I have to say that creating this list was harder than I thought it would be. There are just so many great villains in the realm of comic books that it pained me to leave some of them off the list. But enough about my nerd heartbreak…let’s get to the list. Without further ado, here is the first installment of my 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains:
Honorable Mentions (if you were looking forward to seeing these baddies on the list, sorry. They didn’t quite make the cut.): Black Adam, Brainiac, Bullseye, Captain Cold, Catwoman, Deathstroke, General Zod, Kid Miracleman, Mr. Sinister, Negan, The Riddler, The Shredder, Ultron.
25. The Governor (The Walking Dead)
While current TWD big bad Negan is actually more of a clinical sociopath, in terms of causing pure mayhem, The Governor reigns supreme. He cut off Rick’s hand. He tied up Michonne and preceded to repeatedly, violently rape her and forced Glenn to listen while he did it. He kept his zombie daughter on a leash and fed his enemies to her. He brutally hacked Tyrese’s head off. He orchestrated the attacks on the prison where Rick’s group had made a home, directly causing the deaths of Hershel, Axel, Rick’s wife Lori, and their baby Judith. Needless to say The Governor was a depraved psychopath who enjoyed the suffering of others. Had his campaign of terror not been cut short by way of a bullet to back of the head, he might have ranked even higher on this list. The version of this character on the television show, is quite the villain in its own right.
24. Bane (Batman)
The “Man Who Broke the Bat”. The Dark Knight was the untouchable protector of Gotham City. Countless criminals had tried their hand at eliminating the Bat, and all had come up short. Then along came Bane. Not content to merely kill Batman, Bane set out to humiliate and cripple him so he could “rule” Gotham. He broke all of Batman’s foes out of Arkham Asylum to weaken and study him. He deduced Batman’s true identity, and attacked him when he was at his weakest and most vulnerable…inside Wayne Manor. In the ensuing fight, Bane broke Batman’s back. A genius-level intellect, an indomitable will, a masterful strategic mind, sheer ruthlessness, and superhuman strength, speed, and endurance courtesy of the steroid Venom combined to make Bane the perfect match for Batman.
23. Ozymandias (Watchmen)
While not a villain in the truest sense, his death toll is surpassed only by those with the power to destroy entire planets. Most villains understand that what they’re doing is wrong but just don’t care; Ozymandias believed that the atrocities he commited were for the greater good. He manipulates everyone around him, friend or foe, in an effort to cover his tracks and assure his plan comes to fruition. He is referred to as “the world’s smartest man”, and it’s that intelligence paired with his strength and speed being pushed to the peak of human ability, that makes him believe that he is best suited to determine the future of the planet. His ultimate goal was to create a utopian civilization; his methods were murdering millions in a staged alien attack that would bond the world together against a common enemy. His callous and overly-logical defense of these actions secure his place along side the worst of the worst.
22. Venom (Spider-Man)
Possibly the most popular member of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. The symbiotic organism that became Peter Parker’s black costume eventually attaches itself to Eddie Brock, a reporter who had been revealed a fraud and disgraced by Spider-Man. They’re mutual hate for him (and Brock’s cancer that caused him to produce excess amounts of adrenaline) formed an immediate bond between them. Then they set out on destroying the life of their common enemy. They terrorized Peter’s wife Mary Jane, attacked Peter both in and out of his costume, and actually managed to defeat Spider-Man on more than one occasion. Eventually the symbiote finds a host in Spider-Man villain Scorpion, to continue his crusade against his former host.
21. Apocalypse (X-Men)
En Sabah Nur believes that a war between mutants and humans is inevitable, and to ensure that mutantkind wins that war, he strives to create an army of the greatest, most powerful mutants. Obsessed with the idea of “survival of the fittest”, he pits mutant against mutant in fights to the death. The mutants who survive these encounters are viewed as worthy of his army…he then manipulates their genes and alters their bodies to prepare them even further. Of course his ultimate goal is to rule the world once this inevitable war is over…if you’re going to dream, dream big right? Oh, and to top it all off, to ensure that this war takes place, Apocalypse sets the wheels for it in motion. Apocalypse has physically and mentally tortured several of the X-Men in an attempt to assimilate them into his army, most notably Angel. He ripped Angel’s wings from his body replacing them with metallic wings comprised of razor-sharp blades, and altered his skin into a pale blue color making a normal life practically impossible.
Come back tomorrow for #’s 20-16.