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  1. #16
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    And it would take even more effort to put them on par with Batman villains, whose personality is so strong and interesting and complex that some of them can be the main characters of entire stories and series, too.
    This seems like a rather large exaggeration. To begin with, Batman's #1 villain isn't as successful in a solo capacity as Lex or even Bizarro. There are Catwoman and Harley but I'm not sure you can still call them Batman's villains any more than you can identify Steel or Supergirl as "Superman's partners."

    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    redesigning the Scarecrow. And right now he is probably stronger than the majority of Superman villains.
    Guy with fear gas. He's intelligent but craaazy... just like everyone else in Gotham. And the Marvel character named Scarecrow. And the villain Mister Fear. Adekis mentioned the malleable traits of these villains as a weakness, that they're reduced to the basic gimmicks that tie them to the main idea of who they're supposed to be. But how does the lack of flexibility work out for Penguin? Or the Rhino from Spider-Man? Kraven had to blow his brains out in order to stop readers from yawning. Sinister has completely and totally changed his personality and motivations on the needs of the storytellers. Magneto is still all over the place, and he's as lucrative as any villain could ever hope to be.

    Joker is "so crazy, he can do anything!" The rest of the villains, when they try to branch, get turned into anti heroes or stories like One Face. Which of course sold very well. It's easier to be a winner with Batman, because Batman is a winner.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Son View Post
    the live action movies never shied away from using them while the Superman movies have been stuck in a Lex/Zod loop forever, with the exception of Doomsday.
    It was lame that the Lex/Zod loop took a long time to come to an end. Atleast Doomsday after all these years was added to the movies.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    This seems like a rather large exaggeration. To begin with, Batman's #1 villain isn't as successful in a solo capacity as Lex or even Bizarro. There are Catwoman and Harley but I'm not sure you can still call them Batman's villains any more than you can identify Steel or Supergirl as "Superman's partners."
    Well, technically speaking they WERE born as Batman villains. However, I was thinking more along the lines of other stories.
    I mean, you have one-shots and miniseries and prestige GN like Killing Joke, pride and Prejudice, The Joker's Asylum, Living Hell, and lots and lots and lots of Arkham-based adventures. Stories where Batman barely appears in and where the main hero is the villain. There are even a lot of Batman TAS episodes where Batman is barely more than a cameo and the villain is the main protagonist.

    Guy with fear gas. He's intelligent but craaazy... just like everyone else in Gotham. And the Marvel character named Scarecrow. And the villain Mister Fear. Adekis mentioned the malleable traits of these villains as a weakness, that they're reduced to the basic gimmicks that tie them to the main idea of who they're supposed to be. But how does the lack of flexibility work out for Penguin? Or the Rhino from Spider-Man? Kraven had to blow his brains out in order to stop readers from yawning. Sinister has completely and totally changed his personality and motivations on the needs of the storytellers. Magneto is still all over the place, and he's as lucrative as any villain could ever hope to be.
    I apologize but I didn't understand your point here. I am just thinking that a lot of people right now know who Scarecrow is and way fewer people know Marvel's Scarecrow or even Mister Fear, as far as I know.

    Joker is "so crazy, he can do anything!" The rest of the villains, when they try to branch, get turned into anti heroes or stories like One Face. Which of course sold very well. It's easier to be a winner with Batman, because Batman is a winner.
    IMHO it's a bit of an oversimplification - how many people did care about Mister Zero/Freeze before Paul Dini took him and made him the Mister Freeze we all know and love from TAS? It requires some clever efforts and critical thinking to make villains interesting. Reinvention, as I said.
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    This seems like a rather large exaggeration. To begin with, Batman's #1 villain isn't as successful in a solo capacity as Lex or even Bizarro. There are Catwoman and Harley but I'm not sure you can still call them Batman's villains any more than you can identify Steel or Supergirl as "Superman's partners."



    Guy with fear gas. He's intelligent but craaazy... just like everyone else in Gotham. And the Marvel character named Scarecrow. And the villain Mister Fear. Adekis mentioned the malleable traits of these villains as a weakness, that they're reduced to the basic gimmicks that tie them to the main idea of who they're supposed to be. But how does the lack of flexibility work out for Penguin? Or the Rhino from Spider-Man? Kraven had to blow his brains out in order to stop readers from yawning. Sinister has completely and totally changed his personality and motivations on the needs of the storytellers. Magneto is still all over the place, and he's as lucrative as any villain could ever hope to be.

    Joker is "so crazy, he can do anything!" The rest of the villains, when they try to branch, get turned into anti heroes or stories like One Face. Which of course sold very well. It's easier to be a winner with Batman, because Batman is a winner.
    Except they did recently develop Rhino's character, they had him quit, get married, have his wife get killed by a Rhino copycat, Rhino kills the copycat and becomes a misanthrope. Not bad for a guy who usually just charges at Spidey.

