Should some villains remain joke villains or should they be more serious?

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by The Overlord, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. The Overlord Registered

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    Should some villains remain joke villains or should they be more serious? Over DC Gail simne was able to turn a D-lister like Catman into a serious character, so should some of the D-listers in Marvel be made serious or should they remain jokes? Walrus was created to be a joke, so its hard to take him seriously, but one time Stilt-Man was supposed to be a serious threat. So which villains should be serious and which should be jokes?
     
  2. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Off the top of my head, I would be irked if someone decided to make The Looter into a serial killer or something. Watching Puppet-Master devolve into a serial killer and then a superheroine sex-slaver was very jarring.

    On the other hand, Batroc the Leaper could stand to be more dangerous, if at all possible. He just needs to get over the stereotypes.

    It is a difficult tightrope. I think the standard should be: some villains were once meant to be dangerous, but have become "jokes" due to writing and circimstance, while other villains, like Leap-Frog, were usually always intended to be silly.
     
  3. The Overlord Registered

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    Well it is becoming a bit of cliche that all mind control villains are all sex fiends. The Controller is a mind control villain who could be very evil, but not be a sex fiend.

    However there some villains who could benefit from being more evil, like Mr. Hyde. he always claims to be pure evil, but hasn't done much to prove it, it seems like he could benefit from being more evil.

    There other ways to make a character interesting though, you could make a villain more noble or sympathetic, like perhaps hilighting the fact the Shocker is a thief, but has a code of ethics.)

    Some villains could benefit merely by changing their gimmicks, like trpaster switching to death traps instead of a glue gun.
     
  4. Artistsean Monkey Boy

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    They could make Hyde be like Ultimate Hulk. killing right and left with no thought (civillians and heroes), canniballism, saying really horrible things.

    Some bad guys should be more serious, if its interesting and not just making them slashers.

    I think some bad guys wouldn't be totally bad, no one thinks of themselves as evil or bad guys. Not every bad guy has to be so extreme. Maybe a character wouldn't kill people just because he is a bad guy.
    I think one of the problems is that Marvel, or maybe most comics, have become so serious and gritty that they have removed all the campyness from it.
     
  5. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    I'd personally expand The Trapster from a glue guy to a general chemical weapons expert myself. Just seems like a more logical extention of his gimmick. Besides, death traps are kind of Arcade's thing.
     
  6. The Overlord Registered

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    Yeah, but Arcade often comes across as the poor man's Joker, with the Amusement park theme.

    I plus never understood how Trapster was more dangerous than some guy with a gun. Wouldn't a gun be more effective.
     
  7. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    On the surface, yeah. But there's more to both of them then their pechant for whimsy.

    I think it would kind of depend on the situation. The Identity Crisis arc in Spider-Man way back when showcased some cool applications of The Trapster's gimmick. As long as emphasis is put on the fact that he's good with chemical based weapons in general, and he just focuses on adhesive based ones because of personal preference, then he's fine as is. Really, I think at this point, defining him as a character is more important than upgrading his gimmick. He's had a few decent moments here and there, but over all, he's kind of a flat character.
     
  8. Artistsean Monkey Boy

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    I am not too familiar with Trapster, but what if they made him an expert with adhesive chemical traps.
    Not just guns but various forms of adhesive traps that stop the adversary but not kill them. maybe he never kills. And maybe he just doesn't do it because he doesn't want to be convicted for murder. Or maybe he actually would rather not kill anyone.
    I guess you'd have to look at his goal and his motivation, and why he is classified as a villian.
    Then try and make his gimmick related more to his character, like an extension.

    Actually I guess thats what you should look at before changing any of these characters, does it fit with their character?
     
  9. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    Thing is, Trapster's got at least six kills under his belt already. Of course, we already know that he feels guilty about one of them, as it was an (mostly) innocent person.
     
  10. Artistsean Monkey Boy

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    His non killing could always be selfish motivation, thinking it would look good in court if it showed he went out of his way not to kill during his crimes.
    Or maybe the 6 murders, starting with the one he felt bad about, really started getting to him.
    But I agree with what you mentioned before. His character, as well as everyone's character, should be most important and be used to determin the changes if any are needed.
    What is his motivation for crime by the way?
     
  11. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    Well, five of the six could be argued as not being murder. Normon Osborn had hired people to kill him and he killed the assassins in self defense. But the one he felt bad about was a murder. Osborn hired him to kill some teenager and make it look like it was Spider-Man in an act of heroics gone wrong.

