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How NOT to Overthrow the World

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We’ve seen supervillains fail to overthrow the world again and again in the movies. And why? Because they keep trying the following plans, which only ever result in pouting, not power.


Start World War III


There was a time when there were only two true superpowers—U.S. and U.S.S.R—and all you had to do to start nuclear war was say something like “Girl, do you know what Moscow said about you?” But now it seems like every lunatic has a nuclear arsenal and if you somehow did manage to start World War III you’d be vying for control of a post-apocalyptic planet with a bunch of other leaders, all who already have their own army and unlike supervillains don’t have some ridiculous motif like penguins or a gold fetish to slow them down.


Raise an Army of the Dead


While an army of the dead allows for an almost inexhaustible supply of soldiers—with new recruits coming in every day—what you make up in sheer numbers you lose in personal motivation, army commanders who can strategize, inspire or stop rotting and any form of close companionship save for the most depraved of supervillains.


Collapse World Markets


First, this is already being done with no help on your part. Second, this would initially require you to amass a fortune in gold or zinc or chickens or whatever you think will be the sole means of economic trade after the markets crash. And to do that you’ll need the markets to get back to normal so you can find a job to buy all that stuff, at which point you may realize it’s better to invest that hard-earned money in safe, low-yield bonds instead.


Create a Race of Superhumans


Here’s the problem: Supervillains are often “super” in title only, whereas superhumans can crush your heart by blinking. Hence, there’s simply no reason a superhuman ever need follow your command. In fact, they may demand you work for them, resulting in an regrettable demotion that never looks good on any resume, especially in this job market.


Use a Secret Volcano Base


Thanks to the unfortunate weakening of environmental laws, it’s now easier than ever to hollow out a natural volcano and install your headquarters. Alas, thanks to advances in technology it’s also now easier for your secret base to be spotted by Google satellites, traced by your supercomputer’s IP number or simply located by your cell phone use. And just try getting a couple of thousand henchman to sign non-disclosure agreements.


Kill Everyone, Start Over


Many a supervillain has dreamt of saying “Screw it” and starting human civilization over from scratch, often in underwater cities, a space station or in that Mars base you hope NASA builds in time. But that means you have to decide who lives and who dies, requiring a very lengthy interview process of 7 billion people. And you just know you’re going to play favorites, which messes up the whole “only the best and the brightest survive” approach. Then there’s the pleading and the whining and before long you realize maybe you should just give up on the whole supervillain thing and work at your dad’s car dealership instead.

What are some great ways to overthrow the world? Let us know in the comments!

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