The major comic book universes of both DC and Marvel are filled to the brim with godlike superheroes. Of course they need godlike supervillains to keep their stories interesting and to keep readers thinking the world or the universe is actually at stake when an evil force arrives to threaten it. The problem here is that when we have incredibly powerful supervillains, they have a tendency to appear with too much power and it becomes almost obviously difficult for even the writers to come up with logical or practical ways for our favorite heroes to defeat these immense evils.
These 15 supervillains (in no particular order) are the worst of the worst. They’re all beloved by fans and for the most part, they’ve endured for decades with each of their defeats being only temporary. They range from mere mortals to celestial titans, each one overpowered in their own way. We’ll explore how they’ve met defeat and how they’ve managed to always return. Sometimes it makes sense (as much as any comic book really does) while other times it feels as though everyone needed a convenient and quick way out of a conundrum. As we said, that’s what happens when you have scarily overpowered villains like these.
We can barely imagine how much power a being known as the “World Eater” must possess. Galactus has existed since before the universe was born. After becoming one with the sentience of the universe, he emerged in the new universe with a great hunger, one that requires entire planets to satisfy. His immense power allows him to control the universe around him through telekinesis, matter manipulation, the ability to transport anything through the universe and even the ability to create and restore life.
You’d think the embodiment of a cosmos would be near impossible to defeat, let alone kill. But the heroes of Earth have done it quite a lot with the help of the Ultimate Nullifier, like in Fantastic Four #50. There’s really no need for him to fear things like the Nulifier, given the kind of power we’ve seen him wield.
This psionic creature was created when Magneto’s hatred and anger entered Xavier’s consciousness and the two made psionic contact. The result was the creature called Onslaught, powerful enough to best the unstoppable Juggernaut himself in X-Men Vol 2 #53. Though he was originally a creature of psychic energy capable of incredible telepathic and telekinetic feats, he even absorbed the powers of Nate Grey and Franklin Richards, two incredibly powerful mutants, one of which is capable of reshaping reality on a whim.
Yet he’s still easily affected by things such as the magically induced moral inversion in the AXIS storyline. Remember that this is the psychic entity that absorbed Franklin Richards’ powers, the kid who can control reality itself. It seems like Onslaught was just an incredibly overpowered plot device to have the world’s heroes inverted.
This ancient monster was created millions of years ago by an alien mad scientist named Bertron. He was meant to be the perfect creature through forced and accelerated evolution. He died hundreds of times on prehistoric Krypton and was brought back stronger and more powerful until he no longer needed the scientist in order to return and evolve. As a result, it’s virtually impossible to kill Doomsday the same way more than once.
Obviously, that’s damn near impossible to write when you keep bringing the character back. Take Superman: Doomed #1 in which Superman makes the difficult choice of ripping Doomsday in half. It’s a bit inconsistent with the Doomsday we’ve come to know, but the story needed to progress and the villain was becoming too powerful. Superman tearing the monster apart was a quick and convenient solution to an extremely overpowered antagonist.
The Mad Titan was a member of the Eternals, a race of beings created by the Celestials more than a million years ago. Thanos became the most powerful of them all through genetic, bionic and mystical means. He’s a supergenius capable of telekinesis, telepathy and matter manipulation. He’s also capable of teleportation, time travel and interdimensional travel. Pretty powerful already, right? Well that’s just the start.
In the limited series Thanos Quest, he collected the Infinity Gems so he could fasten them to his Infinity Gauntlet to achieve complete omnipotence, all after having just returned from the dead. At the end of The Infinity Gauntlet we see Thanos become the living embodiment of the universe by leaving his body which is now vulnerable, a fact that Nebula takes advantage of. Clearly it was more power than Thanos (or the writers) were capable of dealing with in a logical way.
11. THE VOID
Robert Reynolds is one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe. He’s also one of its most powerful supervillains. The dormant evil residing within him, the Void, threatens to consume the universe whenever Sentry uses too much power. The Void can control light and darkness and was powerful enough that even Thor and the Avengers couldn’t destroy him. In the end, this entity wielding enough power to destroy the universe, decided simply to retire to the White Hot Room.
One of the rare occasions where a villain becomes so powerful, the only way for his reign of terror to end is for him to be written out through his own choice as opposed to defeat at the hands of a hero. Thankfully, Sentry is now free to be the ultimate hero without living in fear of his own power, because that would have gotten tedious really quickly.
With his deadly Omega Beams, Darkseid has proven to be more than a match for the DCU. He’s capable of erasing any organism from existence or resurrecting them, so it’s to be expected to be labeled as a “god”. He was able to shift two different planets, telepathically possess the entire populace of another and is capable of creating avatars. His greatest strengths however are his skills in manipulation.
We know he’s overpowered because his stories are filled with displays of his constantly increasing power. When he threatens Earth, heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman rally to its defense as quickly as they can. One example of how they were able to defeat him was in Final Crisis, in which Batman shoots Darkseid with a Radion bullet, Darkseid’s only weakness, which is pretty much how you know a character is way overpowered.
The demon Trigon is the embodiment of all evil and resides in a different dimension, conquering each planet but he currently covets Earth because it’s where his daughter, Raven, lives. Trigon is immortal and indestructible, able to take on the Teen Titans and Justice League with barely any effort at all. The only way he has been defeated has been through mystical means, usually by Raven, his most powerful child and thankfully, the only one who seems truly dedicated to being a force of good.
In New Teen Titans Vol 2 #5, Raven defeats her father by enveloping him with her angelic, pure soul. Of course, while he apparently dies in that issue, he inevitably returns, that whole white light obviously not being powerful enough. The power he has been given stops his defeat from having any meaning, even for Raven, which is the more important point here.
