Don’t you hate it when you’re all hyped up for a fight; only to find out that you’re so severely outclassed, that you really shouldn’t have actually mustered up the energy to make your way there? Or when you’re surrounded by people who are constantly just… better than you? This is when you’re so seriously out of your league, that you’re basically walking to your death, or your own obscurity. Welcome back to our Top 10 readers, where this week we look at our Top 10 characters who shouldn’t have bothered. (more…)
Words and phrases – They’re powerful aren’t they? From a simple please, to a rallying war cry, words mean a lot to people, whether you want to admit it or not. But some words and phrases linger with us, some stick through the fandoms and get mixed into the real world. Although you can never beat the original context, there’s so many words and phrases we use thanks to our favourite fandoms, that today we’re going to celebrate our Top 10 of them.
They come in peace – But other times they come to turn your land into pieces, or just evaporated all together. Aliens are a tricky subject to get right; Do you make them into an evil species whose sole purpose is to cause carnage and mayhem? Or perhaps you turn them into a long forgotten race who is looking for their way in the cruel, dark universe. Whatever you like to think of when you think of an alien, there’s no doubt there’s many of them in pop culture.
Kamehameha! Every anime and manga’s favourite martial art series which went from simple roots of an exaggerated combat style, with more energy beams than any sci-fi movie in history, to the big screen… Of your computers that is! Timlah has finally gotten his hands on DragonBall Xenoverse and has spent some time getting to know it with his brand new Sayian hero. Will Timlah be able to stop the evil bad guys of the game? Are you reading this in the narrators voice? Find out now in GeekOut’s review!
It’s Easter time! Therefore, it’s time to celebrate in the only ways we know how. With a Top 10 that’s very Easter themed – You could have chosen rabbits, or the more literal Easter Eggs, but no, you guys chose for our Top 10 list of Characters Who Came Back From The Dead. In some ways, I guess we should be thanking you for this one, as it’s not only topical, but it made us think.
Some of the characters in the list are incredibly well known, some of the entries may actually shock you. Don’t worry though, we’ve got the defibrillator at the ready to resuscitate any of you who may need bringing back during our list. But don’t worry: When there’s an end, there’s always the chance of rebirth. No Isaac from The Binding of Isaac fame, you’re not on this list.
#10 – GLaDOS – Portal
Aha, so you thought you killed off the AI of the Portal series in the first game, well think again you puny meatbag. GLaDOS makes a very dramatic exit at the end of the first game, where you are destroying the very cores that make her… Well her! GLaDOS is truly the reason the Portal series was able to continue, not Chell.
Coming in at number 10 only, because although it certainly was good to see her return from the “dead”, it was never truly confirmed that you killed her (even though it seemed like you had), plus the moment Portal 2 was announced, we all knew she’d be back. Plus, if nothing else, she gets a nudge onto the list for her beautiful singing voice. Ellen McLain, the voice of GLaDOS, is also a downright lovely individual who we had the pleasure of meeting and listening to at last years Kitacon Invasion.
#9 – Frieza – Dragonball Z
Frieza’s name was known all throughout the galaxy as the most fearsome warrior of all. He was able to level whole planets, barely using any effort at all. This intergalactic terrorist would incite fear upon those who gazed eyes on him, as well as having a rather flamboyant fighting force (Ginyu Force) at his disposal. Frieza seemed like he had it all, until he was cut into a million pieces, had parts of his body disintegrated and then left for dead on planet Namek. Talk about having a rough day.
But then, very shortly after the Frieza/Namek saga was over, we went back to Earth and lo and behold, Frieza returns! This time, he was on Earth! What ever could the world do– Oh, okay, a guy from the future comes along and in one slash with a sword manages to do what took Goku and friends what must have been eight episodes. Still, Frieza wasn’t finished there – Well he was, until very recently. Last year, in the film DragonBall Z: Resurrection ‘F’. This time, he seems to not be a robot, but golden! Now you’ve seen his true final form? Possibly?
#8 – Brian – Family Guy
This one was incredibly shocking and highly controversial. In fact, I’m not going to make and mistakes about it: I somewhat grew tired of Family Guy a while back. There’s only so much that you can take of what is effectively just constant running gags, which grow staler than a loaf of bread that you’ve left for only five minutes on a table in the Sahara Desert. I might be being rather descriptive of how stale some of the jokes can get, but there’s one thing this series did really well. It hit all of us right in the feels.
