South Park” returned last Wednesday night with the fourth episode of their twenty-first season, “Franchise Prequel.” The episode covered the rise of superhero franchises in popular media. It also discussed the inherent problems of using social media and Facebook in order to garner and distribute information.

Franchise Prequel” is also the prequel to the upcoming “South Park” video game, “The Fractured But Whole.” It will be released for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC next Tuesday, October 17.

‘The Fractured But Whole’

The Fractured But Whole” will be the second video game title released by the “South Park” franchise.

Their first title, “The Stick of Truth,” was released in March of 2017 to critical acclaim, receiving a 9/10 from IGN and a 10/10 from Steam, the game’s release platform.

The Stick of Truth” was developed by Obsidian Studios, which is the video game production company responsible for “Fallout: New Vegas” and “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic." Ubisoft, a French gaming company, is producing “South Park’s” new title, “The Fractured But Whole,instead.

Both Obsidian and Ubisoft worked with South Park Digital Studios LLC to create the “South Park” video game titles.

‘Franchise Sequel’

Season twenty-one, episode four, “Franchise Prequel,” is the thematic prequel to the “Fractured by Whole” video game, and many tropes in the episode will be flushed out in the upcoming title.

While “Stick of Truth” will be available with the purchase of the new title, it is not related thematically to “The Fractured But Whole.”

The Fractured But Whole” video game will be centered around the popular superhero trope that has become popular in our culture in the last ten years. Based on the content of Wednesday's episode, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, social media and perhaps even Russian involvement in the United States Presidential election could make an appearance, too.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and ‘South Park’

South Park’s” new episode “Franchise Prequel” featured Mark Zuckerberg and Professor Chaos, one of Butters’ alter egos, as the antagonists. Butters uses Facebook to create fake news and then uses profits garnered from the fake news to produce more fake news.

Mark Zuckerberg merely stands by and profits from the quarreling of Butters, a.k.a.

Professor Chaos, and the superheroes of Coon and Friends, which is the superhero group consisting of the other popular child characters of “South Park,” including Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny.

In “Franchise Prequel,” Mark Zuckerberg’s character portrays a child-like mentality and features a markedly terrible voice-over. Zuckerberg talks about his “style” and frequently crosses boundaries with the townsfolk; he claimed he was “invited” and that they cannot “block (his) style.” His voice-over was reminiscent of the dialogue in the early “Mortal Kombat” game series and classic kung-fu films.

The episode ends when Coon and Friends trick Mark Zuckerberg into beating up a group of children with disabilities and markedly ethnic backgrounds and film it on Facebook Live.

This leads Zuckerberg to delete Facebook to protect himself from the same kind of fake news that had been making him rich.

Unanswered questions

South Park’s” most recent episode left audiences with more questions than it answered. Why was Mark Zuckerberg’s voice poorly dubbed? Will Putin and Butters remain grounded? Who will win the “South Park” superhero civil war?

It is too early to say, but the new “South Park” video game, “The Fractured But Whole,” will have many of the answers, and then many more questions, some more answers, and then more questions. But, the existential kind of questions that lead a person to better understand satire and hopefully themselves and society as well.