So you’ve decided to be a supervillain. Hopefully at this point you’ve taken the quiz and found out your level. But regardless of whether you’re a Red Skull or a Stilt-Man (Oh, Stilt-Man. You poor, poor fool) there are some issues that every supervillain, regardless of status, needs to consider.
If you’re going to be a supervillain, then you need yourself a cool name. It may be that you already have such a name and that may have been a major factor in your career choice. I mean, let’s face it, Victor Von Doom was never going to be a insurance salesman. Even leaving aside the genius intellect, the rampant narcissism and the magic gypsy origins, would you buy insurance from a Mr. Von Doom? Didn’t think so. So consider your own name- does it have the necessary gravitas (PROTIP: if your name is Dwayne, Wallace or Cuthbert it does not). Do you have any claims to aristocracy that can spice up a boring name? For instance, Mr. Scarlotti, which makes you sounds like you might make pizzas, becomes Count Scarlotti, which sounds like you might melt someone's face off with a heat ray.
But chances are you have a standard, boring name. Don’t worry! One of the fun things about being a Supervillain is that you can make up a new identity entirely from scratch. Which is why it’s always so painful to hear the identity choices some villains have made. “The Scorcher” for example. Not so bad you say? Well, The Scorcher is a guy. Yeeeeeeah…
Here’s some advice:
- When choosing, bear in mind that it has to be a new name. Every super-person across the multiverse has appeared in some type of media (Comics, TV, Films etc.), and some company probably owns his or her likeness. And you know what media companies have? Lawyers. Lots and lots of lawyers. And not fun lawyers like She-Hulk who you can fight and may, at any second, lose her attire. Nope, nasty layers who will sue you and impound your plasma cannon. Bastards.
- Say it out loud. Sure it may look good on paper, in a spiky font underneath a poorly rendered picture of you atop a pile of cash and girls, but trust me. Just as when you are banging a food bowl and wondering what the fuck you were thinking when you named your pet “Snoofybunkins”, if you burst into a bank screaming “Kneel before Bangore!” you will feel the same sudden burn of shame. And if you don’t, you should. The name should inspire fear or respect not laughter or pity. Leap-Frog, Mr Fish, Stilt-Man (again), I’m looking at you here. Likewise, a name like "Orphan Maker" is a scary name but more in the creepy uncle way. Stay the hell away from me, man.
- Don’t fuck with the spelling. It is not the ‘90s. If you find yourself going for names like Bluddrinkar, or Razarr then slap yourself in the face and think again.
- If you plan to be the (Something)-(Person) always go with "man" (unless you are a female in which case go with “Woman” or “Girl” depending how young you feel. Just remember that everything sags eventually, ladies). Don’t be tempted into being hip or retro. You will just sound lame. Powerguy, Wonder-chick, the Sanddude, Spider-chap, The Batfella. I hope you see what I’m saying here.
In a recent heated discussion with a colleague (the discussion ended when I heated him to 20,000 Degrees Kelvin) he suggested that costumes were “silly”, “dangerous” and “more than a little gay”. Accurate as his last words might have been, he missed the fundamental point. You are a supervillain. That means big, bold, brash and dangerous. People should tremble at the sound of your name and run away at the merest flash of your spandex-covered legs. (That's fear, not disgust by the way. There is a difference. Get a codpiece.)
Yes, a costume draws attention and yes, if improperly tailored, can showcase your junk in a less-that-flattering light but these are the crosses we must bear, my supervillainous friends. You want safe go do insurance fraud, you wussy.
When picking a costume consider the basic types:
This is an option only if you are mutated in some way, ideally into something with fur. (Thick, thick groin-covering fur.) Striking enough that no embellishments are needed, essentially you should be your own costume. So you’re part-bird, a hugely muscled grotesque, a rock-man, a talking gorilla, half-man, half-sandwich or some such. And if you don’t have fur, just for God's sake put on some pants. We don't want to see that at the meetings.
Classic. With correct colors and symbols you can build this costume around any theme from cats to clocks (Batman has some lame villains, what can I say?). If you absolutely must, then throw in some pouches or gun holsters (a few years ago, costumes were 70% pouch) but not shoulder pads. Never shoulder pads. Also, if your abs are less than washboard then get to a gym or get some padding. This is imperative.
The business suit/military uniform
The ideal style for your, uh, less-defined supervillain. But if you're going to rock the suit, be sure to have a gimmick to make you stand out. Lex Luthor is bald for example, Kingpin is hugely fat (and bald), the Red Skull has a red skull instead of a face, Dr Octopus has four massive mechanical arms shooting from his back (he found an excellent tailor, too. Before that he wore a green jumpsuit with potbelly. And he wondered why people laughed.)
The street clothes
No. Lazy, lazy, lazy. The only conceivable excuse is if your street clothes were transformed and permanently burned into your skin when you got your powers. And even then you better be able to change them into something awesome (fire, energy, sand, whatever). You do not champion evil in baggy jeans and a tee-shirt. Don't make me slap you, now.
The power armor
A bit of a cheat, this, but mechanical armor is pretty cool in an of itself (unless you’re Stilt-Man). If you really want to, you can add a cape, too. Just don’t be tempted to throw a skirt on over the top unless you’re every bit as awesome as Doctor Doom. And no one is as awesome as Doctor Doom.
So there you go. Now get out there and wreak some havoc!