I was surfing the net the other day and I stumbled on the American Film Institutes 50 greatest heroes and villains list for the last 100 years. I found I never heard of some of them, but it was a interesting read. Then, an idea began to form in my head. Why not do my own list of villains? Yes! A list of a bunch of the bad guys (and gals) I've come to know and love over the years. Without these interesting characters, my favorite heroes would not be the great characters they are. So here, now, on Retrojunk, is my chance to honor them. So, go get yourself a large cup of whatever it is you like to drink and maybe a big snack and prepare for a trip into darkness. It's gonna be a long one.

Ready? Okay, Let's go.


Megatron from The Transformers




"Such heroic nonsense."-- Megatron, Transformers: The Movie

Megtron, leader of the Decepticons. The baddest robot to ever appear on Saturday Morning. He delivered the line above just before he used his fusion cannon to blast a wounded Ironhide into scrap in Transformers: The Movie.



Without a doubt, Megatron is incredibly powerful. His primary weapon is , of course, his arm-mounted fusion cannon, capable of levelling a city block in one blast, which he can sub-dimensionally link to a black hole, generating even more powerful antimatter blasts. He has a secondary weapon barrel mounted on his back, and can retract and replace his right hand with an energy flail. Megatron transforms into a Walther P38 pistol, delivering more focused energy blasts. He can shrink and reduce his mass as he transforms, assuming sizes that comfortably allow either another Transformer or even a human being to wield him. In one instance, he retained his full size and connected to jet-mode Starscream's underside.



Some see Megatron as a strategic leader who calls the shots from afar, whilst others see Megatron as a tactical battlefield commander who leads by brutal example. All agree on one thing - he is cunning, ruthless and without mercy. Unlike many other villains in popular fiction, Megatron was not generally depicted as overly chaotic or insane. He was highly aggressive and megalomaniacal, but there was usually a consistent rationale behind his actions, albeit that Megatron was often the only one who could perceive this.

I always loved how his eyes glowed red when he was being angry or particularly evil. He also managed to survive the worst the Autobots could dish out when the rest of his army could not. Many a Transformers story arc ended with the Autobots thinking they had won and in the last few seconds of the episode we would see Megatron--still alive.

Agent Smith from the Matrix



"I'd like to share with you a revelation, 've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species that I realized you aren't actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are plague, and we...are the cure." -- Agent Smith, Matrix Reloaded.

Smith was the best of the Agents in the Matrix movie series: The Matrix. He was an artificial intelligence manifested in the artificial world and possessed extraordinary powers to manipulate his surroundings (including incredible martial art skills, superhuman strength, the ability to flawlessly dodge incoming bullets). He gave Neo--the movie series' hero a run for his money to be sure. He even managed to kill Neo for a moment or two.



My research suggests the look and manner of Smith and his fellow Agents was drawn from the common pool of paranoia and American pop culture. One influence appears to be the popular image of CIA agents as ruthlessly efficient automatons who carry out their duties with cold precision and Midwestern accents. Some sources say that the agents are based on the Secret Service agents of the JFK era. The appearance and personality of agents seem to mirror the stereotype of a "Corporate American" businessman. Some may suggest a more explicit allusion to the Men in Black of UFO and conspiracy lore. And here I thought the only thing in suits that were scary were lawyers

Dr. Blight from Captain Planet and the Planeteers



"HA HA HA HA HA! sigh."

This lovely lady with half her face burned off was my favorite villain among Captain Planet and the Planeteers Rogue's Gallery. She was a mad scientist, specializing in biochemistry. She began her career researching biological and chemical warfare. She represents the dark side of the scientific fields, tampering with nature and willing to destroy entire species, if it will benefit her. One of Blight's ambitions was to create the perfect human, conducting experiments on herself to do this. She was very vain and saw herself as very beautiful and fashionable.

She had mid-length blonde hair, but on one side of it, it was white. This white section covered her left eye and, in fact, most of the left side of her face. Sometimes, a slight gust of wind would reveal a little of what was behind her hair, and on at least one occasion, it was revealed that side of her face is scarred and mostly burnt off, so she uses the hair to hide it. How she got the scars, no one knows. Maybe it was one of her experiments. Her sidekick was a supercomputer named MAL.




Out of the stock characters that made up Captain Planet's bad guys, Dr. Blight had the most characterization. They even touched on her family a bit in the series. If anyone deserved to squash Captain Planet and the Planeteers, it was her. Meg Ryan voiced her in 1990-1991, by the way. And well, if Two-Face from Batman Lore ever needed a date. Dr. Blight would have been a very good choice.

The Headless Horseman from Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.



"YAAAAH! HA! HA! HA! HA!"

When I first saw this caped rider in the Disney version of the tale, I think I was in grade 3 or something like that. He scared the corn flakes out of me. The way his laugh echoed in the darkness, it just gave me the chills. And of course, he was headless. And whether or not the horseman was human or ghost was left unclear at the end of the story, which just added to the fright I felt, not to mention the flaming pumpkin he hurled at Ichabod Crane at the end. The Disney headless horseman was one bad dude--or ghost? By the way, did you know the original text version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was originally published in 1820 and is still read in schools today? Who says a body can't live on without the mind?

Venom



"I know he's dead. We made him that way."

This black-clad anti-hero is one of Spider-Man's greatest and creepiest foes. His origin is quite complex. While embroiled in a major crossover storyline fighting the Secret Wars on an alien planet, Spider-Man had to give up his web shooters to help the heroes escape being crushed by a mountain (dropped on them by the Molecule Man). Needing to find equipment to replace his web shooters, Spider-Man was informed by other heroes of a machine in a nearby lab that could repair his suit. Spidey went searching, but unwittingly activated the wrong machine, freeing from imprisonment a sentient alien symbiote. As Spider-Man touched the black blob, it flowed over his body, forming a new costume which he soon discovered responded to his thoughts, was able to mimic street clothes and seemed to provide an inexhaustible supply of webbing. Once back on Earth, Spider-Man learned the true nature of the costume, and discovered that the symbiote desired to fuse permanently with him, enveloping him at night as he slept, using his unconscious body to go out and fight crime. With the aid of Mister Fantastic, Spider-Man removed the costume by using sonic waves, to which it was vulnerable, but it broke free from the Fantastic Four's custody, and attempted to bond itself to Spider-Man in a church tower. The clanging of the church bells, coupled with Spidey's forced rejection of the symbiote, weakened the alien, and it slithered away, apparently to die.



Meanwhile, reporter Eddie Brock had been penning a number of articles in The Daily Globe on the recent Sin-Eater case, a storyline that ran in Amazing Spider-Man’s sister title, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Following a false lead, he proceeded to write a series of columns identifying a man named Emil Gregg as the perpetrator of the crimes. When Spider-Man caught the real criminal, policeman Stan Carter, Emil Gregg was discovered to be a compulsive confessor. The Globe became a laughing stock, and it fired Brock, who was shunned by his peers, and forced to write scathing celebrity exposes and alien abduction drivel for the scandal rags. Brock took up weight lifting in the hopes of reducing his stress, but was unsuccessful in alleviating his obsessive hatred of Spider-Man. Planning to kill himself, Eddie went to a church to apologize to God for not being strong enough to handle life. In that church, Eddie was found by the alien costume, which bonded itself to the failed reporter. The process left both, already emotionally unstable individuals, permanently damaged. Adopting the name Venom in reference to the tawdry stories he was forced to write after falling from grace as a reporter, the new symbiotic pair decided to take their revenge on Spider-Man.



Venom always made me feel uneasy. His monsterous look and tendency to lick the people he was fighting, leaving behind a trail of green goo, was always unsettling. He could also approach Spidey without triggering Spidey's spider-sense, a fact that made him even more menacing. I will say this for Venom though. He is a great chracter and his back story has taught me one thing above all else: Cool stuff CAN happen in church! ;-)

Darkseid



"I'm going to carve out your heart and put it on a pike in my throne room."--Darkseid to Superman in the final episode of Justice League Unlimited Animated Series.

Darkseid is one of the most powerful and well-know villains in the DC universe. He is a character whose personality can vaguely be described as evil incarnate. Darkseid is not merely content to control but to dominate those individuals under him into totally obedient and morally corrupt caricatures of individuals. Apokolips, his homeworld, is a world that resembles Hell because of his need to be worshipped as a god and the need to nurture the most horrible aspects of the human spirit. On Apokolips, his subjects are raised in a personality cult, to venerate him, to sacrifice themselves gladly in his name.

Darkseid practices great emotional restraint, always maintaining a calm and disciplined composure despite the furious rage that often boils within him. Darkseid seems to possess a twisted form of honor but this code is 'flexible' depending on his mood. It seems he desires to be thought of as an honorable being but never lets this stand in the way of his gaining power or revenge. He especially takes delight in seeing the mighty brought low whether in strength or moral conviction. Darkseid's primary weakness may be his obsession to get even with people who have gotten the better of him, especially Superman.



In addition to the considerable military forces at his command, Darkseid himself is quite formidable. His main power is the Omega Beam or Omega Effect, which is fired from his eyes. The Omega Effect is not only a powerful attack, but can teleport the target anywhere Darkseid chooses, erase the target from existence instantly and can then restore the target if he chooses. The Omega Effect is not limited to traveling in straight lines, able to bend or twist as needed. It can traverse time and different universes, and go through some barriers. Physically, darkseid is powerful enough to go toe to toe with Superman and perhaps even stronger beings.



Darkseid's great ambition is to wipe out free will from the universe and reshape it in his own image. To this end, he seeks to unravel the mysterious 'Anti-Life Equation', which will allow him to control completely the thoughts and emotions of living beings. The Anti-Life Equation has often been portrayed as a quasi-mystical power that forces a listener to agree with whatever the wielder says. Other times, it is portrayed as a comprehensive scientific theory on how to dominate any living mind, whatever its nature may be. Fans of the Justicle League Unlimited animated series got see what the anti-life equation "looked like", when Lex Lutnor handed it over to Darkseid in the series' final episode.



Darkseid is bad news, always has been. I remember one comic--I think it was a now long dead DC title called Scare Tacticts. In it, Darkseid stopped by the story's cafe and ordered up a cup of coffee. The story described Darkseid's voice to be like the sound of two boulders being grinded together. Now that's just cool. Another cool Darkseid moment goes back to the Superfriends Animated series where, in one episode, a chunk of gold kryptonite is up for grabs at an intergalactic auction. The bidding gets up to an astronomical number and then Darkseid strolls in and bids "one bleam"--a single credit unit. All the attendees, even the auctioneer, trembles with fear. No one, save the Superfriends in disguise dare out bid him, and Darkseid ends up stealing the Kryptonite anyway. Like I said. Cool.

Dr. Eggman Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog



"Oh Yeah?!!!!" --Dr. Eggman from Sonic Shuffle

Doctor Eggman Robotnik is the grandson of the brilliant scientist Professor Gerald Robotnik, and cousin of Maria Robotnik. He is an evil genius whose goal is to take over the world. Originally this was by imprisoning the population inside robots to serve his every whim, but now he has a tendency to build the biggest, strongest weapon he can think of, call it his most destructive weapon ever, and threaten nations with it. His plans have always failed however, due to the greatest hero in his universe Sonic the Hedgehog

Despite his intelligence, Eggman is terribly immature. I loved how he would throw temper tantrums and break things when he lost. He is also very egotistical; a vast number of his weapons and robots are built in his likeness, and his production logo is a crude depiction of his own face.



He has designed and built several large airships, such as the Egg Carrier and a space station called the Death Egg. He has also designed and built countless robots, a number of which resemble either himself or his longtime rival, Sonic. It was suggested in the older Sonic the Hedgehog games that he built his creations individually by hand Ehowever, since adopting a 'quantity over quality' theme regarding his creations since Sonic Heroes, it is assumed that his robot armies are built automatically or mass-produced to his own designs, leaving himself free to create larger, more impressive creations.



