History of Sci-Fi Monsters, Heroes and Villains


The classic characters of science fiction

In every story, there should be a hero and a villain, and it’s no different in science fiction. In fact, these characters make every chapter and every page much more exciting and worth reading all over again. We list of the most well-known science fiction monsters, heroes and villains in no particular order.

1. Godzilla


This giant beast is still towering after its over six decades of existence. From its origins in Japan, Godzilla has figuratively grown to be a global pop icon. Actually, Godzilla was first conceived and created as a metaphor for nuclear weapons, since the Japanese were still reeling from the effects of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War, as well as the tragic Lucky Dragon 5 incident in 1954 (where a fishing boat was heavily irradiated by nuclear fallout from the United States. This caused indignation among the Japanese, who had developed an irrational fear towards radiation since the nuclear bombings). The first Godzilla film appeared in 1954, directed by Ishiro Honda.

Since then, producers and filmmakers have done away with Godzilla’s allegory as being a misuse of the nuclear power. Instead, they have been portraying Godzilla as a hero, but many still depict it as a giant monster which wreaks havoc and disaster everywhere it goes. Since its inception, the dinosaur-like monstrous beast has been embodied in several entertainment formats, including video games. The latest in the Godzilla franchise was the blockbuster 2014 American remake also called Godzilla.

2. Frankenstein

Frankenstein monster

The name has been in the consciousness of many people, but there are some who haven’t really known about Frankenstein erroneously refer to it as the man-made monster itself. But the truth is that Frankenstein refers to Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the mad scientist who created the monster, and of course the title character of Mary Shelley’s now-world-famous novel which first came out in 1818.

Although Shelley’s novel is more associated with horror or Gothic, many science fiction fans also see it as the first true work of science fiction because Dr. Frankenstein attempts to create something that will bring life because of his predetermined decisions and not just by whim. Since Frankensteinthe novel was released, it has lent a considerable influence not just in the world of literature but in the whole popular culture. Many adaptations have been made based on the novel – for the stage, films, and television. The novel itself has undergone several editions as well. By the way, the huge square-headed monster, with bolts in his neck, has no name.

3. Captain Nemo

Captain Nemo is the fictional character of Jules Verne’s two novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) andMysterious Island (1874). Captain Nemo also appeared fleetingly in Verne’s play Journey Through the Impossible (1882). As most people are aware, Captain Nemo – whose name means “nobody” in Latin – is an enigmatic scientific genius and commander of the Nautilus, his self-built, state-of-the-art submarine that takes him through the depths of the sea.

Nemo is the mysterious anti-hero; he is portrayed as someone who has a thirst of revenge against the oppressive governments of the world. He would ram many ships with his submarine. Those ships were commanded by those who persecuted him and his people. He would also support the rebels by funding them. Captain Nemo’s character has been played by several different actors over the years, the most notable being his portrayal by British actor James Mason in the Walt Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954).

4. Dracula

One of the world’s famous fictional characters first appeared in a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker in 1897. It is a story about Prince Vlad who is popularly known as Count Dracula, and his trials as well as the battles he faced in his native Transylvania. He rules Transylvania and Walachia, and has lost and reclaimed his throne through fierce battles, including one that involved himself against his own brother Radu.

Although author Bram Stoker didn’t invent the vampire character, he certainly defined it in its modern form. The novel also touches on several themes such as the prevailing Victorian culture, moral conventions, horror and science fiction, among others. The novel was first adapted into several plays, the first theatrical adaptation being written by Stoker himself. Since the Dracula story and character became popular, several film and television adaptations have also been made. There have been a number of actors who shrouded themselves in Dracula’s black cape, but actor Bela Lugosi remains the definitive Dracula.

5. E.T. (outer space alien)

Who doesn’t remember and love E.T.? E.T. is the famous creature from the 1982 blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. He has warmed the hearts of many audiences who have seen the film. E.T. is an alien from outer space who is stranded in a rural town, and eventually befriended by a lonely boy named Elliott. He and his siblings will try to help E.T. by keeping him from the prying eyes of their mother, and eventually the US government who wants to get E.T. in their own hands.

There are many adorable, thrilling, and touching moments, and of course you still remember E.T. for his memorable line “E.T. phone home.” E.T. has inspired an Atari video game, a novel, a theme park ride, and even a few imitation films.

6. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

These “double characters” are immortalized by the English author Robert Louis Stevenson in his sci-fi novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which came out in 1886. It tells about a London lawyer who is driven to investigate the plight of his friend Dr. Henry Jekyll, and his “protégé” the evil Edward Hyde.

The title “characters” are mostly commonly associated by a rare mental disorder that is called “dissociative identity disorder” or more commonly known as “split personality” disorder. In film adaptations alone, the story has inspired over 123 movies. There have also been stage and television renditions (even a television musical was inspired by Stevenson’s story).

7. The Six Million Dollar Man

The main character, Steve Austin, originally appeared in a series of best-selling “Cyborg” novels by Martin Caidin, with the first book appearing in 1972. The first adaptation of the novels was a loose one, a made-for-TV movie titled The Six Million Dollar Man. When the movie became successful, it inspired a weekly series, also called The Six Million Dollar Man. Actor Lee Majors starred in the series as Steve Austin, a pilot who is severely injured from a test flight. His right arm, both legs, and left eye are fitted with bionic parts that have made him stronger and faster, and with a sharper vision; the operation costs six million dollars. In order to pay the government who gave him incredible powers back, he works as a secret agent for them.

Because of the popularity of the series, many people tend to forget that it’s an adaptation of Caidin’s best-selling novels. There have been attempts to bring The Six Million Dollar Man onto the big screen, but efforts seem to be futile as of the moment.

8. Flash Gordon

The character of Flash Gordon has been immortalized since first appearing on creator Alex Raymond’s series of comic strip sci-fi adventure in 1934. Flash Gordon is an exceptionally tough and courageous athlete. Flash Gordon is often labeled as “King of the Impossible” due to his incredible and fantastic adventures and accomplishments. The popular comic strip has been translated into various entertainment formats, including a hit television series, radio serials, novels, films, and animated series.

9. Darth Vader

Sure, there are too many memorable characters from Star Wars: Obi Wan-Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Jabba the Hutt, Chewbacca, and many others. However, no one makes a mark better than Darth Vader, with his imposing, demeaning presence alone. The famously all-black villain from the Star Wars films is indeed an important character. Once a heroic knight as Anakin Skywalker, Vader was beguiled to join the dark side of the Force, was transformed into a Sith Lord, and led the Empire’s destruction. But despite all of Darth Vader’s perceived badness, there’s still some good left in him.

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