There are a lot of characters in the various worlds of pop culture who are designed to frighten us. From the terrifying rictus of the Joker to the quietly murderous politeness of Adlai Niska, many of our favorite imaginary friends are horrible.  Even so, few characters instill me with insistent loathing like Cyborg Superman, perhaps the most terrible villain to me, personally.  Superficially resembling the greatest superhero of all, his face is peeled away from a terrible metallic Terminator skull, and his missing parts have seemingly been kit-bashed from whatever scrap he could find, rudely impaled into his few remaining “human” parts. I know I’m sensitive to body-horror (Thanks, Rodrigo!), but he never failed to trigger a deep revulsion in me, which leads me to today’s intimidating query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t underestimate the sheer terror of Venom’s terrible slavering fang-mouth, asking: Which fictional character would be the most terrifying villain to meet in real life?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Since Firefly was mentioned, I’m going to go with the Reavers. I’m shuddering now just thinking of them. Nope, nope…

  2. Possibly the Cybermen. Their creation story is so pathetic as told in the Big Finish audio Spare Parts, and depicted in World Enough and Time, as to make them horrifying. Truth be told, on television, they’ve mostly been treated as robots, and badly handled, but just the idea (especially the forcible conversion seen in Attack of the Cybermen and the Virgin published book Killing Ground) of them sends a shiver down my spine.

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