"Most Likely to be a Super Villain" photo - ideas for a clever costume?
April 5, 2008 11:32 PM   Subscribe

My senior class voted me 'most likely to be a super villain' for the superlative section of the yearbook. I need to throw something together to wear in the picture, and I was hoping someone could help me. People are expecting me to come up with something really good, and everything I can think of is a little mediocre. Can you guys think of anything funny/ cool for a high school girl dressing up as a super villain? Thanks!
posted by howgenerica to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (55 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Too easy. GWB mask.
posted by artdrectr at 11:42 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Cruella de Vil -- 1.
posted by ericb at 11:44 PM on April 5, 2008

Wicked Witch of the West -- 1.
posted by ericb at 11:47 PM on April 5, 2008

This post (from yours truly) might help if you have future aspirations.
posted by Octoparrot at 11:48 PM on April 5, 2008

Ann Coulter -- 1.
posted by ericb at 11:49 PM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]

Possibly too un-creative, but would look good and get the idea across in a photo: catwoman. You can't really get too crazy, or people won't get it.
posted by ctmf at 11:54 PM on April 5, 2008

Oh, come on, guys, those aren't supervillains!

Way I see it, you've got a couple of options:
- Slightly menacing "super" style: your usual cape and tights get-up, but maybe with some extras. Goggles? Gas mask? Riding crop or whip?

- Suave. Suit (especially weird but coordinating colors), top hat, maybe sun glasses and cane, and a sly/menacing grin. Fun accessories also possible.

Here's a list of supervillains on Wikipedia for your perusal. A few of my favorites: the Riddler, the Shade, the Gentleman Ghost. And one can't forget the Sandman, who's a good guy. But have a look-see; there's a lot there.
posted by bettafish at 12:02 AM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Formal wear with tiara.
posted by rhizome at 12:02 AM on April 6, 2008

How can you not go with one of the most well known bad girls in fiction? Catwoman. Think of it... easy to recognize, easy to put together, kinda sexy, and probably won't embarrass you as much as the Wicked Witch will at your 20th reunion. Remember... you will see these images again.

Julie Newmar's Catwoman
Eartha Kitt's Catwoman
Lee Meriwether's Catwoman
Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman

It's seems easy... black leggings, black boots, black top, a gold necklace & belt, black gloves & cat ears. Add whip at own risk.

Other bad girls that would work.... Poison Ivy (Because there's something about Batman that just rubs girls the wrong way) or Elle Driver from Kill Bill in nurse mode. O-ren is probably cooler than Elle, but no one will know who you are.
posted by aristan at 12:07 AM on April 6, 2008

and I almost forgot this convenient list of female supervillains.
posted by aristan at 12:08 AM on April 6, 2008

Don't be some existing villain - be your own villain.

What kind of villainy is your style?
High tech villain
-build a robotic exoskeleton, like Dr Octopus, or
-leather jacket with mirrored patches, computer implanted into head, or other high-tech headgear

Wall-Street-by-day villain
-Sigourney Weaver; corporate suit, super slick hair and makeup, with evil look at the camera

Mercenary in the jungle villain
-Linda Hamilton in T-2; ammo belts, tank top, cigar

High society villain
-Cruella de Vil, fur coat, cigarette in holder, etc

Comic book villain
-Crazy colored tights and leotard and cape
-Awesome name and superpowers would be required with this route

2. You'll need a lair to be photographed in (or a super-cool car, or yacht, or submarine, or volcano).
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:08 AM on April 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

Mommie Dearest
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:30 AM on April 6, 2008

What do all good supervillains have? Henchmen. Lots and lots of anonymous, interchangable henchmen, for use as cannon fodder/guards at the lair/experimental subjects/etc.

