Who are the Best (or is that Worst) Comic Book Villains? You can find lists all over the place online, here are the Top 10 Top X Lists.
[A newer version of this post appears here.]
Page 1 – Definitions
Page 2 – The Top Ten Top X Lists
Page 3 – Top 10 Villains, Honourary & Dishonourary Mentions, Summary
Page 4 – Rank the Top Ten Lists & Ten Villains
Top. Most Hardcore. Deadliest. Greatest. Best. Badass. Who knows what any of these really mean? The voters in the lists from polls probably have many different ideas. The people commenting on the polls certainly do. Commenters will even ignore the title of the list and invent their own “how are these ‘most dangerous’” on the … poll, when nowhere does “most dangerous” appear in the list title. The best villains are the worst villains. The best are the most interesting.
Comic Book. Creators from or originating in comics. There are many lists that comic book super-villains appear in but are general super-villain lists, including Bond villains and other Science Fiction and action villains. Those are fine, but they aren’t the lists being compared here.
Super-villain. The definition of Super-hero is a tricky thing. Many people say that a Super-Hero must have Super powers. But that precludes Batman and can a definition of Superheroes that doesn’t include Batman really count? However, expand the definition too much and what is the line between Hero and Superhero? Super-villain is a lot easier, though. It already exists as a more general definition outside super-powers. As mentioned above, Bond has faced many Super-villains, few with Superpowers.
Villain. The nature of villainy is for the lister or voters to decide. Commenters in the list pages often discount Galactus as a “force of nature” rather than a true villain. Some are heroes turned bad (like Pheonix) or anti-heroes or having good or sympathetic sides (Venom). Of these things I care not.