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4 Stupid Mistakes That Turned Ordinary People Into Super Villains

4 Stupid Mistakes That Turned Ordinary People Into Super Villains

By Gabriel Laks

Super villains are everywhere now: comic books, TV, toys, lunchboxes, and, especially, movies. It’s not surprising. Today is the Age Of Geek, and what do geeks like to see more than a good bad guy? It's only May and already our summer movies have shown us dozens of villains, with a few even appearing in films other than The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

There all sorts of evildoers with all sorts of personalities, schemes, and modus operandi but there is one thing unites the lot of em: klutziness. Countless feared antagonists became the craven freaks they are not out of personal choice but because of stupid mistakes, poor thinking, and good old fashioned oopsie daisies.

Here are a few of our favorites.

THE VILLAIN

Dr. Otto Octavius a.k.a. Dr. Octopus or “Doc Ock.” He’s caused Spider-Man no shortage of grief over 50 years of comics history. He was played by Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2, and by Edna Mode in the comics.

THE ORIGIN

Dr. Octavius worked with an apparatus of biomechanical arms attached to his back. Though the exact details of his origin have changed from comic book to animated series to film, the gist always remains that the good doctor was fused to his device in a radioactive explosion (that he was pretty much completely responsible for).

THE LESSON

IF YOU ARE EVIL DO NOT WORK AROUND RADIATION! Seriosuly, guys, after a century of comic books you think everyone would have figured out that if you’re pure of heart, radiation will give you really great super powers while if you’re evil it turns you into a monster. “But MindHut, that explosion gave Doc Ock sick metal arms with super strength,” you say. Sure, sure. But you try going through airport security with four metal back tentacles, and then tell us if it’s worth it.

DARTH VADER

THE VILLAIN

C’mon, does Darth Vader need any introduction? He’s Darth freaking Vader! He is and will forever be an icon of ne’er do wells.

THE ORIGIN

After joining The Dark Side of The Force, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader confronts his friend and mentor Obi Wan Kenobi on the planet of Mustafar. The two duel beside the lava, until Vader loses his limbs to Kenobi’s blade. The molten lava sets Skywalker ablaze, and Kenobi leaves as his once friend is irreparably deformed.

THE LESSON

Lava is hot. Don’t fight near it.

CYBORG SUPERMAN

THE VILLAIN

Superman’s exact double, give or take a mild case of Terminator face.

THE ORIGIN

Hank Henshaw was an astronaut (and Reed Richards stand in) employed by Lex Luthor. After a LexCorp radiation experiment destroys his body, Henshaw telepathically implants his consciousness into a Kryptonian birthing pod, and is reborn as Cyborg Superman.

Oh, and he goes insane. Duh.

THE LESSON

Don’t work for LexCorp. We know the economy’s rough, but send out a few more resumes. Especially if you are evil, and the LexCorp job involves radiation in any capacity whatsoever. If you possess even just a tiny potential for evil and LexCorp offers you a job as a Dental X-Ray technician, do not take the job. You will turn into the radioactive Molars Man and the teeth that now cover your mutant body will repeatedly be knocked out of you by Superman for the rest of forever.

THE VILLAIN

The Lizard, a.k.a. Dr. Curt Connors, is a scientist, mentor to Peter Parker, loving father, and vicious were-reptile who can often be found terrorizing the sewers of New York

THE ORIGIN

When we meet Connors in both the Spider-Man comics and films, he’s long been haunted by the loss of an arm. Inspired by the healing properties of lizards, Connors devises a… lizard serum (???) to grow his arm back. It does, with the nasty little side effect of turning him into a lizard. And so, like Spidey rogues gallery members Doc Ock, the Green Goblin, the Hob Goblin, Venom, Carnage, and so many more, Connors becomes a monster inside and out.

THE LESSON

Unless you want dramatic irony to turn you into a monster thing, don’t be a Spider-Man villain. Also check with your doctor to make sure any medication you take doesn’t have a crazy side effect like, and this is just a random example, turning you into a lizard.

What are some of your favorite super villain origins?

Tags: movies, villains, books-and-comics, super villains, the amazing spider-man 2

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About the Author
Gabriel Laks

Gabriel Laks is a Seattle born and New York-based writer and director. His work has been featured in such places as College Humor and Channel 101, and his writing has been quoted in The New Yorker. Gabriel currently resides in Brooklyn, in an apartment filled to the brim with Adam West Batman memorabilia.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.