Prayer for the Villains

In the world of super heroes
There must be a villain
A vile creature
Who represents an excessive trait
Pride, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth, Greed
A smattering of insanity in between
He must control an abundance of henchmen
Who must wound but never kill  
That reward is left to the big man himself
A complicated trap involving a timer or some acid
The impending climax foiled by some sidekick or gadget
A punch to the face
A quick POW
The villain tossed into a cell conjuring his next plot
I imagine furious at his futile efforts

Yet what if the villain used competent henchmen instead
Mercenaries who lack hesitation to kill
He simply presses the button
And destroys the city to complete his threat
Loses the acid, presses cold steel to the hero’s skull
Laughing as he pulls the trigger and sees brains splatter across the wall
“But the hero must prevail”
A villain this wretched cannot exist
Yet he’s the one I’m rooting for
Closer to us than that nonhuman prick

– Dan Lee, The Haverford School, Class of 2016

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