bad is a relative term

I remember watching Die Hard when I was around fifteen and thinking there was something wrong with me. John McClane was great and all with this quick wit, boyish swagger, and unflagging devotion to upholding the law (even while breaking a good forty dozen of them in the process). But I couldn’t keep my eyes off Hans Gruber.
The class.
The intelligence.
The snark.
I fell harder for Hans than he did from the top of Nakatomi Plaza. (Still upset about that ending, by the way.)
So thanks to Alan Rickman, I developed an unnatural fondness for brilliant, suave bad guys. The kind of guys who could kill you with Shakespeare. If they have dark hair and a British accent, then it’s all over but the cryin’, and there will be cryin’ because a gal who loves the villain rarely walks out of a movie happy.

I'm sending my therapy bills to you, Alan. In a big box. That also contains myself.

I’m sending my therapy bills to you, Alan. In a big box. That also contains myself.

I started writing my novel with an alien antagonist named Cid. He is everything I love about bad guys: confident, sarcastic, smarter than you. He’s also cute if you’re into gray-skinned, black-haired aliens with sharp teeth and claws. I am into that, apparently. Less than half-way through writing the story, I’d become so smitten with Cid that I turned him into the hero. Being a writer is kinda like being a God that way. “For I so loved my world, I gave it a snarky alien. Amen.”

Speaking of aliens, I am hoping that Loki’s character arc in the latest series of Marvel movies ends up with him as a pseudo-hero. So far he’s gone from being a good-if sneaky-guy turned bad (Thor), to a badder guy (Avengers), to kinda a good guy but still doing bad things (Thor 2). It could take only a couple more steps before he is fighting with the Avengers right beside his brother, Thor. I don’t think he could ever be Good with a capital G, but he could at least be kinda bad but in our favor. If there’s anywhere you want a dashing, maniacal genius who’s always twelve steps ahead of everyone else, it’s on your team.

Heimdall, open the bi-frost. I need to have a word with my boyfriend.

Heimdall, open the bi-frost. I need to have a word with my boyfriend.

Anyway, I am going somewhere with all this.

A while back I stumbled on a subscription delivery service called Loot Crate. Once a month, for how ever many months you choose, Loot Crate will send you a box of geeky goodness. In case you didn’t know, I am a bit of a geek. I’m a second generation Trekkie and I have a VIP card to the Mos Eisley Cantina. I love most anything sci-fi themed and adore the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So I really liked the idea of Loot Crate, but hadn’t signed up because it was such a frivolous expenditure and I was worried the box would have more gamer stuff (which I’m not really in to) than geeky stuff. Exactly what’s in the box is a surprise, but you are guaranteed a t-shirt (which is worth the price of a one month subscription in itself) and various other toys, stickers, trinkets all with a geeky/gamer sensibility.  You do get a hint, though. Each month’s box has a theme. Well, when I saw that July’s theme was Villains, I knew the time had come to lay my money down.

So in four days my box of baddie-themed prizes will be en-route to my door. It’s exciting! Like a gift from a secret admirer. That I had to pay for. But let’s be honest . . . don’t we all have to pay for secret admirers in some way eventually? Restraining orders don’t file themselves.


  1. I’ve always had to pay for my secret admirers.
    I sure hope you tell us what loot you scored. Loki looks fairly flexible. You best open it immediately upon arrival, as he’ll probably need to stretch and get some fresh air.


  2. You are not alone. I loved Hans as well. I also loved Darth Vader. And David from The Lost Boys (“Maggots Michael, you’re eating maggots.” and Rick Masters and Roy Batty and just about every sleazy cocaine kingpin featured on Miami Vice. I had Scarface’s restaurant monologue “Say goodnight to the bad guy.” memorized and would quote it to potential junior high school love interests to catastrophic failure.

    I CANNOT WAIT to see your box!


    1. Prior to writing this post, I had made a list of the movie baddies I liked off the top of my head. David, Darth, and Roy Batty were on my list. Along with Mr. Smith from the Matrix, General Zod, and Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham.

      “I CANNOT WAIT to see your box!” I have the brain of a 12 year old boy, Scott. You shouldn’t say such things to me. 🙂


  3. You had me at Loot Crate! Marry me now!
    That is if you like fellow dark haired Canadian writers who build air planes for a living and have universal health care?


    1. I’m not in the market for a new husband just yet, but I have your application on file. And the universal health care does move you closer to the top of the list. You’re still behind Loki, however.


      1. I know the feeling I’m not in the market for a new husband either. I don’t take it as a slight that I’m running behind a Norse half giant and Mr I’m going to kill you with a spoon.

        I have to become the proto typical Canadian baddy, I need to stop feeling sorry for being bad though.


  4. As an super-genius evil scientist, I must admit that sometimes I wish I had the accent. I’d have gotten more misplaced admiration that way.

    But really — the villains are almost always more interesting than the hero. Look at Vader, in the first 2. Maybe the only franchise that kept the hero more interesting is Indiana Jones. Though I will admit to occasionally wanting to be able to Kali-Ma someone’s beating heart.


    1. How evil can you be when you bring your sweet puppy, Penny, into work?

      And I think that heroes like Indiana Jones more interesting because they are unconventional. He’s sneaky smart, steals artifacts for a living, and knows how to use a whip (rawr).
      Same thing for David/Bruce Banner. He’s a good guy who goes all ragey and smashes things. What’s not to love?


  5. I will be awaiting the unboxing of your loot box. I have a friend who gets them, but the range of things in the boxes she’s shown me usually mean I only like one thing. And I don’t wear tshirts tho I suppose I could give them to the hubby. He could go all Sheldon-esque and have a tshirt per day of the month!


    1. I’ve seen what’s been in past crates, and each of them contained somewhere between 30 and 75% stuff that interested me. It’s great that they let you know the theme of the box ahead of time, because that helps out a lot with knowing if it will have more stuff you like. And that would be very nice of you to share your t-shirt with your husband!


  6. I am always a sucker for a great bad guy too. I was never that into Hans Gruber, but I relish every scene he’s in. How awesome is it when he does something vile and then smiles that self-delighted smile of his? But I was smitten on The Lost Boys’ David, and somehow I couldn’t help but be drawn to Snape. I think power is just naturally attractive, and there are bad guys that are just saturated with strength and power – and maybe that they do terrible things without fear. Good guy power seems less tangible.


    1. I think you’re on to something with the whole power thing. The unflappable confidence and the fearlessness. Good villains tend to have complex motivations, too. Good guys usually only have the motivation to do good. How boring.


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