20 Greatest Super Villains of All Time!

Throughout the years, comics have not only given us great heroes to look up to and aspire to, but they've also given us great villains that represent the worst of us. In this list I will name the 20 greatest super villains of all time and why they stand where they do on the list.

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By Shannon Cornthwaite - 9/18/2012
This was a very difficult list to make. There are so many great villains to choose from and some are arguably better than others. I've spent a life time collecting comics and researching each hero and villain. Throughout the course of my collection and research, I've discovered many great villains who are underestimated and overestimated. In my previous list of 10 greatest superheroes, I gave you my list and why. Because there are so many great villains it's hard to choose just 10, so I thought i'd up the anty.

So what is a villain? The simplest answer is, it's someone who battles the heroes. But that could be any number of people, other superheroes, the media, the government, a God, GOD himself etc. etc. etc. So I had to narrow down the criteria. A villain is someone who can't be easily reasoned with, someone who will kill and is capable of killing, someone who is quite possibly soul less.


20. Lex Luthor


From his beginnings as a mad scientist to becoming Superman's arch enemy as a billionaire crime lord, Luthor has proven essential to the DC Universe. Luthor's hunger for power can never be filled.



19. Death Storm



The only black lantern to "survive" the Blackest night. I doubt even the destruction of the Anti-Monitor can keep this villain down.



18. The Borg


Resistance in futile. The borg aren't evil, but they plan to assimilate the entire universe.


17. Ultron



Emotionless, soulless, and powerful. Ultron wants only 1 thing... The Rise of the Machines.



16. Mongul II



This tyrant is probably one of the fiercest foes in the DCU, Killing his own sister for showing weakness and pulling Arkillo's tongue completely out of his mouth and making him wear it. Mongul II ends up at number 16 on our countdown.


15. Black Hand




This once petty criminal who took the life of his entire family, and created his costume out of a body bag has become one of the darkest villains in the DCU. Death in carnate, Black hand wants only one thing... EVERYTHING DIES!



14. Major Force



This once hero and veteran raped and killed an entire village taking pride in his work. Tortured and stuffed Green Lantern's girl friend and stuffed her remains in a refrigerator. The only thing that makes him scarier, is his atomic power.


13. General Zod



Three words... "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!"
These three words have become iconic in pop culture. Zod will stop at nothing to rule and seek vengeance on the son of his jailer.




12. Eclipso



The former spirit of God's wrath before the Spectre, Eclipso has the ability to possess anyone and multiple people. Pure evil, he's no longer God's wrath but rather Wrath incarnate.


11. Darkseid


A God who killed his own mother, Darkseid fears only one thing... DOOMSDAY.

10. Apocalypse


Thousands of years old, this once slave learned from his former master that only the strong survive. Upon his master's death bed, The mutant slaughtered the master because he was no longer strong. A villain who's powers seem to be limitless in that with each new writer he seems to obtain new powers which makes him more and more difficult to defeat.


9. Violator



The Clown from Hell. Violator is a demonic soldier evil. His own brothers hate him, he desires the power of Spawn and wishes to rule hell himself. not even decapitation can keep this villain down.

8. Malebolgia


Many people consider the Devil himself as the ultimate super villain but after 100+ issues he was killed by Spawn. which is why his rank as world's greatest super villain dropped to #7.


7. Parallax


The embodiment of fear, Parallax was able to posses Hal Jordan and remain hidden deep within in his psyche for years before it made it's presence known. Using Hal Jordan's pain to wipe out the entire Green Lantern Corps Parallax's ultimate goal is to spread fear throughout the universe like wild fire.


6. Onslaught



He all but wiped out the Marvel Universe. Need I say more?

5. Henshaw The Cyborg Superman



A former scientist and pioneer in the Challengers of the Unknown. Hank Henshaw wants only 1 thing, his own death, and he'll destroy the entire universe in order to accomplish that goal.


4. Doomsday



The Destroyer of worlds. Created centuries ago on a primitive Krypton through years of forced evolution and cloning. His violent birth forged a creature that was relentless and unstoppable. The only being to actually kill Superman, Doomsday is a force that haunts every waking minute of the man of steel's life.


