Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Rocky Grimes Week #2: IT'S LIKE A SYMBOL!

We last left the newly de-amnesiafied Rocky Grimes with several possible life-paths to choose from: go straight, turn his old gangmembers in, become a fitness guru, or sue the city.
This being the Golden Age, he naturally chooses a different, less sensible path; a path of revenge; a path paved…


WITH STONES!



Well, yes, that's true, Rocky, but--

Okay, while I'll admit that's an odd coincidence, it's not--


Rocky, now you're just ranting--


That has nothing to do with anything, Rocky.




Holy CRAP.  Dude's gone COMPLETELY INSANE in two panels and is talking to a transquartomuralistic rock.


We need a term of art for moments like these, where a villain adopts his idiosyncrazy.  That moment where the criminal finally looks up from his life and sees the gears of the mechanisms of irony in which he is enmeshed and decides not to escape the mechanism but to use it to his advantage, to turn it against his enemies.   

When the Joker looked at himself in the mirror for the first time and realized the joke was on him—and that he needed to share the joke with others.  



When Jervis Tetch decides “never” to let Alice alone and becomes the Mad Hatter. 



When Prof. Crane decides to master fear by frightening others.  



When Two-Face scars the coin that scarred him and adopts it as his regulator.  



When Joe Coyne finally snaps and silently shouts out, “PENNIES WILL BE MY CRIME SYMBOL!”


Wow. How sad is it that even when you line him up against the Joker, the Mad Hatter, the Scarecrow, and Two-Face, it's Joe who looks like The Crazy One?


It’s a sort of peripeteian epiphany of evil.  Not only do you perceive and accept the horrible fate that has befallen you, but, rather than be crushed by its cruelty, you resolve to reverse it and use it against others.
It’s a very special event, this Peripeteian Epiphany of Evil.  It may happen in other forms in literature, but the comic book is its native land.  Although it’s not necessarily confined to evil-doers (“Crime terrified me, so I shall become a bat and terrify crime!”), but it is with villains that it takes its most dramatic form, because they can abandon all reason in the process.
And Rocky Grimes certainly abandons all reason in the process!  After his peripeteian ephiphany of evil, Rocky Grimes decides to “stone” his enemies to death in creative and personalized ways. 

Which you'll discover tomorrow.

7 comments:

Bryan L said...

Bonus points to the Scarecrow for working the Gotham City runway lighting. Nice silhouette.

Scipio said...

I think he hires an undergrad to crawl around in front of him with a flashlight.

Jeff R. said...

Most of them are faking it, though, to avoid the truth that their villainous career was already long-established through their Nominative Destiny.

I mean, Roy G. Bivolo probably has a story about how a prism and a rainbow ruined his career as a petty thief and it was that that caused him to become the Rainbow Raider, but everyone has to know he's just fooling himself.

SallyP said...

Well...they ARE a cowardly and superstitious lot!

Scipio said...

Sally's point is a strong one.

These "moments" are an unscientific mind's attempt to impose meaning on the vicissitudes of life, to see patterns where there is only coincidence and chaos.

Bryan L said...

Wait. So you're saying instead of a peripeteian epiphany of evil, it's an apophenic epiphany of evil?

No, that's not right. It would be a peripeteian apophany of evil, wouldn't it?

Damn those Greeks and their twisty, slippery words. Set me straight, Scipio.

TotalToyz said...

We need a term of art for moments like these, where a villain adopts his idiosyncrazy. That moment where the criminal finally looks up from his life and sees the gears of the mechanisms of irony in which he is enmeshed and decides not to escape the mechanism but to use it to his advantage, to turn it against his enemies.

I take medication to avoid moments like that.