The current thread on movie villain cliches got me musing on the movie character staple of the henchman, especially as represented in the James Bond model of henchman armies.
It seems to me that there couldn’t be much incentive or upside to being a member of one of those armies. You’d have to work for a despotic leader who might kill you at any time for any perceived failure. There doesn’t seem to be much if any access to family or outside relationships. I can’t imagine there would be anything in the way of medical, retirement or vacation benefits. There’s a good chance you might be ordered to take some pretty large risks to life or liberty if you had to carry out an assassination or break-in. You’d have to live in dorm conditions in the villain’s secret fortress. You might have to wear a stupid jumpsuit.
The only obvious benefit would be the pay, but how much pay would be sufficient to make it worth enduring the other conditions of employment? When would you even get a chance to spend any of it? How do henchmen armies receive their pay? Do they have direct deposit? Do they get checks? If they get cash, where do they keep it?
Also, what are the requirements for becoming a henchmen? How do the villains find these guys? Do they put ads in the paper? Is there an application and interview process? Do these villains have their own HR departments to keep track of all the henchmen and their pay? What are the logistics of all this?
It just doesn’t seem like there could be much real world incentive for anyone to want to be in a henchman army, so how do the villains maintain them so easily?