Although Eggman's mental stability is questionable, he's quite willing to help save the world from threats greater than himself, but possibly only because he won't be able to take it over if it's destroyed. According to the Sonic Heroes booklet, he is "a romanticist, feminist, and self-professed gentleman" (though, as the booklet also mentions, this is usually very hard to see through his evil schemes).

Dr. Eggman Robotnik may have been a bit silly, but he was eggs-actly the right kind of villain to bring out the way-past-coolness in Sonic the Hedgehog and I always had a good time taking him down in the games.

Doomsday



"HAH-HA...HUH? MHH-TRR-PLSS?" -- Doomsday

Doomsday's claim to fame is that he killed Superman--nice one. But very few outside comicdom know his full origin.

Doomsday was artificially created in the distant past on the planet Krypton by a mad scientist named Bertron, who wished to create the ultimate lifeform. To do so, Bertron and his team sent a baby onto the surface of Krypton, where it would be killed by the harsh environment or the vicious creatures inhabiting it. Each time, the lifeform's remains were harvested and used again, to create a better, stronger version than the previous. In short, the mad scientist was using the method of cloning to accelerate the evolution of the being he was creating. Through decades of this process, the being which would eventually become Doomsday was forced to endure the agony of death, thousands upon thousands of times; the memory of these countless deaths was recorded in his genes and drove it to hate all life. Bertron himself met his death at the hands of his own creation.




However, before all this great backstory was revealed about him, Doomsday was merely an ultra-powerful destructive villain who engaged in a seemingly endless, mindless rampage across the face of the United States. He had been buried underground for an unknown period of time at the beginning of the story arc, until he tunneled his way out and into the light of day. He immediately began attacking anything and everything within range, with the mindless ferocity of a monster, never speaking, and apparently enjoying the wanton destruction and mayhem he was causing.

In his first encounter with the Justice League, Doomsday defeated the entire team of superheroes in a matter of minutes, laying waste to the entire surrounding area, and finally attracting the attention of Superman. (Because he never spoke, he never called himself "Doomsday." The name "Doomsday" was coined by Booster Gold, one of the members of the Justice League, who said that the monster's rampage resembled "the arrival of Doomsday," meaning the end of the world.) Superman quickly found that Doomsday's awesome power was easily a match for his own, and he realized that if Doomsday reached the city of Metropolis, the resulting battle could conceivably destroy the city and kill millions of innocent people. Simultaneously, Doomsday developed a strong desire to murder Superman in particular; this was later explained by Doomsday sensing that Superman was Kryptonian, and, due to the agony of his continuous deaths during his creation, Doomsday regarded anything Kryptonian as an automatic threat.



In the space of only a few issues of the Superman comic book series, Superman and Doomsday engaged in a titanic battle that made Superman realize that Doomsday would continue to attack relentlessly, unending, with no defeat or surrender in sight. It culminated in Superman #75, where in a heroic act of self-sacrifice, Superman fought Doomsday to the bitter end, until the two combatants struck a simultaneous, fatal blow that left both of them lifeless. But for those of you reading this who don't read comics: Don't worry. Superman got better.

One thing that always bothered me about this series is that the Justice League had a pretty weak membership at the time: Booster Gold, Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Bloodwynd, etc. The heavy hitters of the DC universe; Wonderwoman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, The Martian Manhunter, were nowhere to be seen in the pages leading up to Superman's death. Sure they all cried over him afterwards, but it would have been nice if they had been there to fight at his side. The absence of more iconic heroes gave the Superman Death series and the whole DC universe at the time a less than satisfactory feel to it.

Darth Vader



"I find your lack of faith disturbing." (Vader to Admiral Motti when Motti questions the power of the Force.)

You know, since the Star Wars prequels came out and my son was born, I found myself wondering just how I will introduce Star Wars to him. Will I start with Episode I and end with Episode VI? Or will I start with Episode IV and have him watch them in the same order I did. Depending on which route I take, it will definitely have an effect on how my son understands Darth Vader, one of the greatest movie villains of our time, and without a doubt, a cultural icon.

Vader is viewed as a cruel and frightening figure: his signature method of imposing terror is using the Force to choke people. In Episode IV,Vader's aggressive instincts are somewhat restrained by orders to serve under Grand Moff Tarkin for that time; when Admiral Motti challenges Vader's "sad devotion" to the Force, Tarkin does not allow Vader to choke Motti to death, only long enough to make his point. The death of Tarkin aboard the Death Star removes any apparent check on Vader's power; after this point, Vader appears to be subordinate only to the Emperor himself. Throughout the rest of the trilogy, Imperial officers universally react with fear and dread at Vader's presence. This fear is not unwarranted, as both Admiral Ozzel and Captain Needa die by Vader's hand in The Empire Strikes Back. Curiously, Admiral Piett survives Vader's wrath when he loses the Millennium Falcon; Lucas characterizes this uncharacteristic mercy as a result of Vader's ambivalence about his son, Luke. Admiral Piett was one lucky man.


Freddy Kruegar



"How Sweet. Fresh Meat"

The bastard child of the one hundred mental patients that raped his mother, Frederick Charles Krueger, or simply Fred or Freddy, is from the Nightmare on Elm Street series of horror films. He is portayed by actor Robert Englund in every film. He is an undead serial killer and child killer who can attack new victims supernaturally from within their own dreams.

Freddy's most well known attributes include his burned face, his clawed glove, his red and green sweater, and the eerie chant that sometimes accompanies his appearance: "One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep againc". And there is, of course the pleasure he takes, in carving up people with his aforementioned claw.

The last time I encountered Robert Englund prior to him becoming Freddy, he was Willy in the "The Visitors" science fiction television series. I loved Willy. He was such a gentle soul. Man, talk about a role switch. I watched the first Nightmare on Elm Street a few years ago and it's pretty tame by today's standards. However, when I first saw Nightmare back in 1984, it scared me quite a bit--especially that ghost chick walking around in the body bag. And, needless to say, I didn't sleep well for a few nights after. And in Nightmare on Elm Street II at the end when Freddy reaches through the door of the house and drags the heroine's mother inside, Brrrrr.

Akuma from Street Fighter.



"Show me you're true power, Ryu!"

The name Sheng Long means "mystical dragon." It is closely related to the Mandarin pronunciation of ¸—´ (shôryû in Japanese) which means "rising dragon." One of Ryu's win quotes in the English version of the Street Fighter II said, "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance." At the time, many fans thought that Sheng Long had referred to a person (the supposed master of Ryu and Ken), and not one of Ryu's moves (the Shôryûken). Some later versions of the game offered a variant quote, "You must defeat my Dragon Punch to stand a chance!"

The creation of Akuma is reportedly inspired by an April Fools joke in the video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly, where the editors claimed that the player could find Sheng Long in the game by not touching M. Bison, the final boss of the Street Fighter II series, for ten rounds. Sheng Long would then come out of nowhere and kill Bison, and the player would fight him. Sheng Long was supposed to have the moves of Ryu and Ken, but did much more damage and was also faster, and his Dragon Punch was 'revealed' to consume his fist in flames to show his greater power. To make this joke more believable, fake screenshots were made. Soon after, many fans, believing that the joke was true, flocked to Street Fighter II machines, hoping that they could fight a nonexistent character. When asked about whether the joke were true, Capcom neither confirmed nor denied it as the sudden infusion of money into their machines was driving up business; Capcom USA was taken in by the gag, and actually contacted Capcom of Japan and asked whether the Sheng Long account were legitimate. Only much later was this joke revealed as a hoax, by EGM itself.



Akuma's story is and Cain and Abel kind of thing and one of the more detailed I've come across for a video game character. In a way, it is a great part of the foundation for the ehtire Street Fighter series. Akuma and his brother Gouken were students of Goutetsu. Goutetsu taught a life-threatening martial art called Ansatsuken (Assassin Fist), which incorporates elements of karate, judo, taekwondo, and koppo, and a technique called the Shun Goku Satsu (literally Instant Hell Murder a.k.a. The Raging Demon), a technique that places the user's life in jeopardy, though it can kill its opponent instantly. This latter technique cost me alot of quarters.

As Gouken abandoned the violent nature of Ansatsuken, Akuma vowed to use Ansatsuken as it was intended. Akuma vowed that he would master each and every life-threatening technique Ansatsuken could teach, such as his side-stance fierce fist and the Shun Goku Satsu.



While Akuma sought to master the life-threatening Shun Goku Satsu technique, he eventually increased his strength by embracing the principle of Satsui no Hadou (The Surge of the Intent to Murder/Murderous Intent). In embracing the Satsui no Hadou, Akuma lost his compassion, but increased the killing power of his techniques, new and old. This embrace caused Akuma to transcend human limits. Akuma left Goutetsu's guidance behind him and began to train alone on a hidden island which he made into his training ground. He trained for days and nights, pushing his body and his mind to their limits in order to become the greatest Ansatsuken fighter of them all, and proving it by mastering the style completely and destroying Gouken and Goutetsu.



After mastering the Shun Goku Satsu and embracing the Satsui no Hadou, Akuma fought Goutetsu. Akuma demonstrated his strength by killing his sensei in one swift stroke with the Shun Goku Satsu. Goutetsu fell with an inner joy, realizing that one of his pupils was trying to fully master the Ansatsuken style. Akuma walked over to his master's crumpled body and removed the beaded necklace from around Goutetsu's neck placing it on his own. The next day, Akuma walked to Gouken's dojo and challenged his brother to a battle of death. This was witnessed by Gouken's daughter Ouju-San, "Little Miss." Akuma and Gouken fought a vicious battle, with Gouken gaining the upper hand. Akuma was eventually struck down by Gouken and told him to end his life, but Gouken said he could never murder his own brother. Akuma mocked Gouken and told him he would never truly master the style before taking Gouken's life with the Shun Goku Satsu. The dojo was filled with a burst of white light (from the energy of the move). Ken, who saw the flash as he was heading home from the U.S. Martial Arts tournament, rushed to the dojo to find his master lying motionless on the floor and the dojo in complete disarray. Little Miss was also gone (never to be heard from again). An enraged Ken ran into the surrounding woods looking for the killer with revenge on his mind. He found Akuma not too far away from the dojo walking further and further into the forest. Ken attacked Akuma, but was easily defeated. Meanwhile, the other student of Gouken, Ryu, had begun to search for Akuma, needing to know what inner feelings were tormenting him.



Akuma began to search the globe looking for worthy fighters to challenge. Secluding himself in the shadows, he watched small tournaments and street fights, desperately seeking someone who might be able to match his strength. He was eventually challenged by a man named Gen. Gen fought a vicious battle. He had even survived the Shun Goku Satsu by emptying his soul in time. Akuma began to wonder if this man was the worthy opponent he was searching for. However, he began to sense not all was as it seemed and when Gen's mouth began to bleed Akuma's suspicions were confirmed, his opponent was critically ill. After being knocked to the ground, Gen told Akuma to kill him. Not wanting to carry the fight on any longer, Akuma left, infuriating Gen.

Ryu eventually found Akuma's island and challenged him. The intense battle that followed ended in a draw; Akuma was impressed as this was the closest he had come to a defeat yet. Telling Ryu to find him again when he had embraced the Satsui no Hadou (a power within practitioners of their style), Akuma struck his island with a powerful hit and disappeared. The island fell apart around Ryu, who was left in the ocean to contemplate Akuma's words. Leaving his destroyed abode, Akuma thought about all the fighters he had encountered and wondered with excitement if one day he would fight someone strong enough to kill him in battle. This thought drove him on, finding a desolate cavern he began to train and await the day he would fight Ryu again.



Two years later, Akuma began to search once more for worthy fighters whilst awaiting Ryu to embrace the Satsui no Hadou. He could have possibly fought Adon at this time and killed him (as Adon had been searching for Akuma, yet was never heard from again). He encountered Gen once more and fought a final battle (the results of which are still unclear). However, unknown to Akuma, Ryu had rejected the Satsui no Hadou, declaring that a true warrior does not rely on violent intents.

