So, here's an important question: Do you think it's important for a villain to be relatable or sympathetic in a superhero story? If so, how much?
Now, I think the answer tends to vary on the story and the character itself: I don't want to find myself sympathetic to say, the Red Skull in a story because at the end of the day, he's a frickin' Nazi. I mean, end of story. I don't think it's a good idea to portray him as even remotely likable or sympathetic.
By the same token, I don't think I can actually get the motivation of someone like Joker, and I'm probably not supposed to, at least most of the time. With some villains, it's better to just think of them as pure evil because it makes it that much more satisfying when they get their heads beat in by the hero. Sounds simple enough, right?
At the same time, I can understand the desire to feed some complexity and nuance into a story. Making Kang sympathetic in Avengers Forever helps to give him depth. It actually elevates not only him and his lunatic schemes, but also the Avengers. By casting Kang in the role of the unstoppable conqueror, a futuristic Alexander, it helps elevate the Avengers to the level of a force of nature, the one thing that for all his power, Kang cannot conquer. Similarly, although I don't see Magneto as a hero, making his cause understandable adds nuance to his schemes and his fight with Xavier, making their rivalry as much about ideology as much as, you know, people hitting each other.
The problem, I think, is when you try to make a character never meant to be sympathetic into one. And I think that's a thing that has happened too frequently these past few years in comics as noir sensibilities, which work best with a sense of moral ambiguity, have muddied the waters of hero and villain.
What do you think?