In you mind.
So far there have been three over villians and a host of main villians. Rob Lucci is the third over villian with crocodile and Enel being the other two. The main villians have been buggy, kuro, kreig, arlong, wapol, foxy, spandam and maybe franky. With of course others being open to debate.
I know that most people will rate him under crocodile, as croc had some great lines, a wonderful VA and an already completely animated arc. But its in comparision to the rest that I would be most interested in.
For me, Lucci is one of the better villians, he started out as a Juggernaut like none other introduced in the series. I remember seeing his first real demonstration and wondering how it was possible for the crew to win at all. The psychological barrier of an overwhelming physical advantage overwhelms a mostly gimmick based series of opponents. With enel and crocodile much of the challenge was getting past their initial line of defense, a task which while daunting was immediately apparent.
Lucci represented a challenge that Luffy has never had, an opponent who does what he does only better.
Moving on from there, i found lucci to be a emotionless badass, which worked for a few chapters but has been done to many times to really have a lasting impression. Being a cold mofo is cool and all and it impresses the fanboi's to no end (see itachi) but it is lacking as a long ranged strategy. Here is were the strength and weakness of the character is exposed. Lucci's cold personality meant that for the most part he wasn't all that interesting. Crocodile was never cold. Apathetic, callous and
jaded true but never cold. However the coldness gave him a wonderful contrast when he finally cracked his facade to show a malicious bloodlust beneath. Rob Lucci giving the satan smile is one of the more impactful single panels, made all the more potent because he is such a cold one.
However I don't feel that overall Lucci does so well in his middle ground. One or two moments, a pimp scene that was delightful and thats it. It is only now with the last couple nof chapters that I feel Lucci is coming into his own as a villian.
Spandam actually acts as the proxy villian for most of the arc, acting as a mouthy incompetant surrogate. But now as we explore Lucci the premier assassin and the hand of shadowed justice I find him growing on me. IT helps that his fights are brutal and kinetic, but his proclamations are the real issue. Ideals that he didn't have earlier.
Spandam and Lucci share much of the same dream save that Lucci is untainted by petty ambition. And now I feel that with his seemingly final defeat of Luffy, Lucci has matured into a villian of worthyness, if only for what he represents.
Thats my thoughts. Yours?