I chose "All of the Above" because a good villain can be any combination of the listed options.
Spineless/cowardly and weak/treacherous go hand in hand, in my opinion, and these are qualities that exemplify almost everything that a decent human being should not be. Therefore, these qualities make for a good villain.
An all-powerful villain is great, especially if you have an underdog hero. There's nothing more exciting than a hero going against all the odds and defeating the undefeatable.
In my opinion though, the most memorable villains (I say 'most memorable' rather than 'best' for reasons which will be obvious as you continue to read this post) are the kind who actually think that they are doing right. They are the ones who let themselves get carried away by their passions and end up doing harm, or believe that the ends justify the means. Some examples (and again, I'm going to use comic book characters, because I know them and I love them): Magneto, Doctor Doom (at times), and Doctor Octopus in the new Spider-Man movie (not a great example, but an example nonetheless). Some real life villains fall into this category, a prime example being Adolf Hitler (I hate to bring him up in this forum, but as I said, he's a prime example). Obviously he didn't think that what he was doing was evil, but he will be remembered indefinitely as the man who murdered six million people. A villain who doesn't realize that he's a villain is a very dangerous man indeed.
Speaking of danger, I'm reminded of an option that you seem to have forgotten. What about brilliant but insane? Not only is this kind of villain unpredictable but there are no bounds to the kind of things that this type of character is able and willing to do.
Last edited by doctorsparkles
on Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Always do what you want, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." ~ Doctor Suess