When the worst that humanity has to offer is concentrated into one pitch black soul and the custodian of said soul is empowered by natural or artificial means then you have the stuff of super-villainy! From simple street hoods who discover ancient mystical artifacts to deranged geniuses who use their stunning mental capacity to criminal ends to the physical embodiment of wickedness, the fraternity that is the counterpoint to the super-hero is always lurking in the shadows! And so it is into those shadows that we delve to discover what path the truly evil might take when faced with a simple moral conundrum.
And this edition of WWCBVD? is brought to you by the letter R!
Scenario: You are out strolling through the park on a cool summer evening and decide to take in the sights by sitting on a park bench and relaxing. Then you notice that the only bench in sight has a sleeping homeless person stretched out across its entirety, contentedly snoring away. What do you do?
Ruby: Okay, don’t think me bad because of this, but honestly, how could I resist? One of the only real advantages of having your consciousness transferred into a hyper-malleable compound sphere that replaces your now severed head is the sheer freak-out factor my physical form provides. I mean look at my body! Not that much! I said look at my body, NOT undress me with your eyes you perv! Okay, now imagine me wearing a hat and a veil so for all intents and purposes any guy would be thinking to himself, “With a body like that she must be either a looker or a butter face!” Regardless the curiosity is just too much for most and when I grant him a peek I like to reshape this crimson globe of a noggin into bizarre shapes and forms, usually alternating from spikes to long tendrils to a bizarre ear shape. That really gets them running every time!
Needless to say, if I came across some wretched soul camped out in the park for a little nap time I would quietly wander up to the bench and position myself near his face while giving him a gentle waking nudge. Then I’d say, “Okay buddy, take it someplace else!”, while forming a pair of cartoon-like hands with my head and clapping loudly. I would just want to see the look on the guy’s face when he realizes what’s making all that racket! And if that is not enough to make him wet himself and hot foot it out of the park I’ll just do a quick shape-shift and confront him with a gaping maw full of teeth all Venom-style! Is that really evil of me?
Ra’s al Ghul: Personally I can imagine no better course of action than to befriend this hapless soul. I find that the destitute are ideal agents as they are grateful for the opportunities my various organizations provide them. We take in the indigent routinely, clean them up, provide them with fresh clothing, vocational training in the all-important work of toppling world governments by subtle means, provide nutritious meals, a regimented lifestyle, and a serve-my-ends-or-die ultimatum that tends to really turn their lives around. And it keeps the park benches free of layabout space-hogs so people can enjoy what their local government has provided for their enjoyment and recreation until such time as my machinations undo the fragile underpinnings of contemporary society.
And yes, it is not lost on me that the likes of Dr. Psycho, Mesmero, and Starro the Conqueror have suggested using their mind control powers to create loyal minions. Like any of the three of them was the first to hit upon this idea! Well, Starro, perhaps, he is almost as old as Darkseid after all. But then he probably stole that idea from Darkseid! The thing I am getting at is that is that there is nothing new under the sun so don’t get all splitting hairs on me for utilizing the age-old doctrine of obtaining henchmen and minions from reasonably easy to control sources. Not all of us have mind control or hypnosis on our sides. Some of us have to fall back on good old fashioned brain washing through lengthy training and conditioning. Besides, apart from Starro, which of these vaunted mind manglers can claim a private army at their beckon call? And I don’t have starfish spores slapped on my people’s faces!
And no, I am most assuredly not bitter!
Rhino: If I wasn't busy on some caper or another or fighting Spider-Man or Hulk or some other such thing – basically what I mean is if I’m not busy at the time – I’d likely just kind of take a seat on the ground next to him to make sure no one gave him any trouble. These homeless guys, they live a really hard life. Most people look down on them, call them “bums” or “creeps” or worse! And everyone assumes they are every single one a bunch of winos. The truth is that some are suffering from mental illness and can’t cope in society or have just fallen so far down on their luck that there’s no getting back. I know a lot about how these folks have to live.
