#1 Posted by Buckshot (18914 posts) - - Show Bio

I was just wondering what you guys think makes a villain better. Is it when they're the same as the hero, or the opposite? That can mean powers, backstory, etc. I know there's a lot that goes into a good villain, so you can post about whatever makes a villain "work" in your eyes, but the question is what was on my mind.

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#2 Posted by Super-Buster (2358 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, as I'm sure many already know, popular villains are often foils to their hero counterparts (Batman and Joker is a prime example), they can be complete opposites of each other or they take on two sides of a trait (Sabretooth embraces his animal instincts whereas Wolverine tries to constrain his own). Personally I like it when a hero and villain are opposites of each other because it's like they were meant to be, also, it gives the author the ability to explore two completely different psyches and pit them against each other in many different ways. Then the titles "villain" and "hero" are secondary and you see the the characters in a more real and interesting light and you may not always root for the hero. Then again, authors may use this duality to simply explain all the reasons why one side (the villain's) is wrong.

Something else that makes a good villain is simple competence. No one takes Mole Man seriously because he hasn't really accomplished anything (to my knowledge) and systematically gets beaten by the FF whereas Dr. Doom has actually succeeded in taking over the world (relinquishing control because it was too boring) and is regarded as one of the best villains of all time.

Oh yea, and a cool gimmick also comes in handy.
#3 Posted by Cosmic Sentinel (3749 posts) - - Show Bio

Alot of it to me is motivation. It's alright if they are just plain evil, if their actions reflect that, like the Joker. Someone who is just nasty can be entertaining because they don't spend time on introspection and get straight to being bad. More interesting though are the villains you can empathise with, who did the wrong thing with good(ish) intentions. Someone like Lex Luthor, when written well, is a man protecting humanity from the menace of powerful aliens and whose own achievements would be epic if they weren't eclipsed by someone who no human can really compete with. They don't have to have gotten into villainy because of the hero and I don't think it matters if they are similar or opposite as long as they engage the hero, especially if they had to make similar choices.

It helps if they are linked to the hero, but I think it's more important that (like the hero) they are distinctive in their own right. Then they work well with different heroes. Venom is linked to Spider-man, both as a character and in appearance, but is instantly recognisable even if he's fighting Dare-devil.

In terms of ability or power, as long as they provide the hero with a challenge, then anything is fine. Cool powers are nice, but not essential. I prefer the hero to have the cool powers.

#4 Posted by Obi Wan Kenobi! (27638 posts) - - Show Bio

I think hat makes a vilain work is his effectiveness against his counterpart...the best example to comes to mind is the Joker...he's very affectiveagainst batman and no matter what, always seems to get under the bats' skin....

motivation is big too...people get tired of the whole take over the world crap...Magneto kinda comes into mind here because sometimes his reasons and his motivations don't seem so villainous and actually border on noble...

#5 Posted by Adam Warlock (723 posts) - - Show Bio
Mighty Magneto said:
"
  1. You will have more friends Peter Parker was a social outcast. Norman Osborne was the popular kid. Reed Richards was a dorky scientist. Victor Von doom was a rich socialite. Anyone else sensing a pattern here? Everyone wants to get a little piece of the evil. It is like Starburst.

  2. You get to laugh maniacally Good guys don’t get to do this. No one has ever heard Superman or Batman laughing like a maniac and no one ever will. Trust me, this is something everyone wants to do. It is strangely liberating. While you may pass chances to do this every once in a while during your civilian life, you will never get the quantity of opportunities that come with a career in villainy.

  3. All of a sudden, you will have the budget for all kinds of toys Super bad guys are never broke. Not only are they never broke but they always have more resources than the hero could ever hope for. Apparently the villain racket pays very well. It also seems to be recession-proof. I hear the tax breaks are good too.

  4. Hot chicks dig evil guys You never see an evil villain with a busted ass woman. Sure, they may be dirty, rotten, and out to steal your empire, but you can always kill them if they get out of hand. Studies show that breasts of women who hang out with evil guys are an average of two cups bigger than the nice dudes chicks. Studies don’t ever lie.

