Friday, October 12, 2012
A Handbook for Supervillains: Choosing a Persona
So You Want to Rule the World
Choosing a Persona, or Step Away from the Spandex
Be VERY careful with these. The object of the entire super villain persona is to strike fear into the hearts of innocent townsfolk and surrounding superheroes, not make them want to laugh their heads off. Generally, any villainous identity that involves brightly colored spandex, killing your enemies with normally harmless items (“Fear my eggbeater of terror!”) or costumes that include anything that could easily be handed out as a party favor falls into this category.
Comedic super villains are never allowed to win, unless they are heroes or are lucky to find themselves in a gritty reboot. The place of the absurd villain is to be defeated in a comical manner, often through use of some sort of pun related to the villain’s name. These people are forced to constantly wear horrendous costumes (this is discussed in further detail later), never get a single good line of dialogue, and never, ever get the girl.
Still, even more traditional themes require a delicate balance. Death is widely seen as terrifying, but if you call yourself Mr. Death you’ll need to start piling up the bodies before you’re taken at all seriously. Trying to make yourself sound scary is often seen as an amateur move, when if you are truly scary you could be called “Florence” and people would still back away from you in terror. Instead, call yourself something something simple, such as D, and carry around a large weapon you know how to use (Not Mr. D, though. That’s just asking for trouble).
If you’re uncertain as to whether your planned villainous persona can be taken seriously, walk into an appropriately disreputable bar and introduce yourself in character. If you’re ignored or laughed at, go back and try again. If people start inching their barstools away from yours, then you have a winner.
Note: A comedic villainous personal can occasionally come in handy, such as when you want to distract the guards while you make off with [insert name of precious treasure here]. If that’s the case, then any mortally embarrassing costume that still leaves you room to maneuver should do the trick. I would suggest only using it once, however, and perhaps switch through an entire gallery of embarrassing costumes to confuse the heroes further.
Next: The Female Villain Persona, or Yes, Even Evil is Sexist