I've been meaning to compile a list of my personal favorites for a while now and here they are. Marvel fans be prepared to be disappointed. This is a list that represents my favorites since I was a child in the 80's moving forward. I am forced to rate them in some sort of order but the truth is, I love each one and a few of them can be rated up or down by a slot or two. This list includes comic books, animated series, live-action or any other format available. Anyway, let's begin
What happens when Superman is not willing to do what is necessary? MAGOG, that's what. In Kingdom Come, we learn that the Joker has killed Lois Lane and is taken into custody by Superman. The Joker ends up spending no time in jail after being released and plans to cause more chaos after his release. Superman disappears into obscurity to cope with his loss and the fact that he will not kill the Joker. Enter Magog!! Magog kills the Joker and replaces Superman and the public loves him for doing what is necessary. In a way, Magog is only a villain from Superman's perspective and he makes for a fascinating character that should be used more.
29. Amanda Waller/Suicide Squad
Amanda "The Wall" Waller is typically portrayed as a high ranking black ops government official. The scheme is too beautiful for any comic book fan not to love. She uses criminals to carry out covert ops in exchange for time served. To keep them on check, each villain has a bomb implanted in their head so at any point or time that they deviate, BOOM! This villains only club has evolved through the years and the usual characters typically include Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, King Shark or Killer Croc and a few lesser known characters that always have an important role to play. I mean, making the audience cheer for some bad guys is ALWAYS a winning formula and Suicide Squad uses it perfectly.
Amanda Waller is one of few individuals who can match wits with Batman and even convinces Batman in the JLU series that the real threat is the Justice League. She holds nothing back. See for yourself...
28. Vandal Savage
A caveman turned indestructible being who has no limits. Vandal Savage has several origins and motivations. Recent incarnations include the Justice League animated series where he was the leader behind the Nazi movement during WWII, where he had access to future technology that gave the Axis of Evil an upper hand until the Justice League stopped him. After his defeat, we learn that the Nazi movement was biologically creating a leader in case Savage went down and that leader was Hitler. Have a look....
Savage has also been fabled to be Jack the Ripper and other villainous characters in history, as alluded to in Smallville as portrayed by Dean Cain. Savage will also be the main protagonist of The DC Legends television series that will air in 2016. He's also always been part of the leadership groups known as The Light in Young Justice or the Legion of Doom in Justice League: Doom. Can't be killed, incredible intellect, power-hungry and ruthless. All the ingredients needed to make him one of my top faves...
27. Cyborg Superman
One half Superman, One half Cyborg. Cyborg Superman was introduced in the "Reign of the Supermen" series that also introduced Steel, Superboy and the Eradicator. Originally a mockery of the Fantastic 4, Hank Henshaw was created as an evil Reed Richards who, like Richards was infected and given powers along with his team. The team however was not able to control their powers and was getting their asses beat by Superman, who thought they were evil. Eventually they end up dying and Henshaw blames Superman.
One of the few characters who's managed to become a villain to both the Green Lantern Corps and Superman. Cyborg Superman was selected as a red lantern for his rage. Quite a tragic character really but was able to do so much damage and his character has lived on in the DC Universe. On a final note, in more detail later, Cyborg has a hand in making one of my favorite heroes into one of the biggest badasses...
26. Gorilla Grodd
A talking gorilla with a superior intellect, strength and mind-control abilities. What's NOT to love? His most recent incarnation on The Flash was nothing short of glorious. Although the origin story conflicts, on The Flash, we learn that Grodd was an army lab rat and was subject to extreme torture under the order of the great Clancy Brown's General Eilling. Professor Wells and Caitlyn Snow showed nothing but kindness to Grodd so he shows his affection for both as a reward.
In his comic book origins, a meteor that landed in Africa infected all the gorillas and enabled them with intellect and strength. Grodd was greedy for power and money and was outcast by his species. He is motivated to destroy the Flash and rule over both Gorilla City and the world.
A living suit that gives you strength, the ability to morph and web slingers, again, what's not to love? How many of you would have tried to get rid of the symbiont if you were Peter Parker? One of the few reasons I bought a Spider-man comic back in the days.
First mutant, Ancient Egyptian, Four Horsemen and he gave us Archangel. One word: Perfection! Loved his role in Wolverine and the X-Men, X-Men evolution, X-Men the Animated Series and X-Men Legends and Legends II.
