by Del Harvey
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The Sealab 2021 boys, Matt Thompson and Adam Reed, are back with a darkly cynical view of what it means to be a superhero with their new Cartoon Network animated series, Frisky Dingo. The title means little, except for being a toss-off line by the never-charmingly evil Killface, a sort of skeleton on steroids who is bent on destroying the world. In his own time. By erecting a super rocket that will propel the Earth into the Sun.
Which gives uber-superhero Awesome-X time to return to form and do battle with the Skeletor-like Killface. But first, he must convince his Alfred-like assistant that he really doesn’t need to give up the superhero biz, even though he’s crushed every villain on the planet. Shaped in the Bruce Wayne/Batman mold, Awesome-X, or Xander Crews to his business partners, is all superficial beauty and no substance. In the first episode, he attempts to create a new supervillain to do battle with from one of his accountants. He has one of his biolabs attach giant lobster claws where the man’s forearms and hands should be. The accountant goes along with it because it seems cool. But then he keels over and dies after the assistant points out they botched the job. Oh, well. Awesome-X can always find some other supervillain.
When Awesome-X finally discovers Killface, he is somewhat ambivalent about killing him since stamping out his plot fully might crush toy sales of his billions of new Awesome-X dolla
But Killface really is the most evil villain of all time, even though he is a little short on funding these days and he is distracted by his rebellious and namby-pamby effeminate son, plus his enthusiasm for the plan seems to be waning just a bit.
Tongue firmly planted in cheek, each week for 15 minutes at a time, these two will face off in an attempt to overcome that most vile of evils, ennui, and finally put a stop to one—or the other—and then move on with their own equally silly plans.
Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a screenwriter and filmmaker, and a film critic living in Chicago.
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