Evil organizations are all the craze these days on the silver screen, taking center stage in at least four 2015 Major Blockbusters: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, SPECTRE (ha), and the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Nothing like a whole industry of villains and evil doers, often, but not always, operating in the shadows. And though several of the “organizations” chosen are literally companies, they also fit the mold of “Nefarious Organizations.” Not just any company will do, but these certainly more than your simple morally corrupt businesses.
I’ve gone ahead and ranked them, most effective to least.
Let’s start with #8 through #5!
8. Death Eaters from the Harry Potter Franchise
I’m not even a Harry Potter fan (I’ve read 6 and 1/2 of the books, but never made it far enough in the film franchise to see said organization), but my roommate tells me I should look past my own interests, and the Death Eaters were the 1st Evil Organization I could think of outside my traditional Geek World (which would be mostly Marvel Comic Book Evil Organizations…).
Death Eaters definitely qualify as a Nefarious Organization, one that, like the best of them (that follow), have members at every level of government, Hogwarts, and even that weird Magical Bank with the trolls. Not a lot is scarier than a group of zealots awaiting and/or aiding the return of their evil leader: He who must not be named!
7. OSCORP Industries from The Amazing Spider-Man Films
In Sam Raimi’s original films, Oscorp was simply the company that Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) would experiment on himself… and kill… to remain in control and keep profitable. In Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films, the corporation is responsible for a man-lizard, an electricity man, a mutated head of the company, and a series of enhanced soldier suits based on animals including a rhinoceros, a vulture, and an octopus.
A little hokey, sure, but it actually makes more sense than the original 2002 Spider-Man. Think about the major superhero villains these days. Tony Stark’s genius leads to Iron Monger, Whiplash, Extemis, and Ultron. The Super Soldier serum administered by the same scientist creates both Red Skull and Captain America. Batman’s appearance brings the Joker into the world as a direct response to his theatrical vigilantism. But in Spider-Man, it’s simply a hard to believe coincidence (even if you’ve bought into a man who can stick to walls and swing from webs) that Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) was bitten by a radioactive spider the very same night that Norman Osborn accidentally turns himself into a crazy super soldier to save his company. Ridiculous!
Mending this storytelling shortfall, Oscorp is behind all the foes Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker faces, whether that be an overreaction or not. Certainly qualifying the company that Norman Osborn built a spot on this list!
6. InGen from the The Lost World: Jurassic Park & Jurassic World
InGen didn’t seem like such a bad company when John Hammond was around. But since he hit his death bed, other forces within the corporation have put profits above human safety… and worse.
It starts with Hammond’s nephew in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, who will stop at nothing to grab dinosaurs out of their new “natural” habitat on Isla Sorna, a.k.a. “Site B” and present them to the masses. Even when the star exhibit, a full grown T-Rex, wrecks havoc in San Diego.
Even worse, Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) and Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofiro) clearly have a real shady deal going on behind the scenes of the theme park, Jurassic World. Hoskin’s obsession with military applications for carnivores and Dr. Wu’s gene-splicing skills offer even more trouble than in the 1st Jurassic World film, paving the way for a trilogy of InGen’s evil doings!
5. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. from the 007 Franchise
No matching tattoos here, but of course Agents of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. have matching jewelry!
S.P.E.C.T.R.E. has been on the big screen longer than any other Nefarious Organization on this list, originating in Sean Connery’s days only to be revived this year in Daniel Craig’s world. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. stands for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion (like with do-gooder organization S.H.I.E.L.D., someone just really wanted to spell SPECTRE, albeit incorrectly).
Now, if you read my review for SPECTRE, you know the film was lacking… a lot. In fact, S.P.E.C.T.R.E., the supposed ultimate Nefarious Organization of all time, doesn’t get its due in the 2015 007 film. While Daniel Craig’s 007 movies have improved on every aspect of the character from Casino Royale through Skyfall, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. does not live up to the organization Connery built (well, fought) back in the 60’s.
Perhaps if the film SPECTRE was better, this ultimate Evil Organization would have landed on the better half of the list. After all, it is the original shadow group with tentacles in every countries government on all ends of the globe, controlling resources, governments, and intelligence rather than always seeking to start WWIII like later Bond villains.
And that’s a wrap! For now… Check back later when I reveal The Top 4 Nefarious Organizations in Cinema, including H.Y.D.R.A. and The First Order, formally the Galactic Empire!
We’re falling into the Holiday Movie Season, kicked off last weekend by the mediocre SPECTRE and The Peanuts Movie. Things will start to get crazy with the release of Mocking Jay Part 2 and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, all culminating with the biggest movie release of all time: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Whether Star Wars is pulling you out of your Netflix hole, or you’ve been going to the movies all year long enjoying hits like Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, you will find this Guide To Movie Going in the 21st Century! extremely useful.
Trust me. I work at a Movie Theater. And I got to a lot of Movies!
Don’t use Fandango!
I have worked at two of the three major theater chains in the United States and there is one constant: DON’T USE FANDANGO!
It’s almost a dirty little secret, especially since the “Pre-Show” at my chain has a Fandango commercial! But we (theater chains) don’t want you to use it! It’s not always accurate, for whatever reason, so you’ll get stuck with tickets to a showtime that doesn’t exist!
Always use the theater chains’ direct website, where tickets are on sale, the surcharge is no larger than Fandango’s, and the times are actually accurate! I’m talking www.cinemark.com or www.amctheatres.com. I don’t know Regal’s website…
I guess it’s not too hard to tell which of the three chains I didn’t work for!
Make sure you check Movie Times for the day you are going!!!
We no longer live in an era where Movie Showtimes are the same from Friday through Thursday. Theaters have events now. And almost all movies get an early evening release on Thursdays (gone are the days when only movies like Star Wars got midnight releases). Showtimes change day to day.
We’ve got Live Concerts, Classic Series Films, Live Sporting Events (including Video Game tournaments…), and Special Screenings like the Dr. Who and Sherlock Christmas Specials coming up in late December/early January. Very, very rarely will all three Weekend Days have the same showtimes, even more rare on weekdays!
