We have returned! Thank you so much to everyone reading and sharing the posts! Every read and share helps grow the page in one way or another. My post after this will be my favourite Teen Titans stories and will also feature a competition ran through the Facebook page so if you’ve not given it a like yet, you can find it here. Today though I will be listing my top ten DC villains! I’ve always preferred DC’s comics, it’s not that Marvel don’t have some excellent stories – they do – I just grew up much closer with DC, and I ultimately prefer their writing style, characters and villains in particular.
So to get started, let us kick off the list with a relatively unknown entry!
10. Poison Ivy
A brilliant botanical biochemist, Pamela Isley is a fervent eco-terrorist out to save the world’s plant life by any means necessary. She often finds herself at odds with Batman and has had a relationship with Harley Quinn.
Poison Ivy’s origin was significantly retconned after DC’s universe-changing Crisis on Infinite Earths story-line in 1985. Pamela Isley was now the beautiful daughter of wealthy parents from Seattle, but she was emotionally quite distant from them. Intellectually brilliant but shy and withdrawn, she immersed herself in advanced botanical biochemistry in college, proving to be a exemplary student with an unusual affinity for the world of plants. Unfortunately, Isley became seduced by her college professor, Dr. Jason Woodrue who injected her with a deadly plant-based poison, which caused her physiology to dramatically transform. Isley nearly died twice from the poisoning, and it also resulted in her never being able to bear children. A further side effect of the poisoning was that it drove her insane to the point where she believed she was the ‘mother nature’ of the plant world, and all plants were her ‘children’ and she trained them to respond to her. Isley dropped out of college and moved to Gotham City but Isley’s psychotic mentality finally overcame her. Her first criminal act was to hold the city hostage with deadly plant spores of her own creation until the city’s leadership gave her a massive sum of money. Unfortunately for Ivy, this was the same year that Batman began operating in Gotham. She was imprisoned in Arkham Asylum. The encounter sparked Ivy’s ongoing obsession with Batman. Poison Ivy is the ultimate Eco-terrorist, pathologically devoted to protecting the natural world at any cost. Her skill set is incredible complete immunity to virtually all types of toxins and poisons, and she often employs them as weapons. Her expertise as a biochemist has allowed her to develop mutant plants and to create and bring to life plants that were long thought to be extinct. Ivy’s connection with “the green world” is said to be on par with supernatural beings such as Swamp Thing.
Recommended Reading: Batman: Poison Ivy, Batman/Green Arrow: The Poison Tomorrow,
The last of the Czarnians, Lobo is known and feared across the universe as a bounty hunter who never misses his mark. Super-strong, immortal and unkillable, the Main Man has frequently clashed with Superman, although they have on the very rare occasion they found themselves on the same side.
Lobo is insane and immensely fun. Kind of a cross between Superman and Deadpool, and his origin events serve only to prove this. Post-Crisis, Lobo was born on the peaceful planet Czarnia. By some accounts, he tore out of his mother’s womb. By others, his mother told him to find what he did best before he killed her. Other accounts claim his parents became hermits due to the evil they unleashed. At the age of two, Lobo requested a song to be played continuously on station Cosmic Rock Zombie. It was “I Killed My Folks (No Accident)” which Wolfman Wilf played non-stop out of fear for his life. Lobo had become fed up with being like others, and set out to establish his own identity. This meant a wardrobe change. By age 16, he had killed half the planet’s population. By age 17, he had engineered a plague that caused irreversible neural damage and excruciating pain for days before the victim died. Having no plans to rule a dead planet, Lobo set out to find employment to feed his space dolphins. One of his contracts from Manga Khan was to kill the Justice League. It is said that Czarnians can only be truly killed by other Czarnians (though this does not matter to Lobo either way, as he cannot die by any means). Furthermore, Lobo has been banned from entering either Heaven or Hell. Lobo can survive unaided in the vacuum of space. Lobo has superhuman strength, stamina and durability – often trading blows with Green Lanterns and Superman taking little to no damage. Lobo can track people via smell across solar system and he can also smoke cigars in airless space, just because. He also usually uses guns or explosives that are ridiculously big and loud, and has at times shown to have an ability commonly referred to as “Bottomless Satchel”. Meaning he can pull guns, explosives, ammo, etc. out of no where or out of something that was smaller then the item itself.
