A great super villain is one with a slew of complexities.
Often, we see that the motivations behind some of our favourite super villains are actually
quite noble, or in the interest of humanity’s survival and the greater good.
We can’t help but wonder if they’d make better heroes than baddies.
So today we’re tackling that issue and counting down the top 10 super villains who should
Many of the villains on this list now spend their days tip toeing through the morally
murky waters of anti-heroism, some more than others, while a handful of the baddies on
this list look like they’ll be sticking to their villainous ways for a long time yet.
So with that in mind, let’s get to it!
10 Catwoman Catwoman is a character who has lived a life
of moral ambiguity.
She first appeared in Batman issue 1 in 1940 as a villain who managed to swoon the caped
crusader, her criminal efforts foiled, yet she evaded arrest thanks to successfully seducing
She was deemed inappropriate by the comics code authority in the 50s, and pretty much
disappeared until she was re-introduced in the 1966 Adam West Batman television series.
Despite thievery being one of her favourite past times, she has a big heart, and on numerous
occasions has protected the innocent or sacrificed herself for a greater purpose.
In Batman Year One, we see her do exactly that for her friend Holly, pleading guilty
to murders she did not commit to help her friend Holly (who, for the record, murdered
a bunch of terrorists).
In the Batman The Animated Series, her very first appearance was a two-parter episode
where she ended up taking down a terrorist organization who was using a mountain lion
sanctuary as a front to unleash a plague on Gotham.
She actively protects the east end in volume 3 of her comic, she’s rescued Batman from
the likes of Scarecrow and Bane in the past, and don’t even get us started on her heroic
endeavors when it comes to animal rights.
9 Venom Venom started off as a villain, one who first
appeared in The Amazing Spider0Man issue 252 in 1984 as an alien costume that would bond
with Peter Parker and attempt to permanently stay that way.
If it weren’t for Reed Richards helping spidey out, he very well could have become
But after the two were separated, Venom found his way to Eddie Brock, becoming an enemy
of Spider-Man’s since both he and Brock carried a grudge against the web slinger.
But these days, Brock and Venom have both become anti-heroes for the most part.
In 1993, we got to see him really flex his heroic muscles in Lethal Protector, where,
after striking up a deal with Spider-Man (spidey would leave him alone as long as he didn’t
commit any more crimes) Venom ended up aiding people rather than harming them, with the
story arc leading him to put a stop to his offspring.
It’s the story arc that depicted his progression from villain to anti-hero.
In 1997’s License to Kill, he got his criminal record erased in exchange for working as a
And Venom was a huge help when it came to spider-island in 2011.
8 Condiment King The Condiment King is the anomaly on our list
today; he’s a character who lands a spot on here simply because he would make for one
hell of a hilarious superhero.
He already makes for a funny villain, but let’s be honest; if you saw a gun running
around with a gun full of condiments that he was firing at criminals, you’d probably
not only get a good laugh from it, but it might actually help with deterring crime (since
I highly doubt anyone wants to end up with mustard in their eyes).
Condiment king first appeared in Batman the Animated series, created by Paul Dini and
Bruce Timm in an episode called Make Em Laugh.
He was a throwback to the 60’s Adam West Batman show, and even used condiment based
puns like “I knew you’d ketchup to me sooner or later.
How I relished this meeting.”
You gotta admit, watching Batman or Superman have to put up with this guy as a fellow ally
would be funny as hell.
7 Galactus Galactus isn’t a case of a character who
is inherently evil being in a unique position that could prove more interesting if they
Galactus is a character who is a force of nature, a cosmic entity older than the entire
universe, birthed from the universe that came before it.
He is integral to the balance of said universe, and while at times, especially in his earlier
appearances, he appears as a nefarious entity, really, he’s just trying to satiate his
hunger by devouring whole planets.
Galactus already operates without regard to the morality or judgments of mortal beings.
The devourer of worlds would have consumed earth if it wasn’t for the Watcher throwing
the fantastic four a bone with the ultimate nullifer; a device that has been described
as the universe’s most devastating weapon that can completely eliminate any target the
wielder chooses, and even the wielder if they aren’t focused enough.
It freaked Galactus out, and he moved on to devourer another planet instead.
6 Lex Luthor As Superman’s arch nemesis, Lex Luthor has
always believed that the man of steel posed a greater threat to humanity than an advantage.
But because of this, he has proven that at times, he has the Earth’s best interest
Lex has proven himself when it comes to shaping society for the better.
He once helped rebuild Gotham after the Cataclysm story event left it in shambles thanks to
an earthquake, and a year later, in 1999, the government had abandoned the city, quarantining
Lex comes through and helps it in a big way, using his resources at Lexcorp to do so.
He saved Metropolis and arguably the world in superman Last Son when the man of steel
was incapacitated during an invasion by villains from the Phantom Zone.
He found a cure for the amazo virus in Forever Evil.
In alternate realities, he’s proven to be a great leader, like in Superman Red Son,
where he becomes the president of the US.
All in all, he has a lot of potential, and has come a long way since his early days in
the comics where he was merely depicted as a mad scientist.