    Look at what can be done with lame villains with the right reinvention, Mr. Freeze was a nothing character till BTAS changed him and Kilgrave is one of the best villains in the MCU, despite the fact that 616 Purple Man was just a gimmicky villain for most of his career in the comics.

    Guys like Metallo and Parasite are presented as just thugs with gimmicks, when let's face it, they could be more then that.

    There are bad characters, only bad writers, but if writers are comfortable with giving some characters mediocre writing all the time, the characters will never get better.

  5. #20
    Incredible Member Ra-El's Avatar
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    One problem is that some of Superman best villains are world threatening type of characters, this may made harder for some writers to use them regularly like some of the most down to earth Batman villains. To use some villains like Mongul, Brainiac in a more long term way, it would be best if they took Superman out of Earth for a time.

  6. #21
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Well it again goes back to them basically being thugs. What story are you going to do with Mongul even if Superman isn't around? He'll do his usual shtick either way, its just that he'll have to be stopped by someone else.

  7. #22
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    Well it again goes back to them basically being thugs. What story are you going to do with Mongul even if Superman isn't around? He'll do his usual shtick either way, its just that he'll have to be stopped by someone else.
    You do the story where Mongul goes to pray at his alter, and his dark god (perhaps a....dark side.....of a god) finally answers him after all of Mongul's years of praying and emulating the focus of his faith, right down to ruling a world built for war and rocking the bald/heavy brow look.

    Obviously Mongul is one of the countless beings in our universe who worships Darkseid, and has modeled his entire life after his deity. There's plenty you can do with that; it elevates Mongul from a generic, despotic warlord based on a copy of a copy to a zealous, radicalized faith-terrorist on a cosmic scale.

    Mongul is (or could be) to Darkseid what Brother Blood is to Trigon. A major threat who is only a precursor to a much bigger danger.
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  8. #23
    Astonishing Member Prime's Avatar
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    I feel like the only Superman villains that can carry their own movie are Lex, Zod and Brainiac. Metallo, Parasite and Bizarro all feel like they would be just muscle for Lex.

  9. #24
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Adekis mentioned the malleable traits of these villains as a weakness, that they're reduced to the basic gimmicks that tie them to the main idea of who they're supposed to be. But how does the lack of flexibility work out for Penguin?
    I didn't really mean that their flexibility is a weakness. No, what I meant was that a single version of (let's just say) Metallo getting true, consistent development and getting a real publicity boost in multiple media, keeping the consistency of vision, would do more for Metallo's credibility than a dozen quality reinventions. Furthermore, the fact that his numerous reinventions all tend to be pretty good is actually annoying, because if the new ideas were applied instead to multiple characters, then we wouldn't lose an interesting villain every time we get a new Metallo.

    For this reason, I found myself hoping that the post-Reborn version of Metallo would be Roger Corben rather than John, whose choice to help Superman defeat Vandal Savage could thus remain intact. You could keep a lot of versions of Superman foes by renaming older versions to allow them to coexist with themselves.

    For example, Rudy Jones could stay a lovable sort of buffoon if Max Jensen became the psychopath. Luthor can continue on his redemption arc if "hateful lunatic" Lex can be the Ultra-Humanite and if lecherous mogul "Kingpin Lex" can be crime boss Big Bill Bowers (a Golden Age character whose imposing build and general gumption made him stick in my mind). Dru-Zod can retain his noble if fascistic self-sacrifice if we make Jax-Ur the self-professed "monster".

    Basically, the Superman mythos's tendency toward reinvention is only primarily harmful because it causes characters to come into being in a way which removes already-cool versions of themselves.

    EDIT- a side note about Mongul: I think that the pre-Crisis and post-Crisis versions of Mongul also suffer from this phenomenon. I like both the Death Star and Gladiatorial versions of WarWorld, but they can't effectively be the same WarWorld. In neither case however am I convinced that Mongul would improve by making his similarity to Darkseid more pronounced.
    Last edited by Adekis; 04-18-2017 at 09:05 PM.
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  10. #25
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I understand better now. Though when I think of consistency, I think of J. Jonah Jameson. Movies, comics, tv... it's absolutely the same guy, and it's freaky. It works, but so does Lex between the purple suit and the Smallville show.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    Well, technically speaking they WERE born as Batman villains. However, I was thinking more along the lines of other stories.
    I mean, you have one-shots and miniseries and prestige GN like Killing Joke, pride and Prejudice, The Joker's Asylum, Living Hell, and lots and lots and lots of Arkham-based adventures. Stories where Batman barely appears in and where the main hero is the villain. There are even a lot of Batman TAS episodes where Batman is barely more than a cameo and the villain is the main protagonist.
    But any character can have a story (even the Flash rogues) if they don't have to worry about sustaining interest. Superior Foes was very popular (not nearly as big as Batman: the Killing Joke, but definitely bigger than Batman: Joker's Asylum) and it had almost nothing to do with the conceived strength of Boomerang and Speed Demon as rogues.

