Sunday, May 3, 2015
Top 10 Most Horrifying Comic Book Villains
Comic book super villains by nature are frightening. They do bad things, hurt people, and generally stand for the polar opposite ideals that super heroes do. As fearsome as some villains can be, there's a select few that aren't just scary or frightening, but are totally fucking terrifying. Their villainous intentions aren't just to take over the world or rob banks or anything super predictable...and that in itself is a cause for concern. Their intentions are mayhem, chaos, or are just sheerly unpredictable; which is what sets them apart from their ilk the most.
So, this clusterfuck of a list is all about the most horrifying villains in comic books. Nothing is off limits in terms of titles the characters are from, but I will admit that this list wasn't easy one fucking bit to put together. Granted you can probably guess pretty easily who takes the number one spot here, but a decent amount of the rest of the lineup here was hard to put together. That aside, there were a few characters that didn't make the final cut, including Omni-Man, Darkseid, Doctor Destiny, Venom, Malebolgia, Mr. Sinister, The First of the Fallen, Mephisto, Clayface, Dollmaker, The Ventriloquist, Killer Croc, and The Saint of Killers; so consider them the honorable mentions.
Anyway, let's get on with this shit...
10. CLOWN/THE VIOLATOR ("Spawn" - Image)
This character hasn't aged all that well since the early 90s admittedly, but the overall character design of Clown, and his demonic form Violator, can still be scary as shit when done correctly. A demon who is originally tasked with guiding new Hellspawn's to fulfill the will of the devil, Clown/Violator usually has his own agendas, which mostly involve death, murder, chaos, and destruction. Not to mention the fact that no matter how many times he's killed, he always comes back. I know no one ever stays dead in comics forever, but Clown/Violator always comes back stronger than ever...much like someone else on this list we'll get to shortly.
9. MARIE L'ANGELLE ("Preacher" - Vertigo)
The wheelchair-bound grandmother of series protagonist Jesse Custer, Marie L'Angelle is a Christian fanatic that had Jesse's father murdered, forced Jesse to be a preacher, and kept doing everything she could to control and ruin his life, and the lives of anyone associated with him. What makes this old cunt truly terrifying is that she believes what she is doing is true and just and in the name of God. Her "family" muscle which includes the cunning Jody and backwoods stick-his-dick-in-anything-with-a-pulse T.C. are almost as terrifying on their own, but since they both answer to Marie, that in itself proves how powerful and frightening this bitch can be.
8. TOYO HARADA ("Harbinger" - Valiant)
Now I know what you're thinking. "Who the fuck is Toyo Harada and what the fuck is Valiant Comics?" Well kids, Valiant was a comic company I remember fondly from my youth that was once operated by former Marvel EIC Jim Shooter, and as a company they managed to produce some quality work before being purchased by now defunct video game company Acclaim. Eventually the line as a whole was gone for good, until a couple years back when they came roaring back with new and amazing takes on all their original properties. One of those properties was "Harbinger": an ongoing title about teenagers with super powers that were targeted by a man named Toyo Harada. Harada is a CEO that also happens to be the most powerful telekinetic in the world. His powers are so vast and limitless that he has managed to convince the world he's a philanthropist, while he's been assembling an army of people that have similar powers. What makes Harada terrifying is that underneath his ice-cool exterior, he is totally fucking unhinged. The few Harbingers that oppose Harada are pretty much terrified of him, and the sheer uncertainty of how powerful his abilities are...and how badly he can hurt them. Seriously, no one fucks with this guy for good reason.
7. THE HOMELANDER/BLACK NOIR ("The Boys" - Dynamite)
Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's super twisted versions of Superman and Batman, The Homelander and Black Noir are the most powerful superhumans on the planet and leaders of this bizarro take on the Justice League known as The Seven...and they're totally fucking psychotic. An extreme megalomaniac, The Homelander is a mass murderer, rapist, and isn't above necrophilia and cannibalism...or is he? Throughout a majority of "The Boys", The Homelander is portrayed as the ultimate antagonist, until it's revealed that Black Noir is the true villain who has committed atrocity after atrocity in his name, because he is his secret clone. Yeah, it sounds complicated, but there's scenes in "The Boys" involving both characters that are just so fucking horrifying that it's hard to put into words. It was a tossup between these guys and Omni-Man from Robert Kirkman's "Invincible", but in the end, Homelander and Black Noir won out, just because of the impact they had on me personally. That, and I enjoyed "The Boys" much more than I ever did "Invincible", but that's a whole different story.
