Look, we're not so far gone that we can't tell the difference between comics and reality. Fiction demands a certain suspension of disbelief, because real-life bad guys understand that dry, drawn-out political subterfuge is much cheaper and more effective than a clone army.
Then, occasionally, some crackpot leaps straight off the pages into our world. These are men with brazen, insane and often ridiculous plans for world domination that grant him comic book supervillain status. Like ...
First of all, look at him:
Out of frame, he's cradling a white Persian cat.
You could fill a whole article about real-life supervillains from Nazi Germany, but if we're to pick just one to fill our Nazi quota for this article, we're taking Otto Skorzeny, and not just because he looks like every single Bond villain who ever existed. Skorzeny was an "Obersturmbannfuhrer," which is German-speak for "chief ass-kicker of the Nazi SS." He specialized in warfare tactics that even the Nazis considered "unconventional." We're talking paramilitary training, misinformation, deception and other sinister shit designed to kill an enemy from the inside like a Nazi-voting Alien.
Picture this guy goose-stepping out to "Horst Wessel Lied."
Skorzeny led the commando operation that rescued Benito Mussolini from capture, headed a plot to assassinate FDR, Churchill and Stalin at the Tehran Conference and was a key player in a commando operation that operated behind Allied lines a full year after Germany's surrender, code-named Werwolf.
But Skorzeny's career as a lone-gun supervillain didn't begin until after the war. After Skorzeny escaped from his military tribunal, he went into hiding in Spain, where he spearheaded the ODESSA Network, which was for all intents and purposes a slightly less overt version of Bond's SPECTRE organization, and not just because long acronyms sound evil. ODESSA's ultimate goal was world domination, which it hoped to achieve by first rescuing and recruiting all the ex-Nazis in hiding around the world, then creating a kind of decentralized "Fourth Reich" made up of international "Nazi colonies." Any plans for moon lasers or weather machines were, at this point, only theoretical.
And their space station was pretty much just a storage shed.
Skorzeny didn't even stop there. In the 1970s, when the rival world conqueror, the Soviet Union, was at the height of its power, Skorzeny made a grand return to supervillainy that DC comics would have envied. He formed the Paladin Group, which described itself as "an international directorship of strategic assault personnel [that would] straddle the watershed between paramilitary operations carried out by troops in uniforms and the political warfare which is conducted by civilian agents." In short, the real life Cobra Command.
Above: civilian agents.
So did Skorzeny die in a nuclear power plant meltdown, or in a fistfight with Bruce Willis in an out-of-control helicopter? Nope, it was plain old cancer. Considering that his life so closely paralleled the plots of our favorite action movies, we feel kind of ripped off.