortunately, he ran into this trope: Doctor Doom was only in it to get back control of Latveria after his last Later he adds Taskmaster to the group, who's only really there for the money, and unknown to Osborn, had previously helped Deadpool mess with Norman's plans.
In fairness, Osborn did realize that this was happening, and was starting a plan to build a new Cabal who wouldn't randomly try to kill him. In Death of the Family , Ogilvy, Penguin's second-in-command, has decided to take over Penguin's empire, as well as name himself Emperor Penguin. Princess Celestia anticipated this from the start, and actually helped to encourage it.
The Inquisitor is implied to be this to Nightmare Moon, though like pretty much everything else about him , nothing about this agenda is clear. Crocker's only working for Remy to keep his mother safe and after realizing that fairies are returning to Dimmsdale and there's a new Timmy in town, decides to use part of Remy's resources to create a device that will resurrect Timmy Turner and make things the way they should be.
Blood Silk And Steel: Sokka is this to both Azula and Ozai. Samerina Volcuzas is one as she secretly seeks to take control over the titular dark guild from its leader, Dieter Mengele. Dieter however, knows that his number two is fully capable of this trope which is why he has implanted a bomb within her skull to prevent her from doing any kind of mischief from behind his back. As the Matriarch of the hyena clan, who the Big Bad Scar used to keep the Pride Lands under control, she seemed to just want freedom, power, and food for her clan.