I will admit that I tend to root for the bad guy. It’s like the Alice Cooper song, “No More Mister Guy” or the Judas Priest song “Breaking The Law.” The lines are not absolute, and people have their reasons of going good, or going bad. Some are down on their luck and others were able to work their way to the top and want to use that power to enrich themselves. In most of us, there is an inner villain and/or monster that must be tamed and caged. Otherwise we may not just hurt other people, but possibly ourselves if the odds are against us.Regardless the villain is always the interesting character. This list will focus on TV and movie villains regardless if they were created for those mediums or they were adapted from the comics or even toys.
1. The Master/Missy (Doctor Who): The Doctor had the Daleks, the Cybermen, and the Monk (whom is yet to see a return to the series since the William Hartnell years), but in the early 1970’s they created another Time Lord character that was equal if not better than The Doctor. That being The Master, who was first played by Roger Delgado. The Master was driven by two goals; murder The Doctor and conquer the universe. Delgado’s Master was in a locked battle with the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and his current companion at the time Jo Grant. In the summer of 1973 Delgado was killed in car accident in Turkey and his character would not appear until 1976 in which the Master appeared in a one shot role played by Peter Pratt and took on Tom Baker’s Doctor. When John Nathan Turner became Doctor Who’s frontrunner in 1980, he wanted to bring back the Master to recurrent status. Geoffrey Beevers took over for the Pratt Master, and was the set up for Anthony Ainley (who like Delgado was known for playing villains) to take over soon after. Ainley would play the Master for the rest of the classic series run. In 1996, American actor Eric Roberts would take over the role of the Master in the 1996 TV movie. Three years after Doctor Who return to TV in the mid 2000’s, Russell T. Davis brought back The Master who was played by John Simm (after a Derek Jacobi did a brief stint setting Simm up for the role just as Beevers did for Ainley), who came off a starting role in the police/speculative fiction drama “Life on Mars.” Simm’s Master was able to rule the world for a single year, and was able to turn everyone on Earth literally into his image. Puts the real-world Hitler to shame regarding the Master Race. Steven Moffat who succeeded Davis decided to gender bend the Master before it was The Doctor’s turn to do the same. The female version of the Master or Missy is played by Michelle Gomez. Last time we saw The Master, Simm’s version of the villain killed Missy good enough for her not to regenerate. The Master/Missy cheated death before, and I can only hope that the evil time lord can do it again. If not they should bring back The Monk.
2. The Joker (The Dark Knight): If Simm’s Master on Doctor Who uses humor to strike fear into his prey, then Heath Ledger’s Joker in the movie “The Dark Knight” does it a whole lot better. Not only dark humor but chaos, anarchy and obsession. This Joker is anything but cheezy. The man knows what he is doing, and takes his love of dark humor to a very dangerous level.
3. Devastator (Transformers Generation 1): You don’t have to be the brains to make this list. Megatron might be the leader of the Decepticons, but since he believes in brute force, why not have that in a subgroup that normally create things (Constructicons), only to destroy things in their combined form of Devastator. I love how Arthur Burghardt voiced the role and how he makes Devastator the monster to be reckoned with. Devastator can crush anyone and brag about it as well. He strikes fear in any Autobot that must deal with him. With most combiners however, brains are not the strong point and one wrong move or if the Autobots can pull out an Ace card of sorts, the Devastator can be defeated. Still I love this Decepticon the best.
4. Master Org/Dr.Viktor Adler (Power Rangers Wild Force): Let us be blunt about Dr. Adler. He embraced Master Org and murdered the Parents of the son who would become his arch enemy in the form the Red Wild Force Power Ranger. Russian born actor Ilia Volok was given the best lines and he could truly act, and he was better than any of the protagonist on this series of Power Rangers. To this day Volok is still working in the entertainment business. The Wild Force Ranger in the real world turned out to be a real-life punk, and did a certain crime, and is now doing the time. They dealt with adult issues on previous Power Ranger series, but Wild Force dealt with a Power Ranger villain that committed a crime of passion. He loved a girl, another boy loved girl, another boy steals and marries girl, another boy takes credit for more things, Adler turns to evil and murders the boy and girl. Tried to murder their baby but no moss…for he would lead a Power Rangers team empowered by animals to push back on Adler embracing the powers and eventually the mind of the ancient enemy Master Org. He doesn’t get nor does he want redemption from his evil deeds either.
5. EmperorSheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious (Star Wars Saga): Darth Vader may be the iconic villain of Star Wars, but he is only an apprentice, useful idiot, a puppet. The real evil at least in the six of the eight core Star Wars saga movies to date is Palpatine. He played the citizens of Naboo and Padmé Amidala like a fiddle and saw how Anakin Skywalker could make him Emperor over the Star Wars Galaxy. Palpatine was able to keep his real hands intact for only flesh and blood hands can allow Palpatine/Darth Sidious to call on the powers of lighting which is the Sith Lord’s best weapon. It’s fun to watch Luke Skywalker die slowly. Watch out here comes Vader…and Palpatine gets the shaft…LITEARLLY!!!
6. Vandal Savage (The Flash/Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow): The Arrowverse adaptation consolidated his character with Hath-Set and had this version was forever murdering Hawkman and Hawkgirl, for it’s only those two who can kill Vandal Savage once and for all. The Hawks along with Green Arrow and Flash help kill Savage. However, thanks to Malcolm Merlyn, Savage lived again setting up the first season storyline of “Legends of Tomorrow.” Savage successfully conquers the world in the year 2166 and murders in cold blood the wife and child of protagonist Rip Hunter. Hunter, the Hawks and his team of Legends tried to prevent this from happening but cue The Price Is Right losing horns please…the writers made sure it did not happen. I am glad they stayed dead. Just like the parents of the Red Wild Force Power Ranger. Not everything should have a perfect ending. But hey Hunter does get a prize as the team was able to kill Vandal Savage again (with Rip making the final blow)….or did they??? Merlin can you help again? Speaking of which, he did collaborate with the next villain on the list.
7. Damien Darhk (Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow): The Arrowverse version of Darhk was introduced in season four of Arrow. He was part of the League of Assassins, but he could do better. He created his own version. The best part of Darhk is that he has an artifact that can make his opponents powerless to move and thus allowing Darhk to make the kill. He was successful in murdering Laura Lance who did not learn about not standing in his way. Eventually Green Arrow has to kill the killer. Thus, the reason for the Death Penalty the first place. Murderers become the animals that never stop hunting and plundering. However, Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash) recruits him (from the 1970’s timeline likely) into his Legion of Doom (named after the Lex Luthor group in the 1978 season of the animated series “Superfriends”) to make themselves a better future…which they do for a while, but time gets rewritten by the Legends. However, Darhk still wants to make a better future and so does his daughter.
8. Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek TOS: and Kelvin Time Line): The Nimoy Spock said it best; “”Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless, and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you.” Let me add to that, he also has the strength and muscle to do it. Kirk made a big mistake in releasing him for sleep in the original timeline. He tried to take over the Enterprise, but was overwhelmed. Kirk left him on Ceti Alpha V to start a new life, but Kirk did not follow-up and when sister planet Ceti Alpha VI went poof, it made CAV a living hell. So, when Starfleet was making the rounds to find a test planet…Khan seized the chance to get off CAV and make a beeline for Kirk. He was either going to hurt or kill Kirk. Khan dies eventually. In the Kelvin Timeline it was Section 31 and Alexander Marcus who thought they could tame this monster…NOT!!! Marcus eventually gets his neck broken by Khan (and in front of Marcus’s daughter on top of that). I would like to see Khan again in the Kelvin Time line once again. Benedict Cumberbatch is good at playing the sociopath either as Sherlock Holmes or Khan.
9. Ares (Wonder Woman (2017)): We shall focus on the DC Extended Universe version of this arch enemy of the Amazon superwoman. This guy was all behind the chaos and destruction that man committed. He killed all those pagan Gods too, and Diana Prince had to put him out of his misery in the name of Love. She told him so.
10. Magneto (X-Men saga): He suffered under the evil of the Nazis. He became angry and full of rage, and becomes a Hitler like character. Except in his mind, the master race is people like himself, and people who are not mutants view the former as monsters. Wrong thinking jerks, for Magento can be a monster and only fellow mutant Charles Francis Xavier can claim him down or at least do some pushback.
OK, now that got all of that anger out, just remember these words of wisdom from Tony Baretta…even if Robert Blake (who played the character) can’t take it himself. “Don’t Do the Crime, If You Can’t Do the Time.” For most of us the proverb is true.