Seriously, I've been trying to write a thing about heroes and villains as part of the character series of articles and it just isn't coming together the way I want.
And I've been distracted by Civ 4, again.
I wanted to cover the idea of conflict between the two, as well as their opposites (the honorable villain and anti-hero) and how they function. It shouldn't be this hard, these are classic interactions, but finding my voice for it is proving hard. And distractions haven't helped either.
Perhaps the reason is that the idea of a hero and villain doesn't actually fit with everything I've talked about up to now. In a way, being labeled a hero or villain is one of the biggest sterotypes there is, restricting them to a kind of script that everyone expects them to follow. They aren't their own characters any more once they are given that title. Not to say it can't work if they simply take the title and run with it, even if it doesn't completely fit who they are.
Fact is, the hero/villain dynamic shouldn't be the main thing that defines a group of characters. Letting the characters define themselves is more important, and if some take to thinking of them as heroes or villains, well, at least the reader made that judgment, not the author/artist.
I could probably go on, but I don't think I can make it any more plain than that. Next time, probably an old review. Later kids.