There have been many top super villains and top super hero lists over the years. A lot of them base their rankings purely on powers displayed in the comic book universe. This is fine, of course, but just like in my Top Ten Comic Book Super Heroes list, I base my rankings not just on powers, but on other factors, as well. Powers/abilities, design, cool factor and name all weigh in on my decision, but the power of a character is the most important factor. The other determinations serve as a means to order the list more precisely. After all, you’re often only as good as your name. A super villain named Whizz Man doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of heroes throughout the multi-verse. And it certainly wouldn’t entice as many people to pick up the comic book as say…a Thanos or Trigon.
There is a nearly unfathomable amount of incredibly powerful villains in the various comic book universes. So much so, that it surprises me the heroes are able to win at all. Some of the villains on this list are so powerful it’s almost ridiculous.
Narrowing the list down to a mere ten villains was much more difficult than my list of ten heroes. Naturally, you can’t please everyone, but a healthy debate is always encouraged. If I’m missing the mark on some, feel free to educate me (respectfully) in the comments.
Top 10 Comic Book Supervillains
11. Magneto – Okay, so this list is 10-ish. Magneto manages to make my list as sort of a bonus, despite being the weakest of the villains I came up with. I actually created a list of around twenty supervillains and then narrowed it down using my criteria of different factors. As I mentioned above, powers are important, but they are not the only factor. That being said, he is still a mere “mortal” and mutant, thus his powers pale in comparison to some others on my original list of twenty. But, given his awesome name, various cool costumes, general kick-buttness and the ambiguity of his moral fortitude I found a spot for him in the top 10. We all know Magneto has the power to manipulate magnetic fields. But he also has the ability to manipulate (to a lesser degree) any form of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum; this includes visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays, and x-rays. He can also create electromagnetic force fields and has a genius level intellect, among other minor powers and abilities.
10. Parallax – This character was difficult for me to place properly on the list. I have read many debates over the power and influence of this character. Parallax is a cosmic/demonic entity that has the ability to possess the minds of other beings, instilling fear and paranoia, even controlling them. He is able to plague whole worlds, sending societies into panic, turmoil and destruction. Parallax has even spread his dark powers through the Guardians of the Universe. His powers/abilities include, but are not limited to: Emotion Control, Energy Based Constructs, Flight, Hypnosis, Immortal, Longevity, Mesmerize, Possession, Reality Manipulation and Time Manipulation.
9. Darkseid – Darkseid, to me, seems like the DC version of Marvel’s Thanos. Darkseid is considered, and worshiped as, “the God of Evil”. He is the ruler of the planet Apokolips and is possibly Superman’s greatest enemy. Darkseid wants to control all living things using the Anti-Life Equation. Darkseid’s real name is Uxas, which I actually think is cooler than his “God name” of Darkseid. He is a very cool character, especially the modern iterations boasting a much better design, who rose to power through blood, violence and the betrayal of his own family. Darkseid has a long and rich story line that I couldn’t even begin to get into here, but it is an interesting and compelling story to read up on. As far as powers go, again, listing them would be somewhat unnecessary. He is essentially all-powerful. But some of his more uniquely evil powers and abilities include Possession, Necromancy and Dimensional Manipulation.
8. Thanos – Where to begin with Thanos? He is one of the more well known characters on my list of baddies. He is a unique character to try to place, as well, given the fact that when he possessed the Infinity Gauntlet, the powers he wielded were almost unstoppable. But even without the aid of the Infinity Gems, Thanos is still an extremely powerful villain. He is one of the beings that few others in the universe want to tangle with. He was born of the Eternals Mentor and Sui-San, but also had a mutation known as the Deviant gene which augmented his already formidable Eternal abilities. His list of universal powers and abilities are extensive, but include some unique ones, like Cosmic Awareness, Divine Powers, Heat Vision, Matter Absorption, Time Manipulation and an insatiable ambition.
7. Apocalypse – Numbers 7, 8, and 9 on my list were all very close. Even though Apocalypse is likely the weaker between he, Thanos and Dark Seid, he is still an extremely powerful mutant immortal. I gave him the nod over the other two because, in my opinion, he is way cooler. This list is not just a power competition, it is also based on my opinion and viewpoint regarding other factors. The design of the character, the name, the immensely evil attitude all factor in to my decision for the placement of Apocalypse. He was born in Egypt as one of the very first mutants, thousands of years in the past. His body is made of organics and powerful celestial technology. Though he is not as powerful as Thanos or Dark Seid, make no mistake about it; Apocalypse is one tough cookie. His dizzying list of powers include Energy Absorption and manipulation, Super Strength, Speed and Durability, Healing, Genetic Manipulation, Possession, Size Manipulation, Blast Power, Astral Projection, Density Control, Invulnerability, Force Field, Telekinesis, Technopathy, Teleportation and many other unique abilities.
