- In any comic book, video game, or superhero films, villains are some of the most important characters.
- The DC universe boasts some of the most revered and corrupt villains.
- The Riddler, Lex Luthor, and the Joker are just three examples of the many iconic DC villains.
The DC universe boasts some famed heroes like Wonder Woman and Batman, but the villains that these heroes fight against sometimes steal the spotlight. Whether you venture to the city of Gotham via a movie or to the center of Metropolis via a comic book, seeing your favourite heroes battling their foes is what makes the universe so exciting. And there’d be no battle if these foes weren’t so legendary and evil.
Among the large catalogue of famed DC villains, some are so amazingly notorious and well-written that they deserve some extra recognition.
Here are some of the most iconic villains from the DC franchise.
Scarecrow is a psychological terror.
Scarecrow, whose real name is Jonathan Crane, controls his victims using fear. As a child, Crane’s father exposed him to several maniacal and corrupt experiments. Consequently, his mental health suffered as he got older. But everything changed when Crane realised that if he could control fear no one could never torment him again.
He developed a robust, fear-inducing toxin that would trigger the worst memories out of his enemies and that alone has proved to be a powerful weapon. In “Batman Begins”, Batman quickly fell victim to Scarecrow’s ability to target the Dark Knight’s harrowing childhood trauma.
The Riddler uses tricks and dark humour to lead his foes astray.
Edward Nygma, The Riddler, rose to become one of Batman’s most notorious foes due to his ability to use jokes and riddles to his advantage. He leaves behind puzzling clues to confuse the Caped Crusader while feeding his own ego. Sooner or later, the Riddler’s theatrics always catch up with him and his egotistical demeanour is typically the primary reason for his downfall.
Unlike some of Batman’s other brainy enemies, the Riddler’s wit and lack of empathy could not be contained by even himself. It eventually landed him in the Arkham Asylum.
Bane is just as strong as Batman, but he must rely on Venom.
Very few villains could rival Batman’s strength and intelligence quite like Bane. An orphan ultimately used as the guinea pig for hazardous experiments, Bane began to rely on the power of the super-steroid, Venom, as he got older.
Bane’s ultimate goal was to rule Gotham City, which he eventually succeeded in doing for quite some time. Even though he possesses the same level of vigour and intellect as Batman, Bane’s downfall is typically his reliance on Venom, which he has become addicted to.
Two-Face used to be an upstanding citizen.
As District Attorney for Gotham City, Harvey Dent led an upstanding life of integrity. Unfortunately, the greed and crime that plagued Gotham was a more powerful agent than a man of the law who dedicated his life to service.
Dent’s descent into a villainous lifestyle began when someone threw acid on his face, leaving half of it unrecognizable and badly scarred. Rebranding himself as Two-Face, Dent orchestrates most of his revenge-based crimes using the results of a coin toss, therefore leaving his actions partially to chance.
Brainiac was just as cunning as he was strategic.
As one of Superman’s biggest adversaries, Brainiac is as savvy as he is calculated. He and his army of androids could quickly destroy an entire city, which is exactly what he did to Metropolis. Any chance of defeating him would require a lot of mental toughness and tact.
His green, cyborg-like appearance is enough to scare anyone and the electrode-like cables emerging from his skull often glow when he is up to trouble. In short, his arrival into the DC universe was a vast reminder to the world to never underestimate the power of artificial intelligence.
Sinestro’s obsession with power became a compulsion
Thaal Sinestro’s claim to fame came when he was tasked to serve as the Green Lantern of Section 1417. He was respected because his leadership skills were key to patrolling his sector. He values control over civility and he’s quite obsessed with authority.
One of the few supervillains who couldn’t be broken mentally or physically, Sinestro’s rise from agent of peace to colossal destroyer is as admirable as it is smooth.
Darkseid was the original supervillain.
When it comes to DC universe villains, Darkseid’s manipulation tactics are often unparalleled and his victims typically had no other choice but to be submissive to this maniacal foe. Darkseid is a sadistic dictator who even the Justice League has struggled to defeat.
With a motivation is to eradicate free will, Darkseid ruthlessly treats everyone as being beneath him.
Ra’s al Ghul wanted revenge when Batman refused to work under him.
Batman first appeared on Ra’s al Ghul’s radar when he pursued a romantic relationship with Ghul’s daughter, Talia. Seeing as he and Batman shared some similar traits, both are affluent men in power who are passionate about their work, Ghul wanted to make the Dark Knight his successor as leader of the violent League of Assassins.
When Batman declined the offer, Ghul decided to embark on a streak of revenge. Ghul can heal from any injury and can even be resurrected from the dead, making him one tricky villain to defeat.
Lex Luthor perfected the art of manipulation.
A self-made man, Lex Luthor acquired his wealth through sheer brilliance and strategy, which he also used as a manipulation tactic. He’s often described as Superman’s biggest rival, which is evident through his behaviour. People are quite expendable to Luthor and he doesn’t care who he hurts on his way to the top.
Luther loathes Superman because at the core he is extremely jealous of him. Luthor’s envious personality has driven him to lie and cheat his way to success. It’s almost admirable when you consider that he has prospered so much from his devious ways.
The Joker is in a villainous league of his own.
What can be said about the Joker that many comic books, films, and series haven’t covered? A true agent of chaos, the Joker is arguably Batman’s most devious enemy. His origin remains a mystery and he often fabricates his past in order to manipulate his victim’s psyche. Nonetheless, he is able to evoke feelings of insecurity, fear, and complete despair in his enemies.
Between the bright green hair, crooked grin, and boisterous cackle, the Joker is every superhero’s nightmare. He’s undeniably one of the most recognisable villains in the DC universe and that alone justifies his place as one of the best villains of the franchise.
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