Oh, boy, so here we finally are. I’m sorry for how long this one was delayed, but the votes have finally been tallied and the list is ready. Together, our viewers voted for their favourite villains, and we have the Top 10 most popular choices. Now remember these our the collective choices of the community, and do not necessarily reflect the views of us here on Comic Island. I’m also not going to bother with the runners-up. If you’re curious, you can check out our Facebook page for the complete results, everyone who voted, and my scoring system. Now let’s begin!
You know, I hear a lot of other reviewers that dislike Venom and call him a bland villain. I mean, clearly he’s popular among our fans, but I hear a lot of talk of people who view this guy as insubstantial and lacking anything compared to Spider-Man’s other villains. Personally, I disagree. There’s a lot that Venom offers and a good amount that makes this guy unique.
The whole concept of a symbiotic alien suit is cool enough on it’s own, but Venom’s status has always been even more than that. He has the mindset of somebody abandoned by his first host and ever since then has sought a meaningful replacement and revenge against Spider-Man. Eddie Brock definitely get’s props for being the longest serving host, but The Scorpion and Flash Thompson also proved to have a very interesting relationship with the alien as well.
While Eddie seemed to keep the symbiote in check, to the extent it was even willing to work with Spider-Man if the situation called for it, he practically lost all control when bonded with the Scorpion, becoming a deadly monster who was barely under control, going so far as to eat people and rampage around like a lunatic. But then he found himself with Flash, and the alien became more focused and gained a sense of purpose. And let’s not forget that other host, who Venom was so dissatisfied with he abandoned the poor guy in mid air, causing the young man to fall to his death.
It’s always interesting as Venom seems to take something away from each of his hosts, learning, changing, and growing in response to them. That’s fascinating and a rare form of development in villains, who are often static. Most villains are more or less consistently depicted as the same character throughout their history. But Venom changes, going from an overzealous vigilante to an outright villain only to wind up being a bit of an anti-hero with the Flash. And I think that’s what makes him have a big impact on our viewers. He’s also perpetually one of Spider-Man’s biggest and best threats. He’s dangerous, deadly, and also cannot be detected by Peter’s Spider-Sense, making him a constant risk in any battle. How good is Venom? Well I’m going to spoil things a bit for you guys – he’s the only Spider-Man villain on this list. That’s right, this guy was more striking and a better villain to our viewers than THE GREEN GOBLIN. And for anybody who knows anything about Spider-Man, that says enough on its own.
Yep, Eobard Thawne takes the number nine spot, and in my opinion, that’s pretty awesome. To a degree, we can attribute this to the awesome TV show. Professor Zoom takes a focal point of that series and I’m sure that’s had a big effect on him getting ranked on this list. But it’s more than that, as I look at his role in the Flashpoint comics or in some of the older titles and I can see why people think of him as one of the best villains out there.
There’s no other villain on this list that is so intimately tied to his enemy. Nobody else has so thoroughly had an effect on their foe, as Eobard has had a hand in virtually every bad thing that has ever happened to Barry Allen. That makes him not only an ongoing threat, but somebody who Barry legitimately should fear and constantly be concerned about.
It’s always felt a little lazy that he just has the exact same powers as The Flash, but I think this actually works for a few important reasons. One, it prevents Barry from being able to easily defeat his opponent like some of his other enemies. Two, it shows how dangerous and powerful The Flash could be if he weren’t in careful control of his powers and on the side of heroes. Finally, it makes him a dangerous opponent because Eobard has generally had more time to hone his abilities and use them to their full extent. Now this does vary depending on the point in continuity, but broadly, this is why the Reverse Flash works as a villain, and why, in my opinion, he winds up being one of the very best.
So I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised by this one. I mean, this year is going to be one of Ultron’s greatest in the entire history of the character, and with Age of Ultron so fresh in everybody’s mind, it makes sense that this guy wound up pretty high on our viewer’s lists. But just because he was in a movie wouldn’t be enough to make this guy get so many votes. There’s more to Ultron than just an evil robot. I mean, both Marvel and DC have plenty of evil robots in their roster, but it’s Ultron who people seem to remember and he’s the one that seems to stick with comic book fans the most.
There are two big things that set Ultron apart from the competition. One is his ability to preserve himself and rebuild into better forms each time he is defeated. No matter how much you tear this guy down, it’s all but inevitable he’ll come back more powerful than ever. But other villains like Brainiac do this too, so what’s so special about Ultron? Well, I think what really makes him special is that his mindset is so far from that of a typical android. See this guy was built based on the brain patterns of Hank Pym, making Ultron uniquely human in both his outlook and behaviour. It didn’t help that Hank is probably bipolar and definitely not mentally stable, but in either case Ultron’s behaviour has and always will be more human-like than machine.