The very controversial episode of Brian’s death, aptly named Life of Brian, was actually somewhat hard to watch. The video above shows the clip of Brian’s death, so a small warning goes out to you – It’s a little bit brutal. The episode managed to handle the death of a main character really well. It didn’t resort to wacky humour about it, but instead, it felt as if the series was about to lose a sense of what it was – Same as how many of us feel whenever we lose someone or a pet that’s so near and dear to us. This episode stirred so many people, that a change.org petition was started and eventually Brian’s death was ret conned, proving the character was indeed loved and would have been sorely missed.
I wonder how Family Guy would look today if they kept the replacement dog..?
#7 – Jason Voorhees – Friday the Thirteenth
The films series that just won’t die features one of our all time favourite immortal nemeses, the masked slasher Jason Voorhees. While the film franchise has limped, sagged and very nearly collapsed under the burden of abuse from varying directors there’s an underlying character to the mighty butcher of rampant teens, generally lying under the surface of a lake, but he’s seen as something of a representation of puritanical oppression. Not a lot oppressing him though.
The source of his immortality has never truly been explained, mostly that a series of flukes, assorted magicks (with a “k”) and prolonged periods of time spent in suspended animation have all contributed heavily to his prolonged existence so that he may foreshorten that of others. Trips to Hell and outer-space can’t hold him back, not even failed titles, spinoffs, or lousy versus films can keep him from rebooting.
#6 – Spawn
It was either him or Ghost Rider, it’s always a tough call when you have two incredible characters who have been offered a deal from the devil, and while we can forgive Nicolas Cage for a rather… different interpretation, we still love Spawn just that little bit more.
Maybe it’s the vast array of powers, challenging Malebolgia himself to mortal combat, OH! and Mortal Kombat! Al Simmons is just a more awesome character, a grim silhouette in the stereotypical stormy night that casts every bit as much fear as the flaming skull of vengeance, who also got a legendary cartoon series to boot. But what about his return from death? If you read his entry in the Top 10 Unfortunate Heroes you’ll know it’s not a happy tale, it’s a hellish contract born of a need for revenge, and to save the life of the one he loves, but it slowly becomes a mission, a duty to the forces of light born on the shoulders of a very dark soldier.
#5 – Harry Potter
In a tale of epic struggle against what is effectively overcoming the unspeakable ultimate evil, Harry Potter makes it onto our list as a surprising entrant. After all, he manages to defeat Voldemort*, doesn’t he? So how can it be that The Boy Who Lived who ended up being The Boy Who Died Then Came Back To Life Again Or Something? Well, it’s all down to the details in this one, but Harry does indeed die.
He is a Horcrux, one that Voldemort himself accidentally created. The irony was that Harry had to kill himself in order to destroy one of the Horcruxes. Hey, everything in this series was entwined in some way, even the Golden Snitch that Harry was given by Dumbledore makes a very important appearance during this part. When Harry dies however, a lot of the story really comes together here. The Horcruxes are falling very quickly at this point and of course, time to go and defeat Voldemort once and for all.
*Or y’know, Neville Longbottom, the series whipping boy, is the one who ends up beheading the snake in a rather amazing scene in the films, but whatever!
#4 – Solomon Grundy – Batman
Born on a Monday
Lives for a week, a tale of tragedy that takes us a total of seven days and – in the case of Cyrus Gold – ultimately ends in reincarnation. You see, the immortal Grundy from the DC universe is an ancient and wealthy banker from days of yore whose carriage sinks into a peat-bog that supposedly contained one of DC’s infamous retcon devices, a Lazarus pit. The rejuvenating properties infuse Grundy, leaving him incapable of permanent death, or even coherent thought.
The pits are known to damage the mind and soul of those they help, whilst making the body incredibly powerful. To someone with the self-discipline or narrative importance of Ra’s Al Ghul the effects can be mitigated with rigorous self control and suitable sacrifice. For Solomon Grundy, it leaves a mindless giant capable of crushing a man with a shrug. Batman actually enjoys Grundy for the chance to cut-loose and get to some real damage dealing, despite the fact that the giant is reborn far larger and stronger than before.
He does rather lack some of the guile of Batman’s better villains, being incapable of articulating much more than the one rhyme that was skipping through his head as he suffocated to death in the mystic swamps.
#3 – Barbossa – Pirates of the Caribbean
Although some credit must go to Captain Jack Sparrow for being dragged back from the locker against his somewhat shattered will, someone had to step up who knew how to get to the other side. And as it happens Jack recently killed someone who’s as good as he is at not staying dead for long.
