Mark talks about Hellsing and manages to pique my interest – not necessarily because of the blood and gore, but because of the description of Alucard:
One of the big problems with the series for me is actually that Alucard is way too powerful. There are several villains who crop up in the series, but most don’t even come close to Alucard’s power, and even the one climatic battle in the series is kinda lacking in suspense because even when it seems like Alucard has been defeated, he always manages to come back somehow.
For some reason, I am reminded of Aang in Avatar here. In his Avatar state, Aang is essentially invincible, but those scenes are incredibly exciting instead of dull – especially the final episode, where Aang fights the ultimate villain of the series, and (not to spoil it too obviously) wins, big time. Another example of this is the Terminator (original movie), where Arnold is literally unstoppable and his eventual demise is almost purely providential rather than because of any strategizing by the overmatched human protagonists.
Regardless of whether its a hero, villain, or something in between – there’s something very satisfying about a character who wields sheer power. Handled deftly, it can be a fresh change from the usual “hero tested beyond his limits and then succeeds against all odds” formula.
In fact the ultimate example of this is probably the character of Superman – in my opinion the best stories are those where he has to use his powers, not the ones where he loses them, faces a more powerful being, finds himself weakened by Kryptonite, etc etc. Superman being, well, super is what makes Superman fun.