How To Be A Super Villain Without Even Trying

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This can either be done as part of a huge storyline buildup, or to the shock of readers everywhere in a random occurrence. One thing is for sure -- the changes always keep things interesting. Some shifting of allegiances work better than others. Sometimes incredible storylines come from villains becoming heroes and heroes becoming villains, and sometimes in the end, they should stay true to their roots. We let you decide! Emma Frost was once known as the White Queen, and as such was the leader of the infamous Hellfire Club, featuring the most sophisticated cadre of supervillains in various forms of questionable wear.

Early on, Emma Frost was responsible for much of the disasters that befell the X-Men, which makes it all the more complicated when she became their de facto leader. Besides, Jean Grey already has epic telepathic abilities, and Emma Frost is much more charismatic as a villainess. It will allow for fans to get inside the mind of a character that will be more complex than a two-dimensional enemy often is.

The Venom symbiote feeds off of hatred of Spider-Man, granting its host amazing alien powers as a side effect of their hatred of the web-slinger.

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Part of what made Catwoman an intriguing character was the fact that she was a cat burglar who often associated herself with supervillains, and that Batman was attracted to her despite that. Trying to make her play the hero forces her into a role that is already inhabited by do gooders that fit it well. Her character is much more at home as a femme fatale unrestricted, and making her a hero is akin to declawing a cat -- demoralizing and embarrassing. From the time of his first appearance, Quicksilver was never that committed as a villain. When he became associated with the Avengers, he got to finally discover his own superhero identity, which was made stronger with his alliances with the X-Men and the Inhumans.

One of the most savage characters in the Marvel Universe, Sabretooth has enjoyed a bitter rivalry with Wolverine for decades. Sabretooth has a startling change of heart when Red Skull uses the Onslaught entity to basically alter his personality. The results are permanent, and Sabretooth is essentially defanged, depriving fans of a truly glorious villain and Wolverine of further complex character development. Galactus is a gargantuan supervillain known by the awesome title, "The Destroyer of Worlds".

Introduced as a villain pitted up against the Fantastic Four, he literally feeds on the life force of entire planets. He is near god-like in his abilities, and lacked all empathy. Using a reality warping material and his own incubator, they were able to literally reverse his power so that he could restore life. Since Thanos already exists as a nihilistic and ultra-destructive supervillain, Galactus has emerged as a great foil and a champion for good.

Magneto stands above the motivations of ordinary supervillains as a villain with a moral objective. His commitment to ensure that mutants are treated fairly has resulted in his warped desire for mutants to rule over the humans that persecuted them. There have been many times, however, when Magneto has played the hero.

When he first appeared in The New Mutants 98, the Merc with a Mouth was very much a supervillain out for himself. A highly disturbed mercenary and assassin, he made pithy commentary while he sliced and diced his way through Cable and The New Mutants as well as the X-Men. Having Deadpool become more of an anti-hero over time, and occasionally team up with super teams like the Avengers or the X-Men, brings a thematic complexity to what it means to be heroic and showcases diverse character development for the good guys. Lobo has only one rule as a bounty hunter: honor the contract no matter the cost, even if it means his life.

Now imagine how epic an unstoppable violence machine he would make as a villain, especially if his contracts were famous superheroes. Natasha Romanov has the distinction of being not only one of the greatest assassins in the Marvel Universe, but one of the prominent anti-heroes of the MCU, contributing a darker edge to the Avengers due to her sinister past and ambiguous allegiances. Abandoned as a young orphan in war torn Eastern Europe and indoctrinated as a teenager into an elite all female school for assassins and spies, she has had to undergo serious mental and emotional handicaps to be a good guy, and there are times when she wavers.

Her teammates are not always certain if she has their best intentions in mind, which makes her far more interesting as a hero than if she were a typical run-of-the-mill villain. Unlike her brother, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch was far more effective as a villain. Scarlet Witch is a woman that, even when good, managed to successfully strip every mutant on Earth of their superpowers. Before Rogue became one of the most celebrated superheroes as part of the X-Men, she was a supervillain that frequently pummeled Captain America and the Avengers.