23. Reverse Flash - All incarnations
Coming off one of the best and strongest seasons in a comic book television series, it would be impossible to keep him off this list. Harrison Wells was killed and replaced by Eobard Thawne who speeds up events to trigger the birth of Flash and other meta-humans spawning the beginning of the best comic book television series to date.
22. General Zod
The most iconic version of Zod, in my opinion, was without a doubt, Michael Shannon's version in MOS. "YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!" How awesome was that? Shannon gave the character more depth and he himself stated that Zod is not a villain. Doing what's necessary to save his race. Genetically modified to lead and save the people of Krypton with all the strengths of Superman. Regardless of your opinions on MOS, which I loved, there is no doubting that Shannon's Zod was very believable and complex.
21. The Crime Syndicate
How do you defeat and destroy the most powerful comic book team in all of comics? Get their evil counterparts from an alternate reality, that's how. Ultraman, a version of Kal-El that was raised by the Luthors. Superwoman, Wonder Woman with no limits to how twisted and psychotic she is. Owlman, Bruce's older brother who kills the Waynes and Bruce and uses his wealth to become the functional equivalent to Batman, looks badass too.
20. Sinestro/Sinestro Corps
Sinestro, the first Green Lantern to go rogue. Becomes outraged at how the Guardians cannot maintain order in the universe despite having the power to do so. Outcast from the corps, Sinestro harnesses the power of fear through the yellow ring and Parallax, the entity of fear that fuels the power.
In Blackest Day, In Brightest Night
Let those who try to stop what's right
Burn like my power
19. Parallax Jordan
Once considered the greatest Green Lantern and the first human to be honored into the GL Corps. Hal Jordan goes nuts after his home city is destroyed by Cyborg Superman. Jordan asks the Guardians to help bring the city back and their refusal to do so causes Hal to become the most powerful lantern of all. Starts killing other Lanterns to obtain their rings in hopes of accumulating enough strength to bring his city back. He takes out the entire corps on his own until the introduction of a new hero, Kyle Rayner, takes him out. Tragically ending one of the greatest comic book characters legacy until his return in Blackest Night.
18. Atrocitus/Red Lanterns
I'm not going to lie, these guys just look SICK AS HELL. I love the whole rage/anger concept and each individual's tragic past that enrages them to become red lanterns. But most of all...ATROCITUS. Just a sick concept for a villain along with his uniform. Just badassery at its finest.
17. Nekron/Black Lanterns
Take the entire DC Universe's dead characters and make them zombies with the ability to gain strength by killing others and charging their power rings with each kill. YES PLEASE. One of the best pre-new 52 timelines and stories. Seeing every single hero come back to life in zombie form and threatening to destroy the entire universe. If you didn't read this series, you missed out and do not deserve to call yourself a comic book fan.
16. Red Hood
Where to begin with this one. The second Robin, Jason Todd, caught by Batman while stealing the wheels off the Batmobile and taken in by Bruce as his ward after Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing. Hot headed and argumentative and not accepted by the Batman fans. The most unique history. The first and only time a pay-to-play scheme by DC, which allowed the fans to vote on his fate. Jason was to either continue being Robin or be killed off. The public spoke and we got to see some of the most dramatic images illustrating how Jason gets killed by the Joker with a crowbar. Only to be resurrected years later with the Lazarus Pit and become a more sinister character as the Red Hood. Not to mention how he has one of the coolest costumes ever.
Talk about impact, though short and sweet. The character that killed Superman. A Kryptonian weapon made to evolve through every death. The ultimate weapon and he left his mark on the DC Universe. As Bane is to Batman, Doomsday is to Superman.
He broke the Bat. And as all things in comic books are not permanent, neither was Bruce's disability but talk about impact, it's rare for a character to come out of the reason for his creation and become apart of the hero's history. Bane may have been created to retire Bruce Wayne and fade out into nonexistence but his likeability factors are too impressive for him not to repeatedly return. Bane was different. He was one of the few villains to outsmart Batman methodically and with such an impact.
