Villains teaming up is a classic twist to a series. You have two established characters who don’t necessarily share a common enemy. Yet, they work together for the same goal, which causes the heroes to do the same. It happens a lot in comic books, lengthy TV series, and on-going novel tales. I’m not talking about a main villain with a bunch of henchmen either. These are two heavies on equal footing joining forces and staying on the same level.
For me, this is always a fun twist, but I find that it doesn’t have that much variety. Most of the time, the villains turn on each other in a way that ruins the plans. I know a big thing about bad guys is that they’re paranoid, egotistical, evil, etc. These aren’t traits that go with loyalty and trust, but it doesn’t mean that they should fall apart whenever things get tough or victory is in sight. You would think villains who are calm and collected when they’re alone would still be that way in a team-up. Guess it’s a clash of egos at times, but it becomes a predictable milestone. The heroes don’t even have to do more than survive long enough for the implosion. They don’t because there are death traps to circumvent and the expected fight between heroes when they first meet. We’re not here this week to talk about that though.
Honestly, I’d really like to see more villains work together to the end. Even if they lose, I want them to go down as one or help each other escape. Failure by their own hands makes it feel like the whole thing was done solely for the sake of story. There’s not growth in them that can carry over to their next appearance. Villains may be evil, but that doesn’t mean they can’t evolve in some fashion. You can still be a bad guy while having a sense of loyalty and working with others. It’s hard to believe for some, but there have been groups of villains in reality who never stabbed each other in the back. Why can’t they be the same in fiction?
So, what you think of villain team ups? Cliche and overdone with no chance of redemption or an idea that has yet to meet it’s real potential?