By Nick “Novel” Gabanski
What makes a good villain? Intelligence, sadism, and an ego. Now, what makes a good minion? (And no, I am not referring to those mutant yellow abominations that have plagued parents everywhere.) I’m talking about the kind of minion that helps the big bad villain and gives Evil a good name. Well… tries to.
Here’s the issue with minions, henchmen, and other assorted minor creatures of evil: they’re not very reliable. While villains have their qualities, minions have theirs as well: Intelligence, Loyalty, and Evilness. Thus the villains are presented with a problem: Pick two qualities.
You see the dilemma? If a villain were to choose Intelligence and Evilness, then their minions wouldn’t be loyal. And a villain needs loyal minions to do their bidding. And they certainly don’t need their minions trying to overthrow or backstab them. That would be unacceptable. But what if they pick Intelligence and Loyalty? Well, then their minions wouldn’t be evil. Being evil is the main job requirement in this line of work. Can’t have a minion growing a conscience, now can we? This leaves our third option: Loyalty and Evilness. So, now the villain has evil minions who have no moral qualms, and they’re loyal to their master/mistress of darkness. But once more, therein lies a problem: the minions would be dumber than bricks.
And as is often the case, the villain ends up doing most of the work themselves when they really need something done. You’d think the evil mastermind wouldn’t bother with the help at all and just work a solo-operation. It would be easier, wouldn’t it? That could very well be where the villain’s ego steps in. They’re too high and mighty to handle the little tasks. Or they could simply be lazy. Why do something yourself when you have hordes of evil creatures who worship you and would do your bidding in an instant? The appeal is certainly there. I can’t help but wonder though how often the hero of the story escapes or gets out of a situation because of the ineptitude of the villain’s henchmen? It happens more often than you think. As Maleficent said (from the classic Disney movie Sleeping Beauty) “They’re hopeless! A disgrace to the forces of Evil.”
Edited by Melissa Brooks