So for a cheap and easy supervillain costume, you could dress in some primary color and get two friends, preferably beefy, to dress identically (to each other, not you) in the same color. The henchmen must be anonymous, so they get identical hats (fedoras, perhaps) and masks. Maybe they hold ray-guns. You stand between them, sneering at the camera.
posted by five toed sloth at 12:32 AM on April 6, 2008 [6 favorites]

Really, you pretty much just need a monocle.
posted by dersins at 12:35 AM on April 6, 2008

a monocle+chain is an easy-to-make distinctive affectation of supervillains. Normally the gents, but could work for a woman. Alternatively (and just as easy) is an eye-patch.


You'll note that Angelina Jolie (above), Dr Evil, and Dr Steel all have a kind of immaculate uniform-like garb.

Actually, spend some time at Dr Steel's website - it's pretty amazing, and should be a good source of ideas, as it covers a wide range of iconic super-villain styles - in some areas, he's the outcast military genius, in others, the mad scientist, in others, steampunk philosopher, in others, eccentric toymaker. All sorts of costumes and iconic art (mostly Dr Steel, but henchmenpeople include both men and women)
posted by -harlequin- at 12:47 AM on April 6, 2008

&tabI suggest you avoid the colorful comic supervillain for its potential to come across as too campy. And outside of comics, unfortunately, most evil supervillainesses are lamentably too often just sex-bombs with really high heels and a complete lack of empathy. Adopting their wardrobe tropes would be like going to a Halloween party as sexy nurse. L-A-M-E.

No, think of the male Bond supervillains and adopt their style. What do Blofeld, Dr. No, Sir Hugo Drax, Emilio Largo, et. al. have in common? Other than trying to take over the world and being thwarted by 007, primarily they all love a simple, well-tailored Nehru / Mandarin style suit. It's worn with the precision and attention to detail that a military officer would give to their uniform, but is completely unadorned. It says that the character is both controlling and in control, and owes allegiance only to the nation of self. It's the uniform of a complete dictator, enlightened despot, and person so complete within themselves that they have no need to impress. Fuck you, fashion, this is what a king wears because I, Blofeld, am wearing it. Being female you are allowed to sport jodhpurs and go-go boots instead of trousers and simple shoes if you want.

You're also looking to play up an external flaw that symbolizes your character's lack of inner balance, and while real disabilities can work (hook/cane/mechanical glove, darth vader mask), they're going out of style a bit. Something milder like Blofeld's scar? A bald head? Eye patch? Goatee? Maybe not the goatee for you. Eye patch could work, as could some weird goggles. A bald-head wig if your hair is short enough that the bald wig won't be lumpy and you have someone to help professionally apply it. Alternatively, the Cruella thing could work: dye a large streak your hair a contrasting color to the base. Ideally you're brunette and can get a nice skunky white stripe. If you're less committed to the role, I suppose you could get an extension put in for the day.
posted by mumkin at 12:48 AM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sorry, Blofeld's wearing a Mao jacket, and Largo wasn't supposed to be in that listing. However on further investigation, evil Prince Kamal Khan sports the Nehru in Octopussy, and like Drax, Jonathan Pryce's forgettable evil media mogul from Tomorrow Never Dies goes back and forth between Mao and Nehru. So really, whatever kind of jacket you wear, make sure it's buttoned all the way up to your throat.

Harlequin is also completely correct in suggesting that were you to show up as Angelina Jolie from Sky Captain, you would have an excellent supervillainess look down cold, even though, you know, her character's not actually evil. Strong women sometimes have that problem, particularly when they're wearing black fascist-inspired uniforms with eye patches, leather, and small arms.
posted by mumkin at 1:19 AM on April 6, 2008

In an electric wheelchair, chasing a terrified toddler into a burning building. And wear pigtails -- from actual pigs.
posted by pracowity at 1:27 AM on April 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

I'll suggest a white cat, a cigarette holder, & second an eyepatch. A machine gun & an unnervingly broad smile.

If there's a chance for context: holding someone off the edge of a roof (only their leg visible), at a computer with big governmental warnings screaming, in a dark office with a flashlight held so you can rifle the file cabinet properly.

