A Blog devoted to elevating the discourse of comic books beyond the basic banter to a discussion of similar to the those surrounding master work literature.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Moving on to the super criminal we can consider this class as the for profit villain. This character is likely to lack any idealogical motivator and is mostly just trying to evil scheme together his next mortgage payment. But the interesting point is that while these characters are more criminally active most of what they do comprises of much flash a little substance. Not only do they seem to put forth? A conserted effort not to kill by standers but also look to emobilize their hero opponent as an action of first resort rather kill them. To them villainy is a job, a really sweet job but a job none the less.
I'm going to begin with the second highest order of villain, "The Proffesional" now this may be that unique class of villain? That is just not quite there they are devoted to a life of super villainy but are in some less idealistic or at least more prgamatic in how they approach their goal. Magneto and Lex Luthor (metaphysical challenges not withstanding) fall into this catagory. These characters tend to be idealogically motivated to change the world in some essential way, but lack the over the top ethical and moral constraints. So they will lie, the will re_enforce their percieved fault if they believe it gets them closer to their goal. This also sees to suggest that the character lacks the higher level meta-ethical conserns that plague the super villain.
Well this will be my first post via my cell phone so inevitably there are going to be more spelling and grammer errors then normal.
So with my failed re-imaginig of the super villain metaphysics under my belt and a commitment to stick with the formula that actually works it now becomes beholdent upon me to push this disscusion forward. That being said the first order of business will be to name my classes of villain.
The way i arrange these classes here makes no argument for heirarchy, yet.
VILLAIN CLASSES: Super Criminal, Dark Organization, Family, Profession, Maniac Killer.
Please begin speculation now.
Ok, I'll admit it. I was wrong the suggestion that of experiential differences in a given universe duelistic structure is silly. All classes of villain have the same access to the unique form of Freewill I attribute to Super Villains in my book in virtue of the fact that they exist in a neccessarily performing reality. All assertions I made in my previous post, I'm throwing out.
This is going to come across as a little off the wall and in terms of our world's physics impossible but since we are talking about comic books I'm going to take the liberty.
Essentially to make my definitions of these alternate classes of villains work I will have to assert what some will call at best highly questionable, "The metaphysics of one do not define the metaphysics of all." Characters while residing in the same universe as a Super Villain may experience the metaphysics of that world in distinctively different ways. Such that not every character in that universe may have freewill even, if for one group it pertains and is necessary for their status.
I understand if this seems like a violation of basic physical law but since the events we are considering take place beyond the reach of our own reality, it is not fully inconceivable to think this way.
Consider this, in my treatise on Super Villains one requirement for freewill was a world in which a dualistic nature of existence obtains. Now while that may be a requirement does this assume that all beings have equal access to this dual world structure. In many comics the answer is no, not every individual has access to a dualistic reality some beings are wholly physical while a rare few are non-physical. The Super Villain has access to both, but not everyone is the same.
I'm sorry for the lack of posting this week, as this weekend when I normally spend most of my time writing I was at Mid-Ohio Comic Con promoting my book.
I had planned this week to do a short article on why certain classes of heroes attract different types of readers and different age groups, and how this is associated with moral psychological development.
But, when I was at the comic con this past weekend explaining my book and it's concepts over and over again, I repeatedly received the same question. "So if you have defined what a Super Villain is then what are the villains who don't qualify?" This is a good question. I initially answered this in the same way I explain it in the book "The Super Villain" I imagine is similar to Plato and Aristotle's world of forms. An idealized state that very few ever achieve if any, and instead most characters are graduated aberrations of the form.
When I was initially writing the book I had toyed with a chapter that would lay out classifications for the levels of villainy, but this seemed to put the cart before the horse. Without a full and compete definition of the ideal how can we understand the lesser. And while Super Heroes are interesting maybe it is time to take up this discussion of classifying the lesser villains.
So that will be the project and direction over the coming weeks on this site. We have our Super Villain, and our shining examples of villainy and morality blended into perfect harmony in characters like Dr. Doom, Ozymandias, and those elite few that meet the stringent criteria laid forth in my book, but what about the losers?
I had planned my next book to be a similar to my first and to do the same thing with the Super Hero I had done with Super Villains, and that may yet still happen. But for the time being I'm going to try something different. Each week for the next few months I will post further work I do on the other classifications of villain. Now this will not be final draft work, more so meandering thoughts and some research. Essentially fleshing my ideas out online looking for feedback and input. These ideas once coalesced will go to create my next book.
I intend to rely heavily on the work of Owen Flanigan, Aristotle, and a few other famous philosophers to get to my goal, and we will see how this all plays out.