Def: an unscrupulous and ruthless subordinate, especially a criminal.
Some villains do it alone. But others need a little help. A cheering section, an extra hand. They are called The Henchman. Loyal second-in-commands, they do the jobs that the Boss doesn’t have time for. But in the end, the payment for this unquestioning loyalty is one – usually he or she gets blamed for the Boss’ failed plans. And two – the leader ends up feeding him to the dogs in order to save his own neck. So here is a tribute to the henchmen, the unscrupulous sidekicks that help make evil leaders little more evil.
1. JAWS (James Bond Series) – James Bond had no problem bring down both the evil arch nemesis in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER, but he couldn’t take out the guy with the Steel Jaws. In the end he didn’t have to; Jaws quit his criminal days when he found his true love 150,000 miles above the earth.
2. ODD JOB (Goldfinger) – Another of James Bond’s enemies, Odd Job almost helped Mr. Goldfinger corner the gold market. Odd Job was incredibly strong, but his number one weapon was his razor-lined bolder that he could use to kill a man at a distance. I tip my hat to you Sir.
3. MINI-ME (Austin Powers) – Henchman, Clone, Rap Hype-man, - was Dr. Evil’s main Ace Boon-Coon, until Evil started bonding with his son again. You can’t blame a clone for getting jealous when the emotional tides flow the other way. Mini-Me – Another Henchman betrayed.
5. OTIS (Superman) – Lex Luthor couldn’t do it all by himself. He needed someone to maintain his wigs, set the bombs, get the newspaper. Who else but Otis could do all these things? You’re right, anybody!
6. BOLO (Enter the Dragon) – He had one word in the whole film “Gau”. I don’t know what it meant, but when he said it, the fighting always started. When Mr. Han didn’t want to get his ‘hands’ dirty with menial killings, he called Bolo. Unfortunately, John Saxon put the kibosh on that.
7. STAR SCREAM (Transformers) – He was a loyal second in command of Megatron’s forces. Except if Megatron went down; then he was a backstabbing traitor. Star Scream had a knack for messing up Megatron’s plans, but we all know Megatron was just passing the buck, or rather the energon cube (sorry, I had to).
8. DESTRO AND THE BARONESS (G.I. Joe) – These romantically entwined villains were star-crossed lovers in the legions of Cobra. They took orders from Cobra Commander, but when he messed up they were quick to point the blame at him – in stereo.
10. BOB THE GOON (Batman The Movie) – Like Joker told him ‘Bob, You… are my Number One… ah-Guy’. Which is probably why Bob got the blame and a bullet for his loyalty when Joker’s plan didn’t go so well.
DARTH VADER (Star Wars) – Lastly, the greatest henchman of them all. This guy is in a class by himself (which is why I didn’t include him in the list). Yeah, It Seemed like he was Numero Uno in the Empire, but everybody forgets that old Vader was working for the Big D’Sidious throughout the Star Wars series. Some of his fellow commanders didn’t take him seriously until he had to pull out the choke hand. Vader handed in his resignation papers when it was about his kid and not him anymore.
There are more henchmen and henchwoman out there. Geek Soul Brother didn’t even go deeply into other media. But these are some of the ones that came to mind. I think the henchman deserves recognition for his efforts. He doesn’t ask for much. He doesn’t want to usurp power from the evil leader geniuses. He just wants to put in a day’s worth of killing for a day’s pay. In this recession, a good henchman is hard to find. Which was your favorite?