Top 10 Favorite Villains

In my opinion, the most perfect villain can't exist. This is because the best villains do separate things to the heroes and readers; if anything, I can only put together a best "rogue's gallery" for if I were a superhero. And I'm not including Joker because he's played out by now and there are hundreds of other villains who could use a name-check.

List items

  • Hell hath no fury like nature enraged -- or seductive. The wrath of Eden was a treacherous plant, after all, and what better representative than a buxom redhead who spreads pheremones and poison in every breath? Many femme fatales try to seduce leading men into danger and death; Ivy wants all men under her spell.

  • Sure, by the time "Starman" begins he's mostly reformed, but that doesn't reduce his classic jousting with the Flash family or his willingness to devour a rude soul that interrupts his afternoon tea.

  • Two-Face the guy with the consistent gimmick is a minor gangster in Batman's rogue's gallery. Two-Face the sinner seeking redemption and one-man reminder to Batman of the price of "not fast enough" is a villain that can't (and probably shouldn't) be copied.

  • There are many illusion-based villains in comics, but I like Mirror Master the best for how his powers are as incidental or omnipotent as a writer needs. From creating body doubles to an entire alternate dimension, Master is a wild card of power, and will always fit into a rogue's gallery.

  • He gets such a raw deal, but never stops being a dick! An instance of a villain who, by Preacher's end, matches and at times exceeds the heroes' readability. There were times I was more worried that Starr would die than if Jesse Custer would.

  • You want anarchy, juvenile violence, and instability? This young man has a skyscraper's worth of crashing debris to his credit, and that's just if you say "Kaneda" within his earshot. He'll arrive on a motorcycle without using his hands, crash people into singularities, and turn any weapon on its user, from pistols to aircraft carriers.

  • A telepath who can invade others' minds and activate diamond skin -- sounds like Blonde Poison Ivy, no? But Frost is added for being the rare villainess who screws with a heroine (Jean) by tempting her man (Cyclops) without making attempts on anyone's life. Sometimes the worst casualty is a broken heart. Also, she commanded a quintuplet of telepathic "Stepford Cuckoos," who are the most entertaining Villain Juniors I've seen.

  • Sometimes being a strong villain doesn't mean wanting to kill or even dislike the heroine -- it's enough to just have different goals. And when the protagonist (Nausicaa) wants the villain to retreat her army from a conflict of near-global scale, both sides of the story become way more interesting than any sword duel on top of an airship would be. Kushana is humbled and nudged toward peace, but Nausicaa learns the harsh realities (and maybe necessities?) of war, and loses a little more of the naive girl she was at the story's beginning. Plus, she's a female warrior who can wear hefty armor with the big boys and not the stereotypical stripper boots/thong of comic-dom.

  • Twisted demigod of science who delights in messing up others' plans in the pursuit of his own experiments and mortality-bending technology. Best of all, the rivals in his field are all bigger, more murderous jerks than he is, so he's worth cheering for being smaller and amoral compared to the iron-fisted titans of Alita's universe.

  • This spot is a shout-out to Lex Luthor, The Smiler/The Beast, Dr. Doom, and all the villains who are richer than god and can command a nation...but Evil Uncle Sam from his two-part special fills this role best. After finding himself (and America's bloody, hypocritical past) and climbing out of the gutter, Uncle Sam finds that his place in America's seat of power has been replaced with a lazy, TV-addicted, catchphrase-spouting bully who can't stand argument or having to change course. He represents what can go wrong with America or any other nation: to ignore the past, stop listening, and wear a fake smile.