Friday, May 19, 2006

Villains for the Top 50 List...?

The villains for the previously mentioned Top 50 list are below. I have room for six more and I'm listening for your suggestions.

But please don't waste your breath and my time on the shallow, ridiculous caricature that is "Darkseid". No matter how large you make a cardboard cut-out, it's still basically two-dimensional....

The Joker. The clown from hell.

Two-Face (Harvey Dent) . All of axiology wrapped up in one character.

Lex Luthor. Human ambition, vanity, and folly all in one package.

Mxyzptlk. He who uses the fourth wall to look IN at the comic book, as we do, instead of out.

The Riddler (Edward Nigma). The supreme intellectual challenger.

Dr. Psycho. He violates you from the inside out.

The Composite Superman (Joe Meach). The godlike janitor who kicked Batman and Superman's butts.

Starro. If you do not immediately understand the genius of a giant purple mindcontrolling starfish from outer space that eats atomic power, then may god have mercy on your soul.

Eclipso (Bruce Gordon). No one else is his own archenemy.

Gorilla Grodd. It's the juxtaposition of the gorillaness with the mindforce/scifi thing, ya see.

Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot). There is no rationale to fully explain the fabulousness of the Penguin. Yet there it is. Besides, what other villain can fight Firestorm to a standstill in one comic and get beaten up by Bullock in another without your batting an eye about it?

Catwoman (Selina Kyle). The real danger to society isn't evil; it's disinterested amorality, as symbolized by Catwoman.

Emerald Empress. The eye. THE EYE! AAAIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mister Mind. A world-conquering worm. Sheer genius.

Harley Quin. Because I, too, have had bad days and made bad decisions.

Killer Moth. The original Anti-Batman, the unlovable loser, and the avatar of all self-deluding costumed kooks.

The Crime Doctor. It's like "snakes on a plane".

Black Manta. Because ... well, because he's Black Manta, for Neptune's sake.

Ares (God of Conflict). A real god. Not a thundering Norse puppet character or a cardboard-thin fourth world "new god" or a wispy Endless One. A real god from the gods the founders of our civilization worshipped.

Paul Gambi. Tailor to the supervillains. Pure poetry, that.


Tom said...

Paula Von Gunther. Oh how I hope Heinberg sees the great campy value of what is basically the supervillain version of Marlene Dietrich.

Jonathan Miller said...

The Time Trapper--he has all of Time in which to defeat you.

Gar Berner said...

Vandal Savage. He may lose the battle, but he'll win the war. When you're immortal, all you have is time.

Anonymous said...

The Terrible Trio. General Zod. Garguax. Granny Goodness. Angle Man. General Dar-Nx. Monsieur Mallah. Nemesis Kid.

Anonymous said...

Hans Von Hammer, The Enemy Ace. I didn't see any war characters on your hero list, and any best of DC list has either got to have Enemy Ace or the combat-happy topkick of Easy Co.

Toby S. said...

I'd like to nominate the re-written Mr. Freeze, if DCAU characters are available. I still think that Patrick Stewart or Ben Kingsley could have gotten an Oscar nod in that role - the tragic villain offers a ton of scenery to chew. Maybe we'll get lucky with the Bale Batman series.

totaltoyz said...

Clock King. In the Silver Age, just another theme villain. Post-Crisis, a clown. But in one memorable Bronze Age appearance he had depth, character and motivation.

Sivana. One of the first Golden Age villains to be given an origin with a true motivation for his evil. He had tried to help a world that didn't want his help and finally got pushed so far he started pushing back. And how.

Steven said...

Where am Bizarro?

For that matter, where is Black Adam?

It's funny, the both start from the same premise, evil version of good guy, but one is a buffoon with a funny speech pattern and a surprising amount of empathy (we've all felt like the world is backwards sometimes) whereas the other is deadly serious and occasionally completely in the right.

Bill Reed said...

Monsieur Mallah and Amos Fortune, baby!

