One of the great things about supervillains is their lunatic schemes, which usually rely on the phases of the Moon and a squad of cyborg dolphins sailing into the bay at 12:07 precisely. The real reason the good guy always wins is because the bad guy doesn't keep it simple.
But every now and then, a supervillain comes up with a scheme that actually holds water. One that actually makes sense and doesn't have an obvious "deactivate" button within easy reach. Sometimes, the hero's scheme is the one that doesn't make any sense, and the hero only wins thanks to huge, crazy luck. Here are some supervillain schemes that really ought to have succeeded.
Note: For the purposes of this article, "supervillain" includes not just comic-book villains but also James Bond villains and people like the Master from Doctor Who.
Doctor Doom's scheme to destroy the Fantastic Four by hurling the Baxter Building into the sun
For once, Doctor Doom has a pretty solid plan, in Fantastic Four #6. He teams up with Sub-Mariner, who also hates the Fantastic Four (except for Sue Storm, whom he has a thing for). They'll trap the heroes in the Baxter Building, attach Doom's Grabber device to it, lift the building into space, and throw it into the sun. But Doctor Doom makes one critical error: he leaves the Sub-Mariner inside the building. Doom's mistake turns out to be good luck for the Fantastic Four. Realizing he'll die too, the Sub-Mariner turns on Doom and teams up with the Fantastic Four. They defeat Doctor Doom and the Baxter Building gets put back where it belongs.
The Master's plot to restart his regenerations
When the Master uses up all his regenerations and turns into an angry meatball, he stops screwing around with plans like "get the Ogrons to pretend to be Draconians so the humans will start a war and then the Daleks can show up and do something something... profit!" Instead, he hatches a pretty rock-solid scheme, in which he beams the Doctor a vision of the impending assassination of the Gallifreyan President. When the Doctor attempts to stop the vision from coming true, he ends up framed for the crime, as the Master intended all along. The Doctor comes close to being executed forthwith, which would leave the Master with a free shot at the President's ceremonial sash. But the Doctor finds an unlikely loophole: On Gallifrey, candidates for President have guaranteed freedom for the duration of the election. So the Doctor decides to run for President, giving himself time to prove his innocence.
Goldfinger's scheme to render the gold in Fort Knox unsellable
Usually, James Bond villains are stumblebums, coming up with plans that involve hypnotizing women to love chickens and launching flowers into space. But Auric Goldfinger keeps it nice and simple: he aims to have his pilot, Pussy Galore, spray a nerve gas over Fort Knox to neutralize the guards. Then, he'll enter and plant a nuclear bomb inside, to irradiate the gold so his own gold supply would rise in value. The only reason this plan fails is because Bond manages to seduce Pussy, and convinces her to replace the nerve gas with something harmless. If the guards were really knocked out, Goldfinger could have just walked into the fort unopposed. (His real error? Not finishing Bond off during the "I expect you to die" scene.) Similarly, Max Zorin's plan in A View to a Kill isn't totally unworkable — if Max hadn't betrayed his bodyguard May Day (Grace Jones) and caused her to switch sides, he'd have succeeded.