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Felix Faust

 

Real Name:  Felix Faust

Voiced by Robert Englund

Felix Faust was a professor of archaeology before his experiments with the mystic arts caused his banishment from the academic world.  Swearing revenge, Faust delved deeper and deeper into the dark arts, finally befriending the darkest being of all:  Hades himself (courtesy of Cartoon Network’s Justice League Homepage).

An accomplished sorcerer, he is well versed in the arcane and mystic arts.  He can summon powerful demons from the netherworld and will stop at nothing until he has achieved Ultimate Knowledge (courtesy of Cartoon Network press materials).

Excerpts from the Justice League Panel at the 2001 San Diego Comic Con:

Bruce Timm:  Next, Felix Faust.  He’s one of those villains who could easily become really, really goofy and corny.  In the story that we came up with for him, [however,] he’s actually very, very creepy.  And Robert Englund—Freddy Krueger [from the Nightmare on Elm Street films]—plays him.  He’s this mad sorcerer who lusts for Ultimate Knowledge and, unfortunately, gets Ultimate Knowledge at one point.

Courtesy of Revolution Science Fiction and Comics2Film.

Bruce Timm on Felix Faust #1:  “The Felix Faust character originated in the comics…Especially on the Justice League show, we never wanted to create brand new villains that didn’t exist before because the history of DC comics goes back sixty-some odd years and there’s such a wealth of material there.  There [are] so many different villains and so many different kinds of villains that you pretty much never ever have to create a brand new villain out of whole cloth.

“So, [with] this show having a strong magic base in the plot, it was a natural to bring the Felix Faust character in but, for the sake of this show, we decided to really concentrate more on the sorcerer aspects of his character [and to] kind of play down the typical, stock maniacal supervillain aspects of him.  We played him more as a demented scholar, who was digging into the history of sorcery and trying to gain something that will give him unlimited power.

“We had great luck casting this show:  Robert Englund—everybody’s favorite mass murderer, Freddy Krueger—was available to play Felix Faust for us and he was great.  He was real creepy and menacing without being an over-the-top cartoon supervillain (courtesy of the Justice League:  Paradise Lost DVD).”

Bruce Timm on Felix Faust #2:  “Basically, [with] every character that we design for the show we want to make them as unique as possible.  With villains, we have a little bit more leeway—we can kind of go in a number of different directions with the villain.  [For example, in the comics] Felix Faust…was always a bit more of a supervillain—he always had the robe and the cowl and the headband, [but] he looked more like an old-fashioned, Silver Age, old school supervillain.  We wanted to eliminate almost all of that—we knew [that] we were going to have the Hades character on the show—who was going to supply the muscle—so we wanted Faust to be much more of a Boris Karloff-kind of sorcerer.  So, we eliminated all of the ‘supervillain’ aspects of him and really focused on going for the ‘ancient sorcerer’ kind of look.  We put him in the long robe and made him really, really skinny and—I didn’t literally [set out to] make him look like Boris Karloff, but I kind of had Boris Karloff in my head as I was designing his face…with the heavy eyebrows and the really gaunt cheeks, and they worked really well for the character.

“In the comics, he’s kind of a bright fuchsia purple—his robes—and we always try to keep the character as much like their comic book counterpart as possible…at least [as] some kind of starting point so that it’s just not a brand-new character with the same name.  His colors are still violet and gold, but they’re definitely more towards the bluish end of the purple spectrum rather than the pinkish elements (courtesy of the Justice League:  Paradise Lost DVD).”

Rich Fogel on Felix Faust:  “After doing huge sci-fi epics like Secret Origins and In Blackest Night, I wanted to do a show that revolved around magic for a change of pace.  Felix Faust seemed like a natural villain for a magic-based story, but when I went back and re-read the original Faust stories, they were pretty goofy.  Still, there was something there that intrigued me, so we started tweaking [the character].  Writer Joe Kuhr, who is a fount of comic book trivia, brought in some great ideas that really helped solidify the story.  Faust is a sorcerer who is in pursuit of Ultimate Knowledge and will stop at nothing to get it.  Bruce did a re-design [that] made Faust imposing and creepy.  We cast Robert Englund to do the voice (Freddy from the Nightmare on Elm Street films), and we all know how scary he can be (courtesy of Toon Zone)!”

Joseph Kuhr on Felix Faust’s spells:  To help me craft a convincing story, I do a lot of research.  Whatever topics the story touches on—science, mythology, magic—I hit the books, I do a Google search, I make some calls…For Paradise Lost, I found a graduate student in classical languages at UCLA to help me with the ancient Greek spells.  From him I learned that ancient Greek magicians had their own versions of ‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘Alakazaam!,’ so Faust's spells ended up being a mix of authentic ancient Greek and magical-sounding gibberish (courtesy of Toon Zone).”

 

Commentary

Although he was the Justice League’s resident magical threat during the Silver Age, he’s been replaced in recent years by demonic characters such as Neron in the comics.  However, the new Justice League series is the perfect opportunity for him to start anew.  His characterization in Paradise Lost looks promising, guaranteeing that he’ll become the greatest Felix that the Justice League could possibly face.

It would also seem that Faust is running with a higher class of supernatural villainy in this series.  His attempt to free Lord Hades in Paradise Lost is a step up from his attempt to free the Demons Three—Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast—in Justice League of America #10 (upon which Paradise Lost was loosely based).  The end result of his effort, however, might make him want to set his sights a little lower next time (if he gets the chance).

 

Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Online UK and Toon Zone.

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