And when he planned to steal our sunlight, he crossed that line between everyday villainy and cartoonish supervillainy.
What is it that makes a villain a supervillain? What quality is it that defines an antagonist as more than a threat, more than a foil? As something extraordinary?
The easy answer is that a supervillain is a villain with super powers, but that’s not a sufficient answer. If you name three supervillains off the top of your head, I guarantee you two of them have no powers at all. And there are many monstrous villains in fiction that have powers that still wouldn’t ever be considered a supervillain.
Similarly, we can say a supervillain must have specific accouterments—a costume, a nom de guerre, henchmen, a hideout—which is another way of saying that a supervillain must have a distinct, instantly recognizable aesthetic. They can have a costume, or a ...