The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Top Twenty-Five Animated Villains

A YouTube channel that I enjoy following, managed by a fellow who's handle is Deadpoolzilla, recently compiled and discussed his Top Twenty-Five Animated Villains. However, he gave himself some added criteria: no villains who first showed up in comic books or in movies. I gave myself the same criteria this time, so no Joker; no Green Goblin; no Griffith; no Maleficent. Now, I know I did a similar list a few years back, and the order has altered some -- my only explanation is, like all humans I can be fickle and my mood can alter. And, yes, Xanatos and Demona are still #2 and #1 respectively... there's no chance ever that will change. Well, here we go.




25. Harley Quinn


What can I say about Harley Quinn? She was created by Paul Dini for "Batman the Animated Series" and proved to be so popular, she was imported straight into the comics. She's been around for over twenty years now and it's hard to imagine the Batman mythos without her. I know she's become a sex symbol to many a geek out there, but not for this one. I find Harley fascinating in the tragedy of her character, but her voice is not sexy (even if it is perfect for the character) to anyone but the Joker, and she herself is the biggest female doormat I've ever seen in fiction. The Joker is the abuser and she is the battered wife who won't leave, and always comes back for more. I find Harley pitiable more than anything else.

24. Fire Lord Ozai


Ozai is your archetypal Big Bad Evil Overlord. For that he is great. He is a powerful fire bender -- maybe the most powerful we've ever seen, an abusive father, and a cruel dictator with delusions of grandeur that he had the power to make terrifyingly real. Mark Hamill turned in a terrific performance as Ozai, and that final battle between him and Aang was glorious to watch. The only thing keeping Ozai from placing higher on this list is because while he is awesome for what he is, ultimately he is not as interesting a character as others.

23. Sandi Griffin


And now for someone completely different. Sandi is every mean girl you've ever known in High School combined into one uber-mean girl. The Serpentor of mean girls if you will. If you thought Sally Avril in "The Spectacular Spider-Man" was mad, Sandi makes her look like Gwen Stacy in comparison. She rules her clique with a iron fist, treats her friends like shit to always remind them of their place, including completely destroying one's self esteem and reducing her to a nervous wreck. Why? Because she can.

22. Aku


And here we have another evil overlord, and Aku himself is evil given form. An eldritch abomination personified with the voice of the late Mako. He conquered the Earth and is in the process of conquering the universe. But he's also fun to watch for his many personality quirks. He is pure evil, but he also has a warped sense of humor. He's a quirky wannabe Cthulhu, and I always enjoyed watching him work.

21. Mozenrath


In 1992, Disney released "Aladdin" to theaters and it was a monstrous hit. So much so that it began the Disney direct-to-video sequels and TV spin-offs. They also made a pretty big mistake in the process. They killed off Jafar, and replaced him with really lame villains like Abis Mal and Mechanicles. Late into the production, they must have realized this and we got Mozenrath, Aladdin's dark reflection. Had Aladdin chosen a more evil path, he would have become Mozenrath. He's powerful and clever. Iago called him "Jafar  Jr." but I disagree with him, like I said before, he is Aladdin's dark reflection. The plan was to eventually reveal him as Aladdin's older brother in the third movie, but the powers that be didn't want to tie it down to the series, so they could market the three movies as a trilogy and we got "King of Thieves" instead. What might have been.

20. Shockwave



Okay, I loved "Generation One Shockwave"... in the comic books. There he was Evil Spock. A creature dictated by logic, and one day logic dictated that he would be a superior leader than Megatron, and he overthrew Megatron and took command. He spent more time leading the Decepticons in the comics than Megatron did. So, in comparison, the cartoon version who did nothing but act as a glorified janitor for Cybertron in Megatron's absence and kissed his ass did nothing for me. A loyal Shockwave held no interest for me. Until "Animated" came along, proving that concept is nothing and execution is everything. Once again, Shockwave is stationed on Cybertron. But this time on an Autobot controlled Cybertron as a spy, under the alias and identity of Longarm Prime... chief of Autobot Intelligence. Okay... if you haven't seen the show, just imagine how much damage Shockwave could do in that position. And he did. He was a key piece in a plan to invade Cybertron from within, and when that didn't work, and his cover was about to get blown, he nearly assassinated Autobot leader, Ultra Magnus, stole his hammer (which is a POWERFUL weapon), and continued to do his master's bidding, nearly bringing them to victory. Hardcore. I did enjoy that Corey Burton reprised the voice. In fact, the reason we got Shockwave at all was because they had Corey there already as Megatron and Ratchet, and he wanted to play Shockwave again.

