Tag Archives: villains

Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 5

Welcome to the epic conclusion of the countdown of the greatest live action portrayals of comic book villains! It’s been fun making this least and writing about it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as I have. Without further ado, I give you the best of the best…or perhaps the best of the worst, as we are dealing with the bad guys, right? The best at being bad? However you want to put it.

As always, here’s a quick recap of the previous entrants:

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)
23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff (Blade)
22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)
21. Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
20. Vulture – Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
19. Deathstroke – Manu Bennett (Arrow)
18. Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
17. The Governor – David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)
16. Catwoman – Julie Newmar (Batman – TV Series)
15. Hela – Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok)
14. Captain Cold – Wentworth Miller (The Flash)
13. The Joker – Jack Nicholson (Batman)
12. Helmut Zemo – Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)
11. Magneto – Ian McKellen (X-Men)
10. Cottonmouth – Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage)
9. Bane – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises)
8. Ra’s al Ghul – Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
7. Erik Killmonger – Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
6. Negan – Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead)

On to the Top 5!

5. Kilgrave – David Tennant (Jessica Jones)

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Performed to icky perfection, David Tennant took a surprise turn as not only a villain, but an altogether sleazy and irredeemable one like Kilgrave. It’s hard to take a character that uses their ability to control people’s minds to rape and murder, and actually make it charismatic without going into sympathetic territory, but Tennant pulled it off wonderfully. In fact, the writers’ brief attempts late in the season to try to make Kilgrave seem somewhat sympathetic by showing the tragedy of his backstory is the only real knock on the portrayal. The character is evil and manipulative, period.

4. Loki – Tom Hiddleston (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

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Now, Loki on the other hand, while being manipulative and selfish, rarely comes across as actually evil. Oozing charisma and charm, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki quickly became one of the most recognizable and popular characters in the MCU. Even when he does things that are in conflict with the hero (most often his half-brother, Thor), you can’t help but like him. Easily the best portrayal at blurring the lines between hero and villain of any performance on this list, and even finally achieved heroic status in the opening scene of Infinity War, in a final sacrificial act of standing up to Thanos to attempt to protect the Space Stone.

3. Thanos – Josh Brolin (The Avengers: Infinity War)

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Speaking of the Mad Titan. While he may have had brief appearances in the first Guardians of the Galaxy and mid-credit stinger of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Josh Brolin’s Thanos didn’t really become a thing until The Avengers: Infinity War. There was a lot riding on his performance, as Thanos was the biggest of big bads in the MCU…the villain that they’d been building to for 10 years. And he did not disappoint! Brolin delivers a powerful, layered, even emotional performance. The shifting of the character’s motivations from simply wanting to impress Death by wiping out half the universe in order to “balance the scales” to instead callously feeling like he’s actually “saving” half the universe due to dwindling resources added another layer of depth to an already incredible character.

2. Kingpin – Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil – TV Series)

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As far as real-world type villains in the comics, the Kingpin reigns supreme. And Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on him in the Daredevil series on Netflix follows suit in the realm of comic book media properties. Charlie Cox is great as the titular hero, but D’Onofrio brings such a weight and depth to the Kingpin that they seem almost equals in importance and interest. Menacing and prone to tantrums of ultra violence, yet brilliant, calculating, and methodical in his schemes, he makes for a truly captivating villain. His performance is also a fantastic example of explaining a villain’s tragic backstory and motivation without generating sympathy for them.

1. The Joker – Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

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As if there were anywhere else to go with the top spot. Not only is Heath Ledger’s Joker the greatest villain live action portrayal, it is the greatest character portrayal in a comic book property, period. As captivating a characters as you’ll find, Ledger’s performance is everything you could want in a villain: compelling, menacing, devious, cunning, and completely insane…not to mention insanely quotable. While the other two Jokers that made the list played up the crazy a bit over-the-top, Ledger delivered a grounded, utterly horrifying view of chaos personified.

