There are many villains that fall under that category though they usually take up the roles of being dictators. They claim they are doing everything for the better of mankind, but they go about it in the most questionable ways. Dr. Doom comes to mind when it comes to this.
Hmm, sorry, I meant did he say something like "I know this is wrong but I'm going to be a ruthless dictator anyway?" Or like, "I know theres a better, friendlier way, but I will take the hardest, meanest path?"
Dr. Doom is not the first guy that comes to mind as a dispassionate villain. He's suffering from mental illness after being disfigured and messing around with dark arts.
I don't know if any villain ever said that. Also, Dr. Doom has faced his fair share of emotional trauma. Put all of that together and you've got a cocktail that makes for a very hardened villain you don't want to mess with.
I'm gonna give my two cents on this: I don't hate black and white morality. It's fiction after all. Most Fictional characters tend to lack the complex nuances real life humans posses. It's not surprising to see these basic good vs evil stories that are so prevalent even to this day as it satisfies this us vs them mentality among humans.
However that doesn't mean it's a good story. There's a reason you see this cilche more often in stories intended for younger audiences than those for older ones. Although a lot of older people can enjoy these as well, I mean who doesn't love a good love to hate bad guy? But not everyone is like this. Some folks perfer narratives where the atagionsit can be a protag in his own right because of how well he's written. You jsut limit yourself to just moustache twirling villains in an other grounded setting.
I'm not much of a pop culture nut so can't say any good examples since many people on this thread have done a good job in doing that.
Dr. Doom has had his share of embarrassing moments, like that time with Power Man, or being defeated by Squirrel Girl, or Rage throwing a cupcake at him, or having to entertain the Impossible Man's kids after they invaded his castle.
I don't mind that. comics are supposed to be fun, and you can always write them off as Doombots if you really want. I don't think it even comes across as the "look at what my new OC can do to established characters" behavior that became so popular over the years.
but Doom is still one of Marvel's earliest and mightiest villains, and should be treated as such. Doom's mere presence commands respect and fear. we're talking about the guy who briefly stole the Silver Surfer's board, acquired the Beyonder's power during the Secret Wars, resisted the Purple Man's mind control at point blank range and actually used him to rule the world for a while, and so on.
I wouldn't say he's mentally ill like any "crazy" villain, but he's certainly under the delusion that whatever happened to his face is Reed's fault. or maybe he knows it isn't, but won't admit it. whether he only got a small scar or something worse, he couldn't wait before putting his newly forged, white hot mask on his face. Doom's galaxy-sized ego is the source of both his greatest victories and his worst mistakes.
despite this, he's also not a truly vile monster (in most interpretations, at least), because the people of Latveria generally kinda like him. unless they got stockholm syndrome.
Dr. Doom is definitely complex, but at the end of the day, he is not good. Yes, he has done some good things and he is a good leader, but he runs his country in such a way that he is very harsh and unforgiving.
MK_Wizard:When I say evil villains, I mean villains who really are just bad people who make no effort to even try to be good, they don't appreciate the people who work with them, they care for no one but themselves and have evil qualities like sadism, greed and such.
While I do appreciate villains with a sympathetic side, I do think the evil villain still is important in story telling. For one thing, this villain shows you how not to act, but also, when a person uses cruelty as a means of self medicating their past trauma, they merit being held accountable not sympathy. How many abusers and criminals played the "bad past" card to gain sympathy only go on to be repeat offenders? I think it's important to show kids that some people in here and now, don't merit our sympathy.
What do you all think? Is the evil villain still important or just an outdated concept?
I don't think it's an outdated concept, that being said for the most part I still think it's a bad idea to use them. the mustache-twirling villain that ties of damsel in distress to a train track stereotype exist for a reason, it's to make fun of villains who have no depth.
the biggest difference between a hero and a villain isn't so much their actions it's what they believe. Good and evil are pretty broad terminologies, they mean different things to different people. No villain does a vial things because they are just born evil people, they do vile things because an outside force acted upon them in a way that makes them feel their actions are justified.
you probably hear that often and I'm sorry if I'm echoing points someone already made, but I feel that that's an important one when it comes to creating characters. Your villian must have purpose, with the effect of his actions observed by the hero as causing unjust suffering. Purpose is the biggest difference between creating a character that's just racking up a statistic, and creating a character that's doing something wrong and causing people unreasonable suffering.