19. Molotov Cocktease


Ah, yes... Molotov. The girl who got the better of Brock Samson and broke his heart in the process. In a series about failure, she was its most successful villain. Everything she set out to do, she accomplished. She used Brock Samson to take out her competitors in the career of assassination. She led her own private military corporation, and she died rather than allow herself and her new boyfriend, Monstroso to be captured. As Brock said, she didn't know the first thing of honor, she was a stone cold mercenary bitch. And that's why she was awesome.

18. Alpha


The founder of the Men In Black... who went insane, decided to steal the body parts off of aliens to bring himself closer to godhood and take over the universe. He was both insane and scary. He was dismembering people alive in a kid's show. Harsh. He also wasn't too proud to learn from his mistakes. When steal flesh and blood off aliens didn't work, he decided to upgrade himself with well tuned machinery that wasn't weak and didn't tire. Alpha was the cautionary tale. He saw a bigger world and decided to be king of a much larger sandbox.

17. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch


Is it weird that the voice is now sexy too? Well, I love a badass, supervillainess. She is smart, deadly, sexy (I swear, I don't even notice her voice anymore), and if she wanted to, she could rule the Guild of Calamitous Intent all by herself (Sorry, David Bowie). But, she doesn't want that. Also, she's the reason her husband is not dead yet, and they're swingers too. Not bad. Not bad at all ;)

16. Skullmaster


Mighty Max was a cartoon based on a toyline that was essentially Polly Pocket for boys. How could it be any good? How could it have a decent villain? You syndicate it, put it in the hands of some cool writers, and get Tim Curry to voice your villain. A villain who openly talks about ripping limbs from bodies to suck the marrow from their bones, eating hearts, and outright torturing and murdering people. Skullmaster was hardcore. His goal was to become no less than God himself, and he succeeded. To make the Satan allegory complete, he spent the entire first season imprisoned in the Earth's volcanic core, and he harvested souls to increase his own power and give him an army of invincible, undead minions.

15. Agent Bishop


Not all villains are evil, in fact some are righteous. Agent Bishop was the definition of ends justify the means. Whatever it took to protect the people of Earth, he would do it. He was just as comfortable using the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as pawns as he was having them on his dissection table. And he could fight. In one episode, he fights all four turtles, Hun, and Karai... and manages to escape without undamaged with what he came for. The President wanted to cut his funding, so he fakes an alien attack. Bishop believed in the greater good, as did many of history's greatest monsters.

14. Amon

 
Another righteous villain, Amon believed bending was the greatest evil in the world. And by god, he was going to use his own bending powers to remove that evil. A liar and a hypocrite, he justified it all in his mind by telling himself, and the other Equalists and non-benders that it was all for the greater good. Now, "The Legend of Korra" had a lot of problems, but their villain wasn't one of them. His back story made sense to me, and his presence was chilling all throughout the series. He was smart, he was brutal, he was clever. But ultimately he was the very thing he truly hated.

13. Negaduck


I blame Negaduck for my hatred of all things cute, cuddly and wholesome. The guy is pure evil, completely psychotic, and easily Darkwing Duck's most dangerous enemy. What's his motivation? Nothing by wreaking unbridled havoc and making a profit off of it so he can acquire even more dangerous toys to wreck unbridled havoc with. All of the other supervillains in St. Canard are terrified of him, and with good reason... he keeps them completely under his thumb.

