villains

Z is for Helmut Zemo

It’s the last day of the A-Z in April Challenge and I’m going to end it with a villain that arguably damaged the Avengers the most. Pre-Thanos that is.

Helmut Zemo is a former soldier from Sokovia, who wanted to avenge his family’s death during the Sokovia incident. He wanted to do this by destroying the Avengers, but knowing he was just a man going up against superpowered people, he had to be smart about it.

And that’s the thing, Zemo is really very smart and a brilliant strategist and manipulator. He’s patient, knows how to put a plan together and stick to it, while using the latest developments in the world e.g. the Sokovia Accords, to his advantage.

You could say that Zemo’s plan wouldn’t have been as affective if Steve had told Tony about his parents’ death before being forced to watch the footage of it. if Tony had known there’s probably less chance of him flying off the handle. But Steve didn’t tell Tony, and Zemo’s plan to destroy the Avengers worked.

I think Zemo was a brilliant villain and he’s one that actually achieved what he set out to do. He destroyed the Avengers by turning the two main leaders of the team against one another. He broke the Avenger a part. Friendships were destroyed, some members of the Avengers were on the run and wanted by the UN, and the rest were just hurt and alone.

I think he’s a fascinating villain and I’m pleased that he’s still alive. I think he’d be a great villain to make an appearance again at some point in the future. Although, he’s played his best hand with the secrets about Tony’s parents’ death. Unless he’s managed to dig up something else on various members of the Avengers, I’m not sure he would have the same impact. Maybe it’s because I like Daniel Brühl so much so would like to see more of him in the MCU.

U is for Ulysses Klaue

God bless villains with unusual names, so I get to have a character for this day. Once again, I got to say Klaue isn’t a favourite though I do think Andy Serkis appears to have a whale of time in the role and that makes Klaue an entertaining presence whenever he’s on screen.

I kinda love how unapologetically greedy Klaue is. He’s a black-market arms dealer, has no problem with murder, and generally has little regard for life. His henchmen are indeed just that and he doesn’t appear to have anyone he cares about. He knows how to talk the talk when faced with someone deadlier than himself, case in point Ultron, and he also willingly admires Killmonger even when he is being killed by him.

Klaue definitely has a weird sense of priorities and a weird sense of humour too. He’s eccentric, having his replacement hand being a weapon, and readily talks about his fear of cuttlefish when confronted by someone with powers.

Klaue is a cunning businessman and he is smart, noticing the little things while also having a lot of fun causing chaos. He does think highly of himself which you could say was his downfall as he never really saw Killmonger as a threat.

Klaue was always a funny and entertaining villain, especially in Black Panther. His obnoxious attitude always bounced off of other more serious characters and just made him a lot of fun to watch.

I is for Ivan Vanko

OK I’ll be honest, Ivan Vanko isn’t a favourite character of mine (though I find him quite a fun character) I just literally couldn’t think of another character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose first, last or code name began with the letter “I”. I googled it and everything.

I do think Ivan Vako makes one of the best villain introductions in the MCU. How he invades the racetrack at the Monaco Grand Prix, cutting up cars and causing multiple explosions with his arc reactor-powered electric whips definitely makes an impression.

I also like how Vanko takes none of Justin Hammer’s nonsense. When Hammer breaks him out of prison and plans to use his knowledge of arc reactor technology to make him rich, Vanko appears to go along with it when in actual fact he’s got his own plans. I love it when he just rips apart Hammer’s robots as he thinks they’re useless and totally ignores Hammer’s freak-outs and then just demands that he get him his pet bird.

My favourite line of Vanko’s is “If you can make God bleed, the people will cease to believe in him.” It’s from when he’s talking to Tony Stark and how he plans to show the world that the Great Tony Stark isn’t infallible. I think it’s a great line that has even more meaning now as in Infinity War Tony did manage to make Thanos bleed (in fact he was the only one except Thor to do so) so there’s the idea that Thanos isn’t undefeatable either.

Iron Man 2 gets some hate, but I think it’s a fun film with a fun villain that has a larger than life personality as he’s out for revenge.

October’s FairyLoot Box – Villainous

This months FairyLoot box arrived on Monday – after some confusion with a lack of tracking number (my email with a tracking number actually arrived after my parcel did) this month’s box still arrived in good condition and I couldn’t wait to open it. I love a baddie so was looking forward to seeing what sort of goodies and book(s) (yes books plural!) were inside.

The first thing I saw was an exclusive candle from Meraki Candles, it was named Maleficient after the witch from Sleeping Beauty and smells and looks great. It’s lime green in colour and has purple glitter in it too (I may have spilt some of this glitter when I first opened it, I’m not used to glitter candles) and smells of jade orchid and lotus blossom – it’s a really subtle, fresh smell. Then there was an enamel pin in the shape of the Dark Mark of a Death Eater from House of Wonderland that is surprisingly cute for something so evil. There’s a pocket mirror made by Little Inkling Designs with a quote from The Young Elites by Marie Lu – a series I’ve been meaning to try forever! – and a coaster inspired by Moriarty made by Evie Seo. There was another goodie from Evie Seo, a print featuring a quote from The Aeneid by Roman poet Virgil, and a second art print inspired by Night of Cake and Puppets by Lani Taylor.

Now onto the books!

The first book I saw was The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. This an exclusive edition of the book, it has red where there’s normally gold, and it looks gorgeous. From what I can gather this is a collection of short stories, or fairy-tales, set in the Grishaverse. I’ve read Six of Crows but as of yet haven’t finished that duology nor read the original trilogy. Still, this is a gorgeous book with some wonderful illustrations on just about every page and I’m looking forward to delving into this world again. Especially as you don’t need to know anything of the main story to understand these tales. The book also came with a set of postcards featuring art from the book.

The second book was Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao – a book whose cover I’d seen on social media a lot but hadn’t really looked into it much before. It sounds intriguing though, with it being a retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White’s story but set in Eastern Asia. I’m always interested in retellings, seeing how they’re familiar to what we know but if and how they forge their own narrative. The books came with a letter from the author and a signed bookplate as well.

I was really impressed with this months FairyLoot. I don’t get a box every month, instead seeing what a theme is and purchase a box if it’s a theme I’m interested in. I liked that the goodies were varied, my favourites are the pin and the candle, and that there were two books this month! I’m looking forward to reading them both (hopefully) very soon.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: My Top Ten Villains

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week it’s all about villains and I’ve chosen to write about the most memorable villains I’ve ever come across, whether that’s because they really are despicably evil or for some other reason. So without further ado, here’s some great villains.

Professor Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
While Voldemort might be the main bad guy in Harry Potter, Umbridge is almost more terrifying because she’s so normal and the way she inflicts pain and restrictions is all within the rules of the law. She uses the system to her advantage and is a bigot who always believes she is right.

Nils Bjurman – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
This man is evil and manipulative who preys on people who he sees as weaker than him and who are dependent on him. He’s a rapist and a sadist and just really, really horrible.

Cruella de Vil – The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
I read The Hundred and One Dalmatians when I was about thirteen and I’d seen both the animated and live action films many times, but Cruella de Vil in the book was still super scary. (more…)