We recently did a piece on the most heartbreaking video game deaths, and looking back over that list we noticed something odd. Of the five deaths featured, two were out and out villains, one was at best neutral in a global good-vs.-evil struggle, one was a hero but part of the heartbreak was that she managed to use a villain's love for her to kill them both, and the last was more of an antihero whose actions included fratricide.
What the point? It's basically that the modern world of fiction demands more of its antagonists than one-dimensional malice. We demand a human face to identify with, even as we're rooting for that face to get punched. Mulling this over, we began to explore the world of Batman and his incredible rogue's gallery. Despite his having arguably the most psychotic group of adversaries in history, even that group of wackaloons managed to pull through and do the occasional good deed.