Friday, July 3, 2015

Villain Spotlight- Ruin and Johan Liebert

This week we’re looking at two terrifying, malevolent and very different Lucifer figures.

The first, Ruin, from the Mistborn series, is more typical of a Lucifer figure. For one thing, he’s actually a god, one who delights in destruction and chaos. He is also a master manipulator, able to pull strings without anybody noticing. His presence can be felt through every page of the series even before you know he EXISTS. I don’t want to spoil too much about him because he’s kind of incredible, but he is genuinely terrifying and utterly without mercy or human ties.

But he does keep to the shadows. The books rightly focus on his deeds and his subtle manipulations rather on him until the end of book three. Still, you’ll be hard pressed to find a greater presence than Ruin in these books, or a more malevolent one. Just when you thought you understood the real threat… you really had no idea.

Really though, why hasn’t everyone read these books?

The second villain is more atypical. For one thing, he might not actually be pure evil. Maybe. The show makes it unclear. And for another thing, he is a constant presence throughout the show Monster.
I’m talking of course about Johan Liebert. While Johan uses his fair share of other people to do his work, he’s perfectly content to carry it out himself. He’s a silver tongued devil in the disguise of a charming young man and everyone trusts him to a fault. No one is aware they are being duped until its too late.

But Johan is pretty constantly on screen. He takes up a huge chunk of the show, and only the golden hearted Tenma, the main character, has more screen time than him. It would be easy to make a villain like this so ridiculous and cheesy.

And yet… God, he works so well. I’ve talked about him before in my review of Monster and raved about him being one of the best villains in anything ever. And I mean it. There are very few villains who have matched his malevolence with any success. I highly recommend the show if you like psychological thrillers.

So there you have it. Two villains who take the crown for evil. Pretty dark stuff if you ask me. But let’s start climbing out of the pit. Next week we’re taking a look at The Redeemed villains, and after that, at the suggestion of a reader, I will be starting up a heroes series to look at the many shades of heroes.

Until then, happy writing!

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