Just imagine a world filled with heroes and no anti-heroes, filled with only the good guys with the bad guys nowhere in the picture, filled with angels and no demons at all.
Theoretically, would that even be possible.
No, the very premise of good relies on bad, and consequently you will not have heroes unless you have villains, the angels will not fly unless the demons wreak havoc upon us.
- If Harry Potter were a normal teenage wizard without being The Chosen One, and Lord Voldemort didn’t exist, would the series be as interesting?
- Would Batman be as interesting without the presence of The Joker, The Penguin, The Scarecrow, Poison Ivy?
- Would Sherlock Holmes even have to exercise his brain cells if Prof Moriarty didn’t have his devious plans in place?
- Closer home, would Vishnu have had to take his various avatars if demons like Hiranyakasipu, Kamsa, Ravana and all the other asuras weren’t around having their devilish fun on earth?
- Even closer, would Padayappa be as heroic if Neelambari didn’t resort to her antics to trouble him every now and then?
To me, who has devoured more than his fair share of comics as a youngster, has enjoyed (and continues to enjoy) his cinema and still manages to retain a voracious appetite for novels, it goes without saying that any hero is defined by the villain that he faces and how much of a ‘fight’ is put up by the villain while confronting the hero.
The concept of the hero being defined by his arch-enemy was something that was ingrained in me after I saw Manoj Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable [Link to Wikipedia article]. The main premise of this movie was the fact that the villain of this movie goes to the extent of orchestrating fatal disasters just because his purpose in life was to find his arch-enemy, the hero. This movie in more than one way left a lasting impact on me, to the extent that I suddenly had a newfound respect for writers (of scripts, comics, books, etc) for having created such memorable villains over the course of all the books I had read and movies I had watched till then.
And what better way to celebrate villainy than to dedicate October 16th to them and christen it “The Fictional Villain” day.
So go ahead, sit back and try and see some of the above villainish clips from YouTube or elsewhere. And oh yes, don’t forget to tell me about your favorite villains over the years in the Comments section.
This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the idea is to publish at least one post everyday based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to declare a Person X day where I get to pick Person X and I picked “The Fictional Villain” to honor today.