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Troy Hicks is the villain of Mark Millar's four-part comic The Unfunnies, a horror story set in a world populated by Hanna-Barbera-like characters. The plot is set into motion by Hicks' plan to switch places with one of his own creations in order to escape death row.
Hicks is the artist of a popular comic series simply entitled The Funnies which featured characters such as Moe the Crow, an anthropomorphic crow and family man, and Pussywhisker, a blue feline actor who resembles Snagglepuss. Judging by some comments made by characters within the work, Hicks might have been a decent individual at one point before his ultimate corruption.
After his wife had left, Hicks goes down a dark path which ultimately led to him murdering and raping children. He is captured and arrested but still apparently permitted to continue drawing his characters in his cell.
The Unfunnies begins with Moe the Crow being arrested for possessing child pornography that wasn't there before. Nevertheless, Moe is tried and jailed. From there, the characters of that world notice the radical changes such as the sudden presence of sexual perversion and drugs. Human toon Sheriff Dribble takes him upon himself to investigate the source of these changes. A crop of child murders spring up and the lives of Moe's wife Birdseed Betty and their children steadily go downhill, especially when it seems their young son Timmy had been murdered.
On a visit in jail, Moe mentions to Birdseed Betty that he had received emails from a mysterious man named "Troy Hicks" who had commented about the extravagent real world. Moe had declined the offer to switch places and go into the real world because he had sensed something wrong about the offer.
One of these unusual changes lies with penguin mailman Frosty Pete who has forced a anthropomorphic chick boy to be foul and disgusting, so as to not be shot to death. Pete later kills the child anyway with a shot to the forehead. Earlier, he blackmails Birdseed Betty into performing sexual acts upon him in exchange for his silence about her murdering her landlord who wanted to molest her children. In both of these cases, Pete is present in front of a mirror that shows a sinister-looking human male rather than a cartoony penguin.
Sheriff Dribble finally finds out the truth about Hicks and has his men go to the local church where they find Frosty Pete in Satan getup. Pete/Hicks taunts them into shooting and reflects their gunfire. Hicks then explains that he had dabbled in occult/Satanic methods to ensure his survival from death row. This entails switching places with an unfortunate toon and Frosty Pete took the bait, believing Hicks' promises about the real world. But to complete the transition, Hicks has to make one final sacrifice and proceeds to melt Dribble's men and slash Dribble to death while briefly assuming his true human form.
Birdseed Betty, having found Christianity and leaving Moe, is given a brief moment of hope when Timmy returns unscathed before she decides to move on with her life. Unfortunately, Hicks' sacrifice to ensure his survival requires their deaths as well, resulting in Moe's family being crushed to death by a massive anvil. Hicks resumes his Frosty Pete form as the church burns away and offers to look after a female alligator character's baby. The end implies he will do something horrific to the child while the real Frosty Pete, trapped in Hicks' body in the real world, is taken to be executed.
However, the ending also seems to suggest that it's also possible that all the events of The Unfunnies have only been products of his depraved imagination. If this is the case, then Hicks is unsuccessful in his attempt to escape (although this doesn't make what he does to his characters any less horrific).
As this article's details might have already suggests, Hicks is a filthy individual who corrupts his created world of The Funnies so that he can have a place to commit unspeakable atrocities without ever being stopped or opposed. When Dribble and his men are alerted to details of the suspected child killer that match a penguin in description, Hicks essentially manipulates them to not catch onto the truth until it is too late. As their creator, he also prevents any harm from being done to himself, as seen when he deflects the policemen's bullets.
Going further, Hicks loves to corrupt, having inserted so much chaos and vice into this fictional world and making murder a common event in a setting where once upon a time the worst crime was "getting a pie in the face". His penchant for corruption is also seen with his penultimate scene where he, as Frosty Pete dressed up in devil getup, sits within a corrupted church.He also shares his characters' habit of breaking the fourth wall, as seen in the upmost picture. Hicks uses this to reveal his sadistic sense of humor at the sight of the misfortune he has caused for his creations.