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Who is a hero or villain? This has been a major topic of contention and discussion among lovers of games, comic and superhero pop culture. A character can be described as a hero or a villain based on the role he plays in his first appearance, just like the sides of a coin.

It is universally common within the game, comic, animation and pop culture world for characters to be distinctively tagged as heroes or villains. However we are tempted to say that there isn’t a clear cut definition for who a hero or villain is. There are many characters and a number of scenarios that would dispute your train of thought. Lots of characters exist in pop culture that defy this simple classification and this leads us to dig deeper into the discussion. One such character is Deadpool.  He is a disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary with the superhuman ability of accelerated healing and skilled in combat. He is known as the “Merc with a Mouth” because of his talkative nature and tendency to break the fourth wall, which is used by writers as a humorous effect. He first appeared in The New Mutant, a Marvel Comic book.  In this comic, Deadpool was depicted as a supervillain and was again expressed as such in issues of X-Force another comic book, but he has since evolved into the role of an antihero. Finally he has his own movie The Deadpool and still plays the role of antihero.

Another character of such ambiguity is Magneto. A powerful “mutant”, one of a fictitious subspecies of humanity born with superhuman abilities, who has the ability to generate and control magnetic fields, Magneto’s role in comics has varied from supervillain to antihero to superhero, having served as an occasional associate and even a member of the X-Men at times. Magneto regards mutants as superior to humans and rejects the prospect of peaceful human-mutant coexistence unlike the pacifist attitude of Professor X and pushes for a more aggressive approach to achieving civil rights.  He aims to conquer the world for “homo superiors” to replace humans as the dominant species. He is also a holocaust survivor and extremist whose cynical philosophy is derived from his determination to protect mutantkind from suffering a similar fate at the hands of  humans who fear and persecute mutants. We keep our fingers crossed as we wait to see his role in X-Men: Apocalypse 2016.

Finally we will take a look at our own kaleidoscope whom we can’t distinctively say  is a hero, anti-hero or villain, Ananse. Aananse has been portrayed as a cunning and a wise fellow in many comics, folklores and movies. Many a time he out-smarts his adversaries through his cunning ways and sometimes for his greedy nature he is depicted as a villain. In the folklore “Ananse and the pot of wisdom” where his to to steal every iota of wisdom but couldn’t, he’s shown as a villain but in the case of “The True Ananse” where he dedicated himself to earn a place in the kingdom of the gods for the sake of earth’s occupants he emerges as a hero. So you see, it’s not easy for you to determine a character to be a villain, hero or anti-villain, what do you think?

A.C.O

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