Don’t look up today’s times if you’re going to a movie tomorrow! Check the day you are going, otherwise you may show up for a showtime that doesn’t exist.
And NEVER look up said showtimes on Fandango!!!
Double Check Movie Times the day you are going!!!
Unless you have tickets in hand, double check the showtime the day of the movie. Sometimes theaters will “Wild Cat” a showtime, meaning we may cancel a showtime of The Intern to make room for another showing of SPECTRE. It’s very, very rare, but it does happen!
Know your Theater Chains and the Brands that fall under their Umbrella.
Let’s break this down fast so you don’t try to use a Gift Card at the wrong Chain:
AMC is AMC Theatres. As the company has acquired other companies like Kerasotes, they rename the theaters so it’s simple. AMC Gift Cards work at all AMC locations, NOT at any theater lacking the AMC name.
Cinemark and Regal keep most the names of the theater chains they have purchased. So…
Regal is also known as United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres.
Cinemark also has locations called Century Theatres, Rave, Tinseltown, & CineArts.
Know where your gift cards will work by understanding the above hierarchy!
IMAX is no longer the only Big, Loud Screen in Town.
You’re going to want to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on something big!
A few years ago Regal, AMC, and Cinemark decided to make their own, “Premium Format” to compete with IMAX, which had begun incensing it’s name to Theater Chains without actually delivering the full “IMAX Experience.” IMAX Screens of old were 70mm format, taller than they were wide, but now IMAX is just a name plastered on screens that run floor to ceiling with incredibly large speakers. I noticed the change seeing The Dark Knight 1st on a real IMAX Screen, with the image Christopher Nolan intended, and then seeing it on one of the “fake” Digital IMAX Screens that cut most of Nolan’s superior image.
Well, the three chains succeeded… partially… instead each creating their own “Premium Format” to save on IMAX licencing fees. AMC called theirs ETX, Regal went with RTX, and Cinemark features X D (have to space the letters or WordPress makes a XD face. 😦 ). All are just as good as Digital IMAX… unless it is one of the dozen or so “True” IMAX Screens left in the US.
Reserved Seating is on the way… and here to stay!
If you don’t have it already, the Industry is moving toward “Reserved Seating,” meaning you pick your seats when you buy your ticket. Don’t fight it, don’t whine, Reserved Seating will be the standard by the end of 2016, and it ain’t going anywhere!
Reserved Seating is the perfect tool to buy tickets in advance. If you bought Star Wars tickets the minute they went online after that Monday Night Football trailer for my theater, then you also picked your seats, which means you can show up minutes before showtime, no waiting in a looooong line for hours, and still have the best seat in the house.
And it doesn’t really change the movie going experience on a day-to-day basis. What’s the difference between picking a seat at Box Office vs. when you walk into the auditorium? You’re going to pick the same seats… unless they are already sold… which is no different than walking in and seeing another guest already sitting where you like to sit. In fact, picking seats at Box Office let’s you see what’s left in a nearly Sold Out show! Don’t walk in blind, caught with only the front row. Know what’s left before dropping a dime.
Don’t be a Dummy. No Masks or Fake Weapons, Dummy!
Star Wars fans are whining about not being able to wear their Chewbacca, Stormtrooper, or Darth Vader (or Kylo Ren!) masks. And they can’t bring in fake guns. Or Lightsabers.
Look, I’m a Fanboy who dressed as Captain America for the entirety of the 1st Avengers opening weekend as a theater manager. I was dressed like Batman the night a theater not 30 miles from my own theater was shot up. Your sadness over losing masks and Lighsabers is not nearly as severe as the sadness of losing a loved one.
Stop being a Goddamn Baby and welcome to the 21st Century!
And that’s all you need to know! Here’s your handy-dandy guide to movie going, still good in 2016!
On the eve of what was supposed to be the IMAX premiere of the trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (though it actually hit the web on Friday. Watch it now!), director Zack Snyder has released two really cool looking posters for the film, likely a prize that will be handed out at these IMAX screenings to make sure people will come and line-up even though they can watch the trailer at home.
Without further ado, here they are. And they are glorious.
I really dig this style. The Batman symbol ripped from Superman’s face really brings a Dark Knight vibe to the marketing; reminiscent of posters of Batman’s past.
So, show up Monday at one of those IMAX screenings of the trailer… and hopefully you’ll go home with something…
Don’t get me wrong, I have no delusions that ‘Daredevil’ will be as good as DC’s ‘The Dark Knight,’ but the trailer still reminds me of ‘Batman Begins’ none-the-less. And that is a fantastic thing!
Unlike Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and to a lesser extent, ‘Agent Carter,’ ‘Daredevil’ is the 1st MCU show that doesn’t feel nor look like TV. It plays like it has the effects and intensity of a more down and gritty Marvel movie, but with the bonus of 10 episodes instead of 2 hours (2 and 1/2 if you’re ‘Age of Ultron’).Unlike the globe-trotting/Earth saving, “Captain America and his colorful friends,”* Daredevil (played by Charlie Cox) sticks to the streets of his city, Batman style: Hell’s Kitchen in NYC.
But it doesn’t mean his struggle is any less intense then his could-be-eventual-allies’ silver screen adventures.
Watch the trailer now!
“I have to be the man this city needs.”
Hmmm, Matt Murdock/Daredevil, that sounds like something Nolan’s Batman would say…
It’s not a copy, it’s just the darkest we’ve seen the MCU get, a trend that will continue with all five planned Netflix series: ‘Daredevil,’ ‘AKA Jessica Jones,’ ‘Luke Cage,’ ‘Iron Fist,’ and then the ‘Avengers’ style team up, ‘The Defenders.’
The UK rated ‘Daredevil’ a 15 (we here in the US don’t rate Netflix programming), the closest to ‘R’ that Marvel Studios has ventured. Mike Colter, who plays the title character of his own show, claims ‘Luke Cage’ will be equally dark and gritty.
Yet, the trailer doesn’t let you forget ‘Daredevil’ is part of the MCU:
“Maybe if he had an iron suit or a magic hammer, that would explain why you keep getting your asses to you.”