It took a large crew and a whole lot of persuading to get Sparrow back from death, Barbossa made one sweet deal and came striding back to enjoy some juicy apples and revenge… juicy, juicy revenge. During his captaincy of the Black Pearl he got dangerously close to death before Sparrow and Turner finished the job, but as it turns out Tia Dalma/Calypso has a soft spot for the old sea dog.
More and more we’re seeing film series leave us with cliffhangers to drag us back to the cinema, but in this incredibly short scene there was more excitement drummed up for the third instalment of the trilogy than in any other series – at least that I’ve ever seen. Who knew a pair of boots would be such a welcome sight?
#2 – Gandalf – Lord of the Rings
YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
Well, I guess Gandalf the Grey was right – The Balrog certainly didn’t get to pass Gandalf and his temper tantrum of turmoil. It ends up that Gandalf shouting those immortal words would also be Gandalf the Grey’s last. The whip reaches up, lashes around the leg of Gandalf and pulls him down… Well okay, it wasn’t his last, as he manages to call everyone fools because they aren’t flying. I mean for crying out loud, Hobbitses can’t even fly, Gandalf, you senile old guy.
Ahem, I digress. Later in the film, Gandalf makes a very lovely re-appearance, as Gandalf the White. Apparently, when this wizard dies, he manages to fall into a vat of Vanish Stain Removal. Enough joking though, Gandalf’s death was not in vain – He comes back way better than ever before and it’s one of the franchise’s most iconic moments.
#1 – Kenny – South Park
Are you really surprised? Seriously?
Kenny infamously dies once an episode in early seasons of the world’s most even-handedly offensive cartoon series, it became the most widely known running gag in a series for a decade, and had a generation learning how to swear loudly in the face of death. They attempted to kill Kenny off permanently in an attempt to kill a joke they’d grown sick of, before demurely bringing him back in the same off-hand fashion they’d been doing for years.
As time progresses we learn that in fact Kenny’s parents conducted some strange ritual with elder beings to cause him to be reincarnated constantly, a superpower he uses to become the cloaked immortal hero Mysterion. In fact one of the most harrowing episodes of South Park was the episode in which we learn of how alarmingly aware of his immortality Kenny is, holding a gun to his head and screaming “Remember this time! You have to remember!”, but no one ever does, no one can mourn a child who never dies.
Everything comes to an end, but not the characters in our Top 10 list! Well some of them kind of do, but they don’t all simply end there. But the below extra characters are also known for their ability to just come back from the dead. At least they’ve got a chance to redeem themselves in our Honourable Mentions list!
Depending on the version of Dracula that you look into, this vampire seems to just never stop dying and coming back to life. Interestingly, the state of how vampires sleep in the story of Dracula is known as “Death-Sleep”, as the vampires appear to be dead with their eyes wide open during their slumber, so if we take that into account as well, then hey, Dracula dies every damn night. But that’s not exactly true now is it?
I mean if we look at the Castlevania series, the amount of times Dracula has legitimately been killed is quite staggering – Yet he always manages to come back for some rather unspecific reason. “Oh we resurrected him”, “oh we’ve got to kill him again.” Who knows why he thinks it’s a good idea to keep fighting the Belmonts, but hey, Dracula has to have something to do in his unlife, right? I guess having a hobby is good enough in his world.
Player Character – Video Games
I had the most terrible dream, I was plummeting to my death, nothing but darkness and my own echoing screams, and then suddenly I was assaulted by descending numbers. I don’t think they reached zero because I woke up somewhere near where it all took place. I’m almost reluctant to try and make the leap again… but the world will not save itself, and I don’t see anyone else around here who isn’t trying to kill me.
From the Hyperion New-U stations in Borderlands to the wave of bloody carnage that ends every successful run in Super Meat Boy, we’ve grown all too accustomed to the ability to just get up and try again. Perhaps the return of the roguelike owes itself to our newfound nonchalance in the face of death, because it can be hard to make death something to be feared, while at the same time allowing the player to get straight back into the fray without the tedium of starting from scratch.
From an allotted maximum number of lives, to money and experience penalties, defeat is not without its sting, but that doesn’t make it any less funny when your character dies and walks it off.
Oh we slayed this list! But lo and behold, when one goes down, it simply comes back within a week’s time much like Solomon Grundy. But now it’s time for you to decide what our list will be returning as next week. It’s time for you to help us pick next week’s iteration of our Top 10 list.
As always, thanks for reading our list. We love writing these and as they are still thoroughly well received, we’ll keep doing these until you guys say “stop with the Top 10 lists!” Let us know what you thought – Are these characters deserving of this list? Do you think we’ve missed any characters that deserve a special mention? Would you have reordered this list in any way? Please leave your comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for always being excellent!
