Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cshiana's Top 10 Comic Book Villains

I know I asked people before who their favorite superhero was. I haven't answered because I think it's pretty obvious who my favorite hero is *cough* If you haven't figured it out by now check out my icon. I thought it would be more fun to change things up and discuss favorite villains! So without further ado I give you my top ten villains!

10 Gorilla Grodd

He's a gorilla... with telepathy...
As an anthropology major I had to study primatology. I assure you that the average housecat is more dangerous than a gorilla. And yet the Grodd appearences keep coming. 10th place is my salute to a persistant villain. I still think my cat, Grayson, could beat him up, but hey, whatever works...

9 Two-Face

I like Dent as a villain because as much as he's criminally insane he's also highly intelligent. I wish they'd find a good writer to explore his character a bit more - he's the comic book version of Jekyl and Hyde and I always loved that story.

8 Deathstroke the Terminator

I've always liked Slade, but I have to say, the Judas Contract won me over. Talk about planing in advance! And the execution was beautiful (although Nightwing still beat him). His one failer was using a mentally unstable child in his plans... thus his downfall. I believe the Judas Contract was the high point of his career.

7 Magneto

Yeah, so he's been messed with A LOT over the years, but at heart he's still a great villain. He's the classic example of the bad guy with an honorable goal... he just believes that the ends justify the means. I always enjoyed the friendship between him and Prof X.

6 Composite Superman

A janitor with an unreasonable grudge against Superman and Batman gains the Legion's superpowers when stuck by lightning that also strikes the Legion statues in the Superman museum... and that's not all!! He then dresses up in half a Batman costume and half a Superman costume. You don't find quality like this any more!

5 Dark Phoenix

The original Dark Phoenix Saga created a great villain - and used the whole idea of absolute power corrupts absolutely to do it. To top it all off she had one of the best costumes EVER. I miss you Jean Grey...

4 the Adversary

Fable's has done a wonderful job with creating a villain that is more of an idea than a single person. It's not the adversary himself that causes the suffering of so many - he just started a domino effect that has become one of the best good vs evil stories around.

3 Ras Al Ghul

Ras was an amazing bad guy... because he wasn't really evil. One of my all time favorite stories is Son of the Demon when Batman and Ras work together for the greater good. It really put Ras into perspective. And really, his goals were always for the greater good in the big picture. I can't say I disagree with him all the time.

2 Lex Luthor

The end of ICrisis as well as the Villains United series has served to show how truely evil Lex Luthor is - a true represenative of the darker side of humanity. Lex is an epitamy of super-villainy.

1 Naraku

Rumiko Takahashi has created some amazing villains in her Inuyasha series such as Kikyou and Sesshomaru. Her greatest creation was the villain behind every evil in the main characters' lives - Naraku. He is everything a bad guy should be: Intelligent, manipulative, crafty, callous, and incredibly evil. I have yet to find a better written villain in comic books.

Honorable mentions: Brother Blood (yay evil cult villain!), Joker, and Hitler (who has been the villain in enough comic books to count as a comic book villain)

I think what really got me started on this train of thought was reading S&B Public Enemies when Superman talks to Batman about the "good villains" and Batman says, "Clark... what the hell are "good" villains?" Well Batman, I hope I've provided some answers.


Anonymous Jim said...

Good list, I'll have to think about mine, but we will have some duuplicates.

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Who is Cshiana's favorite hero? Ambush bug? No. Punisher? Nah. Black Canary?? Nope. Oh, yeah, I remember! It's everybody's favorite Robin all grown up, Jason Todd!!! Where'd you ever get that pic of Jason giving Babs a full-on lip lock? What makes a good villain? For me, the villains are the best part of comics. Always liked them more than the heroes. And my preferences were usually for the big and stupid or the noble and regal. So on my Top 10 List I would have Rhino, Kraven, Juggernaut, Joker, Luthor(if you've never read the unauthorized biography of Lex Luthor you owe it to yourself to track a copy down), Darkseid, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, Blackfire and Poison Ivy. Cshiana, who are your favorite members of Nightwing's rogue's gallery?? Besides Devin Grayson of course...

