Z is for Zoidberg
With General Zod currently pursuing Superman on the silver screen, Ben Zipper ponders why so many sci-fi baddies have names that start with Z.
Well, this Z-initialed film buff says enough is enough. Stop vilifying villains whose only crime is in their name.
With the latest Superman schlmozzle upon our theatre doors, I'm wondering why the bad guys always come last.
It's not that I expect them to win. When I say 'last', I mean last in the alphabetical sense. Superman's nemesis, General Zod, travels from a planet many lightyears away. But drop him in an English-speaking school and he'd be at the arse-end of the roll-call.
Coincidence? I think not.
I've got proof. In a study I just made up, 29% of cinema's baddies have names that start with the letter Z. With bug-eyed aliens, it's a whopping 54%.
But don't take my word for it. When the creators of The Simpsons devised characters for their next sitcom, Fururama, they wanted a Jewish alien figure. So they took the proto-typical elements of each type and concatenated 'Zoid' with 'Berg'. There's that Z.
I don't point the finger at the screenwriters though. Nor do I blame Hollywood's directors for this lexicographic discrimination.
We all know that the real power-brokers – the guys who swing the money bags – are the producers.
And here's the big plot twist. Those producers are a bunch of self-hating Zeds. Hollywood's history books are filled with more Z-named producers than the general population would suggest. Think:
As a Z-initialed film buff, I say enough is enough. This perverse discrimination must end. Stop vilifying villains whose only crime is in their name.
But instead of just bemoaning the situation from the back of both the cinema and the alphabet, I've taken action. I've written my own film script. Move over Marvel. Drop dead DC. Your caped heroes are old-school.
I introduce to you … Zipper-Man! And no, the 'Zipper' isn't some allegorical allusion to his speediness, or a nod to his oddly-named home planet. Oh no, too derivative.
My Zipper-Man has one amazing super-power – an ability to control zippers with his mind. And his nemesis: none other than Anorak ious, an evil manipulator of jackets and other cold weather wear. Watch them battle over the fate of humanity as a nuclear winter causes an extreme under-supply in winter coats.
So look out for the billboards. Watch out for the trailers. 'The Amazing Zipper-Man' is coming to a cinema near you. And this time, we'll be top of the list.
Subscribe for free here
MORE FROM SUPERS