He’s emotional, vindictive, and contradictory. He wants to destroy the human race to a point where he’s practically irrational about it. He seeks perfection yet he is far from perfect himself, even if he doesn’t realize it. But I think Ultron does know this. He knows he is flawed and kind of hates himself for it, and acts evil to compensate for this. And somewhere, deep down, I think he really seeks the approval of his creator. This make him compelling and a cool villain overall, and also sets him apart from most other villains that are like this. He’s one of my personal favourites. So I’m glad our fans felt the same, and Ultron certainly in my opinion deserves a spot on this list.
Not much to say on this guy, other than it being a little surprising how low he is on the list. This guy has taken down the entire Marvel Universe before and wiped out so many beings that he is easily one of the most dangerous foes in all of the Marvel Comics. He represents a true villain – one who is dangerous and deadly but also incredibly intelligent and cunning. He has no real weaknesses outside of his ego. You can’t outsmart him, nor can you overpower him. And he’s merciless. Coupled with his obsession of death, this character becomes difficult to reason with and impossible to stop in his never ending quest for Death’s favour.
It’s going to be awesome when he becomes the focal point of the Avengers movies, and already, the anticipation for this guy is building. I don’t feel I need to say much more on this. Thanos speaks for himself as one of the most powerful and dangerous villains out there, and it makes a lot of sense to me that he’s considered one of the very best.
Well, at this point, it’s hard to argue with some of our fan’s choices. Lex Luthor is definitely one of Superman’s best enemies, which is particularly impressive considering his lack of powers, unless you count his formidable intelligence. I like Lex as a villain, and few don’t. His current role on the Justice League and in the Forever Evil story that preceded it showcases why this villain works. Yes, he’s conniving and egotistical, but does honestly believe that he’s better than Superman and knows what is best for humanity.
A villain that genuinely believes he is in the right, is, typically, much more interesting to me than a villain who is pure evil. Evil as a concept is largely arbitrary and subjective, so a villain whose motivations and behaviour you can understand is going to stick with you more than a bland threat without any sense of redemption or tragedy to them. And I think the voting bears this out. Luthor sticks with you. He’s cool and dangerous, and has all the workings of a good villain. He’s one of the classics but still always feels fresh and exciting, and his brilliant mind ensures that he’s always cooking up some new and dangerous plan to foil Superman or whoever else happens to get in his way.
Which isn’t to say that Luthor is misunderstood, or some sort of anti-hero. No, no, he’s greedy, vain, and malicious. But, he thinks he’s a good person. And that inner struggle… that arc… that’s what makes this guy work. He’s one of my favourites, and judging by the votes, I’m not alone on this one.
Personally, this is my favourite villain. To me Magneto should be number one, but looking at the competition, it’s not like I’m disappointed he took the number five spot either. Some would go so far as to argue Magneto is more of an anti-hero than a villain, and while it is true Eric is more complicated than the average villain, I do feel that Magneto does fit with the definition of one.
Yes, Magneto believes in a good cause, but he’s become so twisted by hate and discrimination he’s been shown many times that he is more than willing to resort to genocide, which is almost poetic given his past as a Holocaust survivor. He’s a man who has had a lifetime of experiences that have taught him that the only way the mutants will ever truly be free is through violence. And whether or not you agree with this statement, that is a legitimate philosophical argument. He’s the Malcolm X or John Brown of the mutant race, and to me, that’s always worked to create a character whose motivations and beliefs are far more sophisticated than the average villain.
That’s what I love about Magneto. He’s willing to cross lines that I never would, but he always does so with a solid reason behind it, even if his methods are sometimes downright reprehensible. He always is doing what he feels will be in the best interest of mutants, and that makes this character relatable and somebody who I can read about again and again and again.
And what seals the deal is that he is SO powerful. The things Magneto can do with his abilities make him one of the biggest threats to both the X-Men and the human race. And his willingness to kill, maim, or whatever else will further the mutant cause makes him very dangerous and deadly. I love this character. Everything he does is badass. He’s my all time favourite villain, and clearly, I’m not alone on this.
Barely edging out Magneto, Darkseid takes the number 4 spot, and, again, that makes sense. In a lot of ways, this is the DC equivalent of Thanos. He’s a similar cosmic threat, and has been shown time and time again to be one of DC’s best and deadliest villains. His power lets him go toe-to-toe with the entire Justice League. His confidence almost always creates a sense of foreboding danger. And he has a literal planet to wage war with. Nobody has done so much consistent damage to the superhero community. No one else is as big an ongoing threat as this guy.
