Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Kid is Evil

We're getting to the end of Willingham and Sturges' inaugural arc on Justice Society of America. And I think I've got a good idea of who the villain behind all the mayhem might be.

Now, I'm probably not the first person to come up with this theory. And really; it's a theory I should have come up with earlier. I mean, it's not a very good guess if I don't make it until I see the preview pages for the final issue of the arc. Still, this is the panel that got the rusty gears in my head moving:

Now, it should come as no surprise that I've suspected the All-American Kid all along. After all, he's not on any of the covers for future issues -- and everybody else is. But it wasn't until I saw the above panel of him engaging in mayhem -- with a smile on his face -- that the pieces fell together and I realized he wasn't just a pawn of a mastermind. In fact, I think he is the mastermind behind it all.

If you read enough of Bill Willingham's DC Universe stuff you start to realize that as a writer he has a definite modus operandi. One of Willingham's favorite tricks is to create new characters for stories and then use them again and again in later tales in different books. You can see it in the villains that have been thrown out in this story arc so far: a number of them (like Tapeworm and Blue Moon) are characters that Willingham created for his Robin run.

Now when I put that fact together with an image of a blond-haired kid in a mask with a sadistic grin on his face hitting somebody with a chair it clicked. I'd seen that sadistic grin before:

That, my friends, is Kid Karnevil. Created by Bill Willingham for his first story arc on Shadowpact, Karnevil is a boy so evil that rumors say he died, was sent to hell, and then got kicked out because he was too evil for hell.

Now, if you're not familiar with the character you may be asking how and why he would orchestrate a series of attacks designed to destroy the JSA. If you are familiar with the character then you probably don't feel the need for a "how" and also wouldn't be surprised if the why turned out to be "just because he can."

Oh, and as for why Karnevil (if really is the mystery villain) has decided to spare Stargirl... Scary version? He's got a crush on her.

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4 Comments:

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Jake said...

I agree that I think it's the All-American Kid. I think it's interesting that people in the DCU are more likely to consider mind control as a plausible excuse for someone than lying. I don't know if it's as simple as him having a crush on Stargirl though, as the preview from JSA All-Stars does indicate that people are still not attacking Stargirl.

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Oh, I don't think that's really the reason why she isn't getting attacked. I just think that would be the most hilarious reason of all.

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Heh. You are so good,it's scary.

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Well, not that good. Though was right about Karnevil it seems that he had nothing to do with the villains attacking -- that's a separate matter (which will probably be taken up in All-Stars) while the Kid's mission was to steal Obsidian for some mysterious figure (a storyline that will probably be taken up in the main JSA title).

I'm going to have to pick up both these titles now that they've done such a good job of pulling me in...

 

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