Supervillains are always outdoing themselves — they can’t afford not to. With superheroes constantly topping themselves in feats of intelligence and strength, supervillains keep things interesting by offering seemingly insurmountable challenges. This year has been no excuse to the rule. We’ve already seen apocalyptic plots set into motion that promise push Marvel and DC’s heroes to the brink. With there being no shortage of godlike villains attacking the heroes of each company, we’ve decided to take a look at the 20 villains that 2018 has made ridiculously overpowered so far.
Whether it be masterminding a plot that requires near-omniscience or achieving unforeseen levels of physical power, supervillains have found numerous ways to reach OP status. Some of this year’s top antagonists have come out of nowhere. Those like Gamora have traditionally fought for the side of the good before breaking bad in a very big way. Others have played the villain for decades and have just now risen to an A-list status. However, many of the villains on this list have always posed a major threat to the heroes they face off against. They just find a new, creative way to reach new heights of power. In the pages of Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1), we saw the birth of the Red Goblin as Norman Osborn joined forces with the Carnage symbiote. Over in Justice League (Vol. 4), Sinestro is wielding a new Power Ring that promises to shake DCU to the core. So without further ado, here are the 20 villains that 2018 made super overpowered.
One of the biggest shocks in Marvel comics this year has been Gamora’s turn to the dark side in Infinity Wars. Gamora, going by the name of Requiem, has set out to retrieve the Infinity Gems by whatever means necessary. While Gamora has always been a highly skilled fighter and assassin, few could’ve predicted what she’s done thus far in Infinity Wars.
In her furious hunt for the Infinity Gems, Gamora has taken out Thanos and Adam Warlock — two of the most powerful cosmic beings in the entire Marvel Multiverse — in addition to having single-handedly dismantled the entire Avengers team. With Adam Warlock out of the picture, it’s unclear who could possibly stop Gamora.
Eshu, aka the Master of the World, is a nigh-immortal genius, perpetually planning how he’ll conquer the world. Despite these ambitions, Eshu has floundered in C to B list villain territory ever since he first debuted up against Alpha Flight. In the past couple of decades, he’s rarely fought Marvel’s starring heroes, but that’s begun to change recently.
This year has seen Eshu pose as the archnemesis for the Marvel’s youngest generation of superheroes, the Champions. The battle between Eshu and Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, Amadeus Cho, and the rest of the Champions reached an exciting head in Champions (Vol. 2) #21.
When we first see Brainiac in Justice League: No Justice, he sends a psychic message to Superman, showing him how easily he could dismantle DC’s heroes. Brainiac then recruits as many heroes as he can and reorganizes the various teams, building better versions of the Justice League, Teen Titans, and other squads.
The classic supervillain appears to be about to lead the heroes against a multiversal threat before his head explodes. Of course, we later learn that Brainiac’s huge supervillain plan is still in action despite his demise. His plan? Have the Justice League help conquer the planet that he never could — an act that would lead the multiversal threat to instead target Earth.
During Infinity Countdown, Ultron set out to collect the Infinity Stones. Ultron acquired his first Stone — the Soul Stone — after executing Adam Warlock’s evil counterpart, Magus. With the help of the Soul Stone, Ultron unleashed a virus on the planet Saiph that transformed all of its inhabitants into Ultron.
His plan to spread the Ultron virus across the cosmos was interrupted by the combined efforts of Adam Warlock, Silver Surfer, and Galactus. Although his plan was squashed in the end, the event marked Ultron’s most ambitious act of villainy yet. The events of Age of Ultron are nothing compared to a universe filled with Ultrons.
16. THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS
As his name indicates, the Batman Who Laughs is what you get when you combine Joker and Batman into one insanely dangerous supervillain. The Batman Who Laughs’ origins involve him taking out all of the other members of the Bat-family, eliminating the Justice League, and taking over the planet, but that was just the beginning.
The Batman Who Laughs and his legions of Robins were then enlisted by Barbatos to help the demon conquer the entire multiverse. The Jokerized Batman teams up with twisted versions of the Dark Knight from across the Multiverse and nearly succeeds in his ambitious task within the pages of Dark Nights: Metal.
15. THE BLACK ORDER
The Black Order returned with a vengeance in Avengers (Vol. 1) #681. This time acting on the Challenger’s order instead of Thanos’, the Black Order kicked off the “No Surrender” story by obliterating Avengers Mansion. Had it not been for the miraculous intervention of the Voyager, the Black Order would’ve taken out all of the Avengers.
