A couple of weeks ago we thought about what heroes we’d like to see as villains, so this week we’re flipping the question around:
Discussion to follow.
- Dr. Doom: I’m on record as a big Dr. Doom fan, the guy’s overwhelming egocentrism is truly awe-inspiring. He’s so great matched up against Reed Richards and family, and as the ruler of a whole (though small) country, his powers are truly intimidating. When I think about him being a force for good, I can only hope that the arrogance would stay a hallmark. “Do not do drugs, cur, or Doom shall crush your middle-school skull like an overripe egg before you can do it to yourself!”
- Lex Luthor: I think good Lex would be kind of boring. And come on, who can believe a bald guy could be a hero? I think not.
- Venom: Good Venom would be essentially indistinguishable from most anti-heroes you find in comics these days. Lots of evil-doers gutted, blood spattering every other panel, etc.
- Deathstroke: He’s been the star of his own comic before, where he seems at least a sympathetic protagonist if not an outright hero. He was always a lot like Magneto in terms of being a guy bent on doing things his way, but not necessarily outright evil. I could see him taking the same role with the Teen Titans as Magneto had with the X-Men for a while, leading the team of heroes and being turned a bit by them in return.
- Joker: I don’t know what the hell a Good Joker would look like, but it would sure be fun.
- Black Adam: We already have a good Black Adam, and his name is Captain Marvel. Seriously, though, I could see Adam being a hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners style of super-hero, busting heads and doing the necessary work that The Big Red Cheese wouldn’t be willing to. In a way it would be a recap of the same kind of ideas you find in “Red Son”, but still kind of cool.
Part of what would make this interesting, at least to me, is not so much seeing one of these guys suit up and have a slug fest with super-powered villains but rather in exploring what it means to be good or evil in their world. What would make someone like Black Adam turn his vast abilities to helping others instead of himself? In other words, I think the story here would be the most important thing to get nailed, in a way that allows the core of the character (as opposed to just some guy with those same powers doing different stuff) to remain. Doom without arrogance is just Iron Man. Black Adam without the influence of the specific beings that give him his powers is just Captain Marvel. Etc.
Along those lines, I just don’t see how you could have a “good” Joker. The essence of the character is chaos, and it’s hard to do good while being that random and undirected.
What makes Luthor, Luthor, is his jealousy and selfishness. You take those away and all you have left is your standard brilliant industrialist. And what’s exciting about that?
The hook with Deathstroke, as I said, is if he were truly to take over as mentor for some of the Titans, a la Magneto. His history and his personality would very much lend itself to that kind of role, and it’d be interesting to see how his self-interest and greed would play out when confronted by his sense of honor and prowess directed towards helping others instead.
The Black Adam angle of interest would lie in how he would wrestle the gods who give him his powers, so that they allow him to remain Black Adam while doing “good”.
For Dr. Doom, I could see him flung back to Earth, powerless, forced to rely on and live among his own people in Latveria to sustain his life, experiencing their daily lives first hand. On one hand, I tend to think he’d believe his own intellect and will put him above those people, that he would naturally rise to dominate any group he found himself in. On the other hand, what if they were able to get to him, to open his eyes to the experience of the common man under his direct rule?
Overall, I think I’d probably go with Dr. Doom, mostly because I’d like to see how a good writer could make his conversion believable.
What about you, what would be the most interesting story for you to read?