As I develop the villain characters in my upcoming next project, I've been thinking a lot about what makes a villain compelling. Not just someone readers love to hate, but a villain who deftly walks the line between good and evil. A villain like Amanda Waller. I'm hoping that Viola Davis will play her in the upcoming DC Spinoff for HBO Max.
What I like about Amanda Waller:
Waller is the director of A.R.G.U.S. and Suicide Squad in the DC universe. She's a dangerous woman - amoral, ruthless and obsessed with control. But she's also fiercely determined to protect national security, using any means necessary. As I craft my villains, Waller provides inspiration. Here are 7 reasons she's a badass villain I both love to hate and can't help but respect:
1. She's a manipulative puppet master. Waller controls the Suicide Squad like marionettes, pulling their strings. Her disregard for consent proves her villainy.
2. She lacks empathy. Willing to sacrifice lives for her goals, Waller shows no empathy for the suffering of others. Chilling.
3. The ends always justify the means. No tactic is too extreme for Waller if it gets results. This unethical utilitarianism makes her dangerous.
4. She craves power. Waller's hunger for control leads to tyrannical behavior as she gains more power and dominates everyone around her.
5. People are just pawns. Whether villains or heroes, individuals mean nothing to Waller except as pawns to use for her advantage.
6. Her patriotism is warped. Waller excuses oppression and cruelty by claiming it's for the nation's security. Her methods undermine the civil liberties she protects.
7. She's evil but effective. Despite her villainy, Waller achieves what other leaders cannot. The worst part? We need her. She reminds us villainy depends on where you stand.
Waller is a prime example of a villain who is as complex as she is formidable. Readers can't help but be fascinated by her unpredictability and competence, even as we despise her immorality. She's the perfect villain to love to hate - and to inspire my own villainous characters. Now, time to get writing!
More on Viola Davis and the Woman King, Click here.