Another Summer rolls around, which brings us another round of Summertime movie blockbusters. Specifically, usually the highlighted of the bunch are the ones featuring our favorite childhood superheroes dressed in spandex.
We’ve seen our heroes in the recently released Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the Amazing Spiderman 2. Yet to come are a newer version in the X-Men franchise and newcomer to the movie scene, Guardians of the Galaxy. But since the latest comic book superhero movie we saw, The Amazing Spiderman 2, teased a possible Sinister Six union in future sequels, I wanted to touch on that topic of some of our villains.
The heroes get all the glory, save the girl, save the world, they’re cheered and we see them reared. So let me pay my respect to the top ten comic book movie villains of all time.
10. Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer)
In at number ten is Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman from Batman Returns. Coming at a time that could be considered the dawn of big budget comic book superhero movies, Batman Returns tried to capitalize off a very commercially successful Batman. Catwoman was what she is, the woman in Batman’s life that drives him batshit. Her origin (getting assaulted and revived by cats) was a bit lame, but you gotta admit she stole every scene she was in. Interesting enough, her alter ego, Selina Kyle, could have gone forgotten in the whole movie, but the stitched together skin-tight leather suit along with the sexy deep purr in her voice easily puts her above Anne Hathaway and Halle Berry’s renditions, and comfortably here at number ten.
9. The Green Goblin
Can anyone play evil genius better than William Dafoe? Maybe, but can anyone pull off the evil genius of the Green Goblin better than William Dafoe? Probably not. The look was great, his scenes were great and the way he opposed Spiderman was also done in a superb way. Probably the way they portrayed a psychotic break in the character is what won me over. Sam Raimi’s original Spiderman is a prototype of what all good superhero movies should measure up to these days. The Green Goblin was a huge part of it.
Colin Farrell gave this character some character. The Kingpin couldn’t have hired a better assassin and the movie makers couldn’t have hired a better person to play the role. Deciding to go without a costume (although he did ask for one), Bullseye lived up to his name and hit every target he aimed at in the movie, except only one. He killed and fought against good just as good as any comic book villain, but Bullseye managed to do it with a little swagger too. Even though it was far from being the best comic book superhero movie, the relationship between Daredevil and Bullseye was done in a way that you could easily tell that they were arch-enemies in the comics. Daredevil was supposed to fight Bullseye and we couldn’t have it any other way.
Some of the worst: The Leo DiCaprio wannabe who played Harry Osborne in the Amazing Spiderman 2. The movie really tanked when he went Green Goblin mode. Whiplash from Iron Man 2, seemed to be around only to give Iron Man someone worthy go up against. Speaking of Iron Man, the Mandarin…don’t get me started. Whatever unmemorable enemy there was in the Green Lantern was disappointing. Whether the supersized head of that one guy who scared kids watching the film, or the big blah air cloud, neither was interested. They should have featured Sinestro. Unfortunately, Jim Carrey’s Riddler has to be here to take the blame for all the other bad villains of the original Batman series. And Bane, from the Dark Knight Rises, should have been bigger.
7. Sebastian Shaw
The one supervillain who seemingly has the greatest power of any villain on this list. I have to admit, while watching X-Men: First Class, I had no idea whatsoever how the protagonist were supposed to, not just defeat the Hellfire Club, but stop Sebastian Shaw from doing anything he wants. In fact I’m starting to question why he is number seven on this list and not higher. Of course Kevin Bacon has always been one of our favorite actors, but he transformed Sebastian Shaw into one of our favorite supervillains. It would take the combined powers of one of the most powerful superheroes and one of the powerful supervillains to end the life of Sebastian Shaw. A life and scenes cut way too short.