 

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Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 4

Welcome back to the countdown of the best portrayals of comic book villains. Ready to crack the top 10? Before we get to today’s entries, lets take a quick look at who we’ve covered so far.

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)
23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff (Blade)
22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)
21. Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
20. Vulture – Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
19. Deathstroke – Manu Bennett (Arrow)
18. Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
17. The Governor – David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)
16. Catwoman – Julie Newmar (Batman – TV Series)
15. Hela – Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok)
14. Captain Cold – Wentworth Miller (The Flash)
13. The Joker – Jack Nicholson (Batman)
12. Helmut Zemo – Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)
11. Magneto – Ian McKellen (X-Men)

On to today’s installment…

10. Cottonmouth – Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage)

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Oozing with charisma, and far more nuanced than the typical MCU villain, Mahershala Ali’s take on Cornell Stokes (a.k.a. Cottonmouth) was superb. While I do love Mike Colter’s take on Luke Cage, I actually found Cottonmouth to be far more interesting than the titular hero. So compelling and engaging was his character, that his death halfway through the first season, throws the entire show out of whack leading to a disappointing back half. Showing him being forced into the life of organized crime despite his wishes to avoid it, yet fully embracing it once he’s in, he did a fantastic job making Cottonmouth come across as both vicious and slightly sympathetic.

9. Bane – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises)

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I know some dislike the voice Tom Hardy chose to use for Bane, but I personally thought it gave the character a memorability and helped in making his incredible dialogue standout even more. And make no mistake, his dialogue is just that: incredible. He easily has some of the best material in the entire series. Including the “darkness” monologue, which sums up a villains backstory better in just a few sentences than some get with entire scenes dedicated to it. Being the first of three villains from The Dark Knight trilogy being in the top 10, it speaks to just how amazingly well Christopher Nolan did in creating great villains.

8. Ra’s al Ghul – Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)

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Number 2 in The Dark Knight trilogy big bads. The shock of learning that Liam Neeson’s character, originally claiming to be Henri Ducard (the man that helped train Bruce Wayne in the comics), was in fact the real Ra’s al Ghul, was a truly wonderful plot twist. While Bane may have had better dialogue, and the Joker got more focus, I really believe that there was more charisma in the interactions between Christian Bale’s Batman and Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul than any other villain in the franchise. With the connections to him in the events of The Dark Knight Rises, he in many ways was actually the primary villain of the trilogy.

7. Erik Killmonger – Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)

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Easily one of the most complex villains in a comic book property. While his actions and his ultimate goal are evil, due to the life he was forced to live due to the horrible mistakes of his father and uncle, it’s understandable why ended up with such a distorted worldview. That’s something that is rarely seen in comic book movies or television series: a full understanding of why the villain believes what he does. Typically the villain’s reasons for evil-doing and their motivations are simple, shallow, and one-dimensional. None of those could be used to describe anything about Killmonger. His death scene is one of the most truly heartbreaking moments in the MCU.

6. Negan – Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead)

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Over-the-top and in love with the sound of his own voice, yet charismatic and entirely engaging, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance as Negan is a spot-on portrayal of its comic book counterpart. Even though the quality of the series as a whole has been in a bit of a downward spiral the last few seasons, it is in no way due to the show’s villain during that time. Negan has been one of the few bright spots and compelling things going on for a while. I can remember thinking that his casting seemed a bit out of left field as he hadn’t even been rumored to have been a choice, and was only cautiously optimistic about his potential…but man, was I wrong. Now, I can’t imagine anyone but him playing the part. It’s almost like he was made to play it.

Sadly, I have not been able to pump this list out as fast as I had hoped, but I’m still aiming to get it done tomorrow. Hope to see you then, when I finish off the countdown with the Top 5!

Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 3

A recap of the list so far:

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)
24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)
23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff (Blade)
22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)
21. Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
20. Vulture – Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
19. Deathstroke – Manu Bennett (Arrow)
18. Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
17. The Governor – David Morrissey (The Walking Dead)
16. Catwoman – Julie Newmar (Batman – TV Series)

And now, onward and upward!

