Best Villians

Best Villians

We all love to hate. Just admit it. You’ll feel a lot better. And if you don’t want to admit it, then you’ll probably hate me for bringing up your ethical failings, so I still win. Everyone hates a winner.

But you know what I hate? Lousy villains. So naturally, I love (hating) the good ones. So seeing as I just wasted over 1500 words on a silly list of great men, I felt like I’d needed to go for something a bit more universal this time. That’s right folks, this is my personal compendium of the all-time greatest villains.
1. The [amazon_link id="1401216676" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Joker[/amazon_link].


Easily the best villain, if nothing else then by virtue of arching the best hero. More than that though, the Joker is like a perfect storm of dramatic elements creating one whopper of a malcontented murderer. His criminal genius is tempered with a callous recklessness. He demands to see the humor in even/only the darkest situations. For example, Why did Commissioner Gordon cross the road? Because Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl/the commissioner’s daughter) was crippled by a gunshot wound and is residing in the Hospital there… Across the street.
See we don’t think that’s very funny, but the Joker is laughing his ass off, and he has been since he pulled the trigger.
Another reason to like the Joker? He killed the 2nd Robin. He wasn’t a very popular character so the writer’s decided to take him out. Need a stagnant untalented super-twit annihilated? The Joker is your madman. His psychotic charisma is very well captured in the latest movie, so if you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you should probably go pick up the Dark Knight. Good flick.


2.The [amazon_link id="078514157X" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Hulk[/amazon_link].

I know what you’re thinking. The Hulk’s not a villain. Well, he damn well should be. He kicks ass as a villain. He takes on entire super-teams at a time, or just keeps busy with a ridiculously brutal battle with Wolverine. The Hulk can’t technically be a villain sense he tries to do the right thing, but he is a walking WMD, and that makes him an excellent arch-nemesis.

And now that I’m thinking about it, the Hulk has been portrayed as down-right evil on numerous occasions. One of the most notable in recent years is the Old Man Logan series in which, after succumbing to a brain centered form of radiation poisoning causes him to go incurably insane, the Hulk sires an in-bred clan of Hulk-hicks (hilarious.) As a result, he starts renting out (conquered) land to various schlubs living in an evil dominion. Among his renters: Wolverine and his family. Being a post-apocalyptic brain irradiated malcontent, Hulk just couldn’t help but smash Wolverine’s family when the rent was late. The result? An excellent fight with a disgusting surprise ending.

Ahhh, I can’t help it I’m gonna ruin it for you. The Hulk eats him. But instead of digesting like a good little meal Wolverine decides to cut Hulk open from the inside. Which is awesome. Here’s the cover art from the issue:

So I know both of the Hulk pictures feature Wolverine too. I just have to emphasize how epic and destructive the feud between these two is. Wolverine made his first appearance in a Hulk comic. They are a perfect fight. They both are nearly unstoppable for different reasons. The Hulk has unadulterated power, strength increasing anger, a formidable healing factor, and nigh invulnerability. While Wolverine has an unbreakable body and a nigh-impregnable ability to heal from any injury. Not to mention the speed and agility to avoid Hulks attacks altogether. And you probably already know about the razor sharp claws… Moving on.

3. [amazon_link id="0785128239" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Onslaught[/amazon_link]
Onslaught has got to be one of the most badass villains ever to grace an illustrated page. His powers are epic. They include energy projection, psychic/telekinetic abilities, magnetism, vast physical strength, and even reality manipulation. His powers are derived from his creators. He is a psionic entity based upon the psychic imprints of Magneto and Professor X. If you’re more of a movie buff than a comic geek that’s Gandalf and Captain Picard. Basically all of the worst parts of Professor X’s subconscious leaked out and borrowed from all the worst parts of Magneto’s brain and created a nearly omnipotent demonic super-mutant with the power to enslave and destroy all life.

The best thing about this character is he’s an old concept injected with new ideas. He’s the doppleganger of the most powerful psychic on the planet, but that isn’t enough to have a world threatening event. So the writers asked “Why can’t we have an evil twin that has the qualities of several people?” Why indeed. Turns out you can have a very successful line of comics and toys with that kind of lateral thinking.