A confused teenager who was horrified by her abilities after they put her first love in a coma, Rogue is far more interesting as a tortured hero than a supervillain. It was during her attack on Ms. Marvel in Avengers Annual 10 that Professor X determined she was more misguided than truly evil, and offered her guidance and a place among the X-Men. Elektra has made a name for herself as one of the deadliest mercenaries and assassins in the Marvel Universe. Batman refuses, arguing that if he allows himself to kill the Joker, he will not be able to stop killing other criminals.

The supervillain returns in "The Clown at Midnight" as a cruel, enigmatic force who awakens and tries to kill Harley Quinn to prove to Batman that he has become more than human. When the Joker escapes, he attacks the Black Glove, burying its leader Simon Hurt alive after the supervillain considers him a failure as an opponent; the Joker is then defeated by the recently returned Batman.

In DC's New 52, a relaunch of its titles following Flashpoint , the Joker has his own face cut off. The Mobius Chair revealed there are "three separate versions" of him on the loose. Though a number of backstories have been given, a definitive one has not yet been established for the Joker. An unreliable narrator , the character is uncertain of who he was before and how he became the Joker: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another Here, the character is a laboratory worker who becomes the Red Hood a masked criminal to steal a million dollars from his employer and retire.

He falls into a vat of chemical waste when his heist is thwarted by Batman, emerging with bleached white skin, red lips, green hair and a permanent grin. This story was the basis for the most often-cited origin tale, Moore's one-shot The Killing Joke. Unsuccessful, he agrees to help mobsters with a robbery and dons the Red Hood. The heist goes awry; the comedian leaps into a chemical vat to escape Batman, surfacing disfigured.

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This, combined with the earlier accidental death of his wife and unborn child, drives the comedian insane and he becomes the Joker. However, the Joker's unreliable memory has allowed writers to develop other origins for the character. He has his fateful first meeting with Batman, which results in his disfigurement. It is suggested that the Joker is sane, and feigns insanity to avoid the death penalty. In Batman Confidential 7—12 , the character, Jack, is a talented criminal who is bored with his work. He encounters and becomes obsessed with Batman during a heist, embarking on a crime spree to attract his attention.

After Jack injures Batman's girlfriend, Batman scars Jack's face with a permanent grin and betrays him to a group of mobsters, who torture him in a chemical plant. Jack escapes, but falls into an empty vat as gunfire punctures chemical tanks above him. The flood of chemicals used in anti-psychotic medication alters his appearance and completes his transformation. The Joker has claimed a number of origins, including being the child of an abusive father who broke his nose, and the long-lived jester of an Egyptian pharaoh.

As Batman says, "Like any other comedian, he uses whatever material will work. A number of alternate universes in DC Comics publications allow writers to introduce variations on the Joker, in which the character's origins, behavior, and morality differ from the mainstream setting. Renowned as Batman's greatest enemy, [] [] [] [] the Joker is known by a number of nicknames, including the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, the Ace of Knaves, and the Jester of Genocide. The original, dominant image is that of an extreme psychopath , [] with genius-level intelligence and a warped, sadistic sense of humor.

This appearance is such a fundamental aspect of the character that when the animated series The Batman placed the Joker in a straitjacket, it quickly redesigned him in his familiar suit. The Joker is obsessed with Batman, the pair representing a yin-yang of opposing dark and light force; although it is the Joker who represents humor and color and Batman who dwells in the dark. Spectacle is more important than success for the Joker, and if it is not spectacular it is boring.

Despite this body count, he is always found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to Arkham Asylum, avoiding the death penalty. The villain displays no instinct for self-preservation, and is willing to die to prove his point. The Joker's main characteristic is his apparent insanity, although he is not described as having any particular psychological disorder.