15. Hela – Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok)

Hela

It’s a tough task trying to be a menacing villain in a comedy-heavy film like Thor: Ragnarok, but Cate Blanchett pulls it off wonderfully. Hela is powerful and incredibly deadly, while still managing to throw in a couple dabs of humor as well without making her seem like any less of a threat. It’s a testament to her ability as an actress to strike that perfect balance. My only disappointment with Hela, and it’s nothing to do with anything Cate Blanchett did, is that Hela was not used as the stand-in for Death in The Avengers: Infinity War.

14. Captain Cold – Wentworth Miller (The Flash)

Captain Cold

While Wentworth Miller’s take on The Flash’s nemesis, Leonard Snart, might rank at #14 on this list of best portrayals, it might be among my absolute favorites personally. As I’m not a huge fan of the character in the comics, I never expected to love it so much in a live-action setting…but man do I. Incredibly charismatic, with a line delivery that borders almost on the absurd, but regardless draws you in, Captain Cold is highlight of The Flash, and the first season of Legends of Tomorrow, as he attempts to gain some redemption for his past transgressions, but still manages to keep his twisted sense of morality.

13. The Joker – Jack Nicholson (Batman)

Joker

The first truly homicidal psychopath Joker to grace the screen. Even though Jack Nicholson did a great job bringing the Clown Prince of Crime to life, much like Alfred Molina’s Dr. Octopus, I was not a fan of linking the villain to the hero in a personal fashion unnecessarily. In the comics, the Joker is not the man that murdered Batman’s parents (that distinction goes to petty criminal Joe Chill), and changing that fact served no purpose in the film other than being able to deliver the “You made me!/You made me first.” line. But even still, his actual performance hits the high notes of the zany, ultra violent insanity we’ve come to expect from the Joker.

12. Helmut Zemo – Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)

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He may not have been any sort of physical threat to Captain America, Helmut Zemo was one the most dangerous villains in the MCU. His methodical approach to exacting revenge on the Avengers for the deaths of his family in Sokovia by forcing them to turn on each other, was absolutely brilliant. I loved the subtlety in his performance. When you have a film with so many big hero personalities, trying to squeeze another big villain personality could have made the film feel over full. So choosing to tone Zemo back and have him operate mostly in the shadows was fantastically done. He’s also distinct among movie villains, in that he actually achieved his goal. While Cap and Iron Man didn’t kill each other, their bond was broken and most of the Avengers were left as fugitives. I only wish he would have donned some form of his mask from the comics at some point.

11. Magneto – Ian McKellen (X-Men)

Magneto

Magneto has long been among my favorite villains in the comics. He is the perfect example of how a person’s life experiences shape their world view, and Ian McKellen…and to a lesser extent Michael Fassbender…have done an amazing job bringing that to the big screen. McKellen’s portrayal is layered, powerful, and multi-faceted. His hatred and rage, even when more subdued and subtle, are always very tangible and delivered in a way that is believable and understable. He’s also rare in that while most villains end up dead in comic book movies, he has managed to survive through multiple films.

Come back tomorrow where we’ll crack the top 10 among the best live-action performances of comic book villains. See you then.

Greatest Comic Book Villain Portrayals – Part 1

What good is a hero without an equally menacing and compelling villain? Sure, the hero is the focus of the story, but he/she has to have something or someone to overcome. That’s what makes the hero’s journey so interesting and entertaining. Comics have long featured the best baddies that pop culture has to offer, so why would the movies and television series that are based on them be any different? So let’s countdown the best portrayals of villains in comic book properties (note: I’m only including live action portrayals…though there are some truly fantastic villain performances in cartoons…including the greatest villain portrayal ever: Mark Hamill’s Joker).

Here…we…go…

25. The Penguin – Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham)

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While I’m not a fan of the show as a whole, for several reasons that I won’t get into here, I very much enjoy the portrayal of a young, power-hungry Oswald Cobblepot delivered by an underrated Robin Lord Taylor. Seeing the Penguin’s rise to power was one of the things that first interested me in the show. Sadly, it was not enough to overcome my other issues with the series.