Maybe one day, he’ll join the Avengers. Or, even cooler, why not have ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Spider-Man’ cross paths now that the web-head is part of the MCU? They’re both dedicated to saving NYC and would make interesting allies.
Whatever ends up happening with the Daredevil character down the line, it sure looks like Marvel Studios and Netflix are off to a great start!
Marvel’s ‘Daredevil’ hits Netflix on April 10th!
* Quoted from Baron Von Strucker in the mid-credit sequence for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
Batfleck Vs. Superman (also known by the silly title ‘Batman V. Superman: Justice Begins’) is still over a year away with a scheduled release date of March 25th, 2016. In the meantime, I think we should all take a step back to admire the greatest comic book movie of all time; Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film ‘The Dark Knight.’
I wanted to do the top 5 scenes of the entire ‘Dark Knight Trilogy,’ but that was too limiting as there are too many fantastic scenes in my ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ to cover here. I couldn’t even narrow just ‘The Dark Knight’ down to 5 favorite scenes. I need 6 to do the job!
Without further ado, here are the top 6 scenes from ‘The Dark Knight’ in the order they happen in the film’s narrative.
1. The Heist
The Bank Heist is quite the little scene to open and therefore establish the tone of the 2nd movie in Nolan’s Batman Saga. Inspired heavily by the Michael Mann film ‘Heat,’ the scene twists a classic heist into the Joker’s (Heath Ledger) plot, all while setting you on complete edge using the heights of IMAX and the sharp cords of the Joker’s theme… all screaming “Chaos.”
2. Decent Men In An Indecent Time
The Joker’s heist may kick off the movie, but it is a decision made by three men that really set events in motion.
To defeat Gotham’s biggest recognized problem, the mob, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Batman (Christian Bale) make a pact that will dictate the fate of all three involved, as well as collateral damage of Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
“We’re going after the mob’s life savings. Things will get ugly.”
“I knew the risk when I took this job, lieutenant.”
Dent accepts the risk willingly, as do Batman and James Gordon.
It is this pact that will determine the destiny of all three men; destroying them all by the end of the film.
3. Dent’s Dark Side
‘The Dark Knight,’ specifically the scene just covered, is largely based on my favorite graphic novel ‘The Long Halloween’ by Jeph Loeb and by Tim Sale.
In the comic, Dent’s dark side is hinted at early in the story; long before the accident that scars him. Let’s just say he may may have done more than take a henchmen down an alley and flipped a coin to decide his life. But we’ll get to that now.
Dent spends half the movie as Gotham’s “White Knight,” the honest and law-fairing District Attorney bringing hope to Gotham. I would argue that Dent’s dark side is introduced too late in the movie; around the hour mark. Even here, the film form is not as severe as his comic version. Hell, ‘Gotham’ showed Dent’s short fuse in the first episode introducing the young assistant D.A.
The 1st sign something is amiss with Gotham’s White Knight is when he interrogates Joker’s henchmen Shiff Thomas; the man wearing the name tag pegging “Rachel Dawes” as the Joker’s next victim.
Thomas gets the ‘ole coin flip multiple times, gun held to his head, until Batman stops Dent. The Dark Knight warns the D.A. that if anyone saw what Dent was doing, faith in the White Knight and Gotham would fail.
Even going off the cuff, Dent left the fate of Shift Thomas to his double-sided coin. He (likely) meant Shift Thomas no terminal harm.
Still, that Dent darkness has to appear somehow.
4. Batman Interrogates The Joker
Batman’s one rule comes back to bite him in the ass. By a rabid dog chasing cars.
It’s really hard not to love this scene. Though Batman has the Joker in his gauntlets, Joker has all the power.
“You have NOTHING! Nothing to threaten me with. Nothing to do with your strength.”
It really is powerful to watch Batman wail on Joker to no avail. His “one rule” that prevents him from killing leads to the deaths of others in the film. This same number was over 600 by the time the pair face off for the final time in Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’
In this case, his one rule kills Rachel and blows Dent halfway to hell. But it is this rule that separates Batman from the masked villains. Even though he may lose to the Joker this scheme, I think he may get him in the end…
5. An Unmovable Object and An Unstoppable Force
‘The Dark Knight’ breaks the superhero’s genre one rule, established in classic films like 1989’s ‘Batman’ and carried on to nearly-modern day ‘Spider-Man’ (2002) and ‘Batman Begins’ (2005): kill off your villain so the end is nice and tidy.
The Caped Crusader does toss the Clown Prince of Crime off the Pruitt building… only to catch him with his grappling hook, much to the Joker’s disappointment.
“Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”
Boom! That’s comics in a nutshell.
Spider-Man doesn’t kill the Green Goblin in the comics (well he does, several, but some come back… and, you know, crazy Marvel stuff); they clash again and again and again. And there are very few foes that have been clashing longer in the comics than Batman and the Joker.
6. The White Knight Vs. The Dark Knight
The real finale. The one we were promised when Gordon, Dent, and Batman meet on that rooftop in the first act.
Things got dirty. And all three of these decent men in an indecent time were torn to shreds by the joker, but none more than tragic Harvey Dent.
“What happened to Rachel wasn’t chance. We decided to act! We three!”
Batman knows what’s up! Cause he’s the world’s greatest detective.
But Harvey Dent is the apparent loser in the room, having lost his fiance (and scared his face), with no knowledge that Bruce carried similar feelings for Rachel.
In the comics, Bruce Wayne blames himself for not revealing to Harvey Dent who he was. For not showing Dent who fought alongside him for the soul of Gotham. For remaining anonymous and letting Gordon and Dent take the brunt of mob vengeance.
In the movie, even in this immense time of crisis, Batman is able to vocalize the importance of Harvey Dent to Gotham; why he was chosen.
“Because you were the best of us! He wanted to prove that even someone as good as you could fall.”
So rests the soul of Gotham in these three-warriors-torn-asunder’s final moments together. Harvey “Two-Face” Dent deciding each of their fates with a flip of the coin.
This scene completes the movie. Three young men with rose-color glasses are wrung through the shredder as a promise they made destroyed their partnership and their lives. Classic Nolan/Batman tragedy.
