Becoming a full-fledged supervillain is not something that happens overnight. It takes years or even decades of meticulous planning, resource accumulation and controlled scheming.
Or, you know, just a large expense account and a grocery list. After all, thanks to the magic of the free market ...
Obviously if you're going to get into the supervillain game, you need a team of highly trained bodyguards/ninjas around you at all times. They'll provide the last line of defense at the climactic fight scene, after all. The problem with real bodyguards, however, is that they tend to look like this:
"Hilarious one-liners are extra."
And you'd be looking at that mug all. The damn. Day. That's not how you roll -- you need something more sophisticated. You need an entourage of (preferably sexy) women who'll spin-kick the first tuxedo-wearing spy who comes along. You need look no further than the Athena Academy.
They specialize in providing top-of-the-line protection from highly trained female bodyguards, with offices in the U.S. and Greece providing female "close protection operatives." If you are already surrounded by women and want to train them up to be bodyguards, Athena will happily do the training.
They'll even teach you how to avoid breaking your neck on a stool.
And business is booming -- in certain social circles, like the Russian money crowd and the Third World despot clique, you're nobody if you don't have a Kill Bill-esque team of karate women around you at all times. For instance, a certain Muammar Gaddafi had been known to travel with an entourage of female bodyguards before his current, um, difficulties. Hell, even the British monarchy employs them.
He may be a butcher, but the man has excellent taste in berets.
A craftsman is only as good as his tools, and taking over the world requires some top-of-the-line death machines. But it's not like you can just pick up world-conquering gadgetry at some public market.
"Aisle 5, next to the napalm."
Oh, wait. You totally can. You just need a ticket to the Eurosatory convention in Paris, where the real Tony Starks of the world unveil their newest means of "keeping the peace."
Private military and defense contractors from all over the world converge every two years at the convention for networking, panel discussions and product demonstrations. Yes, it's exactly what you're picturing.
"No, it's cool. That guy I shot was just a journalist."
And, yes, you can totally get in on the action. Just fill out the pre-registration form and wait for your admission pass. While technically this is an invitation-only event, "invitation only" is a flexible term and invitations can be and have been scored by just random guys.
European Security and Defense
"Hey, Scott, it's like one of those things from Terminator!"
Can you hop into one of their futuristic Halo-type armored buggies and take it for a spin in the parking lot? How do you know if you don't ask?
And, more importantly, don't you owe it to yourself to try?
Can you pick up machine guns and point them around and make shooting sounds with your mouth? Hell, why would this even exist if not?
"Guys, check it out! I'm committing a war crime."
Honey, go get us a cart!
When beginning your supervillain career, the first must-have item is not a suitably evil alias, nor a white cat to stroke, nor even your very own doomsday device. Without a proper supervillain lair, those things will make you little more than just a particularly confused crazy cat lady. That's a problem -- very few supervillains are architects themselves, and it's kind of difficult to hire one that won't call 911 when you include phrases like "James Bond-proof" in your specifications. If only there was someone out there capable of handling such a project without asking all those pesky questions ...
"Oh yeah, that giant armored tower in a subdivision isn't at all unsettling."
Which brings us to Hardened Structures, a construction company consisting of not only engineers and physicists, but also goddamn future-scanning analysts and ex-Navy SEALs. Their whole modus operandi seems to be "We build suspicious stuff for money and never ever ask why." On the outside, their operation seems to be that of your average bomb shelter manufacturer -- until you start catching hints of something that goes beyond mere business. For instance, their website has a separate section for the upcoming 2012 apocalypse, complete with interpretations of Mayan prophecies and their very own 2012 product line.
And luckily for you, Hardened Structures totally deals with regular citizens as well as corporations and the government. Yes, they will build the shit out of your supervillain hideout. Naturally, it'll cost you -- their projects have run customers up to $90 million. The villain on a budget can begin with an entry level model called Genesis (yes, they even provide the lair with a suitably supervillainy name). Genesis is designed to accommodate a small family -- of henchmen, presumably -- and can be placed in almost any location, from the middle of the desert to your own damn cellar.
It's a perfect place to keep your secret family.
For extra safety, you can also opt to flat-out fortify your existing home with a ballistic "level 8" hardened exterior.
But that's not what you want, is it? You want something large enough to house a small army, with enough room for your weather machine and maybe even a shark pool for that inevitable final showdown with the hero. Well, how about the underground Genesis Dome, a series of interconnecting giant domes, living chambers and hallways that can be assembled into the exact configuration and size of your desire like LEGO blocks?
You could definitely live here for two, even three weeks before going completely insane.
Or maybe you want something more original, in the form of one of their "special projects," made after your exact, skull-shaped requirements, anywhere you desire?
No, wait -- now you know what you want: their special order, custom-made island fortress! They're not only totally self-sufficient and able to withstand most threats from missiles to tsunamis, but also can be built in, around and under already existing structures and natural formations, such as a gothic castle or that mountain conveniently shaped like your face.
You're a phone call away from your own vault.
Of course, for that you are going to need ...
So, where to locate your lair?
You could, of course, take the easy route and just purchase a couple of hundred acres of land out in the middle of nowhere, like inside a volcano. But that might have the undesirable side effect of leaving you under the watchful eye of a government that might get suspicious when you start hauling in truckloads of death ray components.
