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The overlord




What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?


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The Black Guardian




> What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?

I don't see one as being better than the other. Sympathetic villains can be great, as can evil villains. Also, I don't think those are the only two choices, and I don't think those two choices are mutually exclusive.
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Experience The Bijou: Mini-Matinee 26



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USAgentfan




> > What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?
>
> I don't see one as being better than the other. Sympathetic villains can be great, as can evil villains. Also, I don't think those are the only two choices, and I don't think those two choices are mutually exclusive.
> ____________________
>

Sympathetic villains are the best and for the most part make more sense.

There are very few villains whose only motive is to commit evil deeds simply because they enjoy doing so. Most villains - and certainly the best ones - either commit 'evil' acts with what they view as a benevolent aim in mind, or they commit them because of something that happened in their past.

Doom does evil stuff because he wants to rule the world, but he wants to rule the world because he genuinely thinks he's the best man to do so.

Magneto hates humans because of the mob that killed his wife and first daughter and he wants to build a better world for mutants (just one without any humans in it!)

Even really nasty characters like the Red Skull have something of a tragic origin - his mother died giving birth to him and his dad tried to murder him at birth before committing suicide. He then struggled in the years after the end of WW1 like millions of other Germans did and Hitler decided to turn him into the ultimate Nazi just to prove a point to one of his bumbling officers. Seriously - the guy never had a chance. Maybe all he needed was a hug or something?

There are some true sociopaths - like Sabretooth or Bullseye for example - who just get their jollies killing little girls and stuff like that, but if you look back far enough you can tend to find a reason to sympathise with even these nut jobs.




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Reverend Meteor




nnt


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The Overlord




> nnt


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Reverend Meteor




Baron Helmut Zemo
Kraven
Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
The Beetle
Absorbing Man
Magneto
Constrictor
Kaine

...and these are the ones that come to mind just this minute.


I think all of the people I have listed have knowingly and willingly done horrible acts of evil and still gained my sympathy.




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Blue Beetle




> What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?

--
"We ask merely a man's worth... not the accident of his condition."
Henry Pym, Avengers #58, 1968 - "Even an Android Can Cry" (Roy Thomas)



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katefan




> > What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?
>
> --
> "We ask merely a man's worth... not the accident of his condition."
> Henry Pym, Avengers #58, 1968 - "Even an Android Can Cry" (Roy Thomas)
>


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FirstChAoS




> What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?

Definately sympathetic, all too often EVIL villains are either cold and psychotic and overdone for bloodlust, or ranting and cartoonish. Sympathetic villains feel like people. Mind you evil villains have SOME uses, but still I prefer sympathetic.

What annoys me is when they try to add sympathy to an evil villain while trying to keep the over the top evil. Sometimes it works, but more often than not it is an effort to paint a psycho as heroic.


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Fiasco




> What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?




Just depends on what the writer wants to accomplish in a story.

Sometimes you need a flat-out evil bad guy. Someone with no morals or compunctions. Just pure evil. In these cases, the heroes strongest noble aspects stand out in comparison to who they are trying to stop.

Sometimes you need a more sympathetic bad guy. In these cases, the heroes challenged with a more moral dillema and their heroism can be shown through compassion and character rather than just grit and determination.

Dr Doom works well as a bad guy because he shifts between the two types. When he's flat out evil, he's simply trying to gain personal power. Good guys simply must stop him at all costs. When he's acting on behalf of his people, he becomes more sympathetic in his cause (though rarely in his attitude). It's then not just a matter of thwarting his plans, it's also seeing to the common good of the people he was protecting while keeping his more selfish aspirations in check.


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RedShift




> What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?


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footman




> > What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?
>
> --
> "We ask merely a man's worth... not the accident of his condition."
> Henry Pym, Avengers #58, 1968 - "Even an Android Can Cry" (Roy Thomas)
>


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Grey Gargoyle




> What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?


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Omar Karindu




> What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?

Is that a villain should be sufficiently well-characterized that they can function as a POV character for a working narrative if need be. Basically, if they're not sympathetic or at least relatable, they should be evil in an interesting way. Bullseye, who narrated Daredevil #181, falls into this latter case when written well; when written badly, though, he doesn't even have the depth to work as a psychopath.

- Omar Karindu

"A Renoir. I have three, myself. I had four, but ordered one burned...It displeased me." -- Doctor Doom

"It's not, 'Oh, they killed Sue Dibney and I always loved that character,' it's 'Oh, they broke a story engine that could have told a thousand stories in order to publish a single 'important' one.'" -- John Seavey


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Blue Beetle




> > > What is better: Evil Villains or Sympathetic villains?
> >
> > --
> > "We ask merely a man's worth... not the accident of his condition."
> > Henry Pym, Avengers #58, 1968 - "Even an Android Can Cry" (Roy Thomas)
> >

--
"We ask merely a man's worth... not the accident of his condition."
Henry Pym, Avengers #58, 1968 - "Even an Android Can Cry" (Roy Thomas)



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP

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