Each blockbuster villain these days appears to be trying to erase audiences’ memories of the last great antagonist, by going even more eccentric, unique, and disturbing than the previously established norm. I’ll examine the evolution from simple yet scary baddies like Owen Davian (Philip Seymor Hoffman, M:I:III) to the game-changer that was Heath Ledger’s Joker, as well as all the great villains he inspired including what’s to come in 2013.
Villains today out-banter the hero, are streets ahead with a master plan anticipating the protagonist’s every move, like to be captured (“it’s all according to plan“), live by their own, disturbing yet clear moral code, speak in weird voices, and nearly always enjoy their “work.”
I will not only take us through the most recent gem to grace the screen, SKYFALL’s Silvia (Javier Bardem), but beyond as well, looking ahead to what next summer’s blockbusters IRON MAN 3 and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS have to offer.
First off, one nostalgic “childhood” favorite I nearly missed in Part 1:
1999 – Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving)
Okay, so he’s technically a computer program, which more-or-less makes him a machine, which eliminates him from this category (see Part 1 rules).
But the acting is so memorable…
So, I’m shoehorning the good Agent in.
Smith has a moment that is now the cornerstone of the modern villain; the intriguing yet twisted speech that delivers the character’s “philosophy” in a chilling manner. (Nearly all the villains we are looking at today have a great/creepy speech or monologue.)
It’s all about that virus talk he gives Morpheous:
“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”
With Weaving’s expert delivery, you can feel the mix of hatred and jealousy oozing out of every line of the chilling speech. Now we know that all we are to this great baddie are annoying germs.
Expert writing like this combined with memorable acting are key ingredients for any worthy villain. Smith has similar exchanges with Neo and Cypher, all oozing a certain amount of evil that is hard to fake (don’t know what that says about Red Skull… I mean Hugo Weaving).
Top Villains of the Slightly-Less-Early 21st Century (Modern Era)
I honestly didn’t know PSH had it in him, but goddamn is the man terrifying. Not so eccentric as much as the classic, cold, ruthless boss-type who has his help killed at the drop of a hat (or the stain of a shirt…).
Just. Plain. Scary.
“Who are you? What’s you’re name? Do you have a wife? A girlfriend? Because if you do, I’m gonna find her. I’m gonna hurt her. I’m gonna make her bleed, and cry, and call out your name. And then I’m gonna find you,and kill you right in front of her.”
The above dialogue is so good it’s almost like a reversal of the great TAKEN speech!
Between this threat and the intense interrogation scene of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), Owen Davian is by far the strongest Mission: Impossible baddie. He is perhaps also the best example of classic “just-plain-scary” villainy in the past decade.
2007 – Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Almost no one in the US knew Javier Bardem before this role, but after seeing the Coen Bros. darkest yet greatest masterpiece (a Best Picture Oscar winner, none-the-less), it is undeniable that Bardem is one of the world’s greatest acting talents.
He made a bowl cut scary. Nuff’ said.
Though I am going to continue saying (writing) things, anyway.
Terrifying like Davian, Anton is not short his share of eccentricities. From the cattle gun, to his coin toss (“friend-o”), to his very precise yet skewed moral code, Bardem really set the mold for the great antagonists of late. His taking the time to drink a glass of milk in the precisely paced movie is just one example of the extra details that make villains like this fun and memorable.
(Anton is not the only villain on this list who enjoys milk…)
Likewise, characters like Chigurh and The Joker are effective because they have a very strict set of rules or a precise yet skewed “moral code.” They stand by it, all their moves are dictated by it, it makes perfect sense to them, but is just off enough to scare the shit out of us.
It’s not about the money for Chigurh, it’s about honor, keeping your word, and getting the job you were paid to do done.
“This is what I’ll offer – you bring me the money and I’ll let her go. Otherwise she’s accountable, same as you. That’s the best deal you’re gonna get. I won’t tell you you can save yourself, because you can’t.”
Bardem’s fresh and scary antagonistic performance was rewarded with an Academy Award for best supporting actor, a trend that would continue for another year.
Always calm, cool, collected, and with a solution for everything, you do not want Chigurh on your tail.
Instead, Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger chose the “grim jester” take on Batman’s arch-nemesis, making the Joker darker than ever before. The killer clown still had plenty of eccentricities, though his enjoyment in his work is curbed in comparison to Joker as seen in 1989’s BATMAN, THE ANIMATED SERIES, or the comics.
Ledger’s Joker builds on the aforementioned evolution of villains in the 21st century, basically defining many of the strongest that follow.
Everything about Joker was unique, from the way he talked to the way he walked. To the way he licked and smacked his lips. Even non-Batman fans were quoting the trailer months prior to release; “And here… we… go!”
“You’re just a freak in a mask… like me!”
Joker is a “better class of criminal” because his plans are always two to three steps ahead; something now common in today’s action films. His plans were so diabolical that they were never what they seemed, usually accounting for how Batman would respond to each play.
This included allowing himself to be captured, a “plan” used by many of the following villains on this list.
(Davian was even captured, and though it did not appear to be part of his plan, he escaped without much difficulty, giving him access to Ethan’s identity and wife. Anton is also in custody at the beginning of NO COUNTRY, though I can’t remember if there is any indication as to whether this was intentional or not.)
Despite my earlier criticism about his enjoyment with inducing mayhem, Ledger’s Joker does manage to have a fairly decent time: “I like this job! I like it!” The scenes were the Joker lightens up a bit (Why So Serious, Heath?) are the best, setting the standard for memorable villains to follow. Now, I was going to finish this blog here and now, but it has grown far too long as I write it. So, like Peter Jackson and his HOBBIT, I have decided to make the “Better Class Of Criminal” series into 3 parts.
The 3rd post should be out later today or tomorrow, covering all the great villains that follow 2008’s Joker, many sharing quite a lot in common with the grim jester and each-other. I’ll continue onward to three upcoming villains whose trailers suggest they follow this modern design of the antagonist (Mandarin from IRON MAN 3, anyone?).