ShaRose49:And I thought I thought deeply about these things XD this is getting too complicated for me yo
And yeah in the end I think stories are open to anyone’s personal interpretation and inevitably people are gonna disagree with each other on how to best interpret them, but that’s how life goes.
that's true too which is why it's more important than anything else to just gamble with your concepts. Keep in mind there are insanely popular series that are outright terrible, such as fairy tail.
That could be its own separate rant, I'll just leave it at this, Hiro mashima does not know how to write a good hero or villain, yet the popularity of his series (fairy tail) made him a millionaire. The same can be said about Akira toriyama.
I don't think most people will have a problem with what you produce. finer aspects of writing seem to be things that most people either don't care about or it just goes over their head. A lot of the time some people just care about the characters and can't even reiterate what the story is about.
Not that that's a bad thing, in fact I respect it. it is a very good thing that there are a lot of people out there who can accept something at face value, and the biggest reason that's a good thing is because it means you can gamble with an idea and there will still be people who will support it.
It's all about your target audience. if what you are doing is simply trying to create a story that you believe people will have fun reading, I don't think such things as designing characters carry that much credence. I rant about it, but mostly because it is something that is of personal importance to me, and I feel keeping such things in mind will simply make people better writers.
Trust me when I tell you the over-analytical, ruthless critics who consistently try to push how much something sucks will, at the end of the day, always find something about any work that isn't up to par and they will exploit it. it pays to probably just focus on doing something you enjoy rather than trying to impress people like that, or trying to impress in general.
Frankly the best advice is probably to simply write around the things you are passionate about or things that are extremely interesting to you and don't fret too much about how bad it is, especially if you're doing it for free.
I guess Doom isn't completely evil either. Hmm. Not that it changes anything. I love him and his character type. He's one of the most interesting villains in fiction. I think he falls more under an evil villain with shades of good in him. I think a lot of dictator characters are like him because his motive isn't evil. He just goes about the work in dark ways. He does want to make the world better and when he is the boss, he does succeed at doing that. He just takes measures that are morally questionable.
Anyway, another villain who always seemed to be bad all around to me was the definitive Joker from Batman. Not the alternate ones like Martha Wayne and other sympathetic ones. I mean THE Joker. The one who is a mix of insanity and evil. The one who is the ultimate sadist. Joker just lives to do what he feels like doing and he has never had qualms about hurting anyone whether it was someone who loved him like Harley Quinn or even at times kids. I am not joking. THE Joker has done stuff to kids. I remember as a kid that I would read about him and he would scare me at times. Even the Batman the Animated Series version of him was creepy (it is also the series that introduced Harley Quinn). I don't think there was ever a moment where I felt sorry for him ever except that maybe, just maybe, it was possible that at one time, he was saner and more mellow before becoming the Joker. The only thing is that THE Joker's backstory is shrouded in mystery.
I think Pure Evil characters can be fun and well-written, but should ideally be the minority of antagonists. I have a character who is just a plain old evil villain and revels in it and has no tragic cause, but he's from a decently lighthearted story and his schemes are intentionally cartoonish. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's actually a trope I can really get into.
This can be done in a more serious story, but often I've seen that happen in more of a prophetic/legendary way such as the previously mentioned Sauron or even Ganon from Zelda. Both are Pure Evil and exist in more serious stories, but they're also kind of.. untouchable? They're very divorced from reality and society, and exist more as undisputed forces of destiny than real people, which is fine imo.
But in most cases, a reason for the "evil" nature of the villain is necessary for simple believability. Whether the reason is a twisting of morality due to trauma, a case of extreme privilege/self-centeredness, or strong homicidal urge, they exist to explain why and how someone could deviate so severely from the social norms of not-killing-people. It would take a lot to make your average person commit murder (or do whatever your villain is doing) so why do they do it? Do they feel remorse? Do they not? What has happened in their life or development to cause such a thing?