Recommended Reading: Lobo’s Back’s Back, Lobo: Unbound, Deathstroke (2012), #9-12.
8. Court of Owls
A clandestine organization older than Gotham City that decides to take it over. However, to succeed, they will have to face numerous obstacles, including Gotham’s dark knight– Batman.
The Court of Owls aren’t so much one person as an organisation however I could not leave them off of this list. The Court of Owls is a secret organization centuries old with immense power and influence embedded into the very architecture and history of Gotham City. The court would select a trained and strong athletes taught by the Haly’s Circus, and the few chosen ones would become their Talons (assassins). In fact, Dick Grayson was supposed to one of their Talons as we find out later in the Night of Owls story arc, but Bruce adopted him before the disaster could happen. The myth of their existence has been past down for generations in an old Gotham nursery rhyme, which reads:
“Beware the court of owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadow perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word of them or they’ll send the talon for your head.”
The Court of Owls was a nursery rhyme, a myth, a legend, something to scare off the kids to be good. After all, something so old, if it was true, The Batman would know, right? This becomes the beauty of the concept of this mysterious new threat. The Batman can’t accept that something so large, so organized, so lethal, can be existing for so many time, even before his own birth, and still remain out of his all-knowing sight of his city. Moreover, you get to know about the history of the Wayne family, quite beyond of Thomas Wayne, and how the Waynes had been always relevant architects in some way or another about the way of how Gotham City is. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo pulled out all the strings for their run of the New 52 Batman and with it came the spectacular, dark, gritty, emotional setting of Gotham of which the Court fits right into the shadows of. The Court of Owls weaves a deep tale into the mythos of the Wayne family, Gotham, and Batman himself.
Recommended Reading: New 52 Batman Vol 1: Court of Owls, Batman: Night of the Owls, Forever Evil: Arkham War #1-6
One of the five survivors of the massacre in Sector 666 and founder of the Red Lantern Corps, Atrocitus anointed the Red Lantern in blood and harnessed the power of rage and red light.
The Lantern Corps have created several very interesting characters; heroes and villains alike, the whole spectrum is fascinating when you look into it. Two upon this list are Lanterns and we come to the first. Atrocitus (real name Atros) was born on planet Ryut, and was a survivor of the infamous Massacre of Sector 666 committed by the “Manhunters” not to be confused with Martian Manhunter. The Manhunters were the original army of the Guardians of the Universe, which, after the massacre that killed trillions were destroyed and replaced by the Green Lantern Corps. The massacre wiped out life in an entire space sector (including his wife and his daughter) except for five life forms. These five became the terrorists known as the “Five Inversions”, led by Atrocitus, and sought revenge against the Guardians of the Universe and gained powers through dark magic. Through rituals and sacrifices, they discovered a black power so dark it was beyond the power of the Guardians’ light. Atrocitus’ pure and undying rage over the destruction of his homeworld, and the slaughter of his family allowed him to become the first Red Lantern. Atrocitus is an absolute machine and severely underrated. He’s one of the strongest Lanterns ever to have existed, he even killed an enemy of the corps – who was fighting droves of Lanterns – with his own bare hands. Even without his ring he has proved difficult for both of Sinestro and Hal (who had their rings) at the same time. He’s a fantastically interesting character.
Recommended Reading: New 52 Red Lanterns Vol 01: Blood And Rage, Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Blackest Night #5-6.
6. Black Manta
A notorious pirate, hunter, and assassin, Black Manta is one of the most ruthless and feared super villains on Earth, and Aquaman’s mortal enemy.
