Tag Archives: villains

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


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)


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)


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)


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)

Dr Doom

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)

Ras Al Ghul

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)

dark phoenix

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!!!

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 4)

“The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time” continues with #15-#11.

15. Sinestro (Green Lantern)


Once considered one of the greatest members of the Green Lantern Corps, and Hal Jordan’s mentor, when it was discovered that he was using his power as a means to rule over his home planet, he was banished to the Antimatter Universe. Feelingly wronged by the Green Lanterns, he grew to hate them and vowed revenge. The inhabitants of the Antimatter Universe, who also hated the Corps, created a yellow power ring that granted him the same abilities as a Green Lantern, but powered by fear instead of courage. He managed to escape and began his campaign against the Lanterns. He is completely demented, having wiped out entire planets just to display his power. He is also responsible for the freeing of the Corps other nemesis: the embodiment of fear, Parallax.

14. Mystique (X-Men)


With the ability to look and sound like anyone, Mystique is the ultimate spy and infiltrator. This power alone makes her a formidable opponent, but she’s also an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and a skilled marksman. When Magneto left the Brotherhood of Mutants, Mystique picked up the reigns of the X-Men’s evil counterpart. She is a violent defender of mutantkind and views any opposition to them as a direct threat. In the “Days of Future Past” story arc, her penchant for assassinating political figures who campaigned against mutants lead to mutants and all other super powered beings being hunted down. Her history with several of the X-Men runs very deep and personal. She is Nightcrawler’s biological mother, and the adoptive mother of Rogue. Her relationship with the latter is particularly tumultuous due to Mystique forcing her as a child to use her lifeforce-absorbing ability to nearly kill the super hero Ms. Marvel.

13. Two-Face (Batman)


When half of his face was horribly disfigured during a failed mob hit, district attorney Harvey Dent went mad and developed a dual personality and began calling himself Two-Face. He also became obsessed with the number 2 and duality in general. Using his iconic double-sided coin to make decisions, he believes that chance is the only thing true in the world. While he doesn’t have the long track record of mayhem against the Bat-family and their allies like The Joker or the singular defining moment like Bane, his relationship with Batman is just as intriguing because while Two-Face is one of the most deadly and violent men in Gotham, there is a part of him that is still the old Harvey Dent. Because of this, Batman is torn between wanting to stop Two-Face’s criminal operations and hopes that one day he can be rehabilitated.

12. The Red Skull (Captain America)

Red Skull

The battle between Johann Schmidt and Captain America dates all the way back to World War II when Schmidt was a high-ranking Nazi officer. Originally an ordinary man, he was no match for the abilities of the Star Spangled Avenger. He had to rely on his mastery of strategy to combat Steve Rogers. However, he eventually had his mind placed into a body that had been cloned from Captain America. Now on the same physical level as his nemesis, The Red Skull became even more dangerous an adversary. Even though he has died multiple times, due to the technology of the criminal organization HYDRA, Schmidt can never really be considered dead. Whenever one body dies, his mind is simply placed into another cloned body, making him for all intents and purposes immortal. Following the events of the Marvel Civil War, with Captain America arrested and in chains, Schmidt seized the opportunity to deal a final blow to his long-time foe: under Red Skull’s employ, fellow Cap enemy Crossbones assassinates Steve Rogers on the steps of the Capital. A battle that had spanned nearly seven decades was over…that is of course until Marvel brought Captain America back to life…

11. Loki (Thor)


The God of Mischief and Chaos from Norse mythology. Loki is the constant fly in the ointment of his adoptive brother Thor. He grew jealous of the adulation that his brother received from his feats of strength and courage in battle, and blames Thor for “stealing” the affection and respect of their father Odin. Convinced that he should be the heir to the throne of Asgard, he will do anything to humiliate, shame, and/or kill the God of Thunder. Due to Thor’s love of its people, Loki began causing trouble in Midgard (Earth). So dangerous were his schemes that they eventually lead to the formation of The Avengers when several of Earth’s heroes banded together to stop him.

Up next: #10-6…

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 3)

“The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time” countdown rolls on…

20. Juggernaut (X-Men)


One of the X-Men’s oldest and most dangerous foes. Unlike most X-Villains, Cain Marko, who is the stepbrother of X-Men founder Charles Xavier, is not a mutant. After suffering abuse from his father and seeing him favor Charles, a deep resentment grew inside Marko towards the man that would one day become Professor X. When he discovered the Gem of Cyttorak, Marko was transformed into a “living Juggernaut.” With his nearly unmatched strength, invulnerability, and the inability to be stopped by any force when he is in motion, he finally had the means with which to kill his stepbrother. Juggernaut is the personification of destruction. He can and will destroy anything that gets between him and his objectives, whether it be a building or a person. His only true weakness is a vulnerability to psychic attacks, so he wears a special helmet that blocks telepathic abilities. While he has mostly been an antagonist of Marvel’s mutant teams, he has also gone toe-to-toe with Spider-Man multiple times, and has squared off against the likes of the Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange.

