ASH: Derek Radner's Private Journal #8 - Consorts

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Tue Jul 9 23:10:47 PDT 2013

[Private Journal of Derek Radner - October 22, 2018]

     Handleman joked today that Tracey and I made a cute couple.


     Seriously.  Even if I swung that way (I don't) and Tracey did (pretty
sure he's not interested in sex or romance in general, and I pity whoever he
DOES get interested in), we would not be a couple.  While I think I hide it
reasonably well, I think my feelings for him are best described as a mixture
of contempt, pity and hatred.  So driven, but so without a meaningful goal.
Kinda sad, really.  And I doubt he'd be anything but a square-jawed keeper of
the status quo even if he found a goal.  He's about as far from villain
material as you can get without being totally inert.

     But that got me thinking: what makes for a proper villain's consort?

     (underlined)Arm Candy

     At the very shallowest level, there's the men and/or women a villain
keeps around as much for decoration as anything else.  Sometimes there's
actually a relationship involved, but usually they're just paid to look
pretty and maybe put out as well, like Brawllerina's interchangeable boytoys
in their bulging leotards.

     I don't really think of these as actual consorts.  They're more like
accessories, like a cape or a throne (in fact, draping artistically is an
important function of these people).  But since these mobile pieces of
scenery are what most people think of when you talk about a villain's
consorts, I suppose I need to give them some consideration, if only to refute
them as being no more "true" consorts than a mindless berserker is a true

     (underlined)Fiends With Benefits

     Dating co-workers can be a pretty bad idea no matter what your line of
work, but it happens anyway, including in the business of villainy.  Face it,
thanks to the Magene effects, we're a bunch of damn sexy beasts.  And with
the life of a villain (or a not-really-a-villain) full of uncertainty and
lack of conjugal visits, there was a LOT of hooking up among the villains of
the TwenCen.  WarStar's lieutenant Meathead was reputedly something of a
lothario, for instance, there weren't a lot of unattached women passing
through Haven that didn't pass through his bed.  And a few attached women
whose partners didn't want to piss off WarStar, for that matter.

     Again, these aren't really consorts, because they're ephemeral.  They
lack the stability of even a hired boytoy or call girl.  But sometimes they
can last long enough to become something else.


     I guess all true consorts are really a subset of the more traditional
forms of superhero/villain teams (not just duos, you can certainly have
multiple true consorts if you're willing to juggle the logistics and drama).
Some are more like sidekicks, definitely the inferior in the relationship,
while others are co-equal partnerships.  Whether they're legally married (and
villains don't have much use for mundane law, so unless the marriage happened
before the evolution into true villainy, it may not be recognized by any
state aside from the villain's own mandate) or not, it's definitely a

     It does raise the issue of who is the villain and who is the villain's
consort, though.  The role may actually swap back and forth over time, but
I'm not naive enough to think any relationship is everl TOTALLY equal.
Someone always has the whip-hand, even if the other one has a safe word.

     (underlined)Love-Fight Relationship

     Face it, there's a lot of hero/villain nemesis deals that ARE expression
of romance through particularly twisted means.  The villain plays by his own
rules, the hero plays by society's rules, they can't be together without one
of them they fight.  The hero isn't just the villain's
nemesis, the hero is the villain's CONSORT.  Both would deny it vehemently,
but for every Doctor Developer who switches sides to be with his consort,
there were probably a dozen eternal struggles that cast a hero as consort in
all but name: the focus of the villain's obsession, the one person who the
villain wanted to have around to see their plans come to completion, etc.

     If I end up in that sort of relationship with Dan Tracey, please put a
gun to my head and pull the trigger.

     (underlined)So, what do *I* want?

     Having established that I am going to be a true villain, I obviously
need a proper consort.  Not arm-candy (although I might settle for some until
I find Ms. Right), not a one-heist stand (again, settle), and damn sure not a
Lady Lawful (cute as both Ladies Lawful were).

     I think I want an equal, at least in general terms.  I'd be in charge,
of course, but I wouldn't want to make it look like I was just boning a
henchwoman.  Someone powerful, but less devious.  Willing to let me be the
brains of the outfit, and be my enforcer.  Heck, if I could find a villainous
Lady Lawful sort, that'd be perfect.  But she wouldn't have to be a brute,
just some sort of powers that could be an ace in the hole for me.  It's not
looking like I'm ever going to be a physical heavy-hitter unless I can score
some serious supertech, so I should marry into might.

     Well, consort into it, as a verb.  I'm certainly not going to take my
consort down to the courthouse and get a marriage license.  I suppose if she
wants a big fancy wedding I could arrange one, especially if we do it to
celebrate taking over a small country where I could simply decree our union
to be valid and make it stick.

     Should she be hot?  That's a more important question than it would be if
we were normals.  Thanks to the handy-dandy Magene, anyone with significant
power levels (and definitely anyone strong enough to be my consort) is going
to have an appearance that reflects their self-image.  Plain-looking supers
think of themselves as plain, ugly ones think of themselves as monsters, sexy
ones are raving egomaniacs.  Well, I like to think I keep the raving down to
a tolerable level in my own case.  But just look at how young Miss Grant
blossomed once she got her powers under control and stopped thinking of
herself as a freak!  That wasn't just puberty being kind, that was her
self-image feeding back into her Magene-enhanced physiology.

     Hm.  While there's something to be said for a consort who's at least a
little insecure, giving me a handle to use in controlling her, that'd be
beneath me.  If I'm really worthy to be considered the first true villain of
my age, then I need a consort who's as wild and uncontrollable as I am.  She
needs to be a villain in her own right, even if she complements me in as many
ways as I can manage.

     So, yeah, my consort will be drop-dead sexy.  I think I can live with

            This has been a Conclave of Super-Villains Special:
   ( )                Derek Radner's Private Journal                 ( )
    I           An Academy of Super-Heroes Universe Comic             I
    I               copyright 2013 by Dave Van Domelen                I
                             #8 - Consorts

Author's Notes:
inspired this.  Blame Adrian.  ;)

     I tried not to "predict" Sultry too much, and I think Derek was really
just looking for a "Fiends With Benefits" fling with her when they first met,
anyway.  She was pretty clearly enough of a manipulator herself that she
wouldn't have fit his checklist.  

     If Radner ever went back to re-read this entry, he might be doubting
who, exactly, is the one in charge of their marriage.  (Answer: the twins
are, naturally.  He really didn't think far enough ahead to the ramifications
of children coming from a consort relationship.  He's pretty much doomed for
the next decade or so.  Longer if Angelique gets pregnant again.)


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