Akuma didn't officially enter the second World Warrior tournament. He jumped into M. Bison's arena and performed a Shun Goku Satsu on Bison, killing him, and sending his soul to hell.



As with the second World Warrior tournament, Akuma didn't not enter the third World Warrior tournament, but once more lurked in the shadows. He even successfully pulled off a Shun Goku Satsu on the tournament sponsor Gill, although he left without realizing that Gill had resurrected himself. Over this timespan, Akuma had trained relentlessly until finally harnessing his power and learning several new techinques, some that were meant to create tidal waves, some described as strong enough to split Ayers Rock in half, and one that could kill an opponent with a single chop. Akuma's self-taught technique is called the Kongou Kokuretsu Zan, in which Akuma channels all his power into both hands and then slashes away with life-threatening chops that create an aura that protects him from harm.



Akuma continued to to develop his now-incredible fighting skill, and even fought with Oro in a simple, inconclusive battle, each other sensing the other's massive chi and testing their powers. Akuma has now demostrated the ability to remain underwater under massive pressure for extended periods of time, and has managed to destroy a sunken ship with the technique that he has now devised, Tenshou Kaireki Jin, much to the chargin of the naval crew who witnessed the attack performed.

Wow, eh? Akuma is a true model of how power corrupts and that is what makes him a great video game villain.


Mr. Freeze



"Revenge is a dish best served cold."

It has been said that the Batman: The Animated Series episode: "Heart of Ice", written by Paul Dini, is one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. And this is largely because of Mr. Freeze. Bruce Timm and his cronies did a wonderful job turning Freeze from his original stock character form in the 1960 into a tragic and sometimes scary character.

"Heart of Ice" is the standard by which all the other BTAS episodes are measured. It refines and elevates those features that typify the series, taking them to a level unmatched by any other episode. It is not just a classic, but a piece in the classical style, chamber music for hero and villain. "Vengeance" is Mr. Freeze's theme. "Justice" is Batman's. The result is a double fugue as each composes variations on his own theme and comments upon the other's.



Victor Fries is a good man, working with noble motives for a good end; he commits no real crime, but his obsessive quest puts him afoul of Ferris Boyle, who, though he pretends it, is not a good man and does not work to good ends with noble motives. The resulting accident leaves Fries cold on the outside but hot on the inside. Bruce Wayne has his own inside/outside problem, of course, the result of his own losing a loved one while meeting the wrong person in the wrong place. But having no object to attack, Wayne has turned himself into the materialized principle of abstract justice. Both Freeze and Batman are cut off from certain kinds of human contact, and both feel the loss acutely.



Freeze's accident resulted when he "misappropriated" company equipment, and his revenge begins when he "misappropriates" some more equipment to create a giant freeze gun. The accident left him sealed in a world of cold, so he will revenge himself by freezing Ferris shut inside his corporate headquarters. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth: Vengeance notices not only the ends (punishment, the balancing of the moral scales) but also the means. Even the name of his nemesis, "Ferris Boyle," suggests not just the other end of the temperature gradient but the presence of a cyclical "what goes around, comes around" dynamic.

Batman recognizes no such discriminations. He cares for real justice, not poetic justice, and though he is careful in the means he uses, they are general principles that guide and constrain his actions, not ones tailored to each adversary. He has no personal quarrel with his foes (a fact Freeze recognizes: "This is not your fight!") and seeks only to incapacitate them before turning them over to the authorities. The abstractness of his motives sometimes leaves him seeming cold in his own way; at least Freeze cares enough about Boyle to try to hurt him back.



Their confrontations are spare but illuminating. Freeze is pitiless but not cruel—he incommodes Batman when he could have killed him—while Batman is hampered by his own scruples. They comprehend each other perfectly and judge each other with generosity, but they can come to no agreement. Though they are both against Boyle—the man in the middle, innocent yet culpable, uncomprehending yet laden with guilty knowledge—they cannot unite. But neither, perhaps, could have succeeded in getting at Boyle without the other. At the end, Freeze can console himself with the knowledge that Batman's intervention will ensure Boyle's punishment; but Batman would never have become involved if not for Freeze's obsession.

This is only the mathematics of the episode. The music is in Ansara's chilling monotone, in Dini's coolly eloquent soliloquies, in Timm's ice-sharp visuals.

If you haven't seen it, go find it as soon as you finish reading this article.


Master Bison



"All who oppose me will be destroyed."

The horrible negative energy amassing machine called "The Psycho Drive" is the most significant part of M. Bison's story. Shadoloo's satellite (featured in Street Fighter Alpha 3) apparently can give the Psycho Drive long distance capabilities, as shown in various SFA3 endings. The location of only two Shadoloo bases have been revealed so far; one located in Brazil, and the other located in Thailand. The Psycho Drive isn't Bison's source of power, however; it is used to channel in all the negative energy of the world. M. Bison then uses his shoulder plates to transfer the energy from the Psycho Drive to his body. The Psycho Drive can channel any negative energy or emotions, but Bison can get more from powerful fighters. To master Psycho Power, Bison had to expel whatever humanity remained in his soul, which formed into the female Street fighter Alpha character Rose.



Shadoloo came to the attention of Interpol, who sent their special operative Chun-Li to take Bison down. Although Chun-Li defeated him, he flew away, promising to kill her, as he had killed her father, the next time they met. Later, he encountered Rose, who swore to destroy him. Although she apparently succeeded, Bison's Psycho Power was not defeated.

Bison recovered from his battle, but his Psycho Power started to exceed the limits his body could withstand. Having predicted this event, Bison had his scientists engineer a body that he could transfer his essence to, but that body, Cammy, escaped from Shadoloo's conditioning. Bison then turned his sights to Ryu, one of the most powerful fighters in the world, and the personal nemesis of Bison's former underling, Sagat. Bison captured Ryu and subjected him to intense psychological conditioning; when Sagat objected, Bison turned Ryu on him, telling him he could finally have his rematch. While Sagat battled Ryu, Ryu's friends Ken and Sakura fought Bison. Outmatched, Bison retreated to the Psycho Drive, which restored his power.

USAF officers Charlie and Guile teamed with Chun-Li to stop Bison at the cost of Charlie's life; he distracted Bison while Guile and Chun-Li destroyed the base.



Bison's corrupted soul survived the explosion, and took over Rose's body, unifying their fractured essences. He used Rose's body until Shadoloo's scientists could engineer a new one. He took the new body, but his powers were severely drained. He sought revenge by organizing a second World Warrior tournament and sent invitations to those responsible for his crippling defeat. Bison was far weaker during the tournament (no teleportation, flight, lack of muscle mass, giant psycho crusher, etc.) due to the fact that by having his soul whole again instead of just the evil half, his Psycho Power wasn't anywhere near as powerful.

Bison held the second Street Fighter tournament to get revenge against the people who had destroyed the Psycho Drive. His new body was much weaker than the previous, but he was still very powerful. In the end, he was destroyed by Akuma, who killed him with the Shun Goku Satsu and sent his soul to hell.

One of the best lines I've heard Bison deliver comes not from the game or the Street Fighter Animated movie. It comes from the second season of the campy American animated series based on the live action movie: Street Fighter. In the final episode, Cammy and Chun-Li are battling Bison, both accusing him of killing their parents (Cammy wasn't a clone in this series). And Bison says, "Yes, I know. I killed your father. What is it with you women? I killed my father too and you don't see me whining about it!" Heh. Gold.

Apocolypse from the pages of X-Men



"You dare to claim dominion over me?!" -- Apocolypse in the 90's X-men Animated series

Apocalypse is one of the most powerful mutants who ever lived. Apocalypse can alter the molecular structure of his body at will in order to change his form. After exposure to Ship (Celestial technology left behind on earth by a race of space gods) this ability, and all of Apocalypse's other powers, have been enhanced far beyond their original limits.. He can alter his appearance or the size of his body; he can, for example, transform his arms and fists into various melee weapons and grant himself superhuman strength and grow to enormous sizes. He also can generate energy, thanks to a combination of his mutant power and the Celestial technology in his body. He has also demonstrated telekinesis, telepathy, the ability to create force fields, project bursts of concussive force, and can augment himself further by drawing on various outside energy sources. Apocalypse also demonstrated the ability to teleport himself and other beings.

Apocalypse's original body was immortal, even before his encounter with Celestial technology. He lived for thousands of years and was highly resistant to injury. With Celestial modifications, this resistance to harm was amplified, although it is still possible to cause him injury that would not be immediately regenerated by his power. Should he suffer massive injuries that prove potentially fatal, he can enter a coma-like state of suspended animation during which he may recover from his wounds with the assistance of Celestial technology.



In the future timeline from which the X-men charater Cable hails, Apocalypse's physical form was no longer able to contain his vast superhuman energies resulting in his original body burning out. Hence, he transferred his consciousness and powers into a succession of host bodies, abandoning each one when it too grew too old to contain his power. This alternate future version of Apocalypse was ultimately defeated in transit from a depreciated body into a potential host body.

Aside from his superhuman powers, Apocalypse is also extraordinarily intelligent, a genius with knowledge of science and technology centuries ahead of conventional science. This was not merely a result of his exposure to alien technology, as he was able to make significant new advances beyond the alien materials to which he was exposed.



Apocolypse was easily the coolest Villain in the X-Men animated series. I loved how he could change size and was practically invulnerable. The fact that he was intelligent and insane only helped to make him more appealing. In the comics, well, he was just plain bad.

General Zod



"Why do you say these things to me, When you know I will kill you for it?"--General Zod to Lex Luthor in Superman II.

In the beginning of Superman: The Movie, Zod is introduced as one of three criminals on trial. Zod was originally a member of the Krypton military, who was entrusted with the defense of Krypton by the governing council. With co-conspirators Non and Ursa, Zod was planning to overthrow the Kryptonian government and replace it with his own. The three were captured, and the council unanimously agreed to cast Zod, Ursa, and Non into the Phantom Zone. Their Phantom Zone portal is launched into space shortly before Krypton's destruction. This serves only to set up the premise of the sequel, as nothing further of the three is seen in Superman. Before they are imprisoned, Zod tries to persuade Jor-El (Marlon Brando) to join him or suffer his wrath. As Jor-El silently refuses him, Zod shouts "You will bow down before me Jor-El, I swear it! No matter if it takes an eternity, you will bow down before me! Both you, and then one day, your heirs!"

Superman II opens with a brief recap of Zod's imprisonment in the Phantom Zone with Ursa and Non, with Zod bellowing a variation on his line from the first film "You will lie down before me Jor-El! Both you and them one day Jor-El! Jor-El!" as he is taken away into the Phantom Zone itself.

In Superman II, the detonation of a nuclear bomb that Superman sends into space destroys the Phantom Zone portal that trapped Zod and his cohorts. They arrive on Earth and, after discovering that their Kryptonian heritage gives them each the same powers as Superman under Earth's yellow sun, subdue the U.S. Army and the President of the United States. This occurs shortly after Superman has stripped himself of his powers to be with Lois as an ordinary human. Superman must regain his powers to fight them.



In a final showdown at his Fortress of Solitude, Superman strips Zod, Non and Ursa of their powers. He does this by tricking Luthor into revealing that a chamber in the Fortress would take away his powers. This was the chamber's original purpose, but Superman had modified it so that the radiation used to strip a Kryptonian of his or her powers would be projected throughout the Fortress, but anyone inside the chamber would be protected.

When Superman stepped out of the chamber, General Zod told Superman to take his hand and swear loyalty to him. Suddenly, Zod finds himself screaming in pain as Superman crushes his hand. He and his cohorts are apparently killed as they fall into the seemingly bottomless crevasses.



