In the last post I stated the villain loves the superhero more than the hero’s family and friends. Now, I know that’s strange statement that needs explanation and in this segment I’ll provide that.
Now, given how may hero vs villain movies and shows we’ve seen over the years, I’ll assume everyone knows how the villain usually arises. Through a fucked up, shitty childhood and a hard knock life.
Now, the villain’s mindset is that of one in deep pain, one who is misunderstood in all aspects of society. The one who is completely outside the social norm, the outcast, the reject. The one no one wants, the one no one loves which is really all it boils down to.
Everyone in life wants love and affection, and when they don’t get it they begin to act out to be noticed. Child or adult, doesn’t matter. People need love and when all one has experienced is pain and suffering with no love in sight, it makes them very angry and bitter.
Now, when the superhero and villain meet, they seem very different. Different ideologies, different upbringing, different lifestyles. The superhero and the villain are total opposites. They couldn’t be any more different? Or are they different at all?
“We’re the same, you and I.” The villain says.
“I’m nothing like you.” The hero responds.
We’ve all heard that one before, right? Of course. Now, who’s correct? The hero or the villain?
The answer: the villain.
I know, I know. A big shocker.
I’ll explain: the hero and the villain are alike in the fact they have an ideology, an agenda, a perspective on the world in regards to justice and injustice, experiences that have changed their naive perceptions on life and exposed them to the darker reality, etc.
Fundamentally, the hero and the villain are the same, the only difference is perception. How people view them.
Think about Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. How were they able to amass large armies and kill an insane number of people? What was it about them that drove people to the level of madness necessary to execute such atrocities such as WWI and WWII (or was it the Cold War with Stalin? Seems I need to brush up on history)?
The answer? The two men were able to skew the perception of the public to suit their agenda. Hitler was able to make the Germans believe the Jewish were evil and needed to be exterminated and Stalin was able to Skew the perception of the public and maintain a stranglehold on his administration.
Now, have you ever heard the statement “if you don’t die a hero, you live long enough to become the villain”? I’m sure you have.
Well, this is universal. In Batman Begins (or the Dark Knight. I told you, Spider-man was my favorite but I’ve seen Batman) I believe the Joker was able to shift the perception of the public to make Batman seem like the bad guy and him the good guy (it could’ve been Harvey Dent but I’m not sure). For the Batman fans, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The point being, if the villain is charismatic enough and has that winning personality, they can pretty much sway the minds of the masses. They can put the hero in whatever frame they want, make the people believe anything and this is something the villain understands early on while the hero plays catch-up.
Now, the villain actually loves the superhero because the hero is strong enough to stand against the villain. Psychologically, the villain registers the hero as someone who can understand their pain somewhat but just needs a little push to get the full picture. Therefore, the villain seeks to hurt the hero in the worst way possible, to bring the hero to their knees, to make them feel the suffering they felt coming up in a cold and unforgiving world which is why the hero gets their asses kicked in the beginning.
Now, the greatest love, as twisted as it seems, is when the villain kills someone very important to the hero. It is often at that moment where they hero’s sense of reality is shattered and plunged into darkness. This is where the hero gets fed up with the villainy and finally stops getting their ass whooped. And, this is also the moment, typically as the hero has to make the hard choice and kill the villain, where the hero understands the villain. The moment where all the hatred and anger and rage fade away, because when the hero looks at the villain they see themselves.
Since the villain went through pain and suffering early on, they had an understanding of the world most people couldn’t handle. The hero, being the only one strong enough but still naive, needs to go through trials and tribulations so they can become the savior they need to be, so that their naive and ignorant notions of justice and good doesn’t cloud their judgment and sense of reality. The villain, in this sense, becomes the hero’s mentor in a session of the hard knock life.
Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week. . .