Friday, August 22, 2008

The Foes of the Shield

Sadly, the Shield doesn't have much in the way of named villains or supercriminals. He mostly fights nameless evil spies from two fictionations, Stokia and Nordica. Oh, look, here he is ethnic-profiling two Stokian spies ...

"Good gravy, the O'Dares are hijacking the plane!"

Hmm. Two tough looking, nearly identical guys with receding hairlines, in intimate but animated, handwaving conversation, wearing brightly colored outfits, while traveling together on an airplane in adjoining seats. See, I would just assume they were gay, not Stokian, proving the Shield is cleverer than I. Unless, of course, these are gay Stokians, or perhaps Stokia is a gay country entirely. You know: "I'll Stokia, if you'll Stoki-me, too."

The Stokians have a real way with words, and are experts in the Bee Ay Bay code:

Nice outfit, sister Stokey; International Male convinced you that would work, huh?

As I say, the Stokians have a way with words, but it doesn't always make for the best Smack Talk (for most Stokians that means saying, "I'm going to give you SUCH a slap!"). After all, I'm hooked on the hi-octane villain talk comics are known for. I'm used to villains who say things like:
Compare to those espresso shots of villainspeak, this is pretty weak tea:

"Oh, and Lincoln's dead, too! So there!"

Worst part is, this sort of taunting just lowers the level of intellectual discourse between hero and villains, diluting the force of their use as metaphors for conflicting concepts of societal self-organization.

See? I told ya.

Neither are villains impressive when they gather like grade-schoolers in their Garanimals and play at having "big adventures".

"Then we'll make a snow fort and throw snowballs at passing girls!"

Still, he does have one really cool set of enemies...
the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces.


Guys' Guy said...

If Stokia is gay country...bring on the Stokians...well I would hope they were a little better looking than these two tough looking ones.

George S. said...

awesome look into the history of the Shield. The Stokians are now my most favorite villains. Seriously, "Americans are all dumb."? Genius.

Which golden age hero or villain will you be looking into next?

Scipio said...

Oh, I'm not done with the Shield yet, George. Nor with the Stokians.

Guys' Guy said...


Anonymous said...

What's amazing, in the first panel you show, is how much the Shield (in his civilian identity) looks just like the Stokians.

I'm afraid the racial profiling of two muscular red-headed guys by a muscular red-headed guy is giving me a splitting case of cognitive dissonance.

Anonymous said...

"Now who's dumb?" "Schwein!"

Somehow I like it better if I interpret that panel as a simple discussion about the animal kingdom. "Now which animals did you say were dumb again?" "Schwein!"

SallyP said...

Yeah, the level of taunting is pretty low. No one is even refering to themselves in the third person!

And why do all the Stokians look as though they just pilfered a golf pro shop? You don't see British spies looking like that. They're so natty.

However, the line about the O'Dare's hijacking the plane DID make me spit my tea.