The drama surrounding the battles between good and evil has been an enthralling part of the human experience. Literature can bring to life many of these great battles, and spark the reader’s imagination. Comic books have been one type of literature that has been an exciting source to present various types of conflicts between the hero and the villain.
The good vs evil dynamic is as old as time. The hero and villain concept has been a large part of comic book literature culture for many decades; and has revealed to be an interesting window into one part of our human nature.
In life, as it is in the comics it seems that good cannot exist without evil, and vice-a-versa. Within comic book story-lines heroes and villains take turns trying to one up each other as their almost never ending saga of vanquishing one another plays out to the reader. The stakes for destroying each other increases with every battle.
Normally, the hero tends to be triumphant, but at times the villain may succeed against the hero. It is important within the story that the hero is defeated at times; this gives the hero character, and it gives him or her a chance to overcome another obstacle- maybe exposing flaws in the villains plans. Giving a hero various types of hurdles can enhance a story and making it more entertaining and thrilling for the reader. Villains help keep balance within a story.
In order to keep the reader’s attention, villains have become more sophisticated in their schemes, more aggressive in their behavior, and challenge the hero with enhanced arsenal of weapons and technology (if they do not have super powers). This makes the story-lines more captivating; no longer does the hero just defeat the enemy with their super powers, they will instead or in addition to use their own strategies and cunning to outsmart the villain. This is a further example of the struggle over the balance of power within comic book stories.
Most of the time it is as important for the villain’s survival as it is for the hero’s survival in comic book plots. Many times the villain can become as popular as the hero. So instead of the villain being defeated, and ending in a death, the popular villain will end up living for another day to fight the hero.
The villain can end up being locked up temporarily or retreat from the battle; the reader can now anticipate more exciting fights and adventures. The narrative presented in comics can be made more interactive if the story leaves the reader with a set of questions; it can help the reader anticipate for the next issue and battle.
Examples of the types of questions for the reader can be: Why did the hero or villain fail in this situation? What can the hero do next time to defeat or capture the villain? Did the hero have a moment of self-doubt (character building)? How can the hero overcome this self-doubt? Development of such personalities can help enhance the plot within the comic books. Allowing the reader to think about these situations aids in the reader’s imagination and gain a better understanding of where the story is going in the next issue.
When the villain gains an advantage, it gives the hero an opportunity to make a comeback and foil those dastardly plans of the enemy. This type of story setup does not have to pertain to the genre of superhero comic books; it can be for other types of plots within stories- where people have to overcome obstacles. Success for the hero or villain may be temporary but it allows for the continuation of the story.
So, who will be the victor in all of this when it seems to be an ever continuing conflict? Who can be the final champion? It makes it harder if the reader if he or she has grown an attachment to the villain; of course if there is an unpopular villain, then so long and good riddance.
If the hero dies, the hero is normally the title of the comic issue. The hero’s death could mean the end of the comic series; but then the writers can devise some magic, and present the return of the hero from the dead. If the characters are popular there really is no final winner or loser. The only loser is the reader who does not read the next issue, and the winner is also the reader if they really enjoy the story.
*Images courtesy of-MovieStillsDB & Pixabay