Another being of pure evil is Marvel’s Mephisto, ruler of the dimension he refers to as Hell. He has the ability to reshape reality and tamper with time itself, as was made abundantly clear in Amazing Spider-Man #545 when he completely rewrote history and restored Aunt May to life. In fact, Doctor Doom wasn’t even able to defeat him.
Yet he constantly meddles in the affairs of mortals far beneath him. He likes being perceived as the devil, we get it, but if it’s chaos and power he’s after, why bother with people relatively small in power like he does in Black Panther Vol 3 #5? Powerful characters like Mephisto tend to get shoved into plots that don’t really let them exercise their powers or skills to the fullest.
The ruler of the dark dimension has almost unlimited power thanks to the Flames of the Faltine and the worship of his followers. He is Doctor Strange’s deadliest foe and one that could end all life in the universe if he wished. He’s conquered many dimensions over the millions of years he’s existed, and often seeks to conquer all of them. There are many times when he could have easily won, but his arrogance got the better of him.
Despite being written as an ancient being, Dormammu never seems to learn from his mistakes and fell for the same trick twice. The first time, Doctor Strange made him promise never to attack Earth again and the second time, Doctor Strange made Dormammu promise never to attack Earth again via proxy. His very character is a mash of conflicting qualities that don’t seem to match his status of “deity”.
It was Spider-Man who first showed us what a symbiote was capable of. It augmented his strength, speed and agility, could provide camouflage and most shockingly, it could think for itself. It was no mere costume, it was a living organism, feeding on its host. Over the years, we’ve seen more come into existence. First there was Venom, then Carnage, then Toxin and many others. Each one said to be stronger than the last.
Unlike the rest of the supervillains on this list, the symbiotes are here because they’re gradually growing more powerful than they need to be. For example, Carnage sought out mystical means to increase his power in Carnage Vol 2 #6. As if being a symbiote-powered serial killer with strength to overwhelm both Venom and Spider-Man wasn’t enough for Cletus, he was given the ability to easily slaughter everyone around him.
Since Hank Pym first created him, Ultron has been returning after every defeat, renewed and more powerful than ever before. He’s currently outfitted with both adamantium and organic parts, and his ability to connect with and develop any and all sorts of technology makes him dangerous, though his schemes to destroy humankind have always been thwarted.
He has resorted to building a city of of his own to await mankind’s inevitable self-destruction which is the kind of things a character has to do when it’s near impossible to kill him (the heroes of Earth even went so far as to fly him into the sun and he still returned). Now he’s just biding his time until the world is vulnerable enough that he can cripple it through technology, as if he couldn’t really handle it with his unmatched speed of thought and calculative skill.
The first mutant was En Sabah Nur, who used celestial technology to become the most powerful mutant to ever walk the Earth. He was so powerful, he defeated Thor in Uncanny Avengers #6. While he may not have ever reached true god-like power like the other supervillains on this list, En Sabah Nur is still capable of destroying Earth and humankind, even after being destroyed numerous times.
When a villain is this overpowered in comparison to its heroes and death doesn’t even seem to stop him, you have to rewrite the character. To break the cycle, his character has been turned into a little boy, who’s a clone of the original Apocalypse. Evan Sabahnur, or Kid Apocalypse, has the X-Men hoping that nature can be tempered by nurture and that the dark future apocalypse threatened to bring can be prevented.
Brainiac is a techno-organic supervillain that hails from the planet Colu and is capable of psychokinesis and strength that matches Superman’s. With his 12th-level intellect and his vast experience and knowledge in every field of science, he’s more than a match for the Man of Steel and many other heroes in the DC Universe. That’s why it’s so frustrating that with all that power and intelligence, he still fails.
With all the advanced technology and weaponry present in the DCU, Brainiac’s capabilities are terrifying. The only thing stopping him from being more of a menace is the fact that there’s no way to beat him. As we saw in Convergence, Brainiac is now a god-like being. As with most supervillains who wield that much power, he conveniently just wishes to go back to being a simple scientist from Colu, preventing him from stealing away Earth’s cities for his collection.
Slade Wilson is a deadly assassin and mercenary. After undergoing experimentation, he found himself with enhanced strength, speed, agility and intelligence, making him capable of outmaneuvering and outwitting any and all opponents. He usually pits himself against the Teen Titans but occasionally finds himself against far greater superhero teams like the Justice League.
Deathstroke is an overpowered character, plain and simple. He fought Batman twice and won, which was believable because he is a highly trained, augmented hitman. What isn’t believable was when he fought the Justice League by himself in Identity Crisis #3. He didn’t win, but it took a dogpile of superheroes to subdue him which is a bit over the top considering he doesn’t have superpowers in the same vein as the Flash, Hawkman or Black Canary.
Anyone who consistently hounds the Batman has to be a special kind of psycho, which is exactly what the Joker is. Aside from his insanity however, Joker has no superpowers. Physically, he’s just an average guy fighting with a lot of determination. He isn’t a skilled fighter and is usually easily beaten by Batman in hand-to-hand combat. His greatest power is his mind.
He’s never been shown to have just one type of mental disorder, in fact he seems to suffer from dozens of different mental issues. That doesn’t explain why his insanity is so deeply embedded and his mind is so far gone that he was able to withstand Scarecrow’s fear toxin in Batman #496. His insanity makes him more powerful than a lot of superheroes and villains which doesn’t seem right, all things considered.
What other supervillains do you consider to be overpowered? Tell us in the comments!
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