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QUACKCAST 527 - Evil superheroes unneeded

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, April 20, 2021

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Evil superheroes are a stupid fad, that's my contention. My opinion. They've been around for a long time but now they're so popular it's becoming a bit of a fad and might turn into its own genre. I suppose Marvel and others have saturated the superhero market so to stay relevant other companies are doing “twists” on that traditional genre, hence the evil superheroes.
I think it's a stupid idea because: we already HAVE evil super characters, in the form of villains; it's an escapist fantasy medium of a world where heroes are actually good, unlike reality where they're more complex and often actually evil (i,e, police shootings) subverting that just takes us back to reality again rendering the superhero part of the equation pointless; a character being corrupted by power and becoming evil is not really that complex or interesting, it's actually very, very obvious, a character trying to remain good in spite of the power IS complex and interesting because that's far harder to do. And so on

The counter argument is that the superhero genre has been around for about 90 years or so now and can do with a little examination. I say fair enough, but it doesn't need to be a fad or a genre in its own right. Handle it correctly and make them the super villains. Some evil superheros in these things: Chronicle, Bightburn (horror in the style of The Omen, Case 39 but using a superman origin), The Boys, Invincible, Hancock, My super Ex-girlfriend, Venture Brothers.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Journey Through the Star Sea - In Gunwallace’s words: The brooding darkness of this seemed to fit the featured comic this week. On the brink of death’s door, the man seeks and seeks, search for succour, absolution of the sins of the body and mind, a cure for his disease. It’s a dark and dangerous universe, there’s no rest for him to be found…

Topics and shownotes


Forum discussion about evil superheroes -

Featured comic:
Journey Through the Star Sea -

Featured music:
Journey Through the Star Sea -, by Scribbloid, rated T.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Tantz Aerine -
Pitface -
Ozoneocean -
Banes -

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Ozoneocean at 12:42AM, April 22, 2021

Hahaha, interesting take Corruption!

Corruption at 11:27PM, April 20, 2021

There is a genre called Evil Protagonist which covers most of this already. Openly evil characters are the main characters there, often fighting others who may be worse. Now, there is one idea I like, (not from that genre): someone who admits to themself that they are evil, greedy, selfish, and doesn't care about others working as a superhero simply to have a super powerer group he can call on against other evil supers, and who won't turn on them. They protect the world, not to save others, but to save themselves. They fight supervillians who would take over as they don't want to have to serve others. And all the time they are being praised and rewarded by the people for helping to off their potential rivals. They don't turn on the heroes as there is no reason to kill their battlefodder themselves.

Ozoneocean at 8:10PM, April 20, 2021

@meemjar, yeah, superheroes with a more realistic persona are fine and dandy :)

Ozoneocean at 8:09PM, April 20, 2021

@M0rgan yeah, that's part of it, but when it has major cinematic outings like this is automatically gets a big fan following. It's a shame a lot of writers are too moronic to understand that heroes (good heroes) are intrinsically far more complex and interesting than any villain because for a person to STAY heroic with that amount of power and responsibility is impossibly hard. Evil villains are not intrinsically complicated or that interesting really, writers only MAKE them that way because of their own bias, preferences and poor understanding of motivation and logic. To have a "Good guy" who ONLY does things because they're right and has no conflicts or problems is cartoonish and bad writing, you're basically in spoof territory there... The Tick sort of thing, and he's interesting in his OWN right because you wonder WHY he's that way.

MOrgan at 2:47AM, April 20, 2021

Are evil superheroes popular amongst the general public, or just amongst the current crop of comic writers? I think it's the latter. There was a podcast in the last year or two where a bunch of women writers for Marvel were talking about how they empathized with the villains and their goals and then the boring heroes show up and punch the poor villains in the face. So it's hardly a surprise when they write a villain and call him or her a "hero".

meemjar at 2:35AM, April 20, 2021

Ruthless Superheroes are one thing. In his earliest incarnation Batman wasn't afraid to kill when push came to shove. And Superman, though not a bully towards the law abiding citizens was not above harassing criminals and roughing them up in a humiliating way. The early versions of the heroes we take for granted weren't evil but they were more interesting when they had mean streaks in them.

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