footnotes at bottom

So You Want to be a Villain?

So you want to be a villain? Be aware that once the path is taken it is hard to back out of it. The pitfalls are many. The mortality rate is high. People won't understand you, and may recommend a psychiatrist. However, if you can continue with your path to villainy and follow a few simple rules, you can someday rule the world!

Getting Started:

Materials Needed:

Black hair dye

Black cape (navy blue if desperate)

Silver cane

Black suit / robes

Black shoes

Red rose for buttonhole

Familiar (snakes usually prove most effective, though black cats and vultures are popular this year)

Optional: fake moustache, mask, etc . . .

Rule Number One: Pink will ruin your image (polka dots are unacceptable). Remember this. There will be a quiz.1

Practice Makes Perfect:

Practice makes perfect. Find a mirror nearby and begin with these basic expressions to inspire fear and cause terror in the hearts of millions. Pay attention; scare yourself a little. If the mirror breaks, don't be alarmed.2

The Classic Menacing Expression.3 First, draw the face muscles into a grimacing look. Furrow the eyebrow (darken with the black dye for this occasion). Add a bit of contempt into the facial features, and practice staring. The secret is simply to unnerve the competition. They back off on their own (especially when they notice the black cape and snake at your feet).

The Sneer. The sneer is an art form. If you don't have it, you don't have it. If you do, it provides a valuable tool for breaking the spirit of a helpless captive. If you don't have it; however, PLEASE DO NOT INSIST ON TRYING.

The laugh is also a great instrument. Try to send chills of the spines of any listeners. Rent a tape of or force someone to rake his or her nails across a chalkboard. This is the highest standard that many seek to maintain. However while the laugh is invaluable, cackling is just annoying, and giggling is detestable in this profession.

Take Over Plans:

Take over plans are diverse everything from poisoning the entire planet to traveling through time to prevent government from ever existing. Pick a plan and stick with it. And please, DO NOT SELL TO E-BAY!4

On The Subject of Heroes:

First of all, heroes happen. You can never succeed in killing them all, so it is a waste of time and effort better spend on the world takeover plan. A few methods that have worked in the past

Find the person/ pet / plant the hero cares about

Kidnap said hero

Lock hero up in the highest room of the tallest tower

Blah, blah, blah . . . Just watch a movie. A more original plan has included befriending the hero and then leading him (why is it always a him?) on a trail of false information.

Important Note: Avoid heroes whenever possible. They always have pure, dumb luck even if they do lack the genius of villains.

Second Important Note: Do not leave heroes alone in any room at any time. I know it is tradition – but they always escape!

Third Important Note: DO NOT REVEAL PLAN TO HEROES! Tell them a fake one. In this instance the wisest saying is by Villain Delaine Graven5 'If you don't tell them, they aren't intelligent enough to figure it out."

When Dealing with Henchmen:

Be kind to them. Inspire their loyalty. Sometimes they are the only thing standing between you and the hero. Make them feel you care about them and they will follow you anywhere. For all their faults, heroes are notorious for turning henchmen against their employers. Odd, that.

Fourth Important Note: Don't ever let new henchmen see the bodies of previous henchmen.

Fifth Important Note: Don't form attachments. Henchmen are usually the first to die when plans go wrong and call for adjustments.

Additional Information:

Sixth Important Note: If caught PLEAD INSANITY!

(Trust me, they'll believe it)

SO, do you have what it takes to be a feared villain? Can you inspire terror and nightmares? Does your nemesis shudder at the mention of your name? Are you ready for world domination?

Additional Works, not mentioned, to consider for helpful hints on villainy:

Secret Identities by Jon De' Vladimir

How to Pick a Secret Lair by Trisha Lead

The History of villains to 1875 by Drew Jacobs

The Complete History of Villains by Drew Jacobs

Do you Have what it Takes? By Sylvia Crow

Helpful Hints and Terrific Tips by Nigel Myers

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1 If you fell for that one, maybe being a villain is not for you. Correct answers: 1. Ha! Let's see you make me take a quiz. 2. It doesn't matter; I'll hack in and change it anyway. 3. Why don't I just incinerate you?

2 Villainy, Inc. takes no responsibility for injuries sustained in glass breaking, including but not limited to abrasions, cuts, bruises, coma, fits, maiming, death, etc.

3 Overused and often causes suspicion which will promote Hero activity in the nearby area. But hey, it's classic!

4 One villain did this in 2004, and now the villain community shuns him, and all refuse to speak his name. That is all Villainy, Inc will say on the subject.

5 Unfortunately, Miss Graven is not longer with us as she was ruthlessly brought to court by her nemesis, the revoltingly sweet, Phillia-Girl.