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Curse of the Super-Villain

John Moe

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(El Dave Photography)

Never has the world been so primed for takeover, what with the global economy teetering and all. But do any of our super-villains really want to inherit such a mess? We speak with Dr. Cruelty, one of the leading super-villains in the world about his situation. Certainly he wants to take over the world--what bad guy wouldn't?--but is this really a mess he wants to oversee?


Elections make for awkward moments. That's why many people favor the other way of coming to power. Force. Talking about supervillains taking over the world, of course. And given the current global instability, with failing banks and an unsteady political situation, now seems to be an ideal moment. I'm joined by super-villain Dr. Cruelty. Welcome.

DR. CRUELTY: Thanks for having me.

MOE: Everything seems lined up for you to finally take over. Yet you haven't made your move. Why?

DR. CRUELTY: It's crazy, isn't it? This thing I've been waiting for my whole life. Problem is, there's no capital available to make that conquest happen. If the credit markets are frozen, I can't pay scientists to build a death ray. I can't get factories going to build a robot army.

MOE: And that's important because--

DR. CRUELTY: The cowering! How do I get billions of people to cower before me without a death ray or robot army? No cower, no power, John. And look, whoever takes over this mess whether it's me or Lord Sinister, The Evil Phantom, the IMF, they're going to have to stabilize things. No thanks! I'm evil, but I'm not crazy! Um, I am a little crazy.

MOE: Forgive me for this, Dr. Cruelty, but you're a villain. You're not tied to the traditional economy. Can't you just break into the banks and take the money?

DR. CRUELTY: John, there IS no money. There's just this idea of money, debt being transferred and sold, bailouts, speculation. You can't build a robot army with transferred debt. You can't break in to the Index of Leading Economic Indicators!

MOE: Well, you still have dozens of henchmen in matching jumpsuits.

DR. CRUELTY: You didn't hear? Layoffs. I've got, like, three guys now. Part time.

MOE: Wow. I had no idea. Still, you always have the skull-shaped mountain hideout.

DR. CRUELTY: For now.

MOE: Don't tell me--

DR. CRUELTY: I bought it with a subprime mortgage, and now they're foreclosing. I had this scheme: I would steal from Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, Washington Mutual. It was the perfect plan! They were financial institutions! Rock solid!

MOE: Dr. Cruelty, good luck to you.

DR. CRUELTY: Thanks, John.


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