05 June 2012

What does a villain look like?

Since I became furiously in love with The Avengers, I've been actively tracking down the rest of the series. I don't get obsessed with a franchise easily, nor do I usually get super excited about movies, so I have been tracking down the Avengers movies with a intensity hitherto-unknown-to-me. In fact, most movies I've been excited about in the past were based on books I'd been excited about. Actually, a combination of this newfound Avengers story-lust and my ongoing obsession with Neil Gaiman have made me quite intrigued by comics, but I'm not sure how one goes about becoming a person-who-reads-comics.*
*The options at my library are somewhat sparse, although apparently they have Sandman on order. Can I just go into one of the three local comic stores and say "Hello, I'd like to become interested in comics. Where should I start?"

ANYWAY. So I managed to get ahold of Thor (Redbox) and Ironman 2 (Netflix) between Viewing 1 and Viewing 2 of The Avengers. But it was after Viewing 3** that I finally managed to get ahold of Captain America. I mean, really? It was absurd. I've been checking Redboxes all over town for weeks. So I finally nabbed it yesterday.
**I know I have a problem. I stopped & am waiting for it to be released on DVD.

And what I have to say is this: How crazy do you have to be to think that pulling off your face is a good idea? I'm not including pictures because frankly I was holding my hands out in front of my face in a half-supplicatory, half-screen-blocking gesture going "Oh god why the face!" One of my roommates can attest to this; she was in the room.

Red Skull and Voldemort are against faces
Picture by Callie Leuck.
Red Skull and Voldemort are founding members.
Harvey Two-Face's membership is pending.
Both Jonathan and one of my coworkers have since explained to me that the villain Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) actually was wearing a "fake human face" so he could "pass as normal" or something. Like, he took this super-human-making serum that made him superhuman but also apparently seriously screwed up his looks. Translation: his real face is the hideous Red Voldemort look.

This is slightly better than what I initially thought, which was that Red Skull was peeling off his face to prove that he doesn't need a face like some mere mortal.

Seriously, it reminded me of that time in the Batman movie when Harvey Dent turns and you're all "oh shit half his face is gone" and it's all exposed muscle and blood.

SO OKAY. First Voldemort with the snake-face. Now Red Skull with the... red...skull... I guess. Harvey Dent who literally has two faces.  (Oh and on that note, does the Joker really have a face, per se? I mean, you only know he's the Joker because of the makeup, right?)

FACES, YOU GUYS. They're just for normal people. If your villain has a face like a normal dude, how do we know he's a villain? And on that note, why can't I think of a single faceless female villain? (Apparently 'villainness' isn't a word.) Do female villains not go in for facial deconstruction?

Fantasy is getting weird.

But then I hear in traditional literature, you could tell people were the bad guys by how ugly s/he was. So I guess it's good we've moved away from that? Yeah, you can't judge villains by how bad or good they look. But if they don't have faces, watch out!

Now You!
What's with bad guys not having faces? Do you prefer villains to look bad, good, or faceless? What about villainesses?