Change is Good

I put together a new look for the lair this weekend, as you can see. Change is often a good thing. I hope the site design makes the posts easier to read. I’m also going to do some community outreach and find some other villains or even some heroes to expand the scope of the this site.

In addition to my words of wisdom regarding all things villainous, what other kinds of posts would you like to see on the lair? Here are some ideas I’ve had:

  • A weekly roundup of acts of villainy in the ‘real’ world
  • Opportunities for acts of ‘real’ heroism
  • Evil roundtable discussion panels featuring famous villains who answer reader questions

What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Dealing with Mind Control

From the mailbag:

Dear Destructo,

I recently had a very disturbing experience. I remember being on a rooftop, looking at a set of schematics for the security system my local STAR Labs and the next thing I know, I’m sitting in a small restaurant at the Las Vegas Hilton, listening to some horrible remake of “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” eating some spicy chicken wings, and drinking a virgin Pina Colada. My costume and gear are gone and I’m wearing a horrible Hawaiian shirt, sitting next to some guy that looked like Wallace Shawn, who was eating this giant hamburger, chewing with his mouth open, and sitting across from some blond woman with outrageously huge boobs that where struggling to escape from their black spandex captivity.

What happened and how do I exact my revenge on the person who did this to me?

Sincerely,

Confused in Chicago

Dear Confused in Chicago,

I’m pretty sure that you’ve run afoul of another super-villain who has recently taken control of your mind. I’m not sure if it was the disgusting table manners of the guy that looked like Wallace Shawn or the size of your companion’s bosom, but something managed to allow your mind to break free from the external control or the internal post-hypnotic command.

Identifying the symptoms of mind control is your first step in combating its effects. If you have any reason to believe that your free will has been compromised, ask yourself the following set of questions.

  1. Is my butt sore and am I covered in gorilla hair?
  2. Do I have any type of tag or card in my mask or helmet that is marked with a 10/6?
  3. Am I currently dressed as a chicken? (If your powers stem from being pecked by some type of irradiated poultry or something, I apologize. Well, not really. If you have chicken based powers or are wearing a chicken costume, I will be forced to hunt you down and atomize you, just to save all of us the embarrassment of your existence.)
  4. If I look at my calendar from last week, do I notice an entry like “Have coffee with the Enchantress” or “Meet with Doctor Psycho about the money he owes me”?
  5. Is there a fruit basket in the entry hall with a note that reads “Thanks for everything! Best wishes, The Controller”?
  6. Do I have the remnants of strange smelling lip gloss on my lips or elsewhere?
  7. Is there a post-it on the soda machine in your lair that reads “Transfer all assets to Mr. Mind’s offshore bank account”?
  8. Is there a self-help DVD in your player called “Brainwave’s Secrets to Mastering Texas Hold-Em”?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you should follow these steps to make sure you are free of any mind control.

STEP ONE: Make a skullcap out of tinfoil and then read the ingredient list from a box of Frosted Flakes out loud while standing on one leg in a bucket that contains two quarts of extra-virgin olive oil.

STEP TWO: If you just completed step one, then you are either still highly susceptible to suggestion or you are just a complete idiot. Either way, I want you to email me at destructo@secretundergroundlair.com with your contact information and I will target your location with a wide dispersal neutrino beam. This should break you free of any external control. If you are just a complete idiot, this will have no effect on you at all, although you may feel a strangle tingling sensation in your pineal gland.

As far as finding out who was controlling your mind, I would guess that based on the size of your dinner companion’s chest, you were being possessed by the Dark Overlord. You may want to just count your blessings on this one and move on. He’s done far worse.

Top 10 Reasons to see Iron Man

I went to see Iron Man the evening that it opened. I know that many folks who are comic fans are not big fans of Tony Stark, but I have always loved the guy. The movie was everything I wanted it to be and more. Here are my top ten reasons for seeing the film. I don’t thinks there are any spoilers here so don’t worry.

  1. Robert Downey, Jr. - This is what happens when you put great actors in a super-hero genre film. You get a genuine character you can care about.
  2. Jeff Bridges - Same reason. I don’t care if he’s a user or the Dude. Jeff Bridges is fabulous.
  3. Gwyneth Paltrow - Yeah okay, I need more reasons than just good actors, but come on! Paltrow takes what could be a flat character and makes her Pepper like we’ve always wanted Pepper to be.
  4. Great Villains - Duh. The better the villain, the better the movie. Except for the last Superman film of course. Even a great Lex Luthor couldn’t help that one.
  5. The Armor - This IS Iron Man. This is not some overly CG’ed digital special effect. This really looks like Iron Man and moves like Iron Man.
  6. Attention to detail - Comic book fan are rewarded early and often without it bogging down the story. Thank you John Favreau!
  7. Pace - The movie moves along but doesn’t go so quickly that it glosses over some very important moments, like…
  8. The Great Origin Sequence - This is a great update to the classic origin that only makes it better.
  9. Flight Sequences - It’s the first thing I would have done myself. Repulsors can wait. I want to fly!
  10. Robert Downey, Jr. - He’s the beginning and end of this movie. His portrayal of Tony Stark is so dead on. Thank goodness this guy recovered from his problems. He’s just such a great actor.

I’m sure Destructo will be back soon. Until then, go to the movies!