Black Manta was a mercenary and treasure hunter who worked alongside his father. He was hired by Stephen Shin to collect the blood of Arthur Curry in an effort to prove that he was actually an Atlantean. Curry was defended by his father, Thomas Curry, and in the ensuing fight Curry’s father died of a heart attack. Enraged, Curry tracked him down and snuck onto his boat in the middle of the night. He killed Manta’s father, believing him to be Manta himself. Manta abandoned his career as a treasure hunter to seek his revenge against Aquaman. In the New 52 Manta really came into his own. Manta begins to engage in an escalating series of attacks on Aquaman and Atlantis. Following the kidnapping of Mera and the son of Aquaman and Mera, he fights and defeats Aquaman, turning him over to King Karshon. In return he receives information about the City of Lost Tribes, which he easily conquers. The son of Aquaman and Mera dies later on and this causes Aquaman hunts down and defeats Black Manta, nearly killing him, but decides to spare his life, turning him over to the authorities instead. From this, Black Manta went on to appear in a number of big events, building quite a reputation among fans and with other characters. Manta has no superhuman abilities himself, he’s honed skills to near perfection, and is one of the world’s best divers and treasure hunters. Black Manta is one of the world’s best assassins, and is accounted one of the deadliest and most highly-disciplined killers alive. He has developed his own fighting style, usable both on land and at sea, and is very intelligent, and experienced in numerous relevant fields, such as mechanical engineering. He designed his own suit that grants him a variety of superhuman abilities and traits.
Recommended Reading: Forever Evil, New 52 Aquaman #57-63, Rebirth Aquaman Rebirth Vol. 2 Black Manta Rising.
Once considered the greatest Green Lantern in any sector, Sinestro came to believe that the only way to ensure order in the universe was through the reign of fear. Founding his own Corps on that basis, Sinestro became one of the deadliest threats the Green Lanterns have ever faced.
Thaal Sinestro, originally an anthropologist from the planet Korugar, had a natural affinity for order as displayed by his meticulous reconstructions of ancient ruins. It was at one of these reconstructions that a wounded Green Lantern, Prohl Gosgotha, crash landed. He gave his ring to Sinestro who barely defeated the lantern’s pursuer, a Weaponer of Qward , at the cost of the very ruins he had restored. When Gosgotha requested his ring back after the battle so that it might keep him alive Sinestro instead allowed him to die and took his place. The Guardians, unaware of his actions, allowed Sinestro to become the Green Lantern for sector 1417. Even as a Green Lantern Sinestro was cold, arrogant, egotistical, and harsh. He also will do what ever it takes to preserve order in the universe, a trait that expelled him from the Green Lantern Corps. He is also a master strategist and manipulator. Though he does have his good traits, such as genuinely caring for his daughter and wanting to bring order to the universe. On Qward, he forged a new power ring out of the yellow impurity that Green Lantern rings were not able to effect – With help from his new allies, the Weaponers of Qward. Sinestro assembled an army of yellow-ring-wielding fear-mongers dubbed the Sinestro Corps, as an attempt to bring to the universe the order that the Guardians couldn’t, starting the event called Sinestro Corps War. He revealed the corps was part of his plans to have the guardians allow the Green Lanterns to use deadly force and become feared. Sinestro was given a sentence of death by the guardians and was to be sent to Korugar for the sentence to be carried out. En route to Korugar a group of Sinestro Corps lanterns attempted to free Sinestro, but were stopped when Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns attacked both sides. During the battle a Blue Lantern, Saint Walker, appeared and informed Hal Jordan that Sinestro must survive to face the upcoming Blackest Night. Sinestro is an extremely skilled Lantern and an interesting, deeply complex character, with a tragic history concerning his life, his people, and his family.
Recommended Reading: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War, New 52 Green Lantern #1-6, Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn.
Worshipped as the “God of Evil”, Darkseid is one of the most powerful beings in existence and the supreme monarch of planet Apokolips. Considered as one of the Justice League’s worst adversaries, the greatest enemy of New Genesis and one of the greatest threats to the DC Multiverse, he seeks to bend everything and everyone to his will and remake the cosmos in his image, while searching for the Anti-Life Equation.
