Supervillains: The 5 Best of the Worst

For these supervillains, it’s good to be bad

Hey, are you guys trying to skip to the end of the list and learn the secrets? Even these villains wouldn’t do that. You did read part one of our countdown naming villains 6-10, right? Remember our criteria for the list is pretty simple. The one we left out is “don’t be boring”, but you knew that already.

List Criteria:

  • They must be a supervillain, not an anti-hero (so no Catwoman, Magneto, Winter Soldier, etc.)
  • They must have been adapted in a movie or animated series (no video games.)
  • They will be judged by their deeds and how well they are adapted. (Acting similarly to the comic versions, unless the adaptation does something better.)

#5 Supervillain: The Kingpin

Played By: Vincent D’onofrio
Series: Daredevil

Norman Osborne: “Something occurs to me — either Spider-Man is destroyed, or you get Oscorp. Whatever happens, you win.
Kingpin: “That’s why I’m the Kingpin.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series “The Spider Slayer” (Season 1, Episode 2)

Born to an abusive father he eventually murdered, Wilson Fisk traveled a road that would lead him to become the Kingpin of Crime. Every drug lab and crooked cop in New York City works for or pays this supervillain. With his money, connections, and enforcers, nothing stands in his way for long, except for Daredevil. In the comics, he’s such a force in the criminal underworld that Spider-Man, Daredevil, and S.H.I.E.L.D. all make sure he stays in charge, lest the power vacuum cause a city-wide gang war

Vincent D’onofrio plays the Kingpin well, showing Fisk as the big kahuna of the various gangs while awkwardly courting a woman.

#4 – Doctor Doom

Played By: Julian McMahon, Toby Kebbal
Series: Fantastic Four

Doctor Doom: “I am Doom… Destroyer of worlds… What Gods dare stand against me?”

Secret Wars

The Lord of Latveria, Victor von Doom is one of speculative fiction’s most dangerous villains. His armor and technology are on par with Tony Stark’s best work, he is as smart as Reed Richards, and his mastery of magic is only comparable to the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. He has conquered the world numerous times, only letting heroes defeat him when he grew bored.

He saved his mother’s soul from the demon Mephisto at the cost of her no longer loving him and then traveled through various alternate futures. During his travels, he discovered that the only future where humanity is free from suffering and want were the ones in which he ruled the world. The funny thing is the Panther God of Wakanda flat out said that he’s right. Yes, Black Panther’s god thinks that Doctor Doom should rule the world.

Doom has been adapted in several movies and shows, but none of them captured his malevolence. Most portray him as a generic evil overlord with lightning powers.
Fun Fact: Doctor Doom was a major inspiration for Darth Vader.

#3 Supervillain: Lex Luthor

Played By: Gene Hackman, Clancy Brown, & Jesse Eisenberg
Series: Superman

Lex Luthor: “I’m the only sane inmate of Asylum Earth. I’m not eager to hand tomorrow over to an interplanetary extremist with laser eyes. There’s only room on this world for one leader, Superman. When I’m finished with you, every last gibbon out there will know you for the menace you are… and they’ll realize that Lex Luthor is their savior.”

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel

Hackman, Brown & Eisenberg sounds like a law firm a supervillain might hire to help them beat the rap, but these are the three best actors who have played the cunning Lex Luthor–scientist, President, and all-around jackass.

A brilliant businessperson and scientist, Lex Luthor rose from an abusive home and created Lexcorp, his own company.  He quickly became the most powerful man in Metropolis, until the Alien appeared. Intrigued, Lex arranged a hostage situation on his yacht and attempts to hire Superman after he saves everyone. Superman instead arrested him, earning Lex’s enmity for life. Lex came to see Superman as hindering human development. After all, why try to be the best at anything when Superman is inhumanly better than you could ever be?

This supervillain has been portrayed in many forms of media, so let’s look at his best and worst. In the DCAU, Luthor is voiced by Clancy Brown, who does a great job. He is portrayed as a cunning manipulator, capable of creating any number of villains to kill Superman while keeping his hands spotless. During one story arc, he ran for president, spending billions of dollars just to tick Superman off. In 2016’s Batman v. Superman, Jesse Eisenberg can’t settle into the role and introduces elements of The Joker before winding up an unlikeable maniac with a cadre of weird scenes.

#2 Loki

Played By: Tom Hiddleston
Series: Thor and The Avengers

Loki: “The people of Midgard have a saying: Change or Die. I would rather die than not change. I would rather be nothing.”

Siege

Born to King Laufey of Jotunheim, Loki was taken as spoils of war by Odin, King of Asgard, and raised as his son alongside Thor. As he grew older he was ostracized from the other Asgardians for studying magic instead of combat, and was constantly overshadowed by his oblivious older brother.

Things became worse when Loki learned that he was a Frost Giant, one of the creatures Asgardians were raised to think of as evil monsters, incapable of good. He snapped, deciding that he would take the throne and become king of Asgard, even if it meant fighting against the family that had raised him.

Tom Hiddleston has played Loki since the original 2011 Thor. Hiddleston played Loki not as the God of Evil or Mischief often ascribed  to him, but as a sympathetic guy desperate for his family’s love, shocked to his core by the revelation of his heritage. Hiddleston turned Loki from a B-lister to an A-Lister overnight.

The only real complaint I have is that we never get to see much of his magic other than illusion. While this seems to be caused by the Marvel movies blurring the lines between magic and science, I hope that the upcoming release of Doctor Strange will show Loki’s true mystic might.

#1 Supervillain: The Joker

Played By: Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, & Mark Hamill
Series: Batman

Joker: “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.”

Batman: The Killing Joke

What can be said about Joker that hasn’t been said a million times? We even covered his Top 10 Craziest Crimes. There’s a reason he’s our number one supervillain.

He’s the Nightmare of Arkham Asylum, The Man Who Laughs, The Clown Prince of Crime. It’s often said that supervillains tell stories about Joker when they want to scare each other. He’s single-handedly kept Gotham City’s morticians and undertakers in business for decades, and no matter how many times you see him die, he’ll come back. He always does.

Many actors have played Joker from Cesar Romero and Dee Bradley Baker to Jack Nicholson and the prolific Troy Baker (no relation). Most people associate  Joker with Heath Ledger’s final role. Others think of Mark Hamill’s voice work for decades. Jared Leto had big boots to fill in Suicide Squad, but was reduced to a glorified cameo.


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