ourchair said:I agree with compound's assessment about Magneto.
The definition of noble may vary, but even if Millar's Magneto is meant to be some patently nuts terrorist-type figure, I hardly think that automatically robs him of nobility.
I think its really just part of Millar's inability to communicate nobility in his books at all and that Vaughan's charsimatic Magneto is actually reconcilable with Millar's nutjob. The two characterizations, are in my head, NOT contradictory.
My problem with the Ultimate villains is that they aren't necessarily psychotic, they're just JERKS. Or *******s. In fact, the whole villains are just big jerks thing is something that seems to be part of the thematic tapestry of the UU.
Doom believes that power is something owed to him by virtue of ancestry and lineage. He believed that prodigious skill in science is something that is born within him, something that he is master of through instinct. Similarly, he thinks that regal stature, nobility and power is something that is already in him. For him receiving power from forces outside, is just manifesting what is inside.
Osborn (and not Osbourne or Osborne) believes that receiving power is fate and destiny. That life is a mythical narrative that exists in cycles. His frustration at being unable to perfect the Oz drug was just a case of insecurity. "Why not? What is it about me that breeds failure when success is what I have known? If I finally succumb to failure and others see success, what does that say?"
Mutating into an uberpowerful Goblin thing drove him nuts because in his warped little head, Osborn got reassurance. By feeling secure again, it drove him to some kind of mad "It's my turn! This is what I deserved! I got what's coming to me!" BS.
Nihil on the other hand, is just a mean heartless little opportunistic sonuva*****. To paraphrase Reed, "The world is a great big place full of ideas and all he wants is to set up his own butthat franchise." Nihil doesn't see the fantastic as an opportunity to pursue great new ideas, nor does he see his long-livedness as an asset. He just sees it as the opportunity to accumulate more and more.
An interesting thing to note when thinking about all these villain-jerks is that as far as I know, Ellis was one of the inspirations for the Ultimate Universe long before he became involved in it. And guess what? Villain-jerks are a trademark of his.
Yes.The Overlord said:That just means the villains in UU are psychopaths instead of psychotics, it might be fun to see a villain in UU who is not just another psychopath. Pure evil psychopaths can make great villains, but they can get tiresome if they are used too often and need some noble villains to balance them out.
compound said:Is the definition of a "noble villain" basically one who is "lawful evil", in Dungeons & Dragons morality terms?
However, Baldur's Gate tends to define evil slightly differently by suggesting that Lawful Evil characters tend to perform their evil within the strictures of social codes and what is considered legal.Wikipedia said:A lawful evil character methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He is loath to break promises, and is therefore very cautious about giving his word unless a bargain is clearly in his favour.
This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They feel these personal morals put them above unprincipled villains.
Many lawful evil characters use society and its laws for selfish advantages, exploiting the letter of the law over its spirit whenever it best suits their interests.
Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master.
Lawful evil is sometimes called "diabolical", because devils are the epitome of lawful evil. Other examples of lawful evil characters include tyrants, petty bureaucrats, and mafia bosses.
Lawful evil is methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.
Although I must point out that all the talk among fans about how Marvel villains are noble is completely deluded. Largely speaking, the Marvel Universe has always had defective supervillains.
Even a big old Fantastic Four fan like me thinks that Doom has always been stupid. Doom has always been a jerk, a nutjob and downright insane. Any claims to the characters about his nobility and sense of honor are IMHO, bull****. (See my Doom Psychoanalysis Thread for proof)
UltimateE said:That the villains in the UU are evil jerks instead of idealistically evil is interesting in light of the tendancy for a lot of other people and events to be more realistic. Huh. Never noticed that.
I get the feeling that the Ultimates 2 villain will be, however. Just a feeling; I have nothing to back that up.
I think neither. I've never considered "noble" villains or bad guys "with a sense of honor" as necessarily better or more superior than more unscrupulous evil doers. Whether that reflects my actual taste in villains is a completely different thing.David Blue said:Is it a lack, or is this a feature not a bug?
Your flattery swells my already big head.David Blue said:By the way: well said, ourchair! That's Nihil and Victor Van Damme as I have seen them.
My take on the whole thing really is that the Ultimate villains are written with a lot less compromise and ambiguity that is reflective of the fact that it's inspired by the Wildstorm works of Ellis and Millar (that they've written for the UU itself is merely coincidental)David Blue said:Related to this, "noble" villains get lots of credit that they really don't deserve
...If some sort of verisimilitude is in question, my perception is that in really life people who do awful things pretty much are jerks. If X likes decapitating hostages on video, he may have a great line in talk justifying that, but it will probably turn out he was a cruel child and a thug as a young man: he just plain likes carving people's heads off. It makes sense to me that comic book villains are the same. Nihil is a melodramatic villain from another universe, but he's the concentrated essence of how a lot of mean, selfish people really are.
Exactly.jtg3885 said:Why the hell do we need noble villains? I don't want misunderstood villains or villains with a good crusade and a bad way of trying to accomplish it. That leads to villains I feel bad about seeing kicked around. Screw that. I want villains who are mean, evil little bastards so I can cheer when they get the ever-living **** beaten out of them and get sent to jail.