Top 5 Comic Book Villains

Posted on October 2, 2011 by


Everybody loves a hero. Whether they are an anti-hero, an all American hero, a hero without powers, a hero with the powers of a god or simply a hero who runs into a burning building to save a child the world loves heroes. However, behind every hero is a Villain and the world loves their villains; sometimes even more than they love the heroes. More often in comics people read the comic because of the main villain. I hear the phrase, “I had to get it because it was an arc featuring so and so” more than I hear anything else. So let’s take a moment and enjoy the villains before they kidnap us and throw us off a building.

I want to state up front this is one of the hardest lists I have ever had to write as there are A LOT of really good villains to pull from and a lot of them have a reason to be on the list. However, most of them have one of moments of glory. This list are for those who keep coming back to cause some of the greatest problems and devastation in the history of comics. So while characters like Doomsday who had a great opening act get let off as they had one moment in the sun; these villains have had so many they blocked out the sun.

#5 Ra’s Al Ghul

If you are going to make a list of villains who have been causing havoc for awhile why not start with an immortal? Ra’s is not super powered and will not destroy you with death rays from his eyes or bring about a winter in the middle of the summer as some other villains might, but he is in fact the comic book world’s version of Moriarty to the comic book’s version of Sherlock Holmes.

You find what was a minor character is in fact a mastermind behind many schemes and plans that have caused near world destruction. He runs the The Demon organization which is home of the League of Assassins, he has immense wealth, he is well trained in all forms of combat, he has a loyal army and through years of learning is super intelligent mastermind tactician. Almost nothing goes on in the world without him at least knowing about it if he did not have a finger in it in the first place.

What also make Ra’s such a deadly foe is that he does not want world domination per se or more money. He wants to remove humankind from the planet as he believes they are destroying the world and killing its beauty. So all of what is mentioned above and a want for the death of humanity earn him a well placed spot on this list.

#4 Venom


As I write these I do discuss them with my friends and debates definitely ensue on a regular basis. Sometimes so heated I am happy they do not own real batarangs. This particular listing was the source of a big fight as argument after argument was given to Venom versus Carnage. If you are one of these people who will fight for your favorite symbiote until the bitter shrieking end know that Venom only beat him onto this list as he is technically Carnage’s “father” so to speak. Thus he is grandfathered in above Carnage.

Venom has never been a truly big world destroying villain in all truth. He mainly focuses on one task and his hatred of Peter Parker / Spider-man. However, his lunacy and psychosis mixed with ever growing abilities and sheer constant insanity gets him a place on this list. He is the polar opposite of Spider-man in more ways than just the suit color. While Peter focuses on what is right and using his powers for good Venom focuses on evil and getting what he wants and the power should be used to rule with fear.

The contrast between the two is always amazing, but what sells Venom is the crazy stuff. As in when he took on one host he did not like and mid air while swinging through a city simply detached from them and let them fall to their death. This was his solution to moving on with no baggage. Has Carnage ever done that? Or even any of the other 5 symbiotes he spat out? No I do not think so.

He is a thinking symbiotic organism bent on destroying good and those in his way because he simply has abandonment issues from Peter casting him aside. So a psychotic villain who will kill anyone, feeds on hatred, grows in strength and ability based on a host, that has daddy issues, is a baby daddy to six lunatics, becomes more deranged in time, is immortal with no true way to kill him and pops up more often than a cold sore. Hard to beat that… yet there are still three more that do.

#3 Magneto


Alright now we are definitely getting into the big dogs. First thing is first let’s break down this man’s almost endless and overwhelming power. This man has full control to manipulate anything and everything that is magnetic… so basically almost all metal in the world. This includes cars, ships, screws, bullets and even the iron in your blood. He can control them all, send them where he wants, crush them into a cube, or simply pull them apart. Excuse me but if a guy can kill me with metallic ink from my pen you better believe I am going to fear him!

Okay so what can be worse than someone with that endless power? Have them go through the Holocaust, see his family killed, basically be experimented on and have the government tell him he is a weapon that should be contained and / or destroyed before he has even done anything. Humanity is far from something he has sympathy for and wants nothing more than its extinction so that mutants may live on in freedom.

What makes the villain scarier than hatred of humanity and his over powered mutant ability is the fact he has an army of mutants. He alone is scary and nightmare inducing, but include a few hundred (well back in the day about that many before House of M) and you have a reason to never close your eyes again.

#2 Lex Luthor

What is the only worse than super villain with endless reach, power and knowledge? One that is President! While no he did not stay in this position can you imagine making a super villain the president? *insert George W. Bush joke here* Lex is the poster boy for villains. He is one of the biggest villains in the entire DC Universe, but a lot of people do not know it and most people can never prove it. Also add in an army of lawyers and workers to get him out of anything and you are hard pressed to beat him.

Part of the reason Lex makes it onto this list is his hatred of Superman. Not just from a super villain stand point of “Oh he is a good guy so I must beat him”, but the true reason behind it. Lex sees him as this shining God that is an alien. Someone who has no ties to Earth and feels they could leave at anytime and they could destroy us at anytime. It is a true fear of what he can do and a want to save the world because in his mind he is helping the world.

Yes Lex is a money hungry power driven mad man, but he is this way for a reason. He feels he is the best thing the world has. The scary part is that he is not really far off. He wants the super heroes gone to allow him to do what he wants, but he also plots towards what is best in his own little world for all of humanity. If you want to know why he is #2 on this list simply read the Lex Luthor comics which show the world from his point of view. It is a scary view that makes you understand Lex a lot better and can almost make you see his side and want to agree with him. Now that is a true super villain; someone who can a person who roots for heroes to really question if they are wrong or not.

#1 The Joker


Really? You did not see this one coming? I mean I hate this guy is not on top of everyone’s list. How can you ever say any villain is more sadistic, insane, simply psychotic, funny, and more of a mastermind than Joker? You have to remember this is a man that plans major heists, sets up several intricate schemes and plans things out that just make you wonder if he is really insane or just having a lot of fun doing what he does.


We have seen the Joker go insane on here and how sadistic he can be (go back and read the Top 5 Comic Book Moments if you have not done so), but as much as he is will to remove and kill people and take out the Batman family he does not want to kill the Bat himself. He has fun playing with Batman. He loves playing the game and seeing if Batman can stop him and if he can stop Batman. In the end he could have killed multiple times, but seriously… where is the fun in that?

If you want proof that the Joker is merely playing a game and enjoying his crime sprees simple read the Last Laugh. In the comic Joker believes he has little time left to live so his games are about to be over. In a desperate state to have the last laugh and truly prove himself he stages a major break out, aligns the villains and succeeds (yes SUCCEEDS) in taking over the world. He can stop all the heroes and put a plan into place that can truly win. This simply proves he does not want to simply win the game because then the game is over. He wants to keep playing until he dies.

The Joker is the iconic villain. He is the polar opposite to his arch nemesis. Insanity, a clever mind, secrets and more tricks than a Las Vegas magician. He is brutal to no end, manipulative to no end (see Harley Quinn for proof) and no one ever truly suspects how smart he is. There truly is no person who encompasses the term “super villain” like the Joker can.

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