Or Kanjar Ro. Nothing's cooler than space piracy.

Scotus said...

Captain Boomerang: I'm not cool enough to use exotic phrases like "Strewth!" or "Fair dinkum," but he was.

Deathstroke: One of the best characters of the modern age. And he rid the DCU of the embarrassment that was Phantom Lady's costume. (For a couple of months, anyway.)

Ra's Al Ghul: Is DC still pretending that he's dead for good? Whatever. It's time to bring him back.

Anonymous said...

I second Ra's
and add Gentleman Ghost

Mallet said...

Fadeaway man.

For just a few issues of Hawkman he was DC's most magnificent villian. A more then legitament threat, a smart ass, and a schemer. He was a perfect foil for the stoic, silent, winged barbarian.

And that in and of itself should make him a spot.

The Fortress Keeper said...

The Carol Ferris Star Sapphire! Legitimately beat Hal Jordan to take his hand in marriage, then stood him up at the altar!

methane said...

I'm adding my support to the Gentleman ghost.

I have actually very little exposure to Monsieur Mallah, but he made a bigger impression on me than Grodd (much as I love him), ever did. Probably the way he's drawn.

The Ultra-Humanite. I've never read his golden age appearances, but the mad scientist who switches his brain from body to body over the years is a great concept.

Braniac. every universe needs one great evil machine. Sorry Brother Eye, but Braniac beat you to it.

Reverse-Flash. Maniac from the future who runs the speed of light, knows everything about the hero, and is totally obsessed with him. Actually succeeded in killing the hero's wife (well, her body anyway) at a time when major deaths weren't routinely done every 6 months. While Barry Allen was one of the most clear-headed heros of his era, he was brought to the emotional edge whenever Reverse Flash appeared.

Nimbus said...

Looking back a few posts reminded me of...

Validus and Chemo. Purely because they look great and they're big.

And what about Doomsday? (kidding!).

Anonymous said...


Doctor Polaris said...

Where is POLARIS? Where am I? I deserve a place on that list!

joncormier said...

Poison Ivy - she truly has a deadly kiss. She is sex as a weapon personified, plus all the killer plants are great for reversing the bondage imagery onto Batman and Robin instead of say, Wonder Woman.

Clayface - The whole idea of someone who can be anyone, plus he's made out of clay and sometimes sewage - ewe.

Mr. Freeze - but the Bruce Timm version. He was reimagined to such greatness on that show. He is really the start of the sympathetic villain movement that was so horribly aped since then. Actually almost all the classic Bat-Villains were at their pinnacle on the Animated Series as they were more victims of circumstance than anything else.

The Gentleman Ghost - he's a ghost, and he's a gentleman. If anything he makes the list for most accurate naming of a villain.

Jimmy Olsen - C'mon, that guy endagered more lives in Metropolis than anyone else. When he wasn't busy endagering the lives of others he was wasting Superman's time playing lumberjack or circus. If it wasn't for Superman the Olsen line would have been rightfully cut off ages ago, instead we have Superman dressing up as a magician while orphans are light on fire.

Jacob Munford said...

I'd second Clayface, but only on the Dini show because as he is, it's just way too confusing (and there's an easy fix too...).

I'd throw Deadshot's hat in the ring. Deadshot, to me, is horrifying because he's completely ambivalent to anything in the world while carrying around gigantic guns on his wrist. It's not the type of wishy-washy apathy of Catwoman, but a jackboot nihilism. A lot of villains are defeated by their M.O., but Deadshot is great because he doesn't have one.

Jon said...

I second Ivy - I'd forgotten all about her, but she's tragic and threatening and sympathetic and crazy all in one.

On that same front, I've always had a soft spot for Rose/Thorn and Madame Rouge, two tragic split-personality villainesses.

I am surprised you skipped The Mist, the embodiment of all the high drama you love about Starman, and The Brain, who is a freaking brain in a jar!!!

Nathan said...

