Gailsimone Tweets

Tweets are Loading...

Page 1 of 10 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 95

Thread: Softening villains

  1. #1
    Trouble Boy
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    790

    Softening villains

    I was listening to some music from "Once More, with feeling," and I started thinking how Spike started out as this badass villian, then was neutered before turning into just another snarky good guy who was totally whipped by his love for Buffy. And I remember Claremont did the same thing with Magneto and "Heroes" with Syler, try to make a cool bad guy into just another good guy. How do people feel about this? Are there other examples?

  2. #2
    Gunsel
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Where it's too damn cold mosta the year
    Posts
    4,345

    Re: Softening villains

    I preferred Magneto as the borderline hero who did things supposedly for a good reason as opposed to just another of Lee's hand-wringing Snidely Whiplash types.

  3. #3
    Hard Boiled SidekicksRevenge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    10,083

    Re: Softening villains

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil C. View Post
    I was listening to some music from "Once More, with feeling," and I started thinking how Spike started out as this badass villian, then was neutered before turning into just another snarky good guy who was totally whipped by his love for Buffy. And I remember Claremont did the same thing with Magneto and "Heroes" with Syler, try to make a cool bad guy into just another good guy. How do people feel about this? Are there other examples?
    I tend to hate this, though the occasional exception (Magneto, when handled properly, though I prefer him in the "tragic villain" rather than "misunderstood hero" category) creeps in.

    I never liked anti-hero Venom (the Eddie Brock version). I thought you had this cool anti-Spider-Man idea that was never explored fully because they went whiny anti-hero who talked about eating brains with it because he looked kind of bad ass. I think this may be why I love what Slott's doing with the new Hobgoblin now, because he's the antithesis of Spider-Man that Venom was meant to be but without the stupid symbiote.

    But I think that really speaks to the problem with Spike and Syler, too. You have this really cool villain, and the villain connects to your audience for whatever reason (I think with Sylar and Spike it had more to do with the actors than the characters and of course I've already said that Venom just had a look that could sell comics) so you want to make them sympathetic for when it's time for them to carry their own storylines. In the process of making a previously bad ass villain sympathetic, though, you swing too hard to the other direction.
    Funnybook of the Week - I read 'em, I rank 'em. Based on nothing more than my personal enjoyment.

    Twitter Feed - Just as inane as a blog, but shorter.

  4. #4
    Gunsel
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Where it's too damn cold mosta the year
    Posts
    4,345

    Re: Softening villains

    The making a villain into a hero thing is often done like a heel to face turn in wrestling. It is often sudden and requires you to totally disregard/forget all the horrible things they did as villains.

    Frankly, a good villain should remain a villain, IMO.

  5. #5
    Hard Boiled SidekicksRevenge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    10,083

    Re: Softening villains

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    The making a villain into a hero thing is often done like a heel to face turn in wrestling. It is often sudden and requires you to totally disregard/forget all the horrible things they did as villains.

    Frankly, a good villain should remain a villain, IMO.
    Hey guys, remember that time I broke into this dude's home and threatened his family? It's cool now, because I don't tell you to shut up while I'm talking anymore.
    Funnybook of the Week - I read 'em, I rank 'em. Based on nothing more than my personal enjoyment.

    Twitter Feed - Just as inane as a blog, but shorter.

  6. #6
    Gunsel
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Where it's too damn cold mosta the year
    Posts
    4,345

    Re: Softening villains

    I remember when they shoe-horned Sabretooth into X-Force and had a collar on him to restrain him. I recall some fellow collectors talking about how cool it was in my LCS at the time.

    All i could think was... "WTF?!?! This guys slaughtered Morlocks and has been an ass for decades and you want him on a hero team?!?!"

  7. #7
    Trouble Boy JKCarrier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    728

    Re: Softening villains

    I like a good redemption arc. I never watched Heroes, but I enjoyed seeing Magneto and Spike jump the fence. In these ongoing franchises, it often seems like the forces of good are just treading water...defending the status quo without ever making any progress. It's nice to once in a while see them score a victory by bringing a bad guy over. It's certainly a long-standing tradition at Marvel...remember when the Avengers consisted of Captain America and a bunch of ex-villains (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye)?

    In Spike's case, I imagine it was just a matter of practicality. Everyone liked the character, but the longer he was around, the more ridiculous it was that Buffy hadn't managed to stake him yet. If they were going to keep him around, a "face turn" was pretty much the only way to do it.
    - JKC -
    Glorianna: Barbarian adventure every Friday!
    Lady Spectra & Sparky: Superhero action every Monday!

  8. #8
    Gunsel
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Where it's too damn cold mosta the year
    Posts
    4,345

    Re: Softening villains

    The other thing I hate is when a writer takes it on themselves to remove the character growth that filled out a villain a bit and made them easier to relate to.

    For example, as I stated, I LOVED what Claremont did with Magneto. He made him a twisted version of the very people he cited for being the "hero to his people" he claimed to be. Then, Morrison go a hold of him and...... BLARGH! We're back to Snidely Whiplash with a bucket on his head.

    And do NOT get me started on what happened to Doom under Waid, a writer who's work I normally love.

    I know I just said a good villain should remain a villain, but in these two cases, the character had grown and been fleshed out.... only to set them back to their 1960s versions.

  9. #9
    Right Guy Impulse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,669

    Re: Softening villains

    I think it depends from character to character. No one really sees themselves as 'evil', so outside of the ones that are designed to be utterly repellent or psychotic - Red Skull, Sabretooth, Brother Blood, Trigon, etc - I prefer villains to be.... well, perhaps not 'sympathetic', but certainly understandable. It's one of the reasons I liked Sandman so much, until John Byrne had The Wizard throw him into an evil-o-tron and make him a bad guy again. No, seriously.

  10. #10

    Re: Softening villains

    There are a couple of villains I enjoyed seeing redeemed. I like the Thunderbolts, for instance. But I think redemption arcs only really work on lesser-known villains because market forces usually dictate that the big guns will always go right back to being evil. As enjoyable as Paul Dini's detective Riddler stories were, it was only a matter of time before he went back to being a generic supervillain, for instance.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •