Hannibal Lecter. The Joker. Darth Vader. High fructose corn syrup. There’s something about bad guys we love to hate – or maybe just love to love. Ever since there’ve been stories, there’ve been bad guys stealing the show from heroes. But why are the Lex Luthors of the world so much more fun than the Supermen?
Simple: Good is boring. Villains – the really good ones, that is – are entertaining. Whether it’s Hannibal terrorizing Clarice through plexiglass or Patrick Bateman killing supermodels between Xanax-induced meltdowns, bad guys are just fun to watch.
What’s more, as much as the good guy represents humanity’s virtues, the bad guy is there to remind us what lurks inside all of us, as one particularly bad dude would say, “deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties.” And even though the good guy usually wins, it’s all the more special when he triumphs against a particularly loathsome individual; it’s the adversary that defines him. Really, who would Batman be without the Joker? Hunter Thompson without Richard Nixon?
And this brings us to issue 112 of The Escapist. It’s our pleasure to present to you why it’s so good to be bad. Laura Bromling investigates villainy’s wittier aspects in “No Humor in Heaven.” Christina Gonzalez profiles Silent Hill‘s iconic antagonist, Pyramid Head, in “Seeing Red.” Alex Karls and Alan Au speak to the power of choice in narrative. Allen Varney returns to chronicle the downfall of an entire world in “World of New Darkness.” And Spanner introduces three of gaming’s most underappreciated villains and explains how even bad guys can do good things.
Happy reading! And remember: “Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.”