6. Doomsday – Doomsday is quite possibly the most powerful character ever created in any comic book universe. The only reason he’s not higher on this list is because he has been defeated (temporarily) multiple times and he also is not considered to be a “cosmic entity” with planet or even cosmic altering powers. He is, however, extremely powerful, which is really an understatement. He not only killed Superman, but he even once mopped the floors with Darkseid. Doomsday does have some sweet and impressive powers, some developed through his self-evolution, which is a unique ability unto itself. He has Super Strength, Speed, Durability and basically Super everything, Genetic and Energy Manipulation, and Controlled Bone Growth. But probably his best attribute is his ability to adapt and evolve, even after death. He is seemingly always able to resurrect with a new invulnerability to his previous cause of death. There is still no known method of permanently ending the life of Doomsday.
5. Galactus – Galactus is one of the most powerful beings of the Marvel universe. He is nearly omnipotent; an entity with cosmic powers. Galactus was born even before the “big bang” of our universe, and was the only known survivor of this event. Galactus’ origin and story line are unique, complicated, and pretty interesting. Much like the Beyonder, he is often not merely a villain, but also a savoir of the universe. He truly believes that, even though he consumes entire planets for energy, he is doing more good for the universe in the grand scheme of things. Galactus’ powers are nearly immeasurable. He is vast in size, strength and intellect. He has true cosmic powers that are virtually limitless. But he does have a big weakness; the various feats he performs when using his powers/abilities drain his energy. This causes him to be in a weakened, beatable state until he “feeds” to recharge.
4. Anti-Monitor – The Anti-Monitor is another insanely powerful being in the DC comics universe. While doing this list, I have realized that the minds behind DC have gone to ridiculous lengths to create too many WAY overpowered villains. Just one more reason I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan. But at any rate, Anti-monitor is a very cool, unique and powerful character from DC. Anti-Monitor is the evil counterpart to his brother, the Monitor. He is actually the ruler of an entire universe of anti-matter. Even though most of the story line doesn’t work logically, since matter and anti-matter can never coexist, they destroy each other with 100% efficiency, it’s still fun and interesting. His powers include size manipulation, superhuman strength, extraordinary durability, reality-warping, energy absorption and many others. He also commands a vast army of Qwardians and shadow demons.
3. Imperiex Prime – Imperiex Prime is a cosmic entity with the power to, no joke, obliterate whole universes and recreate new ones from the ashes. Seriously? Again, listing the powers here seems like an exercise in futility. Let’s just say he can do just about anything he wants to do. He has, apparently, destroyed universes many times over. He, of course, found flaws in the universe containing Superman and sought to destroy it and create a new, perfect one. Can’t fault his intentions, I suppose. Despite wanting to destroy the universe, this character is pretty sweet. And the name, Imperiex Prime, is a rare, exceptionally cool name from the DC universe.
2. Beyonder (Pre Retcon) – Beyonder is an interesting and amazingly powerful character from the Marvel Universe. He is labelled as an extradimensional being that is nearly omnipotent. He is an interesting villain because he is sometimes also mankind’s savior. But he is almost accidentally, or ignorantly, maybe even unsympathetically, mankind’s greatest foe. He was once essentially a universe or reality all to himself (kind of confusing). Upon learning of the existence of the multiverse and the individuality of humans, he sets out on a quest to understand humans and specifically the concept of desire. I was going to list his powers here, but realized they are virtually unlimited. He can basically do ANYTHING he wants or thinks or wills.
1. The Great Evil Beast – “When the Creator said “let there be light”, the Original Darkness retreated and stayed inactive for unknown ages.” – From DC Comics Wikia. The Great Evil Beast, aka The Great Darkness, was reawakened by the cult the Brujeria with hopes of destroying God. The Great Evil Beast had limitless powers, basically incalculable. Here’s a list of some of them:
This is not a well known character, not a household name in the least. But popularity does not play much of a factor in this list. This thing is straight up a bad dude and was only “defeated” when it voluntarily merged with God into one single entity. The whole story line and background on this character, to me, is fascinating. That, combined with incredible powers, makes it an easy choice for the top spot on my list.