Holding a large knife behind your back as you dine with a superhero.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:52 AM on April 6, 2008

Everyone knows evil women smoke cigarettes from the long stick holder thingy. With gloves on.
posted by ctmf at 1:59 AM on April 6, 2008

The only way to do it is tongue-in-cheek: be Hamburglar. Robble robble robble.
posted by patricio at 2:05 AM on April 6, 2008

hold a hairless cat
posted by rhinny at 3:31 AM on April 6, 2008

An eye patch AND a monocle. No offense to the visually impaired, but that kind of evil has never been seen before.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:51 AM on April 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

I'll suggest a white cat, a cigarette holder, & second an eyepatch.

May I respectfully second Pronoiac's suggestion. Hilarious, yet elegant -- a winning combo.
posted by theredpen at 7:23 AM on April 6, 2008

Add a fake scar and possibly a metal claw to the white cat and you're golden.
posted by electroboy at 7:31 AM on April 6, 2008

Remember that a cigarette holder or anything else tobacco-esque, while being a great villainesse prop, will probably get you suspended from school in this age.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 7:31 AM on April 6, 2008

How about one of these grills fo' yo' teef?
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:01 AM on April 6, 2008

A lab coat, and an Erlenmeyer flask full of something green and toxic-looking?

(Also seconding Five-Toed Sloth's idea of henchmen.)
posted by The Shiny Thing at 8:05 AM on April 6, 2008

I would add a nice (looking) pair of driving gloves - you do not want to leave any fingerprints around.
posted by cinemafiend at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2008

Dr. Girlfriend? While at the moment she's in cahoots with another supervillain, she's solo'd in the past, and is clearly a major driving force with her current partner.
posted by ElaineMc at 8:18 AM on April 6, 2008

Although the "get it" factor would render this suggestion moot, I've got to suggest Hillary.
posted by Detuned Radio at 8:22 AM on April 6, 2008

tie your hair back in a severe pony tail.

monocle. persian cat on your lap, pinky ring - gold, lots of gold.

Stare sternly at the camera, unwavering - for you are not just any villain, but a Super Villain!
posted by seawallrunner at 8:23 AM on April 6, 2008

Ideally this should play off your personality a bit. What super villain characteristics do people see in you? Mad computer skillz, in the chem lab all the time, mean to small children, what? Play off this with an outfit that pokes a bit of fun at the super villain archetype while referencing your mad super villain skillset, while also looking good now and 20 years later.

The henchmen are good, ideally the backdrop for this would be some sort of bank of fancy electronics or gigantic container of mysterious liquid. A collection of radio telescope dishes or communications antennas would be another good backdrop, or if you have any weird unidentifiable items from surplus auctions around this would be a good time to get them out.
posted by yohko at 8:31 AM on April 6, 2008

A long mustache and a pipe. Arched eyebrow. Funny -- especially for a girl.
posted by amanda at 8:43 AM on April 6, 2008

Along the same lines as amanda's suggestion: Snidely Whiplash. All you'd really need is a fake mustache and a top hat.
posted by gwyn at 9:08 AM on April 6, 2008

Go against type.

Some of the best female super-villains concealed their evil beneath an innocuous exterior. Dress up in the most goody-two-shoes outfit you can procure, perhaps augmented by somethig just a little off. Channel Reese Witherspoon from Election or Kathleen Turner from Serial Mom (the scissors are a nice touch - you could add a different innocuous-seeming household object/weapon of your choice).
posted by googly at 9:29 AM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Shaving your head would be epic, and would ensure your eternal place among the legends of high school.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:04 AM on April 6, 2008

posted by blue_beetle at 10:13 AM on April 6, 2008

A villain has a tophat, a black cape, and a large, well-manicured mustache, which is frequently found between the villain's thumb and index finger, which he unconsciously twirls as he plots. Like this. A monocle is not required nor recommended, as it will only make you look like an oil magnate and not a proper, hog-tied-to-the-train-tracks kind of villain.

