Making Bad Into Badass

This is a wonderful time we live in. For most people, growing up a fan of comics and superheroes was not the coolest thing to be into. Today, superheroes have taken over pop culture and there is no way to escape them! Many of our favorites have had movies for decades such as Batman, Superman, and even the Flash. The modern super hero trend now has the second and third tier heroes sitting on the top of the food-chain. This article is to explore how certain heroes and villains made the journey from bad… to badass.

1. The Penguin


The three incarnations of The Penguin. Left to Right: Burgess Meredith, Danny DeVito, Robin Lord Taylor Photo credit:

Oswald Cobblepot has had three major television and movie appearances. First, Burgess Meredith played the big bird on the 1966 Batman television program opposite of Adam West and Burt Ward. Next, Danny DeVito held the umbrella in the disturbing Batman Returns in 1992. Currently, Robin Lord Taylor has steered the Penguin into a new direction as one of the deepest and most interesting characters on FOX’s new program, Gotham. Taylor’s portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot from a sneaky crime lowlife to “the king of Gotham” over the course of the first season is enticing and convincing enough to make you root for the bad guy!

2. Iron Man

Iron Man 3..Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)..Film Frame..?Marvel Studios 2013

Photo Credit:

Today, Iron Man is a household name and so is the actor that plays him, Robert Downey, Jr. RDJ has become one with Tony Stark. First appearing in 1963, Iron Man was not the most popular Marvel hero. If you can recall back to Marvel’s announcement that their first big budget movie in the Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was a lot of shock and disbelief that RDJ (a man known at the time for blowing off his career for drugs) was going to be playing a third tier hero. People really expected a bigger name, both for actor and character, to be Marvel’s first strike. As it turned out, RDJ needed Iron Man just as much as Iron Man needed RDJ. The movie was an instant hit. From zero to hero, RDJ and Iron Man have become a fan favorite, surpassing even Captain America in the eyes of many fans.

3. The Joker


The Jokers. Left to Right: Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and Cesar Romero. Photo Credit:

Though the Joker has always been a fan favorite since his creation in 1940 and his silver screen debut by Cesar Romero in 1966, it was always tough to explain how a clown could be such a worthy adversary for the Dark Knight. In 2006, DC announced that Heath Ledger would be playing the clown prince of crime in the second part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. For the two years prior to the release of the movie, the internet threw a fit that a pretty-boy like Ledger could never do the role justice. After appearing in romantic comedies and the critically controversial cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain, many moviegoers lost hope in Nolan after they had such high hopes from Batman Begins. Unfortunately, this was the last role Ledger ever played, and what a phenomenal performance to end on. Heath Ledger’s acting and unique take on the Joker turned The Dark Knight into one of the highest grossing movies of the time. Many consider it to be the best Batman movie to date. Next, we have Jared Leto stepping up to fill the clown shoes. Based on his one photo of the tatted up Joker, the Internet is reacting very much in the same way they did when Ledger was announced as the Joker.

These examples just go to show that it pays to wait to see a performance before you so quickly dismiss a movie. Just as you don’t just a book by its cover, you don’t judge a movie by its cast.

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