Villains are interesting, villains make the heroes so to speak. If you do not loathe the opposition you can not stand behind the hero. For example what in the world would happen if we read a book or saw a film about a Hitler struggling to defeat the corrupted world that he was opposing? I am quite sure that something of that nature would not get a wide birth if support. You have to identify with a hero to ride along side him in your mind. Case in point for me, my biggest heroes as a kid was Spiderman and the hulk. Which are kind of infantile in complexity. Hulk his enemy is General Ross who’s trying to control him, and himself because he can not handle things in the world well enough and acts out….. Gee I wonder why I identified with someone who has such a problem with authority as well as a general mistrust in people and a need to lash out… Spiderman? Well to be honest he was cool because he was a teenager, he was funny, and the whole world feels like its out to get him accept Aunt may and Mary-jane. Theme there would be mis-trust, and Jonah probably brings in the anti Authority issues.

As an adult the mood at a certain point began to shift a bit. After the piling of situation neglect and what not I discovered TMNT, not the namby pamby Archie comics, though the TV show did lead me to discover them. I am talking about the Bad Ass Eastman and Laird books. The black and white beautifully stylized mutant creations from a bar napkin. They were odd as heck to me when I found them in the early nineties. Then I found James O’Barr’s the Crow… oh man, talk about taking mistrust and what not to a new level. That book sang to me like a violin concert, and moved my mind every-time I read it.

In TMNT the main villain was Shredder, a deceitful manipulative father figure commanding an army of trained all be it storm trooper style ninjas who steal and thieve and kill, in The Crow T bird and his gang are a very good example of broken bullies taken to an extreme. Human selfishness at its peak, lusting for power to fill hollow empty voids we created in ourselves with that first easy choice so long ago, and never turned away from.

That was teenage me. Now? Well now it takes a lot for me to even buy a book, I prefer to stick to indies and b rated heroes that I love. Poison Elves, Drew Hayes god rest his soul, A very punk rock fantasy. There was never a single villain in that. My own story writing was so heavily influenced by Drew, there is no single big bad in his work, its more like stumbling about the world amidst different patterns. Some patterns of evil source from a selfish deluded religious fanatic, others are scheming warlocks playing in the mortal world for entertainment, and the worst…. the biggest bad I think there usually is. Yourself.  Lusiphur was running from himself for a long time in those books. He confronted the guilt and pain in himself from killing his mother out of mercy. It was not pretty, but it was raw. He never had a chance to wrap it up entirely even after that as the character began to deal with it and make the very slow trek to becoming whole it was not a quick straight path. Life is like that. We confront our villains, but the one that is the most diabolical and the one that is the most dogged is usually ourselves.

In Poison Elves Drew wrote in that Luse had a way of inspiring others to be loyal, and to ride along with him into what ever bar-brawl style situation he was currently in the middle of. I like that. The best Friends wade into that crap with you. Most of the time to do what they can to pull you out of it. I do not see my closest friends daily like I did years ago, I would like to, but adulthood has a way of forcing us into patterns of survival and accomplishment that pulls us away from one another. I do now though that many are still riding with me, some at a greater distance maybe.

Ride on…