Some of you got impatient with the recent history lesson and said "hey Mr. Big, we're not scientists, just give us something we can use". Alright, here's some recent intel from the supervillain world.
One of my counterparts in the heroing world, the Azure Guardsman, spent several years training newbie heroes. But he fell out of favor. It wasn't anything he did. The newer breed got tired of his "old school" ways. They became convinced, as young idiots are, that the old guard had it wrong. They thought the only good villain was a dead villain, that ACTION was useless, and that the authorities shouldn't have any say in what they did because, y'know, entitlement. So he hung up the cape and retired.
What almost nobody knew until recently was that he'd taken on a new identity - the supervillain Redline. Now, nobody suspected this because frankly Redline is useless. He's somewhere on Beaver Boy's level in terms of planning and execution. And based on this, I'm starting to rethink Beaver Boy too, just in case.
Redline was the guy who would challenge new heroes, and get stomped into the dust. Only he'd get back up and try it again. He was just too stupid to stay down. And he was harmless. Civilians didn't get hurt on his jobs, he didn't cause a bunch of property damage, all that stuff. And even funnier, he'd point it out if the hero got too reckless and started smashing stuff. "Hey hey, what are you doing?" he'd demand, incredulously. "I'm just robbin' the bank here!" It was ridiculous.
But... it was effective. Nobody ever realized that what he was really doing was training this new generation of heroes. He didn't tell them why they should pull their punches or show restraint or be thoughtful, he demonstrated. He'd shame the young punks by being the villain who cared more about civilians than the hero.
So now he's turning in the cape again. He sent several of us old-timers a private message. He apparently fell in love, and he's retiring from the super world for the foreseeable future. He asked that we don't cause him trouble or try to find him or his new girlfriend. I'll make the commitment right now, and I hope everyone else will, to honor that agreement. Why? Because a well-trained hero is gold to a supervillain. Predictable heroes with self-enforced codes of restraint are always better than heroes who will go apeshit on your ass, 10 times out of 10. Out of gratitude for leaving us with a bunch of nice guys, I wish the Azure Guardsman all the best.