Everyone has a favorite superhero who uses their power to fight crime for the greater good. But everyone has a favorite super villain as well. Villains who give our heroes a run for their money and use their powers to stop our heroes. What makes villains so great is that they leave us on the edge of our seats wondering if our lovable heroes will be able to beat them and even survive the epic fight. Here’s our list of the best Supervillains of all time from both the DC and Marvel worlds.
Combining various aspects like strength, stamina, speed, intelligence, power and many other things, here are the 10 best Supervillains of all time.
10. Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is one of the most dangerously intelligent men on the planet- a super-villain, a brilliant scientist, a billionaire industrialist, and Superman’s greatest enemy. This combination makes him an extremely powerful and formidable opponent; he is ruthless, efficient and creative. Which is why, even though he’s a mortal human, he has earned a place on our list. He sets out to expose our alien superhero Superman as a fraud, and to subsequently destroy him, by first pitting Superman against Batman, and then by his monstrous creation Doomsday.
Lex Luthor is a super genius of phenomenally outstanding, wunderkind level, quite possibly the most intelligent human being in the world, notably being in many ways considerably intellectually superior even to a genius like Batman, whom Lex outsmarted with ease, and with Lex referring to even the exceptionally smart and insightful Lois Lane as having a “little mind”.” What makes him one of the best Supervillains of all time, is his ability to master nearly any situation, usually against staggering odds, which makes the super genius a worthy opponent even for Superman himself (despite his lack of metahuman powers). Which is why he able to easily outsmart and keep tabs on not only Batman, but also Aquaman, the Flash, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman simultaneously, despite all of those metahumans, as Lex dubs them, attempting to maintain their secret identities with discreet power usage.
His ability to stay one step ahead of our heroes makes him a threat to them. As a phenomenally formidable tactical and strategic super genius, to the point that he claims not to know how to lose. Given his lack of metahuman powers, Lex, much like Batman, often uses cunning and planning to successfully outwit stronger and more powerful foes, gaining leverage over them rather than simply out-fighting them, often using any of their exploitable weaknesses. Lex often has numerous back-up plans to his back-up plans, accounting for numerous possible scenarios with efficient contingencies, making him extraordinarily versatile and unpredictable.
Since Lex’s ability to predict and gather information on his many opponents allows him to easily out strategize any of them one-on-one, thereby making it almost impossible for them to succeed against Lex. Lex Luthor is exceptionally skilled at escaping unscathed in highly unlikely situations, with him notably somehow escaping from a straight-jacket in Arkham Asylum and going unnoticed until it was too late. The question that is attached with defeating Lex Luthor is : how do you beat a villain who is always a dozen steps ahead of you?
The Anti-Monitor is a supremely powerful being who controls the Antimatter Universe, acting as an evil counterpart to his brother the Monitor. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths he almost succeeded in destroying the positive matter Multiverse, killing untold billions in the process. A monstrous being—both physically and mentally—the Anti-Monitor is one of the strongest and most savage villains mankind has ever faced. He’s capable of consuming both antimatter and positive matter, making and unmaking matter at will, all while altering reality and augmenting his own powers.
Commanding an army of “shadow demons,” destructive warriors of pure antimatter that are loyal only to him, the Anti-Monitor has single-handedly destroyed thousands of universes. He takes lives by the millions and very few can stand in his way. Those who have, including our greatest superheroes, have met defeat and even death such as Supergirl and Flash. He is virtually invulnerable, he has personally battled scores of the strongest heroes from hundreds of universes simultaneously without taking any damage whatsoever, earning himself a place among the best Supervillains of all time.
The Anti-Monitor is also capable of greatly augmenting another being’s powers, as he did with Psycho-Pirate, whose powers were increased to levels too much for him to handle. By far, his most devastating power was the ability to absorb the energies of his surroundings into himself; once he fused with his antimatter universe, he went even as far as absorbing the energies of entire universes. In addition to devouring the energies of untold numbers of universes, he also absorbed the energy of “over one million worlds” in his own anti-matter universe in order to gain the power to travel to the beginning of time to attempt to stop the creation of the positive matter universe. When Earth’s heroes followed him to the beginning of time, he then absorbed all of their power and energy; this made him strong enough to alter the creation of the universe until he was opposed by the Spectre. Although The Anti-Monitor is not immortal, but may be indestructible as long as the anti-matter universe exists.
Onslaught was born from the minds of Professor X and Magneto, and is a nigh-omnipotent villain, and can absorb powers from various other characters. What makes Onslaught so terrible is that he intended to destroy all mutants and humans alike by absorbing the powers of Franklin Richards and Nate Grey to increase his own psionic powers. His own powers include the ability to induce illusions, temporary mental or physical paralysis.
He is also able to read minds and project his own thoughts into the minds of others in vast distances from him with little to no resistance from even the most powerful telepaths. He can induce the loss of specific memories, or total amnesia. He can also project mind-numbing mental bolts, and sense the presence of mutants within a small radius. Also, Onslaught is able to shape and manipulate magnetic fields. His tremendous strength allows him to lift in excess of 100 tons.