4. [amazon_link id="B0015XHQUS" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Aizen Sousuke[/amazon_link]
So another villain, that probably no one has heard of. He’s the main bad guy from a manga/anime I keep up with called Bleach. It’s about a society of shinigami (death gods) that patrol the earth looking for lost souls to guide to heaven, while protecting them from Hollows (demons/evil spirits/whatever.) Aizen is a captain in the Gotei 13, which is the main military force of the Soul Society. However, Aizen is a devious Benedict Arnold who will stop at nothing to attain greater power and dominion over not only the Earth, but the whole of the spirit world as well. To this end, he fakes his own death, murders the ruling council of Soul Society, and usurps their control without any one knowing. He can do this because his sword has the ability to hypnotize anyone who sees it’s transformed state.

Not only is this an insanely cool power for a sword to possess, but his strength is also unparalleled for a majority of the seriest. While he usually prefers to let his underlings do battle for him, he does draw his blade on several occasions. In his first battle in the series, and it can’t even really be called a battle because no one could lay a finger on him, even the series protagonist is powerless against the might of the former captain and king of Hell. Wait. Did I mention that? He’s king of Hell. The Hollows that the Shinigami fight live in a Japanese version of Hell called Hueco Mundo. Yes the comic is Japanese and the name of Japanese hell is Spanish. Don’t ask me why, I’m just reporting folks.

Anyway, one sunny day Aizen just walks into Hell, usurps the throne, and enslaves the most powerful of the Shinigami enemies, and tells them to wait on his plan to unfurl. Seriously. Just waltzes right in behind enemy lines and dominates as if it were nothing. Now he’s the king of Hell and the Gods of Death fear him. As you might imagine Aizen is overflowing with arrogance that thus far has shown itself to be well-founded. He rules over his lackey’s with an unquestioned complacency that only rarely cracks to reveal the uncaring and bloodthirsty interior.


[amazon_link id="B000V6I7WG" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]5. Woo-jin Lee[/amazon_link]

I’m not going to spend too much time on this one, but I’m telling you all right now: go see Oldboy. It’s a Korean film so you’ll have to read subtitles, but get over it, because this movie will seriously scar you for life. It has the most awful twist I’ve ever seen in anything. Anything: movie, comic, story, novel, history, etc. I won’t ruin it for you because the shock value is just indeterminable. But it has a lot to do with the guy in the picture vigorously hating a guy named Dae-su Oh. He hates him so much he has him locked in a hotel room without telling him who has captured him or why. He keeps him there for 15 years, murders his wife, frames him for it, then lets him out and gives him a week to find out who and why. Sound sadistic? Just wait. It gets so much worse. Watch it. Don’t think about it, just do it.

That’s it for now hope you enjoyed this look into the darker reaches of the human imagination. Till next time y’all.


  1. JosephLong

    I agree with you – the Joker is probably the greatest villan of all time. The Hulk is not technically a villan, as you point out, but I agree that he belongs on the list. I assume that you’ve limited the scope to comic books / Anime?

  2. ZackRutherford

    @JosephLong Well, that just means you didn’t read the whole thing. Villain number five is in the movie, Oldboy. For shame Joseph, for shame. :P

  3. JosephLong

    My point is that if you’re going to open it up to film then you’ve just covered the tip of the proverbial iceberg. What about Drath Vader? I’d say that he belongs right there under the Joker. There is a whole slew of others too: Hannibal Lecter, The Wicked Witch of the West, that creepy clown from “It”… lol

  4. ZackRutherford

    @JosephLong Screw Darth Vader. He turned good at the end, and isn’t as bad-ass as the Hulk, and therefore gets no quarter from me. Lecter is a good choice, but really, he’s just the poor man’s Joker in the first place. He’s a Mad genius with a penchant for murder, but he just can’t make me laugh.

    And wicked witch? The It clown? Come on, Man. That’s just silly. Besides, everyone knows you can only have one insane clown per posse. Unless you want to attract that mongoloid fan base of their’s…