13. Lex Luthor
One of the most powerful, intellectual and resourceful characters in the DCU. There isn't much that happens in a shared universe without Luthor's hand at play. Heads the Legion of Doom, wealthy, powerful and his intellect rivals Superman's and Batman's. Plus, Superman's hate for Lex becomes Bizarro's love for Lex. A human being who is capable of taking down the entire Justice League. And a suit powered by Kryptonite. He embodies every opposing characteristic that defines Superman. Lex is never far from the top of the food chain.
12. Decepticon Combiners
If you were a kid in the 80's then you know why these guys are here. From Devastator, a group of construction vehicles who are all individually intellectual but combine into a brutal low IQ'd beast. Devastator. You remember the first time you saw these guys do their thing, you were HOOKED. All deserve to be here, including Menasor, Bruticus, and Predaking. I owned them all as well. Loved having them on my shelf. Ahhh the 80's...
A monster of a character who wants to take over the universe. He controls Warworld, a planet sized weapon that can be manipulated and controlled to destroy entire planets. My favorite incarnation of Mongul was in Young Justice, where he wanted to destroy the entire planet just to avoid having The Reach gain control of it. Think about that twisted logic for a second. "I can't have you, then nobody can" on universal level.
Here's a vid:
Basically the same character except one is a copy of the other, (Cough, Marvel). But it doesn't matter because they're both the big-bads of their respective universes. Both in love with death and both seek total control. Whether it's the anti-life equation or the Guantlet and stones, the universe is dead if these guys have their way.
Though the Arkham Origins game a decent game but it failed to live up to Rocksteady's Arkham Knight and Arkham City. That said, there was one thing WB Montreal Studios got right. Deathstroke. The genetically modified assassin who defines BADASSERY and he has a fan in the Marvel Universe, (Cough Deadpool). This is the man whose popularity has soared in the DCU recently from his awesome part in Young Justice to Injustice Gods Among Us and his trailer and gameplay in Arkham Origins. Deathstroke is exactly the type of enemy that Batman fans need. Let's not forget Manu Bennet's POWERFUL portrayal of Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in Arrow. He has been welcomed everywhere he's used and the only reason he isn't higher up on my list is because from here on out, it's all about impact and nostalgia.
Here's an example of why Deathstroke is one of the greatest characters:
8. Batman's Rogues Gallery
I realize this requires a top 20 list of its own but there are no greater villains than Batman's enemies. Ledger's Joker aside, I always loved Ra's and Scarecrow a bit more than the others. Despite that, there's no denying that Joker is always apart of a top whatever list if he qualifies. I also realize that Bane, Red Hood and Deathstroke belong here too but I love those 3 on their own despite their mutual links to Batman. The Rogues also give me a bit of nostalgia since I grew up watching all DC series on Saturday mornings and all the way through BTAS, STAS, Justice League, Young Justice and Batman's rogues were all great whenever they were apart of the story.
7. Black Adam
A corrupt predecessor of Captain Marvel/Shazam. Just a great looking color scheme with the abilities that rival Superman. Voiced by Arnold Vosloo, (The Mummy), he gave both Shazam and Superman a run for their money. How can't you love this dude?
Biologically engineered from the DNA of history's most evil leaders to become the Cobra emperor. With a golden snake chariot and fantastic color scheme, he was the Joe's greatest threat at the beginning of the 3rd season. Also single-handedly killed Duke in G1 GI Joe Animated movie. "THIS I COMMAND!!!"
Again, a bit of nostalgia from the 80's. The lord of chaos in the Transformers Universe who gave us so many ICONIC scenes and images. His only weakness, Primus and his descendants who carry the Matrix of Leadership. Being voiced by the late, great Orson Wells goes a long way. Here are some pics of the iconic moments he gave us:
And finally....BEHOLD GALVATRON! These shall be your minions!!!
More of that 80's nostalgia. The coolest concepts for each character. A white-costumed ninja, a metal-faced arms dealer, twins who can kick your ass, a master of disguise and a hardcore female in black leather. The Red Cobra logo that they all identified with. These are the characters that dreams are made of.
3. Skeletor/Hordak - MOTU Villains
Ancient Spirits of Evil, Transform this decayed form to MUMM-RAAA the EVER-LIVING....Nuff Said!
1. SPLIT DECISION - (Sorry, had to do it)!!
LEGION OF DOOM
"You have nothing to fear, I have crushed Optimus Prime with my bear hands!"