Research Paper on Topics I wish to cover in my FMP

What Are Villians? 

Villains are characters which take evil actions to achieve their goals, these actions usually have a sizable impact in the plot/story of the media they are in. However Villains are not always the antagonist of the story, an antagonist being someone whos goals oppose the protagonist, and in some rare cases the Protagonist and Villain are the same character, some examples of these “Villgonists” are Megamind (Megamind 2010) and Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War 2018). 

There are also many types of Villains throughout media so it’s hard to categorize them as even if there were clearly defined ‘types’ of Villains due to the nature of storytelling (it being a creative medium) many creators would put twists on these solid types, turning them into being more ‘wavy’ and hard to categorize, one such example is Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ (in 2019’s Joker) as while many would view the character as another ‘Villgonist’ it’s pretty debatable as to whether or not ‘Joker’ actually has a physical Villain. 

Villains also typically have a close relationship to the Hero of the story, usually this manifests the typical ‘Protagonist vs Antagonist’ which in of itself has many variants namely, ‘Two Sides Of The Same Coin’ Where both the Protagonist and Antagonist have similar backstories/abilities/lives, ‘Opposites’ where the Protagonist and Antagonist are complete opposites and ‘Opposites Attract’ where the Protagonist and Antagonist are complete opposites and their dynamic has some level of romantic undertones or overtones (i.e Batman and Joker). Those three examples are of course not all of them as there are many more broad and specific types of Hero/Villain and Protagonist/Antagonist relationships.

Why Are Villains So Beloved? 

To many people of my generation (Generation Z) and the generation before me (Millennial Generation) Villains comprise a surprising amount of favorite characters, why is this though? I believe it was caused by our generations being raised on cartoon Villains (and i do mean literal cartoon Villains) many of the Villains from our collective childhoods were eccentric, had a peculiar fashion and were generally colourful whereas our Heros were by comparison, plain and interchangeable with one another but the Villains each had their own brand of uniqueness but what is really interesting is how these childhood Villains, namely ‘Joker’ (Batman the Animated Series 1992-1995), ‘Jessie and James’ (Pokemon 1997-Present), ‘HIM’ (Power Puff Girls 1998-2005) and ‘Bill Cypher’ (Gravity Falls 2012-2016) to name a few, all of these Villains are ‘Queer Coded’. 

What is Queer Coded? 

‘Queer Coded’ is a term coined by Generations Z and Melenial, its definition is widely accepted to be something along the lines of: ‘Queer coding is the subtextual coding of a character in media as queer. Though such a character’s sexual identity may not be explicitly confirmed within their respective work, a character might be coded as queer through the use of traits and stereotypes recognisable to the audience’. Due to this level of relatability that some young teens may of had toward these implicitly queer characters it might have been what resulted in this love of flamboyant and romantisized Villains. 

One great example of a ‘Queer Coded’ character is DC Comics own ‘Joker’, many people when they look at the ‘Joker’ see a force of chaos and the opposite to ‘Batman’ who represents oder, justice and vengeance, but many are resilient to the idea that a flamboyant, eccentric, colourful, fashionable, makeup wearing clown thats obsessed with ‘Batman’ might be gay or be a symbol of ‘The Homophobic Nightmare’ meaning a character that represents all that homophobics fear. But you could still argue that ‘The Joker’ isnt queer, exept for the fact that there are many examples of ‘The Joker’ professing his love for ‘Batman’, ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ (2017) for example rides of off ‘Batman’ refusing to admit that he “Hates” ‘Joker’, but for a more explicit example we need not look any further than ‘Death Of The Family’ a DC comic series that ran from October of 2012 until February of 2013 with a total of twenty three issues, within this series ‘The Joker’ professes to ‘Catwoman’ that he loves ‘Batman’ (as seen in the comic panel below) 

It’s a Certain Style

So ultimately what is the difference between ‘Villains’ and ‘Super Villains’, well its presentation and I don’t mean that ‘Super Villains’ are all inherently queer (much to the internets dissmay) but I mean how they look, their costumes but more importantly their stage prowess.

Most if not all ‘Super Villains’ are masters of this art and to them it is an art, the perfect example of this is ‘Megamind’ from ‘Megamind’ as when he’s asked what the difference between ‘Villains’ and ‘Super Villains’ is he responds with “Presentation” and this holds out for all ‘Super Villains’ they know how to make an entrance, below are links to some examples. 

All of these scenes are designed with a similar idea, to make the ‘Villains’ entrance have a ‘wow factor’ to them, mostly through intimidation but in ‘Megamind’s’ case it was also mixed with some romanticized villony and showmanship. The character of ‘Megamind’ is a sort of love letter to the cartoon ‘Villain’, he’s childish in a sense, to him being a ‘Villain’ is a game that he plays with ‘Metroman’ the ‘Hero’ of this “Game”, and this is what makes ‘Megamind’ loveable, he isn’t a bad person in fact he’s fun and whitty with the other around him. 

Closing Thoughts

Overall I think that while a large part of this paper was talking about queer coding and ‘The Joker’ I do want to focus more on the physical presentation and showmanship of ‘Villains’, but I guess thats inherently tied to queer coding, as many companys queer coded ‘Villains’ to try and imfluence children to not be like the ‘Villains’ but it ended up backfiring in the best way possible. 

I definitely want to talk more about ‘Batman’ and ‘Jokers’ relationship along with the homophobic history unfortunately tied to it. I also want to talk about ‘Megamind’ as it’s what influenced this project as a whole and I feel like it would only be appropriated to honour the movie in a way