The say that the best villain is the hero of his own story.  This bit of dogma is problematic in a lot of ways (for one, it’s why all the superheroes fight each other rather than conventional villains in modern comics; for another, it makes people do stupid crap like put Lex Luthor in the Justice League) but it has a kernel of truth in it.  The best villains believe themselves to be the center of the important parts of the universe, and often do their villainous deeds just out of greed or self-aggrandizement.  Witness the scariest villain of the modern comic-book age, Zebediah Killgrave, The Purple Man.  Long a scrub in Daredevil’s rogue’s gallery, he became truly terrifying when he became an utterly self-centered sociopath, using his mind-control powers for whatever giggles crossed his mind.  He doesn’t need to conquer the world when he has so many toys to play his terrible games with, which leads us to today’s nefarious query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) has a similar fear of Universo’s tendency to brainwash, which makes me think that losing my free will is a bit of a phobia, asking: What villain’s modus operandi makes them the vilest villain of them all?


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. I would be hard pressed to pick a singular villain, but I find the villains that actually feel they are doing the worst things for the right reason to be the most compelling. I think the most terrible thing is when they can seem very convincing in there arguments to the point that you may question your own motivations at times…. I think that worked particularly well with Harrison Welles in “The Flash” season one. Terrible guy…. but weirdly compelling….

  2. Douglas Romshe on

    Crazy always makes the best villain for me. Characters like Lex Luthor or Dr. Doom are logical, calculating men that can be reasoned with or led by their egos because they work within a megalomaniacal framework. Even the Joker has an agenda, even if it’s to perpetuate chaos. Any time the villain has wants, needs, or goals, they have a weakness. But true craziness cannot be defeated. The best example that comes to mind is Carnage. Crazy as hell, brutally savage, dangerously dumb, and almost impossible to kill. He’s a force of nature, like a rabid animal. Imagine if Old Yeller had a symbiote… Run Travis! Ruuun!

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