Animated Shorts - A [Super Evil] League of their Own

A [Super Evil] League of their Own

You have to admit, there’s something just intrinsically wrong about a piñata stuffed with runny, smelly, rotten cheese. In fact, one could accuse the perpetrators of being EEEEE-Vil.

At least that’s what the League of Super Evil, better known amongst their Canadian fans as the, what you to think of them.

Making their debut last Thursday, the League are composed of the diminutive Great Voltar (Scott McNeill), the exceedingly loose Doktor Frogg (Lee Toknar), the amazing bulk of Red Menace (Colin Murdock) and their “pan-dimensional hell-hound” Doomegeddon, who’s superpower appears to be the ability to eat anything. Like the series Ed, Edd & Eddy, they terrorize their suburban cul-de-sac, coming up with truly outrageous schemes to pry the neighborhood of its possessions and create general mayhem. The only problem is, even Ed “single D” has more brains in his noggin than all four of these maniacal misanthropes combined.

If anything, these comedic curs harkens back to one of the great forgotten projects of Ralph Bakshi, his Mighty Heroes. They are also about as effective in carrying out their nefarious schemes as DiaperMan, Cuckoo Man, Rope Man, Tornado Man and Strong Man were in stopping them. At the same time, one can feel that the series creator, Asaph “Ace” Fipke, has a most definite sense of affection for these, which is another thing Bakshi and he had in common.

If Fipke’s name brings up some shady memory of recognition, there’s some good reason for this. The man made his bones working for Vancouver's legendary lost studio, Mainframe. In those days he worked his way up on shows like Reboot, Beast Wars and Beast Machines. In 2002 he left Mainframe to form his own company, Nerd Corp, where they first caught everyone’s attention with the series Dragon Boosters. He then followed it up with the series Storm Hawks. The man is well noted for a truly wild imagination, even when doing more straight ahead action adventures. With League he unloads his highly gag and slapstick oriented sense of humor with all the force of a sawed-off 30-ought-6.

If the humor seems a tad outrageous, blame that on Fipke’s Canadian background. As another famous Canadian animator, John Kricfalusi, once explained it to me way back when, “You Americans watch TV. We Canadians watch American TV.”

What he implied by this is it takes a Canadian to realize just how absurd many of our stock writing formulas truly are, and then ring them for all they’re worth. With League, Fipke not only stands superhero conventions firmly on their heads, but also hangs them upside down by their boxers, with meat hooks. Yes, it’s truly broad and brutal humor. It’s also brilliant.

The series made its American debut on Monday, March 9. There will be 26 episodes in all. If you have any sense of animated fun, you’d better watch this show…or make sure there’s no piñata at your kid's next birthday party.

NEXT COLUMN: Gulliver’s Travels. Promise.

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