The Hook’s Guide To Super Villainy.

In addition to being the world’s most outspoken blogging bellman, a father in a league of his own and a husband who has tested the bounds of marriage like no other… The Hook is also the biggest nerd in the Multiverse.

So here’s some nerdy goodness to brighten your day – and confuse the hell out of you.

And yes, The Hook is referring to himself in the third person. That’s The Hook’s prerogative. Don’t make him mad, Jimmy isn’t the only one to hold grudges…

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So you’ve had an “accident” and now you find yourself in possession of powers far beyond the natural limits of your fellow mortals. Perhaps you were bitten by a radioactive weasel that was rocketed to Earth as his planet exploded around him. And perhaps his rocket crushed your parents as they inexplicably chose to travel home from a night out through a darkened alley.

Normally, you’d don a gaudy spandex outfit and hit the streets to protect the innocent and avenge the fallen. There’s just one problem: You don’t care about the innocent and you’re happy the fallen have fallen.

In short, you’ve always been a bad guy at heart and so now that you’ve been given the opportunity to follow your dreams, you’re going to crush society beneath your boot heel.

Welcome to the wonderful world of super villainy, my nefarious friend. Buckle up, its going to be a bumpy ride filled with beat downs and multiple stays in various state-run facilities. That is, unless you’d like to take my advice…

Here then, is my guide to the art of professional scoundrelism.

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1)  Be careful what you wish for.

Make no mistake, conquering the world is a lot of work that, with a few exceptions, is doomed to failure. Speaking of doom, Victor von Doom once achieved the unthinkable: He conquered the planet in the Emperor Doom graphic novel.

By the story’s conclusion he was so bored he decided to let The Avengers liberate society.

Doom is a pretty intelligent cat; he saw the downside to being the king of the castle. Consider for a moment just how much is involved in running a harmonious, productive world.

  • Earth is a mess. Try inspecting your “holdings” in the most polluted city on the planet, Ahwaz, in Western Iran without hacking up a lung.
  • What about the competition? Chances are you’re not the only game in town when it comes to nefarious deeds.  Then there are alien invaders, other-dimensional despots and magical blackguards to contend with – not to mention Trump.
  • Unless you’re immortal you’re going to have to consider what happens to your prize when you become too long in the tooth to hold onto it.
  • People are unruly, unstable, unmanageable, and unwilling to work together, even under the threat of death. How do you plan on transforming 7.046 billion of them into model citizens? Better work on cloning an enormous army of Phil McGraws, pal – you’re going to need them. 
  • The same sort of “accident” that gave you the chance to follow your black-hearted dreams will no doubt occur again. You’re going to have to be on the lookout for the next hero or villain that will inevitably pop up sooner or later.

Conquering the planet may be the easy part, pal.

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2)  You may need a crowd-funding site that caters to the needs of rapscallions…

There are three types of super villains, kids.

  1. Thugs – or if you prefer the politically correct term, henchmen – who jump from master-to-master with the frequency of a cheap ham radio.
  2. Low-level criminals like The Wrecking Crew (Google them, that’s why nerds invented the web  in the first place), who live score to score.
  3. Big Bads.

Big Bads are responsible for funding the entire criminal enterprise and let me tell you, kiddies, that takes a lot of cheese. We’ll get into specifics soon, but having powers is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to breaking into the Super Villain Hall of Shame, my friends.

So unless you come from old money or you have a clan of leprechauns imprisoned in your lair, you’re going to have to consider the economics of being a malefactor in the modern world.

And speaking of lairs…

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3)  Location, location, location.

So you’ve carefully considered the pros and cons of becoming a con rather than a pro, and you’ve decided it’s the evildoer life for you. Good for you.

Now what?

You’ll need a place to hang your evil hat, my rapscallion friend. History tells us you should be seeking out the following locales:

  • Inexplicably-abandoned ridiculously cool subway stations.
  • Subterranean labs built and then vacated by your fellow mad scientists.
  • Abandoned warehouses/factories.
  • Space stations designed to look like skulls.
  • Giant domes – which incidentally, also look like skulls – hidden beneath swamps.
  • Decrepit, empty amusement parks/theaters.
  • Castles nestled deep in the mountains of a small European country no one has ever heard of.

Have you detected the theme yet, my friends?

