How evil should a super villain be?

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by The Overlord, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. The Overlord Registered

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    A big question is, how evil should a villain be? People liked it when Purple Man became more depraved, but didn't like it when Dr. Light became a rapist. I guess its all a matter of context.

    Likewise I always thought Mr. Hyde should be far more evil than he has been written in the past, but I think it would be weird if Shocker became a depraved serial killer.
     
  2. Bubonic Registered

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    Although characters should evolve, as all people do, it should remain logical in view of the characters original personality.

    I feel the mainstream comic book world isn't really ready to regularly incorporate rape within its reality, in a lot of ways it is a harder subject to approach then murder... It's brutal on a whole other level and definitely more suitable for the pages of MAX.

    But I do find villains should be made as menacing and despicable as possible, more then just megalomaniacs bent on world domination.
     
  3. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    I didn't mind Dr. Light as a rapist. They gave some pretty good justification for it.

    It all depends on the context and the established personality of the character, really. The Taskmaster should never be torturing children for ****s and giggles, for example, because he's a mercenary through and through, not a sadist.
     
  4. fifthfiend M4J3ST1C L3G1SL4C3R4TOR

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    For me personally it's as much my dislike for major character/story changes via retcon as it is anything else. Rape is kind of a big thing to wedge offhandedly into someone's backstory. It's the same as (one of) the problem(s) I had with The Evil That Men Do, it was just this incredibly mediocre story and then halfway through they throw in this retcon about oh Black Cat got Teh Raped and that's why she's a superhero. I'm not saying there aren't ways to introduce this subject into superhero comics, just that the ways it has been done so far have been pretty bad.

    Also one thing that bothered me is all the subsequent *****ing they had Light do about how unfair his mind-wipe was, with an incredible minimum of people pointing out that he's a ****ing rapist scumbag. And not even just the heroes. I mean if Light's gonna be a rapist that's one thing, but then you have dudes like Deathstroke or Lex Luthor palling around with the dude, which really seems like something they would consider beneath them. I mean psychological mind games and emotional manipulation and murdering anyone who gets in your way sure, but ****in' holding a lady down and sticking your Grayson in her to prove what a big scary man you are? Lex Luthor shouldn't roll like that, or express anything but contempt for anyone who does roll like that.
     
  5. Mr. Superhero Registered

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    I feel that most villains should be morally absolute. All you have to do is look at all the great villains to see that they are all hell-bent on causing chaos and are, essentially, morally absolute. But you also have to consider the context of the character. For instance, Lex Luthor is pretty absolute, but he isn't necessarily evil, if you catch my drift. Sometimes, he thinks that what he is doing will benefit the human race, but he doesn't care as long as he is getting something out of it.

    On the other hand, you have the Joker. He is a moral absolute; there are no two ways about it. He is evil as they come, but he's a different type of evil to Lex Luthor. So it depends on the character.

    Ideally, I think that most supervillains should be there or there abouts in terms of how absolutely evil they are -- it bodes well in any form of art. Be it cinema, literature, poetry, comic-books -- morally absolute villains are usually the most successful. I think that conflicted villains -- or villains that don't necessarily perform evil deeds -- don't really make the grade.

    A supervillain needs to be pretty evil in order to be successful, IMO. It's like a rule of thumb.
     
  6. BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    It depends on the villain, the context, and how the writers pull it off. I liked Light being a rapist when Meltzer and Johns wrote it. I didn't like Light being a rapist when Winick wrote it.

    Case-by-case analysis. It depends; it always depends.

    Well, they kinda did. Deathstroke was like, "I can't believe we're going through all this trouble for a guy like him." And Luthor said that Light's place was entirely symbolic. And then Talia smacked Light with a coffee maker.

    Come to think of it, that wasn't Lex Luthor at all; that was Alexander Luthor. He probably wouldn't mind, his morality is pretty flat.
     
  7. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    If anything, Alex probably just thought Light didn't aim high enough. Alex decided to rape entire worlds, after all.
     
  8. storyteller Registered

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    I like to keep the serial killers and rapists to a few. I dont find it believable that someone like spiderman or iron man(hell wolverine) would let these type of people go(unless of course their merc or insane people who arent going down easy and usually escape by outsmarting the hero) if they were in the majority..
     
  9. BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    You mean he doesn't?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    In seriousness, villains who pride themselves on being above such crude crimes as rape and murder still employ the services of "common" criminals all the time. Penguin's got his cadre of thugs, Ra's has his assassins and thieves, and hell, Luthor himself has "teamed up" before with more brutes and bastards than anyone in his long career. In their eyes, they're only "using" these more degenerate villains for their own purposes, to discard them later. I mean, for both Alex and Lex, it's probably only fitting and natural that a scum like Light should serve at his feet. That's the way he would see it. In fact, that's the way that he did see it; obviously, Alex viewed everyone in the Society as his pawns to be thrown aside when the time was right.

