The thing that sets apart great comic books from the rest are the quality of their villains. While superheroes are stuck playing the boring good guy know-it-alls, villains get to plan the crazy schemes, blow stuff up, and cause the kinds of havoc and destruction that makes comic books work. And after over 850,000 votes (check out the results here), Dorkly readers and people who have never read Dorkly but just really wanted to see Ocean Master hold his own (in which case, bad news, guys
) have decided who were the best of the best. Or
best of the worst? The worst of the worst?
they picked the bad guys they liked the most. And here are the 25 greatest comic book villains of all-time.
25. Poison Ivy
Being named after a plant that gives people a mildly irritating rash isn't really the best start for a villain, but Poison Ivy (or Pamela Isley, as she's called on her driver's license) is more formidable than you'd expect. While it's never made a whole lot of sense why Batman doesn't just straight up murder most of the villains he runs across, you can almost understand his unwillingness to kill Poison Ivy he usually wants to have sex with her. Not only is she (by most accounts) pretty attractive, but she also uses some pheremones and toxins to hypnotize Bruce into falling for her (or just to poison him). But her greatest skill is using her abilities to turn heroes against each other Batman against Superman, Batman against Robin, etc. Now if only her dermatologist could do something about that green skin thing.
Mystique is remembered by most for being as close to naked as PG-13-ly possible in the X-Men movies but did all you guys who fantasized about a blue-skinned Mrs. Uncle Jesse realize you were dreaming about a 100+ year old mother/traitor/killer? Mystique has a complicated comic history she's the mother/foster mother/secret mother of a number of prominent characters (such as fellow blue-skinned mutant Nightcrawler), and has a history of double-crossing pretty much everyone at some point. Although, being a two-faced liar isn't too surprising for someone whose mutant power is the ability to change her entire appearance at will.
Doomsday isn't really that interesting of a villain he's basically a mindless, rampaging monster with one of the least subtle names in comics. However, he does have one pretty stellar mark on his resume: he killed Superman! Well, sorta. After an epic battle, Doomsday and Superman took each other out, and it looked as if Superman was finally ascending to the "Fortress of Solitude in the Sky." Of course, DC Comics wasn't going to kill everyone's favorite alien boy scout, so he actually just went into hibernation. Still, forcing Superman into a coma is better than most villains could ever do.
22. Doctor Octopus
One of the best things about Otto Octavius is that most of the time he's portrayed as an out-of-shape, middle-aged guy with a hilariously bad haircut. Luckily, he has four superstrong metallic appendages attached to his back. And his accomplishments are nothing to scoff at he set up the Sinister Six (an organization that really should've been able to get a lot more done than it did), he caused the death of George Stacy, and he actually had the nerve to try to marry Aunt May. And recently, Doc Ock had maybe the most total and insane victory any villain has ever achieved: he stole Peter Parker's body. Like, permanently. He switched minds with Peter, sticking Peter's consciousness in his own dying body. Of course, Pete managed to stick his memories and values in Doc Ock's mind, so it wasn't a total win. But still, stealing the body of the hero ain't bad for someone with a bowl-cut.
Thanos the Mad Titan has a few simple goals: prove his love to Death by causing billions of deaths (the cosmic equivalent of giving someone a bouquet of flowers) and conquer the entire galaxy with the Cosmic Cube. He sometimes overreaches a bit (just a bit), partially due to a bit of an inferiority complex he developed thanks to a gene making him look different from the rest of his race. Whether this means wiping out millions of his own race with a few nuke attacks, erasing half of all life in the universe with the Infinity Gauntlet, or just tryin' to kill some regular heroes, Thanos will do nearly anything to try to make people know he's the real deal. So remember don't bully people just for being different, because they might just achieve unimaginable power and kill a couple billion people to impress their girlfriend.