Like a psychopath, he lacks empathy, a conscience, and concern over right and wrong. In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth , the Joker is described as capable of processing outside sensory information only by adapting to it. This enables him to create a new personality every day depending on what would benefit him and explains why, at different times, he is a mischievous clown or a psychopathic killer. The Killing Joke in which the Joker is the unreliable narrator explains the roots of his insanity as "one bad day": losing his wife and unborn child and being disfigured by chemicals, paralleling Batman's origin in the loss of his parents.

He tries and fails to prove that anyone can become like him after one bad day by torturing Commissioner Gordon, physically and psychologically. Englehart's "The Laughing Fish" demonstrates the character's illogical nature: trying to copyright fish that bear his face, and not understanding why threatening the copyright clerk cannot produce the desired result.

The Joker is alternatively depicted as sexual and asexual. Frank Miller interpreted the character as fixated on death and uninterested in sexual relationships, while Robinson believes that the Joker is capable of a romantic relationship. Harley loves him but the Joker does not reciprocate her feelings, chiding her for distracting him from other plans. Snyder's "Death of the Family" describes the Joker as in love with Batman, although not in a traditionally romantic way.

The Joker believes that Batman has not killed him because he makes Batman better, and he loves the villain for that. The Joker is often depicted as defining his existence through his conflict with Batman. In 's "Going Sane," the villain tries to lead a normal life after Batman's apparent death, only to become his old self again when Batman reappears; in "Emperor Joker", an apparently omnipotent Joker cannot destroy Batman without undoing himself. Since the Joker is simply "the Joker," he believes that Batman is "Batman" with or without the costume and has no interest in what is behind Batman's mask, ignoring opportunities to learn Batman's secret identity.

The Joker is portrayed as having no fear; when fellow supervillain Scarecrow doses him with fear toxin in Knightfall , the Joker merely laughs and says, "Boo! At these moments, the Joker is depicted as expressing remorse for his acts; [] [] however, during a medically induced period of partial sanity in Batman: Cacophony he tells his opponent, "I don't hate you 'cause I'm crazy. I'm crazy 'cause I hate you," and confirms that he will only stop murdering when Batman is dead. The Joker has no inherent superhuman abilities.

The flower in his lapel sprays acid, and his hand often holds a lethal joy buzzer conducting a million volts of electricity, although both items were introduced in as harmless joke items. The Joker has used venom since his debut; only he knows the formula, and is shown to be gifted enough to manufacture the toxin from ordinary household chemicals. Another version of the venom used in "Joker: Last Laugh" makes its victims resemble the Joker, susceptible to his orders.

The character's arsenal is inspired by his nemesis' weaponry, such as batarangs. In "The Joker's Utility Belt" , he mimicked Batman's utility belt with non-lethal items, such as Mexican jumping beans and sneezing powder. His technical genius is not limited by practicality, allowing him to hijack Gotham's television airwaves to issue threats, transform buildings into death traps, launch a gas attack on the city and rain poisoned glass shards on its citizens from an airship.

The Joker is portrayed as skilled in melee combat, from his initial appearances when he defeats Batman in a sword fight nearly killing him , and others when he overwhelms Batman but declines to kill him. The Joker's unpredictable, homicidal nature makes him one of the most feared supervillains in the DC Universe; the Trickster says in the mini-series Underworld Unleashed , "When villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories. He has collaborated with criminals like the Penguin , the Riddler and Two-Face , although these partnerships rarely end well due to the Joker's desire for unbridled chaos, and uses his stature to lead others such as Killer Croc and the Scarecrow.

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Although they have a friendly partnership in 's World's Finest Comics 88, later unions emphasized their mutual hostility and clashing egos. Despite his tendency to kill subordinates on a whim, the Joker has no difficulty attracting henchmen with a seemingly infinite cash supply and intimidation: they are too afraid of their employer to refuse his demands that they wear red clown noses or laugh at macabre jokes. Although Quinn loves the Joker, he is obsessed with Batman and uses her to achieve his goals at her expense. Despite violent abuse, she returns to him.

