Good and evil are usually pretty easy to categorize. We love the hero, that much is easy. If a writer is doing his job, we also “love to hate” the villain. But once in a rare while, there’s no hate for a villain, just the pure unadulterated adoration of the masses.
Sherlock, Thor and Batman are all great, there’s no surprise there. But why are Moriarty, Loki and Harley Quinn so internet-famous? Let’s try and unravel some of the mystery surrounding the virility of these villains we love to love.
Sherlock may have his own following of ravenous teenage (and, ok, mom-age) fans, but not even Watson the blogger could have driven up the virility that Moriarty’s currently enjoying on the various social networks. He calls Sherlock pet names and speaks in a cute, controlled sing-song that slips occasionally into a terrifying rage. His love for games makes him funny and his brilliant insanity makes him fun to watch.
Harley was originally supposed to be a minor temporary Batman villain, but something about her just stuck and now she’s an insanely popular cosplay staple. She’s dangerous and smart, but we also get to see her vulnerable side when it comes to the Joker. She looks awesome, she’s funny, and she has a fascinating story. There’s definitely something very real about a girl who just can’t quit a guy who’s bad for her.
Part of Loki’s charm is the fact that he’s the dark trickster foil to Thor’s uber serious blondeness, but a lot what propels his popularity is the fact that Tom Hiddleston is just so into it. There really isn’t anything nerds love more than when the actors who play their favorites are nerds too. When a quick search for Hiddleston yeilds articles like “49 reasons Tom Hiddleston Will Ruin you for Life,” it’s pretty obvious this guy has solidified his evil hunk status.
Remember a few years ago when you thought Legolas was Middle Earth’s most glamorous? You had no idea what was coming. As soon as Thranduil came riding in on the most fabulously be-antlered elk we could have imagined, it was over. All the hair flips and piercing glances sealed the deal: he’s simply mesmerizing. It’s tough to steal the show when you’re competing against a dragon, but this elf definitely managed. Enjoy your legacy, Glamduil.
Recently, our (very) old friend Skeletor has been popping up online, mostly thanks to this Tumblr. He-Man’s nemesis has a burly physic an oddly effeminate voice, but those things alone can’t explain his sudden and unexpected rise to meme status.
Whatever the reason, someone at Honda sure knew how to grab internet quirkiness by the horns.