Episode 527 - Evil superheroes unneeded

Apr 19, 2021

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.

Topics and Show Notes

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

Links

Forum discussion about evil superheroes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178671/

Featured comic:
Journey Through the Star Sea - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/apr/13/featured-comic-journey-through-the-star-sea/

Featured music:
Journey Through the Star Sea - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Journey_through_the_star_sea/, by Scribbloid, rated T.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Pitface - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/

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Episode 475 - Tropeagedden! overuse of fashionable tropes...

Apr 20, 2020

4 likes, 3 comments

Certain tropes or stylistic ways of telling a story can get really, really popular and trendy very quickly and it seems like they're everywhere! Suddenly many story are all told with the same sort of stylistic flourishes. The first few times it's done that way it's clever and meaningful but after that people just use the same thing without understanding it properly and consequently usually do a really crappy job!

Episode 448 - King of franchises: Star Wars!

Oct 14, 2019

5 likes, 1 comment

Continuing on our focus on movie franchises for the month of October, THIS time we focus on the king of them all: STAR WARS! This was a genre defining series, not only for movies but for space opera, “SciFi”, and science fantasy on all media! The original trilogy was quite a milestone. Predictably further instalments weren't quite as well received but it still remains popular even so! Currently it's having a resurgence in popularity once more.

Episode 349 - Bad Gods

Nov 20, 2017

3 likes, 4 comments

This is the Quackcast where I get things wrong! Haha, I DO love to imagine that I know everything but fortunately Tantz and Pit are there to correct me! For this Quackcast I was thinking about the way we assign villains when there's a religious theme or anything influenced by mythology really. You know the way Hel in Thor Ragnarok and Hades in the Disney movie Hercules are cast as villains just because they're in charge of death, even though in the mythology they're not supposed to be bad guys at all. Perhaps it's our modern Christian influenced culture that makes us wrongly associate death with the bad guys…? Our topic meanders a little but it's mainly about how our interpretation of mythology and legend in modern pop-culture is influenced by our modern ways of thinking, which causes things to be quite drastically changed. This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to Puppets and strings - a sepulchral, hollow, sombre theme, yet also grand and portentous! Stirring, melancholic, epic.

Episode 307 - The jerks

Jan 23, 2017

3 likes, 0 comments

Jerky, jerk, jerks! Let's talk about this type of character… This topic is based on Banes' newspost from Thursday, he based it on characters like Reggie from the Archie comics. Jerks can be pretty good characters in their own right. They can be villains, heroes, antagonists or protagonists, they can even be unintentional jerks like Scrappy do from Scooby Do, Alf from Alf, or Jar Jar Binks from that horrible movie he was in. My favourite jerks are Flashman from the Flashman novels by George MacDonald (you should read them!), Blackadder (particularly the second season), and Zaphod Beeblebrox who I'm cosplaying in the cover pic. Who are your fave and least fave jerks? Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Epic of Blitzov. It's Riff based hard rock, driving beat, heavy, distorted guitars layered over and over with a thunderous yet lyrical lead floating over the top. Orange and black sound.

Episode 304 - eeeeeevil!

Jan 2, 2017

5 likes, 1 comment

What defines evil in fiction? I say the simplest one is bad guys are selfish, good guys are selfless. That is massively over simplistic but it's a good easy template for basic hero's and villains. Basic ones I was just doing a quick thought experiment to work out an easy way to define “good” and “evil” characters in fiction. The more selfless someone is the more “good” they are: the more they think of others, want to help people, put the needs of the masses first, the more willing they are to reach across to their enemies etc. The more selfish a person is the more “evil” they are: if they don't consider the needs or feelings of others, help out their own small group and let others suffer, help themselves first. Of course there are many other more advanced aspects, especially if you consider the relative nature of these things: the idea that everyone thinks they're the good guy from their own perspective, being cruel to be kind, being too authoritarian and heavy handed in the use of power, NOT using power when you should, helping in a way that only SEEMS destructive and selfish, trying to help but causing destruction and chaos in the process, which brings us to the dreaded “unintended consequences”. BUT, the selfless/selfish equation is a nice simple starting point to build from. In the Quackcast we discuss these aspects as well as more advanced notions about what makes a good evil character, what makes a bad one, humanising evil, and weakening you evil character by humanising them too much. Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Cull: Dark, haunting, and compelling- Eastern European Jewish, country and rock, reminds me of Tracy Bonham’s later work.

Episode 268 - the antagonist-cast

Apr 25, 2016

6 likes, 5 comments

On the Quackcast we've talked about villains plenty of times before. This time it's very different though… I wanted people to talk about their OWN villains, to promote their comic as if the antagonist was the main character, to give their antagonists the time in the sun that they so desperately CRAVE! And well it sort of worked out, not as well as I hoped but it was a good idea. We have many good contributors and they're read out by Pitface, Banes and myself. I must apologise for the audio quality though- very sorry about that, Skype kept on cutting out. Gunwallace gave us a theme to Cataclysm, a comic that I keep on trying to feature over and over again for some mysterious reason XD It's a very jaunty and modern, a good positive take on the Scifi.

Episode 167 - Anatomy of a Villain

May 19, 2014

5 likes, 7 comments

Today we talk about villians! Kawaiidaigakusei made a newspost about villains that generated quite a bit of interest so Banes and I had her on to chat about them and read out some of the things our community members had to say. Kawaii can introduce the topic in her own words: I used to take the side of the cheerful, positive, and heroic protagonist in films and comics when I was much younger. As I got older, I wised up to the idea that being a protagonist is relative to biases of the storyteller. Now I rewatch those same films with a renewed perspective of what constitutes “good” and “bad”. Lately, I have been finding that more and more, I am a fan of villains. I believe the reason we are seasoned to differentiate heroes and villains at a young age is to train our super-ego about rules and societal expectations. It teaches every Goffus that they should aspire to be more like Gallant. But living a hero's lifestyle by-the-book can be as boring as vanilla. For the record, I love vanilla, it is GOOD, but it does not make it any less boring. Emulating the characteristics of a supervillain feeds our id. It just feels good to break the rules. Give villains a chance. Afterall, without a villain, there would be no need for a hero.


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