Friday Five – Villains

Snidely Whiplash

Welcome to the Friday Five! Each week we help you get to know a few of our writers with the help of a top five list. This weeks category: Villains.

Villains. . . Without them there’d be no heroes. No good guys. No proper stories. Mario would never exist if he didn’t need to save Panelope from Donkey Kong, or Princess Peach from Bowser. Sonic would just have all the Chaos emeralds and peace would thrive without Dr. Robotnik and Dr. Eggman. Samus wouldn’t have bounties to hunt without bad guys doing bad things. Spider-Man would just be a man with great power, and no responsibility if villains didn’t exist. Sometimes they’re lame. Sometimes they’re insane. Villains are, however, always one of the most important aspects of a hero. These are out favorite villains.


  1. Raʾs al-Ġūl most personifies the trait I think any great villain has. He thinks… HONESTLY BELIEVES… that he is doing the right thing to help the world. I mean, sure, his mind has been corrupted by years of exposure to the Lazarus Pits but he makes some very good points. The best is that he honestly believes that his methods will create a better and safer world. In the short term he is fine with genocide to achieve that goal because he lived thousands of lives and unlike most men, has lived to see the consequences of their actions. Men make short sighted decisions because they have short lives. Ra’s has lived long enough to know they only end up hurting the world and that no matter how many die in one of his crusades, more will always come.
  2. The Joker – Batman’s most well known villain. Unlike Ra’s, the Joker can’t be reasoned with. He cares not if he is right or wrong because he sees the absurdity of life. He knows the truth that Ra’s knows best. Because of our short life spans it’s all just build up to the punchline. We die. All of us. And no matter what we do; the legacy we leave (Especially “The Batman”) it’s only a few generations until we are ALL forgotten about. The Joker knows why Batman is Batman; but still laughs in his face because of all the good Batman will ever do, he is only a man and like any man will die and be forgotten about. All of this is reflected in his psyche and his crimes.
  3. Darkseid – The dude shoots Omega Beams out of his eyes and smacks around Superman like a rag-doll. The only reason he hasn’t killed everything in existence is because he’d be bored with no one to rule over. The only reason he doesn’t kill all of Earth’s heroes is because he focused on the Anti-Life Equation. Oh, and you can’t kill him.
  4. Venom – I don’t have a lot of good reasons to like Venom other than I love Todd McFarland and was born in the 80’s. His introduction is the perfect way to have Spider-Man go dark without changing who Peter Parker was and the resulting storylines set him up as a great antithesis to what Spider-Man stands for. Later on they flesh out the symbiote as it’s own character and we really see the evil that exists within. At one point, when Eddie Brock has cancer and the symbiote could EASILY cure him it simply sees him as a weak man and leaves him with no remorse despite the time they spent together. It then drops it’s next user mid web swing simply because it didn’t like him. It’s now neutered (maybe) and living on Flash Thompson who uses it to be a soldier of fortune. My guess is that we haven’t seen the last of the symbiote as force for evil.

Ra's al Ghul in the Lazarus Pit


Villains tend to be jerks, and want to destory/take over/ or something else bad. The funny thing is sometimes you end up rooting for them, like Captain Jack in the Pirates movies. I don’t mention him though, I went a bit more tradition so here it goes.

  1. Shredder (Oroku Saki) – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Growing up Shredder was actually kind of a frightening villain. Especially after seeing the movies, he was deadly and his armor had all kinds of blades on it. But like it should be the Turtles always triumphed, and Shredder was always left to plot for another day to take over the world and have him so turtle soup. The current version of Shredder in the IDW series is pretty badass, he’s way different that previous version, except maybe from the early 2000’s TMNT series.
  2. The Joker – Batman – Who doesn’t love the Joker, he’s been portrayed so many times in so many different ways. Every movie featuring the Joker gives you a different take on the Clown Prince of Crime. No matter what though he’s always crazy, and one of Batman’s greatest villains, especially in the comics where he does some truly terrible things, like cutting off his own face. And we can’t forget that he’s voiced by Luke Skywalker in Batman: The Animated Series along with several other things.
  3. Magneto – X-Men – The Master of Magnetism may not be a villain anymore, but he’ll always go down as one of the greatest comic bad guys ever. If you’re not familiar with his comic book biography, just look at the movies, he’s done some pretty terrible stuff.
  4. Green Goblin – Spider-Man – Green Goblin hasn’t been a spidey villain for a while, infact the original, and true goblin, Norman Osborn has moved on to be a major marvel villain without a mask in recent years. All that is changing soon though, check out my Take It Or Leave It from this week to see what I mean. Regardless he’s pretty much Marvel’s take on the Joker, he’s crazy, but brilliant and hell bent on destroying the life of his enemy. And I don’t mean killing, I mean really just ruining everything Spider-Man ever loved or cared about, even if it involves his own Son or the mother of his other illegitimate children.
  5. Shishio Makoto – Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) – I haven’t really watched Anime in a long time, but one thing that will always be true, it’s a media that has some of the best villains, and Shishio from Kenshin is definitely one of them. He’s like the opposite of Kenshin, they held the same job at one point, but had vastly different outcomes. Now Shishio just wants revenge and boy does he come close to getting it.

Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Villains can be the most compelling driver in a story. A true villain can make you feel for their cause, and question the heroics trying to stop them. But some villains just want to see the world burn, for no other reason than entertainment. There have been plenty of amazing villains over the years, so i’ll try my best to pick the ones that stood out above the rest for me.

  1. Big Boss – Big Boss is probably the greatest villain of all time. What makes him so compelling is that we witness his rise to heroism first hand. But as Harvey Dent said “You either die a hero, or see yourself live long enough to become the Villain.” Big Boss took the latter path. Not because he wanted to, because he needed to.
  2. Handsome Jack – Handsome Jack is one of the few villains that makes his presence known from the very beginning of the game. Literally as soon as you can move he’s taunting you on your ECHO device, and he doesn’t stop for the entire duration of the story. He’s brilliant, and ruthless. I found myself wanting nothing more than to see his corpse rotting on the ground by the end of the game. A fantastic villain.
  3. Diablo (Diablo series) – The Lord of Terror himself has been the final boss in games for over 15 years. He’s lead scores of minions against the world of Sanctuary all in his unending quest to destroy the high heavens.
  4. GlaDOS – This diabolical machine lives only to test. Even after the world has crumbled and fallen to shit she just creates tests to run. It may not sound terrible, but when you learn that within seconds of being activated she killed pretty much everyone in the Aperture Science Laboratories with a deadly neurotoxin, on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, well. . . it becomes pretty apparent that you don’t want to mess with her.
  5. Dr. Nefarious – He’s sort of like a classic bond villain, but in space. He’s got a master plan to stop Captain Qwark, he has a rather. . . extravagant presentation, and Dr. Nefarious has a terrible temper. If he gets too upset he sometimes fries his circuits, freezes in place, and plays out scenes from an old romance movie. His sarcastic butler Lawrence fixes this with a smack to the head.

Honorable Mention – Alduin: The World Eater. Sure Galactus has a similar title, the difference is that he’s not a giant Dragon. Nor does he have a massive mural depicting his prophecy. So ha! Wear you’re stupid purple helmet Galactus, Alduin is going to go breathe some fire and do other dragon-y shit.

Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid 4

is not a boss.

You can Email Eric or follow Eric on Twitter @EricSweeten or Facebook

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