Have you noticed a trend in your favorite blockbusters of late (well… “of late” meaning “the past 5 years or so…”)?
Are your villains more interesting? Do the actors portraying them have past Oscar nominations and/or can they overcome the action-movie stigma to achieve at least pipe-dreams of one? Are these bad guys crazier than normal? You know, more unique with a funny voice or passion for mayhem?
If you answered yes to any of those absurd questions, perhaps you, like me, feel that the past decade has produced some of the most memorable and unique villains in the history of cinema. (No, not just memorable because they’re recent, memorable because they’re so good it feels like they have some real staying power.)
2012 alone has been particularly giving, including last weekend’s SKYFALL, anchored by villain Javier Bardem. I’d like to take this time in “movie villain history” to recall past favorite villains of mine and compare them to the current crop that catch audience’s eyes for their originality (like Bane… that is some really bizarre shit).
Patterns will quickly emerge, suggesting that these modern villains we love to love for their originality, actually share quite a bit in common with one another. It’s less that each breaks the mold, more that each fits the current mold; a mold that itself has evolved from what came before. Even the mold is not original, it has simply built on our past, perfecting the traits of a great villains past rather than inventing them.
My personal favorite antagonists from decades past range from those widely-considered classics to a few lesser appreciated gems (especially recently)*:
*I am a lover of film, but I am also only 24 years old, so I apologize if my naturally limited knowledge of films before the 70s cause me to leave out an obvious villain for this list. Likewise, I am writing this all in one night (instead of sleeping); I’m confident that later today I will be like “oh fuck, I can’t believe I forgot ___________!”
*Also, to set up some sort of limits as to what qualifies as a villain/antagonist/bad guy, I’ve decided to draw the line at live-action man. No sharks a la JAWS, dinosaurs a la JURASSIC PARK, no machines a la 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and no animated baddies like Gollum. After all, though many (including myself) would argue three of the four preceding examples are incredibly emotive/iconic in their execution, are they really the same as an actor doin’ their thang’?
*Finally, to simplify shit even further, I eliminated any characters who may be imaginary, a la FIGHT CLUB.
TOP CLASSIC BADDIES
1964 – Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) – Really set the mold for the classic Bond villain better than DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE had established before. Besides keeping a light and witty rapport with the hero, Goldfinger seems to take great pleasure in his own eccentricities, something we will see time and time again in the Bond universe and elsewhere.
It is this pleasure in action I am trying to drive home today, this aspect that is essential for an interesting antagonist today.
1977, 1980, 1983 – Darth Vader, uhhhh I’m not even gonna say what movie he’s from cause I’m insulted – Obvious choice. No one is more ruthless than him. None more iconic. He’ll death grip the shit out of his own men. And look great doing it. The guy to imitate when it comes to getting results from your henchmen.
And even back in his day we were using tricks like interesting voices and masks (again, see Bane) to give villains identity in a world full of ’em.
1981 – Dr. Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – Rene Belloq is my favorite type of villain, the doppelganger; that is, a baddie who is very similar to our hero/nearly the mirror opposite. Belloq and Indiana Jones are both archaeologists, peers in their field, but they differ in methods. As Belloq tells Jones, “I am but a shadowy reflection of you, it would take only a nudge to make you like me.”
1982 – Khan (Ricardo Montalban), STAR TREK II: WRATH OF KHAN – It never hurts to make it personal, not for the audience at least.
Not JAWS 3 or TAKEN-I-want-my-daughter personal. More like the villain feels as though the protagonist has personally wronged them, personal. So, rather than the good guy going on a rampage limited by what makes him a good guy, you have a sadistic madman who don’t give a shit ’bout no’body out to settle a score, and no one will stand in his way. When this happens, there are no Innocent and the world (and/or the universe) burns.
So is the case with Kahn who seeks revenge on Kirk for marooning him on a baron planet, and so will be the case with one of the top villains of 2012.
1987 – Joshua (Gary Busey) with an assist by Endo, LETHAL WEAPON – Joshua is perfect parts crazy and loyal as proved by the classic flame-to-arm scene. Besides, it’s hard to forget that crazy cop on crazy mercenary beat-down with Riggs (Mel Gibson). Joshua would also be considered a doppelganger for Riggs (noticing some patterns here?).
And as far as Endo goes, one need only quote Mr. Joshua, “Endo here has forgotten more about dispensing pain than you and I will ever know.”
Live or die by that reputation, Endo.
Live or die.
1988 – Hans Gruber, DIE HARD – Fine, I admit that so far, very few of my choice are controversial or unknown. Don’t worry, that comes later, like in the 90s where nostalgia clouds my judgement.
Characters popular in the 80s are in-proportionality represented on this list because it’s a personal favorite time period in cinema. Like today, villains were quirky and took great joy in their “work.” Gruber didn’t just have a killer, well thought-out master-plan; he also had fun! (Sound familiar?)
1989 – The Joker (Jack Nicholson), BATMAN – Really, who has more fun killing people than the Joker? The Joker is supposed to be having the time of his life, even when things don’t go according to plan. Jack doesn’t disappoint, though his version still pales in comparison to that of Mark Hamill. Goddamn it though if the man doesn’t commit.
1989 – The South African Consulate’s Minister of Affairs and his Henchmen, LETHAL WEAPON 2 – “Diplomatic Immunity,” really says it all, don’t it?
(Answer: “Yes, it don’t. It really don’t.”)
A little advice, don’t kill the hot South African chick Riggs is fucking AND THEN tell him you murdered his wife. That is, unless you want your house pulled down a mountain.
That shit’s just super personal, and Riggs goes the appropriate amount of ape shit, like 007 post-Vesper.
NOSTALGIA SETS IN: VILLAINS FROM MY FORMATIVE YEARS
1995 – Alec Trevelyan aka 006 aka Janus (Sean Bean), GOLDENEYE – There’s a reason 006 was/possibly is still my favorite Bond villain. Again, everything’s super-personal (he’s Bond’s old friend, plus Bond scarred him by “setting the timers for 3 instead of 6.” He knows MI6 and is another perfect example of a doppelganger (perhaps the most perfect as Bean was nearly hired as Bond). All the correct chips are in play, driven home by all the witty banter between “006” and 007, up until the end.
millennium006 shares quite a few similarities with the still to be discussed Silva from SKYFALL, and is certainty a precursor for the new villain. His past drives him a different direction than “For Queen and Country” Bond, feeling a similar need for revenge to that of Javier Bardem’s character.