  5. You will be safe from everyday accidents Evil villains are never killed in car accidents. It just doesn’t happen. You won’t slip in the shower, get smashed by a falling piano, or die of food poisoning. The only way you can be killed is in an explosion created by the hero by exposing the one flaw in your plan that no one could ever possibly foresee. Even then…

  6. You don’t have to worry about anyone killing you Evil Villains simply can not be killed. People may think you are dead but you will secretly be lounging in an easy chair on your secret desert island hideout planning your next caper. The only way you can be taken out is by another villain eviler than yourself who will subsequently take over your identity and continue upon your path of world domination.

  7. You can kill anyone you want You won’t go to jail. For some strange reason, cops never come to bust Evil villains at their homes even when the evidence is overwhelming. You could kill Superman on a live video feed in front of the entire planet and not one cop would try to arrest you. They can’t even arrest you for the stash of plutonium you have in your shed. It is in the charter when you join the union.

  8. You get to dress how you want You never have to wear a suit and tie again. You can even dress in the most outrageous outfits while demanding the world bow to your demands and no one will even make the slightest of snide comment. This could have something to do with the fact that you can kill anyone you want and can’t be killed back. Remember, no one ever made fun of Magnetos helmet…

  9. No matter how weak you are, you will be more than a match for any hero facing you “But zero, Batman would kick my ass in two shakes of a stripper’s ass…” None of that matters. The sheer newness of your evil plot will confuse the hell out of any good guy. As long as you aren’t doing something that has been done to death (ie goblin themed villains) you should have no problem getting your plans off the ground.

"

#6 Posted by Firestormnuclerman (2097 posts) - - Show Bio

One issue with a quote, or quotes that commnicates their idea of how they see themselves. Do they see themselves as evil, or do not see themselves as Evil, and think that they are doing something good  making the world a better place where the ends justify the means.

Some crappy background, or major terrible event that explains why they are acting like such a evil b@stard. I think it's rather boring if you have just a bunch of super villains that are being evil just for the sake of being evil.

A credible worthy threat. They have a excellent story that shows them as a worthy opponent of the super hero, and how dangerous they are by doing some major damage before being defeated.

Being a b@stard. They commit terrible atrocities that makes people hate them, mocks their victims, and do other savage infuriating behavior.



#7 Posted by Firestormnuclerman (2097 posts) - - Show Bio
Adam Warlock said:
"Mighty Magneto said:
"
  1. You will have more friends Peter Parker was a social outcast. Norman Osborne was the popular kid. Reed Richards was a dorky scientist. Victor Von doom was a rich socialite. Anyone else sensing a pattern here? Everyone wants to get a little piece of the evil. It is like Starburst.

  2. You get to laugh maniacally Good guys don’t get to do this. No one has ever heard Superman or Batman laughing like a maniac and no one ever will. Trust me, this is something everyone wants to do. It is strangely liberating. While you may pass chances to do this every once in a while during your civilian life, you will never get the quantity of opportunities that come with a career in villainy.

  3. All of a sudden, you will have the budget for all kinds of toys Super bad guys are never broke. Not only are they never broke but they always have more resources than the hero could ever hope for. Apparently the villain racket pays very well. It also seems to be recession-proof. I hear the tax breaks are good too.

  4. Hot chicks dig evil guys You never see an evil villain with a busted ass woman. Sure, they may be dirty, rotten, and out to steal your empire, but you can always kill them if they get out of hand. Studies show that breasts of women who hang out with evil guys are an average of two cups bigger than the nice dudes chicks. Studies don’t ever lie.

  5. You will be safe from everyday accidents Evil villains are never killed in car accidents. It just doesn’t happen. You won’t slip in the shower, get smashed by a falling piano, or die of food poisoning. The only way you can be killed is in an explosion created by the hero by exposing the one flaw in your plan that no one could ever possibly foresee. Even then…

  6. You don’t have to worry about anyone killing you Evil Villains simply can not be killed. People may think you are dead but you will secretly be lounging in an easy chair on your secret desert island hideout planning your next caper. The only way you can be taken out is by another villain eviler than yourself who will subsequently take over your identity and continue upon your path of world domination.

