Who is "The Bad Guy"?

Enter into a discussion about the identity of the villain in media and how this identity has changed and/or evolved over time. I think it would be interesting to take a sampling of different media over time (film, TV series, video games, literature) and analyze which group/people represent the "Bad Guy" in each and how that may correspond to the specific historical time period. Older Bond films often pit British intelligence against the Soviets – along with films such as Hunt for Red October – while many modern films concentrate themselves on Middle Eastern conflicts (i.e. London Has Fallen.) Does the bad guy always fall under a certain nation? Are directors forced to deal with the ‘politically correct’?

  • Looking at the shift in villain identity in media over time could be an interesting read! Over my lifetime I've seen an apparent shift from villains as just wanting to destroy the world into a character we can relate with, however looking back to when film first came out, it's easy to see that the villain was sometimes racialized as a form of propaganda. Bringing a variety of media into the discussion could be a difficult task and I wouldn't blame someone for narrowing that down. But who knows, maybe there's a direct correlation between when film came out in regards to literature or when video games came out in regards to film, that the new media type inspired a change in villain identity across the others? – Slaidey 7 years ago
  • One could easily address this topic only using superhero films. Or even just one studio's superhero films. Or just one superhero's films. In particular I think of the richness of the Joker in his depiction of an enemy that thrives on conflict, without a past or real identity. – jackanapes 7 years ago

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