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Although his chief obsession is Batman, the character has occasionally ventured outside Gotham City to fight Batman's superhero allies. The story is notable for the Joker taking on a relative god and the ease with which Superman defeats him—it took only 17 pages. Asked why he came to Metropolis, the Joker replies simply: "Oh Superman, why not?

The Joker is considered one of the most-recognizable and iconic fictional characters in popular culture Batman's arguable equal , [] [] [] one of the best comic villains, and one of the greatest villains of all time. These debates weigh the positive stopping the Joker permanently against its effect on Batman's character and the possibility that he might begin killing all criminals.

The Joker's popularity and his role as Batman's enemy has involved the character in most Batman -related media, from television to video games. Since the Bronze Age of Comics, the Joker has been interpreted as an archetypal trickster , displaying talents for cunning intelligence, social engineering, pranks, theatricality, and idiomatic humor. Like the trickster, the Joker alternates between malicious violence and clever, harmless whimsy. The trickster is simultaneously subhuman and superhuman, a being that indicates a lack of unity in body and mind.

Rather than the typical anarchist interpretation, others have analysed the character as a Marxist opposite to Batman's capitalist , arguing that anarchism requires the rejection of all authority in favor of uncontrolled freedom. Ryan Litsey described the Joker as an example of a " Nietzschean Superman ," arguing that a fundamental aspect of Friedrich Nietzsche 's Superman , the "will to power," is exemplified in all of the Joker's actions, providing a master morality to Batman's slave morality.

The Joker's controlling and abusive relationship with Harley Quinn has been analyzed as a means of the Joker reinforcing his own belief in his power in a world where he may be killed or neutralized by another villain or Batman. Harley's co-creator, Paul Dini, describes their relationship as Harley being someone who makes the Joker feel better about himself, and who can do the work that he does not want to do himself. The Joker has appeared in a variety of media, including television series, animated and live-action films. WorldCat a catalog of libraries in countries records over productions featuring the Joker as a subject, including films, books, and video games, [] and Batman films featuring the character are typically the most successful.

The role was a defining performance in Nicholson's career and was considered to overshadow Batman's, with film critic Roger Ebert saying that the audience must sometimes remind themselves not to root for the Joker. Voiced by Mark Hamill , the Joker retained the darker tone of the comics in stories acceptable for young children.

After Christopher Nolan 's successful Batman film reboot, Batman Begins , which ended with a teaser for the Joker 's involvement in a sequel, the character appeared in 's The Dark Knight , played by Heath Ledger as an avatar of anarchy and chaos. The Joker has also been featured in video games. Hamill returned to voice the character in 's critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum , its equally praised sequel Batman: Arkham City and the multiplayer DC Universe Online.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other characters or uses of The Joker, see Joker. Fictional character in the DC Universe. Injustice League Injustice Gang.

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Veidt's grinning visage inspired the Joker design. That doesn't seem to matter—just how he is now. I never intended to give a reason for his appearance. We discussed that and Bill [Finger] and I never wanted to change it at that time. I thought—and he agreed—that it takes away some of the essential mystery. Main article: Alternative versions of Joker.

See also: List of Batman Family enemies. Main article: Joker in other media. Mark Hamill voiced the Joker in animation and video games for two decades, and Heath Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for his interpretation of the character in 's The Dark Knight.


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    Abingdon, England: Routledge. August 9, Archived from the original on October 19, In searching for our winners, we generally looked at three criteria that are essential to top-flight mega-nasties. They also have to be remarkable in the screenplay — they usually reflect something relevant back at their respective heroes and have a clever and at least somewhat intelligible, which is all too rare master plan.

    And finally, they have to be played by actors who know how to light up the screen. After all, his Zuck had many of the classic elements of past Lex depictions: insatiable avarice, preternatural calm, eternal condescension, and smugness for days. But Eisenberg and director Zack Snyder chose a different path, one that veered more toward giddy insanity than cool imperiousness.


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    Lazy creators routinely give us little reason to be interested in specific anti-mutant crusaders, merely using them as mouthpieces for simplistic prejudice. Brian Cox and the team behind X2 did as good a job as anyone ever has at crafting a mutant-hater. Stryker to a power-drill-induced suicide.

