Five Reasons to Date a Supervillain (And Not a Superhero)
In general, it’s the comic book heroes who are held up as romantic prospects. Their noble quests, taut abs, and forthright expressions make them the most eligible non-vampire fictional characters. They also have personal lives designed to garner sympathy; they’ll relate on-panel to relatives, friends, partners or just people in the street in ways that show us that beneath their rough exterior, they’re good people. If only someone could reach them! Add to this the inevitable holiday issues in which they give presents to orphans or save puppies, and readers will ignore the much more romantically suitable element of the average comic book: Supervillains.
Yes, they’re evil. Yes, they’re insane. Yes, many of them are grotesque to look upon, or even think about. Practically speaking, though, they have advantages over the vast majority of the heroes. Here are five reasons why dating a supervillain isn’t just for those sad souls who write to serial killers thinking they’re the one who will change them.
5. You’ll have fantastic living quarters.
Sure, there are Bruce Waynes and Tony Starks, but most superheroes have ordinary apartments at best. Of course, there’s no shame in living in an apartment, and every once in a while you’ll luck out and live in a batcave, but supervillains always have the best lairs. Abandoned amusement parks, floating fortresses, and huge tropical islands shaped like skulls are the norm in the supervillain community. It’s superficial, but it can really add spice to your relationship.
4. You’ll live a happier life.
Who generally seems to be happier? Batman or the Joker? Daredevil or the Kingpin? The Punisher or Barracuda? Spider-Man or Norman Osborn? Captain America or the Red Skull?
That’s not a coincidence.
It’s not just that superheroes tend to have bad luck, although thanks to the dramatic needs of the story, they most certainly do. It’s that their nature is to be dissatisfied. These are people who are driven to extreme lengths. Yes, you could say the same about supervillains, but supervillains are driven by a need for personal gratification. Superheroes are driven by a need to help everyone. If there’s a person out there in pain, a superhero is dissatisfied, and there are always people out there in pain. For most of us, we need those closest to us to be happy in order to be happy ourselves. With a supervillain, we have a shot at that. With a superhero, it’s never going to happen.
3. You’ll keep a finger on the pulse of the world.
Superheroes usually keep up with political and technological events, but comic books are full of them being blindsided by some cultural phenomenon or other. Fashion, art, social networking sites… anything that isn’t directly related to murder, drug trafficking, or bank vaults is out of their sphere of consciousness.
And why does it enter their sphere? That’s right, because some supervillain is using it for some nefarious purpose. Most of us like to think that we’re above such things. We could make conversation all night about the latest mysterious series of bank robberies, and in the morning we could discuss classical music and whether or not that coup in MadeUpCountria will affect the balance of power among the street gangs.
But the truth is, most of us like to curl up on couch and watch “Iron Chef,” and forget about the miseries of modern life at least a few nights a week. Who would you rather to watch it with, someone who doesn’t know what’s going on and falls asleep half way through or someone so interested in your favorite show that they’d actually want to appear on it (so they could conduct a daring on-camera kidnapping)?
2. You’ll be allowed to manage your time.
And when they pull off that kidnapping, they’ll wait until the end of the season, after your romantic dinner together, and a good two weeks before your cousin’s wedding, so you’re sure to be done with everything in time. That’s not going to happen with a superhero.
Forget dating a superhero. I, personally, can’t even stand to watch a superhero date. No matter what, there’s always a scene in which they pledge to show up on time to their significant other’s special event, they get stalled by a supervillain, they have a traumatic battle, and they arrive just in time to see their SO storming out of the restaurant. They go home tired and defeated and I want to die a little inside.
Supervillains don’t do this. Supervillains set their schedule with their crimes. Superheroes disrupt their schedule to react to those crimes. That’s just the way it is, and you don’t want to be dealing with the unpredictable side of it.
1. You won’t get murdered by supervillains.
All right. Okay. I lied. You might get murdered by supervillains. If you live in a world with supervillains, it’s always possible, even likely, that you’ll be murdered by one. The death toll in comics is astronomical.
However, if you’re romantically involved with a superhero, I hope you have a happy life. Or I hope you storm out self-righteously just when things look their darkest for the hero, thereby making you a hateful character that no one would be sad to see go. If you’re sympathetic, you’re dead. There are exceptions to this. You don’t want to gamble your life on the chance to be one of them.
If you’re dating a supervillain, however, you’re part and parcel of them having a happier life. Supervillains, despite being a competitive and evil lot, don’t fight among themselves that much. In fact, they tend to fight less among themselves than the heroes do. And since the heroes definitely aren’t going to kill you, you’re set.
There are a few precautions you should take. Wear padded clothes, because when the heroes do come you’re going to get tied up. And make sure you’re not the “one true love” of one of those gloomy and deep supervillains. That’s just asking for it. Instead, find yourself a mid-level character with a lot of cash and a few funny mannerisms, pick out a flamboyant costume that looks good with your skin tone, and get ready to taunt the hell out of the virtuous.