6 Of The Worst Bosses To Work For As A Minion

Well, you’ve done it. You’ve made the leap. You are now a bonafide henchman of the Secret World Order. Whether you’ll be slinging a submachine gun over your shoulder, performing maintenance checks on the bunker’s generator, or ticking off boxes on your clipboard, you have signed your name up to fight alongside some of the baddest, maddest, most sinister-est men and women in the world today! Hooray!

Sure, overtime may be mandatory. Yes, the purple beret never fits properly. And okay, sometimes your Line Manager Mr Claymore, seems to appear beside you without you ever seeing him walk through the door – but you know what? There are worse bosses out there. Whether they are actively murdering their paid staff, being a bit of a wet blanket or otherwise being a little too evil for you to handle, the world of villainy can be a dark and disturbing place.

Trust me, one look at this list and you’ll be queuing up to sweep out the Shark tank filters on your Sunday off – and be thankful for it!

6. Dr. Evil – Austin Powers series (1997-2002)

There are many things about Dr. Evil that can make a minion break out in a cold sweat. The threat of being sent to assassinate the Man Of Mystery himself, Austin Powers, is certainly daunting for most. Likewise, the ever-present threat of pools of water filled with vicious, ill-tempered sea life with no safety rails in sight can also be quite disturbing. If you ever foul up your work, you might even find yourself sliding into the depths of an incinerator – and one that might not even work properly, either!

But the real issue with being on Dr. Evil’s payroll is his tendency to humiliate people who aren’t on the top of their game. His constant poking, prodding and bouncing of balls directly on your snozzer is enough to force a grown man to tears – in front of everyone! Not even Janine from the Postroom will look at you now. If you don’t meet his criteria, he will go so far as to dismiss everyone around him. Except for that guy. And that guy. And those two. And the guy with a wrench. And that guy twiddling knobs looking like he’s doing something.

Well, this is awkward.

5. Frau Irene Engel – Wolfenstein: The New Order/The New Colossus (2014-2017)

Cold, merciless, violent and spine-chillingly terrifying, Frau Engel is arguably one of the most sinister characters in the dark world of Nazi occupation, as shown in Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Where she started as a sadistic, sociopathic adversary of BJ Blazkowicz, she swiftly rose through the ranks of the Nazi Party, going so far as to control her very own flying fortress above the skies of 1960s America, hunting terrorists down wherever they hide.

What makes her stand out is her unusual levels of cruelty and childlike glee when taking lives. While she never seemed to actively harm the soldiers beneath her, her professionalism never quite extended as far as her own children. Raising her daughter Sigrun to become a monstrous murderer in her image, she openly discussed the possibility of euthanising her, simply for being out of shape.

Better not ask for that second dollop of strudel, soldier.

4. Adrian Veidt – Watchmen (1986/2009)

After Veidt hung up his cloak and denounced his vigilante past as Ozymandias, Veidt built a financial empire on his superhero past, and raked in millions. Seeing the way of the world, Veidt used his new income to fund a new project – a secret project. Whether you’re reading the graphic novel or watching the Zak Snyder movie (which I will defend to the death, anyone who hates on it), two very different paths lead to the same result – a manufactured catastrophe designed to unite humanity and end the Cold War once and for all.

For the small army of scientists, artists and otherwise talented know-it-alls, what did they make of their grand magnum opus? No one will ever know. Like the rulers of old, blinding the architects of their vast cathedrals so they may never build anything greater, Veidt had his loyal staff murdered in horrible, brutal ways just to keep them quiet. Nice one, Boss.

3. Kim Jong Il/Alien Cockroach – Team America: World Police (2004)

I realise, by the way, that I am going a little off the beaten trail here. Yes, Team America is more action than espionage, but you have to admit – it has all the hallmarks of an epic spy-fi tale. You have a group of professionals acting against a conspiracy to destroy life as we know it, with an evil mastermind at the head of it all. And what a mastermind – it is, by all appearances, Kim Jong Il himself. The then-leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il is cast here as a sinister, if somewhat sad, man who will not suffer fools gladly.

It is made most clear when the Dear Leader is frustrated when a Chechnyan terrorist leader is unable to take a delivery of WMDs, insisting that it must be the fault of the translator – before callously shooting him in the back of the head. Throw in a sadistic execution of a UN Weapons Inspector, a tank of man-eating sharks and a pair of killer panthers (and totally not kittens) just lounging around the palace and you have one bad mother.