When the Old Gods fell in Ragnarok, the New Gods filled the void. But this was a cycle, and the power, methodology and ultimate fate of the Old Gods remained within the New Gods. All that is Darkseid’s has been taken by him through blood and force. It is unsure how Uxas evolved into the embodiment of evil that he is now. But it is known that two key events propelled him on his path. First, Uxas killed his mother, Heggra, to wrest control of Apokolips from her after Yuga Khan, his father, was trapped on the Source Wall in his attempt to unlock the secret of The Source. Then Desaad betrayed Drax, Uxas’ brother, as he was trying to master the Omega Effect. Uxas then killed his brother, rightful heir to the Omega Effect. With power and a drive to accomplish his goals without regret or remorse, Uxas took up his God Name: Darkseid. At one point, and for the only time in his life, Darkseid fell in love. He took as his wife a woman named Suli, a scientist who believed in using power not for conquering but for the common good. Queen Heggra, terrified that Suli might “corrupt” her son, had Desaad assassinate her, but not before she bore Darkseid a son named Kalibak. Upon Suli’s death, Darkseid had Desaad poison his mother as revenge then eternally turned his back on the concept of love. Darkseid is one of the most powerful beings in the DC Multiverse and has conquered entire universes through his immeasurable powers, iron will, cunning intellect and the military might of the entire realm of Apokolips that worships him as the God of Evil. While thought of as just like any other New God, Darkseid is in fact an entity as a result of the host bonding themselves with the Omega Effect.
Recommended Reading: Final Crisis, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus, The Great Darkness Saga.
3. Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch-nemesis, is one of the most brilliant men alive, whose hatred of “interfering aliens” pushes him down the path of a sociopath. His genius intellect and brutal focus often puts him at odds with the Man of Steel himself. Lex Luthor is arguably DC Comics’ most iconic villain.
Lex Luthor is the son of Lionel and Letitia Luthor, they have a thing for ‘L’ in the family. They were wealthy residents of Metropolis. As a teenager, he spent years in Smallville with his Aunt Lena. There he encountered Clark Kent and first became jealous of Superman. Lex Luthor is not a metahuman, but is an intellectual genius, one of the smartest people on the planet, often (usually by himself) said to be able to turn the world into a Utopia free of crime a sickness if not for his obsession with beating Superman. Lex however suffers from a self-obsessed and narcissistic personality that causes him to lack empathy with the rest of humanity. Lex blames Superman for the world not recognizing his status as the greatest person alive. Luthor is a complex man. While he freely admits to being ‘evil’, he considers Abraham Lincoln to be a ‘great man’. Furthermore, Luthor has on occasion performed acts of great nobility, such as saving the lives of millions on a dying world for which he is considered a hero there, however, mostly when he commits acts of heroism it is to further a plan. He is however the smartest man on DC’s Earth. He has mastered seemingly every known form of science, including space travel, biochemistry, dimensional travel, biochemistry, cybernetics, synthetic polymers, communications, mutations, transportation, holography, energy generation, quantum mechanics, theoretical physics, nano chemistry and more. He’s a brilliant strategist and manipulator, as well as an unrivaled inventor; his creations revolutionize the world. He’s a villain but on several occasions has worked with the Man of Steel, Justice League, and recently has taken up the role of Superman due to augmented armour. He’s a brilliant enemy for Superman, and a key ingredient for DC comics’ success.
Recommended Reading: Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #1-5, “The Black Ring” Action Comics #890-900, Forever Evil.
2. Black Adam
The original champion of the Wizard, Black Adam’s disdain for morality and hunger for power were punished with eternal imprisonment within the tomb of Ramesses II. Following his escape, he usurped the throne of Kahndaq by force, and has become one of the most powerful enemies of Billy Batson, the superhero known as Shazam.
