Batman, hands down, is my favorite superhero franchise. He may not have extraterrestrial superpowers, but he definitely has the best gadgets, mode of transportation, coming-of-age story, and costume. However, Batman would not be Batman without his villains.
After reading some mixed reviews about the recent Batman vs. Superman film, which I have no interest in seeing, I asked myself the following question: Why haven’t big budget production companies started investing in the stories of villains throughout comic book turned film franchises? The FOX television series Gotham is a step in the right direction, but what about the rest of them?
If you think about it, none of these superheroes would be as cool if they didn’t have the right villain to push them to their limits. I, personally, find the majority of the “fan favorite” superheroes to be unbearably corny. Not to mention the fact that supernatural powers that no one can understand how you acquired never impressed me. Try busting some heads without flying, sticking to walls, or having laser beams come out of your anatomy.
In the essence of storytelling, I’m more intrigued by how the bad guy or girl became a psychotic threat to the hero. I find it ironic that the majority of the villains started out as decent human beings, but then life happened and they turned into someone who even scares themselves. That inadvertently tells the audience that we all have a loose screw somewhere that can potentially make us go crazy, which is interesting and makes for a great story.
I’ll give you a prime example, Suicide Squad.
I can’t describe how excited I am to see this film. It’s going to be a breath of fresh air in the midst of a superhero trend that’s been played out since The Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer. And I can go out on a limb and say that Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn is going to steal the show.
The only theory that comes to mind regarding why we don’t see too many films starring the villains is the fact that it may send the wrong message to the younger viewers. You know, messages that teach our kids that it’s ok to steal, hurt people, skip your vegetables, and etc. Which I understand, but if the story is told the right way, I’m sure that we can find some morally sound lesson about completing your homework and going to bed on time.
I just hope us viewers can see more diversity within this superhero phenomenon going forward. If films about the villains won’t work, then tell more stories about the sidekicks. Like Alfred, he was a real G. Loyal to the end!
Until Next Time…