The actor, Terrance Stamp, portrayed Zod as a pathologically arrogant aristocrat, almost bored with his incredible power. It is almost certainly his portrayal that has led to Zod becoming one of Superman's best-known villains. Zod's line from the movie, "Come, Son of Jor-El! Kneel before Zod!", has become part of pop culture. In the scene in which the President of the United States surrenders to the three Phantom Zone criminals; he utters a prayer to God; at which point he is corrected by the general with a curt rejoinder of "Zod". Man, what a bad guy!

The battle in the streets of Metropolis between Superman Zod, Ursula and Non is still one of the greatest super-being fights of all time. No matter how old the movie gets.

Bane



"I WILL BREAK YOU!!!!"

Bane is the DC Comics villain best known for breaking Batman's back. His ambitions turned to destroying Batman, whom he had heard tales of while serving a prison sentence. Bane was convinced that a demonic bat that haunted his dreams since childhood was a representation of the Batman. Bane destroyed the walls of Arkham Asylum, allowing its deranged inmates to escape into Gotham City, where Batman spent three months rounding them up, running himself to exhaustion, and then returned to Wayne Manor, where Bane awaited him. He fought Batman, defeated him, and delivered the coup de grace: he broke Batman's back and threw him to the streets of Gotham



When Bane appeared in the Batman: the animated series, I definitely got nervous. Bane first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series as a muscular thug hired by the mobster Rupert Thorne to eliminate Batman, and in turn by Thorne's moll to eliminate Thorne afterward. He ends up fighting Batman onboard the boat (where Robin had been kidnapped and tied up), but before he can break his back as he did in the comics, Batman thrusts a crumpled batarang into the controls that inject Bane with Venom. This causes a rapid and uncontrollable feed into Bane's body before Batman pulls out the tube, stopping a fatal overdose of the drug; this becomes a recurring theme in Bane's defeats when he does appear in the series.

I still remember the chills I felt when I saw Bane appear in the trailer for the movie: Batman and Robin. He tore the bat-signal from its foundations and roared. I thought, Oh my God, are they going to do a Knightfall like story?! Man, what a major let down that movie was. Bane's role could have been better filled by Cookie monster from Seasame Street. The only credit I will give "Batman and Robin is Clooney was an okay Bruce Wayne.

Sheriff Lucas Buck from American Gothic



"Only two roads in this world. And if you're listening to anyone but me, you're on the wrong one."

American Gothic was a CBS drama series, created by Shaun Cassidy, which ran from September 1995 to July 1996. Set in the fictional town of Trinity, South Carolina, it starred Gary Cole as Sheriff Lucas Buck and Lucas Black as Caleb Temple. The program featured various elements of horror and the supernatural. A very dual man, some inhabitants of Buck's town thought he was a hero, others thought he was evil personified. Whichever he is deep down, if he ever does anyone a favour, he always expects his payback - eventually! What I loved about him was how cool and manipulative he could be. In fact he was so good at it there were suggestions that he was some kind of demon or the Devil himself. The thing was, he would try to tempt the people in his town, but if anyone from outside Trinity tried to interfere, whether they be good or evil, they would have Sheriff Lucas Buck--arguably Satan himself or at least one of his top men, to deal with. It's one thing if your a bad guy and heroes come to stop you. You'll likely end up in jail. However, when another baddy--a major baddy like Lucas Buck--comes to kick your ass, you can't be entirely sure your going to wake up the next morning.

Calisto from Xena:Warrior Princess



"Here comes trouble."

The relationship between Xena and Callisto goes far beyond a simple hero-villain antagonism - Callisto is Xena's arch-enemy and nemesis, born out of her own dark past. Before Xena reformed (i.e. when she was still a villain herself), she was responsible for the death of Callisto's family when she had her army torch Callisto's village.

Callisto, a child at the time, was left traumatized by the attack and eventually went insane, obsessed with getting revenge on Xena. She displays signs of bipolar disorder and psychopathy, manifested in a weird brand of sadistic, gleeful, shrieking cruelty towards Xena and her associates. Callisto intends to make Xena suffer as much as possible rather than killing her.



Callisto feels constant emotional pain, which she thinks is caused by the loss of her family; she thinks that if she takes revenge, she will be free of the pain. But it probably comes mostly from having spent her life nurturing her hatred for Xena, because whenever she takes revenge she feels worse. By surrounding herself with her own evil, and feeding her hatred with guilt, she only increases the pain; and by seeking revenge, she traps herself in a downward spiral which prevents her healing. Exhibiting a classic martyr complex, she justifies herself by blaming her evil on Xena, and refuses to take responsibility for her own actions. Occasionally she tries to discuss the issues, perhaps hoping for another way out; but finds only Xena's watchful scepticism of her motives.

The Joker



"I have given a name to my pain, and it is Batman."

The Joker is widely considered to be Batman's arch-enemy and the most well-known villain in comic book history. Part of the Joker's prominence among Batman's enemies likely derives from the fact that he, more than any other villain, represents the antithesis of Batman's personality and methods. Batman is almost always depicted, even in the campy 1960s television show, as a serious, stoic man who pursues his campaign against crime with utter earnestness and a disciplined, focused mind. In the darker portrayals of the comics and more recent films and television, the Dark Knight is further depicted as a brooding and humorless avenger who pursues justice as an enigmatic shadow striking from the dead of night. The Joker, by contrast, is literally a killer clown, driven by a disordered mind to pursue destruction and chaos with as much panache as possible. His appearance and actions suggest the bright and garish pomp and circumstance of the circus. Nightwing has stated that he believes the Joker and Batman exist because of each other, that Batman represents order and Joker the chaos that challenges it. Like Superman and Lex Luthor, it has been suggested that Batman and the Joker need each other.

Khan from Star Trek II



Khan: "I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her: marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet, buried alive. Buried alive."

Kirk: "KHAAAAAN! KHAAAAAAN!"

We all know how it ended for this villain. With both ships badly damaged, The enterprise crew under the command of Captain Kirk, were forced to withdraw to carry out repairs. By the time partial power had been restored on the Enterprise, Khan had managed to get his hands on the Genesis Device. While Kirk and Spock tricked Khan into thinking that the Enterprise still required days of work of repair and was helpless, Khan's ship was still in far better condition than Kirk's. In order to even the odds, Mr. Spock recommended that they enter the nearby Mutara Nebula where static discharges would interfere with both ships' shields and sensors.

On board the Reliant, Joachim, Khan's right hand man, was reluctant to follow the Enterprise into the nebula as he knew it would negate their advantage. However Kirk contacted them and taunted Khan. The genetically enhanced madman, frustrated at Kirk's ability to thwart his best efforts to defeat him, could not resist the opportunity to prove his superiority and ordered his ship to follow the Enterprise.

Both ships scored direct hits on one another as they blindly maneuvered around each other, until Spock noted that Khan's tactics indicated only two-dimensional thinking, as for all his intelligence the great dictator lacked any real experience in space combat. Kirk ordered the Enterprise to move downward before coming up behind the Reliant and firing multiple torpedoes. The Reliant was completely disabled and all the crew were killed, except Khan, who refused to accept defeat. He was determined to take Kirk with him, and in a last desperate effort he activated the Genesis device.



Spitefully eloquent to the very end, Khan revelled in the idea that the Genesis Project would ultimately kill Kirk. He succumbed to his injuries before seeing the Enterprise warp away to safety, thwarted one last time by Kirk. However, Kirk's victory was not without its price. Spock had sacrificed his life to enter the damaged, radiation-contaminated engine room to repair the Enterprise's warp drive, enabling Kirk and the rest of the crew to narrowly escape the detonation of the Genesis device. sob!

No Heart



BEASTLY!!!!!!!

No Heart is an evil wizard from the Care Bears television series and the main villain in the Nelvana episodes. No Heart's intention is to destroy all the feelings in the world. Love and care are hurting him. No Heart has a magic amulet which gives him most of his power, including one in which he turns himself into animals and tornados. He lives in a dark castle in the clouds. His minions are shadow servants. These creepy legless ghosts with devil heads and red eyes have the ability to steal feelings from people and thurn them evil. His bumbling and occasionaly likeable assistant is Beastly, a little goofy pig-like monster--Kinda like that fat guy in your English class. In later episodes, No Heart's niece Shrieky, an evil girl with a magic mirror, joins Beastly to help destroy the Care Bears. Shrieky is human, which suggests No Heart is too.

No Heart was a very cool bad guy. He had the look and the power to be a real bad ass. His voice was dark and commanding like a thunder storm, especially when he was angry or particularly evil. It's too bad he was limited to the Care Bear universe. With the right story I often thought he could give the Justice League a good challenge. One website I checked out wrote that No Heart had possibly the best name for a bad guy ever. Perhaps.

Skeletor



"I finally have the power with which to destroy He-Man forever!"

In Masters of the Universe, Skeletor is the arch-enemy of He-Man and the greatest threat to Eternia, He-Man's home world. In the original cartoon, Skeletor supposedly came from the dimension called Infinita. He is a blue-skinned, skull-faced warlord who rules the dark side of Eternia from Snake Mountain with an iron fist. He learned black magic from Hordak, the powerful warlord of Eternia's sister planet Etheria, of whom he was once the second-in-command. In the animated movie The Secret of the Sword, it is revealed that Skeletor betrayed Hordak after his forces were defeated, by telling The Sorceress and Man-At-Arms the way to Hordak's secret base. The two have been bitter enemies ever since.

Skeletor's portrayal in the series was generally comical, as the show's writers were forced to use villains mainly for comic value to keep the show suitable for young children. As the series progressed, Skeletor was treated as more and more incompetent, often bordering on a pantomime villain. However, several episodes still showed the greater extent of Skeletor's evil, such as "The Problem With Power" in which he tricks He-Man into thinking he has killed a man with his own power, knowing that He-Man will exile himself in shame for his mistake.



Skeletor had one of the best evil laughs of cartoon villainy and was very very cool in appearance. Did you know that at the time He-Man and the Masters of the Universe aired, show episodes with Skeletor in them were never shown in France since they have some kind of superstition about skeletons and skulls at the time?

Paul Dini, of Batman: The Animated Series fame was a staff writter for He-Man and wrote several of the episodes. To his credit, he tried to convince the show supervisors at the time to let him and other writers give more depth to the Master's of the Universe characters, particularly Skeletor. But his bosses said. Kids don't need backstory. They don't care about backstory. Oh, how they underestimated us.

Soaron and Blastaar



"Yes, my lord."

Soaron was one of the chief non-human villains for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.
He was an arrogant, crafty and intellectual warrior whose total confidence in his flying skills
was completely justified. Merciless and cruel by nature, Soaron - who stands just under 7
feet tall - enjoyed the sport of war and was fond of playing cat and mouse with enemies.
Soaron's mainframe was designed for speed, agility and firepower. His arsenal included
the Digitizer, Photon Blasters, Reflexor Missiles and Implosion Bombs. Soaron could deploy enough
firepower to destroy a small city ! He is also able to regenerate if but a scrap of him remains. He was basically a slightly larger than man-sized humadoid metalic bird of prey. His voice sounded like a cross between a screaming eagle and extremely rusty garage door hinges. Soaron had the horribe ability to digitize humans, that is, turn them into data particles and store them inside himself. I remember one episode where a digitized person was released. He said it was a awful experience for him: being digitally torn apart and trapped inside Soaron. It nearly drove him mad.



Later in the series, Lord Dread and Overmind--Sauron's masters tried to create one thousand Bio-Dreads or some big number like that and only succeeded in making one thanks to Captain Power and his team's interference. This was Blastaar the Bio Dread Ground Guardian. He was a pretty mean machine too. A gigantic bionic creation with both firepower and surveillance expertise. Hot tempered and inflexible in his strategic planning, his movements were deliberate and single minded. His trigger-happy nature was the source of occasional, but, usually costly mistakes. Blastarr's radar sense provided excellent cover for the protection of Volcania and his weapon systems gave him a staggering defense mechanism capable of withstanding a major assault. His arsenal included the Digitizer, Proton Bazooka, Power Charges, EnergyLeech and Electron Blasters. He also shared Soarons powers of regeneration.