12. Megatron


One of only two Megatrons worth writing about. As cunning and manipulative as his "Beast Wars" counterpart, and a much better Decepticon warlord than G1 Megatron. This is the Megatron that should be the namesake of "Beast Wars" Megatron. Cruel, calculating, always has a plan, and knows how to roll with the punches. And, unlike some other Megatrons, this one does not suffer traitors. At all. Yes, I did approve of his zero tolerance for Starscream policy. Corey Burton was chilling in the role... bringing a level of charisma to the character that many great tyrants possessed.

Comparing G1 Megatron to Animated Megatron is like comparing Skeletor to David Xanatos.

11. Eric Cartman


How could I write a list like this, and not include Eric Cartman? Cartman is everything wrong with white America in one, fat eight-year-old package. Racist, anti-semitic, greedy, lazy, stupid, selfish. He cares about only his own amusement, and while he is fun to watch, it is just as fun to see him get his ass kicked as he so often does. But to sum up how evil he is? A teenager once swindled him out of money, Cartman retaliationed by having said teenager's parents killed and then ground them up into chili and fed them to him. Yes.

10. Thailog


Ah, the prodigal son… and he’s a bastard. Literally. I love this guy, he’s just a hoot. Thailog is as powerful as Goliath, as brilliant and amoral as Xanatos, and as hammy and immoral as Sevarius. All at once. And it shows. In every single appearance, it shows. The guy is a walking Oedipus complex, what with his desire to prove his superiority to his fathers. I suppose one might say that he’s already gotten the better of Sevarius, since he has the good doctor on his payroll. And while he outsmarted Xanatos once, I don’t think he’s done. Turning Nightstone Unlimited into a powerhouse to rival Xanatos Enterprises is obviously a means to this end. But what next?

I think my favorite thing about Thailog is that while he is a clone of Goliath, that’s the last thing that comes to mind when I think about him. He’s a fully developed character in his own right, and not simply Goliath’s evil twin. On that note, I’m happy his coloring is different, because the last thing this show needs is an entire episode where the gargoyles try to figure out which one is the real Goliath.

9. Phaeton


Quite possibly the closest you will ever see to an animated Adolf Hitler. Phaeton not only left a body count, but on screen genocide of normal human beings. Intelligent, cold, ruthless, and, in the end, insane. Phaeton hits close to him in that, he may have been grown in a test tube by humans, but he embodies the worst traits of mankind. And he did it all on screen too. What makes it even worse is that Phaeton cared about one thing and only one thing, his own power. During the first Neosapian uprising, he betrayed his own people and was placed in charge of them, only to lead the second one by promising them a new Neosapian Order... which he also didn't care about, and in his final hours he confessed to power being the only thing that ever mattered to him.

8. Ch'rell -- The Shredder


Okay, if you're a badass, evil, powerful ninja. You shouldn't be the whiny bitch husband to a pink brain that dresses up as an obese, fat man. Thank god Peter Laird and his team brought us this, this... monster in the 2003 series. He was very scary, and whenever he appeared, you never knew if the characters would survive unscathed. Despite being a little, red slug, Ch'rell was one to fear. And the fact that the Turtles never defeated him in battle adds to his resume. I know including him here is kind of a cheat, since the Shredder first originated in comic books, but Ch'rell didn't. While he may be the Shredder in this incarnation, I figured he was about 50% a new character entirely. He was an evil tyrant, a genocidal maniac obsessed with power. And he was awesome.

7. The Monarch


The Monarch is every single supervillain cliche there is completely dissected and subverted to show us all just how sad and pathetic these people really are. I just love him. He can be quite the badass though, in fact he's pretty much hurt or emotionally destroyed anyone he's ever menaced who wasn't connected to Rusty Venture. The Monarch is most everybody on this list completely deconstructed.

6. Macbeth


Well, where do I start? Well, I suppose I will start by saying that I almost feel bad for putting him on this list at all. He has a strong sense of honor, if skewed. He’s worked against our protagonists and with them. But, in the end I think the only side he’s on is his own. While he is more of an ally now, that doesn't mean he hasn't been part of the problem before and won’t be part of the problem again.

