Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, May 22, 2009

My Top Five List of Iconic Villians



A recent thread at the Smart Bitches,Trashy Books site got me to thinking about one of my favorite fictional subjects,villains. It's no secret that I adore those bad guys and gals who you love to hate and hate to love.

However,there are a few foes that leave a strong impression on the pop culture scene which lasts beyond their original debut. The kind that are imitated but never truly duplicated via other works and also brought back to life more often than zombies.

In other words,they are Iconic Villains,templates for evil doers in books,film and TV series. In choosing a Top Five of the best of the worst,I took into consideration both long lasting influence,plus having more than one actor portray this person and their rate of revival. So,without further delay,here is the official LRG Top Five picks for Iconic Villainy:



5)HANNIBAL LECTOR

The good doctor is the youngest of the bunch here,which makes him the first of the last to be profiled. Lector has haunted both books and film,thanks to the deviously clever writing by Thomas Harris and Anthony Hopkins' memorable performances in Silence of the Lambs and it's controversial follow-up,Hannibal.

Lector has become the go-to basis for sinisterly smart serial killers in the thriller genre,with even women being just as fiendish formidable. Chelsea Cain's Gretchen Lowell is one of the more recent literary mind and body hunters who can be fairly called a direct descendant.

Hopkins is seen as the ultimate incarnation of the character so much that a remake of an earlier Harris adaptation-Red Dragon,in which Lector was a minor character-was done and even expanded Hopkin's role in order to appease his fans. In my opinion,Brian Cox did a very good job as Lector in the first crack at the story(Manhunter)and it's the superior of the two:

FIRST VISIT



STOPPING THOSE SCREAMS





4) THE JOKER

Batman's number one menace has reinforced the fear of clowns better than any showboating children's party entertainer. From his first appearance in comic books to various TV show versions(animated and live action),the Clown Prince of Crime has reigned supreme on the costumed character crime scene.

It's been the major motion picture takes on the character,however,which have kept his legacy of lethal laughs going strong. Not to dismiss the excellent graphic novel revivals of him(which the screenwriters have used as inspiration),but Hollywood has given this funny fear master a throne on which to cheer from:

SCARIER THAN THE SHAMWOW



PARTY WITH THIS MAN AT YOUR PERIL






3)LEX LUTHOR

Another DC creation,Luthor has changed jobs as much as anyone else out there with a resume on Monster or Career Builder,but he's still bad to the bone. From mad scientist to corporate tycoon to politician,Lex's main agenda is take down Superman in order to rule the world.

Even when Lex has been featured in a buffoonish fashion,he's smart enough to trick Kal-El into facing off against green kryptonite. Brains over brawn can be a good thing but not when it's literally in the wrong hands:

NO LOVE FOR JERSEY



IMPOLITE AND EVIL





2) MORGAN LE FAY

There's been legions of witchy women stirring up all kinds of trouble for heroes and heroines over time,yet all of them have to step back and let Morgan Le Fay do her strut on the catwalk.

This half sister of King Arthur and vengeful nemesis of Merlin has inspired plenty of bad girls as well become the template for the ultimate stage mother. She's even been revised as a misunderstood heroine and become a comic book force of evil to be reckoned with,for both DC and Marvel. Any legendary lady who can work on either side of the major league comic art realm is someone who shouldn't be ignored,Dan!:

WHO'S SCHOOLING WHO?



MOTHERLY LOVE,INDEED





1) DRACULA

If you have any doubts about immortality of vampires,just take a look around your local bookstore,movie theater or latest DVD releases to see what Bram Stroker have wrought. Not only has the pop culture love for bloodsuckers grown and spawned several different retakes on the genre,the one who started it all gets his fair share of fresh acclaim again and again.

No matter how many men seek to defeat him,Dracula always has a invitation from the fair sex to come in and have a bite. Say what you want about Vlad,he certainly knows how to sweep a girl off her feet and into his power(rather willingly at times):

HOME REMEDIES ARE THE BEST



DYNAMITE WITH THE LADIES



So,any up and coming villains looking to make their mark on the pop culture scene,take note and study up on these fiendish five. You can't go too far off course by emulating one or more of these determined followers of chaos. Even Bad Horse would respect the well earned reputations of these Evil League of Evil hall of famers:

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Ladytink_534 said...

I love Hannibal! Well the one Hopkins plays. Joker is my absolute favorite bad guy though. I'm scared of clowns (thanks to Pennywise from IT) but he's just too cool. Well, the animated and the recent Heath Ledger one anyway.