6. PROFESSOR PYG ("Batman" - DC)
A fairly recent addition to Batman's gigantic rogue's gallery, Professor Pyg is truly a sick, demented, fuck. Pyg, along with his Circus of Strange, want to make people "perfect", which usually involves lobotomizing them and using them as his slaves after grafting pig-masks onto their faces. Definitely the most grotesque Batman villain to come along in some time, Professor Pyg may lack in being a non-supernatural foe, but he makes up for it in his sheer brutality and the nature of his crimes. That, and that mask he wears is creepy by itself no matter what.
5. SOLOMON GRUNDY (DC Universe)
One of the earliest depictions of a zombie in comic book history, Solomon Grundy was originally a villain for Green Lantern Alan Scott, before eventually becoming a major villain for Superman, Batman, and the Justice League as a whole. No matter what version of Grundy we're talking about, they always have one thing in common: he's already dead, he always comes back, and he's immensely powerful. The character has gained a lot of love over the past few years, and has thus become one of the most recognizable character in the DC Universe as a whole.
4. JUDGE DEATH ("2000 A.D.")
The arch-nemesis of Judge Dredd and leader of the Dark Judges, Judge Death is the embodiment of death itself. Coming from an alternate dimension called Deadworld, Judge Death dispenses justice like no one else: he reasons that since only the living commit crimes, life itself is a crime...hence all life must perish. After crossing dimensions and running into Dredd, Judge Death has gone on numerous massacres, had his body destroyed, and returned time and time again to wreck more havoc for the denizens of Mega City One. His body is indestructible, since he mostly inhabits the dead, rotting husks of the deceased...and just like a number of the previous entries on this list, he always comes back. Judge Death is unadulterated evil, and one of the most iconic villains in comics.
3. THE SCARECROW ("Batman" - DC)
One of Batman's most iconic villains, Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka The Scarecrow, is also one of his most terrifying. Besides his scarier than shit costumes and looks through the years, what sets Scarecrow apart is his use of his patented fear toxin, which can infest and cause its victims to hallucinate and experience their deepest fears, sometimes to the point of death. Depending on the artist, Scarecrow's appearance can range from kinda corny to flat out so scary you shit yourself, particularly his appearance in the 2009 "Batman: Arkham Asylum" video game. While it's rare that the character gets the justice done to him in terms of usage in Batman's rogues gallery, there's no denying his place as one of the most iconic horrifying villains around.
2. THE GOVERNOR ("The Walking Dead" - Image)
Forget anything and everything you know about The Governor if your only exposure to him was the TV show adaptation of "The Walking Dead". That take on the character was presented in a much more sympathetic, and slightly less psychotic, way than he ever was in comic book form. The first true "big bad" encountered by Rick Grimes and his crew of survivors, The Governor is the brutal and insane leader of Woodbury, who initially comes off as a charismatic and strong-willed leader...until it's revealed just how much of a sick fuck he truly is. Joyfully raping and torturing anyone that crosses his path, with a room full of fish tanks containing the severed heads of the undead, and keeping his zombified daughter/niece (don't ask, his origin is a bit...weird, thanks comic books and novel tie-in) on a chain; The Governor will do anything it takes to get what he wants, and his manipulation of his followers makes him even more of a terrifying threat.
1. THE JOKER ("Batman" - DC)
You didn't really think it'd be anyone else did you? No matter what iteration of the Joker we talk about, he's scary as fuck. Whether it's because you may have a fear of clowns or just that creepy fucking smile, there's always been something just a tad unsettling about the character, even in his most light-hearted of versions. At his worst, Joker is a psychopathic murderer that is obsessed with his arch-nemesis Batman, and does everything he possibly can to bring out the worst in the Caped Crusader, whether it be from murdering innocent people, bringing Gotham City to its knees, or striking close to home by going after those close to Batman. The psychotic laughs, the Joker-gas, the fact that Joker may be either totally insane or perhaps have a form of "super-sanity" (thanks Grant Morrison) all amounts to the Joker being the most terrifying villain in all of comic books. I could go on and on about him, but it wouldn't be anything that any of you don't already know as it is.
Well, that's my top 10 horrifying comic book villains. What'd you think? Agree? Hate my guts? Either way, hope you got some enjoyment out of it...and if you didn't, I'll kill you.