Good evening, folks. I find myself delightfully devoid of a headache, but woefully devoid of motivation. That said, I’m behind one day on Heroes Week and feel like a proper cad about it, so I shall soldier on as I should have last night.
This type of Hero is embodied by one example that I still need to read, so the details will be a bit fuzzy. That thankfully means there won’t be any major spoilers, thankfully.
Incorruptible and Irredeemable are two comics that ran around the same time, featuring a parallel story that is really fantastic. Honestly, I’m ashamed to admit I’m barely into Irredeemable and I’ve only read so much of Incorruptible. Continue reading
The struggle of saving Liches and the Undead for the final day was really painful, but worth it in the end. Why? Because there was, believe it or not, an actual order to this week. The posts began with tyrannical, evil leaders, a sub-type of villain characterized by a constant craving for more power, and it ends with Liches and the Undead. Like Old Gods and Invading Species, Liches and Undead don’t necessarily want power. Their motives aren’t always known. More often than not, however, these three types of villains (well, it’s more a guaranteed thing with the Old Gods and the Liches) are all about destruction. Invading Species may show up and eradicate any resistance before continuing with their plans. They may be doing so to pave the path for world domination, or they could be setting up for planetary destruction. The Old Gods could very well have deeper motivations that aren’t always made clear through their actions, but the ultimate goal usually seems destruction and the further-spreading of madness.
Liches, however, and their Undead legions are delightful in that their endgame typically revolves around one guiding principle: the eradication of all life. Unlike Invading Species and Old God counterparts with the same goal, the Undead have one added trick that helps make them such a formidable agent of chaos: the more death they cause, the greater their own numbers become. The Undead, however, are notorious for not being the easiest creatures to keep indisposed. There’s necromancy for raising new undead creatures (or bringing back the fallen ones), viruses and plagues that lead to undeath, and so on and so on. Whether created by magic or malady, once the Undead show up they are guaranteed to keep on keeping on until they are stopped at the source. Not all Undead are subservient to a higher power, such as Liches, as evidenced by The Walking Dead and George Romero’s (Whatever) of the Dead. Continue reading
The biggest, nastiest possible invading forces are those with roots in creation and destruction of life are Old and/or Forgotten Gods. These big, nasty beasties rear their ugly heads (and tentacles and many-fanged maws) in all manner of entertainment media, and they are generally not showing up to make life better.
Old and Forgotten Gods aren’t always quite the same (ignoring the ever-present tentacles in most cases), but they all seem to share the same capacity for inducing madness and serious unrest wherever their presence is felt. Whether it’s their mere existence or a gradual, quiet whispering of dark horrors, any who are unlucky enough to be sensitive to these beings’ existence seem to end up going completely bonkers. In some cases, this could be a form of mind control. In others, it’s simply the effect of gazing into the unknown and realizing there’s some pretty horrifying shit out there. Continue reading
So nefarious, even its post invaded a day for other villains! In reality, this post was pushed back a day in favor of mourning the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett. If my heart doesn’t seem like it’s in this post (or the subsequent one that was meant for today), there’s the reason why. Alternatively, I feel like if Sir Terry could push through his Embuggerance and continue writing, it would be downright insulting to falter from just being sad. Easily an over-simplification of things, but I need some motivation to help kick me into not being a lump.
Invading species-types of villains are fun, if only because there’s so much variety to them. There’s aliens, sure, but there are also demons, monsters from other dimensions, hyper-evolved diseases, giant bugs (or arachnids), and so on and so on. Even humans qualify, as it’s not always about invading, and subsequently wrecking, Earth. Regardless of the location, the invading species usually has goals of domination and eradication in mind, though enslaving the native population also seems to work at times. It really depends where said invaders fall on a certain spectrum involving homicidal rage and sadism. Continue reading
Praise Odin it’s Wednesday and the worst of the week is probably over with. Probably. Shit, I certainly hope it’s over with at this point. Also, I realize that all of the types of villains I’ve featured so far are power-hungry. That shouldn’t be particularly surprising. This post feels even more ridiculous since the writing process involved in it has now spanned the entire day and I’m still only on the introduction. Bonus points because I at least managed to start organizing my living room, and I trimmed my beard for the first time without completely shitting it up. Please don’t judge me too harshly for that last bit, as this is my first real attempt at not being perpetually baby-faced. Right. So, moving on.
Today’s all about the Power-Hungry Subordinate. These are the bad guys waiting for the right time to make their move, stepping out of someone else’s shadow in hopes of casting a far greater one of their own. That’s not to say all villains classified as this type are working for other ne’er-do-wells, however. Some of the best-known Power-Hungry Subordinates find themselves trapped answering to a horribly cheerful, aggressively positive force of good. Such a dreadful fate. I wanted to try arguing these sneaky minions find themselves on a mission to overthrow a Tyrant, but I fear I might be venturing dangerously far into the realm of wishful thinking.