Bonus points for revealing his true form and leaving the planet on a dinky little spaceship, swearing revenge on Team America. But they’ll be waiting, Kim Jong Il. They’ll be waiting.

2. Number Two – The Prisoner (1967)

You’ve heard of this, don’t even pretend you haven’t. The story goes that in a post-Danger Man universe, retired or disgraced secret agents are swept up and taken to The Village. With no idea where they are, who they’re dealing with or even, in some cases, who they are themselves, the inhabitants of The Village are brainwashed, bullied or coerced into revealing any secrets they hold, while also losing any trace of identity. Supervised by the secretive Number Two, not even the audience back home are privy to all the secrets of The Village, or the true fate of the eponymous prisoner in Number Six.

Why is he on this list? Because, frankly, not even those who work for Number Two understand what the hell he’s blabbering on about. Is there anything worse than a manager who can’t express himself clearly? The worst thing of all, you’re never quite sure who the hell he is. Each time we meet Number Two, he is a different person with a different personality – each as baffling as the last.

What a nightmare

 1. Ernst Stavro Blofeld – James Bond series (1963-present)

As obligatory James Bond references go, this one’s a goody. Blofeld is the quintessential nemesis to every wannabe Secret Agent. The head of the global criminal organisation, SPECTRE, Blofeld is the mastermind behind each and every bad thing to happen across the globe – certainly as far as he is concerned, anyway. But surely, I hear you cry, such a legacy of evil would be something to aspire to as an entry level evil minion? Wouldn’t you want to join his side?

Nope! As Blofeld himself makes it clear, “this organisation does not tolerate failure.” You have less than one chance in SPECTRE. If you’re lucky, you’ll be shot. If not, you’ll end up feeding the piranhas, appeasing the sharks or otherwise horribly killed. Seriously, if you thought certain evil empires in deep space were bad, you haven’t met this chrome dome psychopath.

Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. If you’re unlucky enough to already work for him, try not to mention, you know, that thing. That thing around the eye. Don’t mention that. Don’t even look at that. Oh, boy.

Written by Adam Tyler

Find Spy or Die Trying here or on Amazon

Top Five Diabolical Plots For World Domination

Say what you like about being an evil genius, at least they’re proactive. A villainous mastermind of the Secret World Order (or, S.W.O.R.D. if you want to please them), for example, isn’t just going to be sitting around waiting for the world to change – NO! They will stand up and be counted alongside their colleagues. Yes, okay, so they also happen to be holding the world to ransom with a motherflipping nuclear doomsday weapon, but how are you supposed to forge your utopian paradise without breaking a few civilisations?

No Peace Enforcing Nation is going to be out there changing the world. These bureaucrats are nothing but a bunch of reactionary pencil-pushing spoilsports, right? Right, comrades?

While a ruddy great big bomb is enough to make people sit up and take notice, not every plan for world domination is quite so straight forward as Claymore’s in Spy Or Die Trying. Doomsday Weapon? Pah! These plots would swallow up a Doomsday Weapon for breakfast!

00:05. Incite Nuclear War

I thought about not including this particular plot, but it’s so prevalent, it almost seems crazy to leave it off. A central plot point of several of the James Bond film series, including many of its imitators, including the Austin Powers spiritual predecessor The Silencers (1966). The idea is simple, you get your hands on a nuclear warhead, or two, then you somehow launch this at one or two superpowers, make them believe the other has started a war and BOOM. You’ve just annihilated your competitors!

You Only Live Twice (1967) is probably what really set this in stone, and has been with us ever since. The bonus is, while the naughty men are launched up into space to hijack an American space capsule and launch a warhead at the USSR, Bond himself is leading an army of ninjas in a base inside a volcano. Yep. It had everything, alright.

00:04. Mass Sterilisation

The most ingenious idea a genius ever devised to populate the world… single handed. At least, that’s what the trailer boasts for Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die (1966). To put it as simply as possible, an insanely wealthy Brazilian industrialist has launched a satellite into orbit, and intends to use it to cause mass sterilisation of the human race.

