Given that he’s a young but brilliant engineer and entrepreneur, a visionary billionaire with a unique charm and a never-ending stream of futuristic technologies flowing from his Silicon Valley headquarters, it’s unsurprising that Elon Musk has often been compared to Tony Stark.
But dare to scratch beneath the surface and it becomes frighteningly clear that the Tesla CEO and Space X founder is, in fact, far more villainous in his intent than the heroic Iron Man.
While Tony Stark busies himself with protecting the world from evil, Musk is obsessed with persuading the public towards electric cars, powered by a cluster of snakelike, Doctor Octopus-style fast chargers of his own design.
Privately, he’s building a fleet of robotic rockets that can take off, land and then take off again. He wants to colonise Mars, but not before he’s detonated an assortment of nuclear weapons over the planet’s poles in order to recreate it in his own image.
He was even directly confronted by TV host Stephen Colbert, who declared: “You're a supervillain. That's what a supervillain does. Superman doesn't say ‘Drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles!’ That's Lex Luthor, man.”
Still unconvinced? Allow us to argue this worrying point further, with ten points that we believe finally offers definitive proof that Elon Musk is a supervillain.
He’s got a supervillain name
When was the last time you heard of a man named John Smith threatening to blow up the world with a giant ray gun, or poison the world’s water supply?
Point is, everybody knows that you can’t be taken seriously as a credible supervillain unless you’ve got a slightly odd but distinct name: think Victor Von Doom, Auric Goldfinger, Emilio Largo or Hank Scorpio.
In terms of supervillain name, Musk definitely has that base covered. There’s a bit of mystery too, as Elon is the Hebrew word for “oak tree” despite the fact his family is Pennsylvania Dutch and not Jewish.
He was born in South Africa
South Africa’s chief export is villainy as anybody who’s watched Lethal Weapon 2 or District 9 will be able to tell you, and so it should come as no shock that Musk was born in Pretoria.
As an interesting aside, did you know that back in the 1990s you used to be able to spec BMWs in South Africa with built-in flamethrowers on the side of the car to protect against carjackings?
Perhaps that served as inspiration for the next point…
His cars are resistant to chemical weapons
Just some of the tricks and gizmos packed into the new Tesla Model X SUV include a button which can activate an advanced air filter that can protect the occupants inside from chemical and biological weapons.
Called the ‘Bio-Hazard Button’, it activates the air filtration system which Musk says is powerful enough to fill the car with medical grade air and can block everything from city smog to bacteria and viruses.
It’s a cool feature, that much is a given, but exactly why would Musk engineer a car to be resistant to biological weapon attacks anyway? Is he planning to exterminate anybody who doesn’t drive a Tesla?!
He made his fortune as a tech guru
Of course Musk is known primarily as an inventor and tech mogul, but let’s look at a list of his peers. There’s Bond villain Max Zorin who made microchips, Simpsons bad guy Hank Scorpio who ran a seemingly innocuous tech firm and there’s definitely something very sketchy about Bill Gates.
Part of the reason this is so important is that being a billionaire genius inventor with all the resources in the world at your fingertips gives you a pretty good leg up if you were wanting to, say, take over said world.
His motivations are textbook villain
The best villains are never evil for the sake of being evil, but instead their wrongdoing often stems from some misguided sense that they’re really helping the world.
Look at Musk, whose motivations are almost exclusively related to global menaces like abolishing pollution, pioneering space travel to avoid overpopulation and establishing colonies to offer safe haven against extinction events.
He’s less of a Lord Voldemort and more a Doctor Doom: somebody who cares about humanity but whose selfless inspirations are exacted via megalomaniacal evil.
He’s got the look down
Spot the difference. SPOILERS: there is no difference.
He has the technology
Cars which can drive themselves, robotic rockets that can land upright and re-launch themselves, a gigantic city-sized solar panel installation, an electrically-powered jet concept that can take off and land vertically…
When it comes to supervillain technology all that Musk is missing is a giant planet-destroying laser and knowing him he probably already has one of those stuffed away somewhere for a rainy day.
His fabulous wealth has seen him fund his own private space agency just like those owned by the bad guys from Moonraker and You Only Live Twice, and he’s also planning to launch a flotilla of 4,000 satellites. Officially, those are to provide a global internet connection but look at what Goldeneye could do…
He owns the Spy Who Loved Me submarine Esprit
The Bond connection continues thanks to the fact that Musk owns one of the most iconic film cars ever, the famous submersible Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.
Reportedly, the car was found in a container ship and bought by a buyer who had no idea what the car was, before it was salvaged and auctioned at RM Sotheby’s for $866,000 to a “secret buyer”.
That secret buyer turned out to be Musk, a big Lotus fan given that the first ever Tesla car was based on the Elise. But what other nefarious plans might he use a submarine car for?
He’s got a mysterious secret base
Maybe it’s not as glamorous as a moon base or a volcano lair, but Musk’s Tesla HQ deep in the Nevada desert is probably a bit more practical but equally as mysterious.
Tucked away and protected day and night by guards, it’s full of robots and advanced technologies and even has a suitable ominous name: Gigafactory.
Hyperloop or monorail…?
The Hyperloop is arguably Musk’s most ambitious project yet, a Futurama-style pneumatic tube transportation system that he says will be able to propel people through it at up to 760mph.
Planned routes include a Hyperloop from Los Angeles to San Francisco, from Paris to Amsterdam and a cross-Poland route from Krakow to Gdansk among others as a proposed “fifth method of transportation” alongside cars, planes and others.
Is it just us, or does the Hyperloop bear more than a passing resemblance to the doomed monorail built by the crooked Lyle Lanley in The Simpsons? Not saying, just saying.