Funnybook Babylon

February 6, 2009

The Banality of Evil: Prometheus

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , , , — Matt Jett @ 11:32 pm

I was chatting with Chris Eckert and David Brothers about how a lot of villains in comics seem to have no plausible motivation for doing what they do. This seems pretty obvious; for every Dr. Doom, who has an overabundance of motivation, you have a Bullseye who is just CRAZY and HARDCORE. If you’ve listened to last week’s podcast, you’ve heard the crew talk about Prometheus, who got a revamp last week as part of the Faces of Evil pseudo-cover theme. Here’s why that revamp sucked.

Prometheus, in Morrison’s JLA, was the kind of one-dimensional badass that worked for that title. He was a murderer and a villain, but it was implied that there was something a bit deeper to him. prometheus1He, for example, knew enough super-science to build his signature goofy helmet and build a house in limbo. Morrison, for better or worse, never really got around to fleshing him out, so that job falls to Sterling Gates, writer of Supergirl.

Gates blames Prometheus’s parents for his character traits. They stole stuff and shot cops, so Prometheus does too. That’s what you get as far backstory goes. Being a part of this family made him irrevocably, completely crazy. So crazy that he spends years going on the exact same journey as Batman, meeting (evil) monks, honing his (evil) skills. Only he kills a bunch of cops first. And then kills a bunch of cops after he’s done with the journey. Why? Because they’re cops and cops shot his parents while they were resisting arrest and shooting back.
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