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 Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?

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DoctorOmega



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PostSubject: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:23 pm

There are 1000s of Public Domain/Open Source superheroes, but there are very few supervillains. What do you think are the best PD/OS villains? I couldn't name any who are as well known as Astroman, Jenny Everywhere, or The Black Terror. Also, do you think we need more OS villains? There are very few OS villains who aren't part of a heroes' origin story.
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captainwhizz

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:53 am

It never hurts to have more villains. A hero is often defined by their nemesis, and I would say that you need more villains than heroes if you're writing a series, as you can't have the hero taking on the same opponent all the time.
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GoldenBard

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:39 am

Funny you should bring this up, Omega. I was toying with the idea of doing another "collaboration character" (or characters) focusing on villains. Anybody interested in doing a villain character jam?
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DoctorOmega



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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:00 pm

I'd be very interested in creating a collaboration character. Has anyone got an idea about what kind of villain we should create?
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CodeAndReload

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:40 am

The problem with most villains is that they meet their demise at the end of their debut (especially in Jungle comic books).

Might want to think about how the villain reoccurs, too.
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GoldenBard

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:10 am

CodeAndReload wrote:
The problem with most villains is that they meet their demise at the end of their debut (especially in Jungle comic books).

Might want to think about how the villain reoccurs, too.
That was the problem with the pulps, too. The Shadow & The Spider had no problem gunning down the merciless bastards that dared to threaten their cities. And poor Doc Savage had a code against killing, but that didn't stop like 99% of the villains he faced from accidentally killing themselves through whatever means they had originally planned to use on Doc and his crew.

BTW, before we go off on our own creation, I should mention another possibility for PD supervillains: old movies. Eclipse comics used to have a cool book called The Prowler, about a Golden Age pulp-style hero today is training a young protege to take his place. The book took place in both eras, with the main story focusing on today and the back-up story on the boss's 1940s adventures. But the key point for this thread is that the Prowler's nemesis was Murder Legendre, the villain portrayed by Bela Lugosi in movie White Zombie. And despite the fact that he was supposed to be the villain of a semi-horror movie, he made a great villain in a superhero comic, as well. I actually keep a list of such horror villains that I think might work in this way.
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:39 am

Crime bosses, spies, and other no-/low-powerbad guys are easy-come, easy go, but some awesome super-powered/ high-tech bad guys (like Spider-Man's rogues gallery) would be cool.
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GoldenBard

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:29 am

So, I haven't forgotten about this thread/idea, I just haven't had time to get anything serious together. In the meantime, here are the germs for two ideas for villains that I borrowed from the public domain that I thought I'd throw out there for those who want 'em. I know both dress similarly, but if you want to use both, feel free to change the outfits.

1) Hop-Frog: Descended from Edgar Allen Poe's character of the same name, Hop-Frog is (like his ancestor) a dwarf with great strength, agility, and acrobatic ability ... and a great sadistic streak. He tends to dress in jester's motley (probably in shades of green; I never really gave it much thought) and, rather than walking, moves with a series of leaps, hops, and rolls (due to a problem with his legs, this is actually easier for him).

2) Yorick: Yorick is also dressed in jester motley (his in red and black) and has a skull face. He loves to play viscous (often deadly) pranks on those he feels are a threat to him. But his money-maker is blackmail; he has ways of getting information about those in power and using it to enrich and empower himself.
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DoctorOmega



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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:05 am

Goldenbard: I really like Hop-Frog and Yorick, (especially Yorick). Just one question, are these your own versions of public domain characters, or are these already public domain characters?

Captain Whizz: I also like the idea for a tech-powered or Super-powered villain. A tech-powered villain seems to be a good idea, however I like the idea of a tech-powered villain who has one particular tech-powered feature for example Doctor Octopus or Scorpion. I definitely think that such a character would be more unique than another 'power suit' character like Iron Man.