The Black Order would go on to compete for the Challenger against the forces of the Grandmaster. They fought the intervening Avengers multiple times throughout the story, each time proving to be nearly as formidable as their old boss, Thanos. It seems that the Black Order gets exponentially more powerful every time they appear.
The mutant-hunter known as Ahab has returned to Marvel Comics in a big, big way this year. Ahab, a cyborg hailing from the future, mind-controls a vicious group of mutants known as the Hounds. With the Hounds at his side and his extensive array of abilities — which includes being invulnerable to psychic attacks — Ahab has always posed a serious threat to the X-Men.
In Extermination, Ahab is more evil than ever, displaying new abilities as he tracks down the original five X-Men. Ahab’s new ability is thanks to two mutants on his side, Manon and Maxime, who allow Ahab to create new Hounds in a second.
13. HARLEY QUINN/NEO-JOKER
In Batman: White Knight (Vol. 1) #2, a new Joker is introduced. Following the reformation of the original Joker, one of the former Harley Quinns organized a plot to bring her lover back to a life of crime. Standing in as the Neo-Joker until the real one re-emerged, the new villain teamed up with the Mad Hatter and organized a full-scale attack on Gotham.
With the help of Mad Hatter’s mind control tech, Neo-Joker was able to have Batman’s entire rogues’ gallery do her bidding. In the end, it took the improbable team-up between Batman and the original Joker to put an end to Neo-Joker’s plan.
Alpha is highly-advanced Sentinel that first appeared in last years X-Men: Gold (Vol. 2) #4, and nearly took out Kitty Pryde’s team of mutants earlier this year. What sets Alpha apart from other Sentinels is that it’s composed of a cloud of nanites and if just one of the nanites survive, Alpha can rebuild itself.
The extremely intelligent and nearly immortal Alpha put together a plan to destroy mutantkind that involved using the remnants of the Legacy Virus still in Colossus’ body. Alpha’s masterplan nearly came to fruition. Unfortunately for the Super-Sentinel, the combined forces of the X-Men and Alpha Flight were able to prevent a mutant apocalypse.
11. CASSANDRA NOVA
Professor Xavier’s evil twin sister, Cassandra Nova, made her return to Marvel comics earlier this year in the pages of X-Men: Red (Vol. 1) #1. Cassandra, a world-class telepath, met her match in the recently resurrected Jean Grey. The villain’s latest plan involved using her psychic abilities to spread mutant-hate across the globe and framing Jean for the assassination of a high-ranking official.
Cassandra’s war on Jean and her X-Men is still waging in X-Men: Red, but Namor has recently joined the fight, turning the tide against the evil telepath. Regardless of how the conflict ends, Cassandra has already done serious damage to the mutant cause.
Fans didn’t get what they were expecting when they opened Batman (Vol. 3) #50. DC’s wedding of the century couldn’t have gone worse for the Dark Knight, who was planning on tying the knot with Catwoman. After a talk with her longtime friend Holly Robinson, Catwoman becomes convinced that the world needed Batman and it would be selfish to take him for herself.
Thus, Catwoman calls off the wedding, but the second twist comes on the story’s last page as we learn that Holly had been sent by Bane to convince Catwoman to call things off. While Bane’s total involvement in Batman’s latest break has yet to be disclosed, it was strongly hinted that he’d been planning Batman’s broken heart since the engagement.
9. THE POISONS
Marvel’s symbiotes met their match when the Poisons made their debut in Venomverse (Vol. 1) #1. The extraterrestrial species known as the Poisons fed off the symbiotes, assimilating them in order to become stronger. Venomverse saw the Poisons overwhelm an army of Venomized heroes from across the multiverse.
The Poison’s ambitions grew with their power and they set out to conquer the multiverse. Sure enough, they invaded Earth-616, immediately causing trouble for the time-displaced X-Men. During Venomized, the army of Poison superheroes went to war against Earth-616’s defenders. Poison Thanos nearly led his legions to victory but was defeated by Marvel Girl and company.
Zoom made his long-awaited return to the DC Universe earlier this year. The evil speedster teamed up Eobard Thawne to take out the two Flashes, Wally West and Barry Allen. Zoom organized the events of “Flash War”, convincing Wally to destroy the Speed Force in order to save his wife and kids.