The twist? He’s also kidnapped and frozen a selection of beautiful women in suspended animation, with whom he intends to repopulate the world. Sounds like an awful lot of work to me, but then, it’s no madder than Woody Allen’s Jimmy Bond in Casino Royale (1967) unleashing a virus that kills all men over 4 foot 6 and turns every woman in the world beautiful.

00:03. The Great Flood

Some people enjoy micro-managing. Others, however, prefer to wield the sledgehammer over the toffee hammer. Why fuss with manipulating a society, when you can just go ahead and wipe the slate clean and start over? Such is the plan of various madmen, including Karl Stromberg from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Hugo Drax from Moonraker (1979) and, because no one talks about it enough, the sinister Noah from Star Trek Deep Space Nine S4E10: Our Man Bashir, released in 1995.

Look, if you’re going to do something stupid like melt the polar ice caps to flood the world, at least do it in style. Noah didn’t bother with an underwater base, no! He built his lair on the top of Mount Everest and watched the waters flood in – say what you like, this man had style.

00:02. Puppet Rulers

Human cloning is something that comes up again and again in spy-fi. Variants include actively cloning humans, such as in the Arnie action flick The 6th Day (2000), building robot avatars, such as in virtually ever comic book ever, or just using plain old fashioned surgical enhancements, such as the wonderfully silly In Like Flint (1967).

In this particular example, a group known as Fabulous Face are trying to depose the patriarchy with that of a feminist matriarchy. Naturally, it starts by bumping off the American President during a golf game and replacing him with an actor in order to gain control of a US space facility in the Virgin Islands. Soon, they are able to take control over a nuclear-armed space station thanks to their diabolical Operation: Smooch. Bonus points go to the brainwashing devices installed in every hair salon hairdryer in the United States to bolster the forces of their movement, because nothing says revolution like an army of non-consensual zombies.

00:01. Immortality

Live forever, or die trying. Truly words to live by. But, let’s just imagine for a moment, that you are the sort of person who sits at home and tries to piece together exactly what you would do if you ruled your very own Empire. Looks good, huh? I love what you’ve done with the place. It’s just a shame that, at the end of it all, it’ll all be for nothing and the best you can hope for is your dying breath to confuse people enough to dedicate a film to uncovering the meaning behind the word.

Well, that is unless you work out how to live forever. Such is the plan of Jacob Crow from Timesplitters Future Perfect. A crazed scientist, Crow was obsessed with unlocking the power of immortality, experimenting in eugenics before he is greeted by a younger version of himself with a time machine, sending Crow into the past to inform his younger self of the plan revealed to-

Oh, you know what, it doesn’t matter. The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for. You never know when a version of you from a parallel timeline might arrive to ruin your day.

Written by Adam Tyler

Find Spy or Die Trying here or on Amazon

7 Gadgets Your Spy Should Never Leave Home Without

The life of a secret agent is hardly an easy one. When you’re not nursing a margarita hangover or getting that Communist-looking rash checked up at the clinic, you’re probably going to be pouring over dossiers and briefing notes before you’re shipped out to some dastardly foreign nation to ruin a bad guy’s day.

Thankfully, behind every dapper spy is a small army of nerds and scientists with one goal – to make life easy in the field. Whether it’s a car that can traverse the open sea, an explosive hair pin or a stereo that doubles as a portable missile launcher, there isn’t anything these boffins can’t throw together in the safety of their laboratory that won’t be useful at some point.

So, without further ado, let’s settle down and run through the 7 top gadgets your spy should never leave home without.

And please, don’t touch that. It’s my lunch!

001. Smoke Cigar – Danger Man (1965)

If you ever watched Danger Man, you would know that Drake was never short on ideas. In one episode, Drake is able to evade the baddies by lighting his cigar. It is, in fact, a smoke bomb – and Drake is able to escape in the ensuing chaos. Simple, effective, and the perfect set up for approximately twenty seven puns on release.

While it’s true that there are more than a few variations of this oh-so-simple gadget, whether it’s a portable dart gun, sleeping powder vessel or explosive device. It’s so common, in fact, that I wonder if this was indeed inspired by a range of existing gadgets used during the Second World War or the Cold War. In either case, smoking kills – but smoke just might save your hide this time around.