What do you get when you cross a character whose motives are rather simple and ingenious, with some really garish clothing that really doesn’t suit anyone in the world? Or how about when you cross a character who wears a full suit to a gymnasium and ends up schooling those guys in their workout wear? Generally, you end up with one rather eccentric character, someone who breaks conventional norms.
Yes, the eccentric is often an integral part of a story; They’re there and they help progress the plot, though you might not always expect what they are going to do. This is because the eccentric has a mind of their own, a purpose only they can determine… and we just get to sit back and watch how they go about a rather simple world. This is our salute to the men and women who are seriously out there.
10. Donkey – Shrek
It’s hard to be normal when you’re a donkey that talks. There’s no need to sing, or hum, or whistle, or dance, or talk to absolutely everyone until they hate you, imprison you and generally belittle you in any way possible but dammit if you’re not going to try to be friends with them all. Donkey is enthusiastic and so filled with nervous energy that it repeatedly gives him very close to death, one such incident resulted in an unlikely wedding and a brood of half-dragon donkeys.
Comedy foil to Shrek’s serious performance (a rarity for a Mike Myers role) Donkey provides most of the goofiness and very obviously Eddie Murphy style shenanigans, but there’s a quirky charm to Murphy that he lost somewhere around the Nutty Professor sequel that he manages to reclaim as the loveable misfit ass with a love of music and absolutely everyone.
9. Emmet Brown – Back to the Future
A student of all sciences, Emmet Brown (“Doc”) is the inventor of the very first ever time machine… A freakin’ DeLorean. I’m sorry, I could stop this entry right there. I mean he decided that the best machine to build a time machine around is a DeLorean?! Alright, whatever. Let’s think about some of the less practical aspects of his life.
Well, he came from a rich family – And decided that the best use for all of the money is his Time Travel project. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clear that spending all of that money was a good thing, because he actually managed it… But when you think about it, all of that money is gone and all he’s got to show for it is a DeLorean. With catch phrases such as “Great Scott”, the Doc is certainly more than a little bit out there.
8. Johnny Bravo
I want you to go to a beach – I know this is a weird thing for a geek to ask a fellow geek (I don’t get along well at beaches personally). I want you now to look around at all of the people on the beach. You’re going to find a man who is similar to Johnny Bravo there. Crass, crude, a little bit rude, but over all they’ll have a very toned body. Does it necessarily make them strong, or manly, or even heroic? Not in the slightest.
But what separates Johnny Bravo from the boys on the beach is his incredibly diverse set of… Shall we say interests? He’ll chase any woman, even alien women, but he’ll always blast out his catchphrase “Ooh mama!” even to his own mama! Sadly, perhaps Johnny Bravo isn’t too different to some of the muscle heads out there, but if there’s one thing he knows how to do better than anyone else, it’s The Monkey. Dance on, Johnny. We salute you!
7. Mr Satan – DragonBall Z
Mr Satan, or Hercule, if you saw the English versions of DragonBall Z, is a bit of a light relief from the otherwise generally serious show that is DragonBall. On Earth, he is considered the strongest human (Although this is certainly something that belongs to Krillin… I mean even Yamcha could probably beat Mr Satan). No matter, he’s got his own sense of style and with his image to protect, he has plenty of powers which makes people not only question him, but kind of pity him.
For instance, he believes his own hyperbole, which he puts so much conviction into. If you think that’s not bad enough, he worked for ages on developing a technique, which goes by many names. Be it the Dynamic Mess Em Up Punch, the Megaton Punch or otherwise, he believes this is the most powerful punch in the world, to which Android 18 was rather unamused by. Still, it’s with his showmanship attitude and flair for hamming it up that Mr Satan gets through so much. He won the Cell games, did you know?
6. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
“HOOOOOO!” – ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan
Okay, this man is utterly barmy and we have to love him for it. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan is a retired professional wrestler, who was infamous for shouting out “Hooooo!”, being damn proud to be American and for being incredibly loud. When he had his eyes set on something, he became hell bent on getting it, often to his detriment. With this said, he is an iconic character from the world of what was then called the World Wrestling Federation.
For the wrestling fans out there, you may be wondering why we chose Hacksaw over the one and only Macho Man Randy Savage? It’s simple: Macho Man was indeed pretty darn out there, incredibly eccentric and outright entertaining as all hell. But “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan didn’t even need clothes, or to constantly say “yeah” to be eccentric. Macho Man is amazing, don’t get me wrong for a second, but the “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan deserves a little respect. Besides, he’s the only character I’ve ever known to be so out there that he’s allowed to carry his 2×4 everywhere with him. I mean that… Everywhere.
