One of my all time favorite books is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The antagonist, Count Dracula, is a being with social power and money, not to mention the ability to assume the form of an animal, control the weather, and he’s stronger than twenty men. He can turn the living into the undead and preys on women in hopes of trapping men.
There are plenty of stories with villains who have powers like these nowadays but the protagonists usually have some things to help them fight. The protagonists in this book have almost nothing. No magic, no powers, no technology. They are sadly ignorant as to what they are fighting and have to research all of the legend that we know from childhood (garlic, wooden stake, daylight) to even have a chance. And research in those days meant travel and libraries and folklore. It took months. None of this ‘google it’ stuff we do now.
Dracula is a formidable villain because he is trying to expand his buffet, if you will, by traveling to crowded cities. Where he was a far-away threat before, he becomes a threat to all that the protagonist hold dear. And when the Count is able to take one of their dear ones the protagonists must steel themselves to kill her again.
The Dracula of the cinema could never hold a candle to the Dracula of literature.
I hope you all have bars on your bedroom windows.