There Is No Great Hero, Without The Greatest Villain

“A villain must be a thing of power, handled with delicacy and grace. He must be wicked enough to excite our aversion, strong enough to arouse our fear, human enough to awaken some transient gleam of sympathy. We must triumph in his downfall, yet not barbarously nor with contempt, and the close of his career must be in harmony with all its previous development.” — Agnes Repplier —

One of the many goals in my writing misadventures: TO MAKE THE ULTIMATE VILLAIN.

Forget about the hero. Everyone can do a hero and most focus on the hero.

ME?

I looooove a great villain.

The wicked laugh and dark motives. Their twisted view of reality. Their clouded take on life. In great stories, it is the villain that makes the hero who or what he or she is. It is the villain that shapes the story, that makes you see the conflict.

“The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture” — Alfred Hitchcock —

There are so many types of villains I could choose from to make my ultimate bad guy (or gal).

There is the evil villain. He’s just evil. Mean, nasty, hateful. Enough said. But its this villain that makes you see the good. That brings the virtuous moral of a hero forward. Think of demons or devils. But I don’t know if this is the kind of I want to use for my ultimate, it’s too cliche.

Now the coward…? This villain doesn’t do things himself. He gets others to do it for him. He hides behind henchmen or corporations or whatever, not wanting to get his own hands dirty. He lies, uses dirty tricks, and/or shifts blame. And when it’s his time to meet his fate, instead of standing up and taking it, he runs. I HATE THIS KIND OF VILLAIN THE MOST. And when he gets what’s coming, the punishment can’t be sweet enough.

The environmentally shaped bad guy is a product of his environment. This villain was raise to be what he is. He can’t help it. And part of you feels sorry for the poor SOB, as you watch the hero take a bite out of crime. Yes, I could use a bit of this… yes, I could…

Ahhhh, the manipulator. I must confess, this villain is one of my favorites. Sneaky, underhanded, and unlike the cowardly villain, this bad guy knows he’s wrong and revels in it. This villain makes the hero earn his status, always one step ahead. He’s smart, cunning, and the kind of person you love to hate, yet can’t wait to see what he does next. I wonder if I could ever make the perfect manipulator… The wheels of my mind are turning!

How about the I-Know-I’m-Bad-So-Kiss-My-Insert-Three-Letter-Word-Here Villain? This bad guy loves his badness. He gloats about it. For him, it’s a rush, he does it for kicks and giggles. And at the end of the day, he goes to sleep dreaming of all the horrible stuff he’s gonna do tomorrow. I kind of like this villain. In a way, he makes being bad look fun. And sometimes, he makes you want to root for him.

There are other villains I could use like ambitious, greedy villain: Greedy for power, money, status, something. He wants, and wants, and doesn’t care how he gets it… the take over the world kind of villain.

Or the maniac: Okay, he’s crazy. Nuts. Deranged. And we love watching his craziness take over. Think Joker from Batman (my all time favorite villain).

Then there’s the bigot. This is the racist, sexist, narrow-minded villain that feels its his right to rid the world of or just make life miserable for the group or class of people he can’t stand. And you just can’t wait to see him get run over by an eighteen-wheeler.

Oh, and don’t forget the anti-hero. To me, an anti-hero is a villain who just happened to save the day. The anti-hero is the kind of hero I adore. And the reason I created Ollie!

“Oh villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!” — William Shakespeare —

There are so many characteristics to choose from, and so many possibilities. I think I’ll mix and match them to make my ultimate villain. Or even better, have more than one!

RBH

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