5. Professor Elemental
Character and stage persona of the exceptionally British rapper Paul Alborough, the Professor is a pith helmeted adventurer and steampunk airship captain with an orangutan butler named Geoffrey who’s hopped all over the world, through time and into untold levels of peril. He’s bounced across time, space and a variety of dimensions in pursuit of… something, probably a better brew than he can find at home but it doesn’t seem likely. More recently in pursuit of aforementioned orangutan butler who appears to be missing.
And yes, I got to interview the man behind the lunatic, and I am far too proud of the fact.
Anyway, the man himself is comparatively down to earth and approachable, with only a few traces of the personality bubbling and brimming behind the amicable smile. To say that the Professor is a character is true enough, but it’s a character deeply rooted in his creator, that maniacal and gleeful fiend that Paul Alborough has been sitting on for far longer than he’s been bringing him to the stage.
4. James – Pokemon
One of the Team Rocket duo, James deserves a spot in this list, simply because he’s a man who happens to have some of the most incredible sense of style and timing. I don’t think he does it for dramatic effect, I think his brain is wired in such a way that he only sees himself being prepared for any event. Of course, with Team Rocket, the plan is pretty simple: Capture that Pikachu as best they can.
So whether he’s dressing up as a lady and having a larger bosom than anyone else, or he’s crying over his belt buckle, James is a man who puts his sense of fashion first. He’s faked amnesia, because he sort of believed his own amnesia, at least whilst it was convenient. He’s an oddball, he’s not really afraid to revel in that fact. Still, if you’re going to steal a Pikachu from some snivelling children, the best thing to do it in is a hot air balloon in the shape of a Meowth face, right? No one will see THAT coming at all…
Oh and James is loyal, but in bizarre ways too. He once gave up his entire bottle cap collection for Meowth… And not only that, he even cares for his opponents, having told Ash that he’d rather take an honest Pokemon battle over underhanded tactics. If nothing else, James does his dastardly deeds with style and class.
3. Ruby Rhod – The Fifth Element
Chris Rock in an elegant evening dress with multiple hair bobbles and a stick mike should paint a clear enough picture in your mind for interstellar DJ extraordinaire, lover to the stars, in the stars and personality super-titan Ruby Rhod but it doesn’t quite capture the character. I don’t actually think words are adequate to sum up the strut, the wildly swinging pitch of his voice, the leopard print that somehow seems to have reached into his mind and taken control.
Even once the action steps up several notches, bullets start flying and bombs start being thrown around indiscriminately, Ruby Rhod’s panic stricken screams somehow manage to keep the same level of ferocious energy, and faced with the end of the world and being one of the only people who can stop it he’s still giving it every ounce of energy he has, and that’s a lot of energy.
2. The Mad Hatter – Alice in Wonderland
Interestingly, the Hatter started this list much lower down until someone screamed “change places”.
Tea is a noble enough pursuit, some might even call it a lifestyle. In a world entirely dominated by pervasive madness we find a man who seems to have particularly taken it all to heart, master of ceremonies to the eternal tea party in the middle of the woods, a mere throwaway character in the original tale who has become some great mythological figure to fans of Lewis Carol’s epic. The Mad Hatter has seen many hundreds of iterations, including DC’s villain Jervis Tetch, variations in Tim Burton’s interpretation, Once Upon a Time, and the terrible pawn of the Jabberwock in the Zenescope darkly reimagined version.
But the man himself was of little consequence to the story compared to the many weird and wonderful characters, the Red Queen, the March Hare, the Mock Turtle, and yet ask someone to name a character from Alice in Wonderland how many would say the Mad Hatter before Alice. But still, there are more important things to discuss over a nice hot pot of tea, such as the time for example, and how much of it there is.
1. Sheogorath – The Elder Scrolls
The Daedric Prince of Madness himself makes it to our number one slot, because of many reasons, but I’m going to focus purely on a few things. Shall we begin with this demons attire? As you can see above, his demonic armour is a little bit of a miss-mash. He likes the colour purple, a colour of royalty, but the armour seems to be a little bit… Unfinished? But he’s a man of class, he walks with a cane, with well kept hair and a trimmed beard. He loves his luxury and it shows in everything that he does…
But then, we move on to how this demon talks to you. He talks to you as if you have even the slightest bit of an idea what he’s going on about… But there’s a lot of method in everything that he says. You feel as if he has an important message behind everything he says, so let’s end this list on quotes from the master of madness:
“You are the best Septim that’s ever ruled. Well, except for that Martin fellow, but he turned into a dragon god, and that’s hardly sporting…”
“Do you mind? I’m busy doing the fishstick. It’s a very delicate state of mind!”
