This won’t be easy. There are so many villains that I love. Whether it’s their costumes, powers, origins, personalities or influence, narrowing it down to the final 20 won’t be easy. Still, this is my list and what I say goes. So, here is the top 20 best comic book villains:
Kraven has one distinction among Spider-man’s rogues, as he is the only villain to have beaten spidey, but not just physically, but mentally as well.
After years of defeats, Kraven the Hunter was overcome, not only by blind hatred but his own growing madness. Tracking spider-man down and subduing him, Kraven drew his gun and then…Bang. But, that was not the end. In reality, Kraven had just shot Peter with an extra strong tranquillizer, making it looked like he died. He then buried Spider-Man alive and masqueraded as him for weeks, just to prove his superiority (Sorry Otto, but the hunter beat you to it). When Spider-Man dug himself out and found out what Kraven had done, he tracked him down and beat Kraven to a bloody pulp, but the hunter offered no resistance. In-fact, he looked..content. In Kraven’s mind, he won, as he not only defeated the spider, but humiliated him. By wearing the spider costume and running around as him, Kraven showed that he was a “better” Spider-Man than the original. Having finally bested his foe, Kraven vowed never to hunt again. And then, he took his own life.
One thing that most villains share is their obsession with the hero. For Kraven, his obsession had only gotten worst after years of losing to Spider-Man. Eventually, his insanity drove him to do what most villains have often not consider: the direct approach. No talking, no tricks and no toying with his prey. Kraven beat spider-man and finally felt at peace afterwards.
Kraven’s last hunt made me a huge fan of the character, and it’s because of it is why I think that his eventual return from the dead was not such a good idea. I understand why it happened (comics) ,but since then, not much has been done with the character and that really is a shame, because last hunt really gave Kraven levels of depth not seen in a minor villain like him. He went from a gimmick bad-guy into a tragic, Shakespearian villain, who finally achieved his ultimate goal and finally at peace with himself.
Like Kraven, Obsession runs deep in the lineage of the Zemo family. Starting with the original Baron Zemo, who was a Nazi scientist conducting experiments so horrific, that even his fellow Germans were disgusted. A prominent enemy for Captain America during the war, Zemo’s face became horribly disfigured during a battle with the captain, and he swore revenge. Following the Captain’s return, Zemo returned as well and formed the first incarnation of the Masters of Evil to combat The Avengers. His obsession with revenge led to his downfall, as Zemo died while fighting Captain America.
His legacy would live on, in his son Helmut Zemo. Helmut was just as obsessed as his father, even getting his face disfigured in a similar manner. However, unlike his father, Helmut was more cunning and ambitious. He formed the largest incarnation of the Masters of Evil and together, they defeated the Avengers! Not only that, but their attack almost killed Hercules and left Jarvis, Stark’s butler and Avengers aid, in critical condition. It was the darkest moment in the history of the Avengers and a precursor for Zemo’s greatest plan yet.
Following the disappearance of Earth’s greatest heroes, the Baron and several members of the Masters disguised themselves as new super heroes, the Thunderbolts. Hoping to take advantage of the world’s vulnerability, Zemo almost took over the world, while wearing the mask of its greatest hero.
I’ve always liked Zemo, and find it annoying that he is constantly getting overlooked by the most writers and the larger fan-base. He beat the avengers and nearly took over the world through cunning, manipulation and pure determination. His ambition rivals the Red-Skull’s and that is no small feat. However, since he has been cast in Captain America: Civil War, it won’t be long until the world sees the greatness that is Zemo.
The man known as Black Manta isn’t just ruled by obsession, but pure hatred for Aquaman and those close to him. While his exact origins are unknown, Manta has but one goal in his life and that goal is to make Aquaman suffer pain like no other. He achieved this goal when he did the unthinkable: Murdering Aquaman’s infant son in cold blood. That’s right, Manta killed an innocent child just to get at the father.
People may see Green Goblin’s murder of Gwen Stacy as horrific, but this is even worst. It shows how far a man like Manta is willing to go to cause his enemy pain and agony. The worst part, Aquaman can’t bring himself to sink to Black Manta’s level, no matter how tempting it is, which means Manta is free to continue his vindictive campaign against Aquaman and his loved ones. Next to batman/joker and spider-man/goblin, Aquaman/Manta is one of the most heated rivalries in comics and is bound to get even worst in time.
The Shredder. When you hear that name, you instantly think of the arch-foe of the Ninja Turtles from the cartoons. But, as evil as they were, the cartoon incarnations are nowhere near as dark as the comic book incarnation. The Shredder is more ruthless, cruel and bloodthirsty, relentlessly hunting down his foes, never-resting until all who stands against him are destroyed.
A master of ninjitsu and leader of the Foot clan, Shredder has beaten all four turtles on multiple occasions, in the comics, films and cartoons. When the TMNT first came to TV, many of the darker elements were toned down, shredder included. But in recent years, the shredder’s portrayal on TV has been darker, to better reflect the comic books.
If I could think of the most evil villain in comic books right now, it would have to be the IDW version of the Shredder. Like previous versions, he is cruel, malicious, sadistic and utterly ruthless in combat, having been the cause of many tragedies against the turtles and their allies. Among his crimes include almost killing Casey Jones, destroying the home of April and even brainwashing Leo into becoming his right-hand. The Shredder has forever loomed over the turtles as their greatest adversary, no matter which universe they are from.
Hailing from the future, Eobard Thawne has been the cause of every horrible event in the life of the Barry Allen, the Flash. From murdering his girlfriend Iris West, to even killing Barry’s mum, Professor Zoom is Barry Allen’s worst foe, someone who has all his powers and uses them to make his life a living nightmare.
The legacy of the Reverse-Flash would continue, this time in the form of criminal profiler and friend of Wally West, Hunter Zolomon. After being crippled by Grodd, Hunter begged Wally to go back in time and prevent it from happening. West refused and this drove Hunter into trying to go back in time himself, which resulted in him acquiring super seed himself. But the process drove him mad and he became the new reverse flash and caused Linda, Wally’s wife, to miscarry, effectively killing their twin children.
For every Flash, there has always been a Reverse Flash and tragedy always follows.