At the least, I’m sure the translation team is getting their jollies, every single time they have to pick an evocative-by-legally-distinct codename for these villains. ‘Dan of Steel’ is very near delightful in how obfuscating it is.
Anyway, probably the best lesson Araki seems to have taken over from FIST OF THE NORTH STAR is that he makes sure each villain is as reprehensible as they can be. Steely Dan here isn’t a cool villain. He’s not fun to be watch. He’s a weasel who cheats to get ahead. It’s aggravating to see him on screen. The Lovers’ voodoo doll ‘sympathetic pain’ gimmick isn’t as flashy as previous Stand users’ powers, either. It doesn’t sound that interesting on paper, but it really makes you hate Dan more than any possessed doll or smoke spirit might. There’s just something especially odious and cowardly about a heel who’s going to twist the hero’s brawn against him instead of fighting his own battles.
And again, that’s precisely the point. A mangaka might feel the temptation to make him too likable.
Another way Araki’s showing some great patience as a storyteller is that he’s taken all these episodes to build Dio’s threat level up again. Honestly, I was a little disappointed initially that we’d be seeing a Big Bad repeat for this arc, but I get the sense that he was expecting that disappointment. Not only have we been introduced to more new villains than we met through the entirety of the first two arcs, each one has been steadily putting his master over.
Has it been too long since that awful incident with Jojo #1’s father? Do you not hate Dio’s as much anymore? Well, here’s this old lady who’s so hopelessly devoted to him, she doesn’t recognize his betrayal, even when he’s having her murdered. For Big Bad who hasn’t been on screen much for over a dozen episodes, Dio’s really re-earned plenty of our boo’s and hisses.