Out of the office notice – Chap. 5, Act 4, Strip 2

So that’s what happened!

I must say, I understand the Professor’s frustration. That was a really fine victory speech by him, with a nice balance of superiority and gravitas, with just a little bit of humor injected. Really shows that the Prof is a pro when it comes to dealing with villains. Giving that fine speech to an empty chair must rankle. I’m pretty sure the next time he makes sure Dr. Fu is actually present before starting his speech, even if such visible uncertainty slightly distracts from the intended effect. Goes to show you can always learn something new, even at that age – although he could pretty much have learned that lesson from the Inspector Gadget intro.

Dutchman Fu, for his part, also shows himself a real pro, here – or, at the very least, a much more capable villain than he appeared to be up to now. Fun fact: The trick with not being there is the #2 top method for escaping justice, right after having a good lawyer on retainer. And using decoys to distract the heroes from your real plan is also one of the methods that’s rated a level above the most basic level of villainy, so minor kudos to him for that. But the real clincher is the flair of using an answering machine to deliver his own little (presumptive) victory speech – that doesn’t only work well with the “not being there” trick, it also makes his inevitable claim that he saw everything coming a lot more plausible. A villain of his type (schemer/background pupeteer) will nearly always make that claim, no matter how obviously surprised they are by developments – but actually prerecording a message gives him mad bragging rights in that regard.

Although I’ll have to detract 3 points for using a tape recorder. Nostalgia gets you only so far.

More on Thursday.

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