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Posted by G-Man (29418 posts) - - Show Bio

What would comic books be without villains? Superheroes are defined by the supervillains they fight. Many times, the villains can become more interesting than the heroes. If this is the case, how come we don't see many ongoing titles featuring supervillains?

Obviously there are some examples of ongoing titles with supervillains as the lead. Mark Waid (who is in the video below) has been writing IRREDEEMABLE featuring the Plutonian, the world's greatest hero turned evil and INCORRUPTIBLE which is pretty much the opposite. There have been many miniseries featuring villains but rarely do we see a full fledge series with a villain.

We asked a few comic book writers if they think villains should have their own ongoing series. This is a question I first brought up in 2010.

What do you think? Could a villain carry a monthly title? Would the publishers start to make them 'nice' or would it get old after a while?

Staff
#1 Edited by Skaddix (3106 posts) - - Show Bio

Depends on the villian. Deathstroke and Loki have them though.

Magneto with a team of mutants would be pretty awesome.

#2 Posted by saoakden (958 posts) - - Show Bio

I remember writing a blog somewhat similar to this months ago.

#3 Posted by BoyWander (318 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not a moral thing so much as, can that villain stay interesting. I don't think villains of dc or marvel would because ultimately they lose which would be very dull. A comic about thieves or small time criminals would be fine. maybe Mr. Freeze could work because he has a just cause behind him (kinda). I would read it if it was interesting.

#4 Posted by jubilee042 (1353 posts) - - Show Bio

it would be fun but it depends upon the villain i mean we can't have a sugarman ongoing

#5 Posted by Kaaable (10 posts) - - Show Bio

Isn't daken kinda a villain?

#6 Edited by Mega_spidey01 (3078 posts) - - Show Bio

yes. it would be interesting to have a villian solo series. i want a taskmaster ongoing series or clayface or some villains that hasn't been explored yet.

#7 Posted by Nerx (15088 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, especially the ones that are more depraved and politically incorrect. I'd imagine a Sabretooth series where'd he would have his way with women and savagely kill stuff.

#8 Posted by G-Man (29418 posts) - - Show Bio

@saoakden: I also did a video on this back in 2010.

Staff
#9 Posted by wowylied (237 posts) - - Show Bio

Only if they stay vilain in the title.

Because now we don't really have true vilain (magneto and doom are now "hero").

#10 Posted by thechessclub (495 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been saying for years that Vandal Savage desperately needs an ongoing.

#11 Posted by jjcoe9198 (9 posts) - - Show Bio

Probably not. After all, Irredeemable stars the Plutonian, but its just as much about everyone else scrambling to stop this homicidal Superman. Lex's top billing in Action Comics was great, but it did END, after all. Speaking of which, if Man of Steel gets a sequel, put Lex in it. TDK was just as much Harvey's/Joker's story as Bruce's, if not more so. I've seen Clark outside of LexCorp, staring down Luhor in the DCAU, but I have to say, it comes off SO MUCH BETTER in Lex Luthor: Man of Steel. Clark just floats there, silently, /w glowing red eyes. The animosity b/w the two of them would be incredible onscreen. For all the bitching about Superman Returns, they got Lex down pretty well. Hackman's version was comedy, but Snyder's Lex will have all of Bruce Wayne's wealth and power w/o any conscience whatsoever.

#12 Posted by Tone702 (108 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends on the villain. I think what makes most heroes interesting is the drama that they are involved in outside of their crime fighting. It's the filler between the battles. How heroes cope with trying to balance the two lives, as a crime fighter and a civilian. In some cases concealing an identity. As a civilian dealing with drama with the opposite sex, battling their inner demons, having a job, dealing with problems. In order to have a successful villain title, they would have to be as interesting outside of their villain side. No one would want to read a comic that is about a villain obsessed with plotting on a hero for the entire comic or plotting an evil plan or a bank robbery. Most villains don't care about a secret identity or having social lives. In most cases there is no battling of inner demons, because they have already given into their demons. In most cases, even when a villain is interesting, their character development lacks. We get behind a hero because of the character development. It's kinda hard to do, with say Dr. Doom arrogantly stomping around his castle, ordering his robots around.  
 
In most cases there is also some type of comic relief with heroes, and usually not as much with villains, taking another social aspect away from the villain. The villains that are funny, are you usually over the top and kind of ridiculous.  
 
I think the one villain that would have worked, would be Magneto. Mostly because he wasn't a bad guy and has a huge social aspect that could have delved deeper, had he not turn completely good.

#13 Posted by EugeneSaxe (227 posts) - - Show Bio

Luthor, Joker, and Dr. Doom could probably carry their own titles if handled properly. Joker had one decades ago, but he's probably a little more popular now.

