Most of what we know about Scarlet Overkill’s early life has been extrapolated through hospital records and stories from neighbors and long time residents of the small town where Scarlet was born and raised. During her active career Scarlet claimed to be an orphan. Whether this was because she was embarrassed to have come from Non-villainous parents or because she felt it gave her a better backstory this writer doubts we'll ever know. (Due to the fact that the family has been in hiding since the freak volcano eruption which gold plated the Overton family home the day of Scarlet and Herb Overkill’s wedding)
Emily Overton and her husband,Henry, were perfectly normal people. Neither of them had had a villain in their family in the last ten generations. They expected to live their whole lives without having to consider what they would do if they had a Villainous child.
How could Evil exist in their perfectly ordinary life, full of white picket fences and church potluck dinners? Then their first born daughter was born on the stroke of midnight, October 31st.
Now, contrary to popular opinion, not all children born in such specifically chaotic times will become villains. Ordinarily most such children will simply become amoral members of society who won't do anything more evil than illegally park in handicapped spots and steal candy from babies.
Unfortunately for the Overtons, their daughter Sarah was not at all ordinary. By the time she was two, she had grown a full head of pitch black hair and a set of extraordinarily sharp teeth that she regularly used to bite both her parents and the other children in nursery school. By the time she was five, she had decided that she would answer to nothing but Scarlet and wear only clothes in black and that specific shade of red. Her favorite word was MINE! And her tantrums were feared by everyone in her kindergarten class, teacher and students alike.
Now, none of this would have been the end of the world. Many children go through a phase where they will only wear a certain color and fail to understand that they cannot have everything that they want. Unfortunately for the world, the Overtons did not realize this. Instead, they decided to blame such behaviors on Sarah's birthday and claim that she was born evil. And as anyone will tell you, being thought of as evil from an early age can have a horrific effect on children.
When she was nine, Scarlet packed her bag with all her favorite scarlet clothes, her pet tarantula, and the Goo gun that she had stolen from the History of Villainy Museum her class had visited on their spring field trip.
Six months later Scarlet Overkill robbed her first bank. Until this day she remains the youngest Villain registered in Utah State history.
The next seven years of her Villainous career were punctuated by such great feats as: the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty, simultaneous robberies of no less than seven banks in a single day, and the kidnapping of two different presidents on three separate occasions.
Many henchmen came and went, while Scarlet remained a lone operator, an almost unheard of feat for an underage Supervillain during the 1940s.
All of that changed when she met, and later married, Herb Overkill. Very little is known about Herb Overkill prior to his and Scarlet’s very public love affair. Many people have claimed that he was actually an ordinary citizen who went Villain for love of Scarlet. Though, like so many other stories told about Scarlet's early career, the truth remains shrouded in mystery.
What is known is that he worked as Scarlet's gadgeteer, and occasional sidekick, from the time she was sixteen. It is interesting to note that prior to their relationship Scarlet had worked with at least a dozen other gadgeteers, none of whom were unavailable for comment.
It is to be noted that most of them were unavailable for comment due to accidents which coincided with the dissolution of their partnership with Scarlet.
Scarlet's fascination with British culture, and more particularly the British Crown Jewels, has been a much remarked upon quirk. It has prompted many a flame war between Scarlet fans, both online and in person. (Most notably the massive firefights that broke out among her fans at Villain-Cons in 1975, 1983, and 2002.)
Despite the many theories and debates, her reasons have never been adequately explained. Prior to her incarceration, she gave a number of interviews and provided conflicting answers in all of them.
In an interview with Villainous Monthly, she explained her obsession by claiming that one of her foster mothers was more interested with the British Royal family then the children she was supposed to be raising, (Unlikely given what this writer has discovered about Scarlet’s early life.)
In an interview she gave to International Villains and Evildoers Magazine, she said that she wished to steal the crown as punishment for the royal family allowing a young Scarlet to grow up in poverty (unlikely, as Scarlet was born and raised in rural Kansas prior to the beginning of her villainous career).
In this writer's opinion, the most honest answer probably comes in the interview she gave to the Villainous women's magazine, Cutting Edge. Quotes used with permission of their Senior Editor of Evil Marsha Gold:
"I'm telling you, Marsha. The male villains, they aren't going to respect you unless you are twice as good as they are, and have the title and money to go along with it. There is no place for female ne'er-do-wells in the villainous hierarchy. I can name a good dozen male villains who have never done anything more evil that shoot someone they didn't like with a freeze-ray. You know what they would say about a woman who did that? They'd say she lost control of her emotions and the evil didn't count. No, the only way for a female villain to get ahead is if she is willing to destroy everything in her path. And that includes laying waste to whole countries. America is too scattered to be useful. We have no monarchy, and who really wants to wrangle all those geezers in the senate? No, I've got my eyes on a far better prize and I promise you. Britain won't know what hit it."
Scarlet's defeat at the hands of Gru, an up and coming villain, seems to have proven her prediction true. With the simple act of freeze-raying Scarlet, Gru rocketed up the villain hierarchy, his meteoric rise far outpacing Scarlet's own, despite the fact that she had a much more diverse and dastardly rap sheet.
Despite multiple attempts, this writer has been unable to secure an interview with Scarlet to discuss her feelings about this biography. The fact that the British government still keeps her under such a tight guard decades after her defeat and subsequent imprisonment, tells us all just how Villainous the woman, the legend, Scarlet Overkill really was.