1995 – John Doe (don’t wanna spoil the surprise), SEVEN – He’s certainly one of the most quirky/sadistic killers on film. And he knows how to deliver an unbelievable third act, important for any villain worth his salt (if that is even a saying).
Returning our attention to 006, while he’s always great, but it’s the combo of an incredibly strong introduction action scene and the finale showdown that cement his role in 007 history. Likewise, with an ending like that of SEVEN, I doubt we’ll forget this serial killer soon.
1997 – Edgar (Vincent D’Onofrio), MEN IN BLACK – Really, unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, D’Onofrio’s performance of a space roach in an “Edgar” suit still astounds. Certainly one of the most “out there” threats. Again, fun work with the acting and voice make for fun times at cinemas.
1998 – Don Rafeal Montero (Stuart Wilson) & Captain Love (Matt Letscher), THE MASK OF ZORRO – Double the doppelgangers, double the fun!
With old Zorro facing his old arch-nemesis (who just happened to accidentally murder his wife then intentionally -d’uh – steal his daughter) and new Zorro facing his brother’s killer, after years of training and dreams of revenge. Really, Nick Doll’s wet-dream.
From the director of the aforementioned GOLDENEYE and CASINO ROYALE, Martin Campbell, I like to think of MASK OF ZORRO as the movie Campbell made simple because he couldn’t, at that juncture, make a 007 movie. ZORRO follows all the rules of 007 from the detective work, to the “Bond” girl, to a madman with a country changing plot, Don Rafeal Montero, his lead henchman, Captain Love, and an epic, explosive finale.
2002 – Norman Osbourne (Willem Dafoe) aka The Green Goblin, SPIDER-MAN – “Work was murder”
Now, there’s an actor who chewed the scenery in the best way possible. Whether realistic or not, Dafoe’s approach to the over-the-top Green Goblin set the standard for modern comic book movie villains like those of the AVENGERS and DARK KNIGHT.
Limited by an expressionless mask, Dafoe does a lot with a little. His conversation with “the Goblin” is thing of super hero movie legend, making it ok for mechanical arms, black goo, sand, and lizards to talk to mad scientists in SPIDER-MAN sequels for years to come.
Talking to yourself is a unique place to go with your villain, and comics like Spider-Man nearly demand it. What is most important and fun about the character though is, again, the extreme joy felt by “Gobby” whilst terrorizing Spider-Man and New York. This really laid the groundwork for silver screen villains like Loki.
If they were to cast Norman Osbourne in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 tomorrow, I’d insist it remain Willem Dafoe. He embodied a comic character perfectly even before RDJ ever became Tony Stark.
We’ll continue this analysis of the modern blockbuster villain as derived from his aforementioned history next time on BREAKING GEEK in “A Better Class Of Criminal: Part II” including the final era of movie villains, “Adult” Life: Nearly Modern To Today… And Beyond!
Find out what Bane, Joker, and Silva all have in common!
Find out which villainous strategy is hot, hot hot! (clue: Joker, Bane, Loki, and Silva all recommend it!)
The key to any version of Batman, from the 90s animated show to Shumacher’s two disasters, is Police Commissioner James Gordon.
While Gordon is often painted as a bumbling cop who can’t get anything done without Batman, Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, and Nolan’s two films present a very realistic Gordon who is as essential to Bruce Wayne’s fight against corruption as Batman himself.
As mentioned in Part 1 of this blog, Frank Miller’s Year One is just as much about James Gordon as it is about Batman/Bruce Wayne, if not more. After all, we do open and close the story with Gordon, not Bruce.
In The Dark Knight, Gordon shares the screen nearly as much as Bruce and Dent, but Begins is primarily Batman’s story, so when we do see Gordon, it is within the context of Wayne’s story.
In Batman Begins, we first meet Gordon as he comforts a young Bruce Wayne, still in shock that his parents have been murdered. In Year One, Gordon and Bruce arrive in Gotham on January 4th, both intent on making Gotham a less corrupt city.
In Year One, Gordon doesn’t know whether Batman is friend or foe for a good portion of the story. At one point, Gordon suspects the city’s young District Attorney, Harvey Dent to be Batman (a theme Nolan plays with in Dark Knight). After all, Dent seems to be the only other man in Gotham not on Falcone’s payroll. In fact, he appears to be the only other man trying to do anything about Gotham’s corruption problem.
Dent is already in contact with Batman at this point in Year One, actually hiding the Caped Crusader behind his desk when Gordon comes in looking for answers. This differs from both Long Halloween and Nolan’s The Dark Knight where Gordon makes the introduction between the two crimefighters.
Back to Year One, Gordon admires what Batman has done to confront corruption, but sees him not as much the possible alley as a dangerous vigilante. After all, though Batman has made a dramatic appearance in front of the Falcones, Leob, and the Mayor of Gotham, he is still a vigilante wearing a mask, breaking the law.
The two first come into contact when Gordon attempts to stop an out of control truck from running down a homeless woman. Gordon fails to stop the truck, but Batman successfully pushes the woman out of harm’s way at the last minute.
Following which, Gordon has a gun on Batman, but won’t shoot. His cop peers aren’t so understanding, shooting Batman as he escapes down an alley, even as Gordon says “Batman– went down that alley — there he is — saved that old woman… He…”
Batman is shot, escaping into a condemned building. Gordon tries to protect him, covering the building but telling GCPD “No one fires without my order –” unfortunately corrupt Commissioner Leob has already been burned by the Bat, and hence orders the building demolished, as it is due for demolition and nobody will get hurt, “except for a derelict or two.”
Much to Gordon’s horror, the building is bombed. Batman survives (Du’h) and is able to fight off the first group of officers sent in after him.
