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What Makes a Pure Evil Villain?

Discussion in 'General' started by Seth Vatamaris, May 14, 2019.

  1. Seth Vatamaris

    Seth Vatamaris Hentai Will Save the World

    Aug 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Bringing this from SB as there's not much traffic reaching

    I was trying to think of how to make this thread then this video came out

    It's a analysis of what makes a villain so pure irredeemably evil and its a hard topic to pin down. I once expressed annoyance at the Anti Villain which going by TvTropes has far more sub-categories than Anti Hero, and in my experience I've seen better Anti Villains than Anti Heroes. The problem I had was that everyone has to be so complicated ranging from "why aren't you a hero already?" to "why are you refuse to take a few closer to being totally evil?"

    This thread is about those who either somersault across the line or just like to poke it. And believe me there are far more in the latter.

    Usually the surefire way to make a Complete Monster memorable is having such a long and closely defining conflict with the protagonist, hurting them personally in any way possible, and tearing at the soul of the heroes. Winning is optional.

    But like any trope or character type they can be written badly if you don't have a good understanding of them. And yes there are many categories of villains and just because they aren't a monster doesn't mean they're a "normal" villain. Even the so called regular ones can do some pretty horrible things but context is dependant on the story, what might be horrible in one is normal in another. And I've been surprised when someone gets listed as Pure Evil that I never really considered unless I took at good look at their laundry list of crimes.

    The video here claims that backstory doesn't matter to them, The Joker being the prime example, but Scourge a fan favorite from Warrior Cats has a backstory and it didn't detract from his villainy.

    Then there were those who had complex motivations in the past but became evil like Megatron from Transformers Prime, Griffith from Berserk (points for changing in story), Abaddon from 40k to a degree.

    Of course what is hated is when villains who were previously monsters are forcibly made sympathetic or have their crimes swept under the rug. Mayuri Kurotsuchi from BLEACH was introduced turing his men into bombs "Bombs aren't meant to come back" torture his clone daughter and brag about his part in the Quincy Genocide while rubbing in how he experimented on and tortured Uryuu's grandfather while showing him a picture. Then Kubo turns him into walking example of black comedy and the "necessary evil" of the Soul Society while having him fight Sazyel who is even worse than him.

    Orochimaru from Naruto is a stanger case as his original form is tapped for all eternity and his current form is an old backup that's had lots of time to think about his mistakes.

    Sir Crocodile from One Piece was easily a monster in his first appearance for engineering a civil war in Alabasta for starters, then he got more complicated when he returned in Impel Down years later.

    Eobard Thawne aka the Reverse Flash from The Flash (2014-present) or at least well with Time Remnants its complicated but much like his comic counterpart he tried to kill a young Barry Allen; he failed so he killed his mother and framed his father. Throughout the first season he kills people who threaten Barry or try to out is identity, kills Cisco who he considers a son in one timeline, killed and replaced Harrison Wells, and when his plan to return home failed he tried to kill Barry and everyone he cares about out of spite.

    In Season 2 in his Harrison Wells disguise he confesses to murdering Barry's mother on a video that he left behind in case he died, true Harrison Wells of Earth-1 will be remembered as a murderer. He gets more complicated in his other appearances but is still evil and wants to hurt Barry in some way, one version of him kills and replaces Wells for kicks and joins the Nazis of Earth-X. in Season 5 he cares about Nora West-Allen like a daughter.
    Blehdg1 likes this.
  2. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END.

    Feb 11, 2016
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    Unlike an anti-villain, what makes a truly vile villain great and memorable has nothing to do with their ethos or the morality of their actions. You can piss people off by trying to turn such a true villain into an antihero, but simply having them stay villainous is not enough to be great.

    No, they're great when they have style. Xykon from Order of the Stick has an unearthly Charisma score, and acts like it. The sixth Master from Doctor Who steals every goddamned scene with his great (if usually fatal) sense of humour and his total and obvious disdain for anything resembling decorum. And so on.