Some of the books / stories / movies that have awed me the most are the ones with complex villains.
Villains who make you love them.
Like Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. He's a better person than the hero, and his fall into darkness . . . well, let's just say it's a beautiful, sad romance. And don't tell me you haven't seen it yet. Go download it from iTunes now!
Or Villains who make you squirm, they are that evil.
Like Sylar from the TV show Heroes. Seriously, this serial killer was downright creepy. And nearly indestructible and all powerful. But at least, after season 3, you learn that he doesn't eat brains.
In this picture of him, I have to wonder why he's bothering with a gun. He can cut through people's skulls with his telekinesis.
Or Villains that leave you confused.
Like Allie Beckstrom's dad in Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Book 1) by Devon Monk. He's manipulative. He warps her memories with magic. He lies and cheats and sneers at everybody. He wants power and immortality, and he doesn't care if he hurts his own daughter in the process.
But he also wants to save magic, purge the taint out of it, and better the world. And along the way, he helps the good guys. I love the complexity.
Who are your favorite Villains? Tell me what I want to know, or I will swipe your cookies. Mwahahaha!