    After all, if they're gonna exclude memberships in that Society based on pettiness of the crime, there'd be absolutely no one there. The whole point was to provide protection from mindwipes for everyone and not just the upper class of villainy. Heck, one of the founding leaders was Dr. Psycho who, in my opinion, dwarfs even Dr. Light in terms of being a demented, sadistic rapist.


    Heheheh. "Dwarfs."
     
  11. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    I couldn't. Well, I could see a writer doing that, but the way I see The Joker, he's all about showmanship. He wouldn't be morally opposed to rape, but he'd see it as a sign of a hack performer.
     
  12. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    The magic answer is, "it depends". Villains, like heroes, are variable.

    There are those who are out to steal money for whatever reason, who are more professional about things. They're out for the easy score, to use their powers or tech to get past working as an office drone and score the big haul. Naturally, they can sometimes be derailed or obsessed with revenge against certain heroes, or constantly hired by "boss" types, but still. There are rogues more out for the cash than to kill, like Rhino. P:WJ made hay out of Rhino accidentally killing a man during a bank robbery and being genuinely disturbed by it and wanting to make amends to the man's family.

    Then there are your nasty, sadist types. The ones who get off on doing nasty things. It isn't about money, not always. It is about beating someone, raping someone, doing something destructive, that sort of thing.

    Naturally there are your "boss" types who have higher ambitions than simple money or violence, although their schemes can involve both. Then there are your pure-demonic or cosmic type villains who threaten planets and universes on a grand scale.

    I usually am not in favor of mixing one or the other with the same character unless it is written very well. Puppet Master suddenly becoming a serial killer and then a white slaver seemed a bit odd to me, for instance.
     
  13. Alex Summers Registered

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    I agree with Dread that mixing certain "evilness" like traits with characters can screw things up. Even if the said character is written well. For example, it would be extrememly strange for someone like Captain Cold to rape someone.
     
  14. Franklin Richards Registered

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    I usually think of the two greatest villains and chart everyone in between.

    On the left if the Joker and on the right is Dr. Doom. The Joker would rape someone if it struck his fancy but Dr. Doom would never do that UNLESS the big picture were being considered.

    Hmmm... maybe I should come up with a chart or scale. Heh. Who is the middle villain?


    :doom: :joker: :doom:
     
  15. fifthfiend M4J3ST1C L3G1SL4C3R4TOR

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    Yeah but there's common criminals and then there's, well, rapists, and it's been my general impression (based on the impeccably accurate informational source of TV crime dramas) that even your entry-level mugger and strong-arm man will tend to hold rapists in some measure of contempt.
     
  16. Alex Summers Registered

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    Magneto?
     
  17. Franklin Richards Registered

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    Hmmm... Magneto might be a hero. At least in The Beyonder's eyes. But it's worth thinking about.

    Maybe Galactus?


    :thing: :doom: :thing:
     
  18. Aristotle Registered

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    A villain should be organic to the character. Dr. Light was never a rapist. He was just a joke. The Joker, on the other hand, there's probably nothing he could do that would be JUST TOO FAR for the character. He could rape Catholic schoolboys while flying an airliner into the Temple Mount and fist****ing a dead nun, and most of us would just say, "Oh, that Joker. He is pretty messed up."

    There is room for villains who are just plain evil. That's why we all like dudes like Thanos and Darkseid. There is also room for villains who are sympathetic, which is why so many people like Lex Luthor, Victor Von Doom, and Tony Stark.
     
  19. Franklin Richards Registered

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    Stark... heh... that's good.


    :thing: :doom: :thing:
     
  20. Kirk Langstrom FRANCINE!!!!

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    Did you ever read the Siege storyline in Avengers? Hyde helped beat Hercules nearly to death, then went on to physically torture a normal-powered old man. How much more evil do you want? :wow:
     
  21. Franklin Richards Registered

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    Maybe if Hyde were a Republican?


    I Kid!!!


    :thing: :doom: :thing:
     
  22. SuperFerret King of the Urban Jungle

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    I couldn't see the Joker being a rapist. It's not his style. It's not funny.
     
  23. Aristotle Registered

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    1) 85% of his writers can't do funny anyway. 2) Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. Aaaaaand rape is funny, courtesy of George Carlin.
     
  24. Kirk Langstrom FRANCINE!!!!

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    I always thought he raped Barbara in The Killing Joke...

    What other reason would he have to remove her clothing?
     
  25. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    I thought he more molested her than outright raped her, but I guess it was open to interpretation. And DC changes their stance on continuity issues by the hour. ;)
     

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