It looks like DC Comics is kicking off their Year of the Villain event with a literal bang! After faking his death, Lex Luthor bestows all of his assets to the various villains of the DC Universe? To what end, you might be wondering. The only goal that's ever really mattered to Luthor in the long run - dismantling the Justice League and besting Superman once and for all!
We already know that major players like the Joker and Sinestro will make big plays during the Year of the Villain. However, we hope that the following ten underrated evil-doers will have their time in the limelight as well. Considering that Scott Snyder and his crew promise to shake up the DCU forever, we'd love to see a paradigm shift - one in which previously underappreciated bad guys find a place at the top of the totem pole!
Despite being the embodiment of God's vengeance, Eclipso chumps out the Spectre like its a second hobby! In fairness, Eclipso is the Spectre's older brother - born (for lack of a better word) as Galid, Eclipso started as the embodiment of God's Warth. However, Eclipso's methods were too extreme and caused too many casualties - necessitating The Spectre's ability to temper anger with keen insight.
Eclipso wasn't too happy about getting replaced, prompting him to spend eternity trying to get back at God - rather than, you know, ease up on all the wonton carnage. Eclipso could wreak havoc on a genuinely Biblical scale during the Year of the Villain, should Scott Snyder put him in the field.
9 Veronica Cale
Devilishly intelligent, insanely ambitious, and unshakeably convicted in her beliefs - Veronica Cale is a female version of Lex Luthor! But whereas 'Sexy Lexy' devotes all of his time and energy to beating Superman, Cale's only got eyes for Wonder Woman! To that end, Veronica Cale uses most of the money and resources at her disposal to try and kill Diana.
Wonder Woman probably has one of the least remarkable rogues' galleries in the comic book world, next to Aquaman. We think that a big bad as devious as Cale deserves more time in the limelight. The Year of the Villain could be the perfect time for Veronica to put everyone on notice - cementing herself as a key Wonder Woman antagonist going forward.
Whenever Giganta hits the scene, fights graduate from super-powered skirmishes to full-blown Kaiju wars! Born with a rare disease, Doris Zuel became a scientist and conducted numerous experiments in a bid to cure herself. As Zuel became more desperate, her methods became increasingly immoral - pitting her against Wonder Woman! Something went horribly wrong, or horribly right, during one of Zuel's experiments, giving her the power and stature of a giantess.
Most folks probably have a casual understanding of Giganta, but don't know her on an in-depth level. That could change during the Year of the Villain; Giganta could make a huge impact on the DCU - possibly by taking Wonder Woman down a few pegs.
Batman has the Joker, and Superman has Lex Luthor, but most people probably couldn't tell you who Wonder Woman's archenemy is. Which is a shame, because Circe's fought Diana for decades - using her immense magical prowess to make the Amazon's life a living Hell at times! If anyone is going to take Wonder Woman on during the Year of the Villain and successfully beat her, it's likely going to be Ares or Circe.
Conversely, the villains could do a switcharoo - prompting Circe to take on Superman! Considering that one of Kal-El's weaknesses is magic, we think that Circe has a high chance of successfully beating Superman!
We think that there's something admirable about attempting to beat the unbeatable. Many of Superman's top-tier foes fit that bill; Darkseid is an evil god, Solaris was an artificial star, and Doomsday can recover from any wound! However, the man of Steel never surrenders to any of these foes, despite the odds against him.
Imperiex-Prime, however, gave Superman and Mongul pause during the Imperiex Wars. That's because this space-faring fiend possesses the power to destroy whole universes! If Lex is genuinely making a play to put the Man of Tomorrow out of commission, he might need someone like Imperiex-Prime on his side.
On the other end of the 'Overpowered spectrum,' we have Toyman. Imperiex-Prime can come at Superman with the power of the Big Bang. Meanwhile, Toyman has naught but his wit and will at his disposal - well, that and a menagerie of deadly handmade toys! But these aren't simple slinkies or useless yoyos - Toyman's trinkets are high-tech war machines in disguise!
It's honestly admirable that Toyman's ever managed to give the Justice League trouble at all; he's not super strong or super-rich, but he is very intelligent and talented. Hopefully, Toyman will have a chance to show the DCU just what he can do during the Year of the Villain.
Imagine, for a moment, that you're Superman; you're gliding through Metropolis' skies, whistling John Williams' legendary tribute to you in your head, then BAM! You come crashing down to Earth after a singing beam of green energy blasts out of the heavens. Nauseous and weak, you stumble to your feet and force your eyes open - only to see the freaking Terminator charging right at you!
Okay, John Corben isn't actually from James Cameron's blockbusting sci-fi franchise, but he certainly looks the part. John Corben used to be a normal man until a life-altering injury made him a cyborg - one with a kryptonite heart and an undying desire to kill Superman! While we hope that Corben fails to murder the Man of Tomorrow, we hope to him make big moves during DC's Year of the Villain event. Hopefully, moves that will take him to a much happier place in life.
3 Calendar Man
Yeah, Calendar Man isn't the most explicitly intimidating criminal in Gotham City, that adds to his charm. Julian Gregory Day doesn't have Bane's physical might, Ra's Al Ghul's refined skills, or Mr. Freeze's bleeding-edge tech. But what Calendar Man does have is the patience and foresight to make the Year of the Villain a sadistically momentous occasion for the Dark Knight.
We'd also like to remind everyone that Calendar Man outsmarted real-life people via the Arkham games. It took players three years to find one of Julina's easter eggs - despite all of the data miners and hackers that play games! If Julian's on point, Batman might need to triple check his Calendar during the Year of the Villain.
2 Killer Croc
We don't know about you readers out there, but most of us at CBR were pretty underwhelmed with Suicide Squad's take on Killer Croc. Don't get us wrong, the film's Art and Makeup departments, alongside the ever underrated Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, did a phenomenal job bringing the character to life - but Croc's characterization was paper thin!
Waylon Jones is a man who's lived his entire life as a poverty-stricken outcast; the only place that grants him any sort of reprive is Gotham City's sewer system. Yet, all David Ayer could have him strive for was BET! We hope to see Waylon carve out a better life for himself in during the Year of the Villain - hopefully, not at the expense of Bruce Wayne's life.
Most people would agree that the Joker is a twisted reflection of Batman in several ways; Batman strives to maintain order in Gotham, while the Joker is "an agent of chaos." Both men also started down their paths due to the events that transpired on "one bad day" - though what exactly happened to the Joker, and when it occurred, is one of the comic world's greatest mysteries.
Prometheus, however, is a genuine negative image of Batman; his parents were career criminals who were gunned down by the police when he was a child! He then went on to dedicate himself towards committing elaborate crimes, as opposed to stopping them. if anyone deserves more attention during DC's Year of the Villain event, it's a villain that inverts the very concept of Batman.