In the almighty struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness, whatever, there are those who have distinguished themselves and have so forth become embedded in our mind, an example of all that is good or all that is bad. Figureheads of goodness, statues of evil. Human flesh becomes a mere instrument for right and wrong. These people leap off the screen, the comic book, the television. You love them or you despise them. They may dress with their underpants on the outside or sulk in the shadows, using puppets to scare those who have fallen into their evil schemes.
But, enough with the overly dramatic intro!!!!
In media, who are your favorite heroes and who are your favorite villains? Eg; Batman, The Joker, Hannibal Lecter, you know what I mean.
I like complexity in both my heroes and villains. Simple black-and-white good vs evil stories are a dime a dozen, and so if there's something out of the ordinary or non-traditional about an entertainment hero/villain, I'll probably like them more than the oh-so-good hero and the moustache-twirling villain.
In terms of heroes, the first one that comes to mind is Marge Gunderson from the film Fargo. Portrayed wonderfully by Frances McDormand, Marge isn't your average police officer. As well as being 7-months pregnant, and living in the freezing depths of Minnesota, she's also surprisingly no-nonsense in a charming folksy sort of way. And yet there's none of the bravado that other, more famous cinematic heroes tend to have; she's all about the work, and not the glory, which is often refreshing to see.
With regards to villainy, my faves are often the ones that are just misunderstood by society, as opposed to ones that are just out-and-out evil. So my vote would have to go to Norman Bates from Psycho. I'm not going to spoil what happens, but it's fair to say that he definitely has mother issues, and maybe wouldn't have turned out the way he did if he just asked for a lil' help once in a while, and found some friends. Maybe... but he's a very complex individual, and Anthony Perkins' performance - at least in the first film - was a marvel at bringing all of these emotions to the surface.
Avatar: Miss Bellum from The Powerpuff Girls | Courtesy of: Harlequin