My last post I spoke about heroes, but the only thing I love as much as a damaged, strong yet vulnerable, and witty hero is a menacing with meaning villain. I looooooove bad guys! I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m a bad girl? I pull for the hero and want him/her to win, but I want a villain who makes me think and falter.
Okay…let’s get down to why we love to love baddies and why.
1. Baddies have no rules – except being bad. They can do whatever they want no matter how dangerous, self-serving, or crazy. They get away with it too, at least for awhile.
Mystique! The two movie versions are awesome, but nothing compares to the comic book bad ass. She serves her own purpose and stops at nothing to accomplish her goals. She may act as paid mercenary or work for a cause she believes in. In comic book canon, her loyalty remains questionable, but you can bet she’ll do whatever is in her best interest. Go girl!
2. You never know what a baddie is going to do. You may think you know and then Wham! they shock the sh*t out of you. OR you know exactly what they’re going to do, you just can’t believe it.
I’ve argued before that Shane Walsh from AMC’s The Walking Dead is not unpredictable. Still, as a viewer, we didn’t want to accept that he’d actually do what we knew he was going to do. Otis? Poor Otis. But it was in no way surprising. Unlike Mystique, Shane has loyalty. If you’re Lori or Carl, you’re safe. Everyone else? Means to an end for survival. The awesome thing? Shane never tried to act like he was anything other than who he was. A selfish, surviving MFer. Gah I miss him!!!
3. Villains are powerful, successful, highly motivated, and driven. The best ones have a reason for villainy that we can comprehend, even if we don’t agree. It’s a good thing they’re so good at being bad too. The hero(es) wouldn’t bother themselves with a villain who never reaked havoc. If you love a character that gets stuff done with a competence and efficiency that’s scary – see most villains.
Magneto. Erik. Arguably the best comic book baddie that you love, played by two stellar actors in the movies. What’s not to admire? Erik has good reasons to be bad, but he’s also exceptional at it. True, his efforts are often thwarted in the end, but along the way, what glorious mayhem! He’s brilliant, powerful, charismatic, and born to lead. Not to mention the killer head wear and cape. Go on with your bad self, Mags!
Hannibal. He is the stuff of our nightmares because he was brutally intelligent and got away with serial murder and cannibalism for years. He was in a high security facility and we were all still scared to death! He’s not just some crazy freak on the loose. He’s decisive, sharp minded, and charming. And, last we knew, he’s on the lam!
4. Baddies not only make the heroes do stuff that’s…heroic, but they are often the driving force behind a story. Think about it. Without the baddies, what are the good guys and gals going to do? Nothing. Sit around, Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool. Booooring. Bring in the baddies! Let’s get this party started!
Ohhh Lucretia and Illythia from Starz tv show, Spartacus. I. LOVE. THEM. Love, love, love. If you’ve never seen this show, fix that err in your ways immediately. There’s a lot of violence, sex, coarse language, and A LOT of nudity. (I say this to encourage, not deter) At the core of it all are amazing characters and stories, the best of which includes baddies. The best baddies IMO are Lucretia and Illythia. These two women do more conniving, scheming, plotting, and web spinning than the Roman Senate as a whole. You like Lady MacBeth types? Check out these two power players! Frenemies of the best order too. They own every scene they’re in and you love, love, loooooove to hate them.
5. Baddies are an equal opportunity clique. Speaking in averages and percentages, in popular culture, there are more well known male heroes than female. Baddies, on the other hand, come in all shapes, sizes, sex, and species. =) As evident in my picspam, the women often out-bad the men. Hee hee!
One of my all time favorite baddies is the Evil Queen. Yes, she’s originally a Snow White story creation, but the theme of an evil queen is transcendant. Fabulous, rich, powerful, bitter, and vengeful – she is the ultimate diva and she will wreck your world. I do the giddy seal clap just thinking about her! I love Once Upon A Time’s version of the Evil Queen. Regina. Former Queen in their fairy tale land, modern Mayor of Storybrooke. In developing Regina, they’ve given the Evil Queen a reason to be evil. We can actually sympathize with her and sometimes think she may be redeemed. Or maybe not. Either way, she is a force to be reckoned with and if you’re smart you won’t underestimate her. She is woman! She is a queen! And her make-up is flawless!
What about you? Who are your favorite villains and why? They’re best when they’re baddest!