3. Carnage


Serial killer Cletus Cassidy is a threat to anyone in his human form, but went joined by the symbiote he's far deadlier. As a child he killed his grandmother by pushing her down a flight of stairs, and cooked the family cat in the oven. No Rules except CARNAGE RULES!

2. The Joker



Diagnosed in Arkham as Supersane, Joker is a rare villain in that he's not insane nor is does he want power. Joker's only plan is to bring as much havoc as possible. He killed Jason Todd, Molested and crippled Barbara Gordon, tortured the commissioner and even had his own face sliced off. Joker has only one rule, Batman doesn't die until Joker does.

1. The Guardians of the Universe



Emotionless, strong willed, immortal and many would say have a GOD complex. These little blue beings began by trying to bring peace to the universe by creating first the Manhunters, then the Green Lantern Corps. and finally the Third Army. They've taken the best of the Green Lanterns and turned them into mindless machines to act as internal affairs officers for their corps. They Refuse to accept emotion and cannot be reasoned with. The believe whole heartedly that they are the absolute of the universe; judge, jury and executioner. Their word is law and no one will stop what they set out to do. Even going as far as to lobotomize one of their own when he accepted emotion and reason. Their psychotic plans have included making one of their greatest enemies a once again member of their corps. They will stop at nothing in order to complete their plans even if that mean destroying a planet or entire galaxy. The Guardians of the Universe are the greatest villains of all time, they conceal themselves as protectors but these once Maltusians have become a threat to the entire universe.
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DrDoom - 9/18/2012, 2:41 PM
A very original list, I must say.
lanternstorm - 9/18/2012, 2:47 PM
Thanks... lol it took me the better part of the day to come up with this list... every time I put someone on there I was like "no this one's better, no he's kinda lame if you think about it" etc. The Guardians of the Universe were the easiest part lol.
DylansMyDog - 9/18/2012, 3:12 PM
Someone is a green lantern fan...
calin88 - 9/18/2012, 3:17 PM
I've never heard of more than half of them
Toasty - 9/18/2012, 3:19 PM
A GL fan for good reason seeing as it's been the cream of the crop from the new 52 so far.
lanternstorm - 9/18/2012, 3:20 PM
it's not because i'm a lantern fan though, I weighed them all... powers, capability of evil etc. and these are the ones i came up with especially the Guardians... never really liked those guys.
jessepostal - 9/18/2012, 4:26 PM
Red skull and doc doom would be my 1 and 2
Starheart - 9/18/2012, 4:27 PM
No Doctor Doom?
GodzillaKart - 9/18/2012, 4:29 PM
Weighted pretty heavily one only toward DC, but Green Lantern specifically.

Which is cool! It's an opinion piece and I enjoyed reading it!
lanternstorm - 9/18/2012, 4:31 PM
Doctor Doom didn't make it on the list because he does actually care about his home nation. He does have a soul though it's buried deep. Red Skull didn't make it because he could be easily defeated by Wolverine, Punisher, or Silver Surfer. I was looking at power as well as someone who's soulless for my list... I also need villains who are capable of threatening the fabric of their comic book universes. but good pics though.
theInvincibleMexiMan - 9/18/2012, 4:35 PM
woah this was definitely an original list.
there wasnt all the cliche characters like catwoman, venom, magneto, etc.

but some choices I havent heard of and the surprising #1 choice. Well played, sir.
LoudLon - 9/18/2012, 4:36 PM
Wow, I can't help but think the writer isn't a big Marvel fan. Carnage, one of the most one-note villains in the entire MU, makes the top three, but there's no sign of Dr. Doom, or Galactus, or Green Goblin, or Red Skull...

