When I was younger, I always hated when the antagonists of the various tales I consumed would stand back and let their underlings do all the fighting for them.  When it came to evil overlords, I preferred Megatron’s hands-on approach to nastiness and perfidy, finding Cobra Commander’s tendency to send in waves of cannon fodder somehow cowardly.  Now, in my dotage, I have had a change of heart, finding the chess-master archetype to be compelling, as when the nefarious Basco Ta Jalokia used his Ranger simulacra to kick the stuffing out of his foes.  Maybe it’s my age showing, maybe it’s a question of conservation of energy, but it does raise an interesting query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) can see the advantages in not getting involved until necessary, asking: If you were a villain, would you want to do the fighting yourself, or have minions do your heavy lifting for you?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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8 Comments

  1. Ingrid
    January 30, 2014 at 11:55 am — Reply

    I say bring on the minions, the more, the merrier! I am definitely not the sort to be a completely hands-on villain. When I supervise, I’m also not a micromanager. So as a villain, I shouldn’t have to do all the work myself. I plot; the minions do the heavy lifting. And the fighting.

  2. January 30, 2014 at 11:58 am — Reply

    I’d use Bane’s method in Knightfall, use others to weaken my foe then go in for the kill (or back break) myself.

  3. Xander
    January 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm — Reply

    I would do a mix, much like the masked villains in the gundam franchise do. Have minions that do the heavy lifting, but not afraid to come in myself and be a kick ass fighter.

  4. Rob
    January 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Minions to dig out my lair in an active volcano and build things like a “laser.” When the “hero” shows up…I’ts me vs. him, & my minions vs. his minions.

  5. Ray
    January 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm — Reply

    Minions are the Villians version of the classic fighting technique, the Rope-a-dope. The Hero fights your subjects, waisting his energy and weakening himself, making himself tired, slow and more likely to make silly mistakes. You, however, are still strong and fresh, manning your Distructo-ray and completing your plan for world domination.

    What usually tires you out is giving your animated and detailed discription of your plan, while he has a chance to recover, thereby defeating you soundly.

  6. mark
    January 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    sniper from 2 miles away
    the “hero” is not even gonna get close to a minion MUCH LESS ME!!!!
    My Minions have health care and a dental plan to think of

  7. January 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm — Reply

    I’d probably take a route similar to Agent Abrella. Stay behind the scenes, profiting and subtly manipulating unsuspecting “minions” into doing my dirty work while I sit back conserving my strength, study my enemy and preparing, only going in for the kill once I’ve studied the best way to neutralize them.

  8. Ghaleonx5z
    January 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm — Reply

    Personally? I’d do a fair number of things myself. I mean sure I’d send the minions to do the monotonous things, but I’m not going to let them have all the fun.

    What’s the point in being evil if your just going to sit around and work all day? That’s pretty much what we’re all doing already after all. So I say learn some new spells, pick up that fancy laser cannon, and hit the town! …possibly literally.

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