WHAT MAKES A GOOD SUPERVILLAIN?

In the superhero genre, the hero has to overcome an archenemy in order to achieve victory.  Every supervillain has certain aspects to them that make them a worthy challenge to the hero.  Some are completely insane with no logical goals, others are highly intelligent and methodical in their diabolical plans, and a few are far more complex.  When I designed the supervillains the Young Guardians would be up against throughout the series, I drew inspiration from heinous individuals I encountered personally and general concepts of what villains are.  With Cyber Shadow, I took the sadistic and mentally unstable mind of a school bully and demonstrated how he became an empowered, vengeful serial killer when his already troubled mind was struggling to adapt to his cybernetic enhancements.  With Fanoxean, I evaluated everything that is considered the epitome of pure evil and gave it the physical form of a being who started out as an innocent bystander, but becomes possessed by a malevolent entity that seeks destruction above all else while relishing inflicting turmoil wherever it goes.  With Vogan, I took what I considered the darkest aspects of my personality in order to create a man who has seen so many indescribable things in his long lifespan and lost so much that he becomes disillusioned and has a goal that he blindly believes will make the world a better place.  Every supervillain has different personalities and motivations, but they generally seek to achieve their goals no matter how much pain and suffering they inflict on those around them.

14 thoughts on “WHAT MAKES A GOOD SUPERVILLAIN?”

  1. As a crazy Batman fan, I have always loved his relationship with The Joker. They are so similar, yet have gone in different directions. It is how close Batman becomes to being like The Joker that fascinates me. The Killing Joke is one of my favourite graphic novels and how it deals with their relationship is the best version I have seen.

  2. Those sound like some very well-thought out villains. Another thing to keep in mind is to give your supervillains very human flaws so that the reader can empathise with them at the same time they watch them commit their crimes and atrocities. Makes you think when, as you say above with Vogan, there is some piece of “them” in this terror.

  3. ^ Bouncing off of what Russ said I agree, relatablitiy is very important. I still think, however, that in some cases it’s cool to have a super villian who is almost unreal in his evil ways to the point where it may intimidate some of the readers.

  4. I love a great character myself, but have never really thought about villains. How much do your sense of morals come into play with it? I bet quite a bit.

  5. Hey Grady, interesting Post about how your source personalities for your Super Villains. As a Dad with a child on the Autism Spectrum, I can see how this would work, you’d know the characters you create intimately.
    Thanks for the Follow too, let me know if there are any specific Health or Fitness Posts you’d like to see.
    Cheers,
    Rich.

  6. Some villains are of the unshakable conviction that they are the good guy, and what they are doing is the right, best thing to do. Its that belief that gives them their drive and also makes them a real threat. Think General Zod. Other villains know they are the ‘bad’ guy, or at least they guy who’s morals don’t match those of the society in which they live. Their drive and power comes from they fact they they are trying to destroy what you hold dear.

    Both can be well rounded characters, and both can she a light on the morals your hero holds, and can make you question your own beliefs, which is, after all, the point of a good villain I would say.

  7. I like to say that Superman and Let Luthor have the best super rivalry. Why? Because their battle is not a physical one. They are having a philosophical battle. I think the best supervillains are the ones whose philosophies on life are not only starkly different from the hero’s philosophies, but also are fueled by logic and critical thought.

  8. Thank you so much for following my blog! I really appreciate it! This is a great post; I think it is really hard to write a good villain, and a good, complex villain gives the story so much tension and provides that moral conflict. Thank you for a great post! 🙂

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