With this month spilling out the very first super-villains movie, Suicide Squad, along with the bleak Batman tale The Killing Joke which explores the madness of The Joker, I thought it would be interesting to do something a little different. I thought to myself: what can I do to celebrate such a special occasion? Then the thought hit me, whilst listening to “The Master Vainglorious”, why don’t I establish the Month of Villains and create some articles based around villains and help to explore why we enjoy them so much. So join me on this journey as we delve into the opposite end of the spectrum. To kick start this great occasion let us countdown the Top 9 deadliest villains of all time.
9. REM – Poet Anderson
Starting off this countdown I pick a new-comer to the villains roster in the form of REM. REM is the villain of Tom Delonge‘s franchise Poet Anderson, a narrative that delves into the world of dreams and a protagonist (Jonas Anderson) that can walk between dream and reality. REM is a diabolical specimen, to say the least, as he attempts to spread death and chaos through taking over the bodies of dreamers so that he can enter the Waking World to spread more destruction.
This goes as far as having him taking over Jonas’s mother and using her to kill not only his father and herself, leaving Jonas and his brother (Alan) orphans, but also the lives of everyone aboard a plane. He really is a creature of pure evil with no remorse for what he does and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of using Jonas to transport him and his army to the Waking World to cause pain and misery, to which leads to REM placing Alan in a coma to lure Jonas out into a trap.
8. Albert Wesker – Resident Evil
Resident Evil is well known across the world as being one of the most successful horror game franchises on the planet with its atmospheric environments, close encounters with zombies and mutated monsters, and its great cast of characters. But one element that comes to mind is obviously the main villain of the series, Albert Wesker. Wesker was of course one of the original characters from the first game, believed to be a good guy as he led his team into the mansion to investigate the weird activities surrounding it. In the end it is revealed that he was in fact a villain with a secret agenda. This led to his onscreen rivalry with Chris Redfield.
His major villain appearance was in Resident Evil 5 where he attempted to take over the world with his new biological weapon, Uroboros. This is of course after he tested other biological weapons upon the African population which ultimately transformed innocent people into mind-controlled creatures of aggression and violence. Wesker had lost the plot by this point as he deemed himself a god and through Uroboros he would achieve that title. He also toyed around with old character Jill Valentine through controlling her like a puppet. Wesker was certainly a formidable foe through his careful planning and supernatural abilities created through his own injected viruses. In the end Chris’s constant interferences forced him to merge with his creation for a final confrontation which led to his final demise.
7. Darth Vader – Star Wars
Darth Vader has certainly created a cult following, and for good reasons. He is the symbol of evil through his presence and keen sense of duty towards the Dark Side of the Force. But what I love the most about Vader is the fact that he’s a damaged villain and one that you can sympathise with. There is reasoning to his madness and it all stems to his blind loyalty to The Emperor. Say what you will about the prequel trilogy but it holds a lot of memorable moments, especially during Episode III: Revenge of the Sith where we see what made Vader become Vader.
It’s a tragic choice that makes him turn against his beliefs and commit the darkest of acts, including killing younglings. This was all done of course for his wife Padme Amidala, who he believed was going to die, and fell for The Emperor’s tricks in an attempt to save her. But in the end this became a reality due to his own hand, making his decent into the Dark Side all the more tragic. But in the end his journey concludes on a positive note as his son, Luke Skywalker, manages to show him the good still within him and finally destroys his master and redeems himself for his many mistakes.
6. Jim Moriarty – Sherlock
I wasn’t in love with Sherlock Holmes until Sherlock came out and it is such an inventive show in how it translates Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s work to the modern age, aided further by the phenomenal acting from Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Jim Moriarty is the icing on the cake and this version of the character feels truly unsettling due to his unhinged behaviour. His build up in Series 1 was brilliantly executed as you slowly got an idea of how dangerous he was and what he was capable of.
On top of this is his obsession with Sherlock which drives him to serious levels of preparation in order to hand out the ultimate defeat. Just to show off his power of influence he engineers a scheme to enter the Tower of London and dons the Crown Jewels as well as create a story that proclaims he himself was a creation made-up by Sherlock in order to discredit him.
“The Reichenbach Fall” is a highlight of Moriarty’s insanity and his complicated relationship with Sherlock, resulting in him forcing his adversary to jump to his death (thereby finishing his game of humiliating the consultant detective). To insure Sherlock’s fate Moriarty shoots himself in the head in order to prevent any means of calling off his mercenaries from assassinating his friends.
5. Frieza – Dragonball Z
As a kid I was obsessed with Dragonball Z. To this day it remains an icon within the manga/anime world and is an inspiration to many creative minds. Frieza has always been my favourite villain from the show (and one of my favourite villains of all time) because he’s just so entertaining to watch through his cruelty. He is a perfect example of a villain who doesn’t have remorse and only craves more power, whilst dominating the weak through fear and tyranny. Frieza was such a powerful opponent and his ruthlessness really did make him scary.
On top of this was his desire to destroy anything and anyone that dared to question his power, resulting in the death of his own men, and the lives of the innocent (which included children). But of course all good things must come to an end and Frieza certainly got the ultimate defeat at the hands of Goku. It was just so poetic that a prophecy brought this creature down and despite how much he attempted to prevent his fears coming true the unthinkable came about and utterly destroyed him in the most humiliating fashion.