19. Kingpin (Daredevil/Spider-Man/The Punisher)


Marvel’s number one crime boss. Originally created as a villain for Spider-Man and has crossed paths more than once with the violent vigilante The Punisher, but he really came to prominence as the nemesis of Daredevil. In a realm of super powered beings and over-the-top personalities, Wilson Fisk represents a real-world type of bad guy. He’s a cruel, methodical lord of organized crime who operates under the guise of an unsympathetic, greedy, shrewd (but legitimate) businessman. He will utilize whatever means are at his disposal to get the deal done…whether it’s intimidation, blackmail, threats of violence (or actual violence), assassination, or corporate attorneys. Being responsible for the death of Daredevil’s love interest and fellow crime fighter, Elektra, when he hired the assassin Bullseye to kill her, assured his inclusion among the worst villains comics has to offer.

18. Cobra Commander (G.I. Joe)

cobra commander

While most people know of Cobra Commander as the always outsmarted and outmatched antagonist from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon, the character was handled much much differently in the comic book of the same name. In the comic, Cobra Commander is ruthless, brilliant, and extremely treacherous. He is the most dangerous terrorist in the world. He has an unwavering desire for world conquest, a hi-tech arsenal produced by the greatest weapons manufacturers (Destro’s M.A.R.S.), some of the greatest scientists in the world under his employ the create all kinds of chemical, biological, and technological weapons and gadgets, and an army of highly trained soldiers completely loyal to his cause. He has assassinated world leaders, created chaos and uprising around the world, and was even granted political sovereignty for Cobra Island (the headquarters of his criminal operations). He has also proven to be just as dangerous to those within his organization as those outside it, torturing and/or killing those whom he feels have failed or betrayed him.

17. Thanos (the Marvel Universe)


The villain known as the “Mad Titan” is unique among the top big bads in that he isn’t really the arch-enemy of any particular hero. His obsession with and worship of the embodiment of Death has lead him to battle with most of the Marvel Universe. He killed Drax the Destroyers family. He cruelly trained Gamora to become a killing machine. He has even gone up against the planet-eating Galactus. But his most heinous act of villainy occured when, with the power of the Inifinity Gauntlet, he wipes out of existence half the life in the universe…all in an attempt to prove his affections for Death (because nothing says “love” like universal genocide). In an effort to stop Thanos, the vast majority of heroes (and even a few villains) in Marvel comics joined forces. During the ensuing battle, Thanos killed almost the entire army that had assembled against him, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Thor, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Iron Man, and Vision. Eventually the Gauntlet was taken from Thanos and the lives of those he killed were restored, but his actions solidified him as one of the greatest, most maniacal, and deadly adversaries that comics has ever produced.

16. Dr. Octopus (Spider-Man)


Dr. Otto Octavius is Spider-Man’s most enduring foe. In fact, Doc Ock was once considered the Wall-Crawler’s arch-enemy. Dr. Octopus has been a thorn in Peter Parker’s side almost as long as the latter has donned a costume. Octavius is obsessed with defeating his nemesis. So much so that when he couldn’t kill him on his own, he brought together five more of Spider-Man’s more dangerous enemies to create the Sinister Six. He has even infiltrated the Web-Slinger’s personal life, at one time being married to Peter’s beloved Aunt May. The strangest chapter in their long history is that now Otto Octavius and Peter Parker have had their minds swapped, so Dr. Octopus is now actually Spider-Man. While I’m not a fan of the move, Marvel has certainly added another interesting layer to this battle.

To be continued…tomorrow #’s 15-11.

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 2)

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.

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 1)



Who doesn’t love a good villain? In every form of storytelling, you need a strong antagonist. Cinema has Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs), Darth Vader (Star Wars), and HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey). Television has J.R. Ewing (Dallas), Boyd Crowder (Justified), and Gus Fring (Breaking Bad). Literature has Sauron (The Lord of the Rings), Satan (Paradise Lost), and Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes). Comics, however, provide the most iconic and lasting bad guys in our culture…outside of Darth Vader anyway.

Sometimes we love them…sometimes we love to hate them. But the best villains are an irreplaceable part of the story. Villains come in all forms in the world of comics and are compelling for lots of different reasons. Regardless of what it is, there is something about them that is captivating.

I personally believe that the truest gauge of the greatness of a comic hero is the strength of his/her foes, particularly the arch-enemy. If you’ve ever seen the M. Night Shyamalan flick Unbreakable, then you’ve heard the phrase “…in the comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain is going to be? He’s the exact opposite of the hero!” If you really analyze some of comic’s most iconic heroes and their villainous counterpart, you see this is very true. Their diametrically opposing personas set them on a collision course that creates the essence of the story. Batman is a sentinel of order and justice; The Joker is an agent of chaos. The X-Men strive to create a world of peace between human and mutants; Magneto fights to create a world in which mutants rule over mankind. Superman is an alien with practically every super power imaginable; Lex Luthor is a human with no super powers whatsoever. Spider-Man sacrifices of himself and uses his “great power” to help others; the Green Goblin uses his power to benefit himself and sacrifices others to achieve his goals.


With all of that in mind, starting tomorrow I’ll be starting my “25 Greatest Comic Book Villains” series. Over the next five days I’ll list five big bads a day with a brief description of what makes them so incredibly villainous. Hope you enjoy the countdown.