Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



It’s really a toss-up as to which interests me less, Super Heroes (SH) or Super Villains (SV). Superman and Lex Luthor. Batman and the Joker, all bore me senseless. It’s all juvenile twaddle, suitable for viewing only on a brain-dead day. (And yes, I very much do include The Dark Knight.) That’s why I value movies like The Incredibles, Despicable Me, and this one, which re-examine all the tropes of the comic book genre. I guess SVs are marginally more interesting and likeable, but I always wonder where their single-minded dedication to evilness comes from. Here, we get the back story of two infants fleeing from Krypton, or wherever, and their subsequent adventures. And within 15 minutes I hated the SH, Metro Man, so full of himself it’s a wonder his head doesn’t explode, and really liked the SV, Megamind, with his doomed devotion to Evil. Which is what the writers intended. You’ll like him, too, if you have ever suffered the humiliation of being chosen last, or near last, for any team sport. Then pretty soon Megamind kills Metro Man. Whoa! First time he’s ever won anything. He becomes the ruler of Metro City (which he pronounces Metrocity, to rhyme with atrocity) and embarks on his career of delicious evilness … which he soon finds pretty boring. There’s no fun in it, no challenge. So he creates his own SH to battle, only the SH turns into an SV. So this is the interesting tension in the story, with people switching back and forth from good to evil. Even Metro Man turns out not to be as unrelentingly good as he looked. Meanwhile, the citizens of Metrocity are as helpless as Japanese in the path of Godzilla, as always. These stories, SHs and giant monsters, are really God stories, aren’t they? We ordinary mortals quail helplessly as powerful forces battle it out above Metrocity/Tokyo.

Which led me to an interesting speculation, and maybe an idea for a movie, since SHs and SVs can switch sides. Say we’ve got a team of SHs, call them the Justice League of America, and a team of SVs, the Injustice League of America. The contract of one JLA member (say, Green Lantern), is about to expire and he will become a free agent. The owner of the JLA, Zeus, won’t meet his salary demands, so Green Lantern’s agent approaches the owner of the ILA, Satan. No, wait, someone even more Evil: the rotting zombie corpse of George Steinbrenner! George has bottomless pockets, just like he did when he was alive, so a complicated deal is worked out where Green Lantern (who has changed his name to The Deadly Ultraviolet Lightbulb) is traded for The Riddler (who tones himself down to become The Enhanced Interrogator), Cruella De Vil (who renames herself Peril Streep), and two minor demons to be named later. Well, could happen …