4. Loki – Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has certainly become a phenomenon through creating a shared universe of super-heroes and with it came Loki. Loki is certainly the best villain within this universe (namely because he’s the only reoccurring villain other than Thanos) because he brings so much to the screen each time he appears. Plus his character arc has been brilliant to follow. In many ways you can sympathise with Loki because he had been lied to since he was a child, being revealed as the son of the Frost Giant leader Laufey, as well as constantly being overshadowed by Thor’s greatness.
All he wanted was to shine and prove himself but when denied his chance for greatness, through mischieve and betrayal, Loki is sent over the edge and attempted to take over the Earth for Thanos. Avengers Assemble has certainly showcased his best performance to date as his madness exploded from his rage for Thor and his mockery of being shunned out of Asgard. In this film he wishes to show the world that he is a ruler and will do absolutely anything to achieve it. It is great how Loki is the master of manipulating through his mischief and attempted to destroy the Avengers from within.
Despite his eventual defeat Loki doesn’t lose his confidence in the face of Odin as he stands by his actions with proudness. Though it is interesting watching his descent during Thor: The Dark World as his power is taken from him and he loses himself after his step-mother’s death, but naturally Loki returns in a big way through his ingenious trickery to which even Thor cannot see through.
3. Sosuke Aizen – Bleach
Bleach is by far my favourite manga/anime and a lot of this is down to its characters. Sosuke Aizen is a brilliant villain because he is so calm and calculative. He isn’t like most villains and operates through manipulating his opponents in a game of strategy. Aizen is aided further by his ability to control the senses of those around him through his Zanpakuto, Kyōka Suigetsu, and make them see what he wants them to, allowing for many moments of trickery which results in the defeat of those who are facing him. Another trait I love about Aizen is his controlling presence. He always has things figured out and isn’t surprised by the movement of his enemy because they have already been engineered accordingly to further aid his plans.
Some would call him overly confident or arrogant but the beauty of Aizen is he is neither because if he says he can do something he can actually deliver. It is made a fact that Aizen is strong enough to destroy the Captains of the 13 Court Guard Squad signal handily. Aizen’s story comes to an interesting ending when Ichigo Kurosaki finally defeats him and in that moment we see Aizen not in control and his anger gets the better of him. But despite eventually being arrested his confidence still remains during his trial and imprisonment.
2. The Joker – Batman
This was certainly a close second as most of you will know by now that The Joker is one of my favourite villains. But alas he had to be put in second because there was someone obviously greater. But that doesn’t mean that this physcopath deserves less treatment. The Joker is a brilliant example of a man who is out of his mind and revolves around the idea of releasing chaos to balance out the world around him. I suppose the joy and fascination of The Joker comes from not fully knowing who is and what brought him to this point of insanity. He just does what he does and we accept that and follow along to await what he will do next.
I always admire Mark Hamill‘s interpretation the most because he really does capture the essence of The Joker and what he stands for. He can be both funny and cruel. It’s even more interesting when you add Harley Quinn into the equation because he really is both the best and worst boyfriend out there, going from idealising Harley to downright abusing her. It’s fair to say that he is unhinged but he is always a great character to watch because you’re curious about what he plans to do next. But above all it’s the interesting connection he has to Batman and this relationship will remain an icon within the comic universe till the end of time.
1. The Master – Doctor Who
And we come to our No. 1 pick, which goes to none other than The Master. I have loved this character since I was a kid and I really can’t remember why, especially since I hadn’t seen many of his appearances. I simply knew about him and his great presence within Doctor Who and that he was The Doctor’s oldest and greatest friend/enemy. My fondest memory of the character was from the scene in “Frontier in Space” where he allied himself with the Daleks and captured The Third Doctor.
Naturally his character fascinates me like with The Joker in which you don’t fully know why The Master does what he does. We know that he was once friends with The Doctor during their time at the Academy on Gallifrey but then their paths went separate ways. His character is great to observe because he is completely unhinged but at the same time is made even more dangerous through his intellect and ability to come up with diabolical schemes for universal conquest. This is aided by his ability to hypnotise people and make them obey him. The Master is certainly a cold-hearted creature and isn’t afraid to kill, to which he revels in. To him it is all a game and nothing pleases him more than death and chaos and of course making The Doctor suffer.
The Master has certainly gone through a long journey of development and each new story he appears in makes me love him even more (minus the current television interpretation because I believe Missy has deflated The Master’s legacy through mockery and lame gimmicks). Like with The Joker and Batman, The Master and The Doctor hold a unique bond, one that stands the test of times and still remains entertaining to watch as these old friends duel it out in order to preserve their way of life.
And that’s my very, very long list of villains that I find to be great and interesting to watch/read/listen to. I will say that it was very hard writing this article due to getting it outlined, making sure I picked the right villains for the list and of course just making sure the article was presented well and was somewhat entertaining. I have no doubt that everyone out there has their own list of Top Villains so please share yours now and get the discussion rolling either in the comments below or on our Twitter page! Again, thanks for reading. Happy villainy!!