10 DC villains more manipulative than Baron Zemo

Baron Zemo has to be one of the most manipulative villains in both Marvel Comics and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We've seen him disguise villains as heroes, fool the Avengers countless times and even turn Earth's mightiest heroes against one another.

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While he certainly dominates the list of Marvel villains, there's anther huge list of potentially worse foes when looking at DC comics. The rival company has produced some extremely malicious and manipulative rogues in their history and we're taking a look at 10 who could be more manipulative than Baron Zemo himself!

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The Joker is the self professed Clown Prince of crime and there's some truth to his title. His ways of controlling people and mentally breaking them has led him to him becoming one of the most powerful criminals that Gotham City has ever seen in it's history.

It's a bold statement, but the proof is in some of his past accomplishments. We can never forget how Joker managed to completely break down Jason Todd, turning him against his own Bat Family. And of course, the madman has always been one step ahead of Batman, showing his ability to plan for every eventuality.


Lex Luthor is one of the smartest men on Earth. It's this sheer brain power alone that gives him the edge against Zemo. While Zemo is especially adept at being 5 steps ahead of his opponents, Luthor is usually 50 steps beyond that, against much smarter people.

He's also managed to create a suit that can stand up to the man of steel and if that isn't enough, he seems to have an innate ability to work out everyone's weak spot. By finding this out he can use their weaknesses and fears to his advantage, ultimately getting what he wants through his power and wealth.

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One of the few creatures smarter than Lex Luthor is the powerful alien mastermind Brainiac. The collector of the universe has infinite amounts of wisdom and knowledge from the vast data banks in his head. This information is what gives him the manipulative edge.

Brainiac can use his knowledge of Earth and it's people to run circles round it's heroes. He can even break down the powers of the people he is facing from years of research and a real depth of experience. His cosmic range also shows off that he doesn't just manipulate the events closest to home.


Selina Kyle is certainly manipulative enough to work her way into any vault. She's seductive and intelligent, using her charm and wit to get herself in and out of any situation. But it's not just her general manipulation that makes her more proficient than Baron Zemo.

It's the spell she seems to have over Batman that makes her that much more incredible. Very few people can play mind games with the dark knight and Catwoman is one of the even smaller group that has won on many occasions. Zemo could not achieve as much with Bruce Wayne as Catwoman has managed to.

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The Riddler is another iconic villain who has hoodwinked the Bats on a number of occasions and a lot of other DC heroes and villains for that matter. The way that Nigma works is truly remarkable and no one can replicate his style.

That's what makes him so unique compared to other villains. Because of his methods, he has become both calculated and unpredictable. He innovates and stays true to character, which throws people off of the plan even more. These are the tactics of a master manipulator.


You may not quite think of Amanda Waller as a villain but she certainly isn't a hero either. The leader of A.R.G.U.S. and more importantly the head of the Suicide Squad is more than just manipulative. She's cold and completely emotionless.

It makes her perfect for her job. Part of her manipulation of the other villains is physical, with the use of the microchip that could blow out their brains at any moment. But more so than that, there's an emotional element to her campaign, that she often uses to create fear in her victims. She's completely heartless and is good at what she does.

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The Trickster could be considered to be more intelligent than the Joker in some ways, but is absolutely far more manipulative than Baron Zemo. The longtime Flash villain has certainly been able to out think the fastest man alive on many different occasions.

This is because of the level of threat that Trickster is up against he always has to think bigger or perhaps more personal. Whether it's targeting Barry's family, endangering the city, or laying a perfectly set trap, he can usually find a way to push the Flash's buttons in order to subdue him.


Another member of the Batman's rogues gallery, and this time it's the daughter of one of the most gifted warriors in the DC universe. The daughter of Ra's Al Ghul may not be quite as good a fighter as her father, but is arguably more manipulative than him.

Talia has managed to turn her enemies against one another many times and tricked her foes into becoming friends. She's perfect at being able to stab her partners in the back and has the emotional complexity to fool anyone into thinking that she's harmless to them. She has a range of skills Zemo just isn't familiar with.

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The fastest man alive has always had a contender to his claim in terms of speed. But the Reverse-Flash can definitely say that he is smarter than Barry Allen. The fastest man of the future is one step ahead ironically, because of his more advanced knowledge and the emotional information he holds.

As the man who killed Barry's mother, Thawne is always going to be able to manipulate the Flash in some way. It's this emotional story that follows Reverse-Flash wherever he is, although it is also this emotion that can sometimes limit the evil speedster as he becomes enthralled in his obsessive revenge plans.


Harley Quinn has something that no one else really has on this list. She's constantly undermined and more importantly undervalued. Because of this, she's unpredictable in a fight and perceived to be not as intelligent than her partner, the Joker.

In all actuality Harley is probably smarter and better at coming up with plans. No one expects her to be the biggest threat so when she comes in with a hammer and a few tricks up her sleeve she can cause a lot of trouble. She's incredibly manipulative as she plays the perceptions to her advantage, acting dumb when she's sometimes the smartest person in the room. Her psychologist training doesn't hurt too.

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