Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Animal-Master, On Purpose

Drab little peons, staggering mindlessly to your next task, like mechanical drones! Oh, sorry; ahem, I had a wad of villainly caught in my throat.

Ah, that's better. Still the point remains valid: a life without purpose is a life without meaning. But who knows that better than villains? Such as "the Animal-Master", a criminal lion-tamer whom Aquaman unknowingly strands on a desert island during his getaway...

"I must live ... to revenge myself on Aquaman! ... How long must I suffer from thirst, hunger, and the burning sun? B-but I must hang on so that I can have vengeance! I must destroy Aquaman for what he did to me! I-I made it! You hear me Aquaman? I made it! I-I don't know how or when...but I'll g-get my revenge! You'll pay for ruining my plans!"
The Animal-Master, "Aquaman Duels the Animal-Master", Adventure 261, June 1959

Regular saps find staying alive enough of a reason to stay alive (certainly when we're stranded on desert islands). The Animal-Master finds a greater purpose.

Escaping from the island? No, he stays there a whole year, although when he finally throw out a message in a bottle he's rescued in a week (Aquaman's fish buds look for stuff like that).

Opening a moneymaking wildlife preserve? No, even though he's found and could therefore claim ownership of an island where leopards, lions, elephants, water buffalo, and (since this is DC) gorillas live.

Overcoming, through steady practice, what is obviously a severe stuttering problem? N-no!


As you might have guessed, that didn't work out. So what do you think the Animal-Master says as (I kid you not) a school of flying-fish carry him off to prison in a fishing net?

"I-I'll get you for this, Aquaman! Some day, after I finish my prison sentence, I'll have my revenge!"

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