Well, you can always just face facts that mooks were born to die. Remember, if a Doomsday Device is going off in 8 rounds, and mooks are blasting at the hero with AK-47's, those bullets are flyin' off to hit innocent bystanders. So the hero has to beat up the minions for a few rounds...so minions eat up character actions. Sure, the hero has just smashed 10 minions...but he really needs to stop that Doomsday Device.
I use a damn lot of minions in my games. Why? Because I hate writing stats. How many supervillain teams exist, anyhow? With minions, the characters can feel good beating up villains, and I can feel good that I didn't just lose a villain that was essential to the plot.
Here's some tricks I use=
1) Hard hittin' weaponry. Give mooks RPG's or LAW rockets, and suddenly they can fire a Strength 10 blast with an Area Effect. Or, give them AK-47's with depleted tungsten core ammo, and you can do Strength 8, plus Point Blank, plus Power Attack for a possible 14, and then say the attack is Penetrating, so heroes always have to roll for damage. But if the mooks are lead by a super scientist, now you can go off the map with gyrojet rifles, laser pistols...whatever. Remember, most Originals have great physical stats, but lousy will and reflex saves, so remember to reach for tasers (Paralysis) and Capscium Spray (Laced Stun and Dazzle).
Just give ten minions Laser Rifles that do +14 damage, and watch the characters drop.
Are you in a bad mood? Give those mooks Short Ranged Phase Field Projectors. They are only good for melee combat, but they deliver a +8 attack based on a Fortitude save, just like Incorporeal's Phase Attack. Ouch.
My favorite is a Teleforce Death Ray. Uses, Device, but Area 10' and Strength 0. Why? Because no matter what, everyone is Vulnerable to it. Even Protection 10 boy has to beat a 15, or else. Yes, it's a Plot Device, and it works.
2) Supernatural creatures. I use Aliens (you know, the Giger move kind), werewolves (yeah, they're minions, but they hit hard), vampires (ditto), evil ghosts, genetically altered combat clones (they got Protection and Superstrength of 10, and there's a million of them to fight), ninjas (with extra sharp swords, blessed by evil Shinto priests to pierce superhuman flesh, and watch out for the evil Yin energy that saps their power, like Drain or Slow) and evil Sorcerers. Throw ten Power Level 9 Sorcerers at the characters, with Point Blank and Power Attack, and good guys will learn to fear the night. Give the Sorcerors Force Field with Deflection, and they'll last a few rounds.
3) Armored suits. Put a trained mook into Iron Man's armor, and now he's a trained hero-killing Mook. Flight 10, Super Strength 7, Armor 10, Immunities, Energy Blast 10 with stunts of Dazzle and Snare. If they have a Con of 14 and Toughness, they now have a total +14 damage save, but they drop dead if they fail that save. Good times. Or, give them a very high Armor of 14 or so, with the flaw of Ablative. Sure, they are nigh-invulnerable, but they gradually wear down to garbage, and their weapons, with it, as the suit gets damaged.
Also, a mook with bulletproof vest, complete with a trauma plate, has an Armor of 6. Throw in a Con of 14, and that's a +8 save...although smart characters will throw called shots to the mook's heads.
4) The rules. Look closely...the book is full of odd rules that give strategically minded mooks an advantage. A minion with a Def of 4 and a Dex of 14 with Dodge has a total Def of 18 against a hero. Not bad. Now, give him the Lay Low feat, and with half cover he has a Def of 25. You can then combine this with All Out Attack, Point Blank, laser sights and other goodies to really mess with the characters.
Mooks flanking the characters get a +2 to hit. If they charge, that's another +2 to hit. So, a mook charging a character from his side gets a +4 to hit. Give them all powerful hand weapons, and they are a real threat in that first round they charge...and they are only going to last one round, anyways.
One last thing...not every character is totally shored up in their saving throws. Give mooks weapons and items that attack the other saves characters have, and feel free to change the saves to fit the device. Slow based on a Reflex save, for example. Or a Will save Suffocate. It's hard to justify Strength 10 weaponry, but anyone can get a Taser that has a level of 7, for a save of 17. Just open up the powers section, and go down the list of attacks that don't require damage saves.
I hope this helps.