Most people couldn’t proclaim that they’ve concocted “nine of the biggest, boldest, and most world-changing supervillainous schemes” that are “both scientifically accurate and achievable” without inspiring great skepticism. But if anyone’s going to be a reliable source for dastardly plots bolstered by plausible project plans, it’s Ryan North, the bestselling author of How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler.
As a longtime writer for Marvel and DC comics, the Eisner Award-winner gets paid to come up with heinous and destructive crimes for fictional heroes to foil. In How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain, North harnesses his expertise as a “trained scientist and professional-villainous-scheme-creator” to craft highly detailed plans for achieving world domination. In “Every Supervillain Needs a Secret Base,” for example, he patiently yet firmly explains why the best place for a base is not inside a volcano. Perhaps the aspiring villain should build a floating lair in the ocean, or venture into the sky? North has analyzed every option, and he’s got recommendations—not to mention budgets, timelines and risk analyses for scenarios ranging from starting your own country to cloning dinosaurs to destroying the internet. The results are archly funny and always thought-provoking.
Clever illustrations by Carly Monardo up the fun factor, and sidebars take deep dives into carbon-capture technology, airspace ownership laws and more. How to Take Over the World is a wild journey that’s sure to leave readers pondering North’s assertion that “once [the world is] understood, it can be directed, it can be controlled, and it can be improved.” Whether they use his advice to achieve supervillainy or to flip the script and save the world is up to them.