24. The Joker – Cesar Romero (Batman – TV Series)

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The original Joker. His take on the character may not be the scheming, homicidal lunatic that the Joker was originally created to be, Romero’s performance was a perfect characterization of the Clown Prince of Crime’s comic counterpart of that era. Luckily the comics eventually dropped the camp and returned Batman to his darker, grittier beginnings, and in doing so saw the Joker’s portrayals change in kind.

23. Deacon Frost – Stephen Dorff  (Blade)

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It’s sad that the movie Blade is so often forgotten when it comes to discussion of comic book films, and with it, the fantastic performance of Stephen Dorff as the vampire Deacon Frost. Frost is violent, conniving, overly ambitious, and just as dangerous to other vampires that don’t share his vision of the future as he is to the humans he views as cattle. With his dark charisma, he very much plays the foil to Wesley Snipes’ dry and stoic titular half-human/half-vamp slayer, and ends up stealing the show in the process.

22. Saint of Killers – Graham McTavish (Preacher)

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Preacher hasn’t been quite the frame-for-frame re-telling of Garth Ennis’ seminal series that I had hoped for, and the characterization has been a bit hit-and-miss when it comes to capturing the essence of the comic’s counterpart. But one of the major hits has been the portrayal of the Saint of Killers. Cold, mostly emotionless, and virtually indestructible, he is the ultimate killing machine and is played to perfection by Graham McTavish. His origin story is easily one of the best parts of Season 1.

21. Dr. Octopus – Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)

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There are plenty who would probably claim I’m blasphemous for rating Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2 so low, but I’ll explain why. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with his performance, but I was not a fan of the decision to portray him as sympathetic and giving him a personal connection to Peter Parker…a theme that was rampant throughout the Tobey Maguire lead Spider-Man series. Literally EVERY villain was connected to him in someway. It wasn’t necessary and felt very forced. Then with the sympathy angle on top of that, it felt like a slight to the man that, until the Green Goblin murdered Gwen Stacy, could have been argued was Spider-Man’s primary antagonist.

 

That’s all for this round. I’ll try to get this pumped out quickly. With Ant-Man & the Wasp releasing this week, I want to make sure I can get around to its review before it’s been out too long.

Reader’s Poll: Who Has the Best Rogues Gallery in Comics?

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What good is a hero without great villains? No matter how incredible or interesting the protagonist in a story may be, if he/she is not met by equally incredible or interesting antagonists, the story just feels flat. Aside from Star Wars‘ Darth Vader, who is without a doubt the coolest bad guy in pop culture, there’s no better place to find villains than comic books. So which hero has the best rogues gallery? You as the reader get to determine which ones I write about. Vote below and I’ll feature the top 5 vote-getters in a future post (might be a multi-parter).

 

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 6)

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN…the worst of the worst. The final installment of “The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time.”

5. Galactus (Silver Surfer/Fantastic Four)

Galactus

The “Devourer of Worlds”…a lot of bad guys throw around phrases like this to intimidate or to emphasize their realm of influence. For Galactus, it’s not hyperbole. He literally eats planets. While he may not be a villain in the purest sense, because he has to eat the life force of planets in order to survive, the amount of sentient life he has taken is immeasurable. Despite his destructive nature, there have been several instances where he has helped stop beings who meant to conquer and/or destroy the universe. He has even made pacts with the Fantastic Four to not attempt to eat Earth, but whenever they seek his help, breaking that pact is always his payment…apparently Earth is tasty.

