We've all seen the movies with the cookie cutter, dull hero whose only flaw is having a bad hair day. Yet the villain is, more often than not, super interesting.
There can be bland baddies too, only interested in power or being evil for evil's sake. They're just badly written.
The best villains, however, are the ones we empathise with.
Conflicting, isn't it? When we pity the bad guy/girl, when we've felt the same things they have, or endured the same hurt. Secretly, we kinda want them to win. Not so secretly, we find them hella sexy.
So I'm going to take a look at my favourite villains and what makes them so brilliant.
We start with a villain that's also a protagonist, sort of. GOTHAM is a tv show about the backstories of the Batman villains, and they kinda take the lead away from boring ol' Jim Gordon. My favourite of these "villains" is Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin.
Robin Lord Taylor is phenomenal in this role of a sociopath just wanting to make his way in the world.
WARNING: Gotham spoilers ahead
Oswald arguably has some kind of learning/mental difficulty, never specified, exacerbated by his unusual upbringing. Smothered by his (very weird) mother, Oswald was bullied as a child. Belittled, beaten and made to feel like a failure by his peers, he turned to his mother for comfort. And he also turned to violence.
Oswald desperately wants to prove himself, and those old bullies of his, that he can be successful. He can be the king of Gotham, if he kills and manipulates anyone who gets in his way.
A vulnerable man seeking to gain power, Oswald figuratively kisses ass if it will suit his endeavour, working for various mafia bosses and crimelady Fish Mooney before eventually one-upping them (or killing them, whatever works best). His ultimate goal is to be in control of Gotham and he even has a stint as mayor, before his friend/love interest/enemy, the Riddler, bursts that bubble.
One highly admirable trait that Oswald has, is persistence. He never gives up. Even after countless betrayals by his friends, countless defeat by his enemies, and Jim Gordon's vendetta to put him behind bars, Oswald keeps going.
No matter how many times he hits rock bottom, he gets back up. Even after attempts on his life, he still keeps on trying.
He might be a manipulative little bastard, but he's also incredibly loyal. Those who are loyal to him, he pays back with unwavering soliditary. Which gets him used and abused more often than not. It's hard not to feel sorry for him. Oswald desperately wants to be loved. So much so, he is too eager to believe the affection offered to him by others, even if it's false. He's also very protective of that affection, and will happily murder anyone that comes between him and the object of his desire.
He's not completely selfish. The support he offers to young Martin (a mute boy whom he takes under his wing) is second to none, even so far as risking his own life and reputation to protect the boy. Only to be accused of Martin's murder and arrested by Jim Gordon (way to go Jim).
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Thoughts on life, the universe and everything through the eyes of an introvert. Ideas on misconceptions, society pressures, and the very real struggle of life itself, written by an introverted thinker with a wattpad account. Thoughtful? You bet Funn...