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Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Blog Party: The Top Five Villians
Thanks to the Bayer Family blog, I found out about MCF's Blog Party. This week's subject--the top five villians. (I cheated and chose six).

Let's face it--a hero is only as good as his best villain. "You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies" goes the line from an episode of Doctor Who and truer words were never spoken--especially in the real of the fictional heroes. So, with all that said, here are the villians I like.

UPDATE! (I forgot one). 7. Scorpius (Farscape). The best villains are those who don't think they're the bad guys--and that is the reason Scorpius was so good. We first met Scorpy at the end of season one, when he found out that John Chricton has the wormhole knowledge locked in his brain..and Scorpy wanted it. Season two was spent with a clone of Scorpy inside Crichton's head, slowly finding the knowledge and driving our hero insane. At the end of season two, Scorpy has won and destroyed all that Crichon holds dear, ending in one of the top five cliffhangers of all time. But what made Scorpy so great was that he thought he was doing what was right to save his people and to give them the power they needed to continue ruling the universe. Of course, over the last season, Scorpy's continually being resurrected got a bit old, but it's the memorable and vicious Scorpy from season two that stands out as one of the great villians of all-time

6. Locutus of Borg (Star Trek: The Next Generation "Best of Both Worlds") There will never be a cliffhanger that tops, "Mr. Worf, fire!" so they might as well stop trying. Season two of Next Generation showed us the Borg but it took until the end of season three for them to come back...in one of the most memorable stories ever in the Star Trek universe. The Borg kidnap Picard and turn him into one of them, leading up to the greatest cliffhanger in history. The horrifying part is the Borg take all of Picard's knowledge and experience and use it against the Enteprise. The image of the ships destroyed at Wolf 359 is truely one of the more memorable in all of Trek. And it was early enough in TNG's run that they could have killed Picard off in order to stop Louctus. It's one of those great the enemy from within is the deadliest, similiar in many ways to Angelus.

5. Angelus (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) The best enemies are those that know us best..and Angelus knew Buffy best. Angelus didn't just want to kill Buffy so much as destroy her first and then kill her. Season two of Buffy is my favorite simply for how brillinantly Joss Whedon sets everything up. The ill-fated romance of Buffy and Angel takes on new nuances as we find out that Angel is cursed with a soul that he will lose if he has one moment of true happiness. Whedon in his brilliance makes this one moment the first time Angel sleeps with Buffy. Angel loses his soul, goes to the dark side and threatens to destroy Buffy, her friends, her family and the world. He's such a bad-ass that Spike betrays him to Buffy. Angelus is a true monster and one that David Boreanaz has a lot of fun playing. Angelus comes back several times in Angel but there was no time that his effect was more clearly felt than in season two. Also, I love how Joss Whedon took the old chestnut of "when you sleep with someone they change" and really, really ran with it. Angel changed on some many levels and became a different person entirely--so much so that Angel and Buffy could never be together again. A great idea, a great role, a great villain. Buffy tried hard to top Angelus but never quite succeeded. No other villain on the show had the emotional resonance that Angelus did..and the decision to send Angel to hell to save thw world was a defining moment for the show.

4. Professor Moriarity (Sherlock Holmes). The equal of Holmes in just about every way. He only appeared in a handful of stories but he was so memorable and such a great nemesis for Holmes.

3. Khan Noonian Singh (Star Trek "Space Seed" and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) Over the years, Captain James T. Kirk made a lot of enemies, but none quite the Moriarty to his Holmes that Khan was. Fleeing Earth at the end of the 20th century for his role in the Eugenics Wars, Khan is one of the only villains on the original series to wrestle control of the Enterprise away from Kirk for any length of time. After gaining control of the ship back and exiling Khan to Ceti Alpha V, Kirk warps off and doesn't about Khan again until years later in the masterpiece Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Khan is back and he's pissed. Ceti Alpha VI exploded less than a year after Kirk left and Khan want revenge for the death of his people and for being exiled. Khan is one of those villians who is hell-bent on revenge and won't let anything stand in his way. It proves to be his undoing in the end, but he's one of the few villians who brought Captain Kirk down a peg. A lot of credit for how great Khan was has to go to Richardo Montalban who gives two mesmerizing performaces as Khan. Khan's imprint is felt upon every Star Trek villain since that time...he's the gold standard to which all Trek villians are compared and found wanting.

2. The Scorpion (Spider-Man) Now here was a villian created specifically by J. Jonah Jamison to kill Spider-Man. As they said in the comic, "The scorpion is the natural enemy of the spider." To my young mind, the Scorpion was the greatest Spidey villain of them all. He could go toe-to-toe with Spidey and more than hold his own. He was created to exploit Spidey's weaknesses and you always felt like Spidey dodged a bullet when he defeated the Scorpion. I would love to see Spidey 3 feature the Scorpion, but I doubt it will happen.

1. The Daleks. (Doctor Who) A good villain can make all the difference in the world. A prime example is the good Doctor's long-running nemeis, the Daleks. Created in 1963 in the second Doctor Who serial, the metal-plated pepperpots made Doctor Who an overnight sensation and catapaulted the show to the success it enjoyed for 26 seasons. One of the marks of a great villian or monster is that it's hard to imagine a series or a hero without them...and I cannot imagine Doctor Who without his greatest enemies. The Daleks were wonderfully created--a once great society, reduced to monsters that resided inside a metal shell, shulking about and shouting "Exterminate!" Terribly xenopohobic and hating of anyone who was different in any way, the Daleks are some of the great villians of all time. Not every story featuring them is a classic, but there's always this sense of excitmenet when you know a Dalek story is coming up. And the Daleks will be back for the first new series of Doctor Who stories that begin airing in March..which is as it should be.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 2/22/2005 02:57:00 PM | |
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