So You Wanna Be A Supervillain?

So the hero gig isn’t working out so well for you. Maybe it’s the secret identity, the lying to your girlfriend, the death of your girlfriend, the stupid side job, or the way you work all the time for no recognition or reward, let alone a decent pay check. Maybe you’re tired of the goofy costume and the long hours. Or maybe it’s just too much work to convince people that you’re the good guy, and easier to become what they see you as. Either way, you’ve decided to ditch the mask and cape and instead build an Evil Lair and embark upon the glorious and much more lucrative business of taking over the world.


So you wanna be a supervillain. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind.

Most ex-heroes agree that being a supervillain is much easier than being a superhero. You don’t have to worry about protecting the innocent, facing moral dilemmas, or making an honest living. However, one thing to keep in mind is that traditionally, heroes are expected to win and villains always lose. So if you choose the route of villainy you must be prepared before hand to take a few strategically calculated defeats.

Make sure their victory looks like this, then go celebrate in your underground bunker.

Make sure their victory looks like this, then go celebrate in your underground bunker.

The second thing you’re going to need when pursuing a life of crime is a decent Evil Lair. It should be some place spooky but functional, reflecting whatever persona you wish to present. A literal cave, for example, is a poor choice if you hope to get a wi-fi signal. Likewise, a penthouse suite is impractical if your powers rely on elements of the supernatural and occult.

And if your persona is all about eggs, then an easter egg themed lair is for you!

And if your persona is all about eggs, then an easter egg themed lair is for you!

Of course, what’s a supervillain without a few minions to help out? But be warned: good help is hard to find. Most henchmen are simple-minded and must be given very clear cut instructions. They are also terrible marksmen, and die off quickly. You will need a ready supply of replacements, which is why so many villains create their own minions through cloning, brainwashing, robotics, etc.


If you don’t already have your powers, then the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to risk life and limb to get any! Unlike being a hero, if you don’t have a fortune, you can just go out and steal one and work from there. Gadgets, gizmos, technology, henchmen, fancy costumes, fancy cars–all of it is yours for the taking, if you’re audacious enough to steal it.

A word of caution, however. Many supervillains find money and power to be especially intoxicating, and they soon begin to make rash decisions and engage in foolhardy behaviour that makes them easy targets for especially effective superheroes. Fortunately there are several good tutorials out there to help you avoid particularly bad tropes such as evil monologuing, and fighting fair.


Finally, if you’re going to be a supervillain, make sure you uphold appearances. There’s nothing more embarrassing to the Evil Profession than a shabby villain who laughs like a hyena and lives in an unfurnished cave. First impressions are extremely important in this business. Your face will be on the covers of magazines and cereal boxes. Get it right, and people will cower in fear at the very sight of you, making ruling the world that much easier. Get it wrong, and your superhero nemesis will have all the ammunition he needs just making fun of your fashion choices.


Now get out there, and take over the world!


Katie Lynn Daniels is the author of Supervillain of the Day, and the mastermind behind Vaguely Circular. She blogs about science and things that are peripherally related to science. You can read all her posts here.


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