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Magneto, the Joker, and the Supervillain Sympathy Spectrum

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What’s your favorite superhero and supervillian?

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I’ll be honest, considering how much time I spend thinking about comic books and superheroes, I have a hard time pinning down a favorite supervillain. I think the main reason for that is how much the quality of a supervillain can depend on the writer; A talented writer can turn even the least interesting villains into genuine threats (Kraven the Hunter was a fun concept, but compared to most of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery he was fairly one-dimensional, until “Kraven’s Last Hunt” writer J.M. DeMatteis managed to make him an incredibly engaging villain). On the other hand, a terrible writer can ruin great villains (like when Brad Meltzer turned Dr. Light into a serial rapist in “Identity Crisis”).

However, I have noticed that most villains, especially in comic books, tend to break down into one of two categories – the Sympathetic Villain and the Monster.

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