The Nature of Evil
It's Halloween. Let's talk about something scary. And what's scarier than pure, undiluted evil?
See 52: Week 25. Wherein we are reintroduced to Bruno Mannheim, and once again reminded why Darkseid is the DCU's true evil incarnate.
Confused? You may very well be. Because if you've been reading DC Comics much in the past decade you might wonder why I just called that guy who always got beat up by Superman "true evil incarnate." But he was that, and is again, because the people in charge now know the best way to use Darkseid.
Namely, not use him at all.
Evil is what hides in the shadows. It is the thing that lurks behind you, and in the darkest corner of your soul. And it's the thing that starkly stares you in the face every day of your life.
We see Bruno Mannheim -- who is but a man -- consume human flesh and we are revolted. We seem him smash a man's skull to bits and we are terrified. We are horrified and we are fascinated. And we know that that is evil in its purest form.
And yet, as 52 tells us, Bruno Mannheim was not always this way:
"Five years ago Bruno had an experience, a close encounter with forces from beyond human comprehension. A dark angel of living granite placed its stinking, smoking hand against his chest and held it there as it whispered to him the sickening secrets of the dark side. Held it there until the heart within was blackened and shriveled beyond repair."
And so, by having Darkseid not be seen or named -- by only knowing what he's done -- we see the full extent of his evil. We watch in mute horror as Bruno Mannheim commits the most terrifying atrocities imaginable.
But even as we watch this Apostle of the Dark Side we know that there's something worse out there. Something darker and more terrible that we can possibly comprehend.
And that's evil.