Rogues Gallery in Novels: Is It Possible?

Spider-Man Rogues Gallery

Spider-Man Rogues Gallery

That’s not even all of Spider-Man’s enemies.  I can see Shriek, Shocker, Black Cat, Carrion, Jackal, and a few others that are missing.  Though I think Shocker is big one that’s missing since Black Cat goes hero at times, the others are lesser known, and Jackal is a bastard for that Spider Clone travesty in the 90’s.  Where was I?

A hero is only as good as his villain, but what about those who have multiple villains?  This is a common theme in comics since that’s all about arresting enemies instead of killing.  So you have grudge matches, team ups, returns, and all these fun twists.  But we’re going to focus on these guys as villains who constantly push the hero.  Not just push, but erode because these are the determined characters.  As much as Spider-Man is dedicated to stopping his enemies, he’d be happy to retire.  Doctor Octopus, Carnage, and their ilk would rather not stop what they’re doing.  So you can already see how a Rogues Gallery would wear on a hero’s mentality over time.  In fact, I’m sure that’s a repeated storyline for Batman.

Is it possible to do a Rogues Gallery in a novel?  I mean, comics are easy since those are typically stories without an end.  A novel has a conclusion.  So does a series.  Most times that you have a recurring villain, it’s only for one adventure and maybe a trilogy.  There’s no surprise to this character coming back like in a comic where one month Spider-Man is fighting Rhino and the next is Vulture.  Though they don’t do that any more.  Again, the limited time and push for a conclusion undoes the Rogues Gallery.  James Bond comes close, but most of his villains don’t make it out of their initial crime.  Blofeld and Jaws are the only repeat ones that I can think of, but that’s just the James Bond movies.  Again, a different medium and one that can be repeated with more acceptance than a novel.

Why do I bring this up?  Because I’m toying with the idea of a ‘superhero’ in Windemere for a book or two.  This comes from the Mylrixian/Project Phoenix idea where beings with magic-based powers or equipment awaken.  Forget the overall story because I’m not even sure about it.  One character was going to be a street level hero that uses a suit he finds in a city overrun by these magic-based villains.  So he becomes a crime-fighter, which made me want to create a Rogues Gallery.  This doesn’t seem possible right now.  Mostly because you need villains to make repeat appearances to really get a solid Rogues Gallery.  At least in my opinion.  That means several villains and a really long book.  Perhaps short stories would work?  Quite possibly.  I guess it depends all on the villains that I create for this story.

I’m kind of going in W.I.P. territory, so I’ll stop since my head is spinning.  Part of me is thinking of taking everything from Project Phoenix and revolving it around this one character that has remained stable.  Need more info and the Rogues Gallery is key because we have seen that a villain or many villains can make a series.  What do you call a band of supporting heroes though?  Ally Gallery?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to Rogues Gallery in Novels: Is It Possible?

  1. Ally Gallery sounds about right 😀

    I think shorts would work best here. As you said, novels tend to have clearer conclusions.


  2. Bookwraiths says:

    Your fantasy superhero concept and Nicholas’ idea of an anthology seems like a great one. Can’t wait to read it.


  3. I also noticed that it’s only the guys in there. But you’re right that Black Cat and Silver Sable are both liable to switch sides without notice.


    • Spider-Man doesn’t have many female villains. Silver Sable was never really a bad guy, Black Cat has been a hero for a long time and only recently turned back into a villain (after this graphic was made), and then you have Shriek. In general, Marvel comics doesn’t have a lot of villainesses for some reason. Then again, I’ve also been told by some people that you can’t have a female baddie fight a male hero because then you’d get in trouble for a guy hitting a girl.


    • Almost forgot Calypso and Stunner. All the others seem to be female versions of previously male villains.


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