Thursday, June 2, 2011

Number1Son's Top 10 Villains

Number1Son weighs in on Matthew's challenge:

Okay, it's a bit late, but here is my list of the top ten villains in all of fiction, with a short explanation.

1. Darth Vader (Star Wars)
Imposing and intimidating and definitely evil. He would legitimately scare me in real life even if I didn't know who he was. He also had a huge cultural impact. He also has great character development which brings the saga to an epic conclusion.

2. Joker (Batman)
Psychotic evil at its finest. The Joker started off as a psychopathic murderer and was always best like this. He's a serious threat and will do anything to do whatever he wants. He serves as a perfect foil to Batman and certainly deserves this spot.

3. Keyser Soze (The Usual Suspects)
An absolutely perfectly done villain. He's an absolute genius and is scary enough that all other criminals refer to him as "the Devil" and they use the term literally. He controls basically the entire underworld and any parts he doesn't control are scared stiff. As for the police, he managed to copy "the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled."

4. Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
The only competent Bond villain. He only makes one mistake the entire movie, sending a girl to be with James Bond (well, he also shoots inside a plane). He almost kills Bond, and is smart enough to realize that Bond is bluffing. It's only his incompetent partners that allow Bond to survive.

5. Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda) and Bowser (Mario)
These two really created the video game villain. They have legitimate power and are definitely a threat and definitely evil. Both are possessed of some sort of longevity, having battled their respective heroes in new stories for over 20 years apiece. Few villains are able to come back so often.

6. Jafar (Aladdin)
Looks and sounds evil and still manages to trick everybody (okay, a parrot could fool the sultan; wait...). He is also a legitimate threat and comes within inches of winning. Only Aladdin's quick thinking and Jafar's own pride defeat him.

7. Sheriff Cobb (Silverado)
This guy is simply fun to watch. He's also really nasty. And happy. I can't think of a single scene in which he is not smiling. He's also hopelessly corrupt. Finally, he does not panic when things start going wrong, and simply tries to think of a way out. He really makes the film fun to watch while still providing a good villainous presence.

8. Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes)
Like Keyser Soze, except with seniority. However, he's not done quite as well. In the actual stories we learn little about him, although Holmes calls him the "Napoleon of Crime." We also know that he is behind a LOT of crimes, which is his main motive for taking down Holmes. He also is the opposite of Holmes, being a consulting criminal as opposed to a consulting detective. He is especially well done in the recent BBC TV series Sherlock which emphasizes everything that makes him a good villain.

9. Nergal (Fire Emblem 7)
Absolutely, totally evil. Has a pretty interesting fall to evil, attempting to gain power to see his children, who are in another dimension. Unfortunately, his method of gaining power involved sucking the life force out of other people and he lost his humanity and tried to destroy the world. We don't really learn much about his character though.

10. Davy Jones (Pirates of the Caribbean)
These movies had great villains. While on a whole I like Barbossa better (he would make a top 20 or maybe top 15 list), he spends a lot of the time as a "good" guy (think The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly good). Davy Jones is evil all the time. The writers did a very good job with him, making him a compelling character, turned evil by the betrayal of his beloved, but at the same time you really hate this guy and want people to take him down. For example, when seeing that his heart (he is literally heartless, his heart is outside his body and acts as his Achilles heel) is about to be stabbed, he makes sure to kill one of the main characters just so he can be cruel. He's simply at the bottom of this list because the others have him beat on some aspect or another. On the whole though, a good villain all around, and not afraid to mix it up with the "good" guys (again, this is a series where the main characters are pirates).

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