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JoeFrankenstein

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:27 am

I've posted a few supernatural villains I created in this thread here:

http://universe.forumakers.com/t376-joefrankenstein-s-house-of-rogues

And I'm currently working on some tech based and more traditional villains that I'll add to that thread.
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GoldenBard

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:10 am

DoctorOmega wrote:
Goldenbard: I really like Hop-Frog and Yorick, (especially Yorick). Just one question, are these your own versions of public domain characters, or are these already public domain characters?

Hop-Frog is pretty much based exactly as he was described in Edgar Allen Poe's story of the same name, which is definitely PD (and available online either to read or as an audio on Librivox). When I read the story back in high school, I just thought the character was really cool; all I really did was find a way to bring him into modern times (Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends did something similar with a descendent of Quasimodo's as a modern hunchback).

Yorick was based on one of my aborted attempts to come up with clown-like villain ala The Clown or The Joker. There's a Halloween costume called "Evil Jester" that has red & black motley and a skull-like face, and when we see Yorick in Hamlet, he's just the skull of the jester that Hamlet knew as a kid, so I kind of just jumbled all those ideas together.
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:40 am

Villains who have stolen or been given weapons that are higher tech than 'normal', but are quite focused, or the villain doesn't know how they work so can't reproduce/ improve them, are cool.

Like villains with 'freeze guns', or the Rhino/ Scorpion. I like the Shocker, who's not really a great villain, but kind of knows his limitations, and is more 'professional' in the sense that he won't go after Spider-Man out of a sense of pride, he only ever does crime for money.
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Expendable Extra

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:54 am

GoldenBard wrote:
[

Yorick was based on one of my aborted attempts to come up with clown-like villain ala The Clown or The Joker. There's a Halloween costume called "Evil Jester" that has red & black motley and a skull-like face, and when we see Yorick in Hamlet, he's just the skull of the jester that Hamlet knew as a kid, so I kind of just jumbled all those ideas together.

You can't go wrong with skull faced bad guys, I think every publisher has at least 2 - 3 available. Always a striking visual. Adding that to a clow-like outfit is more unique.
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GoldenBard

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:05 am

Okay, so let's look at creating some open-source villains. First we need to decide what kind. Here's a basic list to choose from:

  • Archvillain/Mastermind – These are the top guys who know no limits. Think Lex Luthor, Kingpin, Dr. Nikola, Moriarty.
  • Alien villain – Villains from “elsewhere” who often have motive and techniques that would make no sense to the average human. Think the aliens from UFO, Brainiac, Daleks.
  • Femme Fatale – The hot, sexy villainess who would love to turn the hero to the dark side and bed him, but is willing to kill him if need be. Think Green Sorceress, Catwoman.
  • Gang Boss – Pretty much what it says; the head of a criminal organization. Think basically all the crime bosses on Gotham.
  • Giant monster – Mostly kind of a niche villain, basically of the Japanese movie variety: Godzilla, Rhodan, Gamera, etc. And King Kong
  • Oriental Mastermind – I LOVE these kinds of villains, but wonder if they could be done today without seeming like a total racist @$$. The obvious ones are Fu Manchu, Wu Fang, Yen-Sin, but even the original Ming the Merciless had a touch of this in his makeup.
  • Robot villain – Sort of the modern take on the “Frankenstein” story, a robot run amok. Think Ultron, Computo, the Cybermen, the Cybernauts.
  • Mad Scientist – Better evil through science! Although sometimes these guys don’t see themselves as “evil;” they just think that science is above petty notions like “good” and “evil” Think Dr. Mortal, Rotwang, and Sivana. Even zombie-master types like Murder Legendre would fit here.
  • Monster – The villain who is not really human. Think Dracula (and all the Universal Monsters), Mr. Hyde, Zombies, etc.
  • Mystery Villain – The villain who is so far behind the scenes that people aren’t really sure who he is. Think Fantomas, the pulp villain The Octopus, the Spirit’s foe The Octopus.
  • Nazi – The villains that launched the History Channel. These guys are a must-have for a period piece in the 1940s, but I keep thinking that modern neo-Nazis would still be a threat today (in fact, I’ve often thought that DC should invent some neo-Nazi villains for Wonder Woman). Think Red Skull, Captain Nazi, Baron Blitzkreig.
  • Psycho – The villain with several loose screws, who torments people because it's FUN or because he doesn't know any better. Think Joker, Pinhead, Norman Bates, Leatherface.
  • Secret Society – To bedevil the hero(es) for ages, why come up with ONE hero when you can come up with a whole bunch? Think The Hellfire Club, THRUSH, and the hooded crazies from the covers of dozens of shudder pulps.
  • Thug – The average crook, usually the underling to an archvillain/mastermind. Most of these guys are cannon fodder, but I have heard of authors who tried a thug that went from one organization to another, and kept running afoul of the hero… It seems to me that to continually survive, a thug would need the superpower of mind-numbing luck! Think of the Beagle Boys, the Bully Brothers, and the guys with their names stitched on their sweaters in the Batman TV show.
  • Tough villain – Okay, these guys will NEVER get into Mensa. But they can take (and deal out) a great deal of damage, and that’s good enough for them! Think Blockbuster, Rhino, Bluto.


