“And thus I clothe my naked villainy”: Sympathizing With Devils

2 thoughts on ““And thus I clothe my naked villainy”: Sympathizing With Devils”

  1. Excellent post. I really appreciate and resonate with your thoughts here.

    I’ve been conscious of the growing cynicism and popularity of antiheroes for quite a while now, and it always leaves me a little sad. It seems like smart writers are pushing antiheroes further and darker to try to make their points sharper, but rather than feeling sick at the darkness (as I did reading Watchmen, for example), we glory in it (as in the film adaptation of Watchmen). The myth of redemptive violence persists, no matter how cynical our ends or how graphic our means, and in the process bad becomes good. Sure, classic Cap and Supe were a bit cheesy in their unadulterated goodness, but we’re so eager to shed our boy scout uniforms that we’ve managed to create superheroes without anything worth fighting for.

  2. You may be interested in Si Spurrier’s X-Force run, if you haven’t come across it already. Spurrier takes the premise of the series–that they’re the pro-active X-Men who who will go to any lengths (usually violence) to obtain their goals–and asks, well, ok, what happens to people who actually do that? The result is that they become empty, joyless shells going through the motions of having a life, and their means are almost indiscernible from their enemies’. And eventually, some of the characters conclude that they need something better than that.

    And then it was all swept under the rug for the next X-Force run, because surprise, it turns out the longtime X-Force fanbase isn’t really interested in exploring the emotional and mental fallout of sustained violence.

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