(WARNING: There are minor SPOILERS below for various superhero movies. Please continue at your own risk.)
Often times we watch a movie and we root for the good guy because, well, that’s what the movie wanted us to do. However, occasionally we come out of the theater going “Wow!” not because the hero was spectacular and blew us away, but because we fell in love with the villain. In a superhero movie, this dynamic between good and evil, good guy and bad guy, hero and villain, is very clearly spelled out for us. Recently, the trailer for the upcoming movie Suicide Squad was revealed, and it got all of us fans excited for our favorite villains to take the reins and star in their own movies. I’ve decided to look at some of the best (and worst) superhero movies, and chose 5 villains we can’t help but root for (or at least feel some sort of love for).
Loki starts out this list, because, as the internet might have informed you over the past 4 years, Tom Hiddleston is every girls favorite bad boy. There are plenty of reasons we fell in love with Loki. He’s funny, clever, good looking, and all-around evil. And yet, despite, his many, many flaws, Loki is one of the greatest villains to ever grace a superhero film. Tom Hiddleston brought the Trickster to life 3 times so far in Thor, Avengers, and Thor: The Dark World. It can easily be said that Loki was the best part of Thor 2, the film that was otherwise confusing, boring and forgettable. Luckily for us, we have someone like Loki gawk at! However, Loki is far from one of the best villains in the now expansive genre of superhero movies.
The Joker (The Dark Knight)
Heath Ledger, in a role that many thought would ruin the Joker, turned into the most recognizable (and fan favorite) Joker to rival the Dark Knight. Ledger brought an otherwise laughable character to a world that was dark, gritty, and full of crazy people. This particular portrayal shows the Joker’s dark humor and his psychopathic nature that many fans have fallen in love with. The Dark Knight Trilogy is easily one of the best Batman films series that we’ve seen (beating out Clooney’s regrettable Bat nipples), and part of that success is given to the late Heath Ledger. He took the Joker from being a laughing stock and turned him into Batman’s greatest enemy as he was always destined to be.
Ultron ([The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035))
Sure, this robot might have wanted to destroy the world and our favorite superheroes, but we also love him. He’s new to this crazy world, and who can blame him for wanting to eradicate the entire world after looking at the internet (Surely he came across the trolls, the nasty comments, and the otherwise horrible nature of people on the internet). James Spader gave voice to the maniacal AI and his rich, sweet voice memorized us all as he promised to destroy us. And yet, Ultron was ultimately just confused, even after maiming Klaw he shows some remorse and apologizes for cutting off his arm. Many of us left the theater after Age of Ultron feeling bad for our titular villain, and yet, at the same time he totally deserved it.
Syndrome (The Incredibles)
Does a family Pixar movie count as a superhero movie? Well, does it have superheroes in it? The answer to both of these questions is “Absolutely!”
Syndrome is an underdog, and if movies have taught us anything it’s to always root for the underdog. Unfortunately, in the case of The Incredibles this underdog wanted to kill, kidnap, and destroy a perfect marriage. However, we are also inclined to feel bad for him. All he wanted to do was help his role model save people, and he had great inventions too, yet his hero shot him down. The poor fellow spent years wallowing in his own filth but decided that instead of letting the superhero fantasy die off, he would become the superhero that the world so desperately needed. Sure, we might have hated him for trying to destroy the Parr’s life and take Jack Jack, but honestly, we were all secretly rooting for him just so he could achieve his dreams. However, I guess he didn’t heed Edna’s advice (No Capes!) and ended up being airplane food.
The ultimate humanitarian (er, homo superior-ian?), spent several films attempting to let his brothers (and sisters) rise to their full potential. This villain was constantly combated by old friend Professor X and his X-men, and yet he never gave up hope that one day Mutants might be free from persecution. He might have tried destroying all less beings (humans) in order to achieve this, but he wanted to protect his children. Who can blame a man for protecting family? Ian Mckellen was the first person to bring this villain to the big screen and was followed (and shared the role) with Michael Fassbender, both of whom were successful in making the audience wish we were mutants so that we could follow him to peace. In the comics, Magneto is even successful in setting up a safe haven, a perfect utopia for mutant kind. Now if that isn’t a deed to melt anyone’s heart, then I don’t know what is.