Soaron and Blastaar worked together, but Soaron made it very clear to Blastaar that Soaron thought Blastaar was an inferior model despite being built second. There was a clear rivalry between the two. Soaron was thought to be completely destroyed by a meteor on a collision course with Volcania, which he tried to stop single-handed. I'm not sure of Blastaar's final reward.

Judge Doom



"This is how we do things down in Toontown."

Judge Doom is the villain from Who Framed Roger Rabbit movie who seeks to take over Toontown. He has created a chemical "dip" of (turpentine, acetone and benzene) that destroys toons. Judge Doom was played by Christopher Lloyd. I'm not sure if Christopher Lloyd ever played a villain until this role, but he was excellent as Judge Doom. This psychotic judge was hellbent on framing Roger Rabbit for a murder the Judge himself committed. He intended to use his infamous DIP to execute Roger. When we all found out Doom was a toon in disguise, and the one that killed Eddie Valliant's brother to boot, it was quite freaky. I loved the part in the movie where Doom strolls into the Terminal Bar and uses the loose sleeve of a man missing an arm to wipe clean a chalkboard before he writes up the reward he's offering for any information leading to Roger's arrest--evil. On the DVD, I found out that there was always a fan on Judge Doom when shooting to make him look just that much larger. In the graphic novel Roger Rabbit: The Resurrection of Doom, it is revealed that Doom's real name was Baron von Rotten, and that he played villains in old cartoons, until one day, he was knocked unconscious, experienced memory loss, and woke up thinking he was a real villain. Heh. Someone must have dropped a safe on his head.

Darth Sidious/ Emperor Palpatine



"And now young Skywalker. You wil die."

This villain got to show his stuff in the Star Wars prequels. But I will always remember him best for his role in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. In the final film of the original trilogy, Palpatine ordered the construction of a new Death Star and crafted an intricate trap meant to destroy the Rebellion once and for all. Following the suggestion of Prince Xizor, Palpatine allowed Rebel spies, through the Bothan Spynet, to learn of the Death Star's location and planted disinformation which suggested the Death Star was not yet operational. The Rebels took the bait and planned to attack the station with all of their resources.

Meanwhile, Darth Vader continued to push his quest to lure Luke Skywalker to the dark side. While Palpatine was concerned that Vader's contact with Luke had seemingly awakened something of a conscience within him, he agreed to the idea. Luke, convinced that his father could be redeemed, allowed himself to be captured on Endor and brought to the Death Star. There, Palpatine manipulated him into battling Vader so that he could inherit his father's place at the Emperor's side. Luke resisted at first, but was soon driven to attack Vader with full fury. Although he nearly killed Vader, severing his right hand, Luke controlled his anger at the last minute; realizing that he was dangerously close to suffering his father's fate, he discarded his lightsaber and proudly turned to face the Emperor, stating: "I am a Jedi, like my father before me."



Seeing that Luke had become a lost cause, Palpatine attacked him with Force lightning. Vader, horrified at seeing his son in pain, seized his former master from behind and cast him into a reactor shaft, incurring fatal wounds in the process. The tyrant was incinerated upon collision, in an explosive blaze that engulfed the surrounding area. Redeemed, Anakin Skywalker died peacefully in his son's arms moments later. The Rebellion, meanwhile, overcame the Imperial Garrison and destroyed the battle station, effectively defeating the Empire. Wow, what a story!

I think Lucas was pretty successful creating a character scary and intelligent enough that we could believe him to be Darth Vader's master. When Return of the Jedi first came out I thought The emperor had one of the scariest make-up jobs I'd ever seen. I was so glad the same actor was able to play him in the prequels.

Malificent



"Now shall you deal with me, oh prince, and all the powers of Hell!"

Malificent was the main Villain in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. She is considered the classic Disney villain: imposing, serious, gothic, terrifying, and lacking any of the occasional goofiness seen in some later Disney villians; this has frequently led to her being considered the most terrifying of Disney's many "evil" characters.

Fortunatley for us all she got a second chance to show her stuff in Squaresoft's game Kingdom Hearts.
In the game, Maleficent headed a group of Disney villains who sought out to discover ultimate power by controlling the Heartless and unlocking Kingdom Hearts, the "heart of all worlds". She directed their affairs from Hollow Bastion, the former home of Ansem. Following the goal of ultimate power, Maleficent used Ansem Reports to help control the Heartless and darkness, and recruits Riku, the hero Sora's friend, to help her gather the Princesses of Heart. The seven Princesses of Heart are explained by Maleficent as necessary to complete the keyhole portal that led to Kingdom Hearts; the keyhole itself is located at Hollow Bastion. She distanced herself from the arguments among her group, appearing to them only when it was of importance. Over time, Maleficent focused more of her attention on Riku while her group slowly dissolved due to each being defeated by Sora.



Inside Riku's heart, she sees both a powerful darkness and the abiltiy to use the Keyblade, and offers to help him revive his friend, Kairi, in return for his services. Riku agrees and Maleficent grants him the apparent gift to control the Heartless. Upon near-completion of the Hollow Bastion keyhole and the imminent arrival of Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy, she battles them. She fails, and has to hastily retreat. As the heroes catch up with her, Riku, who seems concerned about her well-being, appears. Unknown to her, however, is that Riku is possessed by Xehanort's Heartless. Failing to realize this, she is struck in the chest by the Keyblade Xehanort's Heartless created from the hearts of the six princesses she captured. The keyblade, unlike the one Sora wields, is one that opens hearts; with her heart opened, Maleficent is vulnerable to the immense darkness that is attracted to her. The darkness overcomes her and transforms her into a dragon. In this form, she battles the heroes and dies, leaving only her robe. Upon her death, Xehanort's Heartless remarks that she was a puppet of the darkness all along, and that while she warned others about not underestimating the darkness, she ironically failed to see the darkness eating away at her heart. Xehanort's Heartless then steps on Maleficent's robe, which faded into thin air. But guess what, she returns in Kingdom Hearts II. But I'll leave that to you all to check out. When all is said and done, I always wanted to throw down with Malificent in an RPG. And Kingdom Hearts gave me that chance. Thank-you Squaresoft.

Serpentor



"This, I command."

Serpentor is the only G.I. Joe caracter to leave a strong impression on me. Mostly because I loved his origin story that was part of a five-part mini-series in Season 2 and his costume. In the cartoon, Serpentor was created largely due to a dissatisfaction among COBRA's ranking officers regarding Cobra Commander's ineptitude to lead COBRA. A dream inspires Dr. Mindbender to create a new leader for COBRA. This would later be retconned in G.I. Joe: The Movie where it was revealed that Cobra-La's ruler, Golobulus, gave Dr. Mindbender the blueprint for creating Serpentor via subconscious means. Serpentor is made from the DNA extracted from the unearthed remains of the most ruthless and effective military leaders in history, including Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Genghis Khan. He also has DNA from Sgt. Slaughter and Grigori Rasputin. Unfortunately, due to the fact that G.I. Joe stopped Cobra from obtaining the vital genetic essence of Sun Tzu, Serpentor's personality was fundamentally flawed upon gaining consciousness. The genetic material they failed to capture was replaced by genetic material taken from Sgt. Slaughter which turned out to be an inadequate substitute. In addition, Cobra Commander subtly tried to interfere with this project to preclude being replaced, but ultimately failed.



Serpentor proved to be much braver than Cobra Commander, but he was also every bit the egomaniac that the Commander had been, if not more so, and his courage often bordered on stubbornness and foolhardy pride. Serpentor was usually portrayed as temperamental and prone to anger when things did not go his way which happened more often than he wanted to admit. For instance, his first major operation was an immediate full force direct assault on the U.S. Capitol at Washington DC over the protests of his subordinates at the foolhardiness of this attack. The attack turned out to be a total fiasco from which Serpentor and his immediate subordinates barely escaped with the help of Cobra Commander, who then persuaded the Emperor to keep him around as a scapegoat to hide his weaknesses. Unlike Cobra Commander, he appeared more likely to inflict physical harm on those that would displease him.

Later in G.I. Joe: The Movie, he would learn his true origins and join Golobulus and Cobra-La in its bid to transform Earth's populace into primitive slaves. To do so, they needed to capture the BET Machine. He gets his revenge on Duke for defeating him earlier by stabbing him with a snake javelin. By the end of the movie, Lt. Falcon avenges Duke by confronting Serpentor. Serpentor seemingly perished when Falcon causes his Air Chariot to go out of control.



That was, however, not the end of Serpentor. He appears again in the DiC-produced mini-series, G.I. Joe: Operation Dragonfire. In an unusual turning of tables, Serpentor's troops, including Destro, betrayed him when Cobra Commander returned. He was turned into a lizard and never seen again. Too bad for Serpentor. Whenever he caused trouble, G.I. Joe was there.


Shang Tsung



"Fatality"

In the first Mortal Kombat movie, Shang Tsung was the main villain. At the beginning of the film, Shang develops an interest in Sonya Blade. His tactics during the bulk of the movie are intimidation and trickery; for example, he allows Johnny Cage to challenge Goro on the condition that he may challenge anyone of his choosing in any place, thus setting the stage for Liu and Johnny's desperate move to save Sonya and leading to the climactic battle between Tsung and Liu Kang. In the end, Shang Tsung is knocked off of a platform onto spikes, where he dies and all the captured warrior souls escape, including Liu's younger brother, Chan. He is played by actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa who did a fantastic job bringing this character to life.



If you want a further taste of Cary's Shang's Shang Tsunginess, check out the video game, Batman:Rise of Sin Tzu, based on Batman: The Animated Series, where he takes the voice-acting role for the game's cool, principal and very hard to beat martial-arts-skilled villain.

Starscream



Starscream: "Oh, how it pains me to do this."
Megatron: "Wait, I still function!"
Starscream: "Wanna bet?"
Megatron: "STARSCREAM! YAAAAAARRRRGH!

The lines just before Starscream jettisons Megatron into space in Transformers the Movie.

The great thing about Starscream was he made no secret of his ambition to overthrow Megatron as Decepticon Leader. He was ruthless, cold-blooded and cruel, but also possessed a cowardly streak. He would kick you when you're down, but was unlikely to take any direct action without his fellow Decepticons to back him up. He considered himself the most sophisticated and intelligent of the Decepticons, and looked down at Megatron for being antiquated in his military strategy. Starscream believed the Decepticons should've relied more on guile and speed rather than brute, destructive force to defeat the Autobots, although even when Starscream was given the chance to strike out on his own, he was rarely any more successful than Megatron. Megatron overlooked the potential threat Starscream represented for one reason: he believed Starscream was very good at his job. But even then, Starscream often pushed Megatron over the edge, and brief, violent conflicts were not uncommon between the two.



Starscream transformed into an F-15 Eagle and served as the Decepticon Air Commander, leading the other Decepticon Seekers and air vehicles, many of whom shared his physical design. According to his tech specs, he could reach speeds up to Mach 2.8, and was able to climb to sub-orbital altitudes of 52 miles and nose-dive down to near ground level in mere minutes. His arm was mounted with launchers (mounted under his wings in jet mode), which could launch two types of weaponry - cluster bombs, each of which can level an area 10,000 feet square, and his primary weapon, the null ray, which can interrupt the flow of electricity in any circuitry it hits for periods of up to two minutes, effectively preventing the operation of many machines, including Transformers themselves.

One of the best moments for fans in the Transformers Movie is when Starscream jettisons a severly damaged Megatron into space. Another is Starscream's obliteration at the hands of Galvatron--Megatron's new form given to him by Unicron. Of course, Starscream came back as a ghost shortly after in the next Transformers series and ironically served Unicron for an episode, but it was still a cool death. Very well animated.

Magneto



"They wish to cure us. But I say we are the cured!"--Magneto in X3: The Last Stand

Magneto, the X-Men's greatest foe irst appeared in X-Men Vol. 1, #1 in September, 1963.