Any Preferences?
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DoctorOmega



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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:28 pm

I've got an idea for a robot-themed villain, made from ideas from this thread. Perhaps a low-level thug working for a supervillain, has his mind transferred into the body of a fearsome robot. The robot increases the dim thugs' intelligence, as well as having many powers of his own, and the thug tries to destroy the heroes who beat him and sent him to prison, and the villain that mistreated him.
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GoldenBard

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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:20 pm

DoctorOmega wrote:
I've got an idea for a robot-themed villain, made from ideas from this thread. Perhaps a low-level thug working for a supervillain, has his mind transferred into the body of a fearsome robot. The robot increases the dim thugs' intelligence, as well as having many powers of his own, and the thug tries to destroy the heroes who beat him and sent him to prison, and the villain that mistreated him.

I like the basic idea, Omega. Honestly, I don't know that I'd have the robot increase the thug's intelligence; I'd keep him a not-so-bright thug who just now has the ability to do A LOT more damage to his opponents. Somehow that feels right to me; I'm not sure how the mind transfer would make the guy more intelligent (unless you can some up with some wild pseudo-scientific explanation).
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:26 pm

Maybe the suit has a lot of processing power, internet access, etc, that are hooked directly into the thug's brain?
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DoctorOmega



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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:02 pm

Hmmm....I like GoldenBard's idea of not increasing the thug's intelligence-I like the idea of him being like the Shocker trapped in Ultron's body. Perhaps the robot was intended for someone else's mind, meaning that if you really wanted to, you could have a more intelligent mind inside the robot.
Has anyone got any more ideas to add to the character? I can't think of a name for him.
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:25 pm

DoctorOmega wrote:
Hmmm....I like GoldenBard's idea of not increasing the thug's intelligence-I like the idea of him being like the Shocker trapped in Ultron's body. Perhaps the robot was intended for someone else's mind, meaning that if you really wanted to, you could have a more intelligent mind inside the robot.
Has anyone got any  more ideas to add to the character? I can't think of a name for him.

Another possibility that occurred to me in the car yesterday would be if there were multiple personalities in the robot (so whatever accident put the thugs brain in there was a MAJOR screw up). Our thug would be the dominant personality, but there might be other minds with other talents in there as well, giving him access to other info (and also allow you play this villain up as slightly nuts). Not sure about this, but thought I'd mention it...

