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The villain is always ‘cooler looking’

Friday, July 04, 2014 1:15:35 AM
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I cannot be the only person who noticed this while collecting comics (and media in general) the ficitional villain usually looks a lot more varied and visually striking than our heroes do. I do not want to get into why these characters are appealing to us (the lure of the Dark Side) but why they LOOK so much cooler than the heroes.

For example, compare Venom to Spidey (dark Spidey not included) , Darth Maul, Storm Troopers, Skeletor at Masters of the Universes, any of the monsters from the Universal Movies….and the list goes on and on

Could it be that the creators are actively making the villain look more intimidating and cooler so the victory is ultimately sweeter or because it is just more interesting to come up with the unpredictable monsters?

There are exceptions to the rule of course (HellBoy, Batman) but I would love to know what the community as a whole thinks about this.
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Friday, July 04, 2014 7:18:52 AM
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The hero is always portrayed as wholesome - frankly that's kinda bland. Villains are cool.
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Friday, July 04, 2014 8:48:45 AM
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It goes beyond the physical appearance. Villains are mush more interesting than the heroes.

Heroes are largely reactionary in purpose. They don't do anything until a crime is being committed. They may go out hunting for baddies, but they can't do anything until they stumble upon a plot already in progress. After that, they largely are working in the dark. Everything they do is a direct result of whatever the bad guy does.

On the other hand, the villain is usually the one with a clear purpose in mind. He has a goal, and he usually has a plan in place to attain that goal. Of the two characters in the dynamic, you could say the villain is the one with more potential for a character arc, complete with conflicts getting in the way of his desired outcome. It's easy for audiences to root for that, while the hero sometimes is acting simply on a vague sense of duty.

Given all this, it's very easy for villains to appear likable, even worthy of our sympathy and understanding at times.
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