With the recent release of The Suicide Squad and our own Brendan Jones’ piece on the history of that team of baddies, it’s worth taking a look at some villains causing trouble in the DC Universe. There’s a wide variety of gimmicks and powers that threaten the heroics of our beloved main characters, here are the five that stand out from the pack and give their heroes a real run for their money.
Black Manta is one the deadliest foes of DC with expertise in bladed combat and a helmet that shoots laser beams, he is a full on killing machine. Driven to kill Aquaman out of vengeance for the death of his father nothing will deter this man from murdering the beloved King of Atlantis or anyone who gets in his way. His singularly focused and steely mentality mixed with his expertise and super weapons makes him an extreme challenge for Aquaman.
Once the mentor and trusted friend of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, his betrayal of Jordan and the entire Corps is one of the most tragic moments in DC history. From there his reign of terror across the universe has known no bounds. The formation of his own corps based around the destructive power of fear led to a war with the Green Lanterns and one of the most epic tales in the character’s history.
Luthor is interesting as he possesses no superpowers yet constantly causes serious trouble for DC’s most powerful hero, Superman. Blessed with a genius intellect and privileged with a massive fortune, rather than use these things to help the world he has devoted his life to destroying the Man of Steel. Driven by his own ego and an intense distrust of others, Luthor is a mastermind rivaled by none. A singularly obsessive need to be the most respected man on the planet is constantly threatened by the pure goodness of Superman that boils his blood.
Darkseid is quite literally the devil of the DC Universe. He is the ruler of Apokolips and the ultimate force of evil in the world of the New Gods. Darkseid’s only goal is to bring about the end of life, something he’s rather good at. A threat so powerful it often takes the entire assembly of the Justice League to defeat him. Darkseid is the king of a dark and apocalyptic world who thrives on misery and destruction.
The most terrifying villain in all of comics. His unpredictable and ruthless nature just makes your skin crawl. He finds the humor in the absurdity of rules and morality, he lives only to sow chaos and misery. There is not a shred of humanity in him. There’s no reasoning or bargaining with him, he seems to want nothing. His psychotic and deadly fixation on Batman has created some of the greatest stories in the history of DC comics. His toxic and disturbing relationship with his former therapist Harley Quinn has created one of the most interesting dynamics that still intrigues readers to this day.