Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 36

Every Tuesday I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.

Villains, on the other hand, usually care about themselves and whoever they’re destroying. That selfishness may be one of the central qualities of super-villainy (well, the “villainy” part anyway). It’s very personal. That nothing else in the world matters so much to them as their revenge or ideological expression makes them interesting. Sure, Batman is single-minded, but he single-mindedly defends the people of Gotham (and the world). The villains, by being focused on anything but saving lives, end up being the bad guys almost by default.
What’s funny is that you, the reader, have to like the petty, underhanded bad guy getting punched in the face. Hell, if you’re reading “Batman and Robin,” they might be getting double-punched in the face, those aggressive, obsessive bastards. Even negative shout-outs to past villains and unpopular stories make you, the reader, happy. It’s just that it seems that there’s an element of pettiness we all enjoy; part of seeing a superhero comic is seeing good triumph over evil, law over chaos, fists over lies, likable over smells funny. While comics are becoming more morally complex, this sort of contest will never go completely out of style, but a strange line is crossed when these things are merely covers for the smallness of character more appropriate for antagonists (of course, it was probably crossed when fans killed Jason Todd).

(Tried using my new tumblr powers to get Jason Todd pics. All I got was slash. Sorry folks, I'm tryin' here.)
Seriously, if imaginary gay sex could make imaginary babies, the entirety of Western imagination would be predominated with Jason Todd slash-babies. This is Jason Todd eating bread. Enjoy the internet's one picture of him with his friggin' pants on...probably.

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