Part of what makes superhero/comic book films so entertaining is perhaps the most crucial element of the story: the villain. The villain is essentially the heroes’ greatest challenge and everyone looks forward to how the bad guy will be shaped and essentially translates on screen. With DC and Marvel owning the essential monopoly on superhero cinematic venues, I want to take a look at 12 comic-book villains that deserve their on-screen time. The following DC and Marvel baddies are among some of the most sinister and psychologically twisted in their respective universes, but they have gone unnoticed in the eyes of the producers of the comic-book film studios, who have decided to go in favor of more familiar faces and notable names.
Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, has been a mainstay in the DC mythology since the 1980s, but he has become more popular and recognized by mainstream audiences of late. In fact, Deathstroke has been featured in animated films, video games and television for the last few years now. Slade Wilson began as a soldier, highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat and adept to modern styles of warfare, until he was chosen to participate in a covert military experiment, endowing him with metahuman abilities such as enhanced strength and regenerative healing. After the process, Slade became a mercenary, thus beginning his career as an agent of injustice, allying himself with various groups including the Injustice League and the Suicide Squad. Deathstroke’s cinematic appeal can be found in how moldable his character can be. With the right writing he could prove to be a formidable adversary to anyone in the DC Universe.
If this guy can pose a threat to Superman, he can pose a major threat to anyone in the DC Universe, hero and villain alike. Krypton’s Brain Interactive Construct is an artificial intelligence that fled the dying world and followed the Man of Steel to Earth, where he, Superman and a collection of other notable DC characters have engaged in numerous battles, only for Brainiac to be defeated, but not destroyed. As a sentient being, Brainiac is capable of finding a means to preserve itself to fight another day after gathering enough strength. Brainiac has been a central and powerful villain to Superman and the Justice League since 1958. A villain as dangerous as Brainiac would be an ideal adversary for Superman or any member of the Justice League if Zack Snyder’s DC Cinematic Universe is established fully.
This guy may have originated from Batman’s rogues gallery, but is a formidable figure for any DC hero to contend against. Black Mask began as Roman Sionis, born to a wealthy and prominent Gotham family, much like Bruce Wayne, but the Sionis clan were very vain and snooty individuals who looked down on everyone, especially those in their own financial class like the Wayne Family. Driven by hatred towards his uptight and pretentious parents, Roman burned their house to the ground, killing them and began his new life as a crime lord hellbent on retribution towards those who he claimed had done him wrong. Black Mask may not have extensive super-human abilities but he is tough hand-to-hand fighter who can hold his own and his mask somehow gives him the ability to hypnotize his foes. He can be a character that can be written into a significant role in any potential DC movie, either as a leading villain or a supporting villain.
If Vandal Savage was ever given the opportunity to be featured in a superhero movie, I pray the writers do their diligence with him because he has the makings of an epic character. Quite simply, Vandal Savage is immortal; he has been a harbinger of crime, corruption, death and destruction long before history was recorded. During the Stone Age, Savage, or as he was known then as Vandar Adg, encountered a meteorite that gave off a radiation that exponentially boosted his intellect and gave him the gift of immortality. In the DC Universe, he was known to be a ruler of great civilizations known by the names of Julius Caesar, Ghengis Khan and Alexander the Great, as well as Jack the Ripper, and worked with various historical figures including William the Conqueror, Napolean Bonaparte, Ra’s Al Ghul and Adolf Hitler. This immortal has seen and written millennia of historical science and warfare. Coupled with his genius level intellect and his superhuman ability, this guy could drive the Justice League to the limit.
Professor Ivo and Amazo
DC has taken a page out the Frankenstein novel when they came up with these two characters, but they still pose a significant threat. Anthony Ivo has always been afraid of death since he was a child but when he came of age, he believed that cybernetics were the key to avoiding death entirely. He took up agency with a criminal organization called Locus and went on to build his greatest creation: Amazo. He thought his android was the key to give himself immortality and he then ordered his new weapon to attack the Justice League and drain their abilities, to achieve his life-dream of living forever. Professor Ivo is a genius by himself, but Amazo is his ultimate defense with his ability to mimic the metahuman abilities of any DC hero from Flash, to Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter etc. These two are formidably dangerous as a tandem.
Arkady Rossovich began his career in crime as a Russian serial killer. He was apprehended and turned over to the KGB who sought to create their own super soldier, the way the U.S. produced Captain America. He was implanted with tentacles in his arms made from an alloy comparable to adamantium called carbonadium, which he uses as grappling appendages and they also have an ability to drain the life energy out of his victims and replenish his own. With the carbonadium tentacles, in addition to his super strength and healing factor, Omega Red is a tough customer in the Marvel Universe. He is a character who could be written into any already established franchise and fit right in.
The Enchantress and the Executioner
Loki isn’t the only magician hailing from Asgard. Amora the Enchantress, had to sleep her way to become what she has become, but there has only been one man who she has carried a torch for: Thor. Initially, Loki required her services to remove Jane Foster from Thor’s side, but she saw an opportunity to take the god of Thunder for herself, but she couldn’t perform the task alone. Despite being a beautiful and powerful practitioner of magic, she recruited Skurge the Executioner as her muscle. Skurge has been in love with Amora for some time now, but she simply uses his strength and his skill with a magical battle axe for her own purposes. Enchantress’ mastery of the Asgardian mystic arts range from mind control, telepathy, transmutation, energy blasts and illusions, and with Skurge as an ally, they are a comic-book rendition of Bonnie and Clyde capable of giving anyone grief, not just Thor.
Loki and Scorpio could be seen as kindred spirits because they have something rather significant in common: they have issues regarding their older brothers. Scorpio is Jake Fury, younger brother to super-spy and director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury, and he despises his brother because he saw Nick as a success to everything he endeavored while Jake looked on in envy which festered into deep-seated resentment. While Nick made a success in enforcing the law, Jake found his true calling: breaking the law. He donned the alias “Scorpio,” founded a criminal organization known as Zodiac, and armed with an inter-dimensional super-weapon called the Zodiak Key, he is capable of striking a deadly blow to everything his brother has built for himself. Scorpio isn’t just an enemy to Nick Fury, but an enemy to all of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers and he has enough of an arsenal to take the fight to any significant Marvel character with a film arc.
Advanced Idea Mechanics’, a.k.a. AIM, super-weapon is an adversary who has gone toe-to-toe with many notable heroes for decades in either comics or in television adaptations. MODOK was born George Tarleton, an AIM technician, who studied the Cosmic Cube and was transformed by his superiors to become the Mental Organism Designed Only for Computing for the purpose of studying the object. Ultimately, he overpowers his superiors and destroys them, thus taking command of AIM and dubbing himself the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, or MODOK for short. MODOK thus becomes obsessed with the idea of destroying the Avengers, such as Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Ms. Marvel and The Vision.
Audiences saw a peek of this guy in The Incredible Hulk, but they hardly scratched the surface of what he is capable of compared to his comic incarnation. The Leader was simply Samuel Sterns before he met his gamma-irradiated fate. He was a simple employee at a chemical facility until a batch of radioactive materials exploded while he was transporting them underground. He survived, but the radiation turned his skin green and his intellectual capacity increased exponentially, along with the size of his head which needed to change to hold the increased volume of his brain. Using his new powers, The Leader would begin a rise to infamy for the ambition of conquering the planet and remaking humanity in his image. Though The Leader would be a primary adversary for the Hulk, his genius in both science and crime would prove to be a formidable obstacle for any Marvel hero.