Wally’s desperation leads him into conflict with Barry. Sure enough, Wally and Barry do what Zoom thought they would — they break the Speed Force, creating an opening to the various other super Forces within the DCU. Zoom absorbs the Strength Force and Sage Force among others before disappearing into the Speed Force.
7. ROGOL ZAAR
One of the first things that writer Brian Michael Bendis did upon arriving at DC was introduce a brand-new A-list Superman baddie. Rogol Zaar made his debut in Action Comics (Vol. 1) #1000, claiming to have been responsible for the destruction of Krypton. Man of Steel (Vol. 2) saw Superman enter into several brutal bouts with his nemesis.
The new Doomsday-like villain holds a deep hatred for Kryptonians, ensuring that he’ll stop at nothing to take out Superman and Supergirl. Although Man of Steel (Vol. 2) concluded with Zaar’s imprisonment in the Phantom Zone, we’re confident that it won’t be long until he makes his vengeful return.
One of Marvel’s stranger villains, Mojo, fought the time-displaced X-Men in X-Men: Blue (Vol. 1) toward the beginning of 2018. The X-Men crossover event, “Mojo Worldwide”, saw Mojo attempt to increase the ratings for his television program by invading New York and kidnapping various X-Men.
Once Mojo held a group of mutants captive, he’d simulate an event from their history and broadcast it for the world to see. Mojo’s desperation for views escalates to the point where he transforms New York into a copy of Mojoworld. In the end, it took a small army of X-Men to finally put a stop to Mojo’s chaos.
Knull is an ancient evil originating before the birth of the 616-universe. Known as the god of the Klyntar, Knull used an army of symbiotes to wage war on his fellow gods and conquer civilizations across the universe. Eventually, the Agents of the Cosmos were formed, a group of benevolent symbiotes that rebelled against and imprisoned Knull.
This year saw Knull’s vengeful return in the pages of Venom (Vol. 4). Knull formed a temporary body to help him enact his plan that would ultimately free his true form from its cage. Although Venom was able to stop him, we have a feeling that Knull will only come back worse than ever.
Ghost was a surprising choice for an MCU villain. But sure enough, she appeared more formidable in Ant-Man and the Wasp then she usually does when she/he pops up in the comics. The Ant-Man sequel introduced Ghost as a force of nature, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that would stop at nothing to cure her disease.
Armed with the power of intangibility, Ghost singlehandedly took on Ant-Man and Wasp several times throughout the film, proving to be more than enough for the bug-sized heroes to deal with. Luckily for the heroes, Ghost was far from evil and was able to peacefully leave the duo at the end of the movie.
Justice League (Vol. 4) #2 introduced an entirely new force in the DC Universe — the Ultraviolet Corps. The Ultraviolet Corps is a Lantern Corps representing the unseen light from the electromagnetic spectrum. Sinestro Thaal gets his hands on one of the Ultraviolet Power Rings. Powered by the mysterious Invisible Emotional Spectrum, Sinestro immediately shows off the abilities of the Ultraviolet Ring by assimilating John Stewart to the Ultraviolet Corps.
Sinestro then commands Stewart to wreak havoc on his Justice League teammates. Sinestro goes onto transform tons of beings into slaves to the Ultraviolet Corps, assembling potentially the largest Lantern Corps to date.
2. MISS SINISTER
In recent years, Miss Sinister has primarily antagonized the original five X-Men in the pages of X-Men: Blue. Together with the other members of her cabal, Havok, Bastion, and Emma Frost, Miss Sinister plotted to release the Mothervine virus across the globe. The virus would ensure that the next generation would be almost exclusively comprised of mutants, and that, unbeknownst to Emma, Sinister would be able to control those infected by the virus.
1. NORMAN OSBORN
Earlier this year, two of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies teamed up. Norman Osborn acquired the Carnage symbiote in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #795 and became the Red Goblin shortly after. The combination of the Goblin Serum and the Carnage symbiote proved to be way too much for Spider-Man to handle at first.
Over the course of the story, Osborn discovered Spider-Man’s identity, hunted down and fought the entire Spider-Man family, and took out Flash Thompson. In the end, Osborn could only blame himself for his defeat. During his final confrontation with Spider-Man, Osborn arrogantly cast aside the Carnage symbiote, only to be defeated by the web-head.
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