Onslaught possesses nigh-omnipotent reality warping powers on a potentially infinite level, and perhaps even up to cosmic level. Onslaught’s armor is nigh-invulnerable and nearly impossible to crack. The only exception was blown from an enraged/Banner-less Hulk and Thor (even then, he only allowed this to happen so that he could go into the next step of his evolution). Onslaught is definitely one of the best Supervillains of all time.
Apocalypse is one of the oldest mutants who has become one of the X-Men’s greatest foes since his first arrival – championing an extreme philosophy of mutant supremacy and survival of the fittest. For Apocalypse, only the strong deserve to survive and anyone that shows weakness should be mercilessly destroyed. His main goal is to plunge the world into a terrible genetic war in which mutants will ultimately rule the world – upon which he will watch as the mutants battled each other until only the strongest, most aggressive individuals survived making one of the main antagonists in the X-Men series alongside Magneto.
Apocalypse is a genius, a level of which humanity cannot comprehend, and has knowledge of certain areas of biology, primarily genetic engineering and mutation, and access to technologies that are far advanced than those of contemporary science. He possesses superhuman strength that he can increase further by drawing upon outside energy sources; Apocalypse has shown to be strong enough to physically restrain the Hulk while the Hulk was in an enraged state. Apocalypse’s body doesn’t produce fatigue toxins during physical activity. He can exert himself at peak capacity indefinitely which makes him a tough villain to battle. He is also highly resistant to injury. With the Celestial modifications made to his body, this resistance to harm was amplified, making him virtually impervious to harm.
Apocalypse’s entire body can be reshaped at will. He can alter his appearance, allow his body to become extremely malleable, maintain his full dexterity, and elongate his body or limbs. He is able to change his size at will; he can increase or decrease the size of his body by taking on additional mass or ridding of it. To add to his abilities, Apocalypse is able to absorb energy and mass to augment the levels of both his strength and power to unlimited potentials. He has ability to project massive energy blasts of destructive force. Apocalypse can also expel energy from his body, and control its directions. Other than that he even has telekinesis powers. All these are more than enough to earn him a place among the 10 best Supervillains of all time.
Nekron is the Lord of the Unliving, one of the best supervillains of all time in the DC Universe, he is able to summon the dead to serve him towards whatever ends he might seek. Nekron is a concept/physical manifestation of the concept of death as a cosmic certainty and as the ultimate opponent and opposing force of all life that exists. Although he is a sentient being, Nekron is not alive as we understand the concept. He is the complete ruler of the Land of the Unliving, a dimension where souls go before their final judgment.
His origins remain completely shrouded in mystery. Nobody knows how he rose to power in his realm, or whether or not he was at one point a living being. Nekron’s position as the Lord of the Unliving gave him a great number of powers that related to death itself. Undoubtedly, one of the best Supervillains of all time, Nekron has the ability to fire bolts of a force called dark lightning from his hands, powerful enough to hurt and even kill the Guardians of the Universe.
Nekron possesses necrotic empowerment is able to gain power from the deaths he causes making him dangerous in battle. Similarly, a touch from Nekron’s hand can chill any mortal to death. Since he is not alive in the sense that we understand it, Nekron is technically incapable of being killed. As such, defeating him is extremely difficult; if defeated he will simply return to the Land of the Unliving. Perhaps one of the most bizarre and creepy super villains!
Hela Odinsdottir was the Asgardian Goddess of Death and former Executioner of Asgard. Hela served as her father’s personal executioner and the leader of the Einherjar, helping to conquer the Nine Realms through violence and war. Ultimately all of Hela’s desires for ruling over more than simply Nine Realms had become too ambitious and attempted to take over the throne sometime after Odin became a peace-time king and thus led to her banishment.
As the eldest child of Odin, Hela has tremendous superhuman abilities and supernatural powers, which are far superior to those of almost other Asgardian, including her younger brother Thor. In fact, she is still more powerful than Thor even after he acquired his full powers. Hela possesses tremendous levels of superhuman strength, which allowed her to single-handedly wipe out all of the Valkyrie, with only their leader barely surviving, despite their leader being powerful enough to almost rival the likes of Thor and Hulk. So much so, despite the Mjølnir being one of the most powerful weapons in existence, she is easily able to catch it with one hand, when it was thrown at her at full speed, and even kept it from returning to Thor. She even crushes it without any visible effort. She also proved to be easily stronger than Thor.
Hela’s body, much like Thor’s, appears nigh-invulnerable, only to a much greater degree, which allowed Hela to easily block spear strikes from a Gungnir-wielding Thor with her bare hands, and to even catch Mjølnir without injury. Hela was even unharmed after grabbing a handful of the Eternal Flame, impaled through the torso with Einherjar’s sword and stabbed with Gungnir by Thor without her body or her clothing being damaged, and emerged completely unharmed after a fully-empowered Thor hit her with massive lightning bolts. Not to mention she has superhuman speed, agility and stamina. She is among the best Supervillains of all time. Hela is also nearly immortal and will survive as long as the realm of Asgard survives. She even has supernatural powers. As the firstborn of Odin, she draws power from Asgard. She can manipulate life and death, can repair damage to her armor and can resurrect her allies. Hela, is without doubt, one badass woman!