#14 Posted by wowylied (237 posts) - - Show Bio

@EugeneSaxe said:

Luthor

This one i would love.

He is the only "brain" character i like, not like all the mister terrific, tchalla, red richard, mccoy, cho, pym, stark, parker and banner who never make anything to improve mankind in their universe.

#15 Posted by JonesDeini (3616 posts) - - Show Bio

Two Words...Secret Six.

#16 Posted by iSnikt (30 posts) - - Show Bio

I would love a monthly Magento Book, I wish for truly dark super villains monthly book enough candy coated stories.

#17 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1747 posts) - - Show Bio

No. Do we really want to read a comic series of criminals getting away with breaking the law? That would be depressing after a point.

#18 Posted by Mercy_ (92085 posts) - - Show Bio

@JonesDeini said:

Two Words...Secret Six.

I don't think I'd term them villains, though. They're most certainly not the most altruistic or benevolent bunch, but they're more chaotic neutral than evil.

@iSnikt said:

I would love a monthly Magento Book, I wish for truly dark super villains monthly book enough candy coated stories.

Magneto's currently a member of the X-Men. I don't see that changing any time soon.

@Miss_Garrick said:

No. Do we really want to read a comic series of criminals getting away with breaking the law? That would be depressing after a point.

And seeing death after death of favorite characters isn't? There are plenty of things in comics that are depressing. And whose to say that they'd always get away with it?

But part of building up a good and believable villain is building up the feel that they CAN get away with anything. You don't want your hero to have an opponent that is easily trumped. You want them to have a struggle.

Moderator
#19 Posted by Soldier zero (250 posts) - - Show Bio

Secrte Six aside, one my favourite comic books was Mark Gruenwald's run on Captain America. What makes so great was seeing Cap's stories and the Red Skull and his henchmen handling the day-to-day operations of their own team, the Skeleton Crew.

So I would really like to see some more villains based books as long as they use the good ones. A Joker based book, for example, will be very hard to do because you have to tell stories from the Joker's perspective, which is not something I can picture anyone's doing. A good villain's book have to give the reader some mean to identify with the main character or at least understand the hows and whys of his/hers behaviour. In this sense street-level/jobber villains might work even better than the big ones. Personally I would love to see some Rogues based stories.

#20 Posted by Teerack (4549 posts) - - Show Bio
@Miss_Garrick said:

No. Do we really want to read a comic series of criminals getting away with breaking the law? That would be depressing after a point.

Actually that would be great.
#21 Posted by DocFatalis (1419 posts) - - Show Bio

It entirely depends on the villain and if he possesses enough charisma and background. Magneto, Doom, Darth Vader, Doc Oc etc... could all have their own series as long as you'd see them interacting with heroes as well as with everyday normal guys. The study of their psyche would undoubtedly be fascinating.

#22 Posted by redhood21 (759 posts) - - Show Bio

secret six was awesome. Not an easy thing to pull off, but it could be done. Deathstroke's series is ok. i think the most fun to read would be the story of some c list villain trying to ascend the ladder OF EVIL!!! making friends along the way :D

#23 Posted by GuruOfFunk (442 posts) - - Show Bio

Just as long as they don't take the villain and change them around to try and make them likeable and relatable or attempt to get us to sympathize for them. If the villain remains a villain its fine.

#24 Edited by thechessclub (495 posts) - - Show Bio

Captain Cold could use one too actually...

On a side note..did you guys read the Ignition storyline in THE FLASH #201-206 back on 2005? I freaking love how Captain Cold was portrayed in that story. Super level headed and just a boss in every sense of the word=]

#25 Posted by blur1528 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man: Tony watcha got on your arm there? A tattoo in Kryptonian?

#26 Posted by KainScion (2973 posts) - - Show Bio

dc guys are lame. of course we want to read a bad guy series if its good.

#27 Posted by adzy22 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

suicide squad.......not the best of the new 52 but i like it.

#28 Posted by LordRequiem (1302 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Magneto or Doom could be written well. Exodus with his Acolytes, if they reformed in some incarnation, could be good. I'm drawn to think of InFamous and Prototype, where people enjoy playing the villain, I always go to the dark side, without any hesitation, so I assume others would to.

#29 Edited by NightFang (9647 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, but it should be done in a noir.

#30 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

@LordRequiem said:

I think Magneto or Doom could be written well. Exodus with his Acolytes, if they reformed in some incarnation, could be good. I'm drawn to think of InFamous and Prototype, where people enjoy playing the villain, I always go to the dark side, without any hesitation, so I assume others would to.

LOVE the idea of an Exodus and the Acolytes book. Super powered cult shenanigans with quazi religious overtones? I'd buy it.