Not only does Batman evade the GCPD, he also happens to save one of Selina Kyle’s cats (Selina Kyle being a prostitute who is inspired by Batman to put on a mask and prance around Gothman at night). We have yet to see Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) in a Nolan film, though she will be in The Dark Knight Rises. I will discuss her character in Year One and Long Halloween later, as her on screen version is likely to be a combination of the two, seeing Nolan and David S. Goyer’s love for incorporating elements of those two particular graphic novels.
Batman is only able to escape using the same device Nolan has him using in Batman Begins to evade the cops at Arkham Asylum; that is a device in his shoe that attracts thousands upon thousands of bats.
By the similar scene in Begins, Gordon and Batman are already acquainted, following Batman’s visit to his office and the capture of Carmine “The Roman” Falcone at the docks.
In Batman Begins, Wayne throws together a makeshift outfit with a ski mask and sneaks into Gordon’s office, sticking a stapler to the back of Gordon’s neck like a gun. (Also an homage to Batman’s first outing in Year One, before he was come to the symbol of the Bat.)
“Don’t turn around, you’re a good cop, one of the few,” leads Bruce. He wants to know what it will take to finally put Falcone behind bars. Gordon tells he he’ll need an honest judge and an honest D.A.
Of course, since this is before the introduction of Harvey Dent in Nolan’s films, the D.A. in question is Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend and possible love interest.
“You’re just one man?” questions Gordon as Batman takes off.
“Now we’re two,” replies the Dark Knight.
Ra’s al Ghul’s words put into practice, Bruce is no longer just a lone masked vigilante. Unlike other iterations of Batman where Gordon has been less essential and intelligent, Nolan and Miller’s versions of Batman do not work in a void, they need honest people on the right side of the law to get the job done.
Gordon of course chases Batman from the building, not quite trusting the random man who held a “gun” to the back of his head. But, after Batman takes down Carmine Falcone at the docks, only then Gordon better trusts the Bat.
Gordon even lets the masked man show up at his personal residence, without too much worry.
In Year One, Gordon doesn’t truly trust Batman until Batman saves his own son. In the graphic novel, Arnold Flass and commissioner Leob don’t take kindly to Gordon’s loyalty to the law, setting it up so The Roman kidnaps Gordon’s baby son, James. (They’ve also had Gordon beaten several times by this point in the story.)
Batman, again without costume because it is the middle of the afternoon, is able to help Gordon save his son. Gordon shoots the tire of the getaway vehicle, struggles with Falcone’s goon, only to have himself, his baby, and the henchmen fall off the bridge and into the river.
Wayne is able to catch baby James, saving his life, much as Nolan has him saving the life of Gordon’s son later The Dark Knight.
From this point on, Batman is never alone, Gordon and he are indeed “two.” Their story is intertwined until the end of both men, an end that is hinted at in the original teaser for Dark Knight Rises.
Year One ends with Gordon on the roof, thinking about his new alley:
“As for me — well, there’s a real panic on. Somebody’s threatened to poison the Gotham reservoir. Calls himself the Joker. I’ve got a friend coming who might be able to help. Should be here any minute.”
A very similar ending to that of Batman Begins, were Gordon unveils his new Bat Symbol and mentions a new villain with “a taste for the theatrical” like Batman.
Now I’m that much closer to discussing my favorite part of the Batman myth, Harvey Dent. And of course we still have to examine the themes of Batman Begins as they carry through Dark Knight and lead us right into Dark Knight Rises.
As I sit here, watching Batman Begins for the third time this week, I am amazed.
I’m not amazed that I can watch a movie three times in the same week, as I’m sure I’ve done the same with Fight Club and Raiders of the Lost Ark at some point in my development. I’m not even amazed that I actually enjoy a Batman movie after Batman & Robin mangled the brand.
I’m amazed that a comic book movie… hell… any mainstream Hollywood movie can be so well crafted, with such care and depth given to the film’s many themes and characters.
There have been plenty of great comic book adaptations over the years from Spider-Man to Iron Man, Captain America to Kick-Ass, but as good as those movies are, they don’t come anywhere near the caliber of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
Sure, Spider-Man nailed the superhero movie formula, and Iron Man duplicated it nicely, but Christopher Nolan’s Batman films aren’t just entertainment for the masses, they’re socially important films dealing with some lofty themes including fear, corruption, justice, and legend.
Though The Dark Knight is infamous for Heath Ledger’s performance and the sheer scope of the epic tragedy of Harvey Dent, Batman Begins is actually, in my opinion, the better written film of the two. For that reason and because it does come first chronologically, I will start with the 2005 film.
Having recently read Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli and Batman: The Long Halloween and its followup Batman: Dark Victory by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, I have an entirely new appreciation for Nolan’s masterpieces (yes, I consider them even better than Inception or Memento).
Begins is also all the more interesting to watch after seeing the first two trailers for The Dark Knight Rises, as director/writer Christopher Nolan assures us that film will take the trilogy full circle back to Begins.
In Year One, Miller has Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham after twelve years, the same day that Police Lieutenant James Gordon arrives after being reassigned to the most corrupt city in the world. In Nolan’s movie, Gotham is also referred to, by Ra’s al Ghul, as the world’s “greatest city,” so I guess the best way to describe Batman’s hometown is New York meets Chicago.
From the beginning, Wayne and Gordon’s differences are apparent. Gordon arrives on a crowded train whilst Bruce flies in 1st class, met at the terminal by reporters. Gordon is met by his new, very corrupt partner, Arnold Flass.
Now, Nolan’s first Batman film is a sort of hybrid of Year One and Long Halloween with some of his own magic mixed in. In the film, Bruce meets Gordon when he is a child, after his parents are murdered in front of him. Gordon is the police officer who comforts Bruce, draping his father’s coat over his shoulders and telling him “it’s okay” as Commissioner Loeb tells them the good news, “we got him, son.” That is, they have apprehended, Joe Chill (I still think that name sounds like he’s a mascot who sells cigarettes to children). “Justice” has been done.
