Superheroes are cool. With their outfits, and sidekicks, and iconic, emblem adorned “mobiles,” it’s hard to argue that being a superhero wouldn’t be awesome. However, they’re constrained, generally speaking, by a moral imperative that prevents them from truly enjoying the unbridled powers that they possess. With great power comes great blah blah blah and all that. Bad guys, on the other hand, get the pleasure of giving zero to the twelfth power of fucks about responsibility. They can run rampant like a five-year-old hopped up on pixie sticks and red bull while juggling hand grenades on top of a burning bus. Basically, it’s just a shit load more fun to be a super villain; and thanks to the technological and economic advances of the 21st century, you’re only five steps away from being one yourself!
Step One: You’ve Gotta Look The Part
In this day of gritty reboots and realistic, grounded, reimagining of characters, if you dress like the classic villains of the golden age you’re going to get laughed at. Let’s be honest here; you show up to enslave the earth looking like the disco reject bad guys from Richard Donner’sSuperman II and even children are going to laugh at you. In this day and age, a supervillain must be less Doctor Doom and more Doctor No. Sophisticated and aloof. Hell, even The Joker wore a suit the last time we saw him.
(The trailer for Suicide Squad Doesn’t count yet.)
So, if one is to be a refined and revered villain in this modern age, one is going to need a suit. But not just any suit will do. The ultimate expression of megalomania can only be expressed in a suit that is subtle yet, upon closer inspection conveys “I’m Charlie Sheen drunk with power and will fucking END YOU!” as modeled here by ousted Egyptian overlord Hosni Mubarak.
Yes, the pinstripes spell his name
You, too, can get a nice three-piece tailored with your name, logo, or despotic saying embroidered right into the pin stripes! Savile Row tailorsHolland & Sherry can whip one up for you for the rough cost of $16,260. Nothing says “Fuck You Batman” like a suit with those very same words sewn into its fabric.
Step Two: You’ll Need A Base Of Operations
No self-respecting super villain operates out of a garage or local strip mall. In order to truly inspire fear and terror, one has to have a base of operations that is imposing and treacherous. Sadly, the world is lacking in fortified lairs within active volcanoes; however, since the economic crash and housing bubble burst of 2008, the world has not been lacking in available space for active development or investment properties for the right buyer.
If your aim is to be a true megalomaniacal overlord, and you didn’t straight up lose your ass in the stock market, then there’s no finer a lair than your own private island. For $3.4 million dollars you can have yourself a private island with its own waterfall. If you’re on a tighter budget you could always purchase a home built on top of a decommissioned Nuclear Silo for a fraction of that price (and what super villain doesn’t want to live in luxury inside the remnants of an world ending weapons cache?). If you’re lacking the funds, or prefer to just straight up steal your villainous accommodations, you could take advantage of the aging relics of the the Military Industrial Complex. Off the east coast of England are a series of Naval defense forts that look like Tim Burton designed Christopher Nolan’s nightmares. Abandoned at the beginning of the hippie movement, the Maunsell Forts are rusted out, isolated monoliths that are just begging for an ominous super villain emblem to be spray painted on it’s side as you stand on the roof sneering at the world that you despise.
Get there before the gentrification does
Step Three: You’re Gonna Need Henchmen
No evil mastermind is complete without an army of faceless, replaceable, nondescript minions to do their bidding. While hiring practices for evil stormtroopers is a shaky gray area that your HR rep may not be able to help you with, there are numerous options at your disposal. The first answer to your hiring problems could be to go the same route that the American government has gone and start hiring private military operators like Blackwater (or whatever they changed their name to after they got their balls in a sling). While it would be easy to hire these combat-ready mercenaries knowing that they are trained and outfitted for the battle; they bring with them a certain amount of baggage that no ne’er do well would want to deal with: namely they have a paper trail.
As an evil overlord with aspirations of global conquest, you don’t want enforcers who can be easily tracked, identified and interrogated. While you may not have a Willy Wonka stable of Oompa Loompas, you should have a disposable stable of autonomous drones to take the fall for you. Don’t worry though, the Internet already figured this one out for you when a bank robber hired a gang of random strangers through Craigslist to act as decoys for a bank robbery in Washington State. You don’t need an elite cadre of enforcers to help you with your evil schemes, you just need a decentralized group of unsuspecting suckers.
Yes this really happened
Step Four: You Need A Doomsday Device
So you’ve got the threads, the pad, the evil army; now you need yourself a bonafide, honest-to-god, doomsday device. In the world of cutting edge, who the fuck would think of this armament; there’s no better place to turn to than DARPA. D.A.R.P.A. is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wonder if the US Government could [insert conspiracy theory tech here]?” DARPA did it.
Drone that can fly at 20x the speed of sound? DARPA did it.
Gun that can silence a human? DARPA did it.
Truck mounted, non-lethal, pain ray? DARPA did it.
Robots powered by eating flesh? That’s not even a … DARPA did it.
They’re basically the US Defense Department’s Nightmare Factory, and they have just a metric ass-ton of super cool shit that you can steal. Not content with simply creating weapons, DARPA currently has almost $20 Million invested in the idea that evolution is a load of bullshit that works way too slowly. They’re currently speculating on the idea of creating asynthetic being that would be immortal, fiercely loyal, and equipped with a genetic kill switch in case they fall into enemy hands. Mix that with a splash of NASA’s recent development of discovering a polymer that canself repair after being hit by a bullet, and you can see that DARPA is really only a few technological leaps away from developing Terminators.
In the interim, they’re developing his pet.
It sounds like it’s screaming
Step Five: You Need An Evil Plot
Supervillainy, like Hollywood, doesn’t require originality. Realistically speaking, any end times scenario that you could come up with has already been thought up, and likely done, by a government agency that you trust to keep you safe. Now we’d like to be clear: We’re not talking about the tin-foil hat, Obama is a Martian, Snake people live in the hollowed center of the earth type stuff. This is real world, actually happened, documented and attested, evil plots that you can straight up steal and use as your own. Your results may vary.
You could plot to assassinate a foreign dictator and usurp his power base and nation state. This one was such a popular idea with the US Government during Fidel Castro’s reign that there’s a book documenting all of their attempts—634 of them to be precise. When those ideas didn’t seem to work out so well, the US Government developed Operation Northwoods; a false flag attack meant to make it seem like Cuba had carried out a terrorist attack on American soil (executed by the US Government mind you) as a pretense for a full out military invasion of Cuba.
If taking down foreign leaders isn’t theatrical enough for you, you could always delve into the more sinister—yet shockingly true—escapades of other governments over the years. You could threaten to create a coastline destroying tsunami bomb like the Americans and Kiwis did in WWII. You could alter the psychological chemistry of the citizens of a affluent city by luring them into brothels and dosing them with illicit substances. You could poison the populace of a world power as a an experiment just to see what the hell would happen, like the Brits did in the mid 20th Century. If all of that fails to tickle your sinister-bone, you could straight up threaten to nuke the goddamned moon!
You’d be in good, evil company
So best of luck to you on your villainous escapades, and do your best not to create a hyper-rich vigilante who will be your downfall in the future. That would really ruin your fun.