Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blogathon 31: Dreaming Us Part Three

[Continuing my discussion of Omega the Unknown.]

If 'Omega the Unknown' is the selfless hero, the Unparalleled Mink is the selfish hero. Self-centred, corrupt, more concerned about public image than getting the job done, and oddly focused on finding things to put in the labyrynth he had built in his headquarters. We've seen heroes in it for the fame and fortune before, but none have ever seemed quite so skeevy, quite so talented at making themselves look good despite being bad at it. His banter during fights is laughable with bon mots like "Note to self: the harder they fall, etcetera, full stop." He travels from mission to mission in a van with a support crew that seems to focus mostly on making sure there's media present to see the Mink in action. The first time we see him, he sticks Alex's robot mom's head on a car engine, hoping to use the battery to make it work and simply fries it. He begins dating the nurse who's taken in Alex so he can keep a closer eye on him. Issue five has him take Alex to a baseball game in an attempt to talk to him and he's such a jerk. Total jerk. Just a person who talks shit. Everything that comes out of his mouth is shit.

So, he's a pretty fun character.

But, he's not entirely selfish. He loses his hand to the robots (a hand that then grows big enough to grow legs and command the robots) and, in the end, dies to subdue it. That veering between heroics and selfishness make the character interesting. He has the desire to help people. There are a lot easier ways to make money and get fame than becoming a superhero. That underlying nobility is there somewhere; it's just buried under shit. Piles and piles of shit. He's a douchebag bully that's grown up to become a bully for justice and money. His best friend is a city councilman that works with him to make sure they both get paid and laid.

His role in the book, besides entertainment, is to represent the capitalist side of society. This is partly a war between mass produced products and homemade, locally owned products. There's a discussion about brands in one issue that's key. The robots' nanovirus is spread through a burger chain, while it's food carts that spread the antedote with a food truck/minister leading the way with 'Omega' at his side. It's greed that allows the robots to spread so easily. They get Fonzie (the Mink's best friend) through a gold chain and the Mink through a statue/action figure of himself (he cuts off his hand to prevent the spread). The Mink is the hero that enables the takeover in a way. His mentality is the disease -- greed that makes everyone the same. All of his henchmen dress like him, all submerging their identities to the Mink. He's not dissimilar from the robots.

But, he redeems himself in the end. He actually goes out a hero.

In 30 minutes, I'll continue my discussion of Omega the Unknown.

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Hero Initiative! (Details in this post.) After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]