schmevil: (joker (happy face))
[personal profile] schmevil posting in [community profile] scans_daily
This would have been up earlier, but my internet connection has been dodgy today.

Today we celebrate our favourite comic book villains, (and I blather on about my favourite). What makes a great villain? Depends on the story, I suppose. Different kinds of stories need different kinds of evil-doers. But the basics: clarity of purpose, a distinct voice, an equally great nemesis. All of these are more important than a cool name or costume. (Where would Dr. Doom be otherwise, amirite?) There are a ridiculous number of great and memorable villains in comics, and if you're having trouble figuring out yours, IGN has got a top 100 for you here.

I grew up watching X-Men and Batman TAS and my best-of list is heavily populated by villains I first encountered in those series: Poison Ivy, Magneto, Mr. Sinster, the Joker. But my most enduring villainous love, has got to be Lex Luthor. (So unusual, I know. XD)

I actually first met him through the Superman comics my neighbor collected. I bought the X-books, he bought the Superman and Bat-books, and we traded on Thursdays. I guess I saw something in those comics (awful though many of them were!), because after that I was all over the Superman cartoon and Lois & Clark, and savoring every Lex episode. By the time Justice League and Smallville came around, I was an accept-no-substitutes Lex Luthor stan.

So what's so great about Lex Luthor? Well, a couple of things imho.

1. His usefulness as a foil for Superman.


(Action Comics)

A lot of the great villains are part of a matched set: Batman and Joker, Xavier and Magneto. Lex is a wonderfully enduring foil for an enduring hero. He's everything that Superman is not... and some things that Superman is. I mean, Lex and Clark share the same can-do, straight-on-til-morning heroic spirit, it's just that Lex has taken all his gifts (intelligence, drive, adaptability) and turned them to his own deification.

2. How he does (and doesn't) fit the mad genius/schemer archetype.


(Action Comics)

One of the things I love most about Lex is that he started out as one villainous archetype, gained depth over the years, and then shifted gears into whole new archetypal territory. He started out as a mad scientist, became a scheming, corporate plutocrat, and then regained a bit of his scientific genius. Now he's somewhere in the middle and the interpretive possibilities are endless. You can use him in crime stories, science-y stories, dimension-hopping epic adventure stories, straight up superhero stories, serious stories, and adorable, funny stories - he's versatile.

3. He obsession with cake.



BADASS. Dude rocks the pink and green (and purple and green) like no one else.

Anyway, have a couple of Great Moments In Lex:


(Lex Luthor, Man of Steel)


(The Outsiders)

And Lex with another of my favourites, the Joker, in: Joker and Lex


Lee Bermejo and Brian Azzarello


So who are your favourite villains?

Date: 2010-09-06 06:58 pm (UTC)
bwhahahabeck: ([DC] gotham city sirens: poop.)
From: [personal profile] bwhahahabeck


Harley Quinn, Maximus the Mad


Honorable Mentions: Cameron Hodge, Mortis

Date: 2010-09-06 06:59 pm (UTC)
bwhahahabeck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bwhahahabeck
Oh! And how could I forget:

Date: 2010-09-06 07:06 pm (UTC)
grazzt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grazzt
I just have to say, Bullseye is at his best when he's being played for laughs.

"What's your favourite colour?"

"Even I have to admit, that was pretty awesome."

Date: 2010-09-06 07:53 pm (UTC)
cainofdreaming: cain's mark (pic#364829)
From: [personal profile] cainofdreaming
Yeah, there's been some good stuff along that vein. Though I do like him also when he shows his professional and, sometimes, even his monstrous side.

All of which do come up in that Hit-Monkey #2 from which the linked scan is from, btw.

Date: 2010-09-07 05:14 am (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Cameron Hodge was a really good bad guy, especially considering a lot of his villainy stemmed from a hatred of mutants and his own twisted love/hat psychosis over Warren Worthington III. He also hated that as a "regular human," he was an evolutionary dead end.

Of course, Hodge being a "closet case" over Warren isn't exactly the most P.C. of motives.

Date: 2010-09-07 05:16 am (UTC)
bwhahahabeck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bwhahahabeck
Total. Closet case. For Warren.

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