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Old 03-26-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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Default What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

What kind of villains do you prefer in comic book movies, evil or sympathetic?

There are quite few sympathetic villains in these films: Magneto, Loki (at least in the Thor films), Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, Mystique.

There are also some truly evil villains in these films: Both versions of the Joker, Red Skull, Sebastian Shaw, Bullseye, etc.

You got some villains in the middle: Movie Green Goblin (Dafoe) and Abomination are not very sympathetic, but they are not pure evil either. Malekith doesn't have enough of personality to be truly detestable (the comic book version is far more evil).

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Old 03-26-2014, 05:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

I prefer well written ones.

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Old 03-26-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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I prefer well written ones.
Come on, that's the easy answer, not the fun answer that stirs debate.

You can have well written evil and sympathetic villains and you can have poorly written sympathetic and evil villains.

But sympathetic and evil villains lead to different types of stories, some stories can only be told with a villain that is sympathetic, while other stories only work with a truly evil villain.

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Old 03-26-2014, 05:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

Dont have a preference really I enjoy both

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Old 03-26-2014, 05:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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Come on, that's the easy answer, not the fun answer that stirs debate.

You can have well written evil and sympathetic villains and you can have poorly written sympathetic and evil villains.

But sympathetic and evil villains lead to different types of stories, some stories can only be told with a villain that is sympathetic, while other stories only work with a truly evil villain.
You just answered this question for everyone.

Really, it's a bit shortsighted to definitively prefer one over the other, because there's so many more variables tied to the movie as a whole. For that matter, these aren't even the only villain archetypes.

Spooderman said exactly what I, and no doubt several others, was thinking when I saw the title of this thread, and your answer more or less ended it. Case closed.

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Old 03-26-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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You just answered this question for everyone.

Really, it's a bit shortsighted to definitively prefer one over the other, because there's so many more variables tied to the movie as a whole. For that matter, these aren't even the only villain archetypes.

Spooderman said exactly what I, and no doubt several others, was thinking when I saw the title of this thread, and your answer more or less ended it. Case closed.
Perhaps some people on this board do have a preference?

Even if you don't, you can say you don't, but then discuss why you like them equally and what kind of stories work best with what type of villain and some good and bad examples of both types of villains.

Come on, let's not go with the easy answers, there is some fun good natured debate to had here.

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Old 03-26-2014, 07:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

All of them. But nothing worse than a franchise that will introduce the very same kind of villain again and again.

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Old 03-26-2014, 07:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

Great thread ! Quite often its easy to say what makes a particular villain great, but not easy to say it about villains in general.


hmmm... Personally, I like villains who have a wicked sense of humour and a bit of charm as well as menace.

having said that, I'm not really into OTT villains. Probably my top villains would be

1) the Joker, Heath Ledger (well, okay, he's OTT, but just sooooo good at it).
2) Hans Gruber (Die Hard) played by Alan Rickman
3) the T-1000 (Terminator 2: Judgment day) Robert Patrick
4) Darth Vader (if you don't know what movie he's from, there's no point telling you)

Vader doesn't have much of a sense of humour, but the T-1000 has almost a cheeky
sense of humour, as in he has this little look he gives someone ...before he KILLS them!

From my list only the Joker is really a comic book villain, I would have to say in current films Loki is the strongest villain in terms of a little menace, a lot of charm, and being occasionally sympathetic.

As far as Marvel goes I'd have to say that Ian McKellen's Magneto has been the best to date though.

DC, hmmmm, tough to say, other than the Joker. Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman was amazing, but really more of an anti-hero (okay that's not recent at all). Tom Hardy's Bane was good, but the mumbling always distracts me from the power of his words.

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Old 03-26-2014, 08:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

1. Bane

2. Prince Nuada

3. Ledger's Joker

Bane and Nuada both have understandable goals, but their means to the ends are what make them villains. Joker was an expert manipulator. Those are the type of villains I like. Not much sympathy at all, nor outright villainy. Just understandable ends with questionable means.

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Old 03-26-2014, 08:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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1. Bane

2. Prince Nuada

3. Ledger's Joker

Bane and Nuada both have understandable goals, but their means to the ends are what make them villains. Joker was an expert manipulator. Those are the type of villains I like. Not much sympathy at all, nor outright villainy. Just understandable ends with questionable means.
I don't see how Joker has understandable ends, he is just a cynical psychopath who likes to kill people for fun and prove that everyone is as bad as he is, he is just a monster.