5 Hela This number is specifically looking at Hela
from the MCU.
As we learn in Thor Ragnarok, Hela was taught by Odin to conquer others; nurture is everything
So when Odin changed his mind, rather than rehabilitating Hela from all of the conditioning
he put her through, he imprisons her for thousands of years.
So naturally, when she breaks out, she goes and does the only thing she knows how; she
tries to conquer Asgard and reclaim it by force.
She doesn’t know any better.
So, arguably, under different circumstances, she could have been deemed as a hero.
4 Poison Ivy Ivy is yet another example of a villain who
has dabbled more and more in the anti-hero category in recent years.
She’s a DC villain who calls herself an eco-terrorist of global importance, makes
philanthropic contributions to conversation and environmental efforts, and in Gotham City
Sirens, it was revealed that she donated $30 million to a reforestation fund.
At the end of the day, she’s a villain with a point; a character who isn’t attempting
to pull of evil schemes out of selfish means, but rather, is trying to save the thing she
loves most: nature.
In the New 52 she was a member of the Birds of Prey, where, despite sometimes resorting
to some brutal tactics, she fought for the greater good, and even began to break out
of that ‘stone cold’ personality she’s been type casted into in previous years.
Sometimes, she exhibits empathy, and actually cares about the lives of innocent people and
And despite their on and off again romantic status, she’s also show Harley Quinn a whole
lot of affection, proving that she is capable of love.
She’s on the side of life, which is often plant life, but it’s still life, regardless.
Even when she used her powers to mind control the entire human race, in Tom King’s run
on Batman, issue 41, her intentions were arguably pure, and one could debate that her influence
is the only way the planet will stay alive, thus allowing for humanity to continue to
3 Thanos After Avengers Infinity War came out, many
a fan argued that Thanos was the protagonist of the film; the narrative it weaved was one
that focused on his motivations, gave audiences a glimpse into his psyche.
The MCU version of Thanos legitimately believes that he is doing the right thing for the universe,
for the greater good, by wiping out half of all living things.
The universe is growing faster than it can maintain itself, and depleting its resources
at a rate that is unsustainable.
He saw it happen on his home planet, so he set out to travel around the universe, conquer
planets, and wipe out half of each civilization, randomly, of course.
While he does have a point, his methods are definitely twisted and too extreme.
Just imagine if he had channeled all of his energy and efforts into a plan that actually
helped life flourish.
Now, we can’t really say the same about the comic version of the character.
In Infinity Gauntlet, and the lead up to it when Thanos collected all of the infinity
gems, the mad titan was motivated out of his unrequired love for the entity Death.
Death had manipulated him, and he wanted to show her his love and his worth by eliminating
half of all living beings in the entire universe.
That’s what prompts our heroes, guided by Adam Warlock, to take him on.
2 Magneto Magneto believes that the mutant race is the
evolutionary superior race to humans, and rejects the possibility that mutants and humans
could ever coexist peacefully.
He is a holocaust survivor, someone who witnessed the extermination of a race, and therefore
grew up to be cynical, determined to protect mutants from suffering a similar fate in a
world that strives to persecute them.
He experienced the worst of humanity and has devoted his life to preventing that from occurring
Sure, he needs to kill some humans to do that, but consider his childhood; during World War
2, he witnessed Nazis kill his family and thousands of others.
The number of causalities on both the Allies and Axis sides of the war are intangible numbers
to us these days.
But for Erik, killing and fighting has always been involved in the equation when it comes
to making a change.
That’s not to say that we condone his methods; he’s still an extremist to an extent, and
lacks the morality of his counterpart Charles Xavier.
But, let’s be blatantly honest; Magneto has been proven right about humanity MULTIPLE
Yet he connects with readers and audiences on a very human-level; it’s easy to understand
his motivations, even though his actions have had devastating consequences in the past.
1 Doctor Doom Doctor Doom is yet another villain with a
point on our list.
Sure, he might be a narcissistic tyrant who believes that he is the best person for the
job when it comes to supreme ruler of the Earth, but we gotta admit, that’s not entirely
a long shot.
We’ve seen the character in various alternate realities where taking over the earth has
actual led to a successful yet mildly restrictive timeline.
In Doom 2099, we see him do exactly that in an alternate future.
Latveria doesn’t have poverty or disease because of him; sure, he’s basically running
a dictatorship, but it’s peaceful as hell there, and he genuinely cares about his countrymen.
He once fought Mephisto for his mom’s soul, and he worked with Doctor Strange to save
all of the multiverse when molecule man Owen Reece became a threat to it thanks to the
Plus, he legit became a superhero once, becoming the Infamous Iron Man after Tony had died
in Civil War 2.
He assumed the mantle to protect the planet, but despite trying to turn a cheek and become
good, many didn’t believe him that he was seeking redemption from his super villain
He even took on HYDRA.
Eventually, Tony was resurrected, and Doom receded into madness after seeing that no
one actually appreciated his good deeds, nor took him seriously as a hero.
So really, whose the real bad guy here?
There we have it friends!
What other supervillains do you think would make great superheroes?
What about the other way around?
Give us a shout in those comments below and share all of your thoughts.
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