They say that the true measure of a hero’s greatness is defined by the severity of the evil he has to overcome. This saying says a lot about the hero and equally so about the enemy he has to face. A hero’s worth is somewhat diminished if he doesn’t have to face adversity and adversity in the form of an evil archenemy is the stuff of epics and legends.
The same can be said in comic books. Even though superheroes are powerful, noble beings, their greatness will be greatly diminished if they don’t have to face an enigmatic enemy that represents everything he opposes. Thus, the greater the hero, the greater should be his enemy. Here are 10 of the greatest supervillains in comicdom:
The ruler of Apokolips is one of the nastiest characters to ever grace the pages of any comicbook. He is a ruthless ruler devoid of a conscience. He is also an extremely powerful being that not only has great physical strength, he can also shoot energy beams from his eyes that can disintegrate his enemies or teleport them. The powerful Omega Effect is a power that is almost god-like, which is one reason why many are afraid of him, even some superheroes.
The Thanos is the embodiment of evil for many reasons, least of which is his fascination with Death, whom he courted to be his lover. His infatuation with Death led him to offer her the best gift he could think of, a universe with no life. His cunning has led him to control some of the most powerful objects in the universe (the cosmic cube and the Infinity Gems) and used it to try and achieve his goals. Oh, and to add to his reputation. He has defeated Galactus and also killed thousands of people his homeworld – including his mother.
How can a god-like being who devours worlds without regard for who inhabits it not be considered a villain? Galactus is one of the most feared characters in the Marvel Universe, and for good reason, once he sets his eyes on a planet, it’s as good as gone. Only Earth has been able to survive his voracious appetite, thanks in no small part to Earth’s superheroes.
Wilson Fisk may not be a planet devourer or have god-like powers but he is no less evil. Fisk, better known as Kingpin, is one of the most memorable villains in the Marvel Universe. He is a crime boss that has interests in many cities. He may look, uhm, fat. But that’s just to hide his extremely powerful built, which he has shown by going toe-to-toe with heroes like Daredevil, Spider-man, Moon Knight and even good ole’ Captain America.
5. Green Goblin/Norman Osborn
When you first see the Green Goblin, you’ll probably dismiss him as a villain that’s more of a filler and not a serious threat because he doesn’t really look menacing with that scaly green outfit. But don’t let looks deceive you, Norman Osborn is as bad as they come. What else would you call a guy who killed Gwen Stacy in front of Spider-man? Or manipulate events in the Marvel Universe so that he’ll amass unprecedented power and influence? Oh, and the guy’s clinically insane, too.
What can you say about a killing machine who’s been genetically made to become almost indestructible and strong. Doomsday was the product of a genetics experiment to produce a being that can live in the harshest of environments, Krypton during prehistoric times. You can now draw your own conclusions why Doomsday has been able to kill Superman.
7. Dr. Doom
As super villains go, Dr. Doom is one of the most iconic characters in comicdom. A mere glimpse of his iron mask is enough to send shivers through the spine of many a person, including some heroes to boot. He is one of those villains who is equally brilliant and cunning, which makes him a real threat to any of the heroes he decides to battle – the most frequent being the Fantastic Four. And to prove just how evil he is? Well, he just sent Mr. Fantastic and Sue Richards’ son to Hell just to make them suffer.
Magneto is an enigmatic figure, a villain who can be quite ruthless but also cuts an imposing figure when he decides to become a hero (yes, he’s been one before). His intriguing personality and capability to turn cold-blooded at the drop of the proverbial hat makes him one of the most dangerous villains of all time.
9. Lex Luthor
As mentioned earlier, a hero’s greatness could be measured by how evil his foe is. The reverse could probably hold true. Lex Luthor could be the most dangerous villain in the world if we measure how great Superman is. There’s something to be said about how a mere “mortal” would actively go against a hero with near god-like powers – and actually best him in quite a few scraps. Luthor is a sociopath who happens to be a genius, and this combination is what makes him so dangerous.
If there’s one perfect description for the Joker it would be “deranged maniac.” The highly dangerous and completely murderous villain is an extremely lethal threat to anyone, and it’s the reason why Batman considers him his greatest foe.
James Gray has a life-long interest in politics, travel, the environment, and global affairs. He works in IT but his heart truly beats for the written word.