Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Comic Book Characters

Okay, so we know there are no super villains in real life (other than the corporate thugs that already rule the planet), and any individuals who have delusions that they can be super villain copycats are quickly put in their place by law enforcement.

But let's take a few minutes here to enter into the 'DC Universe' and take a look at some of the super villains that have been in residence there for a long time, even through all the reboots.

Neal Adams/Dick Giordano — DC's Super Villains — 1970s

I look at the depictions of super villains differently now that real life has been haunted by one of those copycat killers. It now doesn't seem as interesting or fun to see their stories unfold. In the world of comic book fantasy, they seem more evil and dangerous than ever before. I want comic book justice to deliver a final lockdown, so that these villains cannot keep escaping again and again.

Let's take a closer look at the DC criminals in the above rendering from the '70s, a high point for comic book storytelling. There are sixteen individuals shown, all classified as 'super' villains, yet not one really has a 'super' power, though one or two have magical powers. They are megalomaniacs who have adopted a persona to feed their egos as they satisfy their greed. Even though they're shown here in a group, they rarely work together to meet objectives. When they do, they are ready to abandon their cause at the earliest convenience, with probably a knife in somebody's back.

Out of the sixteen, eleven of them are smiling. But they're not happy smiles. They are grim and arrogant smiles, perhaps while thinking of their ill-gotten gains. At least two, maybe three are the leering smiles of the psychopathic insane. Many of this group laugh a lot, but only when gloating over people in pain and misery.

The floating fellow was once a likeable mischief maker who grew evil over the years, finally murdering most of the silver age Superman's loved ones in a rampage of horror.

One of those fellows is there with his daughter, having seduced her into his campaign to destroy most of humankind on earth so that he and she can save the earth from homicidal tendencies of humankind.

One is an arrogant simian who thinks that he's smarter than everyone else, so to hell with everyone else. Several of these miscreants are just plain thieving thugs, who have learned to control weather, and mirrors, and puzzles, and Frigidaires just to own the biggest diamond or the most bullion.

One of these guys has learned to master fear, to strike humankind at its mental roots, causing unimaginable fear to drive them insane. Basically, a terrorist.

A couple are mad scientists — one who is compensating for his ugliness and short stature, and the other who is capable of curing cancer and eradicating world hunger, but instead uses his scientific genius to cause pain and suffering. Both are the only bald ones in the bunch, hmmm.

That's a nice Tiffanyish lamp they have dangling there over their poker table. I can't imagine any of these people bought it, even though they have a gazantajillion stolen dollars. Why have all that money when they don't want to spend it on anything that they can steal. It's a mystery.

And then there's this one:

She is not evil or demented. She has a soft spot for the underdog and could almost work on the side of justice, but for her weakness and passion for shiny baubles that she can't afford. Still, a thug is a thug is a thug.

I could go on and on, but these are only characters in comic books. They demonstrate that crime doesn't pay, that there is not infamy for murderous megalomaniacs. They're not role models for society's dropouts and misfits.

They're just comic book characters.


Harpo said...

"...other than the corporate thugs..."? Hmmmm... corrupt politicians who say all the right things while using their power to make themselves and their families rich at the expense of others don't qualify? Or journalists who hide behind the claim of "ojectivity" while pushing their own personal agenda at every turn? Or "pop culture" icons who use their fame for the same reason? Or college professors who use their position and influence to further a cause at the expense of a young students education? Religious fanatics who have no respect or tolerance for any other religion and whose main goal is the conversion or death of the entire planet? I'm not denying that some corporate businessmen are unscrupulous but they certainly don't have a monopoly on evil - not even close.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Oh, villains aplenty out there. I was referring to SUPER villains,the SUPER conglomerates, the corporate powers with bottomless resources directing wars and history itself for their own purposes.

The rest, yes, powerful, but vulnerable to a certain extent. They can be brought down. Through it all, we MUST PROTECT THE INNOCENT!

Thanks for furthering the dialogue, Harpo!

Anonymous said...

Nope, Thomas got it right the first time with corporate thugs. The guys you mentioned are just their hired flunkies, from (what th')FOX news "jorunalists" to climate deniers in academia.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I'm beginning to believe the entire planet IS a boardroom empire ("corporate cosmology"), ruled by deeply layered agendas.

Are we 'mad as hell" yet? No, we're not. Yet.

Anonymous said...

Fox news "journalists" in quotes? Wow, way to be one sided there, CoryJay. I read enough articles from all media outlets to realize they all have an agenda. If you think getting all your news from MSNBC, NPR, or whoever is getting you the truth, you are sadly mistaken. Oh, and Selina Kyle is my fav of the group.