Editor’s Note: The following audio recording arrived on my desk this week. It has been so long since we’ve received anything from our “friend” at the Academy of Ultimate Villainy, that I begun to fear the worst. From the sound of it, however, our “friend” is still alive and well and hard at work.
SPY: Hello? Is this thing on? Ok, good. I don’t have much time. Now, I’m going to talk quietly and hope that none of these villains surrounding me notice me talking into my collar. This is your spy at the Academy of Ultimate Villainy and today you’re in for a treat because I managed to smuggle this microphone into the auditorium with me for History 101 – How to Write It. We’re in the middle of a series on how to launch yourself as a Super-Villain.
So, take out your pens and papers, get ready to takes notes, because we’re going to school.
The evil Instructor, Dr. Sylvia Sinestra, is approaching the podium …
DR. SYLVIA SINESTRA: Hello class. I trust you’ve had a terrible day. Today, we are discussing three key steps to launching yourself as a Super-Villain.
Now there are villains—those that ordinary humans consider villains, second rate criminals, and petty thieves, peasants who don’t deserve the title. And then there are Villains—Super-Villains. The sorts of Villains who not only become a part of history once they are gone, the sort who write it. Who define terror, and brilliance, and cunning for generations to come.
This academy provides you with the tools to become a Super-Villain. And yet, every year, there are those who graduate with all sorts of fancy degrees from this academy and step out into the world ready to take it by storm, only to be lost in the seas of anonymity. Forgotten by history, ignored by the world.
What happened, you ask?
Marketing. Press. The key to becoming a successful Super-Villain no longer resides in committing heinous crimes alone, although the crime is important. But a true Super-Villain knows that marketing and publicity are no less important to a Villain’s reputation than the crime itself.
So, here are Three Steps to launching yourself as a Super-Villain and being remembered in an increasingly distracted world.
Three Steps to Launching Yourself as a Super-Villain
1) Create a platform.
A fanbase. What, you ask? A fanbase for Villains? Indeed. Surround yourself with those lowlife criminals who will idolize you for your brilliance, those bored young people who want a taste of adventure, those sensationalist reporters who will track your genius. They are your means to making your name known to the world.
2) Social Media
The importance of social media in our world can no longer be ignored. As a Villain, you must take advantage of this. Create a Villain fanpage. Set up false accounts to spread rumors of your activities. Once you begin it, they, those gullible ordinary people, will continue you. And you will become a part of history.
3) Establish your “Personal Brand” as a Villain
In order to stand out amidst all the other Villains in the world, you need something to set you apart. This is your brand, your mark, something that you use to claim a crime as your own. It can be anything from a calling card left at the scene, to a particular type of crime and a particular manner of carrying it out. Whatever it is, you want to give your fans and your enemies something definite to point to, so when they hear of a crime committed by The Gravedigger, they’ll know exactly what to expect.
And along with that, this final admonition: Be original—copycatting may be the sincerest form of flattery, but you are not here to flatter the Villains who have gone before, you are here to establish your name as a Super-Villain in your own right!
Follow these three steps, and you will become Super-Villains capable of writing your own history!
Tomorrow, we will look at the proper procedure for hiring evil henchmen. And there will be a 50 question quiz over the material we have just discussed. Class dismissed.
SPY: Well folks, looks like that’s all for today. Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak this microphone into class with me again tomorrow. Providing of course, I’m not caught and thrown to the dragon before then.
This is your spy at the Academy of Ultimate Villainy, signing off.
Note: Sound effects found through Freesound.org. Many thanks to redjim, cmusounddesign, dobroide, J. Zazvurek, and RHumphries for the use of their sound effects.