Mad Scientists: The Top 5

They Blinded Us With Science

Doctor Impossible: “I was building another science, my science, wild science, robots and lasers and disembodied brains. A science that buzzed and glowed; it wanted to do things. It could get up and walk, fly, fight, sprout garish glowing creations in the remotest parts of the world, domes and towers and architectural fever dreams. And it was angry. It was mad science.

Soon I Will Be Invincible

They said it couldn’t be done. Those, heh, those fools at the university said no one could compile a list of the top five mad scientists. They, heh heh, they had the gall to call me mad! Well, I’ll show them… I’ll show them ALL! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-

[technical difficulties]

Apologies for the outburst. My happy pills are finally kicking in. Please enjoy our list of the top five mad scientists. I need to go lie down now.

[whump]

#5 Doctor Sivana

[An army of Sivanas from across the Multiverse have assembled.]
Good Sivana:I’m a Nobel Prize-winning scientist with some personal problems, is all. I thought we’d all exchange knowledge to save the world. [the other Sivanas start laughing] Are you trying to tell me all my parallel Earth counterparts are… are all… criminals?

The Multiversity

Doctor Thaddeus Sivana wasn’t the first mad scientist in comics, but there was a time when he was the most popular. He’s able to keep up with the magically empowered Shazam with nothing but his inventions and an equation that can make him intangible. He may have lost the limelight to Lex Luthor, but Doctor Sivana is one scientist that you don’t want mad at you.

There’s more to the story of The World’s Wickedest Scientist. Check out our Doctor Sivana backstory if you want the details.

#4 Doctor Octopus

Doctor Octopus: “As an art form, revenge is nothing if not beautiful. Now, there’s still a matter of finding out what makes you tick. Fortunately, I no longer need you alive for that. In fact, dissection is desirable.”

Ultimate Spider-Man “Revealed” (Season 1, Episode 25)

Even as a child, Otto Octavius knew that he was superior. Smarter than his abusive father, braver than his battered mother, and more capable than the mindless peons surrounding him. His pride grew as he excelled in school and became a renowned scientist.

Octavius was inspired by da Vinci’s drawing of The Vitruvian Man and created a set of four metal arms to help him conduct a radiation experiment. A lab accident caused the arms to be permanently bonded to his body and drove Octavious insane. He decided to conquer the world, adopting a name fools had mocked him with as his own: Doctor Octopus.

You wouldn’t think a portly geek with a few extra limbs is a threat, but Doc Ock is surprisingly dangerous. He has knocked The Hulk unconscious, beat Iron Man so badly that Stark considered retiring, and famously stole Spider-Man’s body, becoming an anti-hero called the Superior Spider-Man. The strength and speed of Spider-Man mixed with Doctor Octopus’ brilliance and brutality makes one lethal mad scientist.

#3 Doctor Doom

Doctor Doom: [trapping the Fantastic Four] “I’ve made an interesting little improvement in your ventilation system. I will now suck all the air out of the room, and like the martyrs of Masada, you may watch each other die. Have a nice day.

Fantastic Four “And A Blind Man Shall Lead Them” (Season 2, Episode 1)

If supervillains were Dungeons and Dragons characters, Doctor Doom would be played by the ultimate munchkin. He is the Lord of Latveria, one of the most powerful wizards on Earth, a skilled fighter, and arguably the smartest man in the Marvel Universe. 

Doom’s genius cannot be overstated. In his first appearance he had already created jetpacks, force fields, a heavily-armed aircraft, and a functioning time machine. Later stories have shown him with power armor equal to the Iron Man suit, countless doomsday devices, and seemingly endless robotic duplicates called Doombots.

Doctor Doom would be higher on this list if not for two grey areas. His magic could allow him to fudge the details that make his science work. The other grey area is that he never graduated from college and his doctorate was likely gained at laser-point.

#2 Mister Sinister

Doctor Essex: [storming out of the Royal Society] “If I could only free myself from this blasted so-called conscience that still pollutes me… if that is what is required for science to progress… then let me be a monster! Let me be a monster!

Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1

He may have a silly name, but Mister Sinister is the most evil character on this list. That isn’t surprising when you learn that his creation was inspired by the atrocities of real world mad scientist Josef Mengele.

Nathaniel Essex was a brilliant scientist in Victorian London. After attending a lecture by Charles Darwin, Essex became obsessed with his theory of evolution. Essex’s studies grew darker, turning from evolution to eugenics. His cruel experiments and willingness to break any taboo earned Essex the name Sinister.

Mister Sinister’s life was changed when he met an all-powerful mutant called Apocalypse. In exchange for his servitude, Sinister was made immortal. He traveled the world, obtaining samples of “superior” bloodlines and Mutant abilities. He even worked alongside his inspiration at Auschwitz, earning the nickname Nosferatu from a young Magneto for his albinism and habit of collecting blood samples.

Mister Sinister is a dangerous villain, a fiendishly skilled biologist, and not opposed to committing genocide if it would help his research. He would be our number one mad scientist if the winner wasn’t far more famous.

#1 Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor: “I am Lex Luthor. I am the greatest scientist on this planet, and would be on yours as well.

Superman: Last Son

Our pick for the number one mad scientist is Lex Luthor. After all, he’s skilled in countless scientific fields and you have to be mad to make Superman your archenemy.

Lex Luthor was the CEO of Lexcorp, a company that controlled most of Metropolis. He had fame, wealth, and power, but everything changed when Superman appeared, becoming the one man Luthor couldn’t buy, bully, or bury. He swore that Superman would die.

Lex Luthor is widely considered the smartest man in the DC Universe. He has built entire armories of Kryptonite-based weaponry to fight Superman. He also had a hand in creating most of Superman’s rogues gallery, from the cyborg Metallo to the inverted duplicate Bizarro. There are even times that Superman and the Justice League have been forced to work with Luthor to save the universe.

There’s a lot more to the story of this infamous supervillain. Our Lex Luthor backstory has the details.

That’s the list. Do you agree with our picks? Is there another scientist even madder than these? Tell us in the comments.

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