Monday, March 05, 2007

Seven Characteristics Of A Supervillain

  1. The supervillain has a selfish, antisocial mission. The supervillain seeks something—typically wealth or power, but often fame or infamy in addition—that will serve his interests and not those of others or the larger culture.

  2. Supervillains are superior to the ordinary authorities. They have cunning, genius, resources, powers or extraordinary abilities that render the ordinary agents of the social order helpless to stop them, or at least put the authorities at a distinct disadvantage.

  3. The supervillain’s dream reaches far beyond the acquisitive scheme of the ordinary crook. The supervillain is an artist whose medium is crime.

  4. The supervillain’s mania is what raises him above the common person and above the common criminal. It is this mania that permits the supervillain to view the epic criminal acts as art or as analogous to great accomplishments in other fields and also to accomplish (or nearly accomplish, as he is almost always stopped by the hero) his great scheme.

  5. The supervillain’s selfishness is absolute, solipsistic. He sees himself as the center of existence.

  6. This self-aggrandizement arises from a sense of victimhood, from a wound that the supervillain never recovers from.

  7. The supervillain’s wound prompts him to monologue, to sit the hero down—whether to dinner or in a death trap—and tell his story.

The Supervillain Book
Edited by Gina Misiroglu and Michael Eury

Tomorrow: Is Paris Hilton A Supervillain?

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