Beware the Ides of March. A phrase so rich in the history of the world. The ominous call of doom, the death of Julius Caesar. What a better time tocelebrate this "dark" period than to officially dedicate the month of March as Villain Month. That's right, a chance to celebrate all the really bad guys in literature, TV, movies, and yes, comic books. The bad guys in stories provide the fan or reader a tremendous gift. They could be the reason why our heroes rise to the challenge. Saving the day, when no one else can. Often we find that villains are created by the hero. Several of my favorite stories are full of this last scenario, where a villain is created accidentally by the actions of our star hero. The result creates a great enmity that can never be quenched.
Villains are fantastic drivers for story plots and the unexpected twist that catches we the fan at the perfect moment. Here are my picks for best villains and be sure to post your own.
TV: I had several that I really liked. The Governor from Walking Dead, Joffrey from Game of Thrones, The Master from Dr. Who, and even guys like J.R. Ewing from Dallas (yes, I admit that I watched it). My pick is Ben Linus from Lost. Devious, diabolical at times. His motives and actions truly represented someone you could hate from a villain perspective.
Literature: Wow.. So many good ones. Norman Bates, Nicodemus (Dresden Files), Hannibal Lecter, Sauron, Saruman, The White Witch (from Narnia), and even the Wicked Witch of the West. My favorite is the gentleman villain, Professor James Moriarty. His character was different than the more recent versions on TV, but a true villain and a great template for me to pattern the bad guy persona.
Movies: So many to choose from here too. Vader, Palpatine, Sauron and Saruman (again), Khan (from Star Trek II - yes, I liked Ricardo Montalban better in the movie than the TV episode or Benedict Cumberbatch's character), The Evil Queen (Snow White), Pinhead (Hellraiser), and the list goes on. My favorite has to be Agent Smith from the Matrix Trilogy. Outstanding villain not just because of his role as an agent, but because he wanted more. He wanted to get out, grow and wasn't going to let Neo or other agents get in his way.
Comics: For me, I am going to stick with just DC and Marvel That was my real focus in reading comics when I was younger. There was Lex Luthor, the Joker, Kingpin, Loki, Ra's al Ghul, Ares, Sinestro, Dr. Doom, and so on. For DC comics, I have to go with Darkseid. Hands down big bad, diabolical nasty. On the Marvel side, Thanos is my choice, but I'm going to add an anti-hero here. Magneto. He's bad, but he really has a cause (the safety and well being of mutants), unfortunately he doesn't care if he has to wipe out humanity and other mutants who stand against him to achieve that goal.
Well. there is my list. In the next few posts, I will be sharing some villains choices from some of my favorite authors, but until then, please post your own choices. There is no wrong answer. They're all bad news.