by Hadi M. Nor
Pix Credit tukartiub.blogsot.comHeath Ledger could’ve played this character very well.
You probably remember Cicak Man, a Malaysian superhero film starring Saiful Apek as our hero and Aznil Nawawi as the antagonist, Prof. Klon. Prof. Klon in the film reminds the audience too much of Jim Carrey’s The Riddler in Batman Forever (1995).

We need to have our own supervillain, a character Malaysia is familiar with instead of a poor rendition of The Riddler. I propose a Tok Bomoh.
A Tok Bomoh is a witch doctor that you can hire to put a curse on someone. But there are also Tok Bomohs (What’s the plural for ‘Tok Bomoh’?) who cures sickness with their ‘jampi’, or incantation, and also feeds you with concoctions of herbs because, hey, it’s better than paying the hospital bills, right?

It Will Sell
The local film industry is obsessed with supernatural stories lately. We have a clutter of horror and horror comedy films in our local cinemas (Khurafat, Karak, Misteri Jalan Lama, Hantu Dalam Botol Kicap, Hantu Bonceng…) and the audience can’t get enough of it.

If a Tok Bomoh is featured in a superhero film, it would appeal to two demographics which are superhero and supernatural fans. In Malaysia, the supernatural genre is popular and the film industry keeps on producing more of them (Tolong! Awek Aku Pontianak, Dilarang Masuk, Toyol Nakal, Satu Malam Kubur Berasap, Flat 3A, etc.)

The Joker in The Dark Knight is one of the most popular movie villains because he is creepy as hell. Tok Bomoh can match The Joker’s impact on the audience.

Malaysia, as mentioned above, is obsessed with the supernatural. Some of us are more scared of ghosts than criminals. A Tok Bomoh character can instill fear into the hearts of audiences because a Tok Bomoh controls ghosts, which brings us to next point…

Army of Ghosts
A great supervillain needs an army to take over the world. A Tok Bomoh’s army will consist of supernatural beings (read: ghosts). All these beings are enough for the Tok Bomoh’s world domination.

Pix Credit
The Pontianak was not aware of the boy’s presence when this picture was taken.
He can assign the Toyols for the espionage missions, as it is their nature to be sneaky, while the Pontianak could be aerial support for any battles and Hantu Tetek to… boost morale for the Toyol and the Pontianak.

Moving on.
Greatest Adversary
A Tok Bomoh is a master of black magic. He can’t blow up a building but he can put a curse on you and make you blind forever, or make you lose your hair or anything sadistic like that. The curse depends on the Tok Bomoh’s preference, really.

Every superhero in the world will see a Tok Bomoh as their greatest adversary. Superman’s only weakness is Kryptonite but if a Tok Bomoh cursed him with diarrhea, can he fight? Nope. Tok Bomoh can defeat Superman without kryptonite.

 Pix Credit
Superman fleeing from a battle with a Tok Bomoh. The red steaks are, well, nevermind.
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