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March 1, 2013 at 8:38 AMComments: 7 Faves: 0

Top Ten Comic Book Villains Part One

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This Author

Welcome one and all to this, the voluminous blog of vivaciously vicious villainy. We are here, not to hold up those who so selflessly give of themselves, but to pay homage to the nemesis; the shadowy figure; the nightmarish creature that haunts our every waking moment. We are here because we have come to grasp one, unalienable truth: There can be no hero without a villain.

The years have been, in a pleasant turn of events for these oft beat upon characters, rather good for the villain. Due to our society's growing moral ambiguity, the villain has come to be a character that is no longer merely defined by the moniker "evil," but has the same depth that our hero often has. Not only has this caused an increasing interest in the villain, but has allowed the character type a victory or two (unheard of in years past). These victories often come in the wake of said villain revealing to the hero how closely their world views may coincide, proving just how far the writing of villain has progressed.

No longer is the villain easily overpowered by the moral authority of our hero. Instead, the villain is now able to spread their proverbial wings, plying their own set of ethical standards upon the unwitting masses and our heroes. In this new generation of villainy, many a story arc can be found where we, as the reader or viewer, have a difficult time separating our inherent need for good to triumph over evil and a burning desire to see the hero's face rubbed deeply in his/her smug sense of superiority.

With the gap between the ruling class and the peasants ever widening across the globe, I can't help but think that this trend of villain worship will continue. That being said, say hello to your future conquerors!

parallax

Parallax is an incredibly complex character. The entity was originally created as a way to write out Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern. When Jordan's hometown is destroyed, he abuses his power and turns into Parallax, laying waste to the Green Lantern Corps. Apparently, this storyline did not sit well with the fan base, and DC was forced to create an alternative story arc.

In this new story, Parallax is actually revealed to be a the first sentient being in the universe to experience fear. This fear gave rise to the yellow color on the emotional spectrum, the only color able to resist the color of will, green. Every Green Lantern now introduced into the core must learn to both recognize and control the power of the "Parallax Fear Anomaly."

Power(s):

  • Projection of Fear
  • Mind Control
  • Possession
  • Hypnosis
  • Reality Alteration
  • Time Manipulation
  • Flight
  • Immortality

doomsday

Doomsday has one of the greatest origin stories a villain can have, as he was molded specifically to hate all life in the universe and to be impervious to pain or fear. This creature of perfect destruction was created on the planet Krypton by Bertron, a mad-scientist type character bent on creating the perfect sentient weapon. It is important to understand that the Krypton on which Doomsday was created existed prior to the species that spawned our beloved Superman. (We're talking dino-times on Krypton people. So, if you think Supes is BA, imagine how excellent the retro reptiles are!) On this Krypton lived the most dominant life forms found in the universe, at that time.

Bertron took little baby Doomsday and dropped him on the planets surface for the explicit purpose of the child being torn to shreds. Bertron would then collect the remains and create a clone...rinse and repeat for decades. In doing so, Bertron accelerated the evolutionary process of the child until he could destroy these dominant life forms, creating Doomsday.

Doomsday would later go on to kill Superman. No big deal.

Power(s):

  • Evolutionary Regenerative Healing Factor
  • Adaptive Resistances
  • Adaptive Countermeasures
  • Absorption Cells
  • Superhuman Strength
  • Invulnerability
  • Superhuman Stamina
  • Superhuman Reflexes
  • Super Leaping
  • Flight
  • Self-Sustenance
  • Sense Kryptonian
  • Kryptonian Rage

carnage

Carnage represents a rather unique threat in both the comic universe and the real world...the virus. Carnage is the symbiotic spawn of Venom. The weirdness happened when Venom host Eddie Brock was imprisoned with serial murderer Cletus Kassidy. A piece of the Venom symbiote escaped and entered an open wound on Kassidy, giving rise to Carnage.

While Kassidy has always been the go-to host for Carnage, the symbiote has also bonded to Spider-Man, John Jameson, Ben Reilly, and the mighty Silver Surfer. The Carnage symbiote doesn't just take control of the host, but amplifies the very nature of the being. Kassidy is the main host because he yearns for the destruction of all sentient species, much like Carnage. That being said, Carnage inhabiting the Silver Surfer is an absolutely terrifying thought, as the Surfer heralds the destruction of worlds. The combination did have an excellent name though...The Carnage Cosmic.

