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The overlord

Subj: 8-Ball: It's all about the personality
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:15:49 am EST (Viewed 1 times)
Reply Subj: If you want villains to be taken more seriously, you have to exand their character
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:21:17 pm EST (Viewed 1 times)

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> I remember the 'ole Eel when he was stil lthe Electric Eel.
> There's no reason this guy can't be a major villain.
> Doc Shallot sent me some DVDs of all the Avengers and Captain America issues going back to the 60s, which I'm enjoying (mightily), and it's amazing to see how seriously the Grey Gargoyle, Electro, the Scorpion, Mr. Hyde, Moonstone I and II, the Vamp, Tiger Shark, and others were taken--the Porcupine and the Planet Man too.
> They were in every way the equals of the Wasp, Captain America, the Black Widow, Goliath, the Falcon, Nomad, Quicksilver, Hawkeye, etc.
> And the heroes not only took them seriously, but found them dangerous. We need more of this!

If you want villains to be taken more seriously, you have to exand their character or explain why thier gimmick is dangerous. There is nothing worse than a generic villain, people don't like him, people don't hate him, they gets no reaction from the reader. Try and give them better motives and valid reasons why they are criminals. The silver age was great for developing heroes, but because the heroes were being developed they didn't have time to develop the villains right away, but now people want their villains to be developed characters. Should the reader hate them, feel sorry for them, almost admire them in a twisted way. if the vilolain is just obstacle in the way, he isn't much of character and not interesting.

Eel actually did something different in the story mentioned, instead of just robbing banks, he anacted a cheme to frame another villain for murder, i never heard of that before.

Also try and have these villains do new things, how times can a villain try and rob a bnk before it becomes boring? Look at Elctro, why should he rob banks, when he can make ATMs spit money at him? That would be different. How times must Wizard form the Frightful Four before he realizes it isn't working, form the Evil Eight or do something else. The writers have to be more creative with these villains to make them interesting.

Sometimes it's all about the personality. The Sleepwalker villain 8-Ball, despite his supposedly goofy looks and his tendency for straight-up crime, IMO stands out for his swaggering, smooth-talking, self-assured personality.

When Sleepwalker first appears and demands to know what he and his gang are doing, 8-Ball calmly and coolly replies that they're making a "withdrawal", and attempts to convince the naive Sleepwalker that they're on the up-and-up, until one of his idiot henchmen freaks out and throws a ball bomb at him. 8-Ball even chews out his goon for that, pointing out that it wasn't necessary.

Better yet, he isn't at all fazed by Sleepwalker's claim that he's an alien, kindly offering to educate the alien hero on Earth culture...even as he holds his deadly pool cue right in Sleepwalker's face. Then, once he's finished with the lesson, he casually drops the whole bank vault on Sleepwalker, all while maintaining a jaunty pose with his cue stick.

In a later issue, 8-Ball branches out from your standard bank robberies by trying to steal a solid gold trophy worth over $100,000. When Sleepwalker arrives to stop him, they fight and 8-Ball wins, taking the unconscious alien back to his hideout. 8-Ball celebrates his victory by blowing a bunch of king-sized fireworks, painted like billiard balls, over the East River, planning to blow up Sleepwalker by strapping him to the biggest explosive!

See now, personality quirks like that can make even generic bank robbers stand out. Just goes to show you shouldn't make light of a guy with a giant billiard ball for a head...

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