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

My favorite villians in no particular order except for number one (and this is off the top of my head, so it may be missing some great ones). Green Goblin - from Issue #14 to Issue #40 the Green Goblin was a great villian and was a mystery for awhile. Compsoite Superman - I have the action figure. A character who appeared twice has maintained such a memory from the sixties to have an action figure made of him. The Joker - overused yes, but still when done right the best yin to Batman's yang. Professor Zoom again a great ying to a hero's Yang. Doctor Doom - hard to find a tougher opponent, plus he has his own country. Kang this maybe a repeat, but Kang was very cool at first, and as always was burnt out by over use. The Red Skull when used properly can be a totally evil villain with no honorable or redemming qualities - very few truly totally evil villains with this type of quality. Star Saphire an odd choice but she represents all the great sexy female villains out there and at one time was the alter ego of Green Lantern's girl-friend. She didn't know she was Star Saphire and it was campy fun to have boy friend fight the girl friend. Shazam in Kingdom Come - Shazam as a villain fighting Superman was great and the constant lighting bolts being pulled down was awesome.

Now number one is Ras As Ghul - because over the years I have started to think he maybe right.

There are tons of great villains I have left out and I think that it is interesting how many absolutely terrific villains there are out there and I hate when a series gets stuck on one villain (Hush for Gotham Knights is a prime example).

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

It's really easy to get burnt out on villains. Either they use the same villain for an entire year and you never want to see them again or they keep bringing back a villain til you're sick of them. Does anyone really want to see Venom again? And who cares about HUSH or Red Hood? Green Goblin was great, til they brought him back and started butchering his character. Very few villains who you never get sick of seeing.

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Which is why the villains need to be used in small doses. I think the 12 issue story arcs also cause the over exposure of a villain. While it may only be one story, we have only seen one villain for an entire year.

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Isn't that why they get sent off to prison though? It's not because they're actually paying penance for their crimes - it's because they've been apprehended to give the readers a break. That's why there's a revolving door at Arkham. Which is actually something that bothers me about villains... what ever happened to needing an explaination as to why a villain's back on the scene? In Batma, if the Joker's around, I don't even ask why. I just assume he walked out of Arkham through the front door *rolls eyes* I think it kind of takes away from the fact that they were caught in the first place if they can break out so easily.

As for Nightwing's rogue gallery - Deathstroke, because I've alway's considered him more of a Nightwing villain than anyone else. Blockbuster was stupid... so was Tarantula (and yes, she was a rogue). Y'know, now that I think about it maybe that's one of the reasons Nightwing's book sucks so much - he doesn't have a rogue's gallery. At least not a very goood one. hmmm

And Jim, good call on Prof Zoom, I always liked him too

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Nightwing's rogue's gallery needs some beefing up. Most of the villains are pretty lame, like Torque and Double Dare. Yet, thinking about the Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans series, there were lots of great villains. I love Slade, Brother Blood, Blackfire, Monsieur Mallah and the Brain, and Trident. I feel sorry for Dick cuz he's kinda like Prince Charles. Charles is always waiting for his mother to kick the bucket so he can finally be the king. Dick will never be allowed to fully come into his own, with his own great gallery, until Bruce retires. Dick is stuck in a kind of superhero pergatory. Gotta feel for the guy.

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

He doesn't have to be. I'm considering writing my own Nightwing stories to prove that a decent writer can make him into a great character. I'd call it Project Save Nightwing

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Well the problem is that Dick is forever gonna be stuck at the same age he's at(25?). So I know that Nightwing is your favorite, but why? Usually females will choose a superheroine. What makes Nightwing so special to you? Is it the things they said about him in Crisis? Good luck with the stories!

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

I grew up on Batman, and because of this I've always prefered Bats to Superman - but he was still a bit on the dark and moody side for me. I like Dick because he has a lot of Bruce's influence in him - but he's managed to work past his tragedy. He doesn't fight because his parents were murdered - he does it because he feels it's the right thing to do. I've liked Nightwing since the day he became Nightwing - he rose above Batman in many ways - I think he finds the middle ground between Superman and Batman. Still, Teen Titans was when I really started loving that character. I think he has a lot of untapped potential. I think the main reason I love the character though is because he reminds me of John Carter.

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

So, since you seem to be the expert, when did Dick first start showing interest in Babs? When I was reading New Teen Titans, Dick was all about Korinad'r. Then, years later, Dick and Kory stood together at the altar to get wed. So just where did Babs come into this equation? And I agree that dick is more easy going and lighthearted than Bruce, but will the destruction of his city by Chemo change all this and make him little more than a clone of Bruce? How much tragedy can a hero face and still walk away with a smile on his mug and a joke in his heart?

