Jeffrey O. Gustafson
A fairly packed audience came to the world premier screening of Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics Thursday at NYCC. The documentary, which had been in production for some time and dovetails nicely with the recent Villains month stuff. The doc, sparsely narrated by Christopher Lee (!), covers the colorful history of DC supervillains. The documentary is primarily composed of talking head segments with many DC creators, including Marv Wolfman, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder and more. There is much philosophizing on the meaning and function of villains within stories, and their primary role as the antagonist of the hero.
Though featuring many clips from animation and movies, much of the doc refreshingly focuses on the character histories from the pages of the comics themselves. There is some silliness to Geoff Johns glowingly talking about his own stories, though. And there’s an odd coverage hole – quite a few voice actors are interviewed about the villains they portray, but sadly no insight from the definitive (living) Joker Mark Hamill.
I don’t see this film having any crossover appeal, sadly. DC fans, who already know most of the details in the film, may enjoy it. But the narrow focus of the film, just doesn’t sustain feature length. The documentary comes out from Warner Home Video on 10/25 and is currently available for download on X-Box Live for a limited time.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.