Funnybook Babylon

February 11, 2009

The Banality of Evil: Kobra

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , — Jonathan Bernhardt @ 5:07 pm

Faces of Evil: KobraFaces of Evil: Kobra came out two weeks ago, and if you’ve forgotten about it already, or never knew about it in the first place, that’s forgivable. A book like this would have normally passed us by more or less unnoticed, but we’ll be giving it a more extended look than usual, because it’s somewhat of a perfect storm of poor conception, execution, and quality control, and while we usually try to stick to the realm of discussion-broadening, constructive criticism here at FBB, there’s at least one thing in the issue about which little positive can be said.
(more…)

February 10, 2009

The Banality of Evil

Even now I curse the day–and yet, I think,
Few come within the compass of my curse,–
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
As kill a man, or else devise his death,
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it,
Accuse some innocent and forswear myself,
Set deadly enmity between two friends,
Make poor men’s cattle break their necks;
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digg’d up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends’ doors,
Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
‘Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.’
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.

Titus Andronicus is a play so nasty that some scholars question whether the Bard could have lowered himself to write such venom. But it’s still pretty awesome, and Aaron is undoubtedly a Bad Dude. His hardcore BADNESS is exciting, almost refreshing when set amongst all of the more nuanced characters that populate Shakespeare’s other plays. But just like the kid who decides he would love to eat nothing but Fluffernutter, or the first man to edit together an All-Climax porno tape, the creative minds at DC have decided that it would be awesome if every antagonist in their comics were as evil and crazy as Aaron (or more likely the Joker).

(more…)

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.
(more…)

Powered by WordPress