You have to ponder the circumstances behind villains in comic books. They become locked into a struggle with a hero, to the point where it dominates their life. Norman Osborne was once a businessman until his hatred for Spider-Man consumed him, turning him into the Green Goblin. Lex Luthor was a wealthy business tycoon, no worse than the typical arms dealer, but one chance encounter with Superman turned him into a tyrant. Some supervillains would actually still be at large if it weren't for the hero. No doubt the Joker or the Red Skull would've been just as bad if Batman or Captain America were around than if they weren't. But their hatred of them singlehandedly slanted their schemes towards beating their Moby Dick.
Comic books have been around for decades, and in only twenty years a whole century will pass since Superman took the stage. Comics are a powerful medium in America, telling a wide variety of stories. Adventure, romance, spy fiction; some can even do this without being attached to a popular character. However, due to the damage in the public reception of comic books thanks to the rise of the Comics Code in the 1950s (which, incidentally, coincides with the First Dark Age of Animation), superhero stories thrived in various forms, from Sci-Fi like Green Lantern, to the X-Men's social commentary, the horror stylings of Spawn, and of course, Watchmen, the real-world look at superheroes.
Nonetheless, most people, having not grown up on comics but being more familiar with Adam West's Batman, ultimately twisted the perception of superhero comics, creating a sort of hyperexaggeration. The main hero is typically a Superman knockoff who fights either an evil counterpart of himself, or an evil genius who's bald like Lex Luthor. Not-Supes stands for truth and justice and the heroic way, and does all that because he's good, and he knows it. The villain knows he's evil, loves that fact, and will openly parade it in front of a huge audience. He will come up with death traps he won't watch in action so he won't realize the hero is breaking free. Speeches will be given and the villain will win through the power of violence, and be sent to jail where they will never get the death sentence because, well, he and anyone else is not allowed to kill anyone, not that the villain could with his mere hypno-accordian or sports-themed powers.
But what happens when a supervillain... wins?
What happens when the Joker finally drives Batman insane, Lex has Superman arrested as an illegal alien, Venom finally murdering Spider-Man for ruining his life? What if Kaiba beat Yuugi, Vegeta outmatched Goku, or any major rival actually beat our hero? It would probably be the greatest day of their life... for five seconds. Believing Batman is dead has had an adverse response to the Joker, ranging from killing the Man Who Killed Batman to going straight. Venom might become a hero in his own right, too, but he would probably be a lethal protector. Others would just continue their rampage unguarded. I see no reason to believe Lex would not go back to being a powerful arms dealer now that he has "This can kill Superman" to advertise his latest weapon with. Red Skull would be more destructive, taking over the world under Hydra. The question each villain must face is "How much does beating the hero matter to you?"
Megamind attempts to posit this question with an alien version of Lex Luthor. Finally killing Metroman, the designated Superman, he goes through the former cycle I put up: he has the time of his life, but finds with no one to stop him, being The Man Who Has Everything ends up leading him to a self-directed case of what I call Buddy Syndrome, "When everyone's super, than no one is," or rather, now that he has everything, he has nothing. But a solution becomes apparent: the joy was in the challenge, and all he needs to do is create a new hero. With a new other half, the battle could last for as long as he does, with the whole world as his playground!
But then he gets a call from not-Lois Lane on a phone from someone he disguised himself as, who wants him to have a date. And you begin to understand why I used the word, "attempts."
(Praise ends here.)
From there on out, it's a mess of animated movie cliches that're as old as at least Aladdin, with the Secret Keeper, the Abandoned Hero, and did I mention Not-Lois is a Triange-Faced Love Interest Whose Relationship Starts Out Rocky and it all falls apart. There is nothing sadder than watching a good concept be dragged through the mud to facilitate a story we've seen years ago, and are still seeing today.
In particular, why does Megamind need to become a hero even when Metroman is alive? He beats one villain and he suddenly becomes a True Hero (TM)? And Metro Man knew he was a hero the whole time?! I'll tell you why this happened, and it's also the reason behind the most controversial moment in movie history: Greedo Shooting First.
The original concept for this movie was to be in live action. It was going to be a Hard-R vulgar comedy with the same premise. I think it would've turned out very different, though, because as soon as the decision was made to make it animated, the studio that makes movies for adults and the adult in every child gave in to the Assembly Line and cut the film down to PG, because animation for adults? Never in theaters! Not in the Executive Driven Era of Animation and the Second Dark Age!
Here's what you need to understand: The MPAA does not like movies where the protagonist or any kind of "good guy" is a villain. The reason Greedo shot first was because Han would've looked like a Bad Guy if he killed someone in cold blood, so it was censored to keep it PG because PG-13 was considered a Big Deal at the time. Notice how every subsequent version has the interval of their shots getting closer until they fire at the same time. The problem, however, is that while the general standard for a Live-Action movie is now PG-13, to the point where The Avengers showed you can market them to schoolchildren, the standard for animation has remained PG. It even dragged down live-action movies, where PG in those is considered a "Kids Movie". And since the Assembly Line mandates all animation must be PG, then it'll be trapped to the image of a children's medium as long as it stands.
How does this relate to Megamind? See, because of the PG rating, the movie makes Megamind into a cartoonish supervillain. However, because the children's sympathy (or, more cynically their imitatability) must remain with Megamind, it establishes as soon as possible that he's only bad because he had a hard childhood, that he's a Misunderstood Character (TM) and if given the chance he would be a hero in a heartbeat. This is the reason why when Titan suggests the villain engages in, gasp... villainy Megamind objects; not because it's wrong for a hero to do this, but because Titan wants to drag him into it as well. He's not a villain, he's a sad sack who needs to be awakened, much like the audience needs to be awakened that THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!
So, who's in charge of this blunder? Well, the director, Tom McGrath had roots in Ren and Stimpy, KaBlam, and the Madagascar series, but I bet he lost creative control as soon as it became animated. The writers, where the real fault lies, are a pair of writers, one named Some, the other named Guy. Together, Some Guy have a combined total of zero movies and TV shows worth of writing experience, and would later go on to write the Penguins of Madagascar movie, which everyone hates. This is the reason we have to critique these movies writing as harshly as we have to: if we keep showering praise on the experienced director, Some Guy won't learn from their mistakes, will stay Some Guy, and when they lose their protective shield will turn out a blunder which will send their careers into the toilet. Anyone Can Write, but they need to be cultivated, not ignored under the impression that the director will handle it, otherwise they won't write well. About the only saving grace I can offer these two is that The Penguins of Madagascar isn't on the chopping block, but only because it's been devoured by the horde before I even saw it, and I saw it gave everyone food poisoning.
And because it needs to be stated again, THE ASSEMBLY LINE IS KILLING ANIMATION! It's killing creativity, killing diversity, it's slaughtering originality! After all, in The Executive Driven Era of Animation And The Second Dark Age, the Assembly Line can muscle you into doing what it wants, even when you want to make a Hard-R comedy.