    I believe his initial motivation was purely monitary. He had some plan to sell government files to another country and retire to a tropical island somewhere with his many millions. But, his plan backfired and forced him to go on the run. He's been a criminal as a means of survival ever since. What I liked about his bit in the Identity Crisis arc was that it showed that he was well aware that he'd severely ****ed up his own life and every atempt to fix things just made it worse.
     
  12. The Overlord Registered

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    The problem is with that is he got a pardon after he helped the avengers foil Zemo's plan back in the first MoE arc. So he had no reason to continue being a criminal and yet he did it anyway. Now see I thought Trapster was supposed to be smart, yet he never learns from his mistakes, which is the sign of an idiot.

    Even his first plan was pretty dumb, robbing an bank would have been a better idea than stealing government secrets. Winding up on the US government's **** list is a bad idea no matter how you slice it.
     
  13. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    That isn't necessairily how inteligence works. Someone can be an absolute genius when it comes to chemistry but still fail to learn from their mistakes like that. It's a character flaw. Those tend to be good things to have and to be able to work with, from a writing perspective.
     
  14. The Overlord Registered

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    Of course it means the hero can just beat him the same way over and over again, with trapster not learning anything or thinking about ways to improve his tactics, which makes for some boring stories.
     
  15. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    If it's handled that way, yeah. But I'm just aproaching it from the point of character developement here. I think having him be a flawed person who keeps making the same mistakes in his life even though he's aware of them, if handled properly, and used in the right story, could make him a very interesting character. He wouldn't be a massive threat to the heroes, but an interesting story isn't always about how the good guy beats the bad guy.
     
  16. The Overlord Registered

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    How would you build a story arc around that?

    Frankly I think trapster's character would only make sense if he was revealed to be a masochist, because frankly his behaviour has gone beyond stupidity. how does joining the frightful Four and fighting the FF earn him any money? It's work the last 50 times he tried and yet is still does it. Also Wizard tried to kill him once and he still hangs around with him. Those aren't the actions of someone who is just greedy or lacks common sense, after all this, he is a masochist.
     
  17. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    It really depends on the kind of arc you're trying to build. Anything that focuses on Peter Petruski as an individual would obviously use that to some effect.

    That's really unnecessairy. His actions reflect those of people in the real world. Continually making the same mistakes, associating himself with an abusive individual out of a vague and fairly stupid sense of loyalty, awareness of one's own mistakes but still being, for whatever reasons, unable to fix them. That's not masochistic. That's human. It's easy to say that a character's actions are stupid and unrealistic, and that if we were in that situation we'd handle it differently, because we're seeing it from an outsider's perspective, and we're not that character. You could probably make something positive of yourself if you had the same situations in your life or Peter Petruski. But Peter Petruski can't. He is an imperfect individual. There's nothing wrong with that, especially from a writer's perspective.
     
  18. KangConquers Purple Kang, Purple Kang

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    Comics need joke characters...if everyone's an A-lister, what makes the A-listers special?

    There are 7 areas of villainy: Cosmic, Deities, Spiritual, Time Travel, Mutant, Terrorist, Criminal. Outside of Doom, who is above classification...the top in each level is:

    01. Doctor Doom- Flagship villain
    02. Galactus- Cosmic threat
    03. Loki- God threat
    04. Mephisto- Spiritual Threat
    05. Kang- Time Travel/ Alternate Dimensions
    06. Magneto- Mutant threat
    07. Red Skull- Terrorist threat
    08. Kingpin- Criminal threat.


    There's room for no more than 3 A-listers in each area; Apocalypse, Mandarin, Baron Zemo, & Ultron all come to mind as other threats on a widescale.

    Batroc the Leaper needs to stay a joke to keep Zemo looking good...similarly, if Zarrko The Tomorrow Man got too successful, Kang wouldn't be nearly as imposing... it's important to keep certain characters b-list or below, in order the exault other characters.
     
  19. wolvie2020 Registered

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    I think timing depends on this as well...

    I mean, during Jenkins run on Peter Parker: Spider-Man, (mixed with Wells, and I think think another writer,) they did some great slice of life stuff as well a some generally funny stories. During then, they were big on Peter's character and the villains were used more as plot devices and it all worked out quite well.

    By the time Millar came on to do MK Spider-Man, he felt had happened too often with Spider-Man's rogues and amped them up to be more like when they 1st appeared.

    I liked the way that panned out over time... It brought variation to the storytelling over the years :up:

    I don't like it when there's TOO many 'camp,' villains though. Criminals are scary people by nature, even though it's great to belittle them cone in a while.
     
  20. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    I disagree in a few areas. One, you're seven areas of villainy. Mutant is just an excuse for a character to have powers. You can have mutant terrorists, which is what Magneto is. Also, spiritual, diety, and cosmic are fairly closely related. I mean, I don't see much a difference between Loki and Mephisto in that area.