You see, when you live your life forever trapped in a massive animal-themed super-suit, you don’t generally get your application for an apartment approved. When I’m not working with the Fearsome Five or some such I spend a lot of time catching my zees in parks, back alleys, loading doors, or city zoos. Apart from the zoo I tend to get to really socialize with people that most of us just ignore. It turns out that by and large you find some of the most generous, affable, and understanding people in the homeless community. A kind of “we’re all in this together” society. So if I happen upon a guy trying to get comfortable and have a decent rest before he’s got to pound the pavement in hopes of scoring enough grub to keep him going another day I would be happy to scare of punks and smart-asses and lousy cops telling him this is a public park and he can’t be sleeping here. He’s part of the public too, you know!
Rainbow Raider: That is quite the question, but first I have one for you… Do you know what a “stage mom” is? Sure. Of course you do. Most people have heard the term before. But do you know what it is like to have one? To live under the oppressive thumb of a parent who’s pride in her offspring is equaled only by her own insecurities and jealousy? No, you don’t, do you? Count yourself lucky, my friend!
You see, this was my fate, born as I was the fifth child and preceded by four sisters. As the sole male child of the Bivolo family, my parents finally had the opportunity they had so long awaited – saddling a son with the name Roy. You see, my name was really my mother’s idea. She always thought it would be fun (after marrying a Bivolo, that is) to have a son who’s name would invoke the mnemonic for the colors of the rainbow. Yeah, you are catching on now, aren't you? The whole “Rainbow Raider” shtick was dear old mom’s idea! Right down to being an arch criminal…can you believe that?! My own mother pushed me into crime! I wanted to be an artist!
You’ve probably heard that I never pursued my artistic potential because I am color blind and that in desperation I turned to becoming a color-themed criminal with a fondness for knocking over art museums and galleries. Well you know what? That was mommy’s idea too! I’m about as color blind as a honeybee! If anything I have above average color perception. I had it checked out after my mother passed away a year ago August. All those years I wasted with mom pulling the strings, living a life of crime vicariously through her own son! Did you know my sisters wouldn’t even visit me in prison any time I got caught by the Flash?! Ohhhh yeah! The whole family turns their backs on poor ol’ Roy Boy when the cuffs get slapped on, but guess who picks me up outside the stone walls and barbed wire? Yep! It was mom! All “welcome back son and here’s the next big score”! And you think Honey Boo Boo has it bad!
Now days I am following my own dream and not someone else’s. Flash pulled some strings with his pals in the Justice League and found me a really affordable loft where I can pursue my art. I even had a gallery show a couple of months ago that was pretty well received. And get this, it was a gallery I robbed 15 years back! Ain't the world a funny place? So anyway, as a result of the show I got myself a patron now. Some big business mogul up in Metropolis. Guy has his own skyscraper and everything. He says he wants to sponsor me and had some huge plans for me to help him out with some art he’s always wanted. Something about the Mona Lisa. I guess this Luthor guy wants me to churn out my own rendition or something. At least I’ll be doing something I’m good at!
Did you ask me about some street bum earlier? Sorry, don’t know any.
Rogue: You certainly aren't up on things, are you sugah? I've not been a villain in oh so many years! When did you put this list together?
Riddler: When is an interviewer like a confused coon hound?
When he’s barking up the wrong tree! Sorry, I could not resist. I heard about your little confusion with Rogue. Anyway, it is usually me who poses the questions, you know. Well, actually I tend to just pose riddles, which are like questions yet are not truly questions. Hmmm…there’s a riddle in there someplace. I will have to explore that further. And by the way, why aren't you bugging Joker with this sort of thing. It is more suited to his style! Oh? He was in the first one, eh? Showboater!
Okay, what do about this hypothetical hobo of yours…
The best remedy is a quick poke or two with my cane and then a pithy little riddle like, “Why is your presence on this bench akin to British English and me standing here like the American variety?” Naturally I don’t expect him to be witty enough to puzzle through the all-too-obvious answer to this query, so I will let him off the hook by yanking him off the bench with the crook of my cane and providing the proper response…”Because there is a bum where my ass should be!”