How to Write About a Supervillain... and Survive
Supervillains; they are the biggest of the big, and the baddest of the bad. Many Neopian events have been affected by their evil influence in one way or another, so it is no wonder that neopets and owners alike are so fascinated by them. The dark side does have cookies, after all. But have you ever stopped to consider the dangers of voicing your opinions of them in the Neopian Times? This article was written with the purpose of enlightening all writers about the most tactful way to manage this sensitive topic, as well as an overview of the potential consequences for offending a supervillain.
Ask Them First
I can already hear you asking, "but why would I want to ask a supervillain for permission?"
That is a good question, especially since the mere act of being in the vicinity of said supervillain carries the inherent risk of incineration. Still, asking politely may be the best way to avoid danger further down the road. Imagine the fury Doctor Sloth would rain down upon all of Neopia if someone wrote a story about him wearing pink frilly tutus. The fallout would be catastrophic. Naturally, he would not approve such a story, so be reasonable with your requests. Supervillains have access to extensive arsenals, and provoking them will almost certainly result in being vaporised and thrown into the nearest volcano (not necessarily in that order). Frivolous or degrading story ideas are not going to go down well, no matter how you phrase the question. So please, for the love of Fyora, do not tempt fate.
An unfortunate downside of asking is that you run the risk of the supervillain changing their mind. They do this quite often, and usually without telling you. That is why it is best to be respectful towards them at all times.
All or Nothing
When including a supervillain in your story, ask yourself if their presence is really required. If the role is minor, you should probably choose a small-time crook instead. Lesser criminals are not capable of hitting back with the force that a supervillain would if they were displeased with your depiction of them. Supervillains have supersized egos to match, and they want to be the star of the show. A small role might be perceived as an insult. Conversely, a central role will mean that you have to be on top of your game throughout the piece. A single poorly chosen word could mean the difference between acceptance and wrath from your supervillain of choice.
Writing an article may be even more problematic, owing to the prominence of factual accounts and subjective lists. Even supervillains like to embellish their "fishing" stories from time to time, and contradicting them would be the height of folly. Belittling their accomplishments is a sure way to offend them, and one that could result in sudden vaporisation. Similarly, putting the best and/or worst supervillains of all time in order would most likely invoke a deep-seated anger in most of the listed (and unlisted) parties. Once they finish squabbling amongst themselves, they will turn to the next most convenient target; the writer they believe has wronged them. It is ultimately your choice whether or not you want to include a supervillain in your Neopian Times entry, but remember to weigh your decision carefully.
Now, now. No need to look so incredulous. A number of well-placed compliments scattered throughout your work will go a long way to preventing hostile action against you by the supervillain in question. If you simply cannot bring yourself to scrape the ground before their feet, at least keep the tone of the piece neutral. Many articles in the Neopian Times are written with the purpose of persuading the readers of something. If, for example, you are determined to convince Neopians to resist Hubrid Nox, the only sure outcome is that you will earn an undying enemy in said supervillain. Contrary to popular belief, they are quite literate and will definitely notice if your writing is skewed against them. Most people believe that stories are safer, since they delve into the realm of fiction. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A supervillain is too fixated on their reputation to care about whether the account is real or not, and will take the opportunity to strike back with the intention of preserving their good (evil?) name. As a final point, remember this; the only thing that supervillains crave more than power is flattery. Make sure you choose your words carefully.
In Case of Emergency
So you chose to ignore the advice in this article and now you have an enraged supervillain on your tail? Never fear! A prolific writer in this field should always have an emergency kit prepared in case of... well, emergencies. Below are some items that I recommend:
Lupe Snack Pack - Let's face it; King Altador is always throwing his lunch at you, so this is probably the cheapest and most convenient food you can find for the road.
Two Bottles of Water - You might be moving around a lot while evading your supervillain, so it's important to keep hydrated. It's also cheaper than a single bottle of water, for some unknown reason.
Hiding from Clowns Blanket - Clowns are scary. You know what else is scary? Supervillains. Therefore, this blanket should work on both of them.
Battle Torch - It might not keep you warm (unless you choose to brandish it as a weapon), but it will help you to see at night without the pesky smoke signals that come with a normal fire. Having an item that doubles as another is a great way to economise space in your kit. The less you have to carry, the faster you can make your escape.
Xandras Cunning Disguise - If it worked for Xandra, there's no reason it shouldn't work for you. These glasses ought to be enough to divert suspicion for at least a few minutes, should you come face-to-face with the supervillain you're trying to avoid.
I'd love to stay around and summarise the reasons why provoking supervillains is a bad idea, but there's an ominously-cloaked Chia on my doorstep. Time to break out the emergency kit!