“The game is a foot. Or a leg. Or all manner of severed limbs!”
Woah, hold your horses there. We’re not done with our list just yet. There were way more characters that we considered, but we thought we’d throw in these two extras as usual. They might not have made the list of our Top 10 Eccentric Characters, but they certainly are eccentric in their own right. A little out there, or even wholly bizarre, these two deserved a nod from us at the very least.
The Taunting Frenchman – Monty Python
ARGH. It was so hard to narrow all of Monty Python down to a single, solitary character, a single eccentric individual that serves as a prime example of the comedy collaborative that sums up what British eccentricity is. Had we called this list some like “eccentric groups” or something…
Anyway, such is life, and so we find lurking in those most honourable deeps the continental gargoyle, cow thrower, ballistic flatulator and general all round silly person the Taunting French Guard from The Holy Grail. Why? Well there was probably a better pick, but in addition to the creative insults carved from the frenchman’s second language and the ballistic use of cows, you can’t help but love the sniggering behind the crenelations and general helmet-tapping, raspberry blowing, barefaced cheek of John Cleese’s most memorable moment from the film.
Jayne Cobb – Firefly
It was a tough call between Jayne and Wash, and while Wash’s fascination with kids toys and Hawaiian shirts was great, somehow we just couldn’t pass up on the man they call Jayne.
Gun toting for some is a profession, a job, a calling perhaps, rarely a hobby, but there’s just no describing the way with which Jayne embraces the thug life. While he does not fit in with the unconventional sort in a conventional way, with his permanently fixed dour and/or grumpy expression, there’s no small amount of pleasure to be found in the grin his bobble-hat brings to his down-turned face, or the way he feels that a gun is adequate exchange for a person.
Okay, let me try to get a hold of this list. We need a dose of daily sanity to counteract this list of whacked out nutjobs, but hey – At least they have their purposes. Sure, some of the characters are literally written to be eccentric, such as Sheogorath, but at least he fits the mould so beautifully. Now I turn to you to help us cast our vote to next week:
For next weeks list, if you’d like to get involved and write it with us (Joel and I get together on Thursdays to discuss the list), then please just drop us an email. As always, thank you very much for reading, please remember to vote for next weeks’ Top 10 and let us know what you thought of this list. Did you enjoy it? Were there any characters we missed, or you felt deserved higher on the list? Perhaps you feel some of our character choices were spot on? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. As always, keep being you: because you rock, much like the characters in this list!
It’s not entirely fair to judge someone based on their actions. You don’t know what paths have brought them to act the way they do now, what hardships they have suffered to feel the need to enact hardship on others. Some people we label as “villains” are actually just normal, everyday people like you or me, that are just going through a hard time right now.
Then begin the murders.
Hell with it, bad-guys are bad-guys. Batman’s parents are dead, he got up off his bat-keister and started fighting for the little guy. Just because you lost someone, or maybe you’re under pressure to get money doesn’t give you an excuse to go around killing folk! Just be a millionaire genius ninja and do something positive with your life.
Here’s some bad-guys who got a raw deal in life.
10) Endermen – Minecraft
Hoo, these guys are misunderstood no matter how you look at it, but unlike all of the other guys on our list, these spectacularly lanky gits are actually just trying to do the exact same thing as you.
Think about it: One day you’re building a nice, large castle made out of stone, when suddenly one of the blocks of stone has disappeared behind your back. You’re a bit concerned needless to say, as you’re on a single player game rather than a multiplayer. There’s no way a Creeper exploded just one specific block: no. The Enderman is trying to build his very own castle, but the poor guy gets lost along the way.
Then you’re rude enough to stare into his eyes? What’s wrong with you?! The Enderman just wanted to build his very own castle like you. Honestly, how mean can you get? Steve of Minecraft, you’re the real villain here!
9) Darth Vader – Star Wars
Join the Dark Side, they said. Well this one sparks many a debate amongst the Star Wars fandom and actually, I myself struggled somewhat with understanding where the Vadermeister really stood. Is he evil? In a sense he is, yes… But he’s evil insofar as that he wants to do something good. In other words, he has a reason for the evils he commits, that actually makes them somewhat understandable.
SPOILER ALERT: So basically, he’s doing what he’s doing as he believes he’s doing right by the empire and his wife. Before he became Darth Vader, Anakin was filled with passion and raw emotion. This emotion was palpable to Palpatine (get it?) and he would manipulate this to make Anakin, or indeed Darth, to follow his orders almost blindly. Perhaps Vader isn’t as truly evil as we all think.
