A post from my defunct Marvel blog concerning the constant need for new villains.
I’m running into a big problem this week with villains. Not planet-shaking world-breakers, but the smaller villains, the in-the-trenches costumed super-villains that make up the backbone of the criminal element within the Marvel Universe.
Specifically, we don’t have enough of them.
There’s been a real tendency over the last couple of years to either A) kill off members of the rank-and-file villains at the drop of a hat (and rarely to good effect), or B) to play said villains as fools or dopes or dufuses, rather than credible criminal threats. I’m tired of scenes in which stereotypical Sopranos wanna-be characters speak with disdain about villains in costumes. This doesn’t make these characters seem cool–it only makes it tougher to take those villains seriously thereafter as a threat.
On top of that, there’s been a real dearth of new villains being created at that level. People are more content to keep using the Ox, or the Unicorn, or the Matador rather than coming up with something new–and even when a new character is created, they tend to have a hard time sticking.
So in cases like today, when I needed to populate a given crew with villains of a certain type, it was a real stretch. I’m having to dig down deeper and deeper and deeper into the archives to come up with guys who fought Spider-Man and the Valkyrie once in an obscure issue of MARVEL TEAM-UP that’s worth anything. We’re getting down to the bottom-of-the-barrel, so we need to start making a concerted effort to either rehabilitate and maintain the villain pool that we have, or to come up with more good, viable long-term villains for the universe.