• Analyzing the Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains: Green Goblin (Spider-Man)

    Green Goblin Spider-Man (2002) There wouldn’t be an MCU without the one-two punch of X-Men and Spider-Man (2002). Green Goblin may not be the best villain. Heck, he may not be the best in the Spider-Man universe. But you remember him. Characteristics and Powers: Green Goblin makes a memorable villain because of an over-the-top performance by Willem Dafoe. But that’s what makes him so scary, because he can go from calm/rational to unhinged in a second. And you believe you are under threat because you don’t know what he’s going to do. Unfortunately, it’s not the greatest costume or powers. I don’t know about his comic book origins, but in…

  • Analyzing the Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains: Magento (X-Men)

    MAGNETO X-Men (2000) I’m starting with this movie because this is the real inception point for the MCU. If not for this movie and its compatriot Spider-Man (coming up next!) there would be no Tony Stark or Avengers. So I think it’s important to examine the precursors and their staying power with audiences. I don’t think it was a great movie — the problem with the X-Men is that it’s character soup — but after the chintzy animated series, it was a gourmet meal. Characteristics and Powers: Can bend and shape metal to his will. This includes stopping bullets in midair and some electromagnetism. And since just about everything in…

  • Analyzing the Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

    Time for a new feature on my blog. You’ve read my Analyzing the Disney Villains series. Now get ready for the Marvel Cinematic Universe villains. I think villain analysis is important because one of the keys to a really resounding story is the obstacles that the hero has to go through. The harder the obstacles, the harder the hero has to work, and the more glorious their triumph is. We wouldn’t remember Luke Skywalker as anything but another sandy-haired all-loving hero if not for Darth Vader. We wouldn’t remember wide-eyed innocent Dorothy if not for the cackling Wicked Witch of the West. We wouldn’t remember Batman’s noble pursuit of justice…

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    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Itself (Strange World)

    So this is our future, huh? Disney has stopped attempting to make villains. There are no bad guys, just people who make mistakes and assumptions. Our antagonists are now natural disasters (Strange World), faceless plagues (Raya and the Last Dragon) or ourselves (Ralph Breaks the Internet). I think this will be the final entry in “Analyzing the Disney Villains” because Disney simply isn’t making new villains. Which is a shame because Disney had some of the best — Scar, Maleficent, Captain Hook. That’s part of the reason I started this series. But there doesn’t seem to be a point anymore. I applaud Disney’s move on attempting to craft something more…

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    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Namaari (Raya and the Last Dragon)

    NAMAARI Origin: Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Is it right to teach the children no one’s really evil, just misunderstood? I’m having a hard believing that in this day and age. Maybe that idea’s good for reality but it’s not good for stories. Let’s just proceed as if Namaari is the antagonist. Because I’m not writing an essay about a faceless purple plague that looks like Gloom from “Tears of the Kingdom”. (Fun fact: she’s the first combination Disney princess/antagonist.) Motivation: Long ago, the four five nations tribes lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation Fang Tribe attacked. During her dad’s company picnic, Raya thinks…

  • wreck-it ralph

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Ralph (Ralph Breaks the Internet)

    WRECK-IT RALPH Origin: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) So we have another antagonist-less Disney movie. Who is the villain of this piece? Is it the virus? Is it Shank? Is it… is it Ralph? I can’t see a way that it’s not. For one thing, they are fighting a bunch of Ralph clones at the end. For another, the antagonist is defined as the person standing in the protagonist’s way. Who is the protagonist? It’s not Ralph. Ralph doesn’t need to change. His life is perfect (he even says so). Therefore the protagonist is Vanellope–she wants to change. And Ralph doesn’t want to let her. Motivation: Vanellope wants a life…

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    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Maui (Moana)

    MAUI Origin: Moana (2016) Moana is a little like Pinocchio, where there are several unrelated antagonists–Te Kā, Tamatoa, the Kakamora. But these are dumb obstacles in Moana’s way. They have no personality and no purpose but to provide Moana with action set-pieces. The person serving as the real antagonist, the one preventing her from getting what she wants, is Maui. Some might call him a deuteragonist, but I think he’s enough in Moana’s way to call him the biggest hindrance to the hero’s journey. Motivation: At first, it seems like Maui is just a macho braggart. He makes these grand gestures and accomplishments to earn the accolades of other people.…

  • punisher

    Villains vs. Anti-heroes

    I recently read this editorial on Polygon talking about why every hero seems like a villain these days. It specifically points out Homelander in The Boys, Black Adam who was marketed as an anti-hero, and Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think the problem is that people are mislabeling villains as anti-heroes. The line is blurry, but there is a line. And it’s very easy to cross. An anti-hero does the wrong thing for the right reason. The Punisher dismantles the mafia and corrupt cops by brutally murdering them. Batman stops crime by inflicting fear and suffering instead of gathering evidence or kidnapping a criminal who fled to Hong…

  • Some YouTube Videos Worthy of Getting My Like

    The first video I ever liked (apparently) was Hannah Hart’s Pizza video from… let me check… ELEVEN YEARS AGO? We were all just babies back then. That’s like… 1997? I’m not sure why–I recall liking “Tacos” and “Grilled Cheese” better (“butter yo shit”). I bet I was drunk at the time. When I rewatched this, I realized Hannah Hart reminds me of my daughter, and I have no problem with that. I was in this anthology and the editor put together a book trailer for it. I love book trailers. Actually I love trailers in general. So if you like names, find mine at 2:09. This was just just a…

  • bowler hat guy meet the robinsons disney

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Bowler Hat Guy (Meet the Robinsons)

    BOWLER HAT GUY (a.k.a. Michael “Goob” Yagoobian) Origin: Meet the Robinsons (2014) Motivation: A long time ago Bowler Hat Guy was Lewis’s roommate in the orphanage. Because of Lewis’s late-night inventing, he doesn’t get enough sleep before the night of the big baseball game. When he falls asleep (standing up) in the outfield, he misses the winning catch. This caused his teammates to beat him up in full view of the audience and coaches and everyone. Coach gives him some advice to let it go, and he’s about to take it when his future self (Bowler Hat Guy) comes in and tells him not to. Tells him to use it…