Top 100 Villains 50-41


Everyone knows nothing makes a good hero like a great villain. Sherlock Holmes needed Moriarty, G.I. Joe needed Cobra, the rebels needed Darth Vader, etc. Nothing makes a story better quite like an interesting, intriguing, and yet hated adversary. Readers tend to flock to the villains they love to hate. The best villains bring something out of the hero that nobody else does, or force the hero to push themselves further than before to find a way to win.

We wanted to make a top 10 list, but that’s impossible. There are just too many good choices, and we couldn’t agree on any of it. So we increased the list, and increased it, and increased it (honestly we probably could have kept going, too). So, before it gets too out of hand, here are our choices for the 100 best villains in comics.

(Click here for our Top 100 Heroes List!)

50. Skrulls


Real Name: N/A
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #2 (1962)
Enemies: Fantastic Four, the Kree

“He loves you.”

A race of shape changing aliens, the Skrulls are uniquely skilled in invasion and subterfuge, a fact that for decades made them somewhat scary, but after the events of the Secret Invasion we have seen just how formidable they can really be. Not just shape shifters, there are a class of warriors called War Skrulls which are really quite terrifying, especially when they are given the Super Skrull treatment and given multiple super powers ON TOP of their shape changing abilities. This technology first was used to create the first Super Skrull, K’lrt, who was given the powers of each member of the Fantastic Four! 

Speaking of the FF, the Skrulls really, REALLY don’t like them, particularly our boy Reed Richards. This grudge goes alllll the way back to the second issue of Fantastic Four! They’re also very much not on board, historically, with the Kree race, who they spent millenia at war with (until very recently). 

A completely adaptable race, more capable than anyone of infiltration, and capable of carrying numerous super powers per warrior is always going to be something to be wary of, and when you combine that with real, palpable hatred, they are a force to be reckoned with even at their lowest. Throw in some radical religious zealotry and you get war skrulls, infiltrators, spies, and super skrulls that are all true believers, and generally what these walking trash piles believe is that what you have really belongs to them. And that Reed Richards is mean. 


49. The Leader


Real Name: Samuel Sterns
First Appearance: Tales to Astonish #62 (1964)
Enemies: The Hulk

“Men have ever shunned me as one far different… far superior from themselves!”

Looking at this walking forehead you wouldn’t think he’s all that dangerous, but there are very, very few beings on Earth as terrifying as The Leader. This little green shrimp is possibly the smartest man alive, even over smarty pants Reed Richards or the facially challenged Dr. Doom! His biggest problem is he’s obsessed with the Hulk, and both the big green behemoth and puny Banner kind of hate him. As you can imagine, there are plenty of good reasons. 

Pretty much everything awful that has ever happened to Banner is because of either his father, Sterns here, or the Abomination, and if you’ve read the excellent Immortal Hulk run by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett you know that Sterns probably had more of a hand in that stuff than anyone realized at the time. The point being when this angry little twerp was exposed to lethal amounts of gamma radiation, he didn’t get a new ‘roided-out persona triggered by rage, he just got really, really, really smart. But he never lost the angry little twerp. He could have changed the world over and over, like Lex “I definitely didn’t steal these cakes” Luthor, but instead he fixated on trying to destroy the most powerful being alive (like Lex… man, if he ran a company called Leadercorp… don’t worry, he doesn’t). Like Luthor. 

His biggest problem is that his problem is the biggest, strongest opponent there is. And finding a hat that fits. 




48. Kang


Real Name: Nathaniel Richards
First Appearance: Avengers #8 (1964)
Enemies: Avengers, Fantastic Four

“You considered yourself gods, Time-Keepers. Unassailable. But in the end, you’re only men. Men with powerful technology. With machines. And any machine can be beaten. Any defense overcome. Consider that gentlemen — and give my regards to hell! Kang– conquers! Kang is victorious!”

Now that the MCU has introduced us to a few versions of Kang a lot more people are starting to become familiar with who he is and just why he is so scary. A time traveler from the 30th century obsessed with combat and testing his limits, he has most certainly earned the name Conqueror. His manipulation of time travel has created countless variant timelines and countless variants of himself. So many, in fact, that in order to make sure they aren’t just tripping all over each other they created a council of Kangs with an infinite number of members. 