  7. You can kill anyone you want You won’t go to jail. For some strange reason, cops never come to bust Evil villains at their homes even when the evidence is overwhelming. You could kill Superman on a live video feed in front of the entire planet and not one cop would try to arrest you. They can’t even arrest you for the stash of plutonium you have in your shed. It is in the charter when you join the union.

  8. You get to dress how you want You never have to wear a suit and tie again. You can even dress in the most outrageous outfits while demanding the world bow to your demands and no one will even make the slightest of snide comment. This could have something to do with the fact that you can kill anyone you want and can’t be killed back. Remember, no one ever made fun of Magnetos helmet…

  9. No matter how weak you are, you will be more than a match for any hero facing you “But zero, Batman would kick my ass in two shakes of a stripper’s ass…” None of that matters. The sheer newness of your evil plot will confuse the hell out of any good guy. As long as you aren’t doing something that has been done to death (ie goblin themed villains) you should have no problem getting your plans off the ground.

"

"
Where did you get this from?
Is breasts used now to describe groups of women?


I doubt a sane woman would go for Mongul, Lucifer (Prince of Darkness), Blackheart, Jigsaw, Hobgoblin, Cyborg Superman, Venom (Eddie Brock),  Apocalypse, and Mr.Sinister.
#8 Posted by Djinn (778 posts) - - Show Bio

i think its better when the villian has alot in their past the same as the villian so you can see what made them go bad

#9 Posted by Firestormnuclerman (2097 posts) - - Show Bio
Djinn said:
"i think its better when the villian has alot in their past the same as the villian so you can see what made them go bad"

So you are saying use the whole crappy traumatic background which explains why they are acting like evil rascals?

I agree with that. Look at Marvel's Scarecrow. His mother was a abusive alcoholic that would beat him. She would feel guilty afterwards which drove her to buy him presents. From this he concluded bad behavior is ok because he would get rewarded.

HP Doomsday Having Experienced a lot of agony, and death constantly it drove him over the edge to hate all life, and become a savage violent beast.

Loki Constantly mistrusted and given a negative title The Master of Mischief. Fed up with being treated as a rascal so he decides to try to live up to the title of The Master of Mischief, and be a rascal.

First Red Skull His mother died in childbirth, and his dad blamed him for it, and tried to murder him only to be stopped by the doctor. His father would commit suicide leaving him to become a orphan. He grew up on the streets as a beggar, and thief where his hatred for humanity would grow each day.
#10 Posted by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio
Cosmic Sentinel said:
"Alot of it to me is motivation."
Motivation is half the battle in my eyes.

Methods is the other half.
#11 Posted by gunswordfist (2669 posts) - - Show Bio
Buckshot said:
"I was just wondering what you guys think makes a villain better. Is it when they're the same as the hero, or the opposite? That can mean powers, backstory, etc. I know there's a lot that goes into a good villain, so you can post about whatever makes a villain "work" in your eyes, but the question is what was on my mind."
The opposite. I love the contrast Superman and Lex Luthor has. One is a super alien from a far away galaxy with very deadly powers and the other is a rich, well respected businessman. And the thing is the businessman happens to be the bad guy.
#12 Posted by Pania (1759 posts) - - Show Bio
Super-Buster said:
"Well, as I'm sure many already know, popular villains are often foils to their hero counterparts (Batman and Joker is a prime example), they can be complete opposites of each other or they take on two sides of a trait (Sabretooth embraces his animal instincts whereas Wolverine tries to constrain his own). Personally I like it when a hero and villain are opposites of each other because it's like they were meant to be, also, it gives the author the ability to explore two completely different psyches and pit them against each other in many different ways. Then the titles "villain" and "hero" are secondary and you see the the characters in a more real and interesting light and you may not always root for the hero. Then again, authors may use this duality to simply explain all the reasons why one side (the villain's) is wrong.

Something else that makes a good villain is simple competence. No one takes Mole Man seriously because he hasn't really accomplished anything (to my knowledge) and systematically gets beaten by the FF whereas Dr. Doom has actually succeeded in taking over the world (relinquishing control because it was too boring) and is regarded as one of the best villains of all time.

