It's hard to disagree that the two most popular issues of the Fiendship is Magic series are Sombra's and Chrysalis' with the way the writers handled their backstories. And what's only just recently struck me is how, well... unexpected their choice of backstories were.
Think about: before the comic, Sombra has been widely criticized as a one-dimensional monstrous entity with little personality. And yet it was the comic that gave him perhaps the most complex backstory of the series, as well as going down the tragic villain route. Meanwhile, Chrysalis has often been applauded for being one of the more interesting villains with the most potential and is often the chosen candidate for the sob backstory in countless fanfics. And yet her backstory subverts the latter completely, making her what Silver Quill calls, "Primal Evil", or as I prefer, Equestria's equivalent of Aku. She's not a tragic or a martyr for her people, she's admits she's a pure evil villain and flaunts it. She strikes me as the type who would eat one her subject's hatchlings alive in front of them and everyone else if she thought it would give her an edge over her enemies... or if she just felt like it.
What really encouraged me to post this thread was this tweet reply by Andy Price: twitter.com/AndyPriceArt/statu…
[quote]"We said for ages, even before the book: sometimes a monster is just a monster"[/quote]
And it's got me to think: for the longest time, that's what most villains used to be. A lot of them were evil because, well, they were just dicks. I know that in the modern day, most of us more prefer a complex villain, often with a tragic backstory to boot, and sure thing, those villains can be awesome. Villains like Darth Vader, Lord Shen, etc, are particularly great because of that amongst other things. Heck, I find Sombra more interesting because of his too. However, along the way, I can't help but feel we've almost fallen too much in love with this idea. Almost every villain nowadays needs to be deep and complex and relatable, but we all know too much of any one thing can be bad. It's like we've reached a point where a villain is really no longer allowed to be, as Mr Price said, "just a monster."
And I'm thinking, "Well, why not?" I admit, sometimes, I kinda miss the villain who's just plain evil. I think I like that version of Chrysalis instead of the libraries of fanfictions consisting mostly of her moping and crying and having sexy with every single Alicorn Princess in the MLP universe. I mean, are those kind of villains too complicated or thought-provoking? Most of the time, no, but at the very least they're entertaining and fun, which are two things villains are still allowed to be as well.
What do you think? Did you like Sombra and Chrysalis' backstories. Do you think nowadays we're discouraged from allowing our villains to just be evil villains? Do you prefer them to the deep/complicated villains, or vice versa?