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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Supervillains because why not? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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SacredChao
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As I sat at the table obliterating some of the last of the Thanksgiving Day turkey (I am persistent) a thought occurred to me which, I am sure, occurs to everyone on this board during the holiday season:

How would a bizarre magician, in theory, portray or convey a supervillain-esque personality/character/persona? You know the type, "bad guy with a gimmick" sort of thing, may or may not have a power-set. I thought it might be interesting to portray a somewhat pulp-eraish supervillain of my own design, but I am not entirely sure how to go about doing this with credibility (oddly enough, credibility is kind of important with this.)

If someone could give me a nudge in the right direction, that would be awesome. I think I have a semi-decent idea in the works, but I need to flesh it out a bit more beyond just reading the old pulps and trying to kit-bash presentation ideas from that.

Thanks a billion,
SacredChao
gothicmagic
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You have to write the Bio first, who are they, what drives them, where are they from or their target, why is their revenge,agenda,etc.. important or reason behind it. Their powers are not them, it's a part of them a tool much like are you right or left handed, their powers may drive them but don't necessarily define them (but they usually account for their actions)
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Darkness
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To be clear:

Are you trying to come up with a super villain type character for yourself for a particular bizarre magic show?

If so, what type of show and magic etc, do you wish to focus on? i.e. It would be odd to do a seance for instance in some guises.

When you say super villain is that like a typical opposite to a super hero?

You should define your scope first, high level. Then pose question like what Vlad responded to flesh it out, but in the first person. You have to internalize it to make it yours.
Darkness
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To be clear:

Are you trying to come up with a super villain type character for yourself for a particular bizarre magic show?

If so, what type of show and magic etc, do you wish to focus on? i.e. It would be odd to do a seance for instance in some guises.

When you say super villain is that like a typical opposite to a super hero?

IMO you should define your scope first, high level. Then pose question like what Vlad responded to flesh it out, but in the first person. You have to internalize it to make it yours.
Darkness
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I obviously wanted to be clear and it posted my response twice. Nice green blog from the 90's ha!
Skeleton
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Not exactly a Super-Villain, but a - at least to my liking - very good example how to execute a stringent character:

http://www.shockermagic.com/ShockerMagic/Shocker.html

And if a Pro Wrestling-Magician is not bizarre, then what?
To infinity, and beyond!
SacredChao
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In my enthusiasm, I forgot to post what I had already sorted out... Sorry about that.


He is occultist, falling into the "chaos magick" tradition of magick, who is tired of occultists being laughed at by the general populous. Overall, his agenda is nothing less than the destruction of "the veil" between our world and the world of spirit/magic/what-have-you. He sees this as not only the best possible thing for humanity in general, a return to their roots you might say, but as something particularly good for anyone who performs sorcery in general.

I am attempting to come up with a reasonably credible supervillain (used in the sense of scope, as well as "bad guy with a gimmick") for a bit of a film project tied in with my writing. I don't know if he is the total opposite of a superhero or not. He may see himself as a hero, but nobody likes seeing themselves as the bad guy. This fellow engages in mystical expansion of his "territory." Wherever it is that he has decided he "owns" weirder things start creeping up. Maybe it is a case of he is a villain because the populous would object to this really really hard.

This guy is closer to... I keep getting an image of a more low-key Aleister Crowley or Anton Lavey mixed with Fantomas or Fu Manchu, if that makes sense. The key problem with this guy, however, is that I am struggling with meshing the aforementioned influences with genuine credibility.

Skeleton: Shocker looks awesome! Not quite what I'm going for though, sadly.

Duty calls, I hope this made sense,
SacredChao
EVILDAN
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You need to define his character and back story to set up a set of rules for the character.

Give them their strength and then give them a major character flaw and a secondary flaw.

A flaw could even be his Catholic upbringing, his days as an altar boy and his elderly mother who keeps asking for his help at church functions due the fact that attendance has dropped. So his flaw is his loyalty to his mom.
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
Dr Spektor
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Here are some classics you can spin off - ones who have artifacts and also their own resources...

The Mandarin (original) & Rings



Baron Mordo & a ton of artifacts



Red Skull and the Cosmic Cube (go to 13:10)



Hmm... I know its all MARVEL.... but trying to think of DC.... nothing as cool.... well, there are the following villains just to be balanced... actually, I forgot how much I like them too...

Abra Kadabra and 64th century tech



Dr Destiny (when he had the Materioptokon)




Hmm... I'm going to go back to my collections and browse....
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
gothicmagic
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Ra's al ghul is a good one on the DC end
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Dr Spektor
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D'OH how the hell did I forget him???? He is one of my fav's - I guess its mostly as he has the lazarus pit but doesn't do actual magic per se beyond that it slipped my noggin!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Darkness
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I see SC. I would define if he is a comic character in a straight world (like shocker who I like BTW) or a straight character in a comic (bizarre) world etc. Basically is he serious or funny, how would you frame him overall?
Once you understand the world he is in and how he views and interacts with it you can flesh it out.

From what you said he is tired of having people laugh at occultists. I would say we have to laugh at him or he becomes a serious character in a serious world? Unless the bizarre world is not what it seems then he either fits in it or doesn't. Is the audience believing it or laughing? I would think laughing which is hard to do with bizarre without the campy. That's where I would take it with that background info you supplied. If you want to be serious you better be able to pull it off with some good bumps and scares or it will be funny. You can throw in a bit of humor to let the audience know your on their side so to speak or play it straight. Shocker is a little over the top but it's still a real dude, it's part him as a person he isn't non human.

