Monday, June 15, 2009

Scarecrow Makes a Classic Villain Mistake

Here, the Scarecrow makes an economic decision as to how to cause the most destruction in Gotham City. He makes the classic villain mistake of waiting to execute his master plan in hopes of maximizing pandemonium.

It can be argued that, figuring the Batman is indisposed, Scarecrow assumes the costs of waiting are low. But surely the Professor must have considered that Nightwing, Robin, Spoiler, Batgirl, Huntress, etc. might have arrived to stop him. Besides, he could not have missed the fact that there are some crazy Batman impersonators running--one of which having a robotic suit, wielding guns, and exercising a much more harsh brand of justice than the original Batman.

If I were Scarecrow, I would have gone ahead and pushed the button. Too many villains have their plots foiled by mistakely underestimating the costs of waiting. Besides, I wonder if infecting only a portion of Gotham's population and having those people attack the rest of the uninfected in a mad panic would have been more satisfying. He might have been able to achieve a similar wave of fear and saved some gas for future use.


doktorholocaust said...

what surprises me is that even with Nightwing, Robin, Spoiler, Batgirl, Huntress, and all the Batman impersonators on the loose looking for costumed villains to pummel, supervillains still bother with Gotham at all.

It seems like it would make more sense to unfurl their villainous schemes in some other city that doesn't have a resident superhero or twelve. Batman and crew would of course chase them down wherever they go, but it would create a longer response time and more mayhem for their villanous buck because of that.

Anonymous said...

Supervillains seems to have some traits in common with gamblers, including the willingness to bet their current winnings in favour of a high-risk potential big payoff. An inability to quit while they're ahead is a defining trait of most costumed criminals.

As for moving to another city, I always thought that most supervillains have stockpiles that they're unwilling or unable to abandon. Scarecrow probably has nerve toxins and secret labs hidden all over the city. If he moved to Topeka he'd lose those resources. And that's not even getting into his need for revenge against specific Gotham citizens and institutions.

What surprises me is the level of petty crime in Gotham. You know Batman is going to bust your kneecap and leave you psychologically scarred for life. Even a lousy job at McHefty's has got to be better than that.

besucher said...

I would totally push the buttom. Scarecrow is not counting with the cost of waiting, you're right. Time is worth money, as they say.

Tom said...

Great idea for a new post, doc. How much money/resources/etc would a villain need to invest to open shop in a virgin city? Scarecrow would, presumably, need a working chemical laboratory. I can't think of other criminals that would need anything more specialized than an abandonded warehouse hideout, but I'm sure they're out there.

Scarecrow is a bad case, however, since, as was pointed out, he isn't in the business of causing chaos for its own sake, but in it specifically for causing chaos in Gotham (for revenge, and also, to mess with the Batman).

But, there are others with more tenuous threads to Gotham that might pick up and move.

Potential Costs:
New lair set-up
Thug Recruitment

Benefits, however, aren't just increased-hero-response-time, either. Relocating means you're the big fish in your own pond, which means fewer competition for any and all bad-guy commodities (henchmen, hideouts, real estate, even gimmicks!)...that said, there may be other, more mundane, unexplored benefits as well, like a reduction in cost-of-living (Gotham is notoriously expensive)

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