Heroes laugh at danger and try to attack it. Villains laugh at the madness of the world, and try to reshape it.
Why do we love the defiance, the outspoken bravery and the many joys of fictional villainy? Let’s give some background.
Did you ever awaken in that peculiar alternative universe, the one that appears to be on fire? (Hint: If you’re reading this, the answer is, “Yes.”) You know, where humanity has vastly more information and access to knowledge than at any other time throughout history, more ability to speak and convey messages than even the most far out futurists dreamed? And we’ve responded to it in ways that are horrifying.
Because in this peculiar gritty reboot, the rules have gone strange. We no longer seem to say that a person or an idea might be right or wrong, that someone might have done something good or bad. Instead, we’re told that a particular thing is, in fact, either the most hideous and vile thing, or else it is the shining avatar of all that is light and good.
We’re clearly all in of those episodes of The Twilight Zone which got cut because the plot didn’t seem to make any sense.
Now, we’re not actually about the politics of the everyday world. In the Universe of the Imagination, we are much too busy making sure our henchpeople get paid on time; our villainous ransom demands are properly spell checked; our orbital destruct rays are aimed at the appropriate targets. You know, the things that really matter.
But those who make or love imaginative worlds, realms of creativity, are all affected by the world around us. Whether we create to comment on or to escape the Asylum, we can’t ignore the strange things which come pouring out of the Internet. More than ever, the world needs Villains, for the same reasons we’ve always adored them:
Villains are iconoclasts. Villains break the mold. Villains shatter rules. Good? Bad? Villains question other peoples’ ideas of morality because they think for themselves, and keep the counsel of their own hearts. Villains want to change the world in ways they find appealing and meaningful, not to please some hero, some aspect of society, or something they’re “told” is right or wrong, especially without any more proof than the wrath of some horde of attackers. We’re villains; we knew we’d be attacked when we first set out to change the world.
If there’s an angry mob of villagers with the traditional pitchforks and torches, heading towards a castle, we are not that mob. We are Dr. Frankenstein, experimenting with things others claimed impossible. We are the monster itself, barely alive long enough to have his own identity and yet already labeled as evil.
We embrace what is strange, unusual, and different, and we’re not afraid of what they’ll call us. We are the misfits. We are the outcasts. We are the outliers. We are the creators. We are the makers of strange and wondrous dark magic.
Call us what you will. We are the villains, and we are here forge our own path. Join us!
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order “I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.