Magneto's experience in the Nazi death camps as a child shaped his outlook on the situation that mutants faced in the Marvel Universe, and influenced the course of his subsequent career. As a result Magneto's status as hero or villain is a complex one. He constantly wavers between wanting to exist in harmony with Homo sapiens, wanting a separate homeland for mutants and wanting to enforce his superiority over all humanity. His methods are often extreme, but his goals are often noble at their root.



Determined that such atrocities as those in Nazi camps would never be committed against mutant-kind, he was willing to use deadly force to protect mutants. He expressed the belief that mutants (Homo superior) would eventually become the dominant life form on the planet.

He is an incredible charater with a biography arguably as long as the amount of comics he's been in, because of that length, I've decided not to go to deep into it here. All I'll say is. and I'm sure everyone in Marveldom will agree. Even after forty-three years, Magneto is truly the master of Magnetism and one of the greatest villains in comics. And easily one of the most disturbing uses of his power was when Magneto forcibly removed Wolverine's adamantum skeleton from his body. Of course, that turned out to be okay because the indestructible metal was toxic to Wolverine's system anyway. How IRON-ic....HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. Excelsior!

Tiamat



Eric: Now what?
Presto: Now we find Tiamat.
Eric: How do we know which one is her?
Presto: Easy, dummy. She'll be the one who attacks us.

Although aimed at a young audience as many animated series are, Dungeons and Dragons had distinctive plots, and was unusual in children's television for the amount of ethical awareness and empathy displayed to and encouraged in the viewer. It was not unusual for members of the band to lose hope or break down in tears, only to be comforted by others, or reinvigorated through good works. The level of violence was controversial for children's television at the time, and the script of one episode, "The Dragon's Graveyard", was almost shelved because one of the characters contemplated killing one of their enemies. Would you believe In 1985, the National Coalition on Television Violence claimed it was the most violent show on television?

It was in "The Dragon's Graveyard" that we get a real taste of Tiamat--the Queen of evil chromatic dragons becuase the heroes must strike a deal with her. Yeah, I know, Venger was the main villain in this series, but I just thout Tiamat was way cooler. However, I wager the heroes were never going to reach a high enough level or have enough hitpoints to battle her anyway. That's probably why we saw so little of her in the show. ;-)

Q



"It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars" -- Q in "All Good Things..." The final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Q began in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation as a villain, who threatened all of humanity with annihilation. In later episodes he became more of a trickster, although there was always a reason for his presence. Q evolved over time into a sympathetic, and sometimes even pitiable character. In one Season 3 episode, "Déjà Q", Q is punished by the Continuum by being turned into a mortal, in this case a (by his own choosing) human on board the Enterprise.

Toward the end of the Next Generation series, Q is less antagonistic towards Picard, even, in the episode "Tapestry" apparently saving Picard's life and helping the captain to understand himself better. In the final episode of the series, "All Good Things...", Q seems to have reverted to his previous villainy, ruling the human race inferior and threatening their destruction, but he does give Picard a "helping hand" in saving humanity, something for which Picard expresses thanks. This unchanged attitude by Q may be explainable by what he said in "All Good Things...", "The trial never ended, Captain. We never reached a verdict. But, now we have: you're guilty...of being inferior" This would seem to indicate that from Q's point of view, the two episodes were contiguous.

The relationship between Q and Picard is often misunderstood. They don't completely hate each other; in fact in the episode Déjà Q, Q said that Picard was "the closest thing in this universe that I have to a friend".

Unicron



Unicron (raising fist): "For a time, I considered sparing your wretched little planet Cybertron. But now. You shall witness. Its dismemberment!"

Galvatron: "Nooooooo!!!!!"

Unicron made his entrance into Transformers fiction in the opening scene of 1986's Transformers: The Movie, immediately making clear his driving goal by consuming the small world of Lithone in the year 2005. Subsequently, when the battered bodies of Decepticon leader Megatron and several of his troops were set adrift in space, Unicron appeared before them and offered Megatron a deal - in exchange for a new body, new troops and a new starship, he would destroy the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, the only thing that could stand in Unicron's way. Thus, Megatron became Galvatron, and began to carry out his assigned task, although he was loathe to do so; when Galvatron showed any signs of opposition to Unicron's will, Unicron inflicted agonising mental torture on his servant to bring him back into line.



Following Unicron's consumption of Cybertron's two moons, Galvatron successfully accomplished his mission, but with the Matrix in his hands, foolishly believed he could use it to bring Unicron under his control. Attempting to open the Matrix to intimidate Unicron, Galvatron only prompted his transformation into robot mode, and was swallowed by the planet-eater. Unicron proceeded to lay waste to Cybertron, briefly halted when the young Autobot, Hot Rod crashed a Quintesson spacecraft through his eye. Finding and battling Galvatron inside Unicron's body, Hot Rod reclaimed the Matrix and opened it within Unicron, destroying his body, leaving only his head drifting in space around Cybertorn.

Miriya Parino



"I'm looking for one particular enemy fighter. When he appears, you are ordered to withdraw and leave his destruction to me personally. Is that understood?" Miriya Parino to her wingmen in the first Robotech War.

Miriya was an ace pilot, a female of the giant race of warriors known as the Zentradi. Serving on board an all-female ship, she joined Breetai's investigation of the "miclones" of Earth, and their spacecraft, SDF-1. After being beaten in a pitched battle against the human pilot Max Sterling, she volunteered for micloning and, reduced to human size, infiltrated Macross. Rather than espionage, her real aim was to find and kill the man who had humiliated her, but when he defeated her first in a video game and then in a knife fight and yet would not harm her, she realised that the emotion he had awoken in her was not hate, but love. After defecting to the SDF-1 and marrying Max, Miriya became a member of the Robotech Defense Force in her own right and piloted a red-painted VF-1J Veritech Fighter into battle thereafter. However, caring for her own people, she convinced Max and the other pilots to capture, rather than kill, their Zentradi opponents. Miriya is an excellent example of how a villain can be brought to the side of the angels with a little love.

Negaduck



"What is this? I wanted to see car wrecks and gunplay!"

Negaduck, with his trademark chainsaw, was simply Darkwing Duck's evil counterpart. NegaDuck's backstory was revealed in the episode "Life, the Negaverse, and Everything". According to that episode, NegaDuck comes from an alternate universe where everyone is the opposite of who they are in the universe where the series is usually set. It is also stated in the episode, that NegaDuck rules the negative St. Canard, if not the entire planet Earth of the Negaverse, completely and totally. Negaduck's Gosalyn is sweet and feminine, while the evil version of Launchpad McQuack is psychotic. When he led the Fearsome Five in the 2-part episode "Just us Justice Ducks", he was easily the most entertaining villain of the bunch. Negaduck and the Reverse Flash should hang out. They share a similar taste in clothes. Though Negaduck would probably kill the yellow speedster after a while.

Dark Helmet



"Evil will always triumph because Good is dumb!"

In the Star Wars Parody Spaceballs, The main villain is Dark Helmet played by Rick Moranis.
Dark Helmet looks more or less (emphasis on the less) like Darth Vader, except that he is much shorter, his helmet is many times larger, he has short pants, and he wears a necktie. When his mask is down, Dark Helmet's breathing is overly audible and he speaks in a deep baritone voice (Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones), but when he lifts his mask he speaks in Rick Moranis' intentionally incredulous, shrill tone. Dark Helmet implies the reason for his deep breathing is due to the nature of the helmet itself (in one scene, he exclaims "I can't breathe in this thing!"). He also wears glasses.

In the movie, Helmet is the commander of the Spaceballs' armed "Imperious Forces" and commands its greatly elongated flagship Spaceball One. He enjoys playing with Spaceballs action figurines, taking special pleasure in acting out a scenario in which he seduces Princess Vespa. Instead of line-of-sight strangulation, Dark Helmet uses his Schwartz ring to zap the balls of insubordinate minions with a green laser beam. One of the movies funniest scenes is when, while searching for the heroes on the desert planet, Dark Helmet wore khaki shorts, a khaki shirt, and a pith helmet made in the exact dimensions as his regular helmet.



Spaceballs has gotta be the only movie in the world that you have to watch three nearly three hours classic movies a couple of times each first to really appreciate. I heard a rumor of a Spaceballs II based on the prequels, but I don't know if it would be a wise move to make. Although, it might very well mean an entire movie about Dark Helmet before he became Dark Helmet. Hmmmm.

Lex Luthor



When Luthor first appeared in Action Comics, #23 in May, 1940, he was portrayed with a full head of red hair; however, in 1941 Luthor came to be portrayed as completely bald after an artist's mistake in the Superman comic strip. Shuster preferred drawing bald villains anyway, so the more striking appearance was adopted and became a Luthor trademark. The evil of Luthor knows few bounds.

One of the more interesting Luthor origins is this: In the post-Man of Steel mythos, Luthor was born in the Suicide Slum district of Metropolis. In his younger years, Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor grew up in a household where his cruel and short-tempered father abused Lex's mother and belittled his son's dreams of leaving the Suicide Slum district for a better life. His only friend was Perry White, who encouraged Lex's dreams of making something of himself.



Lex's big break would come in his early teens, when Lex's parents were killed in a car accident and left Lex with a rather large insurance policy that left the teen incredibly wealthy. Years later, an unauthorized biography would accuse Lex of not only causing the death of his parents but also of obtaining the insurance policy on his parents without their knowledge.

Lex was put into a foster home while he waited until he became of legal age to collect the insurance money. However, Lex found that his foster parents were even worse than his biological parents. Greedy and manipulative, they schemed to find out the location of Lex's money and steal it from him. Shortly after Lex turned the age in which he could have access to his money, he secretly put the money in a savings account with it explicitly stated that only he could withdraw money from the account. When his foster parents found bank documents Lex had hidden from them, Lex's foster father confronted his daughter Lena and demanded that she seduce Lex (who had fallen in love with Lena) into giving her parents the money under the lie that they would use the money to pay for their daughter's college education, which they had no plans on doing.



Lena, who had feelings for Lex, refused and for her trouble was beaten to death by her father. Lex was absent from the home at the time, having been talked into going to a football game by his friend Perry. When Lex returned home, he was heartbroken to find Lena murdered by her father. This event would serve as the turning point for Lex Luthor, who vowed to do whatever it took to gain power and to destroy anyone who got in his way.

Perry White was the first target of Lex's turn to evil. Lex blamed Perry for keeping him from being at the house when Lena died and got his revenge by seducing Perry's wife shortly after their marriage and getting her pregnant with Lex's child. The offspring Jerry White, would later learn of his true parentage during his late teens before being killed by a local streetgang that Jerry had associated with. Years later, Lex would on several occasions purchase ownership of the Daily Planet, much to Perry's shock, and attempt to kill the newspaper out of complete spite for Perry.



To give a little more insight to Lex's character, here are two quotations from the graphic novel: "World Without A Superman". It contains the eight "Funeral for a Friend" issues published immediately after Superman's death in Superman #75 in January 1993.

The first is a narration that takes place while Lex Luthor is training himself against against three female blackbelt martial artists, the best of which is named Sasha. The narration describes Luthor's thoughts at the time and he becomes distracted by them. Sasha ends up drop kicking him in the face. And Luthor is none to pleased about it.

"Hate. Some say it is a waste of energy; a useless emotion that keeps one from achieving one's ultimate potential. But for Lex Luthor--a man whose accomplishments surpass the wildest dreams of men--hate is everything. For years Superman had been luthor's obsession, the one man in metropolis who was more powerful than he. And now, even in death--it is Superman who provokes his every move. With his ring of kryptonite, Luthor revelled in the man of steel's inability to bring him down. It was a game to be savored--a game that is over. No amount of standins and workouts--can erase the memory of the man who stole his hand. Superman was a constant, a challenge that made life worth living. And even though the ring's radiation claimed his original body--Lex Luthor has never felt more empty."



