Take 10: Christie’s Favorite Villains
|Christie tries on some villain hair!|
If you take a look in my office at work, or if you take a look at my work nook at home, you will see that it overflows with villains. It’s not an accident- I LOVE villains. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I think that villains MAKE the hero. Think about it for a minute. It’s the biggest revelation in Mystery Men that without Casanova Frankenstein there IS no Captain Amazing. If not for Ursula, there was no way Ariel would get to Erik. Without Jafar, Aladdin would never have found Genie or Jasmine. The VILLAINS make things possible, and make things interesting. There would be no NEED for the Avengers if there were no villains, no need for a HERO to be a HERO if there wasn’t someone to fight.
So, in honor of my love of comic books, I came up with my top 10 mainstream villains in comics.
If you’ve only seen him in the movies, he was pretty nasty enough- being the force behind the hatred of mutant kind, yet pumping Logan full of Adamantium and making him Wolverine AND making him forget everything. (If you don’t know the references, see X-Men 2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine). If you follow the comics, he’s even creepier- he’s a full-out believer who thinks that mutants are the work of the devil, and actively works to destroy them from the face of the Earth. There is nothing like a true believer when you’re actively questioning your place in the world- he has some wonderfully devious plots and twists within the canon.
|Karen (Left) and Christie (Second from Left) Talk Free Comic Book Day at ALA 2013|
|We need some super readers to defeat some super villians!|
|Not the Joker, just someone playing at it!|
The Scarecrow really can be a sympathetic villain if you know his backstory. Bullied all his life, raised by a fanatically religious grandmother who hated him, called Ichabod because of his resemblance to the main character of Sleepy Hollow, and the most beat-upon kid at school, he throws himself into the study of fear. He makes chemicals and an alter-ego for himself so that he can fight the bullies, and the alter-ego comes out during the high school Prom. Studying psychiatry during college, he lands a job at Arkham and does fear studies on the inmates- and loses his day job at Gotham College when the gun in his briefcase goes off and kills another professor. Taking revenge, he kills the rest of the faculty and the Scarecrow is born: using fear toxins and gases to release long-buried phobias and fears in his victims. He had been little known outside of the comics until the most recent Batman trilogy of movies- he was one of the central villains in the first, then had recurring roles in the second and third movies which made the tie-ins and the lack of control in Gotham all the more apparent.
|Christie “with” Loki at the Thor: The Dark World premeire|
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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