002. Latex Masks – Mission: Impossible series (1966-1973, 1996-present)


Because sometimes it just pays to look like someone else for a bit, the latex masks featured in the Mission: Impossible series are simply a work of art. Whether you’re framing someone for a crime they didn’t commit, sneaking into a high security facility or otherwise causing mischief, a good, realistic mask will help an agent in virtually every mission. What’s more, it’s likely to cause children and audiences to freak out.

I admit I don’t know much of the original sixties television series (only really that it exists, and has one of the best television themes ever), but I know the Tom Cruise films well enough and, as a kid, the magic of having someone pull their face off to reveal another underneath – I mean, wow.

003. CO2 Laser – Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Alright, so this isn’t exactly the most glamorous of gadgets, I admit. But when you’re confronted with a wire fence, a tight deadline and the fate of the world on your hands, there really isn’t much time to waste. Handheld, battery powered and extremely handy in a pinch, the CO2 Laser wielded by KGB Agent Illya Kuryakin isn’t going to win any prizes for realism, but come on now. I can think of half a dozen occasions I could have used this today, let alone if I was trying to actually break into somewhere.

Considering that the next best thing is Napoleon Solo’s super hardened boron wire cutters, sharpened with a CO2 laser, well, there’s really no competition. It also contributed to one of the more enjoyable sequences in Guy Ritchie’s fairly mediocre rehash of the classic Man From U.N.C.L.E. in 2015. A film worth watching almost exclusively for the conflict between American and Russian agents forced to work together to achieve a greater goal.

004. The Brolly – The Avengers (1961-1969)

Despite only ever being used twice on-screen, John Steed’s signature weapon of choice left a lasting impression on everyone who watched The Avengers. Never one to cause a disturbance if he could help it, John left much of the action to his partner Emma Peel (and the others, I guess, but none of them ever held a candle to Emma, as far as I’m concerned), instead preferring the task of charm and word games over a nice glass of wine.

His iconic bowler hat and umbrella presented John as a classic English Gentleman. Ready for the sudden downpour of British weather, he was rarely without his umbrella – and for good reason. Concealed within the handle is a hidden blade – or saber – that is never far from the action.

005. Dental Hygiene Kit – Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997)


A pack of floss, a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush? Alright, I get it. I have bad tee- oh, what?

Oh, you can use this stuff for work? You can use the toothpaste to blind an incompetent guard, then use the floss as a method of swinging off of an easily slow moving dipping mechanism? Well, why didn’t you say?

Yes, aside from the voluntary dental hygiene techniques available to each of us in our local Boots, these items we use daily can become part of a deadly arsenal – should you have the wit and strength to use it, of course.

006. Grapple Gun – Various.

Let’s face it, unless you’re working in the only government department that isn’t facing massive budget cuts, you’re not going to be flying around on any jetpacks any time soon. To get up high, you’re going to need to take the scenic route. That is, to get out your suction pads, it’s time to scale a wall. That is, unless, you happen to have the wonderful Grapple Gun, as featured heavily in every form of Batman piece of fiction. Just point the gun, squeeze the trigger, and you’ll soon have your hook embedded in the nearest wall – ready to let you scale the wall with minimal effort and maybe, just maybe, a celebrity cameo popping out of an open window.

If the various iterations of Batman may be too much of a stretch from your otherwise deadly serious spy-fi genre, there are plenty of good examples in other media. Like, uh, Kim Possible or Charlie’s Angels. They’ll do. 

007. Laser Wristwatch – James Bond series (1983-2015)

Look, if you’re going to go and spend a load of money on a watch, you better hope it delivers. Some people might do this for the look and style, others might even be interested in telling the time. If you count yourself as one of these, then cover your eyes, because this might just blow your mind. This watch tells the time, looks great and shoots a fricking laser beam.

If there was one gadget from the enormous list of gadgets and accessories featured in the James Bond series to appear on this list, it would have to be this one. Modelled on the Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional wristwatch, this gadget was chosen for its sophisticated “Euro” feel, with a decidedly nasty bite. First appearing in Never Say Never Again (1983) and introduced properly during Pierce Brosnan’s run as Bond, the laser wristwatch went on to become a vital ingredient for a number of video games based on the suave spy – not only working as a tool to set off explosives and cut locks – but even going so far as to act as the menu, particularly on the GoldenEye game on the classic Nintendo 64.

I’ve spent a far few hours with this one, lemme tell you.

By Adam Tyler

See what else inspired Spy or Die Trying the board game, coming soon…