“Eines der wirksamsten Verführungsmittel des Bösen ist die Aufforderung zum Kampf.” (One of the most effective means of seduction that Evil has is the invitation to struggle.)
- Franz Kafka, Die Aphorismen
So you want to be a supervillain, but you're worried that you might not have what it takes? Anybody can be bad or selfish…that's just a state. But becoming a supervillain? That's a career choice that takes dedication and preparation. Read our 10-step how-to guide to learn more about what it takes to be the best bad guy you can be!
- Choose the most powerful arch-enemy that you can handle, and then craft an identity that will make for exciting confrontations and dramatic headlines. Ideally, your origin story is similar to that of a superhero, but you've decided to go the other way as a result of your past experiences. If you're looking for a role model, you could consider Syndrome from The Incredibles, who came into existence because he wanted to be a hero, but was rejected by Mr. Incredible early on as a sidekick and therefore decided to be in his life as a villain instead. Make sure you take a lot of time to justify your existence with respect to the hero. Don't worry about whether you have a specific mission to accomplish, but rather define yourself as the counterpart to your nemesis.
- Develop some kind of personality disorder, and craft a story that explains how that led you to become the villain that you did. Root out all feelings of guilt, shame, or remorse. Ruthlessly strangle your conscience. Remember: your story has to be neither true nor consistent. For inspiration, look to Heath Ledger's Joker, who told more than one version of the story behind the scars on his face depending on the reaction that he wanted to elicit from his potential victim.
- Cultivate cringing and/or silly minions, no matter how ridiculous or pathetic you - the villain - actually are.
- Establish a lair or base. Ideally something secret, underground, and/or remote. For features that you might want to include, here is a resource that gives you plenty of ideas.
- Overcompensate for a lack of inherent abilities with technology. For example, Syndrome has no superpowers, but develops technology that is capable of various feats of flight and levitation, easily incapacitating The Incredibles at several times during the movie. Similarly, Lex Luthor is a normal human - albeit one of superior intellect - but develops a Warsuit capable of taking on Superman with a variety of shielding, energy and even kryptonite-based weapons:
- Build or procure a big ray gun or satellite or other nefarious mass-murdering and/or mass-mind-control device:
Or, if you're low on funds, you might consider perusing the Acme catalog...
- If you really want people to take you seriously, you should consider your wardrobe and fashion choices. Ideally, your outfit will be an exaggerated and outlandish response to whatever the hero's streamlined superhero costume might be. If you are having trouble finding suitable fashion icons, look no further than the Batman franchise - Riddler, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and Poison Ivy are standouts:
- Figure out the hero's weakness and exploit it. Maybe it's stupidly easy, like a big green rock, or maybe it'll involve kidnapping someone close to them. Whatever your plan, make sure to leave a gaping wide hole in it. We'll come back to that in a moment.
- If all else fails, make sure to take the time to tell them all about your nefarious plan before you leave them to escape your trap while you get on a plane to fly away. Never forget: you’re doing this for the validation. Your evil plan won’t be nearly as satisfying to execute if you can’t throw it in the face of the hero that you’re pitted against. You may think that this will come back to bite you in the ass, but - and we can’t stress this enough - you won’t properly get revenge if you don't gloat enough first!
- Finally, NEVER actually kill your arch-rival. (Again, their existence justifies yours.) If you leave him to die in a pool with Kryptonite around his neck, make sure to leave your sexually charged arm candy around to save him out of pity. If you kidnap someone, make sure it's someone who's generally savvy and capable of defending themselves.
If you were on the fence, then we hope these tips give you the confidence to consider a career in Supervillainy. If you were already on your road to evil, then we hope they help you become the best villain that you can be.