Reviews Comments: A Bizarre and Fascinating Tale With a Sadly Underused Antagonist

A Bizarre and Fascinating Tale With a Sadly Underused Antagonist
Digger is a work from the brilliantly Crazy Awesome mind of Ursula Vernon, and is one of my favorite webcomics. It has brilliant writing and characters, and I would highly recommend it to everyone I know. However, I would quickly run over the word limit if I discussed its qualities, so I will instead display my only criticism. (This concerns the Big Bad, so SPOILER WARNING.)

Digger has a unique antagonist. It's a Sealed Evil In A Can that's very weak, so it cannot directly harm any of the characters. However, the true danger of it lies in its mind, not its body. It's a Manipulative Bastard with a Compelling Voice that managed to control the gods themselves at one point. This makes for an interesting setup; it literally cannot physically harm anyone (on its own, anyway), but is still one of the most terrifying villains ever created, because it can poison the hearts and minds of friends, and that is worse. However...we don't actually get to see this happen. It only really appears twice in the entire story, the first of which is in chapter ten (of twelve). Whenever it tries to use its Compelling Voice, the characters manage to shrug it off with Heroic Resolve and The Power Of Friendship. What would be much more interesting is if the Big Bad tormented Digger's group from the shadows for a long period of time, turning previous allies against her, all the while having Digger desperately trying to find out who's the puppetmaster. This would lend its eventual appearance even more power and significance than it already has. Unfortunately, we don't get to actually see this, and so its manipulation is more of an Informed Ability than anything. It's a pity that such an interesting idea for an antagonist had so little screen time to develop it, but Ursula does say she was writing by the seat of her pants when she laid out the initial plot, so it's understandable.

Despite this missed opportunity however, the story still manages to be funny, poignant, and extremely engaging. I can think of few people who wouldn't like at least something about Digger, and so I would recommend that everyone who sees this reads at least the first chapter. You won't regret it.


I agree with you that much more could have been done with the antagonist, but this wasn't really the plot for it. While the final conflict is foreshadowed enough not to be an Ass Pull, the comic is primarily the story of Digger's search for a way home, not a straight-up Protagonist vs. Antagonist plot (not until the very end).
comment #13052 DoktorvonEurotrash 4th Mar 12

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