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Literature / The Secrets of Supervillainy

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Bad is the new good.

The Secrets of Supervillainy is the third book in The Supervillainy Saga series by C.T. Phipps. The series is published by Jim Bernheimer, author of Confessions of a D-List Supervillain.

Merciless, the Supervillain without Mercy (TM) is back with even bigger problems! How far will he go to fix his wife's current state of being a soulless vampire? Can he ignore his growing feelings for Cindy, despite their difference over the new Star Wars movie? Can he survive the wrath of the President of the United States (who he accidentally stole billions from)?

While he ponders those personal issues, Death has a new mission for him. The greatest hero on Earth has killed and she isn't pleased. Death wants the murder solved and the perpetrator given the kind of justice only the Avatar of Death can dish out. Unfortunately for Gary, that's only the tip of the psychotic iceberg.


This book contains the following tropes:

  • Alternate Continuity: It turns out the Supervillainy universe is actually the "rebooted" version of reality after a Crisis On Infinite Earths-style crossover.
  • Alternate Self: Other Gary is the Gary from a 1960s flavored universe where he was Ultragod's best pal.
  • The Archmage: Other Gary is a combination of this and Necromancer.
  • Back from the Dead: Captain Disaster and the Extreme have all been cloned, which Gary points out just means they're clones not the originals (who are still very dead).
  • Betty and Veronica: Lampshaded with Mandy and Cindy Other Gary. Alternate Ultragoddess is also sometimes involed, being the Cheryl Blossom who sometimes comes back.
  • Big Bad: President Omega is out for Gary's blood. Other Gary is more dangerous, though.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Other Gary suffers from a serious case of this, coming from a Silver Age comic book world. He is perfectly willing to do anything to get back his bright four-color world and that includes killing the population of the world off multiple times to harvest their necromantic energy.
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  • Bourgeois Bohemian: Gary's success as a criminal has turned him into one of these and he's more than slightly annoyed by it. He ends up giving all of his stolen billions to his sister Kerri and niece Lisa.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Lisa effectively serves as this despite being his niece.
  • Elvis Presley: The ghost of the King haunts Gary's mansion. Why? Because he's tired of all the tourist ghosts at Graceland.
  • Evil Counterpart: Well, Evil(er) Counterpart with Other Gary.
  • Expy: President Omega seems to be a combination of Kang the Conqueror with the Red Skull.
    • Other Gary seems to combine Superboy Prime with Jimmy Olsen.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Vamp Mandy is most certainly not one of these, killing people and acting like a vicious 30 Days of Night monster who, nevertheless, targets criminals because of her body's memories. She becomes one for real when Other Gary gives her back her soul as part of a bribe attempt.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Other Gary is the mastermind behind the death of Ultragod and the takeover of the United States. This despite the fact Gary is considered a relatively minor supervillainy.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Inverted and played with as Other Gary is a past self of Gary. Though due to the fact he survived the destruction of the old universe and wasn't folded into the new, Other Gary really has no relationship to Gary whatsoever.
  • Godhood Seeker: Other Gary aspires to this by killing whole words then resurrecting them with time travel to harvest their necromantic energy.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The Left-Handed Bokor practices this, much to Gary's displeasure.
  • I Choose to Stay: Ultragod has the opportunity to return to life but chooses to stay with his wife, Polly Perkins, in the afterlife. He trusts Gary and Ultragod to be able to sort out things every bit as well as he could.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Averted and played with as it's still very painful but Gary thinks it adds spice when he has sex with Vamp Mandy.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Cindy leaves Gary at the start of the book since she's fallen in love with him but he still wants to resurrect Mandy, no matter the cost to his sanity or those around him. Later, she feels like she should step aside to let them reunite.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ultragod turns out to have been slain by Other Gary, making use of their Friendly Enemy status.
    • Gary's father passes away during a flashback.
  • The Lost Lenore: Other Gary and Gary both suffer from this.
  • Love Triangle: Cindy confesses she's in love with Gary just as Mandy gets her soul back.
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: Gary's mother is less than pleased with his lifestyle choice. The rest of his family doesn't seem to mind.
  • Necromancer: Gary has become a mild example of this. Other Gary is a full-on The Archmage version.
  • Nice Girl: Kerri seems to be the most normal and well-adjusted character in the cast.
  • Obviously Evil: President Omega has always been this and it's lampshaded like so much in the Supervillainy Saga.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Gary takes it to the Eleven by having a neon Hollywood sign-esque display over his lair. It works because the people of Falconcrest City consider him to be a superhero (much to Gary's disgust).
  • Perky Goth: Kerri, due to her power to see ghosts and being Gary's sister, comes into this naturally. She's also cheerful, sweet, and supportive.
  • Pet the Dog: Gary has allowed his sister and niece to move into his mansion, uninterested in the wealth he's stolen but figuring he should share it with those he loves. He's also given away the majority of the rest, keeping only as much as needed to actually rebuild the economy in Falconcrest City.
    • Other Gary gives Vamp Mandy back her soul as a bribe but, also, because he understand Gary's pain better than anyone.
  • President Evil: President Omega is a psychopathic time-travelling ex-Nazi Corrupt Corporate Executive who has altered reality to allow him to be President. Notably, he seems to have been elected fairly despite the mammoth deception about his past since one of the things that caused Merciful's Face–Heel Turn was so many Americans supporting his anti-Super agenda.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Death remains this, rewarding Gary with a favor for his services and forgiving his (accidental) blasphemy against his realm by resurrecting Mandy.
  • Serious Business: Star Wars: The Force Awakens is more important than people trying to kill you.
  • Shout-Out: Gary and Cindy take a good third of a chapter to discuss Star Wars: The Force Awakens in a case of Serious Business. Gary liked it. Cindy was ambivalent.
  • Trumplica: President Omega is a time traveling villain from the future with elements of Handsome Jack and Kang the Conqueror. However, he also has "a bad toupee and tiny hands" while making several quotes attributed to Trump. He's also a former Corrupt Corporate Executive who was previously the head of the Omega Corporation that is an Evil, Inc. before becoming President Evil.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Gary and Cindy much to the former's disgust and the latter's delight.
    • President Omega is, well, the President of the United States. Played with as he's only this way because he can reverse time and cover up his obvious psychopathy.