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GK’s Under The Influence: Too Good to be Bad

Magneto Rising #1

Magneto Rising #1

This week I thought I would write about something I often seen brought up online, sometimes it can even be contentious but where does the line stop at villains becoming heroes.

Now I can’t say that myself. But it seems to me that often gets blurred and violence sells after all. This came to me after seeing a movie recently were the one of the bad guys redeems himself somewhat but again it goes back to the point if someone has a sympathetic background and does one or two good deeds should it warrant overlooking any evil they have committed.

My personal opinion is it is a popularity contest, If a character doesn’t sell so hot you can guarantee they won’t ever get the kind of character development, miniseries’s and shift a tonne of comics. I have a few obvious examples to point to firstly, Magneto who originally didn’t have much known about him then of course that all changed in the 80’s when he was revealed to be an holocaust survivor. Since then he has flicked between good and evil. Leading the X-men to Morrison’s New X-Men were he went absolute nuts and genocidal which again didn’t stick because Marvel didn’t want Magneto to be seen that way because he is more valuable morally ambiguous. Just look at the First Class movie Xavier has a pattern of behavior of dick move after dick move where as Magneto really shines.

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1

Then there’s Deadpool, a guy who was created as a character who would try to murder a bunch of teenagers in New Mutants. Now he’s in every second title and even has plush toys.

Similarly with Punisher you have a character upon his first appearance would have put a bullet in Spider-mans head when it was believed he killed Osborn. So the ends definitely don’t justify the means in that scenario because he wasn’t in possession of the full facts but still would have done it, Does that make him any less guilty than say Bullseye either way it’s premeditated. I know the term hero is never used when discussing either of the characters I mentioned but I feel antihero no longer fits the description when Marvel goes to pains to paint them less negatively.

ASM #129

ASM #129

Then you have other fan favorites like Harley Quinn. Always painted as the Jokers naive follower yet constantly running to his beck and call whenever he plans his latest scheme. She is certainly in that Deadpool camp of being too well liked be taking seriously when doing heavy stuff, New 52 goth makeover aside.

So what is it about being bad that everyone seems to love?

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