Photo: Jesus Saiz and Joe Caramagna/Marvel Entertainment This article originally ran in June 2017. In an age of superhero movies and TV anti-heroes, fictional villains are more complex than ever before. This week, Vulture examines villainous entertainment in all its forms. Superman debuted in Action Comics No. 1 in 1938, and I'm willing to bet that before No. 2 came out, some reader had already started wondering, Yeah, but what if that good guy turned into a bad guy? That narrative question has fueled a dizzying array of stories since Supes kicked off the era of the superhero eight decades ago. Over and over again, we've seen our spandex-clad saviors become menaces to society due to mind control, body swapping, alternate realities, or what have you. Watch as Batman threatens to kill Robin and Superboy! Tremble as Green Lantern transforms into a mass-murdering jerk! Duck and cover, everybody — Spider-Man's trying to take over the world! Of course, sooner or later, the virtuous status quo is restored. These are valuable pieces of intellectual property, after all, and you can't sell tickets to a franchise about, like, Iron Man killing innocents in cold blood. However, that moral restoration isn't always instantaneous,… Read full this story
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