His story is terrific. Rather than follow the Scottish Play, the story we got was a loose adaptation of the true history of Macbeth and his reign over Scotland. Yes, we had Demona and gargoyles, and the Weird Sisters and sorcery, but we also had a history lesson unfolding, even if we didn't know it at the time. And it’s terrific. To this day, it’s my favorite tale in the entire mythos. When we first meet him, the centuries have certainly taken their toll. He is not above attacking the gargoyles, taking hostages, and committing grand theft. And yet, we never once think of him as evil, despite doing some pretty unethical and amoral things. That changes with “City of Stone” when we learn his story and feel sorry for him.

5. Azula


You know how they say many great geniuses are insane? That's Princess Azula. One could say she accomplished a lot at a very young age, and was definitely a prodigy. But make no mistake, her brilliance was fueled by the same insecurities and fear of her father as her brother, Zuko's. Notice that the final blow that cracked her was when Fire Lord Ozai told her she would not be accompanying him on his mission to burn down the Earth Kingdom. But, all that aside, she provided Aang and his companions with more trouble than anyone else, and terrified everyone around her.

4. Megatron


Ah, yesss. A classic. The first, great character to be named Megatron. Unfortunately, there have only been two truly great Megatrons in the entire mythos (I already mentioned the other one). This one was clever, crafty, manipulative, and slick. My favorite form he took had to be his second one, his Transmetal T-rex. Not to say I didn't like the dragon, I did. The dragon form was awesome. But he seemed more wannabe godlike there, and less slick, schemer. He accomplished more than his predecessor with a lot less, and was always fun to watch. David Kaye just oozed evil in this role. Yesss.

3. Vicious


Cold, calculating, and a brutal killer. Ambitious. He's rarely seen, and he rarely speaks. But, damn. When he shows up, death follows in his wake. There is just something so creepy about him. His very presence makes his subordinates tremble. His very name is one of the few things to get the cool Spike Spiegal to complete lose his temper. He is also an excellent swordsman, never afraid to bring a sword to a gunfight and using everything to his advantage from his flunkies, to the darkness around them to his opponent's temper.

2. David Xanatos



He was designed to be a heroic character, and he was cast as the villain of the piece. That, right there, is what makes this character so brilliant. He has so many positive qualities, so many admirable traits. He’s smart, he’s cool, he’s suave, he’s practical, he knows his priorities, he doesn’t sweat the small stuff, he doesn’t hold a grudge; the titled heroes have more personality flaws than he does! But he is also incredibly ruthless, and while he’s not evil, he is incredibly amoral. He seems to be the walking personification of Frederick Nietzsche’s ubermensch when one stops to think about it. And he is awesome. I am actually struggling here, what more can be said about David Xanatos that hasn’t already been said? He’s designed many tropes all by himself. There was never a villain like him in animation before, and even after he’s left, there still has never been anyone quite like him. He doesn’t surround himself with dimwitted henchmen and beat them up and scream when they fail. No, quite the opposite, he is always surrounded by incredibly competent people. His assistant and majordomo, Owen Burnett comes to mind. And he so rarely loses. In sixty-five episodes, and eighteen comics, I can count the number of actual losses on one hand. Aside from that, he always comes out on top. Always. But when he doesn’t, he doesn’t throw a fit and scream, he shrugs it off and moves on to the next plan. There are always contingencies. This guy is the coolest guy in the series.

His character arc throughout the series is brilliant. I love his rivalry with Goliath, and I love how he doesn’t hate or even dislike Goliath. He likes Goliath a lot, admires him, and regards him with what I can best call a mix of interest and benign amusement. That’s far more interesting than Megatron’s hatred for Optimus Prime. And I really love how Goliath would often use the word “evil” to describe Xanatos. Sure, Xanatos has done some evil things, but Goliath’s view of him for the longest time was very two-dimensional. It almost represents how most audiences, especially in animation, were trained to view the villain. No, Xanatos wasn’t a Dark Lord, or a diabolical evil. He was simply a trickster. A human trickster. While Xanatos and Goliath seem to have made some form of peace, that still didn’t make Xanatos one of the good guys! I love that! In a way, he’s still the enemy, and now the gargoyles are living with him, and they know it! He still has plans and schemes, and while he likes the gargoyles and helps them out, that doesn’t stop him from manipulating them to his own ends, or even working against them. And best of all, as far as Xanatos is concerned: it’s nothing personal.