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Old 03-29-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

I guess it depends on the movie. But I prefer movies where the heroes are boy scouts and the villains are monsters. That's not how it is in the real world, of course. Sometimes good people do bad things, and no one is totally evil either (well, there are exceptions).

But! I think all movies should inspire moviegoers to do good deeds and be better persons. They shouldn't glorify villains or make fun of the hero... I don't want to see superheroes do drugs, have sex with everyone, torture villains or act like jerks. And I'm sick of "cool" or "misunderstood" villains...make it clear who the winner is, and which one's the loser.

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Old 03-29-2014, 08:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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4) Darth Vader (if you don't know what movie he's from, there's no point telling you)
It's Star Trek.

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Old 03-29-2014, 08:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

It depends on the character to be honest. As long as they're well written, I'm good.

As for my own creations, I have more fun writing villains who ride the line between the two and have fun with it.

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Old 03-29-2014, 10:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

Give balance to the force
I don't mind giving villains more than "They simply are evil", but I don't want to sympathize with them

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Old 03-29-2014, 10:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

It depends on the franchise, to be honest.

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Old 03-29-2014, 12:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

evil terran villians not extra terrestrial ones earths native criminals are bad enough without aliens getting into the act

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Old 03-29-2014, 01:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

Sympathetic villains are a fad nowadays, and some people think that a sympathetic villain is instantly better than an evil one and thats not always the case.

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Old 03-29-2014, 01:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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Sympathetic villains are a fad nowadays, and some people think that a sympathetic villain is instantly better than an evil one and thats not always the case.


Audience preconceptions are changing, but they're still very much there.

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Old 03-29-2014, 03:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

Dr Supervillainius: "You're as bad as me, Superheroman! I didn't harm anyone before you put me in jail all those years ago...just because I murdered that policeman! I need the blood of twenty virgins to resurrect my dead wife...and now you're going to stop me again, you fascist!"

Superheroman: "You're right, Supervillainius...in my quest to fight evil, I have become a monster. I can't do this anymore! I quit!"

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Old 03-29-2014, 04:46 PM   #20
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?


Don't anyone reply to Dr. Supervillainius: "You are simply one dumb ****, no one has purpose to sympathize with you"?

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Old 03-29-2014, 07:08 PM   #21
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

I think they tend to overuse the "sympathetic villain" or more often the "villain thinks he has a justifiable philosophical reason to do bad things" type.I admire when they just have the bad guy evil,just 'cause that's what he his.Everyone has a sob story in life,but some people are just plain evil.

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Old 03-29-2014, 07:45 PM   #22
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

You can sympathize with a complete monster. If the Joker is indeed the product of "one bad day", that's certainly something worth sympathy. The fact that he beat a nun to death with a premature baby is not.

You can feel sorry that the dog got rabies, but you still put it down.

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Old 03-29-2014, 08:09 PM   #23
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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Sympathetic villains are a fad nowadays, and some people think that a sympathetic villain is instantly better than an evil one and thats not always the case.
Not necessarily, there are a lot of villains in comic book movies who are not sympathetic:

Obadiah Stane, Malekith, William Stryker, Venom may not be pure evil, but none of them are particularly sympathetic.

Joker, Bullseye, Sebastian Shaw, Red Skull are pretty well pure evil.

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You can sympathize with a complete monster. If the Joker is indeed the product of "one bad day", that's certainly something worth sympathy. The fact that he beat a nun to death with a premature baby is not.

You can feel sorry that the dog got rabies, but you still put it down.
I think after a certain point your sob story becomes irrelevant, Red Skull having a bad childhood doesn't come close to making him sympathetic, after all the evil things he did. Really an Freudian excuse has to be in proportion to what the villain is doing, if the villain is using an abusive past to justify killing random people who have done anything to him and never shows a redeeming quality, then the sob story comes off as excuse and it doesn't make the villain sympathetic.


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Old 03-29-2014, 08:32 PM   #24
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

I like evil.

It's a stronger contrast against the hero and makes the heroes victory that much sweeter.

The only sympathetic villain that worked for me was Vader in ROTJ, but that wasn't until the very end and there was a powerful theme of redemption that made it resonate.

Most sympathetic villains fall flat because the whole thing feels forced and not earned like it was in Star Wars OT.

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Old 03-29-2014, 09:29 PM   #25
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Default Re: What kind of villains do you prefer in Comic Book Movies, Evil or Sympathetic?

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It's Star Trek.
That's right ! It's the one with that guy Han Solo, who's captain of the
starship Enterprise.

LOL !

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