Oh yea, and a cool gimmick also comes in handy.
"
Another thing that makes Doom a viable villain is his validity. Doom is not merely a madman. Latervia may be a dictatorship, but it is one in which most people are pretty happy because they are well cared for. The reason he wanted to take over the world was that he felt he could do a better job than "the powers that be"...and he did. "All Power and Glory to Doom..." yeah, but he actually is a good leader which makes him ten times more of a threat than someone like Apocalypse. Pocky maybe really powerful, but he actually sucks as a leader. No one is going to get behind Apocalypse in a crisis. Some people might get behind Doom in a crisis.
#13 Posted by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with that.

AoA was an interesting concept, but realistically, you aren't gonna have thousands of mutants working for Apocalypse.  He's blatantly evil and insulting and even in the worst situations, you'd want him gone more than you'd want him to have your back.

Doom on the other hand...well, you said it already. :)

#14 Posted by geraldthesloth (33313 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally i like villains who think there doing the right thing

but at the same time there not

#15 Posted by Firestormnuclerman (2097 posts) - - Show Bio
geraldthesloth said:
"Personally i like villains who think there doing the right thing

but at the same time there not"
So from their own twisted view in their mind they think what they are doing is right, good, when in reality they are not.

Lex Luthor
Dr.Doom
Bizarro
Apocalypse Survival of the fittest to him he grew up with so he views it as normal, acceptable, and right.
Sinestro
Lex Luthor
Magneto

#16 Posted by Firestormnuclerman (2097 posts) - - Show Bio
Super-Buster said:
"Well, as I'm sure many already know, popular villains are often foils to their hero counterparts (Batman and Joker is a prime example), they can be complete opposites of each other or they take on two sides of a trait (Sabretooth embraces his animal instincts whereas Wolverine tries to constrain his own). Personally I like it when a hero and villain are opposites of each other because it's like they were meant to be, also, it gives the author the ability to explore two completely different psyches and pit them against each other in many different ways. Then the titles "villain" and "hero" are secondary and you see the the characters in a more real and interesting light and you may not always root for the hero. Then again, authors may use this duality to simply explain all the reasons why one side (the villain's) is wrong.
Something else that makes a good villain is simple competence. No one takes Mole Man seriously because he hasn't really accomplished anything (to my knowledge) and systematically gets beaten by the FF whereas Dr. Doom has actually succeeded in taking over the world (relinquishing control because it was too boring) and is regarded as one of the best villains of all time.

Oh yea, and a cool gimmick also comes in handy.
"
Overall I think the writer has a hard time getting the readers to root for the villain because he's usually a savage b@stard.
#17 Posted by gunswordfist (2669 posts) - - Show Bio
Firestormnuclerman said:
"geraldthesloth said:
"Personally i like villains who think there doing the right thing

but at the same time there not"
So from their own twisted view in their mind they think what they are doing is right, good, when in reality they are not.

Lex Luthor
Dr.Doom
Bizarro
Apocalypse Survival of the fittest to him he grew up with so he views it as normal, acceptable, and right.
Sinestro
Lex Luthor
Magneto

"
Yep, that's why I like Magneto so much but I haven't even scratched the surface of his character. I've got so many comics of his to read and became a fan of his from watching the X-Men cartoon.
#18 Posted by Firestormnuclerman (2097 posts) - - Show Bio
gunswordfist said:
"Firestormnuclerman said:
"geraldthesloth said:
"Personally i like villains who think there doing the right thing

but at the same time there not"
So from their own twisted view in their mind they think what they are doing is right, good, when in reality they are not.

Lex Luthor
Dr.Doom
Bizarro
Apocalypse Survival of the fittest to him he grew up with so he views it as normal, acceptable, and right.
Sinestro
Lex Luthor
Magneto

"
Yep, that's why I like Magneto so much but I haven't even scratched the surface of his character. I've got so many comics of his to read and became a fan of his from watching the X-Men cartoon."

Magneto is different. He has depth, and you could understand his point of view given his experience, and that he is pretty much a exremist that believes the ends justify the means.
#19 Posted by Firestormnuclerman (2097 posts) - - Show Bio

Appearnces in Other Comics They are so popular, and excellent that they also make appearnces in other comics besides just the super hero or super hero team they are a enemy of.