Kang does not have any powers but is equipped with 30th century (and later) armor and weapons, and his armor is capable of creating very small, personalized holes in space time from which he can pull any weapon from history out of his armory instantaneously. Dude can literally pull a weapon from out of nowhere like Bugs Bunny, and almost all of them are super crazy, like disintegration rays and other delightful day ruiners. 

Kang has conquered our planet in the past as the pharaoh Rama-Tut (before he got outsmarted by the Fantastic Four on one of their time travel adventures) but his efforts to conquer the Earth at any point since the inception of the Avengers has failed due to their interference. Ironically, the guy that most often seems to be the one to smack Kang in his mouth is Captain America, who can barely figure out an old flip phone, much less whatever crazy crap Kang is using. 

Other identities of the ‘main’ Kang are the aforementioned Rama-Tut, the Scarlet Centurion, Immortus, Iron Lad, and, of course, Nathaniel Richards. It seems Kang is possibly a descendant of Reed Richards. If that’s not wild enough, he might also be a descendant of Dr. Doom, which means a Richards and a Von Doom had to get together at some point down the line (I vote Valeria and Kristoff)!




47. Superboy Prime


Real Name: Clark Kent
First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #87 (1985)
Enemies: Superman, Green Lanterns corps, Teen Titans, the Flashes… pretty much everyone

“The Phantom Zone is for criminals! I’m a GOOD GUY!”

You ever wonder what Superman would be like if he grew up a whiny little bitch?

I give you Superboy Prime.

Before the original Crisis on Infinite Earths caused the death of the multiverse, Clark Kent grew up on Earth Prime, where there were no super heroes. He read Superman comic books and got crap for sharing his name from bullys. Then, one day, he started getting super powers, but instead of deciding to really live up to his namesake he was putting up a bit of a front. That’s not entirely fair, possibly, as he did fight to save what was left of the multiverse against the Anti-Monitor in Crisis, and at the end survived with Earth 3’s Alexander Luthor and Earth 2’s Superman and Lois Lane (the original versions from the 1930’s, essentially) in a pocket reality. From his point of view, he and his fellow survivors gave up their entire universes for this new, post-Crisis one, and after a while decided they didn’t like what they saw (well, Prime and Luthor, at least). Hatching a plan to restart the multiverse, Luthor and Prime found themselves acting as villains, and it was here that Prime’s true colors showed.

He confronted the Conner Kent Superboy and started beating the crap out of him, then when the entire roster of Teen Titans attacked him he started killing them left and right, and would have kept killing if multiple generations of the Flash hadn’t forced him into the speed force. But, again, this guy is not only a version of Superman, he’s a very, very powerful version. He esccaped the speed force and made solar collecting armor from the corpse of the Anti-Monitor and killed the Earth 2 Superman and a TON of Green Lanterns before our Superman stopped him.

Basically, this guy is a huge ass. He’s a young, selfish, angry version of Superman that’s every single bit as powerful and has no qualms now about using his powers any way he can to get what he wants. He pretty much hates all of the DC heroes, but has a real dislike for Superman, Conner Kent, Bart Allen (Kid Flash), and the Legion of Super-Heroes.




46. Sabretooth


Real Name: Victor Creed
First Appearance: Iron Fist #14 (1977)
Enemies: Wolverine, X-Men

“Can’t I go anywhere without runnin’ into you, runt?”.

Man, what could have been.

As originally created, Sabretooth is an older, faster, stronger, meaner, heal….ier…. deadlier Wolverine. Even with his fancy adamantium skeleton, enhanced senses, healing factor and handy-dandy claws, old Logan could never seem to get one over on Victor Creed. But then something happened: Wolverine became really, really, really popular. He became so popular, that it seemed like he could beat the crap out of anyone and everyone and was unbeatable, and each subsequent writer turned what should have been on the level of Spider-Man/Dr Octopus or Captain America/Red Skull and knocked it down a few tiers, because suddenly Wolverine wasn’t the one coming up short of Sabretooth even with all of his enhancements. No, suddenly Sabretooth was looked at as the knock-off Wolverine. The 1990’s were not very kind to Sabretooth, and it’s been a long, up-hill battle since to get him back the teeth he once had. 

Really, they need to just let him kill a few heroes of some note and that should take care of that.

Like Logan, Victor was part of the Weapon Plus/Weapon X program, but unlike Logan he didn’t have his memories wiped over and over. No, Victor didn’t need any of that. He volunteered to do each and every horrible thing they had him do, and then some. 

