[Villain's Week is where we celebrate the evils of the world...And Tyler Humphrey's birthday.]
What would a superhero be without his or her rogues gallery? Supervillains define the hero almost as much as the hero’s actions do. Just as the brightest lights cast the darkest shadows, the more noble the hero, the more depraved and nefarious the villain. Since this is Villains Week here at Twinfinite, I had to get my fellow writers input on who they thought was the best baddie. We scoured the archives to find our favorite villains from the world of the supers and picked some really messed up people. Hit the jump to find out which villains we chose as our favorites.
I don’t know a lot about Doctor Destiny. In fact, of all the villains that bounced around in my head, he’s probably one of the ones I know the least about. However, as a kid I used to read a lot of my Aunt’s comic books. She had a good sized collection and they were full of things I honestly wouldn’t have thought to buy at the time. So in this stack of books were a few Sandman issues. Some were better than others, but none quite as memorable as issue 6.
Titled “24 Hours,” the book focuses on a bored Doctor Destiny’s attempt at understanding humanity by imprisoning, torturing and killing the patrons of a small roadside cafe for 24 hours. Using Morpheus’s magic stone, he initially just warps their minds so that they don’t want to leave so he can study them more. It only takes about 6 hours for them to figure out something isn’t right about all this. So the doctor ramps it up.
He gives them what they truly want, then he breaks them down to see who they truly are. He forces these people to do some of the worst things imaginable. He makes them attack each other, murder each other, mutilate themselves and then he has them sing to him. It’s an insane book focusing on what would happen if you let a madman truly be mad.
Everyone has a favorite Neil Gaiman story and well this is mine. There is no hero in this book. Only the worst villain I have ever read.
As a kid, I was fascinated by stories of love unrequited that led to drastic measures taken by the lover. I felt a great deal of pity for them, as nothing they ever did made the other love them back. I think that’s the root of my intrigue with Mad Hatter. His love for Alice drove him insane. A man who would be a perfect catch for her, ended up friend zoned into oblivion. This, despite him being a great guy, drove him to kidnap Alice and make her do his bidding.
Entrapping her against her will, Mad Hatter is basically a testament to good guys gone bad. Sure, you may be friend zoned, but at least you’re not crazy and mind controlling the love of your life. It’s the antithesis of “if you love someone, let them go” and it was done so well that it left an impression in me all these years. There’s no “Yeah! Take THAT villain!” for him with me. There’s only the pity that this comic book character’s emotions are too reminiscent of the very real feelings many people go through each day.
Part Danny Trejo, part eyepatch, The Governor is a stand-out character in a series of excellent characters. The Walking Dead has always been a series about questionable decisions, delving into character motivations and justifications for their own actions. Despite the “grey” approach to most actions, The Governor is just plain evil. The logical extension of a sycophant grasping at power in a world gone awry, The Governor is perhaps the best example of what’s truly terrifying in The Walking Dead.
HINT: It’s not the zombies.
He’s such an interesting character that the first (and so far only) Walking Dead novel is the telling of his backstory. As a huge fan of the comic books and now the games, I could never find any enjoyment in the television series. However, seeing that The Governor has been cast for Season Three has been enough to pique my interest in catching up on the show. Even if the lack of Danny Trejo is nearly unforgivable.
I feel as though this is such a copout answer, but as someone who doesn’t avidly follow comics as much as some of my colleagues, the Joker is my absolute favorite villain. He’s such a fascinating character. His reasoning for such a sinister yet hilarious attitude is incredible to read about in such graphic novels as The Killing Joke. Probably my favorite interpretation of the Joker was in Arkham Asylum.
Each page as this incredibly decrepit art style that just perfectly captures the world the Joker wants. It’s in ruins, and sullen. There’s nothing happy about it, and the Joker is at his absolute level of evil. If you haven’t experienced the two graphic novels I mentioned, you haven’t seen the true side of the Joker, and why he is my favorite comic book villain.
A lot of you are likely in your 20s or even younger, and have grown up in a time where being a geek is somewhat fashionable and even ‘cool’ in its own way. Growing up in the ’80s did not afford such a welcoming environment. This was before the Internet, and I literally did not realize how many people out there were into things like comic books and video games. This feeling of alienation and disempowerment always made me feel a certain kinship to Molecule Man.
Molecule Man (AKA Owen Reece) was a timid lab technician who, as the result of a nuclear accident, gained the ability to control molecules. Because he was such an emotionally damaged and bitter person, he lashed out at the world and became a villain. He truly impressed me as a character in the Secret Wars series, where he not only finds his confidence and harnesses his true power, but ends up actually emerging as a heroic figure by the end of the story.
In a format so full of ‘roided out black-and-white characters, seeing one so vulnerable and angry definitely resonated to a young boy who was trapped in a geek closet many years ago.
I know, I know. A third Batman villain. But here’s why I chose him. More than anyone else on this list, Ra’s is the true meaning of a supervillain. What’s the difference between a villain and a supervillain? A bad guy with some thugs, maybe some powers, and schemes to get rich are just villains. The immortal 500+ year old leader of an army of assassins with all the skills and resources of Batman but none of the morals or values? Now that is a supervillain. Ra’s doesn’t want any money, power, or infamy like the rest of the villains on this list. He just wants to restore the Earth to its’ pristine form by wiping out most of humanity.
One of the aspects of his character that I like best is that he has the utmost respect for Batman; going so far as to always address him as “Detective”. He even wanted Batman to be his heir. They’re both different sides of the same coin. I think that’s the main reason why he is the best supervillain. He’s almost exactly the hero everyone knows and loves but with one critical difference that makes him so frightening as a villain and so badass as a character.
Now that you know our picks, let us know who your favorite villains are in the comments!
(PS my answer is the only right one)