6. General Zod (Terrance Stamp)
Okay, before we get into how the character was portrayed in Superman II, lets just think about the fact that General Zod is from Krypton just like Superman, so he possess the same powers and abilities as Superman. Now it’s easy enough to agree that Superman is the prototype of superheroes. He is the ultimate superhero and it doesn’t get any better. So does that mean General Zod is the best and most powerful supervillain there is? Well apparently he was so powerful in Superman II, that the mundane and boring task of taking over the world was like a walk in the park. Might as well go after the son of the man who imprisoned you. An arrogance about Terrance Stamp made General Zod the supervillain we love to hate.
She’s not the greatest or most powerful mutant in comic books, nor is she the star or main character in any movie the character has been in. But some how Mystique has kind of developed an impressive cult following. The blue beauty steal scenes whether she’s played by Rebecca Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence. In my opinion she stole a whole movie when she appeared in the post-credit scene of the Amazing Spiderman 2. We’ve seen Mystique jump from alliance to alliance, group to group or even good to evil and vice-verse. She’s a good fit, no matter where you find her. And she can kickass.
4. The Joker (Jack Nicholson)
Heath Ledger set a high standard when it came to playing the Joker. But the bar was already set rather high with the portrayal by Jack Nicholson. We know the Joker is a psychopath. Oddly enough, Jack Nicholson plays the role of a psychopath very well (he’s not new to playing psychopaths). The Joker is an icon when it comes to Batman. And when Batman was released in 1989, just as we all saw a different Batman that was clad in black, we also caught a Joker that was like no other. A smile that’s hard to forget, just leaves you saying, “Love that Joker!”
3. The Joker (Heath Ledger)
To be where he is on this list and not number one or number two, would shock a lot of you, but I’ve touched on it before. The Joker in The Dark Knight was absolutely psychotic. And he had fun and laughed while doing it which made it even more disturbing. And that sums up the Joker, Batman’s number one arch-nemesis. But as great of a performance it was, I’d have to say it was a little too well received probably due to the fact of Heath Ledger’s untimely death. Because Ledger died prior to the release of the film, many people keyed into the role probably more so than what they would have initially. That may have skewed a perception. Not to take anything away from the character, it was still great. One of the greatest of all time.
Its kinda hard to leave out a god as one of the greatest supervillains of all time. The God of Lies and Mischief, could have been good if wasn’t for his propensity for trickery. Tom Hiddleston played the role in three different films for Marvel. The smile and demeanor of the actor lead us to believe that he was right for the role, just by looking at him you knew he was up to something. And lets be honest, if you can oppose Thor in two different movies and all of the Avengers and put up a good fight, without the aid of any further supervillains, then you deserve to be ranked high on the list of all time great supervillains.
Honorable mention: Dr. Octopus, barely missed this top ten. Spiderman’s most iconic foe, was an obvious villain choice for the sequel in the Raimi trilogy. Also in the trilogy, it was unfortunate that we had to wait three movies to see the fan favorite Venom. Sebastian Shaw’s sexy sidekick Emma Frost, or the White Queen as many know her, didn’t disappoint any fans. Speaking of First Class, to put it simple, Magneto killed Sebastian Shaw. Enough said. I liked Dr. Doom from the Fantastic Four movies, hopefully we’ll get to see him oppose Spiderman in a sequel. To bad the big, bad menacing figure of Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin won’t be gracing any comic book movies any longer. And the Winter Soldier, what can I say. He’s like Captain America, with a cooler outfit.
1. Lex Luther
The greatest criminal mind of all time, easily has to be the greatest supervillain of all time. We already established Superman as the greatest superhero, so Lex Luther being his greatest enemy is all the consideration we need. A lot of people don’t know that Superman started out as a bald evil genius, until he was revamped into the carnation we know today. But we all have to be glad that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster decided not totally scrap the idea. In 2006’s Superman Returns, Kevin Spacey didn’t do a bad job at playing the bald bad guy, but Gene Hackman takes the cake in assisting or orchestrating the fall of Superman in not one, not two, but three different movies. Not for nothin’ but the only thing that really stops Lex Luther from taking out Superman is the people he trust who wind up turning on him or failing him and helping big blue.