2015 has definitely been an interesting year for speculative fiction, with many good and bad works coming out. However, something that seems to have become a common theme, is that the villains are nowhere near as threatening as they used to be, with many just being flat out not interesting.
Spoilers for all the works you see in the top image.
2015 so far has probably the worst line-up of villains we’ve had in a while. Even in works I really liked like Mad Max Road Fury and Mortal Kombat X, Immortan Joe & Shinnok just didn’t have the same effect as previous villains like Lord Humungus & Shao Kahn had.
But why is it that villains have not been up to snuff lately? What has caused their evil metres to go down and have to work off fumes? Over use of CGI? Weak plots? Bad acting.
Personally, part of it I feel is a result of this year’s writing seeming to be clunkier, making the villains motivations less clear and their plans to be dodgy. After all, Road Fury started without a completed script, Arkham Knight lost Paul Dini & both Age of Ultron and Jurassic World are know to have clunky writing in parts.
Not helped is that the way some of these villains are beaten are very contrived and the works have a nasty habit of undermining the villain’s importance (looking at you AOU, JW and Resurrection F). Either by the over use of deus ex machinas or making the villain weak to make some future villain that may or may not ever appear look strong.
But ultimately, none of them really gave me a sense of fear, or tension, or anything. None of the villains felt liked they were true threats to challenge the hero. I would really like one time for one of these bad guys to win or at least, feel like they have a real chance of winning. Hopefully we’ve just had a bad first half and the second half will be better.