Apparently the Luthors and von Dooms of the comic book world are in the minority. Most of  your miscreant brethren refuse to spend the cash necessary to construct a super cool, undetectable lair.  Not that I blame them; most of the locations I’ve mentioned are hopelessly flawed. Who builds a lair in a swamp? Sure, it looks cool rising from the water, but what about water damage to the hydraulics? Do you have any idea how much it costs to repair those things?

And for that matter, who exactly builds these skull satellites and underground lairs? (Not to mention the Batcave.) It can’t be easy to keep something like that off the books. Personally, you couldn’t pay me to deal with construction unions – even with super powers or weapons at my disposal! Those guys should be the ones wearing masks…

54c132fa1d3bf_-_hbx-the-notebook-house-remodelIf this is the best you can do, you may want to consider a different villainous career. Maybe the local DMV is hiring?

All I can tell you is be careful where you hang your uniform, friend. You never know when the previous owner may return and always remember to be realistic when building an HQ. An ideal location is certainly something to consider, but you’ve got bigger issues to deal with.

For example…

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4)  Good “Evil” Help is Hard to Find.

Underlings are the backbone of any criminal enterprise. They load and unload your weapons, any loot you’re lucky enough to abscond with, and your hostages. They clean your lair – one can only assume that subterranean dwellings get mighty dusty – and your death-rays and other devices.  In short, they are the unsung heroes of any criminal empire.

Ironic, isn’t it?

But be cautious when selecting your “employees”; there are several criteria to be considered.

  • If you’re old school, you’ll want to hire thugs who don’t mind wearing matching outfits emblazoned with a designation of your choosing. (Here’s another tip: avoid red shirts.)
  • Taking on married individuals opens you to civil litigation in the event of death or dismemberment. Stick with single folk.
  • You want henchmen who are smart enough to have your back, but not intelligent enough to usurp your power or position in the event of victory.

You may have trouble locating thugs – it’s not like you can call up a temp agency – so you may want to consider using religious zealots. They’re usually willing to die for their cause and they take orders well. Just remember to promise them a favored place in whatever Nirvana you sell them on.

One more thing: Old school 60’s Batman villains had the right idea by surrounding themselves with molls. Today’s criminals seem to have forgotten that being a criminal Bad Boy means you’re interested in money, power and sex. One thing is immutable when it comes to women: Despite their protestations, good girls love to be bad. Why do you think that Christian Grey douche is so popular? 

Okay, so you’ve made up your mind about your career path and you’ve secured funding for a kick-ass lair and a “workforce” – and a couple of smokin’ hot bad girl followers. What’s next?

I’d love to tell you, but we’ve run out of time…

(Yes, that was positively evil, but that’s the point, bitches.)

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 I’m sure we’ll revisit this topic someday. Whenever I’m as blocked as a fat kid in a cheese factory, that is.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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18 Responses to The Hook’s Guide To Super Villainy.

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Haha…it was evil, but I like. You mean I can’t call up the temp agency to get henchpeople? Guess I’ll have to clone myself but make me look like other people. This is all after I find property. Thanks for the tips…

  2. Work must be tediously slow and your creative juices are overflowing like that body of water you live so close to. I love it. I hear minions make great help, AND they sing!

  3. Allie P. says:

    I am sure you could reach out on Fiverr and find a couple of quick henchpeople.

  4. List of X says:

    Yes, all of those potential evil mastermind lairs seems unnecessary impractical. So you think a certain hotel in Niagara Falls would make a great superbaddie headquarters, right?

  5. Pingback: Sofia’s Guide to Super Villainy | I Won't Take It

  6. Don’t you have to develop a fiendish laugh or ghoulish mannerism (like feeding a live goldfish to your fuzzy cat.) to make as a bad guy? As far a location is concerned I like the in the mountain submarine pen. (with submarine). Fun post and I hope we do revisit.

  7. Kvizee Doug says:

    I think the key is weather control. People stay in little hamlets, reciting Hamlet. When the villain needs anything he has a tornado bring it in: it’s an odd deal but the Wizard of Oz doesn’t seem to mind taking credit for being the ruler and Dorothy always seems to survive those house crashes into the palace in the corn field in the eye of a hurricane. A good farm and video game will last 100 years; long enough for one villain. Although I think I’d thoroughly investigate Kansas first — it seems to be very active.

  8. Paul says:

    I’ve been trying to explain this to Art but to no avail. Running the world – even from the 51st floor – is just not desireable, produces no positive results. Thank you Hook for this well crafted expose of the pitfalls of being the Supreme Leader.

  9. Brilliant. Like sharp glass and running with scissors.

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