- NOTE: This page is only about the novel version of Tortoise John as the film version of John was not voted Pure Evil, and thus only the novel version of Tortoise John's info and crimes should be put here.
Johnathan Carlton Lynch, also referred to in the film as simply Tortoise John or The Mayor, is the main antagonist of the 2011 novelization of Nickelodeon's 23rd feature film Rango.
He is the wheelchair-bound tortoise mayor of Dirt, where there is a major water shortage. He also has Rattlesnake Jake as his (former) enforcer and Bad Bill as his servant. He is Rango's arch-nemesis.
What Makes Him Pure Evil?
- While he never betrayed Bad Bill and his gang and allowed them to be part of his new city, it is possible that it was only for pragmatic reasons due to needing extra enforcement and muscle. What’s more, the golf scene hints how little he cares for them other than as assets as he turns around when one of them is accidentally hit by a golf ball from Rango putting the wrong way, yet doesn’t show any emotion nor does he ask if he’s okay. When Bad Bill in the same scene objects to summoning Rattlesnake Jake due to his reputation, the mayor irritably orders him to do it anyway.
- It is revealed that he murdered the sheriffs of the past and that they will ultimately fall into Jake's "hands" after they know too much.
- Acts like a friendly, grandfather-like figure to the town and also to Rango when they first meet, but it’s all an act to cover his true nature. His speech to Rango about controlling the water means controlling everything (including where he makes a point with a drop of water that insects desperately go into it) and the fact that he is the only one with enough water that he doesn’t even share foreshadows it, the latter which Beans points out right after Rango leaves John’s office.
- He stole the water of Dirt so the population of the town, which the people consider as money, driving it to not only a severe drought, but also severe poverty also, so they would sell their lands to him at a low price, and he'd be the leader of it all. Even though if it is unknown if he really wants to have the town die of thirst, to drive the town away, or just have people end up suffering both the fates are generally unknown, this scheme without the Fridge Horror is still very bad.
- Had Mr. Merrimack, the bank manager, murdered by drowning for reading too much into his scheme. What makes this act even crueler is that he is hogging all the water and his people are suffering due to a lack of water.
- Tricks Balthazar and his two sons (along with their whole posse to an extent) into stealing the giant water jug after emptying the water himself so that he can frame them for it and the murder of Mr. Merrimack. Balthazar and his sons were going to be hanged because of it.
- Summons Rattlesnake Jake to get rid of Rango after he tries to subtly interrogate the mayor and look into it.
- He gleefully watched Jake expose and drive out Rango out of town.
- He tried to make Beans buy the lands of her family. While he sounds sophisticated when talking her into it, his claim to relieve her of her dead father’s burden is nothing more than a subtle (through unconvincing) form of mockery.
- When Rango returns to Dirt as a true hero and almost defeat Jake, he and the gang hold Beans hostage to force him into giving up his gun. (Though he secretly emptied the gun beforehand).
- He tried drowning both Rango and Beans in a tank of water to stop them from interfering, just like he did to Mr. Merrimack
- While earlier, he tried to object to Rattlesnake Jake trying to strangle her to death when she refuses to sign the contract, he subverts this possible redeeming feature by his hypocritical action above. Furthermore, his objection is for pragmatic reasons rather than moral reasons either to present himself as the more reasonable one to Beans and/or because he didn’t want his office to be stained with her blood.
- Betrays Rattlesnake Jake by pointing the gun he took from Rango at him and intending to kill him simply because he has no use for him or anything old western in his vision for the future, even cruelly saying to him “Pretty soon no one will believe you even existed.” (Rattlesnake Jake would say the same thing to the mayor in an ironic echo when his attempt to kill him fails due to Rango emptying the gun and taking the one last bullet and right before dragging him away from the town to his doom for his betrayal).
- Has no excuse for his actions other than his belief that the old west is becoming obsolete in favor of a new and more “civilized” future one, which is just a weak excuse for greed and power.
- Only the novel version of Tortoise John counts as Pure Evil, as the film version lacks sufficient heinousness, with his worst crimes, such as his plan to make the towns die in thirst, being an unconfirmed implication, which might not be his intention due to the fact that he lets people move out of the townsfolk, as we see when Rango first arrives in Dirt, and his line “You can either be part of it or you can get left behind”. In contrast, the fact that the novel's John murdered many past sheriffs fills this prevention, making him much more heinous.
- If it was confirmed that he wants the townsfolk to die off, it would make his film counterpart Pure Evil and his novelization counterpart even worse.
- Tortoise John was inspired by Noah Cross, another Pure Evil villain who served as the main antagonist of the classic film Chinatown.
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