For a while it seemed like Sabretooth was only about getting some nebulous revenge on Wolverine, but thankfully he has seen some growth away from that in recent years.




45. The Riddler


Real Name: Edward Nygma
First Appearance: Detective Comics #140 (1948)
Enemies: Batman, Hush, Joker

“Riddle me this, Batman…”

The Riddler has always been one of the Batman’s smartest foes, ever since his first appearance in 1948’s Detective Comics #140. In that time however, we’ve had A LOT of wildly different interpretations of the character, from Frank Gorshin’s over-the-top campy performance in the 1960’s Adam West show to the more calm and calculated mastermind approach with the 90’s Batman: The Animated Series (voiced by John Glover). Hell, just try and compare the nonsensical Jim Carrey version from “Batman Forever” to Paul Dano’s creepy, nuanced portrayal of a mentally ill serial killer, as seen in Matt Reeves’s “The Batman”!

Like many of the Bat Rogues, his origins are often somewhat mysterious. In some versions, Edward Nygma (if that’s even his real name) is a disgruntled former Wayne Enterprises employee who has a vendetta against the company / society / capitalism for not appreciating his genius. He’s been portrayed as a video game programmer turned super villain, or as a conspiracy nut with an obsession with discovering the identity of Batman. He’s even branched out into taking on other heroes like The Flash, or Green Arrow, once had a gang war with The Joker (see: The War of Jokes and Riddles), managed to manipulate half of Batman’s rogues gallery (see: Hush), and even attempted to turn over a new leaf by becoming a private detective, later teaming up with the Gotham City Sirens.

Despite all the various incarnations and re-brands over the years however, whether he’s wearing spandex, or a classy bowler hat and tie with a tricked out cane, The Riddler typically has a few defining traits: A. His need for validation, to prove that he can outwhit everyone else, even the “World’s Greatest Detective” B. His compulsion to leave a trail of clues to his crimes (often leading to an elaborate overly complicated death trap) C. His trademark green question mark motif (sometimes subtle, other times… not) D. His obsession with puzzles, games, trivia, and of course, riddles…


44. Kraven the Hunter


Real Name: Sergei Kravinoff
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #15 (1964)
Enemies: Spider-Man

“I have found dignity, not in the cities, but in the jungle. I have found honor, not in the civilized, but in the primal. I have found morality. I have found meaning- in the hunt.”

Sergei Kravinoff is one of the most dangerous men alive. The Russian aristocrat was bored with just being absurdly wealthy and put his energies into hunting, slowly becoming the greatest hunter on Earth (except maybe Wolverine). There was not a single creature he went after that he did not dominate. It was then that he once again became bored, and decided stuff like hunting lions with just a knife wasn’t enough danger for him; he decided to hunt this new guy Spider-Man and prove he was superior. Unfortunately for ol’ Sergei, Peter Parker is not easily defeated, and thus began an obsession for Kravinoff, aka Kraven the Hunter, that would define his adult life.

While he is still with us today (it’s complicated; he was resurrected, then killed by his clone that he raised as a son and replaced by… himself), Kraven’s most famous story ends with his death. In Spider-Man: Fearful Symmetry (more commonly known as Kraven’s Last Hunt), the Hunter gets the drop on Spider-Man and drugs him into a comatose state, then buries him alive. His victory not yet complete, he then undergoes some voodoo-like rituals (Kraven loves him some black magic and poisons), dons Spider-Man’s costume, and goes out to brutalize criminals, proving, at least to himself, that he is Spider-Man’s better in every way. Spider-Man, not one to go quietly, digs out of his grave and comes for revenge, which Kraven ultimately also takes from him. As his life’s work is complete, he decides to take his own life as the exclamation point on his masterpiece.

Kraven’s jacked up psycho family tried to follow in his footsteps, and while they were not up to the task, they are put to great use in the stories that lead to Kraven’s resurrection. 

Soon to be the star of a Sony pictures film (dear god why), it seems like the non-comic book world will soon get a face-full of this Russian a-hole’s sheer awesomeness. He isn’t a founder of the Sinister Six (with no powers to speak of!!!) for no reason.