Vlad, I have not seen your show but I'm a huge fan of your persona. Can you tell us if there are any elements of humor and how much if any you include? If you are serious how do you play it?
Dr Spektor
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Somehow this twigged my thoughts of the villains from Lord of Illusions.... (not not Bakula!).... Swann and his mentor.... observe them if you will - they'd make good "super villains" if you look at them from that vantage point...

"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Darkness
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Hey SC I had wrote this about something similar you may be able to pick the things out that you can use:



Benny Hin heals and that is quite a show, claiming to have super powers? People believe it or just watch because it's interesting.

Phren you mention you are looking for your own style. Although that is different than a character and guys like Peter Popoff and Benny are characters to me (IMO),
It's an interesting balance and an option between someone who plays at being serious and someone who is. John Edwards comes to mind as a psychic to the other side, that's the closest I can think of, he is serious as he searches for clues with the audience's help.

If it is for entertainment purposes, decide if you wish to pass yourself off as the real deal or not, that will help you find your way.

I used to play a character and although people knew I wasn't real, I still needed to make an emotional, real connection with them. They could still suspend disbelief for the entertainment purpose, but in the end they accepted and understood it was just that, it allowed the connection in a way.

I was a comic character in a straight world. You may be a straight character in a strange world. It takes much time to develop a style but ultimately it comes from inside you, your essence. Be yourself inside or outside of character or style to ground yourself and build on that.

Some things to conciser as you search for style:

- Pick your premise between reality and real reality (i.e. bewitched TV show or real witch)
- Find the truth and pain in what you do and show that.
- Have a strong perspective of who you are.
- Commit to that perspective.
- If it's fantasy how far do you go?
- Where do you insert the tension and release?
- Is their satire or parody at all?
- Are you a hero of sorts or regular guy who knows things?
- Are you in control or successfully experimenting?
- Do things go wrong sometimes to your surprise?
- Do you appear to take risks?
- How do you set situations up and go for the payoff?
- Avoid cliche's!
- Be consistent to attract the audience you want?
- Ask why are people coming to my show.
- Be likeable!!!
- Take chances!!!

Pick performers that are closest to what you like or blend a couple, study them, take licks from them and make it your own. Don't worry if it already exists or if it doesn't, it will be delivered by you and your style will emerge regardless.

Good luck hope that was helpful.
gothicmagic
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Darkness I do use humor, but the things my character finds humorous are along the lines of gallows or addams family humor.
I have a routine that talks about torture when I talk about the rack I tell them they could think of it as early chiropractic, then when talking about being drawn and quartered I describe the ripping apart like a festive pinata, and if you got there very early in the day your clothing would be a different shade by days end, I use it to break tension and it also as my persona is a vampire lets them subtly know that their well being isn't high on my priority list. I'm serious but as an aristocratic vampire also slightly aloof, I use humor where it fits (hard to really describe, but if it adds to the moment I put it in if not, no)
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Darkness
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Thanks for the response. I do agree it's hard to explain. A vampire we already have context. It's hard to come up with a new idea. Sound like he wants it to be serious as well.
Personally for me the only area that I tend to not like is over the top or too campy.
Reserved, creepy, serious, injected with humor at the appropriate times, may best explain what I like. Addams family is a good analogy.
Steve_Mollett
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At the same time, don't make it so much of a "hard sell" that you scare away audiences and clients.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Darkness
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True Steve.

As long as its entertaining and not freaky in a bad way. I think you are pretty safe now a days in the era of over the top gore, sensationalism and our senses being barraged to death by Hollywood. We have a higher threshold to extreme and alternative entertainment. It really comes down to branding and advertizing the show appropriately to attract the right audience. The evil dead musical comes to mind, if you sit in the first 5 rows you get covered in fake blood (they even give your a rain coat). That would suck if you didn't expected it. The chainsaw ripping flesh may be extreme to some and funny to others.

I say go for it, experiment and be an innovator.
SacredChao
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I am really sorry for taking so long to respond, but I had a presentation due today (that got pushed back, blast it) and it had to be gold.

I love the suggestions, guys, and definitely appreciate good comic book inspiration. True, I do want to play this guy straight, with the odd bit of humour thrown in for a "friendly face" when it might be needed. No worries, on going "hard sell" with this one, as I am also trying to keep this guy relatively personable. Working on this bugger is becoming quite the challenge, but I suspect it will be well-worth it in the long-run.

The entire thing, as odd as it sounds, I want to play as somewhat subtle. It is the idea of an individual with "superpowers" who is decidedly not on the side of people, but is willing to be civil about it, that I am working with. Playing it straight, he has his own agenda and the average person is probably going to dislike with great intensity the world he wishes to create (who wants to wonder when reality will hiccup in a bad way because a sorcerer had a rough day, after all?) but it is what he desires and he will have it.

It's actually really funny. My friends have made fun of me because of this character, as they do not consider him to be really "supervillain-worthy" and a bit boring. I suspect it is the lack of maniacal laughter and catchphrases... Not how I see him.

Sorry if this sounds rambly, but it has been one Hell of a day.
Darkness
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Have fun with it is the main thing!
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