The Generic Villain on Destroying the World

Ravyn’s note: I am pleased to announce the return of The Generic Villain, mentor and adviser of fledgling Hands of Darkness everywhere, who after acquiring life and personality has graciously agreed to dish out wit and wisdom on serving the darkness and how best to further such goals every so often here. As yesterday was my first day of work, I rather appreciate having someone to cover for me, particularly someone in my own mind whom I can chew out with impunity if the writing isn’t good enough. So…. Take it away, GV!

Maybe you can’t find any redeeming qualities to it. Maybe you’re serving some dark god with really skewed priorities. Maybe you’re just completely insane. Either way, you’ve decided to go for world destruction rather than world domination.

As an experienced Hand of Darkness in the multiverse, a veteran of one failed world destruction plot in my world and another successful one in another one (don’t ask how I survived. It’s complicated), and a longtime mentor of troublemakers in training, I have one piece of advice for the evildoer considering adding the destruction of the world to his portfolio:

Don’t.

Yes, destroying the world is about as good as villain-cred can get, and impossible to top. Yes, it’s the height of ambition. But let’s assume for a moment that the plot succeeds. Who are you going to impress if everyone’s gone? How can you be satisfied if you’ve gone down with the ship as well?

Then consider the following: Destroying the world is a logistical nightmare. In nine situations out of ten, preparations for world destruction are very, very obvious, both in terms of existence and of purpose. Moreover, because it’s so flashy, not only are you going to get an unusual number of the standard goody-two-shoes meddlers trying to interfere with your plans, but even the most expensive and apathetic antiheroes are going to find a bone to pick with you. And don’t forget the people on your own side! Most Hands of Darkness have objectives that involve taking over the world, and it’s kind of hard to dominate something that doesn’t exist anymore. Particularly if you’re dead. This makes any Shatterer of Worlds into Obstacle #1. Now, hero-types can get away with being Obstacle #1, but they’ve got narrative protection. Do you really feel that lucky, punk? And even aside from that, there’s morale in your own camp—how many of your minions would knowingly try to execute a world-destroying plan? Be honest.

If you’re doing it because you hate the world, reconsider. We have the power to remake the worlds we inhabit in our image; it’s part of the contract. Certainly, if you’ve got the strength to destroy the world, you’ve got the strength to change it. And changing it ostensibly for the better confuses the living daylights out of those pesky heroes. Wouldn’t you love to see their heads explode in a fountain of shattered preconceptions?

There are alternatives. Find them. Use them. You’ll thank me for it later.


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The Generic Villain on Villainy in Today’s Worlds | Exchange of Realities
  2. The Generic Villain on Why We Stay Evil | Exchange of Realities
  3. Generic Villain’s Philosophy Corner: What Is Villainy? | Exchange of Realities
  4. The Generic Villain on Destroying the World to… Ummmm…. | Exchange of Realities

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