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: 2010-09-07 03:47 am (UTC)
ext_442165: me, in a cartoony style. (Default)
From: [identity profile] http://www.google.com/profiles/NielJacoby
Hmmm...

Hieronymous, the Underacheiver(he's new but he's got me liking him a lot.)
Joker
Kingpin
Fin Fang Foom (put you in his PANTS.)
Dirk Anger

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