Comic book fans and literature enthusiasts alike will enjoy the newest direct-to-DVD documentary from DC Comics. Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics is a wonderful collection of interviews and commentaries from comic creators gracing the pages today as well as legends from the past. Narrated by Christopher (Dracula, The Lord of the Rings series) Lee, this film analyzes the backgrounds, origin stories, and modern day motivations of everyone's favorite killers, psychopaths, thieves, gods, and, well, whatever the Joker is.
Great explorations from current writers Geoff Johns and Scott Snyder take us into the minds of such villains as Black Adam (from Shazam!), Captain Cold and the Rogues (from The Flash), Sinestro and Atrocitus (from Green Lantern), and the Joker and the Riddler (from Batman). We also get an inside look at characters like Cheetah and the First Born (from Wonder Woman), Deathstroke and Trigon (from Teen Titans), Catwoman (from her own series as well as Batman), Solomon Grundy (from Earth 2), and countless others. Chats with comic book writers and artists like Len Wein, Jim Lee, Dan DiDio, Brian Azzarello, and numerous additional comics greats show unfamiliar audience members just how amazing the DC Universe truly is, and just how much mythology and dedication has gone into the last 75 years of defining the world's greatest superheroes through their quite literally thousands of villains. And this is all accomplished while simultaneously giving little hidden "Easter Egg" gems for lifelong DC fans.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the documentary is the fact that it manages to set up DC Entertainment as the leader of the "Big Two" comic companies, without ever so much as mentioning Marvel Comics, their greatest competitor, let alone resulting to bashing them. The two main reasons people love this company are their characters, yes, but also their class. They seem to be in a league of their own, yet never result to name-calling or asserting their dominance. They simply love what they do and it shows in both sales as well as the enduring nature of their universe. Marvel has great heroes and has received a warm welcome over the last decade or so at the box office, but something that this documentary shows new fans and reminds old fans about is the fact that eventually, Marvel will run out of complex and compelling villains to face their fantastic heroes. DC, on the other hand, has a plethora. As writer Marv Wolfman says, it's a general rule of thumb when writing a DC Comic that for every few classic villains you use, reinvent, and reintroduce, you must create a new one to add to the mythos. This has been happening for 75 years, and the company shows no signs of stopping any time soon.