Just like in the comic book world, real life heroes need real life villains.
Real Life Super Villains were created four years ago as a to help ensure Superheroes stayed moral. “Villains” don’t have death-lasers or plans to rule the world. They take upon themselves the duty of demanding accountability to those who would call themselves “super”.
The interaction the Super Villains have with the RLSH is mainly online. Although it is known to happen, very rarely do the RLSV actually meet superheroes in person.
For better or worse, the internet community is the media for the RLSH worldwide. Approval, information, networking, ideas, collaboration and conflicts are played out on Facebook, YouTube and various message boards and forums.
Much like heroes, each Villain operates differently. Some Real Life Supervillains criticize RLSH openly, sometimes cruelly, in posts and comments to demand response from heroes whose behavior they find lacking. Some mock by producing media designed to spoof and draw attention to the “hero’s” shortcomings.
A prominent member of R.O.A.C.H., a villain group, Zyklon B took on a controversial name to match his approach to his criticism of Heroes as a whole. He uses inflammatory comments that are designed to straddle the line of propriety, especially with new or unproven RLSH. With another RLSV, Zyklon helped bring to light an incident where someone behaved in a lewd manner in a RLSH-related webcam chat room. Regarding many of the heroes, “The bad guys are really the good guys. And the heroes are the villains,” says Zyklon B.
The Roaming EYE of DOOM
A comedic group of what some call “Metavillains”, these fiction-based villains are led by Octavius Fong, an evil puppet. The EYE has included those like; Kaptain Blackheart, The Baroness, Agent Orange and others. The goal is to hold a ‘funhouse mirror’ to the RLSH community by producing humorous videos, web-cast radio programming and on-line personas. The Baroness has also exposed false RLSHs whose goal was to send explicit messages to females in the online community. They try to maintain a high standard of ethics, if only to keep the higher ground.
Perhaps the most disciplined practitioner of “Metavillainy”, he speaks of himself in Third Person as “One”. His portrayal of his persona has led him creating a textured fictional existence which includes a headquarters set he has built in his home. His goal is to inspire critical thinking through absurdity and imagination. “Superheroes are trapped in a group self delusion of their own making. Whenever the truth appears, they run from it, like kryptonite,” says Lord Malignance.
Caligula Ceasar selected his name to embody the greed and thirst for power that his historical namesake so villainously displayed. However, Caligula considers himself a different type of Real Life Super Villain. “I consider myself a ‘Been Born Super Villain’. I have villainy in my blood. It goes back generations,” he explains. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, he calls his neighbourhood the New R.O.M.E. (Reign Over My Enemies).
Quote from Zyklon B
“The reason I target certain “capes”, as we call them, is that I don’t believe that they are acting very heroic. If they are bigots or otherwise set a bad example for the community and/or the children who they are supposed to be protecting, it puts them right in my crosshairs. Heroes have no room for hate speech or supporting things such as crimes against women.
My goals have somewhat changed. I do not attack everyone who calls themselves a superhero… Just the ones who deserve it. There are those out there who I believe are genuine in what they are trying to do and truly wish to help people. I generally leave those people alone – and have actually become friends with some of them.
I will be honest: the costume makes things a lot more fun and theatrical for both sides. I mean, who wants to fight a “hero” or “villain” in a t-shirt and blue jeans? Come on – they get to wear costumes, then so do we!”