After a break for the weekend, the “25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time” countdown returns…
10. Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman)
The leader of the League of Assassins. Through the power of mystical pools known as Lazarus Pits, Ra’s Al Ghul has been able to live for centuries…but at the expense of his sanity (he briefly suffers from uncontrollable rage and insanity every time he emerges from the pit). Ra’s believes that the world is inherently depraved and therefore must be purged of corruption…namely, people. His targeting of Gotham City as the pinnacle of this depravity has set him at odds with The Dark Knight. However because of Batman’s unmatched skill, Ra’s desires for him to take his place as the leader of the League. But due to Bruce Wayne’s refusal to kill, he will not be a part of it. The relationship between the two is one of the most complex in comics. While they are often adversaries, Ra’s has great respect for Batman and his abilities referring to him simply as “Detective”, and his daughter Talia is the mother of Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian.
9. Dark Phoenix (X-Men)
When original X-Men member Jean Grey was bonded with cosmic entity the “Phoenix Force”, she became a nearly omnipotent telepathic/telekinetic being. She was content to bury this power deep inside her mind in order to control it…that is until X-Men foe Mastermind saw her power as a way to earn entrance into the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. He began manipulating her into thinking she was an ancestor of hers and was in love with him. This allowed the Phoenix to become the dominant personality. When it finally broke free of Mastermind’s illusions, as retribution for his manipulation, it channeled all of the power of the universe into him in an instant, ripping his mind to shreds. After flying out into the deepest parts of space, The Phoenix was running low on power. So it drained a nearby star to re-energize. The ensuing supernova destroyed the life-bearing planet that orbited it, killing billions. When an intergalactic council decreed that the Phoenix was the most dangerous entity in the universe and should be destroyed, the X-Men attempted to save it, believing that Jean Grey was still buried somewhere underneath. Ultimately, Jean Grey took control and sacrificed herself to stop it…but just like the mythological creature of the same name, a Phoenix never stays dead.
8. Megatron (Transformers)
The biggest of big bads in the Transformers Universe. He is the founder of the treacherous Decepticons. In nearly every incarnation of the Transformers toyline, cartoon, movie franchise, and comic book, Megatron is the primary villain. His ultimate goal is dominion over all life in the universe, but especially over the former inhabitants of Cybertron. Megatron will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. He accepts no failure from his subordinates and expects absolute loyalty to him and his cause. The fusion cannon on his right arm is one of the most powerful weapons ever created, and more than one Autobot has fallen from its blast.
7. The Green Goblin (Spider-Man)
Spider-Man’s greatest foe. There is no villain that has wreaked as much havoc in the life of Peter Parker as the demented Norman Osborn. The Green Goblin was the first villain to discover Spider-Man’s secret identity. And it was the discovery that allowed him to begin attacking not only Peter Parker, but his loved ones as well. This attack eventually became the catalyst for the defining moment in the life of Spider-Man: the death of his first true love, Gwen Stacy. After the Goblin threw her from the top of the George Washington Bridge, Spider-Man quickly shoots a web to catch her. The web does so, but the force of the sudden stop breaks Gwen’s neck. Shortly after, Osborn is seemingly killed when a trap set for Spidey backfires. Many years later, the Green Goblin resurfaces and reveals that not only has he been alive all along, but he has been in the shadows pulling the strings of every bad thing that has happened in Peter’s life since then. He eventually weasels his way into a position inside S.H.I.E.L.D. just to gain information on other heroes and their identities. This power of knowledge, his brilliant scientific mind, superhuman strength, and his pure insanity make him one of the most formidable villains in the entire realm of comics.
6. Darkseid (Superman)
Obsessed with obtaining power, the being once known as Uxas killed his brother in an attempt to pass him in the succession to the throne of their home planet of Apokolips. Darkseid desires to make himself the ruler of the entire universe by eliminating free will. To this end, he has become obsessed with discovering the “Anti-Life Equation” which would give him control over all life. His main focus in his obsession is Earth because he believes that humans as a whole have the equation buried in their subconscious. This has lead him to battle with the planet’s greatest defender, Superman. The two have met in countless battles and the Man of Steel has nearly fallen to him more than once, often relying on help from other members of the Justice League to help him defeat his nemesis. Even after he was killed by his own son, as was foretold, his lifeforce managed to live on after the death of his body. Because of this, it is unknown if Darkseid can ever truly be defeated.
Tomorrow the final installment: #5 – #1!!!