    I apologize but I didn't understand your point here. I am just thinking that a lot of people right now know who Scarecrow is and way fewer people know Marvel's Scarecrow or even Mister Fear, as far as I know.
    For whatever reason, Cillian Murphy's character was in all three chapters of the DK trilogy. He's somehow the most prevalent right after Alfred and Bruce himself. But other than that, I'm not sure there's anything memorable about him. It seemed like you suggested that Superman's rogues were somehow beneath him and this is a character who

    would fool rather knowledgeable comic readers about which of the big two they're even looking at.

    IMHO it's a bit of an oversimplification
    It is, but so is throwing all the PZ villains in one box.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    Except they did recently develop Rhino's character, they had him quit, get married, have his wife get killed by a Rhino copycat, Rhino kills the copycat and becomes a misanthrope. Not bad for a guy who usually just charges at Spidey.
    I liked Milligan's story, and that Sinister Six story from the earlier BND. But the character was created 50 years before that. By the time of the story you're talking about, he'd already been beaten up by the Punisher. Sure he got better, but the point to me is that in no way are Superman's villains inherently worse or lesser in potential compared to these others.

  11. #26
    Mighty Member Mutant God's Avatar
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    Also good villains for Superman: Silver Banshee, Manchester Black, Vandal Savage
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post

    I liked Milligan's story, and that Sinister Six story from the earlier BND. But the character was created 50 years before that. By the time of the story you're talking about, he'd already been beaten up by the Punisher. Sure he got better, but the point to me is that in no way are Superman's villains inherently worse or lesser in potential compared to these others.
    Maybe so, but Mr. Freeze was around for decades as a generic bad guy before BTAS made him into a tragic villain, Purple Man was a generic villain for decades before Bendis turned him into a monstrous psychopath and now he is one of the best villains in the MCU.

    Its never too late to a make a generic villain more interesting, Johns did this a lot with B-list DC villains (with one major exception I will soon get too).

    The problem is one dimensional thug is one of the most common and uninteresting character types we see with comic book villains, because it is easy to write, but says nothing about the character.

    Parasite is a character who suffers from this and Johns wrote him as the most comically one dimensional villain in Secret Origins, he's greedy I get it, Johns took that one aspect to a cartoonish level and made the character totally uninteresting. A villain being greedy is not unique, almost every villain is greedy, Lex Luthor is greedy for example, its not an interesting villain trait on its own.

    The best recent Parasite story was in Earth One, so not the main canon. I prefer a more creepy Parasite, then just some greedy thug.

    There are no bad characters, only bad writers, but the writers never try to improve the character, there is no reason to care about that character after a while.
    Last edited by The Overlord; 04-19-2017 at 08:02 PM.

  13. #28
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    From the beginning, decades before Johns had even started reading comics, Parasite was the one foe who could challenge Superman mentally as well as physically, even at the height of his powers. He wasn't a greedy thug, just an incorrigible and petty man who became greedy after being outfitted with the remarkable ability to take things.

    Pre crisis and post crisis Terra Man were both fine, but 2000s era Terra Man stunk. For every awesome comic like Batman Annual #14, there's a Dark Knight to come along later and do One-Face.But that doesn't mean that a writer hasn't come along and tried.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    From the beginning, decades before Johns had even started reading comics, Parasite was the one foe who could challenge Superman mentally as well as physically, even at the height of his powers. He wasn't a greedy thug, just an incorrigible and petty man who became greedy after being outfitted with the remarkable ability to take things.

    Pre crisis and post crisis Terra Man were both fine, but 2000s era Terra Man stunk. For every awesome comic like Batman Annual #14, there's a Dark Knight to come along later and do One-Face.But that doesn't mean that a writer hasn't come along and tried.
    Well be that as it may, the main version of Parasite has not done anything interesting in decades, a character needs a good story recently, you can't just point to some story from 1976 and say he's a great character, a lot of people on this board may not have been alive the last time he was compelling. You gotta make a villain consistently interesting.

    I actually like some of the ideas presented in this thread regarding Parasite. Plus did Parasite ever have a story as iconic as the For the Man Who Has Everything, Lex's best stories or Jack Kirby's Fourth World? Even at his height, did Parasite have any great stories?
    Last edited by The Overlord; 04-19-2017 at 08:50 PM.

  15. #30
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    *shrug*

    Best I can tell you is that I personally enjoyed Kuder's Parasite story. Thousands of people bought the Parasite story from Lobdell so I'm pretty sure someone enjoyed that, too.

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