I don’t mind evil characters in stories, if executed well. In my eyes, an action/superhero story is only as good as it’s villain. If your story contains a villain, it has to be a truly immersive villain, that no matter how much you disagree with their actions; they are interesting when on screen.
I feel like villains can be divided into two main categories:
(note: I am only discussing villain, villains. not just antagonizing characters)
Psychopaths and Sociopaths — For example, Voldemort from the Harry Potter series safely fits into this category. He was born without a sense of love for others, and is void of all emotion. This, turned him into the villain he was in the series. Of course there’s a lot I’m leaving out here, about this particular antagonist, but that’s a basic summary as to why he is an antagonistic person. Now, as I see you’re a fan on TWD (can’t lie, I am too ), I’ll use some examples from that show. Let’s say… the Governor. Now, just some quick background for my next point — though sociopaths & psychopaths share many of the same traits, such a failure to feel remorse or guilt, they are different. Psychopaths are generally formed by genetics, therefore, are mostly born with a lack of emotions, remorse or guilt for others. However sociopaths are often made from their enviornment. Meaning, that unlike psychopaths, they are mostly not born that way. Now, just what I’ve seen from TWD, I think the Governor fits into the psychopath category, better than other villains in the show. I feel like in the enviornment that the show takes place in, sociopaths would be more likely to show emotion than psychopaths. For example, a lot of the villains in the show (ex. Negan, Gareth, etc), are implyed to have been more humane before the events of the show, before changing with the enviornment, into more savage, remorseless people. However, even after this transition, people such as Negan, have shown signs of sympathy for others, and guilt for their actions throughout the show. While characters like the Governor fit into the category of “if you don’t pull the trigger first, he will”.
Overall, I think the best way to make an interesting villain in a story, is to make that villain have backstory. Explain why they are how they are (you can be light on the details, but at least mention something in relation to their goal, and why they are the way they are). And most importantly, the villain needs to be intimidating. As much as they can be, at least. Rather, it’s because they have a large army, are immensely powerful, or are void of guilt or remorse. Intimidating villains are always the most memorable, in my opinion.
Wow, I wrote quite a bit
But, I hope this helped