The second quotation takes place when Luthor is alone in Superman's crypt standing over the coffin.

"So. I win. I knew I'd bury you one day, you sanctimonious, self-righteous pain! I owned this town until you came along. There wasn't a man on Earth who could stop me from doing whatever I pleased! And if anyone dared interfere--they were given a one way ticket to hell. That's the main reason I killed her you know. That Sasha witch. I throttled the life from her throat with my bare hands just to prove to you that I was king again. When they find her body tomorrow all the evidence will point to a janitor at LEXCORP. An ex-con, no less. Of course he'll deny the murder but no one will believe him. And you can't do one blessed thing about it! You're dead! You are nothing! And I am back on top! Metropolis is mine again, Superman! And you are an empty, lifeless, withering husk!"

Yes, this is the beast that is Lex Luthor. I hope the summer movie Superman Returns does him justice. Um...no pun intended.

Harley Quinn



"You know what's great about you, puddin'? You really put the "fun" in funeral. -- Harley Quinn to the Joker in "The Man who killed Batman" from Batman: The Animated Series.

Actress and comedian Arleen Sorkin, starred in a soap opera which included a dream sequence where she wore a jester costume. Writter, Paul Dini used this scene as an inspiration for Harley Quinn, writing her specifically so Sorkin could voice the character. Paul was long time pals with Arleen before his Batman TAS job and adapted many of Arleen's quirky and silly qualities to Harley.

Before she went bonkers and became Harley Quinn, Harleen Quinzel was a psychiatric intern at Arkham Asylum. Before her meeting with the Joker she possessed considerable intelligence and receiving high grades and college, she graduated with honors in psychriatric training. While interning the inmates at Arkham, she became fascinated with one particular inmate, The Joker. Ambitiously volunteering to analyze him, she fell in love nearly instantly with the Joker during their sessions. After helping him escape from the asylum more than once Harleen was suspected by the authorities, who revoked her license and placed her in her own cell. During an earthquake in Gotham City, she fled and became Harley Quinn, the sidekick to the Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker.

Quinn's relationship with the Joker could only be described as "abusive": he yells at her, hits her and leaves her whenever she becomes annoying, but she always comes back for more, convinced that he truly loves her and that his violence is "just a joke." The Joker, an expert manipulator, always knows just when to turn on the charm when he once again needs her.



At one point, the Joker grew tired of Quinn, and he sent her off. She proceded to steal a Harliquin Diamond in the Gotham Museum to prove her worth to the Joker. The same day in the museum Poison Ivy was robbing it of plant toxins. The two became quick friends and Ivy took her back to her lair in a toxic waste dump and nursed her back to health. This included injecting Harley with a serum that Ivy had developed which has given Harley an immunity to all toxins and poisons as well as boosting her immune system.



Quinn and Ivy teamed up and conducted a number of successful capers. When Quinn and The Joker made up soon afterwards Ivy was not happy with Harley's lingering feelings with the Joker, whom she never liked. Ivy remains, however, her usual first point of call when she and The Joker are going through a rough patch. Ivy adopted the role of older sister and teller of harsh truths to Quinn about her helpless infatuation with The Joker. When Ivy demanded during "Harley and Ivy" (their meeting BTAS episode) that Quinn stand up for herself, Quinn said "I'm nobody's doormat—am I?" Ivy replied, "If you had a middle name, it would be 'Welcome'.

Mr. Burns



"Excellent."

Charles Montgomery Burns is the owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant on "The Simpsons" , is fabulously wealthy, and due to his status as Springfield's leading (and perhaps only) plutocrat, Burns is able to do whatever he wants with little to no consequences. He is attended at almost all times by Waylon Smithers, his loyal aide and confidant.

Some say Burns isn't so much evil as misunderstood. Let's take a tour of his home and office and you the reader can decide for yourself.

Burns resides in a vast, ornate mansion on an immense estate called Burns Manor, located at the corner of Croesus and Mammon street in Springfield (his address is 1000 Mammon Street). His estate is also the site of the annual company picnic.



Burns's sprawling estate is protected by a high wall, electrified fence, attack dogs (the source of one of his catchphrases, "Release the hounds"), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz-style guards, and his personal paramilitary force. The estate includes a robotic Richard Simmons (only seen in out-take footage in The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular), a room with a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters, a bottomless pit (for all intents and purposes), a human chessboard (formerly a tennis court), the largest television in the free world, a Hall of Patriots commemorating his ancestors, and rare historical artifacts including the only existing nude photo of Mark Twain, the suit Charlie Chaplin was buried in, King Arthur's mythical sword Excalibur, and a rare first draft of the Constitution with the word "suckers" in it. His home also contains "the playroom" - a theatre showing round-the clock plays (regardless of whether or not anyone is actually watching), a laboratory filled with bizarre equipment, and a safe containing a Beefeater guard. Instead of making his bed, Burns drops the bed through the floor into an incinerator and after the floor closes, a brand new bed comes out of the wall. Various other contraptions in his home include automatic metal restraints on his dining chairs, an elaborate miniature railway (which disappears through a hole in the wall and frequently returns with snow on it) and an automatic dresser. Burns also controls a unit of paramilitary riot police which he uses to intimidate people, including using them to beat up guests at his birthday party.



Burns's office at the nuclear plant contains similarly odd features. One wall can be raised to reveal various things, including his team of highly-trained lawyers, a special microbe-resistant chamber in which he plans to shelter during a flu epidemic, a two-seat escape pod— Smithers assumes the second seat is for him, but in fact Burns likes to put his feet up. The office also contains a ceiling-mounted suction tube which he can use to transport dissident workers to Morocco. A gigantic stuffed polar bear which has a secret tunnel under it that leads to the old quarry can be seen in the corner and the floor of the office opens up to a miniature scale model of Springfield. He uses this model to demonstrate his sun-blocker in "Who Shot Mr. Burns?". He also riddles the office with trap doors and giant metric weights for use against workers. Apparently his entire office can be rotated so that his window has different views. A sliding wall reveals the headquarters of the "League of Evil", a cabal which consisted of a mad scientist (possibly Graeme from the Goodies), a WWI-era German officer, a cowboy, a US Air Force officer, and a samurai. When Burns calls upon them, however, he finds nothing but their skeletal remains sitting at a conference table, having died due to the lack of air behind the wall. Mr. Burns also had a unit of winged monkeys. However, these were little more than live monkeys with what looked like wings. When Burns unleashed them to go after Homer and Mindy, they jumped out the window and fell to their deaths. Burns then looked at Smithers and said "continue the research".

Evil or Misunderstood? Well?

The Grinch



Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
THE GRINCH
GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!

Steal Christmas from WHOVILLE? Hell of an idea, but can you really pull it off? Only one villain dared try, one seriously disgruntled WHO with a near microscopic heart nicknamed, The Grinch. He was bitter. Of course you would be too if you had to listen to WHO music all day echoing through your home on Mt. Crumpit. He was thought to be a loner by the WHO's, but he wasn't completely alone. He had his dim dog Max. However, he horribly mistreated Max by strapping a horn to his head and making him pretend to be a reindeer. So, The Grinch pretty much falls in with all the evil villainous people that dress their pets in pet clothes and parade them around town without their dignity. ;-) And just when he had finished breaking into every home, lying to a little WHO-girl and was about to dump all the WHO-presents off a cliff, he realized the WHOs in WHOVILLE weren't as materialistic as the rest of us and returned everything. AW MAN! And the real sad part is that the WHOs probably sent him to the electric chair for Grand Theft Christmas right after he finished carving the roast beast. ;-)

Dr. Claw



"I'll get you next time, Gadget!...NEXT TIME!"

We never saw the face of Inspector Gadget's arch-nemesis, Dr. Claw, but he had one of the coolest evil-looking cars ever--The Clawmobile. And he could crush diamonds in his iron-gauntleted hands. He also had that fat cat on his desk, sat in that big padded oak chair, and had a computer that could do just about anything with the touch of a button. If you're going to be evil, you might as well do it in style and comfort.

Kodos and Kang



HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

These two green octopus-like aliens kept talking about taking over the world. They managed to do so only once when Lisa Simpson wished for World Peace using a magic monkey's paw and left the earth completely weaponless. Kodos and Kang were quickly driven off when humanity's violent tendencies were magically returned--thanks to the goody-goody Ned Flanders of all people. Later, Kang managed to get elected as President of The United States--not complete world control, but close enough. These deffered successes aside, if there is one thing these two got right in the villain department it was the maniacal laughter and, of course, the drooling.

Gargamel



"I hate those smurfs!"

Gargamel was an evil wizard (though with very limited powers - he actually seems to be more of an alchemist) whose main goal was to destroy the smurfs. His back was perpetually stooped, his robe was worn and patched, and his teeth were rotten. Sometimes he wanted to eat the smurfs, other times he wanted to use them to make gold, and still other times he had even more bizarre uses for them. Though he often caught smurfs who wandered by his home or which he happened across in the forest, he did not know the location of the hidden Smurf Village, a fact which continually frustrated him. On rare occasions, he wouldl discover the location of the smurf village, but sooner or later forget its location due to either a magic spell put on him by Papa Smurf or forget because of some other bizarre factor. He is an eternal bungler. Some of his schemes to catch smurfs bordered on the bizarre (e.g. a "blue magnet" that attracted solely blue items, a smurf devining rod, etc.). He had a seemingly endless library of spellbooks, potions, and gimmicks for his life's passion. However, no matter how elaborate Gargamel's plans, they invariably ended in failure. I remember some episodes where Gargamel was so hungry, I'm surprised he didn't try to eat his cat Azrael, but if he had, he would have lost his only friend. It was funny, as I got older, I started cheering for Gargamel. It would have been nice to see a few smurfs taken out by the forest wildlife too.

The Collector from Tales of the Crypt: Demon Knight



"All you had to do was give me the goddam key! And we could get on with our lives!"

This story revolves around an artifact and its guardian. The artifact is a key to somehow open the gates of hell and release all sorts of demons. William Sadler plays Brayker, the current guardian of the key, while Billy Zane is the Collector, a higher level demon who is tasked to retrieve the key and use it to open the gates of hell and unleash darkness across the universe. Sounds like a plan.

The key also serves as a container for blood that has the power to create barriers on entrances where it prevents the demons from passing through. These barriers can be broken by either removing the blood from where it was poured, or by destroying it. Originally it contains the blood of Christ obtained when he was crucified, but when it ran out, it was, and could be refilled with the blood of the latest guardian who carried the artifact and still have the same power, due to it still having some (however diluted) of Christ's blood still in it.

The bearer of the artifact appears to be immune to aging and natural death, but they are still vulnerable to death through other means. On their hand, there is a form of tattoo that acts as a gauge to when their night will come when they will fight the demons, and then pass on the duties of guardian to another. Brayker had taken the duties from a soldier he fought with in World War I.

Billy Zane was at his best in this horror flick of good versus evil. He was witty and played on the very human weaknesses of seven people trapped in a small town hotel, including the guardian. With his small army of lesser demons, he managed to wipe out all but one: Geraldine, the new key guardian. And the chase continues.

Heh. Too bad he didn't have The Collector's powers in his role in Titanic. He definitely would have had better luck knocking of Leonardo DiCaprio...

Onslaught



"Nothing to say? A silent scream will suffice."

For another great villain, we once again go to MARVEL COMICS. During the conclusion of the Fatal Attractions crossover, Magneto ripped the adamantium from Wolverine's skeleton after Wolverine attempted to kill him. In response, Professor X shut down Magneto's mind psionically. When this happened, a portion of Magneto's psyche was transferred into Xavier's repressed subconscious. This small element of Magneto's psyche took root in the dark corner of Xavier's mind, where his repressed anger at humanity's intolerance toward mutants was buried. This was the seed that would grow into the being known as Onslaught.

