Saturday, September 19, 2009

Female Super Villains: Fact or Fiction

On the subject of female super villains, the question first is whether any exist, if yes then who, if not, why not?
So, let’s take an example of a well known female villain and run it against the model my book creates. The example that I will use is Dark Phoenix, now some people may ask why not Granny Goodness. Well the simple answer is one of metaphysics. As long as DC limits multi-verse to 52 possible realities we cannot attribute any of its characters the necessary level of free will I argue as necessary for true super villain status. Thus until this is changed all DC characters are instantly eliminated.
Now Dark Phoenix does hail from a sufficiently complex and wide multi-verse in which we can attribute to her the limited sense of free will necessary. That hurdle crossed lets look at psychology and ethics.
Well on the behavior front Dark Phoenix is as bi-polar as they come so she makes it there. She is a narcissist and paranoid. So great, and despite the movie her truly destructive outbursts seem mostly limited to her more manic moments. That’s two down and only ethics to go.
Now this is probably the most difficult with Dark Phoenix. As a character that has been primarily confined to only a few events based story lines it seems hard to determine if she has an understanding of universal good or responsibility. For the most part there is not plotting in her actions no larger picture only blind hedonistic desire that drivers her actions. In light of such a revelation we are forced to conclude Dark Phoenix is not a Super Villain.
Though I would be willing to attribute the title to Emma Frost, she hails from the right universe, the right psychology (bipolar of the depressive variety), and she has the belief that she is in some way working to make the world a better place. She lacks the anti-human sentiments of Magneto but captures the larger goals. Honesty may be a down fall of hers but I am at this time willing to confer upon Emma Frost the title of Super Villain.
The title of Super Villain is meant to represent an ideal, like Plato's world of forms most will fail some will come close but it is meant to serve as a scale by why we can measure characters and ourselves.

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