The first time I saw Mr. Incredible Becoming Uncanny as the bad guy, I was shocked and horrified. He was everything I knew him to be; courageous, heroic, caring, and compassionate. Everything he did was exactly what I would have done in his situation – save the child at the risk of his own life – and yet, he was the villain! That’s the power of great character development, folks; it causes you to empathize with characters even if they do things you don’t agree with.
A brief history of superheroes
Although they’re now a global phenomenon, superhero comics are relatively new. The earliest superhero appeared in 1933; others emerged over time, most notably Superman (1938) and Batman (1939). They became more popular in comic books before landing on television screens. And when films like Spiderman and The X-Men hit theaters, superheroes also began to take over cinema. Now we have an entire genre of movies centered on costumed crimefighters battling supervillains. It is easy to see why people love them so much — but does their popularity come from an interest in good defeating evil?
How we perceive heroes and anti-heroes
The superhero we love to hate can be traced back to our childhood. When we’re young, heroes are larger than life. A role model that is so impossibly good that they make even Superman seem inferior in comparison. Part of what makes Mr. Incredible Becoming Uncanny such a likable character is his need to prove he’s still as capable as he once was; before having kids and settling down with his wife Elastigirl, he helped foil evil-doers across Metroville alongside fellow crime-fighting partners Frozone and his famous ward Buzz Lightyear (yes, Buzz is a crime fighter too). But his return at age 40 shows how much Mr. Incredible Becoming Uncanny has changed.
The popularity of anti-hero films, comics, books
In comic books, a supervillain is an evil character with no redeeming qualities and will do anything to achieve their goal. These characters typically possess superhuman abilities and wreak havoc on their environments. Anti-hero movies – movies in which protagonists are morally ambiguous – are also incredibly popular in today’s cinema. The Marvel Cinematic Universe series of superhero films is particularly successful because its heroes develop into anti-heroes as their stories progress; audiences love watching superheroes transform into villains.
Though we think of superheroes and supervillains as separate entities, there are two anti-hero archetypes. The first kind is far more common than its counterpart; these characters initially appear to be good, only to reveal themselves as evil or dangerously neutral later on. Suppose Mr. Incredible Becoming Uncanny had come out in his most recent incarnation from day one with genuine malevolent intentions (rather than being made a bad guy by a mistake that caused more damage than was necessary). In that case, he’d certainly be considered an evil character… but he started out fighting for the greater good and had some heroic moments along the way.
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