There’s a well-known and often misconstrued bit of writing advice: The villain should act as though they’re the hero of their own story.  What it means is that the villain’s motivations should make sense, that they should have a reason for their perfidy rather than just evil for evil’s sake.  Some writers, though, interpret this advice as meaning the villain should be treated as a hero.  This makes for problems when characters like Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor, with long histories of terrible deeds, are treated in-story as noble figures who just had a bad day.  It’s possible to create a character who CAN be both villain and hero, but it’s a fine line to walk, leading to today’s misguided query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would probably accept Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV, who comes from a part of Scotland with disco collars and metal faceplates in the traditional Scottish manner, asking: What notable villain would you most likely accept as the literal Hero of Their Own Story?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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