Saturday, March 30, 2013


Comic Art


Oftentimes, it seems like comics are at their best when they are archetypal, even primitive. Certainly villains are at their best when they when they play on fears from the deepest regions of our minds. The Joker, for example, plays on the near universal fear of a clown gone bad. Another such near universal fear is our toys. Remember the scene in the movie "Poltergeist" where the young man's toys attacked him? We all remember laying in bed in the dark or near dark and seeing shadows or skewed images of something that only a few minutes before had been a source of delight and being absolutely certain that it was going to kill us. It is on these fears that the villain Toyman attempts to play.
The problem with Toyman is that he has seen so many incarnations, reimaginings and reinventions that he is a minor player - never taken truly seriously. That is a crying shame as far as I am concerned - he is the stuff of near legendary fear if done properly. For one thing there is the fact that he has primarily been a foil for Superman. Supes is a creature of the light and for this kind of villain to work he has to be in the dark. When things get dark, Supes calls Batman.

Efforts to move the character over to Bats have been unsuccessful because there he is just another youth-fear-crazy in the giant pile of youth-fear-crazies. Toyman is one that they need to simply let go of the efforts at continuity and try all over again.

I'm thinking he needs to show up against the magic types - Ragman or somebody like that. He does not need to be crazy, just hideously dark. Maybe that is it, rather than building sinister toys, he enchants existing one. The traditional heroes would be powerless against such magics - they'd have to call out one of the "Z's" or Doc Fate or the Phantom Stranger. - or best of all The Spectre.

Think about the Stay-puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters - only not funny. OH, and would not this be delish - he could enchant superhero action figure to take on the superheros! The cover art alone would sell a whole bunch of comics. Probably should not write this idea down here - want to get paid for it. NAH - never happen.

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