Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Supervillain Career Fair


Historically villains are not very good at what they do. They usually fail, thankfully. If they were better at their jobs we'd all be robbed blind and walking around with obedience collars on our necks. While some may enjoy that sort of thing, I am vehemently against it.

In general, supervillains are very bad at their jobs. Which leads me to believe that they should change occupations.

Lets talk about Calendar Man. He's a Batman villain who commits crimes on specific days of the year. It's kind of his gimmick. But committing crimes on specific days doesn't make you more successful. It actually hinders you quite a bit, allowing Batman to punch you repeatedly in the face. This is a bad thing. Unfortunately, his gimmick was stolen by the Holiday Killer in Batman: The Long Halloween. That means that Calendar Man is not only ineffective, he's not unique.

Now let's consider an old favorite: Spider-Man's villain, Doctor Octopus. Recently (Amazing Spider-Man #600), it was revealed that years of getting punched in the head by Spider-Man had caused Doc Ock to develop neurological damage. In other words, his head got punched so much his brain began to turn to mush. Doc Ock wrapped himself up like a desicated mummy and tried to get revenge on NY one last time only to (you know where this is going) get punched by Spider-Man. If there is someone who needs to pursue a new line of work more, I do not know him.

Then lets examine some villains who did change occupations. The Riddler went from being an insane criminal quasi-genius to a private detective. This change in occupation netted him more money and respect than he ever received as a criminal. It's also been over a year since he swallowed his own teeth because Batman punched them in. This is definitely a step in the right direction. Norman Osborn went from wearing a form fitting green and purple costume throwing pumpkin-shaped explosives from a bat-glider to becoming America's top ranking national security officer. And that's worked pretty well for him too. He now lives in a beautiful penthouse and gets to desicrate Iron Man's armor on a daily basis. Of course things may change in January during Siege (I do love's me some classic Thor beatdowns).

Regardless, villains who have changed occupation from traditional super-villainy to something else have seen a dramatic increase in prosperity. And that's why we need a supervillain career fair. In fact, if they were smart, superheroes could get together and organize this fair. Batman and Superman should work to get their rogues connected with major companies in order to make everyone's lives easier. Mr. Freeze would be better off working for Frigidaire. Poison Ivy could work for Greenpeace. The Toyman could work for Hasbro. Clock King could improve the design of a Rolex tenfold. I'm actually pretty sure Braniac already works for Apple.





It's so ridiculously obvious, I'm really surprised that no hero has tried it before. But they should.

I mean shouldn't it be every hero's goal to turn this:


...into this?


39 comments:

Will said...

This could be fun. I say Zsasz is a perfect infomercial knife salesmen. When he says a knife cuts through anything, he speaks with authority. In Marvel, Electro could probably make insane amounts of money generating power considering the value of electricity. Why he bothers with robbing people and inciting riots is beyond me.

Larry Lennhoff said...

I remember a conversation between Killgrave the Purple Man (a mind controller) and the Kingpin (a successful crime boss). Kingpin has tracked Killgrave down to his new lair, where he is accompanied by two gorgeous woman and surrounded by every luxury imaginable. They are discussing Killgrave's current state:

"So the last time I was defeated by Daredevil, there I was, plunging off the cliff into the icy Hudson, with one thought filling my mind ..."

Kingpin interrupts: "I know, I know, you thought 'I will have my revenge!'"

Killgrave responds: "No! I thought 'Who needs the bother?'. After I got out of the river I went to a Mercedes dealership and ordered them to give me a car, and then I went to a bar and picked up these lovelies (nods at women). I'm through with supervillianry!"

Of course it doesn't last (IIRC Kingpin threatens him with death by long range sniper if he doesn't go along with his plans) and it is interesting that he doesn't think that grand theft auto and human trafficking isn't going to draw attention, but this was a start in the right direction.

In general I note that in the real world, the shocking thing is not so much what people do illegally as what they can do legally. I suspect that there are some interesting story possibilities in that for certain types of villains.

Greg Sanders said...

I haven't actually read any of the story lines where Lex Luthor becomes President, but it may be worth comparing the damage he does outside of the system to that when he's inside.

Larry Lennhoff said...

Imagine the amusement value for Doctor Doom, if, by judicious use of his time machine, every time Reed Richards files for a patent he discovers it is invalidated by 'prior art' released into the public domain by Doctor Doom.

Granite26 said...

Call me crazy, but would Poison Ivy joining Greenpeace do much to tone her criminal antics down?

Ken said...

The Toyman could work for Hasbro.

Bad, bad idea, especially in the lines where Toyman is a child abuser. Even without that, his designs are simply unsafe - look how many of them explode, shoot bullets, emit nerve gas, and so forth. Although perhaps in the Chinese division...

D. Watson said...

Two words: job security. If the villains all go away into peaceful jobs, most of the heroes are stuck working in construction or energy production (as in: Flash in a hamster wheel) or other pretty lame jobs. Villains keep it interesting.

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