For everything else, there is Mastercard – Chap. 5, Act 1, Strip 21

And the score is evened. It just couldn’t last, I guess. After being uncommonly clever in the last episode, this time around Dr. Dutchman Fu is back to acting like a stereotypical, moronic villain: trying to kill his enemies in a needlessly complicated and time-consuming way, giving them enough of an opening to escape. Especially because he didn’t take into account that Snuka can open absolutely any lock with a credit card, due to scriptwriters not knowing how that supposed to work in the first place.

But it could not have been any other way with a villain called Dr. Fu. Fu Manchu, after all, was kinda the granddaddy of overly convoluted assassination plots, and many of the methods employed by later villains in that regard originate, directly or indirectly, with him. In his (or his author’s) defence, he actually did give something of an explanation for it, at one point: he stated that he did it for added psychological impact. His murders were politically motivated, back then at the start of his career, and he claimed by making them mysterious and bizarre, it would intimidate his political opponents all the more. Of course that stopped making sense later – but he still carried on in the same way, as did hundreds of other fictional villains that followed in his footsteps without even any token explanation.

More on Thursday.

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