Likewise, Flass has been transformed from Miller’s all-american Green Beret trained giant of a man to a fat slob in Nolan’s film. Still, his role remains the same; he is Gordon’s corrupt partner, on Falcone’s payroll, one of the many cops on the take that cloud Gotham’s justice system.
Year One doesn’t go into Wayne’s preparation much, only showing him training on the grounds of Wayne manner, commenting how he’s waited eighteen years, but he’s still “not ready.”
“I’m not ready. I have the means, the skill — but not the method… No. That’s not true. I have hundreds of methods. But something’s missing, something isn’t right. I have to wait. I have to wait.”
The most valuable addition Nolan brings to Batman’s universe is tying all sorts of loose ends together. In Begins, we see where Wayne spent the years between the hit on Joe Chill and his return to Gotham. He has lived among the criminals, studied their methods. He was then trained by the Henri Ducard from the League of Shadows to be fight, be invisible, and to conquer his own fear.
Wayne returns to Gotham, in Begins on a private plane, aware will not simply be a vigilante, but something more.
As Ducard says to him when they first meet in Wayne’s jail cell:
“A vigilante is just a man lost in a scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed or locked up. But, if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely… Legend, Mr. Wayne.”
Fear is a theme in Year One, but Nolan brings it even more front and center in Batman Begins, making it the film’s most foremost theme.
In Year One, Bruce picks the bat as a symbol because he recalls it frightening him as a child.
“Without warning, it comes… crashing through the window of your study and mine… I have seen it before… somewhere… it frightened me… as a boy… frightened me… yes father. I shall become a bat.”
We see the incident in question in Begins, with young Bruce falling through a covered up well and into the batcave where he encounters hundreds of the creatures, tramatizing him for life… until the League helps him conquer such fear. The image is repeated throughout the first act of Begins from the play he sees with his parents to the bats that fly out of the chest during the League’s final test.
Just as the bat crashes through a window in Year One, bringing Bruce to his epiphany of the symbol he will use to put fear in the hearts of his enemies, in Begins a Bat gets into Bruce’s study as he researches which cops he can trust. Again, epiphany: the villains of Gotham will share his fear of bats.
Of course, by this point in the graphic novel, Bruce has already attempted to fight crime once, with a fake scar instead of a mask. It doesn’t go that well with Bruce barely making it home alive to see that bat crash through his father’s study.
He was right, he was not ready. Without the symbol of the Bat, without the fear he strikes in others, Bruce Wayne was not ready.
Now, one of the most striking differences between Year One and Batman Begins, is that the former is told from the point of view of Gordon and Bruce Wayne, whereas the movie mostly sticks us in Batman’s shoes. We see a scene or two from Gordon’s perspective, but it is generally Bruce Wayne’s film.
In future posts, I will go on to discuss The Dark Knight, where Nolan and co-story-writer David S. Goyer make James Gordon and Harvey Dent nearly as prominent as Batman.
In fact, by the time we get to Dark Knight, I would argue that the movie isn’t the story of the Batman vs. the Joker at all, but rather the tragedy of District Attorney Harvey Dent and the events he, Gordon, and Batman set in motion.
But, that is for another post, another night. I have much more to say about Nolan’s films, Year One, Long Halloween, and The Dark Knight Rises, so I hope you’ll return to Breaking Geek to delve into Batman with me.
At work I think about Dent, when I commute I think about Dent, when I’m having a conversation with you, I’m not listening, I’m thinking about Harvey Dent.
The White Night who fell from grace. A man, who just like Batman (and Liam Neeson’s Rhas A Gul), who was more important as a symbol than an individual.
I still intend to write about Dent in depth analyzing the character are presented in the Long Halloween comic and The Dark Knight film; Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer confirmed was their primary influence on the highest grossing comic book movie of all the time was Long Halloween). Harvey’s not just a man; he’s a symbol. Corrupt Gotham’s only great hope.
But the more I thought about Dent, the more I realized nearly all the great comics are tragedies.
Start with Batman. His parents were murdered in front of him, but instead of becoming a serial killer like all the characters on Dexter with childhood trauma, the murder and lack of personal revenge drove him to the brink of insanity.
What kind of person dresses like a Bat?
Crazy people, that’s who.
Bruce Wayne will never have a normal life (not even a life normal for a billionaire). He’s Batman until someone else can take his place; Batman until Batman is no longer needed.
Even if retirement does happen, Bruce Wayne no longer exists. He has been Batman since the day his parents were shot.
Batman’s greatest tragedy is that Batman will always be needed. Ironically, his escalating the crime fighting game by becoming a masked vigilante only leads to other villains with “a taste for theatrical.”
Then, there’s Superman. He lost his homeworld, but his most tragic aspect is that he just may be the reason supervillains and aliens flock to Metropolis (as explored in the New 52 Superman). Which begs the question, was Metropolis actually safer before Superman?
Spider-Man is also an interesting case. Like Batman, he wants to prevent future shootings of people like Uncle Ben. Of course, more so than Wayne, Peter Parker holds himself responsible for his uncle’s death, a death that shook him into embracing the gift science gave him.
Yet Spider-Man too, with carry that guilt and responsibility his entire life. No matter how many villains he aprehends, he’ll always haunted by Uncle Ben.
Spider-Man, like Batman, has given his life to those in need. There is very little time for a normal, happy life with a family. Parker’s wife and children would always be a target, assuming his secret identity is comprimised, which does happen from time to time.
Spidey also has other deaths that weigh heavy on him, like those of Gwen Stacy and her father, Captain Stacy.
Then there’s Captain America, our countries first super soldier. I’m not sure how the comics handle it, but in the film Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers ends up frozen only to be thawed in the present. Everyone he knew is dead, including Peggy, to whom he promised a dance.
Capt.’s tragedy is that he will forever be a man out of time and place. I man with American ideals that no longer exist.
There are plenty of other examples I could throw out here, but I think I hit most the biggest tragic heroes and I’m gettin’ sleepy.
Got to get up at a reasonable hour to head to Mile High comics for new comic wednesday… and Avengers Vs. X-Men Issue #1.
Keep watching Breaking Geek for future blogs including my more in depth look at Harvey Dent.