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On the subject of Onomatopoeia

Greetings everyone and welcome back to Comical-Musings.  Sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile, but I’ve been in Idaho and unable to read or comment upon what was read.  I had also gotten in to reading Batman: Streets of Gotham and due to it’s somewhat erratic nature and long story arcs with plot lines that go through multiple arcs, it was difficult to review for you as I was not sure where to begin and end.  So, while entertaining to me, it did not provide easy access for you.  I also just read Batman: The Widening Gyre Vol. 1 and found it to be riveting.  Problem being that what is riveting about it is the secret end and then thinking back on all you have read with that in your knowledge.  So, there goes that review too.  So where else will I get a good idea to write about?

Pastor Kevin Burgess is the pastor at my church and, in his sermon yesterday, introduced a concept that made me think a great deal.  He brought up how de-sensitized we all are to feeling anything at all.  His position was that we need to be shocked to feel anything.  I was taken aback by such an accusation, but then he proved his point with examples from the media.  Profane comedy, ultra-violent action, and steamy dramas dominate box offices and television screens.  This makes people like Zach Snyder, Tarantino, and Kevin Smith widely famous.  Kevin Smith is a point of interest because he writes comics too.

Kevin Smith has written many different comics across the wide spectrum of publishers.  He wrote Green Arrow: Sounds of Violence, Batman: Cacophony, and Green Arrow: Shiver for D.C. Comics and Daredevil: Guardian Devil, Spiderman/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do, and others for Marvel Comics.  All of these comics have a somewhat adult edge to them.  Grown up jokes are made that I, as a married person on my way to thirty, understand and can chuckle at or disregard if too inappropriate.  Relationships and dialogue between characters also seems to be more realistic.  Not so much as to drop F-Bombs and force the issues he writes to be put on top shelfs at comic stores, but they do go there from time to time.  Especially in the realm of violence.  In a Kevin Smith created comic, it is not unusual to see a villain chop somebody up or someone throw up violently after being kicked.  This is obviously not great imagery to pour into our brains, but the way it’s presented makes the comic feel more real.  It makes you develop real concern for characters and almost a more honest view of these personalities.  Truthfully, it doesn’t come across as superfluous.  I know that what happens in the comic is intense, but that intensity is compelling.  Compelling is a good word to describe Onomatopoeia.


Onomatopoeia is a character created by Smith himself.  He wears a simple costume with a black duster, black gloves, black boots, and a full-head black mask with a blue target emblazoned on it.  He carries a pistol or two and a large knife.  He has an odd tick in the fact that he says the sounds that he hears.  He has an almost third person view of the comic itself, saying the sound effects that are written on the page and due to this has been compared to Deadpool (which is hilarious, because he is a silent character and Deadpool will not shut up).  So if Onomatopoeia were to fight someone he would casually say “bang, bang, bang,” as he shot at them or if he breaks a bone, he might say “crack.”  This gives him a very creepy vibe.  As he operates in silence and then only utters a sound casually as terrible things happen.  Often he will utter “sssssllllllliiiiiittttt” as he cuts someone’s throat.  Graphic, but the character’s weird personality makes it interesting.  This character is greatness and he is as mysterious and intriguing as his unknown motivation for killing non-powered, costumed vigilantes.  He gets shot by Green Arrow 6 times and just walks away, so he must be impervious to pain.  They go to extra lengths to up his creepiness in Cacophony, when you find out his secret alter ego.  Just an incredibly well written character that highlights what I’m looking for in a villain.

They say that it’s always a good idea to play to your audience when you make a scary movie.  People create and release movies that contain secret undertones that highlight the over-arching fears in the culture.  When studios re-released War of the Worlds, they said that it was incredibly successful due to the fact that alien invasion was more palpable when people were already feeling like outside forces now had access to their safety.  I think that that is the reason that I love Onomatopoeia.  He is indiscriminate while he accomplishes his goals.  He will shoot and maim, anyone he needs to, on his path to getting the cape that he is trying to kill.  If he is injured, no matter the injury, he is dauntless to strive on towards the death of his enemy.  This heartless, fearless, and impervious nature terrifies me.  When I have nightmares, the villains in them are often similar.  They are cold, faceless, and unaffected by even my best efforts to stop them.  It’s like he was created from my fears, but that is also why I can’t look away.  Perhaps it is this, that captivates me.

Whether it is the shock value of his deeds or a sense of my own personal fears, I love this villain.  I eat up the story lines and almost find a sick sense of humor in how he is written.  Maybe it’s a big mixture of all of it, but I’m hooked.  I guess that I shouldn’t feel too bad considering IGN’s Daniel Crown called him “one of the coolest new villains of the decade.”  Once, when I was a child, Brian Jacques (The writer of the Redwall series) told me that “to have a REALLY good story you need to have a gallant hero and your baddies have to be REAL BADDIES !”  I guess that his words ring true across mediums as Onomatopoeia may be one of the worst/best of them all.

~ Scott Deaux ~   

About Scott Deaux

Favorite Comics: Lazarus, Essex County, Chew, Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, Age of Apocalypse stuff, The Nightly News, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Pax Romana, Avengers, NEXTWAVE: Agents Of Hate, Sweet Tooth, We3, others... Favorite Quote(s): "Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world." - Warren Ellis "People who hold signs go hold many other things" - Eddie Pepitone

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  1. I’m laughing, because even though I am not a big comic book fan, per se, your description of Onomatopoeia has intrigued me! First of all, who names a villain after a form of speech? It seems like comic book villains (even the heroes) are usually named after their stand-out skill. Oh wait…his stand-out skill is to speak onomatopoeia as he kills. It’s morbidly, darkly hilarious.

  2. Yes! The way you first meet him is that a no-name superhero goes home and as he walks into his bathroom, he finds his significant other dead and handcuffed to the shower rod bleeding into the tub with Onomatopoeia sitting on the toilet with a butcher knife saying “drip, drip, drip.” It’s terrible, but a heck of a hook. There is even a scene where he is about to kill someone with an axe and Green Arrow fires an arrow into the base of the shaft, snapping off the head with a THWACK. Onomatopoeia looks at the broken stick in his hand and says “thwack?” Thanks so much for commenting Ellen! You are BLOG YODA.

  3. seriously you are def right about him and his awesomeness.

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