Onslaught showed a wide variety of abilities including nearly limitless strength, and near indestructibility. This strength is shown when he knocked The Juggernaut, literally, across North America. Onslaught's psionic powers appeared limitless, appearing to surpass even that of Xavier in his right mind. He was especially powerful in the Astral Plane, where he appeared to have god-like abilities. Even Jean Grey's powers were completely useless against him. From what has been seen, he seems to have total mental control over anyone or anything he wishes, ranging from altering one's perception to believe they are someone or somewhere else (he demonstrated this by making Wolverine believe he was a wolf pup, and making Storm think she was a child), to most conceivable forms of telekinesis. Onslaught also possessed many forms of energy projection, all of which at high levels of power. Another demonstration of its power was when Onslaught ripped the Gem of Cytorrak out of the supposedly indestructable Juggernaut's body, solidifying its raw power. But, in the end, Onslaught's true body was revealed to be a mass of pure, psionic energy that was immune to all forms of physical attacks.



The final battle against Onslaught cost the Marvel Universe eighteen of its most prominent figures. Though they would return, the event marked a turning point in their individual histories. Not many comic book villains can say thay have achieved such a high number of iconic heroes in their body count.


Megabyte and Hexadecimal



Megabyte: "Herr Doktor, I need a place to set up shop."

In the computer generated world of Reboot, Megabyte was a virus operating out of the Silicon Tor in Sector 1000. Megabyte ploted constantly to corrupt and control Mainframe--the shows main world--in order to turn it into his own domain, "Megaframe." Megabyte was a malignant virus, with the ability and the desire to infect other programs. He commanded an army of infected binomes. Megabyte possessed great physical strength and an exceedingly cunning intellect. In many ways he was a megalomaniacal dictator; his only purpose was the amassing of power and control. Megabyte had no scruples and constantly took advantage of other characters in order to achieve his own ends. He had a brutal, almost psychopathic nature and spoke with a deep British accent. In the fourth season he became a Trojan Horse virus, gaining the ability to look and sound like any sprite or binome he was able to steal code from.



Hexadecimal: "But the Principal Office is just SCREAMING OUT TO BE DESTROYED!!!"

Hexadecimal was an insane virus operating out of Lost Angles and who had a not-so-secret crush on Bob. She constantly wore a mask, changing it to show her facial expression. These masks also held her power in check. When removed, her power escapes and continues to do damage, until she assumingly would delete. She had a cat-like pet named SCSI (which stands for Small Computer System Interface, and is pronounced "Scuzzy"). Hexadecimal had the ability to control nulls (sprites downgraded to slug-like status for losing to the User in a game), which had earned her the title "Queen of the Nulls." 'Hex' had transfinite power -- meaning that, though her power was not infinite it continued to regenerate even as she exhausted her power; so Hex could be weakened and needed to take time to restore herself to full power. During the Daemon Rising feature, she absorbed some of Mainframe's core energy, giving her power levels comparable to Daemon's. She was a benign virus, meaning she didn't infect other entities, though her power and insanity still made her dangerous.

Both Megabyte and Hexadecimal (his sister) were at one point part of the larger virus Gigabyte. It split into two effectively opposite (yet both evil) parts, Megabyte representing order and Hexadecimal representing chaos. What did this split mean for us viewers? We got two great villains for the price of one!

The Shredder



Shredder: "You're furry little friend knows me as Oroku Saki...but you may call me, The Shredder."
Raphael: "A kitchen utensil?"

In the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi were both members of the Foot Clan in Japan. But after Saki framed him for attempted murder of one of the Clanfs sensei, Yoshi was forced to exile himself to New York, where he lived in the sewers with four pet turtles that were accidentally dropped down the drain.

In the following years, Saki took leadership of the Foot Clan, and took on his Shredder persona. He also met a trans-dimensional alien called Krang, and used the advanced technology at his disposal to replace the Foot ninjas with robots called the Foot Soldiers. And he secretly moved to New York, where he found Yoshi still alive, so he tried to kill him by dumping mutagen in the sewers. This causes Yoshi to mutate into Splinter, and he starts training the mutated Turtles in ninjutsu.



The cartoon series was more light-hearted than the comics, and consequently, Shredder was depicted as an evil but comically inept villain, rather than the scary and lethal ninja he was in the comic. His two henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady are incompetent and fail miserably at everything they do; they are mostly used for comic relief in the show. But even though Shredder's plans were always foiled, often by his own failings, he is still shown to have considerable skills. In fighting skills, he is often shown to surpass the Turtles and to be equalled by Splinter only. He trained the Punk Frogs in a very short period of time to be a match for the Turtles. His technical skills are also quite impressive: he designed and built a robotic body for Krang, prepared the mutagen mixture, knew how Krang's teleportation engine worked, and built numerous other advanced devices. Shredder's bid for world domination was successful once, in the episode Shredderville. Unfortunately, the stress of handling all of the world's problems at once proved too much for him. Guess he should have stuck to just ruling the Foot Clan.

Posion Ivy



Posion Ivy: "Long time, Harvey. I see your still looking halfway decent."
Two-Face: "Half of me wants to strangle you."
Posion Ivy: "And what does the other half want?"
Two-Face: "To hit you with a truck!"
Poison Ivy (looking at Joker and Penguin): We used to date."
Penguin and Joker: "Ah."

The Poison Ivy in the comics is cool, but I will always remember the Animated Poison Ivy best. Her first appearance, in Batman: The Animated Series, involved an assassination attempt on Harvey Dent, as retribution for construction over the last habitat of a rare flower. In the earlier days of the Animated series, her meta-human characteristics, such as her immunity to toxins, were stated on many occasions, portraying her as a human with an extreme affinity for plants. She mentions in "House and Garden", in which she ostensibly reforms, that her unique condition has left her unable to bear children.



Later in the series, she would become more and more plant-like, her skin turning grayish-white. Ivy also became more humorous and seductive in personality, coinciding with her genuinely sympathetic relationship with Harley Quinn. She teamed up with Harley and the Superman Animated Series villain Livewire in the Gotham Knights episode: "Girls Night Out" and takes on Supergirl and Batgirl and we got a chance to see her at her most powerful: knocking out security gaurds with a kiss, using seeds to open bank machines and nearly kill Batgirl, using vines to almost suffocate Supergirl and commanding mutant plants in the shapes of elephants and wolves to attack the heroes. Not to mention threatening to kill Harley's hyena's for weeing on her plants. Heh. She definitely belongs in the IVY league of super Villains for this stuff alone. But, the thing I loved best about Poison Ivy was her ability to control someone, male or female with a kiss. There's just something really cool and creepy about that at the same time.

Jaws



Jaws turning to girlfriend Dolly: "Well, here's to us."

No, not the shark. Jaws is the nickname of Zbigniew Krycsiwiki. He was born in Kraków, Poland. Krycsiwiki was arrested by the secret police for his part in the "1972 bread riots". While imprisoned the police "beat him with hollow steel clubs encased in thick leather" until they thought he was dead leaving his jaw broken beyond repair. Krycsiwiki later escaped and stowed aboard one of Stromberg's vessels. Eventually he was caught; however, instead of turning him in Stromberg hired a prestigious doctor to create an artificial jaw. After 14 operations Krycsiwiki's jaw was restored using steel components that created two rows of terrifying razor-sharp teeth. The result of the artificial jaw left Jaws a mute in the 007 novels. However, he does manage to score a single line in the film adaptation of Moonraker.

In addition to having steel teeth, Jaws was also 7 feet, 2 inches (2.18 m) tall and extremely strong, which forced Bond to be especially inventive while fighting him. In combat, Bond found himself caught in an unbreakable death grip by Jaws, who was about to fatally bite him; Bond only escaped by using a broken electric lamp to send an electric shock through the assassin's teeth to stun him. Jaws also has an uncanny ability to survive any misfortune seemingly completely unscathed, stand up, dust himself off, walk away and come back to challenge Bond again. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Jaws survives an Egyptian structure's collapse on top of him, being thrown from a rapidly-moving train, sitting in the passenger seat of a car which drives off a cliff (landing in a hut below, to the owner's dismay, though the height of the cliff is not established), a battle underwater with a shark and the destruction of Stromberg's lair. Most notably, in Moonraker he survives falling several thousand feet without a parachute, a crash through a building on top of a runaway cable car, and falling off a waterfall, as well as the destruction of most of Drax's space station. The shark Jaws died from SCUBA tank stuck in its mouth that the protagonist shot and exploded. Do you think the 007 Jaws could survive that? Sure he could, though probably not by the skin of his teeth. They are metal after all. ;-)

David Xanatos



David Xanatos started life as the son of Petros Xanatos, a fisherman from Bar Harbor, Maine. Young Xanatos received an anonymous letter which contained a set of priceless 10th century coins. He sold the coin for $20,000, investing the money in a series of successful ventures and eventually building his corporation. Xanatos' holdings include Xanatos Enterprises, a robotics firm called the Scarab Corporation, and the television franchise Pack Media Studios.

He learned of Castle Wyvern from Demona, the only remaining Gargoyle from the Wyvern Clan, and proceeded to purchase the castle and transport it, brick by brick, and reconstruct it atop the world's tallest building, his New York skyscraper, the Eyrie Building. With the castle "above the clouds," Xanatos successfully released the Manhattan Clan from their frozen sleep.



Xanatos initially posed as the Gargoyles' friend, but was eventually revealed to be using them to steal technology from rival corporation Cyberbiotics -- useing the technology to build a replacement clan of robots dubbed the "Steel Clan." When their ruse was discovered, Xanatos and Demona used the robots in an attempt to destroy the Gargoyles. The Steel Clan was defeated, however, and Xanatos was convicted for receiving stolen property.

Xanatos continued to plot against the Gargoyles from prison, testing them and attempting to remove them from the castle. Upon his release, he attempted to discover their new home and perfecting the Steel Clan , as well as continuing his quest for immortality.



Xanatos would meet an equal in Fox and marry her. It was on this occasion that, by inviting Goliath to the wedding and luring him into seeking reconciliation with Demona, Xanatos was able to arrange the reconstruction of the Phoenix Gate, allowing him to travel to the 10th century and plan for the ancient coins to be delivered to him in the first place. In this way, Xanatos fulfilled his own history through a predestination paradox, at the same time proving himself to his father as a "self-made man".



When Demona finally betrayed Xanatos to advance her own goals of destroying the human race, Xanatos was forced to call a truce with Goliath to stop her. Goliath was later instrumental in saving Xanatos' newborn son Alexander, at which time Xanatos pledged to pay the debt back to him. When the existence of the Gargoyles is revealed to the public, Xanatos ultimately calls an end to the feud and restores the Gargoyles to their ancestral home in the castle and becoming their ally. But he was a really cool bad guy up until then. I've often wondered, If Xanatos and Lex Luthor went head to head, who would win?

The MCP (Master Control Program)



"End of Line."

In the Disney movie Tron this nasty Artificial Intelligence made its bid to take over the world, stating indirectly that it could run the place 900 times better than any human. It even understood the concept of blackmail and used it to its advantage. So, it was off to a good start. Had it not been for Flynn and Captain John Sherridan from Babylon 5...er...I mean Tron, the MCP would have succeeded. I guess we should be glad Disney sent Flynn rather than me to help stop the MCP. I would have been to busy playing games in the world of TRON to have time to save the world.



Well, I hope you all enjoyed this trip through the my personal realm of villainy, whether you read the whole thing, skimmed it or just skipped to those villains you liked--Heh. I think we can all agree, besides the fact that this list, while long, is hardly exhaustive and there are many other great villains that are not here, the heroes we love would be nothing if not for the bad guys (and gals) who stirred up trouble in their respective worlds or universes in the first place. So, lets all raise our glasses and say, as Mr. Black, head of Camp Crusty on the Simpsons did: "Gentlemen [and ladies], to Evil". For without it, there would be no Good. End of Line.

Peace Out

Knites