Supervillains are cool
Supervillains are cool.
Don't get me wrong. The story of a superhero is a story of empowerment. The reader – an ordinary person who can't easily fix the problems in zir society – gets to imagine having awesome powers and saving the world.
But if the superhero is empowered, the supervillain is even more empowered. Ze doesn't just have more physical power (although that's still true, so that the audience can root for the underdog). Ze also has more freedom. Ze isn't limited by laws or social norms. Ze can do anything ze wants to. The supervillain, and ze alone, has a vision to change the world.
Tell me – why is this character the villain? Many of our laws are unjust. Many of our social norms are repressive. In a typical story, the hero stops the villain's plan and restores the status quo. But in our world, the status quo is not good, and has never been good. To reach a good world, we need a vision for a change.
Give me a story where the hero accepts everyone's identity and sympathizes with everyone's struggles, not because the wise old mentor told zem to, but because fuck the rules. Give me a story where the hero ignores people's hypocritical moralizing, not to become evil, but to forge a better morality. Give me a story where the hero has a genuine project to change the world.
And then let the hero succeed.