As with other types of villains, they can be pitiable. The Power-Hungry Subordinate seems to have a greater capacity for being sympathetic figures as they are typically in situations that have driven them to extremes, even if they do have broken moral compasses to begin with. I’ll get to that a bit more in one of the examples, though. Continue reading
The word sorcerer apparently really trips my brain up for some reason, which is a bit embarrassing really since my genre of choice is fantasy. I’m also far more tired than is conducive to writing a blog post, so I better get my ass moving or this will conclude abruptly with a bunch of garbled nonsense from my face slamming against the keyboard. This post is technically late, and I wish I had an excuse. Instead, I was watching videos of Markiplier getting scared out of his mind while playing Five Nights At Freddy’s. Whoops?
All-powerful magic users are a prevalent part of popular culture. They’ve been a big deal for a long time, and they can be sagely advisers just as easily as they can be agents of profound evil. As a former practitioner of the dark arts, via my Warlock in World of Warcraft, I feel it’s my responsibility to weigh in on the dark and light sides of sorcerers and sorceresses, both of the good and bad variety. Tonight’s, of course, is all about the villainous ones. Continue reading
On the first day of villainy, FictionalPenguin gave to thee…the Tyrant of boundless power and greed!
I’m so sorry. That was really the worst, just like the first kind of villain I’m focusing on: the Tyrant! Tyrannical leaders come in all ages, shapes, sizes, genders, and so on. They can start off as a democratically elected official with the best of intentions and the worst ways of handling said intentions, or they could always be a bad-to-the-bone, power-mad thug.
The Tyrant is almost always a control-freak. Every aspect of their dastardly plots, whether those plots are just to keep a kingdom under complete control or world domination, must be something they have total command over. Being able to manipulate every detail of their surroundings is key, to these characters, in maintaining their death-grip on power. Without that, they seem to have nothing and so such characters fall apart. Continue reading
It’s week one of that idea I mentioned yesterday! Surprise, it’s all about villains. Fret not, lovers of do-gooders and champions of justice, as the Heroes Week will follow with just as much attention and love as this one. I’m aware that’s shocking stuff, so don’t let that cause too much stress.
However, enough about heroes. This week is all about villains, and I’ve picked specific villainous types for each day from Monday through Saturday. I could explain it, but I took a picture of my notes earlier as a teaser and, really, that’s the easiest way to handle this. If we’ve not yet established my capacity for being supremely lazy, this is a great time to do so.
It’s official because I wrote in a notebook.
The plan for each day is to define each type of villain mentioned above, giving specific examples in popular culture, and then discussing the pros and cons of their use. I’ll also be focusing on how they can, in their own way, be the heroes of their own narratives (even when they are causing chaos and destruction all around them). There are some exceptions to that last bit, as Friday and Saturday’s options don’t really leave a whole lot of room for arguing that they’re just misguided and trying to do what’s best. Old Gods and Liches are usually just forces of pure, ancient evil, after all, and so they’re typically convinced the best possible plan of action is laying waste to everything.
I’m especially excited for the Lich entry, but I’ve saved the best for last.
Brace yourselves, folks. This week’s about to get awfully evil.
A great villain is the source of tremendous conflict. They bring about havoc, sewing the seeds of destruction and chaos everywhere they go. Naturally, there exist such people who only desire to thwart such nefarious folks in their plotting and scheming. Such scoundrels range from the ignoble bound for redemption to nobles who must first fall from grace before finding their true purpose.
I’m talking about heroes in their many forms, and how they tend to ruin everything.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and though they may be little more than plot devices bolstered by a strong need to do good and right…I have to admit they are an essential part of storytelling. Without them, who would give help give villains better reasons to make use of their laser death rays? My disdain for the heroic aside, I must say that a good hero makes for a good story. That was painful to type, so I’ll just jump into some of the most beloved varieties of daring do-gooders before I start to really regret this post.
This has nothing to do with tonight’s post, but Fall Out Boy’s “Immortals” has been my jam since I watched Big Hero 6 a couple nights ago. I may not know what the Hell half of the lyrics are, but it’s fun listening. Also: it probably has a bit of a boost in how much I like it because I associate it with Big Hero 6, which is an absolutely phenomenal piece of cinema. Relating to movies, music, and so on, I’d like to take a moment from tonight’s post to say goodbye to Screen Robot. I found out it’s shutting down today. Screen Robot was one of the first homes to my writing that I didn’t create. I’m sad it’s gone, but as their Twitter pointed out I should be happy it existed and so I am.
Here’s a transition sentence because I’m feeling all sorts of lazy right now. Don’t you judge me, damn it.
It’s safe to say by this point I’ve established I prefer villains over heroes. One could even go so far as to say I’ve belabored that point, but that’s wrong because there is just so much to love about the wonderful world of villainy. Seriously, people: who do you think has more fun? The unlucky bastard who has to travel all the way to some far-off evil lair, getting battered and bruised along the way, or the evil genius with the frickin’ doomsday device? The answer’s obvious.
Villains are simply more fun to write. There’s no denying that, and with so many varieties of villainy it’s easy to get lost in having fun while writing them. I’m going to keep this relatively simple because I don’t want to write a thousand pages on this topic. There will be plenty of other blog posts down the road on the same damn topic anyway. Without compelling, well-written villains, even the best heroes aren’t any fun to watch. Their victories become hollow and bland. Here are just a few of the many entries one might encounter in a proper gallery of rogues. Continue reading