If there is one thing that comics and superhero films have taught us, it is that one nearly always pays a price later on if the big bad is allowed to walk when their plans come undone. In some cases they do not even have to be in a state that permits actual walking, such as when one makes an appearance in the sequel after having been consigned to the grave in the original installment. There are not too many more satisfying moments than the one where a monstrous tyrant is able to exert his fell influence once more over those who believed the evil to have been banished forever, and to make the ones who were responsible for the earlier downfall aware that suffering is once more coming their way. To learn to write a second act worthy of critical accolades, read on.
- Lie low. Immediately after your setback you will probably be in no mood to take on any excessively challenging action. This is a time to heal, to rebuild your forces, to re-establish yourself at a new place of power, and above all to readjust to the entrepreneurial mindset that brought you to your previous position of strength. Your route back to the evil fortress may not mirror your earlier development since this time you will have the advantage of the experience you have gained over time.
- The cat’s paw. In order not to reveal yourself prematurely, it is advisable to work through one or more trusted intermediaries who can go out into the world to do your bidding. Whether it is recruiting minions, erecting a new lair, or procuring replacement equipment your agents will have the responsibility of representing you, so you may wish to apply your most sophisticated mind control techniques to these individuals for your own peace of mind.
- Forging new alliances. Former associates may be unavailable or disinclined to align with your fledgling operation and it may require some amount of creativity to find new ones to take their place. Remind them of how your gratitude, should you succeed in restoring your fortunes, will know no bounds when it comes to your faithful allies who have been there from the outset and who have weathered the hard times since then. Remind them too what mischief on their persons a vindictive, yet still formidable miscreant might do.
- When it’s all or nothing. When the time comes to make your move, try keeping one eye on the big picture and one on the horde of critical little details. If you have prepared your action well, you should be in a good position to take advantage of any little chances which fall your way, which you will try to turn into big gains. Remember to keep your spirits up in the midst of all the chaos that is likely to erupt, and press your attack in a vigorous and swift-paced manner that will have the best chance of breaking the opponent’s morale.
Strokes of genius
- Sidekicks. Coming back from ignominy is cruel enough if one has some company, but doing so all alone is just pitiful. Sometimes a loyal minion feels that they have nowhere else to go than to stick by the side of his or her master, hoping to prove a warped kind of nobility in themselves. Others just want to be around to pick up any scraps of worthwhile loot that might still be there for the taking. Regardless of their deeper motivations, you may stand to benefit from someone to bounce ideas off of, someone who knows how stacked the deck is against your quest, in short, someone who can take a slightly more objective view of your chances than a once-mighty contender might have.
- The ex-deceased. The road back to glory is especially difficult for those bad guys who have already spent time in the afterlife, a place which is specifically designed to be a terminus, not a way station. Death may have decreased your overall viability, slowed your reactions, and taken a heavy toll on your charisma, but many fiends testify to the beneficial effect it can have upon one’s motivation. When one can know for certain that nothing worse than what has already happened can happen to them, they are more relaxed when it comes to taking those necessary chances.
- Former comrades. Once your comeback is well on its way, you may start to approach your previous minions to see whether they might be interested in associating themselves once more with your cause, using offers of glory and/or booty mixed with a strong dose of old time’s sake. Start with the ones least likely to want to settle old scores with you and most aggrieved against the foe of the moment.
Traps for mere fools
- Serial re-emergence. Announcing your comeback and then falling just a little bit short, over and over again, is a sure way to making yourself a laughingstock, as football players who come out of retirement repeatedly easily illustrate. The toll that doing evil deeds at a world-class level exacts upon a person is severe, as we all know, and the organism is unfortunately just that much less well-equipped to bounce back after a certain age. Avoid being the villain who manages to fizzle out every time.
- Ambitious second-in-command. Beware your henchman who might be planning to stab you in the back at a critical moment.
- Any place called Waterloo. Bad juju there.
Precious and needful
- Personal trainer.
- Spin doctors.
- Favors you can call in.
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- Image credit Antony Gormley's Another Place, Crosby beach in Liverpool by Adam Foster - Codefor
- Image credit October 5th 2008 - If It isn't making dollars, then it isn't making sense by Stephen Poff
- Image credit Dust in the wind. by see_sounds
Created by: . Last Modification: Sunday 13 of November, 2011 06:19:03 EST by .