They say that history is written by the winners, and that’s certainly the case for the supervillain known as “King Oblivion Ph.D,” whose reign over the world lasted for decades and saw him responsible for some of the most heinous acts in history. Previously, his long list of tyrannous deeds — which included stealing Japan, greenlighting Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and helping Nixon get elected — were one of the great lost secrets of the modern age. Truly, his history is terrifying and dastardly one.
In reality, King Oblivion Ph.D is the creation of writer Matt D. Wilson, who has spent the last few years detailing the life of his fictional supervillain through a series of books. Supreme Villainy is billed as being a “memoir” of sorts for the character, retelling various stories about the various misdeeds he got up to before his timely demise.
On sale now through Talos Press, Wilson spoke to CBR about how the character first came to life, his fictional biography and the various villainous vexations which readers can enjoy reading throughout the new book.
CBR: Who is King Oblivion Ph.D? And what’s his doctorate?
Matt D. Wilson: King Oblivion is the founder of the International Society of Supervillains, the world’s largest, most dastardly and, according to him, only supervillain organization. Actually, I guess he’d be considered the co-founder, but he’d prefer that people didn’t know that part.
His doctorate is in nefariology from Ocean Trench Fortress University. He got it by writing a dissertation about splitting New Zealand in half using magnets.
You know, when you write this stuff out, outside of the context of a memoir, it sounds a little silly.
When did you first come up with the character, and what gave you the idea to translate him across into his own series of books?
It’s a little bit of a weird story. Back in 2007 or so, I was trying to make a go of writing comedy in a freelance capacity, but I also was a working reporter at a newspaper. I didn’t want my name to appear on some of the stuff I was writing on the website I was starting up, not because I was ashamed of it, but because I was writing some political humor and other stuff I didn’t think my bosses would love to see my name attached to. So I decided to call the website “The International Society of Supervillains,” and thought up the name “King Oblivion Ph.D.”
Over time, I got more and more invested in that character’s voice, and I decided — with no idea it’d be published — to write a book as the character. I felt like I just had a lot to say as him. And apparently I did.
King Oblivion has released two books before, but what can we expect from his third?
The first two are both how-tos, and as such they’re what I call joke delivery systems. This one is more or less a novel. As I mentioned, it’s King Oblivion’s memoir, so it’s him (and his ghostwriters) telling his life story, from beginning to end. And there are some pretty distinct arcs of his life. There’s way, way more story in this one than in the other books. But there are also jokes. Don’t you worry about that.
It seems he was behind several of the more sinister events of the last century. Are there any stories in this collection you’re particularly fond of?
The part where he gets involved in the Woodstock festival was very fun to write. I don’t want to give it away, though, so I’ll leave it at that…
The future for King Oblivion himself seems to be sealed… or is it? What are your plans for the future?
Well, King Oblivion’s dead, so… all roads lead to this being his last hurrah.
I know you had a Kickstarter recently, as well, which made its goal in April — can you tell us a little more about that, and how it came together?
Sure! It’s for a comic miniseries called Everything Will Be Okay, and it has an amazing team — Rodrigo Vargas on art, Joe Hunter on colors and Josh Krach on letters. The basic idea of it is, “What if every single disaster happened all at once?” It follows a sister and brother as they trudge through all of that, escape Earth and get into even more difficulty after that.
It’s an idea I’ve been kicking around for a few years now. I’m terrified of all these things I can’t control, and I eat up a lot of my brain power worrying about them. But like, if it all broke loose one day, what could I do about it? Thoughts like that are what really got the ball rolling on it.
Supreme Villainy is on sale now via Talos Press.