Power(s):

  • Superhuman Abilities
  • Weapon Creation from Personal Mass
  • Spider Abilities
  • Limited Shape Shifting Capability
  • Immunity to Spider-Sense

apocalypse

One of the first mutants born to humanity, En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse) was abandoned by his people and raised by a tribe of Egyptian nomadic warriors. Growing up in this warrior society afforded the young Nur a glimpse at Darwinian evolution incarnate. This childhood led to the belief that mutant kind (Homo Superior) was the rightful evolutionary heir to Earth, and that all human kind must be eliminated by any means necessary.

Throughout the centuries, due to his mutant immortality, Nur went on to embody many godhead figures. In every era, his glimpse into the ugliness of humanity reaffirmed his belief in the superiority of mutant kind; so much so that he set out across the ages to recruit his four horseman of the apocalypse. Many well-known heroes would play these roles, including Wolverine and Angel.

Apocalypse always lurks in the mind of the Marvel universe, a stark reminder of what true villainy is.

Power(s):

  • Superhuman Strength
  • Invulnerability
  • Flight
  • Teleportation
  • Biomolecular Alteration
    • Malleable
    • Size
    • Transmutation
  • Energy Generation
    • Absorption
    • Speed
    • Force-fields
    • Projection
  • Telekinesis
  • Telepathy
  • Immortality
    • Slowed Aging
    • Blood of Apocalypse
  • Technological Interface
  • Genius

scarecrow

Dr. Jonathan Crane, psychologist and psychopath, is not one of Batman's greatest enemies, nor is Crane even close to the most powerful villain on this list, but he does represent an interesting rift in the Dark Knight. When Batman set out to instill fear in his enemies by donning the cape and cowl, he did so with righteous intent and no fear. Crane did the same when he developed his fear chemical and the Scarecrow personality, sans the righteousness obviously.

Scarecrow is not #6 on this list because he is an overly amazing character, but because he has the ability to turn Batman upon himself. The steel-willed anti-hero has withstood both physical and mental abuse from all who oppose him, but none have forced such self-reflection like Scarecrow. None have caused such fear in the hero (the Joker may be an exception, but we will get to him soon enough), hence his place on the list.

Power(s):

  • Chemistry Expert
  • Intimidation
  • Martial Arts
  • Psychology Expert

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7 Comments

  • Great list! I wholeheartedly agree with each of these characters as the living embodiment of darkness, especially Carnage and Apocalypse. I have no idea how you limited yourself to ten, but here are a couple that I think should be on your list that did not make it.

    First and foremost, we are going to talk about Dark Phoenix, the evil component of Jean Grey. Jean, as a character, was almost worthless, because the full capacity of her powers had been limited by Xavior. But, when the Phoenix Force and Jean become the Dark Phoenix, it only takes a small journey into evil for her to become one of the greatest villains, especially since she kills off an entire solar system. I would put her on the tops of scariest supervillains of all time.

    Next, we are going to go to Nathaniel Essex, better known as Mister Sinister. I remember my first encounters with Mister Sinister, which left me in horrifying nightmares. This man, who could easily change shape, seemed indestructible, and could use telepathy for his evil devices, seemed to be a great character of darkness. He was also shrouded in mystery, being that Marvel changed their minds about where he came from. He seemed so dominant, and although Apocalypse was the superior character in dominance, Mister Sinister always seemed to have an agenda directly harming the X-Men, making him the more apparent villain, at least in my mind.

  • Your comment is yet another reminder of the glory of comic books Rex. I certainly thought of both of those characters for the list, but they just didn't have the staying power that some of the others did. Mister Sinister is an excellent villain that plagues the entire Marvel universe, but his philosophy is exactly the same as Apocalypse. That being said, his mutant capabilities and impact on history are not yet Apocalypse level.

    As for the Phoenix, there was far too much tie to heroic action for me. She represents a great bridging and emotional character for the X-men, but again, doesn't have the staying power.

    Excellent choices!

  • Villains! .....What? The best and strongest superheros have the greatest villains. You can't have one without the other. Can't wait until for next week!

  • We get to the big guns next week Mo.

  • Wheres Dr. Freeze?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRH-Ywpz1_I

  • Freeze is a character driven by emotional distress Kage. He really doesn't care as much about being a villain as he does saving his wife. In this light, and the fact that he doesn't really pose much of a threat to the universe as a whole, he was not mentioned.

  • This is a great list of all the villians in comic books. I love all the comic book characters as they are created using popart with a dash of different colors.

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