Exit stage downward – Chap. 5, Act 4, Strip 77

And so ends the tale of Dr. Dutchman Fu, as well as the eponymous character. Or, rather, the eponymous character ends, and the tale is almost done.

In the end, even a villain doesn’t get unlimited continues, so with his third plan in tatters, all that’s left to do for Dr. Dutchman Fu is some desperate, last minute improvisation, and then trying to make his exit with some style. He probably knew he was done for when he saw that lake of molten lava, for that’s a setting so perfect for a climactic showdown, there’s hardly any other reason for it to exist, especially right next to a train depot/secret underground lair.

He should have checked for things like that beforehand – the secret to a long and destructive life as a villain is never ever positioning oneself in a situation that a self-respecting hero might deign suitable for a major showdown. Really, if your plans are ruined and you’re on the run from the heroes, don’t head for the clifftop, bottomless chasm, reactor room or anything else of that dramatic nature. Head for the female hygiene products aisle at the next Wallmart. No hero worth their salt would even think of permanently dispatching a villain in that kind of setting, fearing for their reputation – give them your best “You haven’t heard the last of me!” speech there, and they’re bound to let you exit stage right in peace, relishing the opportunity to dispatch you at some later date in a more appropriate setting. Alas, too late to give that idea to Dr. Dutchman Fu…

At least the good Dr. exited in some style, displaying his vileness to the last – even in falling, he took whatever little revenge he could on humanity (and Biff), by launching into that song. It might not be fatal, but it sure is painful – better than nothing.

As for Biff, I’ll reserve judgement as to whether that was an authentic case of an overly long reaction time, or a cynical attempt at badly covering up his unwillingness to save the villain. The first case would make him seem a bit duller than he usually is, and the second one a lot smarter. A bit of both, perhaps?

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