I also have to give a ton of credit to the performance of Jonathan Frakes. He made Xanatos sound so sophisticated, fun, and erudite. David Xanatos, he should run a seminar on villainy. Often imitated, never duplicated.

1. Demona


Demona is the clear number one on this list, for reasons both grounded and very esoteric at the same time. At the most minimal of glances, she seems very typical. We’ve seen genocidal human haters before. But scratch the surface, even a little, and we get the deepest creation of not only the series, but one of the deepest creations in the realm of fiction. I’m going to say this now, and roll your eyes all you want, but Demona would not be the slightest bit out of place in Russian literature. Or William Shakespeare’s for that matter. I love this character.

Let’s start with the surface elements first. She’s got a terrific character design, and was so very well animated. Marina Sirtis deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the work she did bringing her to life. She embodied that character so completely that I never want to hear anyone else ever voice Demona on any animated project. No one can do it. Period. Hearing Marina Sirtis voice Demona was just as much of a revelation as hearing Mark Hamill’s Joker. And I will stand by that statement even under threat of torture. She is also just such a badass! An intimidating warrior, an immortal, a sorceress, and she transforms into a human during the day! Hell, in both forms, she's pretty hot.

Now, for the esoteric. She has a guilt complex that makes Peter Parker’s look tame by comparison, but she spreads it around to everyone else rather than internalize it. And considering how much she has to feel guilty over, this makes her arguably the most dangerous character in the series. She cannot accept her own culpability for the terrible things that happened to her, and for all intents and purposes, murdering her clan. She may not have swung the mace, but her ambition, her bigotry, and her cowardice put them in front of it.

Her favorite scapegoats are humanity as a whole, who make an easy and convenient target for her to project her guilt and self-loathing on. Now, does she have a point? Yes. Let’s face it, humans can be bastards. We’ve done terrible things as a species. But, just as you cannot blame every Muslim for the attacks on September 11th, or every German for the Holocaust, Demona is wrong to blame every human for the terrible actions of a few. And at the end of the day, she was either directly or indirectly responsible for those actions. She betrayed her clan, and caused the massacre; she created the Hunter, and betrayed Macbeth. Demona created her own pain, and she intends to wipe out every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth just to justify every damned stupid choice she ever made. Despite all of that, she is an eternally conflicted character. She is not a one-dimensional cut-out. Deep inside, she knows she’s wrong, she knows what she did. But she cannot and will not acknowledge that. And that’s what makes her hatred for Elisa Maza so interesting. The one human she hates most is the one that has been a true friend to the gargoyles, because Elisa is living proof of just how wrong Demona really is. And the fact that Elisa and Goliath are now in love doesn’t help considering Demona’s lingering feelings of jealousy.

Of course, there is Demona’s biological daughter, Angela. She is probably the one person Demona cares about in the world. My single biggest regret about the cancelation of the comic book is that we didn’t get to see the two of them interact again. I am beyond curious to see where this goes. But one thing I am confident of, it’s not heading towards a hysterically easy redemption. Nope, if we take the plan for the “Gargoyles 2198” spin-off seriously, and I most certainly do, Demona is still plotting against humanity long after Angela has died. Is it sad? Yes. Is it tragic? Yes. Is it Demona? Absolutely.

I also love how she is a walking mess of contradictions. Her belief system is based so much on lies she tells herself, that she will rationalize anything she can to fit her world view. Why? Because the alternative is admitting she is wrong, and right now, she will not do that. Cannot do that. Sadly for both her and Angela, I see tragedy in their future. Demona’s through line is one of the main reasons I am so desperate for “Gargoyles 2198” to be produced. I want to see how her story ends, and if it’s going to end anywhere, it’s in that spinoff. This is a story I am dying to see, and if Disney never produces it, well… one way or another I intend to find out what happens to her. What her ultimate fate is going to be. We know she’ll have an epiphany of some kind. How does it happen? Why does it happen? What’s the fallout? How does her story end?