Teth Adam was born to the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II in the neighboring (fictional) land of Kahndaq. While there are contradictory accounts of the circumstances of Black Adam’s early history, certain elements are consistent: While serving as high priest to Ramses II, the wizard Shazam sought a successor to his godly powers. Impressed with his virtue and martial heroism, he chose Adam. Having determined to make Adam his successor, Shazam’s intentions were altered by the intervention of his half-demonic daughter Blaze. Blaze struck a bargain with the god Set so that when Adam speaks the word “Shazam,” instead of becoming the avatar of the wizard’s deific patrons, he becomes the avatar of the Egyptian gods Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton and Mehen. “Teth-Adam” (Mighty Adam) then served the Egyptian pharaoh as his champion for many years. This service however, drew him away from his family and home country of Kahndaq, which was attacked in his absence, resulting in the murder of his family and the devastation of his people. The attack was carried out by a rogue priest who used the Orb of Ra to give himself seemingly magical abilities, and plotted conquest in league with the immortal villain Vandal Savage. The two villains were defeated with the help of the Justice Society’s time-travelling members. After multiple adventures with the Justice Society, Adam became discontent with what he felt was the Society’s ineffectual and reactive approach to evil-doers. Black Adam is shown to be a proud and stern champion from another, more brutal age. He is portrayed very much as a sort of Nietzschean anti-hero, who does not hesitate to follow his own concepts of justice, whether or not they are in conflict with those of others. Black Adam is gifted with a panoply of powers that appear to correspond to and match, if not exceed, those of Shazam. He is blessed with the powers of the Egyptian Pantheon and has often showed his prowess formidably. He’s been an enemy of the Justice League and Billy Batson aka Shazam more often than not and in an event from the 52, he, fought an entire ensemble of heroes including the JSA, Teen Titans, multiple Lanterns, and magicians by himself. When writers know what they’re doing with him and other respected characters, he has often proved a nightmare for the likes of Superman and Martian Manhunter too.
Recommended Reading: 52 Omnibus, Black Adam: The Dark Age, New 52 Shazam: Volume 1.
Genetically engineered to surpass all human limits, Slade Wilson was once a soldier but after a genetic experiment gained enhanced powers. Having tangled with the Teen Titans, the Justice League, and even Gods themselves, Deathstroke the Terminator is a force to be reckoned with.
At the age of sixteen, Slade Wilson was determined to enlist in the U.S Army. He soon showed talents and skills in guerrilla warfare far superior to that of any other soldier and was quickly promoted over and over by his superiors. Slade trained under his commanding officer, Captain Adeline Kane, and quickly amazed her, demonstrating he was an expert in combat and had impressive talents and skills. Slade mastered several combat styles and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Some time later, Slade Wilson began a romantic relationship with Adeline and had a son with her. Soon after the birth of his first son, Grant Wilson; The Army asked Slade to be a volunteer of a secret medical experiment, Slade discovered that the experiment had worked and he had been granted enhanced strength, speed, senses, stamina, intellect and reflexes beyond that of any ordinary man. After a life-long friend was sent on a suicide mission and his superiors refused to help, Slade went in and rescued his friend but was discharged from the army for disobeying orders. Fed up with the army and it’s code of blind loyalty, Slade created the costumed persona of Deathstroke the Terminator. What sets Slade apart from the other supersoldier subjects of comics is the advancements to his strategical thinking. After the experiment, his mind acted like a computer, increasing his brain power to 300% above human levels – this increase, combined with his incredible fighting prowess and advanced weaponry, including Nth metal armour and blades, made him a match for almost anyone in DC. He has regularly tangled with whole teams of heroes including the Justice League and Teen Titans, regularly proving his worth by beating Batman and the entire Bat-family at times. He’s one of DC’s most ferocious hand to hand fighters and has even beaten god-like beings and gods themselves. Slade Wilson is an incredibly interesting character and when he’s well written, he’s so diverse and entertaining.
Recommended Reading: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Deathstroke #1-8 (2011), Teen Titans: Trial of the Terminator.
There we have it! I hope you enjoyed the read, we hope at least some of these characters are among your top DC villains as well! So the next post will be on my favourite Teen Titans stories and we will also be running a give-away through the facebook page! Until next time!