The sweet heart-attack of success – Chap. 4, Act 1, Strip 22

Of course Dick Dastardly is only chok..joking in panel one. He doesn’t have any heart pills – after all, he doesn’t have any heart. If he did have a heart, though, it would be perfectly imaginable that the shock of sudden success would cause it to skip a beat or two. It might surprise you, giving the many decades of villainy Dick has on his record, that his rate of success is not really up to snuff…it’s up to industry standard, for sure, but not up to snuff. You could even say that his record as a villain is blameless – and blameless is not a positive adjective in connection with villainy.

Being an action-oriented villain naturally makes Dick’s shortcomings in that regard much more obvious – if he was a sinisterly communicating villain, like Dr. Kobras, his failure would probably be no smaller, but far less noticeable: no wreckages, no bandages or crutches, no chuckling Muttley. But sinisterly communicating has its own frustrations: sometimes, the job leaves you feeling more like a switchboard operator than a true villain, and Dr. Kobras is having one of those days right now.

And it’s not even his own fault – apparently, the big boss wasn’t specific enough on which one of the females he wanted kidnapped. Naturally, not every big boss might even care about such fine distinctions and readily accept any available female as a kidnap victim, but it can’t hurt to check back to make sure. One thing you have to keep in mind when being an intermediary villain is that it’s much more fun to shout at your subordinates than being shouted at by your superiors. Or murdered.

But while Dick might not have much of a track record on success, he has healthy villainous instincts: he automatically went for the blonder, bustier female, and that turned out to be exactly right.

And, yes, the red courtesy phone has a mirrored keypad. That’s, uh…that’s because Kobras has to turn around to reach that phone, so for him the numbers are…uh…upside-down. Next question. ._.

More on Monday.

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