Alternatively, you could just dress up like Darth Vader and shake your fist.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:16 AM on April 6, 2008

posted by candyland at 10:18 AM on April 6, 2008

+1 for the eye patch
posted by drmarcj at 12:13 PM on April 6, 2008

::Screams:: She's a GIRL! Stop suggesting she be a male character.

five toed sloth has it down perfectly. Henchmen to do your bidding shows you're a woman of power. Add in a touch or two of black and now you're a villain. What an awesome thing to be voted!
posted by TauLepton at 12:53 PM on April 6, 2008

I dont have any ideas but make sure you tell us which one you went with or better yet show us a picture :)
posted by boyinmiami at 12:57 PM on April 6, 2008

Congrats! I like mumkin's ideas about bond movies and I like the white cat. Maybe a picture of your profile darkened to a silhouette, seated at a big desk, stroking a well-lit white cat sitting in your lap. If the principal's desk is easily recognizable, that might be an appropriate desk to sit at. Or, standing on the roof of the high school, shaking your fist at the sky. Or just wear one of those big curly mustaches. Boas are also good. Both the feather and the snake kind.
posted by Eringatang at 1:15 PM on April 6, 2008

Seconding googly. More unexpected and more likely to not be embarrassing in a few years (or weeks). Trying to go the badass/sexy route here is a one-way ticket to mockeryville.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 1:18 PM on April 6, 2008

Oh.... Eringatang, sitting at the principal's desk is a GREAT idea... so great I have to add to it.

Get some manilla folders and the names of the other superlatives. Try and get behind the principal's desk, an assistant principal's desk, or a really recognizable teacher's desk. Just ask, someone will play along.

Write the names of the other superlatives on the front of the folders. I think it should be written very large and say something like "CONFIDENTIAL: JOHN SMITH'S PERMANENT RECORD".

Sitting behind the desk, hold up the folder with the name of the person voted "Most Likely to Succeed" on it like you're reading it. Hold a highlighter or a sharpie marker as if you're collecting all the juicy information or blacking out all their community service and straight A's.

Throw your head back in an evil laugh for the photo.
posted by aristan at 1:31 PM on April 6, 2008

Business suit, eye patch, and an innocent expression while looking down on the camera from above.
posted by 517 at 1:38 PM on April 6, 2008

Another idea: don't take a picture. Ask a classmate to draw a cartoon of you as a supervillian. A friend did this for me once and I really like it (though it looks zero like me)! I've uploaded it to my profile for a limited time for you to see what I mean. Just something simple. Try to get one that has a good likeness of you.
posted by Eringatang at 2:27 PM on April 6, 2008

Channel Montgomery Burns.
posted by catburger at 3:21 PM on April 6, 2008

how about just a handlebar mustache; as in the "You Must Pay the Rent" villain?

or, alternately, a lovely jewelry box or something with WMD written on the side.

i think a whole huge costume is too camp. something more subtle will be funnier in the long run IMHO.

maybe a little devil on your shoulder?
posted by xz at 4:35 PM on April 6, 2008

I think a costume and henchmen would be awesome, and you would look back at that picture in the future and continue to think it was awesome. I was voted for a few things like this in my high school yearbook, and took costumed and stage-managed pictures, and my only regret is that I cut some corners so the pictures weren't quite as good as they could have been. I say do it up right.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:39 PM on April 6, 2008

A girl version of Dr Strangelove would be awesome.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 5:13 PM on April 6, 2008

i second the handlebar mustache
posted by nuclear_soup at 7:32 PM on April 6, 2008

Rhoda Penmark!
posted by brujita at 9:44 PM on April 6, 2008

Frau Farbissina, no doubt about it.
posted by mynameismandab at 2:14 PM on April 7, 2008

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