43. The Abomination


Real Name: Emil Blonsky
First Appearance: Tales to Astonish #90 (1967)
Enemies: The Hulk

“You are beneath me, She-Hulk! You are all beneath me! …The Abomination is the strongest one there is!”

Imagine the Hulk but without the restraint and calming influence of Bruce Banner. The Red Skull to Hulk’s Captain America, the Abomination has all of ol’ jade jaws’ bone crushing strength and gamma fueled rage and none of the compunctions of not trying to murder everyone around him. Like some of the best super villains, the Abomination does not have redeeming qualities. He’s just 100% a bastard. 

The Blonsky Abomination was killed by the Thunderbolt Ross Red Hulk, but his power was temporarily forced onto everyone’s best pal, Rick Jones, who went as the heroic A-Bomb for a while. Most recently General Fortean and the scumbags and Shadow Base built a new Abomination partially using Blonsky’s remains, and this monstrosity more than lived up to the name. While these versions were both really interesting, there’s something missing in the Marvel U without this walking calamity. Like Zod over at DC Comics, the Abomination can easily have his profile raised dramatically quite easily: bring him back and put him up against heroes that aren’t the friggin’ Hulk. How would the Avengers do against an evil Hulk that doesn’t hold back against them? The Thing vs the Abomination? Thor vs the Abomination? 

This giant scaly bastard is long overdue for a big, big comeback.



42. Crossbones


Real Name: Brock Rumlow
First Appearance: Captain America #360 (1989)
Enemies: Captain America, Winter Soldier, Falcon

“Call me Crossbones, darlin’.”

This walking used diaper is Brock Rumlow, aka Crossbones. A guy that has zero qualms palling around with THE Nazi (Red Skull) or dating his daughter, Crossbones will always go down as the man that took out Captain America (see The Death of Captain America). Even when he was forced to work for Luke Cage’s Thunderbolts he was the biggest sack of crap on a team that included freaking Mr. Hyde, who himself is basically just a giant walking turd. 

A world class hand to hand fighter (not much martial arts, but he can brawl with the best of them) and a top tier weapons expert, Crossbones’ biggest asset for his job as Professional Shitstain is the fact that he is completely remorseless. He will do whatever it takes to complete his goal with zero hesitation. It’s not that he’s a true believer in the cause, or anything like that. He doesn’t care enough about anything besides himself to really believe in anything but causing as much death and mayhem as he possibly can.

For a guy without any real powers, it’s pretty shocking how many problems he has caused whoever is Captain America, not to mention the likes of the Avengers and SHIELD. When the worst Nazi of them all has you on his speed dial as like the only guy he always summons to work for him you know you are a world class ass hat.



41. Zoom


Real Name: Hunter Zolomon
First Appearance: The Flash #197 (2003)
Enemies: The Flash (Wally West)

“I was a man broken down- who gained these extraordinary powers to become free. You. You are the opposite. You were a free man who was given extraodrinary powers- and now you must be broken down.”

Barry Allen had Eoboard Thawne: the Reverse Flash. Wally West got stuck with Hunter Zolomon: Zoom. Unlike Thawne, who just wanted to use his super speed to run around time and just absolutely ruin Barry’s life, Zoom is focused solely on making sure that Wally’s Flash is the greatest hero he can possibly be, and what better way to hone a hero than tragedy and pushing them past their limits? 

That’s exactly what Zoom did to Wally when he broke all kinds of rules and went after Wally’s pregnant wife. Zoom attacked Linda West, and his attack caused her to suffer a miscarriage just before Wally could get to her. Then, to really make sure the ‘lesson’ hit home, Zoom trapped Wally in a loop so he had to experience it over and over. World class, top tier a-hole villain work there, Zoom. Black Manta would be proud.

Sadly, Zoom (who is slightly unmoored from time, which leads to him having a really interesting speech pattern) hasn’t been used nearly as often since the Geoff Johns Wally West Flash run ended, instead mostly replaced in that role by the returning Reverse Flash. But, now that Wally is the current ‘main’ Flash again, hope is still there that we will get some more kick ass Zoom action.


That’s it for this installment! Be sure to come back and check out the next installment, where we will cover entries 40-31, including TV sensations Omni Man (Invincible) and the Homelander (the Boys)!

To see the previous entries in our list you can read them here:

Part 1 (100-91)
Part 2 (90-81)
Part 3 (80-71)
Part 4 (70-61)
Part 5 (60-51)


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