#31 Posted by LordRequiem (1302 posts) - - Show Bio

@feebadger: Precisely. I forgot to put Morlun. I think it's just me but I'd read a mini-series about him hunting the totemistic super-powered folk after failing against Spider-Man.

#32 Posted by lady_toyano (162 posts) - - Show Bio

If they have enough complexities going on that consist more of doing it just because, it'd be hella interesting to see it from that point of view. I sure love reading Daken.

#33 Posted by JoEy9090 (21 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah I like seeing comics about villians, but when someone reads a comic a about a villian you start to know and love the villian and most people would end up liking the villian over the hero.

#34 Posted by scifi_superstar (28 posts) - - Show Bio
Yes, lex is my favorite hero. I look up to him, give him his own series.
#35 Posted by Hawkeye446 (3940 posts) - - Show Bio

Depends.

#36 Posted by BlackArmor (6121 posts) - - Show Bio

It would only be good if they let them be jus as evil as if they were plaguing a hero from said hero's point of view, I don't want redemption. At the end of the first arc I don't want to find out Lex Luther did whatever evil he did in order to help some kid with terminal cancer, no I want him to still be evil enough to kill a hundred kids with cancer just to rip a whole in Superman's cape. If you can keep them unbearably evil and you got yourself a series

#37 Posted by Arevish (302 posts) - - Show Bio

I wrote a fanfiction on taskmaster. I think they should, why a villain becomes a villain? they see themselves as the heroes of their storyes right? It would be cool to have some supercriminals BUT humans characters.

#38 Posted by Nyarlathoteph (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Can anyone help me to identify the comic book from this Dr. Doom image is taken?

#39 Posted by DarthShap (874 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends which villain. The Lex Luthor arc in Action Comics was great, so was Secret Six, especially the last arc where Simone had the great idea of reminding us that we had been following villains all along in case we forgot.

#40 Posted by 123cgm (64 posts) - - Show Bio

lex should have one already, thats money.

#41 Posted by Bernicky (379 posts) - - Show Bio

Hell yes more Villain series. "The Black Ring" with Lex Luthor was freaking awesome. It would only work for the more exciting but calm villains, like Deathstroke, Luthor, Dr Doom, hell maybe even a Rogues series might be fun.

#42 Posted by 123cgm (64 posts) - - Show Bio

how about galactus?

#43 Posted by humanfly26 (1487 posts) - - Show Bio

Suicide Squad is pretty awesome...

@redhood21 said:

i think the most fun to read would be the story of some c list villain trying to ascend the ladder OF EVIL!!! making friends along the way :D

i agree. maybe something Dr. Horrible-esque?

#44 Posted by fodigg (6094 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, Punisher has had a title for years and he's arguably a villain. I think in that context--where the villain is fighting a greater evil--it can work, but if there's nothing sympathetic in the villain or they're fighting those I am sympathetic toward it doesn't really work for me. Books that have tried to walk that line--Bomb Queen, Wanted--haven't really held my interest. But there are days when I wish they'd give Dr. Doom his own ongoing again. Doom 2099 was one of the best in that imprint.

#45 Posted by IAmWarblade (3 posts) - - Show Bio

there is 2 sides to every coin...flip the coin a couple more times comic book publishers! see what happens, u might find gold.

#46 Posted by IAmHarvest (1 posts) - - Show Bio

@IAmWarblade: I agree and soon they will all BOW TO ME!!

#47 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@fodigg:

Punisher is different. He is like a lot of others characters, they are anti heroes, not villains. but still you got a point. If there are anti heroes with ongoing series, villains could be done too

#48 Posted by psbrown1989 (25 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it would die out pretty quick, one exception is Mark Waid's Empire, Irredeemable, and Incorruptible all books I have yet to read. I think if writers went out on their own and started off with new characters then it would work but taking a character like Lex Luthor and giving him an ongoing series wouldn't work because we're used to his character being the way he is. that said MARK WAID YOU ARE A COMIC OVERLORD!!!

#49 Posted by fodigg (6094 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jorgevy said:

@fodigg:

Punisher is different. He is like a lot of others characters, they are anti heroes, not villains. but still you got a point. If there are anti heroes with ongoing series, villains could be done too

It really depends on who is writing him, but there are many story arcs where I'd argue Punisher is more of an anti-villain than anti-hero. Regardless, I think for a title with a villain as the protagonist they'd need to be in that anti-hero/anti-villain gray area, such as with the excellent Secret Six.

#50 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

If its written by Mark Waid, no.

If its written by someone else probably.

If the character is not one dimensional and has more interesting stuff to go along then yes.

Shade is a great example, but I would rather have an antihero book. Or a straight up villain book that fights other villain as well. Deathstroke for example.