Private Islands Online
Above: Death ray paradise.
What you need is an island. They're private, they're naturally defensible and they have a long history of successful use in evil antics. And you can buy one from the comfort of your own home.
Private Islands Online is a company that specializes in selling, you guessed it, private islands. They offer land masses of all shapes and sizes, from the modest Live Oaks Island ($3,400,000) in Florida to the just-bring-your-own-doomsday-device luxury of Denmark's King's Island ($9,500,000), complete with a royal castle with a whopping 200 rooms. Upon purchasing, they don't just throw you the keys to your new island and sail away laughing, either -- no, they go the full nine yards, offering tips for island living, articles on shaping your surroundings and even a goddamn forum.
Private Islands Magazine
"Yeah, I guess it's a pretty nice castle island. The sockets are all weird and European, though."
With islands for sale literally everywhere in the world, Private Islands Online are the go-to guys for finding that perfect corner of the world to build a lair and train your army without having to deal with inconveniently nagging authorities. Sure, you're still technically a part of someone else's country and thus may not actually be able to make your own laws, but let's see anyone stop you from enforcing them.
Private Islands Online
"We have a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for submarine bases."
Oh wait, it totally does.
Well, but it's not like they supply you with a personal army or anything. Fortunately...
All of those gun-toting dudes in jumpsuits that every James Bond villain has staffing his lair -- those guys are just a Hollywood invention, right? In the real world, surely there are safeguards and regulations in place to prevent a random someone from creating and forming a private army that is only loyal to the one who signs their paychecks?
Sure, there is. But there is nothing whatsoever to stop you from hiring an existing army.
"Akembe, you'll play my druid. Giles and Crosby are the rogues."
Today's private armies are often used by governments to circumvent their own army's policies to do all that inconveniently bullyish stuff armies sometimes do, yet enabling the politicians to spread their arms and act innocent about it because hey, it's not our boys.
Most private military companies, which have stereotypical villain organization names like DynCorp ("We Serve Today for a Better Tomorrow!") and Xe Services ("We Used to Be Called Blackwater and Hope Like Hell That No One Notices!"), operate only in order to support existing governments with internal security issues like border enforcement, protective details and weapon system maintenance and management. Says them.
The logo of a completely trustworthy company.
In reality, give them enough money and they're yours. It's not cheap -- DynCorp, for instance, takes roughly $950 per hired gun per day -- but it's totally possible. And what you get isn't just grunts, either: Modern armies for hire offer the total package, from IT to intelligence to goddamn aerial operations. And, considering all the scandals they're involved in wherever they operate, wearing silly helmets with your insignia on them while guarding your base against the Justice League is definitely not going to present a moral problem to them.
For an extra $150 per day, they'll even dress like Stormtroopers.
A good supervillain always plans ahead, and the possibility of getting captured and facing trial should be no exception. Of course, your first instinct is and should be to give the judge a melodramatic monologue and escape through the roof, gassing the courtroom as you go. But assuming this is not an option, it's always a smart move to have a backup plan, because when Navy SEALs drag you away and lock you up in that plastic transparent cage in the middle of the room, you'd better be damn sure about who you're going to make your phone call to.
"What do you mean he's dead?"
Naturally, you've had the foresight to get a really, really good lawyer on your speed dial -- but who? Your crimes, after all, are so absolutely heinous and revolting even lawyers get queasy in your presence ...
... except, of course, for one man. A lawyer so badass he has actual pseudo-villain nicknames of his own, such as "The Brilliant Bastard" and, no kidding, "Devil's Advocate." His clients have included Klaus Barbie, Carlos the Jackal, the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic and the dude who used to lead the Khmer Rouge. The one time his monster-of-the-week client happened to be female ... he married her.
She's better looking than Milosevic, but he's the better lay.
Jacques Verges is, apparently, deeply fascinated by what most people would call "evil" but he refers to as "fuck yeah." He's 86 at the moment, granted, but seems to just up his ante with age -- recently, he was pretty much the only man in existence who wanted anything to do with defending Saddam, and went down on record by saying he'd totally have defended Hitler if given the chance.
Verges is an extremely moral-free man, even by notoriously flexible lawyer standards, who not only carved a career out of defending the dregs of humanity, but downright revels in it. He happily starred in movies about his villainous career and gave interviews where he discussed his courtroom-destroying special lawyer move called the Rupture Strategy. That "Brilliant Bastard" nickname we mentioned? That's the title he gave to his autobiography. He even refers to his courtroom opponents as "mindless fools" who stupidly oppose him.
You just know that at some point, this man has killed someone with a laser.
Of course, he's not the guy you'd use to dispute the ticket you received for double parking your murder-rocket. Jury trials should also be avoided -- it's likely that, by now, all judges and juries in the world will instantly assume that any client of Verges has secretly murdered an entire country, or will if given the chance.
However, if you're arrested for trying to create a new land mass in the Atlantic Ocean or trying to hijack the world's gold supply, Verges is more than the man for the job. Really, the only problem you should have with him is that his evil laugh is probably more menacing than yours.
There's really no "probably" about it.
And learn to become the bad guy with 6 Web How-To's That Are Apparently For Supervillains and 6 Incredible Real-World Supervillain Lairs.