    Also, I don't see why Batroc needs to be a joke for Zemo to look good. They're very different characters woth different specialties. Batroc is a mercenary. Zemo's the guy who hires mercenaries.
     
  21. KangConquers Purple Kang, Purple Kang

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    True; it's hard to consider Henchmen type top dogs/ A-list though.

    I consider A-lists they type of guys who give orders, not the ones who take them. But if you wanted a "Mercenary" class, guys like Sabretooth and The Taskmaster would take the cake over Batroc the Leaper.

    As for the spiritual/ cosmic / god...well...I could've gone with just cosmic and spiritual; cosmic beings are alien; anything outside of our sphere to me.

    The spiritual are the beings pertaining the the soul, the undead etc; guys like Dormammu and Mephisto.

    The Gods of marvel though, have proven to be superhuman "alien" type creatures as of the mid-90s, not spiritual gods. They're a race...it's a blurry line...but you have to draw lines in the sand somewhere.
     
  22. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    I don't see why any characters have to "take the cake" over any others. If a writer wants to use Batroc, that's fine.

    You really don't. All these distinctions seem kind of unnecessairy.
     
  23. The Overlord Registered

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    Survival instincts are also human and when someone tries kill someone, that person who was nearly killed will avoid that person from that point, unless they some sort of serious psychological disorder. Its unrealistic that Trapster would ignore his survival instincts, unless he was a masochist. I say it is necessary and I think its more interesting than what we have seen.

    That would make the character consistant, because if his goal is money, I don't see how joining the frightful Four and fighting the FF with a glue gun achieves that, I doubt Wizard pays much of anything. Establishing why
    Trapster remains loyal to the Wizard would actually lead to some character development, making those reasons vague is lazy and bad writing.

    The big question is Trapster good to sustain his own story arc. Because if your telling the exact stories over and over again (he robs a bank, he joins the frightful Four,etc) the charactert gets really boring.

    Pls think it would fun if you had a character that supposed on smaller and more feasible death traps, rather than just having an amusement park of traps and presenting yourself as a poor man's Joker.

    Because those guys have better sucess rates than other merc villains. If you a crime lord, who would you hire, an assassin with a high rate of sucess or one with a low rate of success?
     
  24. The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    And yet relationships like that happen in real life. Wives who keep crawling back to abusive husbands. People who keep friends who are obviously bad for them and don't actually care about them at all. These things do happen. To say that every person would or should do anything in any given situation is a tad ridiculous. People are much more varried than that. Yes, the smart thing to do when you have a friend who's abusive and tried to kill you is to avoid them. But if there's one thing people are brilliant at, it's being stupid. He doesn't need some sexual kink to explain it.

    Goals do change based on situations, you know. People don't always have a rigged set of goals that they stick to. Way I see it, his initial goal was money. After that, it was survival. He joined up with The Wizard because he hoped to pull himself out of his **** hole of a life by associating himself with someone like The Wizard, and hoped that joining the Frightful Four would offer some protection. The Wizard manipulated him and used him, and he fell for it because, by this point, he'd become a fairly pathetic schmuck. Now, he's fully aware of his flaws and his problems, but anyone will tell you that bad habits are hard to break, no matter how aware of them you are.

    This does not, however, mean he can't be a dangerous foe if you need him to give a good guy a decent fight. In fact, I'd say that his desperation and general pissed off-ness makes him especially dangerous, under the right circumstances.

    Well, first off, crime lords don't generally hire mercs. They like you keep everything in-house if they can. Second, I was talking about looking at them from a writer's stand point. But, to answer your question, a character can always improve their success rate and mend their rep.
     
  25. The Overlord Registered

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    I never said sexual kink, people can be sadistic without being sexual fiends, Green Goblin clearly gets sadistic pleasure out of parker's suffering that doesn't mean he is attracted to Peter. Maybe trapster enjoys humiliation, that would make sense.

    Its really hard to build a story arc around a villain that supposed to pathetic and with trapster's body count, he can't even be a lovable loser.

    I mean what is the reader supposed to feel about Trapster?

    I don't Trapster's pissed off attitude would do jack when fighting the Invisible Woman.

    Here's some character devlopment, Trapster stops having around the guy who tried to kill him and becomes somewhat less pathetic.

    Comic book crime lords hire mercs all the time, look at Kingpin, he did that all the time (Bullseye, Elektra ands Typhoid mary were independent contractors and didn't work for free.) Plus yu have explain how said character became more sucessful, when they were treated as a joke for the best 20 years.
     

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