4. Lex Luthor (Superman)

Lex Luthor

One of the most famous villains in the history of comics. He has been the foil of Superman for over 70 years worth of stories. While his background and origin has changed multiple times, the one constant element is his hatred for the Man of Steel. Originally Luthor was a scientist who would have to be saved by Superman in order to keep his inventions from hurting others or Luthor himself. This caused Luthor to resent Superman for humiliating him. Then he was re-envisioned as a corrupt and egomaniacal businessman who is jealous of Superman receiving the adoration that he believes he rightfully deserves. Lex Luthor bankrolls fellow villains against other superheroes, and eventually moved into politics…where the American people were dumb enough to elect him President.

3. Magneto (X-Men)

Magneto

The Master of Magnetism is possibly the most powerful mutant on the planet. Had circumstances been different, he probably would have been a powerful ally of Charles Xavier instead of being his team’s greatest enemy. His Jewish family was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp during World War II. It was here that a young mutant named Max Eisenhardt witnessed firsthand the cruelty of mankind towards those that are different. He would eventually escape, but the horrors he lived there would shape his view of humans forever. He grew to hate and fear humans. Where he failed to protect fellow Jews from the Nazi “Final Solution”, he desired to protect his mutant brethren by any means necessary. This has put him at odds with the X-Men, who work to erase fear of mutants and create a peace between them and humans. Rarely are the fundamental ideals of a hero and villain so diametrically opposed. While Professor X and Magneto both want whats best for mutants, their views of what is best for them are complete opposites. The two, however, remain close friends and care for each other deeply…both hoping to rally the other to his cause.

2. The Joker (Batman)

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The Dark Knight’s arch-enemy and probably the most iconic villain in all of comics. The Joker is pure mayhem. He finds humor in causing pain and suffering to others. The Clown Prince of Crime is the epitome of chaos…even within his own mind. Sometimes he is very calculating and will create extremely complex and elaborate schemes and traps for Batman…yet other times is prone to fits of rage and madness. While most villains have desires for power and/or authority, the Joker is singularly obsessed with his nemesis, the Caped Crusader. His every move is to cause pain to or corrupt Batman or his allies. The Joker tortured Commission Gordon…paralyzed his daughter Barbara…and killed Jason Todd, the second Robin… all in an effort to hurt Batman. In The Dark Knight Returns it is established that so deep is The Joker’s obsession that he is virtually catatonic without his adversary there to motivate his insanity.

And now…the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The Greatest Villain in the History of Comic Books!!!

1. Dr. Doom (The Marvel Universe…primarily The Fantastic Four)

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Victor Von Doom is the quintessential villain. Not content to be the ruler of merely one country (his home nation of Latveria), he desires ultimate power and authority. He is one of the most intelligent and brilliant scientific minds that has ever lived. He uses this brilliance to create suits of armor that allow him to fly, shoot lasers and electricity, and go toe-to-toe with heroes like The Hulk and The Thing in hand-to-hand combat. His force of will is the greatest of not only all villains, but possibly of all comic characters period…he has resisted mental attacks from the likes of Emma Frost, and withstood unbelievable torture without so much as a groan, all on sheer will and focus. He is a master strategist, a world-class sword fighter and marksman, one of the most powerful sorcerers on the planet, and has an army of “Doombots” that are basically robotic clones of himself that are nearly indistinguishable from the actual Dr. Doom. One of the most intriguing things about Doom is the fact that since he is the ruler of his country, he is protected against punishment for his crimes by diplomatic immunity. The only real flaw Doom possesses is arrogance. He believes that there are none on his level in intelligence and ability. He even wears a mask to cover his face because even though he only has a small scar on his cheek, he considers it to be horribly disfigured. Anything less than perfection is failure. It is this arrogance that always leads to his defeat. While he is the arch-enemy of The Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic in particular), Doom has faced off against practically every major (and some not so major) hero in Marvel Comics. His realm of influence outside of comics is unmatched by any other villain. He is the at least partial inspiration for the majority of James Bond villains, and was the major inspiration for the greatest villain in all of pop culture: Darth Vader.

There you have it, folks. The best of the bad. Hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through the most despicable and dastardly baddies in comicdom.

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 5)

After a break for the weekend, the “25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time” countdown returns…

10. Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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!!!