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Sorry, but your comic cred just flew right out the window with me. No offense. :/
xstryker - 9/18/2012, 4:37 PM
Shit list.
GodzillaKart - 9/18/2012, 4:38 PM
Given your criteria...shouldn't Thanos be here?
GodzillaKart - 9/18/2012, 4:39 PM
Norman Osborn for sure!
LAWLZY96 - 9/18/2012, 4:41 PM
...Onslaught is [frick]ing stupid
TheFox - 9/18/2012, 4:43 PM
The Guardians aren't supervillains. In a sense, they're tragic heroes. This whole time, they've been trying to save the universe from tyranny and oppression, and in the process, they become tyrannical oppressors. When Hal Jordan gets around to blowing them all away, you can bet at least ONE of them is going to say something like "what have we become?" before getting vaporized or imprisoned or whatever happens to those little blue gnomes.

Besides, dramatically speaking, they're not nearly as interesting as the Joker, or Doctor Doom, for that matter (just 'cause he cares about his one home nation, it doesn't make him any less of a Machiavellian supervillain-type).

But I have to say, this is an interesting and well-organized list! Some unique picks on here-- like Carnage in slot #3-- which always makes for a great read!

Z
superotherside - 9/18/2012, 4:49 PM
I agree with a lot of them but my number one is Thanos. Even over Darkseid and other big cosmic treats. He is the ultimate villain IMO. Seriously he's tricked Mephisto, made deals with two Galactus like beings, said that his own heart being ripped from his body was "interesting", has manipulated Galactus many times, killed half and the complete universe at least 1 or 2 times, and done several other mind boggling misdeeds.

Seriously, people compare Thanos and Darkseid, but Darkseid would be easier than an insect for Thanos to crush. Darksied fears Doomsday because he fears death. Thanos does not fear death, in fact he wants it. Thanos is my favorite villain. He's just such an interesting character.
cfoster060809 - 9/18/2012, 4:50 PM
terrible list! no Green Goblin, Dr Doom, Magneto, Sabretooth, ect... Really?..... Really?...... Guardians over Joker? Half of your list isn't as bad as Joker COMBINED! Apocalypse should definitely be higher. BTW Lex Luthor and Doomsday suck ass! crap villains!
KidGoku - 9/18/2012, 4:51 PM
Where is Loki? Doctor Doom? Green Goblin?

hold up... HUGO STRANGE!?
angus666 - 9/18/2012, 4:52 PM
Guardians Of The Universe wouldn't even be on my list.

Luthor and Joker would be #1 and #2, and Green Goblin would either be 3rd or 4th.
tracydavis001 - 9/18/2012, 4:58 PM
Good list!!
KidGoku - 9/18/2012, 5:02 PM
Super Villains in general? And Dr. Evil isn't up there?
Azazel1 - 9/18/2012, 5:04 PM
Why is Lex Luthor number 20? Are you kidding me? Carnage, Ultron and The Borg are ahead of him?

What a joke...
lanternstorm - 9/18/2012, 5:05 PM
You know you're right, I did forget Thanos. But like I said this was a difficult list to put together. I didn't put Green Goblin, Galactus or Dr. Doom for several reasons but mainly just because they didn't meet my standards as i listed above. Galactus is capable of being reasoned with and he's not really a villain. Galactus started out by only consuming planets with no life. He's not evil he's simply trying to survive.
Minato - 9/18/2012, 5:10 PM
I take it your a Green Lantern fan. Good list and I like how you added Onslaught.
lanternstorm - 9/18/2012, 5:12 PM
Everyone thinks Lex Luthor should be a top 10 villain, but honestly I don't. Lex Luthor may be a great criminal mind but when push comes to shove there are alot of villains who are far more dangerous than him. Can you honestly tell me, that Luthor would be willing to destroy the entire Earth? As for my choice for the #1 spot, The Guardians of the Universe are willing to do anything to accomplish their goals... if nothing else, they're dictators who use others as puppets to accomplish anything they want... They even made it law that any member of the Sinestro Corps is to be killed same as anyone caught helping the Sinestro Corps. They definitely aren't tragic heroes in my book, they've been playing the entire universe for centuries. They refuse to accept emotion period, they're soulless and when one of them developed a soul he was lobotomized.
biggcess - 9/18/2012, 5:12 PM
No Agent Smith?!?!?!?!!

