The 10 Most Popular Comic Supervillains Created In The Last 100 Years
Last week I took a look at 10 of the most popular comic superheroes of the last 100 years. The usual suspects were there, and in truth, you probably weren’t too surprised with the inclusion of many of them. After doing it, I wanted to delve into this idea of popular characters a little more. I thought about all the directions I could take it but always came back to the most logical step…supervillains.
Over the course of a flight across the country, I brainstormed who exactly the most popular comic supervillains were. I created a list of about 20 but I felt that to be too many so I narrowed it down to 10.
Let’s just get him out of the way. Ask anybody to name a comic book villain. Go ahead, I dare you. I’ll wait.
What did they say? I’d be willing to bet that they named the Joker.
The Joker is to comic book supervillains what pancakes are to breakfast, inseparable. He has been a thorn in the side of Batman for as long as Batman has been patrolling the streets of Gotham. What makes the Joker such an important and popular villain is that he is the literal definition of chaos. His world revolves around the thought that the more chaotic the world is, the better off it is.
The Joker has been involved in some of the most widely known and respected story arcs ever created. Nothing in life can ever be assumed but it’s safe to say that his popularity isn’t changing anytime soon.
Magneto is everything the X-Men fight against. He believes that mutants are destined to rule humans and as such, stops at nothing to see this happen.
Magneto is different from other villains in the sense that he and his sworn enemy, Charles Xavier, were and may still be the best of friends. The two have a deep-rooted respect for one another that goes beyond their opposing ideals. Due to this, some of the best stories ever written have been X-Men stories.
Through Magneto, writers have been able to successfully craft stories about racism and discrimination. These subjects aren’t easy to talk about through normal medium, let alone comic books. When his time is over, Magneto will go as one of the most popular villains in comic history because his ideals, while extreme, have mirrored many things that have happened and are happening in the world around us.
Different from the others on this list, Sinestro was once a hero charged with keeping the peace in a sector of the galaxy. This means that he possesses an intricate understanding of his enemy and can use it to gain the upper hand. And he does.
Sinestro is the founder and leader of the Sinestro Corps. The Sinestro Corps contrary to the Green Lantern Corps utilizes the Yellow Spectrum of fear as a weapon. Sinestro is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy and will stop at nothing to destroy both the Green Lanterns and the Guardians of the Universe.
This is so much to the point that during the Blackest Night story he became a White Lantern as a means of becoming more powerful. His corruption is unrivaled. Therefore, he’s a virtual lock for this list of popular comic supervillains.
4. Green Goblin
When one thinks of Spider-Man and his enemies, many come to mind.
- Black Cat
But of all of them, none may be more respected and well-known as the Green Goblin.
Norman Osborne is the head of Osborne Industries and his company is responsible for some of the best weaponry the military has ever used. After an explosion brought out his more psychotic tendencies, Norman transformed in the Green Goblin and marked Spider-Man as his foe of choice.
Norman Osborne is one of the most intelligent men in comics and due to this, strategically positioned himself to take over S.H.I.E.L.D. after the fallout of Secret Invasion.
It is for these reasons and more that the Green Goblin was chosen to be the main antagonist in Sam Rami’s Spider-Man movie all those years ago. And it’s for this reason that I choose him as one of the most popular comic supervillains ever.
If you’re a being capable of standing toe-to-toe with Superman, you’re probably really well known. Darkseid is that being.
The ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid is to mean what peanut butter is to jelly. The two simply go hand-in-hand. Darkseid is equipped to battle many of DC’s strongest heroes. His brute strength, coupled with his intelligence and dreaded Omega Beams, grant him an unprecedented combination of power.
Darkseid is so well-known in comics that it was, for awhile, thought that he was the big bad guy the DCEU was building up to in their movies. It doesn’t hurt that Marvel liked him so much that they seemingly copied everything he was when they created Thanos. Because he’s an original and not a copy, Darkseid has become one of the most popular comic supervillains of the last 100 years.
Contrary to all the other villains on this list, none may be more unusual than Catwoman.
Selina Kyle is the on again, off again love interest of Bruce Wayne who teeters on the edge of hero and villain. On any given day she will fight alongside Batman only to scorn him the next. What makes Selina Kyle so loved is that she has been around nearly as long as Batman and you never know what you’re going to get with her.
DC has done a great job developing the character over the years in the sense that nobody really knows what she stands for or what side of the fence she will land on.
7. Lex Luthor
Of all the villains in Superman’s rogue’s gallery, none are more important than Lex Luthor.
For as long as Superman has sworn to serve the people and do what’s right, Lex Luthor has tried to do the same, albeit, with alterior motives. He is the owner of Lexcorp and uses his vast resources for both political and personal gain.
His desire for power is unmatched in DC. This is so much to the point that he has created suits to match Superman, weaponized Kryptonite, and so much more. Lex Luthor is proof that a person with too much money can do whatever they want. Or, at the very least, can worm their way out of any situation, no matter how precarious it may be.
Lex Luthor is the anti-Superman and his inclusion as one of the most popular comic supervillains cannot be denied.
8. Dr. Doom
Victor Von Doom is the sworn enemy of Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four. The two opposing parties have a hatred for one another that is as well documented as a National Geographic documentary.
Victor and Reed first met at college where the two outclassed and outsmarted all of their peers without ever having to try. Victor always felt inclined to one-up Reed and as a result, was left a fraction of the man he once was. This, of course, was due to an explosion that Reed warned him would happen if he continued to pursue the experiment he was working on.
After the explosion, Victor took on the name Dr. Doom and did everything in his power to avenge his former self.
Of all the enemies Marvel could choose as their next MCU culmination project, none are more asked for than Dr. Doom. With the Fantastic Four firmly back at home, fans of the character may finally get what they want.
9. Black Adam
Given a similar power set as Shazam!, Black Adam chose to use his for selfish reasons rather than for good. He is what happens to a man who wishes to have nothing more than the respect and power that a dictator craves.
Black Adam is unique from the others that appear on this list in the sense that he is 1000’s of years old and can stand up to the likes of Superman and Shazam! and live to tell the tale. He possesses super strength, flight, lightning projection and every other imaginable attribute a high powered villain should have.
And if that doesn’t convince you of his place here, know this.
The most electrifying man in sports entertainment, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is set to bring him to life for DC. I suspect that no matter how good the movie turns out to be, his popularity will shoot through the roof with Johnson’s inclusion.
Ok, I lied. Green Goblin is certainly deserving of this list but he isn’t the only Spider-Man enemy that needs to be here.
While Venom may not be a traditional supervillain in the sense of a thirst for power, corruption, and doing what’s wrong, Venom is a supervillain in the sense that he is everything that Spider-Man fears. Due to the fact that Spider-Man once shared an existence with the Symbiote, Venom is one of the only characters who can sneak up on Spider-Man.
What pushes him more than that, however, is his want to punish Spider-Man for causing all the pain that he and Eddie Brock live with. Venom is everything that Spider-Man can’t be. He’s unafraid to cause harm and does so at a moments notice. If Spider-Man sits at one end of the right vs wrong spectrum, Venom sits firmly at the other. When it comes to popular comic supervillains, Venom is the perfect defintion.
And that’s it. The 10 Most Popular Comic Supervillains Created In The Last 100 Years. What do you think? Who would make your popular comic supervillains list? Leave it in the comments below.