Month: August 2016

Fantasy’s Reality Check: Carnival Villains

glorieta-atocha-madrid_1920s carnival

The carnival is all about thrilling the senses. Tastes, sounds, and sights wash over you as you walk down the lanes. Right now you’re probably remembering what that soggy fried Snickers tasted like, what that carny called to make you drop $10 on a stuffed animal, and how gaudy but intriguing and exciting everything looked.

All those thrills are a facade, albeit one we happily accept. Hey, it’s fun! We can rationalize spending big on “cheap” thrills and eating garbage. It’s the fair. It’s the carnival. It only comes once a year. It’s all fluff, but we know it, so we’re willing to go along for the ride.

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Humbug! Normal isn’t normal in the X Files

Enigma fish Humbug X Files image

Imagine going through your whole life looking like him!

Depending on the context and inflection, that statement can mean two very different things. At its heart is a question: What is normal? In the X Files episode Humbug (S2:E20), Mulder and Scully find themselves on the other side of normal.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes: What’s your desire?

Mr Dark Something Wicked This Way Comes movie poster

What’s your deepest desire? Would you trade your soul for it?

When Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show rolls into town at 3 am, its mysterious leader Mr. Dark will force the locals to answer. Two 13 year olds named Will and Jim learn that getting what you want has a cost when…Something Wicked This Way Comes.

What can this tale of darkness, danger, and despair show us about succeeding in life? Let’s take a walk through the carnival and see.

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Villain Matrix Stats: Puck – Gargoyles

puck villain matrix stats

Shakespeare called Puck “that merry wanderer of the night,” but this fae is far more than that. Though the”shrewd and knavish sprite” was court jester for Lord Oberon, lord of the fae, Puck also acted as Oberon’s servant in the mortal world outside Avalon. Puck is among the most powerful and versatile of the Children of Oberon.

When Oberon exiled the fae from Avalon in order to teach them humility, Puck passed the time by interacting with the humans. But he didn’t become truly interested in them until he saw Queen Titania, Oberon’s wife, marry scientist and businessman Halcyon Renard. What was so fascinating about these mortals? He had to know. So he had the brilliant idea to play a part he’d never played before: the straight man. He chose a character nearly the exact opposite of his personality: Preston Vogel. Renard’s personal assistant and “the most wooden man on the face of the planet.” The new character? Owen Burnett.

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Freakshow: Changing Killer Croc and Ourselves

With August comes summer swelter and…the carnival! Yes, scruffy carnies preparing food-like products, assembling death-trap rides, and running rigged games. Good times. Then there are the side shows with their giant rats and bearded ladies. And those are just the employees! In honor of this poor-man’s amusement park, we’re looking and villains and antagonists who are associated with the carnival. I might take liberties with the association, but ‘s all good, man.

Moving from the refined lord of strategy and crime Ra’s Al Ghul, we meet Killer Croc. Change is the spice of life, right? We’ll be focusing on Batman: The Animated Series, season 3 episode 10: Sideshow.

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