Andrew Luck, Tony Romo, Roberto Luongo, Sidney Crosby, Lionel Messi, Derek Letter. Each of these athletes, at one point or another in their career, has been called overrated. Some because they aren’t liked. Some because they haven’t done anything noteworthy. And others because the amount of over-exposure they receive is unfair.
Comic books aren’t much different. In the world of comics, there are superheroes and supervillains who have also been classified as overrated. Last week, we took a look at some superheroes who are overrated. You can find it here. Now, I’d like to show you some supervillains who are overrated. Let’s take a look at our list of overrated supervillains.
Bane has never really achieved the level of popularity as, let’s say, Penguin or Scarecrow. The reason for this makes perfect sense. Not only is he a boring character with a boring backstory, but he also lacks any sort of depth beyond his venom-created muscles. At his most simplistic definition, Bane is a big brute who has become only slightly more enjoyable than reading about a common street thug.
To this point, I’ve never been able to fully understand why Christopher Nolan chose him as one of his villains in his third Batman movie. I acknowledge that Tom Hardy portrayed him brilliantly, however, it doesn’t detract from the fact that as a character, he’s boring. Having Tom Hardy play him is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. That is, no matter how good the lipstick is, it’s still a pig underneath.
For once, I won’t pin market over-saturation on a character making my supervillains who are overrated list. Instead, I’ll pin it on not having enough good enemies. Unlike Batman and Spider-Man who have an amazing list of supervillains, the Avengers, outside of Loki, Ultron, and Kang, don’t. In fact, not naming the three already named, their enemies list is filled with ‘B’ and ‘C’ listers who have never really amounted to anything.
Ultron has become overrated because Marvel doesn’t have too many other Avengers enemies who are powerful enough to be a believable threat. This is why they’ve often been forced to fight within their own ranks. Think about it. Scarlet Witch was the reason for Disassembled and House of M and internal conflict caused Civil War.
What the Avengers desperately need is a gallery of supervillains similar to Marvel’s other premier teams. Until that day comes, we have one serving of Ultron followed by another to look forward to.
Even though many of Doomsday’s powers aren’t anything special (superhuman strength, superhuman speed, superhuman durability, regeneration, and immortality), his reactive adaption allows him to a) revive if killed and b) learn to never be killed that way again. He most famously used this ability to stand toe-to-toe and ultimately kill Superman.
Doomsday is like a cockroach. He’s gross. He’s annoying. And he’s resilient beyond measure. When added together, all of these means that Doomsday is capable of causing destruction on a massive scale. As such, he makes my list of supervillains who are overrated because his power set forced him to be.
There was a time that Amazing Spider-Man #361 wasn’t worth much more than the paper it was printed on. Over the last few years, however, its value has more than quadrupled. This has little to do with comic books as a good investment and more to do with it bookmarking the first appearance of Carnage.
Carnage is what happens when you take the hatred of Venom and combine it with the insanity of the Joker. He is the “offspring” of the Venom Symbiote but without the desire to protect the innocent. Carnage wants death, chaos, and blood and will do whatever it takes to satisfy those wants. He, along with a few other comic book characters helped usher in a new age of comics. This age, contrary to the previous age, saw its readers crave more violence and brutality. As the poster child for violence and brutality, Carnage has made his way into our homes and is showing no signs of stopping.
Venom is popular. He’s so popular that even Marvel and Sony have thought about sharing their cinematic universes so that Sony’s Venom and Marvel’s Spider-Man can appear side by side. He’s so popular that his solo movie brought in 856 million at the box office. And he’s so popular that Marvel has done everything in their power to exploit him.
Venom is everywhere. Clothes. Comics. Movies. Books. Games. Toys. Collectibles. Everywhere. Unfortunately, like most others on this list of supervillains who are overrated, his popularity comes at a cost. While he is a Spider-Man enemy, he’s not the best of them. Not even close. Venom is a by-product of his popularity and as a result, will always find himself on this list.
Forgive me for what I’m about to say but Magneto is very overrated. This is so much so that he has become the main focal point of the X-Men since his creation back in 1964… and that’s a problem. The X-Men have a history as long as any and within that history lies a plethora of characters, villains, and themes to exploit. However, Magneto has weaved his way into nearly every X-Men story in existence.
Sure, his depth as a character is as deep as any, and sure, he’s extremely powerful, but neither of these means that he needs to be force-fed into our homes week in and week out. Magneto has such a presence in X-Men
Is Magneto important? Yes, there’s no denying that. Does he need to appear in everything from comics to movies to collector’s memorabilia? No. Just like Wolverine, the world could use a little less of him.
Thanos would never have made this list if it wasn’t for the MCU. While his importance in comic books cannot be understated, he was never as popular as he is today. Yes, he has appeared in some of the most well-known and respected cosmic stories…The Death of Captain Marvel, Infinity Gauntlet, Annihilation… but before the MCU my wife would never have heard of him, let alone every toddler in my son’s daycare.
Like Magneto, Thanos is extremely powerful. So powerful, in fact, that he has brought the galaxy to its knees on more than one occasion. Like Magneto, Thanos is extremely intelligent. And like Magneto, Thanos has been force-fed to the masses at the detriment of his own character development. Thanos is on the list of supervillains who are overrated because until he’s forgotten by most of the world, he will be treated like Marvel’s firstborn child.
If Thanos is Marvel’s firstborn, then Darkseid is DC’s firstborn. First appearing in cameo form in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #34, Darkseid is the ruler of Apokolips. As its ruler, he’s responsible for bringing death, destruction, and dictatorship across the galaxy.
Darkseid is as formidable as any. Although he has a wide range of powers and superhuman attributes, his preference is to use his Omega Beams. The Omega Beams can do many things, the most impressive of which is disintegrating anything that they pass through. Because of his Omega Beams, Darkseid is almost unrivaled. Because he’s almost unrivaled, Darkseid is one of my supervillains who are overrated.
No different than many of the other casualties in this list of supervillains who are overrated, Loki suffers from overexposure. The MCU did more for comic books than anything had done for it in the 25 years prior. It thrust the world of comics into the spotlight while simultaneously proving that the genre can be very lucrative. Dare I say that without it, properties like the Avengers might have become extinct?
The drawback of the MCU is that for every obscure character it awakens the world too, it also over-saturates the market with another. Loki is just such a character. Due to his over-saturation, many of Thor’s other enemies (and he has a great catalog of them) never see the light of day…I look at you Enchantress.
Arguably the greatest supervillain of all time, the Joker is also quite possibly the most overrated. Before you get all up in arms, hear me out,
The Joker has appeared on the page of a comic well over 3200 times. 3200 times! The Riddler, for context, has only appeared just over 1100 times. He, more than any, is the definition of overexposure. I know that you’re probably thinking that overexposure is the cause of many of my supervillains who are overrated. I ask you, how can it not be?
I get that finding the perfect formula for a supervillain is tough. It’s the reason that so many falls to the wayside, never to be heard of again. The concern is that being afraid to try a new character is just as bad as continually using the same character. Instead of relying so heavily on the Joker, DC needs to dig deeper into the well of ideas.