Love-to-Hate Relationships

We’re talking Scooby-Doo, villain-of-the-week, “tear down the orphanage and build a toxic pollution factory because I love the tears of children” levels of motivation.

Today I’ll be talking about characters you love to hate! Or is that characters you should hate but love? The answer, my readers, is: Yes.

So, everyone knows their own reasons for liking a characters. Could be personality, abilities, design. Could be a snappy one-liner or an achievement you really loved. There are characters we love wholeheartedly, and ones we despise and want to see dead.

But somewhere out there, some characters occupy a sweet spot, a mix of antagonism and admiration. Whatever it is, they share one thing with the characters that matter to you: You enjoy watching them.

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A Tribute To Tributes

And Namor, yes, I-want-to-bone-your-wife-you-loser-nerd Namor, admitting that Reed is a man of honour and Doom is probably jealous of his brains.

Today, I’ll be talking about a special type of story: The Tribute Special. 

As you can probably tell, these are specials which are almost like clip shows, special occasions such as weddings, funerals, or anniversaries. They provide an occasion for the vast majority of the character(s) or team in question’s social circles to get together and share their thoughts about the subject. Funerals may have an air of finality, anniversaries may mark a legacy’s end or continuation, and weddings are about the bride and groom.

But whatever the occasion, one thing is certain: It builds a plot around the event, and draws in a supporting cast to reflect on what makes it special. Stripped down to nuts and bolts, the event is set up, there are probably more than a few official or unofficial interviews talking about what those characters mean to others, and then it all leads up to the actual event itself.

So WHAT they are can be pretty diverse, but easy to understand. But WHY are they special? Gotta have something if I’m taking the time to talk about them, right? Well, in the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson

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A Legacy Of Flaming Heads And Leotards

What? No, they are not lazy writing or cheap writers reusing old material.

Disclaimer: All mentioned characters and used images are property of their respective creators!

Today, I’ll be talking about Legacy Characters! What? No, they are not lazy writing or cheap writers reusing old material.

In simple terms, a Legacy Character is a particular identity that is passed down from the original to a successor. This is more than just a simple reboot, reimagining, or alternate take (though successors can be any of those writing-wise): what makes Legacy Characters stand out is that their past, present and future incarnations are more closely, directly linked than simple reboots or revisits of the same creation.

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Imperial is a great measuring system, though.

Because the fun thing about antagonists is how you colour them.

You all know who they are. A large organisation devoted to crushing everything the main characters hold dear. They’re the ones who spend every resource, use any means, have way more hidden knowledge, and somehow maintain a force of elite monsters as reinforcements for the final battle. Thousands of heroes were set upon their path because of the Evil Empire. Palpatine’s Empire, the hordes of Sauron, or that big shot cola company dumping toxic waste into the river, these guys are baaaaaaad.

So what makes for an Evil Empire? Because honestly, their form depends entirely on the setting. You’ve got conventional Vast Factions Of Doom, but they can just as easily be clandestine groups working from the shadows or mighty big businesses.

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