Thursday, 17 January 2013

A New Continuing Villain?

Alan Grant creates a conventional villain for his Smallville novel, Dragon. Ray Dansk, the last of the Smallville Dragons biker gang, imprisoned for manslaughter but now released, returns to Smallville and hides in the gang's old cave where the pervasive meteor radiation transforms him into a murderous man-sized lizard that attacks those who were witnesses at his trial.

We last see Dansk back in human form, unconscious and handcuffed and are not told what happens to him after that. He has fulfilled his role in the story: committed murders; kidnapped the heroine; fought the hero; been defeated. Now he is disposable. The conventional treatment of villains in this kind of fiction is to send them back to prison - unless the death penalty is applicable? Maybe the fact that he acted under the influence of the meteor radiation will be taken into account? His metamorphosis is sufficient evidence.

What Alan Grant has also created here is a conventional continuing villain. Dansk succeeded in killing only two of the three witnesses and made new enemies in the process. This could be the starting point of a later story: Dansk comes back, is re-transformed, goes after Clark Kent - The Dragon Returns; The Return Of The Dragon etc. I do not expect either Alan Grant or any other author to pick up this thread but it is undeniably present as one of the many potential stories in the Superman canon.

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