I believe heroes are defined by their villains. The best villains are those who exist as the opposite of their foes. DC’s villains are as grand as their heroes, as they should be. Here are my favorites:
10. Vandal Savage–Vandal Savage has been around since human civilization itself. He has conquered all and survived every battle. And he has not forgotten anything he has learned.
9. The Parasite: If I were to make a Superman movie, I would use the Parasite as my villain. The Parasite consumes energy to survive. When he faces superheroes, he can steal more than their identity and energy, he can steal their powers. He can bring even Superman down to normal.
8. Catwoman–Catwoman is really the one villain in the DC Universe who has effectively been both a hero and a villain. She is truly an independent spirit, much like the animal she wishes to emulate. She’s not one to be taken lightly, and I admire her for that.
7. Reverse Flash–Reverse Flash is the Flash unhinged in his powers. The Flash knows his limits and does not exceed them. He does not let his power consume him, and is ruled by his morals and convictions. Reverse Flash is not pinned down by such petty concerns, as he would see them. He is a true Reverse of the Flash, in every shape of the term.
6. Mr. Freeze–Victor Freeze was a brilliant scientist who loved his girlfriend Nora, more than anything. He wanted so much for her to be healed of the disease that was slowly draining her. But she could not, because those who financed Mr. Freeze’s research wouldn’t let him continue. He is a tragic villain, one you pity because you feel if any villain deserves happiness, it could be him.
5. Deathstroke–Deathstroke is a cold-blooded man who methodically takes out his enemies. He is always several steps ahead of anyone he faces. He always has it all mapped out, and it is difficult to anticipate him because he has seemingly anticipated you. It’s almost as if he knows you as intimately as a friend. When he sent Terra in to infiltrate the Titans, it wouldn’t have mattered if she gained their trust. That’s probably why she didn’t even try in the original story and was almost every bit the monster Slade was. He had trained her well.
4. Lex Luthor–Lex despises Superman because before Superman came to Metropolis, Luthor practically ran it. He could do whatever he wanted because no one dared to cross him. Superman was a free spirit, the one thing Luthor couldn’t control. And he hated that. Luthor wants to own everything. He wanted to best Superman. When he created his own Superman, the eternally young clone Superboy, he gave him some of his DNA because that’s the kind of ego he had. He finally had his own Superman. Why wouldn’t he give that Superman a part of him. It was the perfect revenge.
3. The Joker–The Joker is all our nightmares and chaos given form. He opposes order in all its forms, making him a great foil for Batman. Batman will do whatever it takes to preserve Gotham’s order, but Joker will have none of that. Even in The Killing Joke, when Batman offers to give the Joker the help he so desperately needs to become sane, The Joker will have none of it. He enjoys the chaos he creates. As Michael Caine said when he played Alfred, “Some people just want to watch the world burn.”
2. Ra’s Al-Ghul–Ra’s is what Batman would be if he didn’t have his restraint. If Batman knew that absolute order would not bring the justice he sought, he would not be Ra’s Al-Ghul. Ra’s Al-Ghul sees the evil in the world, and he believes he is the only one who can bring balance to the world. But he does not care how it is done, how many lives are snuffed out in the process. He will not even let death stop his pursuit of the world. No, Batman is not insane. If he were, he’d be no different from Ra’s.
1. Darkseid–Darkseid is evil incarnate. He wishes to control life itself and believes that once he solves the Anti-life Equation, all will bow to him. Free thought will not exist, for it will be directed to his whims, his desires. Superman has never truly defeated him, for evil cannot be defeated, except by a good on the equal level. Superman is not a true god, so he can only hope for a stalemate.
But wait, you say, what about Marvel? Don’t you like Marvel? Patience, my readers. Marvel is coming next!