It’s also quite impressive how he so deftly beat Thanos. Not by much, as this was a pretty close list in terms of points earned, but in spite of never appearing on film or much in the mainstream media, this guy sticks with our viewers as one of the best villains out there. He’s Darkseid. Accept no substitutes.
Wow, now this one was surprising. Utterly shocking, really. I mean, I like Deathstroke as much as the next guy, but I had absolutely no idea he was this popular. Oh sure, he’s a big part of the Arrow series, but this is a character who has never appeared in film and is all too often overlooked by fans and non-fans alike.
Still, he earned a ton of votes and worked his way up to the number three spot. It’s kind of amazing really. But I get it. Deathstroke has all the workings of an excellent villain. Not only does he show over and over that he is a competent and dangerous enemy, but he also has proven he’s one of the absolute best when it comes to combat and getting under people’s skin.
When I think of this guy I think of the man who practically broke the Teen Titans in that old cartoon series. I think of the guy who shattered Bart Allen’s kneecap in the comics. I recall a man who wiped out Catman’s pack just because it was all part of the job. He makes enemies everywhere he goes but he doesn’t care. He’s just a man with a job, and that job happens to involve killing a lot of people. He’ll try to rationalize it and work under the appearance of that of somebody who is cool and logical. He knows that the more he knows and the more he is personally involved in things, the harder it is to kill. One time, he let a target live because the person in question had a family, and this wound up costing Deathstroke dearly. So he doesn’t let his targets get to him, and it’s hard to reason with the guy or stop him as a result of this. He is also unique as a villain who has an ex-wife and sons, and though he tries to distance himself from them, he clearly longs to reconnect with those he might care for, but knows he’s made too many enemies to allow for a peaceful life.
The man’s also a lone wolf, balking at authority and largely serving his own interests first, which makes him a consistently interesting character and villain. This guy is one of the best, and no matter how you look at it, Slade Wilson is one of the most memorable villains out there.
Yep, the silver medal goes to Doctor Doom, because, well, it should. Doom is one of Marvel’s very best villains. A classic character, he represents everything that a good villain should be. First, he has a long and complicated relationship with his enemies. Second, he’s willing to do what it takes to get what he wants, but never at the cost of his dignity or stature. And most importantly of all, he’s competent.
Yes, Doctor Doom is not only well versed in technology and magic, to the extent that he’s a deadly threat on both counts, but he’s even a capable leader as well. Doom has actually taken over the world before and proven to be quite the adept ruler, which I’ve always found makes him quite interesting. His problem is his ego and lack of respect for other people’s freedom and choices, as he views all others as inferior to himself.
But I don’t really need to explain Doom much to you guys. If you’ve been following our coverage of Time Runs Out and Secret Wars, you already know how great this guy is. How dangerous and awesome he can be. Doom is such a great villain, he deserves to be considered one of the very best. But he never quite stood a chance against the number one villain. Nobody did. So say it with me now, and say it loud…
Well, of course he’s number one. There never was going to be another number one. I knew it, and most of our viewers accurately predicted this one as well. He’s the Joker, and just like Batman with the heroes list, he was always going to take the top of this list. The Joker earned so many votes, that he beat Doctor Doom by a whopping 1,200 points, which, all things considered, is astounding.
There’s not much to say on this guy that hasn’t been said and shown in the comics and movies, or discussed thoroughly on other Youtube videos and even in some academic papers. He’s such a great villain, and the reason for this lies in his simplicity. He is chaos to Batman’s order. You’ve probably heard this before, so I’m not going to beat the point to death. He’s character that strives for bedlam, that’s willing to do anything and everything just to mess with Batman’s head. He’s dangerous and in spite of having no powers, remarkably difficult to stop, and for all the stuff I’ve said about having a good, relatable villain, there’s also something very compelling about pure, unfiltered madness. He’s beyond reason and rationality. He’s the Joker.
And a character as simple as this lets writers tell amazing stories with him over and over. They don’t have to worry about back story or consistency because the Joker is fluid. By the nature of his character he’s not a consistent person nor is his back story firmly established. So yes, the Joker is our number one villain. And if you doubt this, just go watch The Dark Knight again, or go read something like The Killing Joke or the Dark Knight Returns. He’s a great, brilliant, terrifying villain. He’s one of my favourites and deserves the spot as our viewers’ number one villain.
And that’s all, folks. I hoped you enjoyed this list. Some results surprised me, while others hardly did at all, but I’m pretty happy with the list overall. Again, feel free to check out our Facebook page where I’ll post the full results, and a special thanks to all our viewers for participating! And, as always, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and keep reading comics.