Sole survivor of the universe existing before the Big Bang, Galactus is perhaps the most feared being in the cosmos. Perhaps what makes him so powerful is the fact he feeds on planets. Although he initially would go centuries without feeding and when he would feed it would be on inhabited worlds that changed when his hunger increased. He now feeds frequently and on populated planets. He possess immeasurable Power Cosmic, having near Godlike, limitless powers. As such, Galactus is able to employ the cosmic energy within him to produce virtually any effect he desires.
To add to his impressive list of powers is immortality, god like strength, god like stamina and god like speed. One of the best supervillains of all time, Galactus is immune to all diseases, ailments, and toxins. In addition, he is enormously resistant to damage. He was able to survive from two planets colliding and a sizable nuclear arsenal. Unarguably, one of the best supervillains of all time, Galactus can project devastating energy blasts. In effect, after absorbing energy from several planets following a period of starvation, and thus still heavily weakened, Galactus proved capable of destroying at least three solar systems. The list of his powers goes on and makes us wonder how difficult it would be to defeat this villain.
As much as we might hate to admit, Thanos has proved himself to be one of the most powerful super villains ever. After all, he did manage to wipe out half the universe with the snap of his fingers. With the Infinity Gaunlet, Thanos is able to control all aspects time including time and space. He can alter the laws of the universe with the space gem and with the power gem he has all the power in the universe. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he has limitless manipulation of souls both alive and dead and with the mind gem he has the ability to tap the user into the universal consciousness, allowing for unlimited manipulation of psionic powers including telepathy and telekinesis.
What truly makes Thanos a super villain is the fact that he’s a force to be reckoned with even without the stones. By far the strongest and most powerful Titanian Eternal, Thanos is a superhuman mutant whose massive, heavy-bodied form was born with the capacity to synthesize cosmic energy for certain personal uses. Thanos has increased his powers through bionic amplification, mystical enhancement, and as a result of being resurrected by Death itself. To top off the list, he even has superhuman intelligence, strength, speed, stamina and an impressive degree of resistance to physical injury. It’s no wonder he has earned a spot among the 10 best supervillains of all time.
Another mortal enemy of Superman and The Justice League, Doomsday is depicted as a deadly monster genetically-engineered from the depths of prehistoric Krypton. His creator imbued him with few feelings, mostly hate and desire for destruction, which led to him destroying worlds and eventually finding Earth where he meets Superman. Doomsday is the only one in continuity to ever kill Superman; and he did so simply by beating the man of steel to death. Doomsday was killed in the battle, as well, but later healed himself and returned to life, stronger than before. Superman has encountered him on numerous occasions since.
Doomsday has invulnerability probably greater than that of a normal Kryptonian; as well as super strength, super speed, and incredible leaping ability. He also has numerous sharp bony protrusions, which can pierce Kryptonian skin. One of his signature abilities is his regeneration. When he is killed, he comes back to life, resistant to whatever killed him which makes him almost impossible to kill. It goes without saying, Doomsday possess super strength (how else would he be able to beat up the Man of Steel).
Doomsday can also move, react and respond at superhuman speeds that cannot be followed, perceived or detected by the human eye. Doomsday, like Superman, possesses a very high durability capacity and military weaponry like bombs, missiles, grenades, rockets and laser beams cannot harm him. He develops and adapts an immunity to any attack that harms him; a key component of this ability is that he cannot die the same way twice. He was also granted the power of absorbing the energy from objects, and absorbing the life force from other living creatures. It’s no wonder that Doomsday has earned a spot on our list of best supervillains of all time.
As the tyrannical ruler of the planet Apokolips, Darkseid’s ultimate goal is to conquer the universe and eliminate all free will and sentient beings. One of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe, the character became a staple Superman villain and is considered the archenemy of the Justice League. His court consists of some of the most depraved, sadistic and frighteningly powerful beings in the universe. Darkseid’s near limitless might is matched by his immeasurable intelligence, and while he generally prefers to manipulate and control others to reach his goals, he is able to single-handedly stand toe-to-toe against the entirety of the Justice League.
His main power, the Omega Beams, is a form of energy that he fires from his eyes which is capable of erasing living objects and organisms from existence. Some super-beings, such as Superman and Doomsday, have proven to be resistant to the beams, although in the case of Superman, with a great deal of pain. The Omega Beams can also resurrect fallen beings previously killed by them, depending on the Darkseid’s will. He will sometimes use this as punishment upon those who fail him but are too valuable to kill. He can also teleport himself or others through time and space. His Omega Sanction traps organisms in a series of alternate realities, each one worse than the previous.
To add to his powers, he also has immense strength. He has easily overpowered two Kryptonians at once, and the entire Justice League. He can also move with great speed, as he has been able to catch Superman off guard. He is able to react in nanoseconds. Even without his full power and strength, Darkseid has shown to be able to hold out his own against an Olympian God such as Zeus. He can also increase his physical size. Darkseid also has additional powers of telepathy and telekinesis. Anyone who can battle it out with Superman is a force to be reckoned with.