Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
|| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: First draft, needs more detail. See if Doom Island needs further explanation, or if Despicable Me's minions need further, separated elaboration.|
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is an evil villain who rules over a "Doom Island", where in addition to commanding minions and detaining prisoners, he keeps sharks to threaten said prisoners, his enemies, and the world with. When a prisoner escapes the island, he orders to "release the sharks" after him, much like one would send dogs if the prison was on land. However this does not work at all, since the sharks are simply too happy to be free, and are not at all attached to their master (or to any kind of mission) as dogs can be.
This comic plays with the "Shark Pool" action movie trope from the 70s and 80s, where evil villains use sharks to kill off enemies, such as in The Spy Who Loved Me or Thunderball, and was also reprised in 2010 with Despicable Me, where the comical villain has a shark in his lair that unrealistically acts as a guard dog. Since the very idea of a guard shark is not really practical, Randall suggests here that the real reason the villain raises sharks is simply that he likes them, and sending them after a fugitive is a pretense to actually help with declining shark populations in the oceans, effectively turning Doom Island into a marine biology center as the minion suspects. He maintains the whole "guard sharks" idea as a cover-up, to avoid damaging his villainous image with a soft side for animals.
The title text also plays on the idea that he can't go pet his sharks openly, and therefore pretends to "inspect [the] shark cages" again, as well as dismissing his minion's doubts by yelling at them, as does any typical villain.
The shark issue is also one of the items on the chart of 1331: Frequency.
- [Cueball is sitting on a throne, talking to a minion who's not shown in the panel.]
- Minion: The prisoner escaped and is swimming toward the mainland!
- Cueball: Release the sharks.
- Minion: Yes, sir.
- Minion: The sharks are swimming away.
- Cueball: They're escaping, too? Send sharks after them!
- Minion: Now those sharks are swimming away.
- Cueball: More sharks.
- Minion: ...Sir, what's going on?
- Cueball: Prisoners, of course! Can't let 'em escape!
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- Minion: Sir, are you trying to turn Doom Island into a marine biology center?
- Cueball: Shark populations are in decline–
- Cueball: *ahem*
- Cueball: I mean, the world must fear us!
- Minion: Right...
Um... Are the sharks the prisoners? 220.127.116.11 11:00, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
- Yeah, it's awfully quiet... looks like nobody gets this one? :) --18.104.22.168 12:05, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
- To some extent. I think the first mentioned "prisoner" who escaped and was swimming could be a human, but maybe not. However, the "PRISONERS" mentioned in the title text are definitely sharks.22.214.171.124 05:57, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
- The "PRISONERS" in the title text aren't sharks. He's just reinforcing the pretext that the sharks are there to keep the (human) prisoners in check, which gives a justification for constant inspection of the shark tanks --126.96.36.199 01:54, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
No - a real prisoner escapes - and then the evil guy has a reason to release the sharks. And as the sharks are just happy to be free, they escape instead of going for the prisoner. So he can release more sharks ad ifinitum - except that his hang-man can see the problem with the plan - to release sharks into an ocean - that humans are emptying of sharks to use only their fin... Kynde (talk) 12:50, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Makes me wonder if Randall recently watched Despicable Me 1 and/or 2... Condor70 (talk) 13:01, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
- Yeah, or a Sean Connery-era James Bond film... 188.8.131.52 13:51, 5 February 2014 (UTC)Pat
- Even still, I feel this one is lacking a bit. It would have been better if there was a stick-minion in one of the frames. ;) Jarod997 (talk) 13:52, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
- Thunderball, Licence to Kill and Despicable Me 1 all feature sharks. But none of them have the same setting as this comic. Condor70 (talk) 14:11, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
A quick google search reveals that "Doom Island" is a location in a game called "Fish Wrangler": http://fishwrangler.wikia.com/wiki/Doom_Island. This may tie into the sharks theme...? TheGreatSasquatch (talk) 19:56, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
- Occam's Razor would suggest that it's just a generic sounding "Evil Villian Lair" name, rather than a reference to something.Pennpenn (talk) 22:54, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
If he wanted to save the shark population so bad, why'd he capture them in the first place? Unless...he bred them. Diszy (talk) 14:53, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
- By capturing sharks, he could make it seem as though shark populations were actually lower than they were, forcing more extreme action by groups attempting to preserve the oceanic ecology. Once sufficiently strict laws are in place, Cueball can release the sharks into a much safer environment. Alternately, by removing sharks from the ocean, he is reducing the number of sharks that can be killed, therefore more directly helping to protect shark populations. Of course, given his love of sharks, I have little doubt he would have bred sharks, or at least allowed them to breed. Athang (talk) 22:35, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
And not a mention of "Frickin' Lasers!", that I can see... 184.108.40.206 10:48, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
What I don't get is that if he wanted to make Doom Island into a marine biology center, wouldn't he want to keep the sharks there? Letting all your fish go makes for a pretty short-lived marine biology center... --220.127.116.11
01:54, 9 February 2014 (UTC)