I'm reading Ian Keldon
's notion as being more about the motivation of the villains being less just "that's what comic book villains do," not so much about about realism as such. There seems to be agreement that some villains are cool, while others aren't. But the esthetic standard of coolness is not one notable for taste, consistency, empathy for humanity, understanding of society or much anything rational. Talking about coolness in practice usually means "Agree with me or shut up!" Most of the modern comic book villains do seem to pull back on the comic book elements, lest they go over the top. Or worse, seem geeky.