Demona is an endlessly fascinating character. We’ve never seen anything like her in the realm of western animation before her debut, and I don’t think she’s been replicated since. Why? I don’t know. But lightning has been caught in a bottle, and I am rather happy that no one has attempted to imitate this unique and perfectly conceived character but tragically flawed person.

12 comments:

  1. "On that note, I’m happy his coloring is different, because the last thing this show needs is an entire episode where the gargoyles try to figure out which one is the real Goliath."
    Was that intentionally funny?
    25: I easily see she got added to the comics, she adds so much and play the role of henchmen and tragic villain.
    24: To be honest, I never cared about him and felt he was kinda boring.
    23: Never watched that series.
    22: Probably the best mix of comedy and evil since the Joker.
    21: Pretty much the only villain from that cartoon I liked.
    20: If Megatron had more minions that was as competent, he would have crushed the Autobots easily.
    19: Haven't watch Venture Bros. enough, I've been meaning to, but I can't find a site with the whole series.
    18: Didn't watch the show enough, but your tribute to him speaks for itself.
    17: Same as 19.
    16: Didn't watch Mighty Max enough, but from what I saw your video about him, he felt like a villain out the league of the protagonist.
    15: No arguments from me. Badass and a magnificent bastard.
    14: YES. This guy was way better than Ozai and I loved the mystery to him.
    13: I didn't watch Darkwing Duck enough, but I love this guy.
    12: Nothing to say you didn't already. My only problem with him is that he spent season 2 sitting around when he could have killed the Autobots himself.
    11: Don't watch enough South Park, but I know enough to enjoy watching him get hurt.
    10: You know someone's dangerous when he's one of the only things that Xanatos is afraid of, and the creation of him being one of the few things he regrets.
    9: I honestly never even heard of him before your villain tribute. I find that to be a pity. I should get around to watching Exo-Squad at some point.
    8: HELL YEAH. While some people didn't like the revelation of him being an alien, I feel being an intergalantic war criminal added to his menace.
    7: See the last two from that series.
    6: Hard to tell whose more tragic, him or Demona.
    5: Pity she wasn't the ultimate villain in the series. She is one of those villains I love to hate.
    4: Not much else to say. This guy is part of what made me love Beast Wars and is in many ways the savoir of the TF franchise, keeping it from becoming another obscure thing to come out of the 80s.
    3: The episodes with him were the highlight of the series.
    2: "Trickester" fits him since a lot of what he does just seems to be for fun. Also has one of the best witty personalities I've ever seen. Though it seemed like with the plot going on he was eventually no longer a villain.
    1: Tragic villain that brought about her own pain, but can't admit because she can't take. As Persona 4 points out, it's dangerous to lie to yourself, and she's been doing it for hundreds of years, and for it she will suffer for eternity.

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    1. "Though it seemed like with the plot going on he was eventually no longer a villain."

      I disagree. Xanatos was still very much a villain. Although his priorities have shifted, his goals and methods have not. This was especially evident in the comics. Just ignore that TGC bullshit. ;)

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    2. Oh I never even watched that, Nostalgia Critic told the people to watch it, so I didn't. Also I saw that clip on your channel where you stated they also cut the animation budget after that flurb with Demona's tear, that's when I figure if the people working the show didn't care about that season anymore, then I won't either.

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  2. Out of curiosity, what did you think of Deadpoolgodzilla's own Villains list?

    And you know, the more I thought about it; if I were to make my own animated villains list; Demona and Azula would probably fight for the top spot.

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    1. I liked Deadpoolzilla's list. Even when I didn't know who some of his picks were, his reasons were well stated. I had a couple of disagreements here and there, but I liked it.

      Azula is great, but I think Demona is much better. Not a knock against Azula though.

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    2. Oh I understand. Well, I'd give the number one spot to Demona though since she's the most complex.

      Delete
  3. Excellent list, Greg. I have to say that I completely agree on #1 and #2. Personally, I have a slight preference for Xanatos over Demona, but they're both fantastic villains.