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Well that's what a good writer needs to do for Nightwing - allow him to recover and grow.

As for Kori - I'm not completely sure when they broke up. But Dick has had feeling for Babs since before Kori from what I can tell. I'm pretty sure Chuck Dixon was the one who brought them back together. It makes more sense than Dick and Kori anyway.

Friday, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Nightwing and Batgirl were an item in Batman Family comics back when Dick was still wearing short pants and Babs was a congresswoman.

Way befroe the revived Titans in the eighties.

Saturday, May 20, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Yes. But I think Chuck Dixon brought them BACK together

Saturday, May 20, 2006  
Blogger STBD said...

I'm finding this thread a little late, but just for the sake of argument (and having drawn half this list from my Top 50 DC Characters vote at The Great Curve):

Favorite Villains:

10. Voodoo Ben (from SCUD: The Disposable Assassin)
RATIONALE: He's Ben Franklin! But he's evil! And he dropped zombie dinosaurs from a blimp in order to kill SCUD (and the mafia)! How do you not include him?

9. Molecule Man
RATIONALE: In theory, a guy who can manipulate individual molecules can do anything, which should make him the scariest villain in recorded history... except Marvel's writers correctly realized that such power would turn anyone into a whining neurotic with self-esteem issues.

8. Reggie Mantle
RATIONALE: All right, so maybe I'm stretching the definition of "villain" here, but I grew up reading Archie and, by God, did I hate this guy. The stories where Reggie and Archie are getting along always seemed like a front. Karmically, though, Reggie makes complete sense: without him, Archie would never have to choose between Veronica and Betty, and that would be an embarrassment of riches.

7. The Corinthian
RATIONALE: Aside from him being one of the most purely evil-for-the-sake-of-evil creations in comics history (until he was eradicated and rebooted as a bodyguard), he has teeth for eyes.

Teeth for eyes. Get that?

6. Crime Syndicate of America
RATIONALE: Sure they were a cheesy and obvious knock-off of the JLA; that was the point. They make my list for two reasons. First, they were my first inkling into the "what if" concept of, "What if the characters I recognize as heroes would have used their powers for evil"? And secondly, their deaths in the opening salvo of Crisis on Infinite Earths was one of the most tragically ennobling character turns I can recall reading; it's stuck with me for twenty years.

5. Doctor Destiny
RATIONALE: Yes, he looked like Skeletor, but he had the power to invade and control your dreams. Talk about endless potential for terror! Find me five more imaginatively-conceived villains -- or, more precisely, five more who would provide stories that were more fun to write.

4. Arcade
RATIONALE: Well, here's one. As a kid, I loved the concept behind a guy who continuously entrapped his foes inside life-sized video games. As an adult, my mind reels at the dubiousness of the concept -- I can't find decent affordable housing in Pittsburgh, but this guy consistently found the funding AND real estate to construct living labyrinths in New York City?

3. Psycho-Pirate
RATIONALE: Even before his central turn in Crisis, I was in love with the concept of someone who could manipulate you based solely upon your emotions. Now that Starfox has made that concept meta-tastically icky, it just adds to the original lure of the villainous character.

2. Magneto
RATIONALE: More creatively utilized than Victor von Doom, Magnus (or whatever he's calling himself) is the one truly noble villain in either mainstream universe, a man who fights for his right to live in a world where he's perpetually been the minority. His methods may be flawed but his intentions are inarguable. Plus, the base concept makes him second in potential fear-mongering only to, um, Molecule Man (in theory).

1. The Joker
RATIONALE: If Magneto is the ultimate noble villain, The Joker is the ultimate loose cannon: villainy for villainy's sake. Visually terrifying when properly executed, his absolute lack of morality makes for the perfect embodiment of the evil that superheroes exist to combat.

Thanks for the opportunity to pontificate. I feel oddly justified in having spent the last 20 minutes in a comment window.

Sunday, May 28, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

I think if I had heard of Voodoo Ben before he would have been near the top of my list. I mean, that's amazing! You can't lose with Ben Franklin and zombie dinosaurs!

Sunday, May 28, 2006  
Anonymous Simon said...

I grew up on Batman, and because of this I've always prefered Bats to Superman - but he was still a bit on the dark and moody side for me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010  

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