Friday, October 2, 2015

Likable Villains

I was skimming comic stuff online when I found someone complaining about the concept of female villains "needing" to be likable. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn were used as the examples. I don't think villains in general need to be likable but they need to be interesting. I always thought part of Harleys' appeal was her not being evil like the Joker. I'm indifferent to her and don't read her books so I could be wrong. My personal taste tends to like bad guys that have depth no matter the sex.

I think Killer Croc has risen to my favorite of the Gotham rogues because of his development and more sympathetic nature. Joker is important sure, he just doesn't interest me much. Straight up evil for evils' sake is okay every once in a while although it wears thin if everyone's like that.


  1. Exactly, a character doesn't need to be likeable. It has to be interesting.

    But whether pandering or pressure many writers take the easy way to keep the fandom happy. Is the same reason I find a lot of the new "role model heroines" to be dull. They're so commited to present a positive "representation" of the women that they forgot to give them depth. They don't have faults or worries, they're always happy and always triumph in the end for no real reason other then they're the protagonist.

  2. I suppose you could say Spider-Girl Mayday Parker is a role model character but she was far from perfect. Like her dad she let guilt cloud her judgement sometimes and was very naïve which bit her in the rear more than once. As long as the characters have faults and proper development they can work fine.

    It's funny but I find characters like Barbara Gordon to be extremely unlikable and irritating. Not only isn't it her past characterization the same stronger woman she used to be she comes off very egotistical and elitist. No body will even call her out because all the other characters are forced to become the writers mouthpieces to claims she's perfect. That's a problem. I used to count her as one of my favorites before the relaunch.

  3. I'm not really familiar with Mayday but she was created on a time where the heroes had flaws and really dealt with the consequences of their actions.

    Now, that has been lost. Take Spider-Gwen and Barbara, where are the stakes? Where is the conflict? Where are their flaws?

    This piece from Comics Alliance (surprisingly) says it better than I ever could

  4. Mayday is honestly the one of the best legacy heroes I ever saw. She can be preachy at times but she's one of the few to put herself on the line to save the day. Yeah you don't see too many consequences lately.

    I haven't even read Spider-Gwen and I'm sick of her. I have read Gwen Stacy and she was barely developed. Even her creators admitted they were bored with her. Exactly, I think Tim calling Damian on his crap helped me like Damians' character. Has Barbara done anything nearly as impressive as the others or her past as Oracle? Has anyone besides Dinah called her on her BS? And Dinah folded pretty fast too.

    Thanks, I'll give it a look.