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    Ultimately, we watch Stryker with fascination because he is a perfect, fleshed-out vessel for our suspicion about the biases and tactics of our own government. Mutant superheroes may be an implausible concept, but there is no worse real-life supervillainy than the use of state power against a minority population. One is the first 16 minutes of the movie, which remains one of the most charismatic stretches in the history of superhero cinema.

    With a box of scraps! Indeed, his nastiness is often the only thing that keeps the movie afloat during long stretches of thin slapstick and the killing of people of color. We are drawn into his conflict with Tony because Obadiah is a living incarnation of adulthood, telling us that our idealism is misguided and that we need to reconcile with the world, not try to overturn it.

    The themes and metaphors are all tapped firmly on the nose, and given that Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer wanted to explore fear, how could they not include the Scarecrow? Cillian Murphy plays this sadistic doctor with unctuous glee, his perverse diagnoses and prognoses dripping from his pouting lips. Murphy is one of the most conventionally beautiful of all of the actors on this list, and that gorgeousness makes him all the more frightening — he brims with the confidence of someone you might go home with and soon come to regret that you did so.

    Ulysses Klaue Andy Serkis — Avengers: Age of Ultron , Black Panther Any villain can be engaging while reciting a monologue about their plan to subjugate or destroy humanity. The character design is pleasantly jarring for a couple of reasons. On top of all that, we have to talk about his vocal delivery. He takes every word and every bit of blocking and wrings them out for every last drop of juice they have. The character design for his costume as the high-flying Goblin is dated no one thinks blocky is sexy anymore , but the visuals are still wonderful, thanks to his intimidating crouch on his ubiquitous hoverboard.

    But come on. He is a brilliant inverse of the titular hero. Instead of watching his rich parents die, his rich parents leave him for dead. Instead of growing up coddled and pensive, he grows up deprived and resentful, thus motivating his journey to and from momentary fame and fortune. The character design is appropriately gut-churning and DeVito manages to play the guy as both despicable and pitiable.

    When those aforementioned penguins carry his corpse into the water like wee little pallbearers, you wish that you could have a little more time with the filthy bugger. Sure, they made mistakes, but they had achieved a kind of utopia in their extradimensional realm of Asgard. Well, what about your own papa? For one thing, director Taika Waititi and costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo created one of the all-time great supervillainous looks for Hela, complete with a murderously thrusting headdress and a onesie whose tones are as dark as her soul. But let us bow down before Cate Blanchett, who could thrill us while reading a comic-book price guide but deigns to invest a great deal of energy in her reign of terror.

    She always sounds refreshed, energized, and in love with herself, like she just took an incredibly luxurious bath. She strides through her every scene with the confidence of a prize Spanish bull, horns and all. When she cackles, the whole Nine Realms cackles with her. Like pythons granted the power of levitation, they squirm and glide through the air, giving metal form to any number of phallic nightmares. They have character, they provide terror; if this were a list of superhero movie weapons , the arms would be No. But they find a brilliant human assistant in the form of Molina, who grabs his role with an enveloping bear hug.

    In his early moments with Peter Parker, he conjures up the platonic ideal of the hard-nosed teacher who sees a spark in you and thus kindles your need for his approval. As such, we see Spidey feel a compelling admiration for his foe and would-be mentor, one that makes the film richer than the average Manichean clash. You do you, Otto. In that way, the Batman Begins Big Bad is one of the most sympathetic of all the characters on this list, and that is his greatest thematic and narrative virtue. We can see his point very clearly, both due to David S. Of particular note is the way he manages to transition from mentor to antagonist without changing a single thing about his performance, thus making us ask whether we can ever trust people with big ideas and motivational demeanors, no matter how appealing they may seem to us at first.

    Neeson also looks great in his various brutalist warrior outfits, and his goatee deserves its own exhibit in the supervillain hall of fame. And if we look closer, we see in the script another identifiable real-world archetype: the aggrieved nouveau riche douchebag.