Who is Your Favorite TV Villain Turned Hero?
Today, I’m looking to see who is your favorite TV villain turned hero.
Pop Culture Theme Time is a feature where I put a question to you to see what you think about a particular theme. I might later revisit the theme for a future Drawing Crazy Patterns or Top Five.
A very popular trope in comic book fiction is the idea of a supervillain reforming and becoming a superhero. Many of the earliest members of the Avengers, for instance, like Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Black Widow, used to be supervillains. The trope, though, is popular throughout fiction, including TV series. So who is your favorite example of this trope?
For me, I think I’ll have to go with an obvious one, Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a rare example that really felt EARNED, as vampires were pretty much inherently evil and yet Spike strove to NOT be evil through his love for Buffy. It’s a great hook.
I think that there is a compelling argument to be made for Al Swearengen from the brilliant Deadwood, but I don’t know that he was ever truly a villain, and he certainly never really became a HERO, per se, he just had certain soft spots and he was willing to make deals with more conventional “heroes” at times. Great character, though, so I was very tempted to pick him.
Okay, so that’s my pick (plus a bonus pick). How about you?
And feel free to suggest future Pop Culture Theme Time topics to me at email@example.com! Thanks to Wayne for this suggestion!
3 thoughts on “Who is Your Favorite TV Villain Turned Hero?”
Magneto from the X-MEN cartoon from 1992. He starts out as a villain in season 1 and then essentially acts like an anti-hero for the reason of the show’s five season run. Even in season 4’s “Beyond Good & Evil” when it seems like Magneto has teamed up with most of the show’s villains, he turns on them at the end. I know someone could say, “its a comic book adaptation,” but by the time the X-MEN cartoon was made, Magneto was evil again in the comics and stayed that way well past the show’s cancellation, so his treatment for the cartoon was the producers/writers’ choice.
One of the biggest examples from the Power Rangers franchise is Tommy Oliver. When he debuted as the Green Ranger in season one, he was Rita Repulsa’s brainwashed crony and a vicious enemy of the Power Rangers. But he’s eventually liberated from Rita and goes on to become the most notable star of the entire franchise (even surpassing Jason Lee Scott/Red Ranger). A lessor example are the bullies Bulk and Skull, who are minor villains for the show’s first 3 seasons before reforming and becoming good hearted knuckleheads.
How about Nelson Muntz from THE SIMPSONS? He starts out as a brutal bully for Bart and while he does occasionally pick on him afterward, they become friends after Nelson’s introductory episode.
Obviously, TV shows intended for children sometimes like this “heel face turn” trope.
i would have to go with angel for like spike he too starts out evil then turns good due to buffys love even letting her have to kill him , plus mystique of the x-men cartoon for like magnetoe she starts out bad but then not only helps him betray the other baddies but also keeps rogue from being turned into a four horseman. plus also asks nightcrawler why he forgives her for abandoning him as a baby on his first appearance on the cartoon
a quick preamble here.
I like cartoons
I like animation in many forms
I’m not too keen if they have lots of hugging and singing but I’ll overlook that if they are sufficiently funny and entertaining.
If you don’t see where I’m leading, I’m talking about Starlight Glimmer. She first appeared in her scheme to turn everyone in the world mediocre and after being thwarted by the heroines, her revenge plot at the end of the season brought back many crisis from the previous seasons. Her villainy ended in that second 2-part story.
A major theme running through the following season was her reforming, ending with her teaming up with other reformed villains to save the land from a threat which had defeated all the heroic characters