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Villains We'd Like To Have On Our Side

Every good story needs conflict, and what better way to add some conflict than with a diabolical villain? Of course, not all villains are created equal. Far too many are one dimensional or confusing. The best villains are ones you can relate to, ones whose motivation you can understand and even sympathize with. And if a villain is really well-crafted, you may even want them on your side.

The Machines from The Matrix

Across three films, the latter two of which get terribly confusing and hard to understand thanks to needless characters and weird exposition, The Matrix introduces an awesome villain in the artificial intelligence inside and outside the virtual reality world. You can easily understand why Neo and Morpheus and everyone else wants to escape the Matrix, but have you ever stopped to appreciate why the Matrix exists at all? The machines make it for the humans to be comfortable, and to live full lives. What other enemy has ever let the losing side do that?

The fact is, the machines go above and beyond to ensure everything is great for the humans. They could have simply wiped humanity off the map; it's not like they need them as an energy source given how inefficient a human is as a battery. Fusion power or nuclear power would be so much more reliable. The machines are able to create any world they want and make it 100 percent realistic to the human mind. In fact, they can make any fantasy world they want as well and have it seem just as realistic. If you were on the side of the machines, you could live any amazing fantasy you wanted for the rest of your life. You could fly like Neo, be rich, be famous, be anything you wanted. Not bad at all.

Dr. Octopus from Spider-Man 2

If not but for a slightly malfunctioned brain chip stuck to the back of his head, Dr. Octopus would have been a better superhero than Spider-Man. He's smarter and arguably stronger thanks to his awesome arms. Really, his only downside is the fact that someone programmed the artificial intelligence in his arms to be jerks. Dr. Octopus' main motivation is to create clean, efficient energy for the world. Who wouldn't want that dude on their side? Spider-Man saves New York from a really bad CG lizard, and sure, that's nice. But Doc Ock can make a tiny sun. Yeah, there are a few wrinkles in that plan, and he maybe almost destroys the world, but once he's back in his good sense, he's absolutely the kind of guy you want to have on your side.

Frankenstein's Monster

One of the classic movie villains of all time, Dr. Frankenstein's tragic creation is never really such a bad guy. Most of his problems are caused by the time he exists in. Well, no, most of his problems are actually because he's a reanimated pile of corpse parts. But the second issue is definitely the time he exists in; people back then just really hated anyone who was different. In the modern age where, on the surface at least, we're more accepting of people's differences, imagine how awesome it would be to have a Frankenstein on your side. He's just looking for friendship, so you don't need to invest a lot in the relationship. He's super strong. He's super huge. He's potentially immortal barring any vicious, torch-carrying mobs coming after him. He could be the ultimate bodyguard so long as you just show some appreciation so he doesn't get all mopey.

Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Loki pops up all over the place as a villain because he's a great character from Norse mythology. For now, just concern yourself with the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Loki, the one who's had the most screen time in recent years. Even though he's been tweaked for the comics, the character is still really engaging and he's been presented very well throughout the Thor and Avengers films as both sympathetic and utterly detestable. He's a good villain.

While he may not have the physical prowess of his brother Thor, you have to admit that Loki seems a lot smarter than everyone else and always comes out on top. This is a guy who has the ability to convincingly replace anyone. He can look, act, and sound like whomever he wants. Can't get into a club? Loki can be the owner and usher you in. Want to hit up a red carpet event? No worries, Loki is going as George Clooney tonight. You can pretty much go anywhere and do anything with Loki on your side. And you know you're going to have fun doing it.

Yes, bringing those aliens to earth was maybe a bad idea, but look at where Loki is coming from. He's constantly playing second fiddle to Thor, and then he finds out he's not even a real Asgardian. He's been a Frost Giant this whole time. Of course he acts out. And not for nothing, but have any ladies considered the upside to a guy who can change his physical appearance on a whim? If that's not the basis for an erotic Kindle novel, well, it should be.

Dracula

Do you have any idea how many movies have been made featuring Dracula as a character? IMDb has a list of well over 200, including Dracula's Dog and Mama Dracula. People seem to really like this guy. And why not? Dracula ushered in the era of the charming, suave vampire. The guy who's so cool, you actually want him to bite you and make you a monster, just so you can hang out with him.

Dracula, like Frankenstein, is a villain tempered by tragedy. He's cursed and longs for love. Eventually he meets a woman who brings to mind his long, lost love and so maybe he goes a little overboard in trying to win her affections with all the murder and whatnot. But hey, he's a predator. Do you blame a wolf for killing a sheep? If Mina Harker hadn't already been engaged to Jonathan in Bram Stoker's original novel, there would have been very little need for Dracula to do anything bad at all, really. He could have tried his hand at charming her and maybe they would have been a happy couple. Plus, he could turn young, he could turn old, he had minions, he could become smoke, and even a wolf. Overall, Dracula is a versatile guy with a lot of cool skills and probably more awesome stories than you could shake a stake at.

Lucifer

On the surface, at least, it seems unlikely that Lucifer is the kind of villain you'd want to team up with. As the ultimate source of evil, damnation, and awfulness, he's probably just uncool all around. But check your source! If we're talking the Lucifer from Milton's Paradise Lost, and later Lucifers inspired by him such as Neil Gaiman's, then maybe the not-quite-a-man deserves a break.

In Paradise Lost, Milton very clearly sets Lucifer up as an anti-hero. Yes, he's fallen and we must always be mindful of that, but dammit if you don't admire his grit and determination. His pride becomes something to celebrate as, even though he and his host are cast into a lake of fire, he picks himself up, looks around, and starts redecorating. He's oddly optimistic for one who's eternally damned.

If you look at Lucifer less as an angel who defied the word of God and more as an employee who just wanted to to know there was no glass ceiling, he's pretty inspiring. No amount of loss convinces him to stop trying. And when one attempt to rise to the top fails, he simply finds another way to get noticed. Sure, it's by damning mankind and introducing Original Sin, but you can't say he isn't a go-getter. In any team environment you'd love to have a guy like this on your side. He's proactive, motivational, and absolutely determined. He just needs more reasonable goals.