Captain Cold, anyone?

And I second Black Adam's nomination. Even though he tends to straddle the fence between hero and villain.

Anonymous said...

Per Degaton. Definately.

He's one of the few original JSA villians that has really stuck around till today.

Mike Nielsen

Mike Loughlin said...

Deadshot- I commented on him in the heroes post (oops!), but Jacob M. said what I was trying to say much more cogently; am I the only one who likes his costume?

Granny Goodness- creepy old broad, tough as nails, runs an orphanage from hell. No other DC villain freaks me out like she does.

Ra's Al Ghul- he thinks he's doing the planet a favor by killing 90% of the population! The ultimate eco-terrorist.

Mr. Nobody- so bizarre!

The Mist- creepy guy made of fog. Cool.

Solomon Grundy (born on a Monday)- vegetable zombie who took his name from a nursery rhyme, and can kick Green Lantern's butt.

Kobra- the funniest of all megalomaniacs (totally ripped off for Cobra Commander!), but he can beat up Batman.

totaltoyz said...

Oh, and how could I forget:

Ocean Master. A very scary look at how far the classic "Dad liked you best!" rant can go.

tenzil said...

Granny Goodness: Truly a sick individual, the real psycho on Apokalips. A monstrous sadist. Also looks like Barbara Bush. Voiced by ED ASNER on JLU.

The Brain and Monsieur Mallah: Murderous brain in a jar and a talking monkey. They're in LOVE.

General Wade Eiling: Framed Nathaniel Adam, nuked him, screwed his wife and adopted his kids, then blackmailed him into working as a government Superhero. Truly without morals.

The Chief: Grant Morrison retconned the Doom Patrol so that we learn that [[SPOILERS AHOY]] The Chief himself caused the 'accidents' that made the DP into freaks (including Cliff Steele's accident that destroyed his body), all part of a master scheme to implement a 'catastrophe curve' that would remake the universe with nanomachines. [[END SPOILERS]]

Nemesis Kid: CHOSE to be evil, he wasn't misunderstood or crazy. Purely calculating with the most dangerous power of all.

The Anti-Life Equation: What a cool concept.

The Anti-Monitor: The one villain who DOES NOT SCREW AROUND. No small potatoes for this guy, his opening act is destroying whole universes. Killed Flash. Killed Supergirl. Killed entire Crime Syndicate of America. Knocked out entire Green Lantern Corps. Not stopped by outsmarting him, tricking him, or sending him to jail. Death was the only option. Role model for Superboy-Prime.

Zoom (Hunter Zolomon): Genuinely believes murdering the hero's family makes Flash a BETTER HERO. One of the most mentally disturbed villians in comics.

The Extremists: Murdered an entire world. Far, far worse monsters than their Marvel equivalents. A shocking story in the bwah-ha-ha JLA era.

Batman: Plotted the deaths of his Justice League team-mates. Created Brother Eye. Adopts orphaned teenage boys and forces them to play dress-up and fight street thugs. Raised by moral midget Leslie Thompkins. Billionaire who enjoys fighting poor people who steal for survival. Is a total dick.

Adolf Hitler: Historical crimes well documented. Wielded the Spear of Destiny to prevent the JSA from ending World War II 3 years early.

k26dp said...

I like your list except for Starro. Nothing against it (for I do think a giant purple mindcontrolling starfish from outer space that eats atomic power is the definition of genius), but it's really not much of a character.

Of the ones mentioned, I'd second Poison Ivy, Gentleman Ghost, Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Shade, and The Mist.

The one that I would add would be the Floronic Man.

David Horenstein said...

Giganta - She's a giant, superstrong, hot woman. Pure genius. How has she not been in more comics?

Dyna-Man - Adolf Hitler with Superman's powers. Is that not the scariest villain ever?

Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris Version) - One of the best "battle of the sexes" villains. Star Sapphire's desire to enslave men is something that is unique among villains.