As for the name, I'm thinking maybe the thug had a nickname that works better with his new circumstances: Hammerfist, Blaster or Blades (depending on the weapons built into the robot), etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:48 pm

I've been thinking about this thread, and villains in general, a lot lately. Here are some ideas I wanted to throw out for others to consider/comment on:


  • Sometime a villain name can be a bit more subtle. Sometimes we want to come up with a name that SCREAMS "evil," like Doctor Doom, Red Death, The Destroyer, etc. But some great villains (especially in the horror genre, and I'm not above borrowing from other genres) have names that are merely descriptors: The Tall Man (Phantasm), Slenderman (Internt meme), Coffin Joe (Brazilian horror films), etc. That might be something to look at...
  • Keeping with the idea of stealing from other genres, have you considered how many great villains are in fairy tales and folk stories? Dark kings, witches, monsters, etc. are all there for the taking. Consider using Baba Yaga or Bluebeard against your heroes!
  • Sometimes villains need an interesting goal/motive. Fu Manchu hated the evils of Communism, and feared that it would control the Earth. So, to prevent this, he was determined to rule the planet himself. The pulp villain Doctor Death thought that the earth was in trouble due to overpopulation and technology, so he wanted to wipe a large chunk of the population and take society back to a feudal society. So, what interesting motives might a villain have (aside from just being "evil")?
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DoctorOmega



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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:21 pm

I love the idea of multiple personalities. How about:
1. Hammerfist (such an awesome name)-The Thug, whose mind is transferred into the robot. He wants to destroy the heroes who beat him, and the villain who mistreated him. He also uses his new powers to make a profit (similar to shocker). He often uses punching, hammers, and other heavy weaponry.
2. The Conqueror-The robot's 'original' personality. The stereotypical 'destroy all humans' type, he favors blasters, missiles and other tactical/ high power weaponry.
3. The type of villain GoldenBard mentioned-he has a subtle motivation, maybe even good intentions.Perhaps made from the mind of the robot's creator?
What do you guys think of the 3 personalities? And can anyone think of a name for the personalities?
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:34 pm

With today's day and age, the villain that is trying to save the world from itself by taking it over is probably a fertile plot to use.

I also like the idea of a robot with an ever changing personality. I don't think that's been done before.
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:04 am

Expendable Extra wrote:
With today's day and age, the villain that is trying to save the world from itself by taking it over is probably a fertile plot to use.
Well, I was just using that as an example. Other (more modern) examples from Superman include the mad scientist who created Metallo doing so because he feared a pending alien invasion, and Lex Luthor feeling that superheroes set a bad example for the masses, and must be removed. The idea is that often the villains THINK they are doing something noble, rather than just waking up one day and saying, "You know what would be cool? I'll be evil from now on."

DoctorOmega wrote:
I love the idea of multiple personalities. How about:
1. Hammerfist (such an awesome name)-The Thug, whose mind is transferred into the robot. He wants to destroy the heroes who beat him, and the villain who mistreated him. He also uses his new powers to make a profit (similar to shocker). He often uses punching, hammers, and other heavy weaponry.
2. The Conqueror-The robot's 'original' personality. The stereotypical 'destroy all humans' type, he favors blasters, missiles and other tactical/ high power weaponry.
3. The type of villain GoldenBard mentioned-he has a subtle motivation, maybe even good intentions.Perhaps made from the mind of the robot's creator?
How about instead of "destroy all humans," the robot was made as a soldier-type, programmed to "destroy the enemy." But when the personalities get scrambled, The Conqueror basically sees EVERYONE as the enemy (perhaps some bleed-through from Hammerfist, who would have a chip on his shoulder where the world is concerned). I'll have to think a bit more about that third personality. I feel like there's something in the back of my mind; I just can't quite grasp it...
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DoctorOmega



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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:33 pm

I like the idea of Hammerfist's personality 'bleeding' into the others. Maybe there could be some animosity between the Hammerfist and The Conqueror personalities? Hammerfist could be constantly mocked by The Conqueror for his lack of ambition, making Hammerfist commit bigger crimes.
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PostSubject: Re: Do we need more Public Domain/Open Source Supervillains?   Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:40 am

THAT'S an interesting idea, Omega. I hadn't considered the personalities interacting (I wasn't even sure that they were aware of each other). But I like the idea of them almost fighting for supremacy and control of the body.
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