7 Ways to Hurt a Hero: Don’t Read If You’re a Hero. Thanks.

Superman and Doomsday

Superman and Doomsday

Don’t let the picture fool you.  We aren’t talking exclusively about physical pain and torment.  That’s fairly easy and people have their own preferences.  Some villains go for the bones while others focus on the skin.  I went to Evil Bastard University (Go Pink Chickadees!) with a guy whose only struck the left side of his opponents.  Not sure what happened to him, but I’m sure he’s either doing okay or been killed by somebody who wasn’t in the mood for his antics.  Anyway, how do you REALLY hurt a hero?  Here are a few tips:

  1. The most common method is to hurt or kill a loved one.  If you go with the first or third option then make sure the hero is watching.  Doing it when they aren’t paying attention will get them mad, but having the see it happen creates a sense of helplessness.  Out of sight, out of mind type of thing.  You should be ready for a rage-fueled enemy to come after you, so spruce up the fortress and upgrade your skills a little before attempting this one.
  2. Kidnap a loved one, which is a milder version of #1.  It can be combined with hurting and killing, but I’m talking about taking a hostage.  Some heroes will back down and even do what you ask while you hold a loved one prisoner.  This isn’t the best idea since you’re going to have to give the person back at some point.  See the last sentence of #1 to see what you should do to prepare for that one.
  3. Have an agent send them on a long journey that will help them defeat you, but is really a distraction.  Heroes always fall for somebody in need or messages that hint at a weapon designed to kill you.  Don’t get me wrong.  Many times there is a big thingy that will ruin you, which is why this trick works.  They’re off searching for something in the wrong direction while you’re getting stronger and doing whatever it is that makes you evil.  DO NOT BE IDLE!  The heroes won’t feel a sense of shame for falling for your trick if it’s revealed that you did nothing more than paint your nails and learn how to play the pipe organ while they were away.
  4. Corrupt a loved one to your side.  It’s best that you do this without magical manipulation because that can be undone.  Woo their lover or tempt their best friend to get them to turn.  Lie about the hero and make them think he or she is really the bad guy.  Few things are more entertaining than the look on a hero’s face when they’ve been betrayed.  If you’re not very charismatic then get an agent who is.  Just don’t let that person turn their power against you.
  5. Burn a place they love to the ground.  It’s your choice if you want people to be there or not.  Personally, I avoid that because of the smell and it attracts hungry dragons.
  6. Start a large propaganda campaign against the hero.  One method is to hire bards to spread rumors about their mistakes.  You can even set the hero up with a trap that makes it look like they’re the ones who destroyed the orphanage.  Try to avoid building yourself up as the real good guy because we both know that will never fly.  It also requires that you do things to counter them, which can take time away from your true machinations.  Keep the rumors coming and flying faster than they can react.  Before long, they’ll be hated around the region and their fragile hero ego will be considering retirement.
  7. Capture them and make them suffering.  Yeah, I said this wasn’t going to be about the physical side of things.  Yet, you should never underestimate the psychological aspect of torturing the hero.  They always in control and confident with that gag-inducing faith that good will triumph over evil.  That isn’t easy to maintain when they’re getting broken and there’s no end in sight.  I guess this isn’t a great one for the list since you can’t go very far after you’re done.  Kill them or release them into the wild where they’ll either die or come back stronger than ever.  Go back to that last sentence of #1 just to be safe.  In fact, forget this and just try to kill the hero.  Why take the risk?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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37 Responses to 7 Ways to Hurt a Hero: Don’t Read If You’re a Hero. Thanks.

  1. Bookwraiths says:

    How about tricking the hero into doing something they consider horrible so they suffer emotional turmoil and feelings of guilt. If this “mistake” also led to severe injury or death to their loved ones that would be even better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. L. Marie says:

    Ooo! Great list! Number 5 especially resonates with me, because I’m working on a book in which the antagonist does just that.
    What a power book you have! Sounds very intense.


  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Charles Yallowitz with a post that must not be read by superheroes.. because it is about how to hurt a superhero… some interesting projects on how to find their weak point..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Go Pink Chickadees. LOL. Good one, Charles. Enjoyed them all.


  5. Good reminder that we have to make our heroes suffer. They can’t be monoliths of shiny white teeth bouncing bullets off for the greater good. The more damaged they are, the more interesting they are.


  6. paulandruss says:

    Charles the post was good and witty. And I really enjoyed it.
    Charles and Bookwraith, I also got a big a kick outta reading the dialogue between you two…. Now that’s what I call blogging! Excellent!
    My 2 new super heroes…..
    Ok one of you can be the supervillain…. but you’ll have to slog it out between you….
    Another battle of wits please!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the tips! I’m hoping to become a super villain in the next few years, I’m just having trouble arranging some accident that will give me super powers and not make me a superhero.
    I would have erred and learned to play the pipe organ while the superhero was looking for a way to defeat me, now I’m gong to have to learn to play it on my free time when I’m not training to deflect lasers with my teeth.
    Do you think anyone would believe a propaganda campaign if I’m the bard? It would be a way to justify learning the pipe organ, though it’s not very portable. Do you think a bard with a kazoo or ukulele would be taken seriously?
    Thanks for your time.


    • It’s not the accident, but the mentality. Spider-Man started on a selfish path toward possible villainy. Then his uncle died and he switched. So just get out there and dive into one of our newer toxic wastelands.

      YouTube videos while in the shower can help cut the learning time down. That or create a self-playing organ and fake it upon the hero’s arrival. If you disguise yourself as a bard then the campaign will work better. You’d be seen as a third party instead of someone gloating about themselves. Pipe organ is tough unless you add wheels and a rocket engine. Never use instruments that require blowing if you want to tell stories. Things get muffled and the tune is ruined. Then you cut your gums on the mouthpiece.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Send the tax collector. That’ll throw anyone off their stride!


  9. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Here’s a great post from Charles Yallowitz with seven ways to hurt a hero.


  10. Pingback: 7 Ways to Hurt a Hero: Don’t Read If You’re a Hero. Thanks. | Hitsonlock

  11. Very entertaining post, Charles.


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