Circe - One of DC's most powerful villains. Can seduce men, turn people into animals, and has magical abilities that can challenge gods.

Fernus - One of the scariest JLA villains ever.

Queen Bee - The original Borg Queen. Wants to conquer the universe, turning everyone into one of her drones and is powerful enough to take on the entire JLA.

Chris said...

Well, I'm voting for the Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E.

Because I will always think they're cool.

And yes, I have the brain of an 8-year-old.


mrmanatee said...

Captain Nazi! He fits perfectly into villain team splash pages with his spicy 'sig heil!'

Anonymous said...

Mordru - evil wizard who forced the Legion back to the 20th century. Seemed unstoppable to 12 year old me.

David Cutler said...

Any list of DC villains that doesn't include Darkseid is going to be incomplete no matter what your biases are, but I'd also recommend Grundy, Mr. Freeze, and the Atomic Skull. Because, come on, the dude's name is the Atomic Skull.

Anonymous said...

But please don't waste your breath and my time on the shallow, ridiculous caricature that is "Darkseid". No matter how large you make a cardboard cut-out, it's still basically two-dimensional....

And yet you put the Joker at the top of your list.

The Thing That Walks Like A Man said...

Whenever I mention my favorite/best villains, I always get laughed out of the room, as I favor the wannabes and goofs and ludicrous concepts instead of the "kewl."

Although they've already been mentioned, I gotta give it up for...

) Chemo: Not only is his origin insane even by Silver Age standards ("He's a 25'-tall, human-shaped, glassine trashbin that's not only sentient...but EVIL!"), but his cumulative motivations/dialogue for 50+ years can be summed up in three little words:


) Killer Moth: I hold KM in too much regard to lump him in with "all self-deluding costumed kooks" (see instead: Rainbow Raider). I view him as the incarnation of the "Writer Has No Idea What To Do With Him" avatar, and blame hackery on his sad lot in life. And besides, thanks to being captivated by his look and origin in a chance glance at a Who's Who in a spinnerrack at Waldenbooks in the early 80s, I'm the ex-Marvel Zombie and current DC diehard I am today. Gods bless you, Killer Moth!

) Captain Boomerang: He's a bad guy because he enjoys it. That's it. He's the most honest, and self-actualized, supervillain ever printed in four colors.

) Bizarro #1: One of the major rules of comic supervillainy is: "Every hero needs a 'twisted counterpart.'" This guy is the granddaddy of 'em all.

Now, for some that haven't been mentioned...

) Amazo: A corollary to the aformentioned "counterpart" rule is: "Every hero team needs an 'amalgamated menace.'" I'm fairly certain that, like Bizarro, Amazo is the forbear of all those new-fangled Super-Adaptoids and Mimics and Super-Skrulls and such. Furthermore, has any villain EVER had as fabulous an outfit?

) The Ten-Eyed Man: Stop laughing--I'm serious. If you factor out Killer Moth and Cat-Man, Batman never had a foe that equalled him in the physical prowess department. TEM, an ex-green beret/special forces/commando elite-type, was, according to his bio, "one of the most dangerous villains alive" thanks to his martial abilities. Add in that 360-degree vision, and you've got a foe that can't be beat! (Ok, ok--he goes blind when he punches you, but come on--it's comics!) I wouldn't want to live in a world without a Ten-Eyed Man.

) The Rogues' Gallery. The frat boys of the supervillain set, they're a rowdy, fun bunch with whom you wouldn't mind having a few brews. Yes, they may try to kill you, but at least you'd have fun while they did it. (Except for that Top hombre--he's a shifty, ornery, and downright mean cuss that you can't let out of your sight.)

Vic said...

Another vote for the Men From N.O.W.H.E.R.E.! Never open William's head, evil reptiles emerge!

Anonymous said...

Thank God Killer Moth made the list. As far as suggestions go, I second the Gentleman Ghost and Wade Eiling and nominate Dr. Destiny and Killer Croc.