Like blondes, villains always get to have the most fun. Who wants to bog themselves down with menial, boring tasks like saving the world when they could be out there with a license to do outrageous things.
In superhero town, these heinous troopers are often geared in the better costumes, brandish the cooler weapons and utter the more famous one-liners.
Despite this, it’s the antagonists who don’t get the recognition they so splendidly deserve. Without them messing stuff up and kidnapping really important people, the good guys would never get a chance to show-off or ride into the sunset with the hot chick.
Let’s face it; a real superhero is only as awesome as his evilest super villain. Here we pay homage to some of our favourite bad boys; the mad-cap cons and dapper dons; the double-crossing militants, belligerents, the crass and everlastingly bad-ass.
#1. The Joker (Heath Ledger) in The Dark Knight
Wicked Wisdom: “I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you… stranger”
Jack Nicholson’s turn in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman introduced us to the caped crusader’s fanatical nemesis, but it was the late Heath Ledger’s version that truly blew our mind with his casual menace and believable strength. He was the embodiment of beautiful terror; a complete psycho beyond repair who had no qualms slaughtering people like lambs and stuffing grenades into the mouths of those who offended him. For once, this wasn’t a cartoonish fop of a prankster, but a nuanced, deeply disturbed villain whose existence questioned the very fundamentals of what it meant to fight, and why.
#2. Magneto (Ian McKellen & Michael Fassbender) in the X-Men series
Wicked Wisdom: “I think what you really fear is me. Me and my kind… Mankind has always feared what it doesn't understand”
Many argue if Magneto should be called a villain. After all, his motives have always been to serve the greater good of mutants. It’s perhaps his methods that fall on the unprincipled, illicit side of the dock. And all this is precisely what makes Magneto such a mind-bendingly interesting bad guy. Fassbender showed us his angsty, sensitive side while McKellen displayed his ruthless swagger. Deemed as the most powerfully dangerous and foremost frenemy of the X-men, this is also one villain you’ll be hard pressed to not admire.
#3. Venom (Topher Garce) in Spiderman 3
Wicked Wisdom : “I like being bad. It makes me happy”
Everyone remembers Dr. Octopus and The Green Goblin (or specifically, James Franco as the new goblin) from the Spiderman franchise for their breathtaking action sequences and boyish good looks respectively. Rarely is Topher Grace’s delectably vicious Venom a.k.a Eddie Brock given credit, when his character was the lone saving grace in Sam Raimi’s directorial disaster Spiderman 3. As Peter Parker’s chief competition in the film, Brock was ambitious, unscrupulous and looked like he pretty much owned every other superhero villain when he came in contact with the alien symbiote and morphed into Venom:
#4. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) in Green Lantern
Wicked Wisdom : “How wonderful that all it took for you to grow up was the end of the world”
Forget Ryan Reynold’s laughable CGI generated costume and Green Lantern’s embarrassing lack of storyline, Hector Hammond is the undisputed bona fide hero of the movie. Even when surrounded by cheap effects and burdened with a bulbous cranium, Hammond (and huge props to Saarsgard) is terrifically creepy and uncomfortable—he’s an evil scientist with Daddy issues who mixes fear with petty jealousy in an attempt to steal damsel Carol Ferris’s affection. It’s almost as though this dastardly delicious villain belongs in a different, better film.
#5. Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Batman Returns
Wicked Wisdom : “How can you be so mean to someone so meaningless?”
Who said all the best adversaries had to be men? Michelle Pfeiffer’s scheming, salacious Catwoman proved that girls could one-up the guys, much better and in style. Selina Kyle (Catwoman’s human alias) provided the perfect romantic foil for both Bruce Wayne and Batman, and like The Joker, her hostility stemmed from insanity, making her one of the more compelling personalities in the Batman franchise. Plus, anyone who can pull off that campy “meow” scene with such sexy finesse warrants a mention on any top villains list:
#6. Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) in Captain Americ: The First Avenger
It’s going to be difficult to disassociate Weaving with a super villain other than his malevolent, enigmatic break-out role as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy. Though in Captain America, the dude is virtually unrecognizable and mostly rules his world from behind a red mask. Playing Johann Schmidt, or Red Skull, he’s the first failed test case of the serum which magically erased Chris Evan’s scrawny CGI body to his ab-licious present self. He’s splintered away from the Nazis, abducted some troops, built a lot of spectacularly potent weapons of mass destruction and we say it doesn’t get any more badass than that. So far the Captain America trailers have been pretty coy with his appearances, but it’ll have to suffice until we catch the movie in theatres come July 28:
Don’t miss checking out our homage to all things Superhero on inSing!
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As the old adage goes, behind every awesome superhero, is an even awesome-er damsel to put up with his crap.
When the best defense is not a good fashion offence..
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