8) Mr. Jones
Sinister artist and sculptor of twisted scarecrows crafted of bone, wood and leather, Mr. Jones has never actually been seen exactly, but his work gets attention. Sent out to seemingly random members of the public and suddenly erupting in art galleries, when a couple stumble across his workshop in the scrublands of middle-america unsettling truths begin to emerge. He is masked in what appears to be human skin, seems possessed of some supernatural power that cannot quite be placed, and far beneath his shack there is an altar ringed in yet more of his dark effigies.
However, it seems that the hunched and silent figure is working towards something far grander in his hidden temple far underground. As it transpires [SPOILERS] Mr. Jones is actually protecting us all from a nightmarish entity that nature itself fears, and the protagonist naturally stumbles around like a moron and releases it [SPOILERS OVER] but basically if you’ve read and enjoyed H. P. Lovecraft’s The Music of Erich Zann watch Mr. Jones for a modern retelling.
7) Sarkhan Vol – Magic: the Gathering
Recently Vol has been on a bit of redemption kick, getting back to his roots kind of thing. I’ll explain:
Sarkhan Vol is a Planeswalker from a world of dragons called Tarkir. He’s got dragons in his blood in a very real sense, that of one Nicol Bolas, a particularly ancient evil mastermind (and dragon) who has used Vol to further his own interests across a vast number of universes, including igniting a war on Alara. He went mad shortly after witnessing his master’s destruction, and was then corrupted by the necromancer and demoniac Liliana Vess.
Oh but wait! Bolas wasn’t dead, and then ordered Vol to the realm of Zendikar where he unwittingly triggered the return of the Eldrazi! Massive apocalypse monsters!
It’s not his fault, he’s just a soldier with a particular fixation on dragons. He returned the spirit dragon Ugin to power recently, overthrowing Nicol Bolas in the process, and good job too. Ugin is now working on a coalition to put the Eldrazi back in their place, and Sarkhan Vol is back home on Tarkir enjoying the company of dragons with a sense of morality.
6) Majin Buu – DBZ
Everyone remembers the pink blob walking around and terrorising the world, whom later went on to become a much more ripped “super” version before finally regressing (and more dangerously) into a “kid” version of himself. The whole of the anime world understands that Majin Buu, whilst was a threat, was pretty easily mistaken as an enemy. He was quite docile, in fact relatively friendly. He liked to eat human candy but that was because they would go for him first. He seemingly enjoyed eating.
That was Majin Buus only really bad act, being a glutton. Okay, he later became the aforementioned Kid Buu, after being absorbed by Evil Buu to become Super Buu, Kid Buu being one of the most evil characters in the whole of the DragonBall franchise (sorry Frieza), but that too was only because of angry and frustration. Really, Majin Buu just wants to eat and have a good time. He also likes to play exploding video games. Don’t we all?
5) Hannibal Lecter
Now the term “misunderstood” may have to broaden a little here. Doctor Lecter is so far beyond understanding that he is in fact beyond psychological profiling. The legendary cannibal is a cold blooded murderer and devourer of human flesh, but he is not without refinement. Not to be taken for a simple ravaging ghoul, Lecter takes his meals with care and consideration, the proper accompaniment of vegetables, side-dishes and wines, along with creative forms of preparation.
Hannibal is also a lover and amateur practitioner of the arts, a scholar of many sciences including (ironically) psychology, he is a polyglot, and profoundly charismatic. You’d barely know he was a man eating sadist if one were to casually engage him in conversation from the other side of his plate-glass cage.
4) Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph – The Simpsons
Though all three have done time in prison, bullied, harassed, shop-lifted and abused a variety of drugs, all three are valuable members of society in their own way:
- Kearney Zzyzwicz is a loving father of two, who’s eldest was raised well enough that he’s now smarter than his dad. He comes from a broken home, a clinically depressed mother and violent father, but he’s never hit his own kids, just other people’s.
- Jimbo Jones is a morally grounded devout christian. He has strong views on the treatment of women and gender equality. There are questions surrounding his parentage, and coming from a well-off family, the suspicions may well be feuling his aggressive and rebellious behaviour.
- Dolph Starbeam was raised by hippies; he is highly intelligent, literate and multilingual, as well as being surprisingly nerdy in his own interests. It is implied that his bullying may be as a result of “abuse”.
These three teens have been held back due to lack of academic progress, and have lashed out against others as a means of expressing themselves. But what if they were shown how to paint, write, or sing?