    If I may, I'd like to put down a recommendation for Nox from Wakfu. He was one of the most genuinely tragic villains I can think of in animation.

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  4. "Unfortunately, there have only been two truly great Megatrons in the entire mythos"

    I'd say that's changed with IDW Megatron around, but that's mostly because of the "Chaos Theory" two-parter.

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  5. Great list! I enjoyed reading your words on all these guys.

    14: Ozai's a well done example of the Generic Doomsday Villain evil overlord. Like Emperor Palpatine before he got more convoluted in the prequels.

    22: Didn't realize you were also familiar with Aku. He was the most memorable part of the show: Mako was just perfect in the role.

    21: I agree that alot of people look at Mozenrath the wrong way. He's much less "Jafar Jr" and more "Evil Aladdin." And he was brilliant as such.

    20: Corey Burton's pitch-perfect David Warner impression was the only really great thing about G1 Shockwave in the cartoon. So glad it came back for this version.

    14: Agreed SO MUCH that Amon was one of the less flawed things about "Korra"'s first season. Heck, the whole story behind Yakone's bloodline (pun intended) and how it led to the current conflict was incredibly well handled.

    13: Can you blame Negaduck for putting you off cute and wholesome things? He makes being bad look like so much FUN!

    11: It's amazing how after all these years this kid has never let up on what a bastard he can be.

    9: I don't know the character, but I know his voice actor Richard Newman is pretty underrated.

    4: Best Megatron ever! Yesssss!

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  6. I suppose I see some positive aspects of Amon from this. Though I'm a little skeptical. Ok, growing up a father like Yakone results in him looking down on his brother as being weak.

    Which is fine as his upbringing from a father like that gives him a might makes right mentallity, yet he goes right back to wanting equality. Still trying to figure out why that works.

    I guess my issue with him though is how the truth behind him affects other aspects of the story:

    1. Without rehashing something discussed before too much, the revelation of him being a Bender seems like a quick way to convince us that the Equalists, especially as some pointed out how the beginning of Episode 11 has Gommu telling Team Avatar that people on the streets whether they be benders or nonbenders get along just fine.

    In other words, "there's no oppression".

    2. Even if Aang didn't kill Ozai, he still had to leave the comfort zone of his people by confronting the soon to be former Firelord directly.

    With Amon and The Equalists, Korra's usual approach would make her come off as an bully. So revealing Amon to be a Bender means that Korra doesn't have to really to find another way to deal with the enemy and can go in just punching and kick the elements (As some have pointed out, her use of Air Bending seems very unlike something we've seen from say Aang or Tenzin when they went offensive).

    In short, Amon's presence never really changes Korra's Bend before she leaps method. And I've judged him based on that.

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  7. ^ So you're suggesting that Amon OUGHT to have just been a non-bender who's parents were killed by a firebender and so he hates all bending, and was given powers by the spirits themselves to remove bending? I'm sorry, but no. There was clearly a mystery behind Amon: he could not have possibly just been who he said he was. His backstory as Yakone's son and the fact that he was a bloodbender was the key to the whole mystery, as was built up since Episode 4: it explains why he started the Equalist movement and how he was able to seemingly take people's bending away. The "revelation" that he was a bender was not just a tool to get us against the Equalists: it was there from the start and was the point of who Amon was. We were already expected to be against the Equalists since they are the antagonists, regardless of how valid they might seem.

    As for non-benders dedicated to the cause, what about the Lieutenant and Hiroshi Sato? And the Korra issue is more about Korra than it is Amon. (Though I must ask, do most fans really WANT to see Korra deal with the enemy any way besides punching and kicking the elements?)

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  8. A very solid list. I'd only like to add to two comments.
    1. You should take a look at Transformers Prime"s Megatron who is G1 Megatron giving Beast Wars Megatron's smarts and style and Animated Megatron's brutishness. He, I think is wrothy of the name.

    2. Since you like anime/manga with scary, intelligent and highly evil antagonists, then you should really watch Monster as the title character of the story is right up you're alley.

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