You have got to be kidding!!
lokibane2012 - 9/18/2012, 5:20 PM
Dr. Doom? Venom? Magneto? Catwoman? Goblin?

Just because it's an original list doesn't mean it's a good one. a list that ignores villains like that instantly loses all credibility. There is a reason why those characters are on every best villain list. You can't just, say, take out Joker from a best villains list and get points for originality. No, it's just stupidity.

---

And a lot of villains are put in because they're really strong, or because "they almost killed the planet". By that logic, why is Galactus not even on the list, let alone the top three? Or Thanos?

Just a stupid, stupid list made by a Green Lantern fanboy.

For the record, I love Green Lantern. This list still is stupid though.

---

And most of the villains you left out, do meet your criteria. If you're gonna go with "oh he can be justified". Then every villain can be justified by their logic.

Joker is a crazy man. Can't help it. Sorry. He's just crazy. Why is being crazy a legitimate defense for crimes? Because they aren't in full control of their action because they're cookoo.
lokibane2012 - 9/18/2012, 5:21 PM
Also Luthor's actions are justified if you look at it from his perspective.

Fail.
SageMode - 9/18/2012, 5:23 PM
No Dr.Doom or even Thanos for that matter? The latter conquered the entire universe on more than one occasion. In addition to killing off half of the entire universe.
KingLing - 9/18/2012, 5:23 PM
If you were taking into account power and ability and stuff like that, I feel like Joker wouldn't have been as high on the list. There are universes where Apocalypse has torn everything asunder. Joker causes chaos, yeah, but he could never completely change the world.
lokibane2012 - 9/18/2012, 5:24 PM
And Venom is just as evil as Death Storm is. Made evil by having their minds messed around with.

If Deathstorm's in, why not Venom?

Just... man, my brain would explode if I try to figure this inconsistent shit out.
gaikinger - 9/18/2012, 5:25 PM
Kinda DC partial....a couple of token departures but basically DC driven process. This is a slooooow Newsday when this is top st/ory. Romney/Ryan 2012!
lanternstorm - 9/18/2012, 5:28 PM
I left out Catwoman and Venom for the same reason I left out Sinestro and Black Adam... They aren't evil, they're just tragic heroes... They are lethal protectors. Also as I've stated Lokibane2012, Galactus wasn't listed because he's not evil. He's not a villain. A tragic character maybe but not a villain. btw, I may be a GL fan buy i'm no Green Lantern Fanboy if anything I'm a fanboy of all comics. When I made my list, true I left out Loki and Thanos but I went through every villain I could possibly think of and looked up online etc. The ones I chose for the list were chosen for reasons that I listed above... Green Goblin wasn't added because all you would need to beat him is to threaten his precious OsCorp with a bomb and everything he's ever built including his bank account. Norman Osborn's #1 goal is world domination period. Lex Luthor beat out Osborn because he's not easily swayed by the loss of his company or finances because he knows he can easily rebuild. Magneto wasn't listed because again, he's a tragic hero. He fights to keep what happened to him in Germany from happening to all mutants.
INFO - 9/18/2012, 5:33 PM
No bane?
FictionDelight - 9/18/2012, 5:35 PM
Love it when someone can bring some characters to much needed attention, as I wouldn't have even thought of several of these names. Dr. Doom would be on my list though for sure. Glad you didn't put Loki.
Good stuff dude
Originator2000 - 9/18/2012, 5:36 PM
I think Bane is superior to The Joker. But those other choices were excellent.
lanternstorm - 9/18/2012, 5:36 PM
I was very tempted to put Bane in there, I really was. But he's not so much a top villain as his only goal is to prove he's better than Batman, I have yet to see him truly put forth the same effort as he did in Knightfall against the rest of the DCU. But again, I was really tempted to include him.
Grodd87 - 9/18/2012, 5:48 PM
I love marvel and dc marvel has better heros no doubt about it but dc has villains if u think about great dc movies have good villain performances that is how dc needs to do there movies green lantern sucked bc of a bad choice villain.
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