3) N – Pokémon
Being raised with Pokemon is pretty abnormal, even in the world of Pokemon; But did you know the Sinnoh regions gang leader, N, has one of the nicest missions in the world? Sort of.
N, also known as Natural Harmonia Gropius, is actually not the real leader of Team Plasma, but he’s led to believe he is. Basically, throughout the course of the game, you’ll encounter N alongside some of Team Plasma and as per usual you’ll fight your new found rival. He’s pretty tough as far as rivals go and he seems to talk about redeeming Pokemon, saving them from humans. This is obviously a reference to the fact he was raised with Pokemon.
However, it turns out that N is being fed lies by his adoptive father, Ghetsis. I’d rather not spoil this too much, but go ahead and play Black & White as well as Black 2 & White 2. It’s riveting story telling by The Pokemon Company.
2) Victor Fries – Batman
Fries is a personal favourite. Despite the bad pun of his name, the Arnold Schwarzenegger chrome-plated ice-dispenser in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin does not accurately represent the suffering of the german cryogenicist. Having frozen his beloved wife Nora in order to keep her alive while he found a cure for her heart condition, an accident caused Victor to become Mr. Freeze. His research having been forcibly ended, Freeze steals vast sums of money and expensive scientific equipment in order to further his research alone.
He must live forever in an exo-suit that keeps his temperature below zero, which he also uses to power a vast array of cold and ice based weapons. This uniqueness is not only a terrifying threat to standard law-enforcement and even the military, but it’s also testament to the extremes his research has taken him to. His every defeat leaves Nora Fries vulnerable to thawing, and subsequent demise, an outcome that would almost certainly drive him to murderous rage, and an icy apocalypse.
1) Severus Snape – Harry Potter
“One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”
Severus Snape. If you’ve not read the books by now, seen the films or heard the spoilers then you’re kind of doing yourself a grave misjustice. This is the story of Severus Snape: Potions Master, Dumbledor Murderer, but all around anti-hero. Depending on the book you read, Snape goes from nuisance, to full blown villain, to misunderstood anti-hero of the books. Severus Snape, as quoted by Harry Potty was probably the bravest man of the Wizarding world.
Yes, Snape does indeed kill Dumbledore but that was actually a plan by Dumbledore all along. Snape is a death eater, Snape is all of the bad of the world in one quick go. But the whole time, he proves to be loyal to Dumbledore, even when he murders the headmaster. It’s crazy to think about Snapes past, but I implore you to read through all the books if you haven’t. Snape kills Dumbledore, but he also steals our hearts for being an amazingly misunderstood villain and hero.
These poor folk deserve some credit, and not just these motley few. Perhaps pity is the only appropriate response to these forsaken souls, and in that regard we show our pity to those villains who couldn’t even make it into the list proper.
The Puppet – FNAF
I’ll be honest, I never liked that puppet thing… It was always… thinking, and it can go anywhere. – Phone Guy, FNAF2.
Guess what? This puppet that appeared in FNAF2 was actually one of the weirdest of the animatronics. He’s completely different to the rest of them, demanding some form of respect. Whilst he still goes out of his way to kill the guard in FNAF2, he’s not like them.
Of course, The Puppet can’t really get into this list because all of the games truly are open to interpretation. Which is what makes the actual story so compelling. Especially since the current theory is that the latest game is following the The Puppet… But enough thinking about that.
He just wants to make his films better, is that so wrong? Make them prettier, make the worlds richer, fill them with people, make the character’s better and more moral. Is it so wrong to inject a little politics into a universe that is clearly already vibrant and alive?
Every artist of any medium or calibre knows that nothing they ever do will ever be finished. It’s really difficult to put something down even when you’ve thought to yourself five times over the last year that it’s finished. It’ll never be perfect, it’ll never be done, something’s always a little bit wrong, something can always be done subtly different, subtly better. The problem comes when that artist has already made something held by millions to be perfect, and you still can’t put it down.
Mr. Lucas, you can stop now. Sometimes the best thing an artist can do for their work is to let it go and let someone else play with it. You may hate it, but that’s the real burden we all must bear at some time.
And with that our list is done, and with it we may well have found a new appreciation for villainous types and all that they must suffer in order to become what they ultimately are.
Have we missed anyone? Is your favourite missing? Will our blunders ultimately drive you to acts of criminal destruction and violence? Let us know in the comments down below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to vote until someone hears your cries for help, for our next Top 10.
As an aside, this might have been the hardest list we’ve done to date. We were up for a long time working on just getting the list made for this one… And we still loved making this, so thanks for getting involved folks!