Rocky LeFebre, a professional henchman who has worked for several leading super-villains, talks with Mark Osler about his fascinating and often troubling career.
You've worked for some fascinating personalities. Which were most memorable? I was with the Joker from 1985 to 1989. Then I worked for Dr. Doom through, oh, the mid-90's, then this Italian guy no one has heard of, Fraudio. General Zod, briefly. In 2011 and 2012, I worked for Rick Perry. Those are the really memorable ones.
Who was Fraudio? Tall dark-haired guy, black cape, really sinister looking, paid well. He mostly did white-collar stuff, skimming off import-export fees. It got boring. No real action. That guy had a ton of dough, though. I think he felt bad that he never got much attention. He had some business dealings with Bruce Wayne, and I kept telling him to do something to piss him off, but he didn't get it. They're like that. They just focus on their own little silo.
How do you get into this business? It's not like anyone goes to school thinking "I want to be a henchman." It's different for everybody. Right now, it's a lot of guys who used to be mortgage brokers, but it's a mix. For me, it was the cars. I was working for UPS, driving a truck, and the Joker was outfitting people in these great rides -- Dodge Darts, tricked out--and I wanted in. It was great, too. That slant-6 engine never gave out, even if the rest of the car was incinerated. I'd love to have that car back, but it got buried under about 120 police cars down on 7th Avenue.
It seems like a pretty risky job. I guess, yeah. Most of the guys I worked with back in the '80s are gone now. Part of it is bad management. The Joker would just leave you with one assistant henchman and Batman, expecting you to finish him off in a giant percolator or something. That didn't work out so well for our side. You'd be waiting for the thing to finish, having a sandwich, and boom! A lot of times, you didn't have a real weapon, either, or something pretty useless like a tire iron or a metal ball on a chain. I got stuck a lot with a mace. Really? When everyone else in Texas has a gun, I'm standing there behind Perry like a medieval goon holding a weapon from the 1400's? But it wasn't my call.
You've been at it a long time. What keeps you going? Up until a few years ago, it was the health insurance. Obamacare changed things for freelancers like me. Loki is the best for that -- the guy pays for anything. I've got a pretty limited skill set, but I'm good at what I do. You need a guy to pound a baseball bat into his hand menacingly? I got that. Driving a car straight into a pile of other cars? Done. It gets routine, and that's ok. I do what I know.
Did you ever think of stepping it up to the next level? Nah, that's not my thing. I'm from Newburgh, and I'm thinking about going back there and opening a coffee place. Don't even say it -- everyone does. "Will it be an evil coffee shop?" I get so sick of that. But yeah, a little bit. I don't recycle.