Every good story needs a good baddie. This week at Cracked, we're examining supervillains of all sorts and kinds and finding out what makes them tick.

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From the mesothelioma-laden madness of Asbestos Man to the waddling Penguin to the changed for the worse Harvey Dent, fictional supervillains come in all shapes and sizes, and they all come from somewhere. Like heroes, they begin their trajectory at neutral, then something happens to them - and that something sets them to nasty.

Sometimes that means Joker-level nasty, which can get real beyond nasty and into very disturbing. But even then, you recognize that the Joker is just a character that, as bad as our world can be, could not exist in it. Probably.

But there's one fictional character's dark trajectory that hits waaay too close to home. He didn't start out as a full-blown supervillain, but now he just might be the apex, the final form, the thing we should all rightly fear: I am talking about Dennis Reynolds.

3 Arts Entertainment

Not pictured: humanity.

Dennis's path to arch-supervillain started at a place where a great many males reside: he was a run-of-the-mill narcissistic turd. 

That's not the point, though. The point is that, sure, Dennis's early crap-head behavior isn't good -- he treats Charlie, Dee, and Mac terribly -- but they're all terrible in their own narcissistic ways, too, so … comedy! No, Dennis really shows an inkling that he's headed to villainous nasty when we see how he treats The Waitress.

He convinces her to sleep with him (which he records without her knowledge) after telling her Charlie had cancer, then tosses her aside, later plays on the fact that she's a known alcoholic, stalks her when he and Dee are 'pretending' to be serial killers, and this isn't the end of it, but we need to stop somewhere, humiliates her on a podcast she goes on under the pretense that Dennis will apologize to her.

In the same way that Harvey Dent had a plan to blow up The Gotham Life Building - it's like Dennis had a plan to blow up The Waitress. Well, actually, he did, and worse, it's a plan he can use to blow up just about anybody.

He calls it the D.E.N.N.I.S. System:

  • Demonstrate Value
  • Engage Physically
  • Neglect Emotionally 
  • Inspire Hope
  • Separate Entirely

That's real complete-with-acronym-supervillain-right-on-the-nose, isn't it? It's levels of diabolical that'd get M.O.D.O.K. to arch an eyebrow. 

Giphy - Disney +

Zemo'd break it out for The D.E.N.N.I.S. System

Now that I think about it, I may have to take back that Joker thing.

It's strongly insinuated during the show that Dennis suffers from borderline personality disorder. His delusions of grandeur in the eyes of others make it certain that the loop of villainy he's circling will never end. Every time the Joker gets thrown into Arkham, he comes back, and so goes Dennis - the world is his Batman. Chances are you probably don't know a Joker, but I bet if you think hard enough, you know a Dennis Reynolds.

They may not show off their nipples as much as him but take caution: they just might be the same stuff of IRL Dennis Reynolds supervillainy.

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