You know, most of the time you would not think of an evil super villain as a teacher. The image of a crazy-haired, wild-eyed, lab coat-wearing, super laser-wielding person at the front of a classroom full of quivering, crying, simpering little children might not be what you think of being the best idea. I can understand that. But you have to understand that we really do have a lot of knowledge to impart. We are (as a group) probably the top 5% of the brain power in the world.
Maybe you could see us more in a university setting. I mean really who didn’t have the crazy professors in college. Like the one who was too tall, and so had to lean to one side to write on the board and spent half of his time writing on the board and half of his time fixing his comb over. That right there taught you a valuable lesson. Not only did you spend most of your time in class trying to figure out the physics behind his combover, but you learned that if you are going to have a comb over and if you are really tall, you should lean the other way so gravity keeps it in place rather than pulling it down.
The point is that we have a lot of information that we can share with the world. That is after all why we got the best and brightest of the Super Villains to come out of their lairs to give us their secrets. Well at least some of their secrets.
One thing that was neglected in our book, and that I will talk about now is what we can teach the heroes. Yes, that is right I said the heroes. What, you think because they are heroes they don’t have anything to learn from us? Well let me set the record straight. There are things that only a villain can teach to a hero, super or otherwise.
You still don’t believe me I am sure. That is of course the problem. Our reputation as evil-doers tends to put a note of untruth into everything we do, even when we are trying to be helpful.
Let me take a famous example. Superman. And I am not talking about that modern “Man of Steel” version. I am talking about the real Superman. He has only one weakness, kryptonite, right? Wrong. That is what he thought too. He thought that he was invulnerable, that nothing could hurt him. That was until his dad died. Yup I am going right for the jugular here. He discovered that with all of his powers some times there are things that you just can’t fix. And his weakness is the frail human people around him. Of course he didn’t really learn this until a super villain taught it to him.
Superman had two rules. Don’t fall in love with a human, and don’t mess with time, and because of one human, one weakness, he did both. And who taught him his lesson? Lex Luthor, a villain.
That is the way it is. We villains have lessons to teach the heroes. They are not lessons they can learn on their own, because they are lessons they don’t want to learn. LIke the weaknesses that they didn’t know they had. Most villains know that a hero, a true hero will protect the population even if that means letting the bad guy get away. Some times heroes don’t even understand that themselves until the first time you let a reanimated, rampaging, tyrannosaurus shark hybrid wander the downtown streets of their favorite city so that you and your henchmen have time to get away. It is not until they have figured out the only way to defeat the tyrannosaurus shark hybrid is to first drown the dino part in water and then drown the shark part in air that they figure out that you have escaped, and that they have a new weakness.
Sometimes the lessons that you have to teach them is that they are not really a hero after all. Some Heroes are really just villains wait to be discovered on the villain circuit. Not that there is a villain circuit mind you. You heroes reading this just put that notion out of your head. Where was I, yes heroes being villains.
Sometimes it take something to trigger the villain in them, some extreme event. The problem with this is that once they have figured out that they are a villain, you need to either make sure very quickly that they understand that you are on their side now. Or that you run like crazy because if you were the one that set them off down this path, a super hero turned super villain can be mighty, um bad for your health if you know what I mean.
Most of the time the lessons that we need to teach heroes are not the kinds of lessons you can learn in any school. They are the, look very hard in the mirror and see what I see, instead of what you want to see, kinds of things. Take the red cape, the magic lasso, the utility belt, the odd colored light away from the hero and who are they? Some of them discover things that they didn’t want to know about themselves. Some of them discover that they are not so powerful after all, and some of them, even discover that they don’t like what they see.
That last one is pretty common. There is a pretty thin line between being noble and good, and fighting for what is right, when the going gets really tough, and just burning down entire city blocks so that you can root out one so called bad guy. Who is the bad guy then?
In the end being a hero can be as dark a business as being a villain, and most heroes don’t understand that. It is a lesson that we as super villains need to teach them.
I could go on, but you likely get the point. We villains really do have things to teach the world. Some times those things are that we should rule the world, and some times we are more altruistic, and have things to teach you about yourself and those pesky heroes.
What more Advice from the Super Villains? Check out A Method To the Madness: A Guide To the Super Evil